Young Writers Society

Home » Forums » Resources » Writing Tips

Catholicism 101



User avatar
711 Reviews



Gender: None specified
Points: 16900
Reviews: 711
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:10 pm
View Likes
LordWolf says...



About 3 months ago I talked about starting this thread and then I sort of died again. But I'm back again because I thought some people might want some context for Catholic memes.

I know I might not be the most religious person and in fact I don't really have the faith left. On the other hand, I just went through the whole nine yards of childhood sacraments at Easter, after studying Catholicism for two years.
(And I am still continuing to study it.)

That being said, I bet I can answer a lot of questions and have in the past. So no matter what you want to ask (as long as you're not swearing to me about this religion) everything is chill to ask.
  





User avatar
711 Reviews



Gender: None specified
Points: 16900
Reviews: 711




User avatar
711 Reviews



Gender: None specified
Points: 16900
Reviews: 711
Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:56 pm
View Likes
LordWolf says...



Saint Worship


Question: Why do Catholics worship saints?

Answer:

It’s not worshipping saints, it’s venerating saints.
By definition, the veneration of saints is:
the act of honoring a saint, a person who has been identified as having a high degree of sanctity or holiness.


Now the main issue with the terminology of worship, is what do you mean by it?
Do you mean the general definition, where we call worship "an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity"?
Or are you talking about the Roman Catholic version of Worship, with a capital W, which is usually in relation to adoration of the Eucharist?
Or is it just a casual reference to worship, like fangirling over a celebrity?

The key word to remember is "deity", which is another term with a lot of relativity to the specific religion. If we're talking about ancient religions, it will most likely come to mean a god or goddess, or possibly a being that is representing a bigger idea.

But then deity can also refer to "divine status, quality, or nature", which fits very well with the definitions that we keep for saints and angels.

Saints:
a person acknowledged as holy or virtuous and typically regarded as being in heaven after death

Angels:
a spiritual being believed to act as an attendant, agent, or messenger of God, conventionally represented in human form with wings and a long robe


If we consider deities to just be beings with a divine status, that can then encompass saints and angels, so we then are allowed to "worship" them.

It's easier to generically refer to veneration as a cousin of "worship" because everyone holds a different definition for worship. Sure we have the technical definition of the common dictionary, what the Roman Catholic church says and what any minister on the street might say...
Everyone will see it slightly differently so that's why anything relating to religion is a hard to settle point.

Now, every blogger and their Mother Superior, has written about this at one point or another. It's a big deal for Catholics because the accusation of worshipping saints is so often used against us. I chose it as the first question to address because I've seen how hurtful it can be in scenarios.

Whatever questions I answer here, I try to find sources for my answers and I will grab a few alternate resources for this response later on today.

When I went through my studies to become a full blown Catholic, I had to take a course on, basically, defense. This is a big throwback to the 1960s when we switched from Latin and everyone wanted to start these discussions, but there was also a mass amount of hostility going on.

So for this thread, I want there to be a level of discussion. Because it won't be any fun if I'm just talking and no one is talking back.

And as a final reminder:
It’s not worshipping saints, it’s venerating saints.


  





User avatar
711 Reviews



Gender: None specified
Points: 16900
Reviews: 711
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:14 pm
View Likes
LordWolf says...



But What About Mary?


Question: How is Mary the Mother of God?

Answer:

The follow-up to this question is usually asking about worshipping Mary, which is why I justified splitting this off from the other post. There's the idea of honoring saints but Mary has a title that no one else does, and that's where people get tripped.

And when I say people, I'm referring to anybody that you might stop on the street. You could stop anyone of any faith or denomination, and this question about Mary is a guarantee to halt everything.

This majorly rests in the sub questions of:
1. Is Jesus a man?
2. Is Jesus a god?

*insert drum roll*
Spoiler Alert:
He's both.

Explaining the kind of being that Jesus is has a pretty close relation to the Holy Trinity.

With the Holy Trinity, we have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
(Or Holy Spirit for some people but I'm partial to Holy Ghost.)

I always like to use explanations or pop culture references, so I really like how Hail Caesar explains it in the round table with the different clergy of different faiths. The line that best describes how most people feel, is something like this:
"So God is split?"
"Yes. And no."


