About two years ago, my friend Louie introduced me to a faith sharing group called BASIC. It is an acronym for Brothers And Sisters In Christ. At that time I was looking for a group of Catholics who were young and in love with being Catholic. I found it to be a great source of comfort in a time where I was looking for it.
The group is split between men and women pretty evenly and I've made some really good friendships out of it. I have also been challenged in a way that I thought I was kinda past in my life, which is the reason for my blog post today.
I've been away from BASIC for a couple of meetings now, mainly due to some life circumstances, but I can tell you that I am excited to go to the next meeting. Not because anything special is going on, but rather because I will be able to connect with some people that don't think exactly the same way I do. For those of you who know me, you know that I am very traddy. For those of you who read me, understand that to the letter. In this group, though I'm the only real traddy there. I'm the only one who assists at the TLM on a regular basis. A couple of them go from time to time, but by and large they are all Novus Ordo Catholics and that is ok. Actually, that is what challenges me. It's very easy for me to stay in my traddy box and isolate myself from what I call the mainstream Church. I do this because there isn't really much that I find good going on in it right now, but BASIC gives me perspective. The people there are not traddy, but they are traditional. They love the Church and all she has to offer, but they don't worry and immerse themselves in the things that I do on a regular basis. And for that I love each and every one of them.
Christ gives us an example that I lose sight of and that is that we should sometimes look at the world (and the Church) as little children do. I don't do that very well. I have a very "old" (that isn't the right word) view of the Church and I tend to look at it as "old is better" because "old isn't Modernist." My friends at BASIC don't look at the Church that way. They just love the Church. I envy them for that and I love them for that, because that is something I cannot do. As the old saying goes, "you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube;" well that goes for my understanding of the Church. But I can see my friends at BASIC and I can see a love for the Church in a way that is totally different from mine.
They love the Church, for the spiritual side. They love the Church for the fellowship. They love the Church because they love the Church. That is a wonderful example for me, because I don't. I love the Church because it gives me a place of stability and a place of tradition. I love the Church because I know that as long as I adhere to her, I can find my way to heaven. Our ends are the same, but our paths are very different.
This weekend I am going to go to BASIC. This weekend I am going to see my friends and I am going to pray. I pray anyhow, but my prayer is very structured, as opposed to free flowing. My prayer is the Breviary, my prayer is the rosary, my prayer is a holy hour....but this weekend, I will witness and be a part of prayer that is communal in a different way. I will see people witness to one another and I will see people who love the Church for loving the Church. While this isn't necessarily "traditional," (in the traddy sense, but it is ancient) it is Catholic. And it is something that I am coming to miss. Does it mean that I am going to change my view of the Church, probably not, but what it will do is remind me that the Church is really universal and the application of love and friendship can be expressed in many different ways.