Lack of competition a negative aspect of homeschooling?
See also Negative aspects of homeschoolingThinking out loud here ...
I think, possibly, I have come up with a decent criticism of homeschooling. I realize that most of the arguments against homeschooling (socialization and whatnot) are suspect at best. However, I am starting to wonder if a lack of competition is healthy?
Let me explain (and this is not to brag about me)
In elementary school I was always near the top in the class. My parents decided to try and get me into the magnet program, which is where they take the best students at all of the schools and bus them to two schools collecting the so called academic elite. I got in. When I got to middle school I was an average to slightly above average student. I was actually intimidated by the number of kids who were more intelligent than I was. In high school, the competition got worse. I don't think I graduated in the top half of my class. Bottom line is, I had to deal with the stark reality that I wasn't really as smart as I thought I was. By high school, I realized that if I was going to amount to much, I was going to have to work my tail off. That was a necessary realization for me. There were clearly others who could skirt by on their brains far more than I could. Even for them at some point they have to work hard to reach their potential. This competition was good for me and it drove me to actually work harder.
There were people there who performed at a high level and I could see that.How am I going to approximate this at home? Is it even necessary?
I read somewhere recently about a homeschooled boy who started studying special relativity at the age of 13. Stanford took him in a heartbeat because he had demonstrated a drive to tackle hard subject matter on his own. Did he need the competition or did the love of learning drive him to excellence? If he had the competition, where did he get it? I don't know. I might be looking at the competition aspect all wrong. Maybe athletics is a better place to drive home that point rather than in academia. Then again, I know with bowling, competition is ultimately with yourself, however, you are not going to get really good at that without help (actual or competitive) from people who are better than you are.If any of you homeschoolers are reading this I would like your input.
The more the merrier.
Brilliant rainbow: Pope trip to Auschwitz
Pope ends Poland trip with poignant visit to Auschwitz
A brilliant rainbow lanced a leaden sky as Benedict, an aide holding an umbrella over his head, later paused before each of the 22 plaques at the Birkenau annex's International Monument to the Victims of Fascism.
I just thought this was interesting.
Random thoughts: seriously random
Contrasts In Media Treatment of The DaVinci Code and The Passion
- HT: Jimmy Akin
-- you know, one of the main things I have noticed in this whole bit is the conspiracy aspect of it. In my reading of various debates dealing with Christian history there has always been a surprisingly large number of people who believe the whole line of reasoning that the fact that their churches cannot be proven to exist PROVES that there was a major conspiracy by the Catholic Church to cover them up. Quite simply, lack of evidence = evidence. The Da Vinci Code and its strongest supporters fall in the same camp. In a more disturbing light, consider the following:If Dan Brown wrote a novel about the Holocaust it would probably look like this:
Almost everyone with any sense would dismiss a book along those lines. The interesting point about this entry is that the generally accepted credibility amongst historians of the sources is likely similar. The difference is, many people want desperately to believe the Da Vinci Code is true because the claims of the Church haunt them. Without a solid moral standard to hold to, morality becomes a matter of taste. The Catholic Church openly teaches exactly the opposite of that. There is a reason this Pontiff rails against the "dictatorship of relativism".
One final (and I mean final) thought on DVC -- I have been disturbed in my reading over the last week or so at the number of Protestants who dismiss the Code as something that ONLY attacks the Catholic Church and that somehow their beliefs escape unscathed. Most obviously, the Divinity of Christ is attacked, without which almost every form of Christianity is reduced to rubbish. I am always shocked at the number of anti-Catholics who have decided to use a story that undermines even their own faith in the search for bullet points against the Catholic Church. I third this ...
This issue of National Review
contains William F. Buckley's May 9, 2006, column, in which he writes the following:
Of course Bush can hardly endorse unrestrained capitalism and pursue the grace of Christ. Those who worship capitalism to sacramental lengths are defiantly anti-Christian, like Ayn Rand and her unholy Objectivists, and that branch of libertarianism which acknowledges only the market as authority, practical or moral.