This is all relevant to the matter at hand because there has to be a certain level of understanding for Jesus being both man and god. Another part of the explanation comes from the Creed. In this case, I am quoting from a version of the Nicene Creed, which holds a clearer wording for what I'm trying to show here. Each version of the Creed holds a different wording and by default of the words, a different meaning to the speaker.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven and by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.

The last section is very important.
"And was made man."
By saying that he became a man, this does not invalidate his divine status as a god. He is both Man and God, but he is now walking among the people of the Earth.

If we take it back a step and think about it by definition of mother, then Mary can be seen as the Mother of God. So what are two things you would be considered a mother for?
1. Carrying the child.
2. Contributing genetic material to the child.

The fun part that people often overlook is that God couldn't do the whole part alone here. He did his half of the work but Mary also had to contribute her own material to the mix. And even if people do say that it was a holy version of IVF, we're still brought back to the first part of the guideline.

Mary carried the child and gave birth to the child.

As a final note:
"So how is Mary the mother of God?"
Because God is a relative term and Jesus Christ is a part of God, so when he was born of Mary, she became the Mother of God.

Or if you're more the infographic type, consider this:
Image



  





User avatar
711 Reviews



Gender: None specified
Points: 16900
Reviews: 711
Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:52 pm
View Likes
LordWolf says...



Sacraments of the Catholic Church
Image


Question 1: What are sacraments?
Question 2: What are the Catholic sacraments? And what do they mean?


Answer 1:

As you can see, this is a multi-part question and though I'm fitting the general outline into one article, sacraments are one of the most important Catholic topics. It might be a bit hard to recognize in the way we operate or what people hear about the Mass, but everytime someone partakes in Communion, they're receiving another sacrament.

So let's start by defining what qualifies as a sacrament.
a religious ceremony or act of the Christian Church that is regarded as an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual divine grace, in particular.

From this point, there are the two main split-offs of Roman Catholic and Orthodox versus Protestant beliefs.

I don't proclaim to know that much about the more Protestant side of beliefs but I do know most branches choose to celebrate Baptism and Eucharist. The other five sacraments usually stay to Roman Catholics and the differing Orthodox churches, who don't always pull it off in the same way, but keep the same value.

The summary here of sacraments is that they are a form of religious symbols and each of these acts holds a deeper meaning to faith.


Answer 2:

With Catholic Sacraments, we have three main divisions.

1. Sacraments of Initiation
"Christian initiation is accomplished by means of the sacraments which establish the foundations of Christian life. The faithful born anew by Baptism are strengthened by Confirmation and are then nourished by the Eucharist."

Baptism serves to cleanse from the "original sin", meaning Eve. The belief is that we as followers of God, further creations of God, are still responsible for the crime that Eve commits in the garden. It's basically an out for all of the issues of life and the reason to keep with a good lifestyle, but that's just one way to look at it.
And Baptism can only be received once.

Confirmation is how it sounds, confirming your faith in God. Depending on the denomination and the separate church, Confirmation is done at different times in their life but is that final step to becoming a full Catholic.
Confirmation can only be received once.

Eucharist is our weekly renewal of grace and keeping with being faithful to God. Receiving the Eucharist, but not consistently, is what is often cited for how people lose their faith in God. In other words, you have to go more than Easter and Christmas.
So Eucharist is of course a multi-deal sacrament.

2. Sacraments of Healing
There's two separate divisions in the Sacraments of Healing, and that is where it will get a bit confusing. Even for the people that have gone to Bible Study for all of their life.
Because we have "Penance and Reconciliation" versus "Annoiting of the Sick", which are two very different types of healing. One is healing for sin and healing the soul of a person who has gone against the Commandments of God. And well the other, is healing for a physical sickness.

So it really depends on what you're willing to accept as a sickness or more the relative meaning of a sickness, to be understand how these are both sacraments of healing.
Confession should be received more than once but some people do not keep within the recommendations of the Church.
And Annoiting of the Sick can be received more than once, but it is usually not due to those unfortunate circumstances.

3. Sacraments of Service
Once again, we come into some confusing definitions and for Service, I was able to find a pretty solid explanation. It comes from the top of this article.
So at the heart of the Church’s life are two sacraments that celebrate the priority of love given in service of others: The Sacrament of Marriage and The Sacrament of Holy Orders.


