Why I’m Catholic, in 200 Words

This morning, I received a copy of an e-mail from Elizabeth Scalia, inviting all the writers of the Catholic Portal to explain why we’re Catholic.

Here’s why I became Catholic in the first place: I’m a fuckup. After earning a degree and a half from a third-rate university, I figured I’d never lead a life that fulfilled me, either materially, sexually, or intellectually. And yet, some escapist part of me thinks I’d have fit in just dandy at Versailles.

In the Church, I network with smart people who have tried to introduce me to philosophy, theology, and the works of all sorts of writers you didn’t find on undergrad reading lists when I was at ASU. Living simply and asexually, though not necessarily ideal, is no mark of dishonor. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting some nut who walks around fully convinced he is living at Versailles, the Escorial, or in Middle Earth.

In other words, I’ve found my tribe.

Here’s why I stay Catholic: Whenever I find myself wanting to walk out the door, some inner voice tells me, “Nah, stick around. It’s just about to get interesting.” I like to think that’s the voice of God.

Update: Historian Dr. Tim Stanley was generous enough to link to me on his Daily Telegraph blog.

  • http://www.acountrypriest.com Fr John Corrigan

    I’m baptising two adult converts on Saturday night, and receiving two more. I was already crafting homily on what it means to be a Catholic — and why anyone would want to become a Catholic.

    “Great!” I thought, when I realise the Patheos bloggers were all reflecting on why they’re Catholic. I can mine for ideas. Get some verbatim quotes even.

    “I’m a fuckup” probably won’t get past the censors.

  • http://www.leroyhuizenga.com Leroy Huizenga (@LHuizenga)

    Probably won’t get past the censors, but goodness, it might be the best and truest reason ever uttered:) ROFL.

  • Jamie Mead

    My father, a staunch RC always said ‘ The Catholic Church is a church for sinners ‘ ; that’s why I belong

  • Misty

    So great. During this Lent I threw my self out on the streets deciding to wear my Catholicism with pride with every bit of my own weirdness mixed in. It has been a strange and compelling ride and this very morning I had the same types of thoughts your last paragraph conveys. Cheers to the fuckups.

  • deiseach

    You and me both, Max :-)

  • elmo

    Come to think of it: Being a fuckup is also why I am Catholic. If I weren’t such a fuckup, I wouldn’t even want to be Catholic. So, thank God for the fuckedupedness that is me.

  • BAS

    Because that’s where I met Christ. Also, because I am a by the numbers screw up, and if I can’t succeed on my own, here I can at least be near the truth. But mostly because it’s where I met, and continue to meet, God.

  • NewEnglandDevil

    Max! ASU is not a third-rate university! :) It certainly isn’t for everyone though, and there are many secular entrapments that can divert from scholarly interest towards prurient activity. Regardless, glad that you have found new interests and have continued your learning.
    ’99 BSE

    [In engineering, it kicks ass. In history, at least when I got my bachelors -- meh.]

  • http://www.karenbeattie.net Karen Beattie

    Ha. Love this. I became a Catholic a year ago. Found my tribe. Definitely a fuckup.

  • Elissa

    Can’t think of a better reason. Cheers from one to another.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    LOL, I can just see you in front of Christ on judement day: “Forgive me Lord, I’m a F’kup.” I should use that next time I go into the confessional booth.

  • http://www.savkobabe.blogspot.com Gayle Miller

    I’ve remained a Catholic because I too am a screwup! Which is a nicer way of putting it. When I have thoroughly messed up my life – one more time – there is always the opportunity for redemption and renewal and don’t think I don’t avail myself of that. And Max, ASU isn’t a third-rate university any more than The Ohio State University and UCLA are third-rate. I attended both and it is what you make of it, like anything else!

  • Nina Evans

    As a minister’s wife I choose to use less salty terms as f—up. But my heart stood up and said: Me too. Rather I call myself a nappy sheep. And yes I agree, we who stay in the fellowship of Christians are surrounded by f-ups….er, nappy sheep

  • DWiss

    This is all very interesting. I don’t think of myself as a f—up (maybe a prude). But, as I get more involved in my local parish and meet so many people who live their faith far more deeply than I do, then, yes, I see myself as I really am. If I am ever tempted to quit, it’s because of how far I have
    yet to go.

    Why am I Catholic? It’s like St. Peter said: Where else would I go?

  • Victor

    Other than at slactivist, I can’t recall when I’ve heard so many “F” bombs used butt that I am must say that thank goodness that there’s a little heavenly Cat, lick, I mean Catholic perfume on “IT” “I’M” sure NOW!? :)


  • http://thereluctantwidow.com The Reluctant Widow

    My goodness, it would be so liberating to actually say, “forgive me Father for I am a fuckup…” Joining the rest of you in that, though I don’t think I realized this was quite the reason I was becoming Catholic back in 1999 when I entered the Church. Just found myself at home there. Now I know why…

  • Victor

    Hey Reluctant! For what “IT” is worth, I like this Max and long story short me, myself and i can see why http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theanchoress/2013/04/03/words-into-video-why-i-am-catholic/ bragged so much about him when he started working for her.

    I hear YA sinner vic! He’s got nothing to prove to you and longer story short, why don’t you try praying also like The Anchoress is doing NOW!

    Lighten “IT” UP sinner vic cause you’re starting to scare Victor NOW!

    Go Figure! :)



  • Linda

    Well, I am looking to convert to Catholicism and find this blog quite interesting. I see Catholics are not so stiff as I thought. Maybe this is where I belong?