Easter is only a couple of weeks away now, and this Easter will mark the second anniversary of God graciously receiving me and my wife into His Holy Catholic Church. Although I have only been Catholic for two years, both my hands would not be enough to count the number of debates that I have had with Protestants regarding what the Catholic Church REALLY teaches. And in every single debate, the thing that I encounter, without fail, is that Protestants have been grossly misinformed about Catholic doctrine.
In fact, just this week, I came across a Protestant gentleman (no doubt well-meaning) who purported that the Catholic Church uses the Rosary in an attempt to subversively teach her faithful that Jesus is dead and Mary is alive! This is based on the underlying (false) assumption that Catholics place Mary on a higher level than Jesus Christ. The allegation is that because a set of Rosary beads contains a Crucifix (a Cross with an image of the Crucified Jesus) this is meant to show that the Catholic Church really wants Catholics to believe that whilst Jesus is still dead on the Cross, Mary is our only hope because she is alive and in Heaven.
Of course, if you are Catholic, you are probably shaking your head in disbelief, because one of the greatest truths we hold to as Catholics is that Jesus Christ did not only die on the Cross for our sins; but three days later, He rose again according to the Scriptures. In fact, that is ultimately what this whole Lenten season is about. It is about preparing us for Easter – which is the Church’s greatest feast because in it we celebrate the Resurrection of our Blessed Lord! Not only that, but for us Catholics, every Sunday is a Resurrection Sunday – which is precisely why we don’t worship on Saturday, the Old Covenant Sabbath.
Right now you might be wondering where I am going with this. Tomorrow is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, and the Gospel reading will be taken from Lk 1:26-38. As I was reading this passage earlier today, one verse in particular struck me as being the real (albeit subconscious) issue that Protestants have with Catholic doctrine (even after you have cleared up all their misconceptions).
In Luke 1:37, the Angel Gabriel declares to Mary: “With God nothing will be impossible.”
It’s that simple. Everything that we as Catholics believe ultimately comes down to this one point – NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!
You don’t believe that in the Eucharist the bread and wine are transformed into the Real Body and Blood of Jesus? NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!
You don’t believe that in matters of faith and morals, the Pope cannot teach error? NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!
You don’t believe that the waters of Baptism wash away our sins? NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!
You don’t believe that Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin? NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!
You don’t believe that the Catholic Church has remained faithful to the teachings of Jesus handed down through the Apostles? NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!
You see? The issue is always the same. Before everything else, the real question that we all need to answer is this: “Do we believe in the power of God?”
And by God’s grace, may our response always imitate that of the Blessed Virgin Mary: “Let it be done according to Thy word”.