The Bones of St. Peter
I'm Ed The Protestant. Greg Smith (creator of Considering Catholicism) has invited me to not only consider the Catholic faith, but to record our (already ongoing) conversations for his podcast. You can follow my walk toward Catholicism not only on the podcast, but here on the blog.
The longer I dig into Catholicism, the worse I feel about my former attitude toward it. At the very least, I feel sorta dumb. Greg's explanation (listen here) of the Catholic practice of keeping relics was just so outright logical and plain that I was convinced immediately. Also, it (yet again) exposed my (former) arrogant Protestant attitude toward these kinds of things. It's easy to take cheap shots.
Here's a thing I find so compelling about Catholicism: in it, everything is tied together. Not just spiritual things, but physical things. All of God's creation is swept up in this ongoing story, and now that I'm a little more educated, I'm just so, I don't know...happy to be a part of it.
This is something we didn't talk about in the Protestant world. The bones of St. Peter are a great example. The Catholic church preserved them, and visiting them, or even just knowing they're sitting somewhere where people can get to them makes everything so much more immediate, more real. Peter the fisherman lived and died, and his bones are still with us. These things happened in a particular time and place, and I know this sounds obvious, but it's all real. The reason I feel like I have to say this is that in the Protestant world we made really not much of all that. At least not the churches I was involved with. The Catholic church thinks it's important, and they build ways to help us remember how important it is.
So the next time I go to a Mass, I'm not only going to keep in mind that there is a First Class Relic (here's the link again--you should really listen to it), but that the relic inside the altar represents a real person who made every attempt to live a life pleasing to God.
I now come into these podcasts knowing that Greg is going to be right, that I'm going to be convinced, and that being convinced will eventually require some action on my part. This is the hard part--being responsible for what I know.