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Loving more learning less is what we need

Loving MoreLearning Less

I gave a presentation to some really awesome people recently. My mantra when I go to speak with people is “we as church need to create places others want to attend and places people can fall in love with Jesus”. I think this concept is fairly foreign to most Catholics for a variety of reasons. Suffice it to say I am not sure most people get my idea totally. But luckily at this presentation, a person called me out and openly disagreed. Hallelujah!

 

So the rub this person had is my philosophy is a bit too touchy feely. Paraphrased “What we need to do is go back to real Catholicism. Not this watered down Catholicism we have now, this version we have now is destroying our church.” Hmmm. My impression of the conversation is that we need to step back 30/40 years when the Baltimore Catechism was taught. We need to teach more Catholic information, read the lives of the Saints and emulate them and a variety of things that worked back in the day. But I hold my ground. Looking over our shoulder at the good ole days is wise but I do not think going back is the answer either.

 

Ron Rohlheiser in his video series Secularity and the Gospel teach that when a person comes to Catholic Church, we in church know what to do. We have good Catechesis, programs, bible study, websites and tons of other information to teach the faith. But what we lack is the romantic imagination. That imagination that helps us fall in love with Jesus. I agree with Ron. I can fact a new comer or a long time pew setter to death with Catholic teaching that is perfectly clear on what we believe and why. Where we fall entirely short is loving our neighbor enough to accept them where they are and inviting them on a journey. A journey that would be much like Billy in family circus when his mom sends him on a simple assignment. He wonders all over the neighborhood before arriving where is mom asked him to go. That is the journey we must love our neighbor enough to take. We start with the new comer where they are, not where we want them to be. We meander through doubt and unacceptance all the while poking, prodding, and challenging when necessary but always loving first. Facting people is second. Plus, the teaching will occur along the journey naturally. We do not have to force it.

So that is the commission. Can we, do we care too, love people into church?

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