I sat down in the recede center cafeteria with my illustration of homemade soup and salad. The table was already occupied with a handful of participants , nothing of whom I knew. One wife mentioned her enjoy of the Rule of St. Benedict, which influenced her decision to become an oblate. Another sway her leader and chuckled, “I’m proud to be a secular Franciscan.” Still another( now a personal friend) shared that she was in the formation process to become a lay Dominican.
I remained silent, sipping my soup and sucking the conversation. Always the outsider, I chose to ponder their spiritual penchants. Someone eventually turning now to me and expected, “What about you? Are you a Franciscan or Carmelite or what? ” I checked my garb to be certain I was not garmented as a religious, then, taken aback, I replied, “None of the above. I find beautiful appearances about all of these different forms of spirituality.”
It surprised me that no one replied. It seems as though some Catholics focus on categorizing their faith, as if that is a necessary component for holiness or prerequisite for heaven. After the recede, and for various precede months, I felt a need to fit my own faith into a tidy package, if exclusively to fit in somewhere or to explain to others my particular lifestyle.
First, I considered the Franciscans. My mother had been a secular Franciscan when I was in high school, and I attended a neighbourhood Franciscan university. My love of swine and the action God’s creation ever “ve talked to” my stomach led me to believe I could begin formation in this particular spirituality.
Then I recollected my compassion of St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux, and St. Edith Stein. I understood the depth of their mysticism and to pay attention to a more pensive chassis of petition. So I inquired to a friend about the process of Carmelite formation.
A few of my friends who became lay Dominicans tried to convince me that this was my true-life spiritual visit. I became more persuaded as I speak the works of St. Thomas Aquinas and withdrew my strong devotion to St. Rose of Lima and St. Catherine of Siena.
The roadblocks were always the same: formation in any specific spirituality was laborious and expected an unwarranted sum of meter. To some, this may appear an condone, but I was in the thick of attending for three young daughters, including Sarah who has a rare disease.
In prayer, I felt lost. I wanted to find “the way” for me, the right road that would bring about the feeling of belonging I so desperately needed. In time, God reminded me that He is The Way, and the different forms of prayer and piety are equally beautiful and pleasing to Him.
In our everyday Christian walk, we do not need fanciful and complex pathways to encounter God. Some prefer the rigours of formulaic petitions, such as novenas and rosaries and chaplets. Others are more endowed in spontaneous petition or devotional reading or writing. Still others are talented in music and admire God through song.
In the same way, some Catholics enjoy attending the Latin Mass, while others are naturally drawn to the norvus ordo form. Within the worship, some feel more connected to God through traditional chants and others find exuberance in contemporary accolade and praise music.
I think of three scripture lyrics to summarize my ponders on diversity in spiritual phrases of our faith 😛 TAGEND
Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you besides.( examine Matthew 6: 33) There are a lot responsibilities but one mas.( encounter 1 Corinthians 12: 14) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.( investigate Galatians 3: 28)
Each type of spirituality — Carmelite, Franciscan, Benedictine, Dominican, etc. — are beautiful in themselves, and some are truly called to a specific formation of the Faith. But for the rest of us, it’s more important to seek the movements of the Holy Spirit than to thrust particular rubrics of devotion. Often, God invites us to adore and meeting Him in ways foreign to us, perhaps to keep us open to His causes and receptive to the moments He desires to reveal Himself to us.
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