She always thought of herself as simply a Christian, who would get a ladder that could reach to the moon if she could, to tell everyone about Jesus Christ.
Rosalind, while still evangelical, heard a talk by John Rao on this topic. It really bugged her, but it made her contact him to challenge him. John and his wife ended up being part of Rosalind’s journey into the Church.
The Key Points
Protestantism, when it works upon civilization for a long period of time, degenerates that civilization.
The United States, more than any other nation, was built as a country, to a certain degree, by people who were making a fundamental decision to reject Catholicism.
This is caused by the doctrine of total depravity.
By rejecting creation as totally depraved, it made sacramental life untenable.
Furthermore, it influences society by killing it, by killing the created world in all its fullness.
In other words, it’s the belief that you have to kill the creation of God for the sake of God. Consequently, it removes God from the minds of men.
In its strictest form it destroys music, dance, art, architecture. Strips everything physical, leaving a barren, astringent existence.
A church with nothing more than plain walls, chairs, and a single, plain wooden cross.
This was a shocking encounter for Rosalind, particularly in contrast to the beautiful physicality of Judaism.
A consequence is the dressing down of our society, the dumbing down of language, the adornment of the body, the life of the mind, the beauty of the heart … in it’s final form it kills love itself.
So for example why study philosophy?
Isn’t it ironic that Jean Calvin, who was so thoughtful himself, spent so much time proving that thought was fallen, vain?
In any case, this actually attacks the dignity of the individual, reducing the significance of the whole person.
As Rosalind began to believe, or more to the point, wanted to believe that the Church was true, she began to watch Catholics. In fact, she went at 6 am one Sunday and waited across the street to see what Catholics do.
Total depravity also kills the motor of the body – the pattern of fasting and feasting. They must go together.
Total depravity doesn’t take into account of the psychic unity of the body. If the body is going to believe in immortality, it needs to be connected with those who have made it to heaven before.
Finally, total depravity kills the body as a whole by denying authority, particularly the authority of the Church.
This results in us creating God in our image, rather than as He is … along with every gift that He has ever given us.
The Catholic Church worships the whole Christ; not more than Christ, not other than Christ, but the whole Christ.
– St. Augustine of HIppo
How then shall we live?
The degree to which we love and serve God in this life will determine the degree that we love and serve God in the next.
The Catholic Church is like a waiter. The waiter doesn’t cook the meal, he has only one job – get the meal to the table without messing it up.
Rosalind finished by exhorting us all to live radically as Catholics, as we’re all called, as we’re all required to live.
She told a story about her trip to the conference. She sat next to a man who was sad to be away from his family. After talking for awhile she asked him about his faith. His reply was simple, “oh, it’s the same as yours”.
That took her breath away, as it was a strong witness to the power of living our lives unabashedly as Catholics. In her case, she recently became a sister, and consequently just began wearing a habit.
Sr. Rosalind then exhorted us all to begin living our faith for real, and then perhaps everyone will be able to say “our faith is the same as yours”.
Beautiful. Just beautiful.
Here’s more detail from Dr. John C. Rao himself.