Ironic Catholic has listed 100 reasons to be a Catholic. Here they are, in groups of 10.
100. Christian Initiation is more involved than just signing into the membership book at the church office.
99. When someone decides to use glitter rather than ashes on Ash Wednesday (God bless them)…there are consequences.
98. When singing in the choir, it’s helpful to remember that the people listening are ordered to forgiveness before receiving Eucharist.
97. Hand puppets during homilies are (generally) discouraged.
96. Stephen Colbert is on our team.
95. We’ve got the Laser Monks!
94. Instead of just being weird…you can be a mystic.
93. Instead of just being an emotional mushpie…you can have the gift of tears.
92. Instead of being an extreme introvert…you can be a contemplative.
91. We’ve got theology; others have choir practice.
Orange is not a liturgical colour – love it:
90. Those Chick Tracts make splendid kindling at CYO camps.
89. We have a St. Bobo, St. Bean, and a St. Quadragesimus.
88. “Each one has his own gift from God, the one in this way, the other in that. Therefore it is with some hesitation that the amount of daily sustenance for others is fixed by us. Nevertheless, in view of the weakness of the infirm we believe that a hemina [just less than half a liter] of wine a day is enough for each one….” (Rule of St. Benedict #40)
87. The words “clown” and “eucharist” are never mentioned in the same sentence.
86. We cannot use chrism as chapstick without consequences.
85. We’re the big boy (and girl) theologians: we use dead languages in our universities, seminaries, and major documents. And, frankly, we don’t care if you don’t understand it.
84. NCAA Basketball: Catholics universities consistently kick state school butt.
83. Orange is not a liturgical color in the Catholic Church.
82. No other Christian communion gets to bury a statue and pray to sell a house.
81. We actually “get” The Vatican Rag.
Great advice from St Thomas Aquinas:
80. If you are named a saint, a part of your body may become part of a reliquary…or even better, on display for the masses.
79. Knights of Columbus Friday Fish Frys. Take outs available.
78. More lit candles than you can find at The Bath and Body Shop!
77. Our lead theologian (Thomas Aquinas) sagely advised, “Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine.”
76. Adds a whole new dimension to The Lord of the Rings, doesn’t it?
75. You love to toss off phrases like “supernatural existential.” You know you do.
74. Jesus doesn’t just love you, He loves Fluffy and Fido too (at least on the Feast of St. Francis).
73. Bothered by mosquitos in the backyard? Get a priest out there: there’s a formal blessing against pests.
72. Mystery is more than an aisle at the local Barnes and Noble.
71. Flannery O’Connor on the Eucharist: “Well, if it’s just a symbol, then to hell with it.”
Incense and bells! Yes!
70. It’s much more rewarding to pick your kids’ names out from the litany of saints than out of what People Magazine celebrities are currently naming their kids.
69. Incense smells way better than clove cigarettes, and your lungs don’t take quite as much a beating.
68. Speaking of incense…more ambiance smoke than you would find at a 1960s beat poetry reading.
68. You want particularity and difference? Join an order! Any order!
67. …The bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells…
66. All You Need Is Love, Imagine, and Let it Be: face it, baby boomers, we’re deeper than the theology of the Beatles.
65. We have prayers tailor made for those 3am wake up calls.
64. People don’t go around Europe touring those great Protestant cathedrals, do they?*
63. We love beauty and are darn tootin’ proud of it.
62. Agatha McGee.
61. the variety of Papal Chapeaux.
And who wouldn’t love St Teresa’s prayer:
60. Awesome gargoyles.
59. No Lutheran stigmata.
58. …Or Buddhist stigmata.
57. …Or Hindu stigmata.
