We’re introduced to the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church this week through Paprocki’s H.E.L.P. acronymn:
- H = We Hold on to our faith that is revealed to us through Scripture and Tradition and is summarized in the Creed.
- E = We Express our faith in the liturgy and sacraments of the Church.
- L = We Live our faith according to Catholic morality.
- P = We Pray our faith by maintaining a healthy prayer life.
As we begin Part 1, we’ll be looking at the Creed, the “H” for “Hold” above. At the end of Chapter 1, Paprocki writes,
“What difference does it make for Catholics to believe that “Christians are made, not born”? It means that we are called to be receptive. Faith is something that we receive. It does not belong to us but is passed on to us like a family heirloom that we treasure, protect, and pass on faithfully.”
My Reflection –
Ahh, what a powerful phrase, “Christians are made, not born”. Historically speaking, if Catholics had understood this one concept, religious wars and persecution would not even exist. Such of acts of intolerance are birthed in a sense of entitlement and superiority. Self righteous indignation is an attitude of us and them, as if Catholics are intrinsically superior to those of other faiths. Unfortunately this smug attitude is all too prevalent, often lurking beneath our conscious minds but it influences how we relate to unbelievers and those of other faiths.
Pride is sneaky. As Catholics, rather than berating those who are not practicing their faith, children who have ‘rebelled’ or unrepentant sinners, we should remind ourselves that our faith is a gift, a gift to all of us who are sinners in constant need to forgiveness and the transforming love of God. Those who have influenced me the most have been humble men and women, filled with compassionate love and bubbling over with a self-deprecating sense of humour. People who did not condemn, did not throw stones but listened with respect and loved me right where I was.