What is the meaning of “Sacrament” according to the Council of Trent?

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Q: What is the meaning of “Sacrament” according to the Council of Trent?

A: Catholic doctrine:
Against all innovators the Council of Trent declared: “If anyone say that the sacraments of the New Law do not contain the grace which they signify, or that they do not confer grace on those who place no obstacle to the same, let him be anathema” (Sess. viii, can.vi). “If anyone say that grace is not conferred by the sacraments ex opere operato but that faith in God’s promises is alone sufficient for obtaining grace, let him be anathema” (ibid., can. viii; cf. can. iv, v, vii).

The phrase “ex opere operato”, for which there is no equivalent in English, probably was used for the first time by Peter of Poitiers (d. 1205), and afterwards by Innocent III (d. 1216; de myst. missae, III, v), and by St. Thomas (d. 1274; IV Sent., dist. 1, Q.i, a.5). It was happily invented to express a truth that had always been taught and had been introduced without objection. It is not an elegant formula but, as St. Augustine remarks (Enarration on Psalm 138): It is better that grammarians should object than that the people should not understand.

“Ex opere operato”, i.e. by virtue of the action, means that the efficacy of the action of the sacraments does not depend on anything human, but solely on the will of God as expressed by Christ’s institution and promise.

“Ex opere operantis”, i.e. by reason of the agent, would mean that the action of the sacraments depended on the worthiness either of the minister or of the recipient (see Pourrat, “Theology of the Sacraments”, tr. St. Louis, 1910, 162 sqq.).

Protestants cannot in good faith object to the phrase as if it meant that the mere outward ceremony, apart from God’s action, causes grace.

It is well known that Catholics teach that the sacraments are only the instrumental, not the principal, causes of grace. Neither can it be claimed that the phrase adopted by the council does away with all dispositions necessary on the part of the recipient, the sacraments acting like infallible charms causing grace in those who are ill-disposed or in grievous sin.

The fathers of the council were careful to note that there must be no obstacle to grace on the part of the recipients, who must receive them rite, i.e. rightly and worthily; and they declare it a calumny to assert that they require no previous dispositions (Sess. XIV, de poenit., cap.4).

Dispositions are required to prepare the subject, but they are a condition (conditio sine qua non), not the causes, of the grace conferred. In this case the sacraments differ from the sacramentals, which may cause grace ex opere operantis, i.e. by reason of the prayers of the Church or the good, pious sentiments of those who use them.

 http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13295a.h…

God’s Original Christmas Pageant, complete with Bible Study

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Genesis 1:1-10

In the beginning God created heaven, and earth.  And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters.  And God said: Be light made. And light was made.  And God saw the light that it was good; and he divided the light from the darkness.  And he called the light Day, and the darkness Night; and there was evening and morning one day.  And God said: Let there be a firmament made amidst the waters: and let it divide the waters from the waters. And god made a firmament, and divided the waters that were under the firmament, from those that were above the firmament, and it was so.  And God called the firmament, Heaven; and the evening and morning were the second day.  God also said; Let the waters that are under the heaven, be gathered together into one place: and let the dry land appear. And it was so done.  And God called the dry land, Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

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Genesis 2:7

And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

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Genesis 7:1-12

And the Lord said to him: Go in, thou and all thy house, into the ark: for thee I have seen just before me in this generation. Of all clean beasts take seven and seven, the male and the female. But of the beasts that are unclean two and two, the male and the female. Of the fowls also of the air seven and seven, the male and the female: that seed may be saved upon the face of the whole earth. For yet a while, and after seven days, I will rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights: and I will destroy every substance that I have made, from the face of the earth.  And Noah did all things which the Lord had commanded him.  And he was six hundred years old, when the waters of the flood overflowed the earth.  And Noah went in and his sons, his wife and the wives of his sons with him into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.  And of beasts clean and unclean, and of fowls, and of every thing that moveth upon the earth,  Two and two went in to Noah into the ark, male and female, as the Lord had commanded Noah.  And after the seven days were passed, the waters of the flood overflowed the earth.  In the six hundredth year of the life of Noah, in the second month, in the seventeenth day of the month, all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the floodgates of heaven were opened:  And the rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

