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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Question of the day: Do you have to attend Christian meetings to be a Christian?


Question:
Do you have to attend Christian meetings to be a Christian?

Answer: Christians have an obligation to publicly worship God, together; something which is typically done on Sundays.

Catholic Christians take that to a much higher level, worshiping God in spirit and in truth, body, blood, soul and divinity, every hour of every day, every day of every year, in virtually every nation on earth.

So, yes.

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

A question about the Holy Eucharist

Question: To any normal person, this sounds very much like the script of a gruesome horror film. The whole idea of “eating Jesus’ body” and “drinking his blood” is grotesque in the extreme. What do you believers have to say about this?

Answer: The Jews were required to eat the flesh of the Passover Lamb, ever since God liberated them from slavery, in Egypt.

Christians have been required to eat the risen and glorified flesh and blood of Jesus Christ – the true, Lamb of Godever since he liberated all of mankind from perpetual slavery to Satan, sin and death by his atoning sacrifice on the cross, at Calvary and his subsequent, glorious resurrection from the dead.

This is an essential part of a uniquely powerful Eucharistic Celebration/Commemoration (known as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass) where we Christians joyfully, thankfully and powerfully receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ (known as “The Real Presence”) under the more palatable and aesthetically pleasing auspices of ordinary bread and wine.

To put it even more simply:
This is merely one more extraordinary and awesome example

of God’s total self-giving for our salvation.

For those in the know, who possess at least a modicum of true faith, this is historically and traditionally consistent, logical, rational and supernaturally nourishing.

For others, it remains a total mystery and a scandal.

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

A technical question about the Bible, ransom and redemption, in Jesus Christ

Question: Does the bible describe the purchase of righteousness as a purchase like money?

Answer: Not exactly. The Bible describes the salvific act of Jesus Christ as that of a Kinsman Redeemer purchasing his enslaved relatives/family members from bondage: Not by paying a ransom to the slave holder, who illicitly obtained control over the slave(s) through malice and larceny (and hence, deserves nothing) but by selflessly offering himself as a propitiatory sacrifice to a just and righteous God, in order obtain justice for all and righteousness, for many.

As answered today on Yahoo!Answers (edited for clarity and content)

Today’s question: What you do not like about the Catholics?

Question: What you do not like about the Catholics?

Answer: Catholics are the spoiled, rich kids of the Christian faith, on whom God has always lavished his inestimable love, sanctifying grace, awesome power and tender mercies.

God provides Catholics with a wide array of extraordinarily effective, spiritual “tools” with which Catholics might act to secure their eternal salvation, in Jesus Christ.

Jesus also never fails to appear on every altar, in every Catholic Church, all around the world, every hour of every day, every day of every year, at Holy Mass, so that Catholics might (through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, while giving great honor and glory to God the Father) faithfully renew the divine promise of Jesus’ one time, once for all, perfect and atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world.

It’s just not fair! Not fair, I tell you!

Asked and answered today on Yahoo!Answers. (Slightly edited for clarity and content.)

Today’s question: So when the mythical Jesus guy …

Question: So when the mythical Jesus guy was on Earth in the story, did he scare the Roman Empire enough to crush it or did the Roman Empire crush him?

Answer: Shortly after Jesus Christ rose again from the dead, he founded a universal Church, for the purpose of our salvation. Jesus promised that the Gates of Hell (which is the Power of Death) would never prevail against his Church and that it (the Church) would last, until the end of time.

By about the 4th century, the Church had successfully converted the entire Roman Empire to Christ. When the Roman Empire eventually declined and fell, the Church went on to rebuild all of modern western civilization, in the image of Heaven.

The Church (known today as Roman Catholic) constitutes the longest reigning, continuous government on Earth and has managed to continue to honor its divine mandate in spite of the many generations of corrupt people who have worked to subvert it, control it, overthrow it, and plunder its great treasures for themselves.

It’s really no wonder, since that “mythical Jesus guy” you asked about is still alive, is still the head of his universal Church and is still God, Almighty.

Asked and answered today on Yahoo!Answers, Society and Culture, Religion and Spirituality 

A moment of grace: A universal affirmation of faith.

Responding to a rather complicated, multi-point,
on-line question about my Catholic faith,
a rather simple, all encompassing answer came to mind.
I share it with you, here:

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: Christians, If god didn’t sacrifice himself to himself to bypass a rule he made, then what did he do exactly?

ANSWER:

Jesus resolved a “structural” problem that occurred as a result of Adam being swindled out of his God given earthly dominion by Satan, the devil.

As a result of Adam’s fall from grace, Satan managed to enslave Adam and all of his offspring under an evil dominion, based on the power of death.

God permitted such a thing because Adam was properly and completely educated (warned in advance) by God and should have known better. Once Adam lost everything to Satan, there was no (natural) way of reversing (restoring) things. Hence, God stepped up to right the wrong.

