On The Road To Perfection
Episode 156: Am I Good Enough To Be Catholic?
It’s Romper Room time at Holy Owned and Operated! Who do you see? After a list of names and a Laurie Anderson reference, Beth hits Kristofer with a topic out of the blue. Kristofer answers right away, and condemns the rest of us – including him – but of course leaving out Beth. But wait for the end to be sure. We see everybody around us – especially at Mass and other Church functions – as good and better than us. So, it is natural to wonder if we are good enough to be Catholic. After making sure we aren’t having technical difficulties and jump right in: Am I good enough to be Catholic?
Kristofer dives deep with a short story about “coming out” as Catholic to a Baptist mentor, and relates a familiar story of Bishop Mike and him having a conversation as he declared his intention to become Catholic. But it is an important message: Welcome to the club!
Nobody is perfect, but the Church is. And Kristofer gives an example of being perfect for 14 hours before becoming unworthy of his baptism. Most of us do not have that perspective to know if we are good enough to be Catholic, so Kristofer dives deeper, talking about him not having been to confession that he revealed on a previous episode – a situation that troubled Beth dearly, as it should any spouse. (Kristofer did go, if you listened a few episodes back!)
Reconciliation gives us an out, Kristofer explains, and he delivers a great understanding of the difference between a pedestal and a plinth, and a frog and a toad. Then Beth takes over and brings the converstion to a sense of sanity…
Beth explains how Jesus says, “I came for the sinners” and not the righteous, talking about how the Pharisees and scribes comlained about him eating with the tax collectors. He told them that the “righteous” had the law and the prophets and that they were good to go if they followed it all, but the sinners did not. Kristofer feels left out at this point, so he casually mentions that the Pharisees and scribes were good enough to be Catholic, and Beth off-handedly replies that he is right. Mark that down!
Jesus came to save all of us, and if we think “am I good enough to be Catholic,” then we reject that gift of salvation. And that is not how Jesus wants us to see this gift. Because Jesus thinks – well actually knows! – we are good enough! Or does He…?
We cannot save ourselves; we can only cooperate with the salvation that Jesus offers. When we think “Am I good enough to be Catholic?” it is really that we are not sure how to cooperate with that grace.
Kristofer quotes St. Augustine’s homily on St. John’s writings (Yep, THAT Kristofer!). After Beth picks herself off the floor, or street as it were, Kristofer recites that the way to being like Jesus is simple, not easy. In the words of St. Augustine “He simply loved. That’s what you do.”
They will know we are Christians by our love. Being on the road to perfection is to get better at loving others.
If I am on that road, am I good enough to be Catholic?
Beth says it is easy to love God (Of course she does!) with a lot of caveats – mainly, “all of the people in the way,” as she throws Kristofer under the bus with you!
If we ever feel that we are unworthy of the community and the Sacraments of the Church, we need to get our heads on straight and work on our love. We are constantly being invited to Jesus through that community and the Sacraments and through this journey – on this road to perfection – to be made worthy.
By dying on the cross, Jesus has made us worthy. But what is the answer to the question, when everything is so mixed up, including us? Am I good enough to be Catholic?
We may be worthy – but am I good enough to be Catholic? The answer may surprise you – so we leave it to you to listen to the end.
Pardon the clickbait, so if you want to skip to the answer and bypass all the fun we have getting here, go to 21:44 in the episode.
Some items on our site that will help in exploring Levels Of Love, or at least get you started:
TWMWU:: God’s Answer is Jesus
TWMWU: What Does Ephphatha Mean? Be Opened!
Podcast Episode:Being Catholic is Fun – Episode 43
Podcast Episode:It’s All In The Little Things – Episode 69
Podcast Episode:What Are Good Works – Episode 114
Podcast Episode: Giving Back – Episode 127
Podcast Episode:Are You Saved? – Episode 136
Podcast Episode: Why Do We Go On Retreat? – Episode 151
Remember: Your suggestions, questions, and ideas for topics are what we need to keep providing great episodes. Email us or use the contact page to let us know what you would like us to talk about, or comment below to let us know if we picked a good topic with Am I Good Enough To Be Catholic?