David Russell Mosley
28 May 2017
The Edge of Elfland
Hudson, New Hampshire
Thanks to Artur over at Cosmos the in Lost, I watched this short video with noted Catholic philosopher Jean-Luc Marion. While I’ve not read copious amounts of Marion’s work and nor have I agreed with everything I’ve read, I loved his statements in this video. Marion’s reason for remaining Catholic is, in short, because it is true. But he gives evidence for it by suggesting that being Catholic makes you happier and smarter, claims many would certainly debate. These, however, are not my favorite points of his—not that I dislike them, but that there is one I like better. He begins his reasons for remaining Catholic by saying that Catholicism is, “much more […] fun.”
A friend recently posted in the Sick Pilgrim community about exorcism. He told us about an exorcist who said that when performing exorcisms, he tells people to go to confession and receive the Eucharist. He says people are taken aback by this. It seems too mundane. They’d rather be told to go dance naked in a pool with a chicken over their head (or some other such action). The sacraments seem too plain, too common, too boring.
What I think both Marion and this priest understand is precisely what I harp on every now and again here at Letters from the Edge of Elfland. The ordinary is extraordinary. The common is uncommon. Alison Milbank, a theologian and priest in the Church of England, used to argue––using Chesterton, if I remember rightly––that heresy is boring, orthodoxy is exciting and unexpected. This is what it means for Catholicism, for Christianity, to be “much more fun” than its alternatives. People see Christianity and think it boring, but that’s to misunderstand the essential and unexpected nature of the ordinary.
So why remain, or in my case become, Catholic? Because it is much more fun, which is to say it is much more ordinary, which is to say it is much more real.