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On Being a Christian

On Being a Christian

The sun, the ride in the open air, the California breeze after a cloistered Minnesota fall had put me into a reckless mood for my live interview on Pacifica radio. “Do you consider yourself a Christian?” my host asked. I sighed and said, “My problem with that is that so many people who publicly identify themselves as Christians are such jerks about it.” The woman laughed, as did all the people in the sound booth behind her. “Especially now,” I continued, “when all that Christmas cheer is being rammed down our throats. It’s enough to make a saint scream.” I said I often wondered if being a Christian was something we could or should claim for ourselves; that if being a Christian meant incarnating the love of Christ in my own life, then maybe it would be best to let others tell me how well, or how badly, I’m doing. I spoke briefly about what Advent meant to me, and then confessed that I had schemed for months to find the O Antiphons in the city. I doubt that it was the looniest interview the woman had all day, but it had its moments.

from The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris

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