tirsdag 21. august 2012

# 11 – Why Catholic? (continuation from # 10).

In Christendom we have no need to believe in reincarnation as some of  Eastern religions do. That's because Christendom can be illustrated as going from one point to another. Recycling is not a part of the Christian Faith.

Creation out of nothing ------------------------------------------------------------------> Eternity

But couldn't the Jewish faith and Islam also be illustrated this way? Probably, but if we place certain happenings on the line they would not correspond totally. The Jews will not find it important in their religious understanding to put the birth of Jesus on the line. The Muslims will, among other, put Ismael on the line were Christians will put Isaac as the son that should have been scarified if not God had stopped it.

Most important when it comes to Christendom, however, is the catholic interpretation of who God is. He is self-giving love in relationship. One God in three persons.

God the Father loves the Son. The Son loves the Father so much that He is totally obedient to the Father's will while the Holy Spirit might be seen as the person who brings the love between them. As you probably have learned at school the Trefoil ("three-leaved plant») can be used to illustrate the relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. If we break off one leaf and throw it away, the plant is not total. All the three leaves have to be intact to form the unity that can be used as an illustration for the Trinity, the ONE God that we worship. I know it's difficult to understand, but try to accept it for now (while I'm trying to explain in a simple way) what this Unity, the Relationship in God means to us.

While Jesus was on earth, He called God his Father. In Jn 17:19-21 Jesus says: «And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me; That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.»

From this we see that Jesus himself tells that He and the Father is one. We also see that he prays that the apostles and those who will believe in them (when they preach the the good news) also must be as one (unity of the believers) and that this unity must be one with the Father and the Son (and with the Holy Spirit which had not been sent to the believers at the moment of the prayer).

In Jn 19:25-27 we can read that Jesus gave his mother to John and John to his mother. That means as, you probably already know, that Mary is our mother. She adopted John (as he adopted her - he already had a mother). So now we have become the siblings of our Savior and as Him we also have a Father in heaven. THAT is a really important difference! None of the other religions can tell their members to address God as FATHER

It doesn't matter how your relationship  to your biological father is or have been. If it is/was good, it can serve as an example on how good it can be to acknowledge your relationship to your heavenly Father (much better). Was it or is it complicated and hurtful? Well then you still have a perfect Father in heaven!

The argument about that there are so many religions that one cannot chose, is not valid when one becomes aware of the uniqueness of the Christian faith. We have a Father that loves us dearly, a brother and Saviour that paid the prize for the sin of Adam, so that we as heirs of Eve and Adam can be able to live for all eternity if we want to do that. We have the Holy Spirit to enlighten us through the Church and personally when we need guidance. Think about it! Were do you find a religion that is so complex and where God is so caring and familiar?

I have already recommended you to read «Catholic for a Reason: Scripture and the Mystery of the Family of God» by Scott Hahn and Leon J. Suprenant (in a former input). I recommend it once more for a better understanding of the relationship between the persons in the one God and for a better understanding of our relationship to God.

If you also want to learn more or to repeat your knowledge about Virgin Mary as our mother and about how we become connected to God through the Eucharist in the Mass I also recommend from Scott Hahn:

«Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God»  by Scott Hahn.

«The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth» by Scott Hahn.

As far as I can understand Scott Hahn is very good to explain things, so what you never understood before you will probably understand while reading some of his books. I have heard others say the same, so I think I can stand for the recommendations. If you want to know about his education, among other Amazon, US, has a Scott Hahn page were you can read about his qualifications.

May God bless you and enlighten you!

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