[pullquote_right width=”30%”]When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on Earth?
– Jesus in today’s Gospel (Luke 18,8)[/pullquote_right]
Jesus seems to have measured people’s faith all the time. In how many stories about His miracles do we hear things like, “Your faith has saved you”; “You of little faith, why were you fearful”? “Woman, you have great faith”; “Seeing their faith, he said to the paralyzed man…”? For us, who aren’t Jesus, it’s tougher to measure – but it’s not impossible. That’s why, since 2007, we’ve regularly brought in Gallup.
Gallup has a talent for “measuring the unmeasurable” – like “faith.” They don’t call it that – they call it, “spiritual health,” but it works out to be pretty much the same thing. Gallup doesn’t measure people’s ideas – they look instead at what people do. (Sounds pretty much like Jesus: Remember, “By their fruits you will know them”? Or Saint James: “Faith without works is dead”? Or any of the stories I quoted from just above?) And Gallup also looks at the ground in which faith grows (or doesn’t): Because, “Some seed fell on rocky ground / some on the path / some on good soil, where it bore fruit a hundredfold…”
The faith (or “spiritual health”) of any particular person is directly the business of no one except God and that person’s confessor. But the spiritual health of the parish as a whole – that’s everyone’s concern. We try to provide healthy and nutritious food for ourselves and our families; how “healthy” is what’s being “served up” in our parish? How would we know, unless we looked? We know about our own bodily health that some things are “silent killers” – like untreated high blood pressure – that can be discovered if someone trained looks with the proper tool, but which don’t announce themselves until it’s too late if no one is looking… That’s why this month’s survey is so important.
Gallup will use what you tell them in the survey, plus their expertise, to let parish leadership know the status of the two main factors that make up spiritual health: the spiritual commitment of our parish’s members, and their (your) engagement in parish life. Gallup will also tell us, based on your responses, where we can most usefully invest our resources to help parishioners become more spiritually healthy. All of us want Our Lady of Grace to be like the “good soil” that the seed in the parable fell into. The ME25 survey tells us how to move in that direction. There are lots of things we’d like to do, but we’re limited by the resources of time, energy, and money available; so we have to do those things that promise to have the best effects.
I ask you to do two things: First, if you’re a parishioner age 18 or older, complete the survey if you haven’t already done that. And second, no matter what your age or connection to the parish, pray for the parish leadership who will take the survey responses as a compass to guide us into the future. Until next week, peace.
How to take the ME25 Survey Online:
How to take the ME25 Survey on Paper:
Until next week, Peace.