Theology is the study of God, coming from the combination of the Greek words: theos (god) + logia (study). Theology's end is twofold: love of God and neighbor. However, many think that the subject is irrelevant to today’s culture. Surprisingly, theology is very pertinent to daily living, and is important for every Catholic—whether a scholar or not.
A lay person can enjoy theology because he/she is able to respond to “being in love”:
“O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth! Make haste, my beloved...” (Song of Solomon, 1:1-8:14)
The main purpose of studying theology is the desire of being an amazing lover! The theologian's whole life is a romance. This life-long adventure gives purpose: being wholly consumed in the deepest love, the love of God. Being a "theologian" is not limited to reading, writing, or teaching, but actually living. more...
Sacraments are the outwards signs that were instituted by Jesus Christ to give grace, that is, they give the capability to respond to God’s general and specific call for our lives. Our general call is to know, to love, and to serve God, our Creator. Our specific call is the particular way that we are to do this using our unique talents.
“The fruit of the sacramental life is that the Spirit of adoption makes the faithful partakers in divine n ature by uniting them in a living union with the only Son, the Savior.” (CCC 1129)
In total, the Catholic Church offers her members seven direct means of grace: Baptism, Confirmation, Reconciliation (Penance/Confession), Eucharist, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick (Extreme Unction). The are efficacious only because, “in them Christ himself is at work: it is He who baptizes, he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace each sacrament signifies.” (CCC 1127) more...
“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:3-6)
As seen in the above passage and throughout history, idol building and worshipping clearly angers God. So what is going on? How can the statues, pictures and prayers to Mary, and the saints be justified? Catholics make the claim that they reserve worship alone for God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, but they allow veneration for Mary, saints, and earthy heroes. From an outside perspective, this does seem hypocritical, or at least somewhat shady. However, by looking at the definitions that the dictionary offers, it is clear that the words “worship” and “veneration” are very distinct from another, and are appropriately applied. more...