Society Magazine

"Do Not Fall into the Deep and Wide Trap"

Posted on the 14 October 2014 by Brutallyhonest @Ricksteroni

Much to take away from this piece by Nicole Demille:

A good number of folks don't set out to isolate themselves or alienate other Christians.  It just sort of happens while they're busy doing other things.  Maybe they get stuck on one aspect of their faith life and concentrate on it SO much that before they can really recognize what has happened, it's too late.  They have built an accidental ivory tower.  No one can get them down because they have been up there focusing so much on how the people trying to get them down from their tower are The Enemy Inc. Here are just a sampling of the different ways that Catholics are currently holding each other at arm's length:   1.  By form of worship 2.  By number of years in The Church 3.  By level of education 4.  By socioeconomic level 5.  By sin proclivity 6.  By age 7.  By sex 8.  By political leaning 9.  By geographical location 10. By pet issue/ministry   There are many more, and I'm sure you, my friends, can help me add to this unfortunate list.  I bet you also see one on this top ten that stings a bit.  Maybe you have excluded someone, written someone off based on one or more of these.  Maybe you yourself have been shut out or not heard or made to feel inferior or even "less Catholic" because of one or more of the above.  My friends, do NOT allow yourself to be cast aside or made to feel any less a legitimate guest at the banquet because someone has chucked you based on one of these criteria.  A Christian who is praying the Sinner's Prayer constantly will NOT do this to you, as he or she is too aware of his or her own failings and need for mercy.     More importantly, do not fall into the deep and wide trap of putting miles between you and another Catholic because of the above factors.  Do not burn bridges.  That is not our way.  You will end up poorer for the decision if you determine that a fellow Christian is not up to snuff because of the type of Mass he attends,  whether she is a convert or a cradle Catholic, or because he is a HE and you are a SHE.  Don't say to yourself, "He can never understand the struggles of a mother." This is simply not true.  Every man is the son of a mother, and can offer you unique insight into your vocation.    I have seen a number of well-read and "sophisticated" Catholics simply dismiss the comments of their plain speaking peers.  I have seen avowed conservatives refuse to even engage a more liberal counterpart KINDLY.  I have watched Catholics whose main ministry is fighting poverty completely discount anything said by a Catholic whose focus is fighting abortion.  When did we forget that all the parts of the body have different jobs?  That each operates independently but in harmony? That one needn't take away from the other?   Know also that for each category above, both sides are equally culpable in creating division and putting up walls that prevent true fellowship and productive dialog.  For every Catholic Christian who is saying and writing demeaning and dehumanizing generalizations about the poor, calling them lazy and implying that they are ruining the country, there is another Catholic Christian right behind him in line giving the opposite diatribe, making tasteless and insensitive jokes about the wealthy, assuming that anyone who has reached a certain level of material success is selfish and greedy and has not "died to self."   At the root of these examples is one common element: pride.  Yep, the crown jewel of the seven deadlies.  How so? Well, it's not hard to figure out, friends.  We all begin so well.

JesusPrayerI'm not particularly sure of the sinner's prayer to which Nicole refers but the following, which I understand is called the Jesus prayer, is one I've recently begun to pray in earnest and with great frequency:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner.

Short, sweet, sincere... and searing.

Do have mercy Lord.


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