How often do we find ourselves going through the motions? When you say a rote prayer, are you really praying it or are you just repeating it? This week's VCat looks at The Creed, the fundamentals of what we believe as Catholics. Sadly during Mass or during a rosary when we say The Creed, we go through the motions without realizing what we are praying. This video challenges us to think about what we are praying and why are we are praying it.
A line in the prayer that stood out to me years ago, and still to this day holds a special place in my heart is, "We believe in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church." The entire prayer has been especially written to reflect our core beliefs but this one line stands out more to me because these are the four pillars our faith is based on. When you look at the meaning behind each of the four words it shows the Divine Intervention that went into writing this prayer.
The One- We are the one true church. My husband had a great way of connecting to this line. Growing up he was Methodist and converted in college. When he was converting to Catholicism one of the parts of Catholicism that struck a cord with him was that we have the full truth. Other protestant churches are teaching about the good news of Jesus but in one way or another they are missing something from their faith. In Catholicism we are the One True Church. We have a fullness of Christ's love for us in all of the Sacraments and most especially in the Eucharist and Reconciliation.
Holy- In recent years and especially in recent events in our diocese, we could feel that maybe our church is not holy, however God created our church as more than individuals, we are the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is distraught at the lose of any of its members but the Body of Christ is more than the people's faults and failings. The Body of Christ is inspired by the Holy Spirit and follows the path to Heaven. The beauty of the Church is that the holiness doesn't come from any individual but rather comes from the Trinity. There is not a single thing any of us can do to ruin or diminish that holiness.
Catholic- In grade school I learned that Catholic meant Universal. But what does that mean to a twelve year old? Not much without context. Our Church is unlike any other because it is beyond our church walls, it is more than any diocese, it is even more than any given country. Our Church as mentioned above is the Body of Christ. This Body of Christ is larger than any of us could imagine. The communion of Saints is apart of the Body of Christ as well as all who are on Earth who are in communion with God and His will for them. That means someone in India, whom I will never meet is my brother in Christ. We share a special connection because we are both apart of the Body of Christ. Catholic isn't restricted to just Roman Catholics either. There are many different rites in Catholic church, however all of the rites still reside under the Pope and are apart of the Body of Christ.
Apostolic- This to me is one of the most beautiful of the four pillars. You can go back and trace each of the Bishops back to one of the original twelve apostles. One of the twelve apostles ordained a bishop and you can trace your fullness of priesthood back to them. One of the clearest examples of this is the Pope to St. Peter. Peter being the rock of the church was the first Pope of the Church and from there we can trace our linage back to Christ in that way. Peter did not decide to create this church on his own. In fact he didn't want to be the rock. However when his Lord asked him to, he did. He lead the church to where we are today. Our world seems to get more and more confusing through the ages however we can see that even through the confusing days we have been lead by the Holy Spirit to where God is calling us- to be in union with Him.
The Creed is full of beautiful and deep prophetic wisdom, that we often miss because we aren't paying close enough attention. I challenge you and your students to dive deep into the Creed. When you dive into this prayer that was written long before any of us, you will find that it has much to do with our lives today. Below I have given some extra resources as well as a link to the VCat homepage so you can find other videos that could go along with what you are learning with your kids.