Thursday, May 28, 2015

True Belief, True Repentance, and the Saints Who Help Us On This Journey

Did you read Matt Walsh’s latest (or one of his latest) posts Maybe Christianity in America is Dying Because It’s Boring Everyone to Death?
I have to say, this just made me feel even more thankful for the “vibe” of my own parish, and the passion I see in the members of its community.

Catholicism and our culture today needs true belief and true repentance. These are the things that I admire in the members of my parish.  These are the things that the world needs.  What do I mean by that?

1. True (sincere)

First of all, the Church needs sincerity.  This means a disposition of really meaning what we say and living it out.  The church right now suffers from dissipation. Perhaps it is an apathy because of the various weeds that need to be uprooted. Perhaps it is because of greed, or entertainment-saturation, or materialism arising from great wealth. Whatever it is, we need to shed the snake skin of discouragement, cynicism, and apathy, and rise up, claiming all of the blessings and all of the responsibilities that go with Truth and Sincerity about Truth.

2. Belief

Second of all, we need faith. We need to find our roots and our tent stakes in our forefathers and mothers… the men and GREAT women on whom our faith is founded.*

3. True (from the heart)

In addition to being sincere, we also need to have a disposition of conviction, and passion.  We can’t approach anything without a conviction about right and wrong, with a real fear of God and a healthy skepticism of modernity. When I was in college, I took some time off to work as an intern at a small bookstore in Charlottesville, Virginia.  My love for books and for all things Catholic was a tiny sprout, and I had no idea those roots would come to fruition and become a lively branch later grafted into the great tree of Catholicism.  Catholicism became for me a huge, steady tree, while Protestantism seemed a tangle of disconnected vines, in contrast. The Real Presence in the Eucharist tied it all together for me. We need a disposition that is from the heart: truly passionate and on fire in the true Pentecostal (in the spirit of the Pentecost) sense of the word.

4. Repentance

Repentance can mean so much more than Confession. It can mean a prayer of repentance. It can mean going to the person you have wronged, apologizing, and asking for forgiveness. It can be going to God and doing those same things. It can be an act of service, as a way of doing outward penance for inward sins. It can be simply doing the daily readings, and while letting the words wash over you, allowing your subconscious take the reins and your heart be convicted about the wrongs you have committed, whether in public or private. Repentance. We need it! True Confession is deep and powerful. Consider this!

all lyrics to this hymn can be found here


G.K. Chesterton~ I read his autobiography in 9th grade and wrote a paper on him, which ignited my love for him early on. Most people have heard of him, but if you haven’t read him, do! He was a great thinker, writer, and apologist who lived in GB from 1874-1936.   I read The Man Who Was Thursday on a plane going somewhere in high school, in addition to some of his stories, and in college I read Orthodoxy for the first time. Later in life, I skimmed copies of St. Thomas Aquinas and his collection of Christmas and Advent reflections, and then I read St. Francis of Assisi, which is just pretty much incredible. I still want to, everything.  I have long admired his essays, especially “The Ethics of Elfland,” and “The Suicide of Thought,” and "The Paradoxes of Christianity," I was privileged to review Chesterton is Everywhere by David Fegerberg for Catholic Mom. I’m currently working my way through The Father Brown Mysteries.

*Fulton Sheen~ If you’ve never read Freedom Under God, do. It will change your life- or maybe at least your understanding of the American political landscape, especially as it contrasts with God's ways. He is a fan of neither Communism, nor Capitalism (necessarily), but rather Distributism and freedom for workers who are currently slaves to industries because of our current political landscape. (Or the landscape of a couple of decades ago, which some would argue- hasn't changed much). And remember his words: You can separate Church and State just about as easily as you can separate the head from the body, without killing the soul of something.

*St. Therese of Lisieux~ a woman who was obedient to the will of God and taught others her little way- in fact a doctor of the church, not messing around. St. Therese had a lot- A LOT - to do with this person's (that would be me) conversion.  She prayed for me. She prayed me into the Church!
{technically speaking, G.K. Chesterton and Fulton Sheen have causes for sainthood at this time}.
cross-posting at the ACWB today.


October Rose said...

I didn't realize that GK Chesterton had a cause open for sainthood!

I love St. Therese so much! She really is amazing about seeking people out before they even think to turn to her. :)

Tacy said...

He does! If I'm not mistaken. I learned that from the Fountains of Carrots podcast, I think.