The Complexity of the Catholic Faith


#1

I am a cradle Catholic and recognize and love the Catholic Church as the church founded by Christ.

I know some, however, who say the Catholic Church is so complex. Every time they turn around there is more to learn. Just when they think they understand the faith, they find something else they weren’t doing. “It’s too legalistic”, they say, “it’s too hard to live the faith”.

They prefer the simplicity of “Faith Alone” Christianity. Can you blame them? It’s like trying to learn the latest technological gadget they say. “Just when you think you understand how the gadget works you find it performs 1000 more functions. What happened to just turning the switch on and off?”

Does anybody have any thoughts on approaching this topic?


#2

what the alternative… walk away from truth and loose your soul?

no way! It’s not that hard… some just don’t want to accept, and that will probably never change… Free will is a biggie with God and His Church… the choice is ultimately theirs, it’s out for them to grasp, all they have to do is reach UP and take hold… tell those that are concerned to grab a hold, it promises to be the ride of their life…

disclaimer:… NO PAIN, NO GAIN… :thumbsup:


#3

If I am not mistaken, it took Jesus 3 years of working with the Apostles every day, day in - day out, until they “got it”. Do you think the average person can figure it all out in less time with less effort?


#4

What was that saying? (my paraphrase is below)

The Catholic faith is so profound and deep it would take centuries for theologians to mine its meanings, but is so simple that a child could understand.

I saw it on a sig in the DCF board…maybe I’ve misquoted it?


#5

I believe that is what’s so wonderful about our Faith, that you will always find yourself one step ahead that the day before, that is the work of the Holy Spirit. He also takes care that we, as individuals see The Way one step at a time and unravel the the reveled Truth as he allow us with the guidance of His Church.
Yet, on the other hand it’s so simple that it has to be approached with the soul of a child to really get a hold of it.
""Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!“
To him who is without sense she says,
“Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.
Leave simpleness, and live,
and walk in the way of insight.””

Probervs 9:4-6

Blessings,
J.C.


#6

The Catholic Faith is mystery of spiritual depth.

At one level, we are called to “Love God with our whole heart, mind, and soul, and love our neighbor as ourselves.”

The next level expands out to the Ten Commandments for this.

The each aspect expands toward the infinitiveness of God with unlimited depth for those who seek it.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, a fruit of the Second Vatican Council, a gift from us from our loving Holy Father, expresses our faith in 2865 paragraphs with references of sources which can be used for further study.

Being based on the Truth, these 2865 paragraphs mesh in one logical whole all devoted calling us to “Love God with our whole heart, mind, and soul, and love our neighbor as ourselves.”

As we understand more, we dive deeper find much more to understand and enrichen our faith.


#7

How do I approach the complexity? A little bit at a time.

I can’t remember which saint but one of them said if you only have time for one thing, prayer or study, you are better off with prayer. Why? Because it is better to be walking the faith to the best of your knowledge, than to be learning about the faith and not doing it.

There are times that a person just needs to be in His presence and seek Him in prayer. You can’t get any more simple than that.

God Bless


#8

I think I might substitute the word “depth” for "complexity." This is what is so truly beautiful about our Catholic faith!

I remember hearing a convert talk about his appreciation for his evangelical upbringing. While he didn’t have the whole truth, he had what he considered a beautiful painting by a master. When he started studying the Catholic faith, however, he found not that he had one painting, but had an entire museum full of beautiful masterpieces!

Just as one can contemplate a single painting for minutes or for hours, we can contemplate our faith for a few moments or for a lifetime and never see and understand all there is within our faith!

I also heard Father Groeschel talk about the mysteries of the Holy Rosary in a similar manner. They are called mysteries because we can contemplate them in so many different ways, and each scripture passage contains so much that we see different aspects of it each time we meditate upon it. This is why they are called “mysteries” because we can never fully understand their depth and beauty!

For me, this is exciting because my faith never grows old, there is always more to learn, and I have a lifetime to do so! If I learn one new thing about our faith each day or am able to share one new thing with another, my day is worthwhile! God forbid that I ever come to a place where I think I have learned it all – please give me humility, Lord!


#9

But for all of the complexity, or depth, I like that, the faith is so very simple. As posted earlier, the entire faith can be simplified into the two comandments. Have trouble sining? We have confession. Need someone as a hero who has walked the road before? We have Saints. Want to be a deep thinker? We’ve got the doctors of the church. DOn’t want to think deeply? Not a problem, either, just believe. No other Church can appeal to everyone if they give it the chance. None. If someone tells you they are leaving the Church because it is too complex, find them a copy of the old Baltimore Catichism and ask them if that is too hard. No, it is not as deep as the CCC, but not everyone needs that much.

Now, let us take the simple idea of me and Jesus. What about when I sin? I just go back, but how do I know that I am sincere? I can delude myself into thinking it. What if I want to be a deep thinker? What areas can I consider? Have you ever heard someone say that you cannot be intellectual and Christian? Then why did God make us intellectual at all?

I am not saying that you can pick and choose what you want to believe. I am saying that ours is the faith of small children as well as Thomas Aquinis


#10

[quote=Didi]I think I might substitute the word “depth” for "complexity." This is what is so truly beautiful about our Catholic faith!
[/quote]

Amen! :amen:


#11

You’re absolutely correct to say that. Once, I thought that my knowledge about the Catholic Church is enough. But, lo, I was wrong! The Church is infinitely engulf in mystery that we might compare her to well spring of life. Just as we cannot fathom God’s infinite being, so the Church reflects her head, who is Christ Himself–the founder and foundation Himself.