The defintion of service is then relative to the situation. It's easy enough to understand how being in a holy order and then a member of the clergy, is a method of serving the people. It comes with the territory of that scenario. Service through marriage is a common point of manipulation in relationships, but for today we're going to look on the bright side.

There is also another level of confusion over how people can be married twice but can't receive the Sacrament twice. The Sacrament of Marriage is a one time deal and given to you by the church, while the act of getting married, can be done by anyone in a courthouse.

Answer 2: part 2
The final part of that question was about the meaning behind sacraments and that really depends on how you feel about the act. Do you take it literally? Do you recognize grace as being a good and total thing, replenished by each taking of the Eucharist?

Any time we come to the question of "What does it mean?", I can't give you a solid answer.
That's up to single interpretation and your own feeling.

With everything, there is a level mixture of symbolism and physical, so take that however you will.

That's all for now.
Peace be with you.


  





User avatar
711 Reviews



Gender: None specified
Points: 16900
Reviews: 711
Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:43 pm
View Likes
LordWolf says...



The Rosary & Common Prayers
Image


No one really begged this question of me but I thought this would be something good to bring up, as it is a staple thing.

There's a few things that people automatically recognize as "Catholic" and the Rosary is one of them. And as you can probably imagine from the name, which relates to Latin for rose, the rosary is a devotion to Mary.
Certain guides for completing rosary means that you'll need a mystery guide but it starts with these baseline prayers for completing the process.

As the guide shows above, we need to start with the Creed. Depending on the source you use, this may be the Nicene or Apostles Creed, and then a varying version of it. This is just a version of the Apostles Creed that I split up a bit in spacing to make it easier to deal with.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day he arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
From thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
Amen.


An essential Catholic prayer is the Lord's Prayer aka Our Father, which is one of the first things learned, along with Hail Mary. For this one, I certainly don't need to double check my notes.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;
the kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not
into temptation, but deliver us from evil.


Hail Mary is the next most essential prayer and contains a few of those worship vs veneration issues for Mary. But as she is the mother of Christ, the whole thing wouldn't really work without her.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.


Glory Be aka Gloria

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen.


Closing Prayer
Hail Holy Queen aka Hail Queen aka Salve Regina

Hail holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.


Mysteries/Meditation
Image


Above is a general outline of the Mysteries but it does not include the readings that are necessary. Here's two links to trustworthy looking guides from the same source for Sorrowful & Glorious and Joyful & Luminous.



  





User avatar
711 Reviews



Gender: None specified
Points: 16900
Reviews: 711
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:02 pm
View Likes
LordWolf says...



Ten Commandments: B99 edition
Image


1. I am the LORD your God:
you shall not have
strange Gods before me.


Image

2. You shall not take
the name of the LORD your God in vain.

Image

3. Remember to keep holy the LORD'S Day.

Image

4. Honor your father and your mother.


Image

5. You shall not kill.

Image

6. You shall not commit adultery.


Image

7. You shall not steal.


Image

8. You shall not bear false witness
against your neighbor.


Image

9. You shall not covet
your neighbor's wife.


Image

10. You shall not covet
your neighbor's goods.


Image




  





User avatar
711 Reviews



Gender: None specified
Points: 16900
Reviews: 711
Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:35 pm
View Likes
LordWolf says...



How Real is Gadreel?

Image



If you are a person who happens to watch the television series Supernatural, you might be someone who questions the details that they choose. There are of course many points where we see the show slipping in the lore and the facts for the sake of the plot, but then there are many cases where the writers had their research caps on. Especially once the later seasons get to the point of having all of those different angels and demons showing up.

One such version of an angel that they displayed is Gadreel.
Within the tv show, once Gadreel gets some freedom under his wings, he creates a little con artist scheme and possesses a main character. And considering that he's been locked up since the dawn of time for maybe, just maybe letting temptation into the Garden, and corrupting all of human kind...can we really blame him?

Yes, yes we can.

I chose this gif above because it honestly does give off all of the Gadreel vibes for someone viewing him in the modern sense. I've heard a couple of different versions about what Gadreel represents. Some come him the Wall of God, others call him the Angel of War and still some call him the Helper of God. And with the little detail there is about this one guy who let the evil in, his meaning really depends on the way the angel is being presented.