Lifted shamelessly from turtleheart.net
The idea of pawning off the requirement to "love our neighbors" to private enterprise to get us off the hook of having to perfom acts of charity has always been disturbing to me. Now, replace "private enterprise" with "the government" -- still disturbing. Glad to see it in print. My favorite anti-homeschooling argumentDealing with bullies is part of normal life and you can only expose your children to that aspect of life at its full potential at SCHOOL
... Ummm, yeah folks -- learning to deal with bullies is NOT NORMAL The School of Hard Knocks Makes you stupid
-- I guess that is a variation on sin makes you stupid. The right order of things is, well ... RIGHT. If everyone were living saints we wouldn't have to deal with bullying. I think God would be perfectly thrilled if all of the sudden bullying were eliminated because of a mass conversion of the world. But we would sure miss that character building ... and besides, my hypothetical scenario isn't reality.
Just because reality dictates that we have to deal with SOME adversity doesn't mean we need to further introduce our children to the colder nature of it in order to better build character. It will be there. There is no point in looking for it. The Celiac solution
Instead, he took only the Precious Blood.
Imagine that!!! As My Domestic Church
notes, there were no headlines. See my previous entry "why wheat?"Finally, yet another interesting ECF post over at FathersOfTheChurchSt. Clement of Rome’s First Letter to the Corinthians
possibly written before 70 A.D???
Didache and dating the document
When I was trying to put together my ECF chart
I noticed that the dating of the Didache is considered quite contentious so my decision on the site was to go with the latest date that I could find as I figured it served the purposes of my site quite well. Since then I have noticed that the consensus falls usually before the year 100.
Mike Aquillina has a most fascinating recent blog entry on the Didache
How old is the Didache? Most scholars place its composition between A.D. 60 and 110. However, one of the top scholars alive, Enrico Mazza, argues very persuasively that the liturgical portions of the document were composed no later than 48 A.D. If he’s correct, that means that our oldest liturgical texts pre-date most of the books of the New Testament.make sure to read the comments on the dating of the document
A song of ascents. Of Solomon.
1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to [a] those he loves.
3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one's youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
Little did we know in the time leading up to our wedding that this Psalm would play such a key role in defining who we are.
... more later ...
Legionaries of Christ founder removed from public ministry by the CDF
I would be remiss in not posting something about the Fr. Maciel ruling by the Vatican since my blog gets a significant number of hits from searches related to Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi. So what happened?
"...After having attentively studied the results of the investigation, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the guidance of the new prefect, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, decided - bearing in mind Fr. Maciel's advanced age and his delicate health - to forgo a canonical hearing and to invite the father to a reserved life of penitence and prayer, relinquishing any form of public ministry. The Holy Father approved these decisions.
from Vatican News Service via American Papist ..
Fortunately American Papist has succinctly summarized the reaction from both the MSM and St. Blogs: Fr. Maciel removed from ministry: reactions & commentary
An excellent article on the slow but steady growth in the number of people who are choosing not to contracept. The article even makes mention of a person who converted to Catholicism for this very teaching.
Puts a tear in my eye every time. I love being Catholic. HT to Curt Jester
Around St. Blogs (and elsewhere)
I am sick today ...ugh ...
Anyway, some readingThrough And Through
A compelling work of fiction about a priest and a quite unusual confession.National Review: Idle Speculation - AIDS, condoms, and the Catholic Church.
A good point from Mark Shea
on the whole "Isn't it just fiction?" retort from Da Vinci Code supporters
I proposed a fictional film in which all the homosexuals in the world were engaged in a vast conspiracy to destroy Western Civilization.Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, converts to CatholicismScience is on the side of attachment parenting
"That would be offensive."
