Busted Halo
feature: religion & spirituality
July 16th, 2012

Why Am I Still Catholic?


Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church in Indianapolis. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

Oftentimes, when I wear one of my sorority sweatshirts or T-shirts, friends say, “You were in a sorority? I didn’t know that,” with a look of surprise. “Why are you surprised?” I ask. They reply, “You just don’t seem like that type.”

Fight it though we try, it’s hard to escape life without having stereotypes or preconceived notions about the groups we belong to. I am certainly not exempt, myself. Living in a large metropolis like Chicago, it’s easy to see someone on the train, learn where someone lives — or even what baseball team they cheer for — and not register some sort of thought. Everyone is, consciously or otherwise, asserting some piece of his or her identity, which is being processed by another. In that sense, I sometimes wonder if we ever truly leave the school cafeteria.

Another category in my life that attracts surprise is that I’m Catholic. This isn’t usually followed by, “You just don’t seem like that type.” More like a slow nod. And silence.

I don’t get offended. I tell myself I’ve hopefully dispelled some of the negative stereotypes about Catholicism. But, going back to the cafeteria, it’s often hard to be part of a group that isn’t the most popular and even lets you down. It’s difficult to be part of a faith that is countercultural and with which I sometimes disagree.

The whole situation begs the question, “Why am I still Catholic?”

I always fall back on four main reasons.

A Diverse Church

When it comes to diversity, Catholicism has it. Though I didn’t always know that. Growing up in suburban Cincinnati, I thought all parishes sported 1970s architecture, were predominantly Caucasian, and had festivals, a liturgical dance group and a school attached to them. When I grew older, I realized the Church truly cuts across all cultures.

Whenever the Church makes news for a moral controversy or abuse cover-up, and I begin to feel discouraged by its leadership, I always go back to Catholic Social Teaching. It seems to be a sort of best-kept secret, living in the shadows of moral teaching on issues surrounding sexuality, which gets the most airtime.

Within Catholicism, there’s a wide variety of Catholics. From progressive to orthodox, even within our faith, we are diverse. While things can become quite heated (hello, Facebook) and the Magisterium tries to get everyone on the same page, I see our differences as positive. For a religion to resonate across the globe, there must be some genuine truth in it that speaks to the depth of our shared humanity. If millions of people with different backgrounds and political persuasions can come together around a faith, then there must be something about Catholicism that is unifying, not divisive, amidst its diverse expression.

The Jesuits and the Orders

I sometimes joke to my friends that I am a “Jesuette,” a Jesuit cheerleader. I have been cheering on the Jesuits ever since my time at Saint Louis University where they were integral in my faith and academic formation. One can’t neglect their approach to education, one I’ve appreciated in my own life, which presents a gamut of texts and encourages students to weigh them rationally. In college, poring over texts I would never have imagined existed, I felt like one of the kids in the cave of the Dead Poet’s Society. The Jesuits were my Robin Williams.

As much respect as I have for the order, I have even more respect for the individual Jesuits I’ve befriended. My former advisor is a Jesuit. I always tell him I refuse to call him by his first name, as so many do, because he has more than earned the title of Father, with his gentle, paternal nature. To my astonishment, the night before I had surgery shortly after my senior year, he called my home in Cincinnati: “How are you doing? Are you scared? If you are, that’s okay.”

Other orders have impressed me as well. The Ursulines were very important in my spiritual formation in high school, and I have a great deal of respect for many women religious. It is in the orders that I find the teaching body of the Church. They teach by example, on the ground, living lives of service.

Catholic Social Teaching

Whenever the Church makes news for a moral controversy or abuse cover-up, and I begin to feel discouraged by its leadership, I always go back to Catholic Social Teaching. It seems to be a sort of best-kept secret, living in the shadows of moral teaching on issues surrounding sexuality, which gets the most airtime. Themes like stewardship, preferential option for the poor, and dignity of the human person are concepts I hadn’t heard about until I was in high school. These took root and led me to make decisions like committing two years to a faith-based service program and wanting to live a life of service. Whenever I sit in church and listen to a drop-everything-and-mobilize letter from the hierarchy or a cautioning edict about voting before an election, both typically surrounding the same issues, I remember there are so many other letters the bishops have written that never reach the pulpit or the eye of the general public. It is in our lesser-publicized teachings where I find the strength to keep going.

