My Conversation with a Catholic Christian

Continuing my conversation series, this week I’m interviewing Steph from Year 12 about her Catholic faith…  

In a few sentences, what do you believe? 

I believe that one God truly does exist. I believe in Mother Mary and that Jesus was God’s son that came to Earth to die for our sins. I believe you know, also, in Saints, in angels and in Heaven.  

So, in that, where do you find your purpose and what do you think your purpose is? 

That’s a great question! I find my purpose through God. So, like having Him beside me, I believe that God has given me a purpose and my purpose is to, you know, make music, and become a singer and touch people’s lives through music. I believe it’s my passion. I feel like he has given me my talent of singing to one day help people in the world and meet people and sing for them. And, you know, just create music for them to get them out of their dark times because I feel like that’s so important in life. Having a song that inspires you and helps you, I feel like was giving me that purpose in life, so I wanna achieve that. 

It’s so cool that you have found that purpose! Building on that, what are some ways that you’ve seen God working in your life, or in the lives of people around you? 

I’ve seen it a lot for me, personally, and I said this when I gave my testimony in the Year 12 Christian retreat, but I still stand by it. So, through God, he’s helped me in three major ways. One, he has made me a more positive person in always looking at the bright side because he showed me how blessed I am for all the little things like my family that I can talk to for hours, the fact that I’m living today and I’m breathing, you know, the fact that I have incredible friends at school, and I have a talent of singing. He showed me all the little things that I’m blessed with.  

[The second way is] he’s impacted me by giving me like a true confidence. It’s hard to explain, because I’m a very confident person already, but God showed me that no matter if I’m happy or from sad or if I’m angry, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel because he has a purpose for me, and I love that so much.  

And then the third thing is that I felt true comfort and fearlessness through him. Me and my dad have this Bible verse that we say, it’s my favourite Bible verse, and it’s “in God I trust. I shall not fear” (Psalm 56:11). And I love that because through God, it doesn’t matter what’s going on in my life, you know, I say that Bible verses every time I’m stressed, every time I’m worried, before every performance that I do. I say that just to remind myself that everything is in God’s hands, and he has a purpose for me, and he has everything planned out and I just have to be okay with the things that happen that are good and bad, cause God’s always by my side. 

Yeah, I think that is such a powerful truth to cling to, and it’s awesome to hear you speak about the ways you see him working in your life. That he is not just a distant thing.  

So, to change pace, you’ve spoken about a lot of the positives of being a Christian, but obviously it can come with some challenges too. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced being a Christian? 

Honestly, there isn’t many. I don’t see believing in God as a challenge because he’s done all the work and I’m just kind of living with him and living for him, it’s not really a challenge for me. I’d say the one thing that is a challenge for me is if somebody that doesn’t believe in God starts asking me questions and it’s like “but why? but why? but why?”. It’s hard for me to hear that somebody doesn’t believe as much as I do, so I kind of get like stunned in that way because I want to help them. But it’s not like I can tell somebody, “Ohh, He’s real!” like they have to look for it and they have to listen for it themselves. So, I think it’s hard in a way that I can’t be like “Oh no, He is real”. You know what I mean? … It’s your own journey and it’s hard, but once you find God it’s a relief. 

I wanted to talk to you about living as a Catholic Christian. Catholicism is often tied up with stereotypes of being old fashioned or quite separate from other branches of Christianity. Do those stereotypes or any others that you might have encountered impact your faith or the way you practice it? 

Well, not how I practice [Catholicism]. So, my whole family, my extended family. You know, where we’re very hardcore Catholics, we’re very traditional, I would say. Like being Catholic is very traditional; it’s not like Hillsong where you do like a praise night and you sing – like it’s very traditional. You come in, it’s very quiet. It’s a time where you can be alone with God in a sense. And there are a lot of stereotypes that I hear from it, and it doesn’t necessarily challenge how I practice my faith, but it’s just a little annoying because they’re not in the faith. So, they hear the stereotypes and they’re like, “oh, that’s a terrible way to live,” “that’s a bad religion,” or stuff like that. But it’s not. It’s definitely, I’d say, yeah definitely more traditional than like Hillsong, but it’s just nice. I like being Catholic.  

What are some things that you wish people knew about Catholicism? I think there can be a lot of confusion sometimes around like the role of Mary compared to other branches of Christianity or things like that. 

Yeah, I feel like, well Mother Mary, if you are Catholic Mother Mary plays a big role in how we live. I feel like Christians see her and then they move on to Jesus, but we really take the time for Mother Mary because she was this just normal girl who was growing up and then God chose her to carry, the Messiah. For us, she’s a huge role in having our sins being taken away too, and I feel like being Catholic as well, we do focus more on Saints. We have like a holy communion, and it’s different. I call it like the “different stages”. When you’re a baby you’ll be baptised and then you’ll have you’re Holy Communion, and then, these aren’t the actual terminologies, but you’ll start the stages where you choose a saint and you learn about them, and then you come into the church with your primary school friends, and you talk to the priests and you do a confession, and that’s like another stage. The sacraments that I have completed are baptism, holy communion, and confirmation which is where I chose my saint. So, yeah, it’s very traditional and very different to other strands of Christianity.  

You mentioned that you pick a saint as one of the stages, if you want to call it that. Who did you choose as your saint and why? 

I picked, I think her name was Cecilia, but I’ll tell you why. She is the saint of music. I picked her because I was so fascinated obviously in music and discovering that side of things when I was little, and I found out that there was a saint all about music and about finding peace and harmony through music and having a voice and singing. So, I was like, I’m going to pick her.  

Well, I think that is all the questions I had for you Steph, but is there anything else you wanted to share with the people reading this?  

I think just one more thing is that if you aren’t Christian or you don’t believe in God, but you’re curious about it, there are a few things. I remember when I was 12, I was struggling with finding God myself because I was so confused that you couldn’t see him, like he’s not there. I would just say, one, don’t be afraid, and two, don’t be intimidated to try and find him. There are so many scenarios where I’ve seen a friend be curious, but then another friend will shut them down. Don’t be afraid because it was only when I started looking and listening for the answers of God being real that I found him, because God gives us signs every day. It could be the little things. You may think, “ohh, that’s a coincidence,” but it’s not. It’s God trying to introduce himself to you, trying to show you, “look, I’m real,” but we have to choose to listen and look for him. Yeah, if you’re trying to find God, don’t be afraid to start asking questions and open a Bible, or go to a church or, you know, just start listening and looking to see that God’s real. That’s what I say. 

I think that’s such a powerful message to hold on to for the people that are curious and maybe on the fence about God. Well, thank you so much, Steph, for being vulnerable and courageous and sharing what you believe.