“Because I’m Catholic,” Harold answered.
“You’re not Catholic,” I argued, “if you don’t believe what they teach.”
Harold just smiled. “I’m Catholic.”
Harold and I were in high school, those extraordinary years of challenging the faith of our parents, and forming a faith of our own. In some ways, adolescents must vilify authority, in order to become independent adults. I rejected the secularism of my upbringing, and chose Jesus. My friend, raised Catholic, questioned the tenets of his church. He never entertained the thought of leaving, though.
During Lent, the Catholic/Protestant issue invariably surfaces. Protestants insist that “it doesn’t take all that” to please God. Catholics just smile. They’re Catholic.
Like teenagers, wrestling with childhood uncertainties, people of all faiths struggle with opposing doctrines during this Holy Season. I believe God appreciates our questions. “Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD” (Isaiah 1:18). How else can we know Him for ourselves?
When questioning, however, adults may resort to the ways of adolescence, accusing their spiritual predecessors of deliberate fraud. Vilifying parents, or church leaders, is the only way some people know how to cope with a new viewpoint.
I say it is time to put away childish things. No one lied to us. Right or wrong, our ancestors shared what they believed, mostly with good intentions. No man or woman can hand us pure truth. Only God is all-knowing. It’s up to each one of us to pray, study, listen, and learn.
Last I heard, Harold was still Catholic. I’m still not. He embraced the beauty and truth in his church, and didn’t worry about the parts he disagreed with. By staying in the church that he loved, Harold saw opportunities to reach out and make a difference in the lives of people I would never meet. Good for him!
Copyright 2011, Kathryn A. Frazier All rights reserved. Shevarim.com