Thursday, April 12, 2007

Catholic Everywhere

I reached the culmination of a long journey this past weekend as me and my family were received and confirmed in the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. It was a time of profound joy. God is so good to have brought us so far! We have all undergone many trials. But through them all we have come to see even clearer the depths of His amazing Grace. Thanks be to God!

As the service drew to a close, my 7 year old son looked at my wife and asked if we would be Catholic even when we visited another parish that we attend when on vacation. When my wife told him that we would be, he responded by saying, "You mean we're Catholic everywhere? This is the best day of my life!" Indeed it was a great day for us all. His statement sums up the joy in all our hearts. But it also brings something else to mind.

Indeed we are Catholic everywhere. So what does that mean? It means that we are called to be disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, taking up our cross daily, and bearing living testimony to the power of His resurrection in our lives. Sounds simple enough. But is it?

When we drive, do we drive as Catholics (Christians)? Do we do our jobs that way? Do we treat our family members with love, gentleness, and patience? Do we avoid the sinful practices of the world (in accord with our baptismal vows)? Do we spend time in prayer, meditation, and the Scripture? Do we love others and serve them? Do we minister to the sick, the poor, and the outcast? This, and so much more, is what it means to be Catholic everywhere.

What else does it mean? It means that in the privacy of our own heart and mind, we are Catholic everywhere, and always. It means that in the times when we believe that no one is looking and that nobody could possibly know what we are doing, that we are still Catholic then too.

I can't say I live up to this ideal. I'm not sure many of us do. But I know it is the calling of our Lord. So I know that there is Grace for the journey, and therefore, hope for improvement.

If you are Catholic then remember that you have been called to be Catholic everywhere. And if you are a member of another Christian tradition, then remember that you are called to be a Christian everywhere. Look back at the statement from my son and try to capture the exuberance of it. Because I am firmly convinced that's exactly how God wants us to feel about our privilege to be His and represent Him- EVERYWHERE!


Blogger Joni said...

What a privilege it is to be "Catholic everywhere" with you!

11:57 AM  
Blogger Hidden One said...

Even though I won't join you for another year, I'm so happy for you - wherever you go, no matter how far you stray or stay on course, you'll always be Catholic.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see you're back in the world of blogging.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Hidden One,

Are you planning to join the Catholic Church as well?

6:08 PM  
Blogger Hidden One said...

I made that decision last November. I am.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Congratulations Hidden One. We are excited for you. Welcome home!

6:08 PM  
Blogger Hidden One said...

I wish it weren't such a long journey - missed the start of RCIA by 2 months last year, so I don't get -in- till next Easter. Ayiyi... I wish I could find a flexible RCIA!

1:36 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Take heart- Easter will be about as early as it ever occurs next year. It will be March 22.

From experience I know how hard it is to wait. But please believe me you will be thankful at the Easter Vigil when you are received. There's nothing else like it.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous your son said...

The Easter Vigil is a very special night, Dad. I enjoyed it very much.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous your son said...

By the way the previous comment is from your oldest son.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Hidden One said...

Hmmm... let's see... *tries to calculate how far that is from March Break.

Only eleven months. I can wait eleven months...

1:19 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Hidden One,
If this helps any, at one time the Church made those wanting to covert to the Church wait 3 years before being received. We can be thankful it isn't that long anymore.

4:34 PM  

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