Today’s question: What biblical thoughts or Scriptures bring you great peace?

Today’s question: What biblical thoughts or Scriptures bring you great peace?

Answer: Knowing and loving God is what leads to peace and joy, beyond all understanding, which is eternal salvation, in Jesus Christ. That is the ongoing mission of the holy Church and the Lord’s enduring promise to its’ members.

Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always: again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men.

The Lord is nigh.

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 surpasseth all understanding, 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. The things which you have both learned and received and heard and seen in me, these do ye: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Asked and answered today on Yahoo! Answers. Edited for clarity and content.

Do Catholics believe in salvation by works?

Question: Do Catholics believe in salvation by works?

Answer: It would be a serious mistake for anyone to confuse the concept of divine justification with the concept/purpose of condign merit.

Nobody can “force” God to invite them into Heaven, by any means (works).

Anyone who is invited into Heaven (justified) gets there only by the timely and merciful application of the saving grace that Jesus obtained for us by his life, death and resurrection. That remains a free gift of God – for Catholics and everybody else.

Grace gets us into Heaven, but only if Jesus alone, judges it to be both sufficient and appropriate. That’s how we are justified.

Merit is the way we attempt to quantify/measure the incorruptible treasures that Jesus told us to store up in Heaven, by our good works, accomplished in his name, in hopeful anticipation of that great day.

Today’s Question: What currently available Bible translation is the ONLY one considered to be infallible and inerrant, according to the Council of Trent and the Holy Catholic Church?

Question: What currently available Bible translation is the ONLY one considered to be infallible and inerrant, according to the Council of Trent (and hence, officially, by the Holy Catholic Church)?

Answer: The Church has already stated, extraordinarily at the Council of Trent and ordinarily through constant usage, that the Old Vulgate is “authentic” and “free from error”.

Therefore, the only edition of Sacred Scripture we should be using for anything is either the Old Vulgate itself, or if you can’t functionally understand Latin, a translation of that text. Anything else is simply not guaranteed.

Trent, Session IV “Moreover, the same sacred and holy Synod … has decided and declares that the said old Vulgate edition, which has been approved by the Church itself through long usage for so many centuries in public lectures, disputations, sermons, and expositions, be considered authentic, and that no one under any pretext whatsoever dare to presume or reject it.

See the entire article here. Be sure also, to view all the comments, since that’s where the two above passages, are located.

Also note that the Catholic Church of that time was standing up for the truth of the Old Latin Vulgate, as opposed to many of the “new” Protestant translation efforts that were underway, at the time. Of course, none of our current, English language Catholic Bible translations existed back then, either.

This writer agrees with the author of the article that one of the the worst Bible translations of all time (even with most Protestant efforts included) is probably the disgraceful, vapid and totally uninspiring, “Catholic In Name Only” New American Bible.

Today’s Question: Did Jesus tell us to keep the (old) law?


Question:
Did Jesus tell us to keep the (old) law?

Answer: Prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection, the Old Law remained fully in force. Afterwards, by the power of Christ, the New Covenant and the Church replaced the entirety of the Old Law, which never had the ability to save a soul.

If the Old Law/Old Covenant had been sufficient, the “New” Covenant would not have been necessary; Nor would Christ’s perfect and atoning sacrifice on the cross, for the sins of the world. 

Jesus also spoke about the folly of attempting to put new “wine” into old wine “skins”. This is precisely the type of thing to which he was referring.

The sole governing authority of the New Covenant is the Holy Catholic Church, which was given the Power of Binding and Loosing, as well as the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, by Christ himself.

Only that which the New Covenant Church authoritatively decided to readopt or re-adapt (from OT times) made the transition from old to new. Nothing else.

Conclusion: The Holy Catholic Church remains the sole governing authority under the New Covenant, as well as the primary channel of God’s grace on earth, with Jesus as its’ head and the Holy Spirit as its’ constant Advocate and Spirit of Truth.

Grace – not Law – now, mercifully reigns – in and through Jesus Christ, our Divine Redeemer – in God’s “New” and “Better” order of things.

That’s how Jesus set things up for us. He knew what he was doing. He’s God!

