Wisdom from St. Teresa of Avila
#1
Hey ya'll, 

I've been studying quite a bit recently as I've been progressing through RCIA. I'm extremely excited for Baptism, and I'm thankful to say that I feel my faith has been growing immensely after experiencing Advent and Christmas this year. However, I've noticed some issues in the RCIA program I am attending - luckily, not at all from the facilitator who is brilliant, but from some of the other students. I no longer attend the group meetings of the program because I suffer from terrible social anxiety, but the director of the program works with me through email and private meetings in their office where we discuss the curriculum and go over things I have been reading/questions I may have about various parts of the faith etc. Anyway, long story short (tl;dr):

I was talking with the director recently and they mentioned that the RCIA class had been quite hostile to the discussion recently held regarding birth control and contraception. They had heard some things elsewhere that allowed doubt to come into their minds regarding the Chruch's opinion on the matter and proper instruction. 

Now, I know that folks in the RCIA program are learning and developing in faith so questions and mistakes in understanding are to be expected; however, the main concern I have is that somewhere from someone actually involved in the Chruch in some form of influential capacity managed to convince a few of these folks that contraception MAY be okay, and because of this a conversation hostile to the Church's teachings ensued. Who knows how many other members of the group who otherwise would have accepted the teaching without question now find doubt creeping into their minds. 

Luckily, the director of the program is wonderful and did not allow this to carry on very long. By the way, this is all from hearing the story from the director of the program because I was not at the meeting myself. I just feel it is appropriate to make that known. Anyway, this is why I am thankful for the opportunity for private instruction in the Faith. It seems that, for once, my social anxiety has benefited me. 

So, I guess now is the real TL;DR LOL: I was reading St. Teresa's Autobiography recently and a passage really struck me today as relevant considering this recent event with the RCIA group and the damage that can be caused by allowing doubt regarding the interpretation of a Chruch teaching to influence those new to the faith. I sympathize even more strongly with the Traditional movement now. We need folks to have an opportunity to truly learn their faith so they do not have to battle doubt from the start. We need good people in positions of leadership. I'm kinda having a bit of a 'wake up call' experience now that I am nearing becoming a member of the Church. It'll become my family too, and I am so sad to see the state of our family. Thank you all for keeping this site and resources like it around for newbies like me. If it wasn't for ya'll I'd have probably fallen into the same issues as these other RCIA members. 

Here's the passage from St. Teresa that got me started thinking about this today: 

Chapter 7, "The Life of Saint Tereasa of Avila by Herself": 

"O, what terrible harm, what terrible harm befalls religious people - I am speaking now as much of men as of women - where the rules of religion are not properly kept, where two ways are open, one of virtue and observance, and the other of irreligion, and where both are almost equally trodden! No, I am wrong, they are not equally trodden, since for our sins the less perfect is the more frequented, and as it is the broader it is the more favoured. The way of true religion is so little used that friars or nuns who begin truly to follow their calling have more to fear from members of their own communities than from all the devils. They have to be more cautious and exercise greater dissimulation when speaking of the friendship that they wish to have with God, than on the subject of those friendships or desires that the devil ordains shall flourish in religious houses. I do not know why we are surprised that there are so many evils in the Church, when these, who should be the models from who all derive virtue, so nullify the work wrought on the religious Orders by the spirits of the saints of old. May His divine Majesty be pleased to find a remedy for this, as he sees needful. Amen."

I don't care if it makes me socially anxious because I stand out anymore. I am going to wear my veil to Mass from now on - even if I can't make it to the Latin Mass. I'm small and anxious so I can only do little things like veil, but perhaps seeing someone small like me do even a little thing to keep the true teachings alive perhaps someone who is much more capable of making a splash will be motivated to do something even bigger! 

Baby steps to the font. Baby steps to the pew. Baby steps to the Altar ;)

(^ "What About Bob" is probably one of my favorite movies)
I am in the process of discerning my vocation with the help of my priest. If you would like to read my thoughts as I progress through this process of discernment feel free to visit my blog: https://walkingthelittleway.com
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