Why I can’t leave the Catholic Church

John Gehring, a journalist for the National Catholic Reporter, eloquently sums up my feelings in a recent article:

The church has always been a flawed, sinful, human institution filled with darkness and light. In part, I go to church these days to grapple with those contradictions, to find healing in the Eucharist and strength standing next to my fellow weary travelers.

The news that broke last week has caused me, along with a most every Catholic, great distress. My initial reaction was to run as fast as I could the other way because how could I possibly remain in a church that allowed such tragedies to occur. And yet, I still found myself at mass this Sunday. In fact, I went more often last week than in previous weeks. But why was I even more drawn to a place that is currently associated with such deep sin? Because deep down I know that the Church has always been associated with sin but it is also the source of great healing. Just as John Gehring points out, Catholics are extremely flawed and there has been corruption in the Church since its inception. Jesus chose Peter, a weak-willed man, to found his universal Church. I believe Jesus was so wise that he knew Peter would fail, he knew the Church he built would be deeply flawed, but it had to be so that it could be saved by love. We only need God if we are broken. That’s the wonderful paradox we live in, without our evilness, our greed, etc… there’s no place for love. We need to have fallen in order to be raised up. At this time our Church is in dire need of healing and it is our calling to be the antidote. We need to do as Jesus taught, we must live out his one commandment so that our joy be complete, “love one another as I love you” (Jn 15:11). Forget the details, forget the kinks. To follow God is to be love, to smile warmly at your children, help a friend in need, give generously of your time, money, space, etc… This is how we will rebuild the Church.

Peace,

Aurelija

The Big Change

The direction of this blog is changing. I often think about writing but don’t because I’m not really sure what it is it I want to say. I know there are great truths deep within me, a creative force seeking to pour out of me but I had yet to align myself properly and let it flow.

With the most recent sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church has come much anger and dialogue regarding what it means to be Catholic. What has become most obvious to myself, and hopefully others, is that the church is not the people who abuse and cover-up, who seek power and self-gratification. The Catholic Church is the people that live everyday seeking to bring Christ into this world, people living the love that God is. And there are lots of those people, so many more than the corrupt ones. Unfortunately, we don’t hear about them often because, in our culture, good news is not what we’ve been trained to see and appreciate. Our culture focuses on the negative, focuses on evoking emotions of anger and intolerance, instead of noticing and celebrating all the wonderful and awesome things of this world, those that reflect the radiance of God.

Over the past 30 years, I have been slowly transitioning away from my attachment to a vague, self-directed spirituality. I have been called to humbly commit myself to a set of guidelines in order to grow closer to the Divine Light. These guidelines happen to fall within the teachings of the Catholic Church.

From here on out, I will use this blog to highlight the many beautiful and inspiring aspects of the Church. My goal is to create a portfolio of what it really means to be Catholic, to illuminate the truth, goodness, and beauty of it all.

I hope you find some joy here, something to draw you away from apathy and into the warm embrace of hope and love.

Peace,

Aurelija