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Being a teenager comes with a lot of responsibilities mostly from peer influence on faith and belief issues. Because it is good to evaluate details, here are “10 things Catholic teens are asked by their non – Catholic teen friends concerning their faith and possible answers”
- Why do Catholics use Images as a form of worship? Many at times, Catholics are assumed the use and worship of crafted images by non-Catholics, so this question is easily asked Catholic teenagers. It is a known fact that images can be seen around Catholic vicinity, but it is false to say that the images are idols made for worship. This is because the images are crafted to remind Catholics about Christians from the past who led heroic and virtuous lives worthy of imitation just as they also imitated Jesus Christ our Lord and are now by the grace of God in Heaven with Jesus and all His Saints and Angels.
- Why do Catholics worship Mary? In fact, this one comes up in almost every conversation with non-Catholic teens. Most times, they never seem to understand anything about her “Immaculate Conception” and “Perpetual Virginity” and that explain why they think Catholics worship her, while in the real sense; Catholics honor Mary because God first honored her when He made her the mother of His only begotten Son and also because Mary is a virtuous woman worthy of imitation because of her utmost humility and patience in carrying the Redeemer of the world in her womb.
- Why do Catholics not use the Bible? This can be literary termed funny as it holds no grounds or basis if argued. The Catholic Church does not only use the Bible, She also read through every book of the Bible in accordance with the liturgical season of the Church which further explain why the Church is solely based on the teachings of the Holy Apostles.
- What is the essence of confessing your sins to a human called Priest? Many Catholic teens are often faced with these questions that non-Catholic teens fail to understand. According to the book of Matthew, we all are made to understand that “Whatever is forgiven on earth is forgiven in heaven”. It is ok to quietly confess your sins to your Creator in your privacy, but it is not enough. The Bible also teaches us to confess our sins to one another according to James 5:16 and Jesus after His glorious Resurrection breathe on the Holy Apostles and laid hands on them and said to them any sins they forgive is forgiven and those they retain is retained according to John 20:21-23. These are not mere words of a mortal but of Jesus Christ Himself and the Catholic priesthood is a continuation of the office of the Holy Apostles with the same power and authority given by Jesus to forgive or retain sins.
- Why do Catholics believe in Infant Baptism? Baptism according to Catholic doctrine is a “Sacrament that washes away our original sins, makes us Christians and members of the church”. As the name implies, Infant Baptism is done when a child is born with a minimum of 1 month after the child’s birth. Most non-Catholic teens do not agree to this as they see no reason for it. They believe that baptism should be done when an individual attains an age of reasoning. Meanwhile, at such stage; most people do not find it necessary to be baptized or drawn to God, unlike kids who are innocently drawn to their Creator and are taught to grow in the ways of God.
- Why do Catholics pray to Mary? Misconceptions are often not taken lightly by people. The misconceptions of the Catholic doctrine often count to non-Catholics. Catholics pray “through” Mary and not “to” her. It can be arguable said that “to get something from a child, one should go through the mother”; this is why Catholics pray through her, as she intercedes for them to her Son. She is the Intercessor between Man and the Son of God which is also Her Son our Lord Jesus Christ to God our Father. Mary loves to intercede for people just as She did in John 2:1-5 at the Wedding at Cana where Jesus performed His first publicly recorded miracle by turning water into wine for the wedding guests.
- Why do Catholics pray through the Saints? Similar to Mary’s intercession, most Catholics pray through their Patron Saints (i.e. the name of any Saint they choose to answer during Baptism or Confirmation) in order to intercede for them. The Saints are close friends of Jesus Christ living with Him and the Angels in Heaven.
- Why do Catholic Priests remain single and not married? Unlike non-Catholic religious leaders or pastors, Catholic pastors/priests from the Latin or Roman Rite of the Catholic Church do not get married. Although marriage is good and acceptable before God, giving up marriage out of love for God and service for God is more pleasing to God just as Jesus Christ Himself said in Matthew 19:11-12 that celibacy is a gift from God. Also, St. Paul also teaches that celibacy is a gift from God in 1 Corinthians 7:7.
- Why do Catholics take only the Body and not the Blood during the intake of the Eucharist? As funny as the question sounds, non-Catholic teens still ask it. It is almost impossible to have a human flesh without blood connected to it in someway; this is so with the Body of Christ during the reception of the Eucharist at Mass. The Body of Christ contains His Blood as well and the Eucharist is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ not in parts but as a whole.
- Why do Catholics say the Rosary? The Rosary is one prayer that does a lot in different ways, but for an average non-Catholic teen, it is considered boring. The Rosary was given to Catholics by the Blessed Virgin Mary, and it has proven its worth in different homes and Nations throughout the ages. The Rosary is about the life of Jesus Christ through the eyes of His mother Mary and it is a summary of the public ministry of Jesus recorded in the Gospel.
By Silva Okpara