Here is another extract from Brian Doyle’s Leaping: revelations and epiphanies. The whole piece is too long to quote, but here is the final paragraph.
So l am a Catholic for many reasons. Sometimes I think I might also be a Buddhist, because that faith is calm and wide, and sometimes I think perhaps I am also a pantheist, because I smell divinity in music, herons, drunkards, flowers. But Catholic is my language, Catholic is the coat I wear, Catholic is the house in which I live.
It is a house that needs cleaning, a house in which savagery and cowardice have thrived, where evil has a room with a view, where foolishness and greed have prominent places at the table. But it is also a house where hope lives, and hope is the greatest of mercies, the most enduring of gifts, the most nutritious of foods. Hope is what we drink from the odd story of the carpenter’s odd stepson. When we eat his body in the ludicrous miracle of the Mass, we hope in him, and with him, forever and ever, world without end, amen, amen, amen.
To which I add: Amen, amen, amen.