… Custom cars, custom cell phone plans and news feeds. With just about anything being tailored made to our specific likings is it any wonder so many demand a custom tailoring of their religious beliefs?
I tend to think this is why Catholicism might be too hard for some people. When a Catholic starts discussing their faith and states birth control sucks or women can’t be ordained and here’s why, invariably that statement is used as some kind of “proof” against Catholicism. It sounds something like this, “You just said something I don’t agree with. See. This is why I am not Catholic.” Yeah, let me know when you find that perfect religion that preaches everything in accordance to you and doesn’t challenge you in the slightest.
Catholicism is hard and challenging and often you will find many Catholics who disagree on a great number of things. In fact we quarrell a lot. I’ve been known to ask, in moments of great frustration, is there anything Catholics won’t fight about? But that’s because Catholicism is a big family with relatives all over the world and when we get together there’s always someone who has too much to drink and starts a fight.
To an outsider it might appear to be a dysfunctional family, to an insider it’s just another huge family that has a quirky uncle and weird cousin whom we love despite themselves. Another example would be my Southern Baptist neighbor complaining about the ‘tacky’ bathtub Madonna junking up the yard and making the value of their home going down. Catholicism is an odd foreign looking thing from the outside and filled with so many colorful characters. And yes, sometimes these odd characters don’t agree with each other about their own faith but they remain Catholic despite the challenges and the dogmas they don’t fully understand. This is called faith. It could also an example of love.
So great is our love for our faith that we don’t mind the extra moral challenges and rules. We may fight about them and what they mean but we still remain Catholic because in our minds and hearts there is nothing else, and most certainly nothing better. That, and we know the only thing we will ever agree on is that there will always be something to disagree over. Catholics have been around too long to be that naive and narrow about their faith. So something as a simple as a disagreement doesn’t really ‘prove’ anything to Catholics except an unwillingless to meet half way.