Sunday, 25 September 2016

DON'T BE A CATHOLIC

This write up is not intended to stir up any argument but if it does I don't mind, as far as I know arguments can sometimes prove helpful. It is however aimed at gaining some clarity on the concept of being a Catholic. 

Becoming a Catholic is really easy, you just have to be baptised in the Catholic Church [easier still as an infant]. Where the problem lies is in becoming a practising Catholic now THAT takes a lot of work. To be a practising Catholic it is not enough to just be baptised, you have to be catechised as well; An uncatechised but baptised Catholic is A CATHOLIC nonetheless but not CATHOLIC (If you know what I mean).
This category of Catholics are the ones who will be told that the Catholic Church does not have spirituality and all what nots and they believe! They are the ones who when asked "why do you confess your sins to a human being like you?" begin to wonder why they do! They are the ones who after attending a programme in another church will come back and tell you they've seen the light, what light please?
Now we have another category of Catholics; these are the ones who were born into the Catholic Church and consider it a tradition that is to be passed from generation to generation. This class of Catholics just see it as a trophy that has to be passed down to their offspring and do not want the chain broken because it’s a family thing (and the parents here are die hard o!) 
The next category would be the converts who for a variety of reasons just fall in love with the Catholic way of life and choose to be part of it believing it’s the best for them solemn et al. Truth be told, I do not like to invite my protestant friends for Catholic programmes because what we call solemn they call boring and to avoid snide remarks too (I no get strength for plenty talk abeg). I once heard the story of a man who invited his rich protestant friend to mass. During the homily the priest was preaching so slowly and the sermon was so lengthy that people fell asleep; the man was so ashamed that he refused to look in the direction of his rich friend. After the mass as they were leaving the church the rich man turned to his friend and said "I'd like to be a member of your church", the man was taken aback and asked why. The rich man said "when you were sharing the sign of peace I noticed that everyone shook everyone else there was no selection process whatsoever" and that was how he became a Catholic (who would have thought!) 
Personally, I think the converts form the better percentage of the last category of Catholics called the practising Catholics. Note that I said they form the better percentage, not the greater percentage reason being that a blind man who just gained his sight would value his eyes/vision more than someone who has been seeing from the day he was born. 
Practising Catholics are those who know that we do not just have Ten Commandments but sixteen (when you add the six chief commandments of the church). They know and abide by the Church's precepts, are catechised, understand the Dogma's and know the church has something called the Canon Law. 
As a Catholic, you should know and appreciate the gifts you have; ours is a Church of Faith. We honour Mary, Yes! We pray for the dead, Yes! Our (Good News) Bibles has more books – you may like to call it additional books (Try reading them and give reasons as to why they shouldn't be included). We believe in the Saints and that they can intercede for us.
 If you want to seek answers in other churches when you have a problem that's fine but I'll tell you one thing; explore all options in the Catholic Church first! 
·        Attend Masses
·        Pray the Rosary (always my favourite option) 
·        Book Mass
·        Go for Adoration 
·        Visit Jesus in the Chapel and have a quiet time with Him 
·        Call on the Intercessory Ministry of the Charismatic Renewal.
Any or a combination of these done in faith must yield results (Be patient too!)
I just want to urge you to be a practising Catholic if you really want to be a Catholic; I know it's a herculean task especially with the societies and all. The truth is if you change churches you will very likely join a unit and be a worker there, so why not do it in the Catholic Church? 
I'd rather be a Catholic and attend daily Masses to receive the Communion than be a protestant and attend communion service once or twice a year! (topic for another day).

If you cannot be a practising Catholic then please DON'T BE A CATHOLIC.

PS. You may not be a Catholic, you may be one, but I still had to share this post. It is the candid perspective of a friend on this topic. You must have found one or two things to pick from this... Feel free to share here.
PS. I am Catholic. Everyday I tell myself that there is more to just being a Catholic - be a practising Catholic, don't be a Catholic... This topic can never be exhausted not here, I am sure. 
[Guest Post by Vivian Ekeada]

9 comments:

  1. Nice post but I have a problem with your view that Protestants receive communion twice a year. You obviously do not know what a Protestant church is. The Protestant churches are the Anglican church, Methodist,Lutheran and Baptist churches and they definitely do not receive communion twice a year.
    Secondly there is no prescribed frequency for the receiving of communion, your taking it daily doesn't make you a better Christian than she who takes it once in five years.

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  2. Nice post but I have a problem with your view that Protestants receive communion twice a year. You obviously do not know what a Protestant church is. The Protestant churches are the Anglican church, Methodist,Lutheran and Baptist churches and they definitely do not receive communion twice a year.
    Secondly there is no prescribed frequency for the receiving of communion, your taking it daily doesn't make you a better Christian than she who takes it once in five years.

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  3. Hi Adaeze, thanks for reading. By protestant mean the churches far from the catholic church. All the churches you mentioned are not exactly protestant we call them our separated brethren because they still adopt the catholic modus operandi. Their baptism is accepted by the church and a host of other things. There was a scenario Where the Anglican pastors came back to the catholic church to become catholic priests! For want of a better word I chose protestant. Thanks

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    1. Protestant churches is a term used to describe the denominations whose practice and faith originated from the protestant declaration by Lutheran princes in support of Martin Luther in 1529.
      The churches I mentioned are exactly Protestant- that is the term that unifies their doctrine of the rejection of papal supremacy, rejection of purgatory and sales of indulgences as well as the rejection of the transubstantiation doctrine.
      The reason Protestant baptism is accepted by the Catholic church is that there is a Catholic canon (law) (protestants have this law too) that stipulates that a person can only be baptised and confirmed once. The acceptance of this baptism has nothing to do with similarity of doctrine (any serious Protestant know that the differences between Catholic and Protestant churches are numerous, for instance Protestants only recognise two sacraments unlike Catholics who have seven) and that is why the Protestant convert does not have a seamless transition and vice versa.
      As for Anglican priests converting, people move from faith to faith each day. We have seen many Catholic priests who join other churches and even get married. I'd really like to know though how Anglican priests become Catholic priests after marriage (you can't be an Anglican priest if you have no wife, you remain an ordinands).

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    2. Hi again Ada, thanks for the heads up! I guess i used "separated brethren" and "protestant" wrongly thats my bad. And your comments goes to show that you know your church well and I'm getting there..... thanks

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  4. As to your second point, I never said Catholics make better Christians...that's a personal race, I only advise that a catholic should practice Catholicism in its entirety and that implies that you receive the communion as often as possible and be in a state of grace as is required. This helps to make you a very good Christian and implication means that you shouldn't judge other Christians that's the work of God. Thanks again

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  5. Nawa all these argument because of catholic church?thats why i love my muslim brethren ,no division
    Anywayz i will like to worship in a catholic church someday,i have never attended one

    www.bolatitoblog.com

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  6. Nice post Ugo. I don't know how I missed it. Yes, there are different types of Catholics and many are those who carry the titles on their head and don't even understand the church's teachings. I believe that for whatever church you belong, you owe it to yourself to grow spiritually and also to worship God in spirit and truth. I laugh when I hear people say that Catholics don't pray or read the bible or that most of our doctrines are not Christ-like.
    I believe that everyone should respect every other person's religion and work towards making heaven.

    Nice post Ugo.

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