Tuesday, April 07, 2009

2 Year Church-iverssary!

Today marks the beginning of my second year as a Catholic.  It was April 7th, 2007 that I knelt and made a profession of faith, received the chrism oil and got the “slap”.  Its hard to believe its been 2 years.  I still feel like a brand new Catholic.  Perhaps that’s a good thing, eh?  Will my fellow Catholic Converts renew the profession with me today?   Here it is again:

 

 

 

I, [NAME], [AGE] years old, born outside the Catholic Church, have held and believed errors contrary to her teaching. Now enlightened by divine grace, I kneel before you Reverend Father N.N., having before my eyes and touching with my hands the Holy Gospels; and with a firm faith I believe and profess each and all the articles that are contained in the Apostles’ Creed, that is:

 

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

  • I admit and embrace most firmly the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and all the other constitutions and prescriptions of the Church.
  • I admit the sacred Scriptures according to the sense which has been held and is still held by Holy Mother Church, whose duty it is to judge the true sense and interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures, and I shall never accept or interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.
  • I profess that the Sacraments of the New Law are, truly and precisely, seven in number, instituted for the salvation of mankind, though all are not necessary for each individual: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. I profess that all confer grace and that of these Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders cannot be repeated without sacrilege.
  • I also accept and admit the Ritual of the Catholic Church in the solemn administration of all the above mentioned Sacraments.
  • I accept and hold, in each and every part, all that has been defined and declared by the Sacred Council of Trent concerning Original Sin and Justification.
  • I profess that in the Mass is offered to God a true, real and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; that in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist is really, truly, and substantially the Body and Blood together with the Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that there takes place what the Church calls transubstantiation, that is, the change of all the substance of the bread into the Body and all the substance of the wine into the Blood.
  • I confess also that in receiving under either of these species one receives Jesus Christ, whole and entire.
  • I firmly hold that Purgatory exists and that the souls detained there can be helped by the prayers of the faithful. Likewise I hold that the saints, who reign with Jesus Christ, should be venerated and invoked, that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be venerated.
  • I profess firmly that the images of Jesus Christ and of the Mother of God, ever Virgin, as well as of all the saints, should be given due honor and veneration.
  • I also affirm that Jesus Christ left to the Church the faculty to grant indulgences and that their use is most salutary to the Christian people.
  • I recognize the Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church as the mother and teacher of all the Churches and I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman Pontiff, successor of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Jesus Christ.
  • Besides I accept, without hesitation, and profess all that has been handed down, defined, and declared by the Sacred Canons and by the General Councils, especially by the Sacred Council of Trent and by the (First) Vatican General Council, and in a special manner concerning the primacy and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff.
  • At the same time I condemn and reprove all that the Church has condemned and reproved.

This same Catholic faith, outside of which nobody can be saved, which I now freely profess and to which I truly adhere,

  • the same I promise and swear to maintain and profess, with the help of God, entire, inviolate, and with firm constancy until the last breath of life;
  • and I shall strive, as far as possible, that this same faith shall be held, taught, and publicly professed by all those who depend on me and by those of whom I shall have charge.

So help me God and these Holy Gospels.

3 comments:

judyschoon said...

Matt, I am happy that you found your "Catholic Faith" to be a positive thing. But I am very sad to hear that you judge my faith as not good enough to save me. I accepted Chirst somewhere around the age of 9 or 10 and have been a practicing Christian ever since. I am now 66. The truth as i know it is all you need to do to be "saved" is to accept Jesus as you Lord and Savior. God will work in me and through me to accomplish all that He wants of me. Matt, you know me pretty well,can you honestly say that my salvation is in quetion? Food for thought. God's grace judy

Matt said...

Judy,

This is an extremely delicate question, but I'll do my best.

Religious differences are difficult to talk about, I know. But I don't think we can deny that there are differences or pretend that they do not exist. If we believe, and I know you do, that Christ is the truth then we as Christians have a duty to be honest and charitable.

In becoming a Catholic and professing the Catholic faith in no way did I condemn your acceptance of Christ. Nor do I think that you love Christ any less than myself. My profession is not a judgment on anyone else's soul.

You asked: "Matt, you know me pretty well, can you honestly say that my salvation is in question?"

The Catholic answer to this question is that "yes" we would say it is. But not solely on the account of you not being Catholic. That's because Catholics believe everyone's (those still breathing) salvation is still up for grabs. As Paul says "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." (Php 2:12) and of course Christ himself said that not every one of us who says "Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven." This is why as His followers it is very important to make sure we are constantly living up to our duty to follow Christ at all times. And when we mess up he has given us the Sacrament of Confession to reconcile us with Him.

As Catholics we believe also in what we call a "perfect act of contrition" if the sacrament is not available to us. That means we are truly and humbly sorry to God for having offended him not because we are afraid of going to hell but because we love him above all things. It is only by God's grace that we are able to have such an act of the will and I pray we would always have such a humble heart for Our Lord.

The Church is often compared to a ship in a stormy sea. It is affectionately called the Barq of Peter. While the waves toss and turn the ship appears to be sinking at times but it doesn't because Christ promised that he would never abandon us. The ship will bring us safely to our home someday.

When I looked at the world today, with all its problems and evils, when I came to realize my own sinfulness, my own confusion about the truth in the world, I sought the Lord and asked Him to guide me to it. I saw in the Catholic Church Christ who has never wavered though his followers certainly stumbled. Sometimes, those followers even added to His suffering. But he never left them. I saw love with responsibility. I saw Truth recognized as a man hanging on a cross who rose 3 days later. From that cross he said "Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do."

I apologize if my profession made you sad but know that it wasn't meant to. I believe I still have the card you sent me for my Confirmation - 1 of only 2 I received. I was very grateful!

Please pray for me, as I will for you, that we'll both make it to heaven along with all our friends, family, and enemies.

RAnn said...

Hi, my name is RAnn and I am the author of This, That and the Other Thing at http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com. This is an invitation to you to participate in Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival. This will be a weekly meme in which bloggers can highlight posts somehow relating to Catholicism and invite others to visit their blogs. For more information, check out this week's post. http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com/2009/04/sunday-snippets-catholic-carnival.html

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton