Beyond the Cradle
In life, we can easily become complacent. Life is full of routines, and routines eventually becomes habit. At times, our spiritual lives can become more of a habit than a passion. If you are a "Cradle Catholic," it is time to take your faith beyond the cradle. It is time to live a life full of meaning and purpose. God is calling you. He has been there with you, and now He is calling you to something more. Get off the couch and get ready. We are going beyond the cradle.
The term Cradle Catholic refers to someone who was born a Catholic. They were probably baptized as an infant, went through Confirmation, and are living their adult life as a Catholic. But, are you a Catholic because your parents were or because you choose to be? Being Catholic is a choice, not a birthright. To really be a Catholic, you have to participate.
I am not a football player. I may have played football as a kid and teenager, but that does not make me a football player. The same goes for your life as a Catholic. It is not enough to say that you are a Catholic if you are not living out your life as a Catholic. Stop saying who you are, and start being who you are.
What is a Catholic?
What is a Catholic? A Catholic is, first and foremost, a Christian. We believe in Christ. We believe the Lord is our Savior. We believe the Spirit lives within us. We believe the Bible is the Word of God. Basically, read the Nicene Creed to learn the basic beliefs of the Catholic Church. At every mass, we recite the Nicene Creed (or possibly Apostles' Creed) to make a statement about our faith. It sums up who we are, and what we believe.
Being Catholic does not mean that we can choose the parts of Catholicism that we like or dislike. You cannot change God to fit who you are; you have to change who you are to fit God. The Bible and the Church lay out a path for us to follow. Faithfully and fervently, we must follow this path. We may go off path from time to time, but our goal should always be to return back to the path again.
Take the Leap
Beyond what a Catholic believes, being Catholic is more about what we do. Catholics are active in their community. Catholics regularly adhere to the Sacraments. Catholics live their life as an example to others. Wearing our faith on our sleeve is an important part of being a Catholic. Living out our faith, despite how many times we may stumble, is essential to living a life in Christ.
Are you active in your community? Do you go to Mass regularly? Do you serve the Church in some way? If you live your life with the piece of mind that you are a Cradle Catholic, then your faith will never truly grow past the cradle. Step out of the cradle. Take the leap toward a deeper, more rewarding faith. The Church needs your help. Don't wait for another tomorrow to come and pass. Get involved today.