The Three
Off the Wall, November 17, 2016

Let’s get serious for just one moment. Are you one of those so-called Christians who may have left your church because you didn’t get anything out of the service? Maybe you were brought up in a certain denomination and you were only going there because your parents insisted you went. Many of us fell into that category, didn’t we?

Maybe you decided to leave because you didn’t care for the pastor. Two people told me the hymns were two old fashioned or the service didn’t fill them full of emotion.

Whatever the excuse, and yes, in my opinion, I call it just that, I think you better examine what is going on to persuade you to make these decisions.

First of all, as I see it, maybe you feel you can spend time more wisely. I’ve been told that one doesn’t have to go to church to worship and praise God. One can do so anywhere, while fishing, going on a drive or standing on a mountaintop.

We are called to worship as a community known as the church. “Where one or more are gathered, He is in our midst.”

But maybe there is more to your departure. Maybe, you really don’t believe in God. That would give anyone a reason to split the scene, as we used to say when I was a teen.

Today I thought I’d concentrate on three main components that every Christian must possess to want to come together to worship one’s Creator.

The first of these is belief. By definition it means, “An acceptance is true.” When we believe deep down in our hearts oranges grow on trees, our mayor is doing a great job, or that there are people from our cities that run five to ten miles a day, it’s as good as written in stone. In other words, there is no question in one’s mind that in every probability it’s a certainty.

When I state that I believe that God, the Father, Jesus His Son and Holy Spirit exist, they are as real persons to me just as you are to me. In addition I also believe the angels, saints, Blessed Mother, and even the devil are alive.

Just because one attends a certain church every week doesn’t substantiate the fact that you are a believer or even a Christian, as far as that goes.

We as Catholics recite at Mass together, I believe in one God, the Father Almighty maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in One Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God…

If one is void of sincerity, why recite it? Believing begins with initiative on one’s part. If one is seeking to believe, pray, pouring out one’s inner feelings, letting God know one wants to feel His presence. Dedicate your life to Him. Spend time reading the Bible, asking the Holy Spirit for that gift of belief and then go for it. He not wants a relationship with you, but will also share His love with you.

Once you know without doubt, then you are on your way to the second component.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church glossary, faith is defined as, Both a gift of God and a human act by which the believer gives personal adherence to God who invites his response, and freely asserts to the whole truth that God has revealed.

Anytime we try something new, we most likely aren’t going to accomplish it unless we have faith that we can do it. That applies here as well. If you believe, you must have faith in God, His Word and that He does answer prayers to one’s best interests. Don’t pray to God to win the lottery, because most likely, it’s not going to happen.

Through peoples’ prayer at Latrobe Area Hospital, employees told me they were praying for me as I was admitted there because I was dying. When someone told me, “Paul, God has answered our prayers. You are changing directions and now getting well.” My life was spared because workers not only believed, but also had faith that He would come through for me.

Trust is the third constituent. It is the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone.

If you meet these qualifications, your attendance in Church is vital to your future.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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