Saturday, 14 June 2008

Feeling the Heat

Since moving to Suffolk I've spent a lot of time with my niece and nephew... One is 3 and the other is coming near to 18 months. I always find it funny that when they get tired, they get grumpy, yet in order to calm them down their Dad asks them both (remember their ages) if they are feeling the heat to which they respond by nodding their heads.

I feel a bit like that just now... I've recently come off what was a bit of a mammoth diet; and I'm finding it difficult to actually accept that I have lost weight, but more so accepting that because of my nature, I cant eat how everyone else seems too - otherwise KABOOM!

It's also interesting that as this confusion sweeps in, I all of a sudden cant be bothered with my faith. I cant be bothered to pray, I cant be bothered to go to mass and I cant be bothered with the Church.

I think one of the problems for me is that I give up all to easily at times... Somehow I manage to just narrow my mind into the one solution and all other solutions become pointless and thus out of my line-of-sight.

Yet the problem with the Church that continuously seems to be presented before me is that on one hand you have a bunch of people who go to Mass, get the God loves you story, receive communion and then go home, forget about God, go sleep with their girlfriends, use contraception, support all the labour party policies, accept everyone for who they are and that is it. They repeat the process day in and day out without any public challenge from the church.

Now on the other hand you have the uberdox Catholics who are generally faithful to doctrine, faithful to the life of prayer and so on, but who then bang on and on about the liturgy, bang on about dinners with Cardinals and bang on about the vestments the Pope wore. All of which to me seems so far removed from the vision of evangelisation and the life of grace that the Gospels promise and speak of. I was in the Pub last night and everything that my mates talked about was around jokes in NUTS magazine and my mate sharing the latest detective trick that he is learning in his police training. Not about vestments and clothes - normal people don't care about that.

I feel a little bit like St. Peter in Quo Vadis where he aks Quo Vadis Domine - Lord where are you going? And just like the response in Quo Vadis I know the Lord is going to ask me to go where I don't want too... Because that is where He Himself is going. Yet when the Lord responded to St. Peter, Peter responded with Joy - Can I do that?

As I sit here watching the World Triathlon Championships in Vancouver I realise that like those athletes pushing and pushing for a medal; I need to keep pushing physically, intellectually, spiritually and have the desire and will in my heart in order to keep striving to be faithful and in order to get to Heaven. And it is a Triathlon, it is hard and we will probably be falling over the line rather than sprinting, be we have to get there.

I think at times we all feel the heat, it's just about pushing and remembering that nobody is perfect, least of all 'me'; but in looking to Jesus Christ and in following Him and His Church, rather than a movement or a sect, we find salvation and with St. Peter, we find Joy.


holdingonforaHoyos1962 said...

Could not agree more with your sentiments. My own experience of the culture we live in is that people are mostly concerned about the immediate, the visible and the stimulating. Matters philosophical and religious are an embarrassment and seem irrelevant because people do not trust there is such a thing as truth and don't see that truth being explained coherently or acted out by us in their community. Sadly, 'see how those Christians love one another' is not as common a reaction as it should be. I think, like you say, that the reaction of the man on the Clapham omnibus to the current pant-wetting over the High Mass (something that I was quite interested in myself) will probably be 'see how those Christians bang on about lace and birettas'. Your blog makes the point that we need to bring Christ to others: this will only be achieved if we acknowledge where the others of our culture (our fellow UK citizens) are at.

They weren't at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday.

John Paul said...

And let it be known I'm not opposed to such lace and birettas; I fully support it... What I do not support is the constant talk on liturgy... Fair enough blogs like the NLM should be concerned with it, but others need to start talking about things that matter to everyone and presenting a coherent message of the Gospel which is both lived and preached in a manner of charity and love.