Sunday, March 11, 2007

"Do you also wish to go away?"

After a post like my last, the words of Jesus recorded in John 6:67-69 come to mind:
Jesus said to the twelve, 'Do you also wish to go away?' Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God."
While I think I understand very well the reasons why some Catholic converts from evangelical Protestant backgrounds end up leaving and reverting to their Protestant communities of faith, the reason this would never occur to me is twofold. There is, first of all, that little thing about truth. Once you see the Church as the Church, there simply is nothing else. There may be many other reasons for being a Catholic than it's being true, but I can't think of many more important reasons.

But there is one other reason, which, for me is even more decisive: I couldn't ever imagine leaving Him. This is where it gets personal. I'm almost embarrassed to mention this publicly, but one little thing I do each day is visit the Blessed Sacrament, only briefly, early in the morning while it's still dark and nobody else is around. Over time, this has become for me the strongest source of strength against yielding to various crass temptations, because the matter then becomes personal: it would involve turning my back on Him. Sins become more difficult to commit when you see them in these personal terms instead of as violations of abstract precepts. (Don't misunderstand what I'm saying here: I'm no saint. That's not the issue here.) But it is precisely this same personal relationship that makes it inconceivable to consider leaving the Church. Others may not see it this way, but as I see it, I would be turning my back on Christ there in the Sanctuary in the Tabernacle, the source of my ultimate consolation in life and in death.


Liz said...


Pertinacious Papist said...

Thank you, Liz.