Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Catholic Forum?

It's just one of those things that is a blip on my mind's radar from time to time.

I think of my schoolwork at College, my initiation into things true, good and beautiful, graduating, and then being left to the seas of everyday life in an apathetic and sometimes cruel world.

Most of the people out there never have heard of Christendom, let alone the sacred and real principles for which my Alma Mater stands. As a student, especially as a senior, I remember feeling the impulse to get out and prove myself, do God's work, and open a can of Catholic-Whoop-N'-It to take over the world for Christ.

And then, when that moment finally came and I was on the other side of the threshhold, it was, in some ways, kind of like being overwhelmed by being underwhelmed, even disenfranchised, realizing that, hey, the world just doesn't give a damn. And it's not that the world--the culture, the people we meet, etc.--is always virtiolic in it's wayward apathy. No, it is much more like Peter from the movie Office Space, when he says, "It's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."

Often, when it comes to reconquering the world for Christ, it's easy to get disheartened by the seeming banality of everything.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of listening to Bishop Loverde speak on here at Holy Family on leadership of the diocese, specifically about the growth we are experiencing. And despite all that, as a lay person, even though I work for a wonderful parish despite its failings, I feel left out of the ever-allusive "Catholic thing" in some ways.

Maybe it's the general architecture. Or the commute. Or the vast communties of sprawl that disfigure once beautiful countryside for miles on end. I don't honestly know. Death by suburbia is a reality for sure and it's lackluster ethos effects us probably more than any of us realize or may be willing to admit.

And when you become part of a place like Christendom, it never really leaves you. It has been said that if you stay in a place long enough, you become that place. True. True. But then you leave because life goads you on and calls you to higher purpose.

Wonderful. But always, or at least someimtes, I find myself looking back to that sense of purpose and belonging, even granduer, I felt as a student.

Often, it was great. And then enter, the real world, awakening me from my reverie, and there is definite vacancy of tangible purpose other than the Divine Mandate, as if that were insignificant. The previous inculcation of the highest things leaves you spoiled and wanting more, but looking left and looking right, you don't see that desire mirrored by anyones else usually except pedants.

Historian Sir John Julius Norwich comments that, in Byzantium, you could find bums on the streetcorners debating the Virginity of Mary and the dual natures of Christ. Well, I don't think one needs me to say it, but we are certainly a fair cry away from that in our society

Perhaps I am not alone in feeling this way, but I guess I get a sense sometimes of "this all there is." Routine can be a killer, especially when it seems so easy and alluring to get lost in adventure, whether fiction or non-fiction.

I guess this leads me to the title of my post, albeit in a roundabout way. Many of us were once part of a forum that confers an identity by just being a part of it. That's a cool thing, but should it end once you leave the doors, or shouldn't it continue in some fine way after the fact?

Over and out.



Anna said...

Ah Nick, you have struck at the very heart of the problem of the new evangelization. If we can overcome the isolation of modern suburan life, it would seem that then this work could begin more in earnest. Until then, prayer, work, and EWTN I suppose are keeping many afloat.

Anonymous said...

Anna, I couldn't agree more. Modern suburban life=isolation.

Isn't a sad thought to think that for many their only connection to the social Catholic order is EWTN?

We can do better. We must!


Ben Hatke said...

This is also what the Ball and the Cross is about. Two guys who want to fight over The Questions that Matter, but everyone else wants to lock them up for it!

Anonymous said...

Now everyone thinks of the Faith as "Ball and Chain," er, something like that...