February 11, 2007

The Many Faces of Cathy

Recently, I was exchanging email with my friend, Adoro and we spoke about some of our nicknames. We also spoke about our blog aliases.

I realized I have a LOT of names.

Here is a PARTIAL list:

Ja
Jan
Janet
Janie
Janice
JL
Cathy
Catherine
Cat
Cathy_of_Alex
Cathy_of_Alexandria
Makwa-Aazhogebizo-Gitchigami
Dear
Sweet Baboo
Wild Child
The Scammer

All me.

I've been reflecting upon my various identities lately. I don't mean to give the impression that I suffer from DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder). All of us have multiple aspects to our personalities. We are not different people with the company we are in. But, we may draw upon a certain aspect of our personality depending upon the company we are in.

For instance, in some gatherings your scholarly personality may be more appropriate. In others, your nurturing personality. In still others, your practical joker side may be dominent.

Your friends and loved ones may identify you by certain aspects of your persona. In the family, you may be known as the "stable one". Among your friends, you may be the "life of the party".

In all your shades of your personality are you the same witness for Christ and His Church? Do all of your social circles have any idea how strong your Faith is?

I ask myself this question, and the honest answer is: no.

I tone my Faith down depending upon who I'm with. I'm just too lazy, or too cowardly to bring it up so I mumble something unintelligible or I'm silent.

A friend asks: "What are you doing Tuesday evening?"
"Well, I have a standing appointment"
Rather then stating the full truth: "I have a standing hour of Eucharistic Adoration at my parish every Tuesday evening. I hate to miss it. It's really important to me."
"What's THAT?"
"I'm glad you asked. Catholics believe....."

See what I mean?

When the opportunity to testify about an aspect of our Faith arises, I usually fall flat on my face.

In today's Gospel we read:

Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!
Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.
--Luke 6:22-23

Well, that NAILED it. That's just exactly what I fear the most. Being cast out. Reviled. Not cool. I should rejoice when that happens but I don't.

It's easy to write on this blog about being a great witness to the Faith. It's harder to actually talk to someone face to face about it. It's harder to actually DO something then write OR talk about it, isn't it? Certainly, I usually find that to be so.

I have no answers. Other then keep trying. If anyone has any ideas to share, have at it in the comment boxes!

8 Comments:

Blogger Angela Messenger said...

Cathy...er..Janice..er...fellow blogger! - interesting observations. I also bring out different parts of my personality depending who I am with. BUT - if I am talking to a pagan/lapsed Catholic/protestant/whatever AND the Church comes up - I go for it. But I don't try to be obnoxious about it. I try to tailor what I am saying to their experiences or background and even interest level. Cuz sometime they really are not interested, they are just making conversation. Every situation is unique and I just keep praying the Holy Spirit will teach me what to say. That has brought about some amzing results - one conversation got a friend of birth control pills but she was also really open too.

Pray for grace Cathy - for you and your listener. And pray for boldness!

February 11, 2007 2:48 PM  
Blogger Angela Messenger said...

Uh..that should have said OFF birth control pills.

February 11, 2007 2:49 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

Janice, sometimes I have that problem, too. But now my co-workers know that my faith is important to me. I don't go strutting aroudn talking about it, but occasionally a religious topic comes up so they ask questions.

My problem is that I can talk about it, but I can't always live up to it. I'm crabby, annoyed, irritated, etc about different things and I just can't seem to stop myself from shooting my mouth off. So in practice, I'm not always a good witness for Christ. I don't swear, though, or use bad language, and I learned recently that this is very much noticed.

It's ofen in the small things we do and in how we live; not such much that we're "preching" what we know, but living it. St. Frances wasn't so much one to speak, either.

"Preach the Gospel; if necessary, use words."

February 11, 2007 3:35 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Angela and Adoro: I knew my readers would come through! Good ideas.

February 11, 2007 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Terry said...

Many saints were discreet about their devotions and prayer - Pier Giorgio's family never realized half of what he did.

"Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed" - The Lord often lets our virtues shine, I don't know that we have to tell everyone everything.

If you read my last post - you can see how well I've done being an outcast.

I wanted to post on today's gospel as well - my angle would have been - I deserve to be reviled, excluded, etc. because of my obnoxious behavior - yet that is how I've learned humility - and continue to learn. As St. Therese, I still rejoice in my abjection, because the Lord blesses me afterwards, when I repent and when I'm humbled.

As M. Teresa always said, "Humiliations are the stepping stones of humility" - and the Lord blesses the humble.

Does that make any sense at all?

February 11, 2007 6:09 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Yes, Terry, I'm following you. I'll have to stop by and see what you blogged about.

February 11, 2007 7:53 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Jeepers, creepers, a guy has to really become obsessive to get in on the great conversations you folks create.

Blogger III should have some kind of alert system to let us know when Cathy of Alex is at the Ambo!

February 11, 2007 8:37 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Ray: Yes, so everyone can FLEE! Ha-ha.

February 12, 2007 4:02 AM  

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