Top 10 Small Pleasures of being Catholic

To celebrate the birthday of the Church last Pentecost I put up a top 10 list of things to love about being Catholic.  This year I thought I’d list my top 10 favorite sacraments… but kept getting stuck at number 8.

So, since there are still plenty of things to love about being Catholic, here’s my not very scientific list of the small pleasures of our ever-new, ever-ancient faith.

We should, after all, rejoice this Pentecost.  Imagine the list read by Dick Vitale.

10.  The feel of rosary beads.  Because sometimes the words don’t even matter.

9.  Glow in the dark rosary beads.  Because they don’t work only for the luminous mysteries.  (And prove that Jesus loves those with a weakness for kitsch, too.)

8.  A properly executed genuflection.  Crisp, chivalrous, reverent.  Nice.

7.  Red wine.  I realize this is not an absolute requirement of the faith, but as Hilaire Belloc once put it, “Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, there’s always laughter and good red wine.  At least I’ve always found it so.  Benedicamus Domino!”

6.  The uniforms of the Swiss Guard.  Because only a guy carrying a pike can get away with wearing an outfit like that.

5.  Exorcist movies.  Hollywood may get most things wrong, but at least it understands that when confronting the forces of Satan, you don’t call the Ghostbusters.  Or the Episcopalians.

4.  Words like “ordinariate,” “hypostatic union,” “zucchetto,” and “consubstantial.”  Because even if you don’t know what they mean, they’re still fun to say.

3.  Notre Dame Football.  Because, as Lou Holtz once pointed out, God doesn’t care if the Fighting Irish win or lose.  But his Mother does.

2.  My saint’s day.  I’m an Anthony of Padua man myself (June 13), but I’ll still accept greetings (and monetary gifts) on the feast days of any of the other Anthonys (of the Desert, Mary Claret, etc.).

1.  Valid Eucharist.  The Protestants might have better hymns and the Mormons more children, but when it comes to the Real Presence it’s just us and the Orthodox, baby!

PS  Admittedly, #1 really isn’t a small pleasure.

PPS  I would of course immediately turn in any monetary gifts to my superiors.  (I knew you were wondering…)

AL, SJ

About these ads

15 Responses to Top 10 Small Pleasures of being Catholic

  1. Nick says:

    My top 10 pleasures of being Catholic:

    10. HISTORY. Some of the best and worst of mankind the Church has seen, experienced, and preserved. She is a truly wise organism.

    9. SCIENCE. Archeology, astronomy, physics, medicine…you name it, the Church has contributed to it. Don’t mind the common misconception about Galileo, either.

    8. ART. The Church is responsible – even by proxy – for many of the world’s greatest artists, having supported them.

    7. PHILOSOPHY. Right up there with science, the Church has contributed enormously to philosophy. Don’t mind the common misconception about “the Dark Ages”, either.

    6. SALVATION. Not just salvation from Hell, but salvation from temporal evils as well. Her yet most memorable activity was helping Jews escape the Holocaust.

    5. TRUTH. There are so many different spiritualities and theologies in the Church that she is as a wealth of ways to love, know and serve the Lord.

    4. LOVE. The Church has continuously, even in the face of her wounds and sufferings, begotten sons who become saints in love.

    3. ANGELS. Guardian angel, archangel, seraph…the Church knows that there is a spiritual world, a host of angels, and man pines to know it.

    2. HEAVEN. The Church is of Heaven and of Earth. She is present on Earth, in Purgatory, and in Heaven. Worrying about a deceased brother? Pray for him.

    1. JESUS CHRIST. Head of the Body, Bishop of the Church, Redeemer of the redeemed. Nothing beats Infinite Mercy, Wisdom, Justice, Love and Holiness in the Flesh.

  2. Susan says:

    The Saints and Blesseds! Always a source of inspiration, courage, prayer, hope, comfort, . . . .

    The Jesuits, who taught and directed me in Contemplative Prayer.

  3. [...] To celebrate the birthday of the Church last Pentecost I put up a top 10 list of things to love about being Catholic.  This year I thought I’d list my top 10 favorite sacraments… but kept getting stuck at number 8. So, since there are still plenty of things to love about being Catholic, here’s my not very scientific list of the small pleasures of our ever-new, ever-ancient faith. We should, after all, rejoice this Pentecost.  Imagine the list rea … Read More [...]

  4. Tom Piatak says:

    A great list, filled with humor but ending with profundity.

  5. Qualis Rex says:

    Anton, I LOVE IT! And I can come nowhere near the profundity and humor of your post (really spot on and much needed : ) So, I’ll just add a few more to give you rounded-out unlucky 13:

    11. Social Awareness. aside from the fact that the church keeps all those poor burlap and felt manufacturers in business, it has always contributed to the social and economic well-being of citizens around the world and been the moral compass- many times at odds with popular opinion (i.e. slavery, civil rights, abortion etc).
    12. Accademia As an embittered recipient of a “Catholic” (Marianists, then Jesuits), I must remind myself that dispite the current abyss and shame of the last 30 years, the church has always been a bastion (and at times the sole repository) of knowledge and learning. And while responsible for the likes of Jenkins, Pfleger and McBrien, I am thankful to God it also turns out priests LIKE YOU!!!!!!
    13. Miracles. Not only does the church hand-deliver us (actually, on the tongue please) the daily miracle of transubstantiation, but acknowledges, investigates and validates the existence of true miracles around the world. Any Schmoe can throw a crutch across a stage, start dancing and shout “it’s a miracle” during a “healing service” at other churches. But in our church you need a doctor’s note to even get past the first-cut auditions.

    God bless you, and saluti dall’italia

  6. Kevin says:

    Traditional Catholics have more children and better hymns than protestants. The hymns are God centered, not man centered (like many Novus Ordo hymns) and most do not use any type of contraceptive, not even NFP. I know a few families with 7+ children, one with 10 children and they are still in their 30′s.

    So, if you want the good hymns and lots of children, become a Traditional Catholic.

  7. Martha says:

    My favorite words/phrases relating to the Catholic faith are: “protoevangelium” and “mutual self-indwelling” (that is how the relationship between the Father and the Son was explained to me – mutual self-indwelling). Have a great weekend, Tony! :)

  8. Gypsy says:

    I was enjoying the lists in comments, too, until the Grizzly Adams’ stepped in.

    Wonderful post.

  9. Peter Wolczuk says:

    I don’t have 10 ready to go items but, one of my favourites is the way in which I feel challenged to constantly better myself by so many built in systems in the church. Maybe her long tradition has helped that

  10. brettsalkeld says:

    Crossing yourself when you get hit with Holy Water from afar!

  11. Holy water, incense, and bells. Because we have bodies as well as souls and we experience these with both!

  12. Kat Palmer says:

    When I think about my own small pleasures for being a Catholic, I begin to smile with the overwhelming gratitude that I feel for our faith. Your no. 9 & 10 are surely one of my favorites as well. Whenever I hold my rosary beads, I instantly feel a sense of calm and courage to do the things I have to do even if they seem burdensome or tedious. I’d also have to say that particiapting in the Eucharist is always an amazing experience. But my top pleasure would have to be teaching my daughter about how important it is to have a strong faith which I hope she will not forget when she grows up. :)

  13. Two more: The fact that the Vatican has a list of recommended movies, and from three perspectives. One, for artistic value, another for ethical value, and another for doctrinal value. I love that they have all three and that art is one of them.

    The Jesuits: Loads of intellectual firepower. Plus Gerard Manley Hopkins.

  14. …and that the Vatican has a list of recommended rock music, and Santana is near the top of the list! ;D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 94 other followers

%d bloggers like this: