In the First Letter to the Thessalonians, St. Paul writes, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
In the Catholic Church, we have the wonderful privilege of sharing a faith with our brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world. As the Church has developed and grown in each region, beautiful traditions have arisen that glorify God in a way that represents the culture of that region. You’ve probably heard of Advent wreaths, Advent calendars, Christmas trees, and other similar traditions. But did you know about these practices of Catholics around the world?
Perhaps the most commonly known Lenten practice for Catholics is abstinence from meat on Fridays. Though Catholics all over the world follow this practice faithfully, some are unsure about the reasoning behind it. There are two main questions to answer:
Our Catholic faith is understood through two major building blocks: Scripture and Tradition. When Christ established the Church, He gave us these beautiful gifts so that we might grow ever closer to God and spread the Gospel to the whole world. He also gave us an additional gift that is a stark reminder of the fact that the Church is both living and trustworthy: apostolic succession.
Since God created the earth, marriage has been a part of His divine plan. Though the relationship between man and woman (and, therefore, marriage) was damaged by original sin, Jesus repaired this relationship and raised marriage to a sacrament. The Church recognizes marriage as a sacred institution that is not merely a personal decision, but a vocation.