Catholicism 101

Catholic Morality: The Law of Love And Life in Christ
Catholicism 101

Catholic Morality: The Law of Love And Life in Christ

Many people mistakenly think that Catholic morality is about a list of things not to do, but that is missing the point. The true Christian life is not about the list of thou shall not. It is about thou shall. Catholic morality begins on the other side of the Commandments, just as Jesus said: I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (Jn 10:10). DUCCIO di Buoninsegna, Disputation with the Doctors (scene 7), 1308-11, Tempera on wood, 43 x 43 cm, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena In Baptism, the Christian is reborn in Christ and takes on a share in the Divine life of God. A new life that is about more than simply following the rules. It is a life in the Spirit, open to blessings from God to grow in virtue. Christian, recognize your dignity...
Catholic Orthodoxy: Loving The Truth
Catholicism 101

Catholic Orthodoxy: Loving The Truth

In the modern world, there is no shortage of opinion. People even seem to break down into camps accordingly - you are either a Democrat or a Republican, Religious or Secular, and there is no middle ground. This tendency has crept into the Church since the close of the Second Vatican Council. It is even fashionable to speak of either being a conservative or liberal Catholic. In reality, though, when it comes to being a member of the Church and her teachings, you are orthodox or not - there is no middle ground. For the Catholic, orthodoxy is paramount. ANDREA DEL SARTO, Disputation on the Trinity, 1517, Oil on wood, 232 x 193 cm, Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence As you make the journey through the RCIA, and even as you progress in your Catholic faith, you will meet cou...
The RCIA Inquiry Stage, Falling In Love With Jesus
Catholicism 101

The RCIA Inquiry Stage, Falling In Love With Jesus

The prospect of joining the Catholic Church can seem intimidating to some and lead to the feeling of being overwhelmed or lost. You may ask: where do I even start? Do not worry, A Catholic's Perspective is here to help! This thoughtful guide is full of Christocentric advice on how to grow in faith during the initial RCIA Inquiry stage. Crucifix hanging above the altar at St. Peter's Cathedral, Belfast, Northern Ireland The RCIA inquiry stage is the starting place for adults thinking about entering the Catholic Church - you are not alone. The inquiry stage is like a state of heightened curiosity. Your interest is piqued, so you are searching for answers to questions concerning Jesus Christ and His Church. The best advice for someone in your shoes is to ask questions an...
The 4 Catholic RCIA Stages, A Strong Start To Your Journey In The Faith
Catholicism 101

The 4 Catholic RCIA Stages, A Strong Start To Your Journey In The Faith

Everyone's spiritual life is different, yet our Lord calls all of us to be His disciple, each in a unique way. In the Church, some were born cradle Catholics, while others took a journey of discovery later in life. They responded to Jesus' invitation to walk more closely with Him through the Catholic RCIA stages and completed a process of discovering and developing the basics of the faith. If you think the Lord may be calling you to take these steps, you have come to the right place! Growing and maturing in your spiritual life can be challenging. The Catholic RCIA stages provide a great model for building a solid foundation upon which to build. That being said, you still may have many questions, such as: Where do I start?What are the stages of ...
Sacrament of Marriage, a Profound Covenant and Loving Partnership
Catholicism 101

Sacrament of Marriage, a Profound Covenant and Loving Partnership

The Sacrament of Marriage is a covenant or partnership of life between a man and woman, which is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children. When validly contracted between two baptized people, marriage is a sacrament (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1601). Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman as spouses in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a glorious vision of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. In other words, the whole of creation and redemption is a marriage between God and His people, and for this reason, St. Paul teaches that the union of husband and wife is an image or icon of the one between Christ and His Church (Eph 5:25-32). Marriage of the Virgin, ANGELICO, Fra, 1431-32, Tempera and gold o...
What is a Catholic Mass? An Easy Approach in 4 Simple Parts
Catholicism 101

What is a Catholic Mass? An Easy Approach in 4 Simple Parts

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the central act of worship by the Church, and it is central to the spiritual life of the individual Catholic. It is not only the way we fulfill the commandment of the Lord to Remember the Sabbath, Keep it Holy, but it is also a fountain of grace (participation in the life of God and help to live the Christian life) for those who participate. In total, the Mass consists of four distinct parts, called rites. A Catholic Mass explained step by step then would follow those four parts: The Introductory RiteThe Liturgy of the WordThe Liturgy of the EucharistThe Concluding Rite What is a Catholic Mass, the Introductory Rite? A Catholic Mass will begin by the entrance of the celebrant, processing down the nave (aisle). He will follow several assistan...
7 Sacraments in the Catholic Church, an easy to approach Explanation
Catholicism 101

7 Sacraments in the Catholic Church, an easy to approach Explanation

What are the sacraments in the Catholic Church? The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines a Sacrament as an efficacious sign of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us (#1131). That is a packed definition to take in, so let’s try and simplify things for everyone - Catholic or not. There are seven Sacraments, which fit into the three categories of Christian Initiation, Sacraments of Healing, and Sacraments of Commitment or Service: Christian Initiation BaptismConfirmationEucharist (Holy Communion) Sacraments of Healing Confession (sometimes called Reconciliation)Anointing of the Sick (commonly referred to as the Last Rights) Sacraments of Commitment or Service MatrimonyHoly Orders Seven Sacraments Altarpiece (...
Anointing of the Sick
Catholicism 101

Anointing of the Sick

The scriptural basis for the Anointing of the Sick is quite clear. There is a description of it in the Letter of St James: Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint [him] with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven (James 5:14-15). Although it is often called the Last Rites, the sacrament is available to anyone past the age of reason (usually 7 or 8) who is gravely ill. It is repeatable, as needed, should the condition worsen or a new one arises. The sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given to those who are seriously ill by anointing them on the forehead and hands with duly blessed oil -...
The Meaning of Baptism, A Super Easy Explanation
Catholicism 101

The Meaning of Baptism, A Super Easy Explanation

The Sacrament of Baptism, together with Confirmation and Holy Eucharist, is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation in the Catholic Church. As the Catechism states, it is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church, and made sharers in her mission (C.C.C 1213). That is a lot to unpack to get to the meaning of Baptism! The Baptism of Jesus The Meaning of Baptism, By Its Effects Before we try to put it more simply, if you are unfamiliar with the seven sacraments, it would be helpful to read this article on the Seven Sacraments in The Cath...
Sacrament of Confession, An Easy to Understand Introduction to God’s Mercy
Catholicism 101

Sacrament of Confession, An Easy to Understand Introduction to God’s Mercy

After His Resurrection, the Lord Jesus gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to His apostles. As the Sacred Scriptures recount, He breathed on them and said: If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained (Jn 20:23). The Sacrament of Confession then is the liturgical celebration of God’s forgiveness of the sins of the penitent, who is thus reconciled with God and with the Church. The acts of the penitent – contrition, the confession of sins, and satisfaction or reparation-together with the prayer of absolution by the priest, constitute the essential elements of the Sacrament of Penance (C.C.C. 980, 1422, 1440, 1448). While in Baptism, we receive new life in Christ, as humans, we are still susceptible to the normalities of life: sickness, ...