Welcome. My name is Patty. I wish you peace and all good as you enter this page. I want to tell you why I choose to be Catholic. If you have seen the web pages I have lately you will wonder how I would even dare to mention wanting to be Catholic. I think much of this is misunderstanding many people grew up with and have never known anything else. I have heard everything from the church being the whore of babylon, the Pope being the antichrist, to the United States being in the image of the beast (ROME)...to lesser accusations such as the Mass was/is an idolatrous practice & I worship Mary and pray to statues. For one thing: the title Roman Catholic is probably most commonly used to describe my Catholic faith but it's not exactly accurate.
I am CATHOLIC but I happen to practice the Roman or Western Rite. There is the Eastern rite catholic church also. For example: the Byzantine Rite would be an Eastern rite. We share the same sacraments, eucharist, Mass and Pope..except that we call the Pope the bishop of Rome and some Eastern rite churches call him the Patriach of Rome. Same thing. So ROMAN CATHOLIC is,in a sense, a bit inaccurate for what it is usually used for--CATHOLIC would be more accurate.+SEE PAGE 4+ LISTED IN LINKS!IMPORTANT. The apostles did not stay in one area afterall.
So why have I chosen to be Catholic?
1. Despite all claims that the church is unbiblical; all denominations have been founded by a man at some point in history. Wether it's Jehovah Witness, Mormon, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist etc. Don't misconstrue this as an attack on any of the above! I am not going to attack any church. I am only here to defend my own. If you look up the history it goes back to individual and usually someone in disagreement of someone re interpretation of the bible...or someone just simply in disagree- ment with his own denomination. The Catholic Church begins with the words of Christ, "thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" and there is nowhere to trace the origins of the Catholic faith back to anyone BUT Jesus..nothing is more biblical than that.
2. The Catholic faith is the only faith where I can receive the Eucharist and know that it is NOT a symbol. Jesus attached too much signifigance to his own words for this to be merely symbolic.
3. Martin Luther had some legitimage greivances but he chose to throw out the baby with the bath water. At the same time others in the church gave much to the Church and actually brought about reform..these people were examplary.. St. Francis comes to mind.
4. The Catholic Church says that Jesus founded a church not a book. The ancient Isrealites beleived in God before they had a bible..in fact they did not even have the BIBLE. Had God wanted us to just have a book he could have given [someone] everything written out and called it the BIBLE. Sacred Scriptures came out of a life of faith as God revealed himself through man.
5. There were and will be many holy women. Mary was human and not divine but no other human has ever been given the privilege to bring into the world the Reedemer but Mary. She is privileged not by the Church..it is a privilege given to her by God recognized by the Catholic Church. Whatever Mary is, is not because the Church decided it..but because God decided it. We do not and CANNOT as Catholics worship her..it is forbidden. Yet, as the Mother of God we give her the devotion we know that Jesus wants her to have and that God deigned to be given to her. Let's suppose that as you are reading this Jesus and Mary were to come into the room? How would you treat Mary in His presence? Would you hurl insults at her? Would you make fun of her?
6. Life in the Catholic faith is spirit filled. Jesus' church did not end when the bible ended. It began in salvation history and continues to unfold until Jesus returns. It is a living faith that has Jesus' promise that the gates of hell will not overcome it.Sacred Scripture is A revelation of God and Jesus,son of God--but the Holy Spirit continues to reveal both the Father and Son to man.Jesus said he would not leave his followers orphans to fend for themselves. He would send the Holy Spirit to guide the Church.
7." Catholics do not read the Bible": at every Mass I hear a reading from the OT, pray a psalm, a reading from the NT, an epistle and the gospel as the climax of all readings at every service.
8. If every church building crumbled, if Catholics were persecuted and hounded, if we were forbidden to worship in public..it would make no difference. In past history from the catacombs to communism we have always received the Eucharist.
9. if the Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon and the United States is the image of the beast as I've often heard then it is a contradiction. The Catholic Church and the United States are at odds on far too many issues to make the United States even remotely an image of the Catholic Church. ABORTION. CONTRACEPTION. DIVORCE. PORNOGRAPHY. SOCIAL INJUSTICE. MATERIALISM. ENVOIRMENT. DEATH PENALTY.
