Blogger's Note: The article below will appear in the Sunday, Oct. 26, church bulletin .
Last Sunday, my wife Jodi and I once again experienced the deep faith, honest fellowship, and resounding joy that attracted us to this parish when we moved here in 2003. We began the day with 8:30 Mass and breakfast with our family, then met three other couples for lunch and a book study/discussion about raising Catholic kids. We returned home in mid-afternoon, then loaded the family in the minivan to visit another family here in the community. A lasagna dinner, great conversation, and family games rounded out the evening. We were on the go from the time the alarm sounded, but ended the day rejuvenated.
That’s why life in “The Bubble” of St. Michael’s and St. Albert’s parishes is so appealing to us. Here, we are surrounded by families who can related to our struggles and our goals, culminating (we hope) in eternity in heaven. We feel at home here, secure, and at least somewhat sheltered from the storms of the outside world.
It is right and good that we should feel this way. Church is meant to be community. This is why, in our first month of LIFT classes this year, we tried to emphasize the importance of getting comfortable with the people around you, with praying and sharing together. It’s why our sacramental programs involve parent meetings, peer discussions, and group activities, and why, in general, we try to draw families in to our programs rather than simply letting folks “go it alone.”
We aren’t meant to be alone. We are adopted sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, and we are called to be family.
To that end, I hope to share more of myself and my family with all of you, as well as ideas and resources for sharing our Catholic faith among your own friends and family, on the Faith Formation page of the parish website and through my blog at archangelstomp.blogspot.com. I’ve been writing on this site on and off for years now, but with Father’s blessing, I’m refocusing my efforts around this new role in the parish, as well as the challenges of being a good Catholic husband and father.
It is important to note that life in The Bubble can also lure us to stagnation. We can become so comfortable with our lives here, so secure in the like-mindedness of our friends and community, that we can be tempted to circle the wagons and watch the world burn. We sometimes forget our mission to win souls for Christ and become inwardly focused, seeking to preserve what is dear to us here on earth rather than spend ourselves and all we have for God. It can seem like an appealing thought – but anyone who has ever blown soap bubbles as a child knows what happens when a bubble in motion comes to rest. It glistens briefly, shudders, and POP!...it vanishes.
We are many parts, but one body in Christ—and when all the parts pull together, the body is strong, and can do the work it’s called to do. Blessed Mother, pray that your children learn to share with each other, care for each other, and work well together for the Kingdom of God. Amen.
Past posts on The Bubble:
Labels: church, column, community, dreams, faith, friends, work