Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Reason no. 28, 29 and 30 of why I remain Catholic

I'm back! Reasons no. 28-30 are the clinchers that I just didn't have time to post. Life got crazy as it usually does with family and littles. But here are my last three reasons why I remain Catholic:

Reason no. 28: Sinfulness. Yes, sinfulness. In the world we live today, anything goes and sin is no longer recognized. "Do what you want" says anyone, as long "as you don't hurt others." But doing what we want has a lot of consequences because not everything we want is good for us and really, we've got to call a spade a spade. We are sinful. We are proud. We are imperfect and believe it or not recognizing sin does not stop at guilt, but leads us to repentance (the purpose of guilt) and the action of asking for forgiveness (confession). Now the idea behind all of this is to seek to do better and not go down that path again. Yes, we might fail again. Or maybe not. But the fact of the matter is because we can recognize that sin exists, as Christians, we can recognize that we are in need of grace and in turn in need of a Savior. JESUS!

Reason no. 29: Beauty. Ok, what does beauty have to do with being Catholic? Everything! In short, to seek the One True God is to seek all that is Good, True and Beautiful because He is the source of it all. It is beauty that pulls us towards Him. The issue is, do we recognize that beauty comes from God and do we allow our hearts to be moved by beauty so that we may praise God? The beauty of a sunset. The beauty of a face. The beauty of the first time you hold your child's hand. The beauty of order. All this beauty comes from the God who is the source of Beauty. It is through the beauty of the Church, and in seeing past the grit and grime of the Church, that I am moved to recognize the majesty of God.

Reason no. 30: Joy. Let's face it, life is tough. Yes, we all want to be happy, but happiness is fleeting. Happiness is an emotion that depends upon our circumstances and can be experienced in varying degrees. Joy, on the other hand, is something that can be lived despite our circumstances. The best example of this can be found in the lives of the saints. Even in the most troubling of circumstances, sickness, persecution, and even, dare I say it, unhappiness, they were able to hold on to joy. This is only possible because joy comes from God alone. Our salvation is our hope and this hope, that is our sustenance, gives us a joy that does not depend on anything finite.

I personally have struggled with unhappiness on and off in my life but when it comes down to what I hold most dear, I can recognize that internally I have a joy that cannot be swayed by any emotion or situation, it is a joy in knowing that God is my hope and my salvation.

In this time of Advent, I pray that you can experience the joy that only the child Jesus can bring to each of us. I pray that each of you are able to prepare the manger of your hearts so that Jesus can come and dwell and give you the joy and peace that you each seek.

Photograph courtesy of pixabay

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