|Photo Credit: Maria R. Bastone, Catholic New York|
“Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.”
“Why do YOU remain a Catholic?” is a question that throughout my young adult years I must admit I have not been asked too often in words, but rather in facial expression. Surrounded by my friends throughout my college years I had watched a vast number of them wander away from the faith leaving them in an ultimate state of perplexity to why I chose to stay with the church. When I was in my earlier years of college many of the young adults around me were getting into a hipper faith as they called it or a faith that was more adapted to the modern age and the young adult lifestyle. Catholicism was out of touch and an ancient tradition that needed to be modernized and improved according to so many of the young adults around me. I remember the look of utter disgust and disbelief with pursed lips and uplifted brow from my own peers when I would tell them I still attended church on Sundays. They couldn’t wrap their heads around it, why was I such an EXTREME Catholic, “No one even goes to church on Sundays anymore” they would say to me.
I know exactly why I remain a Catholic; it is because I am making a choice, a choice that every day of my life I am making and will continue to make for the rest of my life. I can tell you it is because I firmly believe in the teachings of the Catholic Church, or because I know that I am called to become a religious sister, which is absolutely true, but again I am making a choice. If I were to look at our faith as if it were a bunch of strict rules and regulations first and foremost before anything else, well then it would not be a choice would it? So I choose to go to mass on Sundays and dare I say throughout the rest of the days of the week. I choose to uphold the values of the Gospel. I choose to believe that a Catholic priest has a gift to be able to transform the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. I choose to believe that Jesus is present in the tabernacle. I choose to believe in the Most Holy Trinity. I choose to believe in the Sacrament of Confession. I choose to place God’s love first in my life. I choose to become a Catholic religious sister. And I choose to REMAIN a Catholic.