Saturday, May 22, 2010

Birth of the Church

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:18-19

Last year, when I was confirmed, I momentarily forgot what I was supposed to say and instead began to recite the Creed: We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth ... and I wondered why nobody else was joining me.

The priest gently nudged me and I managed to wholeheartedly say: I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.

I was anointed with oil and "sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit."

So ...

Tomorrow is Pentecost, the birth of the Church and I am in awe that what Christ taught is unchanged for over two thousand years. Even if I don't like a particular teaching (for example, on premarital sex or birth control), eventually I see the wisdom of it. It is a good thing the Catholic Church has not bent to social pressures; it remains true and steadfast to what Christ taught. What I especially take comfort in is that even when I don't understand everything in the Bible, I can submit to the authority of the Church in peace.

Here's a quote from Saint Vincent of Lerins that says it poetically: Keep the talent of the Catholic faith pure and unalloyed. What has been faithfully entrusted, keep in your possession and hand it on faithfully. You've received gold, so give gold. Don't substitute one thing for another; don't impudently put lead in place of gold, or try to deceive with brass. I don't want the appearance of gold, but the real thing.

Peace in Christ Jesus! Alleluia!

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