Linking up with Blessed Is She and #BISsisterhood to talk about The Way.
I went to my first big Theology on Tap event last night.
For those who have not heard of ToT, this is an event that was started to quite literally bring the Gospel to where the young people are: the bar. There is a speaker who will be talking about a particular point of theology or aspect of Catholicism, followed by Q & A, in the middle of this perfectly normal bar.
It's pretty great.
Last night's event was with Dr. Mary Davenport, our only NFP doctor in the entire SF Bay Area, talking about "coping with your fertility". She had her work cut out for her: trying to explain how we got here, historically, and all of the copious methods of NFP and artificial birth control in relation to church teaching.
Then a medical assistant stood up as the first question. She works in an OB/GYN office and sometimes has to walk patients through how to use artificial birth control. She wanted to know if what she was doing was morally wrong.
It was simultaneously heart rending for both of them. They both knew the answer, but the choice was in how to give hope. How to give this woman stuck in a difficult position some sort of grace and support in getting out of a moral trap.
Reading Aquinas' Summa showed me that a lot of theology is very logical, and can be arrived via human reasoning. But I still desperately need Jesus' example to show me how to show love to someone who is hurting and struggling.
Because our struggles are not always logical, it takes more than being a skilled apologeticist to explain church teaching. It takes walking in Jesus' way and seeing the person beneath the surface who needs you to see her and hear her.
Doing that cannot ever take away from the truth in theology, and we do noone any favors by taking away a moral center.
I appreciated Dr. Davenport's response that both heard the questioner's concern and her underlying worries: can I still work in this job? Can I be a medical assistant at all? Is there hope for me?
Responding in love and truth is Jesus's way, THE Way. It's hard, and I fail at it a lot. But it's the only way worth walking.