The *only* time people fall for this notion that a fictional story which goes out of its way to malign and defame a billion people is "just fiction" is when it bashes Christians. The only time such people believe it will have absolutely no effect on what people think is with the Da Vinci Code. Try making a modern fictional film in which blacks are all watermelon-eating Stepin Fetchit dunces, or Jews are all conniving lechers and you will (rightly) get a storm of protest because these lies are pernicious and do real damage. But declare Christians the suckers of a 2000 year old Vatican conspiracy of murder and lies in the service of "the greatest coverup of all time", blaspheme Jesus and call all Christians fools for believing in him: that's just fiction.
She argues that the practice common in Britain of training children to sleep alone from a few weeks old is harmful because any separation from parents increases the flow of stress hormones such as cortisol.Catholic England: Pugin, Newman, the new Catholic aristocracy and classical liturgicsWhat we pass on to our children
Her findings are based on advances in scientific understanding over the past 20 years of how children’s brains develop, and on studies using scans to analyse how they react in particular circumstances.
For example, a neurological study three years ago showed that a child separated from a parent experienced similar brain activity to one in physical pain.
A response to common criticism that if you have too many kids you will not be able to afford college for all of them
It is clear then from this chapter that Jesus was teaching us to be ready and what to do with our time here on earth. He was saying that the time and talent we have been given is for serving each other here on earth.
That's not to say that education isn't important, or even helpful in pursuing those goals, but rather that as parents, our main goal for our time with our children is to teach them to be ready to meet Jesus, to develop their talents in a way that will be pleasing to God, and to live a life that gives Him glory. Anything else, is just extra.
The race is towards Christ, not worldly success.
Differences between Catholicism and Protestantism
Differences between Catholicism and Protestantism
A pretty good basic overview, especially in terms of the Anglican church. Authored by Serge
Collected reading - a few comments
The Real Da Vinci Code
- A riot even if you are not a programmer. Marty Haugen, Call Your Canonist
- "If a lector learns to play the guitar, he shall also be instructed to confess it. If he does not return to it, he shall suffer his penance for seven weeks. If he keeps at it, he shall be excommunicated and put out of the Church." Eleven new priests for Denver, largest ordination class in 40 years
- I bet they are orthodox as well. Good news indeed!!!Add-on to Bettnet
- "The baby was conceived within the first week of the marriage, quite the efficiency!" - I'll say ... Congrats are certainly in order. Bell falls through tower at former Portland churchYou Must be a Home Educator if....
Da Vinci Code ... here it comes
So here we go ... weeks and weeks of people fighting about the Da Vinci Code are upon us ... Contentious Notions: Are They True?
- Inaccuracies in the Da Vinci Code. Basically a liberal rag saying what the rest of us already knew. HT to Katolik ShinjaHow The Da Vinci Code Doesn't Work
- HowStuffWorks.com. HT to The Curt Jester
I suggest visiting Amy Welborn's blog during this time - open book
Around St. Blogs - Evidences, Patristics and Marriage
Miracles: Evidence of God's Existence
If I were an atheist, I think I would save my money to buy a plane ticket to Italy to see whether the blood of Saint Januarius really did liquefy and congeal miraculously, as it is supposed to do annually.
(click the link to finish reading it)Patristics blog
Did I mention that I love Patristics ... I also love the Fathers of the Church blog. A couple of good recent posts ... Honest pagans on the historical JesusThe Early Church Fathers on Breastfeeding?
Here is a quick summary
Mike Aquilina - Breastfeeding imagery. Didnt have stigmas about it. Incidence of it much higher. Public. Metaphor for Gods grace, sacraments, especially Eucharist - God feeds us with His own substance.
Odes of Solomon
St Clement of Alexandria "Jesus as the milk ..."
