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18 March 2008

Holy Week

It's Tuesday of Holy Week. My confirmation is on Saturday night at the Easter Vigil. I'm looking forward to it. There are a handful of masses to attend between now and then. Both the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday masses are at 8pm. And the Easter Vigil is a three-hour service. The Church would love all of the parishioners to attend all of the masses during Holy Week (Monday's thru Wednesday's), but I don't think that I will be doing that. I'm really swamped with a ton of things to do this week. It is a priority, but, since they aren't holy days of obligation, I figure that I won't burn in hell for not attending.

Since my faith journey is ending (or, rather, just beginning), I figured that now was an appropriate time for a bit of reflection. I look at where I am now, and I am really surprised. Never in a million years would I have pictured myself here now. I'm happy and content with the changes I have made and truly feel that I am moving in the right direction. As I've said before, I feel more at peace and centered than I have before. I've enjoyed learning about the Church and its history and all the saints. It really is fascinating. I sometimes wonder though. Now that I see things through a more religious lens, I wonder if I could actually ever martyr myself for my faith. It seems so scary and terrifying. I doubt that I will ever have to face that situation (and I hope I never have to), but I really wonder what I would do. It is one thing to openly express your faith to others, but it is another to lie down and die. I'd like to think if it came down to it, I could do it. But I'm not sure. Is that bad? Well, if anything, it is something to work on. Right?

I also see more and more what I don't want to be in the religious world. I don't want to be a hypocrite or a liar like so many Christians. I work hard to not pass judgement on others and encourage others to refrain from judgement as well. I try to understand the position of others and view them with compassion. But I see so many others who profess themselves as Christians and act as bigots. If I ever behave that way, I expect all of you to call me on it.

The funny thing is that, now that I am becoming Catholic, peoples' stereotypes are emerging in an obvious way. For example, my brothers were here last weekend and we were all hangning out and having a good time. I behaved as I always do and swore. I didn't curse or blaspheme, but I said "Fuck" a few times. They were all like, "Woa! That's not very Catholic!" I'm like, "Um, that has nothing to do with it." If I had taken the Lord's name in vain or something, I would understand. But there is nothing un-Christian about swearing. Of course, if I had used the swear words to refer to a person in a slanderous or defamatory way, that would be un-Christian. But simply swearing has nothing to do with it. Later, we were all talking about Lent and what I gave up for it. My dad heard that I quite eating chocolate and ice cream and candy. He got concerned that I was never going to eat it again for the Church. I was like, "No, Dad. It's only till Easter." He felt better afterwards. It was funny.

Well, that's enough for now. More later.
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