Do Catholics Know Their Faith?
I will most likely be chastised for writing this. It’s OK. If writing this article offers clarity to just one person, I have accomplished something positive; something for Jesus.
Change the Channel
This afternoon, I had a conversation with a young woman who I have always known to be a faithful Catholic. Today, however, this once faithful Catholic was confused and asking questions about why we believe what we believe. How did this happen? Without considering any “supernatural” influences, I could clearly see what was going on. This young lady spends much of her time watching television. She channel surfs from EWTN and other Catholic networks to Evangelical, Literalist Christian and what she believes to be prophetic networks. It is no wonder the poor woman is confused. Her brain is trying to make sense of mixed messages; messages from Traditionalist Catholics to anti-Catholics and everyone in between, and all this while she is believing that the world will be ending in a day or so. Solving this dilemma is an impossible mission and it is surely not an assignment for the mind. It best be given to the soul. She said that all she truly wants is to live her life the way God wants her to live it but she does not know what He wants of her. I told her to ask Him and be patient. I also suggested that she stop watching anti-Catholic television and spend more time with Scripture.
A Real Revolution
When I got home, I sat at my computer to check emails and an article from a French Catholic newspaper came up. It is titled, “Amazon Synod means the ‘end of Tridentine Church.” Tags read ~ Abortion, Amazonian Synod, Catholic, Female Deacons, French Bishops, Homosexuality, La Croix, Married Priests, Pope Francis, and Tridentine. As I read the article, I could feel my face becoming redder with each line. It began with this quote, “Isabelle de Gaulmyn presents what she considers to be the outcome of the Amazon Synod, calling it a “real revolution” that will close the door on Catholicism as it has existed for five centuries.”
The Church has existed as it is for five centuries for a reason. That reason is Jesus. It is His church and it is only through His church that we are given the Grace of coming face to face with Him in the Eucharist. It is only a priest who consecrates that host. It is only a priest who celebrates the Mass; the Mass that is heaven on earth. And it is only a priest who hears our Confession and absolves us from our sins.
In Persona Christi
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis: It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi). Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ.
I don’t think I am all that different from many Catholics when I say that I am saddened by hearing people claiming to be Catholic but refusing to follow the rules. I, personally, don’t think that pro-abortion, so-called Catholics should be given the Eucharist. I don’t care about a person’s political affiliation but I do care about a person shamelessly saying that he/she is Catholic and pro-abortion. You cannot be Catholic and pro-abortion. It is either one or the other.
I am saddened when I hear people say that the Church should go along with the times and make changes that agree with society as it is today. I am saddened by people refusing to admit that Alice Bailey created a ten point plan for a new world order and we are seeing that plan come to fruition.
I have tried over and over again to tell people about Alice Bailey’s plan. It is very easy to find and read this plan which begins with “Take God and prayer out of the education system” and concludes with “Get governments to make all these laws and get the Church to endorse these changes.” The bottom line is that we want to be Catholic but we want to make our own rules and we want the Church to abide by our rules and ignore the King who accepted the cruelest of sufferings to save us from what is happening in our world today.
Let me be clear. I am not, in any way, saying that I am above anyone who disagrees with my perspective. I am very much aware that I am a sinner. Scripture teaches us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and I fall short on a regular basis.
My question is why? Why are people so desperately trying (and sadly succeeding) to get this new world order carved in stone? We live in a “Me” society. We want more; more material things, more money, and more power and we try to disguise our wants by using the word, freedom. I believe that, in part, this unwillingness to detach comes from an ignorance of our faith.
Back to that Young Woman
The gal I wrote about in the beginning of this article had many questions. Most of these questions, or doubts, were ignited by her channel surfing. She asked me why we don’t read the Old Testament. “Why don’t Catholics know that Jesus fulfilled every prophecy?” she asked. The New Testament includes approximately 250 Old Testament direct quotes. I have read that if we include indirect or partial quotes, there are more than 1,000. And a study Bible will offer references to prophecies. When I told her that we are given an Old Testament Reading at every Sunday Mass, she seemed perplexed. I suggested that she read Scripture and warned her about trying to interpret it by herself but I fear that her having been influenced by Literalists may cause more confusion.
“Why aren’t Catholics born again?” was her next question. I am not a scholar but I do know that we are “born again” through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation and, I believe that each time our faith, through prayer, reaches a higher level, we are “born again”. “But the Bible doesn’t teach that,” she answered. By this point, I had a difficult time holding back my tears. I saw this beautiful young woman who had been active in her parish to the point of teaching catechism, now questioning all she believed because of worldly influences. I could not continue in this so I told her to pray and listen and if she prayed in quietude, God would give her the answers she was seeking, and I told her to buy a Catechism of the Catholic Church and work to grow in her devotion to Our Lady.
When I had my first meeting with a most amazing spiritual director, the first thing he asked me was, “What do you read?” “I read the saints, devotional books and books that offer information on my faith,” I answered. He said, “Stop reading them.” I was thoroughly confused. He then said, “Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church.” “From cover to cover?” I asked. “Yes. The problem is most people do not know their faith.” The thought of reading this gigantic book was overwhelming but I wanted to grow in faith and he was there to help me, so I went home and took out my Catechism. Much to my surprise, I found it to be a beautiful read.
As I look back on that day, I am so grateful to this priest and I came to realize just how right he was. Many Catholics do not know our faith. When a liberal Catholic is trying to change the world, I often think that his opinion would be different if he/she understood why Church teaching is what it is. Our so-called rules were not given because someone made them up and wrote them on a sheet of paper. They have reasons. There is a reason why abortion and euthanasia are considered intrinsic evils. There is a reason the Church does not accept same sex marriage and it is not because Catholics are homophobic. It is because marriage is a Sacrament which is intended for procreation.
I truly believe that if Catholics better understood our faith, there would be less prejudice, less anger, and self-righteousness in this world. If Catholics better understood their faith, the family structure would be stronger and Alice Bailey’s New World Order would not succeed. We can change this. We can make changes one at a time by explaining rather than criticizing. We have been given the Grace to know the little we know and that knowledge does not serve God when we keep it to ourselves. It serves God when we share it and, in that sharing, bring people to Him.
When I see the ways in which we behave and the anger our right-thinking causes, I understand why Our Lady is crying.
Feature Image ~ Jesus Returning the Keys to Saint Peter ~ Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres ~ 1820
One thought on “Do Catholics Know Their Faith?”
I read this article and was impressed by several things. Of note for me, was really an overall tone, which I did not like. I cannot, nor Should I, judge anyone. Ever. It is not my job to test, measure, inspect or whatever , using a measurement I declare, as “the standard” for everyone. I am not to judge how any other person practices their faith. My measurements are only for me. I (nor you or any other person) can judge. Look to scripture and your bible for where we are told not to judge.
The Lord almighty is judge.
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