Book of Steps
St Augustine - natural rhythm in breastfeeding (mutual need)
Its only a few minutes right at the end. Take the time to download the file and listen to it. Recent polls show Americans shifting to pro-life attitudes
I had a talk with a liberal friend of mine the other day and I noticed, as I am noticing more and more, a tendency of liberals to think "you know, there are way too many abortions". It seems that willingness to concede that there should, in fact, be severe limitations is one that a tremendous majority of folks will go for, including a growing percentage of those on the left side of the aisle. Democrats for Life spelled out a plan for pushing to eliminate 90% of existing abortions while still retaining the legality of it. It is a far cry from perfect. It is certainly a step in the right direction. Ummm myself?! on marriage
Someone paid me a nice complement today and said that I write good things about marriage. He even suggested that I write a book. He was looking for something that I had written elsewhere. I looked up some items that I transferred to my blog. Here are the items I know I posted in that venue that are also here. A crush: How it consumes us and why it is different from the love that makes a marriage work On Being Single ... from a married guyThe best of my unsolicited advice about getting marriedNo kissing before you get marriedNever fightNice guys finish in heaven
Nice guys finish in heaven
found a couple of posts I wrote on DCF that I wanted to keep
Who cares what works NOW. Nice guys finish in heaven.
Love is about pursuit. Pursue Jesus and if it is His will, she will come ...
Consider the following idea:
Dating -- particularly the worldly idea "serial monogamy" vs.
Until death .... sacramental marriage
One idea is being fed to you constantly through standard media outlets and the other is likely not being talked about at your church. Serial monogamy (highly encouraged by the dating mentality) undermines the idea of "until death". It creates a mindset of disposable relationships. I have been fortunate to have a few friends who have prepared for marriage recently discuss with me with their pre-marriage issues. Its like a broken record. Both had cold feet. I had it as well. In every case it reeked of direct attack from Satan on a marriage that is likely to result in increasingly holy spouses and large numbers of children raised in the faith. It is the systematic undermining of "until death" by the idea that "well, there has to be someone better out there" ...
Men like to be logical. We think "There are 3 BILLION women in the world. Statistically speaking the perfect one must exist ... right?" The conclusion is that I must date as many women as possible to be able to discern the right one. Stop thinking in terms of better, more beautiful. You will hear the following phrases from many women -- "this guy is dating material" vs. "that guy is marriage material" ... Guess which one you want to be? The guy with no dating experience who is "marriage material".
IMHO, you should be preparing yourself to be a husband and not worrying about who she is. The rare woman, (read Proverbs 31 for a description) marries with her eternal destination in mind. She seeks the man whose headship she does not fear. She is looking for a man who will accelerate her path to holiness by his support and His strength. That type of woman is an asset to your journey towards Christ. I am not saying marry someone who is going to be a source of suffering. The one who is dissing you because you are nice is likely to bring plenty of that. I am saying marry someone who assists in fixating your every fiber towards Christ. She is rare and she might be right under your nose but you are not going to notice her Christ-like qualities in a dating mentality. Take some time away from that rat race and bury your face in total submission at the foot of the Cross ... All good relationships begin there.
Prepare for your role. God will know when you are ready. Let Him provide the final piece. The hard work isn't finding the right one. The hard work is being ready if and when the right one comes.
found a couple of posts I wrote on DCF that I wanted to keep
"Then she tells me that she doesn't think we're good for each other because we never fight."
I hesitate to post this but I think it needs to be said. What I bolded above is a great lie that undermines WAY too many relationships. I hear it all the time. I think people are confusing undisciplined anger with "passion".
It falls into the category of statements like "kids can't control themselves so we have to give them condoms". It seems sensible, however, as Christians, we are called to perfection and perfection doesn't have room for undisciplined sexual behavior just like it doesn't have room for undisciplined anger.
