Today’s question: How do you know that God is real?

saints

Question: How do you know that God is real?

Answer: Many years ago, I decided to take some time off and devote two full years to the study of all world religions, after which I chose to be Catholic.

Then, I spent another ten years studying the faith while working in Catholic parishes; teaching, doing social work and heading up various offices and initiatives, just to see how things actually worked.

Today, I answer questions on-line and operate a Catholic website: http://www.askmeaboutgod.org.

I know God is real because he reveals himself to me in many different ways; particularly through study, worship and sacraments, through fellowship with other Christians and through occasional miracles of various kinds.

Once you come to know God it’s a fairly simple matter to pray without ceasing; staying in constant touch with the Almighty, in a very intimate, complete and powerful way.

The power of that relationship extends also to my friends and family; some of whom are not yet believers. I trust that, by the grace of God, all soon will be.

To sum it all up:

God answers my prayers.

God provides for all my needs.

God speaks to me when I need to hear from him.

God blesses me beyond measure.

God gives me hope.

For my part, I do my best to know, love and serve God,

every way I can, and to give him the thanks,

praise and worship that he is due.

Question of the day: If god loves us so much why does he go through all these games and shenanigans? Why did he send his son to jump through hoops and die?


Question:
If god loves us so much why does he go through all these games and shenanigans? Why did he send his son to jump through hoops and die?

Answer: The Fall of Man unwittingly transferred dominion over the whole earth from Adam to Satan, with mankind ending up hopelessly and perpetually enslaved to Satan, sin and death.

So, mere forgiveness would have changed nothing.
The only hope for mankind
was divine intervention of a very particular type,
something only God was capable of accomplishing, for us.

Once redeemed from perpetual slavery to Satan, sin and death by Jesus Christ, it would be supremely foolish and wasteful for man to be voluntarily compromised by sin, once again. That’s why God holds us to high standards, yet mercifully forgives, so long as we remain faithful (to him) and are truly repentant.

God typically accomplishes this for us by means of his grace and through our full, faithful and consistent participation in all the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of his Holy Catholic Church.

Asked and answered 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.

Christopher Columbus emphatically demonstrated that his devotion to the Christian faith and to Mary was vital and vigorous.

Remember that 1492 was still the Middles Ages.  The Protestant Revolt did not erupt until 15 years later.  And later, unlike Hernán Cortés, Columbus didn’t see Native Americans as slaves or enemies, but as children of God, and as potential converts, and allies of Spain.

The Admiral’s dedication to Mary

Columbus was a staunch champion of the doctrine of Mary’s Immaculate Conception.  His veneration of the Mother of the Redeemer was clearly a symbol of his faith and a mainspring of his life’s work of discovery.

At the very outset of his grand adventure, he recorded his devotedness to Mary by giving her name to his flagship.

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The only proper way for faithful Catholics to disagree with authentic church teachings.

Jesus is an expert healer of the blind – spiritual and otherwise

by Doug Lawrence

The only proper way for a faithful Catholic to disagree with authentic church teachings is to go to confession, apologize to God, receive absolution, and humbly leave the confessional spiritually renewed, with a firm purpose of amendment.

Next, in order to successfully mend our ways and reform our errant conscience, we undertake a thorough study of the relevant portions of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, coupled with a careful review of all related church documents.

This … along with full, faithful and regular participation in all the other work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church, will serve to properly identify and clarify all of the pertinent issues involved.

From that point forward, faith and reason, along with a bit of help from other good, faithful, and well-educated Catholics (educated in authentic, traditional Catholicism … not the new, phony versions) will serve to order the struggle so as to (eventually) properly form the conscience, in the light of all God’s revealed truth.

The process may well take years, but what do we have to do that is more important?

The writings of the Saints confirm that spiritual struggle (always in good faith and always for the right reasons) is probably the very best way of eventually achieving Heaven.

Those who have managed to overcome serious personal shortcomings with the help of God’s grace, know that this is absolutely true … while those who prefer to disagree need only remember that denial is not just a river in Egypt!

