Since the weekend’s big feast, Pentecost, is sometimes colloquially referred to as the birthday of the Church, I thought I’d offer a little birthday greeting. I couldn’t fit two thousand candles on a cake, so I came up with a top ten list instead. Maybe it’s not really my top ten, but here are ten things I love about the Church. (The New York Times doesn’t want you to know this, but, yes, it’s still okay to love being Catholic.)
10. Songs about Mary. Whether it’s Pavarotti belting out “Ave Maria” or tone-deaf Jesuits (like yours truly) humming their way through the “Salve,” the Blessed Mother brings out something sweet and beautiful even in the gruffest of us.
9. Relics. They may seem a little weird to contemporary American tastes, but think about all that relics say about the importance of the body, the embodied nature of our faith, and our hope, ultimately, in the resurrection of the body.