Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thoughts on Catholic Catechism Chapter 2: Sharing Our Heritage

Don’t you just love listening to family stories told by your grandparents? They seem to have a unique insight into the actual events that took place, keeping them in perspective, handing down traditions through the ages.

Even though it’s not quite the same when your mom or aunt repeats the story, you know it’s still true. Oh sure, they may not have even been there, but you have no reason to doubt the realities of what took place, because they are a part of family history, well known and documented throughout the course of time.

So it is with the Catholic Church. Our story has been entrusted to each one of us, with dutiful respect given to those who have earned their place as leaders. The Magisterium, as a servant of Christ, authenticates how the Word of God is to be interpreted. It does not add or subtract from the revelations of the Holy Spirit, adhering solidly to the teachings of Christ.

The Magisterium teaches true dogmas of faith, connecting the entire community of believers, and unifying us as one body in Christ. There is a proper order for everything. Just as our grandparents are the heads of our families, so is the Magisterium, “bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome,” the head of the Catholic Church.

We cannot pick and choose our family heritage anymore than we can pick and choose to be Catholic, without accepting who we are, and living by what we stand for as one. Family traditions, whether handed down through bloodlines, or those who share our common beliefs, must be respected. If they are not, we sever ourselves from the very foundation we claim as our own.