If I had to describe myself in 3 words they would be wife, mother and Catholic. I love being all of those things and I try very hard (most of the time) to live out those titles well.
Today I came across a few blog posts that were good food for thought on the mother and Catholic sides of things.
Jen at Conversion Diary has a great post about a couple who are adopting 2 HIV positive children from Ethiopia. I loved the things this adoptive mother had to say about how she felt God calling her to this path. I also admire her courage in following.
Travis and I have always discussed adoption as an option in our lives. I am friends with a woman who has adopted 2 baby girls through the foster care system. Seeing her and her husband grow their family in such a beautiful way has always made me want to do the same, in a very ambivalent, non-committal way. Last winter I heard a talk given by Catholic Charities that really made me think about becoming a foster parent and possibly adopting an older child instead of an infant. They told the story of a almost 18 year old girl who never was adopted, had no real family and was soon to be released from the system. She told the Catholic Charities employee that she still wanted to be adopted, to have a family to go home to during her college breaks. (Break my heart!)
This is not the time to pursue adoption, but I do feel like I should keep the idea of foster care and adoption tucked away for later. But I also know I first need to deal with some fears I have such as, Will bringing an older child into my home also bring the potential of danger for my own child if the foster child has a history of being sexually abused? and How do you bring someone into your home and earn their love and respect when you're a crazy woman? and What if I don't "click" with the child? Will I just hurt and reject them even more?
Fr. Longenecker at Standing on My Head has a series of 3 posts on Authority and papal infallibility. He wrote them as a "thinking out loud", as he describes it, and I think they are all interesting reads. As many non-Catholics (and even "Cafeteria Catholics") have serious issues with the Pope, I think Father does a good job of talking about the relativism that can come forth without an authority. Especially when the only authority many want to claim is the Bible, which is a collection of separate books assembled, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, by Catholics during early Church Councils. (Council of Laodicea in 360 and Council of Rome in 382, followed by the Councils of Hippo and Carthage. All of these councils list the same Old and New Testament books that can be found in modern day Bibles.) See here and here for where I got my details.
The reason I love to hear Fr. Longenecker's perspective is because he was raised Protestant and even attended the fundamentalist school Bob Jones University. He then converted to Anglicanism and became an Anglican priest while living in England. However, as the Anglicans began to squabble, he searched for an answer and was led to the Roman Catholic Church. Of course, as a Catholic, one could argue that he's biased to our ways, but he seems really well educated and has passionately lived out his faith in a variety of ways which definitely brings a different perspective to my way of seeing things.
To put it simply, the non-Catholic Christian (without a recognized infallible authority) can only be relativistic, but in order for his world not to drift and melt away totally, he has to behave as if his personal opinion or the opinion of his pastor or the decisions of his denomination are, in fact, infallible.
The Catholic Church, on the other hand, is the only religious grouping which can claim to be both historical and relevant, universal and local.
Furthermore, it must not only be intellectually credible, but it must have the underlying intellectual tools to construct credible responses to the world.