Why AM I Catholic? – UPDATED

Patheos had the idea of asking its bloggers, from all channels, why they believe what they believe; why they are “Evangelical Christian” or “Mormon” or “Protestant” or so forth, in 200 words or less. The page is likely to be completed next week (so check back, because it will be fascinating) and I’m very happy that so many of us in the Catholic portal are posting on the question during Holy Week. You’ll find links to some of them at the end of this piece. You can answer yourself, in the combox.

The topic, “why I am Catholic” made me pause, though. I had to seriously ask myself:

So, why am I a Catholic?

Because in a life that has cast me hard onto the pavement, or raised me higher than I ever ought to be allowed, it has been the constant source of the Ever-Present, revealed to us every day in ever-ancient, ever-new ways.

God is everywhere and within, but not always easy to find. During those times when (because we are too wrecked to see him) a search for the God of Inmost Dwelling comes up empty, we get assists through the works of physical beauty created by our fellow wrecked human beings. We get the words and prayers come down through the ages, by those who have gone before us — the great cloud of witnesses who prayed the psalms we pray, lived the heroic lives that still pick us up when we are spiritually impoverished. We have Peter — faulty, imperfect Peter, still proclaiming Christ and telling us where he may be found.

The Eucharist. Jesus said “I am with you even to the ends of the world,” and that promise of Presence is kept every day as, through time zone after time zone, he is raised from the altar and comes to us, Word made Flesh; his broken body made one with ours; the balm of our broken hearts. As the Masses end in New York, they begin in Chicago, and after Chicago, in North Dakota, and in Alaska, and Oceania, Asia, Eastern Europe, all the way back, and then forth. The Presence of Christ. To the end of the world. Amen.

UPDATED: Other Catholic bloggers writing:

Calah Alexander (Have a tissue handy)
Max Lindenman (Language warning; read it anyway)
Fr. Dwight Longenecker (A world on its head)
Katrina Fernandez (Truth and beauty)
Deacon Greg (Free stuff!)
Mark Shea (Too many reasons)
Rebecca Hamilton (only 85)
Margaret Rose Realy (To adore)
Tom McDonald (No such choice…)
Joanne McPortland (countercultural again!)
Will Duquette (One…)
Dr. Greg Popcak (Be audacious!)
Sam Rocha (It’s a we thing!)
Jennifer Fitz (Happy!)
Frank Weathers (I read and wonder)
Kathy Schiffer (I think, therefore…)
Fr. Michael Duffy (Called…)
Leah Libresco (Courteous challenges…)
Barbara Nicolosi (Why aren’t you?)
Elizabeth Duffy (Life! In abundance!)

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Jimmy gammalo

    Awesome!

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  • Strife

    Question: Why am I Catholic?

    Answer: The Holy Eucharist.

    Thank you

  • Julia

    That was beautiful. Thank You!

  • Sherrill

    I am a Caholic because I hated chemistry! My study desk at the University of Kentucky library was in the racks next to books on religion. The shelf even with my desk had awful books breathing fire at the Church, the shelf above had books by Sheed, Sheen, and other Catholic writers. Not wanting to read Chemistry, I read through both shelves and came to believe. In the 45 years since the day that the holy Spirit gave me the astonishing grace to believe I have had occassion to doubt many things but never once that God given faith, and by His grace I passed chemistry!

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

    Why did it make you pause? It seems like it made all the Catholic bloggers pause. This is a question everyone should ask themselves, and I’ve had an answer ready for years. Here’s how I answered it over at Rebecca hamilton’s blog:

    I am a Roman Catholic becasue I believe Jesus Christ is our Lord and saviour, the son of the everlasting God, and the Catholic Church is the medium that He directly established through Simon Peter, and, through continuouos succession and guided by the Holy Spirit, kept the teachings of our Lord.

    That’s about as reduced to basic as it can get. Everything else I think is covered as a subdivision or a derived attribute. I guess I have an overly logical mind that that organizes the relationships of ideas. ;)

    [Well, I'm happy that it's all so easy and automatic for you, Manny. For me, I found it a good exercise to stop and think about the WHY of it, which I rarely do. -admin]

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

    Might I add that my profession stands at 51 words. But I seem to recall Peter Kreeft answering it in three words: “Because it’s true.”

  • Veronica

    Why am I Catholic? Two reasons:

    1) The Eucharist.
    2) The Sacrament of Reconciliation.

    No other religion offers me that. Period.

    God bless!

  • http://datechguyblog.com datechguy

    I am a Catholic because it’s true.

    If not we are an Elk’s club that meets on Sundays

  • Victor

    (((We have Peter — faulty, imperfect Peter, still proclaiming Christ and telling us where he may be found.)))
    (((The Presence of Christ. To the end of the world. Amen.)))

