This is a follow-up to Captain Elizabeth Scalia’s #WhyRemainCatholic challenge.
I’m bringing in answers from some of my fellow Catholic women who are young and young at heart.
Madeleine McIlheran: Once I finally gained an actual understanding of our faith as opposed to the “meh” approach of many Catholic schools, at the age of 12, I KNEW it to be True, and could never again doubt the Truth taught by the Church. As a matter of fact, the assurance of the Truth to be so, was the only thing that anchored me when I was going through my worst bout of depression at 13-15, and it was the only thing that stopped me from attempting suicide. As a person who naturally relies almost entirely on logic, as opposed to emotions or faith, I believe when I know something is the truth, and the Truth of the Gospel is the Most Firm Truth I know of, at least to me.
Mekelle Sofie Cecilia-Thérèse Jensen: I remain Catholic because if I don’t then I have no hope in anything, and then no reason to live.
Olivia Swinford: Because once I truly encountered Christ in the Eucharist during Adoration, I knew there was no turning back. The Eucharist gives me the strength to get through my week and the reassurance that God loves me so much that He wants to put His grace inside me. Once I went to confession and truly confessed everything I was ashamed of and I felt God clear it all away, I knew there was reason for the church that Jesus started. I stay Catholic because without it, more things don’t make sense. I don’t encounter the fullness of God and Truth anywhere else.
Illyana Joannes Paulus Morales: The Catholic church is where I found God I feel his presence there in Mass.
I can’t imagine ever leaving the catholic faith for another place. If I did leave itd be because I don’t believe in him and I do believe.
Shalei Benjamin: One huge reason was because I felt like it was the right thing for me. When I was in grade school and high school (and both were catholic) we had to go to mass every week and had religion classes. While that was great in helping me in my faith, it didn‘t challenge me in my faith. Once I was in college, I was able to be on my own and choose what I wanted to be and I chose to be catholic because that’s what I felt in my heart to be true. And ever since I’ve been out of college, I’ve felt my faith become stronger
Alex Scherb: Because the Catholic hurch is the universal church and the church of truth. If I wasn’t Catholic I have no reason to live.
Elizabeth Kirby: Because, from a purely logical standpoint, my personal beliefs would go between Christianity or complete apathy. I definitely don’t believe in Islam, Judaism, etc., so personally it’s that choice for me. it’s Catholicism or nothing. Historically speaking, the Catholics were the first to put the bible together and the descendants of the original apostles. We don’t edit to fit the times. That is the TRUE faith.
Secondly, even though I’ve come so close to giving up, something always calls me back and the thought of leaving hurts my heart. The thought of ever walking out of church doors and never coming back again is physically painful. Even though I struggle way more than many other people and am sometimes only nominally Catholic, the pull to stay is always stronger than the urge to give up.
Nancy Ibarra: I remain Catholic because of the significance of the tradition that we have. I used to go to Catholic school and my mom would take me to Mass, but as a child I honestly never understood any of it. I thought I did, but it wasn’t until I drifted far away from my faith that I began to discover the beauty of what we have.
In college, I began to be exposed to all these alternative methods of thinking in my coursework, and all of it eventually sounded silly. Contemplating on the question “is there a God?” made me realize what people meant by how could all creation start from nothing? From this point, I began to seek meaning in our traditions as Catholics, and what I found was nearly every aspect of our religion is either from scripture or thousands of years of tradition. Very few other religions can claim both of these origins.
Now, I have not delved into other theologies, but there is a presence of love and warmth that I always feel when I learn about Catholic religion that I have never experienced when even speaking to others on their religion.
Lastly, I believe in “showing, not telling.” Catholic religion believes in this strongly. Thus, perhaps the most important reason for me to be Catholic is that we are called to evangelize in our actions, not necessarily our words. That doesn’t mean don’t stand up and say when something is going wrong. But it does recognize that people are not moved to Catholicism because of the grandiose words said at Mass, but by how Catholics live. How we take Christ’s flesh and blood and are sent forth to share his love to the world. No other religion can claim that one
Emily Allen: I guess the simplest answer is because it’s true. I mean, that seems like a “duh” answer, by I consider myself pretty open minded. I understand not everyone’s experiences match my own, and I always try to sympathize and respect their beliefs. But in all my sympathizing and researching, I have never found anything as true as the church. And like some days I struggle with church teaching on some stuff. Sometimes I only agree and submit to things *because* it’s church teaching. But I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t think it was 100% true.
More to come soon!