In the last year, after my mini-meltdown, I started getting very into learning more about my religion.   After I got pregnant, I REALLY started trying to learn more about it.   I am a born & bred Catholic from birth (like my dear husband), but other than going to church & CCD & getting all my sacraments, I really didn’t know that much more about it.   His family, on the other hand, knows a lot about it.   One of the things I respect about my MIL is her knowledge on all things Catholic and I usually call her if I have questions that I’m too lazy to look up.

Anyway, in my journey and doing my research and reading more about it, I’ve been finding that most of the people I know and work are one form of protestant or another.   Especially those who are more vocally religious, not quite evangelist, but definitely closer to that than Catholics are.   I’ve been asked a lot of questions that I really couldn’t answer except from the gut and the differences that I’ve noticed over the years.

I’ve gotten people who assert there is no word Pope in the bible (there is no word for Pentacostal in the bible, either!).   I’ve had people say that Catholics “make up” all this stuff (traditions and ceremonial things is usually what they refer to) that isn’t in the bible.   I’ve had people ask why the fascination with Saints and Mary… and the reason I felt compelled to write this post is because I finally found an excellent answer to the last question.

I’ve been reading the book, “I Like Being Catholic:  Treasured Traditions, Rituals, & Stories” and found this quote by a woman named Joan Wester Anderson:

“…Catholicism is built on the concept of family.   We have the Father, and Jesus his son.   Mary, in a beautiful way, is everyone’s Mom.  Angels and saints make up the older, wiser branch of the family, similar to uncles and aunts (each with their own gifts and peculiarities) whom we often approach with requests for help or advice.   And then there’s us, the children of God, bumbling along, trying to make sense of it all.   Isn’t it great that we’re not alone?”

The pieces and quotes that are in this book are excellent.    I do LIKE being a Catholic, but haven’t the words to explain why or even what about it, I like.   I may not have always been practicing, or a “good” catholic, but I’ve ALWAYS, even when I was unsure if there was a God, been a Catholic.

My other favorite thing in this book so far is a list of 50 things that people like about being catholic, compiled by a priest in a parish in Illinois.    It has things like midnight mass, the smell of burning incense, the joy of a wedding mass,  organ music, advent wreaths, holy week, holy thursday procession, the stations of the cross, the veneration of the cross, good friday, Palm Sunday, having ashes smudged on your forehead, church bells, the rosary, the golden tabernacle, a child at first communion, baptism, stained glass and beautiful churches…

I love the list so much that I had to read it aloud to my husband.   Every time I read one, I thought — Yeah, I LOVE that…no one else does that?

DH said it sounds like the perfect book to ask someone to read when they don’t understand Catholicism and why you think things or do what you do.   While it’s not necessarily always theological, it does talk about the appeal on an emotional level and I think that is what keeps Catholics Catholic, even when some want to change the church (whether it’s changing things BACK OR making it more protestant).

Anyway, I was so moved by the book that I had to share it.   If I’ve been rambling, I apologize — I just woke up :).


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