Tuesday, June 11, 2002

After receiving Jim's letter, the thought has been buzzing around my head that we really should be looking to reconcile the various factions in our faith community. Perhaps for the first time in years, we are talking to each other rather than past each other. We are all faced with a humiliating Catholic event and we are turning to each other for answers, for explanations and for affirmation. Rather than attacking each other, we are identifying with each other as members of the same faith...as partakers in the same mystery. Perhaps this is one of the unanticipated blessings of this moment. If we avail ourselves of the opportunity, this may be an instance in which God turns evil to His own purposes and re-invigorates His people as a universal priesthood, ...as a people set apart. Regardless of where we stand on Church issues, today we are all immediately at one in identifying ourselves as Catholics.

I had forgotten that prior to the Council, the abbreviated catechism of the Church was 'pray, pay and obey'. I'm grateful that Jim mentioned it. I agree wholeheartedly that, as Catholics, we are called to much more. At the same time, with a bit of a twist, and a post-conciliar interpretation, we might consider this a valid minimalist approach to the faith.

I've already mentioned to Jim that I'm a big supporter of Catholicism for Everyone. I think that there are as many valid ways of being Catholic as there are people to inhabit the earth. That's one reason I love the motto I use for this blog. It acknowledges both the necessity for unity in the essential things and the obligation to liberty in the rest. I think that Catholic Lite is a valid way for some people to live the Catholic life. Each of us is called to a different kind of witness. In the final analysis the Catholic community will probably be judged by the world based on how authentically we adhere to the practices of Lite Catholicism. The truest witness will always remain the witness of example. This is a pragmatic truth of our Faith.

Anyway, before moving toward a fuller bodied version of Catholic witness, I'd like to explore each of the Catholic Lite duties, both in terms of pre- and post- Vatican assumptions.

Reflections on Pray, Pay and Obey -- A New Catholic Minimalism - (now in sidebar)

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