‘Inside’ the Church

I’ve been looking for a while for a church to which I feel best suited. Yes, the churches around my area are all great, but each just didn’t feel right for me. In an ironic way, I was getting the same set of feelings I’d had when I realised that I wanted more, emotionally and spiritually, than the Anglican practise of faith.

In an essay I had written around March time, my philosophy teacher (herself a Christian) remarked that I seemed to be writing as if from the perspective of “outside the church” looking in; that I distanced myself from the religious view of the philosophical point I was making. Emotionally, maybe, that was true – then.

Now, though, I was simply witnessing my stubbornness and pickiness: none of the churches I’d seen quite meshed with me, for one trivial reason or another.

Until today. I’m not going to rant about the differences – for they were hardly substantial – nor gush about the music, though I felt the combination of band and organ was well done. What really mattered, and what really captured me, was the spirit. For the first time in a while, I’d stepped into a church and felt the atmosphere crackling with faith, hope and joy. Three attributes I felt filling me, as well as my own reserves joining. Since I lost my cold, I’ve found my voice again and I relished the chorality of those hymns.

I listened and nodded to the call: it felt right. Now I actually feel more like ‘inside’ the church.

Today’s homily was about being patient in this last week up to Jesus’ birth. I pride (though I ought not to cherish such pride) myself on being more patient than most, but even my excitement cannot bow to patience…

I know I’ve always wanted to get to the good bits, and I want to rush, to jump headfirst into Catholicism, but Scripture is right. Enthusiasm is wonderful, but we must learn to temper our fires. At this time of the year, patience is key to not rushing the Christmas month and the Christmas message (I have been annoyed by the lack of proper Christmas cards in the shops near me). Yes, I desire many things, but one of the things I have been learning to do is to trust The Lord more and more. We have to wait for His approval.

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