I`ve struggled with the issue of anonymity since I began this blog last December. I wanted the freedom to write freely and to encourage an open dialogue. Some issues in our church are not only controversial, but can get you into some nasty hot water depending on local pastors and bishops. So, I began the blog with a careful bio that wouldn`t reveal too much. No picture. No name.
Soon, I realized that I had to at least use a name. I don`t like addressing an `anonymous`, or a person called `catholic dialogue`. So, I out-ed myself as Isabella. This felt good, and it was enough of a reveal at the time.
The blog is now six months old. It`s been a wonderful experience of pondering and writing. Responses of regular readers have given me the energy and incentive to keep this project going. The discussion board is the most valuable portion of this blog, and I thank all the kind souls who have shared their wisdom and experiences with us. You make the dialogue happen. Without you, this blog would be a one woman rant!
Recently, my identity was out-ed more fully. A couple of months ago I sent an email to our regional, Catholic newspaper, The Prairie Messenger with a link to my blog. I`ve subscribed to the PM all my adult life. I like their inclusive coverage of local, national and international church news and diverse editorials and columns. Their editorial statement emphasizes dialogue and discussion, and a need to live our catholic faith in all aspects of our life – both in the church and in the world. This is my kind of paper! To my surprise, they offered me a monthly column called catholic dialogue! I can`t describe the thrill when the issue containing the first column arrived in the mail. A second column was published last month – in the middle of our nation-wide postal strike…sigh! (I have yet to receive this issue.)
So, here I am…I`m Isabella R. Moyer. My husband, David, and I have five wonderful children, and are expecting our first grand-child in August. Life is good!
My husband and I celebrated 30 years of marriage this past weekend. It seems like yesterday that our kids surprised us with a big, back-yard shindig for our 25th. At the time, we renewed our vows surrounded by family and friends. I wore my wedding dress, which is not as big a deal as it sounds. Polyester knit is much more forgiving than today’s corseted glories!
Our 30th was a quieter, intimate affair. We went to a favourite bistro with our matron of honour and best man, and reminisced about the years behind us. Our children grew up together. We were “aunts” and “uncles” all around, the divide between family and friends easily forgotten. Weekly phone calls have kept us in touch with the goings on of our respective clans. Visits were always fewer than we wanted, but cherished all the more. With real friends, there’s no need for re-acquaintances. You pick up where you left off.
The following day we were treated to a barbecue by our eldest son and his wife. They are counting the days to the birth of our first grand-child. We revelled in their joy and excitement. I used my tired old line…if God didn’t make the last weeks of pregnancy so uncomfortable, then no woman in her right mind would look forward to labour! We giggled at the wee outfits packed for the hospital – one blue and one pink . Only one baby, but still a surprise! We also caught up with all the sib news and the latest on the extended family.
After thirty years, it’s wonderful to still be crazy in love. And it’s wonderful to have the gift of family and friends to share it with. They expand that small circle of two into a life’s journey worth celebrating.
(The Rose by Bette Midler was our wedding song. I still get verklempt each time I hear the opening bars. And, yes, I insist on a dance with my honey each anniversary!)
Marceta wrote the following comment on yesterday`s post,
But it seems to me that “defending the faith” is about debating and positioning. The focus is on rules and regulations. I would rather families send their kids to learn more ways to ‘live’ their faith.
She is right. The term, “defending the faith” is loaded with ideological tones. The way we interpret the term affects the way we live out our religious identity. In our Catholic tradition, it brings to mind images of Crusaders in fighting mode – off to not only defend the faith, but to forcibly convert the heathen masses. Zealous apologists are our own modern day Crusaders. Often blessed with an amazing mental capacity to remember and recall details of ecumenical councils, papal pronouncements and scripture references, they are ever-ready to give theological backing to all doctrines and beliefs of the Church. And, as Marceta wrote, apologetics is often more about debating and positioning.
And yet, if we truly believe then we must be ready to give the reasons for our belief. We must be ready to share that which gives us joy and hope. 1 Peter 3:15 provides the well-known exhortation, “Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence.”
So, here’s a question….
In the past, we were taught that we are all part of the “Church militant” – the communion of saints here on earth whose role is to defend the faith. What image can we use that still affirms the need to speak intelligibly of the “hope that is in you”, but with a good dose of gentleness and reverence?