Sometimes the hardest thing to accept is this: we can’t live other people’s lives for them.
It all seems so clear to us. How to be. How to act. How to live.
But others are determined to find their own path. Sometimes that takes them far away from us. We suffer a pandemic of fallen-away Catholics, the ‘nones’. For parents and friends, it can be difficult. Painful, even.
But I think there’s hope even in this ‘wilderness’. They may be choosing lives that put them far from Christ and His Church. And yet, it took languishing in the wilderness for the prodigal son to truly see.
So what are we to do? I have been trying to understand in my head and heart how to think on this, as a ‘smart’ Catholic, and as a faith first-responder.
Let’s look at three thoughts:
– Themes of being lost in the wilderness
– Deciding another’s lost heart
– Reasons for leaving may be their reasons for returning
I’m calling my thoughts the ‘mystery’ of the wilderness. It’s not something we can often accept, or understand. It’s often not something we choose.
It’s a morning we wake up to, and realize that we are far from where we hoped to be. That experience of the wilds far outside the Fold can be a moment of grace. A turning point for conversion.
All of this comes back to the need for us to be smart, magnetic, compassionate human beings.
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