Is the basis of Catholism to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ or is it more the acceptance of Christ as ones Savior? How does one differentiate between the two?
That’s a great question. Jesus said to follow Him, and to follow His teachings, that is, to do the will of His Father.
I would say it is the teachings of Jesus, because that incorporates accepting Him as our Saviour, but also includes how to live in order to get to Heaven.
If you were to just accept Jesus as your saviour, then that smacks of Salvation by Faith Alone, which is not correct.
It would seem to me that neither of these statements are in themselves sufficient. The basis of Catholicism is its foundation by Jesus Christ. Your question implies that the foundation of ones identity as a Catholic is simply a subjective response to a ‘faith encounter.’ But subjective experience is not , nor is collective subjective experience, sufficient as the basis of any faith. Rather, the basis of Catholicism is its foundation by Jesus Christ himself. The ramifications for being a part of this Church is faith in Him as Savior and following his commandments.
Going back to the basics, the old Baltimore Catechism answer to the question of why did God make me is: “God made me to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.”
I would say that relates to your question. When we accept Jesus, we follow His teachings. One can follow some of His teachings without really accepting Him as a savior, and one can claim to accept Jesus as Savior without really following His teachings. However, to really do either well, one must do*** both***.
When we speak of Jesus, Catholics know that Jesus is God–and He is One with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Catholicism helps us know God, love Him and serve Him better. Paraphrasing St. Augustine, God made us for Himself, and we are restless until we rest in Him. He wants us to be happy with Him–both in this world and in heaven. God wants us to know Jesus as our savior and to follow Him. We can talk about individual pieces of this, but they relate to the whole. It’s hard to understand or do one part without understanding and doing the other part.
I would say that for one to accept Jesus, one must accept and know for sure what He thought is True, including the Church He found to make disciples of all nations.
Ex. Jesus says: If you don’t eat my flesh and drink my Blood you have no life in you. to follow and believe Jesus, one must have a complete understand of what Jesus means.
What wonderful and insightful answers-facinating and informative.
Things are really starting to make sense and puzzle pieces fall into place.
Please continue to post on this.
Thank you all.
Pope Blessed John Paul the Great once told us that the Eucharist is “the Source and Summit of our Faith.” The Eucharist, aka Communion, aka the Lord’s Supper, is both a communal and a profoundly personal Sacrament. Through reception of Jesus in this Most Blessed Sacrament, each and every one of us who receives worthily becomes physically united with Jesus. We became Him first at our Baptism, dying with Him and rising with Him at one and the same instant, then through the Eucharist, we renew and revitalize this union. That is the personal aspect. Yet, at the very same moment, we are phsyically united with every single Christian who has ever lived and will ever lived, as well. We are perfectly united to the entire Body of Christ, who is the Church: the Church Militant here on Earth, the Church Suffering in Purgatory, and the Church Triumphant in Heaven. So, in essense, this Sacrament teaches us that the private and the communal cannot be differentiated.
When we put on Christ through the Sacraments, we put on Jesus and at the very same moment we put on every other Christian because they too have put on, are putting on, and will put on Christ. Therefore, when we seek His will for our lives - which is the act of most perfect love and devotion to Him - our obedience will serve to strengthen the entire Church and to lead all Christians everywhere toward deeper union with God. And likewise when we follow His teachings, which are one and the same with the teachings of the Catholic Church, we are doing that very same thing: submitting to His will for our singular life by doing what is best for the entire Body of Christ. So, again, there is no dinstinction between the personal relationship with Jesus and the submission to the universal teachings of Christ in His Church. They both serve the same purpose and lead to the same end: the fulfillment of the universal Providential plan of Salvation for all mankind and the fulfillment of the supremely personal union of each and every unique Christian with the Godhead in Heaven.
there is no difference
on the night before he died Jesus said: If you love Me you will keep My commands.