Catholic Isn’t Christian? Right…

Today I was informed by an old co-worker of mine, via FB post, that Catholics worship idols and don’t count as Christians.

Now, I’ve been told both these things, a lot, but I think when you put up something that abrasive in a public forum, you’re asking for Dominican Emily to come out. Dominican Emily just can’t let that stuff go.

The conversation with some of his other friends covered what I consider the greatest hits of Catholic mythology. Here are a couple:

  1. We worship Mary
  2. We believe we can “earn” heaven via works on some check list
  3. We worship saints, too!
  4. Oh, and we’re not Christians.

Last first:

Almost all Christians recite the same creed. OK guys? We say the Nicene creed at Mass. Guess what? Most mainline Christians do too! A Christian is:

s a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamicmonotheisticreligion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

Hey, guess what? Catholics believe all that. We believe that Jesus Christ is God. We believe in what he taught. We all believe in the same freaking baptism, folks! (Now I realize some more “non-denominational” guys don’t believe what we believe. OK, fine. But if you are Christian and you convert to Catholicism, we don’t “re-baptize” you, unless you’ve never been baptized, and then, it’s not a re-baptism.)

This is the Nicene Creed.  (It’s called the Nicene creed because it dates from 325 AD and the Council of Nicea.) Now, the Church recently changed some of the words so we have fun things like “consubstantial” in there that other Christians might not have, but we believe all those things. Thus, we are Christians.

And not only are we Christians, we are the largest single Christian denomination in the world. So please, don’t embarrass yourself and say we’re not Christians. OK? Because it’s offensive, and it’s wrong.

Point two: We don’t worship “idols”, or statues of Mary or Saints. We honor them. 

Worship, to a Catholic, isn’t just prayer. It’s Mass.  We do not offer Mass to Mary or St. Therese or St. Whoever. Mass is offered as our liturgy, the “work of the people”, and it is our communal worship of God. Mary is greatly honored. The saints are honored. We ask for their intercession in the same way that we ask people on Earth to pray for us. Since we believe in the communion of saints, which is:

 the spiritual union of the members of theChristian Church, living and the dead, those on earth, in heaven, and, for those who believe in purgatory, those also who are in that state of purification.

We believe that those in heaven can intercede for us here on earth. No, they are not omnipotent, because they are not God.  We ask them to pray for us. We keep pictures (statues, art, relics, whatever) of them in our homes and churches so that we can remember their lives and witness, and to ask them for help. It’s the same way we keep crucifixes around–to remember Christ’s death for our sins. Why do you keep pictures of your family around? They’re not idols. They’re photos to help you remember loved ones and cherished times. It’s the same principle.

As for earning salvation, this is the old Reformation debate of sole fide: by faith alone. Catholics don’t believe in that. The Epistle of James gives excellent Biblical foundation for this; he says that even the devils believe that Jesus is Lord, and much good it does them. Faith leads, naturally, to the outpouring of works, which just means how you live your life.  Grace and salvation isn’t a one time deal. It’s an ongoing process, which is why Saint Paul says we “hope” in our salvation, and that we work our our salvation with fear and trembling.

Jesus in his ministry gave us guidelines. What is the greatest commandment? To love the Lord Our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. That means WORKS, guys.  The Good Samaritan? He had works! The Prodigal Son? Works again! He was sorry, he came back and asked for forgiveness. Pick a parable. Faith and grace are not these one time things. And Catholics have tons of outlets for grace, in our sacraments!

No, you can’t “earn” salvation. But the Catholic idea is that your faith impacts how you live. Thus, if you believe in God and Jesus Christ and what He said, then you’re going to do or not do things. At least, that’s the idea. Do we always live up to it? Heck no. Ghandi famously said that if all Christians were truly Christian, there’d be no Hindus in India. We screw up, but we keep on trying. (“Be ye perfect as your father in Heaven is perfect”, and all that.) That’s why we have confession (hey, more grace!): to wipe the slate, to admit our sins, and to try again.

Please, my Protestant readers (or really, whoever else): Stop saying these things, OK? Because they are just wrong. You don’t have to agree with what we do. But we ARE Christians, we don’t worship a golden calf, and we don’t think we can get into Heaven via a heavenly checklist. OK?

Catholic Women’s Almanac No. 38

A sunday version, this week. 🙂

I am wearing::

A grey BR pleated skirt; a Boden sweater w/ a Peter Pan color in navy and plum (plum at the collar, waist and wrists); tiny sparkly earrings from Touchstone Crystal. I taught CCD today and the girls like it when I wear jewelry. 🙂

Outside my window::

Sunny and blue skies, low sixties. It’s a lovely first day of Fall here.

In the CD player::

Joyce DiDonato, ReJoyce! Let me tell you: her “You’ll Never Walk Along” is stunning. Go give it a listen.

Reading::

The Last Olympian; Back to Virtue; Relish (which is so much more than a cookbook, it’s got some great tips in it.)

Crafting::

Christmas Scarf No. 5 in a beautiful cobalt blue yarn. I just love it.

Being healthy::

I’m taking my first pure barre class tomorrow. Gulp. We’ll see how this goes! One of the girls in the show works here and she told me all about it. I know I do better in a class when I can’t just quit early, and when I have to be accountable for it. So I’m a bit nervous but also excited to try this!

