Practicing humility is just damn difficult for me.
No, not because I think I am all that and a bag of chips.
It is difficult to practice humility because my biggest character defect is Pride.
For instance, I have been struggling the past three days with a blog topic. I struggle with it because I am pretty convinced I am right and I am measuring that against the fact that my topic could seriously burn some people I have watched recently and I just do not want to do that anymore.
I don't want to do it for reasons many people won't get.
My reasons are not wrapped up in the Popularity Race. Unlike so many who loudly declare on their social media pages that they do NOT CARE what anyone thinks of them, I do care. I want to have a good and solid reputation, to be considered a woman of grace and dignity and I want to be someone you think to call if you are struggling in some way. That is my goal. I want to be kind. I want to be of service. That is my pride speaking. I want you to think well of me. However, I also want my actions to earn that reputation.
I know that it is impossible to be a Catholic today and have everyone like me. I get it and I understand that for some of you my wish to practice my Faith as well as I can bugs you. I am willing to let you go but I still want you to understand that if you need someone to listen to you, someone to prove to you that you are not alone and forgotten you have me. You are not alone. You are not forgotten. Unfortunately the person who has not forgotten you and is willing to sit and watch a movie with you happens to be a Lay Dominican who attends Mass every Sunday. Sorry about that - hope you can accept that and just revel in the knowledge that someone on this planet thinks you are worth 'it'.
So I struggled with a topic because I don't want to burn people.
I am keenly aware that most of them are uneducated when they scream they are PRE VATICAN II Catholics. They have no idea what that means, they have never read the documents of Vatican II and they have no idea how sad their present lives would be if they had come of age as a Catholic in 1935. It is okay. Again, I get it. They have discovered the traditional Latin Mass, they found the 1962 missal and they have listened to a podcast of some yahoo with a PhD who tells them Pope Francis is a heretic and they think they found the trouble and by golly they are going to scream their solution in your face.
I am older. I came of age at a time when I had a foot in both worlds. I saw changes that later I found out did not have to happen and I finally got the courage to learn about the Faith. I read the actual documents produced by Vatican II. It lead me to a deeper understanding of the role of the Holy Father and the Magisterium. I am deeply grateful for the Church Jesus founded.
I learned to disagree with The Pope when appropriate and to do it without being disagreeable. I learned to do that because I belong to an order over 800 years old, that has seen life through the eyes of Faith and has not waivered in its love for the Bishop of Rome, even when he didn't appear to care if he was loved or not.
I am so saddened as I watch good people stumble over themselves to screech their beliefs. I realize how they are just responding to the ugly they perceive but man, oh man....being double ugly back is just not the answer.
Father Dominic, our Patriarch, firmly believed in knowing his audience. In order to be an effective preacher, he got to know the people he was trying to reach. He was better at that than I because some of these people I got to know scared the living hell out of me and I want nothing to do with them. I don't want them near me or my family and especially my dog. They are severely disturbed. They are dangerous.
However, I also know that those people are far fewer than what would appear if one reads the online postings of the far left. They see the crazies under every rock. I know too many good people who reject their nutty beliefs while still holding to solid conservative values. It is sad they get painted with the same brush as people who would plot to kidnap a governor. And few people will note that it was members INSIDE those militias that tipped off the FBI about the ones who are dangerous.
Being a Catholic should means being able to look at what is going on without going off the deep end into either pool. It should mean being able to evaluate an argument or a statement without telling the person making the statement that they are going to hell. It should mean not engaging (as much as possible) in hyperbole (he's the MOST PRO LIFE PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE) and it means trying to be brutally honest in one's evaluation of an issue.
It should also mean being able to state Church Doctrine in a calm and honest voice. If I do not incite total acceptance I should try and foster mutual respect. You may not like our stand on abortion or economics or how we view The Eucharist, but after hearing me share what that is I hope you think, "They need to be allowed to practice that Faith without government interference."
And yes, those teachings are going to affect my vote. I have a right to have my conscience shaped by the Church founded by Jesus. If you don't, we should duke it out at the ballot box. But you should never tell me my relying upon those Teachings is somehow UnAmerican. First of all you would be wrong. Second of all? well...after #1 there is nothing else to say....
I did not write about the topic I had chosen because I did not want to hurt anyone. I write about this topic because I hope to explain a little more about me to you.