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.