What is ‘Catholic’?

It is generally thought that “Catholic” means universal, and it does.  But when you take apart the word you see that it breaks down to “embracing all”.  We get the word ‘holistic’ from the same root, and it means to take the whole being into account, when used in conjunction with ‘medicine’ or ‘health’.

So, when Catholics are referenced in the news, as in ‘the Catholic world view’, it means the whole world view.  Embracing it all, top to bottom.  Catholics tend to look at everything from an all-sides direction.  The world likes to see things from this or that point of view, but not the whole perspective.

When applied to our daily lives, Catholics should apply this principal to everything, Catholic-ly, so to speak.  When we look at our state of life-whether married, single, or professed religious, we should see the whole thing.  When we look at our job, or the environment, or anything, for that matter, we should look at the whole.  We see groups that advocate to save the whales, or seals, or the spotted owl, without looking at the whole picture.  Maybe these animals don’t need to be saved.  We might hate certain distasteful aspects of our jobs, but as a whole, we should see the benefits as well.  It’s about perspective.

When applied to marriage, if we look at the whole thing, instead of aspects of it that we may like (or not like) we can better evaluate how we’re doing.  You may not like that your spouse snores, or picks their nose, or is somewhat messy, or you may like that they cook well, do your laundry or whatever it is.  But it is our job, our call, to see the entire picture, as best we can.  And if we do that, we may find that our marriage is not so bad-not perfect, by any stretch, but we’re ok.

When applied to our current situation in America, we should see the positive as well as the negative.  Certainly, we’re in an economic crisis, but we are also best equipt in the world to dig our way out of it.  You may not like the president, or you might, but you should remember that we hare the most blessed country on earth.


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