Friday, May 13, 2005

Another Terrific Blog, and it's long term effect on my life.

In 1995, I received a copy of a magazine called Caelum et Terra. It opened my eyes to a way of Catholic thinking that truly changed my life. I was at that time a new mother, living in the suburbs, wondering how to make our family a reflection of Catholic Culture. While we were firmly established in our faith, and regular church goers and all that, I felt somewhat disconnected from a Catholic lifestyle. I was isolated and didn't feel I belonged anywhere. We were church hopping like crazy, trying to find a liturgy that was authentic and respectful, yet at the same time feeling the need to live in a way that lives out the Gospel. The church we attended at the time had a beautiful Mass, but the congregation came from all over the metropolitan area, and there was very little sense of community. I wanted to be able to care for the earth, the poor, and the disillusioned and have a traditional liturgy. I found an "either/or" situation out there in Cathoic land. The conservative parishes rejected "peace and justice" stuff as liberal, and the "peace and justice" crowd dismissed the ancient liturgy as "pre-vatican II" and irrevlevant.

This magazine adressed all these situations, and made me realize I did belong to a group of Catholics who embraced the Faith, and this was truly universal. Not just "American" not just "Rebublican" or "Democrat". The teachings of JPII were fully studied, as were those of Leo XIII. Beautiful liturgy was emphasized, as was a return to an agrarian lifestyle.

I loved every issue I received, and it changed the way I looked at our faith. I was no longer willing to settle for half of the Truth - I wanted it all. I look now at our 3 acres and thank this magazine for instilling the desire to make living here possible. I look at my eventual attendance at the Byzantine Liturgy and see the roots of that desire in this magazine as well.

Sadly, the magazine folded after a few more years, and all I had of the rich exchange of ideas was my treasured back issues.

Every so often, I would run into a fellow C&T subscriber, and I instantly knew I had met a friend of my soul. One such person and I met weekly with our back issues and had some of the best discussions of my life. She eventually became the Godmother to one of my children.

Now there is a Caelum et Terra blog. I feel like I have come home, being able to read and take part in these discussions about our glorious faith. It's like a breath of fresh air. Check them out here. Tell them Renee sent you.


Blogger Kate said...

I'm looking forward to Rod Dreher's book on 'Crunchy cons'. I closely identify with his description of the socially conservative pro-life, organic-food-eating, co-op supporting, small business, quasi-agrarian, environmentally conscious, peace-and-justice, anti-federalist, regionally or locally focussed Catholic hippy.

I just wish I could afford all of the above. Living off the land is expensive these days!

May 14, 2005  

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