My wife and I hardly fight. In fact, we only fought a tiny bit before we got married but the vast majority of that was pride and hard-headedness on my part. Once I learned that sacrifice trumps selfishness in a relationship things started to get a lot more peaceful. The first year had some occasional quibbles but years 2-5, save a couple of minor disagreements was almost event free. I think people who fight all the time seem to think that it is a measure of some level of honesty that those of us who don't fight are missing. I hear more than my share of seemingly happy married couples who tell us they worry about us because we don't fight. I think they need to worry more about why they DO fight than why we don't. Fighting doesn't have to be a persistent condition of marriage. Its something you can choose to virtually eliminate but you have to be prepared to sacrifice in order to have it, which means swallowing your pride when you know you are wrong.
There is something to be said for knowing that disagreements will happen. They will. Whether or not what results of the disagreement is labelled a fight or not depends on how you deal with it.
My parents just made their 50th anniversary and are still pleased as punch to be married. They fought once when I was about 8 and from talking to my mom, there were some troubles at the start and then things ironed out for 49 years with a few speed bumps Smile.
Homeschooling: So what about socialization?
this is a work in progress ... I will likely update it in the next few days
This question is raised by every well meaning person who finds out that we are planning on homeschooling.
The idea that there is something wrong with the socialization aspect of homeschooling typically presumes a few things:
1. That socialization of children in age-homogenous classrooms is necessary for normal social development
2. That homeschooled children avoid contact with their peers
3. That adults who were homeschooled are generally unable to function in societyMYTH: Socialization of children in age-homogenous classrooms is required for normal social development
Historically speaking, age-homogenous classrooms are a novelty. Plenty of the most brilliant minds, not to mention socially relevant and historical persons, of the past were privately tutored, raised in one room school houses with children of diverse ages or educated themselves. In fact there is even some criticism from within the school environment related to age-homogenous classrooms. -- See multi-age classrooms
-- For this to be a valid criticism of homeschooling, it would require showing that there is something inherently wrong with raising children primarily in a family environment with REGULAR social interaction with other children who happen to be located OUTSIDE of a classroom environment. What is so necessary about a classroom that makes it more suitable for proper social development than social environments outside of the classroom? In fact, it would be easy to argue that students should NOT be socializing in class in the first place. After all, they are there to learn. I spent my entire education in public schools and I can assure you that I did not have a significant amount of time to get to know my fellow students at school. Recess and lunch were the exceptions but that time was still limited. My best friendships, even with those I met at school, were developed OUTSIDE of school time. MYTH: Homeschooled children avoid contact with their peers
Lets start with some study statistics: "The typical homeschooler takes part in at least five social activities outside the home every week" (Source)
"Another study points out that 98% of homeschool students are involved in more than one activity outside the home." (Source)
Part of the seed of this myth stems from the idea that homeschool parents WANT to isolate their children. Let us consider this in light of the most common reasons cited for homeschooling.
The following three reasons are cited as the most common reasons that parents homeschool (Source)
31.2% Concern about environment of other schools
29.8% To provide religious or moral instruction
16.5% Dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools
Initially "concern about environment of other schools" may seem like a bunch of parents hauling their kids into a cave to avoid all contact with the human species. This, however, is not typically the case. The summary of this report (Source)
noted that "safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure" were the most often cited within the subset of this concern about the schooling environment. The idea is to isolate your children from negative influences more than from children as a whole. It is a logical fallacy to think that parents would not want their children in contact with other children just because they don't want their kids in contact with bad influences. Bad influences are not "normal society" however they are part of normal society. Not only that, bad influences are unavoidable. Homeschool parents with any sense realize that socialization of their children is necessary. Mine beg for it and it is this oft cited criticism that has resulted in homeschool parents making contact with other children a priority in their lives. MYTH: Adults who were homeschooled are generally unable to function in society
A study was done by the National Home Education Research Institute
specifically to counter this claim. The results of the survey are as follows:
Attend religious services at a higher rate than typical US adults (93% to 41%)
Are more involved in the political process. They
- Contribute money to political parties / candidates at a higher rate Volunteer for service organizations at a significantly higher rate than typical US adults (71% to 37%)
- Work for political causes at a higher rate
- Attend public meetings at a higher rate
- Write editorials / sign petitions at a higher rate
- Participate in protests and boycotts at a higher rate
- VOTE at a SIGNIFICANTLY higher rate (nearly DOUBLE in age ranges surveyed)
They are also generally more satisfied with life, with their careers and with their financial situations than the average US adult in their age range. (Source)
The understatement of the decade
Blogs are changing how we get facts.
