Every Catholic who has attended Mass has recited the Apostles’ Creed time and time again over the years. In fact, most of us probably know it by heart.
Toward the end of the creed is the phrase, “the holy catholic church.” Now something interesting happened a few weeks ago. I attended a funeral service for a friend of mine at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Fairview, Pa. During the service, the congregation recited the Apostles’ Creed. That’s interesting because I have always associated the Creed as a Catholic prayer. That is what prompted me to write this blog. Here is the deal: If you look at the phrase, you will note that the word catholic is spelled with a small c, meaning universal, not a large C which denotes Catholicism. Why is that?
The important fact to remember is that Christ came to make amends for all, regardless of your faith. The holy catholic church includes not only Catholics, but also our brethren of the Eastern Orthodox Church, all other Christian faiths, our Jewish brethren, yes even the believers of Islam. All of these faiths are monotheistic, that is, they believe in one God.
What about other faiths such as Hinduism and Buddhism? Are they included also? And what about those people who have their own tribal beliefs? Yes, everyone is open to salvation because of Christ’s redemption. Why? Because if they have been moved by the Holy Spirit to follow their conscience and live life by being a good human being, they will reap the fruits of Christ’s Redemption.
To bring this point home, I will take the liberty of quoting a line from one of my favorite movies, “Dances with Wolves.” Kevin Costner, as an Army officer, is in deep conversation with Kicking Bird, who is one of the respected leaders of the tribe. They are discussing life in general and Kicking Bird says the following:
“In life we can select many trails but the best one is to select the human trail.” In other words, lead a good life by following your conscience. Christ the Redeemer wants us ALL with Him!!