Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Why I want to remain a Catholic

A sharing by: Helen F

I would like to go on living with and belonging to the Catholic faith because of the ideals and virtues that the Mother Church stands for, the consistency of the moral dogma and doctrines, the proven ability, despite the human faults of past and present generations, and because of the examples of martyrs who die for their faith.

Most of all, the Catholic faith is the one handed down by the person dearest to me, my mother, and the nuns of the schools where I studied in my youth which were the most memorable periods in my life.

I still remember how we, as Catholics, expressed our devotion to our religion in the past -before the electronic age and the explosion of information technology which created new value systems among Catholics and other faiths. I remember with nostalgia the formal way we heard mass, missal in hand, dressed for church, with veils over our heads, and perhaps our rosaries in our fingers. All these endeared me to our Catholic religion even if the mass was said in Latin (with the appropriate English translation in the missal.) Those bygone days when mass was celebrated and heard by the faithful, not on the run but with proper time set aside, are memories that made, and still make me, appreciate the Catholic faith.

The example set by my mother of hearing mass everyday in the province and of being a daily communicant instilled in me a strong attachment to our faith. My mother joined several parish activities in her prime before a series of physical disabilities slowed her down and finally incapacitated her. But even these events increased our devotion and attachment to our Catholic faith. We pray the rosary with our maids since my mother can no longer go to church, and thus we evangelized the maids in the process with the help of the lay ministers in the parish who attended to her on Sundays. She heard gospel readings and received communion. Thus, through her and our collective pain, we deepened our understanding of suffering in our Catholic faith. I felt it was God’s way of guiding us through our difficulties and trials.

My husband lives and thrives in the secular world. He has worked as a trial lawyer, corporate counsel and professional manager under stressful conditions. I know that he has never wavered from our Catholic faith. Our bedroom is littered with reading materials about religious history and astronomy. By studying the immensity of the universe, he says that he sees the face and power of God as Creator of our Universe.

I am happy and fulfilled to be a Catholic. My husband and I attend the Traditional Latin Mass that has recently been restored in a nearby parish and we have sponsored the priestly vestments of a young priest who is studying to celebrate the TLM. I do not wish for more except for God to hold us, my family, and all my dear ones in the palm of His Hand.

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