One of the hardest things for me and my faith is explaining it to others. I never had a good, simple way that I thought really expressed the faith until about a year ago.
I was assisting in a Sunday school class, and we were talking about the greatest commandments. What are the two commandments that God gives us? What does he think is the absolute, most important? This is what we read:
“Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus answered, ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and the most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ The whole Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets depend on these two commandments.”Matthew 22:36-40
This was the answer I was looking for. I reread it a few times and each time something new popped out to me. God had shown me what I needed to hear at just the right time. What is the one thing that describes our faith? Love. Love is the answer. Always. Everything about our faith can be traced back and described by love. Jesus dying on the cross was out of complete love for us. Helping people in need is done out of love for one another. Praying to God — the One who loves you and the One you love with all your heart — is, clearly, an act of love. Forgiving one another in everyday life and God’s endless mercy in confession are both examples of love.
One of our missions in the Catholic Church is to evangelize; to bring people to the faith and show them God’s love and mercy. I am always trying to think of new ways to help others understand, even if they are not Catholic, and this is one of my best resources.
One of the things that sometimes shocks people about the Catholic Church is that we are accepting. As Catholics, we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves – regardless of political view, economic status, age, race, or sexuality. We should always strive to be accepting of everyone we meet. We should always strive to love. We are all created in the image and likeness of God, so we should love everyone in the same way that we would love anyone else. If we are being true to God, this is how we should live our lives.
Why would this be important to someone who is not Catholic or doesn’t believe in God? Well, there is no science behind the concept of love. Who gave us the ability to love one another? God, of course. We are to use that love to love Him, but also to love one another, by caring for one another and taking care of one another. So, for those who don’t believe in God, we must not force our faith, but rather show them our faith. Show them one of God’s greatest creations: Love!
God loves us more than we can ever know. He loves us through his Son and through the Holy Spirit. I had to stop and really think about the Crucifixion before I truly realized that it was out of complete love. Love is sacrifice. God sacrificed his only son for us so that we can get to Heaven. He died in arguably the most painful, agonizing way possible in human form. To me that is incomprehensible.
In the end, we (even the most devout Catholics!) can forget how much God loves us. We don’t always remember that everything He has given us is out of complete love. In my opinion, this is the simplest thing to understand about our faith, and also the thing that explains it the most. I hope this helps, and if you have any feedback let us know in the comments. Share your story with us and let us know if this helped you! God bless you!