Since I wrote some posts recently which touched on Catholic values,challenges and reactions, and especially since Lisa Graas, "Catholic Lisa" and I became mutual Twitter followers,
I have seen a substantial number of Tweets from Catholics on subjects all and sundry.
And quite fascinating, entertaining, interesting, scholarly and challenging they,the tweets and the Tweeters, are too.
Apart from the social/political aspect and content, what Ifind particularly interesting is the seeming utter dedication to their faith for so many, the rewards that brings to them and, above al,l their living a life of utter certainty.
It is that last aspect which I find most intriguing, coming from a Protestant ethos. That is not to say of course that untold numbers of Protestants, particularly Evangelicals, don't lead a life of complete religious certainty but, in my experience, it is not something I have personally encountered that often.
To have, not only a total faith without question, but to go even further in it than I have ever seen expressed, is a new expereince for me. To quote, or paraphrase one Tweet (as best I remember it) "my day is complete as I experience God intertwined with every fabric of my being".
I would dearly love to have such certainly of faith. It would free up a lot of mental to-ing and fro-ing over the meaning of life and all that but I don't think I ever will within the Protestant framework. There are trade-offs I gather though-I, on the other hand will not experience "Catholic guilt' whatever that is, which I understand (from plays and movies at least) is a real thing!
If this certitude is so attractive, then why don't I simply apply for membership? I am too long in the Protestant tradition-Anglican/Episcopalian fancy dress is as far as I will ever go as far as ritual is concerned (I found Presbyterian services too stark on the other hand).
I would prefer my church leaders to be married (to the opposite sex). Whilst doctrine is not something I concern myself with all that much if I had to vote I would prefer the Protestant mass and the Prtotestant's democratic hierarchy.
I have discovered a new, strikingly beautiful sweet shop but will make do with the plainer more homely sweets I was raised with. On the other hand, in an odd sort of way, seeing the depth of Catholic's faith has uplifted and reinforced mine for which I am grateful.