Tag Archives: DPilarczyk

Thinking Catholic Means Being in Love with the Church

Thinking Catholic involves acknowledging and accepting the church in its full reality. In and through the church Christ makes us holy in his Spirit. Every stage of life is touched by the love and the life of the Lord through his sacraments: baptism that gives us birth, confirmation and the Eucharist that offer us maturity and strength, reconciliation and the anointing of the sick that deal with our moral and physical weaknesses. It’s all part of God’s plan to make us holy as Christ is holy.   The Church Teaches Us In and through the …

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Practicing Catholic: Principally Speaking

Being a practicing Catholic has to do with Jesus in our lives. It is the way we respond to and express two basic principles that were inherent in the life and ministry of Jesus and which continue to be operative in his church: the incarnational principle and the sacramental principle.  The Incarnational Principle The incarnational principle is that in Jesus God became a human being, a true and full human being with body and soul, with temptations and frustrations, with emotions and bodily pains. Only sin was missing in his human existence. Through the Incarnation, …

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The Whole Picture

The word catholic means whole, entire, universal. We Catholics are part of a family community that extends throughout the whole world, that teaches the entire message of Jesus and offers the entire range of gifts that Jesus intended for his followers, a community that somehow embraces the universal history of humankind. Thinking Catholic means being aware of these dimensions of our relationship with God. But thinking Catholic also involves a particularly “catholic” way of looking at the world in general. It is an inclination to see things not as isolated phenomena in the vast complex …

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Guests at God’s Celebration

The world that God created does not belong to us. It belongs to God. We are guests here, invited for a temporary stay while permanent arrangements are being made for us. But while we are here, God has plans for us. To begin with, God wants us to enjoy what he has created. God wants us to have a good time at this celebration of his goodness and love. The vastness, variety and beauty of what God has created are intended to give pleasure not just to him, but to us as well. God doesn’t …

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At Home with Mary and the Saints

People who are not Catholic sometimes wonder about Catholics’ devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the other saints. Catholic churches generally contain pictures and statues of Mary and the saints, often with vigil lights burning in front of them. Catholics will talk about their patron saints, or about praying to Saint Anthony when they have lost something. Sometimes they go on pilgrimage to Fatima or Lourdes or to the shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupre in Canada. Occasionally, it seems that Catholics are more at home with the saints than they are with the …

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Being Willing to be Different

In the middle of the second century, an anonymous author wrote a letter to a man named Diognetus in which he describes the situation of Christian believers in the pagan world: Christians are not distinguishable from others either by nationality, language, or custom. They don’t inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect. With regard to dress, food, and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in. And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries …

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Practicing Catholics Raise Their Children in the Faith

Good parents take care of their children. They look after their nourishment and clothing. They provide the love and stability that is vital to the children’s present and future well-being. They see that the children get the best education that the family’s circumstances can provide. Because parents are the instruments of God’s providence for their children, they want to do everything they can for their offspring. That’s why parents who are practicing Catholics take pains to bring up their children in the faith. Catholic parents know that their religious faith is one of the most …

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Let’s be Realistic – There Will be a Happy Ending!

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that this world we share is really God’s world, and still harder to believe that it is a celebration of goodness and love. Sin, pain, frustration and evil are everywhere. We are all personally acquainted with sickness and struggle. Disappointment is part of everybody’s life.  Sometimes it seems that, no matter how hard we try, things just don’t turn out right. Inside each of us are inclinations toward selfishness and sin which, in our better moments, we know are invitations to greater or lesser degrees of self-destruction. Acquiring bad habits …

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Being Catholic Means Attending Mass: It’s Part of What We Signed on For

If it were a felony to be a practicing Catholic, what kind of evidence would be sufficient to convict somebody? Probably regular attendance at Sunday Mass. Regular attendance at Sunday Mass is the basic Catholic practice. Once you have stopped going to Mass on Sunday, although you are still a member of the church you really aren’t a practicing Catholic any more. The Catechism of the Catholic Church  (#2181) says that “the Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice.” It is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice because of what …

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The Mission (should you choose to accept it)

The church shares Christ’s life in space and time as the community of those living in grace. But the church is more than a spiritual club or a warm and friendly place to feel secure in our common participation in the life of Christ. When the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles at Pentecost, God gave the church a mission to address not just its own members but also the world at large, a mission in which all the church’s members are called to collaborate. The church’s mission is to reshape creation into the image …

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