Friday, August 19, 2011

Perceptions

What are my PAST perceptions of the Catholic Church?

-Strict, all about rules
-Ritualistic
-Spiritually dead
-Appearances matter
-Excellence expected, required
-Smug, exclusive
-Old people's faith, old fashioned
-They pray to statues & pictures
-They pray to the dead
-They pray to saints for favors
-Belief in purgatory & their ability to help "trapped" souls get to heaven
-Transubstantiation: the wine & wafer mysteriously become the "real presence" of Christ
-They believe in things that aren't in scripture
-They worship Mary as Jesus' equal
-Blackmail by indulgences, guilt
-Deeds are necessary for salvation, the more the better
-Only confession to a priest provides forgiveness
-The church is the Whore of Babylon
-It is a cult
-It has a dark past of secrets, abuse, crime, coverups

Where did these perceptions come from?
Media, Protestant apologists, people in my church, distant observations of Catholicism, parents


What are my CURRENT perceptions of the Catholic church?

-Welcoming
-Rich & full in meaning
-Scripture based
-For young & old alike
-Constantly changing
-Expectations of excellence include provisions of grace
-Espouses family
-Statues, icons, etc. are symbolic only
-Mary, mother of Christ, is mother of all Christians & points all to Christ
-Sola Scriptura is not as important as scripture lived through humanity (history, tradition)
-Faith + deeds are important to work out our salvation, but salvation is by faith alone
-Confession to a priest is a symbolic aid to curb guilt
-Based on ancient traditions
-Rules are for sanctity of life w/Christ & each other. They keep one grounded
-Rituals remind us of Christ in this age of distraction
-However, dark past of secrets, abuse, crime, coverups remain undeniable

Where do these perceptions come from?
Personal exploration, experiential knowledge via direct observation, conversations & participation, skimming the catechism, scripture, embracing symbolism over literalism, media

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