Thursday, March 03, 2005
Needing to be Catholic
The Anchoress posts a wonderful treatise on a question she was posed: do Catholics need to be Catholic? I can relate to the question because I have many friends who are not Catholic but I believe would be welcomed by Christ when they stand before him, counted among his flock. Their Christ-likeness challenge me with the same question posed to me: do I need to be Catholic? The eloquent answers given by the Anchoress express my own affirmative answer: yes I do. The Anchoress is right, God down the ages does not change, and is not really affected about our Catholicism, but I need to be Catholic because of what being Catholic offers to me: sacred traditions of the Apostles and the Church Fathers that guide us, the sacraments that nourish us with life, and the Word of God that teaches us. These all speak of Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. I wouldn't dream of giving up the Holy Rosary that helps me relive important mysteries of the gospel and the life of Christ. Nor would I want an empty cross that doesn't have a Christ on it to remind me of the price for our redemption and that the suffering I occasionally undergo can be a holy suffering. Most of all, I could never give up the celebration of the Eucharist, the Mass, that nourishes me with the bread of life, the body of Christ. Ultimately, being Catholic is exactly how I answer Christ's all-important question: who do you say I am? He is the Christ, the son of the living God, and I follow him as best I can by being Catholic. The day I (personally) cease to be Catholic is the day I stop following him. I'm not implying that non-Catholics aren't Christians, but personally, I'm following Christ by being Catholic.