‘I have faith, I don’t like to use the word religious!’

In my youth, I glowed with innocence and naiveté in all areas of my life, but none more so than in the area of my Faith. Looking back I was a pretty ignorant and sheltered, unlike most youth I come across on a daily basis.

When I was about twenty  years old I experienced my first ‘rap’ across the knuckles from a fellow Christian. I was baffled by the response, ‘I have faith, I  don’t like to use the word religious!’. All  I ‘d done was share openly that I was religious. No harm in alluding to the fact that I’m a practising Christian who goes to church every Sunday? (What I didn’t know at the time was that others don’t always hide their animosity or distaste towards Catholics.) This was to be my first acquaintance with anti-Catholic innuendo in a social setting, and it was to be my rude awakening to the lack of knowledge that is out there about Catholicism. This comment precipitated a stirring in me which  ignited a ‘Catholic fuse’ which has burned within ever since, fuelling a desire to know more about my Faith and what makes it so special. My naiveté was no more.

One thing I know for sure, and that is without doubt: I am religious because

  • I go to Mass on a Sunday:  For the Jews, the sabbath was Saturday; Because Christians are not actually bound to observe the Sabbath–we have fulfilled the Sabbath through Christ, and now we celebrate the Lord’s Day, Sunday, the day of His Resurrection. Even though the Old Testament sabbath had passed away, the early Church commemorated Christ’s resurrection on Sunday, the first day of the week. By requiring Sunday worship the Church is simply following the lead of the apostles. The Church tells us that we have an obligation to fulfill the Third Commandment by refraining from unnecessary work on Sunday and by participating in the sacrifice of the Mass and receiving Christ in Holy Communion.
  • I ask for forgiveness for my sins during Mass
  • I listen to the Word of God
  • I make a statement of Faith through the recitation of the Creed at Mass
  • I participate in ritual prayer, silent prayer and communal prayer at given times during the Mass
  • I kneel at junctures of the Mass as a sign of my respect and recognition of our Lord and Saviour in the Eucharist and I stand in solidarity with my fellow parishioners at other times
  • I make the sign of the Cross
  • I observe Lent, and celebrate Easter and Christmas
  • I attend Confession/Reconciliation in acknowledgement of my weakness and sinfulness
  • I tithe

I know too that I have Faith because:

  • In times of great sadness and anguish, it is to the Lord that I turn for solace and comfort
  • I seek always to share my Faith through all that I do and the choices that I make
  • I seek God’s hand in everything
  • I am eager to know more about Him by reading , spending time in fellowship with other Christians, reading and studying. This need to know is beautifully accommodated also, by the ebb and flow of the seasons  in the Church’s Calendar
  • I spend time with Him in prayer
  • I try as best I can live my life with Christ at its centre
  • I seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance
  • I know that without God, my life would be meaningless  and shallow

I look back with gratitude to Ruth- my fellow Christian- for saying what she did as it started me on a wonderful journey of discovery. Although I have come a short way and have a long way to go, my beliefs as a Catholic Christian guide my life as I do my best to live the Faith.

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  1. Monnie

     /  February 19, 2012

    Really love this post.
    Honesty. It’s touching how the Lord timed your “Faith fuse”. There is always a reason in which he puts hardships on your life’s path and that was definitely one that he wanted your attention.

    Still in myself I await to find that spark again. To becoming intrigued by the faith in which he gives us and the choices he helps us make. I wait for the ignition of my “fuse” to burn again so that I am able to understand and join him through my faith again.
    Feeling though my path is not ready yet to be aligned with Christ again, yet.
    Really love the post though!


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