Tuesday, August 24, 2004


We had a pretty good RCIA class last night. We thought up, as a group, as many names for Jesus that we could think of: Christ, Messiah, King, Teacher, Rabbi, Father, Savior, Redeemer, Cornerstone, Bread of Life, Lamb of God, etc... we had over a page and a half when we were done. Then we went around and chose the one that currently meant the most to us. I chose Savior and Redeemer. Read "The Room" by Joshua Harris sometime, it explains why I feel that way.

We talked about a section of the book ("This is our Faith" by Michael Pennock) that states, "Moral living and service will lead first to renouncing sin and the world's false enticements to happiness and then, inevitably, to suffering." I struggle with this. Even tonight I struggle with this after the teachers discussed it for awhile.

I asked if Saint Therese suffered in her sheltered life and our teachers said she had had TB and worked very hard. Is this supposed to mean that disease and hard work are somehow connected with Christianity? If I am a Christian, must I then develop a disease? In fact, doesn't everyone get sick and die whether they are Christian or not? Doesn't everyone suffer death without regard to their religion? In fact, if suffering is a result of Christianity, how can 99% of Americans ever hope to call themselves Christian? There are hungry in the world (they aren't in America, but there are hungry in the world) and here I sit, typing into a computer, surrounded by books and watching the long jump on the Olympics on cable TV for $35 or $40 a month when I could be watching it for free over the free airwaves. Feed the poor? Who, me?

Our teachers said there were many kinds of suffering. They did a pretty good job, they didn't belittle what I was saying at all, just noted that everyone struggles with "taking up the cross" when following Jesus and just what that means.

Well, me too.

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