Catholic Movie Night

You know, I never took people seriously when they said that exposing yourself to negative, morally questionable content brings you down spiritually.  Kind of stupid of me, right?  All I know is that over the past week or so, I’ve … Continue reading

Fervor

It’s time for me to really shake off the lethargy of past sin and run full-speed at actively rebuilding my foundation in Christ.  I’ve been thinking this for several months.  There are people I want to help, things I want … Continue reading

Lost Causes and Signs

Just a reminder that you and I serve a wonderful, merciful, omnipotent God.  His love is unconditional and all-consuming.  He also knows that we, as mere human beings, cannot begin to understand the implications of His love and mercy, so … Continue reading

Letters to a Young Catholic >> Martyrdom (Chapter 2)

Another Tumblr post from last year.  I’m proud of this one. 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hey!

So, as you may know, I go to an all-girls Catholic high school run by the Nashville Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia.  I absolutely love my school’s religious curriculum. Juniors take Church History, and we’re all reading Letters to a Young Catholic by George Weigel.  If you don’t know, Weigel is a distinguished Catholic apologist from my own hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.  Bl. John Paul II actually handpicked the guy to write his biography.  This guy is incredible.  Mind you, I don’t usually read heavy apologist writings.  I mean, I’ve read some stuff from Peter Kreeft, but for the most part, my Catholic supplemental reading revolves mainly around Jason Evert, Mark Hart, and the like. c: You know, light Catholic material intended for people my age.

Anyway, back on topic.

I haven’t yet read any of Weigel’s other dozen or so books (I plan to), but I can see why he, of all the Catholic apologists, won the late and great Pope’s favor.  He has a very unique style of writing that helps him to gently ease the reader toward his intended message.

In this book, he’ll start each chapter with a little history lesson or tell us a little about a place that holds significance in the Catholic world.  Chapter 2, for example: “Rome —- The Scavi of St. Peter’s and the Grittiness of Catholicism.”  Weigel begins the chapter with some background information on St. Peter’s Square.

The Vatican Necropolis, also known as the scavi, is a series of underground excavation sites that hold the ruins and remains of many early Christian martyrs of of Roman persecution, among them St. Peter.  Archaeologists have uncovered all of Peter’s remains, except for his feet, which lead us to believe that he lost them during his martyrdom at Caligula’s Circus.

Weigel does not, however, aim to simply give us a lesson about history: at this point in the chapter, he changes the subject to martyrdom itself and what it means to give your life for Christ.

Peter…is being told, gently but firmly, that his love for Christ is not going to be an easy thing.  His love is not going to be a matter of “fulfilling” himself.  His love must be a pouring out of himself, and in that self-emptying he will find his fulfillment.

All in all, the chapter is really about the “grittiness” of Catholicism, the reality that faith means suffering and sacrifice.  Weigel tells us that, especially in the secularized modern world, it is vital that we are willing to make these sacrifices to defend our faith.  ”Catholics have relearned that lesson the hard way, in the scandal of clerical sexual abuse and the crisis that scandal caused when it was so badly handled by some bishops—-the successors of the apostles.”  Even today, Catholics face the same persecution that the early Christians faced, and more than ever, we really are called to be martyrs, His witnesses to the Truth.

He closes the chapter with a message that really strikes a chord in me, and hopefully it will inspire you, as well.

“Weakness and failure, too, are part of the grittiness of Catholicism,” but “failure is not the final word.”

Religious Flame Wars for Christ?

Image

Gahhhhhhhhhhhh.

How on earth can I keep myself from getting angry and spiteful and fired up when I come across blogs like this?  It’s really, really difficult.  Like, really.  I think Catholic hate from other self-professed Christians upsets me even more than hardcore atheists attacking religion as a whole.  I just can’t help but feel like, just maybe, running a “Christian” hate blog about Catholicism and Islam isn’t all that Christlike.  Correct me if I’m wrong.

I don’t think Jesus cries tears of joy in heaven every time one of His disciples verbally attacks another.  I just can’t really see that happening.  I mean, I know that we Catholics have done our share of casting stones, but even the one true Church—especially the one true Church—has to realize that we are first and foremost the hands and feet of Christ.  People who don’t know Christ can only come to know Him through His Body on earth.

Getting into a religious flame war with the Christian Spook guy might feel satisfying, but in the end, it’s not about what I want.  This is not about me.  This is about the God I serve.  If I’m truly His hands and feet, I have to swallow my pride, the part of me that wants to lash out.  I have to act like Christ, not like Katy.  That’s what I’m trying to do these days.