Saturday, November 6, 2010

The art of friendships and the faith

This is a departure from the usual pic fest I do. This post is more about a revelation I've been going through and subsequently been thinking about in my daily life more.

I remember as a kid we used to say, with genuine sincerity, who was our absolute number one best friend. There were first best friends, second best friends, third get the idea. We also talked in 'like' vs. 'like like' vs. 'like like like' to describe our friendships. The world of Facebook sort of brings that childlike {and sometimes childish} behavior in full view. I guess I haven't thought about friendships in varying levels of commitment or like or whathaveyou in a very long time. And I also suppose, because I've spent {minus seven months after my 18th birthday} my entire adult life online and involved in various chat rooms, going back to the old AOL days, to the now ever-so-sophisticated forums where I spend the majority of my time debating, discussing and sharing my love of Catholicism, I've never considered online friends really any different than my IRL friends {in real life}.

It wasn't until very recently that I decided the two should mix. It was born out of a need that some IRL friends had identified. Catholic support among moms is difficult to come by, particularly for those of us who live in areas that struggle with orthodoxy, or the desire and yearning to live in accord with Church teaching. Catholicism, in and of itself, may well be the only institution in the world that it is deemed ok {and even accepted as a 'good'} to criticize, persecute, ridicule and essentially spew hatred towards. When there is some religious affliction presented, it is almost always pointed back to our Church {and no, I won't be diving into the divine and human natures of the bride of Christ in this particular post}, but knowing how the world treats what we hold most dear, it is no surprise that it is difficult for Catholic moms to find genuine support when the rest of the world would rather see us give into the secular demands of life.

My online Catholic community has borne some of the strongest friendships I have. To date, I've only met one IRL and hope to meet more in the future. If I have questions about a particular topic, I almost always know who I can tap into for answers or advice, links to certain websites, or just to vent about the one-in-a-zillion daily struggles I have. Having spent all this time in my adult life online forging friendships and talking about the Faith {yes, I realize how nerdy this is!} in the past seven years, I've never really thought about how much moms might need that safe haven to talk about the Faith, right down to the lighter side of things. I don't think I could say I took it for granted, but maybe never thought about it all that much. I didn't realize how much of a need there was for it until I started to see Catholic blogging mommas talking about it.

Maybe it's time I start finding a way to converge the two in a way that brings even more Catholic moms together to be able to talk about things they may not be able to in their everyday life with the folks they know.

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