Speaking the Truth

We don’t like to speak the truth about evil because we’re going to hurt somebody. Let me tell you, you are going to hurt somebody, but that Somebody is God. If you would rather hurt God than your neighbor, there is something wrong with your spirituality. It’s your obligation to speak the truth and everyone can either take it or leave it. But truth must be in us. We live in such poverty of the truth today.
- Mother Angelica

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Prayer of Frustration

I swear God hears our prayers and really does His best to answer them. Yes, I know that we don't always like the answer, but He answers. I spent some time last night pondering over a particular situation, and then said a quick little, informal prayer to God this morning to ask for His help in pulling me out of this mental mess.

I cracked open Mother Angelica and entered in the Fourth Degree of Prayer, and then kept reading. The next section, lo and behold, was on frustration. And it is weird, but I didn't highlight anything in that section. But it's amazing how much it applies to life, more than we realize.

When we are in a situation where we can't see the light, His light, it's difficult to think that there is something good He has in store for us. Mother says that we must remember to pray in the Present Moment. What I think she means by that is to remember Him, even in our times of frustration.

My most recent time of frustration has been in the past couple of days. I feel so deeply rooted in learning all I can about being Catholic and trying to speak the truth, that I get frustrated. My family and I when I was little, went to Church. While I don't remember looking forward to going, I don't remember fighting with my parents about it either. I remember having to be quiet, but not much else. I remember talking to my friends and wondering why my Church didn't sing more. As an adult, I understand a little bit more about why we do what we do, and now I can explain that to my kids so they can understand better too.

Well, I got my Communion, one of my other brothers got Communion, and soon after that, we stopped going. Mom and Dad said it was because the priest talked too much about money. Which may be true, but we didn't find another Church to go to. So I guess Church wasn't a priority to my parents. That's not a knock-down, it's just maybe the way it was.

But I always felt this closeness that I wanted with God, even after we stopped going to Church. I wanted to be this perfect little girl that God loved very much. What I didn't realize was that He already did. I don't remember anyone telling me that God loved me.

As an adult, after having 3 children, I felt the need to hit Church again. I took up an RCIA class and learned all about God's love. God's love?? How enthralling! I was excited. I finished RCIA and began reading "A Woman After God's Own Heart" by Elizabeth George. After picking it up and putting it down quite a bit, I finally finished it and it was probably one of the best reads I had in a long time. That book changed the course of my life with God. While it was not a "Catholic" book per say, it was a book that explained how much He loves me, all of us, and how I can show my love for Him. It was wonderful.

As I adopted certain principles in the book, my marriage got stronger, and I became a better mother. I now had the words to be able to talk to my kids about God's love and what He expects from us. Something that I didn't have when I was growing up. I'm not saying my life was bad, I'm just saying I was missing God.

Mom, Dad, if you're reading this, for the record, I think you guys did a great job raising us. We all turned out as contributing members of our society, married, having wonderful children. So I don't want you to think that I think you did a bad job. You took your childhood and turned it around so we had a good one. God sees what you did, and I'm sure He's happy.

Anyway. I feel blessed to have found God and developed this love for my Catholic faith. And there are a lot of people out there who have their opinions, which are often stereotypes, about our faith. It happens and stereotypes will not go away. But how we treat each other can.

That's the part that's frustrating for me this morning. I'm frustrated with the way people treat each other. I'm frustrated with the cruel words that come out on the Internet about people. Not just in my own experience, but for anyone. There is a lot of hate in the world, and I just need to calm down and come back to prayer and let God show us our erroneous ways.

So, I'm going to ask you guys what you like about being Catholic? What is it that keeps you going to Church? What is it that you love about the Mass? What is it that changes, or has changed, your life in regards to being Catholic in particular?

Can't wait to hear your responses!


Anonymous said...

I know that the Catholic Church is true and correct. This is beautiful to me. I struggle daily with with 'falling' in love with mass. Maybe its because I struggle to pay attention--I have 5 daughters and the younger three can be a handful at times.

Anonymous said...

I like that our faith teaches the love of God and that actions speak louder than wearing your religion on your sleeve. I also like that our religion teaches the proper way to interpret scripture through metaphor and story, unlike fundamentalism. And I like that there are a million different ways to pray, as God listens to us all.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it a bit ironic to say, "our religion teaches the proper way to interpret scripture through metaphor and story, unlike fundamentalism"? Fundamentalists teach that their way is the proper way and could easily say the same things towards Catholicism that you are saying about them. It seems like Karen wasn't asking anyone to talk about why the Catholic church is better than other churches, just what you like about it. And Catholicism isn't a different religion from Christian Fundamentalism, it's just a different branch inside the same religion. I am a pretty big fan of the same things that you seem to be inside the Catholic church, but try not to be guilty of the same sins that you perceive in others. I know that I have been that person much more than I would care to be.

Karen said...

Actually I think it's the other way around. Catholicism is the umbrella under which other religions have formed, including Fundamentalism.