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Ashu Singh wrote:

Dear Sirs,

I need to do project for my philosophy class. I have to interview a Catholic high member who belongs to that religion.

  • Can you give me some time for this?

I just have 11 questions?

  1. How did you become a Catholic priest?
  2. How does a Catholic priest see the world?
  3. How would you describe your level of commitment to being a Catholic?
  4. How has the Catholic faith changed your life?
  5. Why did you choose being Catholic instead of any other religion?
  6. Do you believe your religion is the true religion? Are other religions mistaken?
  7. What is the most difficult aspect of being a Catholic?
  8. Are you ever curious about other religions?
  9. Have you ever doubted your religion?
  10. In what way does being a Catholic conflict with modern American culture?
  11. As a Catholic, what are your greatest challenges?

I would be really grateful if you could reply to me.

Thank-you so much!

Ashu

  { Since I only have 11 questions, can I interview you for my philosophy project? }

Paul replied:

Hi, Ashu —

You said:
I need to do project for my philosophy class. I have to interview a Catholic high member who belongs to that religion. Can you give me some time for this. I just have 11 questions.

Sure!

  1. How did you become a Catholic priest?

I am not a priest. Each of us here at AskACatholic are Catholic laymen.

  1. How does a Catholic priest see the world?

I would guess similar to how other believers in God see it. It is a world created and sustained by God, who is a God of love and truth. We as a human community messed things up due to original sin but through Jesus we have a second chance at a perfect and unending fulfillment with God.

  1. How would you describe your level of commitment to being a Catholic?

That's difficult to describe. Like any relationship, one's relationship with Christ fluctuates a little depending on how much time one puts into it. I believe all of us here at AskACatholic try to obey the First Commandment which speaks of putting God and His Will first in our lives.

  1. How has the Catholic faith changed your life?

Catholicism didn't change my life since I've always been Catholic but it has formed me and guided my life and all its choices. Being Catholic means standing up for the truth no matter how much the world (i.e. the culture) ridicules you and penalizes you for it.

  1. Why did you choose being Catholic instead of any other religion?

The choice was originally made for me at birth. I choose to remain a Catholic because it is clear to me that Catholicism is the most:

  • reasonable
  • truthful, and
  • fulfilling

religion on earth. I'm convinced and convicted that it is God's Church. We believe it to be the one true Church in which the fullness of truth subsists and (supernatural) life is offered.

  1. Do you believe your religion is the true religion? Are other religions mistaken?

Yes. All other religions are mistaken to the degree that they contradict the tenets of Catholicism. It may be politically incorrect to say that today but it is only logical that anybody would choose a religion based on their belief that it contains the most truth and goodness.

  1. What is the most difficult aspect of being a Catholic?

Trying to uphold the truth of Christian morality in one's life; especially when one is young and vulnerable to societal and peer pressure.

  1. Are you ever curious about other religions?

Curious about, yes. Interested in joining, never.

  1. Have you ever doubted your religion?

I think everyone comes across challenges to their faith now and then. That is normal. But like Jacob in the desert, wrestling through it with God always makes you victorious over lingering doubts.

  1. In what way does being a Catholic conflict with modern American culture?

That's simple: sex, marriage, and life. The modern western world has gone off the deep end when it comes to sexual morality and the value of human life. The sexual revolution beginning with the popularization of the birth control pill began the moral mess which lead to intellectual and spiritual blindness, causing our current culture of death. Abusing sex always leads to abusing human life. The 5th and 6th Commandments are linked in that way.

  1. As a Catholic, what are your greatest challenges?

Generally speaking, the greatest challenge is:

  • To follow Christ each day in a world that rejects Him.
  • To not fall into the hypocrisy of saying I believe in God while acting in a contrary way.
  • Keeping one's self clean of the popular movements of materialism, relativism, hedonism, and nihilism that the modern world is stuck in like quick sand without realizing it.

