Some of the people closest to me know that I am in the process of converting to Catholicism. I went into this process a little skeptical as there are certain things that I wholeheartedly disagree with in formal settings, but I have been drawn to Catholicism for a while, and specifically within the St Anthony's community. It's not something that I'm going to go deeply into because I don't want to hear others' opinions on it and I know that by writing about it, I'm putting myself out there to hear the opinions. I'm simply using this as an introduction for the reader to understand where I'm getting some of my information and how I'm processing it.
So with that being said, back to my original point, I'm converting to Catholicism and what we do is break away from Mass at a certain time to "break open the word". I've gone into this process skeptical but am constantly surprised at the difference between the Catholic church and my bouts with other Protestant religions, surprised in a good way. I have gotten so much out of all of our meetings and it's continued to support a long, 12 year battle, of my own spiritual search. I will probably be writing about a lot of these things as they fall right in line with how my blog has continued to progress into spreading the word of happiness, positivity, and all other things good. (I hope that's what I'm doing anyway).
Father Pat, who is a WONDERFUL priest and I really can't say enough about, but I digress - Father Pat was talking about the readings set for this Sunday. I don't even really know how this particular example related to the readings, but what he said struck me so much that I almost cried (I'm so glad I didn't because I would've looked like the crazy lady in the row). He said that our spouses, our parents, our children have thoughts and feelings. They are waiting for us to ask the question. I wish I could remember the exact statement, but of course, my memory is terrible. When we broke away and spoke in our group, one of the guys said, "I believe Father Pat was saying that God wants us to have a deeper level of intimacy with one another". I thought that was such an interesting statement. In a world of surface level relationships through social media, texting, work, etc., how many relationships do we actually value and cherish? My husband and I talk about all kinds of things, but sometimes, I forget that he has thoughts just like me. How many times have I really asked my mom how she's feeling and really listened to the answer.
As one who wasn't the most popular in school, I have spent the better time of my twenties trying to make up for that. I think I was doing two things, 1) trying to get as many friends as possible to make myself feel good and 2) keeping relationships at a surface level in order to protect myself from "getting hurt". As I've grown and gotten older and frankly, just run out of time, I've decided that having lots of surface level relationships is no longer working for me. I've been searching for this specific thing, a deeper level of intimacy. I want to invest my limited time in people that I cherish and I want to get to know them on a level that is much deeper than making comments on each other's facebook wall. Obviously, I'm on the right path, because it's what God wants us to do too. I think the other thing is trying to become a better listener. I think God wants us to do that too. How can I be there for my husband in a better way? How can I validate his needs in a better way? All I want sometimes is for someone to just agree with me and say, damn, I know that sucks. It's not like we're reaching any sort of solution, but I feel like I have a partner and I have support.
I'm not sure if I've made any since at all, or if I've conveyed how much this topic hit me, but I love that I'm learning how to be a better person because I feel like that's what spirituality is supposed to be. If you're not walking out of your source of spiritual life/religion with a plan on how to be a better person, you may want to re-evaluate your goal. I know that's what I've had to do and it is working for me.