Sunday, August 22, 2010
A Sunday Meditation: Searching for the Truth
I've posted before about the Catholic Mothers' Board I'm on. I love these young moms all of whom are struggling to understand the faith in all its fullness. They are so precious and so open to loving and sharing every seeker who comes to the board. They have found the truth in the Catholic Church and are evangelizing one another in such a beautiful way. They edify me and give me great hope for the future as they raise their little ones in the faith.
Today I read the post of a young mom who has been away from the Church for awhile. From what she said, it's clear she never received good catechesis. Friends and family have counseled her to be a cafeteria Catholic, but she is honest enough to know that isn't right which is why she left and joined a Protestant congregation. But she knows something is missing and came to the board to share her heartfelt longing and her doubts over those things she does not accept. Her little one hasn't been baptized and she is wondering whether to baptize in the Church when she does not accept all the teachings. What a painful joy it is to be searching for the truth. And how many others out there are treading water in the same murky sea of doubt and confusion.
Here's what I wrote on the board in response to this dear young mom's crie de coeur. I share it here for others who are struggling with the decision to return to the faith or to explore the Catholic Church. How we long for you! Please don't delay.
Dear young mom,
Thank you so much for sharing your heartfelt story. As soon as I started reading your post I began praying for you. Many Catholics have been deprived of the faith through bad teaching and preaching. There are so many examples of public dissent, even from bishops and clergy, that it would be surprising if people WEREN'T confused.
We all start out as babies in the faith accepting things because our "mom" (Holy Mother Church) told us so. Then as we grow older we learn the whys. If you have your baby baptized in the Church you make the little one accountable as a Catholic, so you need to be able to make the promise to raise your children in the faith. But if you believe that the Catholic Church was founded by Christ (almost all other religions broke away from the Catholic Church) you are inside the door already. Do you accept the creed? That's the summary of our faith; everything else grows from that.
If you DON'T come back to the Church, you deprive yourself of God's greatest gifts: the sacraments of Holy Eucharist, Penance, and the Anointing of the Sick. Read John 6 for the Biblical imperative on the Eucharist. The one central thing that keeps me close to the heart of the Church is the Holy Eucharist. Every time each of us receives we become a living tabernacle carrying Jesus inside ourselves like Mary carried Him for nine months in her womb. You can't get closer to him than that. And even the wonderful fellowship of Protestant churches can't compare.
If you wait until you understand everything, you will never come back. Who understands all the mysteries of the faith? The Trinity? St. Augustine met a heavenly messenger (a little child) on the beach who was trying to empty the ocean into a pail. When he told the child it was impossible, the little one replied, "So is trying to comprehend the Trinity." We are all babies in the faith. Letting yourself be "fed" by the Lord is the first step. Remember what Jesus said about having faith "the size of a mustard seed."
Come back for the intimate love of Jesus and then explore all the glorious teachings. There are so many nay sayers out there who will try to keep you out, but they just don't understand.
God loves you so much and he misses that intimate union with you in the Eucharist.
I'm adding you to my rosary journal. Whenever my husband and I say our rosary we offer it for all the intentions recorded there. Join us by saying the rosary or a daily decade or even three Hail Mary's. The Blessed Mother will take you by the hand and lead you into the heart of the Church.