Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lenten Daily Dose - 1st Tuesday

The good Catholic Christian

How to be a good Catholic Christian:
  • Learn: to genuflect, the sign of the cross, about five or six basic prayers
  • Learn what to say, when to sit, stand and kneel at Mass
  • If you were not raised Catholic then find somebody to take you through a catechism class.  
What to do to be a good Catholic Christian:
  • Go to confession at least once a year or so
  • Attend Mass once a week
  • While growing up: get Baptized, receive your first communion, make your first reconciliation, get confirmed.  Optional stuff in your adult life includes: getting married, becoming a priest, and/or getting anointed when you are sick.  NOTE: if you are coming into the Catholic Church later in life, much of this is done at one time)
  • Make contributions to your parish
  • Optional would be to attend a retreat at least once in your life
When to be a good Catholic Christian:
  • Sunday at Mass for sure
  • Holy days of obligation
  • Anytime your kid experiences one of their first sacraments  
  • Funerals and marriages are nice
  • At special events in the parish
At the most basic level, if you do the above list you will be fine.  You will fit in.  You will be accepted.  You may even feel good. 
But why? 
Why be a good Catholic Christian:
  • Because that is what your parents taught you
  • You might not be a good person if you are not Catholic
  • Because your spouse asked you to when you got married
  • Because the parish social life is really nice
I know my list of “why be a good Catholic Christian” is not complete.  My challenge to some of you readers is to speak up.  Being a Christian is not a spectator sport.  You are called to be active in the game.  Most of us reading this blog know: what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.  But why be a good Catholic Christian?   Get courageous; tell us why to be a good Catholic Christian. 
My deepest hope is that there are readers out there who are burning to share their experiences and thoughts.  My hope is that these readers have the courage to use their words to write what is on their hearts.  My hope is that the replies we get on this blog reflect a spirituality and relationship with God that only serve to enhance the religious experience of being Catholic.  My hope is that we get many responses. 
My minimum desire is that if nobody post a comment that each reader will ask the deeper questing of “Why am I a Catholic Christian”  The question is worth pondering.


Steve Arendt


  1. The question in my mind, and I often have a difficult time living it, is "why do or be anything?" If you really think about it, all that matters is God. If you truly believe in the One True God and in his only begotten Son, Jesus, then that IS ALL THAT MATTERS. If that is all that matters, then nothing else is important but God's will and striving to be faithful to God's will. What did Jesus teach while he was physically present on earth? To love each other. Loving each other presents itself in being in community with each other. The Catholic Church is one such community, that when functioning as God had intended, exists to love and care for not only the people inside of the community, but all peoples outside of the community, as well. To spread the good news!

    Like most of us, I am a work in progress. I do believe that God is all that matters. Or at the very least, that is what I want to believe. Do my actions everyday portray that belief? Probably not. I'll go one further ... absolutely not. But, like many things in life, I am working on it and it is something worth striving for. Being a Catholic Christian is, or ideally should be, so much more than the "How, What, & When". It needs to be the center of one's existence and the basis for all you do. If that were the case, would you love your Mother & Father? Your wife? Your children? Your neighbor? Would you do a good job for your employer? Would you come to the aid of the poor and the lonely? Just typing the questions makes me realize how far I am from being a good Catholic Christian and how much work I have to do ...

  2. Steve: Thanks for your reflection and question. As I prayed about your question on the way to work, it struck me that I try to be a good Christian since God loved me first. I believe he gave me my parents and family and their unconditional love, he gave me my spouse and children, and he gave me this community of MQP. I am so blessed that my only response can be my faith in God and my imperfect efforts to find His will through Word and Sacrament. To love others as I have been loved. The rest is all the details.

  3. Hi Steve, thanks for that! It made me reflect on ways that I could be a better Catholic. Here's what I thought I'd tagged on to what you wrote. How to be a good Catholic Christian: Love God and neighbor. I ask daily for the grace to love God more, so much more that I don't want to offend him in any way. By following the Church’s teachings and being attentive to Christ’s voice as he speaks through His representative on Earth and the bishops in union with him. It’s something that I once thought was not necessary, but how wrong I was. In reading some of the writings of the Popes of our times, I’ve come to realize what a great gift they’ve been to the Church and what true shepherds we have in them. What to do to be a good Catholic Christian: Prepare and avail myself of the powerful gift of the Sacraments, as much as possible. In them Jesus acts through the Church to bring HIS GRACE AND LOVE more fully into our lives. They bring us into union WITH JESUS, who HEALS, SANCTIFIES, NOURISHES AND BUILDS UP His people. Talk about personal relationship! Get to daily Mass at least once or twice a week. Spend an hour or so, daily with our Lord in quiet prayer and meditation or through the daily Mass readings, the Divine Office/Liturgy of the Hours, asking Him what He is trying to tell me, listening to Him in the quiet of my heart and submitting to His holy will. Practicing penance for poor sinners, for those in need and for the body of Christ, His Church. Starting my day with the Lord and thanking Him for the gift of another day! Pass the faith on to my children.
    When: Every day. Live my faith. It's a hard thing because there is always someone lurking out and about to tempt us, but God's grace will give us the courage and fortitude to fight it and grow in virtue when we conquer it.
    Why be a good Catholic Christian: Because I want to be with our Lord in Heaven!! And I want my family and friends (community) to get there too! There's so much more...but. It really made me think of things I need to work more on and things that I need to get permission from my confessor to do. You prompted me on!! God be with you!