Friday, September 3, 2010

"I was raised a Catholic "

You have probably heard it said also. And what usually follows a statement like that is "but now I go to such and such 'church' ".

I met a man recently who finished the first statement by saying " ... the Catholic Church has so much tradition" and also admitted that he is aware of the truth claim that Christ founded what we today commonly call "the Catholic Church." But he did not use the word "tradition" in a positive sense. Perhaps he sees it as a weight, a burden, clutter that would confuse or somehow hamper his life of Faith in Christ.

But I would answer that tradition is simply more evidence that Christ truly founded the Church over 2,000 years ago. There simply has to be some effect of being around for that long.

Then also there is need to distinguish, always distinguish. What is meant by tradition? Those things handed by the Apostles from Christ as essential for a life in Christ here and now that leads to salvation on the one hand are surrounded by and handed on by the Church, alive in the Holy Spirit. And the Church is made of people all of whom have made their contributions in the handing on of the graces of the Sacraments, the life of prayer in sacred Liturgy, sacred writings on the Holy Scriptures. And these are all good although some may be non-essential.

In every age there has been a temptation to do what is thought to be a "clearing of the cobwebs" giving vent to the what is a good impulse to get back to the essentials. But it would be a big mistake to fail to understand that the essentials have been with us all along and will never be lost and that we can "get back" to them any time that we like without throwing out in a fit of caprice what we decide has no right to stay.

And the most essential reason for the Church is the One who is the most Essential of all gifts: Jesus Christ who made and keeps this divine promise to His holy Church: "I will be with you always, even until the end of the world". Amen. Alleluia.

Praised be Jesus Christ. Now and forever.


1 comment:

Agrarian Peasant said...

Well this is a bit triumphalistic, but here is what I feel about the Catholic Faith and it's Traditions...

"For nothing more glorious,nothing nobler,nothing surely more honorable can be imagined than to belong to the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church,
in which we become members of One Body as venerable as it is unique;
are guided by one supreme Head;
are filled with one Divine Spirit;
are nourished during our earthly exile by one doctrine and one Angelic Bread,until at last we enter into the one, unending blessedness of heaven."
Pius XII
Mystici Corporis Christi

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