Thursday, April 28, 2011

From Mormonism to Catholicism, My Conversion Part II

Well, I'd say it's time for me to get back to my conversion story. A good facebook friend of mine prompted me to want to finish it, or at least get the next part written. Even as I write this I am not sure how many posts this section (From Mormonism to Catholicism) will be because it seems like it took so long and was such an important part of my life. I posted before about my conversion from Secularism to Mormonism on a previous blog post that you can check out if you like.

I had been entrenched in the Mormon life for about 4 months when I met Jason. We met at work and I figured out that he was Catholic (he wore a St. Christopher medal, and hey, I'm smart), and after a few emails also learned that he was really moral and proper. He did not drink, he did not swear, he did not like movies with sex or other immoral things in them. And I thought that was so cool because I had lost all of my friends who weren't married with kids (those were my new Mormon friends) because of giving up drinking. So, I thought it would be fun to hang out. I did *not* have any desire to date him at that time, and he didn't have any desire to date me. Although, if you ask him, he's certain I had a crush on him. ;-) Anyway, I honestly just wanted someone to hang out with that I didn't have to worry about judging me for my new-found morals. We started spending more time together and since I was so "on fire" for my new religion and Jason is very dedicated and passionate about his faith, the subject came to religion.

We discussed so many aspects of our religions, it was really neat...and it was really heated. It got to the point that we couldn't have the discussions in person. We were soon sending emails back and forth. Jason would question something, and I would counter, sometimes hatefully; I distinctly remember even sinking to the "yeah but all those pedophile priests..." and he answered really well. He did not deny them, and he did not defend anything. This was so new to me, because often if you question a Mormon about polygamy you get some major defense of the situation, or you get some major anger. Also, as I've stated before, I did not have a lot of religious background, so I did not know the Bible particularly well. Moreover, there is a lot of stuff that as an "early" Mormon you aren't necessarily told. So, when Jason would ask something, I'd take it to the Missionaries or my coworkers. That sort of made Jason uncomfortable, but I think it also gave him some leverage. When he asked me why I did not drink tea and I told him because it was in the Doctrine's and Covenants, he was able to really push it and help me to question it more. Honestly, I don't even know if he knows this or not, but some of the conversations we had about why I would blindly follow some random proclamation to not drink tea or coffee stuck with me the most. I spent some time on Mormon Apologetics websites trying to get a good answer, and couldn't come up with one.

The conversation that really sent me questioning the first time though was about Communion. I was babysitting for one of the families, and was using their copy of the Bible, BoM and D&C but couldn't find the answer. Jason asked me if we believed that when we received Communion it was the body and blood of Christ. I said yes. He questioned me, and said that most non-Catholics believe it's symbolic. Based on the prayer that is said before the Sacrament (what Mormons call Communion), and the fact that it has to be said PRECISELY or it was not valid, I believed it was more than symbolism. I made a phonecall to one of my coworkers, and spoke with his wife. She told me of course it was symbolic, otherwise it would be cannibalism. Well, how do you argue that?! So, I regurgitated what she told me to Jason and we moved on. But I didn't. Jason quoted John Chapter 6 to me and I went home and read and reread that. Jason said that if Christ was being symbolic, why would He not clarify. He pointed out other parts in the Gospels where Christ corrected those that had things wrong, but I didn't remember the specifics of those references. What spoke to me was Christ present; yesterday, today, and always. How intriguing, how exciting, how could one not want that?

**Looks like my trip from Mormonism to Catholicism will take longer than one post. ;-)**

Monday, April 25, 2011

Faith of the Family

As I mentioned before, Holy Week afforded me the chance to make good on some commitments that I hadn't been that wonderful at keeping throughout Lent. And I did really well, if I do say so myself, which of course I do, it is my blog after all. ;-)

Triduum was a little more difficult for us, as we've been having some difficulty with Dominic's sleeping lately. He's been teething and been so achy and not napping well, which of course makes him go to bed early. Jason went to Holy Thursday by himself, but did come home and let me go to Adoration for a short bit. It was definitely worth it. We did make it as a family for the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, but again Dominic went to sleep early that evening so it was my turn. I attended on my own. Jason stayed home and cuddled the adorable boy so he stayed asleep. On Saturday, Dominic took a late nap so we decided that we would make an attempt at the Easter Vigil Mass.

Dominic did surprisingly well. We actually started in the cry room, but it was actually a CRY room that evening. As in, two babies were in there crying inconsolably, and quite sick as they were hacking like crazy (why would parents take their sick kids to Mass?!). So, we left the cry room for the comfort of the pews. Unfortunately people behind us thought that Dominic was so cute that they needed to try to make him smile and giggle. We really try to keep him mostly calm during Mass, not that he's getting a lot out of it right now, but we're trying to develop good habits. If you see an adorable baby at Mass, please wait until after Mass is over to attempt to make him or her giggle. Jason even had to sternly tell a little girl to stop trying to play with Dominic.

