But now I will answer his question directly. The Protestant asks: “Do you believe Protestants have Christ?” The Roman answers: “Not as we do.”
You Protestants have him as a distant voice; we Romans have him body and soul and majesty and divinity. We feed upon his body and drink his blood. We hear, with our bodily ears, his voice through his anointed ones saying, “Your sins are forgiven you” and, “This is my body.” We touch the bones of his saints and venerate the wood of his cross. And yes, we hear his written word in scripture as well. We have him not only as Protestants do, but also in a way that can be seen and and touched and tasted.
Christ is not words on paper or high lessons. He is a man, solid and real. A man who tromped the Earth with his feet, struck people with his hands, and sweat and bled from his body. He is hard, brute, unmistakable Reality, and his bride the church is no different. She is no invisible collection of believers, but men and women bound by words spoken aloud under the same law and the same doctrine: doctrine that means one thing and not another. A visible, objective entity upon Earth, just as he was and is.
You Protestants do not have that. You have pieces that you tore off and carried away. We are original: you are derivative. You have an echo or an image or a dream of Christ. By the grace of God, that may be enough to bring you to salvation, but it is a poor substitute for the real thing. So, that would be my answer to Maas’s question. I hope that makes the issue a little clearer.
2 thoughts on “Why I Remain Catholic”
David, my comments will be brief. I was raised Southern Baptist, and married a practicing Roman Catholic woman (thanks be to God). I must agree with your personal feelings of “Why I Remain Catholic “…. . Although I truly cherish my upbringing in the Baptist church where I was “saved”, I have always felt more spiritual while attending the services of the Holy Catholic Church, with its majestic Cathedrals and its rituals. On the matter of the “sins of the flesh” committed by the clergy,( all types of clergy), I am reminded from my teachings that we ALL suffer from the human condition, and when I pray, I always ask for forgiveness, for I am only human. Thanks for your excellent treatise which you wrote for The Federalist.
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I very much liked and appreciated your direct approach to the current situation. I truly believe we need much more, if not even more, direct communication regarding our Catholic beliefs and foundations. Thank you Sir🙏🏻
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