Why be Catholic? I usually have an answer at the ready, whether it be memorized, or repeated, or straight from my soul. But sometimes I ask myself that question and none of the answers feel like quite enough, so I take a moment to dig deeper. Why?
Why be Christian? Okay, now a few more reasons, general and true, centering on Jesus. He is the son of God. He loves us. He shows us how to be human. He saves us. But, Saves me from what? And so I ask again, Why?
Why do I need saving? And if I need saving, what about my people who are not churchy and are also perfectly amazing. What about them? Will they really not be hanging out with me in heaven?
Am I so afraid of death that I’m willing to abandon those I love in life?
Celebrating birthdays does this to me. It’s been quite a morning inside of my head.
Memento Mori, remember your death, is a guiding mantra of Catholics that has its roots in the philosophers of classical antiquity. People have been asking this question from the very beginning. It makes sense that our guiding light is rooted in these two powerful words. Memento Mori.
Remember your death. Remember.
Not fear your death.
After sifting through words and reasons and arguments and talking points and rules, this is the answer I came to this morning. In remembering my death, I remember how to live.
(Note that I have been here before, but just as our earth needs winter to burst into spring each year, and our church benefits from the rhythm of liturgical seasons, my Whys bring new life to my questions about faith.)
Remember your death so that you may live.
This is always my answer to Why be Catholic.
Being Catholic helps me to live and love the best way I know how.
Memento Mori and let love guide the way.