Today’s question: Why did God provide plenty of evidence to ancient, superstitious people who already believed but refuses to do the same today?

Question: Why did God provide plenty of evidence to ancient, superstitious people who already believed but refuses to do the same today?

Answer: The events that took place in Poland, during the late 1970’s and 1980’s, following in the wake of Pope John Paul II’s invocation of the Holy Spirit before the assembled Polish people, resulting in the fall of the Soviet Union, the destruction of the Berlin Wall and the freeing of Eastern Europe, all without a single shot being fired in anger, are definitely in the category of which you speak.

Google it, for the amazing, complete and true account, including several excellent, film documentaries.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s question: 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.)

In light of all the scandals oppressing today’s Catholics, a query that needs to be addressed…

Q: Often, we hear about what’s bad within the Catholic church and its history. Tell us of the good you’ve seen within the Catholic church.

A: Peace beyond all understanding and freedom from the fear of death, along with genuine faith, hope and charity, writ large and long, the world over, courtesy of our Savior Jesus Christ, who remains the head of the Catholic Church, the Holy Spirit, who remains its constant Advocate/Spirit of Truth and God the Father, whose inestimable power, love and grace makes it all possible, in spite of rampant, human corruption and sin.

(Posted today on Yahoo Answers)

What every Christian should understand about the great Feast of Pentecost

… the Jewish Feast of Pentecost—which literally means “Fifty”, taken from the fifty days counted after Passover—was the Jewish liturgical celebration of the Giving of the Law at Sinai.  If one makes a careful count of the passing of time in the Book of Exodus, one discovers that the Sinai theophany (appearance of God) occurs exactly fifty days after the Israelites departed from Egypt.  So, Pentecost was not only an agricultural festival celebrating the end of the harvest, but also a sacred historical memorial of the day of the establishment of the Old Covenant.

This parallel and its significance is missed by modern readers, but not by ancient Jewish readers of Acts!  At Sinai the Law was given in a fearsome storm, and on tablets of stone.  At Pentecost, there is a “peaceful storm” of the Spirit (the rushing wind, the lightning-like tongues of flame) and the giving of the Law on the Heart.

As St. Thomas says in his treatment of the Old Law in the Summa, “the law of the New Covenant is nothing other than the Holy Spirit.”  The Spirit is the Law written on the heart promised with the New Covenant…

Read more from The Sacred Page

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)

March 25 is Abortionist Repentance Day (and the great feast of the Annunciation)

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Download the PDF form for free

Submitted by Frank V.

Produced by Church Militant TV – http://www.churchmilitant.tv/

What to do when your parish priest comes down with Kerygma

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The late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
was know to be a frequent “sufferer” 

The Sunday homily as an integral part of the Liturgy of the Word, can only be renewed and energized by the Holy Spirit.

Kerygma or the proclamation of the Paschal Mystery should lead to metanoia 5, a progressive (or radical) conversion of the heart to the Gospel. But, it is the Holy Spirit who is the great “Converter” waiting to be “stirred up” or “fanned into flame” 6 in the hearts of the faithful, through the preaching of Christ crucified.

As Pope Paul VI said in his very powerful apostolic exhortation “On Evangelisation”: “…the Holy Spirit is the principal agent of evangelization. It is he who inspires each individual to proclaim the Gospel, and it is he who causes the word of salvation to be understood and accepted.

It was not by chance that the inauguration of evangelization took place on the morning of Pentecost under the inspiration of the Spirit”. 7 It is noteworthy that the greatest aspect of the renewal of the Eucharistic Liturgy that Vatican II has brought is the introduction of the epiclesis, 8 right before the words of consecration of the bread and wine.

That is why preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit is essential. Hopefully, this kerygmatic preaching will elicit conversion which in turn awakens the desire in the believer for a deeper knowledge and understanding of the faith, which is catechesis.

