There is no better place to start talking about Christianity than the Apostles' Creed. While there have been other creeds written and approved by The Church, it is the Apostles' Creed that can be traced back to the beginning - if not in words, in substance- to the Faith that was handed on by Jesus to The Apostles and to us.
Following Christ's declaration that "He who believes and is baptized will be saved" (St Mark, 16:16), The Apostles' Creed was the precondition for baptism. Because, as stated in the Acts of the Apostles, often entire households (including infants and children) were baptized, those below the age of reason were vouched for by their parents or guardians. Only believers could be baptized.
The Apostles' Creed attests to the basics: a person cannot be a Christian unless they embrace the Truths expressed in this simple, yet powerful, declaration. "Our Faith", we are told, "can guarantee the blessings that we hope for and prove the existence of the realities that at present remain unseen"(Letter to the Hebrews, 11:1).
Catholics accept three fundamental Truths as outlined in The Apostles' Creed.
1. We believe that the world did not exist before it was specifically created by God.
2. We believe that God became man in the person of Jesus Christ by being born of the Virgin Mary and that He died on the cross and rose from the dead and that He will come again on the last day to judge the living and the dead.
3. We believe that The Holy Spirit, a separate distinct Person of the Holy Trinity, in the soul of the Church and that through The Church we receive the graces we need to achieve our highest good - eternal life, that for which we were created.
We begin our journey in the fullness of the Christian Faith with a simple declaration:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth.
Look at that sentence and ask yourself, do I believe this? Do I accept this on Faith alone or can I look around me, at this world and nature and other human beings, and see the proof that God not only exists but is The Creator, the Father, intimately concerned with every aspect of my life as only one who loves me could ever be?
As most people who read my blog know, I have family who are far from The Church and far from Truth. I am shunned by some and others just periodically get angry because I will not take steps back from reality in order to make them feel better. I get that being a true disciple of Christ can mean losing what is important to me in this life.
However, I am becoming more and more convinced that being a Catholic requires sacrifices that other religions do not entertain...and I believe that those sacrifices, while painful at the moment they are made, lead to a relief and a guarantee of happiness that cannot be described.
I get to go back to work tomorrow night. I get to start preparing for the stomach surgery and the other studies, to keep loving the sponsees and the friends and the family I have left. Most of all I get to keep being me - a sober Catholic widow woman who looks at every day as another chance to be the best me I can be - one day at a time.
OH - and the best part?
Football season starts soon....lololololol.