Have you ever asked a friend to recommend a reliable contractor? The recommendation will hold a lot of weight if you really trust your friend and have a good relationship. Your decision to use that contractor rests on your trust in your friend, not in any advertising from the contractor. The trust you place in the contractor is a function of your relationship with your friend.
What about trusting Jesus? If he is a friend of yours, it would make sense to trust Him. This is actually the best reason to be Catholic. Why say that we trust Jesus if we do not trust the Church that Jesus established? Jesus gave certain men authority to speak for Him (“He who hears you hears me.”) Those men transferred their authority to their successors. For 2000 years the succession has continued within the Catholic Church. There are a lot of non-Catholic churches, but they were all established at other times by people other than Jesus. If we intentionally choose one of those churches over the Catholic Church, can we really claim to be trusting Jesus?
Many Christians say they are trusting Jesus and His Word, that is, The Bible. But, how can they trust that the books within the Bible (especially the New Testament) are the correct books, unless they trust that the men who assembled the Bible were guided by the Holy Spirit? Those men were Catholic. The Holy Spirit guided the Catholic Church in assembling The Bible. If we say that the Catholic Church can no longer be trusted to proclaim truth, how can we know when it became untrustworthy? How can we know that they got the New Testament right? How can we trust The Bible if we do not trust the authority given to the Catholic Church?
In essence, what many Christians are unwittingly saying is, “Jesus, I believe You were wrong when You said that even the gates of Hell would not prevail against Your Church. Something did prevail against it and it failed. Jesus, Your Church fell into paganism and apostasy, and it lost the authority You gave to it. Yet, I believe the Bible given to us by that failed Church must be trusted. Therefore, using the Bible, we started lots of new, conflicting churches to replace Yours.” Is this really placing our trust in Jesus?
Granted, there are many Christians that were raised in non-Catholic churches, and they simply do not know any better. They know Jesus as best they can through Scripture and the traditions of their churches, even though they are deprived of many graces of the Church. In fact, many non-Catholic Christians are living much holier lives than many Catholics. Woe to these Catholics that disregard the gifts they are freely given. My greater concern is for Catholics that take for granted Christ’s Church or leave it completely. “To whom much is given much will be required.”
Catholics must trust the teachings of Catholicism because they must first of all trust Jesus. We have not substituted a relationship with Jesus with religion. The religion we practice is due to the trusting relationship we have with Jesus. The Catholic Faith was given by Christ and handed down for 2000 years. Catholics believe that Jesus is able to preserve not only the Scriptures, but also the integrity of Church teachings (despite sinful people within the Church). After all, the Catholic Church taught us what books to include within the contents of the Bible, God’s Word.
Catholics that genuinely practice their faith do so because they trust Jesus and take him at his word. That is what Catholicism is all about. Every authentic Catholic teaching points to and flows from a relationship with Christ.