The Eucharist

I remember the moment I started believing in the mystery of the Eucharist. Do I really believe it’s the actual body and blood of Christ? It’s college. I’m outside my dorm in my ex-boyfriend’s car, and I’m saying just that. Being more of a philosopher than me, he gave me an analogy: “Say I have a pen, which on the outside looks blue but in fact writes red. What type of pen is it?” “Red,” I say. “Why?” he asks. “Because it writes red and the purpose of a pen color is how it writes.” “But it looks blue.” “But it writes red.” You get the point.

In that moment, I grew less concerned with whether or not what I was consuming in Communion was a bleeding piece of flesh or not (actually, I’m fine being spared of that sight) and more so about the fruit of consuming it. Do I believe the Body of Christ is able to transform someone’s life, give them strength, and push them to be a better Christian? Yes. Well, if that’s what receiving Communion gives to me every Sunday, then who am I to say it’s not the Body of Christ because it’s not oozing blood before my eyes?

At the end of the day, if I didn’t have any good reasons for remaining Catholic then it would be too much trouble to belong to begin with.

But no worries. Whenever I drop the C-bomb, and I don’t see the dinner party headed in a deep-conversation-about-why-I-am direction, I have a question ready to switch to a lighter mood.

“So, Cubs or White Sox?”

The Author : Christina Gebel
Christina Gebel holds B.A.’s in psychology and theology from Saint Louis University as well as a Master of Public Health in maternal and child health from Boston University. After college, she spent two years as a full-time volunteer at a faith-based organization in Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys writing, photography, performing standup comedy, and serving as a doula and Lamaze childbirth educator. She currently resides in Boston, working in the field of public health and serving as co-chair of the executive committee for the Catholic Extension Young Professionals of Boston.
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  • Heidi D

    Michael – I would suggest reading The Lamb’s Supper, by Dr. Scott Hahn. Wikipedia is not a substantial source because it is an accumulation of opinions. If you are truly searching for truth, especially with transubstantiation, check this one out and keep it in prayer.

  • Cliff W.

    Michael: I have enjoyed our exchanges, partially because your concerns and search mirror those which I experienced. Let me try to explain how I managed to return and remain a practicing, believing Catholic.
    The question of Papal infallibility never presented much of a problem to me. I believe that God will judge for himself, and if I honestly tried to discern his will, really searched, researched, and prayed for guidance to the Holy Spirit, I would not be condemned, even if my final conclusion turns out to be incorrect. That is not to say that I have decided that I am the sole arbiter of the truth; far from it.
    There are few Catholic dogmas I cannot accept. I accept all that are voiced in the Nicene Creed. Papal infallibility is a separate matter. That doctrine was not officially defined until 1870 and has been subject of discussion and definition since. The Pope has spoken ex cathedra only once since that time. The Assumption of Mary was the dogma. It is a belief that was held by the college of Bishops and the laity worldwide many years before being proclaimed dogma. I can accept that as revealed by the Holy Spirit.
    The Vatican has come up with a number of dogmas they present as universal or magisterial infallible since, e.g. male ordination only, but they do not have the elements of true universal belief and acceptance. Nor have they been decreed ex cathedra. Thus, I consider them to be of men, not necessarily God’s will. The Vatican may consider me Anathema, but, again, that is man, not God – so I believe I continue to be a proper member of God’s church.
    The question of the “Real Presence” in the Eucharist is much more complex. Please refer to the discussion at Wikipedia;Transubstantiation, which does a much better job than I ever could. If I remember my college philosophy correctly, Aristotle conceived of the world of ideals in which the ideal of an object exists although in the physical world in can exist in many different forms, e.g. a chair. This helps me to accept the concept of Transubstantiation.
    Best regards – Cliff

  • Michael R.

