What every Christian should understand about the great Feast of Pentecost

… the Jewish Feast of Pentecost—which literally means “Fifty”, taken from the fifty days counted after Passover—was the Jewish liturgical celebration of the Giving of the Law at Sinai.  If one makes a careful count of the passing of time in the Book of Exodus, one discovers that the Sinai theophany (appearance of God) occurs exactly fifty days after the Israelites departed from Egypt.  So, Pentecost was not only an agricultural festival celebrating the end of the harvest, but also a sacred historical memorial of the day of the establishment of the Old Covenant.

This parallel and its significance is missed by modern readers, but not by ancient Jewish readers of Acts!  At Sinai the Law was given in a fearsome storm, and on tablets of stone.  At Pentecost, there is a “peaceful storm” of the Spirit (the rushing wind, the lightning-like tongues of flame) and the giving of the Law on the Heart.

As St. Thomas says in his treatment of the Old Law in the Summa, “the law of the New Covenant is nothing other than the Holy Spirit.”  The Spirit is the Law written on the heart promised with the New Covenant…

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Life sized, 3D, highly detailed “model” of Jesus’ crucified body was created using data from the Shroud of Turin

jesusmarydeath“We believe that we have the precise image of what Jesus looked like on this earth,” said Professor Giulio Fanti of the University of Padua.

Read the story. See the slide show.

What are the signs that we are too attached to someone or something?

Are there ways we can distinguish attachments from ordinary and proper desires? What are the signs that we are too attached to someone or something?

To address questions like these I turn to a great teacher of mine in matters spiritual, Fr. Thomas Dubay. Fr. Dubay died more than seven years ago but left a great legacy of teaching through his books, audio recordings, and programs at EWTN. I would like to summarize what he teaches in his spiritual classic, Fire Within, a book in which he expounds on the teachings of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross.

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Told Ya’ So: Adam and Eve (as we know them, from the Bible) actually existed and were the progenitors of the entire human race.

 

Adam and Eve in the Garden by Michelangelo

Professor Karl Skorecki, an expert on DNA and the discoverer of the “Cohen Gene”, which identifies members of the Jewish priestly caste through genetic testing, explained to Breaking Israel News  how the findings harmonize with the Biblical account.

“Analysis of mitochondrial DNA of all contemporary humans sampled today indicates that all of the different variations in the sequence of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) trace back, or converge to an original sequence in a given woman,” he explained.

“That woman, Mitochondrial Eve, transmitted her mtDNA sequence to her offspring, and over generations slight variations in sequence occurred and accumulated, leading to the diversity of existent sequences in men and women populating the earth today.”

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

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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.

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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