Monday, January 7, 2013

Faith Identification

by M. J. Joachim
I thought a lot about being catholic over the holidays, considering what it means in general terms, as a community and individually.

People tend to name things. More people come along, identify with the name (and philosophy of the group), and there you have it, a general term describing a community of followers.

Being catholic should be so much more than that though. It is described as a universal message and shouldn’t be used an excuse to scorn others; it is documented as a faith dedicated to following the truest teaching of Christ, without prejudice.

This is the part of being catholic I feel compelled to identify with most…the part that requires me to be humble in my humanity.

I read in a catholic pamphlet recently, that if you’re not defending life as a catholic, you’re not practicing your catholic faith as well as you should. The little booklet was written by a bishop; he stated plainly that those who turn a blind eye to defending life, risk facing grave consequences throughout their lives, as well as when they die.

I don’t know if what he said is true or not, but I do know life deserves a chance. I’ve always been pro-life. I mean, is there any other way to be? Who would we choose to eliminate based on our say-so, just because we can say so, and (God forbid), have the power to enforce what we say?

To that end, will God judge me on how many rules I followed in the Catholic Church, or will He look at my heart and see that, even though I broke a few rules, I wasn’t trying to undermine His Church? How many times as a mom, when I was frustrated beyond belief, did I embrace my child and have mercy, instead of grounding him or her for the rest of their life?!

God isn’t the big bad boogey man, and the Catholic Church isn’t a game we play throughout our lives! Being Catholic is about being human. It’s about believing in a faith that knows people are sinners, and turns to a merciful savior – not because we deserve to be saved, but because we are loved enough to be embraced by Him. After all, we were loved into existence, and no matter how bad we might think we’ve blown it in this life, we will continue to be loved throughout eternity, if we have the courage to believe in what it truly means to be catholic.

That’s all for now, kind followers. Until next time, I wish you well J
M. J.

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Photo Credit:  Wikimedia Commons, GNU Free Documentation License