Dogma Guarantees Adventure


“La conversión de San Pablo” by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682)

I used to be one of those people who claim that church is not for them – “too much dogma.”  Now I affirm that the exact opposite is true: the Catholic faith is rooted in the most exciting drama ever to stagger the imagination of man — and the dogma is the drama.

Have you seen the latest film, Son of God?  The first attempt made in 49 years to cover the full arc of Jesus’s life. It is real and it is moving.  The editing, expansive cinematography, acting, and musical score from Hans Zimmer – weaves a tale of a time when God submitted to the conditions He had laid down, became a man like the men He had made, and the men He had made broke Him and killed Him.  You can’t make stuff like this up!  If this is dull, then what, in Heaven’s name, is worthy to be called exciting?

Everything boils down to the primary question which dominated St. Paul’s life, “Who are You, Lord?”  It was the answer to this question that sustained him in his last hours.

“…nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know Whom I have believed…” II Tim. 1:12

I doubt you could convince Paul that theology was dry, dull or impractical.  Easier to convince an adolescent male that sports are boring or a young maiden that she will yawn at her wedding. 

The God Who spoke the universe into existence, Who always was and always will be; and the fact that you and I even exist – have you wrapped your mind around about THAT lately!  Perhaps it is time for a paradigm shift.  Theology, properly pursued, is the greatest adventure entrusted to man.  Is there an earthly drama that can compare to it?


About Pamela Mandeville

Pam is the Administrative Assistant at Pilgrim Center of Hope. She moved from Houston with the specific intention of becoming Catholic and getting involved in the Catholic community of San Antonio. Pam says, "Serving in this ministry of evangelization is a dream come true." The Pilgrim Log is the blog of the Pilgrim Center of Hope, a Catholic evangelization ministry, providing weekly spiritual reflections to help you journey toward a deeper relationship with Christ. Learn more about the Pilgrim Center of Hope by visiting

One response »

  1. Pam, this is great! I especially liked this part: “Now I affirm that the exact opposite is true: the Catholic faith is rooted in the most exciting drama ever to stagger the imagination of man — and the dogma is the drama.”

    It reminds me of this famous musing from Flannery O’Connor’s ‘The Habit of Being’:

    “I have heard it said that belief in Christian dogma is a hindrance to the writer, but I myself have found nothing further from the truth. Actually, it frees the storyteller to observe. It is not a set of rules which fixes what he sees in the world. It affects his writing primarily by guaranteeing his respect for mystery.”

    Elsewhere, she writes, “Dogma is the guardian of mystery. The doctrines are spiritually significant in ways that we cannot fathom.”

    You’ve definitely tapped into the stream of life that faith gives the imagination. Thanks for this!

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