Welcome to Universal Faith!
Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and we also kick off our project, Universal Faith: Catholicism for Teens. What is Universal Faith? Why, it’s a movement–in a world where faith is dying, and people are leaving the Church more and more because they’re misinformed, we want to change that. We want to provide young Catholics and curious Christians with strong answers about the Faith, promote religious unity through dialogue, and help everyone realize that they can become saints–that it is the goal for everyone–and it’s worth the struggle.
Already planned are courses where we will be discussing the Youcat. What is Youcat? It’s the Catechism for young people, a fantastic book that every teen Catholic should have–and the Pope asked us to form study groups around it. He asked us to use the Internet as a form of evangelization, and that’s part of our mission.
Among other things, we have a series on contemporary music and the meanings behind lyrics that we hear on the radio every day. We’re going to explain the Mass. We’re going to have series on marriage and the true meaning behind the holy Sacrament. We’re going to have a series (hosted by myself) based on the 90-day devotional Pure by Rebecca St. James, who–though not a Catholic–has helped me greatly with the issue, and I feel her message is something all teenagers need to hear. If you don’t have copies of the books we’ll be reviewing, you’re okay–we’ll try to make the series as accessible as possible.
It’s endearing to see so many fellow Catholic teenagers stepping up to explain the Faith we know and love with their own words. We’re not theologians and we’re certainly going to learn a lot more in our lives as we continue living them, however, if everyone had the attitude of not explaining because we’re not experts, then nobody would ever learn about the Church at all.
Our mission is consecrated to the Twin Hearts of Jesus and Mary, so under their protection we hope to guide people to the Truth and into the safety of Jesus’ redeeming love.
Non-Catholics are by no means excluded from the mission. I mentioned above that we’re interested in inter-religious dialogue; I rather prefer to call it inter-religious friendship. The things we’ll be teaching are above all Christian, and especially the messages on purity have to get out to the whole world. Once a month, we’ll be hosting a guest blog post by a non-Catholic, based on our belief that every branch of Christianity has value before the Lord, and silencing them won’t help the world at all. If you have a tough question about Catholicism, ask it and we’ll tackle it as friends. We don’t debate here; we discuss. If a comment thread appears to be turning hostile, it will be stopped. We are friends in Christ, brothers and sisters, and we are called to love one another.
As I tour through history and introduce people to important figures in the progression of Christianity, we’ll find that we agree on as many things as we disagree on. With friends who aren’t Catholic, we hope to find a point of friendship and understanding, and be the generation that finally tears down the wall between Catholicism and Protestantism, so that instead of tense acknowledgement of one another we may become friends as we wait joyfully for the coming of Christ.
There will also be book reviews and, hopefully, we will start a book club!
Finally, I pray that everyone reading this will have a blessed Christmas with their friends and family this year, no matter where you live or what you believe. Together, we will discover the treasure of what Jesus left us to care for–and take up the responsibility of caring for her in this time of growing atheism and unrest. Let’s be the generation of hope. Let’s be the generation of love. Let’s be the generation of Universal Faith.
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