What is the essence of Catholicism?

What would Catholics say is the absolute essence of Catholicism?

What things must one do in order to be considered a Catholic?

I’ll take a crack at this:

Luke 10:27 He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

[quote=Ahimsa]What would Catholics say is the absolute essence of Catholicism?

What things must one do in order to be considered a Catholic?

My experience of Catholicism is that it engages the whole man, his body, his mind, his time, his passions, his heart, his community, his social nature, etc. and draws him into relationship with God.

The essential experience of Catholicism does not consist in doing a list of things. However, typically to be considered a Catholic by the average Joe on the street, well, I suppose all that is required is to say that you are one. I wonder what you mean, considered by whom to be a Catholic?

You are aksing two questions : What is the essence of Catholicism and what must one do to be a Catholic.****
To be a Catholic one must make a profession of faith, including faith in the Church, and be baptized.

The essence of Catholicism? It is what St. Paul said:
1 Corinthians 2 ***

1 When I came to you, brothers and sisters,

****** I did not come proclaiming the mystery ******of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. ***Verbum

IMHO loving God the Father or loving Jesus does not define Catholicism in a mutually exclusive-collectively exhaustive way.

IMHO this defines the fundamental beliefs of Catholicism. Both non-Christians and other Christian faiths will have some problems with this, so it uniquely defines our faith:

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.

The essence of catholicism? The “fullness” of truth. Many churches ignore or play down many parts of the bible while giving other parts more meaning than what’s actually there. Some churches ignore the Old Testament claiming it’s just history. Others overlook the parts of the New Testament that aren’t along their personal beliefs. :bible1:

I grew up protestant. The basic idea I was given was that catholics have NOTHING right. Yeah, right!! Many misunderstand what the church actually teaches.

What does it take to be a catholic. Many ideas have already been given. Obedience to God is necessary. Also, believing **EVERYTHING **the church teaches is also required. There isn’t room to be a “cafeteria” christian. It’s all or nothing. :getholy:

[quote=Ahimsa]What would Catholics say is the absolute essence of Catholicism?

We believe in one God, Creator of all Things. And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended to the dead; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there he shall come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.

The Catholic Church is founded by Jesus Christ as the means to bring all men to Him. We are followers of Christ and do all that He commanded. We are doers, not just hearers of the Word.

The Apostles wrote the Gospels and Epistles and the Church collected, disseminated and preserved them down through the millennia to our own time. The Church teaches what she has always taught, which is what Christ taught the Apostles, the Apostles tought their successors, and they taught their successors. Jesus said to the Apostles, he who hears you, hears Me. The same can be said of the Church. Hear Christ by hearing His Church; Follow Him by following His Church. That is the essence of the Faith.

The beauty of Catholicism is that it is so rich and so full!

Yes, of course, it all boils down to following Jesus and giving our entire selves to Him and trusting Him.

But the Church teachings are all so beautiful and so rich; and none contradict each other as you might find with teachings of other denominations. We don’t eliminate some books of the bible because they don’t “fit” our idea of Christianity; we don’t water down the Last Supper as only a symbol, we take Jesus at His word! We have both oral and written tradition, as St. Paul instructed us. We have it all!


The Fullness of the Truth.

Since this is an opinion question, you might have many answers, but I have found that I do not have to explain away or ignore any part of the Bible. When I went to Calvary Chapel, we ignored many things of the Bible or explained it away.

Now that I am back in the Church, it all makes sense. The Catholicism of the Bible just now jumps out at me. I can’t even believe how I didn’t see it before. It was right in front of me.

The Truth is out there.


The Fullness of the Truth.

The Truth is out there.

Yes, that is the best description of our faith. A priest once told me his definition of any Christian is one who loves. And in the end that is the measure of all everyone will be judged against, did they love ?

Love God, love neighbors, or love ourselves, love money or love the world ???


[quote=Ahimsa]What would Catholics say is the absolute essence of Catholicism?

What things must one do in order to be considered a Catholic?

In a word…celebration. In its purest form, Catholicism is but a celebration of life.

[quote=4 marks]In a word…celebration. In its purest form, Catholicism is but a celebration of life.

Sounds great! I’m a Catholic already! :smiley:

Essentially its about Grace…openess to recieve, openess to give.

An attitude, a state of being that rather than doing ( too much emphasis on doing and we become protestant).

Easy isn’t it?

Accually I believe it is the Real Presence.

Christ is

The essence of Catholicism is Jesus. What you must do is to believe in Him. See how easy it is?

It is a love affair with the Creator. It seems you can go one of few defferent ways to a being that created all, into a commplete equlibrium, or to nothing. We believe that their is one creator. It is the love affair with Him. And this love affair, He points back and says love all them too as I love you, “for as you are worthy of life, so are the others.” We can do nothing to make us worthy of this genorosity. It is like a husband and wife who deeply loves each other, never deserves one another, but a lover will show his love to his beloved, not because he has to, but because it is his desire.

Mass, [size=3]without the Mass it would be meaningless for me.[/size]

The Eucharist is the essence. It’s the ultimate thing that distinguishes us from every single other Christian church out there. I know we’re also the only ones who have Confession too (aren’t we lucky), but the Eucharist is just the culmination (I hope that word suffices what I’m trying to say) of every aspect of Catholicism. It’s what Mother Mary willingly and lovingly carried protectively inside her from the very instant of the Annunciation. It’s what Jesus instituted at the Last Supper, so we would never be without His Actual Physical Presence while we’re on Earth. It’s why he initiated the Priesthood that very night.

I will share something that was printed in my church bulletin once. It’s so beautiful and eloquent and, I thought, articulated so perfectly, that I saved it and it helps me out quite a bit. Hope you like it: “British author and preacher, Msgr. Ronald Knox, once delivered a sermon entitled ‘The Window in the Wall’. The ‘window in the wall’ is the Sacred Host in the monstrance. It is the window between two worlds. As a window belongs at once to both the room inside and to the open air outside, so His Eucharistic Body belongs at once to both time and eternity. The Sacred Host is the window through which the supernatural light of heaven passes to illuminate our souls. As a beam of sunlight coming from a window makes visible the specks of dust that fill the air, so the beam of supernatural light from the Host makes visible the specks of pride, avarice, anger, lust, gluttony, envy and sloth that fill our souls. What better place then is there to make an examination of conscience than in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament? Let us go to Him in the Blessed Sacrament and ask Him to fill our souls with light so that we may see how to become more pleasing to Him.”

Isn’t His Love for us so utterly amazing that it’s just…breathtaking.

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