This is one of my favorite written pieces from any Catholic author, or otherwise for that matter. It expressed what I longed for when I first read it. My heart hurt so when I read posts by a pro-lifer which began with, "Oh, yeah, well, if you think that then you..." directed at those who commented in disagreement on a post. The standard justification for such a lack of civility was "I just tell it like it is." I had to hide the posts from my Facebook newsfeed.
I almost cried when a Catholic posted on Facebook that he had to sit by a gay couple and included the comment, "Gross." in his post. I'm pretty certain that if you believe that homosexuality is a cross--a burden--and one must live a chaste life, that you wouldn't call a person with such a cross, "gross." Another set of posts hidden from the newsfeed.
After my conversion--actually re-version several years after my conversion--to Catholicism, I was on fire for the Church. I read apologetics almost exclusively because that's where I was as a convert from an anti-Catholic background. When I first became a user of Facebook, I posted every article I thought was great and commented as often as I could on other posts, seeking to defend my lovely Church. I always did so in a civil, logical manner, but that doesn't change the fact that my objective was more about scoring points than winning hearts or minds. It was youthful enthusiasm. It was wrong. After all, I was immature and new in this Catholic faith of mine.
As I lived more and experienced more--joys and trials--I wanted less debate and more action. I wanted less division and more unity. I wanted less condemnation and more empathy. I yearned for fewer zingers and more substance. More God, still with no compromise.
I'm southern enough that bad behavior is offensive to my sensibilities. I'm Catholic enough that a lack of Christ and charity is hurtful to my heart. I've matured. I am still maturing. I can benefit from people like Heather King who are ahead of me on the journey. And I am always in need of much prayer.
from Heather King:
And write this in blood, on your heart:
“To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda or even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery; it means to live in such a way that one’s life would not make sense if God did not exist.”
--Cardinal Emmanuel Célestin Suhard, Archbishop of Paris 1940-1949
Another more recent post by Heather King:
The mark of the follower of Christ is not cogent arguments or airtight apologetics--I'm thinking of St. Thomas Aquinas's "All straw"--but a heart that bleeds.
I am not talking about sentimentality. I am talking about what Flannery O’Connor meant when she observed:“The Catholic writer, in so far as he has the mind of the Church, will feel life from the standpoint of the central Christian mystery: that it has for all its horror, been found by God to be worth dying for.”
|Mama painted this and it hangs by our door.|