Visit the blogroll (links) section of this website for all the necessary Catholic educational resources. Seek out Jesus Christ, the source and summit of our Christian existence, and encounter him regularly and personally, in and through the sacraments of the Catholic Church. Then … expect Jesus to begin to more fully reveal himself … his inestimable love … and his truth … to you … in many wonderful ways.

Practical lessons (and prayers) received from Our Lady of Fatima

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Fatima is quite popular due to the various prophecies that Our Lady graced the shepherd children with but also what she commands the children to do. Many traditionalists around the globe continue to heed the commands of the Virgin Mary till this very day. Devotion to the Virgin by way of praying the Rosary daily and wearing the Brown Scapular increased due to the council and warnings of Our Lady in Fatima although the revelations of these devotions were around long before this latest apparition.

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“Sir, it’s going to take a pretty thick rug for that kind of praying.”

“Sir, it’s going to take a pretty thick rug for that kind of praying.”
(Preacher’s response to WWII General George Patton’s prayer request,
which was subsequently granted.)

Now we come to another prayer request … not from a military general … but from Father Ryan Erlenbush, at The New Theological Movement website … which will also require “a pretty thick rug”:

I propose that, during the month of May, we join together in a campaign for the family Rosary. To promote the family Rosary, we would do well to begin with a month of prayer. I suggest that, through a joint spiritual effort, we offer prayers every day during May for the renewal of the family Rosary and in preparation for an active Family Rosary Campaign in which we would engage during the month of October (the Month of the Rosary).

If you have a blog, or a facebook page or twitter account, please consider promoting this Family Rosary Campaign!

Visit the site

Divine Mercy Celebration at Our Lady of Peace – Darien, IL – Sunday – April 15, 2012

Our Lady of Peace Parish
701 W. Plainfield Road
Darien, IL 60559

1:30 – 2:45 pm Confessions (resume at 4:00pm)
It is not possible for everyone to go to confession on the same day.
As Fr. Seraphim, MIC has said: “God will not ask us to do the impossible”.
We should be preparing for the Feast of Mercy
during the whole season of Lent,
and we should make our confession even before Holy Week.
To gain grace, one should make a good confession
within the week of the Divine Mercy Feast Day.

1:30 pm Video “Time for Mercy” Video in School Gym
Find out ……
– The origin of the devotion
– Jesus’ message to St. Faustina
– How this devotion impacts our world today

3:00 – 4:00 pm Hour of Great Mercy
– Exposition
– Chaplet of The Divine Mercy
– Benediction
– Blessing of Religious Articles
– Veneration of St. Faustina’s relic

1:30 & 4 – 5 pm Gift shop open in school lobby

“Jesus, I Trust In You!”

Submitted by Heidi B.

Reports now available from the “Intellectual Tasks of the New Evangelization” symposium


Visit the site for PDF formatted reports

Related article

Editor’s note:

These guys are bright, but they like to do things the hard way.

The reason the world needs re-evangelization is not because of a defective message. It’s because the guys who ran the post-conciliar Catholic Church lost their focus, became corrupt, and failed to faithfully live, proclaim and defend the eternal truths of the sacred deposit of faith that were entrusted to them by Jesus and the apostles.

Once the church again begins to “fly right” … toning down the corruption, re-catechizing the world, universally reaffirming the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ, and promoting the church’s traditional work, worship, sacraments and devotions (instead of a bunch of watered down, liberal, modernist, BS) things can’t help but improve.

You may find these points mentioned in the above reports, but it will be couched in language that is so complicated and convoluted, that most people won’t be able to understand it … let alone do it.

What ever happened to the simple, direct approach?

1) Decide for yourself whether you believe in God.

2) Assuming the answer is yes, consult the only “source” who ever really knew him, in the flesh, while he still walked the earth … the only assembly or group that was ever divinely authorized to teach, sanctify, and govern in the name of Jesus Christ … the Catholic Church.

3) Begin directed prayer and study, in order to become intimately familiar with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, as only the Catholic Church knows him, by taking full advantage of over 1900 years of the world’s finest theological scholarship and related philosophy (which includes, but is certainly not limited to the Bible.)

