The question this week was, “what do we believe?” We meet right after mass, so it’s easy to recognize what we believe as Catholics – our mass and certainly, what we say in our creed during that mass. Yet, the Catechism of our church is almost 700 pages long and the Bible is almost three times that!
So, the question is, what do we believe as Catholics? What do those who are not Catholic think we believe? And what are the essential elements of our beliefs? If we try to answer these question in short statements, the answers would be as varied as the people responding. Understanding the depths of our faith is a lifelong pursuit. As we learn, we might need to spend weeks or months on a single question trying to accept what the church teaches and trying to understand.
As we prepare for Confirmation, we invite the questions both so that we can work through the answers and so that we can develop a curiosity for being Catholic. Our core beliefs are expressed at mass every week and in our creed, but our doctrines and teachings take us into how we behave and how we live. What may seem like a simple teaching today may become difficult to understand when our life’s circumstances change. Likewise, we may stumble into darkness and find light in a teaching that we had previously misunderstood. Faith is a process. It is ok to ask ourselves, “what exactly do we believe” and it is also ok to struggle with the answer. Through the questioning and the learning, we grow to understand our faith and to understand the person at its heart, Jesus Christ.