10. we pay homage to the Pope: I've read this often and the word homage is close in connotation to worship. I do NOT worship the Pope anymore than I do Mary. STRICTLY FORBIDDEN. On the other hand I cannot beleive that Jesus would appoint Peter as leader of HIS Church & not permit this leader to have the authority to guide His Church. Afterall we are not talking about any church. We are talking about the Church that Christ called HIS.
For those who want personal reasons I choose to be Catholic feel free to write me. Even disagree. I will try to answer all mail--even hate mail. If you need an answer I will try to give you one-if I can't do justice to an answer I will try to point you to material that will. There is a wealth of information out there. I would like to keep it somewhat confined..I don't want to attack your Church. I can only represent my own and it will be restricted to that.
Here's SOME church history to start with... a short list of popes with dates (complete list is in my links). 1. St. Peter (52-67) 2. St Linus (67-76) 3. St. Anacletus(Cletus 76-88) 4. Clement I (88-97)...to present day. +++ PAX ET BONUM ET GAUDIUM +++ I hope that you have a spirit filled faith in whatever denomination you choose. I hope that you have a life filled with the peace of Christ and not a denomination or cult that builds itself on fear and paranoia. I hope that you have a faith filled with love because that is the one gift of the Spirit that Scripture says will be there in the end..not a faith built on hatred. All these things can hold a church together strongly for awhile, but the peace that comes from the Church Christ founded will prepare the bridegroom for the bride.
PART II WHAT I DO BELEIVE AS A CATHOLIC: What I don't beleive is that the Pope IS Christ, that Mary is divine..nor do I beleive in the worship of statues or a wafer. The comparison of the Catholic faith to paganism is ludicrous--someone compared the Mother/Son relationship of Mary to Jesus to a pagan diety of mother/son. For that matter one could compare the worship of God to a pagan diety then. The difference here is that this is the one true God and Mary is the Mother of God. The other comparison is of the Eucharist as being close to sun worship because the host is round like the sun. Someone mentioned to me the fact that a nun and preist were murdered by poison being placed in the Eucharist. Proof that the Eucharist was not Christ is that these people died. True they died. If someone put poison in the host at our church we would die too. If someone came in the church with a gun and opened fire chances are some would die. If I got on a plane the same day I received Eucharist and the plane crashed there is a chance I would die the same as anyone else. Jesus promised eternal life ..unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you will not have eternal life. Eucharist is a spiritual presence..my physical body has nothing to do with it. How do I know the Eucharist is Christ? Faith. How do I know God exsists? How did the virgin Mary ( a human)conceive by the Holy Spirit and give birth to the divine and human? How was Jesus divine and human? I don't know and neither do you..these are mysteries yet we beleive them. He also asked me what happens to Christ when I go to the bathroom. God is everywhere, including the Eucharist. He is present in the Eucharist but not limited. By the power of the Holy Spirit Mary conceived Jesus..by the power of the Holy Spirit the preist changes the physical aspect into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. My going to the bathroom or dying has nothing to do with this. My physical body does not change. The Mass is not an idolatrous practice...the word of God is there for me. The Eucharist==presence of Christ is there for me. I may not worship anyone BUT God.
What do I beleive as Catholic? this can be summed up in the apostles' creed also known as the Nicene Creed. (SEE PAGE 13-CATHOLIC PRAYERS AND DEVOTIONS) I beleive Christ instituted 7 Sacraments(signs): 1. Baptism. the apostles baptized whole households. I have never found any scriptural basis for the exclusion of infant nor does there seem to be evidence of exclusion in church history. We are baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (MATT. 28:18-19). 2. Confirmation. (ACTS 8:14-17) 3. Holy Eucharist. I will comment further on this because the Catholic faith is the only faith that accepts Eucharist as the actual presence of Jesus--not symbollic. 4. Penance. also called confession or sacrament of reconciliation. (JOHN 20:22.23) 5. Anointing of the Sick (JAMES 5:14) 6. Holy Orders. (ACTS 14:23) 7. Marriage. Marriage as an institution exsisted before the time of Christ. But Christ brought the state of marriage to a sacrament. (1 COR. 7:10,11) demanding more of the state of marriage than just a legality or relationship. He demanded that it be looked upon as God had intended it.
