Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Why I Am NOT Leaving the Catholic Church

The Anchoress over at Patheos tagged me in a challenge, created from Tod Worner of The Catholic Thinker's post, Why I Am Not Leaving The Catholic Church.  She asked people of the Catholic media, the blogosphere, from Catholic newspapers and websites and radio and TV to answer this question.  It's a challenge, because saints and writers and popes have answered this question with greater reflection, time and wit than I can muster, and reading their responses, I find I agree with all of them.

I have always been Catholic.

I don't know that I could be me otherwise.  If tomorrow, I were to stop going to mass, stop praying, stop reading Catholic writing, stop writing for Catholic publications, stop everything to do with being a Catholic, I would look like me, talk like me, even sluff off housework and homework like me, but I would be like a me with a bad cold, a poor functioning version of myself.

So here are my reasons.

50. I stay because I believe the Church to be true.
49. I stay because I love beauty.
48. I stay for the sacraments.
47. I stay for the saints.
46. I stay for the Song of Songs and the Book of Tobit.
45. I stay for the mass.
44. I stay for the litanies, the novenas, the devotions.
43. I stay for the rosary
42. I stay to learn at the feet of Mary.
41. I stay for the cross.
40. I stay for the crucifix.
39. I stay for adoration.
38. I stay for Lent.
37. I stay for Advent.
36. I stay because there is no better means of understanding suffering than through the stations of the cross.
35. I stay for the popes, because I trust the Holy Spirit's judgement, more than my own conscience.
34. I stay for the Holy Spirit and all the gifts of grace waiting to be poured out.
33. I stay for the miracles.
32. I stay for the ordinary time.
31. I stay because it is the lightest of crosses, to remain in the Church, when people all over the world, suffer for the privilege of remaining.
30. I stay because I love it.
29. I stay because the yoke is easy.
28. I stay because life is hard, grace makes it possible, love makes it bearable, and faith makes it luminous.
27. I stay for the songs, even the ones I don't like.
26. I stay because every week in the pews, I see the whole community, coming with their crosses, and we are all present.
25. I stay to taste Heaven here, because I'm impatient.
24. I stay because absent my faith, most of the people I love would not exist.  
23. I stay because I always want to have everyone at the feast.
22. I stay because I know God is.
21. I stay because I know I need to know the Father.
20. I stay because the only way to fully know the Father is through the Son.
19. I stay to feast on the Eucharist.
18. I stay because there is always more to know, more to learn, more I could be doing, more I could be loving, and the Church in her fullness, is always fuller than my dull imagination can fathom.
17. I stay because I'm obedient, or trying to be.
16. When I read the doctors of the church, the wisdom of their thoughts seems obvious, and I wonder how amazing the world would be, if more people, including me, embraced the faith with more abandonment.
15.  When I read the saints and their diaries, and see the very real, very personal, very intimate relationship they hold with Jesus, whether through mystic visions or dialogs before the Blessed Sacrament, or in prayer, I think, "I want that."
14.  Because when I go to mass, it isn't just me.  When I pray, it isn't just me.  When I read scripture, it isn't just me.  I am never alone.  All of Heaven partakes in the mass, and the angels and saints pray with us when we ask, and the scripture, comes alive and speaks to the heart.
13. I stay out of gratitude for the 1000 miracles I can remember in my own lifetime of answered prayers.
12. I stay for the Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and Luminous Mysteries.
11. I stay because I could not raise these ten people without prayer, without grace, without the sacraments.
10. I stay because I cling to the cross.
9. I stay because for several weeks, I'd suggested the idea of adoration to my spouse.  On the way home from a school meeting by myself, I impulsively turned into the St. John's parking lot and punched in the code to go into the little chapel.  It wasn't my normal place to go, but as I say, it was on impulse.  Sitting in the back row, was my husband. It felt like a date Jesus had arranged.
8.  Many faiths love beauty and feasts; many faiths love and serve the poor; many faiths love the scripture and sacred writings; but fewer faiths ask their followers to deny themselves, and fewer still to embrace the cross, and only one that isn't satisfied with merely good, but seeks to create out of the broken people who come, saints.
7.  The Church has Percy, Chesterton, O'Connor, Tolkien, Waugh, Shakespeare and Milton, Fitzgerald and Hopkins. Lots of the cool kids for a former English Major, and still a Major English Nerd.
6.  The Church has saints like Peter, Paul, Therese of Lisieux, and upcoming, Blessed Mother Teresa, considering Dorthy Day, and the Venerable Fulton Sheen.  I love the diversity of Saints, it gives me great hope.
5. The sacrament of Reconciliation. I need it often.
4. The mercy of Purgatory.  (Because I'm usually unprepared for whatever it is).
3. The Holy Spirit has always been my friend.
2.  I stay because only here, does the water of my soul become wine, only here, will the five loaves feed five thousand, and only here, will I be satisfied.
1. I stay for the Eucharist.


1 comment:

Larry Denninger said...

Hey, you took my reasons!!

Great post, Sherry.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!