The word “infallible” does not mean that the pope is perfect. It also does not mean that the pope knows everything. Instead, infallibility only applies when the pope speaks about solemn, official teachings on faith and morals, and he can’t ever change, add, or subtract Christian doctrine.
He only helps define or explain what we already believe, and he doesn’t do it on his own. The infallible teachings of the Pope are the result of many years – sometimes hundreds of years – of consultation with the other bishops and theologians of the Church. He is, in effect, voicing the belief of the whole Church.
Picture it: You’re in a hurry. You’re focused on school or work or family or friends, where there are a thousand things going on. You stop “real quick” to eat in the middle of the day. Halfway through the meal – or a little while after – you remember it’s Friday. And it’s Lent! And that’s a burger in your stomach!! In the words of Homer Simpson, “D’oh!”
“Excuse me, you’ve got some dirt on your head.” Every year someone says that to me on Ash Wednesday. Maybe it has happened to you too. In the past it used to frustrate me, but in recent years I have come to see it as a great opportunity to evangelize, to share with someone about the most important person in my life: Jesus Christ.
Jesus Himself claims to be God throughout the Gospels as well. Jesus asked the Jews, “Do you say . . . ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” (John 10:36). Calling yourself God when you are not is blasphemy, the worst kind of sin for the Jews. That’s why the Jews wanted to put Him to death . . .
Catholics believe in the personal and final judgments because Christ told us we would be judged for all of our actions and that He, the Good Shepherd, would separate us like sheeps from goats, the good from the bad.
St. John of the Cross said, “On the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.”
All of our actions here on earth matter because we believe that we were created to spend eternity with God. Therefore the things that we do and don’t do have an effect on our souls. If we don’t choose God on earth, how will we be ready (or willing) to spend eternity loving Him?
Catholics take care to honor and bury the dead because St. Paul tells us that we are temples of the Holy Spirit, that God lives in our very bodies and therefore we should honor God with them (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Honoring the body doesn’t stop after the person has died.
Just as in Marriage spouses give themselves fully to each other — spirit and body — so a priest gives himself to the service of Christ for the Church. Imagine trying to give yourself fully to an entire parish and have a family to take care of! You’d have to make sure your family has food on the table and a roof over their heads and are spiritually and emotionally taken care of.
The YouCat describes a creed as a “bried formula of faith that makes it possible for all believers to make a common profession” (YouCat 26).
The two most used creeds of the Catholic Church are the Nicene Creed and the Apostle’s Creed. In Mass, we pray the Nicene Creed, which was written during two of the great councils of the Church, Nicacea in 325 A.D. and Constantinople in 381 A.D. It’s the Church’s way of briefly summarizing the most important truths of the faith.
This promise – to only say what you mean with your body – is what chastity rings signify. Normally they are worn by those who plan on getting married and are currently striving to live a chaste single life.
Chastity rings are traditionally worn on the ring finger of the left hand, holding the place for the wedding ring they will receive from their future spouse.
Clothes say something about what we think, what we value. They also influence how we behave and feel. Sunday is special, and God’s House is special. Some things are really important, and our clothing and demeanor ought to reflect this truth.
The exterior reflects the interior, and God definitely deserves the best we have inside and out!
Catholics are able to speak in tongues if they have been given the gift of tongues by the Holy Spirit.
“Tongues” is a kind of prayer that can either be vocalized or internal and it’s when a person is able to pray in a language that they do not know. Not all Catholics are given this gift, but that’s okay. All Catholics receive the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation. These are the important gifts that everyone needs to grow in holiness.
We venerate the bodies of saints because even though the saint is dead they are still an important part of that man or woman. They were once temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:15) and one day they will be eternally glorified!
Catholics follow the Ten Commandments because Christ, Himself, followed them and because He told others to follow them (Matthew 19:16-19). We also follow them because they were given to us by God. In the book of Exodus we read how God himself gave these commandments to the Israelites through the help of Moses. However there is more to following the Ten Commandments than just because “God told us to.”
We obey God’s commands because He loves us! Because God loves us and loves us perfectly we can always trust His word. Also, because God created us we can trust that He always knows what is best for us.
In the outward sign of crossing our forehead, lips, and heart, we are asking that the Word of God to pierce our mind, lips, and hearts.
We cross our forehead so that the Word of God may be in our thoughts and purify our minds. We cross our lips so that our speech may be holy and incline us to share the Gospel with others. And we cross our hearts to invite God to strengthen our love for Him and others. All of this is so that we might know, proclaim, and love Jesus Christ all the more.
Catholics make the sign of the cross because it is a brief profession of the Christian faith, which we received from the Apostles. “Through the Sign of the Cross we place ourselves under the protection of the Triune God.” (CCC 2157)
As often as we make the sign of the cross in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we are saying that we believe in God, a Trinity of three persons, and the Redemption of the Cross.
According to Catholic tradition, Our Lady gave the scapular to St. Simon Stock, the Father General of the Carmelite order, in the thirteenth century. Mary appeared to St. Simon in a vision, held out a scapular and said to him, “ . . . he who dies in this will not suffer eternal fire.”
Does this mean if you wear the scapular you get into heaven no matter what your actions? Of course not!
The scapular is not a “get out of hell free” card or a magical charm. It is an exterior sign of an interior fidelity to Christ and trust in his Mother’s love and intercession for her children.
Catholics pray the rosary because it’s a powerful prayer to God, through His mother, Mary.
Praying the rosary has been a tradition in the Church for a long time. It’s a bit fuzzy who made it more formal; some say it was St. Dominic and others say it wasn’t. What really matters is that this prayer is super powerful.
Throughout Church history, many popes and saints have highly recommended that we pray the rosary. St. Louis de Montfort said, “When the Holy Rosary is said well, it gives Jesus and Mary more glory and is more meritorious than any other prayer.”