Catholicism is like a sweater

For those looking for your typical Wizbang political fare, I suggest you skip this one.

You’ve been warned.

A few weeks ago The Anchoress approached me about writing a review of Father Robert Barron’s new book, Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith as part of a roundtable conversation hosted at the Patheos Book Club and I readily agreed.

Here’s a portion of it:

BC_CatholicismJourney Catholicism is like a sweater.

I first heard my priest say that in RCIA a few weeks ago.  The context was Catholicism’s status as the original Church and how the many flavors of Christianity that exist today are each derived from the Church Christ and His apostles founded.  Father Mike said simply, if Catholicism is a sweater, the 30,000+ denominations in play currently are merely threads pulled from that same sweater.

For me, the analogy doesn’t just end there.

For most of my life, I’ve not taken a particular liking to sweaters.

I wore sweaters as a kid because my parents made me.  I wore them because I felt obligated to when they were given as gifts.  Since cold didn’t bother me as a youngster, I’d simply found little use for sweaters. As I’ve grown older and less enamored with chilly weather, I’ve gained enough wisdom to acknowledge the worth of a decent one, though.

I was baptized as an infant in the Catholic Church and raised in it until shortly after my First Communion.  I attended somewhat regularly to that point (my mother would make me go) but not long after, I increasingly found Catholicism to be “itchy” and when I became of age, I simply walked away.  I regret that now – immensely. Over the 40 years I spent away, discovering the coldness of life, I could have made good use of a solid and comforting sweater.

Read the rest… and better yet, pick up a copy of Father Barron’s book or look for the video series on your local PBS channel and maybe, just maybe, you too will take a fresh liking to that old sweater you’ve been spurning.

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