It's sort of maddening since, when someone is judging me (or I them) we now have an instant opportunity to respond to a blog, comment on a Facebook page or tell them in person, how I do it in my life and how that would certainly work for them. This, in turn, helps everyone to feel somewhat inferior (while I hope, but somehow doubt, causing the "fixer" to feel somewhat awkward and regretful for presuming to know what is best for someone else).
Quite a pickle, non? So, what do we do? I have no idea, really, I just need to vent this a bit. Some things I am curious about...
1. The "perfect" blog: It would seem there are people out there who only put things on their blogs that make it seem as though they have the perfect life - shiny, happy kids; loving, devoted spouse, days filled with sunshine and happiness. Do you feel this way when you look at someone's blog? Why? Do you not know, with all your heart, that only our Father in Heaven is perfect (yes, you know I'm not because I ... and use improper capitalization all the time despite the fact that I taught it to #1 last week). Even I struggle with this. I do. Please, don't succumb to it. It is, by far, the silliest thing to become depressed over. If you are depressed, that is not silly. Still, try to remember that we all struggle with many, many things. If you find a perfect person with a perfect blog, grasp them tightly. Afterall, they must also be charitable and a perfect friend who will support you in your imperfection and at your time of need. Otherwise, they're not so perfect, huh?
2. I am constantly swirling through different communities that have very strong opinions about one thing or another...eat only (enter the 'food trend of the week' here), be highly suspicious of the government/medical community/etc., co-sleep/sleep train, don't vaccinate, etc.. Just as a disclaimer, our family doesn't tend to follow trends (other than kale chips because they rock!). Ultimately, as long as your decision doesn't effect me or my family (and won't damn you to hell eternally), I don't worry all that much about what you do/say/think. That part in the parenthesis will earn you a bit of free advice on my part...if you choose to listen.
3. Why is it so important for people to be "in a group" when, clearly, you are not part of that group because you don't believe/abide by a great number of things required to belong in that group? At this moment, I'm referring to the "group" of the Roman Catholic Church (but, really it could be anything...like if I were a "vegetarian" who believed that using chicken stock is OK...although that is much less serious, granted). Currently, I am on a committee at church and we are trying, with the utmost respect and love, to instruct someone who claims to be a proud member of the RCC while still openly and actively (like in pictures-in-the-paper sort of thing) supporting Planned Parenthood. It's sad, really. I get that people struggle with all the teachings. I pray that anyone with such a struggle (including me on many days) will find their way to the ultimate truth. Still. Really. If you don't agree with the teachings, please don't stay. It's been this way for 2,000 years and it's not changing. I promise. Don't wait for it. Go somewhere that better matches what you believe. There are many, many choices for you. I do feel badly about that. I don't want anyone to leave. I know what it means, even if they don't.
4. Not "judging". I sat through a homily last week that talked all about how important it is not to judge. It had some really good points about the possibility of weeds becoming wheat and other hopeful anecdotes. The sad part, for me, was the lack of any teaching about fundamental truth. There is a right and a wrong and, if you've been paying attention, you know what that is. If you haven't, please go and seek it out. I promise you (again, lots of promises today!) you will be the better for it. Your life will be blessed (if not easy). It is completely wrong to think we are better than someone else because of x, y or z. It is not wrong, in fact, to point out where someone might be unclear about the fundamental right and wrong that is written on our hearts. If they disagree, that's their freedom. You tried and, perhaps, planted a seed that will grow later.
I began this post in December of 2013. It feels to me like the right time to post. It's definitely disjointed but I hope you get the point. The story of St. Bridget said she was "robust in telling the Pope to move back to Rome from Avignon." Robust. She wasn't timid. She didn't worry if he would feel judged. She knew the right thing and she called him out. We must try, every day, to get ourselves (and as many other people as we can) to Heaven. Sometimes that involves loving correction - on both sides. Let's pray to St. Bridget that we, too, may be robust in our quest.
"I will glory not because I am righteous, but because I am redeemed; I will glory not because I am free from sins, but because my sins are forgiven me. I will not glory because I have done good nor because someone has done good to me, but because Christ is my advocate with the Father and because the blood of Christ has been shed for me."
— St. Ambrose