Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Church Militant is more than smart writing.

*This post is personal, pointed, and painful, based on my experiences after a year of blogging and facebooking.  I have found that the world of online Catholics would rather rail about hot button, cultural and political issues that garner much attention, than actually aid brothers and sisters in Christ  (Not even talking about "lepers", but parish people.).

This is within my little Catholic corner of the world.  You may have a vibrant, active church circle.  So pray for us.

One problem that parents of older children with CF (or any chronic condition) face is indifference.  In the beginning years, when every hospitalization was horrifying and we were reeling with God's rejection  (Our perception, of course, but real.), church people came.  They came to sit with our son, to take us out, or to drop by with a sub or a movie or a cappuccino.  Sometimes all three ~ halleluia!

Then two things happened :  Rees grew up and we converted to Catholicism.  He was no longer a crying, confused toddler with distraught new parents ; he was a cool dude who understood CF and dealt pretty well with hospitalizations  (I think we became cooler, too, but don't ask my kids.).  And we found that, in our world, Catholics go to church, then go home.  No visits.  No restaurants.  There's plenty of Facebook and bloggy bemoaning the state of the country and our Church, but when I posted a status update that Rees had been hospitalized?  Silence.  Indifference.  In fact, this past time, a church leader told us he was heading in for a visit, then never showed.  Readers, this is Even Worse than not showing.  

We (older CF parents) may be at existential peace with a chronic condition requiring hospitalizations, but the hours still   D R A G   by when hooked up to an IV.  The Communion of Saints is more than asking Sister Mary Martha to recommend a good patron for a particular malady and begging intercession from the Church Triumphant.  It's the Church Militant, too ~ those of us here, working out our salvation in fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12 but read the whole chapter!).  And while it is intellectually stimulating to read insightful, witty commentary on the World Wide Web, Real People in your parish need Other Real People with telephones and trucks to really contact them.

There's enough pentecostal left in me to recommend dropping to our knees, closing our eyes, raising our hands to Heaven, and asking the Holy Spirit to fall on us and fill us with Love.  And information.  Information on whom to pour out that Jesus Love upon. 

Speaking in other tongues optional.

Now let's walk away from our computers, pick up a $6.99 box of doughnuts, and go help someone.  Also please note that the last paragraph contains several our's and us's.  Although I admit to whininess and discouragement, I'm in this as well.  After all, my kid is not always in the hospital . . .



  1. A post on a topic close to this one has been floating around in my head for a few days and I think you gave me the catalyst to get it out.

    You are so right, if we are not a community even within our own parish, how can we ever think that we will be able to stand against forces committed to our destruction?

    Worse than that, how can we think that any of us will make it out of this place intact - spiritually?

    1. Appreciate your words and I'll watch for yours. It's still tough for me to think about.

  2. I found my way here via Ignitum although I have read you before. I am sorry for the indifference you felt with your son sick. I am also a Catholic Convert and have felt the isolation of the icy throngs at church...coming from an Evangelical background where people actually spoke to each other at church, it felt all the worse. When we lived in Kansas, I let my then-middleschool kid dye his hair pink and sit in the first row...I told my kids "they are staring at us and that is one step ahead of where we were last week".

    I dont understand the distance people keep in Catholic Churches sometimes, it is a weird little cultural quirk as far as I can see. I have seen people nearly fall off chairs leaning away from me to avoid eye contact or conversation and Im a normal person. Perhaps God led folks like us to join the Church for more than 1 reason...maybe we can change the culture one moment at a time .

    Also, as a nurse who has cared for sick babies/children for 26 years, I very often see that peers often flee when needed because they are too afraid to consider what life might be like if their child were is a selfish and primitive reaction but very real.

    And lastly, as a military wife who had to move life-and-kids into preestablished suburban communities, I have found that most of our mid-40 mom peers are often just too busy to be kind to one another...its a terrible thing, but too often true and Im so sorry for it. I try to leave enough time in my life to be responsive to those around me who might need a little time or attention, but mostly I experiences the ladies who show up with the warm banana bread and welcome you to the neighborhood then never speak to you again.

    Big Convert-mom hugs from the east coast

    1. Dear Tammy,
      I'm weeping now, so glad you've taken the time to write. I'll write to you later, as I gave birth just yesterday (a girl!) and have just a few minutes on the computer.
      Love, Allison