4) Become an official member of the Catholic Church (a living temple of the Holy Spirit, an adopted child of God, a citizen of Heaven, and co-heir with Jesus Christ) through the Sacrament of Baptism.

5) Embark on a lifetime of ever increasing holiness. faith, and love in Jesus Christ, through continuing prayer and study, along with full, faithful and regular participation in all of the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church … “keeping it up” until the very moment God calls you home.     

The Church’s job is to facilitate points 1 through 5, for the salvation of souls and the common good of all mankind. But because of all the confusion and corruption in the post-conciliar Catholic Church, that has not been happening.

We don’t need new theology. We just need to effectively put to good use what we already have!

If Our Lord were only man, the Catholic Church would not have a divine origin and if He were only God, it would empty the Redemption of meaning and render it inimitable by man.

Read: How apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary have always served the most pressing needs of the Church.

Submitted by Doria2

This Week’s Ask Alice: The One, True Church?



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer your Catholic questions
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Alice is on vacation this week. Doug Lawrence is “sitting in”.

Fred W. Asks: The Catholic Church claims to be the one, true church, founded by Jesus Christ, infallibly guided by the Holy Spirit. In light of the history of almost constant Catholic church corruption, especially the recent, widespread child abuse scandal, why should anyone believe that to be true?

Doug Lawrence Responds: This is a very timely question, reflecting a quite normal level of concern and dismay, not only for Catholics, but also the public, at large.

First, the good news: Jesus Christ did indeed personally found the Catholic Church. He did it very shortly after his resurrection, while he still walked the earth, in his glorified and risen body, after all power and authority had been given to him, on earth and in heaven.

Jesus endowed his universal (Catholic) Church with much of that same power and authority, for the purpose of our salvation.

Jesus never founded any other church, and he never authorized or empowered any other person or group.

So … like it or not … we’re “stuck” with the Catholic Church, until the end of time. 

We also know that Jesus had originally chosen twelve apostles, trained twelve and blessed twelve … yet he somehow ended up with only eleven.

One of them … Judas … turned out to be a “devil”. Judas accomplished most of his dirty deeds in secret, and so have our present day, abusive clergy!

If Jesus Christ, who is God, found it expedient to accept a rate of attrition/failure that’s slightly more than 8 percent, should anyone … even his church … practically expect to do much better?   

Studies point to an actual abuse rate of much less than half the 8 percent “Judas factor”. This is not to make light of the matter of clergy abuse … or any type of sinful behavior. It is simply looking at the world as it really is … a corrupt system of things that even God has (so far) not seen fit to fully restore.

Of course, those who so loudly proclaimed the “New Pentecost” of Vatican II … and who subsequently tore down virtually everything the Catholic Church had spent the last 1900 years building up … also share much of the blame, since that ridiculous attitude left the Church with virtually no defense against the liberal/modernist onslaught and all the grievous errors that sprung from it.

Such is the price of revolution, even for the Catholic Church.

Yet despite all the human corruption and malfeasance, including all the recent, post-Vatican II anomalies … the Catholic Church has done a miraculous job of preserving the authentic dogmas of the Christian faith, and it remains always available to celebrate the Mass and dispense the sacraments, in order to help sanctify the People of God, according to his grace.

Rather than attempting to make excuses … or even fix blame … the best thing any Catholic can do is learn the authentic Catholic faith … so that no lay person, teacher, politician, deacon, priest, bishop or pope … can ever again hope to get away with betraying Jesus Christ, his Church, or the faithful.

For that, a personal course of regular prayer and study, coupled with full, faithful participation in all of the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church is highly recommended.

There is no better way to keep the Catholic Church … and one’s own eternal soul … in good order!

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

Visit the (Traditional) Catholic On-Line Chapel for Old-Fashioned Prayers, Devotions, and Religious Art

The Ascension

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Good news!


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Read about the Catholic Church

“Ask Alice”: Catholic Answers From A Female Point of View. Every Thursday.


