Catholics are criticized because of their beliefs. However, a lot of those people probably don’t know a thing about Catholicism.
Catholicism is one of the main religions of the world. BBC news found that there are 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. During World Youth Day 2016, there were nearly a million young Catholics gathered in Krakow, Poland. World Youth Day is a chance for the Catholic youth to essentially grow closer to God. During World Youth Day, the Pope comes and prays with Catholics around the world.
This number didn’t include those who didn’t come, the parents of the youth or those still learning about their religion.
Throughout Europe, the main religion is Christianity. However, there are still places on Earth that don’t accept the Catholic faith,including Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Many people still risk their lives for what they believe in.
Living in America, many Christians don’t realize how lucky they are to reside in a country where the first amendment of the constitution guarantees freedom of religion. By the age of six, I was enrolled in religious education. These classes were meant to teach me everything about my religion. When I was 10 years old I was baptized, and at age 12 I was confirmed.
Confirmation is when you accept the body of Christ. This is when the church lets you take the bread and wine. The bread represents the body of Christ, and the wine is a representation of Christ’s Blood. Catholics believe that when they’re taking the bread and wine, they’re accepting the body of Christ into themselves.
However, the misconception many people make about confirmation is that it’s the end of your Catholic journey when that’s not true. After confirmation, there is still mass every week, and Catholics must keep living a life of faith. This includes living according to the Catholic beliefs.
The Catholic faith believes everyone sins, and the only way to be forgiven is through God. When a Catholic sins they go to confession, usually with a priest, where they ask God for forgiveness. The priest will then bless you and gives you something to do for repentance. Repentance usually involves a lot of prayer, and occasionally a priest will ask you to do something good for someone or come to church more often. The sin will only be forgiven after you have finished your repentance.
In the Catholic church, sins can be described as temptations. For example, the church believes being sexually active before marriage, and the activity of saying God’s name in vain, are sins. According to the Catholic belief, sin started in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve gave into temptation.
As the story goes, Adam and Eve were warned not to eat the forbidden fruit, but when the devil appeared before Eve she fell into temptation with Adam close behind. As a result, it created sin among men and women.
The church keeps a record of the 10 worst sins that can be committed, and they call them the Ten Commandments. This list includes everything from adultery to using the Lord’s name in vain. The repentance for these sins are usually larger than repentance for missing mass.
Mass is when Catholics gather in a holy place, a church mainly, for an hour of prayer. During this time, you become closer to God and grow in your faith. Mass is also a time to grow closer to your community. At my church, St. Mary’s, different groups within the church hold gatherings after masses. Some of the gatherings are to raise money for different organizations and for St. Mary’s’ youth.
The Catholic church hosts a youth group for those who have been confirmed but still want to learn more about their faith. The youth not only work in the church, but they also participate in mission trips. This past summer, I volunteered to go with the youth group to St. Stephens, near Riverton, Wyoming. We helped clean up a garden at their church.
The best part of being Catholic is that the church opens up a lot of opportunities for community service. In my opinion, living a life of faith is about living a humble life and always being willing to step up when someone’s in need.