Michael Terheyden on 'Why I am Catholic: An Introduction'
I believe that truth is real because I see signs of it in the structure of the universe--in the patterns and relationships evident in physical matter and in the desires and moral struggles of the human person. These signs show me that there is something about the universe, and my experience of it, that is ordered, unified, good, beautiful, and objectively real. I believe this reality is truth. Thus, truth is rational and it is knowable and it relates to our experience.
This indicates that we can know much truth about ourselves. But the physical universe alone cannot provide an adequate explanation of the human person. Such explanations defy reason and our experience. Therefore, I believe the only possible rational explanation of the human person must be religious. However, despite the depth in other religions, only the Catholic Church offers me a rational explanation of the human person that is fully consistent with experience and resembles truth.
Peter saw the fullness of truth in the very words and person of Jesus; I see it in the teachings of the Catholic Church--the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. In these sublime teachings, I see truth reaching beyond space and time. It is reaching toward an infinite perfection of order, unity, goodness, and beauty. In its fullest and absolute sense, truth is the Triune God: our beginning, ultimate end, and happiness.
In his Apostolic Letter, Door of Faith, Pope Benedict XVI declared a Year of Faith. It will begin on October 11, 2012, the 50th anniversary of Vatican II. In preparation for the Year of Faith, I hope to write a series of articles which focus on some of the main ideas I grappled with on my journey, ideas that affect all of our lives even today. Let us pray that no matter how dark it becomes in the world or how turbulent the seas, in the end we can all say, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."
Michael Terheyden was born into a Catholic family, but that is not why he is a Catholic. He is a Catholic because he believes that truth is real, that it is beautiful and good, and that the fullness of truth is in the Catholic Church. However, he knows that God's grace operating throughout his life is the main reason he is a Catholic. He is greatly blessed to share his faith and his life with his beautiful wife, Dorothy. They have four grown children and three grandchildren.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Church, Christian, Faith, Catholic, Religion, Eastern, Secularism, Michael Terheyden
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