|What is it like to be Catholic?|
Being Catholic (to me) is simply a gift.
I would never trade the divine beauty of Catholicism for anything - anything. There is no material, worldly things, no evil pleasures, not even good things that could make me neglect the even greater graces that God has prepared in the light of His Church.
A lot of times I ask myself with tear filled eyes, “Why?” Why is it that through all the disastrous sins I committed that He called me to this way of life? Through all the ugliness, the times of hatred and envy, through times of despair upon despair, through times of betrayal and unbelief, through times of stubbornness and through times of unwillingness to be forgiven and to forgive, that God called upon me and told me to follow Him - Him - in this way of Life. I did nothing to ever deserve anything like the gift of the Catholic Faith.
And my friends, it didn’t stop when I converted, I still don’t deserve it. So why is that I am able to receive it with such joy, gratitude, love and awe?
-Because it is not out of my own merits that I came to be where I am today, but purely out of the merits of love, desire, and mercy that Christ has for His people. (1 Corinthians 15:10 - But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them - yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.) I can accept it with joy knowing that He doesn’t call those who are proficient and so forth continue strive to receive all of the graces God wants to bestow upon me and use them to the utmost degree OR I can reject the offer and wallow in my own unworthiness, never acknowledging the power of God’s mercy as to make one worthy. We do not make ourselves worthy of God. Only God’s powerful love and mercy could attain that for us. You are either accepting or rejecting God’s graces, there is no in between.
It’s a beautiful blessing to have such deep and meaningful traditions throughout the Church. I know very few of these, but in that few come sincere wonder and awe.
For example: the Rosary, The Sign of the Cross, Novenas, The Eucharist, Liturgy of the Hours, The Saints, Sacred History, Reconciliation, Religious Life, Mary, Angels, Stations of the Cross - I could go on but you get the point. EVERYTHING that the Catholic Church teaches and does has meaning behind it and that completely astounds me. From the Celebration of Mass in and of itself (which has SOOO much you could write series of books on it - wait I think there already is some;)-) to the simple, but beautiful act of genuflecting.
Here's just some pictures I think would be appropriate to share on the lines of Catholicism and what I love about it:
|Just a funny|
Being Catholic isn’t simply a religion that people “fall” in and out of. Just how you simply can’t “fall” in and out of love. You are either in love or you’re not, you are either Catholic or you’re not. I know it sounds harsh, but I will not let myself try to sugar coat such beautiful things that are being taken for granted on an hourly basis.
Now there has been and will be moments of extreme doubt but because of this doubt that doesn’t give me any excuse not to believe or to even stop striving for the goodness Christ desires for me (and you). And no doubt, neither small nor large, can make me completely reject Catholicism and all that it teaches just because of such rich history and also the miracles that have happened to me regarding the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. When my heart is full of doubt, my mind is saying otherwise and when my mind is telling me lies my heart is feeling otherwise. > That situation has happened multiple times before, but it’s not always like that.
-Another thing, just because one does not simply believe in something or Someone, that does not at all mean that that something or Someone is indeed not there. I can easily say that I don’t believe in the celibacy of Priests and Religious, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen anyways. There is only one Truth (Veritas) and obviously there will be a lot of people who will state otherwise, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. And for those who argue that there is no such thing as Veritas, (an objective truth), argue in such manner that is contradicting. If someone states there is no such thing as one Truth then they are also stating an objective truth.
(Oh and by the way, I am all for the celibacy of Priests and Religious. I just used that one because it’s very controversial not only to non-Catholics but to those in the Catholic Church as well.)-
What I’m trying to get to is that there is SOO much in Catholicism that we may not understand, but just because we don’t understand doesn’t mean that we can’t seek the Truth by asking questions. I’m pretty sure that there is not ONE saint that never asked a question about God, about their vocation, about the Faith, etc. Because of questions I am able to further my understanding of what Christ wants to show me and so much more. Without questions I know for a fact that I would have not converted.
Never stop asking questions (we will never know the full mystery anyway), and never stop living in wonder and awe. The only way I can even manage to think about Catholicism is with wonder and awe.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux stated, “There are things that the heart feels, but that words and even thoughts can’t manage to express . . .” That’s how I feel trying to put into words how BEAUTIFUL the Catholic Church is. I simply can’t. No matter how much I try to write about it, I’m still going to want to write more.
So with all that being said, I really do urge my Catholic brothers and sisters to come to love and to know the Holy Trinity and The Church given to us, for us. To think about what we are professing at Mass when we say the Nicene Creed. Catholicism is truly a Gift, let’s open it and see what’s inside.
(Okay that was cheesy but it just came to me so I’m going with it.)
^Sums it up!^
God bless and Mary protect.
“Let the whole earth fear Yahweh,
let all who dwell in the world revere him.”
“So I say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will built my community.
And the gates of the underworld can never overpower it.”
- Matthew 16:18