Fall is here, and the beauty of the season is all around us. From the crisp chill that floats in the air to the vibrant colors of the leaves, we know that a new season is coming when these changes begin.
Change is one of the most challenging things for humans to do. If you are like me, the first thing you do when you need to make a change is avoid doing it. I think avoiding what needs to be done will produce the results I want, so I just keep doing what I know is comfortable. Yet, as we have often heard, the definition of insanity is, “Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”
I think this says a lot about our faith life. Often, we hit difficult times when we struggle with church truths or have issues with a homily and instead of working with it through prayer and conversation, we just step away from Mass, prayer, and our faith.
I have a wonderful mother-in-law, Lee. She and my father-in-law were married for 60 years. They renewed their marriage commitment in the church, and we celebrated the occasion with grand festivity as they marked the success of their marriage through their faith-filled devotion. Shortly after the anniversary, my father-in-law passed away from B-cell Leukemia. After the funeral, Lee left the church. She could not believe in a God that took her husband. She turned inward and stopped communicating with longtime friends or even seeing family. Her faith was shaken.
When I speak with students preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, I tell them that they will question their faith and truths. Yet, when they say ‘yes’ to being confirmed, they are saying they will work on their faith with other members of the Catholic Church like their sponsor, priest, parents, as well as dedicate their time to prayer through attendance at Mass and personal time with God.
My mother-in-law still struggles with questions about her faith, but has made room for a pastoral counselor to spend time with her. I pray she opens herself up to the Spirit again soon.
Change does challenge our faith life, but like Fall it can be beautiful when we take the steps to work on our beliefs with God and the faithful Catholics that surround us.
By Liza Roach