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torsdag 27. februar 2014

Hvorfor er du en katolsk kristen?

DEN HISTORISKE KIRKEN: Norges middelalderkirker er vakre, vakre, og de er katolske alle sammen; både de 28 stavkirkene som er bevart i dag, og de om lag 150 steinkirkene. Den største av de bevarte stavkirkene er Heddal stavkirke (bildet).
Foto: Jechstra/Flickr Creative Commons

“You are not a Catholic just because you like it, or because it makes you feel good, or even because it makes you be good and live better."

Jeg kom over dette glitrende sitatet av den katolske filosofiprofessoren og forfatteren Peter Kreeft, hentet fra en av hans 67 bøker, nærmere bestemt apologetikkboken hans “Because God is Real”:
“You are not a Catholic just because you like it, or because it makes you feel good, or even because it makes you be good and live better (though that is, of course, terribly important too). You are a Catholic because you believe Catholicism is true. Believing in Santa Claus made you feel good too, when you were three, and maybe your belief in Santa Claus even made you be good around Christmas time, but it’s not true. You don’t really believe Santa Claus exists, even though you may tell stories or sing songs about him.
If God is like Santa Claus for you, then you are an atheist, not a theist. If Jesus is like Santa Claus for you, then you are not a Christian. If the Church is like Santa Claus to you, then you are not a Catholic. The only honest reason for being a Catholic is that you believe Catholicism is TRUE.”

Because God is Real

Her kan du lese mer om Peter Kreefts bok "Because God is Real" som er utgitt på forlaget Ignatius Press. Et lite utdrag derfra: "Atheistic and agnostic writers are aggressively attacking traditional religious beliefs. Philosopher and prolific writer Peter Kreeft is up to the challenge in this work of popular apologetics aimed at both teens and adults. The masterful Kreeft tackles sixteen crucial issues about the deeper meaning of life. The questions that Kreeft explores range from, “Is faith reasonable?,” Can you prove there is a God?”, and “Why is Jesus different?,” to “Why is sex so confusing?,” “Why is there evil?”, and “Why must we die?” "

Hvorfor Peter Kreeft selv konverterte

På hjemmesiden sin har Peter Kreeft publisert en laaaang artikkel om hvorfor han konverterte. "Hauled Aboard the Ark" heter den, og du finner den her:

Dette som jeg tar med her, er faktisk bare et lite utdrag derfra:
The issue of the Church's historical roots was crucial to me, for the thing I had found in the Catholic Church and in no Protestant church was simply this: the massive historical fact that there she is, majestic and unsinkable. It was the same old seaworthy ship, the Noah's ark that Jesus had commissioned. It was like discovering not an accurate picture of the ark, or even a real relic of its wood, but the whole ark itself, still sailing unscathed on the seas of history! It was like a fairy tale come true, like a "myth become fact;" to use C. S. Lewis' formula for the Incarnation.

The parallel between Christ and Church, Incarnation and Church history, goes still further. I thought, just as Jesus made a claim about His identity that forces us into one of only two camps, His enemies or His worshippers, those who call Him liar and those who call Him Lord; so the Catholic Church's claim to be the one true Church, the Church Christ founded, forces us to say either that this is the most arrogant, blasphemous and wicked claim imaginable, if it is not true, or else that she is just what she claims to be. Just as Jesus stood out as the absolute exception to all other human teachers in claiming to be more than human and more than a teacher, so the Catholic Church stood out above all other denominations in claiming to be not merely a denomination, but the Body of Christ incarnate, infallible, one, and holy, presenting the really present Christ in her Eucharist. I could never rest in a comfortable, respectable ecumenical halfway house of measured admiration from a distance. I had to shout either "Crucify her!" or "Hosanna!" If I could not love and believe her, honesty forced me to despise and fight her.

But I could not despise her. The beauty and sanctity and wisdom of her, like that of Christ, prevented me from calling her liar or lunatic, just as it prevented me from calling Christ that. But simple logic offered then one and only one other option: this must be the Church my Lord provided for me — my Lord, for me. So she had better become my Church if He is my Lord.
[...] One afternoon I knelt alone in my room and prayed God would decide for me, for I am good at thinking but bad at acting, like Hamlet. Unexpectedly, I seemed to sense my heroes Augustine and Aquinas and thousands of other saints and sages calling out to me from the great ark, "Come aboard! We are really here. We still live. Join us. Here is the Body of Christ." I said Yes. My intellect and feelings had long been conquered; the will is the last to surrender.
[...] That is why I am a Catholic: because I am a Christian.

Når jeg leser hele Peter Kreefts konversjonshistorie er det en del ting som jeg ikke kjenner meg helt igjen i (han burde ta seg en tur til de katolske menighetene i Norge og bli oppmuntret, Den katolske kirke i USA har åpenbart noen seriøse problemer den må ta tak i) - men i det store og hele kjenner jeg meg igjen i det han skriver.


Til slutt: Har du to minutter? Dette er min yndlingsfilm om Den katolske kirke.

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