What is the point of being a Christian?

Question: What’s the point of being a Christian? What makes Christianity the “true faith”?

Answer: The main point of being a Christian is to faithfully “align” ones self with Jesus Christ, in the hope of overcoming eternal death.

Christianity is the “true faith” because Jesus Christ is a real, historical person who actually proved he was God by his holy life, his miracles, his salvific death (precisely as prophesied, well in advance) and his glorious resurrection.

By his resurrection, Jesus Christ proved that he had overcome the power of death and only through faith in Christ are we able to maintain that blessed hope for ourselves, as well as our friends and loved ones.

Then, we have 2,000 years of continuous testimony to divine revelation and truth by the Catholic Church, which Jesus personally founded, authorized, empowered and perpetually guaranteed – a church which has miraculously withstood the scandals, abuses, shortcomings and general malfeasance of the heinous sinners who continue to lead, govern and belong to it.

No other faith tradition offers the slightest hope of overcoming eternal death, nor does any other faith tradition have the ability to provide the other very significant benefits of Christianity, because the best they can offer is some form of temporary happiness on earth, followed by an eternity separated from God.

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The True and Complete Story of How the Authentic Holy Bible Came To Be

For the first 300 years of Christianity, there was no Bible as we know it today.

Christians had the Old Testament Septuagint, and literally hundreds of other books from which to choose.

The Catholic Church realized early on that she had to decide which of these books were inspired and which ones weren’t. The debates raged between theologians, Bishops, and Church Fathers, for several centuries as to which books were inspired and which ones weren’t.

In the meantime, several Church Councils or Synods, were convened to deal with the matter, notably, Rome in 382, Hippo in 393, and Carthage in 397 and 419. The debates sometimes became bitter on both sides.

One of the most famous was between St. Jerome, who felt the seven books were not canonical, and St. Augustine who said they were. Protestants who write about this will invariably mention St. Jerome and his opposition, and conveniently omit the support of St. Augustine. I must point out here that Church Father’s writings are not infallible statements, and their arguments are merely reflections of their own private opinions.

When some say St. Jerome was against the inclusion of the seven books, they are merely showing his personal opinion of them. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. However, A PERSONS PRIVATE OPINION DOES NOT CHANGE THE TRUTH AT ALL.

There are always three sides to every story, this side, that side, and the side of truth. Whether Jerome’s position, or Augustine’s position was the correct position, it had to be settled by a third party, and that third party was the Catholic Church.

Now the story had a dramatic change, as the Pope stepped in to settle the matter. In concurrence with the opinion of St. Augustine, and being prompted by the Holy Spirit, Pope St. Damasus I, at the Council of Rome in 382, issued a decree appropriately called, “The Decree of Damasus”, in which he listed the canonical books of both the Old and New Testaments. He then asked St. Jerome to use this canon and to write a new Bible translation which included an Old Testament of 46 books, which were all in the Septuagint, and a New Testament of 27 books.

ROME HAD SPOKEN. THE ISSUE WAS SETTLED.

“THE CHURCH RECOGNIZED ITS IMAGE IN THE INSPIRED BOOKS OF THE BIBLE. THAT IS HOW IT DETERMINED THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE.” – Fr. Ken Baker

Read more at The Catholic Treasure Chest

What do we mean when we say “Peace Be With You” at Mass?

Question: Precisely what type of “peace” are we hoping for when we say “Peace Be With You” at Mass?

Answer: The “peace beyond all understanding” that the 2nd person of the Holy Trinity became man in order to declare, is the peace between sinful mankind and God, which could only be achieved by the salvific work of Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son.

When we say “Peace Be With You” at Mass, we should be thinking something like this: “May God, according to the grace obtained for us by his divine son, forgive all our sins, justify us in faith and personally invite us to spend eternity with him, in Heaven.”

For people of true faith, that should also be enough to mitigate any of the temporarily anxieties and worries brought on by the stresses and strains of our mundane existence here on earth, until the day that we might be privileged to experience God as he really is.

Where was God during all the recent earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires?

Question: Where was God when all the recent earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires were going on?

Answer: Even though God hadn’t heard from many of those affected (for a very, very long time) he was patiently standing by, waiting to hear from them, in order to provide for all their needs, according to his inestimable love and kindness, as well as his inexhaustible, supernatural abundance.

Those who know God know that this is true.

Phillipians 4:6-8 Be nothing solicitous: but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, (shall) keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline: think on these things.    

Bishop Poprocki further explains what should have already been widely understood about Catholics living in various irregular (objectively sinful) ways

…Critics have been urging me to rescind my “Decree Regarding Same-sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues.” However, this decree is a rather straightforward application of existing Catholic doctrine and canon law to the new situation of legal marital status being granted in civil law to same-sex couples, which is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church. All clergy before they are ordained take an Oath of Fidelity which includes the statement, “In fulfilling the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety; I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings contrary to it. I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the entire Church and I shall maintain the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law.” Pastors and bishops repeat this oath upon assuming their office to be exercised in the name of the Church. Thus, deacons, priests and bishops cannot contradict Church teachings or refuse to observe ecclesiastical laws without violating their oath, which is a promise made to God.

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Recent Hollywood deaths lead to a renewed focus on how to gracefully handle grief and suffering

momento mori

I find the practical and simple words of St. Jane de Chantal incredibly comforting and useful. She wrote this letter to her own brother, who was the Archbishop of Bourges, and was indeed suffering from mental and physical difficulties:

When you are experiencing some physical pain or a sorrowful heart, try to endure it before God, recalling as much as you can that He is watching you at this time of affliction, especially in physical illness when very often the heart is weary and unable to pray. Don’t force yourself to pray, for a simple adherence to God’s will, expressed from time to time, is enough. Moreover, suffering born in the will quietly and patiently is a continual, very powerful prayer before God, regardless of the complaints and anxieties that come from the inferior part of the soul.

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Read the collected works of St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Therese of Lisieux (for free)

teresaofavila

Interior Castle is the work of 16th century Carmelite nun and Christian mystic St. Teresa of Avila. She wrote Interior Castle as a spiritual guide to union with God. Her inspiration for the work came from a vision she received from God. In it, there was a crystal globe with seven mansions, with God in the innermost mansion. St. Teresa interpreted this vision as an allegory for the soul’s relationship with God; each mansion represents one place on a path towards the “spiritual marriage”–i.e. union–with God in the seventh mansion.

Read it at CCEL

stjohncross

A sequel and continuation of Ascent of Mount Carmel, the Dark Night of the Soul is a spiritually moving and mystical book. In it, St. John of the Cross continues his description of the soul’s journey–the “dark night”–to the “divine union of the love of God.”

Read Ascent of Mount Carmel at CCEL

Read Dark Night of the Soul at CCEL

thereselsx

St. Therese of Lisieux was born at Alencon, Normandy. In 1886 she underwent a religious conversion and thereafter dedicated herself to monastic life. Entering the Carmelite convent at Lisieux at fifteen, she was appointed assistant novice mistress in 1893. One year before her death (1897) from tuberculosis, she volunteered to join the Carmelite missionaries in China.

Her devotional book, The Little Way, was widely acclaimed, as was her autobiography The Story of a Soul. Miracles of healing and prophecy soon were attributed to her name, and an account of these was appended in 1907 to the autobiography.

Read The Story of A Soul At CCEL

Read The Poems of St. Therese at CCEL