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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crazy Catholics

Have you ever tried to explain your faith to someone who was not even Christian? I did, yesterday, to a friend of mine. I tried to explain the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. She listened politely, but as I was talking I became aware of how incredibly CRAZY the whole thing sounded.

We believe God himself becomes flesh again? We believe that His actual body is right there, before us? We adore what appears to all others to be just a piece of bread? I sounded like a lunatic.

She didn't act like she was taken aback or anything. She was perfectly attentive as she listened to my string of lunatic claims. The bread becomes True Flesh. The wine becomes the actual Blood of God. The Mass is actually Heaven, visited upon earth for a moment.

On the surface it really does sounds nuts. And yet, I firmly believe all of it. There is such a rich wealth of information in the Bible and in our faith and our traditions. It is information that shows us, without a shadow of a doubt, that this is absolute truth. But someone who is not Christian or Catholic, someone who has never opened much less read a Bible has no idea the information contained within. They are content to ignore it (at best), or to rely on some stereotypical belief they once heard of what it contains (at worst).

One of the best cases for belief stems from the Messianic prophecies themselves. These are things that were prophesied hundreds of years before Christ was ever born. And the chances of any human being able to intentionally recreate and fulfill those prophecies is next to nothing. The chance is infinitesimal. How could someone have made them cast lots for his clothes, for example?  How could anyone be sure they did not break his legs before being crucified, as many prisoners usually were? He was given vinegar to drink, and on and on and on, the biblical prophecies continued to be fulfilled.

I wished I could make her understand, but I knew that I was only making myself and other Christians sound like we ought to be committed to the asylum. And if we should be committed to an asylum, I only hope that I can do so in the name of Christ, and gladly take such punishment as long as I am left alone to believe and know the Truth.

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