December 05, 2010

You Are Such a Good Catholic!

You're a Good One, Cathy of Alex..(sung to tune of "You're a Queer One, Julie Jordan") Proof yet again that Tim Ferguson I am not!

Some of you know that a cousin of mine has been very critically ill. About 5 days ago the unhappy phone calls were making the rounds among the family-the "brace yourself" calls. Basically, it was so dire that no one expected him to live much longer than 24 hours. He is still having tests and is still in the ICU. However, he is going to live-that alone is a miracle. It's that bad. He has a LONG and HARD road ahead and is never ever going to be 100% the way he was before the illness.

However, I am totally and 100% convinced that prayer saved him. I used the power of social networking and had just about everyone I know and barely know praying for him. Of course, no social network can beat the power of 1-1 with the Lord via His Mother and I took full advantage of the power of the Rosary. Thank you to everyone who prayed for him. I continue to be overwhelmed that total strangers will take a few moments out of their day to talk to God on behalf of another person. This is the power of Christian witness.

I was on the phone with one of his sisters on Thursday, after we knew the worst had passed, and after I told her I had recruited untold numbers of people to pray for him and had been praying hard myself she said "You are such a good Catholic!" in her ironic and humorous voice. She meant it but he she didn't mean it. Really, she has no idea what she's talking about. She is a nominal Lutheran/Southern Baptist. She was raised Lutheran by a Mom who left the Catholic church in a rage because she had a disagreement with a priest. She married a Southern Baptist and they, sort of, attend meetin'. In other words, she goes to church when she feels like it but that doesn't stop her from very much proclaiming that "she has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ". In my snarkier moments, I've commented back "How can you have a relationship with someone you barely see?" But, like many christians today, faith is not supposed to be something you work at continually or something you live daily and constantly. Faith is not supposed to inconvenience you in any way. I always get this heartbreaking image of Jesus waiting around alone for the people who never come. It's like if Jesus at the Last Supper was all alone because the Apostles and Disciples decided they'd rather be somewhere else and He broke His Body and offered His Blood for an audience of no one.

But, isn't that really how it is? This week, after 6 years, my parish closed Adoration. For 5 years, every Tuesday, I've given one hour to watching with Christ. But, not everyone "gets it"-so much so that they've had trouble filling hours and with our parish status uncertain a decision was made. I'm not happy about it. Adoration was one the things that drew me to the parish when I was seeking and now it's gone. I think a parish without Adoration is like a rotten tree-looks ok on the outside but no living core. I know I'm going to get into trouble for saying it, but I can't help how I feel about it all. The parish we are merging with has Adoration, Thanks Be to God, and I'll probably move there but I'm still upset.

I should just throw up my hands and chalk it all up to yet another example of people who went on feasting as the flood waters approached. Some are never going to be on fire with love for God, some people are always going to be lukewarm. It's horrible. I feel like I'm failing. I have a love and enjoyment for something that I can't even express. How seldom did I even try to explain to people what Adoration meant and means to me and my journey as a Catholic follower of Christ? I bear a measure of responsibility for the closure of the Adoration Chapel. I don't feel like I did enough evangelization.

Which brings me back to my cousin's comment: "You are such a good Catholic" My response to her was "No". I'm really not. But, I know I need to try. Is that better? Some people, including many in my own family, gave up decades ago.

What to do for them? What can be done? Should I even worry? Some days I think "Screw it, I'm going to worry about myself" That is probably the selfish and entirely erroneous response but there it is.

Yet, shame remains becuase I know in my heart of hearts that sometimes I'm lukewarm. If I was really passionate, I may have done something to get more people to spend an hour in Adoration with God each week.


Blogger Tom in Vegas said...

First and foremost, I'm HAPPY to hear that your cousin has made a recovery of a sort. I will most assuredly pray for him and for all of your family.

Second of all, your parish closing is a heartbreak to me as well. The idea of a Catholic Church shutting down is wholly unnatural to me, but atlas it does happen. You don't know what Divine Providence has in store in the future for the congregants of both parishes- the one closing and the other absorbing the influx. Perhaps people who were meant to meet will, in fact, meet and fulfill His will somehow. I'm just speculating, of course, but it's in His nature to bring good out of bad.

Finally, you CANNOT reach everyone. Heck, even if you were able to speak face-to-face with everyone alive there are still those who would never listen, therefor never experience a conversion. We do the most we can and then God takes up the rest in His wisdom and grace. He is, after all, the sovereign Lord of history.

December 05, 2010 4:51 PM  
Blogger Angela M. said...

Elisabeth Leseur Quote:

To learn from the Heart of Jesus the secret of love for souls and deep knowledge of them: how to touch their hurts without making them smart and to dress their wounds without reopening them; ... to disclose Truth in its entirety and yet make it known according to the degree of light that each soul can bear. The knowledge required for the apostolate can be had only from Jesus Christ, in the Eucharist and in prayer.

December 06, 2010 2:09 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Thanks Tom and Angel Baby

December 06, 2010 6:21 PM  
Blogger Georgette said...

Hey Cathy, I did not know your cousin was sick....I've been rather busy lately and not able to make the blog rounds, forgive me. I will add him to my prayer list. I am happy that the Lord has answered the many prayers for him so far. You are right, it is a continuous "trying" that MAKES you a good your cousin was quite right, you ARE a good Catholic! Ah, we all have families like this these days...keeps us on our knees.

Angela, I love Elizabeth Leseur--isn't she a blessed or venerable? If she is not, she should be.

Tom, I agree!

December 08, 2010 5:42 PM  

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