This week at Catholicmom.com, we are reading a chapter of Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus
entitled, "We don't know what normal is". You can tell I have not been reading ahead because I kind of touched on this last week when I said that I think many cradle Catholics get overwhelmed because they don't know what to do.
When I first became Catholic, I became a Catholic mom of three boys, too. This means that I had to learn about my faith and then play "catch up" with my boys, especially my son who received his First Communion not too long after I became a Catholic. When I asked for suggestions of books to learn about this subject, everyone came up blank. When I looked online for information and ideas, there was little to be found (that's when I found Catholicmom.com, one of the few great resources!). No one seemed to know how to help me find normal. Now I know why...
I am not completely comfortable talking with others about my relationship with God. I am a fairly introverted person so talking about things of the heart doesn't come easily to me. I share things like books and facts that I learn in an attempt to share my relationship, though. I am also an avid Facebook evangelist, with tons of "shares" going on my timeline on any given day.
According to the book, the following actions are considered "normal" (there are more in the book!):
. . . It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to be excited Christian activists.So, basically, it is normal to be Scott Hahn! Just kidding! But this does sound like a dubious list for us regular Cathy Catholics out there. If you look over the list and think about it, it isn't as bad as it looks.
. . . It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to be knowledgeable of their faith, the Scriptures, the doctrinal and moral teachings of the Church, and the history of the Church.
. . . It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to have fellowship of other committed lay Catholics available to them, to encourage, nurture, and discern as they attempt to follow Jesus.
. . . It is NORMAL for the local parish to function consciously as a house for formation for lay Catholics . . ..
Being excited should be easy, especially if you do all the other things listed.
Being knowledgeable includes being intentional during Mass and actually paying attention, reading good Christian/Catholic books, reading or at least referring to the Catechism, and learning about the lives of the Saints. I can say that I have most of this covered- for now. It is something we should always be watching to make sure we are not slacking in this area.
Having fellowship with other committed lay Catholics can include any fellowship opportunities at the parish level and also making friends with fellow parishioners. I have this one licked, too! I'm three for three!
The local parish should function as a house for formation of lay Catholics- our parish has a Bible study but I cannot attend because one is during the day when I work and the other is after Mass when I have three tired and hungry boys who have already attended Religious Ed and Mass. We used to have Bible study during Religious Ed and I attended then. I think my parish has a little work to do in this area...
How are you doing at being "normal"?