What’s so good about being Catholic? (Part One)

Patrick Ward writes…

“The trouble we have at the moment,” said an old friend of mine I bumped into at St Mary’s in Twickenham today, “is that not enough people are saying what is so good about being a Catholic these days.  We usually only hear the bad and the misrepresented.”

So, I thought, in these few days of the Pope’s historic visit to the UK why not share some thoughts on what is so good about being a Catholic?  Now I don’t want to do this alone.  Surely one of the greatest things about the faith is its… well, it’s catholicism (small ‘c’), its richness, its depth and its breadth.  So if you happen to read this blog and want to share your own ideas on what is so good about being a Catholic, please comment.

But to start you off, I will share three of my own ideas:

  1. Community.  The Catholic faith brings people together.  This might be through the weekly parish gatherings or great events like we are experiencing this week.  I’m not the kind of person who goes to many Catholic gatherings or groups but I can say, hand on heart, that some of the most cherished times of my life have been on group pilgrimages or through attending faith events with others.  Being a Catholic can provide a wonderful sense of community.
  2. Family.  For me, Catholicism has enriched the relationships I have with members of my family.  Through difficult times, the faith and the tradition we share acts like glue which holds us together no matter how much we may want to pull apart.  Our faith gives us a very real experience of grace.  I appreciate that this is not true for all and that family relations can often seem irreparable, but this is very much my personal experience.
  3. Prayer.  How strange and useless prayer must seem to people of no faith.  And yet for me it provides such enormous strength that I wonder how people live without it!  In my late teens / early twenties, I went through something of a prayer-rebellion when the standard prayers – the Our Father’s and the Hail Mary’s – seemed repetitive and nonsensical.  Now, I greatly rely on these prayers, especially the rosary, as a pillar of my prayer-life.  Ah, the arrogance of youth…

So there’s three.  What else is so good about being a Catholic these days?

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10 Responses to What’s so good about being Catholic? (Part One)

  1. Ian P. Hines says:

    Confidence: I take great comfort from the fact that the Church speaks with authority on matters of faith and morals, and that our beliefs have been steadfast for centuries.

    I would find it unsettling to learn that the teachings of my faith were constantly in flux, ready to change with the mood of the people. It’s the Church’s confidence that the faith, given to us by the Lord, is right and does not need modernizing that led me to become Catholic in the first place.

  2. Er says:

    I am really proud to be a Catholic. We have it all. We have charismatic communities; we have all the complete 7 Sacrament; we have the Complete Bible with the Deuterocanonical Book; we recognized all the 21 Ecumenical Councils; we have Jesus BOTH God and man (not separated), we have all the Saints; We have all the RITES from Eastern to Western and soon the Anglican Catholic Rite.

    We stand on what is true and moral. We don’t change our teachings, we stick to what is TRUE. We unite people. We unite cultures. We promote peace. We initiate friendship through Ecumenism and Religious Dialogue; We forgive sinners and we sanctify the holy ones; we do not allow divorce from the time of Jesus until today.

    We value family values. We promote Justice and Equality. We protect LIFE. We oppose to abortion, capital punishment, mercy killing. WE SEE THE Sanctity of Life.

    We celebrate the Holy Eucharist as our common and highest form of worship. We have the same readings all over the world everyday in the Mass.

    We are united under the Pope, our Central authoritative figure. There are no dissenters. When you say you are a Catholic you should adhere to what the Catholic Church teaches. If you don’t then you ceased to bear the name.

    I thank God for I am a Catholic.

  3. Katy says:

    The Catholic Church is a thing of beauty in a sometimes ugly world.

  4. Paul Flanagan says:

    Couldn’t agree more with earlier comments. The sense of community; the education system – all children growing up in a loving caring environment; the belief that better things are to come; the feeling of belonging and that everyone is part of a single family.

  5. Marie says:

    Love, family, empowerment, community & LOVE xxx

  6. kathleen kelly says:

    Being a catholic has always been important part of my heritage and sense of belonging.
    However, more recently I have been inspired by Pope Benedict. His recent encyclicals, especially around the concept of “Common Good” help me to see the up to date relevence of the Catholic church. I firmly believe it is the “Truth”. This then helps me to be hopeful about the direction of my life and feeling confident that my values have solid groundings. It also helps with my teenage children, who no longer participate in the mass. I can show them the catholic church is more than a private belief.

  7. Jamie McMonagle says:

    Took one of my sons to Bellahouston Park and it was a fabulous day.Love ,peace,hope,serenity,joyous.All the negativity about the visit has gone.Benedict’s sermons do not preach hate but love and respect to all religions .We believe in the sanctity of life.A day never to be forgotten and that message has passed onto England.Hopefully the doubters and dissenters may have got this message and leads to a more devout country.Peace and love to all.

  8. Pingback: What’s so good about being a Catholic? (Part Two) | Pope Benedict in the UK

  9. It’s really amazing to be a Catholic. That’s because we look at one thing yet we may differ in cultures. The Pope as our spiritual leader and authority, we can bind our differences and move forward as a Church, praising the One God, One Lord in our lives.

    I am really proud Catholic and I pray more souls come to realize the immense beauty of our Catholic Faith.

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