Eight suggestions for surviving the Synod hype

    Have you been keeping up with all the Synod news? It’s confusing and a little addictive,  isn’t it? We can easily be drawn into the glut of social media commentary and before we know it, we have become Synod junkies and armchair commentators. I admit I almost got drawn into the social media frenzy until a person with a much cooler head prevailed and made me rethink my potential actions.

    The Synod that is wrapping up this week is only the first part of a process that will take approximately two years to complete. Following this Extraordinary General Assembly (2014) there will be the Ordinary General Assembly (2015) and finally the publication of the final document “subject to the decision of the Holy Father” (News.va, 26 June 2014).

    It is in our human nature to react and become upset by any news that we feel is destructive to the Catholic Church. However, it is too soon to conclude that the Church is destroyed or that we are rushing headlong into a schism.

    Instead of spending all of my time seeking out, liking, sharing, obsessing, and biting my nails over all things Synod, I have decided on a different course of action. I invite you to join me. Here are some Synod survival tactics:

    1. Be discerning about news sources. Mainstream media is biased against the Catholic Church; we all know that. Recently, the first two pages of the National Post were dedicated to the Synod. A brief glance at the headlines told me that the article was inaccurate, critical of the Church’s teachings, and ridiculous. My husband, who has a stronger stomach than I, skimmed through the article and confirmed my suspicions.
    2. Limit your intake of Social Media opinion posts: Our opinions are just that: opinions. We really don’t know what the final outcome will be. I’m staying away from any commentary that thinks it knows what the conclusion of this year’s Synod and future meetings will be.
    3. Read books and articles that nourish the soul. Now is the time to read up on the Church’s teachings on marriage and sexuality. Or give yourself a break and read something that has absolutely nothing to do with the Church’s current hot-button topic. I’m reading The Eagle and the Dove, which compares, contrasts, and explains the spirituality of two Carmelite heavyweights: St. Teresa of Avila and St. Therese of Lisieux. When I am lost in this gem of a book, I don’t even know there is a synod going on.
    4. Pray to the mom saints. Moms are fierce defenders of the family and of the Church. St. Gianna, St. Monica, and Our Blessed Mother are my go-to moms.
    5. Enthrone the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in our families. Two years ago, we completed the Enthronement prayers in our family with the help of a friend who is a priest. In other words, we consecrated our family to the hearts of Jesus and Mary. Now when we gather for our evening prayers, we pray the daily Renewal of the Consecration of the Family. There is no surer way of protecting our families against the evil forces that seek to destroy us than placing those we love in Jesus’ Sacred Heart and Mary’s Immaculate Heart.
    6. Pray the Rosary every day. Our Blessed Mother promised her help and protection to all those who faithfully pray the Rosary. Through the Rosary, our Mother will bring us closer to Her Son, Jesus. Make the recitation of the Rosary a priority in the family.
    7. Pray for the clergy. Our priests have a huge responsibility. Commit them to St. Jean Vianney and pray that they will be faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church so that they can guide us to remain true to Holy Mother Church.
    8. Embrace your daily cross and carry it faithfully. When we unite our sufferings with Jesus on the Cross, all things are turned to good. God promised. Trust Him.

    Photo courtesy of morguefile.com