Introduction to Catholic Faith in daily life language

What does Catholic Faith mean to our daily lives?

Catholic Faith believes in the value and dignity of each individual person, including the weakest.

The love of God towards us is unconditional. Catholic Faith therefore gives hope to everyone including those who had committed grave wrong in the past. Catholic Faith preaches the profound love and forgiveness of God, which we may better experience when we also forgive other people.

Although the fruit of Catholic Faith should include striving to perform acts of love, Catholic Faith is not a religion that only preaches justice and the need to do good deeds. Justice is already known to many people without Catholic Faith. The profound love and forgiveness of God surpasses even the justice of God. The coming of Jesus is not to bring justice but to reveal the unconditional love of God.

Catholic Faith believes in the gifts of different talents to each individual in order that we may use them to serve others in our daily work at home and at work.

Catholic Faith believes in the love and healing from God especially when one has been deeply hurt by people in the world.

Catholic Faith believes in the use of God's gift of sex only within marriage in order to experience the love of God and to build up families with love.

Catholic Faith believes in the love of God present in us. However the lack of love and hurt from many people often makes it more difficult to believe in the love of God. It may take strong Faith to believe in and to rediscover the love of God.

God is love

God is Love. Out of love, God created human beings in the image of God, which is love. Human beings are able to live our lives in this world with love.

After studying the Gospel of St. John, Ireneus of the seventh century had concluded that God can only love.

When we do live out love, the kingdom of God can be experienced in this world. We may share the love of God in this world, in our families, at work, or at school.

The freedom of Mankind

God loves us out of God's free will. God created us not only in God's image of love but also in God's image to love out of one's own free will.

The love of God towards us is unconditional. God loves each one of us before we were born. God loves us when we respond to God's love. God also loves us even when we choose not to respond to God's love. When we respond to God's love, we may better experience God's love. When our minds are occupied with other worldly values, we lack the room in our hearts to experience the love of God.

When human beings choose to be separated from the love of God, we turn this world into one lacking love. The world is full of selfishness, hatred, and coldness. People are hurting each other and can no longer trust each other. The more we are departed from the love of God, the more there will be lack of peace and joy in our hearts. The consequences of such separation from the love of God or the absence of the kingdom of God are called sin. There are sins not only of individuals but also of the society. The hurt caused by the lack of love or sins do not necessarily bring consequences to only the individuals causing them. Innocent people may be victimized. The fact that these consequences of sin spread throughout the world and from generations to generations has long been recognized as the consequences of the original sin in the Catholic Catechism. Our capacities to love and to experience love are hindered by these consequences so that the kingdom of God cannot be perfectly fulfilled in this world. Yet we may choose to live with the love of God to counter the evil influences.

The souls cannot find rest until we find the true peace and joy in the love of God. The emptiness of our souls cannot be fulfilled with selfness, the excitement of drugs, and the use of violence. Yet people are tempted to seek distorted worldly values and the misuse of God's gifts of power, money, and sex. The multimedia and information technology including television and the Internet, which are also gifts of God, continue to be used to promote these distorted values and confusion. The results are more hurts, disintegration of families, insecurity, and fear.

Although we are created in the image of God to love and to be loved, the hurts in this world have made us less and less capable to experience the love of God. Indeed many people are unable to believe or apprehend that God is love. As we continue to be separated from the love of God, we continue to suffer with the lack of true peace and joy in our hearts. We also continue to suffer from the hurts in the coldness of the society.

Indeed many people have not experienced any love in this world. They do not know love in the family, relatives, or friends who reject them. They do not know love in the school whose expectations are often more on fairness of exam rather than the role to share God's gifts of intelligence. They do not know love in the business world that can never fulfill the desires of the greed and that often betrays the ethnical. 

A distorted image of God who only rewards the faultless and finds out the faults in people to punish is what they expect. People will find this image even with each other in this world, and will hurt each other when they disagree. As they venge their anger and hurt upon others, the innocent are also victimized, which they blame God.

The non-fulfillment of the need of love and the lack of peace in our hearts is very painful to the souls. They are the consequences of sins in this world, and may mimic the suffering of eternal death.

