Your experience of the faith is unique, so let your Catholic voice be heard
The Catholic faith is not a set of merely abstract doctrines. Catholicism is gritty, physical, corporeal — gloriously, almost embarrassingly so. It is the faith of the Incarnation, the Crucifixion and the bodily Resurrection. The Word became flesh to save us by being nailed to a tree — that’s no abstraction.
The ultimate purpose of our existence, the church tells us, is to share in God’s divine life, which sounds utterly spiritual and unmaterial — and yet we come to share in that life through the sacraments, which rely on the most basic physical goods: water, oil, bread, wine. Every week, we gather to eat God’s body and blood.
Our eternal destiny, Jesus tells us, depends on our response to the bodily needs of our neighbors: Did we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, visit the imprisoned?
More than just words in a catechism, the doctrines of the Catholic faith take concrete shape in the lives of the faithful — not just the exemplary saints, but all of us, as we muddle through, doing our best day by day, living out particular expressions of the faith that wouldn’t exist if we
had not been born. Each of us knows something about the life of faith that no one else knows. We all have unique stories to share.
Give us something to think about
And so Northwest Catholic wants to hear from you: How has the faith become real, concrete, incarnate, in your life?
Over the past two years, we’ve run occasional columns under the label “Catholic Voices” — Jan Alkire on “Christian driving,” Matt Kane on growing up with a brother who has Down syndrome, seminarian Michael Dion on reading the Gospels in the Holy Land, Capt. Brandon Temple on glimpsing the church’s universality during a Mass in Afghanistan, and several others.
Now we’re planning to run “Catholic Voices” in every edition, but we need you to write it. So send us a column and tell us what you discovered about the faith while digging wells in Africa, or sitting by your grandfather’s deathbed, or binge-watching a series on Netflix, or praying the rosary, or driving your kids to soccer practice, or clipping your toenails (OK, maybe not that).
One of the mottos of the Dominican Order is “to contemplate and to give to others the fruits of contemplation.” We’re asking you to do that for us. Tell us what you’ve been thinking deeply about. Give us something to think about.
This is your column
What should you write about? Whatever you want. Your column could take the form of a personal anecdote, a close reading of Scripture, a piece of cultural criticism, a top 10 list or a fiery exhortation. (Fair warning, though: We’re not going to publish something that flatly contradicts church teaching.)
You might tie your column to a particular holiday, liturgical season or feast day, or you could go more “evergreen” and write something we could publish anytime. If your column is time-sensitive, make sure you get it to us early — we have to plan each issue several months out.
In any case, you’ll have to keep things pretty short: 650 words or less (like this). Of course, that means you won’t be able to exhaustively explore every angle of your chosen topic, but hey, we’ve only got so many pages to work with, and a tight word limit encourages clear and concise writing.
Not an experienced writer? Not to worry. Send us what you’ve got, and if we think it’s a good fit for the magazine, we’ll help you smooth out any rough edges. We can’t promise we’ll publish your column, but if we do, we’ll send you $100.
Kevin Birnbaum is the editor/associate publisher of Northwest Catholic and a member of Seattle’s Blessed Sacrament Parish. Contact him at Kevin.Birnbaum@seattlearch.org.
Kevin Birnbaum es el editor de la revista Noroeste Católico/Northwest Catholic y miembro de la Parroquia del Sagrado Sacramento en Seattle. Pueden contactarle en: Kevin.Birnbaum@seattlearch.org.