The urgency to write, I find, comes and goes.
This weekend I feel very calm. While the rest of the world is “going for gold”, eating chicken sandwiches, or blowing people up, I’m sitting quietly.
It’s warm and sunny and I’m watching the cobwebs. It’s not at all the sort of weather I can bring myself to care about much, and since I’ve written the first part of my conversion story, I don’t know how to go on. I thought the first bit would be the hardest. It’s easily the most emotional. But that’s just made it even more necessary to spit it out.
Now, I just feel numb. And calm. And deliciously sleepy.
But now I need to come to the arguments, the rock-hard, sharp-edged arguments and… I got nothing. Not because I have no reasons but because I can’t seem to put them together. I don’t know if it’s sleepy me or this slippery Church, but I can’t get a handle on Her.
If I try to begin with the Sacraments, those sacred conduits of heavenly Grace, Authority waddles on over and taps me on the shoulder. “What’s the point of talking about Sacraments without me, eh? No one will listen to you anyway.” So then I try with Authority but he says he can’t begin with his friend Tradition. But of course Tradition demurs. “Oh I couldn’t possibly talk about myself. You want to go sit with the Saints. They are the best teachers around these parts, dearie.” So I go looking for the Saints but they’re hiding out with the Sacraments, who are miffed that I bypassed them in the first place. But still, they think I should probably see old man Magisterium before I go any further.
At this point I get frustrated, throw a book or two across the room, and wonder why it is all so complicated.
Why isn’t there one argument that can clinch the thing? One simple, straight-forward bible text? You know, the Gospel according to St Laura, where in Chapter 8, Jesus says “Verily, I say unto thee, when thou argues for the faith, thou shall simply point to the presence of this fluffy emu and the golden egg. And behold, all shall see thy reasonableness and agree with thee and also think thou art quite nice person too.”
Alas, it doesn’t work like that. There’s no special emu, no indisputable sign from Heaven or unassailable logical proof.
Someone asks me, “why are you Catholic?” And I can’t explain it. At least not nearly as well as I’d like: not decisively or brilliantly. I can circle around the reasons: Apostolic Succession, the Sacraments, History and the Mass but I can’t quite get a handle on it all.
I feel incapable of representing this ancient institution or, more importantly, this Ancient of Days. There’s just me, on a warm Saturday afternoon, watching cobwebs and burying my head in the sand.
I think I’ll have a nap now.