Monday, January 25, 2010

Because of a Priest . . . or Not

A regular reader of YIM Catholic goes by the handle of Mujerlatina. Today she sent us an e-mail that I found pretty challenging. It begins generously with a capsule autobiography of her own spiritual life. Then it closes with a kicker. It’s worth a look and a comment.
Mujerlatina writes:

“Here's a brief synopsis of my convoluted journey in the Catholic Church: born Catholic, raised Catholic, receieved the sacraments, product of horrible CCD program, grandmother was an influential person of popular piety (illiterate), Newman Center at Duke University and daily Mass with many Catholic friends, silent retreats yearly with Duke friends tagging along, devotion to the Rosary, devotion to St. Martin de Porres, participation in all-black Roman Catholic Gospel choir for eight years, missionary doctor in the Carribbean and Latin America, desert years angry at the Catholic Hierarchy and its political ‘mafia,’ more desert years, children and home devotions and Catholic schools, weekly mass, Eucharistic Devotion, prayer, study alone, solo spiritual journey.

“I've tried to ‘leave’ the church many times, but have found that it is in the ‘fabric of my being.’ The mysticism, the Real Presence, the devotions and popular piety all continue to call me ‘home.’ Honestly, I must say that my on-going formation as a Catholic has nothing to do with any clergy person! No priest, sister, nun or other consecrated layperson has had ANY impact on my spiritual journey. Is that a problem?? Is that ironic?? We are constantly being called to ‘pray for vocations,’ but while I do comply, I am often in wonderment that the clergy/consecrated laypersons I actually have met are ‘zero’ in my walk as a Catholic.

“Here's my question: What role do these ‘people of the cloth’ play for most of the YIMC readers out there? I read that ‘Fr. Barnes’ and others are so impactful on some folks—but I suspect that there are a lot of people like me who, by the grace of God, cling onto the Catholic ‘ship’ without any spiritual advisor/priest, etc.

“What say you all?”