I spent the night at the Detroit Tigers Ball game; I love baseball, and the Tigers. But last night they seemed to forget to show up. They where there, on the field, but it looked like no real effort was made.
Funny thing is, on the way home from the game I thought that that really sums up how most people feel about their faith, they show up but no real effort put in to it. Like the Tigers who lost the game, many Catholics lose the faith.
We tell our kids and others that we get out of it (what ever it is) what we put in to it, so true for sports, homework and other endeavors we take. The same holds true for our faith, the more we put in to it, the more we get out of it.
The Catholic faith is not a passive faith, God is constantly calling us to enter in to out faith, and our relationship with him. He calls us to fully participate, and as we do, he calls up to an even deeper relationship and an even fuller faith. The call is never done.
Just showing up at Mass is not participating in Mass, we need to actively participate. Sing the songs, say the prayers, but you need to put your heart and soul in to it, just repeating them is not active.
The call to faith is not an easy call to respond to, it ask us to invest our total being in to the process. We are called to go deeper and deeper in to our faith. The Catholic Church is not walk in the ballpark; she calls us to actively participate in all aspects of the celebration. We need it invest our being in to the process in to the tradition and history. We need to invest ourselves in to the community of our local parish, and the global parish. We are all called to active faith.
Active faith is a state of mind, it does not necessarily mean we all have to volunteer for Church groups and activities (although it would be nice, it would take some of the burden off the 10% of us who do volunteer). To actively participate at mass means to invest your heart, mind and soul in to the process.
To invest your heart means to love the Church, with all her wrongs and rights. To love the fact that the Mass of the Catholic Church is the Mass that Jesus Christ established.
To invest your mind means to listen not only with your ears but also with your total being, to process the mass and to live out the message.
To invest your soul means to live the mass in communion with all present in the mass, not only locally but globally.
The Catholic faith is a universal faith and a faith for all times. The mass is not a single moment in time, but rather the mass is all time. We celebrate the mass on Sunday but the mass never ends, it is the same calibration that Jesus had with his friends at the last supper. The mass is not a reenactment, but rather, it us a live event. We are not making our own mass, but rather we are celebrating it with Jesus, and with all other faithful Catholics. We are living the same mass the Jesus held over two thousand years ago, and partaking in the same life giving bread and wine that Jesus offered up at that fist celebration.
Living Catholic is not a passive life style, living faith is not a slogan, it is active and consuming. We, as Catholics, need to live our faith full each and everyday, in all we do, in all we say and in all we are.
God calls us to nothing less then to full participate, to submerge ourselves in to the faith his son Jesus the Christ set up. We are expected to invest our total humanity in to the body of Christ that we all are part of. We are invited in to cooperation with the Holy Spirit and we are loved in to the mysteries of the mass.
Much is asked of us, but much more is given.