Sunday, August 14, 2011

In the trenches!

We're all hiding in the trenches lately. Seems that everyone is going through something these days, and it's no different for us. Like my title says, "lifes little adventures" are what it's all about.

Today's little adventure starts here...
Just now, I opened my inbox and found an email from someone called Citizen Atheist. I felt my defenses going up without even reading it. Someone found an ad for my Catholic Mom meetup group and decided to attack! I find it's best to sit back and chill out for a minute before responding to things that get your heckles up. You might say something out of line, or make a fool of yourself. (I do that quite often, but I'm getting used to it!:) This needed to be thought through. Perhaps this person really needs someone to talk to, rather than just be argumentative with.

I don't go out preaching about my faith, (maybe I should, but I think I'm called to live it more than preach it). I don't argue with people. My nature is to be pretty passive. I try not to be preachy at people, as that doesn't get you far. I find that "Just the fact's, Ma'am" approach works well for me. You ask me a question, I will give you an answer. Direct and to the point.

I took a minute and reread the email. It had to do with idolatry and Mary. Ok, I can handle this. It's a commonly misunderstood doctrine, and more often than not what the party in question is talking about actually has nothing to do with the truth of Catholic doctrine. In fact, very few people go so far as to actually read about what the Catholic faith teaches regarding Mary and praying to the saints. Quite often what is said is based on assumptions, and we all know where those can get us! This is the third time in a month I've been faced with the exact subject. I took that as a sign for me to read up! Good thing I've got my links and books already open to this subject don't you think? :) I find this is good for helping my children as well. I grew up with simple faith instruction, and am finding that my kids have lots more questions than I ever did as a child so it's great for me to be able to explain to them things, rather than just say " because that's what the church teaches".

If you want to live something you have to know it, right? Well, if I want to be Catholic I need to know what it's all about. In one book I've been rereading (for like the 5th time), the author talks about how for hundreds of years the Church existed without the bible. What we know as the bible now was not put together until a long long long time after the apostles had died. Teachings were passed on by word of mouth and tradition. That's why "tradition" is referred to in Scripture...because there was no written word, the people were uneducated, and very few people could read. They learned by tradition and orally. (That's also why the Catholic faith believes that Sola Scriptura can't be the only way...because the Apostles themselves taught the faith without the written word. There is more to the faith which includes tradition, and which includes traditions that are handed down by the Apostles that were not recorded in Scripture.) And then lots of time went by and one of the councils decided "we need to put this all together so that everyone is getting the same thing", and so they put the bible together after much deliberation over what should actually go in it. There are books that were written that were excluded. Yup. And then when England broke from the Church by order of the King who decided he was the head of the church there, they took out some more of the bible. Did you know that? The Catholic bible actually has more books in it because it retains the ones that the King James bible excludes. Fascinating isn't it?

So much to learn!
Anyway. Catholic's do not idolize Mary, or the saints. It's commonly misunderstood. This link takes you to an article explaining a little about what the Catholic Church teaches about "worshiping statues". And this link talks about praying to Mary and that saints.
Just thought I'd put it down somewhere since it keeps coming up!

1 comment:

Susan said...

That is the number one thing I always get asked about. I think it's easy to misunderstand. We have a lot of very old traditions in the Catholic faith, and most are still in practice, from the beginning of Christianity. That frightens some people, who think that some "new age" version of do what you please is better. I find great comfort in our traditions. It can get kinda old explaining it, but at least you get good at it.