Thursday, June 14, 2012

Still Hungry

When I began my journey last summer, I decided it would be best to start going to Mass exclusively so as to reduce any potential conflict. In that time, I really didn't communicate with folks from my old church. I simply told them I was pursuing Catholicism & disappeared. Nine months later, I'm starting to reconnect. My friends tell me about the wonderful things God is doing... 

And what do I have to say for myself as a Catholic? I want to say the Eucharist is the highlight of my faith & that I feel like the Catholic Church is where I belong. But if that's really true, what does the Real Presence do for me & through me? I'm still hungry, Jesus! How is my hunger relevant to the real world? Doesn't He mean for me to reach out & help those in need? Doesn't He mean for me to "go & do"?

My Protestant friends, with their once a quarter symbolic communion, seem to produce praiseworthy results. If the Eucharist is the source & summit of MY faith... the "Lo, I am with you always, even until the end of the age"  that I believe, then why isn't It producing results in me? Maybe the problem isn't with the efficacy of the source... Maybe its my journey to the summit that needs help. 

The first question everyone seems to ask me is "Are you connected?". Protestant or Catholic, the journey to the "summit" is never meant to be trudged alone. I know this & it drives me crazy. I prefer solitude to social functions, writing to speaking, quiet to cacophony. I prefer the mystical, spiritual stuff to the physicality of getting out there in the trenches to help the poor or evangelize on the street. Does that make me less of a Christian? Does that render the reality of Eucharist powerless? I don't think so. It just means there's a place for everyone in the church (yes, even me) & I have to keep looking till I find it.

The second question everyone asks: "Are you going to be a nun?". This one always makes me laugh. It seems my friends logically assume this is the next step for me. Perhaps they know something I don't! While I'm definitely drawn to the religious life, I don't think I could "go all the way". I'm much too stubborn & independent for that. Or am I? Seriously, only God knows.

So what do I have to say for myself as a Catholic? Why am I still hungry? Is the Eucharist supposed to spark me for external deeds of mercy? Is It supposed to satisfy my hunger or intensify it? How can hunger possibly be relevant in a world that measures *valid* faith by external, tangible results? Your guess is as good as mine.

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