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Loving the Church and your faith Print
Guest column
Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010 -- 12:00 AM

It's hard enough to practice your faith these days, it's sometimes even hard to do the bare minimum of attending Mass each Sunday.

How could people possibly learn to LOVE their faith?

It's possible: here's how.

Know that loving your faith is not a feeling.

Loving your faith is only intellectual at first. Soon after the mind is captured, this love encompasses the heart as well. When you develop a regular plan of prayer, a sort of "appointment" with God, if you will, you will truly grasp with head and heart the importance of this faith you live.

If you can't mean wholeheartedly what you say to God, say it with your mind. You can rest assured He will receive it with true conviction. While this takes time and effort, it's important to remember that He is the only One who can give you the only true happiness you will find on earth.

Learn about it and ask questions.

Let's face it, nobody knows everything about the Church, so read up on things you have questions about. If you still don't understand them, ask your parish priest! Don't be afraid to ask clarification on topics you don't agree with or fully understand. You will eventually understand them better and then be able to explain them to people who don't agree with the Church's teachings in the future.

Realize the Church's history.

The Church has been around for over 2,000 years. That's the longest any institution has ever been around. Plain and simple, if God didn't mean for it to be here, it wouldn't have lasted this incredibly long. We know we can trust that the Church's authority of popes and bishops comes straight from God for this reason.

Love the Church through your everyday life.

Great feats are unnecessary in order to serve the Church. In other words, you can serve the Church just as well as any saint could in your everyday life! Here in your ordinary life lies the opportunity for your actions to become divine. Your love for the Church can grow during your everyday tasks: homework, exercise, relaxation, eating meals, as this can all be offered up for the Church through the intercession of all the saints.

The saints suffered amazing feats for the Church, whether it be one or many, and they will help us grow closer to the Church through their experience. Think about this: If all Catholics make up the Church as a whole, each individual Catholic's effort contributes to the whole Church in some way.

Loving the Church through our faith is possible and incredibly important to our fulfillment in not only this life, but in the eternal life as well.

Olivia Knier is a senior at Waunakee High School and hopes to attend the University of Notre Dame next fall. She enjoys running, singing, writing for her high school newspaper, The Purple Sage, spending time with her family, and learning about her Catholic faith.