Tuesday, August 30, 2011

5 Things You Need to Know About The Catholic Church

5 Things You Need to Know About The Catholic Church

1 - It isn't what you think it is. Catholicism isn't just a set of doctrines or a hierarchy of clergy. Catholicism isn't just a moral code or social teachings. It is much more than we could ever know. The Church isn't so easily definable, which is why we have so many different ways of describing it - the bride of Christ, the body of Christ, the people of God, etc. What we need to know is this - The Church's identity is wrapped up into the person of Christ and thus shares in the mystery of God. When we think we "know" the Church, we are fooling ourselves. This is why continued education about God's Church is so important.

2 - The Trinity really does matter. Many Catholics wouldn't care if the Pope declared that we don't need the Trinity anymore, because it makes no difference in most Catholics' daily lives. But, it really does matter. Why? Because if God is a communion of persons, a family, and we are made in God's image and likeness, then our families and relationships are called to reflect the same kind of relationship found in the Trinity - the gift of self to another - true love. This is where the paradox of the Gospel finds a foundation. To gain life, we must lose ourselves. To live is to die. To die is to live. All because of the Trinity.

3 - The Incarnation changes everything. An all-powerful, eternal, all-knowing, divine being decided to create the universe and then he becomes one of the creatures he created. This is mind-numbing. Furthermore, in humbling himself to take on our flesh, he raises up our nature to a greater dignity - one that now shares in his own nature. We share in God's nature. This is flabbergasting. The world is never the same and all of creation and time revolves around this one moment - when God becomes one of us. Our response should be to see God in all of his creation, but most importantly in all of humanity, including ourselves.

4 - The Church is beautiful. Because of the first three truths above, we can now see the beauty of the Church. Is the Church full of sinners? Certainly. But, we sinners are not the source of the Church's beauty, God is. We are called to reflect this beauty as best we can, but true beauty is found in the being of God, who is beauty itself. The Church reflects Christ beauty to the world. Through the Saints' lives, the Cathedrals and artwork, through the music and songs, and through the teachings of the Church. It is in these ways we see God's beauty rise up for a world that focuses all too often on what is ugly.

5 - The world needs the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has the answer for all the world's problems in the fullness of truth and the fullness of grace she offers to the world. The Church gives us a moral anchor, an answer to broken families, addiction, sin, war, violence, abuse, and all the other issues in our culture. More than ever the world needs the Catholic Church, if our society is to last. This answer is the personal relationship with Jesus that the Catholic Church offers to us all through the Sacramental grace, teachings of the Church, and in our own personal prayer we all need.

Jesus created one Church. We are that Church, the Catholic Church. If the world needs the Catholic Church, then the Church needs saints. We need to be holy if we are to change the world.

Time to do our part. Time to be holy. Time to change the world. This is what we all need to know - and do.


Lori said...

"Many Catholics wouldn't care if the Pope declared that we don't need the Trinity anymore, because it makes no difference in most Catholics' daily lives."

Just about every Catholic I know would really care if the Pope ever declared we don't need the Trinity, and I do believe it makes a HUGE difference in most Catholics' daily lives. The Trinity means everything. Christ's deity is of utmost importance, and the fact that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are one. I'm curious to find out why you say many Catholics wouldn't care if the Pope declared we don't need the Trinity anymore, and the second comment. =) Thank you!

Marcel said...

Most Catholics know nothing of the Trinity. The majority aren't formed enough in their faith for it to make a difference. This is a sad fact.

Gert said...


The Father knows the son and the perfect knowledge creates perfect love. The son knows the father completely and that knowledge creates perfect love. The perfect love emanating from both is the Holy Spirit. At least that's how Father Lanihan explained it to me. And marriage is a reflection of this trinity, albeit imperfect.

It is sad that so many of us have not been taught, this teaching gives so much meaning and beauty to life.

Most Catholics know about the Trinity, but it would be great if they knew more.

Brandon Vogt said...

*Fantastic* post, Marcel. One of your best!

(And that's really saying something.)

Katy said...

Wow, this was so beautifully said!

timh said...

Wow. Don't we all begin with the Sign of the Cross? What do they think that is? So sad.

joan said...

Along with all the good and Truth people need to know the History of the Church and the current times. They also need to know that there are wolves in the Church,and as Jesus said "Beware".

Shana said...

Great entry! I just shared it on facebook.