Sunday, July 22, 2007

Catholic Devotions

Recently I was able to listen to a Protestant show on radio. While I have been a Catholic for the longest time, the things that I have heard in the radio show have somehow affected me. The announcer was very critical about Catholic devotions. I remember I was told before that one of the reasons why a lot of Catholics have left the faith because all these other religions have convinced them of their expertise in the Bible, and that these other religions have criticized Catholic practices because they are not written in the Bible.

Of course my initial reaction was to feel bad about what the announcer had said. How come he seems to be critical only of Catholics and not included other religions? And why are they (Protestants) calling us (Catholics) unbelievers? Isn’t that unfair? It is true that the Catholic Church have had its mistakes before. The Church is human. It is not perfect. But it is trying to be through God’s grace. And I’m pretty sure that all the other churches are not perfect either. So why be critical on us only?

Another point that he has criticized was the Catholics’ devotion to Mary and the saints. He said that we are worshipping them well in fact we are asking for their intercession. That we are committing the gravest sin to God. I remember a scripture passage in the New Testament about the Wedding at Cana. Isn’t this a reason why we ask for Mary’s intercession to pray for us to God? We Catholics DO PRAY to GOD, and ask the help of the saints in our prayers. And the announcer is also critical of novenas and praying the rosary. It really broke my heart when the announcer said that the devotion that we practice is evil. True, there are Catholics that depend on novenas and other devotions to get their requests granted, and are being criticized for being fatalistic and who seem to be more DEVOTED to the saints rather than to God. But what about those Catholics who ask for Mary and the saints’ intercessions so they can be closer to God and become better persons/Christians? Can we judge a person’s faith as wrong if he/she has changed from his/her sinful ways to become a more charitable person through the rosary or a devotion to a saint?

But on the other hand, I feel that I have so much to learn about my faith. Admittedly, even if I have been trying to be a devout Catholic, there are some things about my faith that I do not know why we practice them. Maybe I was already sold to the faith and trust that what I am doing is right in the eyes of God. But for the things that the announcer has told me, I somehow felt lost. What if I was seeing him face to face while he is talking? How will I be able to defend my faith? I may have some answers to some of his arguments, but not all. And the way he makes his statements is very convincing. At some point while listening to him I became confused. But later on realized and resolved to learn more about my faith, and hopefully to become the person that God wants me to be.


first posted Nov. 5, 2006

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