If a picture is worth a thousand words, maybe that’s why memes are so popular these days. There’s so much said in those simple images with so few (if any) words.
Imagine being able to teach a little catechism using memes. The point is clear in these memes about the 7 Sacraments, but there’s a little more explanation with the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible to help.
The first rite of initiation is Baptism. Most of us were baptized as babies but you can be baptized into the Church at any age (CCC 1231-1233). While baptism as an adult infers the person knows what’s happening, infants certainly do not. Therefore, the Church instructs us to educate our children after Baptism so they are aware of the catechism and of Salvation through Jesus Christ.
“‘Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’” (Matthew 28:19)
Perhaps avoiding Confession (CCC 1422) is a common confession itself (once one finally goes.) St. Paul said, “All fall short” (Romans 3:23). So we should neither feel shy about going nor should we feel it’s unnecessary. It’s not about talking to a priest – and whether or not you like him – but talking to Jesus. Need more Bible verses about going to Confession?
“Those who conceal their sins do not prosper, but those who confess and forsake them obtain mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.” (James 5:16)
“[Jesus] said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.’” (John 20: 21-23)
Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Super and the Catholic Church has carried on the tradition ever since. It’s the most sacred and holy pinnacle of Christianity and the Mass is the biggest prayer in which a Christian can participate (CCC 1324-1327). Many consider this a mere symbol but truly Christ is present in the Host (CCC 1374). Despite the number of Eucharistic miracles, many still struggle to believe this.
“Jesus said to them, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.’” (John 6:53)
“Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.’” (Luke 22:19)
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.” (1 Cor 11:26)
Another rite of initiation is Confirmation, yet sadly many Catholics have lost sight of their faith and consider this “graduation” for their children. In fact, this is an initiation into the Church as adults. Confirmation is meant to encourage the outpouring of the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit (CCC 1303). Young people often feel they have no place in the Church or that the Church has nothing to offer them (not everywhere, but in many places). This is simply not true. Young people are just as much part of the Church and growing their faith will increase value in their lives. Let’s foster stronger faith relationships with our youth.
“‘And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always…’” (John 14:16)
“In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Gal 5:22-23)
“Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.” (1 Tim 4:12)
Is it? Religious life is more dynamic than the secular world would have you believe. Ordination confers the duties of a “representative of Christ, Head of the Church, in his triple office of priest, prophet, and king” (CCC 1581). This is a blessed vocation as one dedicates himself wholly to Christ and His Church. Giving up worldly possessions and forsaking family for a life of prayer and humility, a priest bears the responsibility of being Christ in the world.
“Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:4-5)
The vocation of marriage is blessed as well. God deemed man should not be alone and made him a companion. There’s some messy history there but add a few thousand years and here we are. The enemy wants to destroy marriage and in many ways, it has been, but Catholic families are the least afraid of having large families so our chances are fairly good to make a comeback. (CCC 1601)
“The LORD God said: It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suited to him.” (Genesis 2:18)
“In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband.” (Eph 5:33)
Anointing of the Sick
It’s not just for those on death’s door. Anointing of the Sick is for anyone in need of healing due to dangerous ailments or prior to major surgery (CCC 1514-1515). People sometimes call it Last Rites, but waiting for a person to be so near death isn’t necessary. Get anointing sooner if possible.
“The LORD sustains him on his sickbed, you turn down his bedding whenever he is ill.” (Psalm 41:4)
“Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint [him] with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:14-15)
There’s so much more to be said in memes. Next time you need to make a statement, try starting with a meme. Do you have any favorite Catholic memes?