All of these difficulties with timing, and people in Mass obviously didn't change the beauty and overall wonderfulness of the Triduum for us, but it certainly made me appreciate the quiet times at Mass we've had in the past. It also made me really look forward to passing on the beauty and tradition of Lent, Holy Week, Triduum and Easter to Dominic and our still baking Spano fruit (and all subsequent fruit on the Spano family tree). As I read through blogs and posts of friends I saw so many ideas of how to bring the beauty to life for them, and I am excited. From resurrection rolls teaching the kiddos about how Jesus rose on Sunday, to 3D lamb cakes (not sure I'll ever be awesome enough for that one! ;-)) for Easter dinner.Oh yeah, plus chocolate crosses for Easter Sunday of course! :)

What are some of your favorite Lent, Holy Week, and Easter traditions?

Do you have favor

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Week, AKA One More Chance to Make Good on Your Lenten Promises/Sacrifices

Despite this being the hardest Lenten sacrifice I've done thus far (my fourth), I have not given in and messed up my sacrifice. I gave up all drinks but plain ole water (sometimes w/ a splash of lemon juice), I hate water. As strange as that sounds, it's true. I can't stand it...even good water. Because I need to drink more water (especially while pregnant) I usually add Crystal Light to my water. And I love Diet Mtn Dew. So, yeah, this has been super rough. And we don't allow ourselves to have any on Sundays either. I'm not sure of Jason's reasons, but mine is that I have a tendency to be gluttonous so I know I would just overfill on those days and it wouldn't end up being much of a sacrifice. So, I'm really rather pleased with how my Lenten sacrifice has gone.

My Lenten promises? Not so awesome. I wanted to make it more of a priority to attend Daily Mass. So did Jason, and I think he's only missed one or two. He rocks. Me...not so much. Some nights I've slept so horribly the idea of getting out of bed early makes me feel sicker than my normal morning sickness. On those days, Jason would get up with Dominic and take him to Mass with him while I slept. Then when they got back Dominic would be ready for a little nap so I'd go back to sleep some more. I felt better, but talk about epic fail. This sleep issue also interfered with our other Lenten promise to make sure we prayed more together especially the Rosary. Some days were awesome, even if I didn't get up, others though I went to bed before Jason was done working so we didn't get the chance. Though I feel sure that he prayed the Rosary on his own. I know I've mentioned this before, but Jason is an amazing Spiritual Head of Household; he is knowledgable and he is passionate about his faith. Just what is needed with a leaning towards slothful at times wife!

So, some failing and some rocking...and along comes Holy Week. We have made it to Mass together all 3 days they had morning Daily Mass and prayed LOTH and the Rosary together each day so far. I don't feel like this makes up for all the days I failed, but I think it pleases Our Lord. And, I feel like I've got a bit of a habit started and it will stay with me, so I can be a good help mate to Jason as he continues to lead us in our Spiritual life.

How have you done this Lent?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We Are "Those" People

So, today I cancelled my 20 week ultrasound. Do you know how much those things cost?! It's ridiculous. And while getting to see the little one is so incredibly cool, we aren't convinced it's worth it. Especially considering that we aren't finding out the sex. We are terrified we will "accidentally" find out. And considering that we are having a healthy pregnancy, it's not necessary. So...I cancelled it and we will tell the doc at my appointment next week. Hopefully he's OK w/ it, but if not..well he can't force us.

We declined all the extra tests as well, and we're nearing the time for those, I'm not sure if the doc will ask us again about them or not. I feel certain that when we leave the office the doctor and nurse will roll their eyes, but that's OK, being a parent means doing what you feel is best and right for your family.

We think saving the $240 and the chance of knowing what we don't want to know, is important enough to be "those" people.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cranky Babies at Mass...Better or Worse Than Chatty Cathys?

So, usually Dominic is pretty good at Mass. I mean he likes to chatter, and giggle, but overall he is a happy baby. On Saturday, we went to Mass in Pueblo at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. Jason had to wake Dominic up from his nap at some point, and he hadn't been able to get back to sleep. So at Mass he was pretty cranky.

Now, we are pretty sensitive because we both get distracted really easily. But this time Dominic was REALLY bad! Screaming, squirming, and scowling. He was so tired he would go between extremely loud giggling to screaming as though he were in agony. The screams were short lived and overall people would have thought he was happy. There was no cry room so Jason took him to a little alcove by the restrooms. The weird thing? Nobody seemed bothered. Nobody looked at us, no dirty looks, nobody did any of the awful things I hear about.

I think the reason might be that at the Cathedral people are really chatty. Not just in those the pews, but of particular chatty-ness is one of the ushers who speaks in a normal volume throughout the entire Mass. So maybe people are used to noise and so the boy's giggling and loudness wasn't a big deal? Or maybe they were thankful for small children at Mass?

What bothers you more? People chatting or noisy babies?