Throughout my Catholic mom journey of finding God, I have come across so many people who have questions about Catholicism. Catholicism, in my opinion, is something that can be incredibly simple to understand but also incredibly complex at times. As part of my Catholic mom blog, I thought that it may be helpful and interesting together a few questions about Catholicism.
Questions About Catholicism #1: What is Catholicism?
Realistically, the answer to this question is something that could go on indefinitely. However, for those of you who are curious about the Catholic faith or are looking for a simple answer, Catholicism is a branch of Christianity that follows the teachings and traditions of Jesus Christ as passed down through the Apostles. It is the largest Christian denomination, with a hierarchical structure led by the Pope.
Questions About Catholicism #2: Who is the head of the Catholic Church?
The head of the Catholic Church is the Pope. He is considered the successor of Saint Peter, who was one of the original Apostles chosen by Jesus Christ.Currently, Pope Francis is the pope of our church. Throughout the history of the Catholic Church, there have been several men that have been made saints, most recently Pope Saint John Paul II.
Questions About Catholicism #3: What are the sacraments in Catholicism?
Sacraments are sacred rituals in Catholicism that convey God’s grace. The seven sacraments are Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist (Communion), Reconciliation (Confession), Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders (ordination of clergy), and Matrimony (marriage). Don’t worry, I’m planning on taking a deep dive into each of these sacraments in future posts.
Questions About Catholicism #4: What is the significance of the Virgin Mary in Catholicism?
The Virgin Mary holds a special place in Catholic theology and devotion. She is venerated as the Mother of Jesus Christ and is considered a model of faith and obedience. As Catholics, we believe in her perpetual virginity, her Immaculate Conception (conceived without original sin), and her assumption into heaven. This is another one of the questions about Catholicism that I could really go into detail about but, again, you will have to keep out for a future blog!
Questions About Catholicism #5: What is the Catholic belief about salvation?
Catholics believe that salvation is a gift from God through Jesus Christ. We emphasize the importance of faith, good works, and participation in the sacraments. Catholics believe in the possibility of losing salvation through mortal sin but also in the opportunity for repentance and forgiveness.
Questions About Catholicism #6: What is the role of the saints in Catholicism?
Saints are seen as holy men and women who have lived exemplary lives of faith and are believed to be in the presence of God. Catholics venerate the saints as intercessors who can pray for them and offer inspiration for their own spiritual journey. Personally, I have a love of saints who were mothers. Just a few examples of my favorite women include St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and Saint Monica. Don’t forget to check out my experience at the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Questions About Catholicism #7: What is the Catholic stance on the Bible?
Catholics regard the Bible as a sacred text inspired by God and consider it an important authority in matters of faith and morals. The Catholic Bible includes additional books known as the Deuterocanonical books, which are not found in Protestant Bibles.
Questions About Catholicism #8: What is the purpose of Mass in Catholicism?
The Mass is the central act of worship in Catholicism. It commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ, where the bread and wine are consecrated into the physical presence of Jesus Christ. This is an aspect of our religion which sets us apart from other Christian denominations who believe that the consecration is more of a representation of what happened during the Last Supper instead of a transformation of the bread and the wine into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.
I would be lying if I said that I understood all of the ins and outs of Catholicism. In fact, it feels as though I learn something new every day about my faith whether it’s knowledge that I’m openly looking for or not. One of the best things that I did when it came to learning more about the questions about Catholicism is to become a catechist teacher. I found that these children were amazing at times, whether they realized it or not. These little boys and girls would come up with the best questions when it came to their faith. While there were a few who were not quite convinced of my answers, there were many of them who had absolutely fascinated looks on their faces and a light in their eye.
Something that I always thought about while answering these questions from these little ones is that I wish the same excitement or light that I saw in their eyes is something that would transfer over to adults as well. There are so many different aspects of our religion that are truly exciting or inspiring. Once you find that spark and light in your life from God, the rest will all fall into place.