Living an OT (off topic) Faith

I so appreciate all the yahoogroups that exist for Catholic homeschoolers and I am on many of them. Such wisdom is shared, from the most generous and helpful women. Quite often, however, there are concerns voiced about what is OT - off topic. It's a tough political time for Catholics and that got me thinking about living an OT faith.

For those that believe Obama's pro abortion policies can be ignored in support of him and who call themselves Catholic, I must find a way to hate the "sin" and not the Jesus. I must remember my own journey, my own sin and respond with commitment to my faith, but not hostility to their hypocrisy. Abortion is NOT Catholic teaching but neither is unkindness. I need to speak the truth in charity. But I do need to speak, and not be silent....

The Church has consistently taught that abortion is the greatest evil. We must stand against it and remember that Christ said he would spit the lukewarm out. It would seem that God wants us to NOT be lukewarm or passive in our dissent from policies that support abortion and, in general, go against Catholic teaching. Some might call this a political not educational issue, but it is a FAITH issue...a core of humanity issue. We are a faith that professes that God is the creator of LIFE, from natural conception to natural death.

Should abortion politics be OT in Catholic education? No. You can not remove the teachings of the Catholic faith from Catholic education. The greatest and longest lasting, most permanent education we can give our children is the Catholic faith. I believe it will be the only one that will matter to God and our eternity. Mercy and woe to those who misrepresent it.....

Further, we are not called to be comfortable and safe in our faith. Rather, we are called to pick up our cross and carry it. Speaking out about anti-Catholic teaching is not comfortable or safe today and people want to hide from it and be non-confrontational. We have sold out to moral relevatism the Pope has warned about. But.....

Aren't I supposed to ask myself how far I would go for Him, what I wouldn't do for Him?

How radical is radical enough for Christ?

What Christ said AND DID was so confrontational they nailed Him to a cross and killed Him!

In love and charity, but with courage and commitment, I need to do more about the path our world is heading, not less. Is OT a cop out? Does it support the cop-out that someone else, some politico will take care of that for me...I can't make a difference? How does God see that effort (or lack of) on my part. Is it more sloth to add to my confession?

Maybe there are others out there, like me, who need to discern what sacrifices we are making to our own will and comfort? Am I too busy to read, discuss, meditate on issues paramount to the Catholic faith? Am I too comfortable to be distracted with "the good fight?"

Is compartmentalizing the "OT topics" of life concerning Catholic teaching really the best way to live out my faith?

Does it make me uncomfortable AND am I too concerned with my own feelings? Are we all too easily offended and missing that God is offended???? Is my faith about comfort and feelings? What about dying to self?

My priest tells me that when I seek my own comfort and expect it, I miss the opportunity to offer up my suffering...LIKE CHRIST did....The Way, The Truth and The Life. Self denial is a characteristic of saints and aren't I called to be a saint?

Isn't sainthood the ONLY way I am going to get into heaven...the purpose of my life?

When we pray the mysteries of the Joyful Rosary, in the 4th decade we are led to the mystery and lesson in the Presentation. Mary, our mother, was faithful to the teachings of her faith and followed them....may we be so faithful to the Magisterium.

May we have Our Lady's courage and the help of the saints who suffered.

God, perhaps through these exact conversations, keeps leading me to think about these issues. Thank you for bearing with me as I do so.

My opinion, as one who struggles to do more for Him, is to embrace the uncomfortable and so I should complain less, right? Pray for me. :)


Cecilia said...

My friend.. You write so well. As you have been reading my inner thoughts! I wonder thu what got you on this off the topic in your yahoogroups! I feel this is the hardest when its in ones own family! Doesn't charity start at home! For me sometime its easier to talk with someone who is wrong on subject such as killing of babies than it is with one of my family matters. why is that? your thoughts?

thanks again my friend for your thoughts and wisdom! I'll pray for you as you pray for me!

Marilyn said...

