11 reasons I remain a Catholic

For a year or so I hosted a link-up series called 3 Reasons I Love Catholicism.  I let it go last year because, well, life.  But the other day I came across this post and it felt like time to do a reprise.

Without further ado, my reasons for sticking with the Church through thick and thin:

Truth: When I look around at all the options for faith and truth, the Church represents what is most consistently true.  That each person has inherent dignity, no matter his/her station in life. That we are all broken but capable of great things.  That we are loved, really and truly, by the Only Person whose love ever really mattered at all. #theBigJC (For more on what the Church really teaches, the Catechism is a fantastic resource.)

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Fasting and feasting: There’s a rhythm to the year, just as there’s a rhythm to life.  The Church knows this and gives us a time for both fasting, and feasting, as well as ordinary time in between. #meatfridaysanyone

Senses: Oh, how our God knows and loves us.  We are not just spirits, we are also physical beings, and God loves us so much that he gave us the ability to enjoy our surroundings.  Catholic churches (the ones not built between 1960 and 1995, at least) are an absolute feast for the senses.  Stained glass windows.  Incense. Bells and organs. And don’t get me started on the Eucharist.  Or do.  (See #1) #allthesenses

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Sinners: Look at all these fools I’m surrounded by.  And I love them, every last one.  I know for some people, the fact that the Catholic Church is full of bumbling idiots might be a turn-off.  For me, it’s a benefit.  I’m no better than they are, stumbling along the same narrow road, veering off from time to time and clawing my way back.  I take heart when my brothers and sisters rise again after a fall.  It reminds me to do the same.  And since I’m reading Flannery O’Connor this month, here is a most excellent quote along the same lines:

“The church is founded on Peter who denied Christ three times and couldn’t walk on water by himself. You are expecting his successors to walk on the water. All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful…Human nature is so faulty that it can resist any amount of grace and most of the time it does. The Church does well to hold her own; you are asking that she show a profit. When she shows a profit, you have a saint.”

Saints: Holy cow.  Ho-lee cow.  The lives of the saints, guys!  They read like telenovela scripts but for the conclusion: the conclusion is always a resounding, trumpeting redemption. And the fact that these spiritual heavyweights are up in heaven rooting for little ol’ me?! It’s like having a cheering squad, an entourage, and a whole passel of aunts and uncles watching over me. #winning

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Femininity: This is a Church that loves Her Mother.  The Blessed Virgin Mary, a humble girl from Nazareth, was chosen to be a human tabernacle, to hold within her the Divine Incarnation.  She is Theotokos, the mother of God. The Church proclaims the true dignity of all women, a dignity distinctly different than what our (broken) society would have you believe. #womensrightsforreal

Lifted: When I look around the world, I see a secular culture (and some other religions) that encourage me to revel in my most primal self.  My animal tendencies. As much as I’d love to eat, drink, and be gluttonous and lazy all the time, the Church draws me higher.  She knows I’m capable of great things when offered in the service of God, and so She demands them of me.  It’s not easy being Catholic.  Good Lord, no.  But it’s the best kind of difficult I can imagine. #sacrifice

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Smart: The Catholic Church is for us all.  You can plumb the depths of Her wisdom and never reach the bottom, even if you were to spend your whole life studying Catholic theology.  There will always be more saint biographies, more theology dissertations, more philosophy, more encyclicals, just… more.  On the flip side, because we DO have the tradition of the Church, even the person who isn’t the least bit interested in (or capable of) reading any of those documents can trust in Her wisdom. No reinventing the wheel necessary! #inclusivity

Holy Spirit: The Church would be nothing, nothing, without the Holy Spirit.  Have you looked around?  Do you know anything about Church history?  Time and again the Church has teetered on the verge of collapse by outside forces, or schism from within. By all human expectations, the bungling of our Church should have made us a blip on the timeline between Caesar Augustus and Diocletian.  And yet, 2,000 years later, we have a vibrant Church full of young, joyful people. We still remain, by the promise of Christ and through the grace of Holy Spirit. #foreverandeveramen

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Sacraments: As Catholics, we believe that our daily lives are filled with grace, but that we receive it in a special way through the celebration and receiving of the sacraments. We are not just physical, nor are we just spiritual.  God touches us especially through the sacraments.  Some we receive but once in a lifetime, like matrimony.  Others we receive as often as we like. (*Go to confession, my friends.  #whereliveschange)

Eucharist: In the Catholic Church, I have access, not just to a spiritual connection to Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, but to an intimate physical union with Him too.  So even if every. other. reason. above was false, I would remain Catholic for this reason alone. But don’t take my word for it; read about Eucharistic Miracles.

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What about you?  Why are you Catholic?  And if you’re not Catholic, why not?  😉

Read more Why I’m Catholic posts over at The Anchoress.

Comments

  1. Micaela, I love this! I consider myself to be a fairly new Catholic (2 yrs) and everything you wrote resonates with me. I’m a former Southern Baptist, thankful for my roots, who loves the Catholic Church for all the reasons you mentioned. Great post. Beautiful pictures. Thank you so much for this!

  2. I loved what you said with “Lifted.’ So beautifully true.

    Thanks for sharing this, Micaela.
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  3. Well said with beautiful pictures!