I’ve asked Alice to handle some of the many
Catholic faith questions
that regularly
come in to this site, and she has kindly agreed to help.

Alice is a life-long Catholic who knows
that faithful participation in the work, worship,
sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church …
while essential for salvation … is not without its’ challenges.
Alice is a charitable soul, known for taking in strays of all kinds.
She’s an experienced catechist, a professional writer,
artist, wife, mother, and friend to all.
A staunch advocate for priests,
Alice is also an outspoken critic of wayward clerics,
institutionalized corruption and cronyism …
whatever the quarter.
Alice believes in miracles,
and has played an integral part in many of them.

Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Catholic faith resources from the Knights of Columbus

Why Do Catholics (like Jesus) Fast and Abstain?


The Church speaks of the three pillars of Lent – Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving – because there is a strong connection, or there should be, between the three. Fasting and other forms of self-denial, as spiritual practices of materially subduing and controlling the physical appetites of the body, helps us, by God’s grace, to enable the soul to more perfectly and freely pray.  This leads to a deeper union with God and thus we become better stewards of the gifts God has given to us, freeing us to more effectively care for our neighbor, especially those in greater than we. When I was a small boy, my mother would encourage me (it’s probably more accurate to say she required me) during Lent to give up things I would normally buy with my allowance.  The money I saved could and would be used to assist those less fortunate we were.

God gave our first parents, Adam and Eve many gifts and blessings that were in a sense before their nature and, therefore, before our’s too. We know that Adam and Eve possessed Sanctifying Grace, infused with the supernatural virtues of faith, hope and charity. This is what is meant when you hear the phrase, “Adam and Eve were created in a state of original justice.” They were created for a supernatural end or purpose… to attain heaven and an everlasting communion with God. They were also given certain gifts, called preternatural gifts, that would enable them to continue their “walk with God” – (1) bodily immortality, (2) integrity, and (3) infused knowledge.

But they were also allowed by God to be tempted by the devil, not so that they would sin, but so that they could freely choose to love God who created them freely and in freedom.  Their free will would not have been free at all if there was never an opportunity for them to choose anything other than the Good which is God. If they had chosen God over the serpent, these gifts would have been passed on to us an our inheritance, but we know they sinned and lost these gifts, therefore, we, their descendants, could not receive what they no longer possessed to pass on.

Read part one of this article

Read part two of this article

Complete Catholicism: Prayer, study, work, worship, sacraments, devotions.

If religion is the key to America, then the biggest crisis in our country right now is its crisis of faith.

It is a crisis in which the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are invoked against the religious consciences of the people. Government too often impedes religion by denying Americans their right to pray at civic gatherings, stripping religious symbols from the public square and banishing God to private life. We are in a crisis when government won’t allow families to protect their children from pornography, couples to protect marriage from being redefined or society to protect women and their children from the predatory clutches of the big business of abortion.

The Holy Father told the National Prayer Breakfast in 2000 that it is up to religious people to end this crisis. “I would go so far as to say that their task is to save democracy from self-destruction,” he said. “Democracy is our best opportunity to promote the values that will make the world a better place for everyone, but a society that exalts individual choice as the ultimate source of truth undermines the very foundations of democracy.“

We would argue this task falls to Catholics most of all.

After all, Catholic theology uniquely understands the interrelationship between natural law and divine revelation. Just as Thomas Aquinas was the great defender of both theology and common sense, Catholics today uniquely understand aspects of natural law the world has forgotten: Our teachings on abortion, marriage and even contraception are defenses of what man can know without revelation.

Second, Catholics are most responsible for the future of America because of sheer numbers. Immigration from Mexico and family sizes mean the old Protestant America is falling off a demographic cliff. Tomorrow’s America will no longer be white and Protestant but browner and Catholic.

And last, Catholics are most responsible for the future of America because we are the Church founded by Christ on the rock of Peter, the one Church that Christ promised would prevail against the gates of hell. Certainly, other Christian denominations rightly worship God, as the Second Vatican Council said. But Christ founded one Church, not many denominations, and that one Church is the one that carries God’s guarantee.

