3 Reasons, Vol. 4

For more information on the Hows and Whys of this monthly link-up series, read the original instructions.  For inspiration, you can check out the April, May, and June editions.

~1~

The relationship between Judaism and Catholicism

In college I flippantly told a Jewish friend that if I weren’t Catholic, I would be Jewish.  I realize now that it probably seemed insensitive to her, but I truly meant it.  Catholicism takes so much pride in its traditions, and many of those traditions have been handed down from Judaism.

Yes, yes, yes, Catholics in times past have treated Jews awfully.  There is no excuse for that.  Thankfully, our Church has formally (and rightly) recognized the Jewish faith as our forebears of the Covenant, and has accorded them the respect they deserve.

“As the sacred synod searches into the mystery of the Church, it remembers the bond that spiritually ties the people of the New Covenant to Abraham’s stock. Thus the Church of Christ acknowledges that, according to God’s saving design, the beginnings of her faith and her election are found already among the Patriarchs, Moses and the prophets. She professes that all who believe in Christ-Abraham’s sons according to faith are included in the same Patriarch’s call, and likewise that the salvation of the Church is mysteriously foreshadowed by the chosen people’s exodus from the land of bondage. The Church, therefore, cannot forget that she received the revelation of the Old Testament through the people with whom God in His inexpressible mercy concluded the Ancient Covenant… Since the spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews is so great, this sacred synod wants to foster and recommend that mutual understanding and respect which is the fruit, above all, of biblical and theological studies as well as of fraternal dialogues.” – Nostra Aetate #4

It’s good to know where you come from, don’t you think?

~2~

The Eucharist

Stop me if I’ve talked about the Eucharist before.  Actually, don’t.  I have more to say.  I had a stream of consciousness the other day that led to this: “Of course Jesus left us His real and true presence in the Eucharist.  He loves us too much to leave us wholly without Him on Earth.”

He came, He saw, He conquered death.  And He left us Himself (in the Eucharist) until He returns again.

Still skeptical about the Eucharist?  Check out the Miracle of Lanciano.  There’s plenty more miracles where that came from, too.

~3~

Catholicism by Fr. Robert Barron

Technically #3 isn’t about Catholicism so much as it is an exhortation for all Catholics (or any Christian for that matter) to watch the Catholicism DVD series by Fr. Robert Barron.  I simply cannot say enough about this 10-hour DVD set.  It’s enlightening.  It’s enjoyable.  It’s breathtaking.  It’s moving.  If you are a faithful or just a lukewarm Catholic, someone considering Catholicism, or just someone interested in learning more about the Church so you can have better arguments with your annoying Catholic family members at Thanksgiving, watch this series. Yes, it’s pricey.  And YES it’s worth it.

A couple hints: it’s cheaper on Amazon.  And if you still can’t afford it, check with your parish.  Lots of parishes have them available for borrowing or viewing as a group.  If you watch a few episodes and feel it wasn’t worth your money or time, email me and I will buy it off of you at the price you paid.  It’s that good.

Sooooo, what do YOU love about Catholicism?  I want to hear all about it!  Leave it in the comments section below, or link to your own blog post.

 

Comments

  1. I’m with you on Father Barron’s documentary…totally awesome! Not only does it show forth the riches of the Church and the faith, but it does it so beautifully – the photography is a joy in itself.

  2. Thanks for this link-up Micaela! I love it!!! I am fascinated by the MIracle of Lanciano. How can any one not believe after seeing that?

    • Anne, I was *blown away* when I red about Lanciano just a few years ago. There is also a more recent miracle that occurred in Buenos Aires under now-pope-then-bishop Jorge Bergoglio. Fascinating!

  3. I hadn’t heard of the Eucharistic miracle in Buenos Aires, have to look it up! A priest we know was converted as a teenager through Eucharistic miracles, he decided that if it were true, then the entire universe hinged on that question. He investigated, decided it was indisputable, and re-ordered his entire life. He loves sharing this with people, especially because even most good Catholics haven’t heard of them.
    Rebekah Es recently posted…Theme Thursday: Rooms or Wanna See the Beach House Part IMy Profile

    • A couple years ago I was struggling with my belief in them. There was a random flyer in our church foyer about Lanciano and when I read it I almost keeled over. So so… miraculous!

  4. We just started watching the Catholicism series with some friends from our parish. We read that George Weigel recommended all parishes in the US scrap their Adult Ed and RCIA programs for one year and just show those DVDs. They are really good!
    Catherine recently posted…3 Reasons I love Catholicism, vol 4My Profile

    • Our parish in Korea was using them for RCIA. I know several people who were deeply moved by the series. It’s a powerful thing. Thanks for linking!

