To be Catholic means to be whole, one with community, rich in spiritual tradition. Catholicism is a lens or filter which provides a meaningful pattern to our experiences which otherwise would be lacking in life and interest. It is comprised up of faith, theologies, and many different doctrines; even ethical and spiritual orientations and behaviors. At the same time though, it is a community, a group of many strong willed people, with a particular history. The word “Catholic” is derived from the Greek adjective katholikos, which means “universal” and also derives from the adverb form kath’ holou meaning “on the whole”.
Catholicism offers all humanity the “lens” of Jesus’ life. It also gives us faith and lets us believe in our beliefs, whether they are spiritual, emotional, or physical. The faith we get from Catholicism is the “ultimate concern” we have in life. It is the confident assurance concerning what we hope for and conviction about things we cannot see. In my opinion, the faith we have in something is the belief we have in it times the hope we have for it to come true. To be a true Catholic, we must be able to communicate with God.
We must open up our souls to the almighty Lord and let him communicate with us through others and the environment around us. To be catholic, before all else, is to be human. Catholicism is an affirmation, a true understanding and expression human existence and before it was a corporate conviction of the pope or the seven sacraments or the 10 commandments or even about Jesus and revelation and redemption. With that said, spiritual communication must be accomplished in order to be in a covenant with God.
Once God allows you to be in a covenant with him, you may choose to follow a path on earth that will lead you to everlasting good revelation. “Being a Catholic means sensing God’s presence and power in a sacramental way. We gradually come to understand that there is more to life than just what meets the eye or enters the ear. We then come to realize that God is present to us and touches us, for example, through the beauty of a sunset or a snowfall, the care and concern of our mother, the delight of being in love and our desire to give of ourselves to other people.
Catholics see sacraments as “close-ups” or clearly focused instances of God’s presence and love. Liturgical celebrations use many signs and symbols such as bread and wine, oil and water, vestments and candles, crucifixes and statues. We make many symbolic actions, such as touching and blessing, bowing and genuflecting, incensing and anointing. Through such symbols, Catholics recognize the presence and power of God. Through participation in the seven sacraments, Catholics are enabled to develop a deeper sacramental sense that reaches beyond even these specific signs.
For just as in the bread and wine we believe that Jesus Christ is truly present, so other ordinary elements of life become transformed and communicate the power and presence of God. ” God’s love for each of us, for instance, is a personal, individual love. Marriage can be a demonstration of that kind of love, but God’s grace is essential to the strength, endurance and faithfulness of a marriage. So Catholics, recognizing the link and hoping for a glimpse of God in their own marriages, celebrate marriage as one of seven special celebrations of God’s activity in our lives. Very important concepts Catholics pay attention to are both Scripture and tradition. The Scriptures, however, don’t touch on every topic that might trouble your conscience. For instance, nuclear war, corporations and their ethical decision-making, racism and sexism are not so specifically mentioned as to leave no questions. Yet Jesus promised not to abandon us. He told us that he would send his Spirit, who would make clear the things that he had taught us, the truth that he wanted us to know. That continuing presence of the Holy Spirit is expressed in the lives and teachings of the saints, not just the official ones like St.
Anthony, but our friends, grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents and teachers who love the Lord. In a more official way, the Holy Spirit speaks through the teaching of the bishops who, drawing upon their own experience and the experience of other members of the Church, address the moral and religious dimensions of important issues such as just use of wealth, the morality of nuclear war, racism and sexism. As Catholics, we give full attention to what the Scriptures reveal to us, and to the “application” of these Scriptural truths and values to problems and challenges in our world. These “applications” are known as tradition. We follow traditions to keep our newer generations in contact with the Lord, and not only the Lord, but to ourselves, our past, present, and future. IF we keep the tradition alive, then our spiritual concepts and teachings can never die out. A tradition is meant to live on, through us and our actions. The tradition must be passed down or handed down to others, just as the Greek meaning of the word tradition explains. The following of a tradition will help us to develop faith is something we cherish so dearly, such as our religious values. Following tradition will help to believe in our faith more and more and never let us give up on it.
This is what will help those in their journeys to be a true Catholic, and then look forward to an eternity with God. Catholicism is quite a broad topic to talk about. There is so much to witness, and so must to debate on. There are many things that can make one a “catholic”; its matters really on how you see it. I myself have many questions to ask a true Catholic, mainly because I am Muslim, would like to know what may or may not be different between our two religions. I can say this for sure though, what it means to be Catholic isn’t so different to what it means to be a Muslim.