Confession: I’m A Catholic…Sorta

When I was in the 4th grade, my class took a field trip to St. Augustine. It was a field trip I had been looking forward to for a while because every kid went during 4th grade and I just couldn’t wait. We visited the old fort, the old city and Flagler College. And at some point we walked into a church – The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine – right in the heart of the city. It was in that moment, I knew I was home.

I can’t fully explain what happened in that moment. But it was like feeling warm and cozy because you just walked into grandma’s house. I felt like I had finally found the place I never knew I was looking for. My grandfather had died about a year before this field trip so I decided to light a candle for him. It was then that I cried. I don’t really know why, but I did. And to this day, when I step into that church, I cry for no reason at all. It’s an overwhelming sense of love and warmth that I can’t completely contain.

A few years later my mom and my dad got together (a story for another day). His family was all catholic and I was finally able to put a name on the religion I felt that day in the church. I’ve gotten to be a part of many of the traditions over the years and was even given my dad’s mother’s rosary as she was dying.

I started attending RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) classes at my local church right before I met my husband. I was planning on finishing the process right before we were married so that his previous marriage wouldn’t be an issue for me. But then I jumped the gun a little and decided we needed to have a baby early on in our relationship. So the wedding was moved up and I was never able to finish my RCIA classes.

So technically, I’m not Catholic. But in my heart I am and that’s what matters to me.

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of lent. Usually I try my best to give up caffeine during lent, but since I have finally kicked that habit for good, I had to come up with a new idea. This year I am giving up sleeping in (which is incredibly difficult for me). I will be getting up. Monday through Saturday no later than 5am and 7am on Sundays. There will be no more hitting snooze and oversleeping. I will be getting up and working out, making breakfast or taking some time just for myself before the family wakes up. I will be following the rules of fasting and abstinence (from meat on Fridays). Not only will this bring my closer to my faith, but it should be a healthier lifestyle for me in the long run. Even my husband, the non-Catholic that he is will be participating in this healthier lifestyle with me, getting up early and eating fish on Fridays.

Do you observe lent? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you are giving up this year!

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4 thoughts on “Confession: I’m A Catholic…Sorta

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  1. Beautiful story. I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school when I was young. I am spiritual still but stopped regularly going to church after the age of 26 (didn’t like the church in my new neighborhood and just fell off). I go occasionally and sadly, I didn’t realize this was Ash Wednesday until reading your post! Thank you! I am going to think of something and get back to you!

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  2. Go and see a competent Roman Catholic priest about the situation with your husband and his previous marriage. There may be a good answer awaiting you. For example, if the Church does not consider his previous marriage to be sacramental (in the eyes of the Church), then it didn’t happen (so to speak) and then there is no impediment. I don’t know yet what I’m giving up for Lent; I and my wife will be participating in the Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings of Lent however.

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  3. Lovely post. I also try to do something in addition to giving up something. This year I will give up junk food and pray the rosary at least once a week. I like the idea of giving up sleeping in! I hope my husband will join me in the rosary. He is also Catholic and we go to church regularly but he’s not a fan of the rosary, says it’s too repetitive and he doesn’t get much out of it. I hope to enlighten him. I also hope that one day you can resume your RCIA.

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    1. I love the idea of doing something along with giving something up. I don’t pray the rosary enough, usually just when I’m having a particularly hard time with something. I should probably do it a little more often. Maybe I will add it in on Sundays as part of lent.

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