Saturday, November 19, 2005
Why Organized Religion is Necessary

Many people live in the misguided opinion that organized religion is not necessary. They believe in the here and the now while rejecting the calling of God to live as a community of faith, in communion together. Those who think they can be "spiritual but not religious" are living in an illusion.

The entire purpose of the Catholic Church is to be the means of salvation for the entire world. The Church was created by Jesus Christ Himself (cf. Matthew 16:18) and founded on St. Peter, the first Pope. Each of us is internally called to worship and love God to the fullest possibility. In Elements of Religion, Henry Liddon states that: “Morality severed from religious motives is like a branch cut from a tree; it may, from here and there, from accidental causes, retain its greeness for a while, but it’s chance of a vigorous life is a very slender one.” God alone is the source of all morality as all were created by Him and deserving of respect; lack of religion destroys true morality.

Fr. John Laux in "Catholic Apologetics Book IV" explains:
The work of Redemption consisted in the discharge of this threefold office (of Priest, Prophet, and King). On the eve of His departure from this world Christ delegated His powers to His Apostles: "All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth: going therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world" (Matthew 28:18-20). 
From this commission of Christ, it is evident that His followers form an organized society under the leadership and guidance of the Apostles and their successors, with the right to teach and to command on one side, and the duty to be taught and to obey on the others..
Everything is visible about His great institution: Baptism, which is necessary for membership, the other Sacraments which He commanded His followers to receive, the rulers and lawgivers whom the faithful must obey, the tribunael before which the faithful are judged and to which they have a right to appeal. 
Through the four marks of the Church: “One, Holy, Catholic (meaning universal), and apostolic” we find no other Church other than the One Church founded by Christ in Matthew 16:18. Let us pray as Christ did before His passion, for as His death neared He still loved us: “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”

For those looking to learn about the Catholic faith or the answers to questions such as “Why Organized Religion” I encourage the book This Is the Faithby Canon Francis Ripley as well as the Program.

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