In the April 29 issue of The Tidings, readers were invited to respond to Father Ken Deasy’s invitation to reflect on “How does being a Catholic make sense to you?” The following responses were among the first to be received, and are presented this week in the spirit of inviting others to reflect and respond.‘Stay focused on Jesus’ message’OK, you could say that I'm a Catholic because I've been one all my life and I don't know any better. But no, I choose it over and over again because it makes sense to me. Bottom line: I stay focused on Jesus’ message, which doesn't go against my grain as a human being at all. In fact, my faith has guided me to a good life, and has bolstered me in difficult times. Sometimes it takes me beyond my comfort zone, but that helps me grow as a person. I feel a deep union with God through the Eucharist, and great comfort in Mary, a fellow human being. Bad things that have happened in the Church haven't turned me away, because that’s not the Church, not what Jesus taught. We are the Church. Changes in ceremony haven't turned me away, because that's not what it was all about, anyway.Kathy Villar JacintoWest Hills‘My most precious possession’I was born a Catholic in 1936 and have relied heavily on what I learned from association with the priests, deacons and nuns that have been life-affirming and a real boost to my spirituality. I was for a time working for a fellow that required attendance every week at an evangelical non-denominational breakfast every Wednesday, and I was amazed at how easily they could testify about their faith in God and their relationship with Jesus Christ, and would invite attendees to knock on the door and be saved by accepting this magical relationship.I felt that what I had by participating in the Eucharist and attending Mass gave me a greater appreciation and understanding of the Mystery of Faith in the Catholic Tradition. Six years in the U.S. Coast Guard gave me an even greater love of what we possess by being a part of the Universal Church of Catholic teaching and sacraments. I met many people of different faiths and beliefs and did my best to let them know what Mass and the Sacraments mean to me in my Life and in the hereafter. Faced with surgeries and difficulties, the Catholic faith is a great comfort and relaxer.I truly believe that my faith is my most precious and valuable possession and is so important to a truly successful marriage and family as well as to the community in which we live.I commend Father Ken Deasy. He explains in a few words what we need to succeed.Tom JoyceAltadena‘We are the Church’I am truly excited that the Tidings is once again asking for reader perspective.Sometimes, Catholicism does not make sense to me. I don't know why all Christian religions cannot join forces and come to a universal understanding of Jesus Christ. We should not be at odds as to the written Word. The New Testament is based on the teachings of Jesus to His Apostles. Jesus was sent by the Father to teach us how to live with one another in union with the Trinity.As believers, we are called to witness and believe in the Word of the Lord through faith, love, generosity and the loss of "self." As Jesus died to sin, we must die to ourselves. We can only truly manifest this by discerning what gift the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon us. This is achieved through reading of Scripture, daily prayer, and building a relationship with Jesus. Sharing our talents and gifts with others helps to build the community of Church. We are the Church. We must take an active role in attending Mass, listen to the Gospel message, proclaim it to others, and serve and comfort one another. Trusting in Jesus and responding to the call of the Holy Spirit is more important than anything else in life. It could lead to heaven on earth.Laura OrtegaCovinaThe Tidings will continue to present reflections from members of its Editorial Council, and responses from as many readers as space permits. Please limit your responses to 200 words maximum, and either email them to [email protected], or mail them to The Tidings (attn.: Perspectives), 3424 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010. Please include your full name, address, email and telephone number.