According to the Whole

I’ve been writing, furiously, for April. I am participating in the #atozchallenge (check that sweet badge to your left), writing through the alphabet in April. My theme is to write all things Catholic, with a twist, of course. About a month or so ago, I created an editorial calendar with ideas for each letter that I could research and write about. The twist, is that I also want to provide a reflection from my point of view, that could be slightly different for the myriad of readers and bloggers participating. This is pretty daunting. How can you keep anyone’s attention for longer than a paragraph? How do you do it if the reader is wholly uninterested in organized religion, let alone Christianity and specifically, Catholicism. That’s my hook. That’s my twist.

kata-holos Catholic #atozchallenge

What does that mean? It means everything. It’s what being Catholic, for me, means. Kata- according to, holos- the whole. According to the whole. It’s not, as Eddie Izzard (whom I do love, by the way) defines in his stand up: “Catholicism, we believed in the teachings of Cathol and everything he stood for”. I thought about this long and hard before I started this blog. What’s my point? My point is, that you will rarely, ever read anything flamingly controversial here. There are plenty of bloggers, writers, theologians and other online mediums that provide a space in which to debate issues of contention and I am glad for it.

I do not shy away from what I believe. However, I do shy away from the shying away of others. I will not, and refuse to, exclude anyone from the conversation. I refuse to be hypocritical and that means turning my back on anyone who happens to come over and read what I write. I don’t want to be controversial for the clicks. I want people to feel like they can voice their opinion, to a well informed, true to the Magisterium Catholic and receive, in return, true Catholic teaching with a fair amount of respect and agape or selfless love, thrown in, seeking not my own advantage but only to benefit or share with another.

It’s my duty to make this faith accessible to all, to the whole. Accessible, does not mean agreeable. We don’t have to agree. I won’t ignore opinions that are different from my own. I will ignore arguments for the sake of arguing. I refuse to allow hatred, bigotry, marginalization and exclusion here. Therein lies the finer point. I am not looking to re-arrange church teaching to suit you. I am going to make it accessible to you in how I share it with you – as I live it, in my struggles, in my joys and learnings, in my fears and confusion. That is the whole of it. This is how I will write in April.

Every post will begin with what the word of the day is, and why I chose that particular word. Teaching, and a point of accessibility through the eyes of an adult convert. Just when I was getting nervous and doubting myself (a very Catholic and quite human thing to do) I read this by Carrie-Anne over at That Dizzy Chick, an atheist, who featured me on her blog just Friday:

Filling My Prayer Closet is a blog that I stalk errm check out regularly because Cristina writes great content.  It’s actually kinda odd for an atheist (me) to follow a catholic’s (Cristina) blog. But I do and I enjoy it.

And that’s the crux of it. This is all I ever wanted in this space. I’m married to an atheist and I like to think that I’ve learned quite a bit in how to teach the Church without preaching the Church – and that’s what, I pray, will bring you here now, in April and consistently thereafter.

And just in case, some feel that I am too lax, I’m only doing what I’ve been taught:

John 13:34-35

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

I got mad love for ya. Can you say the same?


22 thoughts on “According to the Whole

  1. I really liked this post. I’ve found that this post was well written and took a lot of thought. Thank you for sharing this.


    1. Thank you! I have one, one confirmed reader in April! Ah ah ah ah! The Count? Sesame Street??

      Really, I am looking forward to it and hope others find it useful (but mostly, refreshing!)


  2. Love being sent back to you too! I love checking in on you Cristina, it’s like sitting for a cup of tea. And your post echoes strongly what Pope Francis teaches about not hitting people with the legalisms of the church, but LOVE. The legalisms come later, no one wants to learn about something that excludes them and makes them feel offended rom the start.


  3. I am an atheist and I am eager to hear your thoughts! I teach European History so I am always learning more about Catholicism!


