If there is one point of contention that I get about my Catholic Faith more than any other, it’s what we Catholics believe about Mary. Mark Shea has handled the topic quite thoroughly in his excellent book “Mary, Mother of the Son.” In many ways, I don’t really feel that I can add anything to what he has said, but since he took a several hundred pages to say it, and most of my Protestant friends and family won’t read that much, I’ll do my best to condense it here.
Nearly two years ago, a social-media acquaintance of mine asked me to explain the Sacrament of Confession. I thought long and hard about what to say, and how to phrase it so that it would make sense to Protestant ears. Eventually, I decided on a logical path I could take that would explain the reason that Catholic theology requires the Sacrament of Confession.
This was the introduction to part 1:
As I began to formulate this answer, I realized that it would not be short or simple. Imagine going to a box of Christmas lights and attempting to retrieve only one. Most often, you end up with all the wires in the box coming out as one big ball. In order to retrieve just the one, you have to sit there and focus on the winding path of the one you want, paying attention to all the places where it intersects with the others. The doctrine of the sacrament of Confession is not all that difficult. I could answer it in a few short scriptures and be done with it. But, those scriptures a Catholic uses to support confession are not interpreted the same way by Protestants. And so in order to give an answer for why Catholics confess our sins to a priest, we must first address the nature of sin, the nature of sacrament, and the validity of the priesthood, and all of these concepts hinge on the way Catholics view Scripture.
I practically put together a syllabus for a semester-long lecture series. Ultimately, I became too daunted by the amount of material I couldn’t articulate, and I gave up.
Tonight, As I stood in line for confession, I realized that I had tried to give a lecture instead of an answer. So tonight, let me attempt to give the answer that I should have given two years ago. Continue reading
Right Where I Was Right
My Conversion to Catholicism brought with it many shifts that I did not expect. I was confirmed in the Catholic Church on May 21st, 2011 because I had become convinced that She was right. I fit with the theology of the Catholic Church more fully than I ever did anywhere else. I came to believe not only that She was right, but that every other expression of Christianity was incomplete. I say this not to cause conflict, but only to say that if I had found another home that I thought would have sufficed, I would not have become Catholic.
Someone recently asked me why Catholics go to Confession. Honestly, this is a blog post I’ve been putting off for a while, but it is a question that deserves an answer. As always, when my answers touch on Catholic doctrine, I offer this *Quick Disclaimer.* I answer the following questions according to my current understanding. I cannot claim beyond a shadow of doubt that my answers are totally without error. I reserve the right to edit the answer at anytime. Thanks for your understanding.
*Quick Disclaimer* I answer the following questions according to my current understanding. I cannot claim beyond a shadow of doubt that my answers are totally without error. I reserve the right to edit the answer at anytime. Thanks for your understanding.
What’s the deal with praying to the saints?
Why wouldn’t I just pray directly to Jesus?
Isn’t it sinful communicating with the dead?