I’m sure you folks have already had a gander at this ‘un, but have a good ol’ God-It’s-Sweet-That-I’m-Catholic moment on me:
I maintain that, besides inventing the university system, modern agriculture, preserving intellectualism, creating the Scientific Method, The Enlightenment, uniting a nation, halting the Muslim takeover of the world, and building a few cool churches along the way (etcetera ad infinitum), Christianity invented Badassery, a word I long to be included into the modern dictionary.
Courage is simply not courageous enough for Christians. Granted, pagans took it pretty seriously – one need look no further than the Battle of the 300 to see just how seriously. But Christ brought this bravery business to a whole new level. Originally the height of courage was paying the ultimate price, dying for a noble cause, or at least risking death. Jesus Christ was brave, died for a noble cause, and then killed death for a good measure. That’s what Christians are called to do, to die, and on our way down body slam death into submission. We are to die and not die.
And now courage is a virtue, defined by G.K Chesterton as when the soul passes its breaking point and does not break, which is a little like being unable to lift your house and lifting it anyways. This, as I’m sure we’re all aware, is badass. No longer is reaching your breaking point enough; now you are to surpass it. What does this amount to in day to day life? As far I can tell, it is realizing that you limits are not your limits. It is realizing that with God, anything is possible, that – if we’ve the faith, if we’ve the humility – we can move mountains, change hearts, speak in tongues, be in two places at once, rise from the dead, love our enemies, levitate and persevere.
The badassery does not stop there, in fact it never stops. While most of the world is busy whining about “bad things happening to good people,” as if being a contributing member of society gives you a free “don’t get shot card”, the Church says bring it on. The Church says that suffering is redemptive, that the avoidance of suffering is the avoidance of life fully lived. To put this in understandable terms, this Church tells us to pick fights. Not to sit around and wait for bad things to happen, but to actively fight evil, and to suffer the consequence; suffering. Catholicism in this sense is something of a Navy SEAL, yelling at you to suck it up, it makes you stronger.
Our Saints have been burned, flayed, cooked, eaten, beheaded and brought into heaven in all sorts of imaginative ways. One was (and is) considered pretty awesome for going through this. But Christianity puts a new level of awesome on the whole affair. You are to do it while laughing, smiling, and making smartass comments to your persecutors, and not really seeing it as a big deal. Being badass is not taking a punch and then telling all your friends how tough it was for you to do. Being badass is getting shot and acting like nothing happened. Because “all is vanity” in that regard, and we Christians are called to much more, namely, humility in all things, including spiritual and physical victory. So men, women, soldiers for Christ, keep it up! We will inspire the world.
What about you guys, any God-It’s-Sweet-That-I’m-Catholic moments?