True God and true man, Jesus is the sinless, fully authorized and fully qualified “kinsman redeemer” – the only one who has the supernatural power, as well as the “natural right” to step in and redeem mankind from perpetual slavery to Satan, sin and death. But it would not be easy and it would not be accomplished the way most would expect.

Because Jesus is God – and because Jesus is also a sinless man, Satan had absolutely no power (the power of death or otherwise) over Jesus – so Satan and his minions (the corrupt Jews and the pagan Romans of the time) had absolutely no authority to put Jesus to death.

They went ahead and crucified him anyway, even though they should have known better. They had been warned, all the way back in Genesis 3:15.

Jesus permitted it to happen, since when Jesus died on the cross, Satan’s evil dominion over mankind and the earth was forfeit and mankind now had a (perfect and sinless) new leader – the resurrected Jesus Christ, the Messiah, King of Kings and Lord of Lords – the one who Satan had absolutely no power over.

Now, all power on earth and in heaven (as well as everywhere else) was awarded to the New Adam – the resurrected Jesus Christ – fully God and fully man – who had effectively “crushed the head of the serpent” – freeing mankind from the power of perpetual death and hell – just as he promised, so long ago – and who, by his glorious resurrection, proved all that I claim here and more.

God the Father was pleased, freely bestowing grace, peace, divine adoption, protection from eternal death and much, much more, on all who choose to swear faithful allegiance to his divine son, Jesus – something that is typically accomplished through water baptism, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as well as through faithful membership and regular, consistent participation in the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the only Church that Jesus Christ ever personally founded, authorized, empowered and perpetually guaranteed, for the purpose of our salvation – the Holy Catholic Church.

Asked and answered on Yahoo Answers

Real, holy, just, powerful and perfect feminism. Nothing like what we all too often encounter today.

With the Blessed Mother, it isn’t, “Hold my beer…”, it’s, “Hold My Baby….” handing off the baby Jesus to a nearby angel, the Blessed Virgin Mary contends with and handily defeats the devil, according to God’s grace. Illumination taken from the Taymouth Hours, circa ARSH 1325.  Courtesy of Ann Barnhardt’s Catholic Website. Enjoy!

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

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

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

Read more from Msgr. Charles Pope

Answered today on Yahoo Answers: A question about our redemption in Jesus Christ.

Question: So god required a sacrifice and then he sacrificed his son who was also himself?

Answer: Not exactly.

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three divine and distinct persons who essentially constitute the one, true God.

1 X 1 X 1 = 1

The 2nd person of the Holy Trinity (the Son) took on flesh and became man, while never ceasing to be God. We know him as Jesus Christ.

Jesus did for the human race what Adam failed to do: He remained totally and completely obedient to God the Father, even unto death on the cross.

Since Jesus is the eternal God, it is impossible for him to commit any type of sin, so Jesus is immune to the wickedness and snares of the devil. Jesus’ act of total obedience to his heavenly Father, as one of us and on our behalf,  served to appease God’s wrath (due to our sins) redeem mankind and “make” the peace between man and God.

When Jesus permitted the forces of evil to unjustly put him to death, he became the perfect and spotless sacrifice for the sins of the world and the forces of evil became subject to divine judgment, subsequently forfeiting the dominion over all the earth that they enjoyed after “the fall of man”.

When he rose again three days later, Jesus defeated death and proved his claim to divinity, as well as his mastery over Satan, sin and death. Jesus is now the King if Kings and Lord of Lords, wielding all power over heaven and earth, death and hell.

Fallen mankind does not have that type of power. Only Jesus does.

Through faithful allegiance to Jesus Christ, along with baptism into his church, the power to overcome death becomes available to all who truly seek it. This is primarily a function of divine grace, which is a free gift from God.

All we need do is accept God’s saving grace (which Jesus deliberately obtained for us by his life, death and resurrection) and make a free will choice to cooperate with that grace, as a full, faithful member of his church, and then, hope for the best.

God will do the rest. His grace is sufficient.

What do we mean when we say “Peace Be With You” at Mass?

Question: Precisely what type of “peace” are we hoping for when we say “Peace Be With You” at Mass?

Answer: The “peace beyond all understanding” that the 2nd person of the Holy Trinity became man in order to declare, is the peace between sinful mankind and God, which could only be achieved by the salvific work of Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son.

When we say “Peace Be With You” at Mass, we should be thinking something like this: “May God, according to the grace obtained for us by his divine son, forgive all our sins, justify us in faith and personally invite us to spend eternity with him, in Heaven.”

For people of true faith, that should also be enough to mitigate any of the temporarily anxieties and worries brought on by the stresses and strains of our mundane existence here on earth, until the day that we might be privileged to experience God as he really is.

What is the point of being a Christian?

Question: What’s the point of being a Christian? What makes Christianity the “true faith”?

Answer: The main point of being a Christian is to faithfully “align” ones self with Jesus Christ, in the hope of overcoming eternal death.

