Listening to my pastor in Church today I gained a feeling of relief as he explained what the Church teaches about the choices we make and how eventually we will be held accountable by God. I felt relieved because I realized that I have matured to a place where I think about the consequences of my choices beyond immediate gratification most if not all the time. I became sad for a moment because I thought about the people I have met over the years who made jokes about growing up Catholic and feeling perpetually guilty about their sins and being a “recovering catholic”. It saddens me because I am a convert. I love the Church, and the Priests I have met and the Liturgy. So I can’t quite relate to or understand their perspective. They percieved correction in a punitive way rather than as a fact of life. But we are mature adults now. We like to correct our errors of living. We, in most cases will live longer on this earth, and… we will live a better life. If someone tells you that you have a spot on your face, you don’t feel guilty, you immediately wash your face. Somehow our culture has villified being corrected. Now it seems that anything is OK. It is a free country they say so let me be who and what I am going to be. If a child is going to hurt themselves by doing something dangerous we as adults do not hesitate to stop them. But as adults we do not want to be told what to do. Even if we are unaware that our behavior may be destructive. I don’t know about you, but I want all the help I can get. So I listen without judgment, I discern if the message pertains to me, I willingly and gratefully make every attempt to make amends or correct the error. No guilt, just action. Amen.
Raised in Trinitarian/Presbyterian/Quaker tradition, Steve converted to Maronite Catholic in 1978 when his first son was Baptised and Christened. Both faiths have a Trinitarian basis for explaining God and so fit with his lifetime faith. Steve also had developed a Contemplative Prayer practice which has monastic historical basis and is the foundation of the Maronite Church from St Maron forward. He was ordained a Lector, Cantor and Subdeacon in the Maronite Catholic Church on October 24, 2010. He continues to serve in a voluntary ministry at St Joseph Maronite Catholic Church in Waterville Maine. Steve is a retired Rehabilitation Counselor, teacher and writer. Steve recently was hired as part time Spiritual Care Coordinator at Northern Light Inland Hospital in Waterville. View all posts by Steve Crate