Thursday, 12 October 2017 06:00

Is that your nickname?

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For most of us, since we were very young, we have heard that we are Catholics, and we are part of the Catholic Church. Right? But do we really know what it means to be a Catholic?

Maybe for some of us saying, "I am Catholic", means that we belong to a Church with the name "Catholic", and some others could relate the word "Catholic" with the Pope and the Vatican, and the saints and the Virgin Mary. The truth is that the word "Catholic" means something bigger that encloses what our Lord Jesus Christ commended to His Apostles. The word "catholic" comes from Latin "catholicus", and from Greek "καθολικός" - katholikos - and means "universal". The Greek "katholikos" is derived from Greek "kata" (with respect) and "holos" (whole). So taking this into account we can realize why we say, "We are Catholics". Yes, you are right, that means "we are universal." With this in mind, the universality of our Church invites us to think about all of us belong to a big unity, a big family, where all men and women are called to be part of it no matter where you live, dress, or eat; everybody around the world is more than welcome to be part of the universal Church. (Mathew 28: 19 | Mark 16: 15 | Luke 24: 47-48).

As we see above, Catholic does not mean a simple name; it means something bigger and delicate. The Catholic Church has the obligation to spread the Good News, for that reason the Catholic Church has to be pure in all its holy doctrine and teachings. This commitment forces its members to have an irreproachable life, and this includes each one of us. This is not an obligation only for the religious, but for all people that have been baptized. As Catholics, we have a big responsibility because it converts us as witnesses of the person Who founded our Church more than 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ our Lord. Yes, we are Christians, and we owe everything to Him because in Him we live, move, and have our being. I would like you to be clear on this: “Catholic” is not only a nickname that was given to us from our parents when all of us were babies; to be Catholic requires all our being, and it requires from us the complete surrender of a life in conformity with the Gospel. Catholicism is more than a name; Catholicism is a lifestyle.

It is sad to see people who say they are Catholics, but then you see them angry, drunk, living in lies and lust. This kind of people are anti-testimonies of Christ, and this makes others turn away from God and His Church, taking away from them the opportunity to experience the love of God. Are we a light to others who walk in darkness? Are we showing the love of God to others with our lives? Do we bear witness to Christ at all times and in all places?

It could sound repetitive, but please remember, Catholicism is a lifestyle, and we should try to live it as holy as possible. Catholicism hurts. Catholicism stings. Catholicism requires from us discipline of body, soul, and mind, and that is possible only with the grace of God. Many people see Catholicism and the Church as a religion (or institution) that wants to repress people and keep us under control, but really it is the opposite. The Holy Mother Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, wants us to reach eternal life. With this goal, the Church proposes a way - the way that Jesus Christ our Lord gave us - and the Church does not force anyone to follow this way because all of us were created free by God, and freely we must choose to return to Him. A person freely takes the decision to love God or not to love God, and those who decide to love and obey Him must hold on tight because the moment that we truly open our hearts to God, our Father, He bursts into our lives, cleans all of our impurities, and elevates us to a higher quality of life in such a way that only those who know God can understand the wonders of His Love.

If all of us become aware about how important is to be a Catholic, the whole world would be living in paradise. Remember that we all are the face of Christ, and everybody is looking at us wherever we go, so it is our responsibility to behave as a real Christian not only at Mass, but in our school, work place, subway, supermarket, etc. Let us show the real face of God to all the humanity and let us change the world. All of us united in adoration to the most Holy Father, can mark the difference; our children will thank us, the society will thank us, and God will reward us with abundant life. Let us be a living testimony of Jesus Christ, and let us not be deceived by the proposals of the world. God our Father, do not let us fall into temptation, and deliver us from the evil enemy, so that we may not be Judas Iscariot, Herod, Pontius, but rather, we may be like Mary, Joseph, Peter, Paul, Matthias, Teresa, etc.

The way is not easy, but with Jesus Christ everything is new and possible. Do not be afraid; we are part of God’s army. Let us keep our eyes on the goal of our lives. Do you know what the goal is? The goal must be to reach heaven and live eternally before the presence of God. Pray, pray, pray always, and do not lose heart and strength facing the adversity. May God and the Blessed Virgin bless and protect us at all times. 

Laudetur Jesus Christus!

GlennFFAGlenn Fong is from Cali, Colombia but is currently living in Florida. He has been married to Sandra since 2001 and counting...(yes, it is possible! Marriage is supposed to be forever!), and they have been blessed with two children. Glenn studied Systems Engineering at San Buenaventura University in Cali, Colombia and now works for a multinational company as an Analyst-Developer. He is not a writer, but his passion for Christ and His Church propel him to write about many different topics. Glenn is author and editor of the Blog "It´s for Real".

You can read Glenn's blog in spanish here: