Monday, September 19, 2005

True, True, True #1

Brian Saint-Paul scribes some heavy truth in Explaining Away the Young (that's from September; if the link doesn't take you to that article, look under More Columns at the bottom), specifically about the "magnetic quality of truth."

In summary, he says that the reason that young people are being drawn to orthodox Catholicism and are rejecting the aging liberal movement is because truth matters to them. They have seen the previous generation decay with lax spirituality, and have decided that's not for them.

I couldn't agree more. That's why I converted. The appeal of absolute truth is, not ironically, absolute.

The Free Methodist church I grew up in, back in Estevan, Saskatchewan, went through a pretty rough period when I was about 10. Many families in the church left for other places of worship to escape the turmoil, and in like manner, I recall visiting some other evangelical-type churches in town with my family. After one service at the Alliance Church, my folks asked what we thought of it. I remember expressing frustration at the concept of even looking for a different church. "When I get bigger," I said, "I'm going to become a pastor and start my own church. Everybody can come there and all believe the same things, and I'll call it the... United Church."

My dad looked at me with a sort of sadness in his eyes, and said, "Son, somebody already tried that."

It was another 10 years or so before the concept of the real United Church - the Universal Church - the Catholic Church, made itself known to me.

Just like the parable (Matt. 13:44,45) of the man who found a treasure buried in a field and sold everything to buy the field, I had no trouble making my decision. I was willing to accept the metaphorical mud, weeds, and snakes that had crept into the Roman Catholic Field for the treasure of absolute truth.

Who am I to interpret truth? "Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer you? I put my hand over my mouth." (Job 40:4) Am I holier or wiser than the saints and scholars who have lived the Catholic faith for 2000 years? Can I do better at embracing and expounding the Truth than they did? Will the Holy Spirit lead me into truth more than he did them, or can his leadership be perceived as submitting to their authority? Did Christ leave us a Church as a group of people to have potluck suppers with, or as a sanctuary of trust for the Holy Banquet of the Eucharist?

My answer to those questions lies in my choice to become Catholic.

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