Monday, July 8, 2013

Lawn Chair Catechism

In chapter five we explore the first threshold, “Initial Trust."

 This is not the same as an active, personal faith.  It is a positive association with the Church that makes it possible to move closer to God.  It could be a Catholic friend, a good experience with a Catholic school or hospital, or maybe even a positive image of the faith portrayed in a movie or book:
The first task of evangelization is to find out if a bridge of trust already exists.
. . . Many don’t trust God or the Church, by they do trust a Christian in their life.  Maybe they trust you.  You may be the bridge that will one day lead them to a life-changing encounter with Christ.

For discussion: Join the conversation over at Catholicmom.com!

In your own faith:
  • How was the bridge of trust built for you?
  • Who are the people who helped you to come as far as you have in your personal journey?
  • Have you ever been that link of trust for another person?
For me, the bridge of trust in God was built prayer by prayer, mass by mass, person by person. That sounds a bit trite but it is how faith has grown in me.   People think because I have ten children, I always had a full Catholic life, but to be Catholic is to constantly recognize that your faith life is not full, that it is a drop in the ocean, that it will never be full, that we will never have "made it."  I can see where I have gone from a casual Catholic 2-3 mass or 1-2 if the month was bad...to a more conscious Catholic --where the mass became important..to a praying Catholic....where daily prayer became necessary, if not always pious, good or disciplined....to now as I am casting about, holding fast and waiting for firm direction as to what we are to do and the grace to do it.   This growth in devotion has seasoned over years and has ebbs and flows and miracles and times of extreme zeal and of fitful forgetfulness. 

When have I been a bridge of trust to others?   When I have been approached to pray. It is always an honor and a privilege to be asked to pray, and I am always moved, particularly when I am asked by people who do not know me well, and it has happened.  It is a tremendous thing that causes me to tremble, when I am asked.  I take it seriously because it is a charge, and a push both from the person and the Holy Spirit, to deepen my own relationship with God while petitioning for someone else.  

People who have helped me on my journey...aside from my husband, parents and children, there have been people who were pushers to move me to the next level of devotion, to move me out of my comfort zone, to make my "aren't I doing enough?" whiny soul move. God perpetually "moves my cheese."

To begin:  I prayed before going to college, that I would meet someone who loved me for me.  On the third day, I met the man who would become my husband.  I'd also prayed to have lots of people who loved me.  Ten kids constitutes a lot.   Some times I suddenly am struck, this prayer, this prayer you prayed has been answered. The thought comes like lightning, random and yet illuminating and I am dumbstruck in the moment. I knew my prayer was answered with the explanation point that was my daughter Anna, the tenth.  I could hear God laughing, answering, "I will give you all you ask and more besides."  Initial trust led to more intimate trust. 

The story arc continues.  When my oldest son was set to go to kindergarten, we couldn't get into the school, and I was told to get involved in the parish if this was my desire.  Trusting this advice, I signed up. The church came back and asked me to volunteer for a three year commitment of once a week meetings.  Somehow, I impulsively took a deep breath and agreed.  We trusted, and as I was pulled deeper in, my family followed.  We kept trusting as God gave us our fourth and then...when we got to five children, I was introduced to Father Dan.  He pulled us deeper in with requiring more regular prayer out of me, he pulled us to making it to mass every week.  Paul and his needs pushed us further still. 

Now we are here, we are going to mass, we are praying, and I know we're at one of those "Now what?" type moments of our faith, when we don't know how we're going to keep doing this but we're still doing this, and even writing this has made me realize, we're needing someone to help direct us deeper in, to help make the next part of our faith journey, more deliberate.  But to move forward, will once again require on our part, initial trust. 

1 comment:

LarryD said...

Hi Sherry - the link you have at CatholicMom doesn't work.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!