Salvation of Love

As a mother would not forget her baby, God continues to love us even when we choose to follow the lies of the world in our lives much more than to respond to the true love of God. God came to reveal us God's love. To reveal the love of God to the poor, Jesus had chosen to be born in poverty. To reveal the love of God towards sinners, Jesus loves sinners and accompanies sinners. Jesus proclaimed that the Kingdom of God has arrived. Jesus told us the love of God, which is very difficult to apprehend by many. He taught us with his examples that we may turn back to the love of God to restore the beautiful image of God in us to love and to be loved beginning in this world. His teaching of such plain truth is however very remote from our worldly beliefs. The sins of the world cannot even imagine a God of love.

Many people still would not accept that God is love as revealed by Jesus. Therefore to love the sinners and to preach that God loves sinners had caused Jesus much opposition and rejection especially from the leaders. People of the world cannot believe in Jesus who does not condemn and punish other people as sinners. People of the world cannot believe in a God who can only love and not bring justice to all other people except themselves. So they continue to punish and hurt each other.

Yet Jesus continues to love sinners, continues to heal the sick not only physically but also spiritually that their sins are forgiven. He continues to forgive sins with his love, and give us the example to forgive each other to restore peace and the image of God's image within us. He does not compromise in his action and teaching of God's love even though they would offend the hardness of the hearts of the people. Such sins of the world will cause him the sorrowful passion and eventually his life. The lamb of God has willingly become the victim of the sins of the world.

Jesus understood the consequences of bringing love to people who largely do not know love. The consequences of the lack of love in this world are hatred and hurting people including innocent people. He loves us so much that he accepted unjust judgment, scourging, insult and crowning with thorns, and even death on the crucifix with love and forgiveness. He has therefore manifested to us the love and forgiveness of God in his most sorrowful passion. Such a profound manifestation of God's love has enabled us to better comprehend the love of God and the consequences of sin. Jesus has overcome the consequences of sin with the love of God. We may also follow Jesus to overcome evil by relying on the love of God that lives in us.  Salvation is therefore the profound manifestation and downpour of God's love.

Salvation for us is when we are deeply touched by the love of Jesus, that we accept such a powerful downpour of the love from Jesus to heal our souls and to restore the image of God within us. Salvation is when we let Jesus live in us that we begin to live out the love of God as Jesus did.

Jesus did not only go through the sorrowful passion in history. Jesus loves us so much that He gives Himself to us, even though we may continue to hurt Him. As we pay most of the attentions in the world, He waits for our very occasional attention. As we have plenty of other important priorities, He waits, in the humble appearance of bread and wine, for us to receive Him.

We bring the salvation of Jesus to the world when we live out the love of God as Jesus did, even though we know the consequences to us from the world as Jesus did, but we do it anyway because we love as Jesus did.

At work or at school

We contribute to the world with our labor both physically and mentally.

In science, we learn the natural laws, the matters, the universe, as well as living things. As we better understand the creation and its wonders, we become better able to contribute to the creation through our work.

Human beings are able to perform healing with the wonders of medical technologies. The gifts of healing are acquired in the fields of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and health sciences. The gifts of mental healing may also be acquired in the field of psychology.

The gifts to serve the general public may be acquired through the study of human affairs, political science, and social studies.

The gifts of housing are acquired in the fields of civil engineering and architecture. One learns not only to build better homes but also how to build low cost housing for the many people without a roof.

Mathematics helps us solve problems occurring from simple use in daily life to sophisticated analytical problems in finance, in science and engineering, and in research.

In engineering, one learns about building systems to perform tasks more efficiently and tasks beyond the limits of human hands and brain.

As we now live in the Information Age, knowledge is a gift of God. Computers enable us to think beyond the biological limits of our brain. Communication technologies enable us to exchange information and to perform tasks over space and time beyond the physical limits of the body.
God has given us all these gifts so that we may continue to improve the life conditions of this world and to better serve other people.

As civilization is becoming more and more modern, people do not necessarily enjoy more peace in the souls. Many jobs are becoming more stressful nowadays and are sometimes even destructive to family life. Families continue to disintegrate. Violence continues to appear everywhere. Lack of peace, fear, and insecurity continue to inflict many souls. It is not that the gifts are not good but that they have been misused. The gifts of medicine had been used not to save life but to kill unborn babies who are unable to protect themselves. Another example is to enable and thus encourage irresponsible sex through the indiscriminate distribution of condoms.