However, what is sorely needed in our parishes, before faith formation or catechesis, which is, in itself, very important, is boldness in the kerygma, the proclamation of Christ crucified and risen.

Read more

The (free on-line) Archbishop Sheen Audio Library

Ann Barnhardt waxes theologically about the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Immaculate Conception, Jesus Christ, and the Assumption

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There are two phases to Mary’s existence. The first phase was from the moment of her conception until the Annunciation, which is when Jesus was conceived in her womb. The second phase was from that moment of Jesus’ conception forward for all eternity. Each phase has its own physiological delight attached to it which required Mary to be a sinless vessel for Our Lord.

First, the pre-Annunciation period. As it has been discovered just within the last few decades, all baby girls have all of the eggs that are ever going to be in their ovaries fully formed not just at birth, but fairly early in their fetal development phase. Unlike men who are continuously producing new sperm, a woman’s eggs aren’t created and formed with each menstrual cycle. All that is happening during a cycle is that an egg, which has been fully formed in a woman’s body since she was a pre-born fetus, is released into the reproductive tract. What this means theologically is that the egg containing the 23 chromosomes that God would miraculously fertilize with 23 chromosomes that He miraculously supplied (including a Y chromosome) to become the Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ, was physically present inside Mary’s body from the time that Mary was inside of her mother’s womb. That egg, and those chromosomes, that physical constituent of Our Blessed Lord was present inside of Mary’s body, waiting to be . . . if I may use the word . . . consecrated. The word consecrate, when broken into its Latin components means:

Con: With
Secr: Holy
Ate: Territory of a Ruler

And so, Mary was, from the time she was inside St. Anne’s womb, already carrying a portion of Our Lord’s physicality, namely 23 of His chromosomes. And thus Mary was, from her very beginning, already a proto-tabernacle, already the Ark of the New Covenant, carrying within her what would be consecrated into The Law Incarnate, The High Priest, and The Bread of Life – just like the Old Ark, except perfected and fully fulfilled as God Incarnate. And as we know from the book of Exodus, the Old Ark had to be “perfect”. And thus, the Ark of the New Covenant was TRULY perfect, except this perfection was a perfection that only God Himself could accomplish: the perfection of Mary, full of grace and thus saved from all sin, including Original Sin.

The second phase is actually broken into two sub-phases. The first sub-phase is when Mary was pregnant with Jesus and His entire body was inside of hers.

The second phase is that phase from the time of Jesus’ birth forward into all eternity. Jesus is STILL physically inside of Mary in a unique way. It was discovered just a few short years ago that immune cells pass from a pre-born child to the mother across the placenta. Not only do these immune cells, which are the child’s and thus carry the exclusive and complete DNA of the child, pass across the placenta, but they persist in the mother’s body for the rest of her life. A woman who has carried a son has immune cells with Y-chromosomes in her bloodstream that can now be filtered out of her blood and observed. Female children also pass cells to their mothers.

Thus, a woman truly does carry her children around inside of her, with their DNA coursing through her heart, for the rest of her life. That isn’t just a sentiment – it is a physiological fact.

Thus, Mary continued and continues to this day to be a perpetual, living physical tabernacle of her Son, as she carries cells with His DNA in her bloodstream. And so now we see why Mary was and had to be filled with grace and thus saved from the stain of sin from the moment of her conception eternally forward – because she was and is a perpetual Ark of the New Covenant.

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Editor’s note: This is good stuff!

Short, related slide show

Exquisite timing of “Miracle Priest’s” appearance reveals God’s loving providence

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After officials allowed him to approach the accident, Dowling reached his arm well into the car to touch Lentz’s head with oil. “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit,” he said. “May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.”

The prayer was the Anointing of the Sick, an ancient ritual with roots in Judaism that is one of Catholicism’s seven sacraments.

As the priest walked away from the Mercedes, Lentz — a member of an Assemblies of God Pentecostal church — asked him to return and pray aloud with her, which he did. He then moved out of the way so rescue efforts could resume.