Since God calls us to love him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, it is challenging to confront our comfortable vices in order to do that, but important to do so.

We must remember never to compare ourselves to others around us, but to Jesus who asked us all to try and be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

Peace.

Hope this helps,

Paul

Ashu replied:


Thank-you so much Paul for giving me your time.

I really appreciate this.

Ashu

Paul replied:


No problem.

Paul

Mike replied:

Hi, Ashu —

You said:
I need to do project for my philosophy class. I have to interview a Catholic high member who belongs to that religion. Can you give me some time for this. I just have 11 questions.

Sure!

  1. How did you become a Catholic priest?

Like Paul said, I am not a priest. Each of us here at AskACatholic are Catholic laymen with the exception of Fr. Jonathan.

On the priesthood itself it is important to understand that no man has a right to become a Catholic priest. Becoming a Catholic priest is a calling or vocation that comes within the man after years of study and discernment. Ultimately, the Church makes the decision and assists the Catholic man along the way.

For those not familiar with Catholic teachings, it's important to know that only faithful Catholic men can become priest. This is not because the Church is bias or anti-woman but because Jesus was a True Man and the actions performed by a priest are done in the person of Jesus, the True Man.

For this reason, I will let Fr. Jonathan answer this question.

  1. How does a Catholic priest [and Catholics] see the world?

Let me answer for both lay Catholics and Catholic priests. If Fr. Jonathan wishes to add to this answer, he will reply.

Ideally, all lay Catholics and Catholic priests should view the world as a missionary field for which we are called to:

  • Preach, to bring others into the Catholic Church
  • Teach and instruct those in the Church on the faith, and
  • Feed the People of God so they may grow in the specific vocation the Lord is calling them to.

Some of these areas we do a poor job in, like teaching and instructing the faithful in proper catechesis. We also don't teach anything in the area of Catholic Apologetics, which means defending the faith in charity. Nevertheless, we are called to do this; certainly the Early Church Christians did.

God made us to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in Heaven.

This is not restricted to members of the Catholic Church but to everyone worldwide. That said, we cannot know, love, and serve someone who we have never met. This is the goal of Evangelization, to bring the Good New of Jesus and His Catholic Church to that portion of the world that has never met Him. As my colleague John has said:

Knowing something in your head doesn't necessarily mean you've embraced it with your heart.

  • The goal of Catholic Catechesis is to know something in your head.
  • The goal of Catholic Apologetics is to defend what you know with charity.
  • The goal of Catholic Evangelization is to embraced what you know with your heart and to develop that personally relationship with Jesus.
  1. How would you describe your level of commitment to being a Catholic?

Speaking for myself, I would say it is very high and actively evolved in ways most internet-savvy Catholics have not gotten involved in . . . yet.

I don't think there are many faithful Catholic internet apostolates who have a group of lay Catholics willing to volunteer their time, knowledge, and efforts for free to clarify misperceptions about the Catholic faith. Because of the medium of communication we are using, it is an awe to be working with a great group of people to educate all Catholics [and non-Catholics] in theoretically all Catholic dioceses worldwide.

  1. How has the Catholic faith changed your life?

The Catholic faith has changed my life to the extent I have listened to the Church, followed Her teachings, and followed my own vocational calling. Members in our Church range from age 7 to 117 and they have an array of personalities and talents. Whether one is an over zealous but good-hearted, young Catholic or a more mature one, that sees the bigger picture, the sacraments of the Church allow all members to follow where Jesus wants them to work in His Body right now, today!

  1. Why did you choose being Catholic instead of any other religion?

Well, like Paul, I was born Catholic. Like many though, I never received any good catechesis or faith formation at the parish level. The faith I have I attribute to the Benedictines at Still River, Massachusetts and two lay religious Benedictines: Bill and Mary.

