In Defense of My Catholic Faith

In celebration of the Feast of All Saints today, allow to me make a case for what I believe in.

I became a Catholic by chance, meaning I was born to a Catholic family in a Catholic-dominated country and was therefore baptized as one. I remained a Catholic by choice. However, I am not blindly following and ingesting all Catholic teachings and traditions. I am well aware that Catholicism isn’t flawless, just like any other religion. But that doesn’t and shouldn’t stop me, or anyone else, from at least respecting what the Catholic Church teaches.

If there are things I do not completely embrace about Catholicism, sainthood isn’t one of them. I must admit though that it isn’t always an idea I openly welcomed. Why would Catholics pray to saints? Aren’t they just humans? Isn’t that against the First Commandment of God? Why need saints when there’s always our God?

As I grew older, I have come to realize why the Catholics actually do venerate “saints”.

For one, they serve as models of the Church and its people. They are epitomes of unfaltering faith. They are those who never stopped fighting for their beliefs and for their God despite all the hate, the persecution, and the violence. They were oppressed, they were stoned, they were crucified, they were killed. Our saints and martyrs never backed down in defending their faith and spreading the Word of God even when the rest of the world would have understood if they ever did.

Usually, saints are patrons of something that is largely connected to their personal lives. St. Thomas Aquinas is the patron of all universities and of students as he himself was a brilliant student in his younger years. St. Ezekiel Moreno is the patron of cancer patients as he died while courageously battling this disease. St. Rita of Cascia received visions and wounds on the forehead resembling the crown of thorns in the midst of her chronic illness. After her death, miracles through her intercession were instantly reported, and she was canonized as the patroness of impossible causes. She is also a patroness for abused wives and heartbroken women as she was a wife and mother who made efforts to convert her husband from his abusive behavior. Having saints to run to makes us feel that we are not suffering alone, that our pain is shared and understood.

We have our saints because they have led holy and righteous lives we all need to know and to remember. Truly, there are saints who were not always the “good” people, St. Paul being the perfect example. But in the end, it was always their faith that prevailed. Saints differ in religious order, in upbringing, and in the way they evangelize. What’s common about them is that they all died for God and for their faith, and their martyrdom allows us to live our lives for the very same cause. And we are not exactly praying to them as we are praying through them, through their intercession.

The Catholic Church is far from perfect. But it isn’t the hypocritical, autocratic, and inflexible institution many critics have claimed it to be. I chose to be a Catholic because I know that it is in Catholicism that my faith grows and blossoms. And I also know that Catholicism isn’t for everybody. Some of us can find the growth their soul needs in another religion or spiritual group, or even in not having one.

At the end of the day, the truth we should all recognize is this: God’s Love goes way beyond someone’s preferences, sexual orientation, religion and even lack thereof. Our part is to continue to grow in faith and in love, and to listen and to understand with an open mind and a loving heart.

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4 thoughts on “In Defense of My Catholic Faith

  1. This is a really interesting post. I like it a lot. I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) and I’ve always been curious about why Catholics pray to Saints. It makes a lot of sense. I think it is really great that you have so much respect for the Saints and those who were diligent in defending their beliefs. When I look at past leaders of the church, I have so much respect for them and I strive to become like them. What I love most about them though is how hard they try to follow our Savior, Jesus Christ. Personally, that’s why I choose to pray to Him and God. I really believe that God is our Father and listens to every prayer. How did you come to know that Catholicism was the right church for you?

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    • Good day, Hali! Thank you for your kind feedback. Regarding your question, I just know deep inside that Catholicism is for me. Perhaps the best sign, or whatever it is, which tells me that I’m where I should be is that I can feel my spiritual growth. Like what I’ve said in my post, finding which church or even figuring out if you actually need one differs from person to person. Also, change is always around. Whenever you feel like you’re stuck in the wrong place, you can always go explore and search for what can make your soul grow. In the end, what truly matters is that we have something to believe. 🙂

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      • That’s what I love about my church as well. I feel like every day I am getting close to my Father in Heaven. Sorry to keep asking questions, but what kinds of things do you do to help your spiritual growth?

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      • Good day, Hali! Sorry for the late response. The usual- I pray, hear mass, listen and read about God and other spiritual stuff. What is truly amazing though is this: I’ve realized that the things that greatly nurture my spirit aren’t always those things that I do but rather the things that happen to me. I’ve experienced feeling truly helpless and right at the point of giving up, God would come and rescue me. I’ve witnessed acts of kindness in the unlikeliest places and situations. I’ve met people who brought me closer to Him. The grace of God manifests itself in every detail of our lives. We just have to keep looking. God is truly amazing. 🙂

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