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Monday, May 15, 2006

Faith in the Church

In his new book, Catholic Matters, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus writes that he had the following thoughts before making his solemn profession of faith when he converted to Catholicism:

Am I writting a blank check on my soul? What if the Magisterium the solemn teaching office of the Church, get something wrong? May I even admit that question to my mind? By what criterion, by what measure, coudl I judge a teaching to be wrong? (p. 75)

I have to think that this is a pretty common thought for many converts. Personally, I know that it sums up what I felt at many points during my conversion process.

Fr. Neuhaus goes on to say:

Because I believe in Christ, I believe in his Church, I entrust myself to her. Christ thehead and the Church his body constitute the totus Christus, the total Christ. (p. 75)

Trust is risk, trust is faith. Not blind faith but faith with eyes wide open. Christ as true God and true man can, by definition, not betray my trust.(p. 76)

I think that these statements provide a good answer for those who often ask me about my decision to join the Catholic Church and how I can profess to believe all that the Catholic Church believes and teaches to be true. It is trust grounded in faith and faith built on the words of Christ.

Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." - Matthew 16: 17 -19

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