Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

11 April 2012

Fall In!

“Lapsed” Catholics…
The above contains one author's perspective on the survey that I referenced in an earlier post by Fr. Robert Barron.  Since the immutable (faith-'n'-morals) aspects of the Catholic faith have been points of contention, no matter how well or how often explanations have been offered, better explanations will not suffice to change people's hearts and minds.

If I were to reduce my "position" on all this to a succinct phrase, it would be: fall in.

I know that this phrase may suggest the arrogance that the lapsi have long lamented; such is not my intention.  "Fall in" not in the sense of blind, unquestioning obedience (which may have worked once but no longer) but rather in the sense of love.  Love, the intelligent decision that doesn't depend on feelings.  Love, the commitment within which things gradually make sense.  Love, the steadfast, outward and upward movement to identify-with.  Not only is it a "getting over oneself," but it is also a "getting into the Other" that reveals oneself in one's true significance--not without sacrifice, yet not without fulfillment.

Give yourself a chance in the Church.  Give yourself another chance, and even another.  Give the benefit of the doubt to the you-know-what clergy, religious, layperson who…

...refused or deferred a permission for something because your choices disqualified you, or who levied legitimate restrictions because he or she saw that you could do better
...had a bad day
…at that moment lacked the words, the presence of mind, or the courage to explain why, for now or for ever, that decision had to stand
...indeed has a serious bone to pick with humanity and therefore needs to examine his or her approaches to, and motivations for, ministry

Two truths exist in constant, life giving tension:
1) Any given servant may be the only Bible, Roman Missal, Catechism, or Code of Canon Law that someone may read;
2) One monkey don't make no show.

Speaking for clergy: we are quite human--more human than most!  We sometimes forget that our life's work and play is the growth of our people and not our own convenience.

But we also dare to represent a Law that did not originate in us yet that we must obey (in our own decisions and in our interactions with others).  If and when we make it hard for people to "fall in," may God help us to make it right, one person and one encounter at a time, with whatever encouragement and instruction is necessary.  Never at the expense of the Truth, however, because nobody deserves that.

No comments:

Post a Comment