I wrote this almost 2 years ago (Summer 2014) after taking an extended blogging break to just live and to discern. I revisit my purpose here from time to time and have done so recently... and find that it all remains true. For those of you who are relatively new here... welcome! This is why I blog. This is why I occasionally quit. And this is why I keep coming back.
I'm supposed to be on long sabbatical. But I changed my mind. I came back for Lena, and to share life-changing books, and for fellowship. But I stayed because I have teenagers. Teenagers really change everything...
I used to have a family with several adorable little people. I was a Catholic mom; open to life and living in our little domestic church where nothing could touch us.
And then they grew up. It happened so quickly that we almost got blown off course. One day, Professor was taking swimming lessons at the local Y, and the next he was swimming every day of the week and breaking records. Another day, we decided to have the kids play CYO volleyball (just for fun) and pretty soon after that we were making hotel reservations for national tournaments. One day, I was reading Dr. Seuss all. day. long. and the next, I was crying in a natatorium (that's fancy for "big pool room" for all you sporting neophytes) because swim moms are mean.
And remember the kid next door whose parents gave him booze at parties when he was three? Yeah, well, now he's driving and he thinks your daughter is hot. Good morning, mama... Drink your coffee black. The battle used to be in the streets but now it is on your driveway, your front porch, and in your home.
I woke up one figurative morning and had a loud thought that I was just tired of being a Catholic always fighting the world on the world's terms. So we left enemy territory for a while and returned home to strengthen our small army. We quit a bunch of stuff and patched up our wounds. We returned to our cloister to regroup and we emerged as something slightly different than we were before.
We came face-to-face with silence again. With ourselves. With God. I wouldn't say it was the most comfortable time but it was fruitful. We learned a lot about who we really were as individuals and as a family...
My son was an athlete. Then he was more. My daughter was talented. Then she was more. My little ones were gym/pool rats. Then they were more.
And me? I'm a princess. A mommy. A wifey. A dreamer. A talker with a keyboard. And more.
I'm an activist.
A Catholic activist. I'm a traditionalist-charismatic-vernacular-liking-Latin-loving-praise-and-worship-singing-Holy-Spirit-petitioning kind of Catholic activist. I don't wear a mantilla but my teenage daughter has... because she wants to. I don't kneel to receive Jesus when there's no altar rail, but my kids often do. They just got it into their heads that God is awesome and showed me a thing or two about love. I do wear bathing suits to swim and a miraculous medal everywhere except the pool (until the babies break the chain... They always do.) I don't eat fish during Lent (or ever) but I like to make a mean grain-free chocolate chip cookie for feast days.
I have a soft spot for priests and bishops but I don't love when they peddle pablum and compromise on the Church's moral teachings. I worship God, not men. I follow truth, not silver tongues. I tell my discerning sons that if they grow up to become that kind of priest that I will haunt them after I die. And my rather literal firstborn frowns at me and tells me that's impossible.
Which is impossible? I ask. Both. I laugh out loud but he does not... because he just doesn't think it's funny.
My kids are growing up and our cloister is... well... it's different now. Those first magical years are really gone for good, we averted some heavy storms, and now we stand at the door together and face the giant world.
My kid once started a pro-life youth organization because he was tired of just speaking love of life instead of doing. They are killing babies, Mom. Yes they are. We need to speak up and stop it. Yes, we do. We need to pray and work for justice for these little ones. Let's go then. I'll follow you.
I wrote in my last post about scandal in the Church and how good people are looking the other way while evil happens. I know why this happens... It happens because pro-life is HARD. Harder than repeating a few slogans. Harder than holding a sign. Harder than going to a nice pro-life dinner or giving a pro-life keynote or writing a pro-life blog post.
The pro-life message IS the Gospel message. And it says...
"Don't you even think about hurting any of My precious little ones. Ever. And don't you let it happen either."
The real scandal of the whole Catholic Relief Services fiasco is not that people pretending to love the Church are doing evil things. The real scandal is that believing Catholics are doing NOTHING to stop it. I would have come back to this blog just to say that. If we are comfortable pro-life Gospel-livers, then we are doing it wrong.
So I'm here writing because I have teenagers to raise into men and women of God. And I want them to know that love means activism. Even a cloistered nun is an activist. She gives everything for the cause of Love and perpetually petitions the highest Authority for justice.
Because I want my children to know how to speak their love with confidence, I must speak when I lack confidence. They know my limitations but I think they also know my passion. I have obligations at home that keep me from being out there... But I can come back here to be a witness.
It is my testimony to God's blessing in my life and it is what I owe Him.
I have a platform and I'm using it so long as it is consistent with God's will for my life.
I have made a spectacle of myself in some ways over issues that many people don't even care about. But I'm a Catholic activist. I am fighting and advocating for Love. For those babies who are never born because of our bishops' foreign aid program. For my own babies. For the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For the dignity of all human persons. For Catholic culture.
For many years, I thought it was enough to have a large family. Isn't that pro-life enough? But while we are busy with our littles, the enemies of life are active. They are activists. They are changing laws and cultural tides and overcoming the weak. And they are waiting for the day when your children are older and take their first steps outside your cloister. Don't just teach your kids how to live, show them how to do it.
So here I am. A bumbling activist. With a good looking husband, a few great recipes, and an affinity for my wonderful children, fitness and nutrition, pretty things, reading, homeschooling, and blogging. And Pinterest. Can't forget about Pinterest. Welcome to my digital domicile... and to my life of blossoming joy.