1. Because my parents gave it to me.
|My baptism was something like this,|
only I cried a bunch and my mom didn't
have anything on her head. Oh, and I was bald.
And not a girl.
My parents love me. Very much. My parents have gone to extraordinary ends to ensure that I become the best that I can be. They realized that I had a gift and they ensured that I be raised and educated in an environment that allowed that gift to flourish. They taught me how to accept discipline and to discipline myself, they gave me books to read, adventures to undertake, people to meet, all because they loved me very much and wanted what was best for me. And it was in that same spirit that they gave me the greatest gift of all: the joy of being Baptized as a Catholic. They gave me a gift, a gift I continue to reap the marvelous benefits of, a gift that I'll never fully understand until I'm in (Good God let it be so) Heaven. They gave me Catholicism, and every day I enjoy and reaffirm that gift.
2. Because it has all things good in it.
Catholicism is big. If a person's understanding of Catholicism stops at clerics and cathedrals, they are very sadly mistaken. Religion today has been shrunk to a Sunday ordeal, restricting religion to one day a week and before and after meals. Unless something specifically mentions God, its not of a religious nature.
Catholicism is cut from an older notion of religion. Catholicism is practiced on the bar stool and in the pew, within politics and within prayer. Catholicism, by its mere presence, summons what is good about any given thing while defeating that which is evil. Whether it be in a pew or a pub, Catholicism impels the best in us, the best in everyone else. Catholicism brings us to what is worth being brought forth, it celebrates what is worth celebration, and it criticizes what is worth criticizing. Being Catholic means finding what is good in everything while letting go of what is bad in anything.
3. Because it is committed to excellence.
There's a sad resignation to mediocrity in this world. We live in an ocean of rented apartments and work in a sea of cubicles, and very very few of us ever achieve our cherished dreams. Most of us, rather than seeking to achieve dreams, just look to get by. We want to get by, and if we're lucky, we want to have a little fun while we're at it.
|Pier Giorgio Frassati and friends. They frequently went|
mountain climbing, drinking, philosophizing, chasing evil
fascist assassins down the streets. You know, the usual.
4. Because it is beautiful.
Ever hear the phrase "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"? Its a nice idea, but I'm not sold. I'd revise it to say "Beauty is only seen by those who have the eyes to behold it." The difference is that, in the former, man defines beauty. In the latter, beauty defines man. There's a common anecdote about a young boy who sat in Michelangelo's studio and watched the Renaissance master sculpt marble with chisel and hammer. This continued for days and weeks, until the boy asked "How did you know there was a man inside that block?" This is the Catholic eye for beauty: not a creation of our hand, but a process of liberation. Beauty is sought after, not made.
|Jackson Pollack and Andy Warhol:|
Eat your hearts out.
5. Because it is tangible.
Of the arguments against religion, my favorite has to be the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the fictional deity of anti-theists everywhere who wish to make a sincere mockery of theistic folk everywhere. And yet, its so easily surpassed. You're God is a monster made of spaghetti? Puh-lease. I worship a God who looks like Bread and Wine. And, quite honestly, I find that quite awesome.
|Ecce Agnus Dei.|
More to come...