Read more

Submitted by Bob Stanley

Editor’s note: From an obscure corner of the planet we witness a kind of genuine Ecumenism, as a Catholic priest lives the Gospel, ministering to a person of faith, in her time of greatest need.

This “grand coincidence” serves as a very timely reminder of God’s inestimable love, tender mercies and unbounded providence.

The Heavens and the Earth rejoice, as we give Him thanks and praise!

Old Protestant heresy that refuses to die: Did Jesus ever use the term “vain repetition”?

vainrepetWhen it comes to Catholic prayer, repetition is anything but vain

by Doug Lawrence

In the Gospels, we find Jesus praying quite often, just as he trains and encourages his apostles and disciples to do.  He also delivers a caution:

Matthew 6:7-8 And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens. For they think that in their much speaking they may be heard. Be not you therefore like to them for your Father knoweth what is needful for you, before you ask him. (Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible)

Some 1500 years later, our Protestant brethren decided to translate the same passage (in their King James Bible) thusly:

Matthew 6:7-8 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

As if mis-translating the Holy Writ wasn’t  bad enough, they went on to apply their twisted logic to traditional Catholic prayers and devotions – like the Rosary and the Mass – deeming them “unbiblical”.

That is and always was pure, virulently anti-Catholic “BS”!

Jesus simply wanted his disciples to know that even a vast number of prayers – combined with any number of  incantations, sacrifices, dances and chants – to false, pagan gods – could never accomplish a thing – and he certainly didn’t want his disciples to be out in public, looking like pagans, scandalously wasting their time and committing grave sin – by praying to false gods.

That’s one reason Jesus gave us “The Lord’s Prayer” – a short, simple method of placing 7 key petitions before our Father in Heaven – petitions which effectively address virtually every human need.

St. Paul reminds us in 1st Thessalonians 5:17 to “Pray without ceasing.”

Does any of this sound like “vain repetition”?

How many times can a person recite “The Lord’s Prayer” before it becomes “vain repetition”? How many times can someone sing “Amazing Grace” or “How Great Thou Art” before it becomes “vain repetition”? How many times a day can we elevate our minds and hearts to God, before it becomes “vain repetition”?

Without repetition human beings find it extremely difficult to learn and/or perfect just about anything. Our Creator God, of all persons, would certainly know that. But those who showed up a thousand years late and in order to promote their novel religious practices, chose to deny the sacred Tradition of the Catholic Church and co-opt the text of the Catholic Bible, apparently didn’t. Many of them apparently still don’t.

To put it simply – no amount of prayer, faithfully offered up to the one, true God, according the grace of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit – can ever be “in vain” – although through our own fault, our  prayers may not always prove to be completely effective. (Study this link to the Catechism about The Lord’s Prayer for important terms, limitations and conditions.)

Resurrecting an old heresy: Does Pope Francis know what the word “pelagian” actually means?

The doing of “charitable deeds” for the Pope remain the only path to God, even if “in the history of the Church there have been many mistakes along the way” on the one hand the error of those who have relied on meditation to “go higher” – “How many lose themselves along the way and never arrive”, said Francesco; on the other hand there are those who believe that to arrive to God one must be “humble, austere”, choosing the path of “penitence” and  “fasting” only.  They are the pelagians, who believe that with their strength they will get there”.  – Pope Francis

Link

Editor’s note from the Catholic Enclopedia:

Pursuant to the papal command, there was held on 1 May, 418, in the presence of 200 bishops, the famous Council of Carthage, which again branded Pelagianism as a heresy in eight (or nine) canons (Denzinger, “Enchir.”, 10th ed., 1908, 101-8). Owing to their importance they may be summarized:

Death did not come to Adam from a physical necessity, but through sin.

New-born children must be baptized on account of original sin.

Justifying grace not only avails for the forgiveness of past sins, but also gives assistance for the avoidance of future sins.

