RCIA Journal: Stuck and Shutdown

How do I put this? I feel a little bit stuck in limbo.

In a normal year (I am so tired of thinking about this, but here we are again), RCIA would be in-person. We’d have the class once a week, and then afterwards if people wanted we could go out for drinks and discuss, or at least chat in the parking lot before heading home for the night. It’s easier to wrestle that way, and it’s easier to engage when you’re “offline”, outside of the formal time of learning. We’d also see each other at Mass on Sundays, and maybe we’d double back after the benediction to talk more, discuss more. Everything would be woven together into the fabric of life.

On a zoom call, the discussion is over as soon as you click the little red button. It’s very abrupt.

There’s something anti-sacramental, really, about Zoom meetings. They take us further from reality rather than deeper into it. And the whole draw of this Catholic thing is the sacraments. If we’re not here for those, what are we here for? The water, the bread, the wine, the oil—pictures of them, words about them, are no substitute at all for receiving them.

The senses matter in Catholicism; the body matters.

And besides that, we can’t go to Mass—at least, not yet. And that’s been a major handicap to experiencing what the Church does and believes. Lex orandi lex credendi is a handy Latin phrase which means, roughly, that the Church “believes what it prays”. But how to believe with the Church when we’re not praying with the Church? So much is expressed in the Church’s liturgy, architecture, dress, song, incense, and so on. When all we have is talk, language, something is lost.

I’m tired of talking about it; I just want to do it.

This basic frustration has led the three of us to a sort of exhaustion. I’m not even sure what RCIA is about right now. What are we doing here?

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