This blog was born out of friendships between women who want to be a part of the new evangelization. Our goal was simply to share our Catholic faith. We don’t always agree with each other. Some moms circumcise their sons and some don’t. We have moms that baby wear and co-sleep and moms who don’t. We all have different ideas about private schooling, public schooling, and home schooling. We cannot agree on whether or not to introduce Harry Potter to our young readers. However, we are in total agreement that we do not debate the Church teachings. This ground rule has allowed us to develop friendships with a broad spectrum of Catholic women from across the nation including single women, newly weds, women with fertility issues, new moms, and grandmoms. The ink slingers at Catholic Sistas want to help each other and others on this journey of faith. We have our work cut out for us thanks to the secular media that wants us to be comfortable with our sinful nature.
Recently, the Catholic Church received an onslaught of media attention related to President Obama’s healthcare mandate requiring that Catholic institutions provide free birth control and other “family planning” services. The media attempted to sell this to Catholics and to the world by reporting that 98% of Catholics have used birth control. In other words, all your friends are doing it, so you should be able to do it, too. Right? That kind of rationale never worked on my parents and it should not work here. The Catholic Sistas countered this attempt at deception with our own poll that paints a very different picture. We could argue the stats all day, but the fact is that 100% of Catholics sin all the time.
It is possible that the 98% statistic bolstered the confidence of some lukewarm Catholics who attend Mass begrudgingly, waiting for the Pope to change his mind about the whole birth control thing. This is simply not going to happen. This issue is at the crux of our faith and no amount of political or social pressure is going to suddenly make a Pope cave. Fertility and family planning are areas of our life where our faith requires that we let God make the final decision. We pray, we consult our priest and our doctor, we pray some more and then we let go. When we do this, our faith grows. But having faith doesn’t mean that you get everything you want at exactly the right time or in exactly the right way. Rather, Catholics who place their lives in God’s hand will find confidence in God regardless of life’s unexpected twists and turns.
When we try to control every aspect of our life and when we require the use of chemical, surgical or other barriers to fulfilling God’s will, we deny ourselves an opportunity to grow in faith. We are telling God that we know better. We are telling God that we are afraid and He just doesn’t understand. And ultimately, we are telling ourselves that we do not believe in God. This is the most challenging aspect of our Catholic faith. It is also the most rewarding.
During the season of Lent, Catholics practice fasting, abstinence, and various forms of self-sacrifice in order to grow in faith. We also spend much of our quiet time examining our conscience and seeking repentance. The more time we spend in prayer, the more aware we become of our sinful nature. And that’s a good thing.
If I were to take a poll of practicing Catholics, I am confident that I would find that 100% of Catholics sin every day. And, I would also expect to find a direct correlation between the number of times in attendance at Mass and the self-report of chronic sinfulness. It’s not that those folks who keep the pews warm are degenerates. Rather, they are self aware. And, they know their catechism, too. And if 100% of us sinning Catholics will take some quiet time during this season of Lent to deeply examine our conscience and become well acquainted with our catechism, I am sure that 98% of us will find joy in the self awareness that leads to redemption.