안녕하세요, family and friends. Today, we’ll talk about what it means to be a Catholic and why God is Love.
So, I’ve been asking my friends what comes to mind when they hear the word ‘Catholicism’. The most frequent answer was ‘just another religion‘.
The second most frequent answer was ‘believing or having faith in God’, as well as, ‘praying and attending mass.’
An answer to the question ‘What comes to your mind when you hear the word Catholicism’, that stood out to me the most though was this:
‘The negative things. Despite it being my own faith, I remember the times that it hindered scientific development or that it backed controversial actions like the crusades and colonisation. But then I remember the good things it caused as well. There is a God who loves us no matter what, and that he willingly died to save us from our sins though we didn’t deserve it.’
Perhaps it stood out most to me because it did not only look at the good side of Catholicism but also the bad. It showed us that humans, like you and me, are not perfect even though God is.
In my search for the perfect answer for the question ‘What does it mean to be a Catholic?’ I came across this website – US Conference of Catholic Bishops. From this I devised a list of things which can give us, maybe not the perfect answer but something relevant.
1. Knowing and understanding the Nicene Creed – it goes a little something like this…
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who
with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
2. Honouring the Word of God – there are different ways we can honour the Scriptures:
– Reading the Bible can help us understand the lessons in each story. By learning about the Bible we can incorporate its teachings in our daily lives. This is where God talks to us and it is beneficial to have one at hand.
HOLY BIBLE APP – Download link
LAUDATE on IOS – Download link
LAUDATE on Android – Download link
– Obeying the 10 Commandments, which was written in Stone Tablets during Moses’ time
– Obeying the two greatest commandments
– Following the Catholic Rites of Passage – 7 Sacraments
– Advocating the Word of the Lord. This may be hard for those who have to hide their true religion (those living in places that are strictly against Catholicism). However, if you’re not one of those people I don’t see any reason to not do this.
3. Prayers – it is the easiest way for us to converse our worries, requests and gratefulness to God.
It works, we are all proof of that. I believe, at one point in our lives we became someone’s answered prayer. We might just not know it.
And this is the confidence which we have toward God: that no matter what we shall request, in accord with his will, he hears us. And we know that he hears us, no matter what we request; so we know that we can obtain the things that we request of him.1 John 5:14-15 CPDV
4. Love others the way you love yourself, just as you hate the sin but not the sinner.
If there is one thing that the Scriptures tell us it is that God is love. God does all things because he loves us and all he wants for us is to love him and his creations.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that all who believe in him may not perish, but may have eternal life.John 3:16 CPDV
Most beloved, let us love one another. For love is God. And everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.1 John 4:7 CPDV
But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness, and in darkness he walks, and he does not know where he is going. For the darkness has blinded his eyes.1 John 2:11 CPDV
I hope you were also able to learn something new from this blog.
One last thing before you go, what do you think it means to be in the religion you follow? Let me know in the comments.