What I love (or will love) about being Catholic

Edit: I'm adding another one to my list. It is at the top so you don't have to scroll to the bottom!

I've been reading May Crowning, Mass, and Merton: 50 Reasons I Love Being Catholic by Liz Kelly. So I started thinking about the things that I love. So far this is what I've come up with. They are in no particular order, simply the order they popped into my mind. I'm sure I will also come up with more as I go along and I'll add those to the top of the list and repost it as I think of them.

  • Prayers for the Faithfully Departed: It is nice to have something real and tangible I can do to show my love for someone who has died. It is so much better than just praying for their family. I can actually show love for that specific person by praying for them. I love that!
  • Quiet time before Mass: I love getting to church a bit early and being able to sit there in the quiet and pray before Mass starts. It helps me focus on why I'm there. And it gives me a chance to lay all of my "stuff" at the feet of Jesus so I can truly focus on the Mass. Sure, it isn't always exactly quiet, but just the idea that this time to stop and pray is normal and even expected is amazing!
  • Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament: This is one of the biggest ones, and seems to be the same for most Catholics. Every time I go to Mass and we get to the consecration I'm just in total awe! This is Jesus, right here in front of me! And soon I will be able to receive Him right into my own body. Amazing!
  • The Sacraments: I love the sacraments. I love that there is this physical thing that conveys God's grace. I love that God knew that we need this physical thing, the touch, the bread, the wine, the words. I love that God requires us to use all of our senses in worship. The water pouring over my head and dripping down my back is a very vivid memory of my baptism. And I'm sure my experience with the rest of the sacraments will be the same!
  • History: This is the biggest thing that started my journey into the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has been around a LONG time and has a rich history to go with it. It has existed since the time of Christ.
  • People across time and space: I love this connection to so many different people, people in other places and people in other times. It enriches my faith to remember that for thousands of years people have been worshiping in more or less the same way and today people from countries all over the world are worshiping in more or less the same way. I have this real connection to all of them. They enrich my faith and I enrich theirs. We are all part of the same body!
  • Holy Water: I love dipping my finger in the holy water and crossing myself every time I walk into the church. It is a reminder of why I am here. I am here to worship and to focus on God. I am here because in baptism, God made me part of His family.
  • It's hard to get in: I love the fact that it takes time to be Catholic. It takes some work to be Catholic. It takes effort. I don't just show up at my local Catholic parish one week and then be Catholic the next. I think having a whole process is helpful. Sure, some times I get impatient, but waiting is a good thing. It gives me the chance to make sure this isn't just a phase of fad, but something I really want and something I really believe in. The best things in life are worth waiting for!
  • Staying Power: The Catholic Church has been around a long time and has had its fair share of problems. There have been times when many people in the Church were not such great people. But the Church has survived all of that. She made it through and has continued to grow and thrive. I like that. It says to me that this really is the one, true Church that Jesus established and is sustaining.
  • Thinking: I love that I'm allowed to think in the Church. There is room for theologians. There is room for all of my questions. There are plenty of Saints who thought about all of this too, St. Anselm, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine. Even the process of coming into the Church involves thinking about theology. There is no checking your brains at the door.
  • Social Justice: I love that the Church is highly involved in caring for the needs of the poor and outcast. There is none of this let's just tell them about Jesus and all will be better. There is even a list of the things we are supposed to be doing, the corpal acts of mercy, feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the imprisoned, visit the sick, and bury the dead. We are to care for people not only spiritually, but also physically.
  • The Saints: Coming from a protestant background, the communion of the saints is one of those things that many of us struggle with, and I'm only slowly beginning to "get" it. I love that the Saints are so diverse! There are mystics and theologians, hermits and people who lived in the everyday world, priests, nuns, and lay people, people with families and those who were single, rich and poor, people with power and those without. There are Saints from every walk of life and they can understand my struggles and cheer me on.
  • Sign of the Cross: I love making the sign of the cross as I pray. It has become something that I can do when I'm thinking about God, praying, but don't have anything in particular that I want to say. I can simply make the sign of the cross as a prayer.
  • Catholic Calisthenics: I love that when I go to Mass my whole body is involved in worship. I stand, sit, knell, walk, move my hands. It isn't just my mind or my heart or even my mouth, but all of me participates. It reminds me that God wants all of me, not just part, but all!
  • Both/And: I love that there is room for both/and in the Church. There are so many things that aren't black or white or that can't be explained simply and the Church knows that and recognizes that. The answer to many questions is both/and. There is room for this tension.


Tracy said...

It is so nice to see someone so excited with their faith!!

Blessings to you in your exciting journey!!

Anonymous said...

Ran across your post today (11/11/07).

Your excitement, your refreshing simplicity and joyous anticipations are so refreshing, Thanx for sharing.

I, too, am waiting for these last few weeks to pass - I so look forward to being received into the Church on 12/1/07 and receiving my 1st Communion.



Maryellen said...

Hi Karen
I came here from Aimee Milburn's Historical Christian. Hers is my favorite blog.

I'm so excited for your official entry into the Church. Welcome, Welcome, Welcome! I love your enthusiasm.

I am what we call a re-vert. Having failed to "get it" I was easy prey to the Evangelical Protestant theology, but God brought me back home to the Catholic church, and I share your enthusiasm.

Your blog is wonderful. I'll be back often.

Karen said...

Bob- Yea! you are almost there too!


Anonymous said...


Awesome thoughts--the quiet time before Mass is the BEST!!! The only way to start the day. God is really using you in a great way!


Karen said...

Thanks John. I appreciate the encouragement!