Faith. Sacraments. Commandments. Prayer.
These four dimensions of the Catholic Faith are the foundation of Christianity and have been since Jesus founded His Church on the Faith and person of St Peter the Apostle. To understand Catholicism means to understand these four pillars of Christianity - take any one of these away, or refuse to acknowledge the importance of all four and one gets either a sadly watered down version of Christianity or worse - an outright heresy.
The Catholic Faith is what we who profess to be Catholic are to believe. There are certain truths that we are to acknowledge as the Teachings of God and the best place to find a concentrated form of these truths is in the Apostles' Creed.
Sacraments are the means provided by Jesus Christ for Christians to share in His Divine Life. The Sacraments allow us to grow in His Life and, if necessary, to regain the Divine Life if we lose our participation through sin.
Not known as the ten suggestions, the Commandments given to Moses by God on Mt. Sinai are the main demands God makes on us in terms of obedience to His Will. These Commandments were later confirmed by Jesus Christ through His Sermon on the Mount, presented to us through the eyes of the Saving Victim, the Suffering Servant. No longer called to conquer by might, today we conquer through Love.
The Lord's Prayer is both a summary and a guide. It shows us how to approach God as our Loving Father through prayer, while guiding us in our conversation with Him. We can, if we were to try, use each line of the Our Father as a meditation tool, contemplating the message behind forgiveness, Divine Fatherhood, eternal salvation and heavenly food and never truly plumb the spiritual depths of the Catholic Faith.
Each section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the loving gift of Holy Mother Church to Her children, addresses these four pillars. If one opens up the eyes and ears of their heart and their mind, they can approach the Catechism as both a teaching tool and a spiritual guide.
"Our faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for and prove the existence of the realities that, at present, remain unseen" (Hebrews 11:1).
Let's go forward, Christians...open your Bibles and your dictionary...and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Learn your faith. Defend the Truth.