What Breaks Your Heart?
Written By: Amanda Batch
I teach at a Catholic Marianist School and recently helped with the Freshmen Retreat. During this retreat, they focus on the “Pillars” of the Marianist Charisms, which guide how we do everyday life at our school.
During one of the last sessions, the students were asked a question: What do you love? Pretty typical answers ensued from “I love my family” to “I love playing basketball” and the like.
The following questions that were asked were: “What breaks your heart about what you love?” and “What are you going to do about it?”
Woah. That actually caught me off guard. But, the logic of the sequential questions made perfect sense.
As I sat there, I thought about what I loved. I love a lot of things. I truly have a very blessed life and I thank God every day for that. I love my husband. I love my little baby girl who we will get to meet come January. I love my family. I love music. I love my two crazy dogs that drive me up the wall. But what my heart seemed to be settling on in that moment was that I love being Catholic and being a part of the church.
Then I proceeded to the next part in the sequence of questions: What breaks my heart in regards to being Catholic and being a part of the church? Unfortunately, that was easier to answer then I anticipated. What breaks my heart is when the church forgets the reason why they exist. What breaks my heart is when the church falls to temptation and sin. What breaks my heart is the hypocrisy and church politics I have witnessed. What breaks my heart is the gossip that permeates through some parishes and those who participate in it don’t even give a second thought about who they are hurting with their words.
I understand that human beings make up the church, and because of that we are susceptible and fall sometimes all too easy into sin. But, I do hold high standards for the church and I think the church as a whole needs to as well. The behaviors and actions that I listed above are what I expect from the secular world. Not of the church. The main reason that the church exists is to bring people to Jesus and to serve others as He would. And sometimes, we as a church forget that.
Many of us grew up with those cool bracelets that read WWJD: What would Jesus do? I wish those would come back into style because I think so many people need a reminder that there purpose as a Catholic is to be like Jesus. Be kind like Jesus. Forgive like Jesus. Serve like Jesus.
Would Jesus talk behind peoples’ backs slandering their name through the mud? No. Would Jesus lie about his true intentions? No. Would Jesus take the easy way out of any situation? No. We all need a reminder that as Catholics, we are supposed to live it through every aspect of our lives. If we do this, then these types of environments that exist within the church will begin to crumble.
So. What am I going to do about it? That is the last question that needs to be answered. I have decided that I will not sit in silence any longer. In order to build a positive church community the hypocrisy, the gossip, the lies, the false motives need to evaporate. They need to be replaced by openness, communication, honesty, and true intentions. I have made it my mission for this to start with me. I know that I may not be liked by some people for being this way, but I can’t sit idly by anymore and watch it infiltrate one of the things I love the most.
I want to be like Jesus. And I want the same for others. That means I must take action because action will be the only way to cement the cracks in my heart. Will you join me?
About The Author:
Amanda Batch is married to Robert Batch, and is a teacher at Chaminade College Preperatory High School. She is the director of the Youth Band at Saint Rose of Lima Parish. She is looking forward to sharing her thoughts with you and getting to know you!