Archive | September, 2010

Fundacatholics: why they make me want to jump off a cliff.

28 Sep

 I can see it coming. The glimmer in their eye that sparks as soon as I say something edifying about a Novus Ordo (or Eastern Rite) parish in town. When I’m caught entering the sanctuary without a headcovering (usually because unknowingly to me it floated off while running from my car to the church doors). When I quote Pope John Paul II on Facebook or mention reading the CCC or mispronounce a word in Latin.
Enter the Fundacatholic: “Pardon me ma’am, but your Vatican II is showing.”
Yes, well, the putrid scent of your Catholic arrogance is overwhelming me. When I decided to convert, I thought I was leaving denominationalism behind – unfortunately, it just tends to take on a different name in the Church. We call it Vatican II vs. Vatican I (or The High Holy Purveyors Of Truth). Do I consider myself a Traditionalist? No. Do I consider myself a Modernist? No. I’m Catholic. Period.

 I love the Traditional Latin Mass. It touches corners of my soul that before I began my conversion only ever came out of the shadows in the cold, dark, damp ballet studios where I poured out blood, sweat and more than a few tears. It’s personal to me. It’s coming face to face with God. The majesty and the imagery make me tremble before the Almighty, and I realize just how small I really am in Eternity – and just how powerful my God is.

 But the Novus Ordo is equally special. It’s like a family reunion. There are the cousins that irritate you. The grandfather that tells embarrassing stories. The crazy uncle who does things like hula hoop in a coconut bra in the middle of a barn. (True story. From family reunion. Not Mass). Is it as earth shatteringly beatiful as the TLM? Hardly. But it’s coming together in simplicity and union, and meeting God in community. Where the TLM, for me, is interior and vertical, the NO is exterior and horizontal. Both are necessary. Both are valuable. I recently attended my first Eastern Catholic Divine Liturgy, in the Maronite Rite, and it added even more to my spiritual life.

 I’m tired of the rigid “My way or you’re a heretical schismatic.” vitriol. My personal favorite is when it’s announced that non-Religious (and the definition of Religious is limited to only those who are anti V2) have no business studying the theology of the church, and should leave that to “The Intellectuals”. ?????

 But you know what? However blood-boilingly angry Fundamentalist-behaving Catholics make me, they are still my brothers and sisters, and I have to love them – just like I do everyone else. Just. . .in the meantime, please make sure you cover your Fundacatholicism when you’re in public – I can see your knees.

7 Quick Takes Vol. 2

24 Sep

7 Quick Takes

Thank you Jennifer at ConversionDiary.com for hosting!

1. The courtship post is coming.
I promise. I don’t know if I can adequately portray the amount of angst this topic brings to me, and I’m trying to be fair and not have it turn into a diatribe like this. (I laughed, I confess). It’s interesting to see how bizarre the courtship model seems to non-Fundamentalists – I mean, it makes sense why, but it’s just interesting to see how readily my family accepted some of this idealogy for a time. Thank God for parents who are willing to step outside the homeschool trends when need-be.

2. I got my hair cut and didn’t die.
Don’t judge me for the amount of anxiety haircuts cause me. I have ridiculously curly hair, and I was the victim of a particularly horrendous haircut at the hands of my mother’s best friend when I was 16. I cried. For a length of time I’m too ashamed to admit to on the internet. Fast forward several years to now, with me stranded in Tulsa with no trip to Dallas in the forseeable future to the one woman in the world I’ve found whom I trust with my hair, and you have a spastic Kassie. After much anguish I chose one salon, and after making VERY CERTAIN the receptionist knew I was a paranoid curly headed spazzoid, she told me Claudia would be my best bet. Claudia indeed was. AND, she has been thinking about Catholicism lately. So I got a great hair cut, and got to answer some questions an inquirer had about the Church. Awesome? I think so. That’s my justification for it, anyway.

