"Rebels are we! Though heavy our hearts shall always be! Ah, no ball, no chain, no prison shall keep, we're the Rebels of the Sacred Heart!"- Flogging Molly
So, last night I was talking to one of the people in RCIA class about something that I know a lot about: rebellion. As I believe I have mentioned many times, I spent a lot of my formative years rebelling against a lot of things: “class” structure at my school, statistics on single-mom households, religion, football games, studying for the SAT’s, etc. Basically, anything I could get my overly logical brain behind. Most of this was in defiance against something “society” made me do. I didn’t jump around from fad to fad and passionately just believe in it, I did, in fairness, tend to be loyal to my anti-social structure and was properly brooding by the time I was 17. I blame this entirely on my blood, by the way, which is a nice mix of Cajun (also called “The Defiant Ones” by the English when they refused to take the Oath of Allegiance to Queen Anne and the Church of England), and German, who we all know are stubborn as mules—all the ones I know anyway. Which is why, when I came back to the Church it was something I had to laugh about to myself a lot. “Oh, so many people who knew me will think this is so crazy!” I thought to myself, chuckling and shaking my head “they will all think I’ve lost it entirely this time.”
|Rights? I don't own them. Such a rebel!|
But last night, as I was talking to this person, I realized something. I think I am drawn to Catholicism precisely because it’s rebellious now. Not only is it rebellious to be religious in a very secularized world, it’s almost a rebellion in itself to be Catholic in religious society. Maybe that’s what drew me back to it in the first place. I studied a lot of religions, as in-depth as I could, starting from about age 10. Deep down, I wanted to belong to a religion, I think, probably just not “my” religion because that was not rebellious. But once I was completely removed from it and had all belief structures at an intellectual arm’s length, I was drawn back in. It’s not rebellious to be Buddhist or New Age! It’s not rebellious to be an atheist or a relativist. It’s rebellious to be a good, traditional Catholic; to actually know something about your faith and not refer to yourself as “recovering” or “raised that way.”
Hopefully this person, who, by the way, is concerned that she will never be able to not disagree with the Church on some things, will see it that way. I wish I had thought of this when I was talking to her about it. Maybe all us defiant Catholics out there just need a change of viewpoint.