How can the Church think and act in a missionary way when she does not believe any more in her own identity and mission?

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During the past fifty years nothing has been more harmful to the safeguarding and the transmission of the Faith than this escalating ecumenism which is nothing other than the religious “dictatorship of relativism.”(Cardinal Ratzinger) This evil has changed the way in which the Church sees Herself.

She no longer comprehends herself as the Mystical Body of Christ, as the sole Bride of the Lamb that was slain, as the unique way of salvation. It is exactly this ecumenism which transformed the missionary Church into one ecumenical community of dialogue amongst others.

Against this background of ecumenism, it is a tragi-comedy in the making to summon the Church to joy in the Gospel and to attempt her into change her into a missionary Church.

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President Obama’s Christmas message – with a few very important Catholic corrections

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by Doug Lawrence

The President had this to say at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree: 

“Each Christmas, we celebrate the birth of a child who came into the world with only a stable’s roof to shelter Him,” he said. “But through a life of humility and the ultimate sacrifice, a life guided by faith and kindness towards others, Christ assumed a mighty voice, teaching us lessons of compassion and charity that have lasted more than two millennia. He ministered to the poor. He embraced the outcast. He healed the sick. And in Him we see a living example of scripture that we ought to love others not only through our words, but also through our deeds.” “It’s a message both timeless and universal — no matter what God you pray to, or if you pray to none at all — we all have a responsibility to ourselves and to each other to make a difference that is real and lasting,” he continued. “We are our brother’s keeper. We are our sister’s keeper.”

Link

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Now for a few very essential Catholic criticisms and revisions to the above:

Jesus Christ, the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity, came into the world and assumed human flesh, along with a human soul, according to the divine plan and power of God, his Father, in order to redeem mankind from sin.

Taking on human flesh and becoming like us in all things, except for sin, Jesus is true man. Yet Jesus never ceased to be God. 

During his earthly existence, Jesus led a totally sinless life of humility and sacrifice, compassion, mercy and healing – because God is love – Jesus Christ is God and Messiah – and anything to the contrary is simply not a part of his awesome divinity – nor part of his sinless, perfect, totally incorrupt humanity.

By merely being himself, Jesus Christ fulfilled everything that was written about him in the the prophetic biblical volumes of the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets. Only God could do that! Research this for yourself, if you don’t believe me. Just make sure you actually do the work!

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Jesus – complete with his glorified and resurrected human body and soul, which is now eternally united with his Divine Spirit – is enthroned in Heaven, at the right hand of God the Father, as King if Kings and Lord of Lords.

Jesus has absolute power over all things in Heaven, on Earth and under the Earth – and he promises to come again, at the end of time, to judge the living and the dead.

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The same Jesus is also the head of the Catholic (Universal) Church and it is only by Jesus’ name – according to God’s grace, in faith – that any man might hope to be saved from eternal death and Hell.

So be nice, if it makes you feel better – but remember that corrupt, tin-horn politicians like Barack Obama – who want to “keep” you – actually intend to oppress you – while God’s loving plan is one of unbridled, genuine peace and true, personal freedom.

So reject all of Barack Obama’s “slick” worldly nonsense, “reasonable” advice and other vain deceits and put all your trust in Jesus Christ and the only Church he ever founded, authorized, empowered and eternally guaranteed, for the purpose of our eternal salvation – the Catholic Church!

The only sure and certain hope of making a difference that is real and lasting (for your eternal soul and the souls of your loved ones) is membership in the Catholic Church – which typically begins with the Sacrament of Baptism – followed by a lifetime of fervent prayer and religious studies, along with full, faithful and regular participation in all of the Church’s other authentic work, worship, sacraments and devotions.

Nothing less is likely to get the job done,
but miracles do occasionally happen,
if you think God might be willing to make an exception,
just for you!
 

The main thing Jesus came to do was set people free from the eternal oppression of Satan, sin and death – so that we humans might – one day – be able to once again enjoy eternity in Heaven, with God – without having to put up with lies, obfuscations and other inane chatter from shameless demagogues, like Barack Obama.

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Jesus succeeded.

Such is the reason for our joy.

 M E R R Y  C H R I S T M A S !

Related link: Christmas – the prequel

National tree photo: Wikipedia.org

Understanding the how’s and why’s of the need for our salvation in Christ is essential to our understanding of the truths of the Catholic faith

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by Doug Lawrence

For why did Christ, when as yet we were weak, according to the time, die for the ungodly? For scarce for a just man will one die: yet perhaps for a good man some one would dare to die. But God commendeth his charity (love) towards us: because when as yet we were sinners according to the time. Christ died for us.

Much more therefore, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son: much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:6-10)

Life is a winner-take-all contest,
with one of only two possible outcomes:
Heaven or Hell.

Thanks to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary, we get to freely choose sides. But it is also one of those “negative default” situations. Do nothing and you lose big –
and you may lose, forever!

That’s because – very early in man’s history – due to the deliberate, grave sin of our first parents, who pridefully teamed up with Satan the Devil, against God – the first man traded away his birthright and freedom for a lie – and all of mankind (even children and little babies) became hopelessly and permanently enslaved to Satan, sin and death.

Adam and Eve in the Garden by Michelangelo

How can that be? Children of slaves are born into slavery and so are themselves slaves, with only their slavery and Adam’s Original Sin for their inheritance. The Evil One had long ago, successfully usurped virtually everything else!

Hence, every child born of Adam, the first man – and all the children of his descendants – are born tainted by sin, and already, in a very real way, “pledged” to Satan the Devil and subject to his evil dominion of sin, death and Hell.

Without God’s powerful, awesomely creative, loving, merciful, and very timely intervention, things would have remained that way forever – dooming every human being – body and soul – to a decrepit, temporal earthly existence, followed by death – and then an eternity of supernatural bondage and unimaginable suffering, in Hell.

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In the fullness of time, God sent his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, into the world, to redeem us. Incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus is a perfect and sinless man, in no way subject
to Satan, sin or death.

Having taken on human flesh, as well as a human soul,
Jesus Christ is true man. Yet Jesus never ceased to be God. 

Satan has power only over sinners.
so he had no power or authority at all
over Our Holy Lord, Jesus Christ.
(John 14:27-30)

Even though he had been warned (see Genesis 3:15) Satan plotted to do his worst, enlisting his minions to put Jesus on trial and wrongfully convict him of blasphemy and sedition, leading shortly to Jesus’ crucifixion and death, which was followed three days hence by his glorious and totally unprecedented resurrection from the dead – proving that Jesus is God, just as he claimed – and that he does indeed have power over Satan, death and Hell.

God permitted all of this, as part of his plan for our salvation:

Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him, in the midst of you, as you also know: This same being delivered up, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you by the hands of wicked men have crucified and slain. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the sorrows of hell, as it was impossible that he should be holden by it. (Acts 2:22-24)

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As Satan had absolutely no right to disturb so much as a hair on Jesus’ head, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ became Satan’s ultimate undoing. Satan’s earthly power and dominion was destroyed and virtually all that Satan had earlier gained by Adam’s Fall was forfeit.

Today, Satan is still permitted to wander the earth, but is allowed to recruit “fresh” minions only by default (Original Sin and concupiscence, along with the deliberate and willful rejection of the Gospel) and through the vain deceits of the world and the flesh (this should be self-explanatory). But thanks to the saving work of Jesus Christ, Satan’s time of virtually unrestrained power and near total dominion has long been officially over!

For our part, Jesus’ flawless obedience to his Father’s will – as a man – even unto death on the cross – served as the perfect atoning sacrifice for the disobedience, pride and sins of all mankind.

Through Jesus Christ, God the Father supplied what fallen mankind could not (Genesis 22:8) in order to reconcile Heaven and Earth and declare the Divine Peace.

The risen Christ also became the official new and sinless head of all mankind – offering grace, peace, reconciliation and eternal life to all who would reject Satan and his works – and swear faithful allegiance to the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

This would typically be accomplished through the Sacrament of Baptism, which would also entail, among many other good things, full and faithful membership in the universal (Catholic) Church, which Jesus personally founded, for the purpose of our salvation –  and for the salvation of future generations, yet to come.

A word about sacraments:

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Sacraments are defined as Christ-instituted, outward signs of a certain spiritual reality: divine grace being infused directly into a human soul. Since each of the sacraments was personally instituted by Jesus Christ, each sacrament constitutes nothing less than an intimate, personal encounter with Almighty God.

For those seeking a “relationship” with God – this is the ultimate and absolute best way to do it – personally recommended by none other than our Holy Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

There are seven sacraments – each intended to provide whatever is spiritually necessary for every faithful Catholic, at various stages of human existence. In no particular order, they are: (1) Baptism, (2) Reconciliation, (3) Holy Eucharist, (4) Confirmation, (5) Holy Orders, (6) Matrimony and (7) Anointing of the Sick.

These grace-giving sacraments are administered by the Catholic Church, which is the God-designated, primary earthly ministry of his divine grace – primarily through the work of duly ordained bishops and priests – the men who constitute the ranks of the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood.

The only exception to this is the sacrament of baptism, which can be administered by just about anyone, with due concern for proper form, matter and intention, of course.

A word about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:

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The Holy Mass makes present for us, in this time and this age, the one time, once for all, perfect and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, at Calvary.

When Jesus Christ – body, blood, soul and divinity – under the appearance of ordinary bread and wine – becomes truly present for us on the altar – we are wonderfully empowered to collectively and personally offer Jesus up to God the Father – for our sins and the sins of the whole world.

Presented with this totally acceptable, holy and spotless sacrifice, Our Father in Heaven is always pleased, so he responds in love, and all graces flow.

Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of all Catholic worship – and the Holy Mass – centered on Jesus Christ – acts to constantly replenish the “well” of supernatural grace – obtained for us by the sufferings of Christ –  which is regularly poured out on behalf of sinners – much as Jesus’ precious blood was poured out for many, some twenty centuries ago, so that sins could be forgiven and the world might be redeemed and reconciled.