  4. Nice deep breath of your fantastic, loving energy. It would surprise many to read what Emily says about Pope Francis leading with love because most get stuck in what they have been told rather than what actually is… I know this from telling people about my friend who happens to be a religious woman and they can’t believe a nun can be loving and kind and compassionate and politically like them! I am glad to see what you have to say because I know it will be intriguing and filled with all the delightfulness I have come to know as you.

    I’ve always been taught the word “catholic” means universal. In my past church we said one of the creeds “The holy catholic church” which we are a part of… and some people refused to say the word “catholic” even with a lower case “c”. Some people are committed to driving wedges.

    Happy Day! Hey, now that I’m down here – did you know my theme is based on my ONE WORD?! 🙂


    1. Don’t get me started on nuns. I stalk them. Love nuns! Ever see God is the Bigger Elvis?! Stop and do it. Because, nuns.

      We still say “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection of the body” when we pray the rosary.

      I hope I can “get all of this right” and get some minds and hearts a little more open.

      Your theme is going to be so wonderful. I can’t wait!!!


  5. Cristina…3 hours sleep? Oiy…you are going to burn out my friend…I am worried.

    Your blog is going to be rockin’ in April! It’s easy to see why so many love coming here and reading your words. It’s addicting : )

    Prayers for you and sleep! xo


  6. I came here with the intention of returning the favor for you commenting on my BFF’s blog after sharing my request via Twitter. That was, like, a half-hour ago. I’m enraptured. Your writing is… well… at the risk of sounding freaky, may I please move next door to you and have coffee in your kitchen every morning? Because your posts make me want to be your friend. No, that’s not right — they make me want YOU as MY friend. You come off just a bit awesome.

    Like your friend, and like one of the other readers who commented here, I am atheist. Or maybe agnostic. I’m not, like, adamant. Most of the time. I have problems with jerk-faced meany-pantses, mostly. Sorry — that’s all off point. I just mean, in spite of my resistance to organized religion, I am surprisingly fascinated with your AtoZ topic. Firstly, because you write so well. And then because *WOW* what a cool and interesting topic!

    Interesting aside: My friend dragged me into a Starbucks a few days ago and I fell down in front of everyone. Twice. Because that’s how I roll in public situations. And I am now getting a feeling similar to how that felt. So I’m gonna go.

    Oh, yeah — FYI — I’m participating in AtoZ, as well. My topic is writing in general + my current work-in-progress in particular. Mega boring after reading yours. You suck. Just kidding.

    See you around!
    ~Andi-Roo @TheWorld4Realz


    1. I can always have a good friend. Especially one who is an agnosti-athei-not-sure. Why? Because I write for you. Because I’ll talk to you and because I’ll fall in the coffee shop first and always. I’ve sprained my ankle three times… Just. By. Walking.

      I can’t tell you how great this was to wake up to considering just yesterday I kept telling myself I can’t write and couldn’t ever be a writer.

      And your topic? Totes stalking it. Because I’m a writer now and I need to get the learning.

      See you for coffee!


  7. I thought I had commented on this. I must imbiber in more tea (DRINK!).

    Thank you so much for mentioning me, Cristina. I do love your blog posts. They keep me intrigued and always coming back for more.

    I love Andi’s comment, because that’s how I feel. It’s like I’m in elementary school, jumping up and down, screaming: “Pick me! Pick me!” (okay, not quite that creepy)

    I’m really looking forward to your posts this April. Even though I am an atheist, I find religion fascinating. The history behind it is amazing.



    1. And it’s really me who’s got her hand waving *pick me, pick me!*

      That comment from Andi? Made my WEEK! I have to figure out how to incorporate that in the blog. If it could fit, it would be my tag line!

      Decided that I am hopping to your blog for inspiration, then heading off for my day, so get them bad boys up early!



  8. YES!!! I was raised in an evangelical, Bible-thumping Protestant church…there’s a world of difference between “teaching” and “preaching”. Teaching is better! (Which is exactly why I’m Catholic now!)


    1. Angela – you are a doll face! I preach in a way that you don’t sense it, I think. But then when I preach to preach, man do you ever know! The Brooklyn accent comes out and I’m all head swervin’!!!!


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