Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Celebrating Our Faith: This I'll Want to Think About

I ran into a post on a new-to-me blog yesterday: "A Joyous Catholic--Not an Oxymoron " (Roman Catholic Cop (July 27, 2009)). Here's a sample from the first three paragraphs:
"You know--if there is one thing the Roman Catholics do is make ourselves look somber. Maybe gloomy would be a better word. I've spent a good twenty minutes (maybe shorter) sitting here wondering why. Oh, sure--there is something to be said about redemptive suffering. The church does that right.

"My favorite movie line is out of the movie Dogma and it goes something to the effect of, 'I have issues with anyone who treats God like a burden instead of a blessing like some Catholics. You people don't celebrate your faith . . . you mourn it.' ....

"...We should be running around, jumping up and down and acting like idiots because of what we have. Instead when you walk into a mass everyone acts like someone just shot their dog...."
(Roman Catholic Cop)
I think know what Roman Catholic Cop is writing about. I don't know about other countries, but in America gloominess seems to be a default emotional state for being 'Christian.' Approaching worship with all the verve and enthusiasm of one contemplating a dead pet seems to be expected of 'spiritual' people in some quarters. It's certainly not limited to Catholics living in America.

Assuming that some emotional states are more 'spiritual' than others isn't limited to the Curmudgeons for Christ sort, though. I've encountered people whose pep, drive, and enthusiasm for their particular take on Christianity might suggest that a cocktail of powerful stimulants was coursing through their veins.

I've participated in a few get-togethers of that sort, and they're a blast. The theology expressed in these pep-fests was, as a rule, somewhere on a continuum from simplistic to weird - but the experiences were an emotional high.

If I wasn't such a stickler with having my beliefs make sense, I might have joined one of those groups.

It's not that I have anything against emotions. I'm a very passionate man. But I've found that things work out better if I think with my central nervous system and feel with my endocrine system - not the other way around.

"A Joyous Catholic--Not an Oxymoron:" Something to Think About

After reading "A Joyous Catholic--Not an Oxymoron" (which I highly recommend), I took a look at posts here on A Catholic Citizen in America. Sure enough, although I may not have achieved full curmudgeonhood, some of my posts have been rather, well, intense.

I doubt that I'll become a Catholic analog of one of the Clowns for Christ. (Yes, they really exist.)

It's just not in my nature. There's a garrulous, affable Irishman lurking within me - as well as an off-the-wall artist - but that's about as far as it goes. And I like peppy music: I've been asked to keep my voice down while singing at Mass within the last month. For good reason.

However, there's a lot more to being Catholic than the grim war we're involved in. I've made it a point to lighten up a little in this blog. We'll see how that goes.

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.