That you and I can go out there and tell things as we see them, and in some cases even get quoted by MSM outlets, is a sign of things to come.
For better or worse no viewpoint is left unturned in the blogosphere. The grass roots organizations that fueled the last presidential election depended on this Internet of ours to get their messages across. Drudge busted Clinton. Swift Boat Vets went after Kerry. MoveOn.org went after Bush. There is are even opposing grass roots organizations to fight for and against Wal-Mart
. Their purpose? Distribute one side of the information.
"For years, labor leaders were fighting Wal-Mart the old way, but times have changed," Kofinis said. "Instead of organizing workers, they're trying to organize the nation" against Wal-Mart.
Think about this though ... This type of information exchange coupled with a nation unable to discern the difference between fact and opinion. Now thats a scary thought ....
.. One more reason to homeschool and ensure my kids know that difference.
Make that TWO articles as opposed to 221 (RE: Condoms/AIDS and Vatican supposed approval)
The mainstream media's concept of a lift on the condom ban is far off the mark within the debate between the likes of Barragŕn and Trujillo. Neither of the camps is suggesting approving of the use of condoms without or even within marriage. Barragŕn is suggesting that within marriage where one spouse is infected with AIDS, the use of condoms may be permitted to save the life of the uninfected spouse.
The difficulty with the argument is that in such dire circumstances abstinence must be counselled as condoms would close the sexual act to the gift of life and would not protect the uninfected partner from transmission. Suggesting condoms for prevention of disease, therefore, would be the equivalent of an anti-smoking group suggesting smokers switch to low-tar cigarettes.
from Vatican Cardinal on Condoms: Error in Reporting, I Don't Have the Authority to Produce a Document
. Also †Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam†
(OK the crosses in the title are cool)
Shouldn't we be up in arms that Catholic teaching was so grossly misreported by 99% of the press? No ... wait ... I forget ... this is the norm. But yes, we should be up in arms.
My (not much) reading for today ...
Fear of the Bible
The Bible is nothing to be afraid of--and it is something that every Catholic should be involved with in Mass and outside of Mass. Ignorance of Scripture--Old Testament and New--is ignorance of Christ.Feministe's Church Lady
WOW -- an interesting trip into the phenomenon of cultural Catholicism. Heaven forbid anyone ACTUALLY believe what the Church teaches. We pesky converts are ruining the Church and people are leaving
because of us?... speaking of the media again ...
Mark Shea: Vatican Cracks Down on Devout Catholics in Bus Plunge: Hardliner Pope Takes Rigidly Orthodox Position Against Vehicular Homicide
are worth a read ... Kenyan bishops have achieved what's still stuck in committee in the USA
"The music should be aligned with the doctrine and the liturgy of the Catholic Church," the bishop told the Daily Nation. "There have been cases where choir masters and composers have come up with all sorts of music which tended to be a disgrace to the Catholic faith."
I look towards the vibrant faith in Africa with much admiration.
Reporting on Catholic doctine: obvious neglect of the press
The press is forever reporting on the truth as they see it ... Catholic Church to Ease Ban on Condom Use
- along with 221 other articles
as of this posting on the topic
In a victory for reform-minded critics of the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI has now reversed the Catholic Church's long-standing position with regard to the use of condoms to combat the spread of the HIV virus.
... which is of course based on this gem of a quote
The Vatican's "health minister" Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, who is close to the pope, told the Rome-based newspaper La Repubblica "It was the pope who took the initiative over this very sensitive and difficult issue."