The next time you’re at Mass, pay particular attention the words leading up to the “Great Amen”. That’s the “sweet spot”. Of course, personally receiving Jesus Christ, in the Holy Eucharist, is also pretty sweet!

Fulfilling an ancient Bible prophecy:

For most of the last two thousand years, a Holy Mass has been celebrated for the glory of God and for the salvation of souls, in many nations, all around the world – every hour of every day – every day of every year – 24/7 & 365.

For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a perfect offering: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 1:11)

Jesus IS the perfect and eternal sacrifice for the sins of the world. Wherever Jesus is, his atoning sacrifice is also truly present. That’s why we can truly say that the Holy Mass IS a genuine sacrifice – with Jesus Christ presiding as  perfect victim, High Priest, Savior, God and King.

If we Catholics attempted to worship God in any other way, offering a sacrifice other than Jesus Christ, our Holy Redeemer – we would probably be wasting our time – and his!  That’s why Catholics remain obligated to attend Holy Mass every Sunday – and on designated Holy Days. 

Saint Paul reminds us, in the words of Jesus Christ, that God’s grace is sufficient:

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.  (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Saint Paul also reminds us:

Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:18-21)

Forty Days after his glorious resurrection from the dead, Jesus ascended back to Heaven, where he was enthroned – body and spirit – at the right hand of God the Father – as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (1 Tim 6:15, Rev 17:14, Rev 19:16)

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Doing so, Jesus made permanent and eternal all that he had accomplished for us during his earthly existence. There was no going back, nor could there ever be any chance of another human Fall From Grace! The battle between good and evil had been definitively won by Jesus Christ – and it was all over, except for the fighting!

O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law. But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:55-58)

By divine mandate and through his supernatural protection, Jesus empowered his Holy Church to remain behind on earth – supernaturally preserved from destruction – serving as his primary channel of divine grace – for us – and for all the souls yet to be born.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  (Matthew 16:18-19)

Grace is a totally gratuitous (absolutely free) gift from Almighty God – a share in his own divine life – obtained for us by Jesus Christ, on the cross at Calvary, at great personal cost – yet offered to us freely, in the spirit of love and eternal friendship, so that we might choose to cast off the shackles of eternal death and claim our rightful inheritance with God in Heaven, as adopted sons and daughters.

As a result of all this, Christians are justified before God (credited with righteousness – see Genesis 15:3-6) through faith in Jesus Christ.

Faith itself is a positive response to God’s grace and his call. (John 6:44)

Sanctification (becoming holy) is also a critical function of God’s grace – since God is holy and no one/nothing less than holy can live up to Heavenly standards. (Leviticus 11:45)

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The primary manifestation of our willing acceptance of God’s grace and our voluntary cooperation with his will is the Cardinal Virtue known as Faith, which is typically accompanied by two other Cardinal Virtues: Hope And Charity (Love).

Once a Christian is initially justified and sanctified before God through grace and Faith, the order of priority typically reverses – with Charity moving to the front – leaving  Hope solidly in the middle, and Faith acting as a  bulwark, keeping everything rightly ordered, balanced and in its’ proper place.

For baptized, faithful Christians, it works pretty much like this:

Love God. Love your neighbor. This is Practical Charity.

Love works no ill to his neighbor:
therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:10)

Responding to God’s grace, through Love
we keep all God’s Commandments.

Giving freely of ourselves in Faith,
while constantly striving to cooperate with his grace,
we Hope to merit eternal life. 

All should take note

… without faith [it is] impossible to please God: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  (Hebrews 11:6)

Hebrews 11:1-40 is probably the greatest litany of faith ever written. Look it up and read it for yourself.

A constant teaching of the Catholic Church, from the earliest days, is: Outside the Church There Is No Salvation. That’s because full, faithful and active membership in the Catholic Church is the divinely-designated, Christ-instituted, “ordinary” means of obtaining  the necessary measure of God’s saving grace, for all those alive here on earth.

When God gives us a gift, he expects us to use it, in the spirit in which it was given. Jesus Christ instituted the Catholic Church for the purpose of our salvation – for the care of souls – for the common good of all mankind – for teaching, sanctifying and rightly governing –
with power and authority – in his holy name.

Jesus never founded or authorized any other church! To the contrary:

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gave to me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
(John 17:21-23)

A synthesis of all damnable heresies:

According to the personal opinions of many of today’s highly placed religious leaders and politicians, as well as a fair number of “regular” Catholics and even some Catholic clerics  – God is love and love conquers all – so there’s no need to worry about Jesus, church, grace, truth, commandments, life, death, Heaven or Hell, one’s personal religious beliefs/affiliation – or much of anything else.

“Just BE nice,” they say!

To the contrary,
in accordance with settled Catholic dogma (and common sense)
salvation by any other means,
other than a lifetime of full, faithful, active membership
in the Catholic Church – the only Church that Jesus Christ
ever personally founded, authorized,
supernaturally empowered and eternally guaranteed –
is likely to require a great miracle.

And miracles continue to be very, very rare!

