Why Aren’t You Catholic? is still going strong! If you are not Catholic, and would like to explain why you have found that to be the best choice in your life, feel free to share! I will post on anything that isn’t incoherent.
In the meantime, from an Anonymous (how I wish he were otherwise, so I could send this to him). Tiribulus – Detroit
“…you can’t possibly know how badly I wish I could believe like you guys. I know these 4 things with unshakable certainty. There has never been an extended time in history when Rome was not immersed in some kind of loud public Christ dishonoring corruption. 2. The gospel, Jesus and epistemology I find unmistakably staring me in the face in the scriptures answers sweetly to the Spirit of the most high God who never fails to meet me in prayer. He’s there first. Not to mention His faithful walk with me through my days (and nights too). That gospel, Jesus and epistemology by their very nature utterly preclude the slightest possibility of Catholicism having anything whatever to do with them, except as a hostile adversary. (I don’t mean individual people). They cannot both be true 3. There is no possible way, just NO WAY, the God I know as per the above could ever sanction anything like the romish bureaucracy and most especially that abhorrent and abominable vatican city. 4. Catholicism displays absolutely no transforming power of the living God in the lives of it’s people whatsoever. They are with few exceptions just as dead as the world and for good reason. The church has taken the very Greek pagans that Paul denounced in 1st Corinthians as the basis for their belief system. I have seen that blindingly displayed before my very eyes times too numerous to count right here in these forums. To say nothing of the rest of my life. I don’t have all the answers at the moment, but I will go my earthly grave believing what I just said. You’re a decent man and a sharp guy and very well educated, but do not fool yourself into believing you have that magic info I’ve never heard that will change my mind.”
Good stuff. I admire you for speaking your mind, and I thank you for taking the time to write.
I post it here, not to answer all of your charges, for I fear I don’t understand the first, and 2 and 3 seem very personal. (For instance, I could very well say there was “no way” that Christ would have sanctioned our current state of denominationalism, and that “the God I know” would never leave us without the sacraments he instituted in Scripture, or the Church he founded on St. Peter, but who could contend with “the God I know’ anymore than they could with the-secret-I’m-not-telling?) I ask any readers who feel called to answer those complaints to do so, in love.
First, my friend, I’d ask that you do not feel compelled to take your denunciations ‘to your grave’, lest your faith be a forced effort to stick to your guns. Why not be open? Only if something has the possibility of being false can it have any satisfaction in being actually true. If there was utterly no possibility of God not existing then what would become of the gift of faith? What love would there be in our belief? In reality he could technically not exist, but we know and have found, through experience, reason and faith, that he does; and thus we are joyful, not forced, in our belief. To put it in terms of your argument then: if you allow no possibility that God might have had his Church in Rome, to the point that you’d go to your “earthly grave” denouncing the idea, what joy could you possibly have in knowing – as you are assured you do – that it is elsewhere? Be open to to the possibility that you may be wrong, and I will too, lest my Catholicism be nothing more than stubbornness and pride.
Now to the point: I am sorry. I am sorry that your experience of Catholics has been that they are as dead as the world, white-washed sepulchers. As honestly as one can over typed words and in the eyes of others, I apologize. I apologize for the times that I, personally, have been that Catholic, that walking corpse who has not let Christ shape his life. I used to live in Germany, and I attended a parish that I believe would fit your description, to the most extent. But when you’re talking about the largest religion in the world, you must understand that your sample – like my German sample – is not the whole. When I moved from Germany to America I was absolutely blown away by the faith of my new parish, by her piety, charismatic gifts and yearning for the Holy Spirit. I have been witness to healings, miracles, abundant and authentic worship, coming from the heart of the Catholic Church. I, like you, have been moved by the scriptures, and even more moved by the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. No matter how far I fall into sin, the grace that comes from that Sacrament pulls me out, as I know it tenderly pulls all my friends into greater holiness. Seeing as I took you at your word when you said “Catholicism displays absolutely no transforming power of the living God in the lives of it’s people whatsoever” I ask you to now take me at my word: Catholicism absolutely does transform the lives of its people. It has transformed me. It has transformed the thousands upon thousands of fellow young people striving to be Saints, the beautiful Church that has begun its rise, and is uniting the Christian world as we speak.
So I offer you no “magic info”. I offer you contradiction. I offer you my experience in contradiction to your own, only to show that any argument against the Catholic Church must – in the end – be over her teachings. For the less transformed a Catholic, the less of an example they are of Christ in the world, the less obedient they tend to be to their Church’s teachings. Have you noticed that? I would venture to guess – and I could be wrong – that the “dead” Catholics you speak of are dead, not because of their Catholicism, but their lack of it. So once again, I am sorry for the lameness, as I am sorry for the lameness of Christians in general. But experience is subjective. If you’d like to continue this conversation, please do email me! I may not know how badly you wish you could believe like us, but I can show you why I do.