Being Thankful and Not Throwing Our Formation Under the Bus

A blogger I’ve occasionally visited has this really annoying habit. Annoying enough that I can’t “follow” her in my feed reader. Whenever she mentions a fun activity with her kids or a new resource she’ll mention being a “cradle Catholic” then define what that means and then say that’s why she didn’t know about a, b, c or d. Her formation was inadequate despite going to an excellent Catholic school and living in an active Catholic home because they didn’t “live the Liturgical year” and celebrate every Marian feast day etc, etc.

Today Simcha Fisher asked this on facebook

I used to think that, in order to be a good Catholic, I had to ________________________, but now I know better.

And immediately I was inundated with thoughts of various posts by the blogger mentioned above and some others and how they lament they grew up after Vatican II and how their parents weren’t enlightened enough and sent them to the “awful Diocesesan run parish school” or “evil public school” and then threw them on the mercy of the parish CCD program. And they didn’t even say a family Rosary nightly. And inevitably their parents get thrown under the bus.

Okay, so a lot of us had formation that was less than spectacular and had to grow up deprived of Tridentine Latin Mass, but that doesn’t mean we need to constantly point the fact out. Nor does it mean we throw our parents who were doing the best they had with what they had most of the time, even if it wasn’t great. But it was a foundation. A foundation that’s led some of us to create beautiful domestic churches. A foundation that’s helped us to discern liturgical abuse from just ugly liturgy. A foundation that we’ve built on in our adulthood.

Our parents didn’t have the benefit of the internet and 3000 bloggers telling us what the real, real Catholic church teaches. So they worked with what they had. Local parishes. Parish schools and when they didn’t have those public schools and their trusty Bible and Catechism. And some of them didn’t have much or any familiarity with the Bible, so they did what they could. Sure some of us might have sang  Kum Ba Yah in CCD or done liturgical dance but most of us survived with our faith in tact and even were able to rise above the short-comings.

So, why dwell on the fact that maybe the beginning wasn’t all it could be. But we can still be thankful. Those of us who are “cradle Catholics” were not deprived. No, we were actually given the building blocks at the very beginning. We were born into the inheritance. We’ve known about God’s mercy and forgiveness from day 1. And we’ve had that to fall back on when we’ve strayed. And we got to where we are because we’ve had formation. Whether it was in Latin or English. Had a home Atrium or barely said grace before meals, we don’t need to constantly remind the world of the martyrdom of our early formation. We can celebrate the faith we have now. We can be grateful that a small seed was planted and we’re making it grow.And that’s a lot to be thankful for.