Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What is the POINT?

What is the point of Catholicism?

That is a question many of us ask ourselves at least once during our lives. People wonder why we need an organized religion. Can we not just have a personal relationship with God and call ourselves "saved"? Many people claim that they love Jesus, but hate religion such as the man in this viral video. One of the many Catholic responses can be viewed here.

Now let's dive into the original question. The point of Catholicism is the fellowship of one true Church in which we follow the true teachings of Christ. Without the help of the Magisterium (The teaching authority of the Catholic Church), we wouldn't be able to understand Sacred Scripture and other ancient texts. With the understanding of scripture and understanding, we, as Catholics, are provided with the basics of our teachings. 

We believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. When we say "One" we are saying that all Catholics are united in one set of teachings and one set of ways for worship. "Holy" is stating that as members of the Church we are called to be holy like Christ and to imitate His actions. The term "Catholic" means "universal". This is such a great way to explain the Catholic Church. We are universal, which means throughout the universe. We are united with all Catholics around the world and even those in Purgatory and Heaven. We believe in the same teachings and are united in our worship. "Apostolic" can be a tough word to comprehend the true meaning of.  Apostolic is referring to the tradition in which the Catholic Church has been handed down from Christ through His followers, the Apostles. The Apostles were the original Bishops of the Church; we believe that today's Bishops are the successors of the original Bishops. 

Without unity with other Catholics, one may find that it would be difficult to make it to Heaven alone. We rely on the prayers of others, intercessions of the Saints, and the intercession of  Mary, the Mother of God in order to earn Eternal Life with our Heavenly Father. That is the point of Catholicism; we need support in our spiritual journey here on earth and that support is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church to which we belong.