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Genesis 12:1-4

And the Lord said to Abram: Go forth out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and out of thy father’s house, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and magnify thy name, and thou shalt be blessed.  I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee, and IN THEE shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. So Abram went out as the Lord had commanded him, and Lot went with him: Abram was seventy-five years old when he went forth from Haran.

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Exodus 7:1-5

And the Lord said to Moses: Behold, I have appointed thee the god of Pharaoh; and Aaron, thy brother, shall be thy prophet.  Thou shalt speak to him all that I command thee; and he shall speak to Pharaoh, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land. But I shall harden his heart, and shall multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt.  And he will not hear you: and I will lay my hand upon Egypt, and will bring forth my army and my people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt, by very great judgments.  And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, who have stretched forth my hand upon Egypt, and have brought forth the children of Israel out of the midst of them.

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1Samuel 16:10-13

Isai therefore brought his seven sons before Samuel: and Samuel said to Isai: The Lord hath not chosen any one of these.  And Samuel said to Isai: Are here all thy sons? He answered: There remaineth yet a young one, who keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said to Isai: Send, and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. He sent therefore and brought him. Now he was ruddy and beautiful to behold, and of a comely face. And the Lord said: Arise, and anoint him, for this is he.  Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward: and Samuel rose up, and went to Ramatha.

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Daniel 9:21-27

As I was yet speaking in prayer, behold the man, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, flying swiftly, touched me at the time of the evening sacrifice.  And he instructed me, and spoke to me, and said: O Daniel, I am now come forth to teach thee, and that thou mightest understand. From the beginning of thy prayers the word came forth: and I am come to shew it to thee, because thou art a man of desires: therefore, do thou mark the word, and understand the vision. Seventy weeks are shortened upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, that transgression may be finished, and sin may have an end, and iniquity may be abolished; and everlasting justice may be brought; and vision and prophecy may be fulfilled; and the Saint of saints may be anointed.  Know thou, therefore, and take notice: that from the going forth of the word, to build up Jerusalem again, unto Christ, the prince, there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: and the street shall be built again, and the walls, in straitness of times. And after sixty-two weeks Christ shall be slain: and the people that shall deny him shall not be his. And a people, with their leader, that shall come, shall destroy the city, and the sanctuary: and the end thereof shall be waste, and after the end of the war the appointed desolation.  And he shall confirm the covenant with many, in one week: and in the half of the week the victim and the sacrifice shall fail: and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation: and the desolation shall continue even to the consummation, and to the end.

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Luke 2:1

And it came to pass that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled.

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Luke 1:26-35

And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth,  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.  Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.  And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.  Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus.  He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.  And of his kingdom there shall be no end.  And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?  And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

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Luke 2:3-5

And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David.  To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child.

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Luke 2:6-14

And it came to pass that when they were there, her days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first born son and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger: because there was no room for them in the inn.  And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night watches over their flock.  And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them and the brightness of God shone round about them: and they feared with a great fear.  And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people: For, this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David.  And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of good will.

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What Are the Four Marian Dogmas?

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Q: What Are The Four Dogmas of the Virgin Mary?

