Life with Christ is a Wonderful Adventure


"Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure." --Saint John Paul II


"The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day." --Saint Gianna Molla


"In my deepest wound I saw your glory and it dazzled me." --Saint Augustine



Life with Christ... A big thing for us since the new year is that we are attending a different church. And it is actually a Lutheran church--right here in our community, in our town. This surprises, no doubt! It's quite a long story, really, and it has been hard to know how to share. A new priest took over the Catholic parish we were attending, who, quite frankly, did not feel like a very strong spiritual leader. I won't go into a lot of details, as I don't wish to be judgmental, especially of a man, and a community, who are only trying, as I am, as best as possible, to serve God. 

But a lot of big and small things, changes, some unfriendliness, etc. were adding up. And I was having a lot of spiritual anxiety. I know it's not all about me, how I react to things, etc. But when feeling that a priest is not a strong spiritual leader, or that a community is not supporting you--that doesn't feel good. :/ It was not as simple as try another church/parish, as that was the only Catholic church for miles--it was not even in our town, we had to travel to get there. Norway is not like America, or continental Europe, where there's a Roman Catholic church or two, or three, in any town--big or small. We would have to travel a very considerable distance to go to another Catholic church. Weekly life would not have been very sustainable in so many ways. And so, after much talk, prayers, and much feelings too, we decided to try what we have locally--which is mostly Lutheran churches.

I LOVE the Catholic Church! So much I love about being Catholic--and it will always be part of my heart. My personal prayer time is still very much Catholic, and always will be, I think. Praying the Rosary, for example, is such joy. And I'm celebrating Lent as much as I often do... Maybe a Catholic church will be built closer--maybe some day?!

Pictured here today is a Lutheran church we've been attending. This lovely building dates back to the 1100's--the 12th century! It has been a good experience so far, and we have felt welcome there. It's different, less formal, less ritual. But a lot of the liturgy is similar to the Catholic church. I have felt more at home than I could have imagined. And it is great not to have to travel far every week/weekend just to go to church. It's a very nice feeling to be able to attend church in one's own town, with others who live in the community too.

It's a strange "compromise" all this, I suppose... But I feel better going to church--a church--than not going at all. I don't believe God is too preoccupied with which path we take to Him, as long as we take a path... and keep going, keep meeting Him along the way. I feel I'm coming through to the other side with all this, which was becoming difficult, and hurting my heart the end of last year.

All I want is to live a life pleasing to God, to love and serve Him... I try... I pray...



Comments

  1. First of all, Tracy, your photos are beautiful and this is a splendid and wonderful building. I love the look of it, the light and the elegant simplicity as though each detail was carefully chosen. Most of all, I love that you have found a place that you find warm and welcoming and one close to home where you can build relationships with your fellow parishoners and find a comfortable relationship with the clergy. I have long felt that it is what we believe, how we live and act that matters most. If the message one receives from a pastor doesn't synch up with what we need, it is time to find one that does and it doesn't matter ALL that much whether it is a same denomination. Your heart will continue to practice the Catholic practices that matter most to you and perhaps others will also strike a chord. The main thing that matters is your faith and your heart. I wish you joy.

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    1. Thank you so much for your caring comment, Jeanie! Isn't the church lovely?! I love it's simplicy with touches of elegance--just the righ mix of bright and open with hints of splendor. Love of God matters most. The place of worship is secondary. We live in a world that likes labels. I'm OK with no label, I'm discovering. That I am God's daughter is label enough for me. :)

