Is it Enough?
Blog Article posted by Kathy McNicholas – September 27, 2017
Last night the current 7th graders and their parents met in church to begin the journey towards choosing the mission of Christ. I know, we used to call it Confirmation preparation, but that’s all changing. There was a time when you could assume that most 8th graders in a Catholic school or RE program had grown up with some kind of strong Catholic influence in their lives. Not today. Now you have to assume that they don’t know what an actual Catholic looks like, acts like, sounds like…so we start from the beginning. Rebuild from ground zero. (which is kind of a good thing, because it’s forcing us to think intentionally about what we are saying and doing.)
So this time, God asks me to make a fool of myself in front of them all. I say that I’m an NFL football player – why? Because I watch the games. I wear the clothes. I sing the fight song. I can name the great players from the past. I’ve been to the stadium. Isn’t that enough to earn me the title of member of the team? (And, yeah, two young smart alecks agree that it is, so now I’m feeling super awkward…)
The point, of course, is that it’s not enough. It’s not enough to go through the motions, or watch from the sidelines. That doesn’t make you a team player. And the same is true with our Catholic faith, right? It’s not enough to “make” your sacraments, show up at church on occasion, be able to name some of the saints, sing a few hymns, and call myself a Catholic. A member of Christ’s team.
Living Catholic is not a shallow, sidelines way of life. I mean, plenty of Catholics do live their faith that way – passive, receptive only, an observer in the stands. But that’s not our truest calling. That’s not what we were meant for. I think it’s supposed to be challenging. Rough and tumble. Earns you some bumps and bruises. I think you just keep getting back out there, you hope and pray that God sends you some really strong teammates, and you pick up your cross and go to work.
My sister always says, “You don’t have to believe in God to be a good person.” She’s probably right; I know lots of good people who don’t believe in a God. The thing is, when you are baptized, you’re not made for goodness, you’re made for holiness. You’re called to holiness – and you won’t get there without actively engaging God’s help.
So how do you become an active member of Christ’s team? I asked that very question – and got three great responses:
- Go to Mass
- Give your heart to God
Maybe we’re on to something here….
— Kathy McNicholas