Becoming a more ‘authentic’ Catholic

Q: Our son just finished his first year of college at what we were told is one of the “real” Catholic colleges in the country. He has been surprised, however, by some of the groups he is urged to participate in to be a more authentic Catholic. Sometimes they sound very narrow. Have you any suggestions on how to deal with this?

Your concern is a healthy one and is shared by a number of faithful and well-informed Catholics.

Good common sense is always the first judge in such dilemmas. After that, Catholic tradition suggests some solid basic guidelines.

It is always good to remember that ours is a big Church. In all its 2,000 years it has been at its best and most alive when there has been room for a whole rainbow of ways for people to pray, to think, to live out their faith and grow in holiness.

Just because something does not appeal to us doesn't necessarily mean there is something bad about it. Without respect for, and willingness to explore, honest varieties within the appropriate framework of faith, the Church stagnates, intellectually and spiritually.

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