What do you think of when you hear the word "Church"?
You might have thought of a building or the pope and the bishops. Perhaps you thought of your group or the Mass.
The word Church has many different meanings. For Catholics, however, Church is more than a building, or a group of people, or a liturgy.
The truth is expressed at the beginning of Mass: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” It is here that our unity as Christians lies. For the Church is people: People united, not by something, not a building, or a hierarchy, or a group but by someone.
The Second Vatican Council points out that the Church shines forth as “a people made one with the unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, #4). The Church is the community of all those who have been drawn into the life of God. The Church is the continuing presence of Christ leading people to the vision of God. The Church is a people with one “soul”–the Holy Spirit dwelling in their hearts.READ MORE
The final sentence in the Nicene Creed is: “I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come, Amen.”
By this confession, we are saying that in baptism, our sinful self, dies and we start to live a new life of union with Jesus. For those baptized as infants, baptism removed the power sin had over us and gave us the strength to overcome sin by the grace of Jesus. Adults who are baptized (like the candidates for baptism at this Easter Vigil) have their personal sins wiped away as well.READ MORE
Another article of faith we Catholics profess in the Nicene Creed is: “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic church.”
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the love eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is the reason we are alive, the cause of all that is good in the world. To locate the Holy Spirit, we need only look for that which is good, true, beautiful, and honorable in creation, in ourselves, and in others.READ MORE
Another article of faith that we Catholics profess as expressed in the words of the Nicene Creed is that Jesus “rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.”READ MORE
During the profession of faith, we declare that Jesus came down from heaven “And by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man.”This belief of ours is rooted in the scripture. It came from the annunciation when Angel Gabriel told Mary that she would have a son (See Luke 1:3038). We believe that Jesus is truly human because he has a real human nature formed in the womb of his mother Mary, including a human body and human soul. We believe he is truly God because he has also a divine nature. Jesus has no earthly father but was miraculously conceived by God’s power. This is what we profess when we call Mary the Mother of God.READ MORE