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Do you pick and choose?

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I count myself truly blessed to have met and then married a practising Roman Catholic. My Faith has always been an important part of my life, and I can’t imagine how difficult it might be to be a practising Christian, married to a non-believer.

The Mass  has always just been part of our lives right from the beginning and it provided us with a shared experience. We just understood, believed and grew in Faith together. We ‘spoke’ (and still speak) the same language when it came to religion, faith and Christianity. This language of Faith includes words such as Our Lady, The Stations of the Cross, the Eucharist, the Mysteries of the Rosary, vigil, pilgrimage, genuflection, sacraments, adoration, Apostolic, veneration and many more. Not only do these words belong to the Faith but they are accompanied by specific actions and devotions and dedications, which in turn lead us to the Truth of Christ. These actions are learned over years of practise, which has provided us with a  rich and varied spiritual significance with the coming of age, and as understanding and appreciation unfolds.

The Catholic Church has been endowed by Jesus Christ with many spiritual resources, and it seems the more I learn about them the more there is to discover. This is to me, what sets our Faith apart from any other. Long tradition, passed on from one generation of Catholics to another, passed on from Christ to the Apostles, protected by the Popes and the Magisterium, guided by the Holy Spirit of God Himself. This Tradition should be handed on to the next generations of Catholics in its totality to remain cherished and lovingly preserved. This is Catholic Church. The Church of Jesus Christ sanctioned by apostolic succession and Sacred Tradition.

We cannot teach our children the faith if we do not practice it ourselves. We cannot promote Catholicism as the Truth if we do not follow the teachings of our Faith. We can’t just preach the Gospel, we must live it.

The most important examples set  here for us all is by our parish priest. Just recently did I hear of priests who read out a letter from our  Bishops, and then distanced themselves from what it said in the letter. How can they be true to their vocation by doing this? Sadly, some priests refused to even read the letter! I have heard of a priest who reads the order of the Mass from his  Kindle: what example does this set to the flock with regard to disregard for Holy texts, beautifully bound and always prominent on the Altar during Mass? This does not sit right with me. What of the bishop I observed that didn’t wear his Mitre during the sacrament of Confirmation? And what of the priest who criticises his fellow priest  in the company of the said priest’s parishioners? If our priests are not preserving the faith, what chance does the laity stand to have in the future? What chance does the essence of our Faith have in preserving  its richness and beauty, signs and symbols when they are disregarded by errant clergy?

The lay faithful should also remain true to the Faith in all that they do and say.  Catholicism is not of the pick-and-mix variety. It’s all or nothing.

 

 

 

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