"I am a Catholic Christian"
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.
Have you ever been asked “ Are you a Christian” ? How did you respond? It is a very simple question with what many will say is a simple “yes” or “no” response. Yet, I want to take that simple answer and challenge you to make it more complex. Of course we are christians, so yes, but what I am asking is to say more then that. I say “ Yes, I am Catholic”. I want to distinguish my self from just the “Grouping of Christian”. Being Catholic does set things apart just as being Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, etc. does.
Yes, I am a Christian, a Catholic Christian. I am proud of being a Catholic. That is why I say that answer to that question. It is part of who I am and who I want to be. Being Catholic effects decisions and actions in my life. It is a guiding force for me. So, why would I not want to be more specific in my response. If I was to just answer yes and nothing more then for me I am hiding something that is deep at the core of who I am.
I understand some people may say “ What is the big deal? We are all Christians aren’t we after all?” The big deal is this : Being Catholic stands for more then just believing in Jesus and the Bible. We stand for a Church that can trace its roots back to the early church, where Peter was the First Pope. We believe in the most holy Eucharist that Jesus gave to us at the Last Supper and has come down through the ages from Peter to Francis to our local Priests. We believe in the Blessed Mother Mary who is the mother of the church and is there for us to turn to as our most gracious advocate. We believe in the communion of the Saints and for intercessory prayer. We believe in confession and absolution of our sins. People have died for this Faith. People have been cast out for this Faith. People have had to stand alone for this Faith. People risked their lives to practice and continue the Faith. This Faith has stood against many adversaries who have wanted to bring down and condemn, not only the faith but those who practiced it. All of these things and more makes us Catholic.
By saying that simple yes to that question we are denying everything I just said. So, then why don’t more of us say we are Catholic? Sometimes it may be easier because we don’t want to answer those hard questions about scandals that happened in the church or afraid we may be asked to explain why we believe what we believe? I understand that it is not easy in todays world to answer these question but to be honest, it never was easy. Well, to even be more honest, it is easier today because we have so much at our hands to learn and gain information from. We are able to “Google” anything and everything from just about anywhere we are. If is okay to say “ You know, I don’t know that or how to really explain it but let me get back to you and I will have an answer.” We are not a perfect Church by any means and we have made terrible mistakes but we can not allow those few who have made those terrible mistakes be the spokes people of the Catholic Church. We need to be the spokes people for the Catholic Church just as Religious. We need to showcase the good and Holy of the Catholic Faith. By not saying a word, we allow others to define our Catholic Faith.
The next time you are asked “ Are you a Christian” respond with “ Yes, I am, I am Catholic”. Do not be afraid or nervous about giving that reply. Just remember all those who stood for the Faith, Died for the Faith and all the beauty, beliefs, and traditions that stand behind you supporting you. “Let your “Yes” mean“Yes” and “No” mean “No”. (Matthew 5:37).
Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may you be the spokes person for the Faith.