The recent Pew Report on diminishing numbers of Catholics inspired Elizabeth Scalia to put out a call on Patheos asking "Why do you remain a Catholic?”
Raised in the faith, I’ve never been tempted to be anything other than Catholic. Although I’ve not always been on fire for my faith. I’ve been casual. I’ve been lukewarm. I’ve been ignorant. But I'm working on that.
Why do I remain Catholic? Four things immediately come to mind.
Being Catholic means being part of a larger global family as sisters and brothers in Christ. Jesus teaches us to pray to God as a loving father and Mary intercedes for us as our holy mother. Sure, we don’t always agree with the house rules, wanting to move out on our own and be independent, but that familial connection remains, pulling on our heart with a love that never ends. Becoming a parent opened my eyes to the unceasing bounds of human love for another person. If I can love each of my children so completely, how much more does God love me?
Our former pastor used to say you come to church to be restored and refreshed after being beaten up in the world. There is silent comfort in prayer, a meditative rhythm in the Rosary, protective power in the Divine Mercy Chaplet. When I’m in pain or need rest, I can fall into the arms of Christ, finding emotional and spiritual healing through reconciliation, communion, and adoration. So many times I’ve experienced a soothing comfort in the real Presence of Christ in the Mass.
I’m called to learn more. Being a disciple of Christ means intentionally seeking more and more about Him; a learning that never ends. The more I learn, the more I discover I don’t know and it keeps you walking on this faith journey, wondering what else is just around the bend. So many answers available if I just seek them out. The more I learn, the most I want to teach others. So my discipleship, seeking knowledge of Christ, in turn inspires me to teach my children and work with them in Edge and Life Teen. Being excited is catching and I want their own yearning to seek truth and know Christ to burn in them.
I believe in the real presence of Christ our Lord and Savior.
The more I learn, the more honestly I believe. Even when I struggle to fully understand the truth, in this confusing world of blurred and ever changing values, it’s so important to be confident in the one thing I know to be true. That one thing is Jesus Christ and His love for us. He is present, waiting, for us to come to Him.
So that’s the quick summary. Each point could be expanded upon, but I’ll leave it clean and simple for today.
I believe in this faith and I invite you to explore the true Catholic faith and the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.