Fortunately, we can find the answer very clearly in the Bible. St. John (the Apostle and Evangelist) couldn’t be more direct:
The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to live (just) as he lived. (1 Jn 2:3-6)
I spend a lot of time writing and speaking about the importance of following the teachings of the Catholic Church. At times, it gets a little tiring and I ask the Lord if I should back off a bit. However, it seems like every time I’m in this position, I run across someone who feels that Catholics can pick and choose the Church teachings that suit their personal set of beliefs. I hear that it’s optional to abstain from meat on Lenten Fridays or attend Sunday Mass, it’s acceptable to practice contraception or live together without being married. I hear Catholics say that all religions are the same or that they can attend Protestant services when they get bored with participating in Our Lord’s sacrifice at Holy Mass. Suddenly, I’m energized again because I realize that there is a serious lack of knowledge about the Catholic faith.
Although the Bible was written by humans, the Church teaches that God is its ultimate author. Therefore, God speaks to us when we read the Bible. Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church and gave her the authority to teach without error (Mt 16:18-19). He also instructed the Apostles (the first bishops) to baptize all nations and teach them to observe all that He commanded (Mt 28:18-20). That authoritative teaching continues to this day and will continue until the end of time.
Do you really know Jesus? According to St. John, the answer is simple. Do you follow the commandments of the Church founded by Christ? If so, you can be assured that you do indeed know Him. If not, I recommend that you take another look at what John has to say. Is it harsh? You bet…but these words come straight from the Bible and they aren’t mine, they are God’s: