Monday, June 23, 2014

Sometimes, I Just Think That Being Catholic Is the Weirdest Thing Ever.

But in a good way.

Well, that's what I think now. Let me back up a bit.

Long ago, in the galaxy of my life that is far, far away, I didn't want to be Catholic because I thought Catholicism was simply too weird. 

So many things put me off: the chanting, droning sounds of the responses at Mass (which served only to reinforce my idea that Catholics were sheep who, having happily checked their brains at the door, now followed the leader), the statues, the kissing of the Cross on Good Friday (I remember the first time my friend, Jack, told me about that one. "You kissed it? A piece of wood? You mean, you kissed it ... with your lips?")

It's hard to satisfactorily explain to those who have been Catholic their entire lives exactly how foreign and shocking and incomprehensible some practices and traditions are -- how strange they look and sound, seem and feel, when you are first exposed to them.

The idea of a Corpus Christi procession was once alien to me, to put it mildly. But as I walked through the streets of my town yesterday -- holding hands with my husband, praying for people we know and people we've never met, singing, thinking -- I was struck by how perfectly normal the whole thing seemed to me. Strangely normal. Comforting, touching and stirring.

I felt, all in the same moment, tethered to earth and ready to fly.

It's the weirdest -- and best -- feeling ever.


Liz said...

Wow! I wish we had Corpus Christi processions around here.

tanita✿davis said...

☺ Hah. Try being practically the only people in town in church on a Saturday (unless you count the Catholics at the 5:30 mass). If it helps, from the outside, it looks lovely and liturgical and full of mysteries and ritual.

And, I figured everybody just air-kissed the cross. ☺

We had a huge church in Glasgow which did a Corpus Christi procession and it was glorious - the city paused for a moment and they wended their way through, singing. They were lovely to watch at Easter, too - they took their processions to the streets, and everyone stopped and smiled at them.

Cay Gibson said...

Beautiful. And I know the feeling.

Karen Edmisten said...

Thanks, Cay.

Tanita, what a lovely picture you've painted of the Glasgow procession. I think that, despite my aversion to the "weirdness" there was always that draw to the mystery. Obviously, there was something (Someone) underneath it all that kept drawing me back and further in.

And some people do air-kiss. :)

Liz, not one? Nowhere near you? I'm sorry!