At what point does one start correcting another on how faith in Christ is defined. For Protestant, this assault on faith of Catholics has become ridiculous. In this day and age, when Christians of all denominations are under attack and being martyred for their faith, Holy churches are being attacked and defaced, and Judeo-Christian morality and ethics are being called hateful and bigoted, it would seem as if the followers of Christ would look toward their commonalities and Christ.
For Christians that feel and vehemently oppose those that call themselves Catholic (as opposed to Baptist, Nazarene, etc), here is a quick study of the things you misunderstand about MY faith in Christ.
First, you have no ability to question my walk with God. You can determine whether I follow the edicts and commands of God through the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. But you have no right nor ability to determine the state of my relationship with Christ Jesus or the Father. Just as I don’t have that ability about you. So lets get started. This will be the first post of many to clear up the misunderstands and show biblical principles of the faith.
Catholicism and Orthodoxy (prior to the schism) both trace their faith directly to the Apostolic Age. You know, the age of the first church The Church of the Apostles. Now for the reality of certain aspects of our devotion.
The Rosary (chain of roses). This is a huge one for Protestants. So lets break it down by biblical view.
The crucifix. We use the cross with Christ to remind us of his sacrifice for our sins. (Isaiah 53:4-5, Deuteronomy 21:23, John 3:15-16, 1Corinthians 5:7, 1 Peter 1:19)
The use of the Apostole’s Creed is used.
“I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic* church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
*catholic means universal
The Our Father is used 6 times. (Luke 11:1-4)
The Hail Mary is used 53 times. The first section is the greeting of Mary by the angel and the words of Elizabeth to Mary. (Luke 1:26-28; Luke 1:41-42) The second part is asking (not worshiping) Mary to bring us closer to her son Jesus. In the same way you would ask your earthly mother something.
The Glory Be is used 6 times and reminds us of the Trinity and that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:8; Malachi 3:6)
The Fatima prayer (not used by everyone who does the Rosary) is a simple prayer for forgiveness of sin and the promise of redemption. “O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.
There are 20 decades broken into 4 groups of 5. Each decade reminds us of the life of Jesus by making us center our thoughts on that point of His life and the meaning we can take from it.
Group 1: The Joyous Mysteries
The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38).
The Visitation (Luke 1:39-56)
The Nativity (Luke 2:4-14)
The Presentation of Jesus (Luke 2:22-39)
The Finding in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52)
Group 2: The Luminous Mysteries
The Baptism of Jesus (Luke 3: 21-22)
The Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12)
The Proclamation of the Kingdom of Heaven (Mark 1:15)
The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8)
The Eucharist or Last Supper (Luke 22:19-20; John 6:53-57)
Group 3: The Sorrowful Mysteries
The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46)
The Scourging at the Pillar (John 19:1-6)
The Crown of Thorns (John 19:1-6)
The Carrying of the Cross (Luke 23:26-32)
The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:32-56)
Group 4: The Glorious Mysteries
The Resurrection (Luke 24:1-49)
The Ascension (Luke 24:50-53)
The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-11)
The Assumption of Mary and then The Crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven needs to be understood through the ideology of the Jewish faith of the time. For this, the book “Jewish Roots of Mary” is a good start.
Like all devotions of the Catholic Christian faith, they are not commanded by the church. They are there as an aid to furthering our walk with God in Christ Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The reason we uses prayers and devotions is because it leads us to better understand our faith and draw us closer to the author of our salvation.