Monday, November 17, 2008

11 Tips For Keeping Yourself Sane...

...when your parish is not what it's cracked up to be, liturgically speaking. My parish is a good parish. I just thought I'd share it in case someone could use the help.

I couldn't resist this list...actually, I can't resist any list.

I think I have my friend Tracy to thank for introducing me to this blog. Thanks Tracy!
(1) Don't stop and kick every barking dog. Don't fill up your pastor's email inbox with excessive complaints about liturgical abuses or catechetical errors. Chances are he knows about them and either doesn't care or is too feckless to do anything about it.

(2) Get sanity checks. Just because you don't belong to a healthy parish doesn't mean you can't visit one. Make it a monthly habit to go Mass at a such a place.

(3) Remember you are a member of the universal Church. Follow the Church's liturgical calendar and take advantage of the wealth of resources available on the Internet, e.g., homilies, commentaries, saints of the day.

(4) Kick the big dog. If you want to reform your parish, focus on a big problem and recruit fellow parishioners to change it. Do not hesitate to involve your bishop or Rome if you have exhausted local options.

(5) Form apostolates. Ask your pastor if a Bible study or catechism group can meet at the parish center, or, if that is not an option, meet at parishioner homes.

(6) Pray for your parish. It all starts -- but doesn't end -- with prayer.

(7) Lead your domestic church. You are the primary educators of your children. Make it a practice to read the lives of the saints, review a weekly chapter from a solid catechism, and gather for some form of evening prayer. Responsibility for your personal formation is part of this too.

(8) Don't scowl too much. This is somewhat related to tip (2), and one that strikes a personal chord, especially as a father. A cheery witness is a good witness; a grumpy one isn't.

(9) Be a Vatican II Catholic. The primary message to the laity of the Council was to engage and sanctify the world. It is outward directed. So becoming an active Catholic doesn't necessarily mean joining parish commissions, serving as an extraordinary minister, or joining the PTO. There are plenty of Catholic apostolates and organizations that need your help.

(10) Be hopeful. By hopeful, I do not mean "optimistic," a natural disposition or outlook. Hope is theological -- close to God. Put it all in His hands. Do not engage in the sort of conspiracy theories that predictably and lamentably circulate in troubled dioceses. The problems out in the open are probably bad enough.

(11) Seek fellowship. A fellow parishioner is organizing an Advent Bible study for couples. Many of the participants in my Monday morning catechism group have become dear friends. Strengthen the bond with your fellow Catholics by celebrating your faith with them.
Thanks to the Ten Reasons Blog


A Bit of the Blarney said...

Really a GREAT list! Will have to keep a copy of this. I am in constant need of being reminded...I'm easily distracted! Have a great day! Cathy

Mary B said...

With #1
Keep in mind there may be many other reasons why a priest has not changed a problem. Twice we found the first symptoms of alzheimers were the reasons problems existed.

Another is that the list of problems may be long and require not just educating the congregation but re-educating them correctly. Catholics who believe they were correctly taught will be hard to convince to change.

Anonymous said...

Hello catholic mom,

I really think you have such great tips here and I also want to ask you if it's possible to include this one as the 12th tip..

"Give yourself some time out even if you have a family and god with you always. Just yourself."

EC Gefroh said...

I'm glad you liked it as much as I did Cathy!

So true Mary B. Thanks for pointing that out.

Thanks TP!