We believe that our Creed is like a mission statement, we pray it to remind ourselves who we are and what we stand for. We pray it because we ask God to expand our belief that we may truly live it and that we may live out our purpose within this mission. And while we pray it together, we say I believe because it is my personal commitment to the beliefs.
Ultimately we believe God’s plan for us is Love. The goal of the Catholic faith, the sacraments, the saints, the teaching, Mary, our liturgy, all of it is meant to lead us to heaven. What God finally desires for us is participation in his life, the life of love. Heaven is love in the fullest sense, love completed. Paul said that there are three things that last – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these things is love. Love is the greatest because in heaven, faith and hope will fade away, but love will endure. Heaven is the “place” where everything that is not love has been burned away and hence heaven is the fulfillment of the deepest longing of the human heart. (Adapted excerpt from Catholicism, Fr Robert Barron)
We all encounter suffering at some point in our life. Some endure this much more than others. When we are faced with the suffering of another, love can be tested and, loving gets difficult. Whether it is the addiction a family member is suffering, the disease that has crippled a parent, or the accident that has suddenly changed the life of a young person in the prime of their life, suffering is always difficult to bear.
Some see the Catholic Church as a religion based on very prescriptive rules. Often we might know a particular ‘rule’ without understanding why or what this is based on. At times Catholicism has been taught in bland ways and we have undervalued the opportunity to share in a more full understanding of our faith.
People are members of many different clubs and organisations. In Australia, we have a long history of being part of many types of clubs like RSL’s. The Church is not like any other membership you might hold. You don’t sign in every time you come and go.