Copied from the Catholic Shield Tract
The Catholic Church is one of the largest undivided religious organization in the world. Established by Jesus Christ in 33 A.D., this is the only Church that maintains its Faith according to what Jesus Himself taught. It is no surprise that a present day Catholic still believes the same doctrine that a Christian in 33 A.D. believed. To know if a Christian Church is true, it must bear four marks of authenticity: ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC and APOSTOLIC.
The Church is One
The Church is one in the sense that racial and individual differences are not hindrances of our Faith. The Church is the Body of Christ with Christ as the head, and all of us as the individual parts. The Church must always be united in Faith and in Truth, adhering only to the original teachings of Christ. Authenticity of Truth can never be found in division. As an example, when Protestantism was born, division spread like a raging wild fire. As of today, it is estimated that around 40,000 Protestant denominations exist, all claiming they teach the truth misquoting biblical passages with their unbiblical personal understandings and ideologies.
The Church is Holy
The Church is holy for the fact that Christ is with the Church. He was the one who established this Church and not just mere men. The Church was put under the care of His apostles and their successors, guided by the Holy Spirit that they may always teach in Truth. The Church is made up of individual members, members who are considered saints. We are all saints united with the souls in purgatory and in communion with the angels and saints in heaven.
The Church is Catholic
“Catholic” is a Greek transliteration. It originated from two words “Kato-holos” which means “according to the totality” or colloquially understood as “Universal”. The Universality of the Church can be evidently seen all over the pages of the Bible. The entire Christendom generally believes one common faith and act common practices adhering to the one teaching entrusted by Christ to His Church.
The Church is catholic because Christ is present in her. Everything we act and practice in faith is done because our faith was instituted by Christ Himself. Only the Catholic Church has the fullness of salvation, the sacraments that nourish our spiritual needs, and an authority that continues to guide us in our Christian life.
The Church is also catholic because we, the Church are commissioned by Christ to go out into the whole of human race to spread the Good News through our acts and words of Faith, Hope, and Love.
The Church is Apostolic
Everybody knows that Protestantism only began in the 1500s. This makes it obvious enough that these churches are just founded by men who are even claiming to be prophets, apostles, seed of God, and even an angel sent from heaven.
Keep away from men perverting the truth
St. Paul warns us that if “we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed!” (Galatians 1:8-9). Once again St. Paul warns us to “Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the church of God that he acquired with his own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. And from your group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw disciples away after them.” (Acts 21:28-30)
As said before, in exception to the Catholic Church, not one Christian church in this world has ever proven they directly originated from Christ. All the existing Christian churches today always end up tracing its way back to the Catholic Church. Many former Protestants saw this fact that’s why even if no one did convince them to become Catholics, they knew that following the fullness of Truth is as equivalent as being obedient to Jesus Christ Himself.
The Catholic Church rightfully and truthfully claims Apostolic Succession
The Catholic Church can confidently prove that Christ gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven to St. Peter (Matthew 16:18-19) and St. Peter entrusted this authority to his successor St. Linus, then to St. Anacletus and so on until finally, our present day pope, Pope Benedict XVI.
The Catholic Church is 2000 years old. Protestantism is just 500 years old. Even common sense will tell us that the Catholic Church is truly the Church Christ established, and not a church founded only 1500 years later by men.
The Invisible Church Theory
Protestants defend their worsening division by claiming that the Church is invisible, that’s why for them, it’s okay to keep on dividing. In fact, even the bible does not support such a theory. The Bible instead shows that the Church is both visible and spiritual. Even Jesus advises us to respect the authority of a visible Church (Matthew 18:17).
Together we stand, divided we fall
Division was never supported by Christ and the apostles. In fact, the devil is so wise that he uses even the scriptures to divide Christianity. Jesus prayed that we may always remain one as He and the Father are one (John 17:17-23). St. Paul kept urging us that we should stay away from division but remain one no matter what (Eph 4:3-6, Rom 16:17, 1Cor 1:10). Unfortunately, Protestantism went on falling into the trap of the devil using scriptures according to their own understanding and interpretation. Such act causes a lot of contradicting divisions. St. Peter highly discourages such acts of personally interpreting scriptures. (2Peter 1:20, 2Peter 3:15-16)
You are tasked to know your Faith!
The sad realization about Catholics in the Philippines is that out of 100%, only around 15% are able to know their faith well. No wonder many Catholics move away and join other Christian groups due to ignorance of the Faith. It can be envied that other Christian groups that doesn’t have the whole Truth are able to convince people to join them, while on the other hand, Catholics who are actually privileged with the fullness of God’s Truth seem to have no interest and zeal to share their Faith with others. We have to turn the table around! Let us be challenged to know our own faith, stand for it, and defend it from any kinds of vilification and false notions.
You can start now! We have priests and nuns willing to give you all the answers to your questions. Even Lay people who know much about the faith can help out. Catholic books that explain and defend the Faith are available in bookstores worldwide! Even the internet supplies abundant information about Catholicism. All you have to do is to make a single step and you will be on your way into discovering the wonders of your Faith.
May God be with you always!