1 - It isn’t what you think it is. Catholicism isn’t just a set of doctrines or a hierarchy of clergy. Catholicism isn’t just a moral code or social teachings. It is much more than we could ever know. The Church isn’t so easily definable, which is why we have so many different ways of describing it - the bride of Christ, the body of Christ, the people of God, etc. What we need to know is this - The Church’s identity is wrapped up into the person of Christ and thus shares in the mystery of God. When we think we “know” the Church, we are fooling ourselves. This is why continued education about God’s Church is so important.
2 - The Trinity really does matter. Many Catholics wouldn’t care if the Pope declared that we don’t need the Trinity anymore, because it makes no difference in most Catholics’ daily lives. But, it really does matter. Why? Because if God is a communion of persons, a family, and we are made in God’s image and likeness, then our families and relationships are called to reflect the same kind of relationship found in the Trinity - the gift of self to another - true love. This is where the paradox of the Gospel finds a foundation. To gain life, we must lose ourselves. To live is to die. To die is to live. All because of the Trinity.
3 - The Incarnation changes everything. An all-powerful, eternal, all-knowing, divine being decided to create the universe and then he becomes one of the creatures he created. This is mind-numbing. Furthermore, in humbling himself to take on our flesh, he raises up our nature to a greater dignity - one that now shares in his own nature. We share in God’s nature. This is flabbergasting. The world is never the same and all of creation and time revolves around this one moment - when God becomes one of us. Our response should be to see God in all of his creation, but most importantly in all of humanity, including ourselves.
4 - The Church is beautiful. Because of the first three truths above, we can now see the beauty of the Church. Is the Church full of sinners? Certainly. But, we sinners are not the source of the Church’s beauty, God is. We are called to reflect this beauty as best we can, but true beauty is found in the being of God, who is beauty itself. The Church reflects Christ beauty to the world. Through the Saints’ lives, the Cathedrals and artwork, through the music and songs, and through the teachings of the Church. It is in these ways we see God’s beauty rise up for a world that focuses all too often on what is ugly.
5 - The world needs the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has the answer for all the world’s problems in the fullness of truth and the fullness of grace she offers to the world. The Church gives us a moral anchor, an answer to broken families, addiction, sin, war, violence, abuse, and all the other issues in our culture. More than ever the world needs the Catholic Church, if our society is to last. This answer is the personal relationship with Jesus that the Catholic Church offers to us all through the Sacramental grace, teachings of the Church, and in our own personal prayer we all need.
Jesus created one Church. We are that Church, the Catholic Church. If the world needs the Catholic Church, then the Church needs saints. We need to be holy if we are to change the world.
Time to do our part. Time to be holy. Time to change the world. This is what we all need to know - and do.
It was amazing.
Mass with Papa Benedict with 1.5+ million people.
Let me tell you, the Church… is… CATHOLIC.
I saw people from all nations, tongues, and ethnicities, it was so beautiful. WYD is like the Olympics, but with everyone on the same team.
I even bumped into fellow Tumblrite @Deigratia21 :) Good times.
Pics and more thoughts on my trip to be posted in the coming days.
I completely agree with you! The Church is on FIRE for God! :-) And I still think it’s pretty crazy how we bumped into each other! =D
So as some of yall might know, I am going to Spain for WYD tomorrow! Earlier today (er I guess you could say yesterday), I went to the bank so I could convert my money to Euros. When I told the banker what I wanted him to do, he asked me where I was going. I responded excitingly that I was going to Spain and then he instantly asked me what church I went too. I was really thrown off by his question because 1. it was random 2. I never mentioned anything about church or wyd. I awkwardly said “St.Alphonsa….why…?” and then he asked, “are you going to WYD?!” Ohhh you should’ve seen the reaction on my face! I got super excited and was like “OMG how did you know?! What church do you go to? Are you going to wyd?!” haha..and he said “yeah I’m going tomorrow!” ….”OMG ME TOOO!!!!” LOL it was pretty awesome. Everyone at the bank was just staring at us so I had to calm down. Anyways we chit-chatted for a bit and then he told me I could pick up my money tomorrow morning at 10. Uh-oh. My flight was at 1100 and there is no way I could pick up the money. I asked him what I should do, and after a lot talking he suggested that I drive down to the Federal Reserve in downtown Dallas around 8am. I really didn’t like the idea because I was wanted to go to morning Mass at 8 and I also did not need another stressor (traffic? well I get there on time? ) lol . They told me to wait while they reversed my transaction since I already gave them the money to convert. As I was waiting, one of the bankers came up to and said that, unfortunately, they could not reverse the transaction (and I would’ve just ended up losing my money). At this point I was thinking “crap what am I going to, where am I going to get a fair amount of the money, blah blah blah… *worrying*”. She then hesitantly said that the banker who is also going to wyd was willing to give me his euros, since his flight is later on the day, and he could just take mine—if I wanted. I couldn’t believe it, and was just blown way by his kindness! I was so grateful and thought how amazing it is to see how God works in the greatest and smallest ways. I know it’s not huge story or anything, but I am still shocked of how it all just worked out. Just a sweet little reminder that God ALWAYS provides-especially when we least expect it :)
…in 3 days :-) Any prayer requests? Send them over! :-)