So today is the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the beginning of the year of faith proclaimed by Benedict XVI and I thought that as a way of celebrating these two great events in the Church, I would make a commitment to blog over the next year about my faith. Knowing that it is a little risky to blog about your faith in the public realm, I believe that faith in itself is a risky proposition today anyway, so today I begin in earnest.
The Second Vatican Council was a council that changed the face and direction of the Church in the World, in one sense it was a council of reform, yet in another, it was a council of continuity. When I think about how I came to faith in the Catholic Church, it was both a reformation of my life and still part of the continuity of who I am. Growing up as Protestant minister’s family, I was constantly aware of the religious convictions of my family and friends. However, I do not think I was consciously aware of my own religious convictions, in some ways, I was caught up in their own identity that I was not able to create or even know my own.
When I begin to think about my coming to faith in God, in Christ Jesus, in particular, it lead me over time away from my Protestant roots and found myself swimming the Tiber to the Roman Catholic Church. In many ways, this coming to the Catholic faith was a reform of my older life, but also part of the continuity of my life growing up, because at the heart of my conversion as a teenager was an invitation. Growing up in a Protestant community, fellowship was part of our regular life. We had morning breakfast fellowships, evening fellowships, home meetings, Sunday lunch-it was a life of constant invitation to fellowship. Yet, my journey into the Catholic Church began by an invitation by a trusted advisor. This invitation led me to realize that at the heart of the invitation was not necessarily a social event that I went to and listened to someone give a witness, but it was an invitation to fellowship with a person–in particular Jesus, through this community and in the Sacraments.
The fellowship and invitation to welcome the other and in welcoming the other we welcomed Christ. It spoke to me at such a deep level that at the root of my spirituality is hospitality. I am not talking of a hospitality in a Southern or hotel sense, but hospitality in the sense that my heart and life is open to you through and encounter of one another and in that encounter we believe that each of us are unique word of God spoken into being in a particular time and in a particular place for a particular calling. Here at the heart of hospitality in our encounter with one another each word is a reflection of the Divine Word.
So as I continue to consider my faith, now as an expecting father, one of the questions I continue to wrestle with is: “What is the faith that I will be handing on to my child?” In future posts, I will continue to explore what that faith is that I continue to hand on and how it is reforming or in continuity with my life and my experience of the community.
- Pope Marks 50th Anniversary of Vatican II (abcnews.go.com)
- Vatican II: A Half-Century Later, A Mixed Legacy (npr.org)