This morning, I received a copy of an e-mail from Elizabeth Scalia, inviting all the writers of the Catholic Portal to explain why we’re Catholic.
Here’s why I became Catholic in the first place: I’m a fuckup. After earning a degree and a half from a third-rate university, I figured I’d never lead a life that fulfilled me, either materially, sexually, or intellectually. And yet, some escapist part of me thinks I’d have fit in just dandy at Versailles.
In the Church, I network with smart people who have tried to introduce me to philosophy, theology, and the works of all sorts of writers you didn’t find on undergrad reading lists when I was at ASU. Living simply and asexually, though not necessarily ideal, is no mark of dishonor. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting some nut who walks around fully convinced he is living at Versailles, the Escorial, or in Middle Earth.
In other words, I’ve found my tribe.
Here’s why I stay Catholic: Whenever I find myself wanting to walk out the door, some inner voice tells me, “Nah, stick around. It’s just about to get interesting.” I like to think that’s the voice of God.
…taken from Max Lindenman on Patheos.com. Really quite superb.
What’s interesting is that never has there been a more vibrant interest – and resources to fuel and satisfy that interest – in the Old Religion than there is now. The above reference came from Tim Stanley’s Twitter feed, and Tim is – along with Thomas Pascoe, Damian Thompson, Ed West, Brendan O’Neill (lapsed/atheist), Ben Brogan, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Christina Odone, Will Heaven and Stephen Hough – a fantastic Catholic journalist on the mighty Telegraph Blogs, easily the best political blogging in Britain. Throw in Fraser Nelson editing the Spectator and Guido (Catholics) then you really do have a critical mass of informed enthusiastic opinion, none of it remotely arcane or fuddy duddy.
You see it in the coverage of every aspect of the change in pope, the huge interest in the papal visit by a shy uncharismatic scholar, and the endless analyses of what Pope Francis might be like for the world in all sorts of media outlets.
There are lots of very fine blogs by the clergy, such as Ray Blake (unflinching), Tim Finigan, Alexander Lucie-Smith and Fr Z, which have substantial readerships, as well as the more extreme fringe such as Mundabor (still pretty good). Even phone apps such as Lectio Divina and Laudate make the daily prayer that bit easier and deeper.
So this Easter, this occasional blogger, frequent sinner (and fuckup) is celebrating not just the great feast, but also the stirring of something special in British life. I know how lucky I was to be born into the greatest of all earthly institutions. Or to quote Max, my tribe – and everybody’s tribe.