Suppose a Catholic Christian were to speak of their faith in practice to a minimal believer in a spiritual world, or to those persons following the theology of their own Christian belief. The Catholic Christian could probably expect opposition.
Truth is, the secular world wants and tries to embrace and imitate Catholic theology. This idea came to me as I pondered how I could 'remain close' with my recently departed mom. I remembered a cartoon titled MUTTS that I gave to my mom, and she taped to a bedroom mirror. It depicted a mama cat and her kitten sleeping close. The caption was 'there are never enough I love you's.' At the funeral wake, I had placed the cartoon in the casket. With an Internet search, I found the cartoon! Seeing the cartoon 'jarred' me back to the moment in time when I gave mom the cartoon. It is now 'wallpaper' on my computer desktop.
What in this speaks of Catholic theology? SACRAMENTALS! The definition of a Sacramental in Catholicism is any object or action that 'excites' good thoughts and increases devotion to Christ, our Lord. Sacramentals include blessing ourselves with the sign of the cross, Holy Water, meditating on the Rosary, or a Crucifix, having religious medals, and holy cards of the saints. These sacramentals inspire and spur our minds to remember Christ's presence when He walked in the flesh and taught us THE WAY of holiness.
Through the objects mom and I shared together in life, there comes a spiritual connection to my mom in heaven. Nothing wrong with such, as long as the understanding remains of the true Holy Communion of earth-to-heaven via the partaking of Christ's presence in the consecrated bread. Other examples of a secular sacramental include saved tickets to a coveted concert, preserving a corsage worn at the high school prom, a tee-shirt depicting a place once visited, or a keyring, mug, or refrigerator magnet depicting a place or face of a sport or entertainment personality!
Some other aspects of Catholic Christian theology ‘the world’ embraces, in a secular way:
- TRADITIONS: Ask grandma why she does something a certain way. Grandma will more than likely point to an old family tradition 'passed down' through the generations. Humanity embraces traditions that have produced good results, as 'the church' speaks of spiritual traditions producing holy results.
- WORSHIP: Good Catholic Christians meet weekly, and daily if possible, to worship God. Worship, which entails praising Him, thanking Him, and petitioning Him for needs for loved ones and self in the power of a single-minded worldwide unity called the church. 'The world' has also embraced a global method of connecting to each other. ‘The world’ calls it the worldwide web of computer networking. Social media or 'social clubs' is their 'brand' of 'church.'
- PRAYERS: Catholic Christians understand the 'power' of prayer 'into the air' to the seen and 'unseen' God. With complete faith in a machine, 'The world' will hit the 'send' button of written words to persons they do not know and never saw and believe the words will be read and responded to.
- SACRAMENTS: Catholic Christians believe in the Sacraments, and their sacredness, a visible sign that confers inward supernatural grace to the soul of the real presence of Jesus Christ. Sacraments rely on the earth's natural elements: water, bread, and oils that God incarnate touched with His presence while on earth. With the words of faith spoken by a ministerial priest, this natural visible sign becomes the supernatural, real presence of Jesus, coming to our aid to strengthen us. 'The world' also seeks signs they refer to as 'sacred,' in terms of its necessity to acquiring a successful life. The signs they look to are man-made: bank accounts, job titles, educational degrees, and other material stuff that moth eats and rust will corrode. Naturally, these signs can become those 'false gods,' number one on the ‘thou shalt not’ list of the Ten Commandments given by God.
The difference between adherence and commitment to Catholic theology and a worldly theology: Catholic Christians are blessed with a mutual relationship with THE GOD who is meek, humble, and with sacrificial love for others, while ‘the world’s’ ‘cheap theology’ shows itself with only a self-created ‘little god’ (small g) who is assertive, with prideful arrogance, and a resume of empty self-achievements.
May grace lead many back to Catholic theology this Christmas and the sanctifying graces of Christ’s presence in the One, Holy, Apostolic, Catholic Church of Jesus Christ.