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Who do you say that I AM?

How many "prayer warriors" do you know?  Twitter's a great place to meet them, or to hone your own skills of praying for people. I have a great group of Twitter prayer warriors to share my Catholic faith with. We call our selves "Catholic Characters," because we find joy in praying for and lifting each other up. And supporting each other in our apologetic pursuits.

Lately, I'm finding a new type of person to pray for. These are the tweeps we engage in our "apologetic pursuits." They can be Protestant, gay, or atheist, or anywhere in between. Each are unique in their beliefs, and their ability to persuade, argue, insult, encourage, or cajole. But they all share one thing in common: every one of them thinks they understand, and can explain in a nutshell, what Catholicism is.
I haven't found one who can.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, "There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.” 

I'm not saying that people hate us (although some might), but that their perception of Catholicism is based on a false premise. And who can blame them? Everywhere you turn, Catholicism is being assaulted. It's very easy to hop on that bandwagon.

I'd like to continue the discussion here. Help to dispel ideas of what our opponents think Catholicism is. Veni Sancte Spiritus.


  1. Thank you so much for being willing to discuss the faith with those who don't understand, and who are sometimes impatient with the wisdom and knowledge they purport to have.

    Archbishop Sheen was so very right!

  2. But how do you explain to someone who already has the answers? So much is working against us from the beginning!

  3. Constant, positive persistence.
    Also, it helps to be able to find the circular logic, lack of logic, and other "non-answers".

  4. I'm not doubting that Catholicism is "Christian", but it does have some false teachings (IMHO, all denominations do). The Roman Catholic Church has it's fair share, and practices of "worshiping" Mary and of asking Mother Mary and departed saints to pray for someone are too big ones. I have two practical reasons for sayinf that these practices are not "God's best" for believers: 1) Praying with fellow believers on earth has benefits for the believers and the Body of Christ. It brings the Body of Christ closer together in fellowship and strengthens faith in all who pray together. 2) Asking departed souls to pray for the living does not foster a direct relationship with the Livijng God and can become a de facto stumbling block. If prayers get answered when one asks Mary or another departed soul to pray for them, it takes the focus off God and can foster faith in the created rather than the Creator. Bottom llne: At best such prayers are a distraction from activities that can lead to closer fellowship with living brothers/sisters in Christ and with God himself. At worst, it is idolatry, pure and simple. That's my $0.02's worth.

  5. Why be a part of a faith with false teachings? That doesn't make sense to me. If they're wrong about one thing, how can you trust them to be right about something else?

    We don't worship Mary or any other saints. We don't. End of that story.

    If you ask someone to pray for you, and the prayer is answered, does that take away from God? Is it a distraction?

  6. Here's something on graven images:

    The Catholic Church does not defy any of God's commandments. Your question reveals an ignorance of the biblical facts surrounding statues. In Exodus 20:4 God condemned the carving of statues for the sake of worshipping them as idols--a blasphemy the Catholic Church also condemns. In Exodus 25:18-20, on the other hand, God commands Moses to carve statues for a religious purpose: two cherubim which would sit atop the Ark of the Covenant.

    Notice that these angelic images were to serve such an exalted purpose (not because the statues themselves were in any way intrinsically exalted but because of the use to which they would be put) that God was very exacting in the instructions he gave Moses as to the materials to be used and the posture in which they were to be carved. Similar divine commands to carve statues and embroider images of various religious objects are found in Exodus 21:6-9, Numbers 21:6-9, 1 Kings 6:23-28, and 1 Kings 7:23- 39. In each case, the statue or embroidered image was intended by God for a religious use.

    Although the worship of anything, not just statues, in place of the True God is idolatry, there are times when statues are not just tolerable but recommended. Just as those Old Testament statues were ordered fashioned by God to reminded the Israelites of heavenly realities, Catholic statues of Jesus and the angels and the saints serve the same purpose.

  7. Doesn't it make sense? The Israelites blew it the first time. They gave themselves over to despair and weakness. They lost their already weak faith, and replaced it with a cow. Of course God would forbid that. But how does that even compare with what God commanded in the post above, or how we as Catholics surround our selves with constant reminders of our faith and what we long for- to be with God in Heaven with His Angels and His Saints (not to mention our loved ones)- and His MOTHER!

  8. Anonymous10:59 PM

    This post is from Jan:
    Linda - absolutely outstanding answers to Tiger's concerns. The other thing I would add to your wonderful explanation, is that those that have died in Christ, are Alive in Christ. Those in Heaven are still part of the Body of Christ, just as we are part of the Body of Christ, being baptized into His Church. So, not only are those that have past Not a distraction, but, to build on Tiger's right idea that praying for one another builds the Body of Christ, as we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, so those in heaven can continue to pray for us still here struggling in the Church Militant (on earth). Recognizing that the Church of the Living Christ is larger than those of us on earth is an important and gratifying understanding of being Alive in Christ.

    1. Can't take credit for the first post- it's from Catholic Answers! You're the expert apologist! I agree with the "Body if Christ" premise- Church Militant, Church Suffering, Church Triumphant!

    2. I wish I was an expert! I'm an apologist hobbyist. :)
      My fiance and I are coordinating the RCIA teaching at our parish, so we're apologists-in-training. Someday I hope to be expert!!!

  9. Amen to both of those ideas!
    Chesterton said (I paraphrase) that Tradition was a democracy that did not discriminate based on the status of living/dead.
    We view prayer the same way. We keep the statues and icons to remind us that the dead both pray for us and need our prayers. God sees us before we live on this earth, and after we leave it. It only makes sense that he would hear the prayers of those who have joined Him in Heaven.

  10. Thank you for continuing this dialog! God is so good! See how He has provided an outlet to share our faith with others...He is sooo good to us. Thank you all too for sharing. I'm here...& will jump in when I can. We're off duty this weekend - Grandma duty- so I'm going to try & take a break from soc. media...yeah right... ; ) I'll check back in. Btw it's so nice to meet all of you!
    God bless- Kathy

  11. Here's a short video I think addresses some questions:

  12. I do like Time Staples.

    Another good person to check out is Scott Hahn. He really explains how we see Mary, as Mother and Intercessor, throughout the Bible...from the moment Adam and Eve are punished until the end of Revelation.

  13. Yes-I do love them both, but I find their delivery and content unique from each other.

  14. They absolutely do! Like all good teachers, neither is exactly like the other. :)
    Speaking of good teaching, here's one on the "call no man father" business:

  15. Regarding the Rosary and its contents: