Monday, February 24, 2014

7 blog posts in 7 days...Day 1.

Well, I have decided to do something crazy and link up with Jen at Conversion Diary.  The goal is simple...write seven posts in seven days.  And, I'm excited to take on the challenge!  If you get sick of reading me each day, fear not...no one is making you click on the link (ohhh...snap, someone's feeling a bit sassy this morning!).

Today, I want to tell you about something that has been rumbling around in my head since last night. Yesterday, I had the joy of presenting my social media talk at St. Mary's Student Parish in Ann Arbor.  Because the presentation backed right up against the 5:00 pm Mass time, I decided to attend.  OM lowercase g my friends, the priest, Father Ben (I think) gave a fantastic homily. I'm gonna tell you a little about it. Then, I'm gonna go all  Church nerd on you, and then I am going to speculate why a lot of people might hate Catholics. Ready?

During the homily, Father Ben was talking about rules and how they are made for the community.  He compared it to driving and how if we choose to break the 'rules' it might seem okay for us, but it creates danger for others.  He said rules are important.  But that wasn't the part that left me thinkin'.  The part that left me thinking was a quote he shared from the then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergolio. Of course, I can't find the quote, but the gist of it was this...The Church (Bishops in their teaching authority) tell you WHAT to believe, but the people show you HOW to believe it.   Cardinal Jorge went on to talk about the Blessed Mother, the Church provides us with dogmas and doctrine on her...but the people show you how to love her.  And then, I got to pondering...how are we showing people what we believe?

Witness is essential in our faith, we know this.  I'm about go all Church nerd on you...but one of the most significant line from any Church document to me personally is from Evangelli Nuntiandi...it says
 'Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is only because they are witnesses".  
My question is, how's that working for us?

When people see us, do they see people of joy?  When people look at our families, do they see the warmth and love lived out as it should be?  When people see our relationship with Christ, do they see it as personal and profound, or stale and rigorous? ( I took a risk using a big word there, you can let me know if it worked out).

You see friends I can tell you pretty quickly what the Church teaches and WHY She teaches it. I'm kind of good at that part.  But, that's the easy part.  The part I'm not so good at?  Living it with the fullness that I am called to.  Living it in a way that attracts others.
The 'HOW'.
The part is so essential, I often drop the ball with, and I am guessing I am not the only one.
This morning I woke up and saw this meme shared on many of my facebook friend's walls...
You know, I have always read this quote and thought, 'yeah, people should really learn what we actually teach'.  Or 'yeah, the media's narrative of the Catholic faith is so far from the truth'.  And  that might have some truth to it.  But, this morning I read it a bit differently.  This morning, I wondered if maybe we, through our witness, provide an awful example of our faith and that leads people to mistaken what we are about. This morning, I thought more about HOW I'm living it and the consequences that follow.

So my friends- I'm gonna try harder. I am going to try harder to be joyful. I am going to try harder to be less judgmental of people (ugh, I hate that part!). I am going to try harder to LISTEN rather than always speak. I am going to work to be a bridge builder, to invite others through openness to the love and freedom that Christ wants to offer.

And I think if we all did that- if we all stopped shaking our fists at others and instead looked inward, life will be a bit better. Don't believe me?  Just look at this guy named Pope Francis (or Cardinal Jorge) and the impact he is having.  I think maybe he's showing us all HOW to do it.

Thank God our Church is made for people who are works in progress, otherwise I'd be screwed!

See you tomorrow :)


  1. oh yeah! I am living this one!

    I am a convert: trust me, I can tell you ALL the rules and regulations. But is wasn't until years after my head conversion that the true heart conversion took place. What a difference! I know from personal experience that one person's actions can change a lot of people's lives. I try to have my actions cause good change and not bad change: still a work in progress!
    wonderful post and great reminder
    Thank you
    Have a wonderful day!

  2. Amen, Mary. One of my most convicting interactions in YAM was talking with a "former Catholic" whose biggest beef in going to parishes was "where's the joy?" They don't look like they enjoy being there at all - it's like they're punching a time-clock and then getting out.

    Love Benedict's quote too about how we aren't a set of rules as a Church, that being a Christian is a relationship with the person of Jesus. That should bring us great joy and leave us changed. Anyway - lots of thoughts. Thanks for sharing!! :)

  3. What a beautiful post. Your willingness to first examine what you might be doing wrong instead of what others are doing wrong is inspiring.