Being Catholic Today

As members of the Catholic Church in today’s world, we are called upon to share our faith with the wider community. As we follow in the footsteps of Christ, we witness to our faith in how we raise our children, how we interact with friends, family and co-workers, and how we engage in modern culture. Through the centuries, no church has done more to care for our brothers and sisters in need than the Catholic Church.

The beginning of Catholic belief is God’s revelation. We believe that God loves us and desires to be in relationship with us. We believe that God reveals himself in numerous ways, but particularly through the revelation of his Word, which comes to us in two forms – Sacred Scripture (written) and Tradition (unwritten). The ultimate sign of God’s revelation is the Incarnation – God becoming human in Jesus Christ. The Incarnation is the ultimate sign of God’s love for God’s people.

Catholics believe in the Holy Trinity, God revealed as three divine persons of one nature: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Church was founded by Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and carried forward through the ages by the Apostolic Tradition. The Paschal Mystery – the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – is the central mystery of every liturgical celebration, most especially the Mass, which is the “source and summit” of our lives as Catholics.

The Mass is the central, binding celebration of the Church. We live out the sacramental life most fully in community. Christ calls us to the forgiveness of sins and we recognize the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation as God's gift to us, so that any sin committed after Baptism can be forgiven. In confession, we have the opportunity to repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. It is a holy moment in which we place ourselves in His presence and honestly acknowledge our sins. With absolution, we are reconciled to God and the Church. The Sacrament helps us to stay close to the truth that we cannot live without God. While all the Sacraments bring us an experience of the mercy that comes from Christ's dying and rising, it is the Sacrament of Reconciliation that is the unique Sacrament of mercy. We are nourished and fed by the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. The presence of the Risen Christ is revealed throughout the sacred liturgy and in the community gathered as the Body of Christ, in the Word, in the Presider, and most especially in the Eucharist (the Body and Blood of Jesus). (Excerpted from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops),

As the living Body of Christ, Catholics are called to live a “countercultural” life. We are called to serve one another, just as Jesus served. We stand up for our faith and beliefs even if this means suffering in the world. The Catholic social teachings call us to care especially for the dignity of the human person – from the moment of conception to the end of natural life. We are called to tend to the poor, care for our environment, ensure just working conditions for all and work towards an economic system that allows for equal treatment of people.

We believe that we are united with all of the angels and saints, especially Mary, the Mother of God, and we model on lives on their holy example. We pray to Mary and all the saints to intercede for us. Personal and communal prayer is a hallmark of the Catholic faith. We pray to strengthen our relationship with God and to grow in faith and love. We are united with all believers throughout the world – the universal Church – each week as we gather for communal prayer, the Mass.

 

Being Catholic Today

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