the important holidays and traditions
of your religion?
Within the Church's liturgical
calendar there are obligated holidays
Obligated Holidays are called
Holy Days of Obligation. The Church
celebrates six of them on an annual
basis and one on a weekly basis.
The six annual Holy Days of Obligation
Mary, Mother of God (Friday, January
Ascension (Thursday, May 13, 2010)
Assumption of Mary (Sunday, August
All Saints Day (Monday, November
Immaculate Conception (Wednesday,
December 8, 2010)
Christmas (Saturday, December
There are certain years where
these six days may be moved or
Although not considered a Holy
Day of Obligation by members in
the faithful are obligated to
obey the first commandment by
going to Sunday Mass on a weekly
"You shall worship the Lord
your God and him only shall you
We call them obligations because
the Precepts of the Catholic Church
tell us that celebrating those
feast days is a part of the
minimum level of commitment
to the Catholic faith.
For almost every other day of
the year, the Church celebrates
other non-obligatory holidays.
There are several types of celebrations
that fall into the following categories:
(Optional Feasts are not universally
Almost every day throughout the
Church's year, we celebrate one
of these non-obligatory holidays.
These are days which the Church
has set aside as having a special
Some are events in the life of
Christ. Some are days dedicated
to a particular saint.
For short: Catholics are party
animals : ) We love to celebrate!!
RE: traditions versus Traditions:
Throughout the world in the Church
various cultures have varying
sets of traditions, customs and
disciplines they practice usually
due to a certain aspect of devotion
or honor within the Church.
It's important to remember that
the Catholic Church distinguishes
between two types of tradition.
1. traditions that are passed
down due to customs, practices
or disciplines within the Church.
These are non-doctrinal and not
a matter of faith or morals. (They can and do change over time.)
2. Traditions: Oral and Written
[the Holy Bible] which have been
passed down by Jesus through the
Apostles and the Church that are
official Teachings of the Catholic
Church. (They cannot change over time but
can be clarified for the faithful.)
These are doctrinal and deal
with issues of faith or morals.
Understanding the Written Biblical
Teachings of the Church correctly
requires a prime minister to interpret
difficult passages. Jesus guides
the Pope in this area so the faithful
can understand how to interpret
Biblical text correctly.
These two types of traditions
are differentiated by the terms:
Through regular prayer and frequent
reception of the Sacraments of
it has helped me discern my calling
"What is my purpose in this
I am more thoughtful of other
people and try to help others
when I can.
I think it has made me a better
person . . . over time. : )
Only through prayer and a maturing
over time, does a religious person
like me go from a religious zealot: telling others what they
have to do or need to believe
to a more balanced person who
is more interested in listening
to others first and finding out
where their spiritual journey
is all about. This transition
requires a daily prayer life preferably
with the Rosary.
The sad thing is, for many people,
a tragedy or medical illness has
to happen in their life before
they consider religion as an important
aspect of their life.
When death faces the individual
and a realization that their own
body is not their own body (otherwise
they could prevent their own death),
faith kicks in.
are the challenges, if any, to
practicing your religion?
Any church on the face of the
earth will always consist of fallible
members who are drawn or tempted
The problem arises when our own
members don't know what a sin
is, and isn't.
Catechesis or religious instruction
of the faith in the Church has
been very poor and, in places,
seminary training of priests has
The end result, at times, is a
few more family fights within
the Church than we would want.
It can be difficult when a parishioner
wants to respect and support his/her
pastor, but the pastor is teaching
something that is contrary to
the teachings of the Church.
It can also be difficult when
a parishioner wants to welcome
other parishioners but the other
parishioners are only Catholics in
These parishioners don't believe
in what the Church teaches nor
follow what the Church wants them
to follow, yet they still insist
on being called catholic.
I call them Judas Catholics.
Showing up for Sunday Mass is
an option to satisfy their conscience,
rather than a weekly obligation.
They are also called cafeteria
catholics in that they pick
and choose what they want to believe.
