Hot Question of the Moment : Why Do I Stay in the Catholic Church?

I am weary of the controversies in my Church and I think I shall break from commenting on the topic for a while ( unless something pops up !!) but I am posting this today because I pretty much respect and agree with most if not all  the views of  these two people below and I have reposted my own position/views at this moment in time. I hope this helps people like myself to see they are not alone in the dark !!

The website Pray Tell has a diverse range of interesting posts and this one is  from Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB, a monk of St. John's Abbey, Minnesota.

He answers the hot question of the moment for many Catholics,; Why Do I Stay in the Catholic Church?. See also Fr. Paul Campbell SJ response to the same question on my previous post.

Fr. Ruff  teaches liturgy, liturgical music, and Gregorian chant at St. John's University School of Theology-Seminary. He is the founder of the National Catholic Youth choir. He is widely published and frequently presents across the country on liturgy and music. He is the author of Sacred Music and Liturgical Reform: Treasures and Transformations, and of Responsorial Psalms for Weekday Mass: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter. He also does priestly ministry at the local county jail and the neighboring community of Benedictine sisters in St. Joseph.

Fr, Paul Campbell is Vice President for Mission and Identity for Loyola Press and you can read his blog dialogue this week with Meredith Gould over at People for Others .  

Here is the link to Paul and see Day Two on this page for his searingly honest response to the same question Why do I stay in The Catholic Church ? and see also my previous post.

My own response at this time is a re-post of mine from early on in Lent .It is taken directly from a reflection by Fr Ron Rolheiser from Carlo Caretto, a Catholic priest/author  and I could not write it any better than he does. Fr. Caretto wrote it as an Ode to the Church in his old age.

How much I must criticize you, my church, and yet how much I love you!

You have made me suffer more than anyone and yet I owe more to you than to anyone.

I should like to see you destroyed and yet I need your presence.

You have given me much scandal and yet you alone have made me understand holiness.

Never in this world have I seen anything more compromised, more false, and yet I have never touched anything more pure, more generous or more beautiful.

Countless times I have felt like slamming the door of my soul in your face-and yet, every night, I have prayed that I might die in your sure arms!

No, I cannot be free of you, for I am one with you, even if not completely you.

Then too-where would I go?

To build another church?

But I could not build one without the same defects, for they are my defects. And again, if I were to build another church, it would be my church, not Christ's church.

No, I am old enough. I know better!"

That's a mature description of the church, expressing both love and realism. It's an honest description too. The church has a long history, both of grace and of sin and we who make up the church on earth don't do God very well. Nobody does. We need to admit that.

Maybe this time you will find it in you to forgive the church for its faults, see those faults are your own faults, and see why Jesus picked such an imperfect vehicle to carry on his presence. Maybe this time you will be able to see in the church what Jesus saw in it - an imperfect body made up of men and women like you and me, full of sin, full of ourselves, petty, small-hearted, less-than- sincere, miserly, and tainted, but also full of grace, full of Christ, big-hearted, sincere, generous, and pure, a group of men and women worth dying for - and belonging to. Come be with us!


Brad Evans said...

Why bother with religion at all? I don't and I've never been arrested for anything, so it's not like I'm immoral.
You would save time, money and trouble and not have to bother with controversies and issues that don't concern you.

Philomena Ewing said...

Hi Brad, Thanks for visiting and your comments. I don't think morality only can exist within religious faith. Humanists apply their own great values and ideals too. At the same time, my own faith is not an optional extra. I do happen to believe in God and the risen Christ and that is nion-negotiable. I also find that I can'tr live that faith alone and my community is where that faith has to be lived out so we struggle with it in all its human imperfections. What is at issue here is healthy debate, nothing more. Yes, you are right in this respect. It would be easier not to bother !! but for me that would be impossible to do.
There are no easy answers !!