Thursday, March 28, 2013

Why I am Catholic

Bloggers over at Patheos have been answering the question and I thought it a worthy one to ponder this Holy Week.   Why be Catholic?  Why bind myself to a life I didn't plan?  Why invite upon myself this world of pain? 

Because it is a true world.  Because the only way this world of pain is made any better, is by God's mercy.  The world absent God, is one of teeth and power and pain, sickness and death. Just look at the Crucifixion, this is what we make when we reject God. With God, there is love, kindness, healing, forgiveness, beauty, truth, light, salt, peace, mercy and life. Again, look at the Crucifixion.  God makes that symbol of torture and cruelty and death, one of redemption.

I am Catholic because I believe the Eucharist is the Heart and Soul, Body and Blood of our Lord, always, every time, and that we consume Him so as to be transformed, to have that in us which is not love, burned away.  But we have to willingly allow ourselves to be consumed in the process, and that's hard.  

I am Catholic not because of feeling or sensation or miracles though I've experienced all three but
because I cannot escape the knowledge that God loves me and has a profound plan which He is working on to redeem me even though I screw up daily and often.  It is a comfort to know to my bones, God has a plan even if I cannot see it, and to trust in that plan even if I haven't been briefed. 

I am Catholic because of the Eucharist and the luminous joyful sorrowful glorious mystery that is life.  I've never been in a moment when I could not find something within the word or the rosary or the sacraments that pulled me through or out of times that were hard.   Prayers are always answered.  God is always there, He is always whispering, "I love you." 

So I am Catholic because the church has within it, all of the tools to help us find the capacity to surrender to love, to surrender to God, to accept God's grace on God's terms, not ours. The Sacraments, the seasons of the Church, the liturgy of the word, the scripture, the lives of the saints, the sacramental, the sacred music and art, the Holidays, the feasts, the obligations and the optionals like the Liturgy of the Hour, the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, all work in beautiful concert together to straighten what is crooked and bend what is inflexible in my soul.


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