Let’s be real. There have been many times over the course of my life that I have questioned whether I should stay in the Catholic church. The church has done some awful and traumatizing things over the course of its very long history, and yet I’m still here.
So, I have to ask myself, why?
Why do I choose to stick with a church who has some questionable people running the show (my opinion, of course, not God’s), instead of going in search of a church where perfect people reign (spoiler…that church does not exist, but that’s not my reason).
The only answer I can come up with is that being Catholic makes me a better person.
My faith has taught me how to critically think about salvation and love and justice. My faith has surrounded me with people who I want with me on this existential journey we call life. My faith has given me tools to talk to God and be with God at any moment of the day, and I love it.
I also despise it, at times, but the aspects I despise still make me think.
Every time I bump up against a teaching that feels wrong or hurtful or unloving, I am forced to ask myself, “why?” Why does the church teach what it teaches? And every time I engage the question, I come away with a better understanding of the fullness of faith.
This is not to say that following prayer and reflection and consideration of the teaching in question, that I fall right in line, because we know that I don’t. But nearly every time, I do come away with a peek into how love might guide that teaching in the church.
And that helps me love more fully.
It’s worth wrestling with the teachings the Bishops put forth and asking ourselves why they are doing what they are doing, because if Marvel has taught me anything, it is that there are no purely evil or purely good people in the world. (The bible taught me that, too, by the way.)
Do I agree with this latest news coming out of the Bishops’ meetings? Nope. But if talking about the Eucharist reminds us how amazing the Eucharist is, I’m in for the conversation. It’s all about the long game for me.
I’m just trying to love God and love God’s people as best I can.