I know I just wrote a mega Dominican Spirituality post yesterday, but it’s Thursday and we have to throw it back, blog style. On this day last year, I was participating in the Lawn Chair Catechism series at CatholicMom. I had a total of 4 posts. I wrote about perspective that day and as I read it this morning I felt as if I had two mirrors opposite each other. Reflections on reflections bouncing off one another and you can count them endlessly. If you’ve never done it, stop reading and try it. What am I thinking? Stop reading? In any case, I thought it would be fun to share my current perspectives on the questions I answered just a year ago.
In your faith:
Are you comfortable talking with others about your relationship with God?
I think it’s very fair to say that I am comfortable talking with others about my relationship with God. I still don’t divulge to my husband all of the details and nuances of change that my soul feels with prayer or spiritual dryness, but we talk about my faith. He says it’s made me a better person and while I love the compliment, I translate that to mean a more aware person. Aware of myself and others, more conscious and sensitive to what other people may be facing. I am definitely more personally reflective – if that was even possible.
Would you say that you’re a “normal” Catholic using the criteria outlined below? Or are you a “typical” Catholic, fighting that feeling that interest in the faith is only for a few pious eccentrics?
-It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to be excited Christian activists.
-It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to be knowledgeable of their faith, the Scriptures, the doctrinal and moral teachings of the Church, and the history of the Church.
-It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to have fellowship of other committed lay Catholics available to them, to encourage, nurture, and discern as they attempt to follow Jesus.
-It is NORMAL for the local parish to function consciously as a house for formation for lay Catholics.
Based on the criteria, I am so “normal” I could be considered milquetoast, boring or Plain Jane even! I do think I waver though with being a “typical” Catholic. I’ve tweaked the time I attend mass because I prefer the vigil mass on Saturday, than the usual “Grand Ball” mass of 10AM on Sunday. I don’t think that any member of the church is better or worse than I am, let’s clear that up to avoid any slighted comments. Put it this way, for most, if you attend 6PM mass on a Saturday, it’s because you really want to be there (this doesn’t include people who have to attend one mass or another due to work or baby schedule). I think the same goes for daily mass. If you’re going, it’s because you really want to be there. (Or maybe you’re married to a crazy Catholic and you go because you want to support her)
I love to observe, it’s a favorite past time. From when I was a kid elbows on scabby knees, sitting on the stoop of the brick apartment building in Brooklyn, I just watched people. Next time you’re at mass, listen to the responses, are they half-hearted whispers of amen, or declarations of AMEN? I don’t want a raucous party at church. I also don’t want a funeral procession. Feel me? If you’re at mass, pipe up and mean it when you say Amen, it translates to I believe. If you do, let others hear it.
In your parish:
Do you personally have, within your parish, a group of Catholics you meet with regularly, to discuss the faith, study the faith, and encourage each other to greater virtue?
Not in my parish unfortunately. Does RCIA count? That ended in May as you know. Other than that, I got nada. However, I have found a solution! A Lay Dominican band-aid so to speak! We meet every month for two hours and pray together, share our little miracles, learn more about Dominican Spirituality and have bible study. Again, if you are making this kind of commitment, it’s because you want to be there. And we all really do.
At this time, does your parish have in place a working system for actively mentoring those who want to grow in their relationship with God?
I know there are bible studies, there’s one coming up in September for the book of Revelation. It seems that the women in my parish in my age group, (I can speak to that demographic) aren’t very active at all as far as their faith. I haven’t surveyed them to find out why, I know they wouldn’t put it past me to ask though, so maybe I should. They are very active with help needed for activities at church or the school (more than I am), but I rarely ever hear them talking about the latest bible study, or how they can’t wait to have coffee and talk about what’s going on with them spiritually. I guess that’s a good thing because there’s a balance? Those that help with works both spiritual and physical, right? Here’s to diving in and a look back on looking back.
Your turn, are we alike in our answers? Completely different? Answer the questions in the comments, maybe I’ll visit your parish and yell out an AMEN!
***Just so you aren’t caught unawares, I’m going on vacation next week. I know what you’re thinking, “but you just came back from a va…” No, it wasn’t a vacation, it was a pilgrimage. There is a HUGE difference. On vacation next week, I will be with my family in a cabin in the Adirondacks, not walking 8-14 miles a day through Catholic wonders, and I will not be blogging! See the difference? Blogged during pilgrimage, no blogging during vacation. I will post again tomorrow though, because I loves ya!***