We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses …
I taught my kids the Apostles Creed when they were little.
During the homeschooling years, we prayed the Apostles Creed after our daily Bible study every morning. We were Protestants at that time and I wanted to prepare them for the marketplace of ideas and ideologies that make up the wide world of many denominations. I told them that if a church did not believe what the Apostles Creed teaches, then it was not a true church and they should not join it.
If I was raising my kids today, I would have to take on a plethora of attacks on the Gospels, many of which are more subtle than simply denying the basic tenets of the faith that the Apostles Creed teaches. However, I think my original way of looking at the subject is still valid. A church — or a person, for that matter — who denies the basics contained in the creeds is missing the essentials of what constitutes Christian belief.
I view the Apostles Creed as the bedrock statement of the faith, the non-negotiable foundation on which everything else the Gospels teach is built.
What do you believe?
1. It was founded by Jesus Christ. It was founded by the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son of God, the Word of God made flesh. Ladies and gentlemen: Jesus Christ.
2. We don’t conform to society. Ahem: Chastity, Modesty, Pro-life, traditional marriage, care for the poor, disenfranchised and vulnerable, defense of the right to private property and a just wage. So basically, the exact opposite of Hollywood/MTV/the media in general/and trendies on both sides of the political spectrum everywhere.
3. Jesus rose from the dead.
4. Sacrament of Confession: We don’t have to spend the rest of our lives feeling guilty about sins, because once we go to Confession, in the eyes of God and of the Church those sins NEVER happened.
5. St. Francis of Assisi proclaimed peace and revolution before the hippies did. And he did it without drugs.
6. The Catholic Church has preserved the Creeds and Christian teaching in the face of every opposition for 2,000 years.
7. The Church supports women.
Mary is honored more than any other saint (and no, we do not worship her. We worship God; we honor Mary as His mother.) After the Mass, the Rosary is the most popularly encouraged prayer/devotion.
St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Catherine of Sienna: Doctors of the Church.
The first person to whom Jesus revealed Himself as the Messiah was the woman at the well.
In the Parable of the Lost coin, Jesus used a woman as the metaphor for God.
The first person to see Jesus after his resurrection was a woman.
St. Joan of Arc: Led France (like, in battle and in armor) to freedom in the name of God.
In the words of Flannery O’Connor, “the Catholic Church would as readily canonize a woman saint as a man.”
8. Traditions that go back to the year 33 a.d. (when Christ founded the Church.)
9. The Communion of Saints: We can ask the saints to pray for us/our intentions when we aren’t able to. There are times when we aren’t able to pray, but the saints are spending eternity in union with Christ!
10. And finally, we can touch the Living Christ in the Eucharist and be healed at every mass.
Click here throughout the Year of Faith, as the Catholic Channel at Patheos.com invites Catholics of every age and stripe to share what they are gleaning and carrying away from this gift of timely focus.