Catholic vs catholic
Semantics in translations of various words, terms or specific meanings can be confusing if the real interpretation is not made clear. Using the word catholic in the Apostles Creed may have had or still may be used improperly and confuse worshipers when reciting this prayer.
Even when growing up I thought because being Catholic meant any prayer was Catholic inspired. It wasn’t until I reached maturity later in life that a low case printing meant universal which is inclusive to all Christian believers. We must remember that Christianity came before the Roman Catholic denomination or any other Christian religious sect.
This is not a criticism of any denomination or specific language within Christianity, rather the very reason any of us attends our separate congregation and what we are to do after leaving a particular worship service.
I wanted to use this as a way of discerning the typical premise that Jesus implied to his disciples when first calling them to ministry. He sent his disciples together to preach the gospel. However, just before he ascends to heaven the mandate is complete when he says: “All power in heaven and earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt. 28: 18 - 20).
When Jesus confronts those who criticize his healing of sinners, his response is he has come for the sick. His desire is to find the sick in society and anyone needing God’s healing. Every time we attend our chosen place of worship (local church) we assemble as a community not for individual worship and prayer but as a common connection to leave and reach those who are in need of the release of sin via the Word of God.
Christ’s Father sent him to release this scourge from their sin through the spreading of compassion and mercy. Jesus sent his apostles to gather new missionaries (the church) to reach out to more sick people (the lost sheep of his flock).
Personal prayer is essential and each one should develop a manner of using that communication with God. However, when attending a worship service in the church it is time to collectively worship God who has called us. We should not come and ignore the main reason for praying as a group by ignoring the common prayer as a flock.
As the opening Catholic (capital C) vs catholic ( lowercase c) implies, there is a difference between individual prayer and communal prayer. Both essential to our walk with God but each to its own identification.
Never stop praying due to a confusion of identities. And go forth with the message of the gospel using whatever gifts you have received from the holy Spirit. Often each of us may find that evangelizing starts right at home to family and neighbors. Many times a simple smile or words like please or thank you can also be a way to reach people who are angry or just hurting from emotional circumstances.
Opportunities need not be sought to accomplish this. Most times they appear out of nowhere and become a simple reaction of love for thy neighbor
Ralph B. Hathaway