Don’t assume anything

Much of what some people write about certain saints, traditions, practices, and attributes of such saints, is often from non-Catholic or non-Orthodox sources.

Catholic saints are often incorporated into non-Christian religions such as Vodun (Voodoo), certain folk Catholic sects and cults found in central and South America, Africa, Louisiana, the Caribbean and so forth.

These different religious groups attribute certain miracles, names or titles to Catholic saints, and often equate them to various gods worshipped in certain areas of Africa.

We should be diligent in making sure that our sources for information are from legitimate sources. Discernment when researching is important. It’s really no different when people claim that Orthodox or Catholics worship Mary. We know better, but most people who make such false claims are basing their information on non-Catholic sources.

Sometimes new converts are led astray by reading non-Orthodox/Catholic literature, or extremely liberal materials written by those who are borderline Christian.

Most new converts are not familiar with many traditional Christian practices, and those of us living in the U.S. might find ourselves feeling out of place should we visit certain churches in Mexico or Brazil, where traditions can often appear to be quite different. Different isn’t always wrong. What is wrong, however, is judging someone for practising their long held traditions, which are clearly rooted within the Catholic and Orthodox belief system without first seeking clarification.

It is very easy to assume that someone is wrong, simply because what they have said or done is not in agreement with our perception of the truth. I myself am guilty of this. We should strive to never make assumptions about anything. We should be in the habit of asking questions for clarification, and trying to get a better understanding of our neighbour’s view instead of jumping to conclusions.

God bless you,
Fr Charles

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