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So far I am really liking our new pastor.
He started off his first week by saying that he’s neither a liberal or a conservative Catholic….instead he is faithful to The Church.
I’m sure there are some Catholics who label themselves conservative that would say that’s what makes them conservative.
His statement did provide a chance to remind parishioners that we are called to follow the Church and her teachings and act in unity rather than experience division from within. As we are relatively new to the parish, there are some issues that have no entangling tentacles pulling us any one direction. But, his words are a reminder to our family anyways.
Another recent homily had him reflecting on how some bloggers are becoming judgmental and issuing verdicts on who is or isn’t really a Catholic.
Okay….I can see that this might be happening. It can be easy to sit back and pass judgment when you know full well that you are not privy to all a person’s thoughts, words and deeds. But, I also admit that there are some individuals in the public eye that sure don’t speak or act like a Catholic all the while stating they are a Catholic.
Therefore, I really appreciated his simplification of the ‘three part litmus test’ that shows whether someone is really a Catholic. (And by this, I am talking about Roman Catholics.)
First off….do they agree with the tenets of the faith. Not sure what these are? Well, start off with either the Nicene or Apostle’s Creed and then add on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. That should cover things fairly well and keep the average person busy for a while.
Secondly…a person needs to have a full and active Sacramental life. Attending Sunday Mass as often as possible is one aspect. Having received the Sacraments as they become available to you is another. Last I checked, you become fully initiated into the Church when you have been baptized, received First Holy Communion and have been Confirmed. As you age, others might enter your life. For Stephen and I, that would include Holy Matrimony. Availing yourself of Reconciliation is another one that gets a bit overlooked.
Now…attending Sunday Mass should not be equated with a weekly reception of Holy Eucharist. But, I won’t delve into my thoughts and understanding of that. We’ll just say that showing up for Mass does not mean a person should be going forward to receive the Eucharist. (I so wish I had a recording of a homily I heard last year that tackled that subject!)
Finally….are you faithful to the Magisterium?
The Pope and the Bishops are Christ’s Vicars on earth. They are supposed to guide us and we are supposed to follow. Yes, they are still men and subject to fall. We trust that the Holy Spirit will be working through them.
I cannot guarantee that I didn’t miss something in this rather brief summary. Somehow taking notes during Mass just doesn’t seem right. However, I did feel inspired to blog about it, if for no other reason than to remember if for the future. Just keep in mind that this Catholic family is still learning and growing in our faith as well.