Monday, March 16, 2015

Spiritual Two-Timing: Yay or Nay?

It's a Sunday, and I sit by myself at a church I started gong to after my friends recommended it. Ironically, I just saw my friends from across the sanctuary -- and normally i sit with them -- but it's too late. Here I am, alone in my chair. It makes me honestly take a harder look at why I am here. I mean, I was raised Catholic. And in some ways I still practice Catholicism -- I go to Mass whenever I feel moved to; I honor my background; I say Catholic prayers and I take pictures of cathedrals then sneak inside of them to douse my forehead in holy water while I'm on vacation in other cities.

Whenever I go to a church, the priest, pastor or whomever talks about becoming "a member." But I haven't become a member of any church as a grown person. Sometimes I attend places, and sometimes I even put a couple of bucks in the basket when it comes around, But I haven't declared my official commitment with any place --  not a cathedral, nor a contemporary mega-church, as they are sometimes called.

Sitting here in the mega-church now, I'm enjoying, as usual, the charismatic pastor. He's funny and says things that are useful and relatable. But there are other parts of this place I don't like so much -- the bland decor, the cheesy music, the lack of a liturgical calendar. In short, this church's weaknesses are a Catholic church's strengths. And vice versa. (Anyone who's listened to a priest say a homily lately has probably gotten bored!)

Still, because I grew up Catholic and was baptized Catholic, I never feel phony standing before a Catholic altar. Yet, here i feel like a fraud at times, even though I enjoy the message, and even though it's obviously my choice to be here.

So, I'm posing this question: Is it possible to need more than one church, even more than one style of worship, to be spiritually fulfilled? We require choices in other aspects of life, right? Just as I get my frozen pizzas from Harris Teeter and my wine from Trader Joe's, I feel like I should be able to get my songs from Mass and my speech from right here. I like both.

St. Peter's Catholic Church in Harper's Ferry, WV

No comments:

Post a Comment