A Journey With My Catholic Faith
It’s a known fact that Philippines holds the third larges Catholic believers in the world after Brazil and Mexico. I, for one, is a practicing Catholic. This has been handed down from my great great grandparents. Of course, Catholicism in my country started several hundred of years ago when Spain and Portugal introduced the said faith by colonizing us. Just to play safe I gave the credit to only 4 generations since it’s very possible that older generations beyond that could have followed a different religion or none at all.
Inheriting the Catholic Faith
I was barely a 2-month old baby when my parents had me baptized. I know that primarily because my mom told me and I also saw my baptismal certificate. So I think it is safe to assume that I’ve been practicing my faith by going to church with my parents since I was a baby; though my memory would only let me go as far back as when I was 4 years old. It is still vivid in my memory how we woke up early in the morning and dressed up for church every Sunday and every time there was an event in the Catholic Church as a whole. To mention a few, we celebrate Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, Christmas of course and a lot more. As a kid I had fun and I was always looking forward to all the Catholic celebrations. Well, I still do. I can say that I am a firm believer in Jesus Christ our God.
Criticisms on Catholic Church
As I was leaving the age of innocence and ignorance, I became aware of some of the disgusting things going around the church. I heard talks about the parish priest having an affair, gambling, and drinking. I saw corrupt politicians going to church, I saw bickering among the members of a certain religious group. I saw and heard about a lot of disappointing things in and about my church. After all these, did my faith waver and crumble? The answer is a big NO! Why, after all those and more disappointing, disgusting, and sinful things?
I realized on my own that the church teaches whatever is in the bible and I firmly believe that everything in the bible is good stuff. I further realized that the church is comprised of human beings. Have you ever heard of a perfect human being, no sins, no err whatsoever? I guess not. The Catholic is a large group of believers and it is inevitable to see human errors. That’s where Jesus dying on the cross comes in. Erring humans are given the chance to be forgiven, to start a whole new life by doing it right. By believing in God and by asking for his guidance doesn’t make us perfect but at least would make us good people in most ways. Yes we can pray for each other but our salvation is an individual effort. No one knows who can be saved but doing the things we think are right should lead us to that direction.
Dealing With Religion Converters
The number one critiques of the Catholic Church are the people in different denominations. It outraged me a lot of times when some of them would knock on our door and would try to talk us into joining their group by stating the limitations of my church. I’m not against any religion as long as it teaches the good things to people. It’s just frustrating that one has to throw bad things to a religion just to make their religion what—desirable, perfect? It took me a long time to figure out a way on how to say no to them in a good way. A friend of mine was trying to convert me to their religion. She explained to me that a lot of Catholic drunkard, gamblers yada yada yada stopped their vices after converting themselves to her religion. What the heck! Change is an individual and personal decision. For that change to last forever it has to happen because the person decided to not just because he changed religion. It’s just like changing oneself for a new girlfriend or a new wife but after the i-want-to-impress-you stage, the guy would go back to his old ways. I don’t think the Catholic church taught the people that having vices is good and righteous. On the contrary, it always encourages them not to do it not only because it’s against the law of God and of the land but also because they could destroy ones personal life. The church acknowledges free will that God gave us and the church is there to guide us on how to use it right. So back to my friend, I told her that I think my church and her church are both teaching what’s in the bible, hence there was no need for me to convert. Besides, I like my church because it doesn’t hurl bad things against other religions. Most important of all, it has helped me in building a strong and unwavering faith.
In my journey with life I had more downs than ups before. I’ve been through a lot of hardships and difficulties in this world that I thought it was impossible for me to get out of a really deep ditch. But you know what, it’s my strong faith in God that has always made me rise up and continue to live on with a good fight. I won’t be where I am now if not because of it. My faith is my sword and my shield.
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