To talk about Gadreel, we need to talk about the Book of Enoch, where his crimes are mentioned in Chapter 69. This chapter is talking about some of the specific crimes of fallen angels (these ones called Watchers with a capital "W") but it makes the point of talking about the chiefs, who then becomes associated with the five satans. And this little clique is eventually why we get around to the Flood but that's a story for another post.

The Book of Enoch is big on talking about the origins of supernatural creatures, with a main focus on angels and demons. But as Gadreel's hanky panky shows, there were certainly other creatures created during this time. The Book also talks about why some angels fell, leading into a general mention of the Angel War, and the Flood, and of course mentions of the Messiah. Because it's not a real party before we talk about those two.

The section we are concerned about is 2 Enoch 69: 6-7. Gadreel is named as the third chief and listed here are his particular crimes to heaven. Depending on how much mythology my limited audience has glanced over, y'all might find some similarities in his crimes.

6. And the name of the third is Gadreel; this is the one that showed all the deadly blows to the sons of men. And he led astray Eve. And he showed the weapons of death to the children of men, the shield and the breastplate, and the sword for slaughter, and all the weapons of death to the sons of men.
7. And from his hand they have gone out against those who dwell the dry ground from that time and forever and ever.


With the nick name Wall of God, we see that he let's the wall fall in letting Eve find temptation. Now the jury is still out on the logistics of how that happened but everyone is pretty sure he let the evil in. Pretty sure.

The second part of verse 6 brings us to Gadreel being called the Angel of War, which works together once we see how he showed weapons to humans. First, he lets Eve know about sin. And then he starts giving humans weapons and military strategies? Well that guy has got to go.

Not even to mention how he may or may not have helped create some angel/human hybrids.
Who can forget that party?

Image


  





User avatar
711 Reviews



Gender: None specified
Points: 16900
Reviews: 711
Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:15 pm
View Likes
LordWolf says...



Brotherly Love

Image


No, this is not an article about Philadelphia. If this was a post talking about Philadelphia in connection to the phrase "Brotherly Love", it would be about both the irony and why William Penn is underrated.
With that exact wording.
Do. Not. Question. Me.

From Leviticus 19:18, we have the phrase "love thy neighbor as thyself". This is supposed to be done from the heart, even if the other person is not reciprocating. To many Christians, showing love for their brothers and sisters in Christ is yet another part of the mission to following in his path.

So when we ask: What would Jesus do?
The answer is that he would probably love this person. His family. His friend. His neighbor. Or his enemy.

Newer versions of verse have taken out some of the "thy"s and so the full verse of Leviticus 19:18 is usually seen as this.
18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.


Side note of:
Leviticus is mainly God's speeches to Moses, which are then repeated to the Israelites. It's certainly a book of teaching, talking of how to conduct different parts of religion, such as sacrifices, priests, and how to be holy. A lot to be taken from all of that and if you wish to pursue it, pursue it.
Exploration is a magical thing.

A very important part of many of these statements is the inclusion of "I am the Lord." This is the direct message from the Commander in Chief telling his people what they need to do. Leviticus gives the outlines of how to be successful in life and I've found that Catholics often take it to an emphasis of being holy in your everyday life.

One of the best ways to show how you are holy, how you are living in God, and how you are following in the path of Christ, is shown through your treatment of other people. Being Christian will always come back to the lessons that you learned from Jesus. This brings me to 3 questions of exploration.

1. What parts of his message did you take to your everyday life?
2. How have you decided to follow in his path?
3. What do you think Jesus Christ's mission was?

Everything about this scenario brings me back to two good quotes but one that is more recognizable. It's the thing your parents might say to you when you're trying to obtain a car. Or what your teacher might say when you're trying to make up a bad grade. Or it may be the thing that occurs to you when thinking about someone's promises but waiting to see their actions.

Actions speak louder than words.


If you don't recognize the phrase, it's no matter really. The message is pretty dang obvious.

Even if you have taken little or nothing in the religious message of this, the principle is good guidance for life.

Peace be with you all.
- Lizz



  








In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.
— Robert Frost