Well, as they said in the psalm at Mass yesterday, "The God of Glory thunders, and in His temple all say "Glory!" (Psalm 29)
We had a roomful of new "Cranky Catholics" last night for the first meeting of our ministry. The first night is always spent in telling our stories, interspersed with an overview of the weeks to come, and gathering topics that seem to be hot buttons for each unique group.
The level of honesty among strangers always humbles me. Among our "class," (I don't know what to call them), we have:
- an angry woman who feels the Church demeans women and active homosexuals
- a man who is married to a woman who is "born-again" and is beginning to demean Catholicism and throw "whore of Babylon" information at him. He wants information not only to use when talking with her and the children, but for himself to make sure he knows why he's Catholic
- a woman who simply said "God found me" after a life of reasonably faithful Catholicism and now needs to know what to learn first
- her husband who says he's tagging along, but is surprised that everybody is not perfectly happy as a Catholic
- a woman born and raised Catholic but who married a Protestant and raised her children in that faith, and now, divorced and with her children nearly grown, is wondering if the Catholic Church is where she really wants to be
- two people who told similar stories: they wandered off from church totally, and want to come back, but for real, not just because there isn't anything else to do on Sundays
and others whose stories haven't quite jelled yet. The team members all told their stories again, too, and we all surprise each other with new details, even though we've heard each other's testimonies several times before. All our stories may not sound connected, but if you could hear them, you'd realize that they all connect on at least one side. Together, they make a cry to God.
(And further glory to God, only two people said they came because they heard my little talk the week before. I am spared the pride of thinking I had something to do with drawing them, darn that Holy Spirit!)
We're on our way!
Duane Mandible on Welcoming Grays
2 hours ago