This is a very good and thought provoking post Allyson. I am in the same boat - I am not at all calm and collected when discussing our president and his policies and especially abortion. The hardest for me is the Catholics who do nothing. I believe we have to stand up and proclaim the truth. BUT I do struggle with how to do this in a loving spirit - should I be preaching the love of Christ before politics. Lots to think about. (I have been following the discussion on the yahoo group too)

Christine said...

This is a very good post. Most of my extended family excluding my parents voted for Obama. Most contracept. Most do not go to church. It is lonely. This is why I blog. My true Catholic friend is Jamie. I am just blessed I have a husband who is on the same page as me. Very blessed.

Do I fight. No. The subject never really comes up. I do finacially support those who are fighting hard.

However, if they subject does come up I say a little something but I really am not a good debater. Some people are so gifted in that area. I just pray. God gave me that gift.

Josie said...

Check this out, dear friend...I just read this last night in Catherine Doherty's "Poustinia"-let me link to my blog so I can write this because it is long-but what I noticed when reading it was that I could remember times in the past when the Lord was "filling my mouth with words" and I was too uncomfortable and too selfish to speak them (for my own comfort-didn't want to stretch those arms of mine out on the Cross...) I also knew I would probably lose my temper, so I was afraid-but if I found calm realizing God would give me words, I could have proceeding in peace....
I'm going to try to post it now, but if it takes a bit, I promise to write! hope this makes sense!

+JMJ+ said...

Thank you friends for sharing this questioning with me.


Thank you for this!!!!!!! I did check out your blog and the post filled me with such peace. I am getting such confirmation that I need to let God do the talking BUT that will only come from a good prayer life, a prayer life that humbles and minimalizes that He may increase.

You are a blessing, as always!

Cass said...

Dear and Beautiful Friend,
(This is the first time you've heard my blogspot voice, but I'll bet you'll recognize it if I talk long enough .))
I would say that pro-life evangelism is clearly central enough to the Catholic faith that it qualifies as on-topic for any professedly Catholic interest group, including homeschooling ones. But the same is not true for every issue we ourselves feel strongly about that touches upon faith or morals.
An important part of fully knowing and living the faith is proper discernment of where magesterial teaching is by nature capable of differing interpretations and what falls under the category of action that does depend upon prudential judgment. Just as there is a wicked complacence that leads folks erroneously to suppose that they need not care or listen to what Holy Mother Church tells them, there is, too, a misguided zeal that instinctively and sometimes mistakenly confuses personal conviction with universal dogma.
That said, even if someone were to cross the line and neglect an OT header here or there...should it really matter? Isn't forgiveness called for there, overlooking someone else's occasional false step? The choice is still open, in that case, to the 'offended party' either to ignore the post, or to reply--marking the response as OT.
As for Mary as model, for me, who am drawn to controversy and debate almost like a magnet sometimes, I try to think of her mostly as having "kept these things and pondered them in her heart." Of all her virtuous habits, that seems to me the one most seldom sincerely imitated these days. (In any case, it is where I personally ought to focus, I think.) And isn't that a great part of what made her, for those of us who know and love her, ultimately the greatest of all human influences?
What a warm and wonderful blog, BTW!
With love, yours in Christ.

+JMJ+ said...

Of course your voice is recognized "Cass". :)

As I am working through this movement on my heart, I haven't been very clear as to the circumstances as you and Cecilia have noticed, I think.

As the moderator of a few yahoogroups I do hear from those who wish OT posts we verboden....and there are some who insist on the OT as well. My idea of a good board is an active board. An active board is one where people are there. People are there and come there when questions are answered and thoughts are discussed. Quashing dialogue and sequestering certain topics that are "Catholic" seem to me as silencing. Uncomfortable topics, and Catholic ones have a place in our faith. Certainly a group should be moderated for flaming and heresy. Certainly adults have a right to read what they want and not read what they don't want. That's where I was coming from...

I am pondering in my heart, and on my blog. Perhaps Mary will forgive me for that extra part but this is where I chronicle the "journey."

Looking forward to hearing more from you. :)

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