I just can’t think why Protestants try to narrow the Church to the Bible alone.

Pio


#12

The gift of the Catholic Faith is incredible and I feel just as infinite and eternal as the Father himself. The concepts of Love and forgiveness are so simple that the smallest child can grasp them, yet profound enough that the greatest minds will forever be filled with wonder as they gasp at the depths. Isn’t this what eternity with God will be like. Forever and eternally plunging into the depths of an infinite and eternal God where we will never thirst but forever and eternally be filled up with more.

For those who do not want to learn, understand and perceive deeper truths we must pray, for it is the gift of God himself. He keeps challenging us with new depth.

God Bless you on your eternal journey which is now!


#13

The beauty of our faith is like an ocean - unlimited beauty from the shore where we can walk and have the water reach out to us, to wading in it, to swimming, to snorkeling, to scuba diving and never find all the riches it has to offer. The Church reflects our God - unlimitless in beauty and depth with something for everyone. The more you explore it the “complex” and intricate it is. Simple enough for most of us to enjoy and learn from and deep enough to explore its depths for ages.


#14

[quote=hlgomez]You’re absolutely correct to say that. Once, I thought that my knowledge about the Catholic Church is enough. But, lo, I was wrong! The Church is infinitely engulf in mystery that we might compare her to well spring of life. Just as we cannot fathom God’s infinite being, so the Church reflects her head, who is Christ Himself–the founder and foundation Himself.

I just can’t think why Protestants try to narrow the Church to the Bible alone.

Pio
[/quote]

Fear. Fear of the unknown challenge of accepting the unknown. Fear of being wrong yet still loved. Fear of knowing that there is more than how you feel about Jesus or what you feel about Jesus.

I love my faith. I will never leave my faith becuase of my own lack of understanding. I think that it is one reason that we are seeing the fall of so many protestant denominations. The farther they get from shore, the less they can float alone. The Holy Spirit my guide all men to truth, but where does it say that all men listen?


#15

Just to think we are only getting a sneak peak here on earth. Thomas Aquinas said of his Summa and I paraphrase “based on what I have seen my work is straw.” It is not the complexity of our faith that is difficult it is the depth. You can never stop learning, the Lord gives more understanding and from that you want to learn more. He never turns away seekers. And for the ones in heaven the revelation of how deep our faith is goes on eternally.


#16

As a life long protestant and someone interested in learning more about the Catholic Church, I see the depth of the Catholic faith as one of the most enticing things about it. It is the main reason why I lurk on this site.


#17

The Catholic faith is simple, but is has infinite depth. People who are looking for a short list of do’s, and a shorter list of don’t’s have to be put off. The problem isn’t just with Preotestants, but also with many pre-Vatican II Catholics who were brought up to believe that if they managed to get to Mass on Sunday (awake or asleep, sober or not) and managed to avoid the “big sins” everything was OK. Their mantra was “Hey, I’m no saint, and I never will be.” Well we know that isn’t good enough. Christ called us all to be saints, and He expects us to be working on it.
Hey, I’m no saint but I am working on it. Every day, I pray, I learn, and I pray. The infinite depth of our Church (the Mystical Body of Christ) is perfect for me. I know that I am nowhere near smart enough, nor will I live long enough to exhaust the possibilities, nor am I expected to.
Put another way, our Faith isn’t a destination, it is a jouney. God in his Wisdom has presented us with a quest, “A Jouney of Faith,” and He knows that the best of us can never exhaust the possibilities before we reach the destination which is Eternal Life.

Remember, at the end there will only be Saints, and non-saints.

Charliemac


#18

[quote=reech5]As a life long protestant and someone interested in learning more about the Catholic Church, I see the depth of the Catholic faith as one of the most enticing things about it. It is the main reason why I lurk on this site.
[/quote]

My post followed yours by a couple minutes, so I was writing as you were posting. As a result, I didn’t see yours until mine went up, so I wasn’t aware that I was writing to you. But perhaps I was.

Lurk on, and May God Bless You In Your Journey of Faith.

Charliemac


#19

[quote=Apologia100]If I am not mistaken, it took Jesus 3 years of working with the Apostles every day, day in - day out, until they “got it”. Do you think the average person can figure it all out in less time with less effort?
[/quote]

Excellent point!


#20

I dont know about you but I am glad that my entire faith cant be summed up with one sentence. What you call “complex” I call “rich”. The riches of the Catholic Church are probably infinite just like Her founder. The more I study the more I realize that I will never know all there is to know, and to be honest, that is quite refreshing because I firmly intend to spend the rest of my life studying and growing in my faith. I find the Protestant denominations both shallow and dull compared to the Catholic faith. We have all the cool stuff; we have all the saints, crucifixes, rosaries, beautiful art, we have the altars and tabernacles, we have Jesus present in the Eucharist, we have the incense and all the priestly garb, we have the priests and nuns, we have popes and bishops, we have Rome and the Vatican, we have a 2,000 history, not to mention we have Mary and the protection of the Holy Spirit. Who could ask for anything more, or in this case why would you ask for anything less?


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