What is the Gospel to Catholics?

What is the Gospel to Catholics?
I know what the Gospel is to protestants and how they spread it (I was raised in it). But what is the Gospel to Catholics?

:smiley: In my current situation I know I must be a Catholic. (you can look at my older posts to see my story:D) but I cannot because of my protestant family. How would I spread the Gospel in my situation? Do I tell them to go to a Catholic church? How do I spread the Gospel without my protestant mother seeing?

I am still a child and have a long way before I can make my own decisions. I’ll be 15 next month. And my mother doesn’t really like Catholics that much.

Please pray for my family’s conversion, especially my mother’s.:slight_smile: And please also pray for me. Pray that God will give me patience to wait.

God bless:)

Hello :slight_smile:

Just a comment - God wants us to do very difficult things. I’ve gotten a bunch of responses from God about certain things to do, and my first reaction was, that’s too hard, I can’t, I’ll wait half til this fall when I move out for college. But no, I’ve done all of them already, many to the dismay/annoyance of my family. I know it will be hard for you to become Catholic. But when God wants you to do something, He wants you to DO IT… not to wait, otherwise He wouldn’t have put it on your heart just yet. I would say as a way of making your intentions sincere and gaining respect for your mature decision, I would act very mature, and make the greatest attempt to not act childish at all (listening to what your mom says especially, doing stuff before she asks you, no whining or faces, and lots of love.) This way she will be shocked and very impressed with your new attitude, and everybody will think more highly of you and your word will have more merit. (From experience this has worked well for me)

You’re definitely in the right place! Stick around and keep learning about the Catholic faith. From your question it sounds like you still see the world through a Protestant lens (I had to read it through a few times before I got the first part - Catholics and Protestants truly have a different vocabulary :D) Actually I still don’t get the part about “What is the gospel to Catholics?” so maybe you can clarify :o

Go to the radio section of this website and download talks to your ipod. You will learn so much!! Try searching things that are relevant to your situation.

Also remember: God commands us both to honor our parents, but to drop everything and abandon them if He calls us. These aren’t contradictions either. God bless you!!!

Love, Ljubim

Wow. I applaud you for your bravery.
And I will certainly pray for you and your family, specifically for your Mother’s conversion.

On your question, are you just wondering the difference between the Catholic and Protestant bible? As far as the books contained? If so, that’s a fairly easy one:

Catholics don’t subscribe to the Protestant revisions. Catholics base the Old Testament on the Septuagint. A common misconception by Protestants is that Catholics use a “different” bible. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We use the same bible, but we include the books that Protestants removed during the reformation.

The 7 books removed during the reformation were:
1st and 2nd Maccabees, Baruch, Tobit, Judith, The Wisdom of Solomon and Sirach.
Additions to Esther, and the stories of Susanna and Bel and the Dragon which are included in Daniel may also be different. Orthodox Old Testaments include these plus 1st and 2nd Esdras, Prayer of Manasseh, Psalm 151 and 3rd Maccabees.

catholic.com/library/Old_Testament_Canon.asp

As for spreading the gospel and evangelizing, it’s a difficult thing to offer advice on to a 15-year old still living under his parent’s roof. Getting you in hot water with your parents is the last thing I (or likely anybody else) would ever want to do.

Personally, my advice would be to avoid evangelizism as best you can for the time being and focus on your own spiritual growth. Study the Catholic faith. Learn as much as you can about why we do the things we do and believe the things we believe. Investigate the history/catechism of the church, including the various councils. Be certain to know as much as you possibly can before you even think about evangelizing. Then when you are ready to spread the gospel, you will be prepared.

Ultimately though, I don’t know if trying to “hide” this from your Mom is the best way to go. Remember:

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” Matthew 16:25

If this is truly what you believe, then what a shame it would be to have to lie about it to the people who you love the most. Maybe you can try to discuss these issues with a level head and try to discover sound logic behind why your Mom feels the way she does. Maybe you could even try reading through some apologetics together? Who knows, by the time it’s all said and done, maybe you will make a convert out of her!:slight_smile:

I hope I have helped at least a little.
As I said, I will surely pray for you and your family.

Good for you, Oumashta! I am glad that you have such a desire to join the Church.

I can see how it would be difficult to share your faith with your family. I have two recommendations.

First, I agree with ljubim - proper action/good works is very important. This is the Mother Theresa way of evangelization. If they recognize good in your sympathies with Catholicism, perhaps they will find they don’t dislike Catholics as much as they thought they did.

