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Exerpts from what appears to be a great homily at St. Mary Catholic Church in Montgomery, MD:

Recently, I was talking to a young man in his 20s who has left the church and believes that maybe he no longer even believes in God.

I asked him why he felt so abandoned or so disconnected with the mystery of God and he said that “if God really wanted any of us to believe, he would speak to us.”

I thought, to which God himself might reply — through faith that he shouts at us all the time — through the beauty of his creation that surrounds and sustains us. Grace and goodness is everywhere for those who are able to sense its presence and are generous in their search for it in what might seem strange places — a hug, a quiet morning, a cool breeze, a child’s laughter, a meal shared with loved ones.

A prominent American bishop has said that a major problem with American Catholicism is that so few Catholics seem to have a conversion experience. They have heard about Jesus or read about him, but they have never met Jesus. They know about him, but they don’t know him. For us as Catholics we find Jesus primarily in our tradition, in the way we pray and in the way we worship, and all this within our Catholic faith.

Some may ask, with all that seems so wrong with the church today, “Why within this tradition am I able to encounter most fully this Son of God, Jesus Christ?” And all this should provoke in each one of us a response to, “Why are we Catholic?”

In answering that for myself I can say, after much reflection and soul-searching, that I am Catholic because I was born a Catholic, raised a Catholic, educated a Catholic, and I like being a Catholic. I am Catholic because of our beautiful belief in Mary, the Mother of God. . .

Read this! Great stuff!

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