It would not be fair for me to speak for others who were non-Catholic, yet followed the call to become a Catholic but based on 10+ years of answering questions and dialoguing with them, important deciding issues have been:

  • Clarifying misperception they had about the Catholic faith, and
  • The discovery of the writings of the Early Church Fathers, the very first Christians.

I have a web site totally dedicated to this at BibleBeltCatholics.com

  1. Do you believe your religion is the true religion? Are other religions mistaken?


Yes, I do believe the Catholic faith is the true religion because I can historically show that (God/Jesus) founded the Catholic Church on St. Peter and that it was Jesus' decision to have others in His Church [St. Peter and those he [Peter] delegated his authority to] to run His Church until the Lord's Second Coming.

Now some will say, But none of the Apostles were called Catholic., but we reply with what St. Pacian of Barcelona said in the 4th century here:

  1. What is the most difficult aspect of being a Catholic?


There are a few difficult aspects.

  1. Working to keep sin out of my life while being faithful to the Church and Her teachings.
  2. Accepting what comes my way in life. (not necessarily a Catholic aspect), and
  3. Overtime, developing an attitude and love for the Church where I would be willing to die for the faith instead of compromise on Her teachings.

Faith has nothing to do with this physical life. Faith has to do with the next part of our lives in eternity. If our choices are good, holy choices we can hope to have a Heavenly Life but if our choices are bad, demonic choices, we are choosing eternal damnation for ourselves.

That said, here is one of the great things about being Catholic. If we have had a life of sin and making bad choices, no matter how long and how often, we can always turn back to the Church, receive Her great mercy and start over again striving for holy lives.

The Church rejects and repudiates the word despair. The word despair comes from the devil and only the devil.

  1. Are you ever curious about other religions?

No, but that said, if anyone can historically show me that the Catholic faith was not founded by Jesus Christ on St. Peter in 33 A.D. for the salvation of mankind, and that their faith was,
I will leave the Catholic Church today and join theirs.

  • In over 15 years, no one has been able to provide a good claim so why should I want to leave the True Church for a man-made phony group?
  1. Have you ever doubted your religion?

Not really, though I can see how other fellow parishioners can. Most of the time this entails not being able to separate:

  • Bad, scandalous Catholic behavior, from
  • True, Divine Teachings that can never change.

Because many in our Church were never taught the faith correctly, doubt can easily set in.

  1. In what way does being a Catholic conflict with modern American culture?

If you are like 90 percent of the Catholics in the United States, it doesn't. They are basically practical Atheists. Read this posting for more:

For the remaining 10 percent, the Catholic faith conflicts in many ways with the American culture. Being a faithful Catholic is counter-cultural because everything we (and Jesus) believe, most Americans do not and the mass media, (e.g. T.V. radio, newspaper) squash the faithful Catholic voice, similar to what is being done in Communist countries overseas. What I would say is:

A faithful Catholic is far right because Jesus is far right.

  1. As a Catholic, what are your greatest challenges?

I hope this helps,

Mike

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Dear Ashu,

You said:

  1. How did you become a Catholic priest?

In another recent internet interview, I gave the following answers to similar questions:

  1. When did you know you were going to be a priest?

I have known God was calling me to be a priest since my 18th birthday.

  1. What inspired you to become a priest?

I do have an uncle who is a priest and an aunt who is a religious sister, and I come from a very faithful Catholic family; however my real inspiration to be a priest comes from within.

The knowledge that God has called me is a very humbling thing and if God truly is calling me to be a priest who am I to say no to God. There is great joy that comes with knowing in your soul that you are doing what God wants you to do, whether it is as a priest or as mother or father or artist or doctor or social worker — whatever it is. Not everyone feels fulfilled (in their life) that they are exactly doing what they are supposed to be doing — I am very fortunate in that.

Hope this helps,

Fr. Jonathan

Ashu replied:

Dear Mike and Fr. Jonathan,

Thank-you so much for giving me your time.

I really appreciate this.

Ashu

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