    Anchoress, I’ve already answered http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester/2013/03/why-i-am-catholic/ but “I’M” thinking that we should be asking something like “Why “I AM” Christian” butt Victor would then be wanting to show his humidity by asking YA what do you say NOW>? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPx1HT9pqos

    Be nice sinner vic! Remember that this is not http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/03/25/michele-bachmann-rick-warren-telling-lies-for-jesus-that-hurt-poor-women/ blog where what ever your humility wants to say will be accepted NOW!

    Come on Victor! There’s two comment a top of this comment so let me take the latter and you can take the form her, “I” mean former cause you know that your “Mother” would allow “IT” NOW!

    sinner vic, leave my good “Mother” rest in peace. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL5xIkDOM4c

    Sorry Anchoress, that was my original plan but long story short, i must stop NOW!

    Sure Victor! Instead! Why don’t ya just pop another top and while you’re at “IT” why not light UP a cigar also NOW?

    Good idea sinner vic!

    Go figure folks! :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_WmbAek0-4

    Peace

  • Scotty Fleming

    The same Miraculous Medal that was placed around my neck at age 1 hour is still there 79 years later.
    My Mom asked the Blessed Mother to gain graces for me that my Faith would never be lost.
    Our Lady has gained for me many graces ,a strong Faith, devotion to the Sacred Heart and Adoration.
    Each time Blessed Sacrament is received, I’m in awe that within me is Jesus , God , the second person of the Trinity. The overwhelming comfort especially when the soul is troubled can’t be expressed in words. Amen.

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  • RachaelM

    Why am _I_ Catholic?
    1) The Eucharist.
    2) Fulfillment and completion of growing up in Judaism.
    ‘Nuff said !

  • Yae

    Were it not for the Catholic Church, I would be dead, literally. I was dead spiritually for a long time. I prayed as best as I could to be lifted up from the pit in which I found myself and from which I could not move. The good Lord Jesus sent me to holy people and to healing Masses and to renewed salvation by way of the sacraments. He lifted me out of the darkness and has been so good to me despite my many falls and my many returns.

    Last night, while in line for confession, I told Jesus I did not want to be away from him anymore. I told him I want to love him, follow him, bring him to others and to learn from him. The only sure and true way is by staying home, my true home wherein is my salvation, the Catholic Church.

    That is why I am Catholic.

  • http://denythecat.blogspot.com Brian Sullivan

    Because my mom prayed for me.

  • http://yardsaleofthemind.wordpress.com/ Joseph Moore

    I am Catholic because the Almighty and Eternal God created me to be Catholic, to be a member of the one Mystical Body with His Son as the Head.

    I am Catholic because Jesus, in his infinite mercy, died to save me from my self and from the enemy.

    I am Catholic because, in a moment of despair in a life of despair, I cried out, and God rescued me. His Spirit granted me a miracle, wholly unmerited and unexpected, the truth of which I can no more deny than my very life.

    I am Catholic because Catholicism is true, and God has given to me, in His mercy, a thirst for truth that only He can slake.

    Praise be to Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has died to save a wretch like me!

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  • http://www.gaudiumdei.com Joseph Jablonski

    I emailed you this comment, but I figure I’ll post it here anyway:

    I’m Catholic because I believe people are capable of doing good, and I believe in their capability more than they believe in it themselves. In short, I find joy in encouraging myself and others to pursue perfection, which is the love of Christ. The challenge of our age is that people don’t believe in striving to live a virtuous life in Christ, despite suffering from both the wounds of others and the flaws of our own. Someone told me, for example, he believes in the idea of cohabitation with a future spouse because he has trust issues and must cope with them. I believe the Catholic answer is to encourage others to overcome the limitations of sin and learn to love others without reservation. Our culture may seem to want to viciously destroy the Church, yet I believe that the culture simply has forgotten what it means to pursue perfection. And this beautiful pursuit of perfection is what should define our faith.

  • Peggy m

    1. The example of my pious and good father
    2. Some experiences, especially in childhood, when I knew Jesus was with me
    3. The Eucharist

  • Michele

    Why am I Catholic?
    It’s all I’ve ever known. I was dedicated to God within a week of my birth and Baptized within a month of my birth.
    The Sacraments- I can’t live without the Body and Blood of Christ or Reconciliation
    The BEAUTY of Liturgy
    The generosity and sacrifice of the Saints
    Both the similarity and diversity of the Church
    The hope that it offers- no matter what.

  • Peggy m

    I am tempted to add:

    4. Holy Thursday. Beautiful. I read that it was this liturgy that converted the teenager who grew up to become the Cardinal of Paris.

  • Bertha

    Because, during the stripping of the altar at Holy Thursday Mass tonight, and gazing at the open, empty tabernacle…I cried…and realized that I cannot be without the Eucharist. That is why I am Catholic.

  • Peter in Hobe Sound

    Why am I on the Road to Rome? Countless reasons. One of them is, in the words of that Christaphor Walken character on SNL: “Champainya”.