May 07, 2010

Build Your Catholic Community

I am blessed with Catholic community.  By that, I mean much of my life is spent around other Catholics.  I am an Oblate at St. Benedict Abbey in Still River, MA, so I am often surrounded by the priests and brothers there.  I am also surrounded by other Oblates and laypeople who regularly visit  the Abbey.  I belong to a Bible Discussion group and a group that is studying John Paul II's encyclical Fides et Ratio.  We do things together socially as well.  My local Roman Catholic Church and Melkite Catholic Church put me in touch with a whole different group of Catholics.

Why am I bringing this up?  To encourage you to foster such a community in your life, because I have found that it is so much easier to practice virtues, go to confession, go to Mass or Vespers or Divine Liturgy, and to read spiritual material when I live surrounded by people with the same spiritual mindset.  It becomes osmosis, because someone inevitably brings up some topic related to the Faith, and I benefit from it.

For example, tonight someone mentioned Theology on Tap coming up.  There are two sessions being held the same night in two different towns.  One is on marriage and dating and the other is on Iconography.  So we talk a about both topics and we go off on a tangent about practicing virtues.  Oh yea, practicing virtues.  That is something I keep wanting to do more of.  Maybe if I hear it enough times, I will actually start.  In between, we find out about the triple loss tonight - the Bruins, the Red Sox, and the Celts.

Many times, when we carpool, we pray the Rosary together.  Our carpools are to Shrines, the March for Life, or barbecues and parties.  Sometimes we meet for tennis.  We have a good time and being Catholic is less of an effort because it just flows among us all.  I guess that is why monks say there is strength in numbers, because there is.

I highly recommend expanding your network of Catholic influences.  You will draw closer to God.

Peace in Christ,

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