Monday, September 17, 2012

Sometimes I feel like I fail my faith by failing to defend it's tenets.

Recently in my office, one of my coworkers comments on political ad on the TV in the newsroom, an anti-Mitt Romney commercial with women talking about his anti-abortion plans. The conversation between several of my fellow workers turned to Roe v. Wade and how it would be ridiculous in this day and age to even try to reverse it. The coworker who was the primary conversationalist said "It's about control." In the past, she has spoken with fervor in favor of Planned Parenthood and their services and how much good they do by providing gynecological care for those who otherwise couldn't afford it; never mind the lives they've taken through abortion.

She's also Catholic, and will be the first to claim it when a question about Catholic practices comes up in the office. Although she now covers city government, she started her journalism career as a sports writer (not so common in the 70s) and is an ardent feminist. She always has to have the last word.

I never argue with her, even though I feel like I should because, when it comes to Church teachings, she's wrong. Almost the time, she's wrong, and she's giving other coworkers false information and a bad example of how faithful Catholics live. Still, I don't feel like I'd be able to win an argument effectively, so I say nothing. I know what I believe, and am passionate about living it, but despite my father being a retired attorney and a champion at persuasive arguments, it is not a skill I inherited. I'm not a debater. Plus I have to work with this woman every day.

Then yesterday, I came across a quote on one of the blogs I read. Over at The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia posted a quote from Carryl Houslander (I've seen some of Houslander's reflections in Magnificat, and keep thinking I need to read more of her writings, and this quote further convinced me of that fact). It spoke to me on several levels. First, I'm coming up next week on 7 years with my company, and I wonder what purpose I serve there, still plodding away when I yearn for something more. But secondly, it made me think that maybe even my (probably too) silent presence does some good:

“Sometimes it may seem to us that there is no purpose in our lives, that going day after day for years to this office or that school or factory is nothing else but waste and weariness. But it may be that God has sent us there because but for us Christ would not be there. If our being there means that Christ is there, that alone makes it worthwhile.”
— Caryll Houselander, Reed of God, Page 60

I'd never thought of it that way before. It made me think that one thing I can do, any one of us can always do, especially when feeling inadequate, is to pray.

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