Sometimes I think in memes. I catch myself thinking “McKayla is not impressed” (disapproval) or of the fist pump baby (approval) in various situations throughout the day. (See Rita’s previous post for some ideas on where to find some funny Catholic ones.)
I’m so not sure what that says about me, but that’s okay. The reason memes are so funny is because they’re so relatable in the first place!
So sometimes when it comes to the Year of Faith, my thought is, “Ur doin it wrong.”
I don’t mean the Year of Faith itself, just how people might not grasp the full beauty of it. I definitely don’t mean it as a judgment or anything, its just that sometimes, despite one’s good intentions, one can miss the mark when it comes to sharing the Catholic faith. (And I’ll include myself at the top of that list.)
The USCCB website states, “the Year of Faith is an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him.” (Emphasis added.)
That does not mean you give your lapsed relative a copy of the Catechism for Christmas and expect them to magically come back into the faith by Easter. (“Ur doin’ it wrong.”) Sorry people, that’s just not an ideal way to bring Christ into someone’s life. You cannot expect someone to grasp the Catechism (or any church teaching for that matter) if they are not already in a mental, physical, and spiritual readiness to accept God’s love.
Getting them there is work we have to do. To me, this is the true way to live the Year of Faith. In order to be light unto others, I have to prepare myself with prayer, penance, and almsgiving, deepening first my own relationship with God. Only then, while I intentionally live my life as an example to others and share it, can I hope for true success.
Notice the “and share it” qualification in the last statement. I’m definitely guilty of hoping people want to love God just out of osmosis. “I’ll do my thing and maybe they’ll see something they’ll like do it, too.” McKayla is not impressed. Our faith, like the Year of Faith cannot be an island unto itself. It is meant to be shared.
So say someone praises your ability to lead a group in prayer, (“Oh that was so good. I could never pray like that.”) and instead of just saying “Thanks,” BAM! Catechetical moment! “You know, it’s really quite simple. I just follow the A.C.T.S formula: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.” Insert Fist Pump Baby. You’ve successfully just taught someone else how to pray better.
Learning to identify those faith-sharing moments is key in living the year of faith to its fullest.
I don’t think it’ll be to hard. In our technological age, we share information continuously, i.e. “There’s an app for that.” As we take the time to better ourselves, we can share the faith more readily. After all, more than likely “there’s a parable for that” too.