Today's refection from John Chuchman sits well with this Sunday's readings which we have been discussion on the Catholica Forum HERE. What defines "authentic Catholicism" today? How do we find what John labels as "personal authenticity" or what the editor has labeled as "personal integrity" in the forum discussion?
Daring to be Truly Catholic...
We go through life
trying to be good.
But good is often
enemy of Best.
Being good is often
the enemy of
being the Best of who we can be.
Family and friends
are satisfied with our being good,
leading a decent life, going to church,
being kind, etc.
The temptation we face:
strive for no more;
be satisfied with that.
We all feel the pressure to
be and do what is considered socially/religiously
To deviate is to be considered/called
a social and/or religious outcast.
Remember what happened to the Prophets,
past and present!
Many Saints struggled with institutional church,
whose representatives feared
their authentic holiness.
We remember Catherine of Sienna, Hildegard of Bingen,
St. John of the Cross, Joan of Arc, even Jesus Himself
and so many others.
Saints are simply those
who surrendered to God's commands within,
rather than ecclesiastical pressures.
They were authentic,
despite the institutionalized version,
not so much to worship Jesus,
which He never suggested,
but to emulate him,
which he wanted of all of us.
despite dogma and creed, ritual and rite galore,
is not about admiring or adoring Saints,
but about being Saintly,
a way to live.
We all must search
to find our way,
to live in a way
destined by our Creator,
despite the hierarchical and social pressure,
not to rock the boat.
To be Truly Catholic
is to be truly authentic,
to be the persons
we were created to be.
We along with our church
have nothing to be gained
living in the middle ages.
The lives of the Saints simply show us
that the Wisdom we seek
is not in slavishly paying, praying, and obeying.
that tipping the bushel of simply being good
in order to be our Best,
exposes us to the elements
and that our tipped bushel
upsets those seated/enthroned atop it.
But, the call to True Catholicism
is our call to personal authenticity
and union with our Creator.
Love, John Chuchman
This reflection is also published on John Chuchman's blog.
The background used to support John Chuchman's reflection has been sourced from stock.xchng one of the sources for free images on the net provided by people who voluntarily upload their work for others to share. Daniel Cubillas who is located in Spain provided today's image. A gallery of Daniel's freely available images can be found at: www.sxc.hu/gallery/dcubillas. The Sparrow image used in the headline has been sourced from stock.xchng also and is adapted from a vector art illustration by Radoslava Todorova in Sofia, Bulgaria: www.sxc.hu/photo/1375691
John's latest book, I AM because LOVE IS: God as VERB, is now available in paperback from Amazon. Click the image for more information. Kindle edition to come.
John Chuchman is a bereavement counsellor. He is a graduate of John Carroll University and former Ford Motor Company executive (1959-1992). He has been a Hospice volunteer since 1990. John has received Pastoral Bereavement Counselor certification and a Certificate in Spirituality (Kino Institute of Phoenix, Arizona.) In 2000, he was awarded a Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Ministries from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. His website provides information about his regular retreats and information about his books. he also writes a "Poetman" blog which you can find on the website or via this link: [Visit John's blog] | [Visit John's website]
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[Index of Commentaries by John Chuchman]