Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Because Now That I'm Catholic, I Can't Imagine Life Any Other Way

 Guest Post by Sandy Croslow

I've been attending Mass almost weekly for more than three years. Yet the handful of Masses I've attended since my confirmation at Easter Vigil have blown me away. Partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ makes me feel more a part of the Body of Christ than I could ever have imagined.

On Sunday, I attended Mass at All Souls' Parish, the neighborhood parish in my hometown in the St. Louis suburbs. I knew no one but I felt at home. Sunday night I realized All Souls, a beautiful church by the way, is the only Catholic Church I ever attended with my mother: we went to a neighbor's wedding there in the mid-1960s. (Pictured here in a photograph by Mark Scott Abeln, a convert)

Driving through the tornado damage in the St. Louis suburbs of Maryland Heights and Bridgeton, which were hit with an E4 tornado on Good Friday, was sobering. I've driven those streets countless times. The storm hit between my parents' house in Maryland Heights and the nursing home where Dad now lives in Overland.

Last Tuesday, a good friend's husband had a massive heart attack and miraculously survived. He made it to the hospital before the worst of the attack and they were able to revive him and insert a stent in a blocked artery. Such events jar us into the reality of the preciousness of life. We were visiting in the hospital family room when another friend arrived. This friend lost her husband to a heart attack a little over two years ago. Why does one man die and the other is spared? Why does one house remain standing in the path of the storm when all around are reduced to rubble? These and other such questions are those I've learned to entrust to God. It's not easy, but I trust Him.

When we visited the Bishop of the Diocese of Belleville, Ill. for the Rite of Acceptance as part of our RCIA journey, Bishop Braxton told us: (and I paraphrase): "God is not God the way you would be god if you were god. He does not behave the way you would behave if you were god because He is God and you are not."

Peace in the midst of the storm. Peace in the midst of the health crisis. Peace in the Body of Christ. Life with faith. I cannot imagine life without it.