The problem with the little boxes in the church is one of the reasons we do not have the power and strength to evangelize and change the world as we should.
So the “conservatives” live in their little box with their own newspapers, their own radio stations, their own publishers and favorites leaders and the “liberals” do the same. Why not be daring and read both NCRs- National Catholic Register and National Catholic Reporter? If one makes you mad, then good–you’ve been challenged to get out of your comfortable little box and think things through a little.
Does that charismatic worship get on your nerves and make the hackles rise? Maybe that’s exactly where you need to grow and expand. Open up a bit. Does that traditionalist Mass with lace and incense get up your nose? Good. Why not stretch yourself and try to develop so depth and breadth to your life instead of being such a narrow minded “liberal”?
The poet Thomas Traherne wrote, “Can a man be just unless he loves all things according to their worth?” There’s some wisdom. To love all things–ALL THINGS according to their worth. St Therese offers a similar smile when she says with child like joy, “I will have all!”
One of the reasons I’m a Catholic is because it was only in the Catholic Church that I experienced a church that was truly universal. To be fully Catholic is to embrace what is good in all the different streams of thought and behavior. It is to embrace what is beautiful, good and true in all cultures, all philosophies, all viewpoints and all of humanity. It is to embrace all that is beautiful, good and true, but it is not indiscriminately syncretistic. In other words, it does not simply embrace all things as if they were of equal value or as if they were all completely true.
Traherne’s dictim says “Love all things–according to their worth.” In other words, the hard work of discernment must be done, and this is where the full teaching of the Catholic Church–through devotions, liturgy, theology and the lives and writings of the saints help us do our work. We need to be informed and intentional disciples–gathering up the learning, wisdom and spirituality of the ages in order to be fully Evangelical, Charismatic, Liberal, Conservative, Progressive, Traditionalists.
In other words…to be Catholic