In light of all the controversies and scandals that rocked the Church in 2018, many Catholics attempted to answer the question “why are you still Catholic?” There is every indication that these controversies and scandals will continue and increase in 2019, so the question remains. While it is good for Catholics to answer this question, it is also good for us to consider how strong those answers are. Are they really getting at the crux of the matter?
I believe the answer is no. First, we must consider the sources. Most of us who are writing in public have a passion. We might not have the faith to move mountains, but we’re ardent enough about our faith to be bold (or foolish!) enough to speak in public about it. While things might trouble us, they often don’t trouble us enough into silence. Because of this, our answer might be different from someone who is experiencing a genuine crisis of faith.
For example, when asked why they are still Catholic, many orthodox Catholics will respond with one simple answer: The Holy Eucharist.
The Blessed Sacrament is a great answer. It provides immeasurable graces and is the very gift of God himself given to us freely. Yet what about those whose faith has been so shaken, they aren’t coming to Church? What good is this gift if it is not seen and not received?
Likewise, we hear “because I put my trust in God, not in men.” Not only is this statement kind of worthless to the person in genuine crisis, it runs the risk of arrogance if one isn’t careful. This is because nobody has a perfect faith. If we had a perfect faith, grace would no longer be necessary. Even our faith is tainted by the impact of sin in the world, and in ourselves. It will always be imperfect, there will always be a temptation to sin, and we are always going to war with that temptation. In our better days, faith wins out. Sometimes people don’t have those better days. Can we be sure we will always be in them? Trust in God, trust in him with all your heart! Yet try to look at it from the perspective of someone struggling.
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