23 September, 2006

So You're Catholic Now...So Am I!

Okay, well first off, I should have listened to my friend Sheila much sooner. She is an award-winning journalist and has been encouraging me to write everyday...I have not. I have been too busy. But this little forum has been a nice exercise in daily thought. I appreciate all of you who read it and the few of you who respond.

So my thought for the day. I was sitting in Blessed Sacrament adoration (ask me if you are unfamiliar) yesterday afternoon listening to the spiritual mix on my IPOD when I got to thinking about some of my friends. Growing up in California I had a lot of friends who were non-denominational and some friends who were converts to Catholicism from that tradition. Often times they are very critical of the faith they left. Now, I understand this as a faith stage, but sometimes it frustrates me because they criticize some of the practices of their former faiths that I think the Catholic church (being a cradle Catholic) could stand to improve upon.

For example, praise and worship (hence why I got to thinking about it while listening to my IPOD). I understand that it is a simple devotion, sometimes lacking in liturgical substance and often not appropriate for the Mass, but I believe it still should play a role in Catholic spirituality. Why not? Give people another method of praise.

Or fellowship...come on people, donuts and coffee for 50 people following a 200 person Mass doesn't cut it...especially when we place the table stragetically next to the door so people can "grab and go". That is not fellowship. That is not community-building. Yes, I think the non-denoms can take it to the point where it overshadows the message of the service, but that doesn't mean we should lose it! Let's improve upon it.

Face it, if we truly believe that we have the fulness of the faith in the Eucharist, why is faithful incorporation of other traditions and practices scary?

The church has a tradition of blessing and making holy the practices of the cultures and societies into which they enter. We must consider that today's American society ought be treated like a foreign culture in the Church like any other. It is a culture into which the Church must enter. Let's embrace, bless, and make holy practices that can bring us closer to one another in the communion of saints as well as closer to our Heavenly Father and His kingdom in Heaven.

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