For a quite a while now, there has been a lot of defending the Catholic faith on my part, but honestly, not to the level of serious apologetics. Not my bailiwick.
I am not Catholic.
My defense has mostly been regarding facts, not that which is open to interpretation.
My points are made without evangelizing; it is not my wish to do so.
For example, yesterday a co-worker asked if I was a Christian because he wanted to recommend a book.
I pointed to my cross and he said, “well, not every cross wearer is a Christian.”
“This one is.”
He went on to evangelize in a non denominational way “He died for ALL of us,” etc., until he mentioned Catholicism, in which he was raised. ( A red flag to me, explained later.*)
He then went on to subtly bash the faith, which bothered me; again, I defend, but not necessarily well.
It went something like this:
“I don’t need to pray to Mary, I pray to Jesus.”
“Catholics don’t need to pray to her, either; they want to. She’s the Mother of God, after all. For all Christians. Besides, they are not praying to her in the manner you may be implying.
She is not a substitute, she is not an either/or. Catholics pray to her as an intercessor to Our Father in His Son’s name, much like I would ask you to pray for me in His Name to get the job of my dreams. Catholics do not need to pray to Mary. They can pray directly to Jesus, too, because in the end, all prayers to Mary and the Saints, for that matter, go to Him. He is The One."
“Catholics get all up in arms with guilt if they don’t go to church.”
“Um. Why would one profess their faith and not go? Besides illness and the like, that is. It is okay to forgo Church if one is incoherent with a fever of 102. Seriously. The Church and Christ would understand many circumstances. In fact, it would be advised to stay home due to fever. Now, skipping off to the beach, that’s another matter. A serious one! By the way, you didn’t ask if I was Catholic! Remember also that there are zealots in every faith. EVERY faith. Remember that in EVERY faith, there are those who were poorly taught of their own faith. There are those who are 'cradle fill-in-the-faith believers; they follow what their parents do/did more out of obligation and fear than from understanding or learning their own faith. It is far more stunning to believe from faith and understanding than from just following the crowd. In my opinion, anyway.”
(* So I am guessing but not assuming that this co-worker was poorly catechized.)
“Catholics give more credence to the institutional Church than they do Scripture. I don’t need a church to read the Bible”
“Um, they do not give credence of one over the other. The Church is the facilitator of Sacred Tradition, which is the facilitator of Scripture, at least as I understand it. Christ is the message, The Church is the medium. Besides, isn’t it nice to follow and read the Bible in a community of your brethren? What a show of unity! Following the faith in many ways, including the sharing of the Bible amongst your sisters and brothers in Christ! On your own is certainly okay also. But did He not give us each for each other?”
“I don’t need a priest to confess my sins, be it weekly, monthly or whatever.”
“Neither do Catholics.Sorta. They can pray and apologize to Him any time they want. But, yes, they believe that the priest, as persona Christi Capitas, or, in the Person of Christ the Head, is the facilitator. Weekly isn’t required. Even monthly isn’t required but strongly suggested. So yes, the Catholic Church has the sacrament of confession, required at least once a year via a priest. But Catholics, indeed, all Christians can and should pray directly to God as well when we are sorry for our sins and to ask for His forgiveness. Besides, He is available to us 24/7. As is His want.”
One thing we agreed on is the disconcerting use of the phrase “Catholic or Christian” as a question.
Catholic Christian, Christian Catholic, Catholic, all good. But not “Catholic or Christian.”
Catholics ARE Christians. The first ones!! Well, I guess the Judeo-Christians were. And then they became Catholic. “Catholic” wasn’t a term used until the second century, right?
My 1st question is…
How am I doing?
I am just persnickety about errors of such magnitude and am equally fascinated by those making them about their own faith. Mind you, I don’t expect any one at any time to know their faith with precision. It is a life long long journey. But I just had the feeling that this man was poorly catechized and perhaps had never even skimmed the CCC, much less read it.
God gave us an inquiring brain. I wonder why this man didn’t question why these issues seemed so wrong to him without wondering the basis. They were wrong to him and so he jumped ship. Unless a tsunami is about to overpower me, I’d first ask, “Why does my fill-in-the-faith(s) believe what they believe? I can’t say they are wrong until I understand its facts as well as their basis for what they believe as truth. My parents’ say so isn’t enough. Following the crowd isn’t enough. I should find the reason of my faith; for my faith."
Am I in the minority with the above thought?!
And I hope to have posted in the right forum.
Blessings with His Peace