As I was saying yesterday, over the Lent, we were going to our local Catholic parish for services. I told my nephew's mom this. She's Catholic (understatement...), so I naturally found a number of resources for someone in my shoes lying around her house. I won't say that she offered them to me without me asking. Catholics don't seem to be all that keen to initiate sharing their faith, but they are occasionally more than happy to share small clues when they sense that you are interested. The culture of the Catholic faith is VERY different than the Protestant church that I am used to - but more on that later.
Anyway, she had lying around the house some issues of the our local BC Catholic newspaper. In this season we are in, where Catholicism is beckoning to us, I naturally snatched these up with as much pleading as I could and with her kind agreement, took them home to be devoured line by line. I realize that many Catholic lifers likely scan this weekly paper with an eye to finding the columns they like best, leaving the rest to be relegated to the recycling bin.
I couldn't leave so much as a sentence of this paper alone. It has all sorts of gems in it. First and foremost it sums up the Pope's weekly address. Now, you will have to forgive me if I get information wrong. I just put down basically what I think is happening - because I am in on a learning curve. I am happy to be corrected. This is a weekly newspaper, and each week that I have seen seems to have a bit on Pope Benedict that I love.
There are actually many parts of it that I love - each leading off down some life-giving artery of the Catholic body to the next vital organ. Whether its the words of Pope Benedict, a homily, a bit on a local parish, a link to international news, I find myself slowly unearthing the breadth and depth of the Catholic church.
I haven't quite brought myself to phone up and order a subscription to the paper yet. Why? Well, the resources that one paper alone have led to are rich and diverse in their own right. I can't turn right or left without digging up treasures in multiple places on the internet, in the library, or through friends as I talk about my finds.
I have to say, while I originally I loved that any church building of the Catholic church in any country in any part of the world would be home to any Catholic or much welcomed visitor, it also deeply appeals to me that the intellectual muscle of the faith is being built and made available to anyone with an internet connection, or a library card. Unbelievable ideas coming from not just one church building, but thousands of buildings and all their people the whole world over.
I am off to find some of my personal favorites to share.