Friday, May 18, 2012

Not That the Face of Christ Needs Clarifying...

...but evidently my last write-up does. :-)

Which, on a side note, explains why I feel my blog has failed in recent years. I don't follow-up, I don't clarify, I don't solidify where I should. To think I need to address and clarify and solidify everything I write would be, at best, egotistic, and, at worse, neurotic of me. I don't care to leave the impression that my opinion counts for much. I know this blog is a small spider inside a huge web of banana spiders and flies and wasps and knats and mosquitoes and other insects.

So I don't excuse myself, which can also be an egotistical and neurotic state of mind but it is really simple. My family life is too busy and I like that. If I was always present here before this screen and not bubbling along with my family, that would be egotistical and neurotic. My blogging is sporatic and vague, so it remains a scrapbook and I love scrapbooks. Scrapbooks don't tell the whole story, they hardly clarify, follow-ups are random, and they are only solidified in the person's memories.

Still, sometimes, especially when you take one's writing into a serious realm of discussion, I think clarification is a good thing. Afterall, I am a Catholic wife/mom and this is a Catholic blog and I don't want anyone to misunderstand the Church's teachings or my obedience to God's law. This is one of those times I'm forcing myself to clarify on my scrapbook because the Church and its teachings so need clarification.

So, without further ado...

After my recent post, a faithful, passionate Catholic took me to task concerning it and I appreciate it. I enjoy constructive criticism actually because it makes me think outside the box, gives me another's perspective, and, in this case, helps clarify the Church's teachings. This time is also showed that we were more in agreeance than not and that reveals part of Satan's plan to make us think we are against each other so that we turn us against each other and do not listen (or try to listen) intently to what the other is saying.

Another reason I enjoy feedback from readers; I never want anyone to think that I think I have all the answers. It goes without saying that I don't.

First of all, it helps to know the mindset I was addressing in my last write-up. I was thinking of, not the issue so much as the younger generation involved. I was writing the issue from the thought-process of today's young people who have been infiltrated, sometimes despite the parents' best efforts, with society's perception of marriage in the 21st century. I'm surrounded by kids and I love it and I love them. I try to respect their ideas and their views, knowing that when I was their age I neither understood the Church's teachings and certainly wasn't all that interested in it, if truth be told. It wasn't that I was against it as much as I didn't care.

Going to the beach this Memorial Day weekend, worrying if I'd make passing grades, wondering if so and so liked me, irritated by what so and so had said about me...that was life and my reality. My immature brain couldn't think beyond that. There were truths I was told that irritated the heck out of me and I didn't have the time or desire to discern what was Truth.

The people who brought me closer to my faith were the ones who simply smiled at my immaturity and lack of focus. (Well, they probably did more but it was their smile and kindness that welcomed me.) They smiled and they listened. At times they told me the Truth, gently and patiently, then resorted back to just listening, no matter how goofy and ignorant my reasoning was. Their smile told me that they understood, that they weren't judging me, that they remembered when they were my age, and that they were listening. For some reason the simple understanding I saw in their smile was what changed my heart and then my mind and, from there, my will. I learned to quite talking and to start listening. And when I listened, God spoke to me.

"I was brought closer to God and my Catholic faith by people who were kind and respectful of my ignorance, not in contempt of it.

"The Church is a Mother and a Bride. There's a reason it is portrayed under these images. The heart of a child is guided towards home by his mother. After he arrives home, it is because of the warm love of his mother that his heart is open to listen to the instruction and wisdom of the father. A child must be led kindly and gently into the Church before he is receptive towards the power of Its wisdom.

"So...onto the clarifying which I think, in this matter is a very good thing, because our Catholic faith needs to be evangelized and renewed and all Catholics are called to be part of this renewal process...I share the concerns brought to my attention the other day. Because I addressed the reader it in a ragtag fashion, I will tidy up my writing and sharpen the points here a bit better.

I wrote the following:

"There again, the image of looking through the bedroom keyhole disrupts our whole image of the world and those in it. We keep our sinful eye on that keyhole and label these people as corrupt and nasty. We don't pause and remember the people themselves. Very nice people, all of them. People we worked with. People we went to the beach with. People we partied with. People we got into trouble with. People we once spoke to on a daily basis. We remember them as funny, polite, kind and, chances are, they still are."

Concerned reader wrote:

"To me, (this is) not what I feel. we don't hate homosexuals. ...Most times it's our defense against what is posted; like that poster picture. It's not a hostile defense, it's a saddened defense, that all that we hold holy is being trampled upon and we are suppose to just lay down and let it happen. I don't agree with that."

 My response:

"I know you and others don't hate homosexuals. I never said y'all did. My exact words were: While there are brash homosexual people out there we love to hate, there are also brash hetrosexual people out there as well (meaning it doesn't matter if you're homosexual or hetrosexual, there is someone out there we clash with and I think personality has more to do with it).

