Has anyone ever asked you, “What percent Catholic are you?”
It might seem like a silly question – you’re either Catholic or you’re not Catholic. How could someone be 50% Catholic – their Dad was Jewish but their mom Catholic?
Maybe the question is a bit ridiculous, but that doesn’t mean there’s not truth to it.
By its nature, Catholicism is an all or nothing game. If someone actually said they’re “Half-Catholic,” we’d laugh. You either believe or you don’t. But, so many of us today, half-believe. We accept some teachings of the Church, but not all of them. Thus, maybe we are only a percentage Catholic.
The next question is then – are we trying to be 100% Catholic? Are we trying to understand and accept all of what the Church teaches?
If we aren’t – there’s a problem. Someone who accepts some of the faith, but chooses to reject the rest, is just creating their own faith. This personal faith just happens to align with some of what the Church teaches. You’re not believing in God, you’re believing in yourself and your own ability to determine truth.
In the relativistic world we live in, you can see how this is a problem.
So, what can we do? Well, first it’s worth noting – plenty of what the Church teaches is hard to accept. Second, few (if any) Catholics know-it-all. We are all called to constantly learn, grow, and understand the Faith. It’s part of our life’s work.
The helpful key to this process is understanding why the Church teaches what she teaches. So, the Challenge this week is to read up on an issue that is a bit of a stumbling block in your faith. Take even just 5 minutes to read an article to help educate ourselves. If you need some topics to get you started: Abortion, Contraception, Same-sex union, Premarital Sex, Confession, Transubstantiation, the Immaculate Conception, Mary’s Perpetual Virginity. To name a few.
Of course, be mindful of the resources you find. Instead of a Google search, I’d start with Catholic.com (Catholic Answers) and use the search bar in the middle of the page. See where that leads.
Be the Men.