Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What Does Being Catholic Mean?

In order to understand our Faith one has to study what Catholics believe and why. This is done by studying the Bible alongside the Catholic Catechism it is also crucial to read and believe Church Doctrine and all the Tenets of our Faith.

There are also matters that are considered Dogma. This means that all Catholics must hold true any specific Dogma declared by the Pontiff and the Magisterium.

There is also the understanding that as Catholics we cannot pick and choose what we wish to believe. This is where obedience must come in for we are to embrace, believe, and explain what the Catholic Church Teaches and not what we think it should teach. This is a crucial point in that many Catholics choose to speak a different gospel than what was given us by Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. St. Augustine put it quite succinctly, "If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself." In order for us to understand what we believe it is imperative for all Catholics to study the Word of God within the guidance of the Catholic Church.

To live one's life as a devout Catholic also means we must not embrace every new fad or novel experience for the sake of it. As Pope Benedict XVI has spoken with these words, "An Adult faith does not follow the waves of fashion and the latest novelties." Where one day what has been outlawed by man may become legal through due process, even though the man made law brings with it God's condemnation such as the case with Roe V Wade.

When society embraces the culture of death which is outside God's Holy Ordinances it is inherent upon the Catholic Church to rebuke and correct such a deceitful and sinful law. As devout Catholics it is also incumbent upon all Catholics to support the Church in its stance against the legalized death of unborn babies. Either by peaceful protests, or through the the ballet box.

If we attend Mass from a sense of duty or out of habit are we giving to God our love and reverence or only our physical presence minus the love? It is the Pharisee's who chained their people with the law. So it stands to reason that if in your own heart you attend Mass only for the above reasons, have you not fallen prey to lawfulness rather than sincere Worship of the Triune God?

We also cannot reject one aspect of the Churches Teachings because it does not align itself with the social issues of the day while accepting only what suits the particular individual.

As Catholics we were not created to accommodate the world or the worldly. We are here to speak the Truth as The Catholic Church specifies and not mistake our own 'ideas' as 'truth', for fear of being ashamed to proclaim it. When we become embarrassed by the Catholic Churches Teaching and too ashamed to proclaim it as it is, then whom do you serve, God or man?

A good Catholic is not one who embraces every new fad and every novel idea. A good Catholic is one who speaks the Truths of the Church with fierce courage irrespective of one's own safety and of one's popularity with others. To be a Catholic requires more than just saying the word, it means believing and then living what you hold Sacred which is ALL the Doctrines of the Catholic Church.