Monday, June 6, 2011

I will send you the Spirit of Truth

This past week we had an interesting protest in the city of DeKalb. A few days earlier a woman began breastfeeding her child in a store, and was asked to move to a more private place. She was angered by this and organized a gathering of of woman to have a public breast feeding sit-in. There were in the end about forty or fifty person downtown, though only two or three were breastfeeding.

Now I found this whole thing rather amusing on two levels. One is that I have never been offended by breastfeeding. Being raised in a family with six kids, most of them younger, in a neighborhood with lots of younger kids, I understand that this is how infants are nourished. It is an integral maternal activity. Two is that while breastfeeding is a natural activity, there is a plethora of offensive images and conversation in the media and the Internet. Outside of the Science Channel or History Channel, I watch very little T.V. What little network television I have seen is predictable and saturated with sexual references. This is even from the mouths of children. Now that is offensive.

I think that it is in chapter 11 of Matthew's Gospel where Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees as to some of his actions and teachings. He responds with the observation this group is not consistent in their religiosity. They look at John the Baptist and call him 'mad' because of his ascetic lifestyle. Jesus eats and drinks with people and they refer to him as a 'drunkard' and 'glutton.' Our culture today has some real difficulties at arriving at solid foundational beliefs. We become deeply offended at trivial matters, but look the other way when we see major wounds, hurts and division.

Last week I met a woman at Jewel who is going to have her child Baptized in August. She said that recognized me from my picture on the website. I would have rather that she said that the family sits in the chapel, or the back of the church, and they really do not get a chance to speak with me after mass. The sacrament that is about faith and community becomes disconnected from its purpose and direction.

Again from the same text of Matthew Jesus expresses his desire that we might be on fire with faith. To be sure the gifts of the Spirit challenges to become strong and consistent in our faith. When we pray to the Holy Spirit we really need to pray that we understand Truth, and Truth on God's terms not ours, and strive for what is true and good in every situation. There really needs to be a consistency in the practice of our faith and religion. Sometimes I encounter non-catholics who cannot understand why they cannot receive the Eucharist at Mass. After I explain it to them, I also invite them to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I have yet to have any takers on that.

Seeking truth, peace, and justice, are very much part of the 'way' of following Jesus. Christian life is a lot more than bowing and throwing incense at an altar. I like to think that our belief is more than being expedient or responding to a superstition. Faith seeking understanding.

No comments:

Post a Comment