Over the years the married folks in our parish prepared more than a thousand young couples to begin life together. We shared our experiences and what we thought we’d leaned from them about communication, finance and children in the years we’d spent with our spouses.
Organizing these gatherings, I noticed that there was one subject that few of us were willing to discuss. It wasn’t money or sex but spirituality. This was so even though all of us were long-time active, committed members of St. Mary’s.
Maybe our difficulty centered on the fact that we knew that our beliefs about God and Jesus mattered much less than our day-to-day practical dedication to God’s gift of life and our willingness to love as Jesus loved. Catholic spirituality is ultimately concerned with concrete actions not abstract truths. It’s about how we treat people.
Since none of us are perfect, discussing our faith is always humbling. We are talking about our vision of the world and our role in it that we never quite get right.
The thing is: we need to hear one another’s struggles as much as we need to hear of the successes. What we need to share of each other’s spirituality is not wise theories or profound spiritual growth. We need to know the constancy, the efforts day after day to love as God loves in the face of weakness and insecurity. We need to hear this because we need to be reminded that others are committed to the same struggle that we pursue. We need to know that others aren’t giving up on Jesus’ dream. We need to know that we’re not alone.
Others remind us that we’re members of a community that moves forward together, a community sharing a hope for an individual salvation inseparable from hope for the world’s.
It’s fundamental to Catholic faith that no one finds or follows God alone. We share one spiritual story and it’s important to share it.