Asked and answered today on Yahoo!Answers. Edited for clarity and content.

Some practical reasons why many (even some non-Catholics) believe that the Holy Catholic Church is the one, true Church of Jesus Christ

 

Personally Founded By Jesus Christ
Catholicism is a dynamic and enduring faith, personally instituted by Jesus Christ, for the purpose of our salvation; divinely and appropriately structured, in order to effectively to deal with the various challenges presented by all the “ages” of man.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 766 The Church is born primarily of Christ’s total self-giving for our salvation, anticipated in the institution of the Eucharist and fulfilled on the cross.
“The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of the crucified Jesus.”

“For it was from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death upon the cross that there came forth the ‘wondrous sacrament of the whole Church.'” As Eve was formed from the sleeping Adam’s side, so the Church was born from the pierced heart of Christ hanging dead on the cross.

“Born” on Pentecost, of the Holy Spirit
The one Church of Jesus Christ was “born” on Pentecost, about 34 A.D. and according to Saint Ignatius of Antioch, who lived during the early 2nd century, has been known as “Catholic” – since at least, 107 A.D.

The Holy Catholic Church has always been said to possess four identifying “marks”:

The Church is ONE
Jesus personally founded, authorized, empowered and perpetually guaranteed only ONE Church – The Holy Catholic Church – for the purpose of our salvation.

The Church is HOLY
Thanks to Jesus Christ, its’ founder and head, who embodies holiness, in every possible way. Jesus remains the head of his “Mystical Body”, which is the Church. That which God takes to himself is holy, indeed, for he himself makes it so, by his own, awesome power and grace.

The Church is CATHOLIC
Catholic means “universal”. One bread, one body, one Spirit of God, for all true believers in Jesus Christ.

The Church is APOSTOLIC
The same Apostles who accompanied Jesus Christ on his salvific mission, who were present at the Last Supper, at the foot of the cross, who experienced the risen Christ and the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost (minus Judas, plus Saint Matthias and Saint Paul) who went out and established all the original Christian congregations, preserving and transmitting all the original, divinely revealed truths, as well as selecting their own duly ordained successors, whose continuing mission was to propagate the true faith of Jesus Christ, until he returns for “The People of God”, at the end of the age.

The (present day) Bishops and the Pope govern the Church and minister to its various needs according to the power and authority personally given to the first Bishops (and priests) of the Church – known as “the Apostles” – by our Holy Lord, Jesus Christ, while he still walked the earth.

The Great Commission
According to that same Christ, the primary purpose of the Bishops – suitably assisted by Priests, Deacons and other, qualified Catholics – is to Evangelize: effectively reach out to share the authentic, Holy Gospel/Christian faith; Teach: faithfully preserve and accurately disseminate/interpret/strive to correctly, charitably and authoritatively apply all the divinely revealed truths; Baptize (and sanctify, in various, other appropriate ways) in the name of God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – in accordance with his awesome power, grace and express will.

Sacred and Apostolic Tradition
Catholics believe that Jesus Christ remains the head of the Catholic Church, with the Holy Spirit as its perpetual advocate; infallibly guiding the Church from generation to generation, to all truth.

The continuous and somewhat mysterious process by which that divine leadership actually occurs is known as “Tradition”.

The Holy Bible
Catholics believe that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, Holy Spirit inspired, written Word of God. The Catholic Church originally compiled and certified all the authentic, Old Testament sacred texts, wrote and certified all the New Testament sacred texts, and with the extraordinary assistance of Saint Jerome, translated all the original languages into Latin – the common language of the people of that time – by the 4th century. In the year 1455, The Catholic Latin Vulgate Bible became the first mass-produced publication of Johann Gutenberg, the acknowledged inventor of the movable type, printing press. The Latin Vulgate was later translated into the English language, Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible, with the English language New Testament published in 1582, followed by the English Old Testament, in 1609-1610.

The Holy Bible continues to be a perennial, “best seller”

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
Catholics believe that The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a real-time, divinely empowered, re-presentation of the Last Supper, as well as Jesus Christ’s one time, once for all, perfect and atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world, on the cross, at Calvary.

