Why is Catholicism so confusing and demanding?

As a non-Catholic Christian, I find Catholicism very confusing and demanding on its paritioners. I see people asking simple questions about things that are obviously answered in the Bible, without having to consult a Priest. One person asked if he is sinning because he cannot get a job and provide for his family. Another person asks if she is sinning because she cannot seem to meet the requirements of five Saturdays.

It is confusing to me as to why Catholics are so distraut over keeping such negative views of what God wants from them. It just seems to me that to be Catholic, one takes on a lot of demanding rituals that they must do to be saved, when in reality it is quite simple… love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and to do His work by spreading the Good News of salvation by Jesus Christ.

Please help me understand this. I am very distraut over this because I just do not understand it.

Dear friend,

There will always be Christians, both Catholic and non, who do not know their faith and become distraught over their lack of understanding. The five Saturday devotion is based on a private revelation and is not binding for Catholics, though they may observe its requirements. Such requirements do not bind under sin. Trying unsuccessfully to find employment for the sustenance of one’s family is not a sin. Common sense should make that evident.

However, finding answers in the Bible is not quite as simple as you seem to believe. If that were so, there would not be the over three thousand non-Catholic Christian churches divided by their differing interpretations of Scripture; each insisting that its interpretations are the correct ones?

It ought to be remembered that Jesus did not leave a book; He left a Church. It was the Church that compiled the New Testament and determined which books would be included in it or not. It was the Church that taught the truths of the faith while the New Testament was being written. By Church, I mean the Catholic Church; there was no other. While remaining the world’s largest Christian church, the Catholic Church maintains a very consistent and unified understanding of the Bible because of the teaching authority that Jesus gave to Saint Peter and to his successors, the popes of Rome.

Certainly, loving God with all one’s heart, soul and mind and striving to spread the Gospel are necessary and sound quite simple. The actual doing of these things isn’t so simple because we are all bungling sinners and need the Lord’s help to even do a poor job of it, let alone a good one. This is why the Lord instituted the Church: to teach us and to administer to us the graces we need. Remember how long it took the Apostles to get it and they had the Jesus with them in Person! It is the teaching authority of the Church that helps us to understand what Scripture has to teach us. Otherwise, we Catholics would be struggling by ourselves to understand and would be as divided as other Christians. I don’t mean to be insulting here and I do wish you well.

See: catholic.com/magazine/articles/how-do-we-know-it%E2%80%99s-the-true-church

You are truly in my prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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