|First light in Grand canyon from Yavapai Point|
I begin 2020 with this in mind as I think about my relationship to the Roman Catholic Church. 2019 has been a difficult year for me and the church, nationally and locally. No need to catalog the issues that plague the church of my upbringing except to say that the lack of accountability to the members of the church by its leaders on every level can be infuriating and debilitating. It certainly was for me.
I actively investigated membership in other Christian denominations. I found much that was important and attractive but in the end I couldn't get myself to leave the Catholic tradition. So I am committed to membership in my local parish and will continue to support it and indirectly my diocese and the Roman Church. I wish I could withhold my financial support to the last two without penalizing my local parish but that is not possible given the organizational format of the Roman Church.
I am under no illusion that remaining in the church, participating in weekly worship, serving as a lector, volunteering in social ministry, and generally being a "good parishioner" will address my need for spiritual enrichment. Indeed what I have learned during my year of prayer and discernment is that church membership is a necessary but far from sufficient condition for a vital faith. My spirituality vitality is a function of my personal relationship with the Divine One.
This blog for 2020 will focus on just that, my personal relationship with the Divine One. Sometimes this will seem in perfect concert with the institutional church and sometimes it will seem completely out of sync with that institution. I look forward to diving into those waters and sharing my insights with those who find their way to this blog.