Though not really about “the business” of faith per se, the Michael Novak piece in Crisis Magazine articulates well the challenges of the business. The piece describes the challenges and distractions to be faced by young people as they consider their faith (and remaining Catholic) in their lives to come. I reblogged a piece by Julia Smucker that puts a finer point on the reality of faith in the context of the state throughout all ages.
Both of these articles remind us that faith is not supposed to be easy to live out. The reason that’s true is better left to theological minds better than mine. I want to focus on what we as humble disciples do about that truth; that Catholic (or catholic) is countercultural.
By definition, we answer to a different authority than the rest of our fellow Americans. I have recently written in rather glowing terms about Pope Francis and his approach to church management and leadership. The genius of Pope Francis as Pope in the modern world is his ability to maintain the position of the Church, but shift the focus.
We can do the same. We can take and share the view that the truth is hard, or (my recommendation) we can take and share the view that it is liberating. In my talks on Faith and Finance I regularly make the point that we are, if we are faithful, unencumbered by “peer pressure”. We have no need to keep up with the Joneses. Jesus came to bring Good News to the marginalized. We are called to be with the marginalized in body and spirit. Think about how much easier it is to be marginalized than popular.