Juicy Catholicism

8 Oct
Jucy Lucy
  I don’t go to Matt’s for a juicy lucy often enough. When I do get there, I like to relax at the bar, order a Grain Belt and wait for my burger. I like to tell the waitress it’s my first visit so that I can hear her warning about the molten cheese. And every time, I bite too soon and burn my tongue, grabbing napkins as cheese burns my hands and oozes into my beard. I cannot help myself…I don’t want to wait. And besides, isn’t that the point of a juicy? The joyful and painful surprise that the cheese is inside the burger.
  It is the cheese that makes the juicy what it is. Sure, the meat and bun are essential, but without molten cheese you’re left with something you could get anywhere else. In an odd way, this burning center reminds me of how often we forget about Jesus. We get bored with the externals with which we are so well acquainted, so much that we don’t bother to discover the burning truth hidden within the familiarity of Christianity.
  I have a lot of friends who are former Catholics and they have many good reasons for this.  Take your pick: the Inquisition, the sexual abuse of children, boring masses, judgmental Catholics, etc. It really adds up to a lot of negatives and I struggle with them also. But I am also reminded of all the good things about the Church: charity, art, ethnic diversity, the Church’s teaching about social and environmental justice, coffee and donuts after mass, etc.
  Sometimes we need to be reminded that these externals of Christianity are significant, but they are not essential. A burger is just a burger…sometimes excellent, sometimes less-than. But with burning cheese on the inside, a burger can become the culinary pride of the Twin Cities. What is the burning cheese of Christianity, you ask? What is this burning truth that makes Christianity what it is? Simply put it is that: we nailed the one person who could save us to a tree and yet He saved us anyway; the truth that a God with nails in his hands is offering us perfect joy; the strange reality that we form His body when we consume His body.
  I am not saying you should ignore the other good or bad parts of Catholicism; I am just recommending that you notice Jesus. He is burning for us; maybe it is time for us to start burning for Him. The cheese makes the juicy, and Jesus makes the Church. Don’t get distracted or discouraged by negativity. Just dig in, and be prepared to feel His fire.
-Terence Sweeney
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One Response to “Juicy Catholicism”

  1. Alyssa Jean November 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    I’ve never seen molten cheese and the Inquisition tagged in the same article. I like it. Well done. thanks.

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