Some people become Catholic because the Church is a communion of sinners and slobs who are losers, oddballs, factory rejects, and broken dunderheads who can’t tell their butt from a hole in the ground and who have messed up their lives so badly that they know only God can save them. They don’t know from nothing about liturgical fussbudgetry, high theology, ecclesial politics, or all the obsessions that preoccupy us here in the hothouse of Catholic cyberspace.
What they know is that they have a problem with alcohol, that their second marriage is on the rocks, that the job was crummy till they lost it, that they don’t know what to do with Mom now that she’s got Alzheimers, that they wish they could break the porn habit but don’t know how, that they are lonely, confused, and afraid. When they encounter the love and mercy of Christ in the Church, they are grateful, and they see the Church as a place where sinners like them can get seven-times-seventy second chances as they stumble painfully toward the Heavenly Zion they will never deserve but that God, in His amazing mercy, has granted them in Christ crucified.
They instinctively seat themselves in the back at Mass, because they do not feel worthy to be there and they see themselves as being among their betters. The whole wonder of the Church as a gift stands before them, and they recognize that other Catholics are screw-ups like them and are ready to welcome them, or at least put up with them, when their screw-upishness is manifest. They may argue with these other Catholics when they think them wrong, but they wouldn’t dream of reading them out of the Church. They make a fundamental distinction between the unworthiness of an act or idea and the divine acceptance of the person who holds the idea or does the act. They desire, in a word, to regard the Church as Catholic, because they are grateful that God regards a loser like them as worthy to be part of the Church.
And then there are people who become Catholic on...
... other terms. Read the whole piece. It's seriously good.
This broken dunderhead who can't tell his butt from a hole in the ground really enjoyed it.