I suppose a word that sums up tonight’s post is “Anticipation.” Anticipating the Savior’s Birth in Bethlehem. And memories of anticipating my full reception into the Catholic Church in 1996. And after I wrote this post I discovered something I want to share with you. If you wanna skip to the end for that, I’ll understand.
+JMJ+ So good to have seen some tweets by people being received into Holy Mother Church these last few weeks. In the midst of all the unrest and turmoil, nothing makes my heart gladder than to see others discover and embrace the Truth of Christ and answer His call to come home to His Church. Makes me remember my own reception on that Easter Vigil in ’96.
To tell the truth, I remember the time leading up to it and after it much better than I remember the actual moment of being received. I remember more clearly the impression of the joy, the giddiness, the anticipation of it rather than the precise moment. I remember the darkness, the fire being lit, the candles, everybody turning and lighting the next person’s candle, the way the whole church went from darkness to light in waves. The beautiful readings that my Dad thought were interminable. (I asked him later what he thought about the Vigil. All he said was, “It was long.” I think my Mother, the artist, and more sympathetic to my fascination with the Church—after all, she had dated that Italian boy and had seriously thought about converting if they’d gotten married—was more impressed. And she gave me a beautiful gold ring with a cross on it, too. I love that ring. I’ll take a photo of it and post it when I remember to do it.)
We didn’t do the RCIA thing at the parish where I was received. The priest taught a Know Your Faith class every year, open to anyone who wanted to know more about the Church. (In his Irish accent it sounded more like Know Your Fate and I giggled every time he said it. He also asked the janitor not to hang up a sign that read Convert Class but to write Know Your Fate, er, Faith, but the man wrote CONVERT CLASS each and every time, week after week, for the duration. Heh.)
I think I got a good grounding in the Faith in that little room where we met, just the four of us inquirers and the priest. I think we were all candidates, not catechumens, and I think we were all Methodists, except maybe one. It’s hard to remember now. (This is when I wish for the bazillionth time that I was a diary-keeping gal, but I never have been.) Not only a good grounding in the class, but I’ve never stopped studying the Faith. I find it endlessly fascinating and no matter how much one knows about it, there is always more. I find that exciting. Always more to explore. (I had also taken a summer course in the Catechism that was new then. I’m telling you, I can’t get enough of the teachings of the Church, and there’s more to it than that. too.)
For those who want to know more about the Faith but don’t know where to turn (especially now), I found a source that looks like it is reliable. Fr. William Saunders’ RCIA website, twenty videos, “Each Video will include Whiteboard Notes, Handouts & Link”.
“Watch Fr. Saunders’ free RCIA video series to gain a comprehensive overview of the Catholic Faith! Each year Fr. Saunders teaches an RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) class, which is attended by Catholics and non-Catholics, the young and old, individuals preparing to join the Catholic Church, and individuals simply wanting to grow in their love for God.”Fr. William Saunders’ RCIA website.
A tip: To see the videos, ignore the link at the bottom of Fr. Saunders’ page where it says “Click to view archived videos.” All I got were pages with blank spots where videos should be, so be sure to use the links from the list in the upper part of the page where you see the list, RCIA 1, RCIA 2, etc. (See screenshot below).
What I found to share after I wrote this post
Other classes that look really promising (to me) are Matthew Leonard’s Next Level Catholic Academy. Oooh! And I just found his free streaming Introduction to the Psalms course (scroll down the page), originally just for Advent, but extended now through Christmas. I signed up! :) OOH! And I just saw that the entire academy is available during Advent and Christmas for $1.00. One dollar! That’s something to not pass up! I want to look at his premiere course: The Science of Sainthood. Yeah, I want that! All of this is on the main page.
“Take Your Faith to the Next Level at a Premiere Institute of Catholic Spirituality!”
“Welcome to Next Level Catholic Academy, an online teaching community designed to turn ordinary Catholics into spiritual dynamos. More than education, it’s transformation! We feature dynamic courses in Catholic spirituality, Scripture, and more! Come see for yourself!”Next Level Catholic Academy
Thank you for visiting and reading. Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, please stay safe and well, and virtuous and holy. May the Lord bless and keep you and yours, and may His peace be always with you. +JMJ+
Notes and Links
(I’m not affiliated with any of these people or groups. Currently I only have Amazon affiliate links.)
- RCIA website, twenty videos, whiteboard notes, handouts, links. By Fr. William Saunders. You’ve probably seen him around the web. He’s answered a lot of questions at EWTN.
- Next Level Catholic Academy: a Matthew Leonard project.
- Introduction to the Psalms course (scroll down the page), Matthew Leonard’s free streaming course, originally just for Advent, but extended now through Christmas.
- The Science of Sainthood, also at Matthew Leonard’s Next Level Catholic Academy. Scroll down the main page to see more about it. (I’ll have to add all of this to the Resource section of the blog.)
Image: Annunciation to the Virgin, by Giovanni Battista Cima, Wikimedia, public domain. Collection: Detroit Institute of Arts. Textual elements added by me.
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