Saturday, April 24, 2010

Indelibly Catholic

All this Anglican frenzy of friends and opportunities was further compounded this weekend by an Anglican girl I'm friends with semi-asking if I wanted to start some sort of relationship. I thought to myself 'somehow by the end of the weekend, I will have 'reasoned' my way into the CofE (Church of England)'. Interestingly enough, the process began by me being unable to reason my way out of Catholicism, as the claims are so binding, the teachings of the saints and doctors so clear, there really is no way out of Rome. So then I started trying to reason my way out of reason a la Kierkegaard's "Fear and Trembling", but if I likewise found such a position untenable. I took a course in Islam, and while I am prejudiced as a Westerner, I have to say that 'logically' if you are going to disavow 'logic' Islam is a much better religion than Christianity. Christianity is inherently rational, and the bible doesn't have an origin like the Qu'ran (in the sense that there was disagreement and there are textual variants of the bible - not that I believe the Qu'ran is inspired).

I went for a walk today and prayed my rosary and was thinking about the sorrowful mysteries. About Christ's agony in the garden, his cross. I realized my agony was totally selfish and nothing compared to his, and that while he carried a real cross if my sufferings and trials were incarnated into a cross, it would be about as small as the one on my rosary. When I suddenly remembered St. Thomas More, I felt so much guilt. He had so much more to gain than I, and still he died as a martyr before renouncing the papacy. St. Edmund was offered the archbishopric of Canterbury for his conversion, and he accepted death over severing communion with Rome.

I repented, and thought it funny that even when I was considering the CofE - for all the wrong reasons - I was still thinking "well I hope I can still pray the rosary" or "I still want to believe in infused righteousness" or "I still need Confession". I guess I am unchangeably Catholic, a Roman through and through.

In all of this, I've realized that I'm nowhere near the level of holiness required for religious life. I told my Jesuit vocations director some of my doubts, and we're continuing, but honestly I don't think I'm mature enough yet. It's only taken a few waves to rock the boat, and if I'm to be an anchor, I'm going to need alot more strength, if that is my vocation after all.

Sts Thomas More and Edmund Campion, pray for me, a coward.


  1. "Be sober and watch, for the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour, whom resist ye, strong in faith." Our Blessed Lord, Our Blessed Lady and the English martyrs are on your side. Though the battles will rage here and again, you may be comforted in the holiness of the Company which surrounds you, May God bless you, Andrew; I'll remember you in my prayers at High Mass tomorrow.

  2. Thank you, you are too kind. It's great to realize the truth of the communion of the saints, that I am at mass partaking in Christ, and so are you, and that we all share communion with God and all the saints, the eternal spiritual banquet.

  3. Regarding vocation, I converted to (Protestant) Christianity and was ready to meet my future wife immediately. I dated a few faithful young women and thought "alright, God is bringing me together with one of them for marriage!" but I was wrong.

    I became Catholic a year later and spent the next two years discerning religious life and the priesthood. Then I began feeling called to marriage again. "Alright God now I'm really ready!" but nothing doing. I had like two dates in three years, and only one relationship that could be considered a courtship which might have led to marriage.

    7 years after my conversion to Christ, God led me to marriage with my wife, Katie. I realized that I had had a lot of maturing to do, and that God used all that time and all of those experiences to prepare me.

    I still have lots of maturing to do, but God determined when I had reached enough maturity for my vocation to begin and then through my vocation now I am becoming the saint that he created me to be. Long way to go. Still lose my temper almost everyday. :)

    If God calls you to religious life as a Jesuit, you've got the 10+ year discernment and formation time, so no worries! God bless Andrew.