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.