One popular notion about Catholicism is that it involves a lot of not doing. Of denying impulses. Of not giving in.
For no clear reason. And with no joy.
A lot of fallen away Catholics see it that way. Even some practicing Catholics see it that way.
But it’s simply not true.
Make no mistake, Catholicism has its rules, its ways of doing things.
Those may represent some of the more visible parts of the Catholic Church. But none of those things are an end unto themselves.
Like the practical wisdom found in the book of Proverbs, the rules and ways of doing things in the Catholic Church are nothing short of practical.
Because they serve the very practical purpose of providing a certain order.
About that order. It’s not order for its own sake. Or, as some would misrepresent it, a stifling order that crushes creativity.
Rather, as we see lived out in the wildly different and endlessly inventive lives of the great saints, it is a divine order. An order whose chief aim is nothing less than driving back the grey monotony of a life focused on itself, of a life without God.
To create a space in each one of us for good things to run wild, for God.
To foster our first and best urges. So that when that impulse to help others strikes, we will be ready to give in.