    Cliff, thank you for your words of wisdom. I am glad you understand that I am not trying to put anyone down, I am really and truly just seeking truth. I am not saying I have all the answers, Lord knows I don’t, and I am also not necessarily “Protestant” or a “Holy Roller”. I don’t even believe in labels like that. I just believe in Christ, read my Bible and gather in fellowship to hear the Word and worship Him. But when I read passages like John 6 in light of other scriptures and keeping with the entire theme of the Bible, I don’t have to research to get the gist of what Jesus was trying to say, thats why I just try to find out how and why it can be interpreted differently, especially by what is to be considered God’s moral authority on Earth. I agree that Christ is present, in Spirit whenever His Word is present in the hearts and mouths of the believers. That is why we are born again in Spirit and in Truth. I don’t believe He is present by physically, or even spiritually, being ritualistically transformed into bread and wine, and then getting re-sacrificed to get chewed up and eaten by thousands of people. It just doesn’t sound like the Jesus I know from scripture. Therefore I deny transubstantiation, and if I deny that then I have to deny worshiping the host raised up in the monstrance lest it be idolatry, and if I deny that then I have to deny the infallibility of the pope and teachings of past popes since they say that if I deny this then i am “anathema”, and then I have to deny the equal authority of the “church and tradition”, and once I deny that, well then I am not Catholic anymore since I can’t trust its teachings and I can’t give it all of my faith. (faith’s value being determined by trust, and by the very nature of the word, implies allegiance and loyalty which are designed to be invested fully). Anyway how can i look to an institution for salvation, when they already consider me accursed? Who is really accursed? I can’t help but ask the question when i read things like this…“ He (the Pope) can pronounce sentences and judgments in contradiction to the rights of nations, to the law of God, and men….. He can free himself from the commands of the apostles, he being their superior, and from the rules of the Old testament.” Decretal De Translat. Episcop. Cap.

  • Cliff W.

    Michael: I am more impressed with your resarch, and search for the truth, than you can imagine and truly believe I understand your dilemma. I don’t think Jesus limited eternal life to those who ate His flesh and drank His blood. God is much more interested in our basic belief in Him, His son, our savior, and the Holy Spirit. Thus, we are given a multitude of roads to salvation. The Church recoginzes this in many of their pronouncements regarding Baptisim in the Spirit, etc. Nowhere in the Nicene or Apostle’s creed are we rquired to believe in the Real Presence. The concept of transubstantion is a man made effort to understand what happens at the eucharistic celebration, it is a weak one at that. It is not how it happens, but what happens that counts. I believe, and I think the Church does also, that it is necessary for the people to be present, and that they believe that Jesus is present in a special way, nothing happens. I stress the words, “in a special way”. One of the saving encouragements I ever received was from a fine priest who I spoke with only once. He encouraged me to discern God’s word from man’s. God will never condemn us for trying. God bless – Cliff

  • Michael R.

    Cliff I highly value and respect your age and experience, and maybe I would consider becoming Catholic again, as you have, if someone could convince me of the transubstantiation, but in reading John 6 over and over I can’t help but interpret these verses to mean anything else but to believe in Jesus’ Words. …”29. This is the work of God that you believe in whom He has sent.” and…”40. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone that looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life.” …He is the Incarnate Word, The Bread of Life, therefore the bread must be the Word of God sent from Heaven. which is His flesh…”33. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “35.Iam the bread of life; whoever comes to me (for truth and salvation) shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me (for truth and salvation) shall never thirst.” Jesus was sent out of love from the Father to teach us the true Word of God and give Himself up as a sacrifice for us. “45. It is written ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ He even clarifies this point both before and after His talk about eating His flesh. “47. Truly, truly I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.” He then goes on to clarify further to those expecting a sign such as the manna that the fathers ate, that the “manna” (food of spiritual nourishment) that they ate they died. Then He says….”50. THIS (the Words He was speaking) is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.” He states this twice again in verse 58. This bread was not to be a literal divine or magical “bread” that all one has to do is eat it and get eternal life. He wants us to abide in the Word of God. Hence verse 27 “Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, (Spirit/Word) which the Son of Man will give to you. For on Him God has set His seal.” ( stamp of approval to listen to His Words.) He sums up His point in verse 63 by saying ” It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The WORDS that I have spoken are spirit and life.” This is proven further in John 1:1-14, the creative word of God, which is itself God and incarnate in Jesus. Also called Logos in greek. Finally, the confirmation of the understanding of this is established by the 12 disciples which Jesus has chosen in Peters response in verse 68. Even further proving what Jesus said in verse 44 and 65, stating that no one can come to Him (believe in Him) unless granted him by the Father. That is why He simply asks the 12 “Do you want to go as well?” To prove that they were chosen by God to believe. and then when Peter confirms this choice and belief in Jesus’ words, Jesus then affirms… “70. Did I not choose you, the 12?” Keep in mind the Last Supper didn’t happen yet and upon establishing the Last Supper Jesus brought the disciples back to reflection of this teaching. Im sorry my posts are so long but I am desperately trying to understand how this can be interpreted any other way. I challenge anyone to give me a Biblically sound interpretation and I will genuinely reconsider my position. Until then I stand by my belief and will continue to try to reach out to Gods children in light of (what I consider to be) correct interpretation of His Word. Thanks for sharing Cliff. May God Bless You

  • Cliff W.

