Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Holy, Mature Commitment

Last week I asked the question, ‘How rooted is your faith?’  This quote in a book on authentic discipleship had caught my attention:

“Serious faith is rooted faith, rooted in principles and beliefs that are bigger than the believer and expressed in healthy, mature commitment.”

I found myself asking how rooted our faith was, because there are times when I get concerned about our commitment to parish life.  I’m not thinking about any parish in particular, but about Catholics throughout the United States.  All too often, our response to a challenge or difficulty in parish life is to disengage, either by leaving, or by ‘staying in our pew’ and letting a handful of others take on the effort that needs to be invested in order for a parish to thrive and be a source of hope in our community – the effort it takes for us to truly be (on Sunday, and every other day of the week) a parish that draws people in to encounter the love, mercy, grace, and fullness of life to be found in a living encounter with Jesus Christ.

There are 3 characteristics to holy, mature commitment:

1 – It is about more than Mass on Sunday.  It is a commitment to be an active part of the community of faith, giving generously of our time and talent to support the ministries, efforts and initiatives of our parish.  When ‘being a member of this parish’ is limited to Sunday Mass, our commitment is lacking.

2 – It’s about more than what we like or don’t like.  A mature commitment accepts our preferences for what they are, but does not let them decide whether we’re in or not – discipleship is an ‘all in’ enterprise. 

3 – Healthy commitment is able to take risks…because the community we’re committed to gives us the stability to risk the awkward conversation needed to grow past conflict or the humility needed to consider our own need for conversion.

Are you living a holy, mature commitment to practicing the faith in your parish?

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