This is mostly a reprint of something I posted on my wall on facebook.
I joined the Catholic church in a Rite of Reception yesterday, July 12th. Of course no one thought to bring a camera, so there are no pictures. It's a shame, because I looked good! ;-) (Even though I was nervous!)
Will was my sponsor, which was comforting. Father John loves the anointing oil, so he poured a liberal amount on my head in the shape of a cross, and then rubbed it down my forehead and cheeks. I dripped for several hours until I could shower! It smells wonderful, though, so I didn't mind much looking like a drowned rat.
When I came back down the aisle to Will after taking communion (the new members take first), he was crying. We knelt together and he just held my arm and cried quietly for a while. It was very sweet. ...
The Liturgy of the Eucharist really did take on special meaning for me once I knew I could fully participate. I felt like I was hearing and saying all of it for the first time.
Deciding to join the RCC was a leap of faith, even with all the careful consideration I put into it over the past three years. In the end I had to just step up and do it. In some ways the deciding factor was the structure, freedom within boundaries meant a true freedom for me. I finally realized that I have felt like so much depended on me in the past, and now I don't. I love the Sacraments because they are God's doing. They work because he wills it. Not because of me, or the priest, but because God wills it. I get grace no matter what. I get to stop trying to interpret God or His will. I get to receive and then, hopefully, spread it around. I don't' have to be careful with it. I can love recklessly and let God sort it all out.
The structure of the RCC and of the Mass specifically allows me to not only be free, but to grab on when I don't know what to do or how to feel...which is often. The liturgy lays the path out for me to follow, and again, God's will means the path is right.
I still have many question and confusions about the Church. And I know they are as screwed up as any other church or institution. But to paraphrase one of the disciples, "Where else would I go? You alone can show me the truth."
Thank you to all my friends who have influenced me, supported me, prayed for me, admonished me, challenged me, changed me, argued with me, and loved me. I thank God for you daily.
Edited to Add: Will wants me to make sure everyone knows he cried in a very manly way. ;-)