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Know Your Catholic Faith
Knowing your Catholic faith has always been important, and even more so in this day and age. We must all, as individuals, know what our Church teaches and what she has always taught.
How do we go about this?
By studying what our Church teaches through Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and what the Magisterium has always taught. Let’s look at these three components of knowing our faith more closely.
Pray and read.
Before reading the Holy Bible, first pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you and reveal to you what he wants you to know in accord with God’s will.
A good prayer to say is: Come, Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Your well-beloved spouse.
Or simply say: Come, Holy Spirit, come.
Or pray in your own words.
Find a good, faithful, Catholic Bible Study group.
If you cannot find a local Catholic Bible Study, there are online studies like those offered through the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.
Now, what about Bible versions? What’s the best?
A Catholic version, of course. I once heard someone say the best version of the Bible is the one you will read. That is true, to a point. Many use the New American Bible, which is okay. But, I’ve found the Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition (RVSCE) and the Douay-Rheims are better translations and are more faithful to the original text.
Learn what Apostles believed. Study the early Church Fathers. Find out what our Church has always believed and how the Church has always worshipped. Be sure the sources you study are faithful to our Catholic Church.
Learn what the Magisterium has always taught and not simply what is being taught at any given moment.
Why is it so important to know what the Church has always taught?
Because the Church cannot go against what God says. And he speaks through Sacred Scripture, Apostolic Tradition, and the Magisterium. We must, however, keep in mind that those in the Church are human - individuals, just like ourselves. We’ve had good popes and bad popes. There are faithful cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons, monks, nuns and others in authoritative and teaching positions. And there are those who are not. I once read a comment online about a priest who told a parishioner that our Church no longer believes in purgatory. That is simply not true! And I heard about and read an article from a current bishop who questions if anyone is in hell. That goes directly against what our Lord and our Catholic Church teaches.
That is why we, as individuals, must know our faith. It is our responsibility to know what our Church teaches, what she has always taught, and why. We can only accomplish this through constant prayer and study.
Peace in Christ,
© Melissa Knoblett-Aman
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