Conversion, Part Seven: A Progress Report
The first seven weeks of Catholic education and this process of joining the Church has gone well and has been basically uneventful so far. Having read the initial sections of the Catechism prepared me for what has been said so far, and my own education and reading had prepared me, too. I’ve been thankful to have the background in analytical reading, what the Church calls “exegesis,” because it has come in handy in understanding some of the subject matter, especially the conceptual frameworks underlying many of word choices involves in the theology.
The weekly Wednesday-night classes provide us with solid, though brief explanations of Catholic theology, which have so far been clear. The group is about 10-15 people and mostly we sit and listen as one of two priests or a guest speaker discusses some feature of Catholic thinking, mostly as it differs from Protestant denominations. I think that our teachers are assuming that most of us are coming in from having been Christians (Protestants) already, and in a way we’re being taught, as they are describing it, “to see the world through Catholic-colored glasses.” Because so much of the work has been centered on Church teachings, not so much on specific Biblical passages like in Protestant sunday schools and Bible studies, there hasn’t been a lot to react to. Lots of listening so far.
I’ve been doing my best to attend Mass on Sunday mornings every week, though I will admit that I missed once because I and my wife got a cold at the same time a few weekends ago. Trying to get something out of the Mass, sick, while looking after two small kids just didn’t sound appealing and I made an executive decision that we would stay home. After going through the summer hardly attending Mass at all, it has been good to get back to it. I still like the readings and the homily most of all, but I am beginning to get more out of the “I Confess” and the “We Believe” since being in RCIA classes.
Because I haven’t run into anything unexpected, nor anything I disagreed with, so far, it has been kind of like taking a grad-school class that has very little homework, just some reading and showing up for class.