I've just found a brand new blogging link-up (so many link-ups, so little time!). This one, called 3 REASONS I LOVE CATHOLICISM, is hosted by Micaela over at her blog "California to Korea," and I loved the idea of it so much, I just had to get involved.
This is one of those "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways" situations, and it's tough to narrow it down to just three reasons. But three is such a perfect symbolic number. There's the Trinity, of course--three Persons in one God. Three kings visited the Baby Jesus after His birth, bearing gifts. Three is the number of hours Our Savior spent on the Cross before He died for our sins, and then He rose from the dead on the third day...
You know what? Three reasons sounds just about perfect.
1.I love Catholicism because of the Eucharist. Christ promised all mankind that He would always be with us, and HE IS! He is present in the Tabernacle at Church, present in the host the priest consecrates at Mass. And we can unite ourselves with Him every Sunday when we receive Communion--indeed, we can do it every single day, if we attend daily Mass. How amazing is that? Ghandi once said that if he believed what we Catholics do about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, he would crawl on his hands and knees to receive it. The Eucharist is an awesome gift (and I'm finally using the overused term "awesome" for something that is truly worthy of the adjective!).
I love Catholicism because it makes sense out of seemingly senseless human suffering--for our religion teaches that our suffering, when joined with that of Jesus' Passion and death on the Cross, has Redemptive powers and can be an aid to Salvation.
No one wants to suffer, or to see others suffer; but when Catholics experience suffering, they know that they can pick up their crosses and carry them--they can bear their heavy loads and die to self, putting everything in God's hands and joining their own pain with the agony Our Savior endured on their account--and in doing so, grow ever closer to God.
There is a moving passage in Graham Greene's novel The End of the Affair, in which the beautiful protagonist, who is a recent convert (and because of her conversion, has had to make choices that lead to much personal unhappiness), speaks to God in this way after she kisses the cheek of a man with a hideous facial deformity who loves her, although the feeling is unrequited: "...I thought I am kissing pain and pain belongs to You as happiness never does. I love You in Your pain. I could almost taste metal and salt in the skin, and I thought, How good You are. You might have killed us with happiness, but You let us be with You in pain...I couldn't tell him I envied him, carrying the mark of pain around with him like that, seeing You in the glass every day instead of this dull human thing we call beauty." These words remind me to be profoundly grateful for my Faith, which gives meaning to even the heaviest burdens and the most unbearable tragedies in this life.
I love Catholicism because it promises--as St. Therese of Lisieux taught through her "Little Way to Spiritual Childhood"--that even the littlest and humblest among us can hope to become saints. One need not be perfect to be a Catholic (thank goodness!); as a matter of fact, part of being a Catholic is realizing that we are all sinners, all weak and in need of God's grace and mercy...but knowing, too, how much He loves all of us--His children--and forgives us every transgression through the Sacramental grace of Confession.
|St. Therese of Lisieux, the "Little Flower."|
Wait a minute: did I say three was the perfect number of reasons? I want to give four! I want to tell you how much I love the way Catholics venerate Our Blessed Mother--who Our Lord, as He hung on the Cross, gave to all of us when He said to His beloved apostle, "John, behold your mother." My oldest son wrote an absolutely beautiful tribute to Mary on his wife's blog a couple days ago, if you'd like to read it here.
Time to go now, before I come up with so many other reasons. But please head on over to California to Korea to see what other Catholic bloggers (who are much more creative and eloquent than I) love about their Faith!