Welcome to the fifth installment of 3 Reasons I Love Catholicism. If you’re new and are interested in participating, I suggest you check out the original invitation, or any one of the previous link-ups.
World Youth Day
Every 2 years, the Catholic Church hosts millions of young people from around the world. I’ve never had the opportunity to attend one, but my siblings have. The last one was just this past week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. My little brother, a seminarian with the Oblates of Saint Joseph, attended and renewed his vows while there. Now, if you were to only know about Catholicism through the mainstream media, you might think that it was an old, outdated, irrelevant institution. But (the estimated) 3 million youth who attended would argue otherwise. Our Church is young and vibrant and full of people who love and cherish it.
A few photos borrowed from attendees:
If you have a couple minutes, check out this Youtube video of Matt Maher singing “Lord, I Need You” at the WYD Eucharistic Adoration.
Clarity of Teaching
If you watch or read the news, you probably heard about Pope Francis’ quote about homosexuality last week. The mainstream media glommed onto 5 specific words especially: “Who am I to judge?”
Now, people have great hopes for Pope Francis. Many hope he reverses the Church’s teachings on abortion, and birth control, and same sex marriage, and all kinds of inconvenient rules that challenge us in our daily lives and separate us from the secular world view. But the mainstream media is confused about a lot of things, and Catholicism is one of them.
Maybe next month I’ll delve into some of those uncomfortable topics. But this month I just want to share another, longer quote from the same interview.
Speaking on behalf of Brazilians. The society has changed, young people have changed, and we see many young people in Brazil. You have spoken to us about abortion, matrimony between persons of the same sex. In Brazil a law has been approved which extends the right of abortion and has allowed matrimony between persons of the same sex. Why didn’t you speak about this?
The Church has already expressed herself perfectly on this. It wasn’t necessary to go back to this, nor did I speak about fraud or lies or other things, on which the Church has a clear doctrine.
But it’s an issue that interests young people …
Yes, but it wasn’t necessary to talk about that, but about positive things that open the way to youngsters, isn’t that so? Moreover, young people know perfectly well what the position of the Church is.
What is the position of Your Holiness, can you tell us?
That of the Church. I’m a child of the Church.
(Shout out to the same little brother I mentioned above for the text of the quote.)
There it is, friends. I know that might be frustrating for some people, and I understand that. But the Church is very clear on these controversial topics, and it will not reverse these teachings. This is a great source of comfort to me, that the Truth does not change with the times, but is eternal, regardless of popular opinion and political pressure.
Purgatory is probably one of the most misunderstood beliefs in Catholicism. I’ve heard people call it cruel, this idea of a limbo after we die. But it’s not! Oh, it’s not cruel at all. Rather, it’s incredibly merciful!
Look, (and this is my take on it, so please feel free to correct me or debate me if you disagree) what’s cruel is the idea that at the moment of death, we are taken to either heaven or hell. Bam. No going back, no second chances. But our Church teaches us otherwise. If you made some major mistakes along the way, you still have the chance to make it into heaven! Hallelujah! Grace abounds!
I’ve heard 2 quotes recently that I absolutely love. Both are by priests, one of whom is a family friend.
“Purgatory is like a car wash for your soul. You go in dirty and come out shiny and ready for heaven.”
“The second happiest day in your life is when you get to purgatory. The first happiest is when you get to heaven.”
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve heard heaven described as the place where only love exists. Purgatory, for most of us regular old schmucks, is the bonfire that burns away all our sins and transgressions, leaving us ready for the heady, indescribable eternity with our Lord in heaven
Now it’s your turn! Have 3 Reasons you love Catholicism? Share them in the comment boxes, or write a blog post and share it in the link up below.