Random Nun Clips

Is there a wrong time to go back to church?

Podcast Recorded: December 9, 2015
woman sits alone in back of church

After spending some time away from church, a listener wonders if God is annoyed with her -- and if her fellow parishioners will judge her when she starts going to Mass again. The Nuns have a lot to say!

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Show Notes

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Transcript (Click for More)+

Sister Rejane  
This Random Nun Clip is brought to you by A Nun's Life Ministry.

Sister Maxine  
And it's interesting how in our previous question with Carla, she had a sense of hesitation about what's the role of the church here, thinking like, Oh, I'm not so sure about that. But here, Emily's saying, I'd like to go to church, I'm scared to go there and talk to people because not only has God not seen me around, in her mind, nobody there at the church -- they're gonna be like, Who are you?

Sister Julie  
There are, of course, you know, people who aren't going to respond well. But the the point of church, the point of religious communities, of any Christian or religious tradition is to be welcoming and to open the doors, and to do so and not make judgment. Yes, it happens. People do make judgment. But you know what, I think you're going to find a very different thing. I mean, there are going to be people who are just going to be glad to see you. Maybe they've been away for a while. Maybe there's new folks in there. And so I would really encourage you to try that. And I know it might be a little scary, I understand that. So maybe find a way to do that. Maybe you know of a person who attends the church that you would like to go to. Maybe you start off by having coffee with them.

Sister Maxine  
Yeah, or just like, going in, sitting in the back, get there a little bit late if you don't want to have to do too much at first. And find a way -- if this is something that your heart is telling you to do, give into that and find a way to do it. And here in the chat room. We've got some beautiful comments. "God is constant and in constant co-creation with us. But we are the ones that can doubt and fear." And another comment: "Courage allows us to take the first step and that is the beginning of the journey." And you might want to take a deep breath before you take that first step and trust that God's even going to walk with you into that church.

Sister Julie  
An interesting comment here. Rosemary says, "The still quiet voice of God often has come to me in questions like Emily is having." And Rosemary says, "It is an invitation to go deeper." Rosemary, that is just so spot on. I mean, when I hear Emily articulate this, and her question to us, you can already hear that invitation, can't you, from God? Like she's just already tracking it even though she's expressing it through question. So many prophets and saints have said, and writers and theologians, you know, it's in the question that there are the seeds of the answer. And that the thing that you long for the most is already happening to you, because you're able to ask these questions.

Sister Maxine  
The vulnerability that is going to occur in the midst of this can be a source of strength, too, knowing that when you walk in that church, you have a sense of vulnerability that you worry about what are other people going to do, but that comes out of that genuine desire to search for where God may be calling you. And that kind of an earnest search can only be admirable. When we step into our own vulnerability, and we own that, it can be and often is, life-transforming for us.

Sister Julie  
And a little shameless self-promotion. You want to hang out with a really awesome community of faith. You come on over here to A Nun's Life Ministry and hang out, not only with the Catholic Sisters and nuns that are part of this ministry, but the women and men, these people of faith, who are part of the chat community that's here right now, that are part of our Facebook community, and Twitter and Instagram. These are people who always leave the door open and always say you are welcome.

Sister Maxine  
And that might be for Emily another place to start. It's church in a different sense, but it is, nonetheless the gathering of the people of God which can happen on the internet too. And maybe this is your first step into church to connect with people online and start feeling a little more solid, a little more energized for taking the step after that, and then the step after that, and before you know it, you'll be in some of those places that it sounds like you actually want to be in.

Sister Rejane  
To hear full episodes of A Nun's Life podcasts, visit the podcast page at anunslife.org/podcasts.

This transcript has been lightly edited for readability.

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