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The sacred scriptures rightly remind us:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  (John 3:16-18)

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  (Hebrews 11:6)

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  (Acts 4:10-12)

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Of course, God is sovereign, merciful,
loving, all-knowing  and all-powerful,
so he might decide to save anyone – of any faith – or no faith at all –
for any reason – or for no reason at all!

In such an event, salvation would still be obtained
only by the divine application of that saving grace
which was obtained for us by Jesus Christ,
on the cross, at Calvary.

So it is possible that non-Catholics, non-Christians, and virtually anyone might be saved – but is that likely?

  Let’s focus on the definition of the word “might”:

might 2  (mt)

aux.v. Past tense of may

1.

a. Used to indicate a condition or state contrary to fact: She might help if she knew the truth.
b. Used to indicate a possibility or probability that is weaker than may: We might discover a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
2. Used to express possibility or probability or permission in the past: She told him yesterday he might not go on the trip.
3. Used to express a higher degree of deference or politeness than may, ought, or should: Might I express my opinion?

The Bottom Line

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There is no substitute for a lifetime
of fervent prayer and practical religious study
combined with full, faithful and regular participation
in all of the work, worship, sacraments and devotions
of the Catholic Church. 

Please share this Thanksgiving message of grace and salvation
with your friends and family.

A short but comprehensive review of the Catholic Faith (PDF)

Further study

The current lack of Catholic evangelization is due to the widespread post-Vatican II notion that almost everybody will be saved.

Far from a human race that is presumed innocent or essentially saved, the Council Fathers see a world in which salvation is neither assured nor easy.  It is a world in which, “very often,” rejection of Christ has been a reality, is still possible, and is a main reason for Christian missions.  Indeed, the Council also warned about the severe judgment falling on Catholics who do not persist in charity and faithfulness.

The Council’s “optimism,” Martin rightly notes, is about the possibility of salvation outside of the Church, not the probability that everybody inside or outside it will be saved. 

The Council doesn’t give odds on this question or tell us whether Hell is densely populated or not, nor does Martin attempt to do so.  But he notes that the “very often” is attached to the negative possibility. In a chapter examining the scriptural references in LG 16 he demonstrates that this bad news is indeed biblical.

Read more

Editor’s note: It’s also due to the fact that since the end of Vatican II – priests, bishops – and even popes – have no longer been at all certain about the validity or applicability of the settled teachings of the Catholic Church – nor have they been unified and consistent in their efforts to pass along the full, complete and traditional Catholic faith to others. In fact, just the opposite has been true!

One of our readers has a special prayer intention. Your participation is urgently requested.

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Holy Saint Fr. Pio, at this current time, one of the places in our country was struck by the recent super typhoon.

I humbly request you to please pray for those who are in need of homes “for their shelter”, food “for their hungry stomachs”, medicine “for their sickness” and faith in God “to strengthen their prayers”.

Help the people who are asking those things, especially those who are in places that have not yet been reached  by the rescuers. Please! They are in urgent need of help. Help also the rescuers find those missing people who want so urgently to see  their family members again.

Let me also ask for your guidance Saint Fr. Pio because, I am the eldest of eight children, striving hard ever since I was young, to help my family.

Give me peace of mind when I am taking my board exam and help me to pass it. I want to help people, especially my family, and specifically, my mother, who has cared for me always.

I ask all this in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, and all the saints that bless me by their intercession.

Amen.

George

Janet Baker adds:

Besides prayers, you can easily donate money. I chose to donate to SSPX because they have a mission there (it was affected, but I forget what they said about the church) and I know the people are getting more than food and water, but the faith along with the charity. Here’s the site and the steps, if you also wish to make sure they are not being pressured to abort or accept sterilization in exchange for food, as some US aid efforts actually do!

https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/sspx

First, select an amount, then select One Time for a single donation, then credit/debit or PayPal, then select Foreign Missions, then fill in the words, For the Typhoon Victims.

Seen on the web: An old joke.

Beefy Levinson (paraphrased)

An old joke from Latin America:

What happened when the Church opted for the poor?

The poor opted for the Pentecostals.

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Archbishop Coakley of Oklahoma City: Sanctification is “the principle and foundation of the Christian life, of all pastoral planning and pastoral work. … God creates us for holiness. God calls us to become saints.”

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He said that the universal call to holiness is “really the heart of the [Second Vatican] Council, the heart of Lumen Gentium for sure, so I’ve hit upon that for many years, even before coming here, trying to inculcate that call to holiness, that call to be saints. That’s what it means to be Christian.”

He had written, “Holiness is not the prerogative of an elite few. It is the fundamental vocation that every Christian receives in baptism,” and reflected that holiness is not privatized or individualistic, though its expression is unique to each person.

“I’m trying to speak to the distorted understanding of what holiness means,” Archbishop Coakley explained. People often “equate sanctity with piety, and certainly, saints are pious people, but I think genuine holiness is much more robust than that.”

“Holiness has to be attractive, if it’s going to be compelling,” he said, adding that a genuine holiness “will be attractive.”

“I’ve encountered so much resistance to the notion of holiness, because people have such a poor understanding of what holiness looks like; what holiness looks like in a family,” he noted.

