Today at Aldersgate was another powerful Sunday. I was struck by how passionate the crowd was when worshipping through song. But then another thought occurred to me.
When I was in the 8th grade, my teacher’s name was Mrs. Lovelock. Mrs. Lovelock was an interesting teacher. She wore her hair in a bee’s nest on top of her head and always dressed to the nines. She also talked and sang to the statue of Mary that was on the wall. She would complain about the 7th graders being smelly and not showering.
Mrs. Lovelock was an incredibly firm believer in the Catholic church. Of all the teacher’s I ever had in my 8 years of Catholic school, she’s the only one who ever mentioned how she felt about other religions. She wholeheartedly believed that Catholicism was far superior to any other denomination of Christianity.
Mrs. Lovelock died several years ago and I went to her funeral. She’d been such a staple in our school for so many years that I expected there to be many students but there weren’t. Mrs. Lovelock did tend to rub people the wrong way, which I think was due in part to her steadfast belief that her way was the right way. I myself still don’t know if I liked her or not. She once told us not to go to public school because public school kids are gross and will make us do drugs and have sex.
Pastor Bruce spoke today about sticking to your convictions even in the face of a society that wants us to do otherwise. Mrs. Lovelock did that. I didn’t choose for Mrs. Lovelock to be the voice in my head this week but it’s hard to get her to shut up.
There are people in my life that would absolutely be offended that I’ve been attending a Methodist church. They probably wouldn’t even count it as church.
I like this church a lot primarily for the reason that, although I’ve read the Bible and know the prayers, I’ve never interpreted how to implement what the Bible tells me into my everyday life as much as I have since coming here. You might say that I could interpret it on my own and still go to Catholic church but you’d be wrong.
Today Pastor Bruce put the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed up on the screen for the church. I didn’t need them up on the screen. I can say them from memory probably backwards and forwards. But I never thought about the words. I never did. I was recently so struck by the words to Amazing Grace (a song I’ve heard and sung thousands of times) and how beautiful their actual meaning is that I cried. “We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, then when we first begun.” I mean, WOW!
So Mrs. Lovelock’s voice in my mind won’t stop telling me that it’s wrong to go to Methodist and not Catholic church. Despite the spirtually enriching journey this has been thus far, I keep wondering if God will not look with favor on me because of this choice.
Part of me thinks that my hesitance is because “old habits die hard”. Do I just feel this way because of the years spent being told that Catholicism is the only way? That Catholicism is right and, in the words of Mrs. Lovelock that “if you trace it back, Catholicism is right and all those other people are ignoring the truth.”
So that’s what I’m praying for this week: Mrs. Lovelock to please be quiet and/or God to show me whether I should go back to Catholic Church or if I can continue on this journey with a church that I’ve grown fond of.