A People of Hope by John L. Allen, Jr. I started reading this book so I could learn more about the American Cardinal, Timothy Dolan, and get a deeper understanding of why I connect with him so completely as a leader of our church in America today.
On page xx of the Introduction, Allen completely encapsulates why I remain Catholic in a secular and increasingly antagonistic world. These are his words and I am making them mine.
"When I say 'faith', what I mean instead is that at some level, most Catholics really do believe that there's something supernatural about the Church, that it's where God calls them to be despite the well-documented failures to live up to its lofty ideals. As a result, most Catholics, most of the time, don't make decisions about the Church based primarily on ideological considerations -- i.e., that they happen to agree with the political priorities of the current leadership class -- or on the consumerist logic that the Catholic Church meets their perceived needs better than its competitors in the dynamic American religious marketplace. Instead, with eyes wide open, they still believe the Catholic Church is their spiritual home. Given that frame, they see the Church not as a debating society or a multinational enterprise, but a family -- with all the flaws and dysfunction, but also all the joy and life, of families everywhere."