Read more

Editor’s note: Go make disciples of Jesus Christ – not necessarily disciples of Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II, Pope Paul VI, etc. Preach the authentic Gospel, in season and out. Not the watered down, touchy-feely, feminized and modernized version that has been foisted on Catholics for lo these many years. Then see what happens!

1 Corinthians 1:10-13

(10) Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no schisms among you: but that you be perfect in the same mind and in the same judgment.
(11) For it hath been signified unto me, my brethren, of you, by them that are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
(12) Now this I say, that every one of you saith: I indeed am of Paul; and I am of Apollo; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
(13) Is Christ divided? Was Paul then crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

Miraculous survival, guardian angels and saintly relatives who have gone to their eternal reward

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by Doug Lawrence

There is a horrific accident. Some people die. Some are spared.

Is it just a random game of numbers, or is there more to this than meets the eye?

Catholics and even some non-Catholic Christians will tell you about their guardian angels – powerful, pure spirit beings, personally assigned by God almighty, to keep us safe from harm.

Even less understood and appreciated are the “Kinsman Redeemers” who step forward to right wrongs and save their people from poverty, starvation, death – and worse.

Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God made man, is the ultimate Kinsman Redeemer, but the Bible shows us many more. The story of Ruth and Boaz is probably the next most significant, since through their timely meeting and subsequent marriage, the sacred blood line of the coming Messiah was preserved. (See 4:22, below.) 

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(9) And he said to the ancients, and to all the people: You are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and Chelion’s, and Mahalon’s, of the hand of Noemi:
(10) And have taken to wife Ruth, the Moabitess, the wife of Mahalon, to raise up the name of the deceased in his inheritance lest his name be cut off, from among his family and his brethren and his people. You, I say, are witnesses of this thing.
(11) Then all the people that were in the gate, and the ancients, answered: We are witnesses: The Lord make this woman who cometh into thy house, like Rachel, and Lia, who built up the house of Israel: that she may be an example of virtue in Ephrata, and may have a famous name in Bethlehem:
(12) And that the house may be, as the house of Phares, whom Thamar bore unto Juda, of the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this young woman.
(13) Boaz therefore took Ruth, and married her: and went in unto her, and the Lord gave her to conceive, and to bear a son.
(14) And the women said to Noemi: Blessed be the Lord, who hath not suffered thy family to want a successor: that his name should be preserved in Israel.
(15) And thou shouldst have one to comfort thy soul, and cherish thy old age. For he is born of thy daughter in law: who loveth thee: and is much better to thee, than if thou hadst seven sons.
(16) And Noemi taking the child, laid it in her bosom, and she carried it, and was a nurse unto it.
(17) And the women, her neighbours, congratulating with her, and saying, There is a son born to Noemi, called his name Obed: he is the father of Isai, the father of David.
(18) These are the generations of Phares: Phares begot Esron,
(19) Esron begot Aram, Aram begot Aminadab,
(20) Aminadab begot Nahasson, Nahasson begot Salmon,
(21) Salmon begot Booz, Booz begot Obed,
(22) Obed begot Isai (Jessie), Isai (Jessie) begot David.

Nor are Kinsman Redeemers required to be presently alive, here on earth. Catholics will explain the concept of the Communion of Saints – that great cloud of faithful witnesses who have gone before us – now in Heaven – eternally perfected in God’s power, grace and mercy. These holy souls have the right to approach the throne of the Most High God with their petitions – hopefully, interceding with him for us – their beloved progeny and “kin”.

This goes much, much further and it is much more powerful than we might imagine – since by virtue of our baptism, we are all adopted children of God – brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, the Lord – with his mother – the Blessed Virgin Mary, also ours.

Saint Paul sums things up quite nicely:

Romans 8:28-39
(28) And we know that to them that love God all things work together unto good: to such as, according to his purpose, are called to be saints.
(29) For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be made conformable to the image of his Son: that he might be the Firstborn amongst many brethren.
(30) And whom he predestined, them he also called. And whom he called, them he also justified. And whom he justified, them he also glorified.
(31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who is against us?
(32) He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not also, with him, given us all things?
(33) Who shall accuse against the elect of God? God is he that justifieth:
(34) Who is he that shall condemn? Christ Jesus that died: yea that is risen also again, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
(35) Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? Or distress? Or famine? Or nakedness? Or danger? Or persecution? Or the sword?
(36) (As it is written: For thy sake, we are put to death all the day long. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.)
(37) But in all these things we overcome, because of him that hath loved us.
(38) For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might,
(39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So, the next time things turn out miraculously better than you might ever have expected, don’t forget to thank God, thank your guardian angel, and thank your “extended family” in Heaven. (But why wait? Take a moment to give God thanks and praise, right now!)

Remember too … All Souls Day and All Saints Day are rapidly approaching!

The article that inspired this post:

Toddler cheats death after car crashes into buggy and crushes it against wall

Homosexual activists: We demand your complete approval and cooperation – or we’ll ruin your life and your business!

