Why I Remain Catholic

I’m responding to a question posted by Elizabeth Scalia at Patheos: Why do you remain Catholic?

And all I can think of is: how can I not?


I feel like being a Catholic is in my DNA.

I’m not a convert, and I’ve heard people say that cradle Catholics (like me) never made that conscious choice that a convert might have made.

But I beg to differ.

I make that choice every single Sunday when I go to Mass.

I make that choice every single time I receive the Eucharist: the Body, Blood, soul and divinity of Jesus.

I make that choice when I pray the Liturgy of the Hours, when I attend gatherings of the Secular Franciscans, when I play music and sing at Mass, when I pray for someone in need.

Being a Catholic–and, even more than that, being a Catholic and a Franciscan–is the air I breathe. It’s a part of me that I cannot separate out.

I can’t point to some earth-shattering moment when I knew this was the right thing for me.

It just is.

I’ve visited other churches, for funerals or weddings–and something is missing. That something, the Real Presence, is what makes Catholicism stand apart.

I didn’t make one conscious choice–but there have been thousands of little choices, every week, every day, that keep me in my Church. And I am thankful for the grace that helps me to make those little choices.

Image by Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS: Empty Tomb at St. Casimir Church, Riverside, NJ (Easter 2007). All rights reserved. 

Small Success: Just Add Grace

Small-Success-Thursday-400pxThursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

I said YES to grace this week. I was thinking, Tuesday morning, that I really need to make a way to get to Adoration. We have Perpetual Adoration in our parish–and I’ve been ignoring the opportunity. On my way out of Mass Tuesday, the lady who organizes the schedule for Adoration approached me and asked if I could take over an hour for someone who is ailing and unable to attend anymore. I think it took a whole 2 hours, if that, from the time I originally had the thought of Adoration in my head to the time Pat spoke to me in the church foyer. I start today.

I learned a new song this week. Our folk group is preparing to teach Matt Maher’s “Your Grace is Enough” to the assembly at Mass before the end of Lent. It’s a perfect song to meditate on during Lent (or any time, really.) And I figured out how to download the MP3 to my phone so I can have it with me everywhere. Give it a listen:

And in more practical matters, I came in under budget this week at the supermarket. By shopping the sales and using coupons, I saved $105.44 on my order, paying only $116.78. AND because I bought some stuff in the Dollar Days sale, I walked out of there with $7 in coupons off my next shopping order AND a coupon for a free reusable shopping bag. (WIN!) I buy supermarket gift cards through Little Brother’s school (we get a tuition kickback for that) and it does help me to stay on budget. Since I buy the gift cards every 2 weeks, I’m under budget about $16 for the 2-week period. Just in time for Middle Sister to come home for Spring Break and stock up on laundry detergent, Gatorade, granola bars and other staples of dormitory life.

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© 2015 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.