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!”
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.
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…)