Are we careful about where we get our information? Nikki Lamberg considers ways to look to our Church family for the wisdom we need.
What fills your inbox? We become what we see, what we hear, and who we spend the most time with. What does that look like to you? What email lists are you a subscriber to? What do you watch on TV? What podcasts do you listen to? What books do you read? Who is in your closest group of friends? What, and who, is it that tends to dominate your time and attention?
For me, it’s nothing to be reading five different books at a time, and my spectrum for daily podcasts ranges anywhere from “Bible in a Year” with Father Mike Schmitz; to Lisa Hendey and Danielle Bean’s “Catholic Momcast” or Danielle Bean's “Girlfriends” podcast; to Christy Wright’s “The Christy Wright Show;” to Jenna Kutcher’s “Goal Digger;” to “Relatable” with Allie Beth Stuckey. I think it is ok to be a “dipper” of different things that we feel align with our values and beliefs, because that’s how we learn what we like. I also think it is good for us to hear differences of opinion because that’s how we grow. But what content we continuously consume our time with starts to seep into our everyday thoughts. And if you start hearing something often enough, whether it’s factual (such as the Bible), justifiable, or not, you will find that it’s what you start believing.
I know social media can become a black hole of sorts, for example, because I have been there too. You go there to share something with your friends and family, but suddenly find yourself taking the “what Friends character are you” quiz and you wonder how in the world that happened. Or, worse yet, you start to compare yourself with others in what they are doing or where they are going. And before you know it, it becomes easy to start doubting where you are going and what you are doing!
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be?” (Matthew 6:22-23)
In this Gospel, Jesus tells us to be careful where we are getting our information from because of what it can do to our body, mind, and soul. So what does that mean for us? The Bible and Church are the foundations to our Faith, and should be the driving force, the checks and balance, to our decisions and our source of information. Going to church and reading the Bible are great places to start. They are the beginning connection to, or the continuation of, hearing God’s Word. Church is a place where you can surround yourself with the people who believe in the same beliefs you have and read from the same book that Jesus calls us to follow. The Church is a place where people will not, or should not, judge you. Who will be there to support you, no matter what part of life’s journey you are in. The Church is a community of faith to turn to, no matter what you may be going through.
I believe that it is by God’s calling and grace that we find ourselves there. Whether it’s by our parents teaching us as young children, or another path that has brought us in our older years, the church is a place of generations coming together to celebrate and praise God, learning the lessons and giving us the wisdom we need as we travel through life. It is the interconnections between young and old. The stories shared, the lessons learned, and the memories made.
As a child, I loved searching for my grandparents in one of the middle rows on the left-hand side of church. Just to be near them, I felt a sense of love and peace. During my young adult years, I started to learn that Church could be a place to find real life’s answers to my real-life situations. Soon I found myself truly relating to the homily, as if God was giving me the exact answer I needed and desired that day. And now, as an adult, I still search for my family to sit with and to hear God’s personal message for me. I don’t choose to sit with my parents just for our 1-year-old to have more options of people to sit with because my watch tells me I hit my “move goal” already during the 8:30 AM Mass, but because there is comfort and peace in joining together to praise God and starting the week anew. I truly love sitting with them, or other family members, at Mass. No matter how our morning may have gone getting us to that point, I always leave feeling fresh and rejuvenated.
But what if you don’t have family at church to join, you may wonder? Guess what: that’s OK too! Because you really do have a family, a “church family,” who will welcome you with open arms. A fellow parishioner once told me that they enjoy having our little ones walk down the pew to come and sit with them, because that is what Church is all about. A full family of all walks of life, full of generations, always welcoming the new. Like I overheard my daughter recently tell me about her little brother “Mom, I will always catch him,” your church family, whether by blood of the flesh or the Blood of Christ, will be there to “catch” you.
Copyright 2021 Nikki Lamberg
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About the Author
Nikki Lamberg is a born and raised Catholic, full-time working, wife and mom of three young children. It brings her great joy to read, write and help others as she can, especially when it comes to infertility and raising young children.