Wednesday, November 18, 2009


People delight me, frustrate me, and provide me with endless excitement...which is why I sometimes pray for a rut.

Still, I am amused by the assumptions I encounter in the daily. One eager woman approached me with her smile and a Bible tract and asked me if I was Amish or Mennonite. I replied I am Catholic (as if the crucifix I was wearing did not explain it). "CATHOLIC!!!!" she screeched and scurried away as if I were some diseased thing.

Then there are sweet folks who come to the house and think they will find
1. A monastic cell
2. A horse and buggy
3. A hermit's cave.

Plain Catholics know we will be misunderstood. Tis part and parcel of the charism. All the saints and Jesus Himself encountered the assumptions and the misunderstandings. So we laugh and gently let them know that while we use technology such as cars and phones, we do not let it possess us. We see it as a particular use rather than a status symbol. The core of our charism is the Liturgy of the Hours, Lectio Divina, and simplicity in life and lifestyle: Ora et Labora.

Inside of our homes you will see Catholic art and gifts from our children. You will also see old furniture and basic appliances. You will even see some with a wood cook stove for winter meals and warmth... and books, books on the Faith, books on the farm, books of gentle humor and books to record the outcomes of bees and chickens, gardens and projects. As the seasons progress you will see the various activities change in our lives from gardening, to sewing, to woodworking, to wood splitting; we enjoy working with our hands as well as our minds. You will not see us own a Mercedes nor a Lexus; we keep our homes small, our gardens large. Our clothing is simplified, we do not wear expensive jewelry. Our crucifixes are simple as are the rosaries. However these are all just externals; less is more.

We do not "party", but we do have family gatherings and engage our youth in wholesome fun. We have even been known to take vacations, mostly camping and the visiting of relatives. Places where you will not see a Plain Catholic: Casinos, nightclubs, bars, nor discos. Places you will find us - Mass, home, volunteering for the church and the community; the occasional meal at the local diner or camping, fishing, and hunting. We also visit the Catholic shrines and cathedrals.

Some folks will say they live this way already and did not know there was name for it. So you may be Plain and not know it...till now.

The Plain Catholic heart is the heart of the charism. We rejoice in our faith. We do not collect for the sake of collecting because it means we are owned by the material. We hope only to be owned by Jesus Christ the Eternal and to express His love for all people in our lives. Be patient with us if we sometimes fail, as we seek to be patient with you. All of us are only human after all.

That's me away.


Rhoto said...

Thank you for the lovely article. You mentioned "charism" several times--that's an term I don't understand...
Bless you!
Rhonda, who was a Holdeman Mennonite

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

I really enjoyed this post my friend. It brought a smile and shares so many truths. Sunday at church a lady I had not ever seen there gave me that "look". You know what I mean, as if I had two heads! LOL! Of course I am the only church member in kapp, long dress, dark socks and simple black shoes and, well, you know all the rest. But my church family loves me as I am and has never thought me different or odd. They know that I am following what God told me is right. I only pray they realized it is what God wishes for all His children although in our area people are fairly modest in appearance and dress compared to many parts of the country. But even they wear things I no longer will as in shorts, jeans, slacks or sleeveless tops. And forget me wearing a bathing suit! God bless you my dear!

John said...

Hearing how nonmembers describe a group is often a good way to learn the opposite of what the group actually is -- especially when it come to Catholic groups.

Lisa said...

I have always felt a calling to simplicity and even more now. I was always attracted to the Amish way of life but loved my catholic faith. What a wonderful blessing when I found you. I realize others felt the same and acted upon it.

Matthew 5:16 So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

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