A: In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death. From the Byzantine Liturgy … Troparion … Feast of the Dormition, August 15th

The Roman Catholic Church affirms four truths concerning the role of the Virgin Mary in God’s plan of salvation:

1) The perpetual virginity of Mary: The perpetual virginity of Mary of Nazareth is expressed in 3 parts: in her virginal conception of Christ; in giving birth to Christ, and her continuing virginity after His birth:
virginitas ante partum: virginity before birth [CCC#396; 510]
virginitas in partu: virginity during birth [CCC#510]
virtinitas post partum: virginity after birth [CCC# 510] The usage of this triple formula to express the fullness of this mystery of faith became standard with St. Augustan [354-430AD], St. Peter Chrysologus [c. 400-450AD], and Pope St. Leo the Great [440-461AD]. See CCC # 496-507; 964.
CCC499: The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.” And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin.”
[Note: The so called “brothers” of Jesus mentioned in Scripture are His kinsmen. In Hebrew there was no designation for siblings, or half-brothers, or step-brothers. The Greek word used to designate Jesus’ brothers adelphos is the same word used for kinsmen, brothers like St. James and John Zebedee, and all “brothers” in the faith].

2) Mary the Mother of God: That Mary was the mother of Jesus who is God was defined as dogma at the very city where Mary had lived for several years—at the Council of Ephesus in 431AD. CCC# 495: Called in the Gospels “the mother of Jesus,” Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as “the mother of my Lord,” In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father’s eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity, Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly “Mother of God (Theotokos). Also #509.

3) Immaculate Conception of Mary: That Mary of Nazareth was conceived without original sin was defined as dogma by Pope Pius IX in 1854. See CCC# 491-492; 508. CCC# 508: From among the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of his Son. “Full of grace,” Mary is “the most excellent fruit of redemptions” (SC 103): from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life.

4) Assumption of Mary into heaven: That Mary’s body did not experience corruption but was assumed into heaven was defined as dogma by Pope Pius XII in 1950. See CCC# 966; 974. CCC# 974: The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son’s Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of his Body.
Each of these truths concerning the role of Mary of Nazareth in salvation history were teachings within the Church from the very beginning of the Church’s formation but became defined more fully as God the Holy Spirit expanded the Church’s understanding of the revelation of Jesus Christ in Christian doctrine and theology through the centuries. For example the oldest canonical feast of Mary in the Church is the Feast of the Assumption which was already celebrated on its own feast day by the 5th century. The doctrine of the Assumption of the Virgin is also part of the Tradition reflected in the writings of the early Church fathers even though Pius XII defined it as dogma in 1950. The same is true of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which was formally defined by Pope Pius XI in 1854.

While Scripture reveals nothing about Mary’s death, St. John Damascene [died 749] recorded a story reportedly shared at the Council of Chalcedon in 451AD that Mary had died in the presence of the Apostles but when the tomb was opened they found it empty, “wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven.” From this testimony the Church has taught that Mary was assumed bodily and now tastes the Resurrection for which all Christians hope.

Early Church hymns speak of “Mary conceived without sin” and the teaching is explicitly stated in the writings of Sts. Ambrose, Augustan, Andrew of Crete, Germain of Constantinople and other Fathers of the Church. This teaching was also celebrated in the early Church liturgy. A feast commemorating the Immaculate Conception.

http://www.agapebiblestudy.com/documents…

GAY FASCISTS STORM CHURCH

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November 11, 2008

 

GAY FASCISTS STORM CHURCH

 

On Sunday, November 9, a band of about 30 gays stormed a church in Lansing, Michigan. Some were well dressed and were stationed inside Mount Hope Church; others were outside dressed in pink and black. The group of self-described homosexual anarchists, Bash Back!, claims the evangelical church is guilty of “transphobia and homophobia.”

 

The protesters outside the church were beating on buckets, shouting “Jesus was a homo” on a megaphone and carrying an upside-down pink cross. Fire alarms went off inside the church, protesters stormed the pulpit and a huge rainbow-colored flag was unfurled with the inscription, “IT’S OKAY TO BE GAY! BASH BACK!” The church was vandalized, obscenities were shouted and worshippers were confronted. There were no arrests.

 

Catholic League president Bill Donohue addressed this issue today:

 

“The real story here is the refusal of the mainstream media to cover what is surely one of the most disturbing events of 2008. If an organized group of gay bashers stormed a gay church, there is not a single sentient person in the United States who wouldn’t know about it.

