How can we encourage the Church to be better?

Today I’ve been thinking about Catholic blogging in and of itself.

The first and foremost vocation of any Catholic is to be the best Catholic they can be.  That sounds obvious, but being the best Catholic one can will always be a challenge and there will be points where one criteria for being a good Catholic will seem in conflict with another. For example is it right to be critical of your superiors within the Church? is your loyalty to the faith more important than your obedience to you betters?

With this blog I hope to be a good Catholic by writing about my religion which I love. Maybe people will see my affection for Catholicism and share some of the enthusiasm for facets of it that previously didn’t strike them as quite as amazing as they are.

For example, the way Catholicism isn’t primarily an intellectual exercise, it is a spiritual one. Yet it also happens to have rock solid intellectual and historical roots to uphold its claims. Everyone from the bricklayer to the philosophy professor can find a place in the Catholic Church.

Although it is probably harder for the professor because they have to question everything before finally seeing that the Church is right, whereas a bricklayer might have the humility to just accept it on face value.

This is why I’m not particularly worried by the study in America which shows the lack of religious knowledge held by religious people. With one important caveat, Catholics really should know that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ, I don’t understand how they can not know that since the priest tells them explicitly every mass. Maybe protestant belief about communion has seeped into the collective subconscious somehow, better catechesis is definitely needed and not just in America. Perhaps we do need that philosopher after all.

But anyway why would a Catholic want to know about other religions really? why after you have found the pearl of great worth would you keep on looking? Well only if we are going to try and convert people of other faiths, and then we hopefully might do a bit of swatting up beforehand.

Anyway, being a blogger about Catholicism is quite fun because you can blog about anything in the history of Catholicism, and unless it has been poo-pooed subsequently by the magisterium then it still goes, and the magisterium doesn’t go in for that much.

So I’d like to direct people towards Our Lady of Victory, through her intercession a rag tag mix of Christian fleets, led by a bastard child of the Holy Roman Emperor defeated a larger and united Turkish fleet, driven by the oars of thousands of Christian slaves. That Christian fleet won a great and decisive victory at the battle of Lepanto, without which Europeans would most probably all be speaking Arabic and Christianity would be persecuted like it is in a great number of Islamic countries to this day.

A bit of a controversial one that but we shouldn’t flee from the facts of our history, thus the feast of our lady of the rosary is on October 7th the date of that great and terrible battle in 1571. October is dedicated to the rosary and Catholics should try and say it as much as possible this month, I’m going to try for once a day and see what happens, I’ll let you know if I start levitating or something 😛

Our Lady of Victory isn’t primarily about human conflict though, it is first and foremost about spiritual victory, the virgin Mary is essential in bringing about God’s victory over the world and the devil through the redemptive life, death and resurrection of Jesus because without her obedience to the call of God, God’s plan of salvation wouldn’t have been able to unfold in the way it did.

Our lady is also the perfect model we have for the happy death, that most perfect personal victory over the devil which we must all aspire to, a death where we can go without fear to eternity because we have run the race to the last and can look forward in hope and anticipation of the glory of heaven.

Catholicism is unique in its belief that you can be assured that through the sacraments of Mass, Penance and the anointing of the sick, when it comes to the moment of death we don’t have to face it filled with fear of the unknown, we do not have to worry about whether we are predestined or not, we can have faith in the ways God has given the Church to go about saving humanity. Its good to be Catholic! and in answer to the question perhaps the best way to encourage the Church to be better is to be better Catholics ourselves.

p.s. crikey three posts in one day!

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