of the really crappy blogger award!!!
My hopes and dreams of keeping this blog up to date are slowly flying out the window. I still haven't put the boys' 2009 books together. Heck, I haven't even finished blogging about 2009. I feel the need to recommit myself though. Lent starts in roughly two weeks. I have big plans...that I won't be sharing all of. One of those that I can share is a promise to write daily and catch up this blog.
Lately my thoughts have been leaning toward starting a whole separate blog. An additional space to write my thoughts, struggles, and insights into the world of being a young Catholic mother. Instead, I may just open this blog back up and intertwine the two. This is definitely something I'll ponder and pray on.
Today though, I feel like writing a bit about the evolution of my Catholic faith. Probably very boring to most, but to me it is who I am. It shapes every aspect of my life. Without the Church, without Christ, I would be nothing.
I am a cradle Catholic. This isn't always seen as a good thing in the Church. The converts usually seem to be much more on fire for their faith than those that have been around since they were baptized as infants. It's sad really, but that's a post for another day! My mother is Catholic and my father was raised (half-heartily) Lutheran. I definitely believe that my faith started with my mother. Every Sunday morning, she brought my brother and I to church, 99% of the time she did so without my dad. He felt the need to only attend three times a year...Christmas, Easter, and Mother's Day. I often look back at these days in amazement at what a wonderful influence my mother was for us. I personally believe she struggled with her faith a lot during these times, but what captures me is her commitment to not stop going.
So, all during my childhood, I was a regular on Sunday mornings. I participated in CCD, youth activities, and every retreat I could convince my parents to let me attend. And then, I went off to college. Church suddenly wasn't as important to me anymore. God truly stepped in during my sophomore year and introduced me to a boy that He would use to change my life.
This boy was also a cradle Catholic whose parents were both Catholic. Like myself, he could always be found in church on Sunday mornings as a child. But unlike me, he didn't stop going when he went off to college. And well, for this boy, I would've done just about anything. And he wanted us to go to church. For the next three years we stayed pretty active in the Catholic church on campus.
Fast forward to years later, The boy and I were now married with a couple children and our church life hadn't changed. We attended every Sunday and felt like good Catholics. In 2008, our world shifted. We were introduced to the Cursillo movement, and suddenly we realized that we weren't Catholic at all. We didn't practice many of the teachings of the Church, and we left our faith at the door every Sunday as we walked out of Mass.
Most people who know us well, will tell you that we've changed drastically over the last two years. Our first big change was to fully embrace the teachings on Natural Family Planning (NFP). After challenging ourselves, with an open mind, to understand why the Church teaches what they do, how could we not live this way. We have fallen in love with this wonderful gift that God provided us with, but that doesn't mean it has been easy. We have struggled with criticism and skepticism. It's really been shown to us just what Christ meant when He said that following Him would not always be easy. The blessings that we have received through NFP are immeasurable and are absolutely worth every struggle. We also now make a very active effort to follow all of the teachings from the Magisterium. We no longer want to be "cafeteria Catholics." Each Sunday we want to know that we are fully in communion with the Church, so that we are truly worthy to receive the most precious thing Christ left for us here on earth...His body and blood.
The evolution of my faith, our faith, definitely isn't over. If one ever gets to a point where they think they've learned enough, well they're probably in trouble!! God is so far beyond human understanding; how could we ever understand it all? We have so much more to learn, and there are so many places that we can continue to improve. Right now, we focus on our ministries and callings. Mine as a mother and Gregg's as a father and provider.
One thing is absolutely certain...we praise God daily for the Church and our faith!