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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, May 25, 2009

And Thank You to Those Who Serve

Happy Memorial Day! I'm not sure we're supposed to be happy today, remembering those who were lost while defending our country. I know a lot of people are happy for the day off, at least. We're all happy that there are people defending our country.

We put the trash out. Monday is trash day and we roll the big cans to the curb. It was crucial that we not miss the trash pick up because of the spring cleaning. We found the desk top and everything that used to cover it is in the giant blue recycling can. We were the only people on the block to put our cans out. Everyone else knew it was a holiday and there would be no trash pick up.

We debated. But there have been holidays where we did not put the trash out and the trash truck came and there we sat with our garbage piling up for another week. We decided we would rather look like crazy people with our trash sitting out than risk it, so out it went.

Sister St. Aloysius said, "We'll either look crazy, or crazy like a fox."

Speaking of crazy like a fox, here is today's question from a reader:


I'm not going to leave a specific age, but let it be suffice to say that I am still in my parent's house hold. They are Protestant, and I have a desire to be Catholic. Indeed, a deep desire. I pray about it and have started asking the saints for their intersession, and researched the faith. I have yet to find anything against it, and everything for it. However, I sometimes have doubt... I feel like God is leading me. I pray about it and I let my feelings guide me, because I believe that they are coming from God. But can I be sure they are from God? I pray again and again and they never change, but I still worry that I might be being tricked... and also, can you give me any advice for my situation?

I love this type of question, especially on a holiday, when I don't have to tax my brain in the least to formulate an answer.

Of course God wants you to be Catholic. God wants everybody to be Catholic. That's why he sent Jesus to save us and to found the One True Church. Do you know what the word "Catholic" means? It means "universal". God wants everybody in the universe to be Catholic.
Here is the History of Christianity:

Jesus said to St. Peter, "Upon this rock I will build my Church." By "rock" he meant Peter. Peter was the first head of the Church founded by Jesus and there was no other Christian church until the 16th century. One thousand five hundred years went by with every Christian a Catholic.

Then there was a church accidentally founded by a man who was mad at the Catholic Church (Martin Luther, who wasn't trying to found another Church but ended up doing that anyhow) and then another church founded by a man who was mad because the Pope wouldn't let him get a divorce (the Anglican Church in England, which is the Episcopal Church in the United States).

After that, things went south altogether, as other people got mad at those people and founded their own churches because they thought the first guys got some stuff wrong and the next thing you know you've got Calvinists, Baptists, Anabaptists, First Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Puritans, Methodists.

So you can be part of the One True Church founded by Jesus while he was alive on earth, or you can be a part of some church founded by some person who was mad an somebody, somewhere, sometime.

Who is tricking whom, here? I'd like to know. Have you ever asked yourself what the Protestants were protesting?

I'm not sure how you should handle the situation at home in the meantime. Some Protestants (although I've only found one or two, but they're out there) think that Catholics are the devil with horns. I had a cab driver once who said those exact words to me. "My parents told me that Catholics were the devil with horns." I thought that was a fine explanation of the attitude of those handful of people I have encountered that are vehemently anti-Catholic. I hope that's not what you are up against.

I suggest you find a confessor, local priest who can council you. That will take a load off your mind.

Speaking of loads...Crazy like a fox. The trash truck did come today. Hallelujah!


NCSue said...

I'm a convert to Catholicism and, when I was returning to God and to the idea of attending a church after years away, I did some research on the beliefs of different denominations. There's a book called the Handbook of Denominations - I read through it to see what seemed to be most like what I read in the Bible & felt in my soul. The Catholic church was it, of course, but meanwhile I found a denomination whose name has stuck with me. It rolls quite powerfully off the tongue: The Two Seed In The Spirit Predestinarian Baptists.

So your list of Protestant faiths is by no means exhaustive. How could you forget such a wonderful name as that!!!

joannaB73 said...

Dear Sister Mary Martha, I just wanted to say thank you for your Blog - you keep me sane! LOL

Claudia said...

My good friend was a Southern Baptist earlier in her life. When she was in high school she was dating a Catholic guy. She told me how misinformed some people are because her Aunt asked her if the Catholics "believed in Jesus"

What do the others think the Catholics believe?

JP said...

What do they think Catholics believe?

Well, I asked someone that once. She said didn't we believe in Mary?

