We had a little earthquake today. As one of the eighth grade boys said, "We eat earthquakes for lunch." Yes, we do.
Dear Sister Mary Martha,
My protestant friend invited me to join her bible study group. I've been going for several months now and I enjoy the bible study and the prayers. However, anytime time I mention anything remotely Catholic they all go quiet and wait for me to finish and then have no comment. Until last week when I mentioned the Immaculate Conception of Mary and one woman sat bolt upright and said "I've never read that story!" The group leader told her it wasn't in the bible and that is was Catholic Doctrine. I didn't know how to defend this (I do know now as I came home and studied!). Should I keep going to this study? I've been praying about God's will. Am I sinning by going? During this same evening someone talked about praying to God about getting a parking space. I told her we catholics have a saint for that!
I was met with strange looks and no comments.
We do have a saint for that! St. Boniface. And if you want to be able to drive your car into that parking space, St. Frances Cabrini, the patron saint of keeping your old car in running condition.
But the separated brethren just have a nonsensical problem with asking saints to pray for us. That's because they believe that we pray to saints. If that was true, they would be correct. But it isn't true, so they are not.
When we ask saints for help, the help we are requesting is their prayers in our behalf. As far as I know, the separated brethren, like Catholics, run around asking people to pray for them on a daily basis. But saints, people who exhibited heroic virtue, are off limits? To me, that merits a strange look.
I understand that you might not have wanted to pipe up with "What're you lookin' at? Don't you ask people to pray for you all the time? I ask you and people who are sitting around with Jesus in Heaven to pray for me. I'm smart that way. So just real those eyeballs back in."
But, maybe at some point, you might want to raise your little paddy paw and say, "You know the other day when I mentioned having a saint for parking? You don't think I was actually praying to someone, right? Because when we ask a saint for help with anything, we're just asking them to pray for us, the same way I would ask you to pray for me. And I might actually say to you, 'pray I get a parking spot.'"
Which brings me to your actual question: is it a sin to go to this class?
It could be. Some would argue that maybe it's not a good idea, as it could sway or confuse you. That's a valid argument.
I feel that it could actually enhance your Catholic faith. I find that when I look into the belief systems and roots of many denominations, I merely breath a sigh of relief. Not only do we belong to the One True Church, we can play cards, drink and dance. Our dolls can have faces and our clothes can have zippers. We have an army of people in Heaven praying for us along with an army of people on earth who are joining them. And we have a really pretty mom.
Should you find yourself being swayed away from the Catholic Church and you stay in the class, that would be a sin because you are intentionally doing something that is undermining your faith. But it sounds to me that the opposite is true. Now you know all about the Immaculate Conception, for example.