Why I Am Catholic, Again

In response to a Patheos prompt inviting bloggers to explain, in 200 words or less, why they follow their particular religious traditions, here is my apologia. The “again” in the title of this post is meant in two senses: As a revert, I am a Catholic again after many years away from my cradle faith; and I offered my responses last year in a much longer (of course!) post, from which I’ve selected and edited the following key reasons, in ascending order of importance to me.

(The word count kicks in below . . .)

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The good (eternal) company. Talk about diversity. The Communion of Saints transcends time, space, every preconceived notion of holiness. Ain’t no party like a Catholic party.

The interesting (present) company. Since reverting, I marvel at the strange pewfellows whose company I keep, and whose company keeps me honest.

God is not an abstraction. The Catholic incarnational tradition forces people like me, who live in their heads too much, to encounter the Divine through the physical senses, up close and personal.

I’m a rebel. I grew up in the 60s. And now that I’m in my 60s, I still like tweaking the status quo. And right now, what’s more countercultural than being Catholic?

Room for mystery. I love knowing that for all my learning, there are things that can’t be ‘splained, and don’t have to be.

Life is sacramental. The rhythms of the hours, the hallowing of life’s stages through the sacraments, the order of the liturgical seasons, the continuity of the Mass—that’s my heartbeat.

The Eucharist. Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, being in real communion with his Church, is the most important reason of all. No words for this: it’s a Catholic thang, you gotta be there.

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(Word count off!) For other responses, which make very moving Triduum reading, see The Anchoress‘s personal reply and roundup of links. And feel free to share your own replies, as succinctly as you can (I feel your pain!), in comments here.

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  • Subsistent

    Our Lord Himself in the Eucharist: a “Catholic thang” which sometimes, in a way, can radiate to outside the Catholic Church’s visible frontiers. My mother, a Methodist during all her later adult life, told me that her likewise Methodist sister, an active member of the mainstream United Methodist Church, when in the hospital where a Catholic chaplain was going around distributing Communion to those Catholics requesting it, told my mother: “Don’t tell him I’m not Catholic! I want to receive the Lord, too.” My mother said something like, “You don’t really believe Jesus Himself is actually present in the Communion bread, do you?” “Yes, I do,” my mother’s sister told her. A year-or-two later, my mother (still a United Methodist when she later died) told me that she herself had likewise come to believe it.

    • joannemcportland

      What a wonderful story. Yes, you’re right. The Eucharist draws us. St Elizabeth Seton came into the Church via the Blessed Sacrament.


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