Now I want to close my intro by explaining the basic tenets of Catholicism.
Here is how the Catholic church defines itself in the catechism. (the catechism is sort of “user’s manual” on Catholicism.) The word Catholic means universal. There are two senses to this. First, it is catholic because Christ is present in her. She receives Him “the fullness of the means of salvation (Eph 1:22-23) Secondly, the church has been sent out on a mission from God to bring His kingdom to Earth [Catechism paragraphs 830-1]
The Catholic church sees the sacraments as signs of God’s grace on Earth, not mere symbols, as most Protestant denominations do. There are seven in all: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance (confession), Anointing the Sick, Holy Orders (joining the priesthood), and Matrimony. [Catechism 1113]
The Catholic Bible is bigger than most Protestant Bibles. The following books are included in the Catholic Bible: Tobit, Esther, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, and 1st and 2nd Maccabees. (for more info, go to this site: http://www.beginningcatholic.com/books-of-the-catholic-bible.html
At the core of Catholicism is the Eucharist–the body and blood of Jesus Christ. This is called “transubstantiation.” We Catholics believe that Jesus is present in both the bread and the wine, but the bread and wine remain the same in appearance.
So, why have I chosen to be Catholic? Actually, I’m what you call a “cradle Catholic.” That means I was baptized as an infant. There are many things I like about being Catholic:
1. The communion with the Saints.
2. The actions required for the Mass.
3. The fullness of the traditions within the church.
In fact, most of the times I have visited Protestant churches, I have felt awkward and out of place. It’s not that I’m prejudiced against Protestants, far from it. I just feel so uncomfortable because they celebrate Jesus so differently from what I’m used to.