I love the Catholic Church. I have spent the last year plus going regularly to mass and soaking up everything I could about the Church and its beliefs and practices. And, overall, I appreciate it very much and am in awe of most of what it teaches, professes, and lives.

And I have learned that most of what I learned about the Catholic Church before this year was based on common but incorrect assumptions. Catholics are seemingly more often than not misrepresented by mainstream Protestants.

And this is not something that many of you will understand — but I invite you to talk to me about it if you want.

And, at the same time, there are some things that sadden me about the Church (like the lavishness of some of the worship spaces) and some things about which I poke a little fun at the Church (like the over-generality that Catholics don’t sing very well). Just as there are things that sadden me about the Church of the Brethren and about which I poke fun at the Church of the Brethren. I feel those things, along with the joy and hope in both the CoB and Catholicism, because I deeply love both.

Please understand that this is not the whole story — for me or for the Church. There are myriad expressions of Catholicism, including the very simple to the very ornate and everywhere in between, including emphasis on music to emphasis on silence and everywhere in between — indeed, it seems, there are as many expressions of the faith as there are believers who express their faith.

A friend pointed out that I had perhaps misrepresented the Catholic Church in my last post, even as I am frustrated by the many people around me who do so. If so, I apologize. And I invite all you readers to learn more and not just to lean on your already formed ideas of the Catholic Church. You might just like what you learn.