From the kitchen: 

Tonight is Ina Garten’s weeknight bolognese, which I’ve been wanting to try for awhile. Also this week are some new chicken and pasta recipes that I’ll share as I try them out. Also planning a menu for a Saturday night dinner party!  (Small–only two other guests–but still fun!)

Around the house::

Clearing out the closet and sifting through clothes I could donate; vacuuming; clearing off the kitchen table.  I’ve got friends coming over for dinner on Saturday so we have to have a place to eat!

Praying for::

Thomas Peters

my friends who are pregnant

Syria

Wendy, a member of my third order chapter, who is having a biospy in the near future

The kids in my CCD class

Plans for the week::

Lunch w/ my dad tomorrow

My parish’s 160th anniversary is on Wednesday, so I’m planning on attending the special Mass that evening.

Another Pure Barre class on Thursday

Friday/Saturday/Sunday: Show rehearsal!

Saturday: Dinner party

Sunday: CCD class. ALSO the Master of the Dominican Order is visiting our parish and concelebrating the 9 AM Mass, so I will make a special effort to get up for that!

Catholic Women’s Almanac No. 37

A midweek edition.

Wearing::

Blue top, blue patterned skirt, blue shoes…a theme? 🙂 Shirt and skirt from Talbot’s. I love their full skirts and try to get a new one every fall so I have lots of them to wear. They’re sort of my uniform.

In the CD player::

Renee Fleming, Guilty Pleasures (her new album)

Reading::

Just finished Having a Mary Heart In A Martha World. Some good insights here and things I know I need to work on. Also re-reading The Kane Chronicles and Percy Jackson, because, really, there isn’t a bad time to do those things. Also reading Back to Virtue by Peter kreeft.

In the kitchen::

Tonight is a spring pasta, although it’s, you know, Fall. It’s pasta with asparagus and peas.  Here are two things I made last weekend that I loved:

Panko crusted salmon

Summer vegetable stew

I tried eggplant parm on Monday. Yeah, I just don’t like eggplant. It’s official.

Around the house::

Vacuuming, dusting the first floor and the vents in the master bath. Oh joy!

Praying::

Thomas Peters

Pregnant friends

Syria

Creating::

Christmas scarf No.4, which is almost done!

Plans for the week::

Dinner w/ Tiffany tomorrow; rehearsal Fri, Sat.., Sunday; teaching my CCD class on Sunday. We’re talking about Heaven. 🙂

Deeelicious pasta

I originally posted this on my food blog, but I will also cross post here, because you may want to make this this weekend. Or sometime soon. Because it’s really good.

Lemon Fusili Pasta

Also observe that serving bowl: Rachael Ray. It is fantastic! And dishwasher safe! Also has a 10 cup capacity which was just enough for this massive pasta recipe.

Seven Quick Takes Friday Vol. 27

7_quick_takes_sm1

I.

Wow, been a long time since I’ve done one of these. But we’re back on the wagon today. 🙂

II.

Today I am intensively studying my lines; I want to get to the hallowed point of off-book (without the script) in rehearsals very soon. As in, if not this weekend, then next. I don’t have that many lines, but when I get them memorized I think it will really help my overall performance, since this character moves around a lot. So that’s my lunchtime project today, most likely.  Fortunately I’ve always been excellent at memorizing things and have a really good memory, so this isn’t usually something I worry about. It’s just a matter of repetition and putting in the time to do it.

Rehearsals are going well; a lot of the furniture pieces have been moved in and we’re working with some props. We open October 18th! Get tickets here, if you’re local. If you’re not, be sad that you’re going to miss it.  It’s a two weekend run, Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

III.

The Christmas Scarf Project continues apace. Three are done now. There is a tiny mistake in all of them, which sort of annoys me, but I’m trying to let it go. It’s handmade. It’s not going to be perfect-perfect. People can deal. I started scarf No. 4 last night, and I have the yarn for scarf 5 and scarf 6 ready to go.  The next thing is attaching “handmade by_________” tags to each of these. We’ll see how that goes.

IV.

In other news, this is just crazy cool.

I especially enjoy this part:

Eventually, NASA said, the Voyagers will pass other stars, coasting and drifting and being pulled by gravity. The next big encounter for Voyager 1, in around 40,000 years, is expected to be a dwarf star dispassionately known as AC+793888 in the constellation of Camelopardalis.

Well, wow.

V.

It’s week two of CCD. This week we’re talking about God the Father. I’m really looking forward to seeing the kids again and seeing how they are in a more “normal” classroom setting than last week, which was not typical, as first days tend to be. I’m putting together a poster for our “saint of the month,” St. Martha, for the classroom.   Besides serving Jesus and her family, she apparently tamed a dragon. 

VI.

It is SUCH beautiful weather here! 70, the leaves are turning gold and orange, and my boots are on my feet. Truly a good day. Days like this make me want to hit German Village during my lunch break.  One of the things I truly love about Columbus is the micro-villages we have all over: German Village, the Short North, Victorian Village, the ares by campus, etc. It’s like traveling to another city to go to German Village and stroll around.

VII.

Finally, still life revamping.  The new wake-up thing is going really well, so I’m very pleased about that. No A/C this week put a damper on the working out and cleaning, for sure. Also the lectio practice continues to go well. I’m about done with the book of Job.