Catholic. Cradle Catholic. In my younger years, didn’t question much, but received 12 years of Catholic education. Brother was a priest (deceased). But those years formed a belief system that helped me through my entire life.
Sometimes I took Catholicism for granted, sometimes very devout.
What does it mean to me? It grounds me to a value system that has positively helped me out of many life issues. Even when I was far away from fully expressing my faith, I somehow always knew it was there to draw on.
About 6 years ago, I was “in the checkout line”, and ready to be collected for my reward or punishment, but He made / allowed me to identify what turned out to be a birth defect. I prayed for discernment a long time over that, and without that Catholic background, I am pretty well convinced I would not be here today. It also permanently drew me much closer to God, making me happier and feeling more blessed than any time in my life. I fixed that particular problem, and goodness, what a tremendous difference in my life.
Why is it important to the world? It is my personal opinion that everyone needs to find their own way to achieve salvation, a good life, or a valid way to navigate through this rather complex world. For me it is my Catholic faith. For others, a different path may be better, whatever “better” may mean. So that may be just about the most obscure way of saying that the answer to that “importance” question is that it provides a vehicle to allow at least some people, maybe a LOT of people, to succeed in this world. You see, my belief system, the Catholic Church, gives me a point that I KNOW I can rely on, or go to. It is one thing I can rely on.
Make no mistake, many people, even those on this forum, would condemn a lot of what I had to do to correct my birth defect, yet I KNOW, I did right. But again, it is strictly and only my Catholic background and faith that helps me through the tough times.
Gosh, a short post can’t possibly explore years of background, but I hope this response helps. Maybe it’ll open the door for others to respond.