Why am I not leaving the Catholic Church?

The Anchoress has asked pretty much every Catholic hooked up to the WWW to respond to the recent Pew survey chronicling how Christians are leaving Christianity, and particularly Catholicism, in droves.  Let’s ignore for a moment that some are questioning the numbers.  Let’s just dive right in.

eucharistWhy am I not leaving the Catholic Church?  Let me just spew:

  • Because of the Eucharist, the Real Presence of Christ and what that actually means if you believe it, and I do, though I came to that belief reluctantly.
  • Because I’m enthralled by how some, not all, I’ve seen who receive the Eucharist with an emotion, a purpose, a reverence, a holiness, I don’t see anywhere else.
  • Because of what the ancient Saints like Justin Martyr, Ignatius, Irenaeus and Augustine had to say about the Eucharist.
  • Because of more recent Catholics like Flannery O’Connor who said if the Eucharist is just a symbol, then to Hell with it.
  • Because I spent a good while with Episcopalians, the Catholic Lite people, even considered becoming an Episcopalian priest, and determined, after a period of painful discernment, that I needed something more than Catholic Lite and that later, much later, I learned it was the Eucharist.
  • Because I’ve been moved, so moved, by watching young and old, the able and the disabled, venerate the Cross on Good Friday, something in my Protestant days was seen to be cultish and idolatrous.
  • Because Beauty moves me, whether it be a blue sky acting as backdrop to blindingly white clouds or it be snow capped mountains jutting up on the horizon holding hostage my gaze but mostly because I’ve seen in Rome, in Barcelona, in Croatia, in Florence, in Naples, some of the most beautiful Churches in the world, Churches made beautiful because within them are tabernacles and within them the Real Presence of Christ.  Beauty pointing to beauty and giving me a sense of serious belonging in some mysterious way.
  • Because I was raised Catholic, and ignorantly wandered, for 40 years, in every kind of spiritual desert, coming back to an oasis I should have never left.
  • Because I need order and the Liturgy supplies it abundantly and beautifully.
  • Because I treasure the Sacraments, particularly Reconciliation, and how buoyant I feel when I depart the confessional, clean as clean can be, if only temporarily.
  • Because I’ve come to love the Rosary, and asking my Holy Mother and the Mother of God to pray for me and trusting, as every faithful Catholic does, that she will.
  • Because I’m amused by those who see my reverence of our Holy Mother Mary as idolatry yet who see their reverence of Holy Scripture as anything but.
  • Because I need an intellectual faith, despite my own intellectual shallowness, and I’ve not found the kind of depth found when I read Catholic writers.
  • Because the faith is True and contains the Truth and I’ve come to treasure Truth
  • Because the faith is deep and I’ve only begun to find out how deep

I could go on.

And as a Catholic, I shall.

Crossposted at Brutally Honest.

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  • The Roman Catholic Church is one branch of the universal Church, which the Apostle Paul called the body of Christ. As long as one is a member of that body, one has hope for eternity.

  • Commander_Chico

    You can’t beat the Catholics for ritual and solemnity.

    Give me guys wearing chasubles and some censers burning frankincense, Gregorian chants and Latin over some guy in jeans playing a guitar any day.

  • Paul Hooson

    I’m a Jew, but I have a deep respect for anyone who lives by their faith. And, I deeply respect the new pope as a very great and positive religious leader.

    I’m also very happy that it was my people who brought both Jews and Christians, Moses, Jesus and most of the saints. Some of the early Catholic religious intellectual orders such such as the Jesuits were largely founded by some former Jews.