On the Edge

silhouette man sitting on edge of roof at sunset - photo by Khoa Võ on Pexels.com

Many of us live on a religious edge. We are part of the church—the universal Body of Christ—but our connection to a local congregation has been disrupted. Or our trust in the larger, formal institution has been betrayed. Maybe we still attend worship services somewhere, sometimes. Maybe we still contribute time and resources to causes and ministries that involve the church. But we can feel our toes on the edge; sometimes we feel our souls teetering away from belief and practice.

It’s not always a bad thing to be on the edge—after all, growth and expansion often happen there. Most of us go through edgy times spiritually simply because we are growing and changing. At some point we must ask difficult questions. At another point we must voice complaint and challenge to authority. And sometimes we must leave our faith—or at least the form of faith we grew up with—in order to discover God all over again and come back to faith.

Where are you these days? Anything edgy going on? Are you looking for a way to voice the way you feel? Are you hoping for some help and encouragement? Have you invited God into this odd yet necessary process?

Photo by Khoa Võ on Pexels.


  1. I haven’t lost my trust and love for Benedictine monastery I attend. On the contrary. But I have been attending less over the last few months. Today I tried to log into our usual zoom Collatio and the internet was down. All of last month Collatio was cancelled or I was away. All of this, coupled with my own lack of prioritizing Mass and/or vespers has left me ‘on the edge’ in some ways. My daily practice continues at home. Still, I recognize the symptoms of distraction and laziness.
    Yes, being on the edge can lead to growth! But it can also be precarious on the edge, as in the picture above.
    Women here in particular have good reason to be on edge with Catholic doctrine. I hope they speak up and bring change. The Church needs to change.

  2. Vinta,
    Thought-provoking indeed! Thank you. It is challenging to find one’s true voice about Church these days. I have siblings who have continued to practice their faith, others who have left for meaningful faith traditions, and still others who believe the patriarchal Church must fall before the “new church” can arise. Your post is refreshing and challenging. I have believed as an adult that faith in a God requires embracing the mystery of the unknowable and the work of the Holy Spirit.
    Patriarchal Faith traditions such as Roman Catholicism have benefitted from the spiritual and temporal gifs of both women and men.
    So long as the temporal Church is organized exclusively around men, it will continue to look at the world through only one “eye.” The opposite of patriarchy is not matriarchy but rather the radical concept of “equality.”
    There was only one Jesus but his choice of his many deciples and apostles (Mary Madeline for example) – were women.
    It took the Church “fathers” 400 years to accept the truth that the world was not flat. We are now 2,023 years into an unequal Church. Let us not merely “hope” for equality in our Church, but act for justice as Jesus did through His words, actions, and choices of companions. Change will come when enough women and men say – it is time. I live in hope that I will see this transformation in my lifetime. In the meantime, I relish the beautiful gifts of my Faith tradition that have yet to be opened.

  3. Very grateful for this article. It helps me to realize there is a reason that God has drawn me to the edge. I need to grow in faith and trust Him to be my guide.

  4. Vinita, how often you meet me where I am in my spiritual life. After a half-century of worshipping and active involvement with the Catholic church, I left to find a deeper connection to God within a Protestant denomination. What a difference. The past 16 years in Methodism have nourished me continuously and in more meaningful ways. I cannot support the demand for men to live a celibate life. I cannot support a male-dominated spiritual community. I cannot support a system that adheres to ancient practices and protocol without scriptural basis. The experience of attending Mass became hollow and repetitious without meaning. Sermons were poorly composed and delivered. I was starving for Spiritual Bread. It is heartbreaking to watch an institution disintegrate because of rigid, self-serving policies. God bless every believer seeking a life under God’s wing.

  5. Thank you!!! This articulates how I have been feeling for quite a while. How I have needed to hear that I am not alone and I am growing in new understanding. You have provided some clarity to this trip of mine through this desert.
    May God bless you abundantly!


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