This article was published in 2008 by someone name Martin and I think tells a lot about what being a Catholic is… Check it out and let me know what you think…
The Observations of a Catholic Viking
Is not about being a certain “Kind” of Christian.
Is not about being associated with a particular building identified as a “Church”.
Is not about being “saved” – or “chosen.”
Is not a matter of personal preference, based on how I “feel” about their teachings.
Is not about being closed-minded or conservative politically.
Is not about condemning or judging people who are not “Catholic”.
Is not about accepting things “just on faith” without reason.
Is not about only eating fish on Fridays.
Is not about putting ashes on the forehead once a year.
Is not about having unquestioned belief.
Is not about “worshiping” Mary, icons, or statues.
Is not about feeling guilty all the time.
Is not about being a member of an infallible or perfect institution.
Is not about “earning” favor with God.
Is not about doing horrible things and then confessing them to a Priest to avoid consequences.
…there are many, many more things that fall into the “Not” category.
Of course, there are probably many Catholics who do not agree with me on all these things – because, as individuals, we all make our own choices in behavior, and in how we choose to apply our understanding. But, I speak personally about what being Catholic means and doesn’t mean to me.
I’ve met many people who believe that they were BORN Catholic – as if it were an ethnic heritage or, as the more negatively sarcastic might add, a birth defect!!
I’ve met others who were baptized and confirmed as Catholics but have never darkened the doors of a church since – yet they call themselves “Catholic.”
IT’S NOT WHERE I’M FROM, IT’S WHO I AM
It’s a pet peeve of mine that some people confuse their heritage with their religion or their heritage with nationality. Thus you have third-generation immigrants who have never visited their historical homeland once – calling themselves Italian, German, Dutch, English, or Irish!!! With that logic, being from ancient European stock, I could probably get away with calling myself a Saxon or Viking!!!!
I’ve always liked Thor’s fashion sense!!!
- Identifying with the heritage of the early church….
– the one that was founded by Jesus in the first century, that existed for over a thousand years as “One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” – then was divided, primarily politically, into the East and West and became two branches of the same church – The Eastern Orthodox (Catholic) and Roman Catholic (Orthodox) Church, still founded on the teachings of the Apostles and Fathers of the Church. Then because the Roman Catholics began “behaving badly” around the 16th century – a strong-willed Roman Catholic monk (Luther) took them to task and sought reformation, and instead, “threw the baby out with the bathwater” and broke away to form his own “church.” Now there are over 30,000 “denominations” of the supposedly “One Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church!!” – all with different “interpretations” of the bible and claiming to be the “true” church.
- Being Catholic is about becoming a citizen of a new kind of kingdom – forsaking the broken human nature and taking on the process of revealing a new divine nature.
I’m no longer a Viking!…. I’m an “in-process” resident alien in the kingdom of God.
- It’s about becoming Catholic BECAUSE I’m being saved – not becoming saved because I’m Catholic.
The Church is a means of “working out salvation” or expressing gratitude to God and mankind in community with others, because of what God has ALREADY done – it is not an obligation to God or a means of gaining salvation as a “fully subscribed” member.
It’s a community of healing – where people come to practice their spiritual gifts and apply unique personal talents and abilities for the benefit of all. Not an institution of perfect people – but a perfect institution as an instrument for the forgiving and transformation of imperfect people.
- Being Catholic is about understanding that Truth is not always agreeable, or to our liking, but by following those that went before us on the path (Saints and Martyrs), we can be inspired to live for higher purposes and truly aware of how significant an individual life can be.
The Church is not just a physical location – it is the time-based presence of the Kingdom of eternity beyond all time, that has a membership of all who have gone before – “God is of the living, not the dead.” Eternal life is not what happens after we die – it’s going on NOW and forever.
- Being Catholic is to understand that God is not in a spiritual compartment of our lives, but permeates ALL of life.
Honest science does not disprove the existence of God – it expands our appreciation of the beauty and order of His creation. Evolution is not contrary to creation – it is proof of the ongoing presence of God in continuing to create – and it should increase our appreciation for the value of all things.
Being Catholic for me is more than a choice of beliefs – it’s a privilege and a gift.
From Saint Augustine… “I heard your voice calling from on high, saying ‘I am the food of full-grown men. Grow and you shall feed on me. But you shall not change me into your own substance, as you do with the food of your body. Instead, you shall be changed into me.”
Please Help TEAM HOPE Ministries Alleviate Poverty with a one-time cost of $19… Go to https://bit.ly/apam55 to learn More Be Blessed to share your Faith…