Every few months, some disaffected Catholic asks on social media, Why do you stay? Why stay in a church that is in such a shambles?
Some time ago, I had a memorable dream. I dreamed that I had barged in on a plan to renovate our local church building, and the trained and qualified Catholics who were actually on the committee were very annoyed that I was involved in ordering materials and architectural pieces.
I remember feeling their frustration and irritation that I was in the room at all, and I felt fairly sheepish and self-conscious, because most of what they were talking about was over my head. I don’t know anything about building or design. I have some medium-vague ideas about what I like, but I really don’t know how to make it happen.
To keep me busy, they set me to work unloading pallets and unboxing the construction materials, and I sat on the floor in a nest of cardboard and plastic webbing, carefully slicing open package after package with my box cutter, lining up boards and pavers and drywall and tiles and hardware. It was a grunt job anyone could have done.
So why did I stick around? Because whoever had packed up the building supplies had randomly secreted consecrated hosts in among the packing materials, and I kept finding them. They were just stuffed in here and there in the most unexpected places. So I couldn’t just leave.
Now you know why I keep writing about Catholic things. Or, more precisely, now you know why I stay Catholic. Or, really, now you know why I get out of bed in the morning.
I am well aware that I’m not highly trained or educated, and it would be hard to argue with people who think I don’t belong. If anyone is going to fix . . . [waves arms wildly] all this . . . it probably should be someone with some expertise.
But I keep finding Jesus, and I can’t just leave.
It was just a dream, pieced together from thoughts in my brain, not a message from God. But I think it’s true. I need to be in the place where I keep finding Jesus. Not only is that a good enough reason to stay, it’s the only good reason.