There are so many times when I ask myself why the heck I am Catholic. Days like today when I have been told that I “should” do this or that, that I’m ignorant at best when it comes to the issue of transgenderism and the nice email from the lady saying that I am the worst Catholic she has ever encountered online. Why am I here? Why am I blogging? Why am I putting myself in the crossfire when so many people don’t hear what I am saying but take the one thing they have an issue with it and turn it into a weapon to yield back at me?
Jesus. That is the only answer. I am here because of Jesus and I stay here because of Jesus. I know what life without Him is like; I know what it is like when I make life choices based on my own ideas of right and wrong. If what I wanted was a Church that told me that everything I did was ok and “good” then what would be the point? I can do that without having to get to Mass on Sunday or confession and without looking at every moment of my life through the lens of eternity. If God is just gonna let me waltz right into Heaven no matter what, then I’ll go be drunk and wait to die.
If God doesn’t exist then hand me a bottle and some pills and let me stay high and drunk. If God doesn’t exist then there is absolutely no reason to be good. There wouldn’t even BE a good. What is good without God? But I know that there is a God because there is good. Therefore, God is who He said He is and I follow Him or He’s a liar and I would still be drunk and high because why follow a liar?
Catholicism has the answers to questions that other Christian denominations, religions and cultures do not even dare to ask, much less answer. And there aren’t just blogs that reveal those questions and answers but over 2,000 years of writings. It was when I began to read the writings of the saints that I saw that there is no question that I could ever ask that God had not put on the heart of another human being in the last 2,000 years and the brain to figure it out too. Because Lord knows that I do not have the brain that some of these saints have, so reading them and their lives make me see the love that God has for us.
I also stay because of the history, the logic, the reasoned arguments, the debates, the blogs, the beauty, the art and the love. Love does not mean being the same or agreeing on everything, it means being there for each other even if we are different and disagree on some things or everything. Being Catholic is like being in the best classes at the best College.
When I sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament I get to experience God in a way that many people don’t. Not because of anything that I’ve done to deserve it, but it is only by God’s Grace that I know that it is God sitting in there. It is only by His Grace that I live 5 minutes from being able to take my burdens to Him. My life is a gift, all the tears are a gift, all the suffering is a gift, the tension of trying to be holy is a gift and the Blessed Sacrament is the Gift of all Gifts. I stay because this is my home. This is where I was made to be and this is where I am going to shed all this crap that I’ve built up in 38 years and become who God made me.
There are times when it seems like nobody would miss me if I left or like I do not belong here. I don’t wear skirts to Mass, I cuss, I don’t see everything in black and white, I don’t cut myself off from people who disagree with me on issues like abortion, homosexual marriage, sex changes and many other things. I enjoy learning about people, their stories and their dreams, whether or not their worldview is the same as mine. I want to learn about the human experience as much as I can.
Like the words of the disciples in John Chapter 6 asked Jesus, where else would I go? Who else has the words of everlasting life? Nobody. God exists, He sent His son to die on a cross for me, Jesus left me a Church guided by the Holy Spirit that continues to guard the deposit of Faith and that is the Catholic Church, so this is where I am and where I will stay with His Grace until the day that He takes me from this world and to the next.
My final answer to why I stay is simple really, even after 844 other words, there only five that really answer it. Jesus is good to me. Every day, He is good to me.