This Catholicism blog tour is to celebrate the release of the paperback version of this book by Fr. Robert Barron, which follows, pretty much word for word the Catholicism DVD series which he wrote and hosted.
When asked to write a reflection on a chapter of Catholicism, I immediately jumped at the chance. As the Holy Spirit would have it, my husband has made it his Lenten practice to go to daily Mass most days of the week. In addition to this best of practices, he’s also been interested in watching the entire Catholicism DVD series for a second and third time. I can’t think of a better way to bring an already very intriguing book to life, so we revisited some of the breathtaking examples of the faith alive and well today.
Father Barron talks about how the church is a living organism. Each person is made in the image of Christ, and we are all intimately connected. When one person suffers, we all suffer. When one rejoices or is healed, everyone is affected. Father Barron underlines the importance of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy as necessary outpourings of the grace we experience in the sacraments and are called to go and share with the world.
Fr. Barron shows in a myriad of ways why community is essential if we are going to remain in communion with the Lord and have an interactive, ongoing relationship with Christ Jesus. I’ve been reminded of this phenomenon a number of times in the past several months. When surrounded by people who make prayer a top priority and serving others a way of life, I am more likely to do the same.
Much of the time, I could easily enough go to daily Mass most days of the week, take time for silent prayer time alone, and reach out to someone who is suffering in mind, body, and/or spirit. Does that mean I always do? No. It is most often in my conversations with the Lord and my interactions with others that I am challenged to be transformed so that I can be made into a more effective living part of the mystical Body of Christ.
We are all made in Christ’s image, but we need to stay connected to the Source of all Life, Love, and Truth if we are going to have our will, heart, and mind transformed to be like our Savior’s. That requires that we accept our God-given holiness, remain open to faith formation, and live out what we’ve learned through action, particularly through serving and ministering to others.
Through a deeper understanding of how and why the church is described as "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic," we see how such a delineation across the centuries has set the Roman Catholic Church apart as the great gathering force rooted in the person of Jesus Christ and subject to the interpretation and leadership of the apostles and their descendants.
I highly recommend reading Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith along with watching (or in some cases re-watching) the Catholicism DVD series, and if you have any interest in going on a trip to Rome and Paris, then you should probably enter these sweepstakes.