The Anchoress Elizabeth Scalia posed the question on her Patheos blog, “Why do I remain Catholic?” to Catholic writers and all media persons in this post. #WhyRemainCatholic is going wild. This conversation is timely for me, for I’ve begun writing and speaking about my faith story. I’m reliving some key moments such as when I gave my life to Jesus at a Protestant youth retreat. In my staunch faith I never dreamed that five years later I would marry in the Catholic Church. The only way God could ever get me to convert to Catholicism was to arrange for me to fall in love with a devout Catholic. My official conversion almost three years later when I realized I belong in the Catholic Church.
Later there’s the story of my renewal, an event that took me from Sunday Catholicism to full time. It plunged me deep into covenant community 40 years ago. These highlights provide the backdrop of how I arrived where I am today but don’t tell the understory of why I remain Catholic. Why I created a Catholic blog and write incessantly about my faith. Why my career as a writer and speaker winds around my faith. Why l adore the Eucharist. Why I evangelize.
It’s a fact that I feel God’s presence in my beautiful marriage, parishioners and my covenant community. These relationships provide me with spiritual nourishment daily. How could I ever do without these intricate parts of my life? Remaining Catholic doesn’t depend on any earthly structures or relationships, no matter how indispensable they seem right now.
I remain Catholic because it’s who I am, a beloved child of God, best friends with Jesus and a channel of grace and charisms of the Holy Spirit. These don’t depend on whom I’m with or where I worship but on a deep, unshakable conviction that I belong in the Catholic Church where I find the Real Presence of Jesus. He’s my life, my inspiration and my fulfillment. With or without these supportive relationships in my life, he stands alone as my destiny. I was created for him, for Truth. I was meant to be Catholic. There’s no going back from where I belong.
What’s your reason to remain Catholic?
(© 2015 Nancy HC Ward)