October 02, 2010

Why Be Catholic? All Are Holy-The Catholic Spiritual Tradition

The latest in a series of blog posts on "Why Be Catholic" Any similarities to a program in a local parish is because I don't drink enough coffee in the morning.

Is everybody holy? Are ALL holy? I quibble with this. Certainly, we are, all of us, CALLED to holiness but to outright state that all are holy is arrogant and presumptive.

Catholicism recognizes that we are all fallen and we fall all the time. Some of us never get up. We are sinful creatures but we need not let sin define us or curse us or make us feel like its hopeless to dare to aspire to heaven because only a certain number of us will get there and, honey, you will not be in that number. If you are a Protestant does any of the above sound familiar? Much of what I just laid out is what many Protestant denominational founders believed.

The Lord called everybody but not everybody answered. Some answered and walked with him for awhile but found His teachings too hard and left. The Lord dined with sinners and He asked them to join Him but there was a price for earning the ultimate reward-radical conversion of self, turning away from sin, repentance.

Judas walked with Him. Judas was never told to leave-even though the Lord was well aware Judas would betray Him. Why? Even Judas deserved a chance. Judas could be in the presence of the Lord. He may even have received Communion from the Lord; but it turned to ash in his mouth and he ate damnation on himself. Why? He would not convert, he would not quit stealing, he would not abandon his plan. Maybe he repented before he ended his life. I have a feeling the Lord forgave Him because if He forgives me every time I go to Confession anything is possible with God. Does that mean Judas may not be serving time in Purgatory or Hell? No. Most of us need a period of cleansing before we are worthy to go to Heaven. Some of us will never make it.

However, because Judas walked for a time with God does not make him any holier than I am. You can go to Mass every Sunday with the full knowledge you search porn on the Internet every day or you just stole from your boss-again or you don't believe a word of the truth the priest is preaching. Admitting, repenting and turning away from sin will put you on the road to holiness. It is a road full of danger. Serpents and tempters on every side-some of them people you know.

Prayer, constant prayer, is an armor that will help protect you-from your self. I know this first hand. If I did not have my Adoration hour, a focused hour before the exposed Blessed Sacrament, every week I don't want to know where else I'd be. If I did not pray the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet every day, I know what sins I'd still be "enjoying".

Prayer has many fans in the Catholic Spiritual Tradition. Many people who I consider holy (though they in their humility probably strenuously disagree) pray thoughout the day. They make time for it-not just a few seconds when times are tough-but daily, hourly, constantly. 70 pages of the 2nd edition of the Catechism discuss "Christian Prayer". The index for prayer in the same is nearly 2 pages. Saints prayed often and just as often wrote about the benefits of prayer.

There is no doubt that all of us, you!, are called to holiness and we may be holy but to automatically tell us "I'm Ok, You're Ok" is SO 70's.

Adam and Eve were blessed but they screwed up. We may all need to get back to The Garden but does that mean The Fall didn't happen? If you buy the claim that "I'm not sinful because I did not eat the fruit!" Maybe you didn't eat the fruit but you probably ate something else you were not supposed to. If we'd been there, wouldn't we have done the same? If we'd been at the Crucifixion would it have been easier to go along with the crowd?

We are human-not divine.

Still hope remains. Heaven is possible. Strive to be holy. Participate in the Sacramental life of the Church in as close to a perfect state as you can attain. Keep your priest awake in the Confessional.

It's not easy; but the best things worth having never are easy to obtain.


Blogger LarryD said...

Wow. You nailed it. Great piece, Cathy.

October 02, 2010 7:33 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Yay! Bravo! Tell it, sister!


October 02, 2010 9:32 AM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Huh? I didn't read it - will you call me and tell me what you said?

Cath - you are really postin'! I thought we were meeting for coffee? 2 good 2 go 4 boys?

October 02, 2010 11:17 AM  
Blogger nazareth priest said...

Preach it, girlfriend!!
I actually said something similar last weekend: folks think sometimes that if they had been with Jesus when he walked the earth, they would have no problem with faith; however, the Gospels indicate otherwise...the scribes and Pharisees (some of them) rejected Jesus, the Word made Flesh in their very midst; the hardness of their hearts prevented them from accepting Him, even if He did a miracle right in front of them.
We have Jesus made present to us, in Word and Sacrament, each Sunday (daily, for some) and He is as present as when He lived here on earth.
It's a heart full of contrition, openness and desire that makes "contact" with Jesus...and that is such a wondrous reality, mystery.
Thanks, Miss Cathy!

October 02, 2010 11:33 AM  

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