I wanted to entitle the post ‘Tomatina and Thomism’ for the alliteration, but I couldn’t really think of the link…Anyway, La Tomatina is a festival of tomatoes in Columbia which seems to consist of a huge tomato food fight. More pictures here.

There’s something very Catholic about a colossal food fight, but I’m not sure what. Maybe because I’m a convert and I think about these things too much, then again, maybe it is the thinking about it versus the doing it which makes it a Catholic-convert pondering point.

There’s probably three types of people at the Tomatina: the spectators, the people immersed in the fun and the spectators who wish they were immersed in the fun, but are thinking about it too much.

It’s the same with Catholicism: there are the non Catholic spectators who look on and analyze, there are those who wish they could convert, but still think about it too much and weigh the risks, then there are those who jump. They swim the Tiber. They give up their clergy salaries, their nice houses, their status, their friends and with wife and kids they risk it all.

They jump in and start throwing the tomatoes, and you know what? It does get messy. Maybe you get an elbow in the nose, get trampled underfoot, have tomato juice in your ear, down your pants, up your nose and you get a black eye and a trampled toe, but my goodness, but it’s fun.

Likewise the life of faith: It’s is the greatest adventure, and the longer I try to live it the more dull any other kind of life seems, and becoming Catholic was the greatest adventure of them all.

This week I’ve spoken to two staff members here at school: one who has just been to Italy for the first time and another who has just come back from France for the first time. Both were agog with the beauty and depth and antiquity of their Catholic faith.

I felt the same thing after saying Mass at seven this morning with six beautiful kids who got out of bed early on a summer morning to serve Mass. I said, “Boys, thank God every day for the beauty and grace of being a Catholic. Thank God every day for the Catholic faith that comes to us from the Apostles.”