14 January 2008

Too Catholic??

I was recently told that I was “too Catholic”. How ridiculously stupid! How can someone possibly be too Catholic? What this person was getting at was that I am too excited about Catholicism. I think that is ridiculous. The Catholic Faith is the most important and exciting thing in my life. After all, I have been waiting for four years to fully become Catholic. The truth, though, is that all Catholics should view their faith as the central and all-pervading aspect of their lives… and be excited about it!

Last night I read from my awesome book by Father Lasance, The Young Man’s Guide. The section I read from was entitled “Your Most Precious Treasure”. Father Lasance calls to our mind the parable of the pearl of great price. In the parable, a man sells all that he owns in order to possess this one pearl. What is this pearl of great price?

“The one pearl without price is the true faith and the state of grace. Guard this treasure carefully. Sacrifice everything to preserve your faith and the grace and love of God.”

So why is the Faith so valuable, that we should give up all that we have in exchange for it? Well, our faith is that of the Catholic Church. This Church is the one instituted by Christ, a gift to all of us. Our Lord gave us the gift of Himself, and after that He gave us His Church. (And after all, Christ gives us Himself to us daily in the Sacrifice of the Mass, which is only available through the Church!) So since Christ gave us this great gift, we must value it above all other things. Also, it is through the Church and its sacraments that we may receive eternal life and happiness in heaven. I’d say that’s pretty valuable!

Then how do we go about keeping this faith strong and close to our hearts? How do we stay in the state of grace? Father Lasance has a few suggestions. First, attend to religious instruction. Saint Paul says in his letter to the Romans “Faith comes by hearing.” How can we hold dearly our faith if we are ignorant of it?? Second, live up to the Faith which you profess. We have duties as Catholics: attend Mass at least weekly, receive the sacraments of Confession and Communion frequently, perform the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. As we do these things, the Faith will become more and more a part of us. Third, avoid sin. Since sin displeases God, it should displease us. Now we may go about this by using those sources of grace just mentioned. Finally, prayer is an excellent means of maintaining the Faith. A consistent and fervent prayer life is key. We should pray in the morning, evening, and throughout the day. By lifting up our hearts to God in prayer, we unite ourselves with Him more closely.

Now, an easy way of hitting all four birds with one stone, for lack of better words, is to frequent Holy Mass. I believe that attendance at daily Mass, if possible, is the best means of maintaining a deep love for God and our Faith. If we look at the four means listed by Father Lasance and then look at the Mass, we can see how the Mass provides all of this for us. We receive religious instruction in the form of the priest’s homily, we perform our religious duties, we receive the grace to avoid sin, and we take part in the most excellent of prayers! Let us then take advantage of the Mass- so great a gift (we can receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord and be united with Him!) It is the greatest gift of Christ and His Church.

“There is no greater wealth, no more valuable possession than the Catholic faith!”
– Saint Augustine


Blogger Failey said...

No, I don’t think you are too Catholic. The question I would ask you (and it’s a question each of us should ask ourselves over and over in our lives) is this: Are you Catholic enough? In other words, are you becoming the mercy and compassion of Jesus Christ for the world? Are you more and more aware of your own need for mercy and the fact that God’s power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12)? Are you humble, like the anawim, the poor of God (see Zephaniah 3:12 and the Beatitudes). And do you follow the command of Jesus not to judge others? These are signs that the Catholic doctrines that we profess have taken root in us and that we are truly Catholic.

February 07, 2008 6:41 PM  

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