On being right
I think maybe the Catholics are right. I went to a Catholic funeral this morning. Every time I go to a Catholic funeral, I wish I were Catholic. Seriously. Catholics know what to do with death. They’ve been doing it much the same way for hundreds of years. If your loved one dies as a Catholic, you know what to expect at the funeral. If your loved one dies as a Protestant, good luck with that. Unless that person has a skilled pastor already, the funeral is going to be a crap shoot. Just sayin’.
I love the Catholic liturgy — the songs, the things the whole group speaks together, the cantor, the incense, even the boundaries around communion. It seems to wrap me up in a comforting blanket, and I feel safe. As pastor of a fairly progressive evangelical church, mass always gets me to thinking — about all the strong opinions I and others hold about what is the right way and wrong way to do church, including Catholics. Maybe they’re right.
Or maybe nobody is right. I always come away with only one conclusion that makes any sense. This is all ridiculous, really, isn’t it? I mean who the hell really knows what is the best way to have church, do church, or be church? Does anyone really believe there is only one good way? This in turn gets me to thinking about the things I post here on this blog. I have my opinions. You have yours. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’t. But who really knows? The heat we bring to our arguments sometimes seems so out of proportion to how ultimately unknowable the big answers are.
Maybe you are right. Maybe I am right. I’m convinced that it’s probably the other way around, that very, very few people are apprehending reality as it is. In other words, I am fairly confident most of us are really quite mistaken about God and reality (including these very thoughts, of course). The only response to this is basic humility. I’m just writing what occurs to me, throwing it out there and seeing what impact it has. I don’t pretend to know all the answers. What I can tell you is that as long as I have this blog, I will keep posting my questions, keep engaging people, keep thinking and asking others to think as well. That’s all we have. We may not know most of the answers, but we can engage one another around the questions.
Question: Are you confident your church, your tradition is “right”? How do you know this?