The Mystery of Faith

My parents raised me as a Catholic. So I understand much about the Catholicism and what Catholics believe about the Christian faith. Nonetheless, I did not understand enough. So when I read The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine at age seventeen, that was enough to cause me to drift away, and I did not return to Christianity until I was fifty years old (see THOMAS PAINE’S PROFESSION OF FAITH).

When I realized how foolish I had been, I did the human thing. I blamed someone else. I blamed the Catholic Church. Upon reflection, I realized that was not fair. I was smart enough to read the Bible, but until I was over fifty I had never bothered.

Since that realization, I generally take a neutral attitude towards the various Christian churches. When we organize churches, we do so to carry out the Great Commission. Whatever else we might want to say about it, the Catholic Church does do an effective job of spreading the Christian faith. Unfortunately, like most human organizations, it fulfills its functions in series of fits and starts, and on occassion it piles on some ideas that lead to much head scratching.

In The Mystery of Faith, Biltrix explains why Catholics believe the Mass is sacred. It has to do with “transubstantiation“.

In the Eucharistic Celebration, Christ himself is present among us in his body, blood, soul, and divinity. Once this occurs, the priest pronounces the words: “The Mystery of Faith.” (from here)

Supposedly, most Protestant churches do not believe in “transubstantiation“. Nonetheless, most Protestant churches believe something surprisingly similiar.

Matthew 18:18-20 Amplified Bible (AMP)

18 Truly I tell you, whatever you forbid and declare to be improper and unlawful on earth must be what is already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit and declare proper and lawful on earth must be what is already permitted in heaven.

19 Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.

20 For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I Am in the midst of them.

When Christians come together to worship, we do so to bring Jesus Christ into our midst. To aid us in our quest for salvation, we do as Jesus instructed us. That includes celebrating His last supper with His apostles. When we celebrate the Last Supper, together we remember Jesus. As His disciples we remember what He did for us. In our place, He died. Therefore, does it truly make any difference if Catholics believe Jesus is present with them during the Mass? Don’t all Christians effectively believe the same thing and for much the same reason?

2 thoughts on “The Mystery of Faith

  1. Great post, Citizen Tom. In truth, all Christians believe in the same Trinity and in the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ. As a Catholic, I obviously believe that having Christ present in the sacrament does make a difference. That difference, however, does not detract from the vibrant faith in Christ that I’ve witnessed in so many fervent Protestant Christians. There are too many things we share as Christians in terms of faith, morals, and values to bicker over differences of belief, as sometimes happens. Christ prayed that we all be one. Let it be! I can envision the greater Christian unity as also being a sign of Jesus’s words: “…there am I in their midst.” Thanks for the post!


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