To my Non-Catholic Christians,
Happy Lenten Season and May the Grace of God be with you.
I am surprise the response in this thread. I know some of you know me of my hard stance against Protestantism itself. I find its two pillars Faith Alone and Scripture Alone contrary to the Bible, and the Traditions of the Apostles. I have wrote many threads that are uncharitable.
Despite my faults, I think many Catholic members here will inform you the correct belief that we Catholic believe.
Here is my run down and my understanding of the Catholic faith.
Pope.- Jesus gave Peter the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and establish a physical and spiritual Church. This Church is preserved by Holy Spirit from teaching any heretical doctrines concerning faith and morals. Peter’s line of succession continue to this day with Pope Benedict XVI. The Church will be here until Jesus Christ returns. The Pope is not an impeccable man. He is mortal man who can sin and needs to pray, repent, offer sacrifices, like the rest of us.
Mary- Mary is not greater or equal to God. She is a creature. A special creature, the woman, “clothed with the sun.” We Catholics honor her and venerate her. We give her the same worship we do towards God, since God is the One God whom we worship. Since Jesus inherited the Davidic Kingdom, he is made King. Like the King of OT, Jewish Kings have mothers as their queens. King Solomon had his Mother as his Queen. Jesus continue that Jewish tradition so we rightly called Mary Our Queen, the Queen of Heaven. She is the woman crown with twelve stars on her head.
Eucharist- The center and submit of the Catholic Worship is the Eucharist. We Catholics truly believe Jesus is truly present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in this Blessed Sacrament. We consume the Lord’s Body and his Sacred Blood during Mass, and give him adoration during Eucharistic Adorations.
Mass- The Liturgical Worship. Here we hear the First Readings from the OT, then the Second Reading from the Letters, and the Gospel Readings. We hear the Word of God, and consume the Lord so that he remains in us. This Mass is not a resacrifice; that was done at the Crucifixion.
Catholic Answers Tracks further explains this,
It’s a common mistake to equate sacrifice with death. To understand the sacrifice of the Mass, it is essential that one understand the biblical picture of a sacrifice: It is always a gift; it is not always a killing. This is why Scripture can speak of a sacrifice of praise (Hos. 4:12) and the sacrifice of thanksgiving (Ps. 50:14).
Besides offering lambs, the Israelites also made grain offerings, drink offerings, et cetera. One sacrifice was called the wave offering, and this was an unbloody sacrifice where the Jews would wave a gift before God to symbolically give it to him. In Numbers 8:9–15, the whole Hebrew tribe of Levi was presented to God as a wave offering. In a similar way, the Mass is an offering—a sacrifice—where Christ is presented before the Father.
It’s an ancient tradition. The ancient Jews prayed for their dead, and so do the Orthodox. They don’t have a belief about Purgatory by praying for the dead is part of our traditions. It’s also implied in the Bible. I’ll cite the verses which show a third place where the dead go.
Sacramentals, are blessed articles. I don’t know much about it to give a detail answer.
Sacraments- Seven Sacraments Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion, Confession, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Annointing the Sick, were instituted by the Apostles as means to grant us God’s grace.