I'm a rubbish Catholic.
I'm not looking for sympathy or for people to go 'no you're not', I'm just making a statement of fact. I say this because today was the first time in more than a month that I've been to church. But wait, I didn't even go to St James', no, I went to Holy Trinity, the Presbyterian church of St Andrews.
I don't want to seem like a church hopper, a 'try before you buy' sort of thing, but it's awkward for someone like me. I'm not making excuses but trying to understand myself why I do the things I do. I question my faith constantly and wonder whether I can really consider myself a 'Catholic', and yet, I'm not ready to give up on being one. At the same time, I feel spiritually withdrawn and attending church is just about as spiritual as I can get right now. And if that means going to another church to feel that little bit closer to God then why not?
One of the great things is how quickly I felt a part of the congregation. I was never questioned as to why I crossed myself or why I don't attend every week. If I'm to be honest, I go to Holy Trinity for the way being there makes me feel. Yes I miss the 'smells, bells and altar rails' and all the other idiosyncrasies a Catholic church has, but fellowship and companionship is something that is important to me too. That feeling of being a part of something, of talking openly and feeling welcomed. Yes going to church should be about glorifying God, but there's no reason I can't do that and be around people I like.
I'm human and like being around other people. No one likes to be alone, or feel like an outcast. I can already hear you saying that being at church is not about socialising, and I know that. But it's the communal aspect of worshipping that appeals to me. And if that means having to attend a Protestant church while I'm at uni, then so be it.