NO CRYING AT MY FUNERAL

NO CRYING AT MY FUNERAL

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ONCE A CATHOLIC, ALWAYS A CATHOLIC

Let me start by saying that I thought the title was original.  It is not. It was first written by a British novelist named Angus Wilson, born in 1913...Same year as my father, EFR Dion.  I decided that I would not change the title, but feel obliged to give credit where credit is due.
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 I was in a conversation this morning that went like this, practically word for word.  It was on the telephone and we were conducting business about other matters.  The telephone call was in response to an email that I had sent to the business man who was calling.  My email signature at the bottom is an invitation to a pilgrimage in the Holy Land.    
I will spare you the introductory comments and cut to the chase...
He: So your Catholic?
I:    Yes, I am.
He: I'm Christian. 
I:    OK
He: I was Catholic, Baptized and all.  My wife was too.  
      we're both Christian now.
I:    No, you're still Catholic.  You're Catholic forever.  All your life.
He: Really?
I:    Yes.  95% of Christians who speak to me say exactly
      what you just  said, "I was Catholic..."  
      meaning to say that you still are, otherwise you would 
      not make that comment.
He:  Really?
I:     Yes.  Really.  A Catholic is a Catholic forever.  
        (The silence was deafening.)
It was then time to return to business.  What remained unsaid was that the rest of the congregation seated in the pews around this person and his loving spouse is certainly in the range of 75 to 80% "ex" Catholics.  The reason why they are so assiduous in their church attendance is because they are still Catholic.  The true blue, 100% dyed-in-the-wool Bible only, Faith only Protestant (Yes, we are all Christian and they are Protestant) is out playing golf.  In fact there is at least a 60 to 70% probability that the preacher at the church frequented by this person is also an "ex" Catholic.
You see, dear reader, Jesus Christ doesn't let go.  His Father taught Him well.  He, God the Father, never lets go.  How many centuries has God kept His Israelite/Hebrew/Jewish people under His wing?  Frankly, brothers and sisters, at that rate, Jesus Christ is just beginning.  He has much more patience and forebearance than His people do.  Even those who escape from the Catholic Church cannot escape from the doctrinal spirituality of the Bride of Christ.  The CHURCH is a mother that never lets go.  Catholics always remember who their mother is...no matter where they wander off to.  
The person to whom I was speaking this morning is not close to me.  In fact I am still wondering whether to trust him or not.  We are working on a serious project, so I pray that all will go well.  Now that I have told him that no matter what he does, he and his spouse are Catholic forever, I wonder what he will do with that idea.

It is easy for me to say things like that to people.  I am a Catholic forever; I am baptized forever; I am confirmed forever; and I am ordained forever.  With all of those "forevers" going for me, don't you dare cry at my funeral.
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