Welcome to my first foray into the world of "blogging." By way of introduction, it might help to explain the reasoning behind the title, “Seward’s Folly”. It has nothing to do with the mocking title applied to the Alaska Territory when then-Secretary of State William Seward recommended its purchase from Russia in 1867. (See also, “Seward’s Icebox”.)
“Seward’s” because Seward is my surname – my married name to be precise.
“Folly” is best explained by referring to a well-known passage in St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (Chapter 1) contrasting the wisdom of God and the wisdom of man, in which the words “folly,” “foolish” or “foolishness” is used six times, beginning with verse 18: “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. “
The context of the passage is Paul’s appeal to the Christians in Corinth for unity, as opposed to the “quarrelling” among them that has been reported to him. He goes on reminds them that his vocation is not to baptize but to preach the gospel, “not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of it’s wisdom.” (verse 17)
One of my purposes for creating this blog is to promote Christian unity – a desire near and dear to our Lord, too, since it was the subject of his prayer on the night before his Passion—“ that they [His followers] may all be one, even as we [He and the Father] are one.” (John 17:11)
How do we accomplish that kind of unity among believers in Christ? I have puzzled over that question for many years, and I have concluded that the Catholic Church represents the only real hope of Christian unity. Had you asked me that question three or four years ago I would not have been so sure of my answer, but I was certainly beginning to have my suspicions. It was somewhat of a surprise even to me when the pieces finally fell into place and I concluded that the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic church” I’ve been claiming to believe in all of these years, was, after all, the Catholic Church.
I am also persuaded that the visible church – the church as a living, breathing institution – is essential to the task of furthering the Gospel and proclaiming the kingdom of heaven. The only institution that fits that description, it seems to me, is the Catholic Church.
Certainly many of my fellow believers who have happened on this site are not similarly persuaded – at least, not yet. I understand; it took me nearly 50 years to reach this point. I only ask that you keep an open mind and keep comments – if any – civil. I welcome your input.
Those of you who have found your way as I did, by God’s grace, to this side of the Tiber River, are also welcome – with the same caveats about comments, of course.
A word about content: While I expect that Catholic matters will be the focus of most future postings, I do not intend to make them the exclusive focus. I am liable to comment about most anything that strikes me as interesting, noteworthy – or funny.
Finally, for what it’s worth I have posted below my “Apologia,” which began as a brief explanation to family and friends of my decision to enter the Catholic Church. It is not particularly brief, nor do I claim any “eloquent wisdom” contained therein. There are many other convert stories much more worthy of such a claim. I offer it in the hope of encouraging others who have made or are in the process of making the same journey – or who are just considering dipping your toe in the water, so to speak. All I can say is, come on in, the water’s fine!