Points arrive in our lives when we realize that things are so transitory, that things that we thought would be established forever are at the point of fading away. And there are times when we realize that what is important is much different from what we first thought was important. The time comes when the past must begin to fade away, and only that which is before you, dim and undiscovered, waits for you as if in the next room.
If I am certain of anything, I am certain that I am quite an odd duck. With very few people do I feel completely comfortable, and I have always been at the margin of things, savoring and contemplating many aspects of life that are often times neglected. But I have come to take for granted certain things and people, my extended family especially. Only this weekend, with the marriage of my cousin and my grandfather's eightieth birthday, have I realized that all of the established order of my family will fade away and move on. The closeness, the traditions, and the life of the old country will soon be dead, and even though they have been the existential background of how I lived, I have realized too that I was always a stranger in them. It is that feeling of rootlessness that is causing me much pause, both in planning a beautiful future and in mourning, with the understanding of their inevitable downfall, the memories of an innocent past.
AG has said in this comment that we Internet religion divas may be making too much of an issue of religious matters that are really none of our business. As Roman Catholics at least, our obligations to the Church are very simple and blissfully few: obey the hierarchy in matters in which we have to obey (or at least not vocally voice our opposition and defer to them) and give the Church money to be able to sustain its various apostolic works. This does not even entail signing on to the current party line; the Gospel is not a party line, and more often than not has little to do with ecclesiastical policy.
Loving God and neighbor requires little guidance from L'Osservatore Romano or EWTN. Having been a cleric and a monk, I might have some meagre excuses for obsessing about certain internal matters of the Church (call it force of habit). But the more time I am out of the habit, the more time I have to deal with bills, career choices, and time management, the more I realize that too much of an obsession with ecclesiastical matters would amount to escapism. Really, what can I do about the Pope doing this or that, the Vatican releasing this or that document, etc.? I might as well get more into sports teams, for at least they have on and off seasons and you can know with much more certainty what the outcomes will be.
There is too much before me in my life right now that to dwell on the past would be the greatest sin I could ever commit. I used to make religion into an idol that would drive and guide my life. It was the only thing I would obsess over, and the only thing I thought mattered. But where was Christ in all of it? Where was love? I realize now that it was always in my family, and maybe I realized this weekend that it too is changing. So it is no longer my business to look backward or to be nostalgic. And this goes for the Church as well. The Church, as it is, is the Church that Christ wants for us. And it is none of my business to tweak it to my expectations. There are more potent manifestations of God in my life now, more normal roads to the Kingdom of Heaven, than what ecclesiastics do or do not do.