Selfless love is a hard thing for me. The problem is, sometimes I think my love is like a bucket of water; I love someone and a little bit pours out, someone loves me and a little bit pours back in. Most times, I pour out and my water lands right in their bucket. That should be enough, but I find myself constantly checking my own bucket to see if they returned the favor.
Bear in Mind: God Does Lent for Us; We Don’t Do It for Him. If you think that you are going to crush Lent, it will crush you. And good. You apparently need a firm crushing or a heaping spoonful of you suck. The point of Lent is not to stretch ourselves, it is not a fitness regimen to make ourselves grow in holiness, it is not to prove ourselves to God or man, and for pity’s sake, it is not a contest.
I’ve written several times about how Catholics should not be jerks on the internet (Cardinal Sins of Social Media Debate and Paul’s Letter to Social Media). I would think it obvious that being unkind towards others—especially over media as impersonal and public as social media—pushes people away from the faith.
Yet each time I’ve written, I’m met with resistance by devout Catholics—both left and right leaning—justifying their nastiness by citing various examples from scripture where Jesus (or Paul or somebody) supposedly did something similar so it’s ok—noble, even—for them to hurl insults.
Earlier this year, Fr. Michael White, pastor of the Church of the Nativity and author of the book Rebuilt published an article entitled, “Why We Don’t Encourage (Little) Kids in Mass.” At his mega-parish, kids are expected to attend a children’s program while parents attend Mass. Since I was raised attending weekly Mass and now bring my four children every Sunday, this article made my blood boil.
This weekend marked my first wedding anniversary and I wanted to reflect on the some of the feelings and spiritual lessons that I have learned along the way this past year.
You speak of “us” and “them.” You say that “they” are the source of “our” problems. You beseech the Lord to enlighten “them” to be more like “us,” and you thank God that you and those who think like you are on the right side of history, unlike “they” who are sinners. (3)
Have you not heard that we are all members of Christ’s body?
So the power of the female Catholic is nothing new. It is as old as the women of the Bible. But I fear it is often untapped. If we Catholic women concentrate our efforts on ascertaining more “power” from within the hierarchy, we may be attempting to bring about change, but are not doing it with the full strength of our femininity.
More than ever, I’m asking myself now, why am I still Catholic? Should I stay or should I go? (Cue the song)
I want to shout out trust no one! Yet, Christ still calls me on the carpet and says “will you leave too?” Within that I recall the phrase “The gates of hell shall never prevail” (Matt 16:18).
I don’t want to write this blog post. I’ve started it or something like it six or seven times now, only to throw away my work. But it has to be done and I feel that I need to do it. I’m going to write about the current sex scandals in the Church… What we are witnessing in the Church is a revelation of something that has been going on for a while.
I had been shouldering the burden of chronic anxiety and depression for years before I had learned about mindfulness. For years, I had trained my mind to ignore the root of my illness (a history of abuse) and to cope with its symptoms: my pent-up nervous energy, my over-analyzing of every social situation, my intense self-scrutiny, my hyperactive mind going to work on all my fears and insecurities.