What is Catholicism?
Simply put, Catholicism refers to the doctrine, faith, and practice of the Catholic Church. It is the oldest and largest tradition in the world. In the book of Matthew 16:18, Jesus Christ our Savior, says that upon Peter, a church will be built. This is the main text where the Catholic Church derives most of its teachings. The Roman Catholic faithful believe that the Pope is the successor of Peter. The Pope, the leader of the Catholic Church, is the Bishop of Rome. The Pope has authority over every member of the Catholic Church. Unlike the Protestants, who believe that the authority of the church is in a believer, Catholics believe the church’s authority lies within its hierarchy. This is one of the major distinguishing believes between these two.
Catholics have a high regard for the seven sacraments, which act as the center of their Christian life. Baptism seems to be one of the most important as it symbolizes the removal of original sin. It brings one into the Church and Body of Christ. Participating in other sacraments provides Catholics with the grace they need to conform their lives to that of Jesus Christ. It also goes miles in marking the progress one is making in life. Each of the seven sacraments were instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ during his life here on earth. It is an outward sign of an inward grace.
Another important aspect to understand about Catholicism has to do with Prayer. After the sacraments, prayer is the other most important aspect of any Catholic. St. Paul advice to Christians is that they should pray without ceasing. Sadly, most people are always very busy to even have time for prayer. Everyone today has a busy schedule, which they are always attending to. In the midst of it all, it is always very important to take time and talk to God through prayer. Prayer is essential to the growth of both Grace and Faith.
There is no doubt that Catholicism brings with it numerous practices and doctrines. It is an area which individuals must be willing to embrace despite the huge expectations. Some if not all of the doctrines and practices are what keeps the Catholic going and together. It is crucial for the catholic faithful to know and fully understand what is expected of each one of them. This will go miles in ensuring that the church is living in unity.
One of life’s purposes is to learn how to pray. Prayers connect us with our creator.
They bring to us some form of fulfillment that one can never find anywhere or from any person. Through prayer, we are able to acquire a very rich interior contemplative life. Catholic prayers are no different from the normal prayers that other Christians have. Both of these prayers are a communication with God. Through prayer, you can seek for something from the creator of the universe or thank him for the blessings, which have come your way. The bible says that we should pray without ceasing. This is an advice, which came from St. Paul.
What is for sure is that Catholic prayers can change your life. Individuals who take time pray on a daily basis develop full relationship with God. They live better and purposeful life courtesy of prayer. The truth of the matter is that the world today is filled with all kinds of temptations, which bombard us from all angles. Most people are of the opinion that they can make it on their own out there. Honestly, you cannot. By taking time to dedicate your day and undertakings to the Almighty God, you declare that without him you are nothing and that you need him in everything you do.
If you want to have a better life than what you have right now, the only secret is to develop a committed and consistent prayer life. Praying is one of the most satisfying routines ever known to man. Sadly, most individuals either do not know this, or are always challenging this great truth. For sure, Catholic daily prayers are not easy thing to practice at first, however, as time goes by, you will discover that everything falls into place and you are beginning to reap the fruits of your unending prayers.
The good thing is that the Catholic Church has very many prayers any faithful can take time and practice. Some of the most common catholic prayers are Hail Mary, Our Father, The Apostle’s Creed , Glory Be, Anima Christi, Hail Holy Queen, Act of Contrition, and Memorare. These prayers are quite popular among the catholic faithful.
Always strive to ensure that you take part in any of the mentioned Catholic prayers. Do not limit yourself to these ones only. Many others exist out there. Always pray until something happens. Let this be your golden rule to prayers.
Baptism is an element, which all Christian denominations have in common. Catholic Church regards baptism as one of the most important rituals in the church’s traditions. One is welcomes into the Catholic faith. It is regarded as a symbolism of freeing someone from the original sin they were born with. Faithful in this church believe that origin sin is not a personal sin but a sin, which is transmitted from one generation to another by birth. This believes further holds that all women and men are born with original sin. It is only Baptism, which can get rid of the original sin.
In the Catholic Church, baptism normally takes place on Sundays. This ceremony can either be part of the parish mass or early afternoon immediately after all the masses. In most cases, it is the parish deacon or priest that administers the sacrament. The baptized person is anointed with oil. Blessed water is also poured on them. The oil is poured on the head not once but three times.
In this church, any baptism, which uses the invocation of the Holy Trinity and water, is a valid sacrament. What this means is that if a member of any other Christian Church performs baptism using these standards, then he or she does not have to be baptized again. He or she is already baptized.
Baptized individuals are expected to dress in all white. This is a symbol of purity and signifies the cleansing power that the act of Baptism brings with it. The white garments normally symbolize the white garments that Jesus wore after being placed in the tomb after his painful death at the cross on Calvary. If it is an infant undergoing baptism, then he or she wears a gown that is handed down through the generations. On the other hand, if it is an adult, he or she puts a full length white gown, which is normally known as an ‘Alb.’
It is important to note that this ritual is usually a participatory one. What this means is that the attendees are expected to participate fully throughout the ceremony. They do so by rejecting Satan and also professing their faith. They are normally assisted by their biological or godparents and immediate family members as well.
Just like with the other Sacraments (Confirmation and Holy Orders), individuals are only baptized once. The sacrament confers an indelible mark on one’s soul. Individuals can never be re-baptized or un-baptized.
