Sherry Weddell reminds us that there’s really nothing abnormal about being knowledgeable and excited about our Catholic faith; nothing suppressed and prudish about following her moral teachings; nothing weak or communistic about needing the fellowship of other committed Catholics to strengthen our own walk with the Lord. In Forming Intentional Disciples, she acknowledges that lukewarm, ill-informed, insipid Christianity may be typical these days, but hopes we’ll get over it!
Today, lazy book groupers all over Catholic-land gather from their beach towels and porch swings to consider a few more questions raised by Sherry’s research findings. Anyone can join up along the way for the ‘lawn chair catechism‘. You can even do it with, or without the actual book!
Are you comfortable talking with others about your relationship with God? Would you say that you’re a “normal” Catholic using the criteria outlined above? Or are you a “typical” Catholic, fighting that feeling that interest in the faith is only for a few pious eccentrics?
This one’s easy for me! Just try shutting me up about my Faith. But, that wasn’t really the question, was it?? I actually am a bit private about discussing my ‘relationship’ with God. It comes out in my poetry, where I feel the intensity of that intimacy is perfectly veiled. Maybe there is something very reasonable at the root of people’s sense that relationship with God occurs in a holy-of-holies, not to be brought out casually into the light of day.
Maybe they rightly sense that some are too forward about the details of what should remain private between God and self. We’d be right in saying marriages would all be much better for a deepened sense of togetherness, richer communications, and freer intimacy, but we wouldn’t ask people point-blank to expound on even the non-physical aspects of their union. How do we lift up the possibility of this beautiful closeness without invading the holy space of each soul’s own unique relationship with God?
Woops, I’m not really supposed to be asking questions here, but answering! It does raise one more thought, though: I know that,when people in less-than-ideal-but-loving marriages are confronted with pictures of ‘perfect marriages’ with all that ‘communication’ that seems to be going on, they can start to feel defensive about their own lumpy, frumpy, but by-God-good-enough marriage with all its failings and unspoken issues and never-to-be-resolved conflicts and unhealthy patterns. If they began to want more, the shifting dynamics would rock a boat they are at least comfortably floating in. Who’s to say when the trade-off is worth it?
I can understand why people who know they ‘believe in God’ and who at least come to Church just veer off at the sound of us enthusiasts cheering for ‘more yardage’ in the great football game of Faith. They know they’ll end up in heaven and have eternity to sort it all out with God, and meanwhile are content to lead plain vanilla lives trusting Him to get them home. They might even feel a bit superior to those they perceive as grasping at more spiritual goodies. I wish for more for them, and I think to grow up as a Catholic fully you need to want to struggle through to ‘more’, but I don’t know that we’ll attract them to it by promising greater happiness – even though it’s a true promise.
Well, yawn, time to rise and shine and get the laundry done! Enjoy your summer!
P.S. Today, I feel very old! Looking for my ‘cheerleader’ I was appalled to find that the girl next door is now the porn star in full public view! I’ve not been a sports fan, so I guess I completely missed this decline…whew!