The word heretic and heresy comes from a
word that means to pick
Dealing with these types of Catholics
is a define challenge.
Because their actions and beliefs
scandalize the faith of the Church in
They don't represent the true,
For me personally, the challenge
is striving to stay holy or in
a state of grace.
beating the heck out of
the devil more than he
beats the heck out of me.
Some weeks, he wins, other weeks
I win. A prayer life is key to winning
this invisible, spiritual but
do you look at others who are
outside of your faith?
As people who God has a specific
plan and purpose for in life.
Your life is not just some mistake.
Everyone has a special calling
in life. That calling can have
it's most beneficial effect on
everyone in the world if lived
out as a faithful practicing Catholic.
Nevertheless, we have to respect
everyone's free will to choose
what they think is spiritually
best for them.
As Catholics who answer questions
on the web about the faith, we
can't convert people.
We can give good reasons for people
to be a Catholic and clarify teachings
and misperceptions about the Church
but only the individual can decide
whether what we are saying makes
sense or not.
These web pages may give some
you have to take classes to belong
to your religion?
For adults coming into the Church,
Yes. There is a program called: RCIA which stands for the
Rite of Christian Initiation for
Adults. It's usually a nine month
program during which time the
catechumen learns what Catholics
believe while developing a family
relationship with other new members
in their parish. It is also a
great time to search and investigate
the various ministries the Catholic
For infants who have been baptized
by their Catholic parents, the
only possible obligated classes
would be those taken during their
preparation to receive the Sacraments
of the Church and in the teenage
years known as CCD:
Confraternity of Christian
— An association established
at Rome in 1562 for the purpose
of giving religions instruction.
Historically in the United States,
religious instruction, at the
parish level, has been very poor.
Good Catholic parents have to
take the initiative and have private
instruct their children
in the Catholic Faith
them the importance of the faith for them
and their salvation, and
equip them with good Catholic apologetic material so when the atheists and/or agnostics, they meet in college, come knocking to persuade them to leave the faith, they will be able to give a good defense why they want to stay Catholic.
your religion acknowledge marriages
performed outside of the Church?
For example, in a courthouse by
a Justice of the Peace.
It depends on the religious affiliation
of the bride and the groom getting
married and any additional marital
Baptized Catholics have to marry
in the Church for it to be valid.
A Catholic wedding ceremony involves
the celebration of a sacrament,
an act of Christ through and in
the couple, and this sacrament
conforms the couple to the Body
of Christ in a special way.
Since the sacrament requires a
clerical witness, and since it
is an expression of the Body of
Christ, the Church desires it
to be celebrated in the presence
of the Eucharist, preferably with
a Mass, and in the presence of
the assembly of the faithful.
do you think a Christian Church
is different from a Catholic Church?
Your question implies a misunderstanding.
I would rather ask:
How do you think a non-Catholic
Christian church is different
from a Catholic Christian Church?
The onlyChristian Church Jesus
founded on St. Peter and his successors
is the Catholic Church. The Bible
tells us in Acts, that they were
first known as Christians in Antioch.
Through Oral Tradition we know
that in the same town of Antioch,
less then 80 years after Our Lord's
Ascension into Heaven, they were
first known as Catholic.
Wherever the bishop shall appear,
there let the multitude [of
the people] also be; even as, wherever
Jesus Christ is, there is the
It is not lawful without the
bishop either to baptize or
to celebrate a love-feast;
but whatsoever he shall approve
of, that is also pleasing to
God, so that everything that
is done may be secure and valid.
St. Ignatius of Antioch in
The word Catholic itself means two things:
everywhere one, and
according to its totality
So the Catholic faith is the Christian faithaccording to its totality.
One of the main differences between
non-Catholic Christians and Catholic
Christians is non-Catholic Christians
only believe what is in the Bible,
or so they say.
Catholic Christians believe in
both the Written Word, the Bible, and the Oral Word passed down
through the centuries. This Oral Word can be found in many
places in the Scriptures.
