13-LawnChairCatechismSquare

Here we are, on the last chapter with such an engaging title: “Expect Conversion.”

One consequence of the lack of a culture of discipleship is that Catholics often don’t expect to witness God at work. We plan and work as though the mission of the Church depends entirely upon our hard work, cleverness, and institutions. When God’s presence and power manifest in an obvious or dramatic fashion in a person or community, we often tend to back away.

And here I thought it was just my deodorant…

But we are seriously mistaken if we think and plan as though all we can expect to see happen in our parishes is what we could expect to see happen in any secular nonprofit filled with clever people.

…We have to expect and plan for conversion and the fruit of conversion.

It’s great to use some business principles. It’s wonderful to take best practices and apply them. It’s imperative to remember that a parish isn’t a business and that we’re not relying on ourselves.

OK, got it. But this, THIS speaks to me…

…what few people seem to understand is how debilitating spiritual isolation can be even for highly committed Catholics who are disciples.

WE DON’T WALK THIS PATH ALONE.

But when you feel alone, when you can’t find anyone else who’s as Catholic geeky as you are, well…it sure is tempting to toss it in and call it a good try.

One of the things that’s been a blessed side effect of my online presence has been finding a community to some extent. But I can’t do it without the in-real-life people, the friends who meet with me once a week and pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet and offer advice that, well, I need. They make observations and share laughs and drink coffee.

We need flesh. Which makes the Eucharist a whole lot more than just a Sunday thing, huh?

In the end, the Catholic understanding of salvation is incorrigibly communal. We are all in this together, because none of us are saved by ourselves alone: we are saved as members of the Church, the Body of Christ. The hand cannot say to the foot, ” I do not need you.”

Amen. AMEN.

Join the discussion over at CatholicMom.com! There’s a summary (you don’t have to read the book to participate!) and some great questions to get you started.