  5. Hi Micaela, I’m so glad you have this link up. Yes that miracle of Lanciano is awesome!

  6. Hi Micaela,
    Hey, thanks for commenting on my blog and for your prayers! I heard a story on the radio about the miracle at Lanciano and it’s pretty amazing. My hubs is still pretty skeptical about the Real Presence, but hey, it’s a pretty big difference from what we’ve been taught as Protestants that it’s just bread and grape juice acting symbolically. I was wondering if you can help answer this accusation I read online: some Protestant apologist claimed that it was heretical to call the Eucharist the true body and blood of Christ because Christ had a body just like ours, and obviously our body and blood could not possibly be materially enough to be in all the Catholic churches all over the world throughout history…so how could Jesus’? Especially if He is in Heaven now in a glorified body. This apologist said that it just went to show that Catholics do not really believe that Jesus was fully human. His argument seems faulty but I don’t have a good answer for it…what does the Church say? Thank you! Blessings!-Jenny
    Jenny recently posted…When Energy Efficiency is NOT Your FriendMy Profile

    • Hi Jenny! Welcome! Lanciano is pretty incredible. There are many Eucharistic miracles out there, so please don’t stop there! There was one that occurred in Buenos Aires when our beloved Pope Francis was an auxiliary bishop there. Here’s the link: The Eucharistic Miracle of Buenos Aires

      As to that pastor’s claims, my first reaction is that he is being heretical by claiming Christ couldn’t do it. Protestants do believe in the divinity of Christ, right? (That’s an actual question. I’m not nearly as knowledgeable as I should be on Protestant theology.) So if Jesus Christ was God, then He could do anything at all, including making His human form available to all of us throughout time. Catholics believe that Jesus was wholly human AND wholly divine. So yes, we believe that Jesus had a human body which He offered up for us in death, but also that He, in His divinity, knew that we would need spiritual food for the earthly journey to salvation.

      The next thing I would point out to someone who doubts the Real Presence (and believe me, I do understand how fantastical it sounds) is that Jesus said ” This is my body.” Not this is like my body or a symbol of my body, but this is my actual body. He also used the word “flesh,” which would not seem to be a symbolic word, but a word for meat, for the actual tissue of His precious body. As a result of His saying this, he lost many followers. If He had wanted to clarify, he certainly would have. Here’s more on that topic: Biblical Discussion on the Real Presence

      Here is a rather heady theological explanation of the Eucharistic beliefs held by the Catholic Church and Catholics around the world. USCCB Theology of the Real Presence

      Finally, I would invite you to consider spending some time in Eucharistic Adoration. It is an immensely powerful prayer form, to go to Jesus in His substantial form (as opposed to a spiritual one). Many Catholic churches have chapels where you can go anytime.

      I’ll be praying for you! And please feel free to email me anytime about this stuff. I’m no theologian, but I do love my faith and love to talk about it too.

      • Thanks for the links, I will look into them. My local Catholic Radio station plays radio dramatized versions of various Eucharistic Miracles every so often, so I have heard of some others…but I didn’t know any had happened in recent history, which the Buenos Aires one has! Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is quite a lot of reversions and conversions thanks to Pope Francis. He seems in every way admirable.
        Yes, Protestants *should* believe in the full humanity AND full divinity of Christ. There are some liberal Protestant denominations which permit the full divinity of Christ to be sort of an “optional” belief (you know, if it just seems to crazy to be true!) but I personally would not call those folks orthodox. But that’s Protestantism for you…a very very wide spectrum. Yes, I would agree that if Christ really is God, then He can do anything He wants! Also, I would say that since He now has a glorified body which we know from scripture is quite different from the bodies we now know and occupy (1 Cor. 15:42-44). I mean, he walked into a locked room without using the door after the Resurrection! That also is not “normal” behavior for a fully human body. As it says, “it is sown a natural body, but it is raised a spiritual body.” (1 Cor. 15:44). So, yeah, although it is a very different idea than the symbolic Lord’s Supper, I don’t personally see how it can be impossible for God, because NOTHING is impossible with God! But it sure weirds people out. I look forward to reading your blog more. And are you one of Kendra’s friends? I think she mentioned you in one of her posts, and I just love Kendra’s blog!
        Jenny recently posted…When Energy Efficiency is NOT Your FriendMy Profile