Today human politics are common at work places. Self benefits, power, and unreasonable gains are often pursued by taking advantage of other people, without regard to the well being of others, or without taking responsibility of the environment. People are hurting people at work and in business.

To counter the consequences of these evils, we need to turn back to God and to use God's gifts to minister to others. We need to thank God as we receive these gifts. We pray as we minister to other people through these gifts of God. We pray in our study and in our work that we may use these gifts of God to serve other people. We pray that we may counter the misuse of God's gifts. We pray that we may have courage ourselves to decline the misuse of God's gifts.

Family, Marriage, and Sexuality

The Trinity of God is love. The Father loves the Son. The Son loves the Father. The love between the Father and the Son sends forth the Holy Spirit. The love in the Trinity of God is so perfect that the three persons become one God. God created marriage so that we may share the love of God in the family. In marriage life, husband and wife are united by the love of God. They give birth to children in order that the family may share the more profound love of God.

A family is a school of love. Dealing with much differences and difficulties demand more love in the family. Love is not easy and often comes with endless sacrifices. God is able to give many more gifts through the channel of a family who seek the love of God. This is why the Catholic Church institutes preparatory classes for marriage, ministers the sacrament of marriage, as well as counseling after marriage. St. Therese of the Child Jesus was brought up in a family of love, which had prepared her to find the vocation of love.

Sex is a gift of God to build up love in the family. A man is attracted to the beauty of a woman in order that the man will love her and learn to live a life of true love with sacrifices through the sacrament of marriage. That husband and wife make matrimony vows to love each other unconditionally and eternally mimics the unconditional love of God in us. It is God's gift that sex may be used within marriage for husband and wife to love, to increase in love, and to develop true love. It is therefore God's gift that a wife may tempt her husband. The purpose of sex is for husband and wife to learn true love. True love includes sex as well as abstinence from pre-marital sex and outside-marriage sex. For married couples, true love requires mutual respect and not sex violence, and may sometimes include abstinence in needed situations.

With the confusion about sex, about the roles of husband and wife, and the numerous changes in the society nowadays, the challenges to marriage life is perhaps much more than ever before.

The world is full of confusion especially for young people towards sex. Sex has been advocated to serve self pleasure and lust outside marriage. When sex is used outside marriage, man and woman have lost the opportunity to learn and experience true love through marriage.

Today, pornographies and sexually seducing dresses are abundant and have tempted many young men who do not practice self-control. Many men do not realize that pornography has proven to lead to addiction that will helplessly spiral to pre-marital sex, sex outside marriage, marriage separation, rape, and sex violence. In addition, many women do not realize that their dresses are sexually provoking to men or the lusty and addictive consequences to them. Women need to understand that they may dress attractively and beautifully without being sexy.

Many families today are not experiencing love but the hurt which are disintegrating the families. As families disintegrate all over the world, we are closing the largest school of love which is also a channel of God's grace. The society is in grave sickness.

The results are spiraling. Hurts cause more fear, and the feelings of fear and insecurity causes people to seek more power and violence. Many people have found it difficult to be good on one's own when the evil influences in the world are spiraling.

Marriage life is indeed more difficult to succeed after all those changes that had happened in the society in the last several decades. Many couples treat marriage as a private matter between them only and do not seek union and graces from God nor support each other to search for and to experience the love of God. Because marriage is God's gift of love, it is not only helpful but also essential for husband and wife to unite in the love of God, to pray together, and to open to God's gifts. Let husband and wife pray with thankfulness for the gift of sex. As Catholics should pray with thankfulness before meals and not to take gifts for granted, and as Catholics are encouraged to pray before each tasks throughout the day, it is helpful for married couples to pray more often especially when they make love. Let us also pray that sex be used only within marriage to build up love in the family.

What is Catholic Faith?

To be a Catholic then is to desperately fall into the love with God.

Catholic Faith is to seek and respond to the love of God, to live out the love of God towards our neighbors including those closest to us, and to spread the love and peace to counter the evil influences of the world.

Catholic Faith is to fall in love with the Word of God in the Bible.

Catholic Faith is to love to, to long for, and to make efforts to receive Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist in the Eucharistic celebration.

Catholic Faith is to experience and to witness the true peace of God.

Catholic Faith is to be overflowed with joy and love of God in witnessing Catholic Faith in the family, at work, or at school.