The “I’m ‘More Catholic’ Than You Are…” Problem

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I will be the first to admit that I love knowing (often useless) bits of information. Trivia games excite me, as I like to impress people with my knowledge. Who doesn’t enjoy looking intelligent? However, just as I can get prideful over the facts that I know, many of us Catholics can get prideful over the devotions we know about or follow. And just as I sometimes don’t comprehend how the facts I know fit into the grand scheme of things, sometimes Catholics don’t realize that their faith is so much more than they take it for.

Catholics who have been raised faithfully can occasionally become caught in pride. Many of us have had this pride at some time or another, to a greater or lesser degree; sometimes we don’t even realize that we have it. We can become proud of our faith, which is a good thing, but we can also become proud of it without fully understanding it, which is not a good thing. Then we sometimes start looking down on those whom we deem “less holy” than ourselves. “So, you haven’t memorized St. Gertrude’s prayer for the souls in Purgatory? Well,” I might say with a knowing smirk, “I have.” Whether I mean to or not, I’m hinting that I’m a better Catholic than you are, forgetting that I’m not the judge and that Catholicism is not something that is measured by degrees.

Just labeling yourself as “Catholic” is not going deep enough. Just being proud of the fact that you know the St. Gertrude’s prayer, or wear the brown scapular, or pray a daily novena, isn’t helping you if you don’t truly understand why you perform these actions. These devotions are to help us get to Heaven and grow closer to God, and if we don’t understand this then they are of small use to us. If we don’t carry out these devotions seriously and with all our hearts, we’re not accomplishing that for which they are meant.

Also, viewing the Catholic Faith simply as if it is some sort of “cool club” with cool stuff for cool people is not appreciating Catholicism’s inestimable value. It’s superficially treating something that is sacred and beautiful. It’s comparable to someone simply waving a hand and saying dismissively, “oh, that’s kind of cool,” when he hears a heart-wrenching movement of music or sees the ocean at sunset. Christ died for us, and we are His children. That is something to be proud of and something to be taken seriously.

So don’t just advertise yourself as Catholic. Don’t just say the words about how much you love being Catholic. Truly live your Catholic faith in your deeds as well as your words, so that people can see it and love you and God for it. We should not become too caught up in what we know and look down on those who might not have performed specific devotions or heard of specific saints. We should instead focus on deepening our faith and growing together in love of God.

Kasia I.

Kasia I.

Kasia is a young lady striving to live out her Catholic faith as fully as she can. She enjoys writing, reading, singing, and having fun with friends. She welcomes your comments on her work.

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5 thoughts on “The “I’m ‘More Catholic’ Than You Are…” Problem”

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    You could go way further on this topic. I was reading a Catholic money maker article at Crisis Magazine which I have to avoid from here on in….the N.O. Mass versus the Latin Mass. This topic invariably gets over 125 comments at certain venues which is clicks…which is ammunition for ad rates. So for the rest of our lives, the Mass form wars will be part of the Catholic internet debris side of Catholicism because it gets clicks galore….money….mammon. There should be no war. If you like Mass x in language x…go and forget the rest of the world. But noooo….my Mass is better than your Mass and thus has more ” faithful” people. I think that off internet there are tens of thousands of Latin Mass people who mind their own business. The pharisee Latin Mass types may well be several hundred people worldwide but they’re all on the internet. Their Masses are allegedly filled with young families with many children. How young can you be if you have many children? Are you 22, no college loans and had sextuplets? Because if you’re college graduated and had to pay college loans before marriage and then didn’t have money for a house down payment or a wedding until you’re 35 and then began to have children….well you’ll have many children by middle age. But on the net, nothing can be verified so you can say anything….” many young families with many children”. My reaction after the Mass war? Lord have mercy on the infertile couple that attends a large family traditional Mass populated by the people in this combox. You’re going to get more stares than Donald Trump addressing the Mexican Congress with his estimate on the price of a border wall.

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      Hello Elijah fan,

      Yes, I find the argument over the Extraordinary Form and the Novus Ordo to be very sad. People do tend to get defensive or superior over their position about this. I have been to both forms of the Mass, and they are both very beautiful.

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        Catholics who make such big issues & arguments over such things seem to just causing divisions & in my opinion seem to be doing similar to Protestants with all their divisions.

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    Kasia, keep up the good start. Being truly Catholic is a lifelong commitment to seeking to believe everything that God wants everyone to know and believe and understand the way God wants it understood. There is no stopping in this search because “we know enough” and do not need more. Therefore, I suggest reading (studying) the Bible (of coarse) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church on a regular basis. In the Catechism you will find that God loves all that exists (CCC 314, Wisdom 11:24), “by the holiness of His Name, God saves and makes holy all creation (CCC 2814), The name JESUS contains all, and is the only Name that makes present what it signifies (CCC 2666), pray the name Jesus (CCC 2668), and “if we resolutely unite our prayer with the prayer of Jesus, we acquire the Holy Spirit” (CCC 2741), and there is so much more. Remember, God wills to share Himself with everyone and He can not be thwarted (CCC 275), so rejoice always, do not despise prophetic utterances, do not quench the Spirit, test everything, retain what is good” (1 Thes. 5:18-22)

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