By: FRATER BOVIOUS
So, there is this person that blogs by the name The Anchoress and she asked a question which I believe was prompted by a Pew Report that Catholics are bailing on the faith in droves. The question: Why are you still Catholic? You can read her post here.
And then folks were encouraged to give their thoughts on the matter with the hashtag #WhyRemainCatholic.
So, here I am. I was born pagan and baptized Catholic when I was like a month old. I went from Kindergarten through 7th grade to a Catholic School in Upland California named St. Joseph’s. Then we moved to Thousand Oaks, CA and I attended the 8th grade at Sodom and Gomorrah Jr. High.
When I was 12 years old I found one of my dad’s college text books on Zen by D.T. Suzuki which sparked a long term infatuation with Eastern Philosophy.
From my 20’s to my 40’s if anyone asked I would assert that I was Catholic though I variously attended nothing or a bible church. Mostly nothing. I was also practicing a martial art and reading lots of Eastern philosophy, mainly Zen and Taoism since those, at least at that time, were considered to be part of the underlying philosophies of Asian Martial Arts, at least according to Black Belt magazine. Many may say those are religions (Zen and Taoism, not martial art magazines), I say they are not, and I basically will not get involved in that debate at this point. I don’t even care if I’m wrong. Though the question on the martial art magazines is an open one for me.
Somewhere along the line I read a bunch of crap by Alan Watts and figured out that since I was raised with and within a Judaeo/Christian world view and was never going to be Asian, that unless I wanted to learn the languages and go live in those countries, I was never going to know, really, what they are talking about. So, I thank Alan Watts for enlightening me. One of those things that are said about two bells, when one rings the other resonates got me to thinking. I realized that our souls resonate to truth, and my soul was not resonating with Eastern Philosophy.
When I was around 40 I found and ultimately married Rosie, aka The Puppycat, and we both returned full throttle to the Catholic Church. Today I am incredibly ancient as you can tell by my picture:
I have read several very good posts on this topic, and really they all pretty much surpass anything I have to say. Anything I would be saying would be some amount of plagiarizing from them and Chesterton and Belloc, and various Popes, etc. So, since I am going to steal material, I’m going to steal from someone who was seriously asked that question by Jesus Christ himself.
Right after Jesus gave his bread of life discourse where, in the Greek, he tells the throngs that He is the Bread of Life and they need to gnaw and chew him, several people drew back and went with him no more. That’s John 666 for you conspiracy buffs. (Side note, he didn’t say, “Wait a minute fellas, I was speaking metaphorically!!” No, he let them walk away. My pastoral corollary: The Truth is Hard, and softening it to maintain a headcount is WRONG.)
So anyway Jesus turns to the Twelve and asks them if they are going to leave the Catholic Church (I’m paraphrasing), and Peter says:
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” — John 6:68-69
Amen Peter, Amen.