For the last two weekends, we’ve had graduates from KSU, MCS, and the high schools experience a closure of one phase of life. Now these young people are looking forward with eagerness, some more than others, to the next stage in their growth. I have to say that it is pretty neat to see the youthfulness and energy they have (with all sorts of possibilities) for their futures. It reminds me of how I felt during those times. A little bit of anticipation, a little bit of anxiousness, a little bit of excitement, etc. While some may think their education stops at a certain level, others become keenly aware that learning continues. New jobs, new experiences, and other factors contribute to one’s awareness that formation is not just in the head, but it is an all around thing. Many facets of life have to be tweaked and renewed because you learn as you grow older that you can’t know all about life during your time in school.
This goes for your formation in faith as well. Our faith cannot be measured by saying: “Now I know all there is to know about Catholicism.” What you find out is that you learn things differently as you age and gather life experiences. New questions pop up as you gather more information. Once you think you have a handle on one issue, another comes up. Our faith is more about the journey and what we experience. There is no doubt you can learn much by studying and learning the teachings of the Church. The application of those teachings in where the real learning begins. Just as you can learn theories about many subjects, they remain just that until you put them to the test. Then you can make connections and see how the theories work. With faith, you need to lay the framework for what we believe and what we teach. As you walk the journey of those teachings, you see why they are important and what they mean to you on a daily basis.
My point is…We don’t graduate in our faith as if we get a diploma that says we know everything there is to know about it. So keep on learning because one important aspect of faith is relationship—relationship with God and one another. As we all know, relationships continue to unfold something new throughout our lives. I encourage you to do bible studies (individual and group), study the teachings of the church, learn about social justice, get a spiritual director, pray, participate in an ITV session, explore FORMED, etc. Do what it takes to make your faith a life-long process that doesn’t end. We will then be better equipped to be evangelizers to the next generation of people who look to us to see that faith is an important element in the big picture of our human development.
~ Dcn Wayne Talbot