Sunday, August 31, 2008

Comfort Zone

Summer is coming to an all-too-hasty end, and with it, most of my readers are heading to college, either for the first time or as a returning student.

Two of my good friends have been blessed to transfer recently to two very orthodox Catholic universities. This week, I start my last year at a local community college. This May, I'll graduate with my Associate's in Journalism, and transfer to a public state university.

You might wonder why, as an orthodox Catholic, I'm so adamant about staying with secular institutions, when my friends have access to daily Mass and a supportive community. For the most part, I was raised secular--I went to CCD like all cradle Catholics, and received my first three Sacraments, but didn't do much beyond that. My family, and the majority of my friends, are only nominally Catholic. While I've found fellowship in Protestants from my school, we'll never be on the exact same page.

That may sound lonely or uncomfortable, and yes, it can be, but I'd rather have it that way. As much as having access to the Mass and Adoration appeals to me, I fear that in that situation, I would become spoiled. I would forget how to function when God is absent in the community, and possibly end up resenting the cards that God has dealt me.

I've always said that people should never forget where they came from. Though I'm no longer an occultist, that period of time made a lasting impact on my life, and the last thing I want to do is close my eyes and pretend it never happened. It's because of paganism that I'm Catholic today, and my current faith is strengthened and has blossomed thanks to going astray.

The university I plan to transfer to has a Newman Center with a great priest and daily Mass. Yet, in some ways, I'm hesitant to take advantage of those opportunities. I don't want to turn the Newman Center into my crutch, only to be on my own again come graduation in 2011. On forums, I've read multiple stories of college graduates who struggled to adjust after leaving such a community, and some never do.

Does this mean Catholic schools are a hindrance more than a help? Absolutely not. I'd gladly trade places with them...but only for a little while. I've been planted firmly outside my comfort zone since my reversion, and until I marry, I will probably stay there. Until that day comes, I need to remember how to stand on my own. And that, too, has its perks. :)

Thanks, Mom...

My late night thought--or is it early morning?--for tonight:

Without Jesus, we can't be saved. Without Mary's "yes" to God on the night of the Annunciation--"Be it done to me according to Thy Word"--we would have no Jesus, no Son of God to give us a chance at eternal life.

Logic follows...

Without Mary, there is no salvation.

Think about it.