If I have achieved anything in my life, it is because I have not been embarrassed to talk about God.
~ Dorothy Day* 1897-1980
How often do you talk about God in your every day life? There are many people, good church-going folks, who have difficulty discussing God, Jesus, religion, and/or spirituality in "normal" conversation. It's one of the "taboos" of polite conversation learned early - "Never discuss religion or politics" ostensibly because it leads to conflict and discomfort in relationships. Perhaps it sets us up for debates on right and wrong theologies. Maybe there's an element of proselytizing that we are anxious about giving or receiving. Or, it's just a matter of appropriate time and place. What about privately - to yourself? Do you talk to God - in joy and thanksgiving, blame and anger, frustration and supplication? When is it right to talk about God? What would you say?
O God, Holder of my soul,
I come to You in my quiet and alone time to speak of my wants, desires, and needs, for myself and for others. I speak to You during worship along with all the others as we lift our voices in prayer and response. But speaking about You to others outside of the Church's footprint has never come easy to me. I worry too much about not knowing enough to hold off debates, or being perceived as some kind of "holy roller." You don't need me to plead Your cause but I would like to be less constricted in doing so. For today, I will give up being embarrassed in talking about my relationship with You. I will take on finding at least one moment, as a start, outside of Church, to say some small thing about my relationship with You in a conversation with another person, even if only in a casual remark. I pray to You for the right words at the right moment, and, for me to make things less difficult for myself and others than You would have them be. amen.
*Dorothy Day was a primary founder of the Catholic Worker Movement in the 1930s, a pacifist nonviolent organization that continues to aid the poor today. She began and continued as editor of The Catholic Worker newspaper from its founding in 1933 until her death drawing contributors such as Daniel Berrigan and Thomas Merton. She wrote passionately about women's rights, free love, and birth control early in her life but in the 1940s, she became an Oblate in the Order of St. Benedict. An oblate is a lay person unprofessed as a monk or nun who makes a commitment to a specific Rule of Life - often called a Third Order.
In 2000, Pope John Paul II titled Day "Servant of God" as a person whose cause for Sainthood has been opened. She has been named "a person Worthy of Commemoration" in the US Episcopal Church whose guidelines allow for an official remembrance in the liturgical calendar no sooner than 50 years after death but local observances are encouraged. Day's extensive biographical history is quite amazing in its breadth and depth. She would never have thought of herself as a saint, but she was most certainly was a force to be reckoned with.
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