Afraid of the Light? Afraid to move? Locked in a cocoon?
As mentioned in my January 21 blog, there are tremendous problems facing believers in contemporary times. Among the things we, too often, only bemoan are these:
- People “domesticating” God—making God in their own image;
- Thinking what we want is what we need;
- Government and secular pressures trying to lock faith up inside church and temple walls;
- Denial of marriage as being between one man and one woman;
- The growing hedonism in today’s world;
- And the hesitation, or refusal, of believers to leave their comfortable little cocoons to witness the love and glory of God.
It’s so very easy to leave church on Sunday all “giddy with grace” and little, if any, resolve to make things better.
However, we have dedicated lay people, committed clergy and religious who work tirelessly to form parishioners in the ways of our Lord.
Great strides are taken toward the Christian formation of each person and the entire parish community. Attention is given to worship, aid to the poor and homeless, and outreach to the non-practicing Catholic and to the unchurched.
All this requires tireless commitment to prayer, planning and execution of the plans.
However, as we diligently strive for success in these good efforts, there is a danger. Working hard in ministry, we can begin to lose sight of the cohesion of all ministries. The unity and growth of the community can be compromised. Also, ministers may experience “spiritual fatigue”—as they feel isolated from others, overworked and “put upon.”
But, this danger can be avoided.
“With simplicity of heart, I have joyfully offered everything to you my God.”[i]
With “simplicity of heart,” truly trusting God, each one of us can grow in faith and begin to influence the people we meet every day.
You may want to consider the following suggstions.
- Live your faith. Enter fully into the Eucharistic celebration.
- Daily remind yourself that God’s Word brings joy and light into boredom and darkness.
- Embrace God’s word in Scripture. Let it take root in the depths of your being. God’s Word is always new.
- Frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
- Pray constantly. Offer everything you do as a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God.
- Love one another deeply. Each day, pray for those with whom you work and minister. Soon others will more easily see the strength of faith-based love.
- Remember that faith is a gift. To grow in faith, you must surrender to our Lord.
If we so live, we will not become locked in a faith-cocoon, but we will be eager, ready and able to reach out to others. Then, people will be attracted to the Lord and his Church.
[i] Antiphon, The Liturgy of the Hours, Book I, pg. 808