The Catholic Ministerial Priesthood
Through the power of the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood and the Holy Spirit, the crucified and risen Christ becomes present on the altar for us at Mass, under the auspices of bread and wine – body, blood, soul and divinity – so we Catholics might have the opportunity to personally participate in his propitiatory sacrifice – joining in with him to offer his divine perfection to God the Father, for our needs, for the needs of the Holy Catholic Church and for the whole world.

The Seven Sacraments
Catholics believe that each of the Seven Sacraments, which were instituted by Jesus Christ, to give grace, constitutes a unique, personal encounter with the risen Christ that is divinely ordered to the salvation of souls and exquisitely suited to the diverse needs of the People of God, throughout every phase of their earthly existence.

Rooted In the Judeo-Christian Tradition
This basic Catholic theological system has many similarities to that which had previously been employed by the Old Testament Hebrews: A reliance on a combination of Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and Divine Teaching Authority; the three biblical “witnesses” by which the truth might always be properly discerned.

But now, thanks to our Holy Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church also possesses the truly salvific power and grace that was not yet available in times of old.

A Mere COINCIDENCE of Human History?
The fact that the Holy Catholic Church (inexplicably) remains the world’s longest reigning, continuous government (of any kind) and the fact that the Catholic Church still manages to exist at all, in spite of a 2,000 year history of some of the worst internal scandals and leadership failures imaginable (as well as some of mankind’s greatest triumphs) serves to lend serious credibility to the Church’s original and exclusive claim of its’ divine origin in Jesus Christ and of God’s unwavering, perpetual solicitude.

Today’s question: How do I (a Catholic) get myself to better focus in church tomorrow, at Mass?


Question:
How do I get myself to focus in church tomorrow and any Sunday?

Answer: The best way to “focus” at Mass is to make sure you understand what’s actually happening up there, on the altar, and why.

During our (properly disposed) participation in the Holy Sacrifice, Jesus becomes present for us, under the auspices of bread and wine, so we might offer him (Jesus, the one time, once for all, perfect and eternal sacrifice, for the sins of the world) up to God the Father, for the needs of the Church and of the whole world.

We also have the opportunity to personally receive Jesus in Holy Communion, becoming (for a time) a living tabernacle, perfected in God’s awesome power and grace.

It doesn’t get any better than that, this side of Heaven.

Asked and answered today on Yahoo!Answers. Edited for clarity and content. 

Today’s question: Why do I deserve to burn in hell for eternity? If God is love, how can such a thing even be possible?


Question:
Why do I deserve to burn in hell for eternity? Please explain how I deserve to burn in hell, from a human perspective and how can I possibly follow a religion that doesn’t make sense?

Answer: The problems related to “The Human Condition” are probably due as much to “circumstance” as to the personal “guilt” of we who are alive on earth, today. That said, the problem of sin is and always has been, deadly serious!

Due to the Fall of Man (in the beginning, in the Garden of Eden) the default state of all humanity is to be born estranged from God, totally lacking the divine grace that is necessary to enter Heaven, perpetually enslaved to Satan, sin and death, having a natural attraction to sin, as well as an all too human propensity to commit sin.

The only known antidote to perpetual slavery and eternal damnation, is faith in Jesus Christ, the divine man who has demonstrated (as one of us and on our behalf) his total mastery over Satan, sin and death.

The fact that Jesus voluntarily took on flesh, became man, willingly sacrificed himself and then, rose again from the dead, in order to destroy Satan’s power over us (the power of death and hell) while asking nothing in return, except for our faithful allegiance, should be more than sufficient proof of God’s abiding love and tender mercies.

Christians typically swear faithful allegiance to Jesus Christ by being Baptized into his Holy Catholic (Universal) Church.

The Holy Sacrament of Baptism, followed by a regular program of personal prayer and study, along with a lifetime of full, faithful participation in all the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Holy Catholic Church, is the time-tested, “Jesus Approved” method of first, being justified by the grace of God and then, proceeding to live a holy life that will serve to glorify God, while preparing us to (hopefully) spend an eternity with him, in Heaven.

Asked and answered today on Yahoo!Answers. Edited for clarity and content.