6 Ways the Catholic Church is More Like a VHS Than a DVD

(photo: Image Credit: “Empoor”, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

I recently shared a meme on Facebook. The meme laughingly named the reasons that old VHS tapes of yesterday are better than DVDs of today. It was hilarious and though I said it had absolutely nothing to do with Catholicism, in the back of my head it did seem to ring of some hidden truth analogous to the truth found in the Catholic Church. Let me share the reasons the Church is a lot like the VHS tape, and not the DVD.


VHS: Haven’t used it in years? Will remember when you left off.
DVD: Haven’t used it in years? Will likely not work.

Imagine that you have been away from the Church in a while. Some of you might actually be away from the Church now! The scariest thing is going back, right? Don’t let yourself think this. Just like the VHS tape, the Church is waiting for you! There is no need to be re-baptized, and no need to go through RCIA again. If you come back, it’s likely because your heart has already re-converted to Christ, and the Church know that. Don’t ever be afraid to come back to the same place you left off to finish the adventure. Trust me, the VHS will work just fine… which leads to the second point.


VHS: Gets a scratch, won’t skip or stop playing.
DVD: Gets a scratch, will be completely useless.

If there is one certainly we have learned through Church history, it is that the Church is here to stay no matter what. We believe the words from Jesus to Peter that, “the gates of Hades will never prevail against [the Church].” Her endurance through the many trails of history is vivid proof that the scratches and worst of wounds will not defeat or destroy the Church. By today’s standards of technology, that’s a bona fide miracle!


VHS: Lets you take a nap if you fall asleep.
DVD: If you fall asleep, you’ll be startled by loud menus.

The Church is the hospital for sick souls, offering Jesus’ light burden to those who are weary. Whether unevangelized for a time or just weary from the trials of life and in unable to make it to all the events, the Church is always able to give you rest and peace, rather than stress and guilt like other things in life.


VHS: No subtitles, no matter where you buy.
DVD: Buying in a foreign country? Good luck getting a version you’ll understand!

Though I’ve been to many the places including the West Coast, East Coast, Midwest, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and the Orient, I’ve never had to worry about Mass being different even if it was in a different language. When at a Mass given by a Polish priest in Afghanistan I was still able to follow along, greet, and pray with my brothers and sisters with no issues. One faith, one Church, one Lord.


VHS: Will play in any VHS player, and the VHS player probably still works, too.
DVD: Standard? Blu-ray? UHD? Digital copy? Better have the right player!

The Church is accessible in the most universal of ways. No matter whether you receive the faith from your priest, your grandma, or a complete stranger, you can count on receiving an orthodox, historically consistent, Biblical faith!


VHS: Has previews, lets you fast forward if you want.
DVD: Has previews, forces you to watch each one entirely.

Our faith is unchanged for 2000 years. Yes, we have come to a better understanding of specific dogmas through the years, and with the minds of the various Doctors of the Church we’ve been able to explain these dogmas more clearly. However vast and complicated our faith might be, it can be embraced and quench the intellectual thirst of the most learned and demanding of minds, to the simplest of believers.

From the Kerygmatic profession on Philippians:

Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

To the much more specific and complex Athanasian Creed, the Catholic Church is for all levels of inquiry and faith.

So next time you look at that old, dusty, beat up, overplayed, abused VHS tape, remember you’re looking at the reliable, enduring, flexible, tested, and universal medium of a message. The Catholic Church is the same.