|1. Top and front of the cathedral. 2. Thought this guy was cute. Gabriel? 3. The balcony where we sat. 4. Outside corner of the cathedral.|
It sounds extensive, but really, that's the way good conversation goes: a group of people talks about something that leads to another topic and somehow initial awkwardness I feel at being unable to provide something terribly interesting becomes a communal exchange where everyone learns something and contributes. I know it's incredibly simple: it is just conversation. People do it all the time. But I really keep to myself and sometimes feel I am "in it alone" when it comes to Catholicism. I know that isn't true: (obviously God is there, and that will always be enough to keep me from being alone) so many others are in RCIA and everyone there has been really supportive, but outside of that environment, I do often feel like I am alone in wading through the faith. At least in a physical sense: I can be virtually tied to a Catholic community by reading eighty blog posts a week (which I will do if you let me), but it is quite another thing to walk to classes, sit in classes and go to work and not feel that connection. It truly is not as desolate as I am making it out to be. I just mean to say that it is nice to be forming Catholic friendships. It is more than alright.
|1. The program for the rite. Programs make me feel fancy. 2. Apparently, our parish used to own these stations, but the bishop liked them a lot so he brought them to the cathedral. Very beautiful. I didn't get a picture (though I should have!) of the statue of St. Therese off to the side. I knew it was her instantly. She's still in my mind as a potential Confirmation saint...|
I have been worrying a lot about what happens after I graduate: I plan, at the least, to leave my college town. A lot will change and I imagine the seemingly most important things are the fact that I'll be done with school and I won't be working at the restaurant anymore. But for me, the biggest worry is finding a new parish I can love and appreciate as much as I do the one I have now. I adore the priests there and have a certain area where I sit and can count on Latin Mass on Tuesdays and know what the music will sound like. Steadily, I have become more familiar with the faces at RCIA and gotten closer to my sponsor. It saddens me to think of leaving. I worry about finding a parish that may be Catholic and people may really believe everything they should, but it will feel rushed or not as reverent somehow. My parish has become the college bubble I have been warned about (you know, how when you see a high school kid on campus, it makes no sense to you... or if you see an old person on campus, they have to be a professor: why else would they be there? That kind of weird thing you start thinking). I really don't want to let go of that bubble.
I think I could interpret making these friendships better as negative: I'll only end up leaving in a few months and never see them again, that sort of thing. But really, I should be taking the opposite view: I still have time to make good friendships that mean more to me than others I could make because we share an important detail: our faith. Even more: we are brothers and sisters in Christ. I don't even know them all that well, but this sole fact makes me eager to become better friends with them. (It probably should make me eager to be friends with a great deal of people, but I have enough social problems as it is just trying to be friends with three people. Baby steps.)
I should probably relax. It's just nice. It's nice to make friends and be able to hold decent conversations and laugh with people you don't know too well but would be willing to trust. It's nice to hypothesize and be surprised and show confusion and support people who you wish all the best for, who you wish you could spend way more time with but other obligations and eventual life decisions probably will get in the way at some point. It is nice to live in the moment and be honest and feel accepted. It's nice to be happy.
(And 40 days from Easter Vigil.)