The grace of Christ not only discloses the knowledge of God’s commandments, but also imparts strength to will and execute them.

Without God’s grace it is not merely more difficult, but absolutely impossible to perform good works.

Not out of humility, but in truth must we confess ourselves to be sinners.

The saints refer the petition of the Our Father, “Forgive us our trespasses”, not only to others, but also to themselves.

The saints pronounce the same supplication not from mere humility, but from truthfulness.

Some codices containing a ninth canon (Denzinger, loc. cit., note 3): Children dying without baptism do not go to a “middle place” (medius locus), since the non reception of baptism excludes both from the “kingdom of heaven” and from “eternal life”.

These clearly worded canons, which (except the last-named) afterwards came to be articles of faith binding on the universal Church, gave the death blow to Pelagianism; sooner or later it would bleed to death.

Saint Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:4-12: Now there are diversities of graces, but the same Spirit. (5) And there are diversities of ministries. but the same Lord. (6) And there are diversities of operations, but the same God, who worketh all in all. (7) And the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man unto profit. (8) To one indeed, by the Spirit, is given the word of wisdom: and to another, the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit: (9) To another, faith in the same spirit: to another, the grace of healing in one Spirit: (10) To another the working of miracles: to another, prophecy: to another, the discerning of spirits: to another, diverse kinds of tongues: to another, interpretation of speeches. (11) But all these things, one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as he will. (12) For as the body is one and hath many members; and all the members of the body, whereas they are many, yet are one body: So also is Christ.

Grand reopening planned for actual site of the Last Supper

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The Cenacle, the building on Mt. Zion which houses the “Upper Room” where Jesus and his disciples held the Last Supper will once again be open for Catholic worship, it has been announced by spokesmen for the Vatican, the Israeli government and the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land.

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Editor’s note: This is also the site of the descent of the Holy Spirit, on Pentecost.

The Feast of Pentecost as a prophetic “marker”

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Moses and the Tablets of the Law

by Doug Lawrence

The wind and fire of the Holy Spirit hovered powerfully over Mount Sinai – where Moses had remained for the last 40 days and nights.

The Children of Israel concluded that no man could survive such an event, so they assumed Moses had died, and promptly returned to their old Egyptian ways, coercing Moses’ brother Aaron to make for them an idol – the infamous “Golden Calf”.

Much to everyone’s surprise, Moses shortly turned up alive – complete with the stone tablets of the Law, which God himself had written. Other details aside, the Children of Israel had now become the People of the Mosaic Covenant – and the Law.

It was Pentecost, about 1450 B.C.
The “vehicle” of our salvation
now had a set of “training wheels”
and a “road map”!

* * * *

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The Prophet Jeremiah

Almost a thousand years passed, and the Israelites had once again succumbed to idolatry. This time it wasn’t a golden calf – but rather, the false gods of their neighbors – and they were totally unwilling to repent.

The Prophet Jeremiah was sent to help get them back on track, but they refused to hear him. So God permitted the Babylonians to come in, sack Jerusalem, and destroy the Temple.

The Babylonians carried off the Temple furnishings, sacred vessels and the surviving Israelites into Babylonian captivity, where they would remain for a time, until the Babylonians themselves were conquered by the Persians.

It was Pentecost, about 586 B.C.
The remnant of the Children of Israel

weren’t quite sure where things were going from here,
but it wasn’t looking very good!

* * * *

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King Cyrus Returns the Sacred Vessels

King Cyrus of Persia – the new ruler of the former Babylonian Empire – was suddenly “moved” by the Holy Spirit – deciding to permit the Israelites to return to Jerusalem, so they could rebuild both the city and the Temple.

Cyrus also financed the entire operation – as well as restoring to the Israelites all of the plundered Temple furnishings and sacred vessels – so everything might be ready for the arrival of the coming Messiah.

The sacred scriptures are not clear
about the exact day this particular event occurred, 

but based on the context, I’m going to estimate the date
as the Day of 
Pentecost, around 539 B.C.
and things were definitely looking up!

