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Switch to Forum Live View Quasi-solitary Quaker?
6 years ago  ::  Feb 13, 2012 - 9:54AM #1
Posts: 39
Ok, so I've had Friends tell me that what makes a person a Quaker is their own conviction, and I've also read on meetinghouse websites that what makes a Quaker offically Quaker is membership in a particular meetinghouse.  I suppose it doesn't matter in the larger scheme of things, but I'm curious for my own self-identity...

Hubby and I have gone through some church-hopping in the recent past, and we lingered a bit with Quakers.  However, he tended to sleep/snore through the meetings, whereas I find that the lack of a proper Biblical lesson and music makes my worship/fellowship experience incomplete.

Therefore, we've decided to stay at our Roman Catholic Church, and we enjoy worshipping there, and we're trying to fellowship there as much as we can, but I find that the fact that I disagree with several key teachings of the church make me wonder how my personal discernment could be leading me astray.... Actually, I've never felt closer to God than since I started sitting with Him in silence on a daily basis.  He's revealed some wonderfully insightful things to me, and I do not believe that an organized religion can take the place of that personal time with the Lord.  I think I might enjoy a programmed Quaker meeting, but on the East Coast of the US, these are few and far in between.  Besides this, I find the usual visual reminders of my faith that are found in most traditional Catholic churches very uplifting and helpful.  Stained glass windows, statues, paintings, flowers, incense, etc.  I don't like churches to be too ornate, bc I do certainly find a certain charm in the simplicity of a meetinghouse.  Most definitely.  And I've been to Catholic churches/chapels where the visual art is minimal but enough to capture my imagination. 

So I feel like theologically I am a Quaker, except that I feel more comfortable with corporal woship in the Catholic context.  But my daily life, daily devotion, daily prayer life, my values and priorities, these all come from the Quaker spirituality.

Not sure how to align the two.  Catholics of course will tell me I'm not really Catholic if I don't believe everything they teach, but I'm tired of trying to find a perfect church, bc I now know it doesn't exist.

Is it totally absurd for me to identify as a Quaker-who-worships-corporally-in-a-Catholic-church?
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 24, 2012 - 11:16PM #2
Posts: 2


I don't think your situation is so strange at all.  While Catholic and Quaker experience both fall somewhere on the Christian spectrum, they emphasize vastly different areas of faith and practice. I found the most interesting part of your post the "daily sitting in silence." It sounds like you're not confused about that part at all. Is that silence, and whatever you find there, Quaker or Catholic...or neither?

    Personally, I feel like if silence is just silence, than you can just be you. Maybe you don't need a label at all and can worship freely, however you're lead. I eat both broccoli and rice and there's no conflict at all. They both nourish in different ways.

    To me it sounds like you're involved in a growing process though. If you stick to that silence long enough, you'll probably find the question dissolves of its own accord.

Good luck.

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6 years ago  ::  Feb 26, 2012 - 3:10PM #3
Posts: 39

Thanks for the feedback!  It's a very good point about the need to label, and that, well, I DON'T need to label.  I guess it only makes sense to bring this to the Lord in my sitting time!  :-)

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