…as of this writing, there have been at least 11 instances of wedding vendors and venues facing some form of recrimination—threats, boycotts, protests, and the intervention of state or judicial authorities—because they denied services for gay nuptials because of their faith.

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I love this pope. He reminds me of my (now dearly departed) maiden Aunt Genevieve.

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1955 Chevy Bel Air – Proof of God’s Abiding Love?

by Doug Lawrence

My aunt Gene (Genevieve) never married, always held down a good job, and for most of her life, lived in a modest apartment, along with her two unmarried sisters.

By the time I was two years of age there was already no doubt in my mind that aunt Gene was also a good Catholic. She never failed to attend Sunday Mass – and as further proof of God’s abiding love, she actually won a a three-speed, red and white, 1955 Chevy – at the Saint John of God Church Raffle. In Chicago, during the 1950’s you couldn’t be much more publicly Catholic than that!

She was a charitable and helpful person, willing to do just about anything for anybody. She loved little babies, she loved her family and she loved her food. Gene was also a bit “quirky” – holding to her own opinions on certain things, in spite of obvious and abundant evidence to the contrary – stubbornly clinging to certain mysterious habits, rituals and personal preferences. It wasn’t always easy figuring out precisely what she meant, when she was speaking. But she was my aunt and I loved her, without qualification or exception. That’s what family is all about.

It wasn’t until several decades later, after aunt Gene had been diagnosed with a particularly fast-growing strain of lung cancer, that I would begin to understand the true depth and utter practicality of her Catholic faith.

Learning that all available treatments had failed and she would surely die very soon, Gene remained upbeat and generally unconcerned. She certainly didn’t like what the cancer had done and was continuing to do to her body, but as a woman of faith, she always knew the end would come – whatever the circumstances – and she had always relied on Jesus Christ and his Catholic Church to keep her fully prepared for that day.

She was a true daughter of the Catholic Church who fully accepted (to the very best of her ability) all that the Catholic Church practiced and proclaimed. She had for a long, long time now, been a very close friend of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist and of his Blessed Mother, so she had absolutely nothing to fear.

Aunt Gene also found great solace in this type of traditional Catholic stuff which many today – unfortunately – think is out of date. But unless and until death itself goes out of style, I must respectfully disagree!

She told me all this the day before she died. It was a life (and faith) lesson that I will never forget. I also have little doubt that her prayers were answered – both here – and in the next life. We should all pray for similar graces.

So … how does Pope Francis remind me of my “sainted” Aunt Genevieve?

Other than the physical resemblance (they could pass for brother and sister) they’re both a bit quirky and sometimes difficult to understand; neither ever married; both had a penchant for relatively unusual, minimalist living arrangements; both made extensive use of public transportation; both are well-traveled; both worked long and hard at their chosen professions; both are by virtue of baptism, undeniably Catholic and people of faith.

As such, they are both “family” to me, a fellow Catholic and adopted child of God – so I love them, without qualification or exception.

This would remain true even if it became necessary for me to go out of my way to charitably correct, defend and/or explain occasional incongruous, irrational, embarrassing conduct or “quirky” personal opinions.

Nobody’s perfect – so who am I to judge – right?

In the end, that’s what “family” – and authentic Catholicism – is all about!

Photo: Wikipedia

A Catholic convert theologian writes about faith, love, death, God and “other stuff”

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My first glimpse of God was the love which my parents shared with one another. It was a life-giving love centered upon a common faith that despite all the challenges of living out a common life together, they could entrust themselves to one another and find a path to their salvation through one another.

The true character of this love was revealed most poignantly to me when my mother was on her deathbed, emaciated and disfigured by the effects of aggressive cancer treatment. As the options dwindled, my father became more and more desperate, trying every possible medical and spiritual avenue to avoid losing my mom.

One afternoon, as he was venting his frustrations to God before a simple wooden crucifix, he heard God interrupt his stream of thoughts almost as if he were speaking audibly: “Do you trust me?” was the simple question posed to him.

Later, closer to the time of her death, my dad was able to look down at my mother’s unconscious face, and say “I have never loved your mother more than I do right now.” It is an inestimable blessing to be able to root one’s analogical appeal to God as “Father” in that kind of experience.

Hospitality and community were also key parts of my religious formation.

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New Orleans bishop attempting to “reclaim” Sundays for more traditional Catholic purposes

After months of nudging Catholics to reclaim Sunday as a day to attend Mass and spend time with family, New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond is mandating that Catholic schools clear their calendars that day each week.

Aymond began asking schools last year to tweak practice schedules and reschedule social events so harried families could dedicate their Sundays to worshipping and staying close to home. This year, the request took on new urgency, and by the 2014-15 school year, it will be an official policy of the archdiocese.

“It’s rooted in the fact that people have a number of obligations and commitments. Our society is fast-paced,” Aymond said. “In living such a hectic life, people neglect sometimes, not purposefully, the very basics of faith and family.”

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Prayer: Weapon of Mass Conversion

A Trappistine nun in Syria has emphasized the power of prayer in an interview with the Vatican newspaper.

The members of her community have strongly criticized President Barack Obama’s plans to attack Syria.

