Saturday, December 26, 2009

Life as example

There is a drastic difference between the interior life and the outside world. In Auburn, the two don’t seem very distant, but when I come home, both realities seem so contradictory that it makes me question both. Of course I know what the ideal life should be like, which just makes what I see around me that much sadder.

Coming home makes me very aware of what is missing from people’s lives. It’s interesting to see when and how God enters into each person’s life (although He is there all along). For me, it didn’t take much, but I think that has a lot to do with my personality. For others though, I am seeing how difficult it can be to leap from the cold secular world into a full time interior one. There are a lot of questions, concerns, and circumstances that hold people back. Although a single person can’t solely be responsible for “converting” someone (really, only the person working with God is), I can be an influencing factor in their perception of the interior life.

One thing that I’ve been conscious of is how I can appear to others. How I present myself and represent the Catholic faith does matter and really does affect how people view me in the least, and religion at the most. After years of trying to convince myself that what people think of me doesn’t matter, it in fact does. Not so much relating to me, but to them.

Sometimes people think I act like I’m better than them. I understand why they say this. I have high standards for people and I do things (such as not cursing, going to Mass, wearing a veil) that may seem lofty. It’s hard to defend myself without making things worse. Words mean little, actions say everything.

This break I’ve been reacquainted with the attitude that church is where you find people that think they are better than everyone else. This is a hard misconception to correct, because sometimes, it’s true. I think the solution is minimize judging and start humbling.

The longer I look at everything the Church calls me to, the more I realize all the reasons why it does so. Being humble isn’t only for myself, which is really important, but it’s also for others, especially those unsure about a religious life and God. When we humble ourselves we are true to ourselves and to others. If we live honestly, people will see that and may be less turned off by those in love with God.

I think it’s the least I can do to bring a bit of the interior life out into the open and out into the lonely world. Even if God hasn’t brought them to the point of life changing conversion yet, at least I can show them a glimpse of what it would be like. With God’s help, that glimpse can be a positive one.

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