TRADITION VS tradition: St. Paul tell his community: hold fast to the traditions he has given them. What Christ warns against is HUMAN tradition. He says nothing of the Divine. Speaking of tradition: Mary and Joseph presented Jesus in the Temple, made an offering, had Jesus circumcised according to Jewish tradition. Save nothing of the fact that Jesus made the trip to Temple with his apostles, celebrated all feasts--in fact the Last Supper was the Passover Feast. He attended synagouge and read from the Torah there. In fact when Joseph of Arimetha requested the body of Jesus..Jesus body was buried in the traditions of Judaism. Jesus had nothing against traditions..what He spoke against was hypocrisy, and missing the heart of the law but not the letter of the law. Jesus was against the traditions of men..but He was not against tradition that gave glory to his Father. As a Catholic I do not have to beleive in saying the Rosary nor the Stations of the Cross, nor the Divine Mercy devotion. I choose to say the rosary because it is a beautiful prayer reflecting on the mysteries in Jesus life. I choose to say the stations because they were a practice brought back from the Crusades. The men who went into the Crusades walked the footsteps of Jesus on the way to Calvary. When they returned home they wanted to remember this..so the stations began. Later, the stations were moved inside the churches and eventually became the stations one sees in a Catholic Church on the sides of the building where to this day the preist walks along and meditates on Christ's way to Calvary..this came out of the loving devotion to the way of the Cross from the crusades. I do not have to beleive in the Divine Mercy Devotion but I beleive it reflects on the Mercy of Jesus for sinners. I do not have to read about the Lives of the Saints but I do because I see how these people followed in the footsteps of Christ and His particular call to each of them: I have several favorite saints. These are St. Francis of Assisi--who beleived in living the gospel not just preaching it. Blessed Edith Stein who was a Jewish convert to Catholicism & became a nun of the Carmelite Order. She was murdered in the holocaust by the Nazis. St. Therese of Liseux also known as the little flower. She did not travel on mission to a foreign country, she did not do anything that seemed especially spectacular yet she showed her love of Jesus in her "little way." She said that she would "spend her heaven doing good upon earth." She was a simple Carmelite nun. The Saints are people-who like Jesus mother Mary--said YES to the will of God in their lives. Francis gave up immense wealth and fame. Therese entered the convent at an early age and died at the age of 25. Edith Stein is a contemporary saint-- a person simply in search of truth and gave up all because she beleived she found it. (lives of these saints are included in my links) :-) Like the great men and women of the OT who followed their God..these men and women followed their Lord.
THE EUCHARIST: this deserves special mention since the Catholic faith is the only faith that beleives in the actual presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. The sermon may be too long or short, the choir may be terrific or off key, the guy in the pew in front of me may have his shortcomings, the preist may be very loud or very quiet, very open or very shy--none of this makes any difference. What does matter is here I can receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you will not have eternal life. some of Jesus disciples walked away at this saying that kind of talk was hard to take. Jesus did not run after them and say --no, that is not what I meant. You misunderstood. He turned to the disciples that were still there and asked them if they also wished to leave. Their response was, to whom could they go? Jesus attached far too much signifigance to His own words for this merely to be a symbolic act. He did not say, this is LIKE my body and blood. He did say this IS my body and blood. All the churches can fall in ruin, the number or preists may diminish or rise, the Catholic Church can be persecuted and even preists and nuns murdered but we will always receive the Eucharist. It has always been that way in the Christian community..from the time of the catacombs to the time of communism. As a Catholic I am obligated to attend Mass on Sundays and all holy days of obligation, receive the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation(confession)at least twice a year, observe all the laws of the Church concerning marriage and fast and abstain at appointed times except in certain cases such as illness and poor health.
Finally I beleive that Scripture is the Inspired Word of God. I think that St. Francis was right in beleiving that better than preaching or teaching the Gospel is to LIVE it. (information re the rosary and Divine Mercy devotion included in my links):-)
More of My Pages
My 2nd page-A Dedication
My 3rd page-Some personal thoughts
My Favorite Links
Divine Mercy Devotion To Jesus
Life of Bl Edith Stein-a holocaust victim
St. Therese of Liseux
St. Francis of Assisi
A Sinner's Prayer
A Special Page
The Soul of the Robin- a personal page
Catholic Religous Orders -service to others & God
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
This Mother Teresa: