Sunday, October 16, 2011

Information (Don't be afraid to change)

Sometimes I'm scared of knowing because when you know you probably don't have an excuse unlike someone who knows nothing at all...

At the same time when you know, you're certain of your actions.

I still have much to learn about the faith, I'm a struggling young person who lost my way and found it through information.

There are many things we might not understand and as a result we find ourselves straying away or not being bothered about it. Sometimes we are scared to find out because the new information we have might demand more from our actions. I think that could be a reason why many are afraid to know the teachings of the church because it expects one to act accordingly. For instance I was very moved when I watched the Passion of the Christ, it made me feel like an ungrateful sinner and I promised to change my sinful ways (actions speak louder than words). I had a friend then who said she did not want to watch it because she did not want to change (at least she was honest).  

Why do we find it scary to change?

I think we are afraid to change or become holy because we are afraid we would be alienated from society, few friends etc. well, maybe getting closer to God is worth it? besides I doubt those who leave you because you're practicing your faith were friends in the first place.

We might also find it hard to change because we might not want to give up old bad habits and weaknesses, life might become boring without them, I think this is the hardest thing to do and can sometimes make one depressed but I guess we could try to find new good ones? I know, easier said than done but worth trying.

One might think that he/she has strayed so much that he/she cannot be forgiven by God, don't despair, there's always hope! and God forgives even the worst person in the world.  St. Peter denied Him three times- he's holding the keys to heaven, St. Mary Magdalene was  known to be promiscuous- she was one of the first to see the resurrected Lord. Once we are ready to change the angels and saints are very happy and more than willing to help, just pray for help.

Looking at the pros and cons of converting to a Christian life In my opinion should be good enough for us to change and that's why we need to inform ourselves.

Also, won't it be boring if only we knew? we could tell others too?  one doesn't have to go on the streets with a preaching bell to get people closer to God, a simple explanation of why you go to mass on Sunday, Confession once in a while or inviting a friend to church are simple ways to keep people informed. Most times people probably act the way they do because they don't know so when they get informed, they have a choice. 

I think as Catholics the best thing we can do is to  let people know. We learn our faith, understand it and explain it to those who don't know or understand. One can't really change a person but one can influence the person to change. At the end of the day its the decisions we make that determine our actions and where we end up when we leave this world.

Change also takes time and is a gradual process. I don't think anything natural and lasting is rushed because it is a thorough and total conversion we are moving towards. So it doesn't matter if you told someone that something was a sin and he/she hurled curses at you, what matters is that he/she is informed and by the grace of God would think about it and hopefully change, the person might even become better than what anyone expected.

Hope this inspires people to want to change for the better, like I said I don't know much and my posts should be taken as a matter of opinion. Its a medium to hope that through this information one would try to find out for him/herself about the faith from traditional sources and Christian teaching. 

 I truly hope and pray we all reach total conversion before we move to the next world. 

So we hope, so may it be.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Catholic and Pro-Life

Its quite comforting being in the company of people who share your religious beliefs, for one you know you're not crazy and for the other you know there are people out there like you who are striving to be better Christians and are ready to help you be better yourself. Its really advisable to attend as many good catholic gatherings as you can, it helps you share your views with others and clarify things you don't understand especially with priests (ask them, they're harmless).

Many of us know the basics of Catholic teaching, we know some basic prayers like the "our Father", "Hail Mary" etc.  but what we probably don't know or don't understand are the catholic teachings. If one does not understand catholic teaching it is very easy for one to become a lapsed Catholic and eventually fall out.

At the moment,  40 days for Life is running an event where pro-lifers pray in front of an abortion clinic and offer fliers and counselling to those who go in or pass by. I think its a wonderful thing they are doing. some passers-by look with disgust and doubt while some with  approval and admiration, some shout insults while some shout praises. I guess this is just a taste of how one's journey in life is; some would encourage you while many wont. One might not understand why a group of people would pray for hours for something that most people agree to and the government has approved, to some its like wasting time and energy (like one person said) but I and many others know its not. The christian martyrs were persecuted and killed for hundreds of years, I'm sure then it looked like they were crazy but they touched millions of lives and that's why the faith is still alive today! nothing good comes easy and good things come to those who wait, people might persecute and hate now but they have also been informed with love and an alternative idea and option has been placed before them. We might not see the results now but slowly and surely the results will show.  According to the link there are many women who have come to realize the evil of abortion from this campaign and thus have saved many babies, some might have hurled insults but you know and hope later they would think about it. so the prayers are not only to stop abortion but also to soften the heart of pro-choice thinkers and abortionists so they would fully understand that the act is an act of murder and if they know it is would have the grace to stop.

Its sad to know that there are still catholics who are pro-choice and are totally convinced that its okay to kill a baby. no matter what terms we use (i.e foetus, baby, embryo) we all can agree that a human being exists in the mother's womb. In my opinion that should be enough to convince anyone that according to human rights everyone has a right to life! Many know this but I think the possible reason why many do not want to think of the child in that way is because one is going further to say that premarital sex is sinful and that contraceptives are as well- the church's teaching.

I believe catholic pro-choice thinkers don't really know the church's teachings and don't want to know. One can't call himself/herself catholic if he/she does not accept all the teachings of the church. One cannot say he/she is catholic and pro-choice at the same time, it just doesn't follow.
Abstinence is not torture as some might see it, its reasons like this that abstinence makes a lot of sense because if one abstains there would be no need for complications and if one should unfortunately find him/herself in such a situation we can't compromise. If one thinks he/she is mature enough to have sex then he/she should be mature enough to face the consequences.  Advising one to choose life for her baby is not punishing her at all, its making her aware that even though she made a mistake, she doesn't have to make another and help is available for her to start a better life without judgement.  Furthermore, to be a Catholic demands much, it demands total, selfless love for God. We can't pick and choose which we like and what we would follow just like Christ didn't pick which tortures He would undergo, he did everything for love of us.
There is more than enough proof to show that the human being in the womb is more than a potential life and if one truly wants to understand there are many materials that explain these things. I truly believe that many already know these things but the world has made it so hard to be especially catholic with the sexual revolution so we prefer to live in a subjective reality and follow our own thinking in order not to feel guilty about the atrocities we commit.

Dear catholic youth, you are not fully catholic unless you read widely and try to know your faith better by developing a good reading habit. Its not that boring. Maybe every Sunday one could just pick a little book or the cathecism and read a page or two, this way you understand more and would be able to explain to others what it means to be truly catholic.