Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Fullness of the Faith

A couple years ago I saw the below video titled "Why I'm Catholic" on YouTube. It's a video that was made for a confirmation class and lists six reasons for being Catholic. Among them are 1) the Eucharist 2)the Church 3)Sacraments 4) Mary 5) Marriage (spiritual and actual) 6) the Communion of Saints. The section for comments is now disabled but when I originally saw it one of the comments said something to the effect that the reason that person isn't catholic is because Jesus is not a part of it. My first reaction was "what a stupid comment--Jesus is the head of the church--he is the focal point." But then I realized that He isn't mentioned in the video and I pondered that. I thought the video was spot on--those are all reasons why I too am Catholic but why isn't Jesus specifically mentioned?

After some deep thought, I realized that the video was speaking about what we call the "fullness of the faith." The Catholic Church is appreciative of the gifts that Jesus has given us. He IS the Eucharist. He gave us the Church. It is HIS bride. He instituted all of the sacraments and they are ways that we receive His grace. Mary is his mother. She is the mother of God and she points us to him. Through the communion of saints we are able to appreciate and model ourselves after those who are already in Heaven.
The idea of the fullness of the faith really struck me later when I was listening to a speaker. Please forgive me because I cannot remember who the speaker was so if someone does please let me know so that I can give him credit. Remember, if I can't recall who the speaker was I surely can't remember his exact words so I'm paraphrasing here. He said protestant churches are like going into a throne room and seeing the King sitting on a throne. You go in and you bow down and worship. The catholic church is like going into the throne room and seeing the King but he is surrounded by all these beautiful tapestries and paintings. The floors are made of gold and the walls are build of precious stems. You realize that everything there is made by the king. You are not losing focus on the King by appreciating his works. In fact, they help you appreciate and love him more.
The one problem I have with that comparison is that obviously if any of us were in the presence of God we would be down on our faces in front of him---probably in pain from His glory and not looking at anything on any walls. But I think it is a good comparison for what the catholic church is in relationship to God. Everything she gives us is from God and there to help us get closer to God.
The fullness of the faith--the sacraments, the magisterium, Mary, the saints--are all reasons why I'm Catholic because they are gifts from God that help us focus on Him.


  1. Nice to see a fellow Brother in Blue and in Christ :) Pax vobis!

  2. I don't agree with your statement that Jesus isn't mentioned in the video, Jamie. In particular, the first portion of this video (the portion referencing the Eucharist) seems to focus exclusively on Jesus. The music repeats a refrain referring to "Jesus Christ", and the pictures in the background largely focus on him as well - either in the form of pictures of our Lord incarnate, or in the form of the Real Presence.

    But I do agree with your thoughts about the fullness of the Church. As a convert, this is part of what attracted me to Catholicism: to me, it is the richest expression of Christianity.

    As to Jesus being named as our focal point, I posted something that sort of ties in some time ago: I'd welcome your thoughts.

    Enjoy your day, and your weekend!