To be fair, this gal was a well meaning German (as in very recent immigrant) Pentecostal so language was an issue. But there is an answer for you!

I tried my best to set her straight, but given that I was on their territory (I was at a Pentecostal Youth Camp) I don't think I succeeded.

Phi Tran said...

Dear Sister,

Thank you so much for your blog! Your answers are so honest and true. I absolutely love it whenever you have a new post. ;) Keep up the good work!

Anna said...

Um, I’m the same person who asked a question some time before, but I guess it didn’t need to be answered because a friend answered and gave some advice. But things have changed a little, and I was wondering if you could help. I draw in this style, called manga, and apparently pretty good at it, according to a lot of friends (who are big fans of manga/anime and stuff). But now that I look at it, I should’ve been one of the last people on the list that God decided to give this talent for drawing in manga. I don’t read manga, and only watched a very few, (and very mild) anime. My parents don’t want me to. We’re really traditional Catholics and drawing has always been a favorite talent of mine. I just gave manga out a try (I tried to imitate one of my friends’ drawings), and I’ve really gotten far in it. It’s not that I want to read manga, watch anime and go all out on it. It’s just that just about everyone in my family are supportive of it and encourage me to keep it up except for my parents. My mom even threatened to reduce my drawing time because she always thinks I'm drawing. They’ve never really said anything about it to other people and me, and it seems like an uncomfortable thing for them. I don’t draw anything bad. But it makes me wonder why God gave me this talent. I want to use it for good and all that, but why’d He give me this kind of talent that my parents don’t even like? Was it a sin to draw something like what I do? I'm just really confused right now. Thanks for your help.

Anna said...

Sorry, I forgot to add this question to my other ones... Do you think there would be a patron saint for me and this weird problem I have? Thanks again.

J. J. said...

Anna- Without knowing more about your specific situation, I can't say for sure, but here are my two cents. In the US and far more so here in Japan, the majority of the anime/manga market tends to be voyeuristic, and a lot of it does get pornographic. People are drawn with exaggerated, idealized features, and as far as the females go it's almost worse than Barbie (I think) in giving guys and girls impossible body images to compare themselves to.

At the same time, there are a lot of manga and anime targeted for children and students that probably isn't objectionable per se.

You have to remember, though, that Japan has no Christian influence on its culture, and so any morals or virtues brought up in its cultural products-- art-- should be scrutinized from a Christian perspective, and not just absorbed. Japanese artists and writers also tend sometimes to have pretty wacky ideas about what Christianity is all about, too, so beware.

I'd say, don't neglect your talent for art, and don't focus on manga to the exclusion of everything else, either! Try some more art forms; you may be surprised to find out what else you're good at!

bill7tx said...

As a Navy vet from the Viet Nam war, I say thanks to you for the thought, and you're welcome.

This has nothing to do with your blog post, but I thought you might enjoy this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UY5sZPU32s -- it's been up for a while and you may already have seen it, but just in case.

Don't read the comments below the video. Someone decided that the best way to respond to the beauty of the video and to the 37 other positive feedbacks was to post something really ugly, and to support it with language that doesn't belong in public.

berenike said...

Anna - Do Christian manga, why not? If there isn't any, you could invent it.

I met a lovely Presbyterian girl some years ago, her father the son of Belfast prods - she's now a cloistered novice. And her dad has started to read her letters, and write her a couple of sentences, so he's getting over his huff :-)

denise said...

berenike and Anna -- there's already Christian manga out there. I picked up a couple at an outlet store. They are both published by evangelical protestant publishers.

One series is a loosely paraphrased version of Genesis and Exodus, two books that really lend themselves to graphic art. It's pretty free with adding details to the stories, but is a cute read.

The other is a "literal" version: pictures with the actual text. It's really boring. Since the manga covered Judges, that might explain it.

No reason there can't be Catholic versions.

Go for it, Anna.

jbh said...

I really enjoy this blog. But, I will have to say that I think there is more for Protestants to do than just come home to Rome. For instance what if that is not far enough? I still think there is something of delight in thinking about that Acts community in which all Christians held things in common (not just those that have a vocation.)

Take care, E

Danica-Christine said...

There is but one Holy, ROMAN Catholic Church. One God. One Mother. One Church. I love you blog, Sister! Blessed be! x

Anonymous said...

Helo Sr.,thank you so much for this blog but I have one question.I think I was called to become a catholic sister but I have doubts.So what should I do.