Excuse me, I know you're just trying to live your life and be sensitive and thoughtful and all, but will you just let me be religious already?
See, when I join a Christian-based support group (like the one I belong to and it shall remain nameless), I expect to be challenged to live my life in a way that conforms to Christ, rather than "eh, we all have days" kind of mediocrity. I know we all have days. It's called sin, folks. I want Christ to transform that sin into holiness, not hand out self-help patter. I want beatitudes, not platitudes.
I think heroic virtue is worth striving for. Granted, this whole letter shoots my patience and humility virtues for today, but I'm tapping into the wrath of God, folks. Step into the sanctuary if you don't want to get hurt.
I love the sacraments. I love the saints. I love the priesthood. I love the religious life. I love marriage. I love all the ways God works through the world. I love saying those things out loud. I don't love being made to feel like a bit like a freak when I do that in my own Church.
And yes, I love some of those songs others hate, like "Rain Down." Yes, here I am today, singing out loud, swaying slightly. Stop staring at me, dang it. It's called praising God. Try it sometime. You may like it.
I love the Church! Of course we do things wrong! Of course it's a mess in all kinds of ways! But it was still instituted by Christ for the salvation of all people. It's not some sitcom episode to snarkfest like you get your spiritual discipline tips from Television Without Pity! Treat it like a mystery to be loved, not a problem to be solved.
To quote my new best friend, Jeremiah: Why do the ways of the wicked prosper? And why do all the faithless live at ease?
Geez, what do I have to do to be a devout Catholic in this world? I know people are at different spots on the journey, and I respect that, but will you allow me to be serious about wanting to be a saint? Please? Or is that just way too weird and threatening?
Do you think I'm going to go all St. Jerome on you?
Get used to it, dudes. My hands are on the plow.
Royally ticked off in my quest for holiness,
*to read the addressee name, get out your super sonic 3-D glasses and then translate this letter into Latin, taking the second letter of every word and finding the Talmudic numerical value, dividing by 47 and then translating that number into Russian, which will bring you to a slant rhyme of the nickname by which these persons are known. Or if that is too hard, try substituting "lukewarm dishrags" or "lovable disordered noodles".
p.s. For the record, I love my parish. If anyone from my parish is reading this, the parish is not inspiring this piece. Really. Thanks.