3. I don’t totally suck at pool.
Yes, I gasp go out with friends on occasion. I was in an establishment that may or may not have allowed smoking. I was even wearing pants. But I figured in an activity like pool that requires much bending and, if you’re vertically challenged like me, Cirque de Soleil style contortionist acts to have any chance at winning, skirts are better off left at home. Apparently even wearing pants I still reeked of Prairie Muffin, because parting words from a group of intoxicated young men stumbling away from me, saddened at their rejection, were “I hope you find a good husband soon”. Sidenote: I also kicked arse at the establishment wide trivia game. Homeschool grads FTW.

4. I have been living off of Nordstrom’s Tomato Basil Soup and Cheese Quesadillas.
Go
here. Cook. Thank me later.

5. I love being a nanny.
I didn’t realize how much until I got this week off and realized. . .hey, I miss those kids. Even the one intentionally urinates on me when I don’t open the front door fast enough. “Hurry up. . .or. . .or I’m going to PEE ON YOU!!” – What Jesus Never Told Mary.

6. Eli comes back to town in TEN FREAKING DAYS!!!
There is much rejoicing. I am tired of long distance.

7. According to the numerology obsessed lady in my home church, 7 is the Lord’s Number.
So I’m not going to desecrate it with anything else in my life. 😉

 

Mad Hatterdash

21 Sep

There’s nothing like a day or two of throwing myself back into the neo-Fundamentalist moral teaching and courtship literature of my past life for the sake of fair writing and accurate portrayal to make me crave a radical swing to the other end of the theological lines and praise sweet Jesus for orthodox Catholicism and shop for confirmation and Christmas mass dresses with wild abandon – no limits at all…except my undergraduate nanny and ballet teacher’s budget. What does this say about me?

I’m looking for a Jackie O style veiled hat – don’t ask me why, I am just super into the look right now. But I am young, white, and inexperienced in the ways of millinery, so I’m asking – imploring – begging for the advice of my readers. Do you know of a fabulous milliner? Do you have a fantastic hat like that that materialized beside you as you read this that I could purchase? I’ll throw in extra $$ if it can make me invisible.

7 Quick Takes Friday!

17 Sep

Please excuse me while I have a blogging fan-girl moment. This marks my first time actively participating in 7 Quick Takes, and let’s just say, there is much rejoicing and celebratory SQUEEEE-ing going on over here. Thank you ConversionDiary.com for hosting!

1. It’s official!
My best friend Eli, and I breached the new relational horizons of Facebook-officialness. This is a big deal when you’re as pathologically introverted as we are. I requested that he call my father and introduce himself (remnants of my borderline fundamentalist I-kissed-dating-good-bye awkward homeschooler days, leave me alone). My dear, sweet Californian/Brazilian beau felt it necessary to inform me that I did NOT adequately prepare him for the sheer level of stereo-typical Texas Man-Beast he was going to encounter when my father picked up the other line. #iaminnocent

2. I’m writing again.
I was on a personal writing hiatus for a really ridiculously lengthy amount of time for various not-so-convincing reasons, that all mainly boiled down to sheer laziness. I confess. I’m toying around with the idea of attempting National Novel Writing Month for the umpteenth time in my life.

3. Libraries don’t have a witness protection program.
This week I discovered that a book I checked out at my hometown library the very first day of summer break is nestled safely. . .in a purse in the back of my trunk. This revelation came to me as I was digging around my car for the Tulsa library card that, after consulting a librarian three hours later, was determined I never posessed in the first place. I just knew there was some kind of secret Library-credit-score hanging over my head that signified reprehensible stewardship skills.

4. I have not had a drop of coffee all week.
Hot Earl Grey tea with heavy whipping cream and absolutely sinful amounts of sugar are my new culinary lover.