Pope Francis’s vigil of prayer for peace “may be the only real chance to counter this madness and prevent another armed intervention that will certainly not help a people who have already been martyred,” said Sister Marta Luisa Fagnani. “Prayer and fasting are like weapons to empty oneself of oneself and to try to be more reasonable, to make oneself listen to a deeper wisdom.”

“Prayer is powerful, of that we are convinced,” she added. “Otherwise, we would not have chosen this life. Prayer is not just a devotion, it is not just a retreat into peace. It is a powerful weapon, though also a peaceful one. It moves the heart, it has a force of its own. We believe this firmly.”

Link

Liberal social justice Catholics have drunk the Protestant Kool Aid

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by Doug Lawrence

The Catholic Church in America appears to be almost evenly split between “libs” and “trads”.

For those who are new to these culture wars, “libs” might be described as Catholics who tend to be light on Catholic dogma and overly reliant on emotion and social work – especially when it  comes to things like voting for pro-abortion, pro-homosexual politicians and the government funding of various welfare programs.

“Libs” also tend to be less concerned about the liturgy, and often have a less than complete understanding and appreciation for the sacraments – especially the need for the absolution of sins in the confessional and the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

For “libs”, emotion generally trumps faith and reason and malformed conscience trumps all – leading to the scandal of high profile, pro abortion and pro homosexual Catholic (and Protestant) politicians infesting all levels of government – along with a plethora of seriously defective Catholic In Name Only (CINO) charities, social justice organizations and even, religious orders.

All of these characteristics are really nothing new for Protestant groups – but they are new for Catholics, since they were essentially put into place by the post-Vatican II “reformers/enablers/revolutionaries” and others who have subsequently learned to invent such things, for their own nefarious purposes, from “whole cloth”.

To sum it up: Like most Protestants, Catholic “libs” generally find it difficult or impossible to believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as Christ’s one time, once for many, propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of mankind, the Catholic Church as the “Barque of Peter” – the world’s only universal sacrament of salvation, according to the grace, mercy and forethought of Jesus Christ – and the Bible as the inerrant, Holy Spirit inspired, written Word of God – so about all they have left is social justice work – and their poor choices will almost certainly tend to perpetuate the continuing need for it! 

“Trads” tend to obtain their personal guidance through the exercise of faith and reason, based on a good working knowledge of the teachings of Jesus Christ, illuminated by two thousand years of Catholic Church Tradition, exquisitely reasoned, settled Catholic dogma and Magisterial teachings, the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, the lives of the saints and the Holy Bible.

Subsequently, “trads” tend to be very picky about the Masses they attend, the fidelity of the priests and bishops who minister to them, the integrity of the politicians who represent them in government, the causes they support, the Bibles they read and the sacraments they receive – most especially the Holy Eucharist, which they firmly believe to be the authentic body and blood of Jesus Christ, along with his soul and divinity.

The “trad’s” primary reliance on grace-giving sacraments – which for baptized Catholics serve to engender and deeply nurture the cardinal virtues of faith, hope and charity, among others – is based on almost two thousand years of remarkably successful Catholic church history and tradition- which until fairly recent times, provided the spiritual underpinnings for all the best features of modern, western civilization.

For “trads”, faith and reason are employed in order to better understand the “mind” of the Catholic Church and hence, the mind of Jesus Christ, who is God and who will also be our final judge. Individual conscience certainly plays a big part – but only after all pertinent Catholic teachings and principles have already been carefully and prayerfully weighed and considered.

When “trads” need to get something done, they pray – often using the Rosary, or kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament – believing they will receive. Then, one of several things typically happens: 1) The problem simply evaporates and disappears (praise God); 2) The right course of action becomes apparent and that action is personally carried out, according to God’s grace, resolving or suitably mitigating the problem; 3) If it is within their limited area of competence – God sends a socially conscious Protestant, “lib” Catholic, or other person – to fix things; or 4) Life goes on as before – since even God isn’t willing to tackle certain problems that we create for ourselves, in this “valley of tears”.

Of course, there are exceptions and variations on both sides, but it’s just about that simple! Any questions?

If we do not put our total and complete trust in God, can we be truly faithful?

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Moses taking one extra “whack” at the rock

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you are saved through faith:
and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God.

Few persons are aware of the extent of their own deficiency in this respect. Most persons take the matter so completely for granted that they do not suspect themselves, and therefore do not examine themselves on the subject.

There is something so monstrous in not trusting God, that we should have thought it must be a rare thing among good people. But experience teaches very differently.   Many aim at perfection, and few attain it. In almost every case the reason of the failure is the want of confidence in God.

Many persons live for years always intending to begin to form habits of prayer, or habits of particular examination of conscience, and never really begin either the one or the other. The real cause of this procrastination is want of confidence in God.

Men try to give up habits of sin, and either intermit their efforts, or abandon them entirely, through want of confidence in God. When a man is scrupulous, it is mostly from want of confidence in God.

