"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
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...