So in my Google alerts, I received the following news story from the Wall Street Journal entitled "After Assimilation: The Pope Works To Bring Back Catholic Culture". The article goes on for some great length stating that:
" One recent survey showed that while 77% of American Catholics said they were proud to be Catholic, 68% also said you could be a good Catholic without going to Mass every Sunday. And 56% of Catholics under 40 say "I could be just as happy in some other church." They don't see anything wrong with gay marriage, and church teachings against birth control are a nonstarter. "Young Catholics see these specific moral teachings -- especially regarding sexuality and marriage -- as peripheral to the faith, and well-educated young Catholics see them as even more so," according to "American Catholics Today:"
68% could be happy not going to mass every Sunday?!?! Correct me if I'm wrong but that is still a cornerstone of our faith, is it not? That you go to mass every Sunday? One has to wonder who they talked to, because I love going to mass every Sunday, and I agonize over it if I cant go because of sickness or what not. Anyway,the article goes on to some great length, and is very interesting. in that it also poses the question that::
"In the Christian ideal, God has no grandchildren; faith must be ever new. But then how does the church encourage Catholicism as a culture while keeping the faith fresh and alive? It is an age-old question, the search for a link between the collective sense of a people and the requirement of individual sanctification."
After reading it thru twice now, I find that it begs the question; Just what ARE we doing to protect our Catholic Culture? Do we openly wear it in public, or do we shy away from it for fear of offending others? Do we pray before lunch, or is it an embarassment to us?
The Mary Garden
Example; my wife is very adamant about me not building a Mary garden. She is devoutly Catholic, and is the reason i am as well, but she doesnt want a statue of the Virgin mary in our yard, which I do. She doesnt mind me creating a huge flower bed with all the flowers that go into a Mary garden, but she has in the past, made it clear she doesn't want a statue of the Blessed Mother in our back yard. Now things might have changed, because it's been a few years since we had that discussion, but what I want to know is; whats the big deal? Not just with her being against a statue of Mary, but
why all the hub-bub over being proud of being Roman Catholic? Living down here in the heart of the "Bible Belt" you'd expect me to know the answer, wouldn't you? I can recall a time about 20 years ago, as a young green haired punk rocker being in columbia South Carolina when I saw Nuns for the first time. They got odder looks than I did! Maybe it was because we were all in a liqour store... Ever heard that joke?
"Jews don't recognize Jesus as the Son of God.Protestants don't recognize the pope as the Ruler of the Church.Baptists don't recognize each other in a liquor store."
All jokes aside, why is it that some of us seem so scared to be openly Catholic? Shouldnt we be so filled with joy that we want to share -and defend- our faith every chance we get? I dont mean go out of your way to be a pain in the neck about it, but dont shy away from it either! How else are we going to fix all the misconceptions about Catholicism and set all these people right? Please, someone, drop a few lines into my comment box, let me know how you feel about all of this! I really want to know.