5. I remember why I love J.R.R. Tolkien.
I was one of the thousands sucked into watching the entire trilogy play out on TV Sunday. I was one of THOSE Tolkien fans – the kind who read the Silmarillion multiple times and could pretty much quote The Hobbit verbatim when I was 10. I thought there was nothing new the movie trilogy could offer me. But I watched the trilogy as a Conversion, of sorts, and my world was blown.

6. The Credo from Vaughan Williams Mass in g Minor is worthy of drooling.
I’m a full-time nanny to two children, 3 and 5. I try to expose them to all kinds of music (more for my sanity than the development of their musical appreciation), and I feel rather accomplished. Their play-list of choice is Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring by J.S. Bach, Credo by Vaughan Williams, Lizstomania by Phoenix, and Rock My Boat by Dntel. Cultured kids, if I do say so myself.

7. I’m definitely a fan of lectio divina.
I’m taking a lectio divina class through the Diocese of Tulsa’s Pastoral Studies Institute, and HOLY COW BATMAN. All my years in the heart of the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement of the 90’s has absolutely nothing on this.

Create Your Own Protestant Adventure!

16 Sep

 I’m a lot more comfortable gleefully perusing eBay for vintage mantillas with a cup of Earl Grey in hand than I am hashing out a bloody Traditionalist vs. Vatican II dual-to-the-death. My favorite part of Theology on Tap is the smell of pipe tobacco and the pub hamburgers. And I’m super rusty on my Latin, despite my apparently coveted classical great books educaton. But being the daughter of an (absolutely swoon-worthy) Protestant pastor, I need more ammunition in my Why I’m A Catholic cannon than “I get to sing Haydn in church and wear a lacy scarf thing”.

It’s not that I don’t know why – I have a list of reasons why that far outnumbers the reasons why I, say, would like to have a million dollars, finish school debt free, or not be steamrolled to death in front of the Geiko cavemen. And trust me, the reasons for all of the aforementioned possibilities are many indeed. I just turn into a defensive dimwit when the question is posed to me, like I’m facing a rabid Fundamentalist Inquisitor or something.

Enter a lovely theologian in my home parish that spoke to the RCIA candidates this week, Ken L. He gave an amazing outline of the Catholic vision for life that beautifully illustrated what I’ve been struggling to put into words. I have the theological reasons, but I haven’t been able to translate that into the earthy, day-to-day reasons that my family and church of origin will really grasp. The headings are his, the elaborations and commentary are mine. So, congratulations, readers! Yes, all two of you! You get to be my guinea pigs. I promise to treat you with infinite more respect than Uncle Andrew Ketterly treated his poor subjects – although really, I don’t think anyone would complain about being launched into Narnia. I’m just trying to practice verbalizing non-theological (in the academic sense of the word) reasons for my conversion.

1/8 Finding God in Everyday Life

“[As Catholics our contact with God] isn’t restricted to one hour in the sanctuary on Sunday,”. . .or during thirty minute morning Bible studies, or while listening to ambiguous worship music on the radio. God isn’t compartmentalized into “Church” things and “Normal” things. Catholics allow for finding God in the movie I watch on a Friday night, in the mug of tea I make in the morning, in a sweet phonecall from my family or my dear boyfriend, in the pain of rejection, in the moments of sickness and weakness. This means, when I enter into his holy presence on Sunday morning, it’s not like visiting a grandfather that I’ve heard about my entire life and in my own way love, but don’t have an open and honest relatonship with. It’s a time to adore and reverence the patriarch that holds the family together – the Father that I’ve shared everything with; not just the happiness and the “prosperity” but the brokeness, the anger, the funny blog that almost made me pee my pants, and the moments of raw silence sitting in his worshipful presence before the sun comes up.

Feedback is welcome! If you were a Protestant from a Charismatic/Pentecostal background questioning your wayward pastor’s daughter about her slide into Babylonian harlotry, would any of the reasoning I’m presenting over the next couple of days satiate your desire for Roman blood*

*only mildly hyperbolic. Seriously.