Our knowledge of our own misery, which makes us brave when we have confidence in God, makes us cowardly and mean-spirited when we are destitute of that confidence. Many persons take up supernatural views of things as intellectual convictions; and yet, when they are thrown into circumstances which, as it were, compel the acting on these principles, we behold not a vestige of them in their conduct. This also is a result of want of confidence in God.

We really, far more than we believe, look at religion, at prayer, and at grace as if the whole was a lottery, or something like it. A real believing prayer is by no means common. This is probably the reason why such an immensity of prayer seems unanswered. Many men content themselves with a mere indeterminable hope, which can never carry heaven by storm as confidence does. Let us look into ourselves and see if we really have true and solid confidence in God. Many remain beginners all their lives, because they have not confidence in God.

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What is a Catholic required to believe?

AlHeiitzCommunion

In the chaos that has followed the Second Vatican Council, it is necessary that the faithful have a correct understanding Papal Infallibility, as well as its limitations, lest the understandably confused or scandalized Catholic be led into error in one direction or the other.

The Charism:

Infallibility is a negative charism (gratia gratis data) that prevents the possibility of error.  It is not to be confused withinspiration, which is a positive divine influence that moves and controls a human agent in what he says or writes; nor is it to be confused with Revelation, which is the communication of some truth by God through means which are beyond the ordinary course of nature.  Infallibility pertains to the safeguarding and explanation of truths already revealed by God.  Since infallibility is only a negative charism, it does not inspire a pope to teach what is true or even defend revealed truths, nor does it “make the pope’s will the ultimate standard of truth and goodness” (2), but simply prevents him from teaching error under certain limited conditions.  During an address given at the First Vatican Council, Bishop Grasser, who was referred to as “the most prominent theologian at the Council”, said the following:

“In no sense is pontifical infallibility absolute, because absolute infallibility belongs to God alone, Who is the first and essential truth and Who is never able to deceive or be deceived. All other infallibility, as communicated for a specific purpose, has its limits and its conditions under which it is considered to be present. The same is valid in reference to the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. For this infallibility is bound by certain limits and conditions…”

The conditions for Papal Infallibility were subsequently defined by the First Vatican Council as follows:

“We teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals”.

Here we see that the divine assistance is present only when a pope, (a) using his supreme apostolic authority (b) defines a doctrine, (c) concerning faith and morals, (d) to be held by the universal Church.  If any of these conditions are lacking, infallibility is not engaged and error is possible.

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Editor’s note: The first Vatican Council was never officially brought to a close, so technically, Vatican II was merely an extension of Vatican I. Yet those who ratified Vatican II never even mentioned the still open and unfinished Vatican I. If that sounds confusing to you, you have plenty of company.

We know that God is not the author of confusion. That leaves only two other choices: Man and/or the devil!

After the Second Vatican Council, the dogma of the devil’s existence became an ’embarrassing part of doctrine’.

SatansNo

Satan’s “no” to God

It’s time for Catholics especially who have been perhaps too eager to buy into too many of the promises and doctrines of modern science, to become reacquainted with the reality of evil.

Just as morality is not a flexible system based on the Masonic conception of “tolerance”; evil, temptation and the devil are not merely convenient mechanisms used to illustrate the concepts of right and wrong to children.

While it’s increasingly fashionable to have a hearty laugh at the simplistic and outdated beliefs of those forefathers in the Faith removed from us by less than a century, all Catholics must be very careful to faithfully retain those doctrinal elements central to the Faith; most especially Original Sin, evil, and the temptations of a very real, very powerful devil.

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Does Satan Really Exist?

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Some Catholics maybe surprised in this day and age, that the existence of evil, the devil as well as hell, are all truths of our Catholic Faith. All one has to do is pick up a copy of the Catechism and look it up and you will find that the Church officially teaches – from paragraph #1033 through paragraph #1037 – that evil does exist, that there is a person, a fallen Angel to be exact, who wants nothing more than to destroy humanity and if that is not possible then at least to get as many people away from God, away from salvation to spend eternity in hell with him.

Pope Paul IV, taught that “evil is not merely a lack of something, but an effective agent, a living spiritual being, perverted and perverting.   A terrible reality – mysterious and frightening – who goes about acting in a way contrary to the teaching of the Bible and the Church.”

Of course there is the New Testament, which alone refers to the devil and his wickedness nearly 300 times as a warning to us of his presence and activity in our world.

This leads us to the Gospels, where Jesus talks more about the devil and evil then anything else except His divinity.

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Submitted by Jola S.

Related links:

  1. Satan Never Looks Like Satan
  2. Pope Francis: Where There Is Calumny, There Is Satan Himself!
  3. Satan Is Real and Alive!

IRS Caught on Tape Telling Nonprofit: “Keep Your Faith to Yourself”

The IRS scandal is deepening as a new tape has been released today showing a disturbing phone call the Internal Revenue Service placed to a non-profit organization.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a pro-life legal group, made the audio available today of IRS officials telling a group that provides support to women in abusive pregnancy situations to keep its faith to itself. In the recorded phone conversation, an IRS agent lectures the president of the organization about forcing its religion and beliefs on others and inaccurately explains that the group must remain neutral on issues such as abortion.

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