Before we begin, I should share with you a little background. My name is Josh and I am 33 years old. I am happily married and have an 18-month old daughter, and that baby is the reason why I am at this keyboard typing right now. No, my child is not some web design guru or computer science prodigy (at least, not yet!)… but she was the catalyst that would lead me to explore and deepen my faith.
I am a cradle Catholic, born and raised in the faith. Like many other children of the 70’s and 80’s, I attended Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) classes as a child. While these classes are designed to provide a basic foundation of Catholicism for kids, I don’t recall taking them particularly seriously. I did continue to receive my First Communion and Confirmation, but shortly thereafter I became somewhat disinterested and inactive in the practice of my religion. I attended Mass sporadically throughout high school and even less in college, and the more I withdrew the more doubts I had about the truth of the Catholic Church. It is safe to say that I had fallen away from serious observance. As my girlfriend (now wife) and I prepared for our wedding, we both got more serious about attending Mass, but even then I was still struggling with motivation. There were many reasons, but we’ll get to that in the coming months.
When my wife and I found out that we were expecting our first daughter, we agreed that it was time to begin attending Mass regularly again. Only a few months later did I begin asking myself some hard questions… once this little baby arrived, I would have to decide whether or not to get her baptized and raise her up as a Catholic. It was time to man up and answer those nagging questions that made my own practice of the faith weak and timid (and by this time, there were many). I decided to put aside the interpretations of the Catholic Church that I heard from others, from the media, and from those around me. I had to dig in to the source and find the truth of the matter… what the Church actually teaches and why.
The big question was this:
Do I believe in Catholicism wholeheartedly enough to raise my little innocent child in the faith?
You are reading this article today because that answer is a resounding yes.
What This Site Is
Today marks the beginning of Pope Benedict XVI’s “Year of Faith”, where he calls all Catholics to participate in the New Evangelization by sharing their faith with others. I began this site so I can narrate for you the path that I took from skeptical, ignorant, semi-observance to a strong understanding and rich participation in the Catholic Faith. My hope is that by sharing my experiences that I can bring you closer to Christ. I can tell you this for certain: it beats the way I was living before by a long shot. I am striving for at least one article each week during the Year of Faith. I may fall short of that mark, or I may beat it by a mile. Stick around and find out.
What This Site Is Not
This site is not guaranteed to be accurate. I am not a trained theologian. I hold no fancy degrees in theology, religious education, or anything else that qualifies me to teach in this field. However, I do intend to enter into topics of Scripture, doctrine, and perspective on controversial topics. Whatever I say, I do try to fact-check to as much rigor as I can afford but understand that in some cases I may be wrong especially when I share my own interpretations. I apologize up front if this happens. I am merely a Catholic layman sharing my faith the to best of my ability.
Comments are open, but I ask that you read the Feedback page.
Welcome to This Catholic Man!
With that, I welcome you to the site. My prayer is that you find something here to help bring you to a closer relationship with Christ.
Congrats on the new website!
Those babies are powerful creatures! They have the power to induce joy, being seen as gifts from God. And, in more modern times, they have the power to induce disgust, being seen as “punishments” from nature. Looks like you’re still stuck in the quaint world of the former, not having been well-enough educated to grasp the enlightened profundity of the latter. Well done.
Finding out what the Church actually teaches is imperative, as Venerable Fulton Sheen said so well, “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
“I had to dig in to the source and find the truth of the matter…” This is exactly what the modern world is lacking. Every major problem in modern life can be seen as a resistance to, or rejection of, truth. Lacking intellectual honesty and spiritual integrity, modern ‘thinkers’ can no longer accept truth. And where a truth is recognized, it must be relativized so as to dilute and dismiss it. This sly trick is merely a convenient way of disarming the power that truth has in exposing sin. As Chesterton said, “truth is a magnet with the powers of attraction and repulsion.” The modern world is increasingly repulsed by truth because it is increasingly attracted to sin. But when truth does not repel, it attracts, and then something very interesting happens — we are drawn to the Church: “The moment men cease to pull against [the Catholic Church] they feel a tug towards it. The moment they cease to shout it down they begin to listen to it with pleasure. The moment they try to be fair to it they begin to be fond of it. But when that affection has passed a certain point it begins to take on the tragic and menacing grandeur of a great love affair… When he has entered the Church, he finds that the Church is much larger inside than it is outside.”
Truth has attracted you. That is grace. When Chesterton was asked by the B.B.C. what he thought about Catholicism, he answered, “I did certainly divulge the secret that I thought it was true; and that, therefore, even great cultures falling away from it, in any direction, had fallen into falsehood.” There is either truth or falsehood. No institution on earth has investigated truth with the vigor of the Catholic Church. The dry modern world offers us little in answering the ultimate questions of human existence. You have, as Chesterton said, “come out of the shallows and the dry places to the one deep well.” And you are finding, as he did, that “the Truth is at the bottom of it.”
Good luck with the blog and have fun!