Eating in the Dark

My family was roadtrippin’ last week, headed to sister #2’s college graduation. We left late, after my parents could get home from work and pack. We piled in the car, and as usual, sister #4 and I entertained ourselves for about half an hour before promptly falling asleep. Pretty typical. It’s one of the small joys of letting Dad drive – you know you’ll get there safely, he doesn’t need you to stay awake, so you’re really just along for the ride. I love sleeping in the car!

We stop to get something to eat at McDonald’s (p.s. strawberry lemonade = so good!). I really only eat there when I’m on the road, so I take advantage of having two hands free and order a burger instead of the driver-friendly chicken nuggets. I’m chillin’ in the far back seat of the ‘burb’ as my sister passes the box back to me. As we jump back on the highway, the lights of that little exit faded quickly behind us. I am suddenly aware of how difficult it is to eat a burger in (almost) total darkness. I can hardly see what I’m doing, much less what I’m putting in my mouth! With each bite, I’m trusting that 1) it is what I expect it to be, and 2) it will fill me up and be good for me. It all tastes great, don’t get me wrong. But I can’t help but feel like I’m missing part of the experience of eating. Without anything to look at, I realize that presentation really does matter — maybe sight does have something to do with it! Part of the anticipation and the fullness of eating was lost in the dark.

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Conformed and Confirmed

Recently, I was reading someone’s perspective on Confirmation and the preparation for the sacrament… all the classes, catechesis, training, retreats, and completion of requirements. Before I could even absorb anything, I was thinking about our class of sophomore candidates and everything that still needed to be done or put in motion. I wondered about where they are, if they are ready, if they are sincerely willing. I thought of things that need to change, ways to reach them better, and on and on and on. I wasn’t really reading; I was skimming and thinking with far too much on my mind — until a single misspelling made me stop where I was and reconsider everything.

Conformation.

The world tells us that conformity is a terrible thing. Maybe the most despicable thing there is! Conforming means someone else has power, not you! Conforming means you have to sacrifice being true to yourself! You are brainwashed, controlled, and manipulated. So the world screams, increasingly louder: Don’t be conformed! Don’t let anyone tell you what to do! Freedom means doing what YOU think is right and necessary. The greatest evil is to let someone else control you. 

It is a self-absorbed and hedonistic battle cry. Eventually, we realize that this battle is exhausting, never-ending, and will ultimately be devastatingly fatal. We begin to search for greater truth.

For our teens, this is the last step of initiation into the Catholic Church. This is the opportunity to take ownership, stand up, and claim the faith as Truth. It is the time to utter a final “yes” to be conformed to the Catholic Church, her teaching and tradition, and to Christ.

Conform. Conformation. Read More »