56. St. Lawrence, while being burned to death: “Turn me over; I’m done on this side.”
55. We have our own “Catholic frog.” It has a cross on its back. Really.
54. Millions (Not Million Dollar Baby)
53. The Capuchin Crypt in Rome: made entirely of bones.
52. We have four patron saints of confectioners (take that, Food Channel!)
51. St. Teresa of Avila: “From silly devotions, and from sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us!”
50. St. Jerome is the patron saint against anger. Hope for us all.
49. We have pilgrimage sites in scenic locales.
48. G.K. Chesterton: “An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.”
47. No televangelists (yet).
46. There is something about Mary, and it ain’t a sophomoric movie.
45. You could legitimately attend the world’s smallest functioning Catholic Church in Warrenton, TX. (picture right)
44. We know what cherubim and seraphim mean.
42. Multiple names: a) In some circles, you went by two names anyway (“Hi, Mary Margaret!”). b) You get to rename yourself at Confirmation (“Hi, Mary Margaret Lucy!”) c) And if you join a religious order, you may receive yet another name (“Hi, Sr. Agatha formerly Mary Margaret Lucy!)
41. Our liturgical musicians don’t call the Church “the studio audience.”
The Lenten edition:
40. Dark Lenten purple really jazzes up the winter landscape.
39. Now that football season is over, you need a new project. Try repentance.
38. As a gesture of hospitality to the musically-challenged, liturgical music is often cut during Lent. That which remains is always in the playable key of E minor.
37. Saying “alleluia” all the time was getting kind of tired, anyway.
36. Lent is a more reliable measurement between winter and spring than that Puxatawney Phil.
35. My sin. Icestorms. My sin. Icestorms. There must be a connection.
34. Every pagan in town thinks you look kind of interesting and goth with the ashes.
33. There is the inherent dramatic tension created every time you agree to fast from (fill in the blank). Can she do it? Can she do it? CAN SHE DO IT?
32. You really can’t recite Psalm 51 enough.*
31. Lent: because you love tuna casserole.
*actually, that one isn’t particularly ironic.
I agree about the Swiss Guard uniforms. In fact, I might put it higher up the list!
30. Only religion in the Guinness Book of World Records responsible for the smallest nation state.
29. You get to cheer as the Pope preaches it to the U.N.
28. ThePopesCologne.com (and it isn’t Colgne, Germany)
27. Confession: much cheaper than therapy.
26. Got a spanking cool flag, right.
25. Throws the biggest international slumber party every three years (bonus: no drugs!).
24. John Allen rocks.
23. The Swiss Guard uniforms (below).
22. Catholic moral theology gives political consultants headaches.
21. Ash Wednesday: one religious observance Hallmark can’t exploit.
20. The chrism oil smells sooooo good. It almost makes you want to get baptized again, but then you’d be Baptist.
19. Got a social issue? We’ve got a statement.
18. a. Man does not live by bread alone. b. We’re centered in Italy. c. Ergo, Catholics are encouraged to eat more pasta. Score.
17. The eternal city may have something to do with the prevalence of wine as well…a good thing.
16. If you ever get stranded on a desert island with a large enough supply of unconsecrated* communion wafers, you couldn’t exactly live off them, but you could probably glue them together to make a serviceable raft.
15. …alternatively, you could take your mind off your impending death by playing unconsecrated host tiddlywinks.
14. A cloistered nun is the patron saint of missionaries (St. Therese de Lisieux).
13. If it weren’t for us, the “Filet O’ Fish” sandwich would have tanked years ago, placing fishermen out of honest work.
12. Our churches are never, ever named after subdivisions.
11. We, and only we, have the Ten Commandments for Drivers.
*note that incredibly important adjective. I am not, repeat not, a blasphemer. Thanks.
And the winners are… Ironic Catholic’s the top 10:
10. Those jaunty fuschia birettas the bishops get to wear. (Thanks, DC)
9. We have Cardinal Zen…
8. and Cardinal Sin.
7. We’re not emergent: we’re eternal.
6. We’re not progressive: we’re prophetic.
5. We’re not old-fashioned: we’re rooted.
4. We’re not liberal: we love our neighbor.
3. We’re not conservative: we look to God alone.
2. We’re not entertained: we’ve received the peace of Christ.
1. …and we’re just getting started, baby.