God created all people to know, love, and serve Him in order that we may spend all of eternity with Him. From the beginning of time, God had a plan for our salvation. God’s plan of salvation was fulfilled through the life, death, and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus created his Church on earth as a means of salvation. He created one Church to serve as the body of Christ. The fullness of the means of salvation are present in the Catholic Church, founded by Jesus, himself. To understand the way, the truth, and the life of the Catholic Church, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is our authentic reference.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is built upon four primary pillars: the baptismal profession of faith (the Creed), the sacraments of faith (the Sacraments), the life of faith (the Commandments), and the prayer of the believer (the Lord’s Prayer). The sections can be summed up in the following ways:
Being Catholic means having faith in the Church established by Jesus Christ, himself. Our faith is deeply rooted in Sacred Scripture, the written Word of God; in Sacred Tradition, the oral Word of God; and in Magisterial teachings, the authentic interpreter of both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. The Catholic Church understands that there is only one truth. This truth is Jesus Christ and the truth is immutable.
Being Catholic means having received from Jesus himself all means necessary for eternal salvation. Our sacred liturgy has been handed down to us by the Father through Jesus Christ to Peter and the apostles. From that comes apostolic succession which ensures the ministerial priesthood remains intact. This assures us that Jesus Christ is truly present in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist which is the source, center and summit of our faith and our liturgy. The seven sacraments the Church has received from Jesus, provide the body of Christ with a direct connection between heaven and earth. These sacraments are a powerful way to receive extraordinary grace in order to live a holy life.
Being Catholic means living a life of purpose and meaning as defined by God. Living a life rooted in morality, focused on God and our neighbor is the command given to us by Jesus Christ. Man was created by God to freely respond from the beginning to share in God’s own blessed life. Man was also given limits to this freedom, since the beginning. We are called to live a life free to serve God and our neighbor to further the kingdom of God.
Being Catholic means to always and everywhere give thanks to God. Jesus Christ taught us how to live and pray. His mother, the Virgin Mary, models for us the way to prepare our hearts to receive her son, with humility and purity of heart. Our life of prayer begins with humility. We call upon the angels and saints to assist and guide us to a life of holiness.