I was thinking this morning about how to explain the Catholic faith to someone in such a way that it can be grasped in simple terms (no easy task for a faith that is actually quite complex).
It occurred to me that the Church already provides a simple structure for talking about our faith through the “4 pillars” of The Catechism of the Catholic Church: Creed, Sacraments, Morality, and Prayer.
Even so, I was looking for some way of fleshing those out in simple terms, i.e. a way to explain the significance of these 4 pillars without venturing into deep theological language. I came up with the following:
When it comes to our faith, Catholics have H.E.L.P.
- H = We HOLD on to our faith – a faith that is revealed to us through Scripture and Tradition (and summarized in our Creed). Paradoxically, we hold onto our faith by sharing – professing – it.
- E = We EXPRESS our faith sacramentally. We use outward signs, symbols, and rituals (primarily the seven sacraments) to express and celebrate our encounters with Jesus.
- L = We LIVE our faith. We live in a way that reflects our belief in the dignity of all human beings.
- P = We PRAY our faith. We seek to be in constant communion with God – always aware of and responding to his presence in all things, in all people, and in all situations.
This should be easy to remember because when you get down to it, we all need a little HELP!