Tag Archives: catholicism

Why the Catholic Church is Too Legit for Me to Quit

18 Jun

behealed

“We started going to a new church and they have communion every week!”

My heart ached for my close friend as I listened to her discuss the Protestant church that she has been attending. While I was really happy that she had returned to church after a long absence, I knew that my friend didn’t really understand what she was missing – the Real Presence.

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life” according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Lumen gentium, no. 11; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1324). It is the foundation of the Church and the ultimate sacrifice and offering of thanksgiving to God. And while there is debate among Christians about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, it is notable that even Satanists acknowledge the consecrated bread and wine as Jesus Christ. The Bible and the writings of several Early Church fathers, dating back to A.D. 110 declare that the bread and wine are REALLY the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

Most Christians are familiar with The Bread of Life Discourse in John 6. Verses 51-57 state:

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?”

Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.

Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.”

Then John 6: 60-66 goes on to state:

Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”

Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you?”

What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?

It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh, is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one would betray him.

And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.

If the bread and wine were just symbols of Jesus’ Body and Blood, why would so many of his followers leave? It doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that Jesus tried to clarify his teaching to sway people to come back. Additional proof of the teaching of the Real Presence is in the writings of some of the earliest followers of Jesus. Catholic Answers shares several passages in this post.

The following is one such passage written by Justin Martyr in A.D. 151:

We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus (First Apology 66 [A.D. 151]).

The collective writings of the early Church Fathers is the main reason that my husband converted to the Catholic faith in 2006 and played a role in my father’s conversion in 2010. I knew nothing of the early Church Fathers until my husband began researching the faith. I was fortunate to have been raised Catholic by my devout mother, but it is amazing what the fresh eyes and ears of someone who is seeking truth can bring to light and deeper understanding. These historical writings just reconfirmed what a miracle and gift we have in the Eucharist.

Sadly, it has been reported that only about 30 percent of Catholics believe that bread and wine after transubstantiation is entirely Jesus- Body and Blood, soul and divinity. I guess this explains why it’s not so surprising that many have fallen away from the Church. Without an understanding of what the Church teaches on the Eucharist, it must be easy to live without it when one doesn’t know what they’re missing. I was happy to hear my parish pastor speak on this the other Sunday, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. If all of us Catholics truly believed in this mystery and reflected on the power of receiving the most precious Body and Blood of Jesus, we would all be radiating joy and peace. What an impact this would have on ourselves, our families, and the communities we live in!

When I first contemplated writing this post about why I’m staying in the Catholic Church, after all Catholics were encouraged to do so by Elizabeth Scalia (who was inspired by Tod Worner’s post), I considered typing up 100 Reasons Why I’m Catholic. I have experienced so many blessings and benefits because of this Church that offers numerous opportunities to continuously grow in a relationship with Jesus. I can’t imagine my life without the inspiring lives of the saints and their words of wisdom, the sacraments, beautiful devotions, and tradition that extends back to the time of Jesus and his apostles. I love being part of a faith that focuses on the dignity of each person and values all life. Maybe I will write that post someday, but the one thing that matters the most is the Holy Eucharist.

For anyone who is interested in learning more about the Real Presence from those who are far more knowledgeable than me, check out The Lamb’s Supper by well-known Catholic convert, Scott Hahn, and The 7 Secrets of the Eucharist by Vinny Flynn.

Advertisements

What a Week! {7 Quick Takes (#9)}

15 Mar

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 210)

Another 7 Quick Takes with Jennifer at Conversion Diary this Friday!  Be sure to check out everyone else’s, too!!

{1}
Of course, #1 has to be about how awesome it was on Wednesday afternoon to be united with all the Catholics around the world as we celebrated newly chosen Pope Francis! Twitter was so full of #HabemusPapam tweets and excitement! What a fun day for Catholics on social media!

pope francis

{2}
Another exciting thing that happened this week, was  I discovered that the little Reece’s Rainbow angel that I have been praying for, Sunny, was adopted a few months ago! I really felt an attachment to her because she had a hemangioma on her nose, just like my oldest daughter had when she was a baby. I’m so happy that she has found a forever home!

{3}
Today is the last day to enter to win my GIVEAWAY of Eric Metaxas’ new book, 7 MEN: And the Secret of their Greatness! And last Saturday I was delighted when I found out that the author himself shared this on Twitter:

 

{4}
Earlier this week, I was a little bummed to find out that Dignitas Magazine will be on hold for now due to various circumstances. I featured the founders as one of my Dreamers in the Spotlight back in August. I know that there are good things ahead for them, though! I can’t wait to hear more in the future!

{5}
Speaking of my Dreamer in the Spotlight series, be sure to check back next Friday to see who this month’s featured dreamer is! And you’ll get to find out what “fwisty” means!  Here’s a teaser:

fwisty clutches

{6}
And speaking of series, I will be starting a new one next week called Keep Your Change! It will be full of money saving tips covering all sorts of areas. I can’t wait, because saving money is good and more people saving money is even better! 🙂

20130314-134833.jpg

{7}
I’m loving how the segues have been working out, but I don’t really have one for this! Here’s the pic of the Toy Story cupcakes I want to make for my 2-year-old’s birthday in a couple weeks! I think I’ll be able to pull them off – maybe?!?!

toy story cupcakes

Have a great weekend, everyone! Don’t forget that the book giveaway ends tonight at 8 PM EST!!

Discerning God’s will

29 May

Overall, I guess my blog deals with the question of God’s purpose for my life and my family.  Today at mass the readings dealt with this specific topic, so I think it is the perfect time to discuss this a little more…

Adam and I have been focused on God’s will a lot lately, especially in regards to his career path.  He is starting to make decisions based on using his musical talents to bring others closer to God.  Adam wants to be a positive artist who writes/sings about the real life day-to-day struggles that we all have as human beings and show that there is hope even when things may be tough.  So I was definitely thinking about this when 1 Peter 3: 15-18 was read today, which says, “But in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence; and keep your  conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.  For it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God’s will, than for doing wrong.  For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”

I’m usually not one to throw Bible verses around, but I feel that this really shows where Adam and I are at right now.  In Adam’s case, he is finally aligning his “artist image” with his “real life image.”  I feel excited about what God has in store for us, knowing that we are trying to keep our priorities in check and we are striving to be better individuals.

One author who talks a lot about being “the best version of ourselves” is Matthew Kelly.  A book that he has written, The Rhythm of Life, is focused on this topic and encourages us to have dreams and discover our talents.  Adam is currently listening to it, since he is not much of a reader.  I’d been encouraging him to read it for the past couple years and finally I broke down and got the audiobook.  It’s all in God’s timing! Matthew Kelly is a great motivator! He also encourages parents to frequently ask their children, “What do you think God is calling you to do with your life?”  In his book, Building Better Families, he states that as a society, we often ask kids, “What do you want to do when you get older?”  Many of us grow up to be unhappy with what we are doing.  Maybe asking a different question will bring more fulfillment and purpose.

For more about Matthew Kelly, you can check out his website:  www.matthewkelly.org.

Good night!  This mommy needs her sleep!