Why be Catholic?

One may ask, “Why be Catholic?” Or, “Why the Church for help in one’s sobriety? It’s just a Church, full of rules and regulations that just get in the way. Why not just have a personal relationship with God?”

Well, you can. And the best place for that to happen is within the Catholic Church. It is the historical church established by Jesus Christ and His Apostles and it bears all the hallmarks of a Church established by Him. There are four marks, or signs, usually named to identify the church founded by Jesus. Those four marks are that it is one, holy, catholic and apostolic.

It is one: Jesus established only one church, not numerous churches. The apostles, as they scattered about spreading the Gospel, established churches in their journeys, but all were subject to the authority of Peter, the first Pope, and his successors. Some churches may have held a large degree of autonomy, but ultimately they were united under the leadership of what would eventually be known as the Papacy.

It is holy: It’s holiness is not found in the actions and behavior of its members, from the rank-and-file butts in the pews and the clergy, to the Pope. It’s holiness is derived from its establishment by Jesus, the miracles God works through it, and the lives of the saints and martyrs.

It is catholic: “catholic” means “universal”. This means that it holds the fullness of the Gospel truths taught by Jesus. The Catholic Church has never discarded as inconvenient or irrelevant any of the teachings of Jesus. It teaches everything that Jesus taught, with no redactions. As such, its teachings are applicable to everyone, in every place in every time and in every situation. Other Christian denominations, while they are to be respected for the sincerity of their member’s beliefs, have over the centuries discarded (or “reinterpreted”) various of His teachings.)

It is apostolic: It traces its history back to the time of the apostles. The apostles were entrusted by Jesus to teach and spread His message to all nations. The twelve apostles were the bishops of the early Church, they in turn passed their authority to teach to their successors. This has been transferred down the centuries to today’s bishops.

If you examine Catholic history, you will see a history replete with heresy (rejection of Catholic teaching), schism (rejection of Catholic authority), scandals, crimes and corruption. Yet it survives. It survives due to the actions of the Holy Spirit to maintain it despite its leadership and membership. It survives because Jesus said that He will be with it even until the end of time, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. Its history has shown that Hell has sought to prevail, and while Hell has had some success it causing the above mentioned troubles, in the end it will fail.

No mere human-founded organization has such a guarantee of survival. Not a bad thing to link your sobriety to.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"