When I think of my journey into Catholicism, it mixes into my motherhood travels. That journey began twenty-eight years ago with my quest for frugality. Likewise, my first acquaintance with Catholicism started in 1982 with Natural Family Planning and the Couple to Couple League from Cincinnati Ohio. A dear Catholic neighbor, Virginia Soter, introduced us to that method after the birth of our first child. A few years later, I met a strong Catholic woman, Linda Di Muzzio, who gave me some tapes on the Mass. From those I learned that, unlike in my Protestant tradition, Catholics believe Communion, or the Eucharist, is the consecrated body and blood of Christ. Protestants, on the other hand, practice Communion as a symbol of Christ’s body and blood. The way you can tell they believe it is a “symbol” is how these two are treated after Communion has occurred. Protestants throw the wine and bread down the drain or into the trash. Catholics worship the remaining consecrated hosts (bread) which is kept in a Tabernacle in the church.
So after sixty years in the Protestant church and after thirteen years of helping “clean up” after Communion, one Sunday after church while dumping the wine down the sewer, I told God I couldn’t do it anymore. While riding home, the idea hit me. I could go to the early Catholic service then the 10:30 Protestant service with my husband. So I called St. Cecilia Catholic Church on Bainbridge Island WA and was told I could start RCIA classes. While driving to that first class this winter, the moon was full and huge–a natural sign of God’s lavish love on my spiritual journey.
This past Easter, I became a confirmed Catholic, although until my annulment goes through (I was married before from 1971 to 1974), I can only be blessed during the Eucharist, but I can be near and adore the BODY AND BLOOD versus a mere symbol. My husband too, of twenty-nine years, has decided to start RCIA classes so we can worship together.
So how does all of my journey into my Catholic faith have any connection with being a “Frugal Catholic?” It was my quest for frugality that shaped my mothering, and my mothering pulled me into Catholicism. Thus to be frugal and a Catholic, for me, go together. And in truth, if we look to our Lord for the answers, He owned nothing. He wrote nothing,yet He gave us His all. We have nothing to worry about if we trust in His providence. As was written in Hebrews 13:5-6, “Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never forsake you or abandon you.” Thus we may say with confidence: “The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” NAB
Frugality is characterized by thriftiness and avoidance of waste. It is meager and involves little expense. Catholicism is living my faith through the Church which Jesus Christ founded. So what better way to live my Catholic faith than to live frugally so that I can give generously.