Lawn Chair Catechism: Expect Conversion
In your own faith:
- Have you ever felt isolated in your quest to follow Jesus?
- What are ways you have built a community of spiritual companions?
In your parish:
- You’ve put a lot of energy over the course of this study into learning about the need for evangelization and discipleship, and how to fulfill that need. Do you plan to take action? In what way?
I have experienced deep fellowship and support in the Catholic Church as well as profound isolation.
I suppose I am not a typical Catholic, in that I converted at age 19, after a life-altering conversion to Christ and a second life altering conversion to Catholicism. My first five years as a Catholic were spent in the hot-house atmosphere of a Jesuit College on a university campus with daily, intimate mass, surrounded by other Catholic students and a wonderful spiritual advisor.
Although my husband and I have lived in relative isolation from other committed disciples of Jesus for the last three years, we spent over 30 years in large Catholic prayer groups, small share circles, affiliated with Madonna House staff and Nazareth Families. As a couple, we have had two different but both wonderful spiritual directors and a handful of wise confessors. For at least a decade, we were part of a vibrant “on fire” Catholic parish which birthed the fastest growing order of priests in North America, The Companions of the Cross.
Yet wandering into a new parish, or stopping in for a mass is an experience not of fellowship and unity but usually of isolation where everyone is reticent and polite, two qualities which are Canadian but much more pronounced in church.
I often want to yell,
“Where, oh God, are other lovers of Jesus?”
His Disciples are most often hidden, the hidden little ones, over looked and unacknowledged.
I now realize that many people are not just hungry but starving for more of Him. One way is through mothering people on-line by answering their comments, not just at face value but giving them a bit more of my time. People need someone to help remove the rocks of misunderstanding off their back. They want to be mentored, fathered and mothered and after nine kids, I KNOW this is something I can do both on and off-line.
11 thoughts on “Isolation and Fellowship”
May God bless you for all the good work that you do Melanie. Your transformation of the ACWB website is such an example.
Best wishes to you and yours.
you have no idea how much that means to me
On Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 9:15 PM, joy of nine9
You are truly right, we are here to help each other achieve salvation.
what a clear way of saying it
We’ve been in isolation for going on three years now. I know it’s a season, we are an hour away from our Parish, and our one car is used to transport my husband to work an hour away in the opposite direction. I’ve found my community online, and drawn closer to Jesus as He has taken to teaching me about prayer and communion with Him.
He uses lonely wilderness places to prepare us for the future. I can’t wait to see what He has in store! You are a blessing to me, Melanie. I’m so thankful for your encouragement and cyber hospitality.
interesting.. three years for you as well..for me it is all about a paradigm shift from egocentricity to becoming God centered
That is the perfect way to describe it, Melanie. Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
On Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 12:14 AM, joy of nine9