The Catholic Church
The Catholic Church also has the name ‘The Roman Catholic Church’. It is the largest church in the world today. It has over 1.2 billion members throughout the world. The leadership hierarchy of this church has cardinals and bishops. Their main leader is the Bishop of Rome who is the Pope. Pope Francis I is the current leader of this popular church. The main teaching of this church is that Jesus Christ is the main founder of the church. The teachings of this church also indicate that its bishops are the successors of the apostles of Christ and that the Pope is the successor of St, Peter who was the head of the apostles.
Catholic Churches maintain that the doctrines on morals and faith it presents are infallible. A number of theological and doctrinal emphases exist. These include Eastern Catholic churches. Religious communities and personal ordinariates. The main mission of this church is to spread Jesus Christ’s Gospel to the masses. In addition to this, the church administers sacraments and exercises charity. The wine and bread offered during sacraments represent the body and blood of Christ. Catholic Churches normally practice closed communion. What this means is that only the baptized members of the church are allowed to partake of this communion. Catholic priests are the only allowed individuals to administer the wine and bread.
There is an extremely high regard for Virgin Mary in the Catholic Church. This is mainly because she was the mother of Jesus Christ. The church has come up with or defined four specific teachings on Marian dogmatic. These teachings are Immaculate Conception without original conception of sin, status as the Mother of God, bodily Assumption, and her Perpetual Virginity.
The Catholic Church has an emphasis on the deep support for the afflicted and the poor. The church walks the talk by taking part in various corporate works of compassion and mercy. As a church, it operates social institutions and programmes throughout the world. These include Catholic schools, missions and shelters, hospitals, and universities. In addition to this, the Catholic Church has a number of charities as relief services, which are tailored to help families, the sick, the elderly, and the poor. The Catholic spiritual teaching emphasis the need to grow in the spiritual realm through works of mercy.
Jesus Christ is the main fulcrum upon which the church is built. Every teaching is focused on him. He endows the church with everything necessary to complete its mission.
Undoubtedly, the Catholic Church stands out as the largest Christian denomination in the world today. It boasts of over one billion members worldwide. Pope is the leader of the Catholic Church. “The Pope” means “Father.” This is because this figure represents God the Father who is loving, the creator of Man and sent his only son to die for sinners. What a great love God has for his people. The Pope represents God in a special way. He guards the truth. He leads the numerous Catholic faithful according to the will of God. The Catholic denomination believes that Pope is the successor of Simon Peter, the fisherman.
According to the Catholic tradition, Jesus chose the leader of the apostles, St. Peter, to be his earthly representative. Jesus did this as he founded the papacy during the first century. The Bible in the Matthew chapter 16 declares that Jesus will build his church upon the ‘Rock’, which he was suggesting was peter. The book also says that Jesus will give Peter the keys of Heaven. These words serve as the main biblical mandate for the papacy. At St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, these words circle the dome. It is important to note that Popes are considered the symbolic descendants of Peter. Traditionally, they are believed to hold “Peter’s Chair.”
Since time in memorial, more than 260 occupants have graced the papal office. There is no doubt that this institution has had its fair share of difficulties. Some of the defining moments in the European history, the office of the Pope has had to grapple with include rise of the Italian Renaissance, split of the Roman Empire and bloodbath of crusades. More recently, these Catholic leaders have struggled to reconcile the always strict doctrine of the Catholic Church with modern life’s realities. This includes defending its firm stances against matters abortion and the death penalty.
The Pope is the single leader of the Catholic Church. He has the authority to teach without or with the consent of members of the Church. He is the Bishop of Rome. The Pope heads the state of Vatican City. This is a sovereign city state that is entirely enclaved within Rome.
The most recent Pope is Francis I. Born in December 17, 1936, Jorge Mario Bergoglio hails from Argentina. This Argentine Cardinal chose the regnal name ‘Francis’ after St. Francis of Assisi Bergoglio.
The term ‘Saint’ means ‘Holy’. In the New Testament, this was a term, which referred to those individuals who believed in the existence of Jesus Christ and adhered to his teachings. The devotion given to the saints by the Catholic Church is just amazing for lack of better words. Saints are the holy women and men who have lived exceptional and productive Christian life. The sad reality is that most individuals do not understand why the saints are respected so much by the Catholic Church. Saints live according to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. However, the Catholic Church uses this term to refer to the holy men and women who entered heaven because of their extraordinary lives of virtue.
Initially, the term ‘Saint’ was used to refer to individuals who followed Christ. Actually, St. Paul used to refer to his fellow apostles as saints. What this means is that only those individuals who were followed Jesus teachings to the latter, would qualify to be names as saints. However, as time went by, people began to misuse the name. This is because even those individuals who were not living according to the ways and teachings of Christ received the title.
As Christianity spread, it became quite clear that some Christians lived extraordinary lives. There were others who struggled. What this meant is that those individuals who lived heroic and extraordinary lives now were the only ones who qualified to be named as saints. The word “saint” was narrowed to such people.
Fast-forward, the Catholic Church began a process known as canonization. Venerable individuals would be recognized as ‘saints’ by their fellow Christians everywhere. One of the saints who have gone through the canonization process is St. Elizabeth. Others received the title through the universal recognition of the holy lives they lived (acclamation). Relevant examples of such saints are St. Paul and St. Peter.
It is important to note that the Catholic Church believe that both of these types of saints, that is, the acclaimed and canonized, are Heaven bound. The church believes that these saints both belong to the father. One of the requirements for one to be successful in the canonization process is proof of miracles that one has performed. Canonized saints are venerated anywhere. In addition to this, they can be prayed to publicly.