Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Preaching what we Practice

I'm fairly good at practicing what I preach...except of course when it comes to screaming things like "why do you have to yell like that?" at my kids. I'm around enough people to know that this is common so I don't worry too much about it. I have just recently been challenged to preach what I practice. This is a little more challenging. I'm not much of a "preach-er", actually I try not to be "preach-y". Sometimes, however, I just assume that people know what I know and I'm finding out that is not always the case. I'm quite good at "preach-ing" in the case of homeschooling and socialization. "Oh my kids are too social to homeschool" someone might say. That person can then expect to hear an earful from me about their misconceptions regarding homeschooling. Theatre is an area where I'm not as skilled in the "preach-ing". Up until last month when our children's theatre joined ranks with a local community theatre, we were the best children's theatre in the area performing in a very poor rented location. The directors were paying an arm and a leg for the rights to the shows and more than an arm and a leg for the less than ideal space and they were barely breaking even. I would find myself getting extremely annoyed with people who complained incessantly about ticket prices etc. I just ASSUMED people knew how much it was costing them. Often I'd find out later that people had no idea about the costs involved in running a successful children's theatre. I spent an awful lot of time frustrated with people who simply didn't have all of the information I had. Church is another where I have trouble "preach-ing". The Catholic Church is probably the most misunderstood organizational body in the world. It is certainly misunderstood in my corner of the world, by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. I've been Catholic my whole life, but I've only begun to scratch the surface of what that really means. I tend to clam up or walk away when I hear about these misconceptions because I feel unqualified or unworthy to attempt to explain them. If somebody misunderstands my point about homeschooling or theatre it's not really all that crucial. If I somehow misrepresent THE CHURCH, there's too much at stake...too much pressure. The problem is, by doing and saying nothing, I am making a statement and I've come to realize it is not a good one. There's a saying "you might be the only cathedral someone sees today." This applies not only to trying to be gracious and considerate to everyone you meet, but also in explaining why I go to the Church with the Eucharist instead of the one with the best jelly donuts or the most welcoming people.

11 comments:

ann marie said...

Hey now, ain't nobody got better donuts than us! Now on to a more grammatically correct thought. I am the same way. I never want to offend people, confuse people, mislead people, all of that stuff, so I usually say nothing. Makes me kind of cringe when I say that. By the way, how good was Father Robert this weekend? I wanted to clap when he was done. And I think this whole series of gospels that we've been hearing every week and that are leading up to the Lenten season are literally moving. They make you want to really share your light (and salt) and take action. So go share :)

bfarmmom said...

I totally agree with you Julie and Ann Marie. I have tried and then I feel like I can't explain myself as well as I should, and then my faith is even more misunderstood. And yes Ann Marie the Gospels these past couple of weeks have been incredible! I really, really, miss Father Robert. He is so great at applying Scripture to real life and in such an interesting way.

Heidi L. said...

Preach on, sister!!! I've battled with this same "issue" especially growing up Catholic while attending a Protestant affiliated school! Whew...if only I knew then what I know now! It was so funny on Sunday after the homily Tony said, "Now that deserved an AMEN!!" I agree! Let's let our little lights shine BIG!! : ) Thanks for sharing! Heidi L.

Terri said...

One more comment from a happy (and ever-so-grateful) Catholic person.. .

If you are reading and you don't know much about Catholicism and you want to know more, I highly recommend that you look up Matthew Kelly or Scott Hahn. They both have the gift of being able to apply the age-old teachings of the Catholic church to our own "modern" lives.

Our faith is so deep, so rich that is it nearly impossible to understand it (or explain it) to anyone in a few short sentences or even in a lengthy conversation. That's why theologians spend their entire lives studying.

And, finally, one last point for anyone who is curious about Cathoicism. If you are truly a lover of Jesus and desire him more than anything else, then you MUST learn more about the Eucharist.

It's waaaaaay better than a jelly donut. lol!

Tiffany said...

I could use a little more courage in preaching what I practice as well, in many areas. In fact, sometimes I do the opposite of preaching and standing up for the way I do things (homeschooling, finances, beliefs about God, and so on)--instead I make fun of myself or even make myself look bad by telling some terrible story on myself. Like if someone tells me that they admire my patience (ha!), instead of saying thank you and moving on I go on and tell them some story about really freaking out on my kids. If someone compliments me on living debt free--I then make fun of myself and Ollie for being so cheap. And the list goes on. Thanks for the reminder...

oneblessedmamma said...

I don't know...I think I have a pretty good grasp on the Eucharist, but I still like a good jelly doughnut too...and friendly people...I'm not sure they have to be mutually exclusive or that any denomination has the corner market on remembering the sacrifices of Christ as our Passover Lamb. No matter what the denomination on Earth, in heaven, we'll all just be children of God and brothers and sisters in Christ (which we of course are here on Earth, but we let our "stuff" get in the way of that a lot).

bfarmmom said...

Yes, we are ALL brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen! I guess once you truly understand the Eucharist, receiving our Lord, our God; receiving Him, His Body, His Blood, His Soul , and His Divinity, and the incredible graces received through Him, you just want everyone to know about it. When I truly understood what I was partaking in every Mass (which did't happen until I was 32!) I fell in love with Jesus like never before!
I truly believe that people who leave the Church do not truly believe in the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
And I for one think St. Pat's has friendly people, good donuts, and good coffee!! LOL
Love all of you girls!!!

Terri said...

ha! I can relate to that Tiffany. It's always, "yeah, but..."

Good discussion here!

By the way, we don't have jelly donuts, we have CREAM PUFFS (and lots of other goodies.) lol

Amy said...

I miss you!

Leisa said...

Good discussion. I love that our little community of friends is so diverse yet all connected as daughters of the king. I have always held the notion that there won't be a line in heaven dividing out the baptists from the Catholics, or the Presbyterians from the Methodists ;)

bfarmmom said...

I MISS YOU TO!!!! When are some of you guys gonna take a road trip????? You ALL can come at the same time. We have a big basement where all of the kids can crash.