My wife and I had a much-needed heart-to-heart last night. It was about a wide range of issues, but it ultimately came back to my decision to enter the Catholic Church. For the first time in a while, I was able to half-way explain the reasons I’m becoming Catholic. She is really great, and wise, and patient with me. I know that she can’t grokk my decision, but she loves me. I wish I could have recorded all that I said, however, ’cause I got on a roll. I wasn’t trying to overwhelm her, but at one point I think she got that impression.
I wanted to share an analogy that I used in the discussion. I was speaking about the Catholic Church’s understanding of herself and the other Christian confessions. When I was studying Orthodoxy, I ran into a very similar analogy – that of the Church as the Ark of Salvation. My analogy is closely akin- however, many Orthodox refuse to make proclamations about those ‘outside the Ark’ – other than to warn that one had better make sure they’re in the ark. But I imagine a large ship (the Catholic Church), which is the Ark of Salvation simply because it is the church. But I imagine other smaller craft in the ark’s wake, some close enough to see, others spread far, far into the distance. On these ships (other Christian confessions), the passengers are sometimes fully convinced that they’re making their way across the water fully on their own power (it’s an analogy, so don’t break it down too much, you understand); yet all the while, each of these craft, beneath the surface, are connected to the Ark via a system of cables. Some of the passengers might believe that this is possible. Other may say that such a connection is surely nonexistent. Yet, nonetheless, the ties are there.
This is how the Catholic Church views other Christian confessions (I think I’m right on this), and quite honestly, it was a factor in starting me down this road to Rome.