Dear my Catholic friends,
I love you guys. I really do. I used to go with the crowd and judge you. I used to go with the crowd and say you weren't really Christians. I used to go with the crowd and snub my nose at your faith and your doctrine saying you were weird. That all changed in my junior year of college.
I met Pat. A really intelligent and gumptious Catholic. He didn't outrightly tell me that he was Catholic but we had about a mile walk to our next classes, so we would usually walk together and talk and share ideas. He told me he was the RA of his dorm and how that helped pay for his tuition bill. Then we started talking about how college was frustrating sometimes. He told me how one professor gave an assignment but didn't really give details on how to do the project. I agreed as that being a pet peeve of mine. That and how they don't know how to correctly use Power Point either.
I told Pat a story about a student in which the professor did the same thing to the class, incorrectly used Power Point and never explained the details of a project. The project this particular student had to do was on the subject of courage. He didn't know if he was supposed to write a paper or do a presentation or what. So after two weeks of thinking of how to tackle the project he finally figured what he needed to do. On the day it was due, everyone was giving presentations or reading excerpts from their paper with diagrams and etc. The student took out a blank piece of paper from his folder, scribbled the word, "Courage" on it, held it up in front of his fellow students and teacher and said, "My project topic was on courage." He turned it in and sat back down. He got an A. Pat laughed and said, "That's awesome, I wish I was bold enough to do that." "Me too," I said.
We'd talk about music and how ska was pretty much on its last year. I think we said this because Five Iron Frenzy put out their last album that year and entitled it, "The end is here." So that pretty much solidified to us that ska was dying.
What I noticed about Pat was he was very involved with the Catholic environment at University of Maryland. A couple times he told me about Mass he partook earlier that morning. Which when he explained it to me, it wasn't in a religious way. He had a way of talking to me about Mass that was sweet and precious. And I thought about Pat the other Sunday while having the Lord's supper at church. Baptist doctrine is that we aren't really eating the body and drinking the blood of Jesus. Even though Jesus said his body was real food and his blood was real drink. But that isn't the point, Jesus said to have the Lord's supper. I don't think Jesus cares how we do it either. He just wants us to do it to remember him. I kind of picture Jesus like that professor who doesn't give too many details on a project, but just wants us to do it.
A fellow blogger told of a time he went on a missions trip and all these people accepted Jesus in their hearts. They were so excited that so many people came to know Jesus. He found out later that most of them were Catholic and simply weren't familiar with the terminology of "Asking Jesus in your heart." Most of them thought it just sounded nice. Like it was giving Jesus a big hug or something. What Christian would refuse that? I don't know why Protestants go around telling people they need to ask Jesus in their heart when Jesus simply said to believe. I feel like we're being car salesmen who don't want to show them the car fax. Being stuck on a specific time when we first believe isn't all that healthy. I don't remember what happened during my physical birth but I know it happened simply because I'm typing this. And I don't remember what I had for dinner three Mondays ago, but that doesn't mean I didn't eat it.
I enjoy and admire Pat and other Catholics who are zealous for life. They defend life. Because life is sacred and special and each person should have a chance to live it. And they show a lot of respect for Mother Mary and I love that. She is a special person for raising God in human form. I'm sure someone reading this is going to immediately say, "Well what about all the classes, and confessions, worship of saints, and the freaking Pope?" People who interrogate like that are too interested in being right. I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't think Jesus really cares what denomination a person is as long as you believe in him as the scriptures say. So I'm okay with the Pope. Because let's face it, Billy Graham is the Baptist Pope. And I'm okay with that too.
So to all my Catholic friends, I love you guys. And you're really special in my eyes.