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Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Middle ground

My husband and I have been having many discussions of the importance of community. More specifically, a Catholic community of friends to stay close to when all the temptations of the world seem to be creeping in. We talk with friends about starting a community off some where in the hills away from the barrage of sexual stimulation and consumerism that runs unchecked through mainstream society. Most think of such things as pipe dreams or fantasies. I read of earlier attempts at a Catholic Land movement or Catholic 'communes' and see their strong points and their failings. My question is, how far away does one have to be to insulate themselves from the unholy distractions of the modern world but yet stay close to those who most need our charity and our example? My greatest concern is for the souls of myself, my husband and our children. It would be so easy in one sense to pack up and move away and cloister ourselves away in a cabin somewhere; but should concern for our own eternal salvation keep us from leading others to Christ through our work? Are we selfish for wanting to avoid temptation? Is it wrong to avoid helping others for fear of leading one's soul or the soul of a child astray? But perhaps, I'm worrying about nothing. If our intentions lie in helping others, wouldn't He protect the innocence of our children along the way? Is their a *safe* charity that does real good? There is also the argument that we do our children a disservice by shipping them off somewhere and living in an exclusive Catholic community or commune (although I dislike that word.) After seeking out a community I would be devastated if my children left the faith, because it has happened in the past. So I guess I could screw up either way. Can you see my dilemma? We're looking for the safe middle ground and I guess, it doesn't exist. For now, I pray for guidance and strength and always for my children.