* * * *

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The First Christian Pentecost

The Risen Christ had bodily ascended to Heaven ten days earlier. Mary and the Apostles were gathered in the upper room of the Jerusalem Cenacle – the same place that Jesus had earlier instituted the New Covenant in his blood – at the Last Supper – and the place where the New Covenant (Catholic) Church would soon be born.

All were fervently waiting and praying for the descent of the Holy Spirit – and the “power” Jesus had promised to them. Inside, it sounded like wind and thunder – soon to be complemented by descending “tongues” of fire. To those in the streets, it would have looked more like a reenactment of the supernatural events that took place above Mount Sinai, almost 1500 years earlier – which it was!

Since this was in fact, 50 days after Passover (technically, the Feast of First Fruits, some three days after) – in the Hebrew, Shavuot – in the Greek, Pentecost – the day when all observant Jews come to Jerusalem, specifically to celebrate Moses’ reception of the Tablets of the Law, from God – something like this would not have gone unnoticed.

Then the apostles came out into the street to explain.

Acts 2:5-12 Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. (6) And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. (7) And they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these that speak Galilean? (8) And how have we heard, every man our own tongue wherein we were born? (9) Parthians and Medes and Elamites and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, (10) Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, (11) Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. (12) And they were all astonished, and wondered, saying one to another: What meaneth this?

It was the Day of the first Christian Pentecost, about 33 A.D.
Salvation had come to the world,
and the world rejected him.

Salvation had been killed, and had risen again.
But Salvation would not be denied,
so all the promises of Jesus Christ were duly fulfilled. 

* * * *

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Titus’ Siege of Jerusalem

While he still walked the earth, Jesus had sternly cautioned them:

Mark 13:1-2 And as he was going out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him: Master, behold what manner of stones and what buildings are here. (2) And Jesus answering, said to him: Seest thou all these great buildings? There shall not be left a stone upon a stone, that shall not be thrown down.

The Roman General Titus and his legions had nearly encircled the city of Jerusalem – but they inexplicably stopped short – for one whole day.

Those “in the know” – mostly Christians – took good advantage of the reprieve – hastily abandoning the city – much as Lot had narrowly escaped the sudden destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

But now it was Sunday, the encirclement was complete and the siege was on. Over the next six months – apparently just in time for the fall Feast of Tabernacles – the Temple would be burned to the ground and totally destroyed, hundreds and thousands of Jews would be killed, the sacred Temple vessels would once again be carried off, and Jerusalem would never be the same.

The siege began on Pentecost, 70 A.D.
Many of those who walked with Jesus Christ
“this generation” – 
Mark 13:30
were still alive to witness the events.

It marked the definitive end
of the Jewish Temple Worship System,
and the budding Church would now reach out

in the name of Jesus, not just to the Jews,
but to the whole world.

Within the span of some 500 years,
against all odds, the Roman Empire,
along with most of the known world,
would be converted to Christianity.

When the Roman Empire eventually fell,
The Catholic Church would be there
to rebuild Western Civilization,
in the image of Heaven.

* * * *

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Jesus Christ at the Second Coming
(Image: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception)

Revelation 10:5-7 And the angel whom I saw standing upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven. (6) And he swore by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven and the things which are therein, and the earth and the things which are in it, and the sea and the things which are therein: That time shall be no longer. (7) But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound the trumpet, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared by his servants the prophets.

No one except God the Father knows the day or the hour Jesus will finally and triumphantly return – so I don’t intend to even try to set any kind of date – but based on all of the above – and the fact that – according to the Bible – the last 6 months of the 42-month final tribulation period is where most of the major “action” is – I offer the following, for your consideration:

The “Grand finale” of the “End of the Age” will likely begin on Pentecost and continue for six months – right up to the time of the old Feast of Tabernacles – which according to the old calendar – is also when Jesus Christ arrived here on earth – the first time – as a helpless infant.

