Many of us like searching out prophetic apparitions and locutions, especially if the messages support our ideology of what makes a “good” Church and a “proper” mass, and includes the added spice of a peek into the world's cataclysmic future. We strive to be "insiders" on the hidden story of what’s going on in heaven, not unlike a child who jumps at the opportunity to view the mysterious workings in the cockpit of an airplane. Once aware, Catholics make it their mission to share their knowledge with others and even give them printouts of their amazing uber-spiritual discoveries. If only special prayers are prayed, or particular actions are taken, or special objects are purchased or prepared, then a chosen selection of people will be the special saved ones. Oh, what comfort we take in feeling bad for all those other poor souls who don’t know what we know. We share the messages, and utter a faux sad “tsk, tsk, we shall pray for them,” when they refuse our offer of God’s protection.
Thus it is with the messages of an anonymous European seer with a convoluted provenance whose false name I am loathe to say. Special prayers and a downloaded piece of paper displaying a stock photo image of a red wax seal will guarantee your safety when the “false prophet” changes Church doctrine and creates the “one world religion,” rejecting Catholic doctrine, thus forcing the “good” Catholics who are in on the messages into refuges for masses. Never mind that Pope Francis has not done or said anything contrary to Catholic doctrine and is upholding and strengthening the Magisterium of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church while teaching us through his actions how to be Jesus to each other.
Ah, but searching out spiritual drama is so much more exciting and salient than being an ordinary Catholic and living an ordinary life.
Earliest morning dawn mass, a weekday. I observe the elderly woman entering church, no veil on her head, unpretentious grey hair walking slowly with bit of a limp and taking a seat near the front. I observe another woman. Purple plastic beads around her neck matching the floral purple dress she is wearing. Her lipstick is always perfect and her short conservative hair is neatly coiffed. I observe the man with the dun colored raincoat entering, bible clutched and rosary beads peeking out from his hand, hair on his head standing up a bit. A man in a neat shirt and jeans sits at the very end of his pew near the side door, prepared to make a quick exit to make it on time for work immediately after the final blessing. A woman presses her lips together and imperceptibly shakes her head in disapproval at the twelve year old altar server wearing neon colored sneakers trotting toward the sacristy, late, just before start of mass.
These are the ordinary Catholics who make up the Body of Christ. The future saints. No secret messages, no pomp and circumstance, no spiritual drama. All are here because they trust in Jesus who said He would come to them in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar at every mass, every day, in every Catholic church in the world.
I strive to emulate these ordinary Catholics; their simplicity, their trust, their acceptance. I want my hunger for spiritual drama to make way for the profundity of the mundane. I want to be like Jesus Who grew up in what was considered an ordinary family, spent time with ordinary people and, until his public ministry, did ordinary things. It is from ordinariness that God can work the extraordinary. This is the miracle of God.
Jesus teaches us to find Him…in the ordinary.