When Faith Fails…

wolf-in-sheep“What do you do when faith fails to connect — when people who profess to share your faith say or do things you find difficult to reconcile with your most deeply cherished beliefs?”

Tonight at CWCO I posed a version of this question to Mark Shea in his “How Faith Connects Everything” chat. His response was less than satisfying. (In essence: “Get over it. We’re all part of one big family.”)

I could understand where he was coming from. No doubt he has heard questions like mine posed dozens of times in the past six months or so, and he is understandably tired of the whole subject. Even so, my eyes stung at the disconnect, the abrupt dismissal. Yes, the Church is like a large family, where joys and slights alike abound. And when faith is lost between two members of the Body of Christ, finding the path of reconciliation is not easy. I guess this is what I had hoped to hear … an acknowledgment of the pain and frustration. And an affirmation that, at the end of the day, offering that pain back to God is to choose a greater good: reconcilitation and unity.

Sadly, this difficult path of relinquishment is too often the “narrow road,” one we have a tendency to avoid because it is too painful, because it violates our inner sense of justice. After this kind of disillusionment, it can be tempting to simply walk away. (I spent most of my childhood moving from church to church.) And like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the evil one separates the weak from the pack … and drives him farther and farther way, to devour at his leisure. Continue reading