Thursday, September 11, 2014

On jumping ship.

I had an encounter recently that made me angry.

It wasn't a very good reason to get angry - at least, if you don't mistake my anger for righteous anger. It wasn't really the carelessness towards something I cared about that made me angry.

I had an encounter a while back with someone who was deciding whether or not they wanted to leave the Catholic Church. I talked to them patiently about it and gently prodded and poked until it came out that they didn't believe what the Church taught because they never tried to learn why the Church teached it in the first place. I encouraged the person to "make the faith their own" and read some books or articles, they said they would "read," and we said goodnight.

Recently, the person spoke to me again. I brought it up and they said they were in the process of joining another Church. As we talked, it came out that they never did what they said they would do. They did not care about the truth. They said they still thought the Catholic Church was the Church Jesus founded, and yet they still wanted to leave because they "just wanted to be happy." They said they didn't read because they were afraid they would be convinced to if it couldn't be more clear that they were simply running away.

Well, I got angry and told them exactly how I felt about what they were doing. I suppose I wouldn't have been so hurt if it weren't for the fact that they lied. If they had said before that they had no intention of giving an equal chance to staying and going, then I would likely have had an entirely different conversation with them. As it was, though, I wasted my time on gentle encouragement and providing some of my own knowledge to try and help light their way. But really all they wanted was "Yeah, do it! Who cares what the Church has to say? It's only been around 2,000 years, they've never really thought about any of the cool heresies stuff we've revived discovered since the 60's!"

I wish this person had been as eager to learn and make informed decisions as people who had never even heard of the Catholic faith. All they wanted was to throw it away because it was too hard. They didn't want to go to confession. They didn't want to wrestle with finding what was true anymore. They just wanted to be happy. And I told them if that's what they wanted, that's what they would get. Because it's absolutely true. But people should want more than happiness. People should want greatness. And you will never be great if you do not care what is true.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for truth.