Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nothing To Lose

I participated in a Catechist Training class last night.  It was the last of our intermediate classes on the Sacraments, particulary on Holy Orders.

We were talking about Holy Orders leaving an indelible mark on your soul that can never be removed.  So, even if a priest leaves the priesthood, he's still a priest.  This led us to the other indelible Sacraments: Baptism and Confirmation.

Father Finian had an interesting way of describing indelible to us that really worked as a visual.

Picture this: when you are born, you are born with the stain of original sin on your soul.  When you are Baptized, it wipes that stain from your soul.  That clear spot can NEVER be removed.  You cannot be unbaptized!  This is why a valid Christian Baptism from any recognized denomination is considered a valid Baptism in the Catholic church.  Until the Reformation, there was no Catholic and no Lutheran, it was all Christian - from which the rites were based upon.

As usual, when you have a group of questing adults trying to further educate themselves, we strayed from the direct topic.

We moved to family members that have left the Church, but were Baptized Catholic.  What did that make them?  Father told us that they might not be practicing Catholics, but they would always be Catholics.

But, she's Lutheran/Methodist/etc...

No, She's Catholic.  If she was Baptized a Catholic and Confirmed a Catholic, she's a Catholic.


But, what happens if someone was Baptized Lutheran and becomes a Catholic?  Then, what are they?  They are Catholic.

But, you just said...

So, he used another interesting analogy.  Do we ever move from having more to less or do we always move from less to more?

We always try to move from having less to having more.  You'd switch banks if you could get 6% interest vs 2% interest, simple economics. 

But, how does this pertain to Catholic and Lutheran/Methodist, etc?

How many sacraments do Lutherans get?  None of us were really sure, but it's 2 - Baptism and Marriage.  So, if a Lutheran decides to become Catholic, they aren't losing anything they already have - they are GAINING 5 MORE SACRAMENTS!!!!!!

Wow! Never thought about it that way! 

So, why would anyone go from being Catholic to being Lutheran?

If they realized what they were losing, they would never decide to make that switch.  But, if they don't realize what they are losing, they could be convinced that they would be gaining by making that switch.  If they had been taught the value of what we have, no one would ever leave.

That's pretty heavy, especially to a room of catechism teachers.  Um, that makes us even more responsible for what we teach them, so they realize what to value about the church.  gulp.   

The first teachers are absolutely supposed to be the parents, but unfortunately that isn't often the case.

Dear Lord,

I am here and I am listening.  Please let the Holy Spirit guide me in what I teach and let my students retain those values that would never want to make them leave the Church.


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