    It is so refreshing to read a sprited online discussion such as this which is intelligent and does not degenerate into personal attacks.
    I am a 78 year old cradle Catholic who left the Church for years because of disbelief and disagreement with many of its teachings and the actions by some of the religious.
    Slowly, led by the Holy Spirit and His actions thru one of my children, I was moved to open my mind and my heart. I began to research, study, and pray for guidance. I could write a book covering all the points but will mention here only the most key points which brought me back.
    The Church is comprised of men with all the personal strengths and failings of mankind. The Holy Spirit works within that Church, both thru clergy and lay alike. The Church recognizes this and our gift of free will and encourages the honest formation of ones concience. The book, “Why You Can Disagree and Remain a Faithful Catholic” by Philip S. Kaufman, provided significant thoughts.
    The “Real Presence” within the Holy Eucharist presented a very basic challange to me even though I studied Transubstantiation, etc. under the Jesuits.
    However in reading and praying over Jn 6,48-66 I came to believe in the real presense and by virtue of that distinction; the reality of the Catholic Church as the one true church. Read, study, and pray on those verses yourself.
    I would love to continue, but this is a commentary, not total rememberance or lecture. God bless you all in your search for the truth.

  • Michael R.

    my previous comment before my last one never posted….still being moderated after 3 days

  • Michael R.

    Anyway, as we know this can go on forever cause you have your views and i have mine, and maybe we can just agree to disagree on certain issues, but Cat I appreciate you at least caring enough to be involved in this discussion of faithful believers seeking truth. There is nothing wrong with observing these issues from different viewpoints in hope for a greater unity in Christ. Most importantly,one thing we can agree on is that Jesus Christ is Lord. Please don’t get offended or take my argument personally. In the end we can all help and learn from each other in different ways. Let us remember the very meaningful scripture….8 I desire then that jin every place the men should pray, klifting lholy hands without anger or quarreling.

  • Michael R.

    I beg to differ Cat about not offering worship and expecting blessing from the saints, there are specific prayers asking certain saints to bestow graces upon them and such….who can give grace but God? When the disciples (who would later become the apostles) asked the Lord Jesus to teach them how to pray, Christ taught them (and all Christians) to pray our prayers to God the Father:
    Christ taught us to pray to God the Father.
    6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
    7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
    “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him…
    “In this manner therefore pray: Our Father, who art in Heaven…” -Matthew 6
    Later Christ clarified his teaching to pray to God the Father by saying that we should do so in His (Christ’s own) Name—
    “…I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments.” -John 14:12-15 Christ Himself being our only mediator…”For there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus;” -I Timothy 2:5 There is no need to ask the saints the same prayer you prayed to God. Have faith that He hears you..So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance. Romans 8: 26
    …..Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition , with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to GOD! Philippians 4:……For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that it is granted to you, and you will recieve. Mark 11: 24 Jesus lives to be our intercessor …..Hebrews 7:24-25
    24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.
    25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

  • Cat

    Not sure what happened, but the word “catechized” somehow turned into “cage hosed.” Oops.

  • Cat

    My intention in praying to saints is to seek their prayers to god for me. It’s the same as asking a living person to pray for you. To a Catholic, prayer does not mean worship. Prayer means communicating with either God or one of the saints in heaven, but prayers of worship are reserved for God alone. In praying to the saints, we are not saying, “I praise you and believe you can heal me or solve my problem.” We are saying, “I am asking you to pray for me to God.” This doesn’t mean that we don’t pray to God as well. When I have a need, I ask God that it be met. I also ask the saints to pray that same prayer for me. This is what saint devotion in the Church is supposed to be–not worship. We venerate the saints because they glorify God, not because they have the powers of God–they don’t. We do hold them up as role models and examples of what we can become. But a properly cage hosed Catholic knows that any wonderful thing a saint did during his/her life is to the glory of God–not the person.

  • Michael R.

    Your point is taken but I will have to disagree with you in your definition of worship. Praying to people, is that not a form of worship? I love my grandma but I am not going to pray to her, for one she is not omnipotent, and also doesn’t have the power to answer prayer. I might admire and gaze at a sunset but that doesn’t mean I am going to ritualistically pray to the sky and the sun. That would make me a pagan. Veneration and worship are not the same? really? Veneration is a form of worship….its actually a synonym for worship. What is your intention of praying to someone, if not worship?

