Tough Swimmers, And Smart Guys.

I read around of people who claim that they have become better Christians after their conversion. Good for them. But let us enlarge the issue and pose the question: do Catholics, in general, behave better than other Christians?

No, is the short answer. They most certainly don't. I wouldn't bet my pint, but I would say the contrary is the case.

My take is that, historically – say: before the XX Century – your average Puritan, Calvinist, or Presbyterian led a noticeably more (rigidly) Christian life than your average Catholics. Whilst I wasn't there, I seem to understand this from history, from reading novels, and from observing the unavoidable consequence of rigid Protestantism, coherently lived.

The young John Henry Newman was shocked, when he visited Rome as a young rising star in the fake Anglican mini-firmament, of the immorality he found there. If you think the Victorians were rigid, just imagine how England under the rule of Cromwell must have been. If you think that Christian rigidity is a value in itself, Calvin's Basel must look to you like earthly paradise.

No, I do not think Catholics are better Christians. I think they are smarter ones.

A Catholic knows that he sits on the Barque of Peter. He is aware of his sinfulness, but he knows that to throw himself overboard means almost certain death in the perilous, tempestuous sea of concupiscence out there. He may be a bad swimmer, but he is on the barque. The barque will, if he does not stage a mutiny and does what is required, still save him from hell, imperfections and all.

The Calvinist, or the Puritan were, in my eyes, on average far better swimmers. Rigidly trained, and proficient in the sport. Tough guys, able to face the waves of concupiscence with an energy the average chap on the Barque could not even fathom.

But you see, this tough Calvinist guys weren't nearly as smart as their naughty Catholic counterparts.

They were there out in the cold sea,swimming like crazy, dealing with the cold, dangerous waves all their lives, stupidly relying on their own swimming ability to get to the shore. Fools! Who knows how many have perished, who snubbed or insulted the barque! Who knows how many of the others have reached the shore safely who were not only very bad swimmers, but even lousy crew members!

Catholics aren't the better Christians. They are the smarter ones. They do not refuse God's vessel, and therefore can hope of reaching the shore even knowing what lousy swimmers they are, and how fast they would drown if the barque weren't there to ferry them to the all-important destination: purgatory.

Forget all the “Joy of Being a Catholic” rhetoric. Forget all that emotional fluffy stuff.

We are Catholics because we know the sea out there is darn cold, and would swallow us whole. We know better than to try to get to the other shore alone. We are, if we are smart, positively terrified by it.

Pity those rigid Calvinists and Presbyterians, no matter how good swimmers they are. How many, how many of them will perish!

I for myself will stay on the barque.

I might be a lousy swimmer. But I prefer to be a smart guy.




Posted on November 3, 2015, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I would say that the Calvinist is much worse in the current era. A Calvinist (in your typical Evangelical Reformed or Presbyterian denomination) in good standing may masturbate, get a vasectomy after his wife gets tired of taking the pill, conceive with in vitro, remarry after divorce. I guess that may have been the case in the old days if one overlooks the slave trading and usury, but I doubt that. Calvinism tends to turn its adherents into cold bastards too, and that I am sure is the case in any age.

  2. (respectfully), and yet, graced by the sacraments, are we not more likely to be like Saints, more Christlike…schooled by Thomas a Kempis…and Truely Devoted to Mary?

  3. Well,speaking as a former Presby I can only say that I was so tired so swimming upstream and love gliding over the choppy waters on the barque of Peter. I wish someone would wake up our Lord though, who’s sleeping through the storm. It would seem old Pete’s steering wildly at the helm and taking us to a strange country and we’re veering towards some dangerous rocks! And I do believe he’s asking directions from all the swimmers for directions! Wake up! Wake up!

    • Like the image.
      Personally, I would say the Lord wants to see how the crew copes with the choppy waters..😉

    • Congratulations, by the way.
      Best decision of your life, bar none.
      Stay faithful to it no matter what the Evil Clown stages.

    • “asking directions from all the swimmers”, I laughed out loud, no doubt because it’s ‘funny because it’s true.’
      God bless you, and congratulations on your choice. Sorry that you joined the family at such time as dad is going through a bit of erm…. personal turmoil, but be assured your brothers and sisters are very glad to have you along for the ride.

  4. Amen and thank you! I agree. And bless you for your generosity in sharing your wonderful insights and writing gift. I pray for you as you put yourself ‘ out there’ which takes courage and patience ( and tough skin, I would think!)🤓

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