Having Finished One Journey I Find there Is Still More Walking to Do: Reflections on Being Received into the Catholic Church

David Russell Mosley

The Canterbury Pilgrims William Blake Public Domain
The Canterbury Pilgrims
William Blake
Public Domain

Easter Monday 2017
The Edge of Elfland
Hudson, New Hampshire

Dear Readers,

One of the many advantages to working for a Catholic high school is that I get Easter Monday off and can take a quick moment to write to all of you. As you know, on Saturday Evening at the Easter Vigil I was received into the Catholic Church. My wife and Holly Taylor Coolman (a professor in theology at Providence College) were physically in attendance. Many others were with me spiritually. It was certainly an emotional (and long) evening as I watched the candles dance and parade throughout the sanctuary. Perhaps the most emotional moment for me was after I took the Eucharist. At first I thought nothing or little of it. Then it struck me: this is the body and blood of Jesus. Again have I been overwhelmed by actually experiencing the things to which I have given notional assent.

Anyway, now I am Catholic and, rather appropriately, instead of feeling like I’ve finished a journey, I feel more like I’ve finally completed the packing and planning and have only begun the journey. This is Christianity in a nutshell. Every time we reach a new moment, whether that’s baptism, confirmation, getting married or being ordained, joining a religious order, it is not, as thought along the way the end. Rather it is a beginning. We are always beginning, always journeying, never ending until our Lord returns.

Augustine describes the faith as a pilgrimage to our Patria, our homeland. This seems right. One can (and I think when possible should) put down deep roots in a single place and never move from there. One can so become part of a community as to be a fixture of it, to be identifiable with it. But if one is a Christian, even this seeming stasis is dynamic. Even as you stay in that one place, your roots grow deeper. They keep moving through the soil of your life and home, always growing, never stopping.

So, I sit here now, on a breezy Easter Monday, received into full communion with the Catholic Church, and I find that this journey is only just begun. Join me. Let us walk together until our journeys end.


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