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.
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?
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.”
Catholics believe in indulgences because ultimately we know we’re all sinners and need God’s mercy. When a person commits a sin, there are two kinds of punishments that they have to deal with as a result of that sin. The first is called “eternal punishment” which means the sinner can’t enter heaven because of a grave sin that is not repented from. Through Christ’s sacrifice we don’t have to suffer eternal punishment if we repent. The second kind of punishment is called “temporal punishment” and every sin we commit carries a temporal punishment with it.
Catholics genuflect in Church in order to show our reverence to the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Genuflection is defined as “A reverence made by bending the knee, especially to express adoration of the Blessed Sacrament” (CCC 1378). As we walk into the house of God, a Church, we show our adoration for Him by kneeing before Him.
Catholics have 40 days of Lent because Jesus went into the desert for 40 days. 40 is a significant number in the Old Testament too. It rained for 40 days when Noah was in the ark. (Genesis 7:12) Moses was on Sinai for 40 days receiving the Ten Commandments and the law from God. (Exodus 34: 28 – 29) The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years after they were freed from bondage in Egypt and were heading for the “promised land.” (Joshua 5:6) The prophet Elijah did a 40 day Read more [...]
That would be idolatry and therefore, a violation of the First Commandment. If a person prays to a statue out of superstition, believes that the statue has special powers or is even God – that is idolatry.
However, this is not what Catholics do when they pray in front of a statue. Catholics worship with their whole person and all of the senses. A statue, or any other piece of religious art, is intended to draw the soul deeper into prayer by helping the senses to recall the mystery that it represents.
When we skip Mass on Sunday, we are violating our covenant with God. We are saying to God, “I don’t need to be united to you. I don’t need to worship you.” It may seem innocent, but we are actually declining His marriage proposal. We are not showing up for our own wedding.
When we make a decision to deny His invitation to covenant we are saying we don’t want a relationship with Him. Because our God loves us and is a gentleman, he allows us to do this.