i am 20 years old, and all my life i was raised a catholic. when i went off to college i met a beautiful baptist girl, and went to church with her a couple times. i am not doubting my catholic faith, but i had some questions regarding our basic beliefs. mostly these questions deal with issues that have been brought up during service.
1.what is the churches position of works bases, or salvation though grace?
2. what is our stance on mission work?
3. i get asked this one alot, why do we honor mary?, and for that matter the saints also?
thank you very much for your time
Good to hear from you. About your questions:
1. Protestants sometimes misunderstand or even misrepresent the Catholic teaching on grace and works. In a homily I gave this summary:
We are saved by sheer grace. To some people this sounds like a Protestant doctrine. They might have the idea that Martin Luther taught "grace" but the Catholic Church taught "works." That is not true. The doctrine of grace has been part of the Catholic teaching right from the beginning. The Catechism sums up this long tradition in the following words: "Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers in the divine nature and eternal life." (#1996). The Catechism goes on to explain that when we talk about good works or "merit," even then we must give the credit to God. "Merit is to be ascribed in the first place to the grace of God, and secondly to man's collaboration. Man's merit is due to God." (2025) see: Saved by Grace Alone
2. Regarding mission work, please read ENCYCLICAL LETTER OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF JOHN PAUL II REDEMPTORIS MISSIO ON THE PERMANENT VALIDITY OF THE CHURCH'S MISSIONARY MANDATE
In it you will see that the Catholic Church clearly believes in missionary work (although often we are not as vigorous as Evangelicals).
3. About Mary, there are some excellent articles. Less scholarly, but perhaps more amusing.
I hope this is of some help, Adam. Most important is prayer - especially prayer before Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament. I said a prayer for you - even asking that you would meet a nice Catholic girl.