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"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20

 

Treasure Map

Laura DeMaria

I love Matthew Kelly. The way he writes is so clear and approachable, and on many occasions he has helped me understand my faith better.

I receive Dynamic Catholic's "daily food for thought" emails and yesterday he shared a quote from their Confirmation program materials:

"Catholicism is like a really old treasure map. It may be old, but it still leads to treasure. I hope you have the courage and wisdom to seek out the treasure that is Catholicism. And once you find it, I hope you spend the rest of your life marveling at its beauty and applying it to you life."

I have felt this same way many times! Those of us who were born into the Church are told by converts: you have no idea how lucky you are. From the beginning, we are shown the map and all its secrets (which need not remain secrets long, with a little exploration and guidance).

The map that is Catholicism shows you where and how to live your life because in doing so, you get closer to God, the purpose of your life, and true joy. When I was not observant, how was I spending my time? And who or what did I rely on for strength? The rules in our church exist not to dampen growth and love, but to reveal and accelerate them. Those things we're not "supposed" to do are typically the ones that bring us the most sadness anyway, rather than freedom and happiness. True freedom is understanding you do not have all the answers, but there is One who does. I find so much comfort in this truth.

And, as Kelly says, it takes courage to find and follow the faith. Not everyone is up to it. It can be a radical decision, and not one everyone understands, to put your life in God's hands and accept His will. And it's a difficult thing to do; relationships are comfortable, habits are comfortable; excuses are comfortable. There is nothing forcing us to ask ourselves each day, "Am I living my true purpose? What is my true purpose? How can I get there?" and so it is easy to carry on in our old ways.

But when you step back and view the map: the Sacraments, the wisdom of the Saints, the beauty of Catholic community, and all the elements given to us by God so that we may find peace - you cannot help but fall in love. See your faith as a map, particularly in times of doubt and struggle. Stay on the path and you will get closer to true joy and meaning.