Monday, April 20, 2009
In my previous post, I was making an attempt to direct readers to the theological concept of proper authority and the practical applications that result.
Basically, to reiterate, I as a lay person CAN teach/preach outside of a homily, but my message won't really have the same effect as if that same message is conveyed by the person with the proper authority to do so. In short, a Priest can offer what he teaches. A Lay person cannot. And in this case, I'm talking specifically about the Sacraments.
I'll admit I was getting a bit frustrated with some of the comments I was receiving, because they were focusing not on my message, but on me. They included advice as to how to point people to the proper authority. When I teach about the Sacraments, I do that. In fact, in my blog post, I linked to a Church Document. I doubt anyone clicked on it.
Same kind of thing. When I teach/preach on the Sacraments, it falls on deaf ears in the same way my own theological point fell on blind eyes last night and this morning.
The commenters, in a way I didn't at first realize, exactly made my point.
Had a Priest brought up the issue of teaching authority proper to the priesthood versus that of the laity, what would have ensued would be a theological discussion of his points.
But because I am a lay person, the theological point was largely ignored in favor of discussing my own personal role and what I should/could do, etc.
That's EXACTLY what happens when a lay person teaches on these very important matters. People ignore the message. I don't get phone calls with questions on what I actually said, but rather, questions about what authority I have to tell them how to live. I get questions on my outfit or my shoes or what kind of paper I used to write the talk on. I get questions about what the kids should wear for First Communion.
The theology...in one ear and out the other.
Just like my blog post from last night. Almost NO discussion on the theology.
I've also realized that's happened over and over on my posts where I'm making theological points. Granted, I often speak from experience in order to make my point, but even if I don't, people will tend to focus on me as the messenger more than the message itself.
That's a problem, I'm realizing. Because if I dominate the topic so much, then it means Jesus has taken a back seat, and I'm the one somehow in the limelight.
This makes me seriously question blogging. At least, my participation in it. One of the reasons I don't write under my own name is because I don't want to be the focus. Yet, over time, that's happened. My identity is known to a lot of people now, and of course, once one is known, things become more personal and less theoretical.
I'm going to take some time to really think about all of this, and whether or not I can do a better job of making Christ the focus as He is intended to be. If I can't discuss theology without getting out of the way, that's a problem. If my words are pointing only to me and people are bypassing God in order to get to me, then I'm not doing my job.
I apologize if my frustration came out in my responses to comments in the previous post as I meant no offense to anyone, and know that they meant no offense to me. And truly, I am not offended. In fact, I'm glad they commented as they did as it makes me truly evaluate what I'm doing and why.