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Mary Perrotti is Director of Staff Development and Education for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago

Monday, August 31, 2009

It is not about the bike…

Many of us are familiar with the battle Lance Armstrong waged against cancer.  In 2001, he wrote an autobiography about his struggle titled, “It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life.”  While there are many poignant moments in his writing, the overall theme is one of hope, determination and recognition that life is bigger than any one challenge.

It would seem, that the world we live in is unforgiving of the times we as a faith community stumble.  Some of the criticism has been deserved. We recognize that despite our best efforts, we can make mistakes.  However, once admitted, we also work hard to improve so that we may be better servants of God. The Catholic Church throughout the world continues to be a leader among faith communities in how we care and serve others.  We not only speak the Gospel of Jesus, we live it.

So what about the bike?  It is sometimes challenging for us as Catholics to see this greater good when so much of what we hear are the criticisms of our faith.  In Stewardship and Development, we occasionally hear from people who choose to withhold financial support as a way to express their frustrations.   However, many of these same people turn towards the Church so that they may experience the sacraments that give them joy and solace; the baptism or communion of a child, a wedding, the burial of a loved one. They seem to recognize that the Church is in fact bigger than any one challenge that we face and continues to be a constant in their lives regardless of how often they choose to turn away.  My hope is that in the end, we all may come to see that “it is not about the bike.”

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