This last of my Six Proofs of the Catholic Church is the most succinct and shortest of them all. Simply put, the Catholic Church works; it was created by God to facilitate that unique union between God and man, and that is precisely what it has done since the resurrection of Christ the Lord.
Anyone can offer any self-justified reason for not becoming a Catholic, but following the other Five Proofs, here is yet another to tell you why that is irrational, unscriptural, and spiritual dangerous.
God Has Proven that He Makes Faithful Catholics Saints in Heaven:
The intent of my words here are not to sound utilitarian, but if I were to make a spiritual practical statement it would be that ‘Catholicism never fails, inasmuch as we can fail it.’ For, nearly two thousand years the Holy Catholic Church has produced holy men and women who we know for certain are in Heaven right now. Yes, we know that our saints are in Heaven because God has proven through their intercessory prayers that He is still using them to bring about His glory.
This is not to say that non-Catholics who are dead have went to Hell. On the contrary, the Catholic Church has made no emphatic statement concerning who is in Hell or who is in Purgatory. Yet, the Church has made thousands of emphatic statements concerned who God has proven to us is in Heaven with Him. We call those persons our canonized saints.
Not to compare the spiritual life to shopping, but if I were to make a practical contrast here, I would convince you that everyone prefers to buy an automobile that they believe will get them to and from their destination as safely as possible. Therefore, if the goal of the Christian is to get to Heaven, then the only thing universally proven to get us there is the Catholic Church. It is true, we have no universal proof that any Protestants have ever made it Heaven; nor do we have any universal proof that any unfaithful Catholic has ever made it to Heaven.
God has Proved that He Protects His Catholic Church:
Indeed, the risks are just too high to take a chance on something to be unproven, and neither is it worth the risk. There is grave danger outside of the Catholic Church, inasmuch as their are wolves and weeds within. Yet, it is this Church that God has protected for two millennia against every barbarian, monarchy, heresy, and alternative teaching. If the Catholic Church belong solely to man, it would have divided into thousands of denominations like the Protestant church has; it would reject the God who became man as Judaism and Islam have; and it would fail to be a true universally global source of unity as all other religions have failed to be.
It’s not Worth the Risk to Reject the Catholic Church:
The stakes are too risky to reject the Catholic Church and what she teaches, when God has proven time and time again that He is with Her. It is not worth the risk to wrestle with God when He has proven time and time again that He always wins in the end.
In Catholic philosopher Blaise Pascal’s (June 19, 1623 – August 19, 1662) in his Pensees posited that a person should wager as though God exists, because living life accordingly has everything to gain, and nothing to lose. He writes:
- “If there is a god, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having neither parts nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are then incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is….
…”God is, or He is not.” But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being played at the extremity of this infinite distance where heads or tails will turn up. What will you wager? According to reason, you can do neither the one thing nor the other; according to reason, you can defend neither of the propositions.
Do not, then, reprove for error those who have made a choice; for you know nothing about it. “No, but I blame them for having made, not this choice, but a choice; for again both he who chooses heads and he who chooses tails are equally at fault, they are both in the wrong. The true course is not to wager at all.”
Yes; but you must wager. It is not optional. You are embarked. Which will you choose then? Let us see. Since you must choose, let us see which interests you least. You have two things to lose, the true and the good; and two things to stake, your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to shun, error and misery. Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather than the other, since you must of necessity choose. This is one point settled. But your happiness? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.
“That is very fine. Yes, I must wager; but I may perhaps wager too much.” Let us see. Since there is an equal risk of gain and of loss, if you had only to gain two lives, instead of one, you might still wager. But if there were three lives to gain, you would have to play (since you are under the necessity of playing), and you would be imprudent, when you are forced to play, not to chance your life to gain three at a game where there is an equal risk of loss and gain. But there is an eternity of life and happiness. And this being so, if there were an infinity of chances, of which one only would be for you, you would still be right in wagering one to win two, and you would act stupidly, being obliged to play, by refusing to stake one life against three at a game in which out of an infinity of chances there is one for you, if there were an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain. But there is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite.”
I paraphrase Blaise’s wager to offer the following terms:
- The Catholic Church is all She claims to be, or She is not
- A Game is being played… where head or tails will turn up.
- According to reason alone, you can defend neither of the propositions
- You must wager; it is not optional
- Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that the Catholic Church is all that She claims to be. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.
- Wager, then, without hesitation that the Catholic Church is. (…) There is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite. And so our proposition is of infinite force, when there is the finite to stake in a game where there are equal risks of gain and of loss, and the infinite to gain.
These are the results of your wager:
You Die and Discover that the Catholic Church Is
You Die and Discover that the Catholic Church is not
You win! You’ve lived your life as if the Catholic Church was true and it turned out to be the truth; so you won.
You Win! You’ve lived your life as if she Catholic Church was true, and it turned out not to be true, but you still accepted Christ, accepted the fullness of Christian living, lived a moral life, received the Sacraments regularly, and lost nothing.
You lose! You heard the true about the Catholic Church and rejected it; died and discovered you were wrong. Therefore, you squandered your opportunity on earth and are now in a very precarious situation after death.
You lose! You rejected the Catholic Church and, therefore, missed out on the fullest expression of the Christian faith (the fullest expression of human potential) while on earth, and may have made the lives of others worse by not following the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.
Again, It’s not Worth the Risk to Reject the Catholic Church:
Indeed, it is a losing proposition to wager against the Church that Jesus Christ started through His Apostles, which God has proven, over and over again, that He protects in spite of the humans that occupy Her pulpits and pews.
The Catholic Church is counter-cultural, She is the Bride of Christ, She is the universal instrument of union, She is the source of the fullness of Christian evangelization, She is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth, and She has always been that which Satan hates and will never prevail against – irregardless of how many false religions and divisions amongst Christians that he inspires.
As God’s gift of union and solidarity with man He has created He Church to be One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. Therefore, to settle for less than what God has given you as a gift is for you to settle for something less than God.
Peace be with You!
6 PART SERIES ON THE ‘PROOFS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’:
- Prima Sequitur
- A Visible Reality
- Time Travel, Guys Named Peter, and Folks who Wanna Be Starting Something
- The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is the New Covenant Seder/Passover Meal
- It all Stands or Falls on John 6
- It Has Been Proven to Work