Saturday, 26 May 2012

How being Catholic is like riding a motorbike, part 3

I wanted to be cool and ride a Harley. They sound great. They often look great. You can dress like a badass. You get respect from other (Harley) riders.

I'm riding a Triumph.

I wanted to be cool, and NOT be a Catholic. I wanted to be something esoteric, like a Buddhist with a Catholic past, or a Taoist, or even an Anglican so I could be married and be a priest.

But I'm Catholic.

Now I'm not equating Harley's to Anglicanism or Buddhism, however, I just don't like them, even though they look great. I don't like riding them. I don't like sitting on them at traffic light and having my kidneys shaken to jelly. I don't like the sound while I'm riding. I don't like the ergonomics. They just don't fit me. They are both too heavy and too cramped. I hate the foot forward position, and I dislike chrome. And I hate the feeling that I'm dragging my butt round corners.

My little bonnie makes me look like a bear riding a tricycle (I'm big), but it makes me feel fantastic. I love to take corners on this little bike - I can throw it and lean it like a sport bike. I love it's parallel twin sound. I love it's looks. I know I look a bit silly on it (being so big), but I don't care. Besides, the bonnie is part of my heritage - it's the bike I saw as a kid. And I love the way I can lean forward into corners, so I'm riding head first  - it feels like flying!

In the same way part of me wanted to have credibility with "educated" and "sophisticated" people: plaster saints, rosary beads and prayer books embarrassed me.  But I just couldn't let go of my past. I was born a Catholic and I'm proud to be a Catholic. I am proud of the way the Church does not sway to public opinion, despite it's own failings. I am proud of the way it does not move with the times, despite criticism of it's anachronisms and public humiliations. I am proud of the way it sticks to the truth like my bonnie sticks to the road while cornering.

I wanted to be cool, but I'm proud to be Catholic!

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