The past few days have been *crazy* at work. The only reason I'm even able to blog right now is because I'm at the reference desk and I have a temporary lull in activity. Yesterday, when I got home I was (a) tired, (b) headachey, and (c) cranky. It's just been like that all week. I couldn't possibly be more excited about the fact that it is Friday. We have a cold front blowing through today, so although I don't think I'll get out to plant my seeds tomorrow, I do plan to commence my vegetable gardening research in earnest. Looking forward.
Now that I have a chance to breathe today, I was pondering blog topics that I store up in my little brain. One of them is what I call "Why Am I a Catholic?" heavily related to "Being a Catholic When It's Not So Popular." This is a topic near and dear to my heart, because my faith is so important to me. Yet, I'm a quiet person, so it's not something I really talk to people about unless they explicitly ask me. The reason this is on my mind I think is fairly obvious to everyone: the Church has been in the news lately about some child abuse cases.
Whenever the Church is in the news for something disturbing and/or generally unflattering in some way, the same reactions start to make themselves known. All sorts of people publicly declare that they won't give money to the Church anymore, that they feel ill at ease attending Mass or the sacraments, and overall that they just don't want to be Catholic anymore.
For whatever it's worth, this is my take on things: I always cringe when I hear those reactions. Because, let's face it, priests are human, and humans are going to make some pretty awful choices sometimes. But all of us are going to be held accountable for those choices before God someday. All we can do is try to put things right again in humility. So these types of terrible things that happen do horrify me (as well they should), but they do not shake my faith in the Church as the pillar and foundation of our Christian lives.
In my opinion, for many people that leave the Church, their faith (and their attachment to the Church) wasn't that strong at that point to begin with. I'm certainly not pointing negative fingers here; our faith lives are a journey, and everyone is at different places. I know what it feels like to struggle spiritually; it's not fun. But lashing out at the Church as a whole is not the answer. Weed the unhealthy vines, certainly, but hang on to the foundation.
Catholicism is the faith of my ancestors, but it's also the faith of my heart. To the extent that my piddly witness can work for the good of the Church, I pray that it bears fruit. In the end, I try to be a good Catholic, but oftentimes I fail. And sometimes, so we do we all.
I suppose it's never going to be popular to be Catholic. The whole celibate male priesthood in and of itself makes the Church ever so unpopular in everyday conversation, not to mention sanctify of human life and sexuality issues. In my mind, the day the Church becomes popular in the secular culture would be the day that would alarm me the most.
That's about all the brain power I have for today. I wish everyone a blessed weekend and holy Sabbath day :)