After I shoe shopped yesterday, I stopped at the mall’s Barnes & Noble to do what I always do: browse the Christian books. This time I bought one — Building a Bridge by Fr. James Martin.
And I’d been warned. Catholic Twitter had sounded the alarm, had said to read reviews of it instead, to steer clear of it (and, in fact, to steer clear of Fr. Martin himself, who, by the way, I met once and is quite cordial).
Now that I’ve read it (excluding its second half, which is for meditation and reflection — I’ll read that later), I’d like to invite Catholic Twitter to do a new thing: cool your dang jets.
Something is up with me. Whenever I consciously make a choice in my work, my relationships, or my parenting that’s out of the mainstream, I want to hide it. I avoid talking about it.
Yet a part of me also wants others to find out, so I can talk about it. What is it that makes me a living, breathing contradiction?
To stand for something, to let your voice be heard and in doing so, to reveal who you are, satisfies the part of us that longs to be known, seen, and understood. Name a political or social matter, and you’ll most likely find a contingent speaking out against it.
And rightly so. Freedom is a gift; our voices are a gift, and the desire to make our opinions known is rooted in a good desire that speaks to how we’re created. Yet going against general opinion means something different than it did a generation ago. What was once considered progressive is now perceived as normal, and what was once considered traditional is now perceived as uptight and reactionary, particularly with regard to sexuality.
In the newest episode of Catholic podcast Catching Foxes, Luke and I discuss breakups and Sr. Helena Burns’s offer to be my wing-nun.
Click here to listen.
Also: follow Catching Foxes on Twitter and Facebook.
Sunday I sat silently while the priest read the gospel — John 11:1-45, which I’ve heard a million times. Lazarus dies, Jesus cries, and then, the miracle. But something sticks out now that never had before.
Jesus had received a message from his friends Mary and Martha. Their brother, Lazarus, was sick.
And Jesus didn’t show up.
He waited two days before he left for Judaea. In the meantime, Lazarus died. His sisters’ souls hurt. And what Jesus said about it to the disciples rocked me.
In a chapel at a Catholic parish on a Friday, I knelt at my seat a few feet in front of the altar, during adoration. I wanted to pray, but got distracted by a casket.
Through the chapel’s glass wall, I saw a set of pallbearers in dress blues carry it into the commons.
I looked away and tried to pray, again. But I couldn’t, because an inexplicable urge had overcome me — the urge to attend the funeral.