If non-Catholic Christians were truly Biblical Christians, they
would become Catholic. The
Bible was written by Catholics
and their ancestors, for Catholics,
for use in the Catholic Church.
The primary difference between
non-Catholic Christian churches
and the Catholic Christian Church
is that the Catholic Church was
founded by God-Incarnated Himself: Jesus Christ.
Jesus is True God
and True Man: consubstantial (of one substance
with the Father).
Any sinfulness or bad behavior
among members in the Church clergy
does not affect the Truths that
the Church officially teaches.
Why? Because Jesus promised to
protect the Church's official
Teachings and we know that Jesus,
who is God incarnated, cannot deceive
nor be deceived.
All other churches that call themselves
Christian, were founded by mere human men who did not like what the Catholic
Church taught. For that
reason, they created their own
man-made church picking
and choosing what they liked
and didn't like about the Church
other world religion can claim
and prove that God is the founder
of their religion. Only Roman
Catholics can claim and historically
prove that God is the founder
of their Divine Faith.
goes on during a typical Sunday
Something literally out of this
world! (I will explain later.)
Our Sunday prayer, like any pray
is four-fold. It is a prayer of:
adoration of God
intercession and petition.
It is manifested in what we call
the Liturgy, a word that means: the
work of the people.
That which is offered up by the
people of God to God.
It consists of two parts.
The Liturgy of the Word:
This consists of readings from
the Old Testament, a New Testament
Epistle and a reading from the
Following the readings, the worshipers
receive, hopefully, enlightening
reflections and commentaries from
the pastor or priest on the readings
that will assist them in their
daily lives for that week to be
holier, better people according
to God's plan.
After the priest is done with
his homily, petitions are mentioned
by either the priest or a helper
to the priest. These petitions
could vary from:
the health and well being
of people in the parish
more vocations to the priesthood
and/or religious life
for people in crisis areas
around the world
as well as other petitions.
NOTE: During the Liturgy of the
Eucharist prayers are always offered
the local bishop and
the current Pope
A monetary collection is also
taken up to support the work of
the local parish Church.
Following the Liturgy of the Word
is the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
In the Liturgy of the Eucharist,
in a manner we can only understand
we enter into the Passover sacrifice
of Our Lord Jesus on the Cross.
This is done by the priest re-enacting
the last words of Our Lord at
the Last Supper, before his cruel
death, where he stated:
Do this in memory of
me. It is also a re-entering
into Christ's death on the
2746 When His Hour came, Jesus prayed to the Father. (cf. John 17) His prayer, the longest transmitted by the Gospel, embraces the whole economy of creation and salvation, as well as his death and Resurrection. The prayer of the Hour of Jesus always remains his own, just as his Passover once for all remains ever present in the liturgy of his Church.
That said, Christ is not being re-sacrificed! Why? Because a human person
did not die on Calvary, but a Divine person, Christ, the Lord.
Because, by definition, a Divine
Person is an Eternal Person who
is outside of time, the parishioners
at Church enter into His One Sacrifice
that happened back in 33 A.D. in a manner that can only be humanly
accepted by faith. By their attendance
at Mass, they receive many graces.
The Old Testament Passover is
a prefigurement of the New Testament
Passover of Christ's Death and
In what way?
When Catholics go to Mass they
celebrate the New Passover. In
the Old Testament, the lamb had
to be slain; in the New Testament,
Jesus is the New Testament lamb,
but the people of Old Testament,
had to eat the lamb as well. This
That's exactly what Catholics
do when they receive the Body,
Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our
Lord Himself in the Blessed Eucharist.
We call this Holy Communion.
It looks, tastes and smells like
ordinary bread, but it's not.
The substance changes, though
the appearances of leaven bread
(taste, touch, smell, and looks)
remains the same. Every one who
is in a state of grace, should
receive Holy Communion. If they
are not in a state of grace, they
should not receive Holy Communion
until they go to Confession, a
sacrament of the Church.
