On June 17, 8th Graders were given the opportunity to enter into a traditional essay writing contest sponsored by the Holy Name Society at St. Adalbert. Please take a few minutes to read the essay of this year's Award Winning Recipient.
“What does it mean to be Catholic?”
From an early age, I remember learning about the Catholic faith and what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. When I was younger, I learned about the famous stories in the Bible, the 10 Commandments, the Sacraments, etc. But it wasn’t until I got older, that I truly realized what it means to be Catholic.
The first thing I realized is that Catholicism is not a title you just receive at Baptism. Being Catholic means to build a relationship with our Almighty Father in Heaven and practice our faith in our everyday lives. The second thing I noticed is that many people who are skeptical about the Catholic faith have many unanswered questions. A question I hear a lot is “Why does God let bad things happen? Why does God throw obstacles in my way to make life harder?” I can’t answer this question completely because I don’t know what God has in store for us or what His plan is. But I can tell you this, God does have a plan. Everything happens for a reason. And that is something I tell myself all the time. God created all of us with a purpose and throughout our lives, we will discover little by little what that is.
Another question many people have is “Why isn’t God listening to me and answering my prayers?” For a long time, I also wasn’t sure how to respond to this question until I heard a quote that I will forever live my life by. “We shouldn’t pray for an easy life, but rather the strength to endure a hard one”. It can be so easy to ask God for so many things to make our life easier. And when we don’t get those things, it can be just as easy to blame God too. But God knows what He’s doing and why He’s doing it. He will give you everything you need to carry out your purpose in life.
After all of that, the Catholic faith comes down to one thing: trust. If we don’t trust in God’s plan, God’s laws, God’s existence, then how can we say we are Catholic? True Catholics are able to open their hearts to see God’s presence in their everyday lives. Catholics don’t go to Church and don’t pray because they have to. They do these things because they want to. They want to show God that they trust Him and want to use their free will to stay loyal to God. That’s what Catholicism is. So, what does being Catholic mean to me? It means to practice my faith every day, it means to love and respect others, and finally, it means to trust God above all else and know that He is watching over me at all times, making sure His plan is being carried out.
Valeria Vislocky 6/17/22