Sunday, March 28, 2010

First Post - Happy Palm Sunday

This is my first post of what I hope will be many. I have intended to start this project for a long time, but have not had the opportunity. I intend on writing about various issues surrounding my Catholic faith, including parish life, politics, and culture.

A little about me: I am in the lower half of my thirties. I have two girls, a 13 year old entering high school in the fall and an infant. My wife, though a "cradle Catholic" like me has never had the same ardor for God as I have had. That has causes some difficulties between us from time to time.

I have an advanced degree, yet consider myself chronically underemployed. I live in one of the boroughs of New York City.

I returned to the Catholic Church, the religion of my childhood in 2001. Since then, I have had varying degrees of ardor for Christ's church. I consider myself orthodox (a term I would rather use than the politically loaded "conservative"); in other words I do not dissent from the hierarchy in Rome and believe the Church was entrusted to the Pope and his bishops by Christ himself.

Since 2001, I have come back and forth to the church, swinging between various extremes. For about a year in 2008-2009 I flirted with an evangelical church before coming home to Rome. Before that I flirted with agnosticism. Yet, during these shifts in thought, I have consistently felt the tug on my heart to come back to the Catholic Church. And so, if I leave, I always come back and I am happy I do.

This blog is my attempt, however imperfectly, to make sense of my experiences as a Catholic in the 21st century. I will focus on what I know best -- local parish life, politics as they relate to Catholic life, and our culture, which seems to despise all religion and every expression of piety.

We are living in a difficult time to be a person of faith. We are the subject of mockery by those who chafe under what they see to be too many rules that limit their autonomy. What they do not realize is that truth always sets us free, with a freedom much better and purer than that of the libertine who is determined to do whatever he or she wants to do whenever he or she feels like it.

Those who advocate a certain form of "freedom" do not understand that with freedom comes a great responsibility. Catholicism is life affirming because it preaches freedom to do what one wishes with the caveat that we are responsible for our poor choices.

I would like to wish all Christians a Happy Palm Sunday. There were many new faces in church this morning to receive their palms and I am certain there will be many more new faces in the pews on Easter Sunday. I pray that they will return every Sunday thereafter and begin worshipping God in the manner he deserves. That's all we can do and that is what I try to do.

~ A Catholic in the City

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