Five Faith Friday

Here is this week's installment of "Five Faith Friday" which contains five, faith-based things I found interesting and am sharing on Friday.

What Article I Read --
"Are Catholics Eligible for COVID Vaccine Religious Exemptions?" In short, yes. Give this article a read through as it is probably the best resource I have found on the topic. In December 2020, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated that “practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary” The National Catholic Bioethics Center has a templated vaccine exemption letter which explains how the Catholic Church’s teachings may lead individual Catholics to decline certain vaccines. It is intended for Catholics who have made a sure judgment in conscience to refuse a vaccine and should be adapted to fully reflect their beliefs and reasoning.

What Catechesis I Wanted to Provide --
The difference between a cross and a crucifix. The simple difference is that a crucifix is the cross containing Jesus's body on it. Why do Catholics put an emphasis on the crucifix and not the cross? Simply put, you can't have the cross without the crucifix. Protestants will tell you that the cross is the symbol of Jesus's resurrection, but we can't separate Christ's body from His cross because we value both His body and His cross. Keep in mind too that there was probably never a bare cross... when Jesus was taken down, the crossbeam he was nailed to was probably taken down at the same time. God the Son died as man to save the world, which means that His human body is sacred and worthy of our worship. And since He chose to die by crucifixion, the cross on which He died is worthy of our veneration because that was the means by which He saved the world. There is nothing wrong with a bare cross, but a bare cross has no value unless it is clearly HIS cross. As St. Paul said, "May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (Galatians 6:14)

What 1-Minute Trailer I Watched --
MASS OF THE AGES: Episode 1 Teaser — A Documentary on the Traditional Latin Mass. It comes from Mass of the Ages who have a goal of educating people about the history of the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM). If you have an interest in the TLM, this is a great place to start. Their first official episode is launching this Sunday, the feat of the Assumption, on their YouTube channel at 8pm EST.

What Song I Listened To --
Relate by For King And Country. In a world full of so much hate, this song focuses on our call as Christians to love everyone despite our differences and to find common ground between one another. In the spirit of the song... I don't know what it's like to be you. You don't know what it's like to be me. But what if we're all the same in different kinds of ways? Can you relate? We both know what it's like to be hurt. We both know what it's like to feel pain. I think it's safe to say we're on to better days. But by the grace of God we'll see each other's heart. Can you relate?

What I Read --
Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People by Bob Goff. A reader of FFF suggested this book to me and it was a great read. 4.8 out of 5 stars with over 5.5K reviews too! "Bob Goff takes listeners on a journey into the secret of living without fear, constraint, or worry. This liberated existence we all long for is as simple to say as it is difficult to do: We are called to love everybody, always – even when it’s really difficult."

Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. I am pretty sure I read this when it came out but it was on my list again to read so I did. "[Matthew Kelly] proposes that Catholicism is not a lifeless set of rules and regulations, but a way of life designed by God to help each person reach his or her full potential." Most of his books are more "elementary" in style but this one cuts across all Catholics.

-- BONUS --
What I Wanted to Remind You About --

Getting to confession. When's the last time you have been? Catholics are required to go once a year and every time you are in mortal sin. The Church recommends regular confession and the USCCB suggests monthly. You can find confession anywhere in the globe on this site. Or if you are in the Allentown Diocese you can also use this tool. I always recommend checking the parish's bulletin to confirm the times.

Have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and your family!


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