Sunday, November 13, 2011

Doctrine v.s. Faith

I got to thinking today about how I'm able to forge ahead with my pursuit of Catholicism. Its very difficult to stand by what you sense by faith when others are trying to tell you what you should believe based on their doctrine. As I've mentioned in prior posts, my family doesn't approve of Catholicism & they certainly don't approve of my personal journey. As soon as I mentioned interest, I had evangelical apologetic cds in my mailbox explaining the errors of Catholicism. I've found that the Protestant view is often not correct in it's assumption of what the Catholic Church teaches. In fact, since I was fresh from reading the first half of the Catechism, I noticed Protestants seem to have a nasty habit of pulling both text & scripture out of context to prove their point. As with anything, in order to fully appreciate or even gain a fair understanding of something, one must invest the time to learn about it. It wasn't until I started reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church, talking to practicing Catholics & attending Mass that I realized I had been taught to dismiss Catholicism. And honestly, I have to wonder why.
I've been told that one can't possibly find God in Catholicism because He's not there... He can't possibly be there because Catholicism is an unholy marriage of paganism & Christianity. But who has the right to tell me I can't find God in one thing or another? The fact is, I do find God in Catholicism, so much more so than in any Protestant denomination I've been a part of. I may not agree with some of the doctrine... I may think some of it archaic or unnecessary, but these things won't keep me from faith in Christ.
I've been looking for ways to use the things I may still be uncomfortable with to point me toward God. Can I find God by praying to Mary or believing in the communion of saints? If so, how? Can I find God by minding my so called mortal & venial sins & (eventually) attending reconciliation (confession) on a regular basis? Can I find Him in Eucharistic Adoration? Perhaps the teachings & expectations of the church are burdensome & serve to magnify its weakness... or perhaps they're its genius & strength. The Church leads me to Christ by reminding me how much I need Him. By honouring Who He is, I am reminded of Who it is I truly live for. Its this mindset that keeps me going: Faith first. Doctrine will follow...

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