I just returned from Daily Mass. With my three kids. Who are all 6 and under. The day had not started out well (lots of fighting and screaming from 5:45 a.m.)and at some level I wondered if I was utterly insane to leave the house with them, let alone to take them somewhere where they would be sitting, quietly, presumably without touching each other.
I am not even Catholic yet, and this was their first experience with Mass. Alli did awesome, Dante catapulted himself over a pew, and Kai flipped through the pages in the hymnal with such force that I thought they were going to fly out of the binding. I've no idea how many times I said "Shhh!!", and I really hope we didn't leave any half- eaten jelly beans embedded in the carpet that covers the pews. I also have no idea how, after all of that, I left with a sense of peace. I felt utterly even, light, and calm. Actually I do know how. But, see, to admit it is to get closer to committing.
I can't say that I want to be Catholic. I feel called to be. It isn't 'fun for the kids', a popular choice, or one that even makes sense to me. I am a Democrat, for goodness sake. I don't believe abortion should be illegal, I don't believe homosexuality is a sin, and I strongly think women should be ordained. (Although don't get me wrong, I don't want our priest's job.) I guess the best way I can explain it is that it's like falling in love with your future spouse. There are things that you like about that person and things that you don't like. It is not that the negative things aren't there, but that, when you know the person is right for you, the negatives matter in a different way. So, yes, there are things I disagree with, but if the Holy Spirit can call me, I can let those disagreements rest with the Holy Spirit.
Mass was lovely and incredibly difficult at the same time. I wish I could remember more of the commentary on the Gospel, but I was focused on keeping Kai in the pew. Two people approached us afterward, said hello to the kids, and told them what a good job they had done. We looked at the nativity and the crucifix. Father came to the back at the end and introduced himself to the kids and asked their names. He blessed them, he blessed me. It was good, very good, and I left with a calm on my soul.