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Monday, April 6, 2009

Pausing for Station Identification

Putting all things very important & prayer-worthy to the side for just a moment (and yes, that means earthquakes, floods, scandal, basketball games and anything else that I missed that is not posted up on Catholic Edition!) I would like to pause for "station identification"...

Today is special to me. Not only because the Michigan State Spartans have won a birth in tonight's Championship nail-biter vs. North Carolina but also because I am 13 years a Catholic TODAY. (Thank you Cathy for your dear remembrance of this). It is my birthday! I love this time of year, this Liturgy that we approach on Thursday-Friday-Saturday because it was the "birth canal" of sorts for me into a new life. I am a different person than I was 13 years ago in many ways and I am also very much the same. Different are my views now on life issues: abortion, contraception, euthanasia and bioethics. A staunch pro-choicer in my post collegiate life, I would have vehemently disagreed with you rigid pro-lifers and blamed protagonists for the horrors and loss of life in the senseless bombing of abortion clinics. I would have condemned you for being judgmental and out of touch with reality. I might have suggested then, that a woman's choice was as much if not more important than a "medical procedure" and that an all loving God should and has an obligation to love and understand an abortive woman despite the poor choices made by a fallible human. As I reflect on some of the views that I once held and how radically changed those views have become, I'm much more aware that I needed the good old fashioned remedy of following a thought through. Connecting the dots that a medical procedure meant that someone's life would end; that feelings or discomfort of one do not justify taking the life of another; that God does love unconditionally but this same merciful God also loves justice and wants his children to be fit for His Kingdom; that only a loving God would draw good from evil . A concept that still baffles me. I am grateful for the mercy that Mercy Himself has taught me. I am grateful that I was given opportunity to grow into something that I didn't quite understand at first.

And along those same lines, another area of progress has been my revised view of what a person suffers to be "new". Added was the perspective being able to appreciate what it means to be uncomfortable in a totally unfamiliar situation - and growing "into new skin" as it were. Like a puppy into new paws, this takes time, patience with the baby steps and the ability to laugh at the awkwardness. (A little Aquinas doesn't hurt either!) I knew that my ideas were illogical, inconsistent and dissonant, however I also did not understand how the church arrived at Truth. It took fits & starts; trials and errors to "find" objective truth and arrive at rational conclusions. His name was Christ and He can be found in the Sacraments and learned about through Sacred Scripture, Holy Mother Church, and the Saints. These encounters are all fueled by prayer, nourished in Holy Eucharist and converted to action by works and faith. Help with courage to accomplish this task arrived in the form of the human windows...the Saints and the saints. The Big Saints are those individuals who we remember who mastered their defects and about whom books are written and churches named; the littler saints are those whose books and churches are still in blueprint form- that's you!

Our immersion into the Church is incomplete. Speaking for myself, God has me retooling on patience, humility, trust, perseverence, gratitude, hope, faith and most especially love. I am learning that time is a mercy and love is a verb. And God, who is All Truth, will keep me here in this birth canal of life in the church until he's ready for me on the next leg of the journey. I am grateful to the folks who have made this road a little smoother. I am grateful to be soft enough to take on new challenges and to continue to learn...

I was "just one beggar looking for the Bread" and am happy to report that I found it!

Take time to remember your have more than one, you know.


  1. Happy "Birthday" Karen! Let's hope the Spartans can still come through with a nice gift for you tonight!

  2. No nails left...NC was righteous from 3pt range. Not disappointed - grateful for a fantastic Spartan season. Next year?