Let’s talk about Catholicism! Since this blog is called 20somethingcatholic and I haven’t actually written about Catholicism in…well….a while.
I have been reading the New Testament a lot lately. Because it’s the one thing that bothers me about my faith – I know a lot about teachings and philosophical theology, but when it comes to scripture, I have so so much to catch up on. (I don’t have 22 years of cradle Catholicism like many of my peers in the church!) When I take an honest look at scripture, when I’m able to pick up that book and give a genuine open hearted read, I almost always walk away with some form on enlightenment. Or if anything, a paradigm shift.
Christianity is a really big thing to grasp. Specifically Catholicism. I mean Protestant Christianity, in my opinion, is much more “user friendly”. Catholicism is not. You have scripture, but on top of that you have THE Church, which is regarded with just as much respect and authority as the Bible. Let me be clear here, this does NOT mean that higher ups in the church can do whatever they want and get away with it because they are “God”. Any Bishop or Pope is no more “Godly” than you or me. Of course, they are human. And even the Pope must go to confession (can you imagine being the guy on the other end of that session?) Catholicism has sacraments and traditions, adoration and reconciliation. Mass is not just a church service, it’s a holy ritual. And the Eucharist? That shit’s real – they take it to be kind of a big deal.
But in general, to be Christian and accept its teachings (or any religion, really) requires a huge amount of surrendering of pride. And pride, my friends, is one of the biggest hurdles between us and God. Pride encompasses everything that makes us think we can do it alone. Pride tells us we are in control and we can do whatever we please without consequence. Pride is absolutely precious to us, it gives us jurisdiction over our choices. I do what I want when I want and I won’t consider letting anyone but me make those decisions. Letting go of pride for me, is singlehandedly the hardest thing in Christianity. And guess what? It still creeps in to my life and I have to make conscious effort to let go of it.
The bottom line, people don’t like being told what to do. Religion does exactly that.
I’m traveling to Morocco in a couple of weeks here. (Actually 10 days !) I’ve been reading up and studying Islam, as Morocco is a Muslim country. I find it so fascinating that from what I see in our culture (that is, America) people respect Islam far more than Christianity. And the only thing I can come up with is Muslims aren’t protesting around DC and shoving pamphlets in people’s faces, and trying to take their birth control. Non-Christians feel attacked by Christians and I don’t want to speak for Non-Christians entirely, but I feel safe in saying that they feel Pride is the number one reason Christians are hypocrites.
How ironic. Pride is fueling both sides of this dilemma. I’ve written before about the Christian Superiority Complex, and I feel that it is something we must keep in check. In reading the gospels, I am reminded that Jesus is the furthest thing from Pride. I mean, he does all this cool shit, he heals people, he feeds people, he forgives people, but he never prides in himself. He is, by definition, the most humble person, probably ever. Let’s take a hint from that. And let’s be real, if there was going to be a God, wouldn’t we want him to be humble like Jesus?
If you are Catholic and reading this, let’s please forget our pride. Forget that we are “right” or others are “wrong”. We are just here. We are all children of God, not just the ones that go to mass and confession. And we better start acting like it.