I am discovering that it is easy to agree with the Church, but it is harder to follow Christ.
As soon as I fell in love with Christ I accepted everything the Church teaches as true, because she is His Bride, His Body, His universal sacrament of salvation on earth continuing His mission. Even all of those fervently held political views had to fall aside to make room for Christ and His harder teachings. I did that with little difficulty.
But once I embraced orthodoxy, I had the tendency to rely on this intellectual assent and forget the rest, the daily walk. I believed in God, held all of the right and true teachings about the Trinity, faith, and morality, but subtly I was falling away from Him. The Church's teaching on contraception and gay marriage, arguably the most rejected of Church teachings today by Catholics, I accepted without batting an eyelash. But there were a million little sins, and a few really big sins, that I persisted in despite my knowing better.
In short, you could say that I was hiding my own sinfulness from myself behind a wall of orthodox beliefs. I was in the Church, but was not of the Church, at least not in the way that I knew I should be. I was ignoring the Holy Spirit prompting me because I was comfortable. Too comfortable. Too damn comfortable.
I thought I was a good Catholic because I could quote the Bible, the Catechism and the Summa. But as Christ reminds us, hearing the Word and doing the Word are two different things (but shouldn't be!). Praying through this over the past week or so, it culminated in a great confession to a priest who said these words to me:
Following Christ in the small things, day-by-day, is what we are asked to do. It's easy to go to mass on Sunday, anyone can do that. But it is discipleship that matters.
Being a good Catholic does not mean you go to mass more so than the statistical average of US Catholics in the latest Gallup poll. It means interior and ongoing conversion to Christ, He Who is the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. Specifically, I found that I was not trusting my Father in the daily moments of my life. I was letting anxiety about the things of this world remove my filial trust in Him, which decimated my prayer life, all the while I was writing, speaking, and thinking about the new evangelization!
So, if you don't mind, I'm going to foster the new evangelization now by stopping this article and heading over to our perpetual adoration chapel that I tend to ignore because I'm really busy with my apostolate.
*cough* pathetic *cough*