Saturday, 1 March 2014

The Privileges and Challenges of Being Catholic in Today's Society

I am Catholic. I am a practising Catholic. That is a beautiful thing. It is not always an easy thing.

These privileges and challenges are mine, some may be very unique to me and others may be a little more universal. Some of my privileges I even consider challenges at times.

One privilege I would say of being Catholic in Trinidad is that non-Catholic are a little more in tuned to our liturgical calendar. Most of the country abstains from meat on Good Friday, it's a cultural norm. On Ash Wednesday only 1 person may tell me I have something on my forehead. In fact I have gone a full workday without anyone saying anything.

Challenge, non-Catholics seem to think they know your Faith better that you do. True I may not know my Faith as well as I should but to be preached the wrong thing as if it is genuine fact is a little insulting.

The Sacraments are definitely a privilege of being Catholic. I get to receive Jesus Christ in the Eucharist every single day. I get to avail myself of Confession regularly so that I can draw nearer to Him by reconciliation removing the stumbling blocks that sin creates between us.

Challenge, Confession. It is hard and it is not. I wake up in the morning, tell myself I am going to try to make it to Confession later in the day but by noon I have a hundred reasons why today is not a good day. I have 500 reasons why I don't really need to go today. I have a thousand reasons why it will be better just to skip it. Then I get there the line is long, everyone is taking a really long time. I'm hot, hungry or thirsty. Maybe all three. Then I get in, get out and it's a privilege again.

As a Catholic I am privileged to be called to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ, Lord and Saviour. I make His ways, my ways. I try to live a life that is more than just seeking temporal happiness.

I am challenged everyday in my walk with Christ by a world that walks a different way. A world that tells me temporal happiness is what I need. A world that tells me how I choose to live is stifling and oppressive.

When I travel it is a privilege to experience the universality of the Catholic Church. I don't have to seek a church whose theology is most similar to mine or as close as I can get it. I get a Mass that is the same, I get theology that is the same and a homily that is unique.

There are so many more privileges to being Catholic and few more challenges but I'll stop here. Feel free to add your own privileges and challenges to living your Catholic Faith.