January 30, 2012

Catholic Identity

I just finished writing a journal article to be published in several months. Although not the specific subject of the article, I do talk about Catholic Identity. I think it is obvious these days that we have lost a lot of our identity as Catholics. However, I also think that people are realizing that we gave up a lot in losing this identity.

When people lose their identity they also often lose their way. Think of those Alzheimer patients who, not remembering who they are or who their loved ones are, live a life that's neither here nor there, often literally losing their way. Some people's identity is so completely dependent on their jobs or in their relationships that when these things are lost, the person falls apart. Having an identity is crucial to who I am.

So who am I?  I could easily and truthfully say I am a wife, a mother and a daughter. I am a Pastoral Associate, a friend, an artist, a musician and a writer.  But is that my identity? Yes these words describe different aspects of my identity but even in their sum they don't do justice in identifying who I am.  So again, who am I?  I am a child of God, claimed by Jesus Christ and formed by the Word of God and two thousand years of tradition.  This is not just my Catholic identity but my identity as a human being.

This is why regaining our Catholic identity is so important. We are a people who have, in a sense, lost or are in danger of losing our way.  The world is shaping our identity, not our faith in Jesus Christ for whom people for centuries have given up their lives and continue to do so.  The world is telling us that they way we pray, the way we worship, our beliefs, and our devotions are not relevant today.  But I believe they are more relevant because they are needed today more than ever.  

Do you know who you are? If not it's time to discover who you are. Rediscover your Catholic identity.

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