Our Badass Faith

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:

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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.

Now I understand that the wounds of a martyr are to be
glorified in the next life, but we aren’t in the next life yet, so I have
to make fun of this beautiful picture. I don’t believe our
Mother Mary has looked up to see St. Peter Martyr yet.
“Yes Jesus, look how tall John is, look how — HOLY CRAP
SAVIOR! Yes, Peter, I understand you gave your life. But
seriously, there’s a cleaver in your head. Knock next time, OK?

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?

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03925404067634150968 Therese Z

    My high-school piano teacher had a small portrait of St. Sebastian-with-the-nubile-flesh-full-of-arrows that was strangely seductive and creepy. I looked at it every week for four years. It's etched into my brain.Secular music teachers have "Music makes me happy" and "A NOTE-worthy achievement" posters. Mine had a wonderfully creepy saint.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11303049663665917728 KathleenLundquist

    My God-it's-sweet moment is Therese Z's story above!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10750228071426425514 Kathy

    Loved it! Oh, and I especially loved your caption under the painting. Had me crying!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01658116461483425280 Brandon Vogt

    This is great, man. Though you alluded it, my favorite badass Catholic moment is St. Lawrence, my patron saint.When asked to bring the "treasures of the Church" to the evil Roman emperor, he asked for three days to gather the riches. Three days later he marches into the emperor's palace with scores of the poor, sick, and enslaved of Rome, proclaiming "Here are the treasures of the church!"For this, he was literally BBQ'd alive, and had the guts to say "Turn me over, I'm done on this side!" I'm sure he was smirking like the scallywag he was.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11755036217110188887 Daniel Beiter

    I'd even say that we aren't called to act like we weren't shot, but to acknowledge the bleeding, spurting wound, and still spit in the face of evil. The most important and best thing about Badassery is that we will never have to give up anything that actually matters, but have the opportunity to turn worldly vanity into a conduit of grace simply by using it to beat death and all his friends into the ground.Veritas et Aequitas.

  • http://badcatholicblog.blogspot.com/ badcatholicblog

    @Therese Yes, there are some people that can draw unclothed saints, and some that shouldn't. On a side-note, I would dress up as st. sebastian for all saint's day, we'd stick arrows through an old army shirt my dad had.@BrandonSt. Lawrence is, by all accounts, the man-sauce. But I get him confused with another saint; Do you know who it was that died by having his intestines wound out of him? @DanielAnd shepherds we shall be…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05185433444648099531 beez

    I found your site today. I was reading through your posts, and that caption was just AWESOME!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01283124407172205503 Libby

    Chiming in with Beez: I just stumbled over your blog today, and this sucker is going on my links list. I've been laughing and grinning and nodding my head on every single post… but the caption under that picture made me howl.

  • Jared Clark

    St. Boniface should be the patron of badass theological arguments.

    One day, he’s walkin’ about, bringing the faith to the Germanic tribes. He sees a big tree. The natives inform him that this is the tree devoted to Donar/Thor (same character, different name) and if he were to mess with the Donar Oak, he would be struck down.
    Boniface calmly considered their arguments…
    and cut the thing down.
    And, in the end, is that not how we should handle all evangelization? Find the “Donar Oak”, the core argument of our opponent’s worldview, cut it down and use what remains for the glory of God!

    Whenever you are discussing the Faith with a non-Catholic, always ask him to pray for you, for he knew how to represent the boldness and beauty of our faith.
    St. Boniface, pray for us.

  • http://ideasaboutgodandtheworld.wordpress.com/ Alejandro

    I have to contend with the islamic takeover though. We are very prejudiced against them, and the Islamic world is a pretty badass one, they made great contributions to science and the modern Islam is a corruption of the teachings of Muhammad. The Catholic Church was very anti semtic in the middle ages, and while muslims were too, they were more tolerant than us to the point that jews preferred to live under muslim rule without certain rights than face persecution in Christendom.