Christianity is the “true faith” because Jesus Christ is a real, historical person who actually proved he was God by his holy life, his miracles, his salvific death (precisely as prophesied, well in advance) and his glorious resurrection.

By his resurrection, Jesus Christ proved that he had overcome the power of death and only through faith in Christ are we able to maintain that blessed hope for ourselves, as well as our friends and loved ones.

Then, we have 2,000 years of continuous testimony to divine revelation and truth by the Catholic Church, which Jesus personally founded, authorized, empowered and perpetually guaranteed – a church which has miraculously withstood the scandals, abuses, shortcomings and general malfeasance of the heinous sinners who continue to lead, govern and belong to it.

No other faith tradition offers the slightest hope of overcoming eternal death, nor does any other faith tradition have the ability to provide the other very significant benefits of Christianity, because the best they can offer is some form of temporary happiness on earth, followed by an eternity separated from God.

Where was God during all the recent earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires?

Question: Where was God when all the recent earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires were going on?

Answer: Even though God hadn’t heard from many of those affected (for a very, very long time) he was patiently standing by, waiting to hear from them, in order to provide for all their needs, according to his inestimable love and kindness, as well as his inexhaustible, supernatural abundance.

Those who know God know that this is true.

Phillipians 4:6-8 Be nothing solicitous: but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, (shall) keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline: think on these things.    

In this season of joy, some profound insights into the value of suffering

crucifiedclrcd

Saint Pope John Paul II
– All of those who suffer, especially the innocent, may feel themselves called to participate in the work of redemption, carried out through the cross
– The suffering of the innocent is especially valuable in the eyes of the Lord
– Even when the darkness is deepest, faith points to a trusting acknowledgment: ‘I know that you can do all things’

Sacred Scripture
– Is it not logical that we accept suffering?
– Taking up the cross is the obligation of whoever follows Jesus
– The sufferings of Christ are a cause of rejoicing
– The future glory surpasses all suffering

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– Death and all consequent bodily defects are punishments of original sin

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
– Original sin subjected all human nature to suffering
– Sufferings: a means of cooperating with God
– Means of purification and of salvation
– From the greatest of all moral evils God has brought forth the greatest of all goods

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– A new meaning for suffering – participation in the saving work of Jesus
– Makes a person more mature, helping to discern what is not essential

Saint John Chrysostom
– The remedy against pride; the power of God in weak men

Read more

A nation always gets the kind of politicians it deserves.

FULTONSHEEN

Submitted by Bob Stanley

Perhaps you think you’re not “God material”?

Goduse

Submitted by Bob Stanley

Knowing God Well Enough To Recognize Him

Holy Ghost Fire

Manifestations of the Holy Spirit Throughout Human History
By Larry Douglas

Our understanding of the Holy Spirit is limited by our finite human minds and by the revelation of God, but our faith teaches clearly that the Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Holy Trinity, that He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and that He accomplishes His (God’s) will anywhere and at any time, with power and authority that is so awesome, no one and no thing can withstand it.

The early Hebrews understood that God “spoke” all things into existence, as if the Holy Spirit proceeded from the “mouth” of God, accomplishing whatever His supernatural intellect would conceive.

So it should be no surprise that our first earthly biblical encounter with the Spirit’s power speaks of a mighty wind, “The Breath of God” which formed the young Earth and, among other things, gave life to Adam’s human form.

In the Old Testament Book of Exodus we are treated to a magnificent display of God’s power in the form of a “Pillar of Cloud” by day and a “Pillar of Fire” by night, which was said to “never fail” leading the Israelites out of Egypt, protecting and nurturing the Holy Nation all the way to the Promised Land.

While this “Glory Cloud” figures most prominently and is most clearly and explicitly described during the forty-year period the Israelites spent “Moseying around” (my characterization) in the desert, it is by no means the only time God made use of this extraordinary, supernatural phenomenon to manifest His power and glory in our temporal existence.

Read more (PDF)

Because he was not open to God’s will, Satan is entrapped in a lower existence, imprisoned in currents of unredeemable chaos below this world.

 

SatansNo

Satan’s “NO” to God
Non serviam – Latin for “I will not serve”

Saint Hildegard sees how the Ancient Adversary is at work to lure and coerce into this same pit all those whose lives he invades and touches.

Obedience begins with the realization that one cannot bring into completion the work God has begun.   The ambiguity surrounding this life is beyond human capacity to understand or master, and left to ourselves, we are always at risk of being mastered by it.  Following our own whims is not enough because even the whims of the heart are subject to this confusion.  Our dignity, our integrity, our existence require firm ground on which to stand, or they all fall.  This understanding, this saving truth is found somewhere beyond our natural capacities, from Someone above us, who comes down to us, who calls to us and who waits for us to welcome Him.

Rather than allowing oneself to be consumed with the confusion of doing what one wishes, we only begin to redeem the ambiguity of life by searching out the most appropriate way of serving the Lord who reveals Himself to us.

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