So as I said initially, we receive "Something
literally out of this world!"
The priest finally blesses the
people and sends them into the
world to talk about the Gospel
or Good News of Jesus and His
from conception of the fertilized
egg in a mother's womb to natural
death, no matter what the case.
Whether a woman has an unplanned
pregnancy or is brutally raped.
The Church would say, the woman
needs love, support, and care,
not an abortion or being yelled
at by a boyfriend or family member. The
Church is probably the largest
care provider to younger and older
woman who have had an unplanned
pregnancy. They have services
to care for the mother, father,
and baby and can work with all
parties involved to ensure new
families have housing, jobs, needed
educational skills, etc.
You just don't hear about it,
because the news media and abortion
industry strives to silence this.
In America alone, I think there
are around 1,300 crisis
pregnancy centers for women
who have had an unplanned pregnancy.
Marriage between one
man and one woman.
This is the cornerstone to any
stable civilization. When Traditional
marriage is seen as an option
to other partner lifestyles that
can't bring forth new life;
(e.g. homosexual) then populations
in those countries decrease.
A homosexual lifestyle within
a country ends up destroying societal
growth in that country. Fruitful
Christian family life is replaced
with an unfruitful, selfish, homosexual
This unfruitful lifestyle's motto
"If it feels good, do
it, even if it hurts others,
A man's body was meant for a woman's
body and visa-versa; just talk
to any medical doctor who is not politically
God made man and woman to bring
forth new life (children) into
Why is this important?
Because a man and a man cannot
bring forth new life; a woman
and a woman cannot bring forth
After 2040, the world's population will sharply decline. Why?
Because Traditional Marriage around
the world is only considered as
an optional lifestyle, not as
the normal lifestyle it is.
Women and some men, some who
have been hurt by abortion,
have put their personal career
first, before absolution, forgiveness,
and a future family.
Others have bought into this
immoral lifestyle that their
own bodies were not designed
If fewer people are having fewer
children this translates to:
less productivity and
a weaker economy
You are seeing this around the
globe on every continent, in every
This is why Christian marriage
has always been given a special
privilege in every culture.
A person's free
All Christians, both Catholic
and non-Catholic Christians believe
we should respect the free will
of people to choose whatever faith
they believe is true and best
for their salvation.
In the work I do in answering
people's questions on the Church,
I remind them:
We don't do this to convert people. We
do this to clarify misperceptions
about the teachings of the Church.
Only they can decide/choose whether "what
we are saying" is:
we are a bunch of nut cases.
This is unlike our Muslim brothers
who many times demand or force
you to accept their faith. Period.
This is also why Christians are
persecuted throughout the world
today, mainly in Muslim/Islamic
2110 The first commandment forbids honoring gods other than the one Lord who has revealed himself to his people. It proscribes superstition and irreligion. Superstition in some sense represents a perverse excess of religion; irreligion is the vice contrary by defect to the virtue of religion.
2111 Superstition is the deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God, e.g., when one attributes an importance in some way magical to certain practices otherwise lawful or necessary. To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition. (cf. Matthew 23:16-22)
2112 The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of idols, [of] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. These empty idols make their worshippers empty: Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them. (Psalms 115:4-5, 8; cf. Isaiah 44:9-20; Jeremiah 10:1-16; Daniel 14:1-30; Baruch 6; Wisdom 13:1-15:19) God, however, is the living God (Joshua 3:10; Psalms 42:3; etc.) who gives life and intervenes in history.
2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24) Many martyrs died for not adoring the Beast (cf. Revelation 13-14) refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God. (cf. Galatians 5:20; Ephesians 5:5)
2114 Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man's innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God. (Origen, Contra Celsum 2,40:PG 11,861)
2115 God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.
2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to unveil the future. (cf. Deuteronomy 18:10; Jeremiah 29:8) Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.
2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity.
Hope this helps,
AskACatholic.com Web Administrator
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