I wanted Catholicism to help me with two particular areas of my life. The first was to cultivate a sense of love for others. At the time (and even now, if I’m honest), I make the mistake of judging others by their negative attributes, rather than viewing them as fellow members of humanity. Christianity is all about love, so it seemed to make sense.
The other thing I wanted from Catholicism was clarity. Life was beginning to feel meaningless, as if all the trivial activities of daily life would never amount to anything significant, for myself or others. What could be more meaningful than God?
- The Catholic church is considered to be officially founded by Jesus Christ and the first Pope was Saint Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples. However, the Catholic Church only made institutional progress when it became the official religion of the Roman Empire in 380 CE
- If you’re looking to party, the Catholic Church has 56 Holy Days and Feast Days. Who says Catholics are always serious?
- Confession, as explained to me the late Father Curry (SJ), is less about actually admitting your sins, but rather, more like a sort of therapy in which you attempt to diagnose the behaviors that make you feel spiritually separated from God and those you love
CS Lewis (of Chronicles of Narnia fame) converted to Christianity (the Anglican Church) wrote a defense of Christianity that is quite smart and compelling. I also recommend reading his other books on Christianity.
In a Modern World...
Modern Western life is primarily focused on the individual and how the individual can succeed in a free society. While I wouldn’t trade this development for anything, it can also lead to an excessive focus on your own needs, rather than the needs of other. We focus on our problems and issues instead of cultivating love and compassion of other. The ancient tradition of Catholicism is brilliant at helping bring out our better natures and balancing our inherent selfishness.
My 30 Day Experiment
My Practice: Attend Mass a much as possible and perform the Spiritual Exercises daily