It has been a strange week and quite honestly....today's topic, religion/faith/spirituality is a bit overwhelming in my current emotional state. I decided though, to go through some old emails and messages and answer some questions that have been sent to me in the past about my blogs that were faith based. I am much more confident that I can answer questions than I am that I can write a full on blog today. So here it goes......
Karen G. asks: You have made it clear that you are catholic. What is the difference between a catholic and a christian?
Karen, Catholics are Christians. In fact, the Catholic church is the first Christian church which was started by Jesus Himself, when he said, "Upon this rock, I shall build my church." He was referring to St. Peter as the rock who He chose as the first pope. The church He refers to is the Catholic church. All other Christian religions came after this and in the early years, were started by those who no longer wanted to go along with the Catholic teachings or to follow the pope. In modern day, some other religions have services that fairly closely mirror the Catholic mass, however the main difference between a Catholic mass and a Protestant service is, that when Catholics receive Holy Communion, the bread and wine are consecrated as at the Last Supper and Catholics are receiving the body and blood of Christ just like the apostles did.
Anonymous asks: Do you believe that if you are not catholic you will not go to heaven?
Anonymous, it is not for me to judge who will and will not go to heaven. I believe that God gave us the Bible and the Ten Commandments as guides in how He wants us to live our lives. Regardless of religious preference, I believe that if you follow these things the best you can and trust in them as God's word, then whether you are Protestant, Catholic or any other faith, your chances are much greater of getting into heaven than they are if you ignore Gods word. That being said, I was taught that you never judge anyone's eternity for two reasons. One, only God has the final say and two, because you never know the last thoughts in someones heart. All God ask of us is complete sorrow for our sins and if someone leads a sinful life but their last thought are complete sorrow, then who's to say God will not take that into consideration?
Deon asks: Do you find the Muslim religion to be good or evil?
Deon, quite frankly I have not studied the Muslim religion to any degree. My basic knowledge of it is that those Muslims who live in the Middle East or have come from the Middle East are much more zealous in their beliefs and understanding of the Koran. They use their belief to start and continue Holy Wars and demand complete loyalty to their faith by all. I don't see their view of their faith as a religion of peace and more that they see it as a religion of dominance. That being said, I don't think most American born Muslims believe like that. I do think they try to be a religion of peace and coexist with other religions, but their beliefs are overshadowed by the hatred we see on the news and see happening across the world, thus leaving them to also be viewed as a religion of hate and dominance. In this case, the peace loving Muslims are judged harshly because of those Muslims who use their faith as a way to hate.
T.R. asks: Are you "born again?"
T.R., yes and no. No, I am not "born again," in the Protestant way of being born again. I used to be a bit flip about this question. When someone would ask me if I was born again I would smile and say, "Nope. No need. It took the first time." However I have realized over time that someone of a Protestant faith finds being born again to be a renewal of their belief and their love of God. Definitely not something to be flip about and quite honestly, Catholics too are born again each time they receive a sacrament of the Catholic Church such as reconciliation or Holy Communion or anytime they renew their baptismal vows. It is a reaffirmation of their love of God and their love of their faith.
Anonymous asks: Do you believe in miracles?
Anonymous, yes very much and not only do I believe in them, but I have seen them with my own eyes
Okay, so there you have it. Some questions. Some answers and maybe a bit of clarity too.I want to thank all of you who read my blogs and who take the time to comment and even write me and ask questions. It gives this blogger a happy heart to know that every once and awhile my words might just have some meaning! .