Friday, March 3

Unpacking for the Journey

I was raised Roman Catholic from the beginning of time. My observation of many cradle Catholics (including me) is that we have a tendency to take our faith and our Church for granted. Over time, so much of what we do at Mass is automatic. It's easy to be lost in the routine and lose our focus on the spirituality, beauty and meaning of our faith traditions.

Our beliefs are challenged by those who claim to know better. Because the Church has been around for so long, the history of its management run the gamut from the bad to the good. Non-Catholics have a difficult time understanding the mysteries of our faith. It's so much a part of my spiritual makeup that it has also become part of the physical me. Sounds a little strange to describe it that way, but I don't know what else to say.

Not that I have always been a "good" Catholic. For several years I pushed God and my Church away. I was even defensive when anyone brought up God or the Church. "I'm not ready to hear that stuff!!", I would state. I knew I would come back in due time - in God's time. That in itself is an indication that I hadn't totally turned my back on God.

Ash Wednesday nearly 10 years ago, I had an ephiphany. It came to me in a dream. It was so strong, I woke up crying. That had never happened to me before and has not happened to me since. I knew then that my faith would never again be shaken. I wouldn't be shaken by scandals, by persons of other faith traditions bashing my faith tradition, by people dragging up things that happened hundreds of years ago.

So why am I going on and on about this? A couple of reasons.

First, I have seen so much bashing of Christians on LGF that it makes my stomach knot up. Seems that it's okay to do that. And some who bash Christian Catholics in particular, are of the Jewish faith. But you don't see us bashing them. We are strong supporters of the Jewish people and Israel. To deny Jews would be to deny who Catholics are. It's where we came from. I wish it would stop.

Second, the link to the title above takes you to the newest book written by my priest, Fr. Jerry Eifler, at St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Fr. Jerry's sermons are fantastic. He never reads from prepared text. His sermons are funny, educational, spiritual and uplifting. In fact, even the children stay quiet when Fr. Jerry speaks. Priests like Fr. Jerry make it easy to attend Mass. He is a gem and a gift from God to us. He has reached the age of retirement for priests, but asked if he could stay on because he's just not ready. I hope you will consider buying his book if you are inclined. I am going to buy it this weekend and have him sign my copy. If you all don't mind, every once in a while, I might post a snippet here.

If you don't want me to, I won't. This is not a Catholic blog or religion blog, and I don't want us to feel like we have to get involved in those discussions. However, my impression is that our crew here at LGC accepts various viewpoints and opinions with respect and it might be appreciated.

However, I will continue to post recipes and other stuff, too. I'll post one this weekend.

Which recipe would you rather have - my grandmother's molasses cookies recipe or my chicken and dumplings recipe?

Your vote!!

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