 

“This is urban fascism come to America’s heartland. It must be quickly stopped before it gets out of control. We are contacting Mike Cox, the Attorney General of Michigan, calling for an investigation.”

 

Please contact Mike Cox at miag@michigan.gov

Memo To President-Elect Obama and His Team – From the Pope

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Memo To President-Elect Obama and His Team from the Pope 

“Human law is law only by virtue of its accordance with right reason; and thus it is manifest that it flows from the eternal law. And in so far as it deviates from right reason it is called an unjust law; in such case it is no law at all, but rather a species of violence.” Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, Ia-Ilae, q. xciii, art. 3, ad 2m.

Source: RERUM NOVARUM ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII. May 15, 1891

Why Don’t Christians Admit To Christianity’s Pagan Roots?

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Q: Why Don’t Christians Admit To Christianity’s Pagan Roots?

A: Christianity never intended to destroy paganism and all things pagan but to enlighten and transform pagan mankind’s search for God into the theology of truth and the universal liturgy of the New Covenant people of God, taking the pagan world out of the darkness of their search for God and into the light of Jesus Christ. 

Christianity adopted the Greek language as the vehicle by which to spread the Gospel of salvation.

The old ideas of Greek philosophy gasped with an infused breath of new life in Christian oriented theology, and the concept of freedom and the order of law became an expression of the true Christian freedom, according to the doctrine of the New Covenant Church, freedom in living the Law of Love—love of God and love of neighbor through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. 

He who is the eternal One, the Divine Reason/Logos the ancient Greeks for centuries sought in vain, He has been found—for Greek and Jew alike—the resurrected Jesus Christ, our universal Savior and Redeemer.

Source: Agape Bible Study

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An Inspiring Collection of Free Catholic Videos On the Internet

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Legion of Mary – The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ

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“Guide To The Bible” Isn’t Catholic, But It’s Not Bad

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Freedom of Choice Act Will Promote Abortion In All 50 States

Letter from Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson 

It is probably fair to say that no other single activity has defined the Knights of Columbus over the past half century as much as the pro-life movement.

Following the shock of the Supreme Court’s decision to preempt all state and federal laws regulating abortion in Roe v. Wade in 1973, we launched a long-term battle to fight legalized abortion. While achieving the ultimate goal of overturning Roe remains somewhere in the future, we have been able to achieve many small successes along the way:

· the Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding for abortions;
· the federal law banning partial birth abortions, which was finally upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in April 2007;
· the “Mexico City Policy,” which has barred the use of federal taxpayers’ money to pay for abortions in other countries;
· laws in 44 states that preserve a parental role when children under 18 seek abortions;
· laws in 40 states that restrict late-term abortions;
· laws in 46 states that protect the right of conscience for individual health care providers;
· laws in 27 states that protect the right of conscience for institutions;
· laws in 38 states that ban partial birth abortions;
· laws in 33 states that require counseling before having an abortion;
· and laws in 16 states that provide for ultrasounds before an abortion.

All of these restrictions on abortion – all of the progress we’ve made over the past 35 years in trying to limit and reduce abortions in the United States – would be invalidated with the stroke of a pen if the next Congress passes, and the next president signs, the so-called “Freedom of Choice Act” (FOCA).

Before you cast your vote on Tuesday, please take the time and effort necessary to learn whether candidates for whom you might vote favor or oppose FOCA.

The House sponsors of FOCA are listed here
Obviously, if a candidate in your area is not listed among the sponsors, you may have to ask his or her campaign for their position on FOCA.

The Senate sponsors of FOCA are listed here

We have gathered much additional information about the Freedom of Choice Act, including links to material from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and on life issues generally on a special Knights of Columbus web page:

Remember, all that we’ve done together since Roe to save the lives of the unborn is at stake. Please pass on this message to your pro-life friends.