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  2. I too am alright in a world without labels. as a matter of fact I think it's the 'labels' in this world that might be causing so much harm. harm to our own individual spirituality.
    I was raised always to go to church and some of my most vivid memories have to do with the youth groups in those various churches. Since my father was usually on Duty our mother would find a church we could walk to! She had been raised Presbyterian. at different times in my life I have been that and Baptist and Episcopalian (very similar in ritual to Catholic) and then also Unitarian. it was back in the days that a family had only 1 car!
    and finally my little Gram - Mother's mother who became a staunch 7th Day Adventist.
    so I also attended that church for a good while at one time with my Gram.
    at 17 I began my own studies of spiritual pursuits. I became very close in the precepts of Buddhism. and the current Dalai Lama is one of my favorite people in all this world.
    he says in answer to 'what is your religion?' "my religion is kindness."
    his own way of saying 'do not get caught up in labels.' God loves all of us regardless of label.
    and the giant redwoods . . . John Muir said "I look up and His cathedral is all around me!"
    any forest always makes that feeling in me! I prefer it. I consider it always His cathedral.
    the old Asian proverb too . . . 'there are many paths up the mountain but the top is the same.'
    I LOVE the pictures of your new church home. such elegance of simplicity and warmth.
    and as long as Love abides there it is a good thing.
    the secret to all of it I think is to find the spirituality in one's OWN heart. brick and mortar are just that. important to many. but nevertheless brick and mortar. what's in one's heart and mind is what never can crumble nor be destroyed. we belong to Him no matter where we choose. so God bless us ... every one of us! the adventure is what's important.
    and LOVE for our fellow adventurers! (that seems to be the hard part. LOL!)
    have a wonderful weekend dearest girl of the North! XO♥

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    1. Dear Tammy, thank you sooo much for sharing so much of your own spiritual experience and thoughts... many of which echo my own! John Muir and the Dalai Lama, both sich wise men... I admire them and their spiritual walks. The Episcopalian/Anglican service is lovely--such a near cousin of the Catholic Church. No Episcopalian church around here, though.

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  3. The new church is just beautiful. You are right about just moving forward with your spiritual journey. I have done just what you have done in the past. Sometimes we just have to move on. Love the quote by Saint Augustine.

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    1. That's a very powerful quote, St. Augustine's! Thanks for sharing a moment for your spiritual journey too, Marilyn! :)

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  4. Your new church looks lovely. The photos are awesome and it is amazing the church dates back that far. I have such a testimony of the importance of attending church and worshiping our Savior, Jesus Christ. It saddens my heart when the spiritual leaders and sometimes members are not as warm as we wish they were. The important thing is your faith in Christ and staying on a spiritual journey back to the Savior.
    I wondering how close you are to Tonsberg, Norway. Interestingly, we have a Branch of our Church there. We are a worldwide church and have more than 16 million members spread throughout the world. I was suprised that we had a branch there.
    Sending warm thoughts, prayers, love, hugs for you dear sister in Christ with blessings that you will coninue to learn and grow in Christ.

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    1. Thank you so much for you lovely comment, LeAnn and the encouragement! :) Funnily enough, Tonsberg was where we were going to our Catholic church! The Mormon church was streets away from ours. Small world. ;) I don't know how many Mormom churches are here in Norway in total, but you are here! :))) Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers ((BIG HUGS))

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  5. I am so sorry that you were feeling that way towards the end of last year Tracy, but I am grateful you have found a solution in the new church you are attending now, and that it is local is an extra special blessing. Like LeAnn, I think the important thing is maintaining your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. I don't think our Heavenly Father cares too much about the way that we come to Him as much as he cares THAT we come to Him. I think there are many roads that lead back to him and we must travel on the one that brings us the most joy and which sings the song of our hearts. I was brought up a Baptist and practiced that faith for many years, but there were things about it that I just couldn't reconcile in my mind and heart. My Mormon faith ticks all my spiritual boxes in a wondrous way. I felt completely at home with it from the very beginning. I think your new church looks and sounds lovely. That you feel comfortable and welcome there, and spiritually nourished, and growing in your relatitonship with Him is what matters most! Love you! (((((hugs))))) Thanks so much for all that you share with us. xoxo

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  6. What a beautiful church, Tracy. I’m so glad that you feel at home. Marie x

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