Thursday, December 3, 2015

Am I just a pew filler?

My blog thinking has been more on the religious level lately. I guess that 's a good thing. My mind should be preoccupied with thoughts of God.  I don't know why the phrase 'pew filler' came to my head the other day but it did so here's the pew filler blog...

Are we just pew fillers? What do we do to BE the Church?  I have heard plenty of good preaching, read many fine, inspiring books and articles but what has impacted my faith more than any of these? Seeing faith in action.  The examples of others shows me how to live the faith.  So what if I go to church?  Sure, it's a good, necessary thing for my soul. God wants us to be there on Sunday. But when I am there am I really there? Or is it just a motion I go through? I'll admit, it sometimes is for me.  But I am there. I'm hoping it counts for something!

Now that my babies are older, I don't have the cry room excuse, I have NO reason to not be fully immersed in the Mass. But I fail. I am fairly attentive during the readings and homily but the most important part of Mass I take for granted, the Eucharist.  When we receive communion, we become Jesus and it is our duty to be Him and build up His kingdom on Earth.  When we partake of his body and blood we are like little Jesuses everywhere.  He wants us to become Him. If we become Him, we should spread his message of love and peace.  How do we do this? That answer can be as simple or as complicated as we make it.  I like the simple version. "Love one another as I have loved you." Although, that is not as simple as it sounds because no one can love as Jesus has loved, but we can sure try.  So how do I love others?  I look to others that have lived before us to give us that answer. Whether it be grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, family or friends living or in heaven, those are my inspiration, also, the Saints.

We celebrated St. Andrew the other day.  He was a behind-the-scenes kinda guy.  That's how most of us are. But what is our behind the scenes role?  Our talents are ours alone. God gave each of us a unique gift. Our job is to figure that out and to use it for His purpose.  It is more than likely a very simple gift. The gift of shoveling sidewalks on an early Sunday morning, the gift of remembering birthdays and making that person feel special that day, the gift of cooking for others, the gift of organizing events, the gift of greeting others with a smile, the gift of volunteering, the gift of cleaning, the gift of speaking up, the gift of friendship, the gift of laughter, the gift of comfort, the gift of compassion, the gift of praying.

What is your gift to give to Jesus for his birthday this year? Your gift may not (in your eyes) be spectacular, but to God, it is.  In the words of St. Therese, the little flower, your 'little way' is not little. You are a stone, a pillar, in the church as much as the great saints.

The the saints.  I am a convert to the Catholic faith. One secret treasure the Catholic Church has is the Saints. Saints SHOWED us how to live as Jesus. Before the 1500's it was just us Catholics. We endured a lot during those years.  It's easy to judge the mistakes of the pass but many great, holy people had to figure out what God wanted us to do. Church history is so much more than what is in the Bible.  The Bible is the instruction manual but the real work began after Jesus ascended to the Father.  It is those years after that the challenge arose.  Jesus was not here in physical form. He sent the Holy Spirit upon our ancestors and the saints to SHOW us how to live.

Pope Francis is being quoted right and left, but the Saints are just as he is.  I am constantly inspired to try to live holy as they did. Some of my favorite saints: St. Francis of Assisi, St. Therese of Liseux, St. Bernadette, St. Mother Theodore Guerin, of course St. Joseph and St. Mary!, St. Augustine, and hopefully soon to be saints; Mother Theresa and Bishop Fulton Sheen.  'We are all called to be saints.' Our saintly path will more than likely not be anything more than a simple version of who we are lived out in a very holy way.

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."  These are the spiritual gifts we are to give each other to build up the kingdom of God. It is advent. The time we wait for Jesus' coming at Christmas and Jesus' coming at the end of times.  What are we doing with our lives to fill up this time? How are we giving our spiritual gifts to Jesus? Are we doing more than just setting in the pew?