The Christmas season has in recent years been a time of deep introspection. Some years, this one especially, I find myself searching internally (spiritually) for direction as I head into a new liturgical and calendar year. As we await Christmas, and then the “New Year”, I find that I have begun to take stock in where I am, and who I am as a person of faith. This has steadily increased, in terms of intensity, since my “(con)re-version” to the faith.
While I have always been a fairly “spiritual” person, and have found myself on the more conservative end of the social and political spectrum, my faith hasn’t always ranked high on the priority list. Actually, better said, my faith hasn’t always directed my priorities. What I mean is this, I haven’t always viewed life through the lens of my faith, and therefore what is important to me or the importance of my decisions have often been far removed from the virtues and values of my faith life, or spiritual belief.
For many of this, I think this is true even when we are ‘deeply devoted’ and ‘practicing members’ of the faith. It isn’t that we dont attempt to have our faith guide us, or have certain virtues by which we live, but that how we view the world in all that we do isn’t always done so through the lens of faith. I know personally that I have compartmentalized my faith in many ways, and when moral evaluation is needed I take out my Catholicism, and weigh the decision on the scales of my faith. While this is a good thing, it isn’t a pure evaluative approach; at least in the strictest sense of the faith.
What I think we should do is to not place our faith into our lives like we are taking on and putting off a pair of glasses, but instead our Catholic faith should become like a surgically implanted lens into our “eyes.” We should not have our faith be, but a tool, instead it should become part of us, and inseparable in how we see life. On Christmas Eve, the priest at Mass said that we should love God with our whole heart, our whole mind – body and soul. I take that to mean that it shouldn’t be something separate and distinct from who we are, but an inseparable and integrated part of who we are.
As a Catholic blogger, I think that sometimes this separate-ness comes out in the worst of ways. I believe that sometimes the “Catholic” this, that, or the other-thing becomes so compartmentalized that I, and other bloggers, compare a small sliver of a “thing” against someone else, only to fail to see that we are no longer integrating our faith to everything we are. We are cutting small little pieces off, often for prideful reasons, to make sure the world sees us in the “right way.”
My goal, moving forward, is to view life and the world through a “Lens of Faith” and hopefully one that is fully integrated into my mind, body, and soul.