Catholicism is not found in a uniform worship or liturgical practice. The Catholic Church has never, ever since its earliest days 2000 years ago, been uniform in its liturgical prayers, traditions or practice.
The uniformity or unity of the church is found in a common faith, in Jesus Christ, it’s doctrine and sacraments.
Eastern Catholic Churches, and our Ukrainian Church in particular, have a unique treasury of spirituality, practice and culture. This diversity in the church is that which makes the church “Catholic”.
It is very important to know our Ukrainian Catholic theology as it is explained in our Catechism “Christ Our Pascha”. Our theology can not be separated from our spirituality. It is only in knowing our Catechism that we can recognize our very unique faith.
Our faith is based on a very personal communion with God as He is experienced in the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
It is only in knowing our Catechism that we can recognize our very unique faith.
That is why our church has three sacraments of initiation. Baptism, Chrismation, and Holy Eucharist. They are received shortly after birth and are practiced throughout life. It is a holy beginning with the spiritual power to live with throughout our lives.
Our Ukrainian Church witnesses to the fact that church unity can also have diversity, especially in the area of discipline.
Our married clergy are a good example of that.
These teachers taught us that personal payer plays a very important part of the life of a Ukrainian Catholic.
We have in our church the witness and wisdom of great leaders in the faith. They are called “Church Fathers”. Some lived almost two thousand years ago but we have had in the last century more recent examples of great leaders.
Reading their lessons and speaking to modern confessors and spiritual directors is another example of our church uniqueness.
These teachers taught us that personal payer plays a very important part of the life of a Ukrainian Catholic. Here our parents and grandparents brought this to our attention when we were young.
In this spirit we see that monasticism or religious life are a main feature of our Ukrainian Church.
Our theology and practice of the cult of the Mother of God is very developed and sophisticated.
A very deep communal and personal devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is yet another noticeable aspect of our Ukrainian spiritual lives. Our theology and practice of the cult of the Mother of God is very developed and sophisticated.
As we learn and experience more about our own religious traditions and faith, we realize that we have a very great spiritual treasure. We then become inclined to seek a deeper experience this rather than searching for other things which often do not satisfy us in our souls.
A two thousand year history of Eastern spiritual traditions, indicate that our church has a lot to give to its believers.
Bishop Peter Stasiuk C.Ss.R. AM
This article was published in The Church and Life Newspaper