Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First Principle and Foundation

One of the questions I get a lot in words, and even more often in looks, goes something like this:
An outspoken, liberal young woman like you, Catholic?  Really?  What on Earth do you see in that?
There are a lot of reasons behind that sentiment.  Part of it is that most liberals are not religious in the U.S. these days, particularly not those under 40.  Part of it comes down to what people know about the Catholic Church, and its image in this country (for which the Church bears significant but not total responsibility).  People think of strict male-run hierarchy, of homophobia, of the obsession with abortion, of pedophilia.  None of which sounds very appetizing to your average American liberal.

But the on top of all of that formidable list, there's another issue: people don't have a clear picture of what the Catholic faith has to offer someone like me.  As to that, I have a lot of answers.  Too many to give an exhaustive list.  So I'll start with one of them.  It's called the 'first principle and foundation,' and it was formulated nearly 500 years ago by a Spanish priest, Iganatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits.