There are, of course, major reasons why I’m still hooked with the Catholic Church. One is that the Catholic Church is the only church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The Church has an unbroken succession of leaders from Peter (who was personally commissioned by Jesus Christ prior to His ascension) to Pope Francis. Another major reason are the sacraments which gave me opportunities to be included part of the church, to receive forgiveness, etc. There are more major reasons which are articulated by better Catholic bloggers like Ate Stef and Doc Dicky. I suggest that you head to their blogs for more profound reasons.
Here I list the shallow reasons why I remain Catholic.
1. Ancient Churches
|The old church of Malate.|
Frequent visitors off this blog know that I like visiting Catholic churches. I always make it a point to enter the church of the town I’m visiting. In the Philippines, only the Catholic Church can boast of old places of worship some which were built in the 16th Century. These ancient churches serve as the keepers of our culture and faith.
|Paradise by Giusto de' Menabuoi|
Protestant Christians always accuse of idolatry because of the saints. The truth is that they’re missing the truth. We are not worshiping the saints but we’re just asking for their intercession. The saints (like the Apostles and Mary) proved their fidelity to Christ and so got a slot in heaven. They are much closer to God than us who are here on earth. It feel so good to know that there are hundreds of holy people praying unceasingly in my behalf.
3. The Glue that binds that Philippines
|Carta hydrographica y chorographica de las Yslas Filipinas by Pedro Murillo (Source: US Library of Congress)|
No one can deny that the Catholic Church played a major role in creating the Philippine nation. The Spaniards came to this archipelago composed of thousands of tribes with various belief. The conquistadors subdued the pre-Filipino tribes but it is the Catholic missionaries who planted the root of nationhood. The Catholic faith united the Filipinos living in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao despite the differences in languages and culture.
4. Church leaders may be criticized
|St. Catherine and Pope George XI|
We recognize our bishops and priests to be special because they are God’s representative on earth but this doesn’t mean that they’re untouchable. Our priests, bishops, and even the Pope can be criticized or admonished (respectfully and charitably of course) especially if they’re straying away from the Faith. In other denominations, criticizing the chief minister or head pastor is considered blasphemy. This is not so with our Church because we know that our church leaders are humans and they’re sinners too.
5. My suffering has meaning
Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow Him. The Church took this command seriously that’s why Catholics (and other Christians) in ISIS occupied lands chose to suffer than abandon the Faith. Their suffering is united with the Lord’s suffering on the cross. Even though I’m not persecuted, I can also offer my daily sufferings to Jesus. The inconvenience I experience in LRT, the stress I get every end of the work day, and all the petty pains will be accepted by the Lord. Hopefully in the future, the Lord will find me worthy to suffer for the sake of the Name.
These are shallow reasons but I believe that these are heavy enough to persuade some non-believers. In fact, I read that one person was converted by a more shallow reason: Catholic Memes. Well, the Holy Spirit really moves in in mysterious ways.