I am at a conference for work and traveling with a fellow who works done the hall. Breakfast conversation turned to the Catholic Church (he was raised Catholic) and faith and rules, etc. At one point he remarked that he hasn’t been to church in years because if one disagrees with so many of the rules why go?
Where else would I go? I’ve thought about this as I struggle with the rules and whether I can abide by them, or must follow my own way. And I consider that rules and rulings have changed throughout history. But, it focused me once again on why I stay: I need the community.
While faith and prayer are intensely personal, and require a personal relationship with God, it seems that the example of how to live that is only truly found in community. The Trinity is God as community. The Church lives out the individual vocations of its parts as community. Human life (except in really bizarre, artificial circumstances) requires the input of 2 people to create a new person. All life on earth is dependent on the ecosystem – the interaction of all the parts and pieces to create the proper environment for life.
Where would I go? I can’t come up with a satisfactory answer to that. I have no inner call to be a Christian of any other ilk than my current status as Roman Catholic. And so I stay, as one of many parts in the this one body… and I’ll just have to take that One Body, complete with scrapes, scars, warts and rashes mixed in with beautiful eyes, hands that take care of others, strong legs and feet. I can only hope to be a part of the that body that can help with healing the parts that need it — and allow myself to be healed when I need it.
We are many parts, we are all one body.