The Apostolate of the Laity

Waxing philosophical in communion with one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.

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Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I am just a sinner who holds fast to the notion that every human being on the planet is the result of a thought of God.

Friday, August 25, 2006

A Reason Cradle Catholics Stray

I have a theory as to why cradle Catholics often leave the faith. I found a hint in Mathew 13:57-58.

[57] And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house."
[58] And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

I grew up in this Catholic faith very familiar with Christ. I learned about Him in CCD classes and my parents certainly taught us to believe in Him. I thought I knew Him. But the Christ I grew up with was always this far off distant character in the family. As I got older, He became just another element of the environment; part of one of those things I had to endure growing up, but not really a part of me. Worship was routine, maybe even habit.

So when I left the faith as a young adult, it was very easy to come home and give Our Lord and the Church lip service for the parent's sake, but not really believe. He became very much the prophet without honor in our home for me, and consequently no mighty works were performed. Familiarity seemed to breed indifference. I took Christ of granted. And the Church, well, the attitude was "yeah, yeah, but this what I think," which not surprising was a line of thought based in the emotion that felt right at the moment. Moral relativism at its best.

Yet even here, the Lord demonstrated His infinite divine mercy. He let me leave. Gave me my space. Watched me fail Him time and time again. He listened to the prayers of my family that prayed for my return for so many years. And then, rather unexpectedly, He showed up back in my life and reintroduced Himself, not as the prophet, but as my savior. The same Christ I knew as a child now was not only familiar, He was beautiful. And as I welcomed Him into my heart, His grace flooded in, and the mighty work that has been this seemingly perpetual conversion began.

For whatever reason, I had to make Christ a stranger before I could get to really know Him. I feel blessed I responded to His call when I did.

Parents, I urge you to welcome Christ in your home, not as His kinsfolk did, but keep Him extraodinary in the lives of your children. Give Him a place of high honor in your lives, and your kids will see that, and hopefully will keep that image of Christ in their hearts as they make their own way into this fallen world.


Blogger Brett said...

Being a Catholic and living in the NW is awesome, and Portland is a beautiful city. I just watched a show on EWTN about this very topic and being a straying Cradle Catholic also, i can totally relate and also agree with your advice. God Bless!

12:11 AM  

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