Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Creating an island?

Based on this quote from Benedict XVI:

Since a consumer culture exists that wants to prevent us from living in accordance with the Creator's plan, we must have the courage to create islands, oases, and then great stretches of land of Catholic culture where the Creator's design is lived out.

... a discussion ensues over at Disputations on what this means...Do you create this island within your heart and present circumstances, or form/ join a community, or what?

Part of what spawned the post referenced, was this post which argues that it can't be done in suburbia-advocating a more radical life-change. (Which, personally I find very attractive.)

But at the same time, even in suburbia, God calls us to a radical life-change. Early Christians in Rome did not all depart to the desert. The island can be in the midst of pagan society-and in fact often pagan society can only be evangelized if the those island beacons are present in their midst. And note, whether we depart for South American missions or live in Manhattan or in Surburbia, USA-we are all called to reject consumerism and live a spirit of poverty.

At the same time others are called to literally up and move to lands far away and live a life of service to the poor. But we must remember that the poor are all around us-whether they be materially poor or spiritually poor.

In my mind, the answer is in vocation: that each person and each family has a particular and unique vocation. Discernment begins with prayer and within a family, prayer with and for your spouse... and then there must be time for long discussions based on that prayer-without forgetting family talents and circumstances.


Heather said...

I somehow missed this post. This is great. I live in the heart of suburbia, but i nthe last year have found an amzing group of Catholic women though a weekly Bible study. It is definitely an oasis, one that grows and strenghthens my faith in an amazing amount of ways. I am going to share this post with them.

Heather said...

Sorry about all of the mispellings in my comment!

JCurley said...

Its true. When we lived in a suburb of Columbia, we met almost weekly with another a couple other families for the rosary on Sunday. I was in a men's prayer group which met at 6:30 AM once a week, etc. etc. Being in the country, we miss some of the more daily Catholic community we had before. We are in a good parish now, but with few close neighbors (none Catholic) and the parish 35 miles away, our daily life is different. Love it here-but it was good there too.

Anonymous said...

What a great site
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