Why am I Catholic?
There are so many reasons! So many! Being Catholic is a way of life, it is truly following Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life! And the more that I have learned about it and lived it out, the more it makes sense. Catholicism is truth.
Among all of these reasons that I could attempt to list, I’ve got one “above all the rest” reason why I’m Catholic. After thinking about this for a while now, it really comes down to one thing, and everything else is icing on the cake (unless I’m missing something else huge.. let me know in a comment what you think!).
I’m Catholic because Jesus founded the Catholic Church.
“Jesus said to him in reply, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” -Matthew 16:17-19
Check out the big header up there, ↑ that’s a painting of Jesus handing St. Peter the Keys to Heaven. Very cool, course I doubt Jesus whipped out a set of giant keys.. haha!
Jesus, God, founded the Catholic Church. He desired that it be one. He instituted the sacraments. He chose the apostles, who would become the first bishops. Who are we to change the Church that He founded? Who are we to found a church? Unless you build a house on the cornerstone, when any floor comes, the house will be swept away. Are we not seeing this right now with the Protestant churches? Are they not being swept away by popular culture?
And to those who say the Church “lost its ways” and isn’t the same as the original, I say we are overlooking the power of the Holy Spirit. Remember at Pentecost when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit down on the Apostles and Mary (Acts 2)? That’s the Church’s birthday! Jesus founded it, but it couldn’t function properly without the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide it. Another note: Check out Matthew 16:19. The gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. Any more questions?
Why should we believe that 1500 years after Christ or anytime after that, people all of a sudden knew better than the early Christians? Why should we believe that we know better than God?
Here comes the “but the Church did bad things!” question. Yes, we hear that over and over again. The Church is full of sinners. I’m one of them. That’s the point of the Church, to help us sinners. And even some popes have been bad. The media loves that. But still, that doesn’t discourage me. Look at the amazing fact that the dogma of the Church has never changed, even DESPITE these horrible popes! Crazy! Plus, look at the fact that the Church is still alive and kicking 2000 years later. There is not a single institution on earth that can say they have outlived the Church.
The issues are tough for most people. It takes time to understand. Abortion is hard enough, and then we have to talk about contraception too!? Yea. And then our opposition to homosexual marriage. But the point of the Church that Jesus founded would not be to “fit in” with the world. The Catholic Church’s job description, written by God, is to call all of humanity to lives of holiness, to become saints! Catholic means universal. It is for everyone. Catholics all over the world believe the same exact thing, and for good reason: the truth doesn’t change based on your location, age, ethnicity, bank account, etc. The Church is like the bridge from us to God. Look at the sacraments! In the sacraments, we get personal encounters with Jesus, with God! Not only do I get to communicate with God in prayer and learn about Him in the bible, but I get to be forgiven by Him in confession, adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament, and receive Him in Communion. How cool is that?! Talk about a personal relationship with Jesus!
There is so much that I could say on this topic, this is a good start I hope and pray.
I follow no leader but Christ and join in communion with none but your blessedness [Pope Damasus I], that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that this is the rock on which the Church has been built. —St. Jerome, A.D. 396 , Letters 15:2 (St. Jerome was essential to translating and compiling the bible, FYI)