Catholics are to do what God tells them without question–that is faith–because God cannot deceive. When He told Abraham to sacrifice his son, what did Abraham do? He obeyed. What did Mary say? “Be it done unto me according to thy word.” and “Do what He tells you.” And par excellance, Jesus was obedient even unto death, death on a Cross.
The Pope and bishops simply hand down the word of God and explain it so that all generations can embrace and follow it.
If one makes a habit of simply reading Papal Encyclicals many would understand the fact many great Pope’s want Catholics to study their faith. To examine their faith. And examine themselves.
This isn’t even getting into the Catechism and the volumes and volmes of books available to guide Catholics to think for themselves. Yet, sadly too many allow themselves to be guided by *other *things…
Here’s some solid advice I’ve gotten that seems to help:[LIST=1]
*]Question their assumptions
*]Use humor and good cheer
*]Be patient[/LIST]I’m pretty good at #1. Need to learn to use my natural humor in faith matters #2, where up to now I’ve been mostly only very serious. And I’m really, really, bad at #3.
But the more I employ these three things together, the more I see the Holy Spirit at work.
I think if the atmosphere is such that they can actually hear and consider the questions you put to them, then it may have the effect of casting doubt on their positions.
I’ll pray for you in this . Please pray for me. :rolleyes:
I suppose it never occurred to these ‘free thinkers’ that the reason that this Catholic, after carefully thinking for myself, might agree with the Pope on various teachings would be that (gasp) he happens to be right.
It also appears that (praise God) there are still a lot of Catholics who feel the same.
It is not stupid to agree with someone who teaches the truth; it is, in fact, far more silly to disagree with someone who teaches the truth and then to proudly proclaim that means that you are ‘thinking for yourself’–as though the fact that what you think happens to be ‘false’ doesn’t matter–truth doesn’t matter but only your ‘making your own choice’.
This is very true. In some discussions with non-Catholics, I’ve often heard, “Well, Scripture says…”, but then they go on to tell me what their pastor told them it meant. Very interesting, when you consider that if the Bible is their sole rule of faith, then why do they need their pastor to tell them what it means? Why would they need pastors or ministers, period?
I’ve been doing nothing but “thinking for myself”, quite deeply, I might add, for nearly 1/2 a century. At the conclusion of all that thought, I was confirmed and had my first eucharist 2 Easters ago. I still feel like I’m thinking plenty. In fact, even in Buddhism, I never devoted so much time to study and meditation on life, the universe and everything. There is no limit to how much thought and depth you can apply to the Catholic Church. It is the most intellectually stimulating path I’ve ever started on, with more to learn and think about then I ever could have hoped or imagined. I guess I don’t understand what folks are talking about. I pray these people you know find just one iota in their entire lifetimes, of the fascination, true freedom, peace and wonder that I experience each and every day on my new journey.