Second, I think what you need to do is pray. I’m not saying that you don’t pray, but I think that you may need to direct your prayers in certain ways. For example, the prayer under your post: “Jesus, I trust in You” is an excellent one I would recommend you pray with the intent of placing your trust in Christ, that he may guide you on your journey. Instead of praying for patience, perhaps you should pray for prudence; these two words bear the same meaning, but have different connotations. As ljubim pointed out, it is easy to think of “patience” as meaning you are going to wait. “Prudence,” on the other hand, seems to mean more knowing how to act and when. Finally, I think you might want to ask the Venerable Pope Pius XII to pray for you. Pope Pius XII was not in the same situation as you (as far as I know), but he himself was in a tricky situation during World War II, surrounded by enemies just outside the Vatican, yet wanting to help the Jews being persecuted. You have both been in difficult situations, so I think this would be appropriate.

Based on some passages from Sts. Paul and John: God the Father sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. If we have been united with Jesus Christ in a death like his, we will be united with him in a resurrection like his. If the Spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Of course there’s more to it than that, but this is a kind of summary. :slight_smile:

Be present to others, be attentive to others, love others as Christ loves you. If opportunities to speak the truth about Jesus arise, do so.

Again, there’s more to it than that, but this is a kind of summary. :slight_smile:

Oumashta, First, congratulations on hearing the voice of God! He’s already won you over, whether you can fully convert to Catholicism now or later. Keep in Prayer! Be open for Him to tell you to go the full mile, or to be patient and wait until the right time for your body to follow where your heart already is. Second, the “gospel” you “know” from the protestants is NOT the correct version. It’s not just “I believe” and that’s it. Truthfully, there are as many versions as there are denominations. Catholicism is NOT a denomination: it’s the original Christianity. “Aspirant” is right on the money. Christ’ Church makes it clear we need to have faith and love in Jesus (yes, a personal relationship with Jesus!) and we are required to LIVE a certain way (be baptized, confirmation, attend Mass, receive Him in the Eucharist, and a few other biggie things) since [Philippians 2:12-13]: “Therefore my dear friends as u have always obeyed—not only in my presence but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear & trembling for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” :thumbsup:

The Gospel is the same for all who desire to follow Christ. It is the “good news” of Jesus Christ, whose life, death and resurrection has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life. It is something that must first be believed, and then lived out so that your life bears witness to Christ’s truth and goodness. It is something which cannot be kept secret, but must be shared and given to others. The difference is that Catholicism is a more ancient faith with practices and beliefs which come from a proper and authoritative interpretation of the bible, as well as from the teaching of the Apostles. It involves priests and bishops who can trace their ordination back to one of the twelve Apostles. Take the mass for example: it is a celebration in which Christ is made physically present to us in the Eucharist. It is Christ’s sacrifice - the very one written about in the bible - revealed to us in our day and age. Time travel, if you think about it, since time does not apply to an eternal God. But, it is a hard road to travel, just as Jesus spoke of. It requires us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses daily, and follow Him. But, the reward for our faith and denial of self is a love which goes beyond our ability to understand, and the gift of life which will not end.

Protestantism has the truth of Jesus Christ in it, but not the fulness of truth. There is more, and those of other faith traditions who have converted to Catholicism were seeking the fullest relationship with Christ that there is. To eat His Body and drink His Blood as He spoke of in the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel is simply amazing. It is worth waiting your whole life for, if that is God’s plan for you.

I am praying for you, your mother and all of your family.

Love. Pure and simple. It is much more than “Jesus died for my sins”. The center of our teachings is the Trinity. EVERYTHING is based upon this understanding of the God Who Loves, IS Love Itself. Even the Cross ultimately depends upon this Love, since it explains it.

God so desires to share of Himself (which is the effect of Love, to give of Itself) that He created the universe, not out of necessity, but out of a desire to manifest His Love. The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ is the culmination of that Love expressed in the lengths God took to manifest His Love for mankind, even those who would never accept Him.

The Catholic Gospel explains the “motive” of God - to draw us into that Love, even now. Ancient Christianity was much more deep on this, what is called “divinization” or “theosis”, to be made like God. We are to SHARE in the Divine Nature!!! That is our destiny, what a wonderful gift, a much greater sense than “Jesus died for my sins”, since that merely speaks about a restoration. No, we are promised MUCH more than being “saved”.

The Catholic Gospel, in a nutshell, is being drawn into the Divine Nature, into Love Itself.

