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I Believe

As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church it is an interesting time to reflect on the first of the four pillars of our faith, the Creed. Agreements and disagreements aside, “old” vs. “new” translation, I never made it past the first two words without having to stop and ask myself some difficult questions.
What do I believe? What do I believe to be true, and why is it important for me to say, “I believe” as I stand next to my brothers and sisters in Christ every week?
Some people may resist reading and studying the Catechism, viewing it as a set of rules and regulations—another attempt to drill our faith into our brains. However, we must remember that the Catechism is firmly based in our Scriptures and is an attempt to guide and help us to work our way through the basic tenets and teachings of the Church.
For today, it is those first two words, “I believe,” to which I feel moved to respond. For the past few weeks, actually every day since the Newtown, CT, tragedy, I have asked myself, “What do I believe?” In the face of this pain, suffering, and, yes, evil, words we say may seem hollow and insufficient. But they are not! Not when our sentences begin with “I believe.”
I believe that people are compassionate, caring, and kind. I believe in YOU!
I believe people will speak out, “witness,” and become catalysts for change. I believe in YOU!
I believe your actions will speak louder than any words to heal the broken hearts. I believe in YOU!
The next time I stand with YOU, my sisters and brothers in Christ, I will look around at each of your faces, and I will say with confidence, “I believe!”
“I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible. …”
I believe Christ lives in YOU!

Dr. Laura Kolmar is Director of Pastoral Services at RENEW International, and has worked in parish social ministry, workshop and retreat leadership, and pastoral care and counseling.

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