Lately the “God of Challenge” keeps making His way into my life. I recently have been participating in a discussion program about the book, “The Time is Now: The Call to Uncommon Courage” by Sr. Joan Chittister. Needless to say, it’s rattling my soul a bit.
While reading this book, I’m challenged by God out of being what I call, a Comfortable Catholic.
What is a Comfortable Catholic? It’s someone who is content to stay within their comfortable religious and spiritual boundaries, without addressing the real challenges of living the Gospel, living a life of deepening love with God, and grasping who Jesus was and how He calls us to live.
Maybe I just go to Mass each week and not much more. Maybe my prayer life hasn’t gotten deeper. Maybe my relationship with God hasn’t grown. Maybe I haven’t done much for the needy in my midst. Maybe I haven’t paid much attention to justice issues. Maybe I don’t challenge myself with different insights that stretch my faith and how I live it day to day. Maybe I just care for my family and don’t see the need to do or give much more than that. Maybe I do the small things, but have no real sense of what my divine mission is for the Lord. Maybe I don't speak up when I should about matters of truth.
These are all ways we can grow complacent and comfortable in our faith.
But God calls us to more than comfort. We are the Kingdom Builders. We are priests, prophets, and kings by our Baptism. Are we really living out those calls in our lives? Have we embraced the God of Love and Comfort, without recognizing Him as also the God of Challenge and the God of Invitation?
We can be Thriving Catholics if we embrace the God who challenges and invites us to be more, do more, and live for Him more than we are today.