You are of your father the devil: and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning: and he stood not in the truth, because truth is not in him.

satanhead

Yesterday, while Texas pro-lifers were singing, “Amazing Grace” abortion backers began chanting “Hail, Satan!” 

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil: and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning: and he stood not in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof.

Text, photos, video

Michael Voris takes issue with some lyrics of the hymn: “Amazing Grace” – and he’s right.

The 2nd verse of Amazing Grace proposes that faith results in grace … rather than the other way around … and that’s totally wrong.

God first provides all the necessary grace. Our willing cooperation with that grace encourages (in us) the development of the cardinal virtues of faith, hope, and charity. From there, things just get better and better!

This is the Catholic position, and it’s absolutely true.

Amazing Grace subtly introduces Protestant doctrine into our Catholic worship, so Catholics in the know, who otherwise happen to like the popular hymn, should (at a minimum) simply avoid singing the lyrics of the 2nd verse.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed. (Heresy)

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

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Amazing Grace

A recurring them in Christian chat rooms and other types of on-line forums is the Catholic understanding of saintly intercession … especially regarding the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary … and whether such practices can be truly termed Christian.

It’s true that a good number of today’s Catholics and non-Catholics alike, seem to have a great deal of difficulty correlating the literal text of the Bible with Catholic teachings and practices, on this matter.

And while most Protestants choose to concentrate solely on faith, scripture, and Jesus … Catholics may choose all of the above … plus the very substantial “cult” of Mary … along with veneration of angels and all the other saints.

So … who is right … and why?

The awesome power and sufficiency of God’s grace

From Adam’s fall until the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the world was totally devoid of God’s sanctifying grace, with all of mankind enslaved to Satan, sin and death.

In the fullness of time, God provided, through his sovereign power over all creation, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was conceived without sin … “full of grace” … “highly favored” … the only non-divine person ever proved to be totally immune to the corruption of Satan’s evil, earthly dominion.

It is for this reason that Mary
should be universally honored and venerated,
since … never before or since …
has any other non-divine human being
ever successfully accomplished such a thing …
with or without the help of God’s grace.

The Bible agrees:

Luke 1:46-49  And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is his name.

The fact that Mary chose to so closely cooperate with God in all of Jesus’ great, salvific work, is absolute proof of the sufficiency of God’s grace … that his will be done, on Earth, and in Heaven.

This triumphant and extraordinarily successful
behavior is most certainly to be emulated,
since Mary’s close cooperation
with God and his grace
makes her THE “Model Christian” of all time.

God’s grace is also why the Blessed Virgin Mary holds so many titles … including the “Mother of the Church” … and why she has already been crowned  the authentic “Queen of Heaven” … ruling and reigning there, at the right hand of her divine son, Jesus … according to the “amazing” power of his grace.

In this regard,
the totality of the biblical promises
that Jesus makes to every faithful Christian
has already been fully realized
in the extraordinary,
grace empowered existence
of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

That is not to say there will be nothing left in Heaven for the rest of us, since God’s abundance is infinite, and he never “runs out” of anything. So we can be sure of receiving all that God has promised us in Heaven, no matter how many billions of other souls might triumphantly enter therein.

While Mary, the Mother of God, enjoys a totally unique and preeminent position in God’s order of grace, there’s nothing preventing God from giving awesome power and authority to angels and/or to all the other saints.

The Book of Revelation lists a number of divine “rewards” that will be bestowed on those who manage to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, by voluntarily cooperating with God’s grace:

Eternal life

Revelation 2:11  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches: He that shall overcome shall not be hurt by the second death.

Ruling and Reigning

Revelation 2:26  And he that shall overcome and keep my words unto the end, I will give him power over the nations.

Divine Honor and Recognition

Revelation 3:5  He that shall overcome shall thus be clothed in white garments: and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life. And I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.

Holiness – Being Set Apart by God for His Express Purpose

Revelation 3:12  He that shall overcome, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God: and he shall go out no more. And I will write upon him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and my new name.

Theosis – Becoming like God

Revelation 3:21  To him that shall overcome, I will give to sit with me in my throne: as I also have overcome and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Relationship – As God’s Tried and True, Sons and Daughters

Revelation 21:7  He that shall overcome shall possess these things. And I will be his God: and he shall be my son.

The power of God’s grace is the only thing that makes all of this possible.

Why?

Luke 1:37 Because no word shall be impossible with God.

So … why do Catholics think it is OK
… even laudable
to ask Mary and the saints for help?

Because Mary and the saints are already “tried and true” … holy and acceptable to God.

Because only God and his grace made the triumph of Mary and the saints possible.

Because the promises of Christ are practical and salvific, and meant to be an ongoing blessing to all the People of God, wherever they might presently be found.

Because we’re all “family” … related to each other (and to God) through Adam, Jesus Christ, and the Church … and there is solid biblical precedent for the right of “kin” helping (and redeeming) other “kin”.

Because helping others in their time of need is the charitable and Christian thing to do … especially for those who have already been perfected by God’s grace, in Heaven.

Because God respects the dignity of the human race, which he created (in his own image and likeness) by kindly remembering to include us (along with our good works/voluntary cooperation with his grace) in his universal plan of salvation.

Because God loves us, and Heaven poses no barrier at all to the power of divine love and grace.

There’s no doubt that God empowers angels
to assist men, in times of need.

Mary and all the other saints,
by the power of God’s grace,
possess power and authority that is superior
to that of the angels,
so there is absolutely nothing that would prevent
them from using that power for the benefit of souls
still on earth … because, as we all know …

God desires all men to be saved,
and to come to the knowledge of his truth.
(1st Timothy 2:4)

Two year-old sings “Amazing Grace” and “The Lord’s Prayer”

View “Amazing Grace”

View “The Lord’s Prayer”