  • Cat

    First of all, there is a link. I don’t know what kind of electronic device you are accessing this article from, but click on the words “this item” and it will take you to the article. If you still cannot get to it, Google “do Catholics worship statues” and you will see an item from Catholic answers that expounds upon this point and others related, complete with Scriptural citations. I do not understand how you can say that honoring Mary and the Saints is the same thing as worship. It very obviously is not. It is no different than honoring a family member of yours. It is no different than gazing at a picture of one’s dead grandmother and honoring her memory. Many people kiss the photos of dead relatives, but that does not mean that we worship them. It is the same thing with kissing the feet of statues. Veneration and worship are not the same thing. Properly catechized Catholics know the difference. Granted, there are probably some Catholics who are not properly catechized and taught the difference. This is a problem. But it is not an excuse to accuse all Catholics to engage in this practice of committing idolatry. It is the intention behind the action that matters. This is the reason we need good Catholic educators who will teach children the difference at an early age. Hopefully, Sarah does just that with whatever age she teaches. You seem to think that all people who defend the Catholic faith are obstinately choosing to renounce the Scriptures or are simply ignorant of what they say. This is not true at all, and there are many people who have a different interpretation of the Bible than you do. As far as the numbering of the Commandments goes, there is a good reason that separate commandments were not listed for coveting oxen, donkeys, and other possessions. They are separated in the way they are so that they can be understood in the most simplistic way for memorization. Exodus 20 is pretty long. It is not just an enumerated list of the Protestant version of the 10 Commandments. If you wanted to list out the entire passage as the 10 Commandments, that would be fine, and Catholics would be fine with it too, but it is long and cumbersome and difficult to memorize. It is obvious to a properly catechized Catholic that the first Commandment also includes idolatry. We teach this to our children in religious education. Furthermore, as the article I link to states, the Catholic Church does not recognize one version of the 10 Commandments as better than another. All versions of the 10 Commandments are viewed as acceptable by the Catholic Church, but the majority of Catholic resources tend to use the Jewish version, which Lutherans also use… and Lutherans don’t even use statues or venerate the Saints. Are you now going to tell me that Lutherans also wanted to get rid of the commandment on idolatry? Once again, just because you were taught something a certain way does not mean it is the official church teaching or it is what Catholics believe.

  • Michael R.

    By the way Cat there is no link there for me to read and anyway i have already researched the Catholic perspective on this which led me to disagree.

  • Michael R.

    Cat, first of all I don’t buy the old numbering excuse, if they felt it was so important to separate the commandment of coveting into specifics then why didn’t they separate it even further, and have separate commandments for coveting your neighbors ox and donkey and male servant and female servant? The reason is clear, and Im not the only one who was taught the commandments in this way. I am sure that many many other Catholics were taught the same shortened version of the commandments. And the same way that you can tell me that I can claim Im not being self righteous but thats what Im being, I can tell you that you can claim you do not bow down to and worship idols, but that IS exactly what you do. I can remember hundreds of times we adorned the Virgin Mary with flowers and people pinned money on the saints and “raised them up” and walked them around the neighborhood. People prostrating themselves in front of and kissing the feet of statues. Thats not worship? Is that not praise? It is not worship to God. How about the very fact that you call the pope “Holy Father” and kiss his ring and bow before him. Even Peter himself would object to this as seen in Acts10:25. I can think of at least 2 other scriptures that this is in contrast to “right off the bat”(to continue with the baseballI references) Matthew 23; rev 22:9. It is worship to an idol whether that idol is a statue, a pope, a saint, an angel or the Blessed Mother, it is not to God and is in violation to the 2nd commandment. (or the 1st according to you) Never once did I ever see a priest stop these people, instead they encourage this behavior. Anyway how does bowing down before a statue of Mary help me pray to God? It is against scripture. And as for my assumptions on Christina and Sarah not being formed in real scriptural teaching, Im only assuming, and I don’t really know them, but if they are well versed in scripture then I find it hard to believe that they would continue believing and teaching against major doctrines presented. Im only going off of what is being presented here and so far nobody has backed up your claims with the Word of God. Like I said Im really not passing judgement since I used to partake in these same things and can identify with Catholics but I can’t help but get frustrated when I try to ask questions and all I get are answers referencing from the very sources which originated the false teachings, rather the the Bible itself.

  • Cat

    And Michael, I found this item that discusses the issue you brought up. It explains clearly that Catholics do not hide the second commandment.

