Putting a Bird on It
My grandfather was in the habit of casually using God's name in vain. This bugged my mother no end, especially when my grandfather came to live with her. Finally, one day, he used the Holy Name one time too often, and my mother yelled, "You know, Dad, if you keep calling Him, He is going to show up!" Ha, and what do you know: not long after that, my grandfather was baptised. I guess He showed up.
Most Catholics know better than to literally use God's name in vain; but we may have fallen into the habit of using the idea of God in vain -- especially if you happen to make a living in some field that has to do with religion. When you are supposed to come up with edifying, illluminating ideas about the Faith regularly, no matter what is going on in your personal spiritual life, it's awfully tempting to do something I call "putting a bird on it." Here's the origin of that phrase:
"You're not wanted here!"
The other week, Pope Francis spoke about people who are attracted to Christ, but
These people have turned away, they are gone, they say, 'this man is a bit' strange, he says things that are hard…It 's too big a risk to go down this road. We have common sense, eh? Let's go 'back a little and not so close to Him'. These people, perhaps, had a certain admiration for Jesus, but little 'from afar: not to meddle too much with this man, because he says things that are a bit' strange ...
Have you had this experience, where an encounter with Christ seems strange and risky, even dangerous? If not, then there may be a problem! Christianity is not supposed to be comfortable and cozy all the time. It's perilously easy to go around putting the christian stamp on things, acting like the Cross is nothing more than your favorite theme or hobby. But every once in a while, we have to snap out of it.
Open the door, Catholics, and let that wild bird in.