Sunday, July 18, 2010

"What does it mean to be a good Catholic?"

Church of the Immaculate Conception
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods

For a long time now...I can't put it into hours, days, or months...I have been searching, wondering. It's one of those times of life when the soul is dry, arid and it needs nourishment and I don't seem to know where to find it. Perhaps, I'm looking in the wrong places. I do know I need some guidance.

In reflection today I picked up Mornings with Thomas Merton, 120 Daily Readings and came upon #62.

Another one of those times that turned out to be historical, as far as my own soul is concerned was when Lax and I were walking down Sixth Avenue, one night in the spring. The street was all torn up and trenched and banked high with dirt and marked out with red lanterns where they were digging the subway, and we picked our way along the fronts of the dark little stores, going downtown to Greenwich Village. I forget what we were arguing about, but in the end Lax suddenly turned around and asked me the question:

"What do you want to be, anyway?"

I could not say, "I want to be Thomas Merton the well-known writer of all those book review in the back pages of the Time Book Review," or "Thomas Merton the assistant instructor of Freshman English at the New Life Social Institute for Progress and Culture," so P put the thing on the spiritual plane, where I knew It belonged, and said:

"I don' know. I guess what I want it to be a good Catholic."

"What do you mean, you want to be a good Catholic?"

So I guess that I what I am trying to discern. You see I don't know what that means either.
Who determines what a good Catholic is. It is a fearful thing to feel unsure. I can only hope that that because I have not heard the Spirit speak to me yet, that He will see fit to clear my ears and head so that His words of wisdom will come through loud and clear.

For this time of discernment I say a hearty,
"Thanks be to God!"


  1. Ah, Cathy, something funny happened to me as "I wanted to be a good Catholic." I started a Masters in Pastoral Studies. Four years later, with a Masters in hand, I had also become a good 'Feminist Catholic' of the radical kind -- in a way (there are infinitely more radical people than I am)...

    Since then, I have heard that one has to be very careful when one prays or asks something. One may get one's prayer, but not the way anticipated :-)))

    Neat blog!

    Thank you for visiting mine!

  2. Oh, I hope being a good person will qualify - at least in parts - for being a good catholic too.;)
    Have a lovely Monday dear Cathy,

  3. What a beautiful reflection, Cathy. I love the stained glass window, so pretty and so solemn...Christine

  4. Wonderful post, dear Cathy! Spiritual journeys to God are the best kind. Divine hugs to you...

  5. Hi GRandmaK, thanks for this inspiration .. I too has been arid for sometime.. Thanks a lot, this is enlightening.


This has become a new adventure. One in which I will try to express my journey with providence.