At the time of the Crusades, Muslim armies had already conquered two-thirds of the Christian world.

Recently noted on Yahoo Answers:

By the time the Crusades finally began, Muslim armies had conquered two-thirds of the Christian world.

The first Crusade began in 1095… 460 years after the first Christian city was overrun by Muslim armies, 457 years after Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim armies, 453 years after Egypt was taken by Muslim armies, 443 years after Muslims first plundered Italy, 427 years after Muslim armies first laid siege to the Christian capital of Constantinople, 380 years after Spain was conquered by Muslim armies, 363 years after France was first attacked by Muslim armies, 249 years after Rome itself was sacked by a Muslim army, and only after centuries of church burnings, killings, enslavement and forced conversions of Christians.

The Crusades finally began nearly 5 centuries AFTER Muslim armies had set out to conquer the Christian world.

What is grace and how does it work?

Q: What is grace and how does it work?

A: Grace is indeed a free gift from God, since God is sovereign and all powerful, and nobody can force God to give it to them, by any means.

Grace comes in two “flavors”:

“Actual grace” empowers. David slew Goliath by the grace of God, yet the grace David received was not capable of getting David (or anyone else) into Heaven.

“Sanctifying grace” is a share in God’s own divine life. As such, sanctifying grace is capable of transforming sinners into saints and making them adopted children of God, but only if the sinner chooses to “cooperate” with it.

Sanctifying grace is necessary for salvation, and without it, no one can enter Heaven.

Sanctifying grace was obtained by the work Jesus Christ did for us during his time here on earth, work which came to its’ fruition on the cross, at Calvary.

Since Jesus is man, the grace he obtained for us accrues to the benefit of all mankind.

Since Jesus is God, the power and the effectiveness of the grace he obtained for us is both infinite and eternal.

The Church that Jesus personally founded, authorized, constituted, and empowered, while he still walked the earth, is the primary distributor of all God’s grace.

Grace is proof that God desires all to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of his truth.

Q: What is the church’s opinion on paranormal phenomenon?

Q: What is the church’s opinion on paranormal phenomenon?

A: Such things are typically considered “private revelations”.

No Catholic is required to believe private revelations, no matter what the source, whether deemed authentic by the Church, or not.

The Church strongly cautions people to discern the nature of any such things, in order to not be led astray.

From the Catholic Catechism:

67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.
Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such “revelations”.

Click here for information on apparitions

Q: What Was the Historical Development of Christianity?

Q: What Was the Historical Development of Christianity?

A: Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church in about 34 AD.

The apostles soon established the Church throughout Asia Minor.

St. Peter established the Church at Rome in about 40 AD.

The Christians successfully withstood several hundred years of persecution at the hands of the Romans.

In the 4th century, the Church converted Constantine, the Roman emperor.

Constantine ended the persecutions and made Christianity legal.

In the 5th century, after much of the Roman empire had already converted to Christ, the old Roman empire fell.

That left the Catholic Church in place as the only effective world government, where it ruled and reigned for the next thousand years, converting most of the known world for Christ.

Corruption in the Church, primarily by the clergy and the aristocracy, and the rise of alternative philosophies, resulted in the 15th century advent of Protestantism.

It’s been pretty much of a descending “graveyard” spiral, since then.

http://www.amazon.com/Founding-Christendom-History-Vol/dp/0931888212

What Is Holiness? Why Is Holiness Important?

Q: What Is Holiness? Why Is Holiness Important?

A: Holiness is something we have in Christ, and it’s impossible to achieve without him.

Since nothing unholy will ever be admitted to Heaven, holiness is critical for salvation.

The whole purpose of the Church is to lead all to holiness in Christ, so that death and hell will no longer reign over the earth.

The most dependable way to achieve authentic holiness is through a lifetime of charitable and faithful participation in all of the work, worship, sacraments, and devotions of the Catholic Church.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

IV. CHRISTIAN HOLINESS

2012 “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him . . . For those whom he fore knew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.”64

2013 “All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity.”65 All are called to holiness: “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”66

 

In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ’s gift, so that . . . doing the will of the Father in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory of God and to the service of their neighbor. Thus the holiness of the People of God will grow in fruitful abundance, as is clearly shown in the history of the Church through the lives of so many saints.67

2014 Spiritual progress tends toward ever more intimate union with Christ. This union is called “mystical” because it participates in the mystery of Christ through the sacraments – “the holy mysteries” – and, in him, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God calls us all to this intimate union with him, even if the special graces or extraordinary signs of this mystical life are granted only to some for the sake of manifesting the gratuitous gift given to all.

2015 The way of perfection passes by way of the Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle.68 Spiritual progress entails the ascesis and mortification that gradually lead to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes:

 

He who climbs never stops going from beginning to beginning, through beginnings that have no end. He never stops desiring what he already knows.69

2016 The children of our holy mother the Church rightly hope for the grace of final perseverance and the recompense of God their Father for the good works accomplished with his grace in communion with Jesus.70 Keeping the same rule of life, believers share the “blessed hope” of those whom the divine mercy gathers into the “holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”71

What Can You Tell Me About Heresies?

Q: What Can You Tell Me About Heresies?

A: Heresy is generally considered the adoption/promotion by a Catholic, of a belief or practice that is contrary to the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church.

Heresy is dangerous because it distorts or denies the truths that God has revealed, which serve to describe and explain his authentic nature. And since one of the main purposes of our human existence is to know and love the one, true God, the adoption of heresy makes that virtually impossible.

Many different heresies exist. They’re typically nothing new, most going back to the early days of the Church.

Heresies also tend to be cyclical … ebbing and flowing over time … seeming to disappear … only to pop up again in a slightly different form … streaming from the lying lips of a fresh, new heretic.

The fictional “DaVinci Code” book was a masterful demonstration of someone expertly mixing about 80% heresy with 20% authentic Christian truth, and subsequently leading many souls into confusion and error.

Click this link for a brief study of the most common heresies

Why do some ex-Catholics say that Catholics worship Mary and the Saints?

Q: Why do some ex-Catholics and Protestants say that Catholics worship Mary and the Saints?

A: The biblical concept of “kinsman redeemer” gives any blood relative the right to intercede on behalf of one of their own.

Jesus is the primary kinsman redeemer. He became a man so he would qualify, as we are all related through Adam.

Other than Jesus, anyone else who is rich and powerful enough to do so, may also intercede.

The saints in Heaven are most certainly co-heirs with Jesus Christ, and the inheritance of the saints includes both power and authority.

This is why Catholics quite rightly understand that there is absolutely nothing wrong with looking to Mary and the saints for help, since all that they might be able to do for us is wholly dependent on Jesus Christ.

And while Jesus is indeed the only mediator between God and man, there is absolutely no prohibition against the saints interceding for us with Jesus.

In fact, according to the Bible, the role of the Queen Mother is to be the official intercessor with the King, for the people.

Protestants should understand the concept of kinsman redeemer well, since it is the subject of many Protestant Bible studies on the Book of Ruth.

The only reason many of them fail to make the obvious connection to Mary and the saints is their ignorance, and their deliberate, anti-Catholic bigotry.