Friday, July 1, 2011

What Do I Ask?

As the year began I discovered, much to my own surprise, that even though I was Protestant a full half of my theology was wholly and unreservedly Catholic.

This led me to investigate Catholicism in much greater depth, and within a few months each of my objections had fallen away.

By the middle of Lent I realized I was becoming Catholic, and had spoken to the priest, parochial vicar, and head catechist about joining the Church.

After the Easter Vigil, I began participating in the Inquiry meetings, in preparation for joining the RCIA program: that is, the "Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults."

I will officially enter RCIA on July 10th during the "Rite of Welcome" conducted at my parish's morning Mass.

As part of the Rite of Welcome, I will be asked two questions by the presiding priest or deacon. These questions are:
1) "What do you ask of God's Church?" and
2) "How can this faith community help you?"

How shall I answer? I ask for your advice and feedback, my friends and fellow Christians.

The second question strikes me as more personal, speaking to myself as an individual and my parish as a community. But even this I hardly know how to answer. I have some idea of my own needs, but how can I ask to receive unless I know what others can willingly give? I should be ashamed to request a mite only to be receive it from the hands of the widow. What can I ask for?

With regards to the first, I find there is a more pressing question: what should I ask of God's Church?

For I believe that the Church is the one holy and spotless Bride of Christ, mystically united in the Body of Christ, and bearing apostolic witness to the Life of Christ, the words and deeds of God. Next to that, I got nothing.

I would hardly present St. Peter with a list of demands as I passed through the Pearly Gates. It would hardly do to enter into the visible Church with a similar gesture. What can I request, knowing I receive all things (even my life) through the very grace of God?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it may seem odd to ask something of the Church as you are entering. But, maybe, it might help to look at it this way: the ability and opportunity to ask are also a gift from God.

    God doesn't need you to ask anything; He knows what you need. But by allowing you to ask He may be preparing you for insight, growth and other graces. There are so many things that He gives us that we do not have the right to ask for (life, the Eucharist, endless chances for repentance...), but He gives them to us anyway. Deo gratias!

    As for an answer, several things come to mind: hope, truth, salvation, but what does your heart say? May I recommend bringing this to Him in prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament? It can be surprising what stirs in your heart and mind when you spend some quiet time with Him.

    Oh! And the second question. Ask for anything! It is our responsibility to help you and each other in any way that we can. It can be simple: prayer, fellowship, fraternal correction or more specific if you have a specific need. Remember, it also helps us to hear these as it makes us think of what we may need from each other as well.