I have a hokey wall hanging in my kitchen that I received for reading in my cousin’s wedding. It looks like this:
When I first hung it up, I did it because I like hokey wall hangings. Now that it’s been in my kitchen for a few years, I’ve realized that it’s very true. Happiness is when you’ve gotten really good at being you.
Being Catholic Makes Me Happy
My faith is an important part of my life. I enjoy being Catholic and feel like I am a better person because of it. I’m careful to say that I think that I’m a better person because I’m Catholic but I don’t think that it makes me any better than anybody else. I get a lot of joy from having a place to go on Sundays and a set of prayers to say in the morning and evening. I’m thrilled that I know so many of my fellow parishioners and that they know me. I like my icons and my candles and my miraculous medal.
But I don’t think I’m any better than anyone else.
I’m not a better person than my Jewish friends or my atheist cousin. My Catholicism doesn’t protect me from having moments where I’m a huge jerk, either. (It probably does help me apologize afterwards, though.) While surely there is someone out there who I am a better than, I don’t think Catholicism makes it so — it just makes it easier for me to be a better version of me.
I’m Not “A Better Catholic” than You, Either
So here’s what we’ve covered so far:
- I like hokey wall signs.
- Being Catholic makes me happy.
- I don’t necessarily think that being Catholic makes me any better than anyone else.
This all brings me to my ultimate point: I don’t think I’m better at being Catholic than any other Catholic. That’s okay because it’s not a competition.
Recently, I was telling someone about my recent appointment to the pastoral council.
“Oh,” she said “I didn’t know that you were active in your parish.”
If I told you all that I took that well, I’d be a lying liar who lies. I was pretty irate for awhile there because I took it as an attack on how “good of a Catholic” I am. After all, I don’t talk about constantly about what’s going on at my church (that’s what this blog is for, right?) or what I’m up to in the parish. How dare you act like I’m some sort of lapsed Catholic just because I don’t shove my religious activities down your throat at every given opportunity.
After approximately 48 hours, I chilled out. I realized that by getting upset over it, I was acting like I thought I was a better Catholic than her. Which is totally counter productive.
So let’s get a few things straight. Catholicism is not a competition. Whether you have been practicing for years or were received this Easter, we’re all practicing the same faith. So receive on the tongue or in the hands, cover your hair or don’t, I’m not judging you.
I’ll just be over here being the best version of myself — who isn’t better than anyone else.