Why I Am Catholic

Tim Rash

The reason why I am a Catholic should for the most of us be different from the reason why I became a Catholic.

Cradle Catholics can say that the reason why I became a Catholic was when I was an infant my parents had taken me to church and I was baptized as a Catholic.

We should be able to say that the reason why I am a Catholic is that I have studied the Catholic Faith and am thoroughly convinced of its veracity (truth).

Our Catholic Faith should not be a blind unreasoning thing, but something that is based on a firm foundation of reason.

 

There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church.  There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church-which is, of course, quite a different thing.  These millions can hardly be blamed for hating Catholics because Catholics “adore statues”; because they “put the Blessed Mother on the same level with God”; because they say “indulgences is permission to commit sin”; because the Pope is a Fascist”; because the “Church is the defender of Capitalism.”  If the Church taught or believed any one of these things it should be hated, but the fact is that the Church does not believe nor teach any one of them.  It follows then that the hatred of the millions is directed against error and not against the truth.  As a matter of fact, if we as Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.

If I were not a Catholic, and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for the one Church which did not get along well with the world; in other words, I would look for the Church which the world hates.  My reason for doing this would be that if Christ is in any one of the churches of the world today He must still be hated as He was when He was on earth in the flesh.  If you would find Christ today, then find the Church that does not get along with the world.  Look for the Church that is hated by the world, as Christ was hated by the world.  Look for the Church which is accused of being behind the times, as Our Lord was accused of being ignorant and never having learned.  Look for the Church which men sneer at as socially inferior, as they sneered at Our Lord because He came from Nazareth.  Look for the Church which is accused of having a devil, as Our Lord was accused of being possessed by Beelzebub, the Prince of Devils.  Look for the Church which, in seasons of bigotry, men say must be destroyed in the name of God as men crucified Christ and thought they had done a service to God.  Look for the Church which the world rejects because it claims it is infallible, as Pilate rejected Christ because He called Himself the Truth.  Look for the Church which is rejected by the world as Our Lord was rejected by men.  Look for the Church which amid the confusion of conflicting opinions, its members love as they love Christ, and respect its Voice as the very voice of its Founder, and the suspicion will grow, that if the Church is unpopular with the spirit of the world, then it is unworldly, and if it is unworldly, it is other-worldly.  Since it is other-worldly it is infinitely loved and infinitely hated as was Christ Himself.  But only that which is Divine can be infinitely hated and infinitely loved.  Therefore the Church is Divine.

If then, the hatred of the Church is founded on erroneous beliefs, it follows that basic need of the day is instruction.  Love depends on knowledge for we cannot aspire nor desire the unknown.  Our great country is filled with what might be called marginal Christians, that is, those who live on the fringe of religion and who are descendants of Christian living parents, but who now are Christians only in name.  They retain a few of its ideals out of indolence and force the habit; they know the glorious history of Christianity only through certain emasculated forms of it, which have married the spirit of the age and are now dying with it.  O Catholicism and its sacraments, its pardon, its grace, its certitude and its peace, they know nothing except a few inherited prejudices.  And yet they are good people who want to do the right thing, but who have no definite philosophy concerning it.  They educate the children without religion, and yet they resent the compounding morals of their children.  They would be angry if you told them they were not Christian, and yet they do not believe Christ is God.  They resent being called pagans and yet they never take a practical cognizance of the existence of God.  There is only one thing of which they are certain and that is that things are not right as they are.  It is just that single certitude which makes them what might be called the great “potentials,” for they are ready to be pulled in either of two directions.  Within a short time they must take sides; they must either gather with Christ or they must scatter; they must either be with Him or against Him; they must either be on the cross as other Christs, or under it as other executioners.  Which way will these marginal Christians tend?  The answer depends upon those who have the faith.  Like the multitudes who followed Our Lord into the desert, they are as sheep without a shepherd.  They are waiting to be shepherded either with the sheep or the goats.  Only this much is certain.  Being human and having hearts they want more than class struggle and economics; they want Life, they want Truth, and they want Love.  In a word, they want Christ.

Knowing what the Catholic Church teaches is important.  Knowing why we teach what we do is paramount. St. Peter said we must be able to give a reasonable explanation of what we believe.  This is why we have adult classes.  Our classroom is open to everyone.  Anyone who wishes to know more or refresh his or her Catholic education is welcome to come to class on Wednesday nights @ 7 PM.

Classes being in September and end in May and we cover a wide variety of topics.

God love you!

Tim Rash

 
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