Wednesday, March 6, 2024 – Day 22

March 6, 2024

Congratulations on starting week four!

When we designed a new logo for CCHS, there were varying views of the symbolism. I saw it as the Holy Spirit involved in the world. We are a global community with the need for one another. 

The reflection in Rebuilt Faith: A Handbook for Skeptical Catholics begins this week with perspectives on Engagement. Over the years as a parish priest, engagement has been a challenge for many parishioners. “I go to church to talk to God.” “I want private time with God.” “There’s to much talking.”  I’ve heard these complaints and many more. Weekend worship isn’t a private moment, but public worship. Going into a space with several hundred other worshippers … hard not to engage with one another. 

The authors, Michael White and Tom Corcoran, give us biblical insight on how God sees our need to be engaged in relationship with one another.  They say, “quiet time and personal time are great. Alone time is important, but when it comes to faith (and life in general), it is not good for us to be all alone. It is not healthy for us.”

They offer these reflection questions:

On a scale of one to five, how much of a problem is loneliness for you? Why did you assign the number you did? 

When have you experienced relief that someone understood you and your point of view? 

Do you tend to see faith as a solitary exercise, or are you more open to community?

As an unmarried, celibate priest, alone time is much of my life. There is varied viewpoints on the healthiness of celibacy, but that is the calling I received years ago.  I would put myself in the middle of the loneliness question. I have a lot of alone time, but not a lot of loneliness. Even though I am celibate, I have many relationships with personal friends, family, parishioners and co-workers. 

Quite often, I have great conversations with mutual understanding. It’s so important to have a spirit of openness to other points of view. 

Faith has its solitary moments, especially in my alone time.  I also am drawn to community faith experiences. When I experience community, I know I belong here and am inspired by other’s journeys.