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A Comprehensive Directory of Authentic Vatican Guidelines on Virtually All Things Catholic

Lots of great stuff in this Vatican document.

Great explanations as to the hows and whys of the practice of the authentic Catholic faith, including much useful information of all kinds.

Spend a few minutes browsing the site and you’re sure to come away a little better informed than you were before … and hopefully, a bit more inspired.

Excerpt from the introduction:

a series of practical proposals. It does not claim to be able to include every usage or practice of popular piety to be found in particular locations throughout the world. Mention of particular practices or expressions of popular piety is not to be regarded as an invitation to adopt them where they are not already practised. This section is elaborated in reference to the Liturgical Year (Chapter 4); to the special veneration given by the Church to the Mother of our Saviour (Chapter 5); to devotion to the Holy Angels, the Saints and the Beatified (Chapter 6); to suffrage for the dead (Chapter 7) and to pilgrimage and examples of popular piety connected with shrines (Chapter 8).

The object of this Directory is to offer guidelines and, where necessary, to prevent abuses or deviations. Its tone is positive and constructive. In the same context, it provides short historical notes on several popular devotions in its Guidelines. It records the various pious exercises attached to these devotions while signalling their theological underpinning, and making practical suggesting in relation to time, place, language and other factors, so as to harmonize them with the Liturgy.

Vatican Directory On Popular Piety and the Liturgy

What is Sacred Tradition and why is it special?

hspiritenhcls

Sacred Tradition is the means by which the Holy Spirit guides the Catholic Church, which constitutes the authentic People of God, from age to age.

This is to be distinguished from all other forms and types of tradition … which are not holy or sacred … because they are not of God, but of man.

The “trick” is to be able to tell the difference … and that’s where the teachings and work of Jesus Christ and the Apostles … faithfully followed up by nearly 2000 years of systematic, authentic Catholic theology, philosophy, work, worship, sacraments and devotions … are absolutely invaluable … and when properly and practically applied … salvific … capable of saving souls, according to God’s grace.

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

What is a CINO?

kenendyobama

Q: What is a CINO?

A: CINO means Catholic In Name Only. Alternative meaning: Christian In Name Only. See above photo for examples. 

I will confine my explanation to Catholics, alone.

Real Catholics manifest their close, personal relationship with God by accepting all the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church, by the charitable service they typically and freely render to to their neighbors, in the name of Jesus Christ, and through their consistent and faithful participation in all of the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church.

Real Catholics also typically engage in frequent prayer, while maintaining an ongoing regimen of Catholic studies, in order to keep the conscience fully informed.  

If  a real Catholic suspects he might have offended God or man, he promptly makes a good faith effort to mend his ways, and through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, gratefully receives God’s forgiveness and grace.

Real Catholics also take God at his Word, as it has been authoritatively and clearly explained through his one, holy,  Catholic, and apostolic Church, according to the will of God the Father, the promises of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit.  

CINO’s remain affiliated with the Church primarily for the personal and political benefits that go along with their membership. To A CINO, the Church is little more than a semi-private club.  

In order to justify their positions, CINO’s tend to rely on the flawed opinions of those who only appear to have moral authority, since any other course of action would require a modicum of personal disicpline and at least some allegiance to authentic Catholic Church teachings. 

CINO’s rely on their own malformed consciences to provide the necessary rationalization for whatever types of  lusts, perversions, and other abominations they might personally prefer. As a result, CINO’s typically claim to never sin … at least in a serious way … and hence … see no need for Confession or similar types of things.

CINO’s believe that “the Spirit of the 2nd Vatican Council”  pretty much did away with the need for priests and church hierarchy, dogmas and defined truths, sacraments and/or formal worship.

With CINO’s, conscience … not Christ … is King … and so long as a CINO manages to keep his conscience “in the dark” … just about anything is permissible … especially since CINO’s typically believe that the prospect of Judgment Day is only a cruel hoax … and that God … if he truly exists … is really just a big “cream puff” … who will tolerate just about anything.