This going to be hard to write. Health is not with me today and my thoughts are less than focussed.
When I was a Conservative Evangelical Clergyman the rules were the rules. Harsh judgement on all those who had hardened their hearts to sin and The Bible. There was little in the way of gentle love or forgiveness and for a while I bought into this semi fundamentalist approach. I wasn’t kind or gentle and I am thoroughly ashamed of the coldness of heart that goes with Calvinism.
I feel guilt to this very day about how wrong I was and how I treated people who didn’t buy in to the Calvinist package.
The Cross was all about punishment, not love, here we had to weep for our sinfulness again and again. There was no sense of being forgiven, Ever!
Slowly this square peg in a round hole felt increasingly out of sorts as the Church became more liberal and tried to conform to the changing societal morals.
Obviously God heard my anguish and I became a Catholic, a lay Catholic. I was taught to see the Cross differently. To see Love not divine wrath. I confess I still find it hard to be non judgemental. It seems ingrained in my being and I long to have it rooted out of my character.
I confessed my sins before I was received into the Church. I prepared for some weeks, I had a lot to confess. It was very very hard to verbalise all that I knew needed to be confessed. I was terrified,penitent, remorseful and out it all poured. I wept at the feet of Jesus. What mercy to receive into my contrite heart God’s absolution and forgiveness with such gentle mercy.
I am sorry sometimes for cradle catholics who haven’t had that joyful adult discovery of the Catholic Faith and yet jealous of them as well having had these graces all their life.
Calvinism sadly still seeks entry to my mind it is very hard to throw off 60 years of living and from within it is utterly logical as it is a closed loop mentality.
I pray that I may grow in Grace to become more loving, non judgemental, and to live more fully in the love of God so that it may radiate from my being.