If you are one of those people who is seriously thinking about leaving the Church, I pray that you may still find a reason to stay.
I do not know the many reasons why you’re leaving. You may have thought about this for a long time. You may feel so hurt right now that you just want to quit. But if you could delay this action yet again, you may find yourself thankful later on that you didn’t leave the Catholic Church.
I’m not saying it will be an easy decision. Nor will it be an easy journey. The truth is you may feel like retracting your decision each day, seeing everything that’s wrong with the Church.
But if you could see what’s wrong, I hope you could also see what’s right.
Here are just some of the reasons that may help you think again before leaving the Church:
1. Must you leave Jesus in the Holy Eucharist?
If there is one thing that I always try to remember whenever I’m disheartened by something within the Church, it is Jesus Himself. Jesus Christ, our Lord, who is present with His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist.
I cannot find Him anywhere else.
I may say that I could unite with Him in prayer. But where else could I touch Him and receive Him with my flesh? Where else could I unite with Him not only in Spirit but in His Body and Blood?
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.’” – Matthew 26:26-28 (NABRE)
2. Must you leave your Mother?
To fall out of the Catholic Church is often to take a step away from the Virgin Mary also. Why leave your Mother who loves you and cares for you? Through her, God gives you so many graces to keep you from going astray. By being close to her, you also draw nearer her Son.
“It was because the saints loved God so much that they succeeded in doing so much for their neighbor. But who ever loved God more than Mary did? At the very first moment of her life, she loved God more than all the angels and saints did in the whole course of their existence. Compared to it, the ardor of the seraphim is like a fresh, gentle breeze. Therefore, since neither angels nor saints surpass Mary in loving God, so no one, after God, loves us or can love us as much as Mary. And if we were to combine all the love that mothers bear their children, all the love of husbands for their wives, all the love of the angels and saints for their devoted clients, all this would not equal Mary’s love for a single soul.” – St. Alphonsus Liguori
3. Must you leave the company of saints?
To be in the Catholic Church is to not be alone. You have the company not only of the holy ones on earth but the saints in heaven. Day and night, you can call upon them to assist you in your spiritual walk.
4. Must you live without the sacraments of grace?
How should we ever make our spiritual journey without the sacraments of the Church? It is the Holy Eucharist that nourishes you. When you commit a mortal sin, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is there to wash away your sins. Up to your very last hour on earth, there will be a sacrament that shall be a channel of God’s grace for you so you may safely reach your eternal home.
5. Must you leave the true Church?
Why leave the Church that Jesus Himself has established? Through a long line of succession throughout history, it bears the promise that even the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.
While it may be true the members of the Church may fall and deeply disappoint you, you can be assured that the truth of your faith will be protected.
“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” – Matthew 16:17-18 (NABRE)
The Church is not just a building where we meet each other to worship God. It is not a mere organization we can leave anytime without regret.
The Church is the Body of Christ, and He will be faithful to it to the very end. Through the Catholic Church, He gives countless graces to aid us in our earthly life.
We belong to Christ and His Body (the Church) no matter the imperfection of its members. Must we leave Jesus because we are not pleased with His subjects?
If we truly love Him, we wouldn’t leave Him so easily. We’d strive to stay with Him and give our all. Our heart, mind, body and soul. Even when it hurts. Even when we feel like giving up.
“I am writing you about these matters, although I hope to visit you soon. But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” – 1 Timothy 3:14–15 (NABRE)
“Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.”— Luke 22:31–32 (NABRE)
You may also want to read “Why Must the Church Become Small?”
Jocelyn Soriano is a freelance writer and the author of Defending My Catholic Faith. “You and I have been called to live at this very hour.” Do you have questions or doubts about the Catholic faith?