Regards

Complete agreement. :yup:

The ECF’s didn’t argue over the Trinity for nothing or because they were bored! It is KEY in understanding what we believe regarding God and His intentions for us! Too many overlook it. I’m happy to see the Pope begin to push for more pastristic studies - and I’m sure you’ll get/are getting more of that already, as a deacon aspirant (I’m assuming you are…)

Regards,

Fdesales

I couldn’t possibly agree more!

Not that sort of aspirant. :wink:

But yes, my Catholic theological studies have always been very trinitarian. It is impossible to understand Catholicism, and especially the Church Fathers, without this.

Pope John Paul II answers this question very simply:

What does “believe in the Gospel” mean? It means accepting the whole truth about Christ. The Apostle writes: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21).

Believing the Gospel means accepting the whole truth about Christ.

Thanks all for your helpful comments :slight_smile:

I don’t think I explained it well enough about what I meant about the gospel.

Ok, let’s just say person #1 is touched by the love of Christ and wants to be a Christian.
Person #1 wants me to tell them how to become one. What do I do? I know I’m not going to tell them “Believe in Jesus! You do? Yeah! Your saved forever!” and then walk away.
Do I ask them to believe in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and say a prayer? Do I have them say the Apostles Creed/ Nicene Creed? Should I tell them to further grow in faith by going to Mass and going through the RCIA? :smiley: Thanks, all answers are appreciated:D!

If the person wants to be a Christian, you should tell them they should join Christ’s Body, which is the Catholic Church. He founded that Church and it has endured for 2,000 years with the one set of beliefs He passed on to the apostles and that have been preserved in the Church ever since. I’d recommend telling the person to at least check out Catholicism, the most ancient form of Christianity and the most pure.

The person should go through RCIA and find out what the Catholic Church is like.

Kinda like “I’m saved, now what?”
Belief is a first step. It’s an essential one, but not by any stretch the only one.
Faith, to Catholics, needs to be taken holistically - it touches every aspect of our lives and compels us to surrender to Him. It’s a calling, not a one-time decision. If we think of our relationship with Christ, Faith should be the marriage, not just the wedding.

Culturally we don’t tend to be as vibrant and outgoing as evangelicals about our faith. Maybe that needs to change to reach them - I’ve often wondered if introverts can really feel comfortable in a boisterous service such of the type that I’ve seen my evangelical friends participate in. Ours tends to be celebrated more solemnly, as a serious and meditative faith in our worship, and on a very personal and intimate level outside of the Mass.

So I’d say to send that person wherever they would understand the Gospel best - if that’s a charismatic Catholic church, so be it. If that’s a Bible Study, just you and him or her, wonderful (check www.salvationhistory.com for some good ones). I have a friend who converted from Assemblies of God and became a Catholic deacon and he and I would spend an hour walking around the campus where he ministered just praying for the students and asking blessings on everyone we would come into contact with. All of these are good - it’s a matter of what speaks most to the person at the time.

But it is important that they understand what it means to be a New Creation - whether this is the first time they’ve accepted Christ or the first time they’ve seen Him in the Catholic Church. Catholics are unfairly condemned by many non-Catholics as having too many rules - rules instituted in the Scriptures by Jesus’ and the Apostles’ commands. Catholics are called to be Christ-like and grow in Christ, tearing away from sin as we run towards the Lord. That’s the most basic way I can think of expressing it.

Continue your discernment and follow the Lord with all your strength - and be gentle with your mother.

Which is why I find Catholicism so much more rich, when compared to the non-catholic Christian understanding of the Gospel. It is quite profound, perhaps the only thing coming close is Mary and the Church and how the former is a micocosm of the later.

Regards

“Repent your sins, believe the Gospel (summarized in different ways above), receive the sacrament of Baptism, grow in the grace and love of God in communion with Christ’s Church.”
Or, if they have already been validly baptized:
“Repent your sins, believe the Gospel, receive the sacrament of Reconciliation, grow in the grace and love of God in communion with Christ’s Church.”
:slight_smile:

From Mark 16:16, we know that those who believe and are baptized will be saved. So many sects do not even baptize, and yet they call themselves “Christian” The baptism must be of “water and the Spirit” (John 3:3-5), and person #1 must be baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). That is first, and is what makes us Christian.

Then comes fellowship for support, bible reading (with proper Church interpretation), and classes such as RCIA. Conversations with a priest or other consecrated/knowledgeable person, and support all round. Peer support at this time is critical, as we tend not to be the most charitable toward those we think are nubes. It’s wrong, but it still happens. Loving Christian friends and acquaintances in the Church are very important. If person #1 is young, introduction to the youth group, or attendance at a “life teen” mass will help.

Christ’s peace.

Thank you! This really answered my questions:D
God bless.

Jesus Christ!

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