Saturday, March 27, 2010

All roads lead to Rome

It is impossible to be just to the Catholic Church. The moment men cease to pull against it they feel a tug towards it. The moment they cease to shout it down they begin to listen to it with pleasure. The moment they try to be fair to it they begin to be fond of it. But when that affection has passed a certain point it begins to take on the tragic and menacing grandeur of a great love affair.
- GK Chesterton
This Chesterton quotation strikes me as the kind of universal declaration only liked by those to whom it applies. But since I am evidently one of them, I do like it.

“So...” my friend interjected in a conversation about calling, a topic heavily on my mind in the aftermath of yet another graduation, “do you feel called to the Catholic Church?”

I pondered her question, unsure of the word. In the years leading up to my decision and in the months that had followed, I had certainly felt a sense of leading, longing, and provision, but I always associated “calling” with a command, and I had never felt ordered to enter the Catholic Church.

“I don’t know,” I hesitated. “I think I’d say I feel invited to the Catholic Church. It’s not something you would have to tell me to do at this point; I feel more like I’m standing on the edge of a great ocean of graces, and God has invited me to jump in. Is that what calling is?”

Maybe it is. At least in the case of the nation of Israel, “calling” had been God’s extension of a world of blessing to them, and their invitation to live into it. Maybe if God has specific assignments for us, he will make them clear as the time comes; Moses didn’t have to pray about finding God’s will for his life, after all. In the mean time, he has called us to be a people of blessing, a people who receive his lavish, superfluous graces and extend them to those around us. It is a calling I rejoice to live into.

This post was my way to make the official announcement on a blog that I have steered away from being a personal journal: I will be confirmed into the Catholic Church the weekend of Pentecost. Since this is not a blog of theological treatises, you can rest assured that I will not use it as a platform for controversial issues (and feel free to hold me to that!); a theological blog has invited me to contribute a “Why I am joining the Catholic Church” article, and I will point you there afterward if you are interested. But as I am about to travel to Rome for Holy Week, I imagine I’d have a hard time keeping it secret in any “listening” posts for the next two weeks.

The God who stands over our theological divides has beckoned to us that the mysteries and wonders of his Grace are deeper than we have imagined. We are called to jump on in. Come, let us plunge them together!

1 comment:

Chestertonian Rambler said...

Congratulations, from a theologically conservative emergent postevangelical.

I've been away for a while; it's good to follow your blog again. And it's heartwarming to see how God has called you to a solid place in his Body.