What I Learned from a Bunch of Religious Men

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Linking up with Blessed Is She this morning on #BISsisterhood to talk about wholeness.

I live at the base on an area called "holy hill" in Berkeley, CA. There are a LOT of religious orders, schools, and formation houses around here.

I had the honor of attending the installation of the new Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (DSPT) President last night. The installation mass was held at our parish, and celebrated by our bishop.

I figured a number of religious would attend, but there is knowing and there is seeing.

On my way to the church, a car pulled up and parked on the other side of the street. About six, young, habited Dominicans got out. Some pedestrians actually stopped and stared. The men were not bothered by this in the slightest (at least so it seemed.) They had already spotted more of their brothers, and were joined by men of a number of other religious orders.

Even though they are all part of different orders, with very different daily work and charisms, all of these guys are a whole entity when it comes to God. They were largely young and vibrant - people who had answered this call not all that long ago.

I wonder how many of them would have been friends had it not been for the church? How many of my friends would I never have met if not for the church?

It got me thinking about how different my life is because I've chosen to be a practicing Catholic. I met my husband via a Catholic website. I met my current friend group through the parish young adults group. My "outside the home" activities all center around the parish or Catholicism in some way.

I might not have chosen this life without the push and support of the church. It's actually a lot of work, and would be nearly impossible if not for the spiritual, emotional, and physical support I have recieved from my parish community.

I might have landed here eventually, but I might not. I might have gone down a lot of wrong roads and dead ends if not for the gentle guidance of the church. I can't say I would have been a very good person without this help. At the very least I would have a lot of unnecessary baggage.

The thing with all of those roads that the church tries to warn us from pursuing, you don't walk through it unscathed. You come out bruised and hurting - even those times when you don't want to admit that truth to yourself.

I'm eternally grateful for the church's efforts to keep me whole. She's always trying the prevent the harm I might even believe is a good at that moment. And when I don't listen - something I'm still working on - she offers a way home. All I have to do is say yes.


  1. Wow, that installation Mass must have been awesome! What a beautiful witness! I love seeing huge groups of people in religious orders-like at the March for Life in Washington D.C.! I think it's cool how you mention the community, and it's really a blessing as Catholics to have a community of people who all receive the same Eucharist, hear the same readings, etc.

    Yesterday, I was hanging out with a non-Catholic friend of mine and one of her friends, and we went to an event at this Methodist church. When talking with the two ladies I went with, I really saw their desire for community. Yes, they both try to get involved in a bunch of different churches in our cities, but everyone is a different denomination and has different beliefs. But the one lady kept repeating how she's in a prayer group that has chapters in 120 countries, that all pray the same prayers each day. With the number of times the woman repeated this, I saw how she valued that sense of community, and how it was important to her-and though I didn't say it, 'cause I didn't feel the conversation was the right time, I was thinking, "Man, I should tell you about the unified prayer in the Catholic Church." :) It was at that moment that I realized how often I do not recognize the blessings of community!

  2. I came over here after I saw your comment on Rosie's blog, and I'm so glad I did—those last two paragraphs are TERRIFIC! Thank you!