Lately I’ve been feeling like a bit of an imposter. I’ve been feeling like if I talk about all of the things I DON’T know that somehow I’ll get found out and kicked out of the club.
Here’s the thing: Bottling it all up is just making me feel worse. So I’m going to name it: Sometimes I feel like a fraud. Sometimes I feel like I can’t be a Deacon in the NAOCC because I don’t know enough, because I am new to Catholicism, because I was wearing my alb backwards and it was all wrinkly (true story). I feel like I’m a fake.
But here’s what I do know: When I think of some of the people who have mostly deeply influenced my faith I think of Dorothy Day, Philip and Daniel Berrigan, Saint Benedict, John J. McNeill, and others. It’s these radical Catholics who have answered the call of God.
When I think about the places that I have felt at home in it’s the la Basilique du Sacre’ Coeur de Montmatre and all of the other cathedrals and small churches we wandered through in Paris. It’s in the stone and the chill. The silence and the candle light.
When I think of the people I most want to emulate it’s the people above and Thomas Merton, Sister Joan Chittister, Mother Theresa, Oscar Romero, and more.
I am drawn to the rich tradition of contemplative life, drawn to the mystery and wonder of the Mass, drawn to the liturgy of the hours, drawn to the rituals of a church that are unfamiliar to me but that feel like home.
So no, I don’t have all of the answers. I don’t know when to stand and when to kneel. There are generations of cultures and customs that leave me confused. My alb is on backwards and wrinkled and I can’t figure out how to attach the full band collar to my shirt quite yet. But I am in this. I am in this process and in this church because I believe in it and because it believes in me. And I believe that we need each other and will do something beautiful in the world.