Two of my favorite theologians talk about our human need for story - and about our need to understand our own place in the story. Fr Andrew Greeley says what first draws us to Catholicism are the wonderful stories we hear as children; it's also what keeps us connected to the Catholic Church as adults (Why I Am Still a Catholic, by Andrew Greeley). Educator Jeff Cavins says the stories are wondeful, but, he adds, "The story of Jonah isn't big enough to live in. The story of Noah and the ark isn't big enough to live in." He contends that we need to know the whole story of salvation history and then enter into the story - find our own place in it, so to speak. Unless we do, we are cast adrift and and wandering, looking for something to fill the empty places inside, some of us knowing there's something to Catholicism, but unable to articulate what exactly it is (Passing on the Greatest Story Ever Told).
And then there's the music. This morning I woke to the haunting melody of Song of the Body of Christ (David Haas). "We come to share our story. We come to break the bread. We come to know our rising from the dead."
Rhyme schmyme. Hallmark and song writers can stuff rhyming. Still, the melody is haunting.
By the time I was on my way to work, the melody morphed into What Faith Can Do (Kutlass), probably because it was playing on my favorite station.
Or it's plain old Godspeak.
Everybody falls sometimesI woke, too, to the realization that my own story has not belonged to me for some time. I jotted lines here and there, twisted and tangled the plot no doubt, but my story has been taken from me as certainly as anything tangible can be taken.
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you're stronger, stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining
I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
I'm taking it back.
Danglers be damned.