  • Cat

    Michael, you comment doesn’t make any sense. The Catholic Church does teach against idolatry. Using images like icons as prayer helps is not against the scriptures, and I don’t think either Christina or Sarah implied that. The Ten Commandments in the Catholic faith do not leave anything out. The numbering is just different. It’s very obvious that the first commandment (in the Catholic numbering) tells us not to worship idols (which the Church also teaches against) and not to place anything before God. Catholics are called to obey this. I’m sorry you weren’t taught that in Catholic school. Maybe your teachers did not follow all the commandments themselves, but I’m tired of hearing ex-Catholics who had bad experiences with religious education telling everyone else that the Catholic Church teaches against the Bible, or that Catholics don’t believe the Bible. It’s not true. Who are you to assume that neither Christina nor Sarah has been formed in real scriptural teaching, and that neither of them has actually read the Bible? I’m not criticizing Protestants here. I know there are lots of people who serve God as Protestant Christians. But stop suggesting that we Catholics don’t read the Bible and don’t follow God in the “correct” way. It’s usually better to ask questions about what people think instead of assuming what they think. It is an insult with no evidence to say that Catholics focus on all books except the one that’s most important. It doesn’t matter that you claim you’re not trying to be self-righteous: that is exactly what you are being in making this judgment.

  • Michael R.

    I find it amazing how you people just so easily dismiss the true Word of God. In truth, the Catholic Church is not the moral authority representing the Christian faith, since most of its official doctrines are in direct opposition to scripture. Its only the richest and most powerful. Just read the canon of justification from the Council of Trent and compare it to the many scriptures in which it contradicts. thats is just a small example of its many errors. It seems to me Christina, that them Jesuits had your head in all the wrong books and not the ONE that counts. And that goes for Sarah as well who should know better being a theology teacher responsible for teaching the truth of God to young people. But at least she had something meaningful to say, unlike everyone else with their heads buried in the sand, turning a blind eye to what is written in front of them, in a Bible in a drawer somewhere, and responding with a mindless baseball reference. (the most insignificant part of Christinas article.) Im not trying to attack anyone personally or use this article as a platform for “myself” but on the contrary it is a perfect platform for the truth of the Gospel, in the hopes of leading the sincere believers in Christ who have been led to believe anything other then what He taught. WAKE UP! READ HIS WORD! Or do you not have time? Seek and ye shall find! He is coming back and you will have to account for your ignorance. Heres a good start Exodus 20! The Ten Commandments! By the way, do you know the second commandment? You might not since it is not taught in Catholic theology. After 12 years of Catholic school I thought I knew the Commandments. I didn’t until I opened the Bible and read them for myself. Who is bold enough to change the commandments of God or bend them to work in accordance to their agenda? Its no wonder why it was not taught to me, its because they teach against it. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not BOW DOWN to them nor SERVE them. For I, THE LORD YOUR GOD, AM A JEALOUS GOD, VISITING THE INIQUITY OF THE FATHERS UPON THE CHILDREN TO THE THIRD AND FOURTH GENERATIONS OF THOSE WHO HATE ME, BUT SHOWING MERCY TO THOUSANDS, TO THOSE WHO LOVE ME AND KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS” (Exodus 20:4-6) ….sobering . Sorry if my passion is mistaken as hostility. Its not my intention to pass judgment self righteously. God will be our judge and Him alone! And I am in no way perfect and do not know everything, but I have learned enough to know something. I don’t need to drink a whole gallon of milk to know if it is sour. Although I drank more then enough. I pray for you all to see the truth, You should also….and pray to HIM only!

  • Anne Z

    Thanks for the article Christina. It hit home for me ( to continue your baseball reference ).

  • Michael R.

    Upon further reflection on the subject and reading of scripture ,in regards to the comment that Anna made as well as the teachings of transubstantiation.. If you read John 6:22 through to chapter 7 and keep within the context of ideas communicated, you will understand that Jesus truly was talking about His flesh being the words of eternal life as Peter acknowledges when Jesus asked the 12 if they also want to go away, as the many others have who did not truly understand the meaning behind the parable. This is also clear when Jesus says that this bread was not like the” manna” that the fathers ate and died. And a few verses later when He states “It is the spirit that gives life; THE FLESH IS NO HELP AT ALL. The WORDS that I have spoken to you are SPIRIT and LIFE.” Therefore it is my conclusion that Jesus spoke these harsh sayings in the same way He spoke every other time He spoke to the crowds….in parable “so that in seeing they do not see and hearing they do not understand”. Jesus only spoke directly to His disciples.

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