This morning, when I read "How to Practice Catholicism" by Lisa Graas, there were several thoughts I had on the subject.
First, she writes
It’s one thing to be Catholic and quite another to practice Catholicism.
It sure is. A former pastor of mine used to say quite frequently "Being a Catholic is more than having your membership card."
If you have a membership card to the gym, but never use it, what good is it? And when you need to use those muscles that you would have built up at the gym, they probably won't respond properly.
and later, this
That is why study is necessary, but study is just an initial step. After you know what to practice, you can then become a practicing Catholic.
Back to the membership card thingee (that one's for my wife); If you do use the card, go to the gym to work-out, but don't take the time to learn how to use the equipment properly, there's a good chance you will hurt yourself and possibly others as well.
As the Church is employing social media more and more in bringing Christ to the world, we would all do well to remember our brokenness and to understand that it is not our intellectual brilliance in writing and creating fancy graphics that will bring souls to Him as much as it is our prayers and our desire to always seek to get to know Him better ourselves...
No doubt, I am not blowing anyone over with my "intellectual brilliance". I hope you enjoy reading this blog, but I sure hope the things I post "about me" are really about how much work God has left to do with me.
Over the course of the last 7 1/2 years, I have lost over 110 pounds. Honestly, sometimes I can get lazy or careless about what and how much I eat. This is dangerous, and the same is true if we become "comfortable" with our relationship with God. We must always seek Him in prayer, especially when it seems "difficult" or even worse "unnecessary" to pray.
If we don’t know Jesus personally, we cannot possibly project the real Jesus to the world. What’s more, if we don’t get to know Jesus, we will never get to know our true selves. Our hearts were made for loving Him. Know Him, love Him, serve Him.
This last comment is so "back to the basics" of Catholicism. Do you remember the Baltimore Catechism ("there he goes")? Well, maybe you don't. Back in the 70's, when I was a kid, I know there was an effort to get rid of all that "rigidness". Ugggggg!!!!!
The Baltimore Catechism (of 1891), in "Lesson First" (Question #6), states
6. Q. Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven
So much is said in that little question and answer. Isn't that what so many are searching for in asking "Why am I here?"
I have often posted about liturgy, the Sacraments, etc. These may seem to some to "not really matter" as long as "I have a personal relationship with God". This is exactly why I post such things. Because how we worship God does matter to Him, and our relationship with Him is tied to and perfected in their PRACTICE.
Those who with God's help have welcomed Christ's call and freely responded to it are urged on by love of Christ to proclaim the Good News everywhere in the world. This treasure, received from the apostles, has been faithfully guarded by their successors. All Christ's faithful are called to hand it on from generation to generation, by professing the faith, by living it in fraternal sharing, and by celebrating it in liturgy and prayer - (Catechism 3)
Why did God make you?
God made you to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven