Motivation for being Catholic

It is interesting to read about the interview that Pope Benedict XVI gave in Oct 2015 that he was deeply concerned why any Christian should bother keeping up or where will be the motivation for missionary work, when document from Vatican II state that there can be salvation for all. Andrew Brown further wrote a piece on Pope Benedict’s “deep double crisis”, titled “If a former pope says non-Catholics can go to heaven, why be Catholic?”

Perhaps, the point to be a Christian is not just for salvation, but for us to be adopted as children of God who are happy to follow Christ. Through Him we learn God’s love and how to live with all the tensions of life, guided by that love.

When I wrote the blog in January How to Evangelize?the second step in the plan was to show God is love. God sent his Son to us as the solution to the powers of evil. The stone that the builders rejected then became the corner stone of the Church.   The Church gathers us and unites us. “Through Baptism we are formed in the likeness of Christ… partaking of the body of the Lord in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread, we are taken in communion with Him and with one another.” (Lumen Gentium, paragraph 7.)  This family, this Body of Christ, this Church, has sacraments where God communicates with us and helps us discover the hidden treasures of His grace and love. Love is the answer for our human struggles. Evangelization then becomes spreading the message that the Church has the answer for us to better deal with the tensions of life.

We may convince others that by being part of the Catholic family, we learn from the Way, the Truth and the Life of Christ which helps us with our struggles in life. The sacraments and our Church teachings are doors to get to know God, who has the power to salvation to all mankind.  When one is part of this family, conversion is bound to happen; especially when one receives  the gifts of the Holy Spirit from Baptism and Confirmation, and the nourishment from Holy Communion. If people love the idea of salvation, they ought to love God who makes that possible. If they love God enough, they will be willing to be his instruments to spread that love and being part of the Catholic community with all the sacraments that will help them in their endeavours.

Meeting my Dad in my Project

It has been a little while since I last spent some time on this website or organizing a breakfast talk. It’s not that I lost interest in learning about the Catholic faith and, therefore, this website. On the contrary, I wish to learn so much more about the Catholic faith and church teachings that I decided to take a Certificate program on Pastoral Ministry at St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario. It’s a part-time program that allows me to have a family life and to enjoy my parish life. I have gained so much from the program itself since September 2015 that I wished I had taken this program years ago!  Perhaps, I will share some of what I learned in this forum on a later date. The program does, however, take up a good amount of my “spare” time, and, therefore, my neglect on this WHY@Breakfast project.

I am, however, all fired up about WHY@Breakfast again.

My father passed away a few months ago. Since then, I have been trying to re-live the memories that I have of this great man. My dad was an educator, who started his career as a humble chemistry teacher.  He then became a popular Chemistry books author in Hong Kong and a well sought-out instructor for the popular tutoring classes aimed at helping students with the public examinations. (Public Examinations are the maker of life and death for Hong Kong students!) He then went on to become the Principal of a private school.  By the time of his death, he had just retired for one year from being Director of over 14 schools in Hong Kong. However, the most important facts that I remembered about my dad are about how he loved and cared for his family, how he loved his students and how generous he was towards others.

Recently, I read Ronald Rolheiser’s book, The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality. (New York, 1999)  In it, Rolheiser wrote that there is “a huge difference between how a theist and a Christian understand contact and intimacy with our loved ones after they have died.” A Christian “remain in contact through their word made flesh”, as one accepts Christ’s incarnation. Christians give “concrete expression in our lives to those whose virtues and qualities which they best incarnated.” So, in order for us to feel our loved one’s presence, we must seek him or her out in what was most distinctively him or her, in terms of love, faith, and virtue.

Dad was an educator through and through, and his loving and generous heart can be often seen through his work. I figure that if I long to feel his presence, it’s best for me to be engaged in some type of an educational project. I think if I keep working on WHY@Breakfast and helping deliver information on our Catholic faith and Church teachings to fellow Catholics, I might get to understand my dad’s legacy in his school administrative work. So, here I am, starting to update the website and planning the next WHY@Breakfast talk! Stay tuned!