"We are Christians, so we love instead."
"A saddened defense? I agree! You think I'm not saddened and grieved as well? I even wrote in the original post: I told all three younger generational people that there was nothing 'funny' about the poster above. It's a sad situation, I said, for our country and for our culture. Just sad.
"I'm also a realist. These battles have been around since before Christ. Being saddened doesn't change anything. Being aware, being realistic makes me change the way I treat others...for the better.
"I never said to lie down and let it happen. I am saying, as Christians, we should feed someone...with Mother Teresa as our model."

Concerned reader wrote:

"Also, what does happens in the bedroom does affect the Body of Christ. If people leave the Church, no, we are not to blame and shifting their free will actions upon us is unfair."

My response:

"Emphatically agree which is why in this blog post {What About Those Sinners} I wrote: 'I personally think sex needs to go back into the bedroom where it belongs. It does not need to be on our streets, in our schools, on the Internet, on our library shelves, etc.'

"Something beautiful and holy, something that fuses our will to God's Will, something that is ordained by God should be kept sacred and never exploited."

Concerned reader:

"I understand and agree with what you're more or less saying here but think about it. To you it's important that you write and share like your blog....you share what's important to you....but yet, it feels as though you're saying that others can't and shouldn't do that."

My original answer:

"I never said others can't and shouldn't share their thoughts. Anyone can write and share a blog. The comments are open at my blog and discussion is always welcome."

Plus my additional thoughts added to my disjointed original:

"Oh, dear, I hope I don't stiffle people's input here. True, Facebook has taken over much of the discussions that used to happen on message boards, eloops and blogs but I hope I'm not a wet blanket. I don't mean to be.

"What I write here are my thoughts, my ideals, my concerns, my words. My writing is certainly not the beginning and end of the means. Never. 

"Anyone can write; few do."

Concerned reader:

"As you've said before, you don't claim to be a theologian, but there are theologians that do know what they're talking about."
My response (one I am hesitant to share but...):

"Several theologians also do not agree with one another." (and, because this reality makes things so incredibly sticky for the common layman...) This is a sad reality. When theologians cannot agree with one another and openly disclaim one another, it confuses and disheartens the public. The people begin to believe the zealous blogger over the dissenting theologians.

"And yet...

"We no longer live in a world where only the town pastor is giving us the Church's message and instruction; we live in a world where we can go directly to the Holy See and read the Apostolic Letters by the Predecessor of Peter, read that host of glorious encyclicals online, and, if reading and personal study is not our thing, we can tune into the Eternal World Television Network and get taught the rich Catholic faith.

"I am not saying we do not need theologians but today's Catholics can (and should) take it a step further. Theologians do not reach every Catholic layperson, but we are all give a mission at the end of Mass every weekend. We are told 'Go forth, the Mass is ended/ Go and announce the gospel of the Lord/ Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.' We are intructed to take God's word to others. One must (and can) look further, study harder, explore deeper. It is your duty to cloth yourself in knowledge and pray for wisdom.

If any lay Catholic feels inferior to the task, I challenge you to look into the lives f the saints and see how many were certified theologians. And share you findings with us all. 

Concerned reader:

"A lot of times it's not so much us looking into the keyhole but that 'they' are taking it out of the bedroom and shoving it in our faces. That cannot be denied."

My reply:

"How true that is.

Additional thought:

I'm thinking most people do become this way because they feel no one is listening to them. Like a young toddler whose parent cannot understand his request in the grocery store so he becomes demandingly louder and madder because the parent will not stop, go down on bended knee, take the small hand, and patiently, gently listen to his plea.

"Now I know that sounds trite. I know it is not realistic to think a mom can always be calm and collected with a demanding toddler in a grocery store. Believe me, I know!

"I had a child like this: Pebbles in my Pocket so, yes, I know what I speak of.  But we must strive for an ideal. Kind of like that Aaron Tippin song "You've Got to Stand for Something or You'll Fall for Anything". Which brings me full circle to my point about how Holy Mother Church instructs her children and sets standards (which some say are too overbearing and burdensome) towards that ideal. If there is no one to set an ideal for us to move towards we become no better than the animals which God set us in dominion over, we would act by instinct and nothing else, with no greater goal in life than to eat and sleep. If we have no Mother guiding us towards that ideal, we remain unruly and demanding. If our Mother does not listen to us, we dissolve and become no better than that screaming toddler in the grocery store.

"A Mother must be strong and consistent, but always listen with her heart.

{That's the 'ideal', anyway. (-: }

"My point is that maybe if we listened to these brothers and sisters more intently we would know their story and, in listening, win their hearts. Like the demanding toddler, if we took their hand and listened to their story they might not be so angry and vocal. If they had someone who listened, there is no need to yell. Christ did not win the heart of the adultress by casting a stone at her. Instead He cloaked her with His protection."

 Concerned reader:

"When something that offensive and against a Sacrament occurs it (should be defended).  I love my faith more than anything so I want to share the beauty of it; all of it, as God intends it."

My reply:
"Agreed! So share the beauty and the Truth shall make itself known."
{Again the perfect analogy of Mother Church being a both a mother and a bride.}

Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord.

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