Monica did a great post on why last night's episdoe of LOST was so disappointing. Well, the episode wasn't disappointing, it was just one scene...but we both sat there with jaws wide open and hearts bursting with frustration. The thing that was the most annoying to me, was that I felt they did a good job of representing authentic Catholic faith in some of the earlier seasons.
It's the perfect example of why there are so many misconceptions about Christianity and, specifically, about Catholicism. It happens all the time in the secular media. No need to list examples, I'm sure you can think of plenty on your own.
When I joined the Catholic Church (7 years ago this Easter!!), it wasn't necessarily a popular choice. There were people in my life who did not agree with my decision, there were people who believed I was doing it "for Joe". We weren't married, or even engaged at the time, so I never really understood that argument.
I still have close or even great relationships with all of the people who expressed some type of concern, so this isn't to point fingers or express any bitterness. The truth is that, for the most part, I understood why they said the things they did.
Maybe that sounds like a contradiction, but I understand why some people felt I was making a bad choice. Honestly, if you had asked me about Catholicism anytime before 2002, I would have said (and in fact, DID say) that I would never become Catholic. God had other things in mind (as he usually does!).
I was under a lot of assumptions about the Catholic Church based on hearsay...on what I thought I knew, based on what other people had said to me. I thought I knew some things about the Catholicism because I knew some people who were "Catholic", and I had seen plenty of things on movies or TV shows that reaffirmed all the things I "knew". The secular media is good at that game. And to be honest, people are good at buying into it. I would just like to encourage you...if you are not Catholic, or if you are Catholic and you are looking for an answer to some question, please go to a reliable source that will give tell you what the Church actually teaches. Here are a few of my favorites:
Catechism of the Catholic Church - search any topic
Catholic Answers - ask a question and get an answer or browse topics
Scott Hahn - Protestant minister who converted to Catholicism
Christopher West - Writes books about JPII's Theology of the Body. Good News about Sex and Marriage explains a lot of the Church's teachings on sexuality.
Maybe at some point I will share more of my faith journey here. It's a story that is very dear to my heart. I am still in awe at the way that God has pursued me through all my life. He has captivated me and challenged me in ways I never thought possible. He has sometimes shocked me with the things he has asked of me. I never pictured that I would be where I am today, but I wouldn't have it any other way, because I know that I have been obedient to His call on my life and he is ever drawing me nearer. What more could I ask for?
In closing I would just like to say one more thing.
There is not a Catholic Body of Christ and a Protestant Body of Christ. Though we have doctrinal differences, we (sadly) have division, we have different styles of worship, we have different liturgical practices...
It all comes down to one thing. One man.
God made flesh.
Freedom for the Captives.
Because if He sets you free, you are free indeed.