What ONE Cardinal says the pope says becomes Truth .. sigh ...Meanwhile the press also conveniently avoids reporting the Truth as it ISCatholic Church has not changed life positions, Vatican official says
The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, responding to statements by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, said the Catholic Church has not changed its position on fundamental issues, such as the right to life from conception to natural death.
In a conversation with the Catholic News Agency, Msgr. Elio Sgreccia said he preferred not to directly address the statements by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, retired archbishop of Milan.
“At the Vatican, we do not consider it necessary make a controversy out of something that does not merit it.”
This was the ONLY
article mentioning this that I found this morning. 221
articles based on stretches of the immagination and the word of one Cardinal (not the Pope mind you) vs. 1
article based on the longstanding and unchanging teaching of the Church.
No wonder Catholics around the world are confused.
A few things to read when I get time
Exciting religious life, drive thru church and a gorgeous cathedral
I cannot write today for the life of me ... looks like the south Louisiana heat is already starting its oppression ...
So you get some links instead ... :) The Nashville Dominicans
- "Many young women are considering authentic religious life." ... I could be wrong but I think this is the same group of nuns that conjured up this big hoo-rah when Benedict XVI was elected:
We are thrilled
Yes indeed ... a strange photo essay - Drive-In Church Photo Essay
courtesy of Waiting in Joyful HopeCathedral Tour: Madrid, Spain
- Our ancestors who built glorious monuments to God continue to stand proclaiming "Jesus is Lord"!!!
Two thousand years deep and growing as a Catholic
An interesting little blurb by the Curt Jester .... Two Thousand Years Deep
An excellent essay discussing an interesting aspect of conversion ... Growing with and toward the Church
Future post on sensitive topic?
I will be posting soon, hopefully, on a touchy subject. I am trying to figure out a way to best word things in what I am going to post. It is of a sensitive nature and it involves revealing much about my past that I am not quite comfortable with putting on a public website for the world to see. I had been working on an essay related to the topic when the opportunity for me to engage the sensitive issue came up in a private forum. I was thus able to organize some of my thoughts into the beginnings of an essay.
If you are interested in me posting the topic encourage me to pray more about it ...
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I realized that I am like that rubber plant. The plant was given me by a Protestant; likewise, I was baptized by a Protestant pastor and was encouraged in my Christian faith by many others of that faith.
The plant flourished in a hostile environment, as my faith has grown even though I have been outside a church for most of the time I have been Christian. Finally, it needed better soil and a bigger planter.
Like that plant, as I enter the Catholic Church, my world is not becoming smaller. It's becoming far bigger, in every way.
But what really touched me was thinking about the dirt and the roots. I come into the Church with a lot of dirt around my roots — the dirt of old experiences and old ways of thinking.
If Jesus wanted, He could shake that dirt off; He can do anything. But He hasn't purged me of all the thoughts, memories, and behaviors that marked me before I made my profession — because He doesn't want to damage my roots.
One thing to remember is that so much of your Protestant roots you don't have to shake off. It all falls right into place. I think Dave Armstrong was the one that said something like this: "Everything that was wonderful about my Protestantism is available in the Catholic Church"
It just takes some work to find it. Sometimes its harder to find but, as my wife says, He often time leads you to things that are more important than the things you used to hang your hat on which you thought a strength of where you came from. Being Catholic means a change. I know veneration of images and relics and especially the incorruptables were just creepy and weird to me at first. It took a while for God to work my roots into the new soil there.
Often times it takes a while before you realize you haven't really arrived but that you just began a journey that is going to take you to places you never thought God could take you. Its sort of like Chestertons key hole analogy. Once you have stepped into the room and can see it for all its glory, you realize you now have so much to explore. One one side it feels like the end of the road on the other it feels like the beginning of the longest journey imaginable.
Enjoy the journey ...