From the looks of the above picture – and the account in the Book of Revelation – Jesus will not be coming back like that, again.   Instead, he will come again in power and  glory – to render judgment for sin – and things will go something like this:

Revelation 19:11-16 And I saw heaven opened: and behold a white horse. And he that sat upon him was called faithful and true: and with justice doth he judge and fight. (12) And his eyes were as a flame of fire: and on his head were many diadems. And he had a name written, which no man knoweth but himself. (13) And he was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood. And his name is called: THE WORD OF GOD. (14) And the armies that are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (15) And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp two-edged sword, that with it he may strike the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God the Almighty. (16) And he hath on his garment and on his thigh written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 22:12-13 Behold, I come quickly: and my reward is with me, to render to every, man according to his works. (13) I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 

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Words of Wisdom for the Ages

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My son, forget not my law, and let thy heart keep my commandments. For they shall add to thee length of days, and years of life, and peace.

Let not mercy and truth leave thee, put them about thy neck, and write them in the tables of thy heart. And thou shalt find grace, and good understanding before God and men.

Have confidence in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not upon thy own prudence. In all thy ways think on him, and he will direct thy steps.

Be not wise in thy own conceit: fear God, and depart from evil: For it shall be health to thy navel, and moistening to thy bones.

Honor the Lord with thy substance, and give him of the first of all thy fruits; And thy barns shall be filled with abundance, and thy presses shall run over with wine.

My son, reject not the correction of the Lord: and do not faint when thou art chastised by him: For whom the Lord loves, he chastises: and as a father in the son he pleases himself.

Blessed is the man that finds wisdom, and is rich in prudence: The purchasing thereof is better than the merchandise of silver, and her fruit than the chief and purest gold: She is more precious than all riches: and all the things that are desired, are not to be compared to her. Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and glory. Her ways are beautiful ways, and all her paths are peaceable. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold on her: and he that shall retain her is blessed. The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth, hath established the heavens by prudence. By his wisdom the depths have broken out, and the clouds grow thick with dew.

My son, let not these things depart from thy eyes: keep the law and counsel: And there shall be life to thy soul, and grace to thy mouth. Then shalt thou walk confidently in thy way, and thy foot shall not stumble: If thou sleep, thou shalt not fear: thou shalt rest, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Be not afraid of sudden fear, nor of the power of the wicked falling upon thee. For the Lord will be at thy side, and will keep thy foot that thou be not taken.

Do not withhold him from doing good, who is able: if thou art able, do good thyself also. Say not to thy friend: Go, and come again: and to morrow I will give to thee: when thou can give at present.

Practice not evil against thy friend, when he hath confidence in thee.

Strive not against a man without cause, when he hath done thee no evil.

Envy not the unjust man, and do not follow his ways. For every mocker is an abomination to the Lord, and his communication is with the simple.

Want is from the Lord in the house of the wicked: but the habitations of the just shall be blessed.

He shall scorn the scorners, and to the meek he will give grace. The wise shall possess glory: the promotion of fools is disgrace.

(Proverbs 3:1-35)

Catechism Clip: It is Christ who, through the Holy Spirit, makes his Church one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, and it is he who calls her to realize each of these qualities.

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814     From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity which comes from both the variety of God’s gifts and the diversity of those who receive them. Within the unity of the People of God, a multiplicity of peoples and cultures is gathered together. Among the Church’s members, there are different gifts, offices, conditions, and ways of life. “Holding a rightful place in the communion of the Church there are also particular Churches that retain their own traditions.” The great richness of such diversity is not opposed to the Church’s unity. Yet sin and the burden of its consequences constantly threaten the gift of unity. And so the Apostle has to exhort Christians to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

815     What are these bonds of unity? Above all, charity “binds everything together in perfect harmony.” But the unity of the pilgrim Church is also assured by visible bonds of communion:

  • profession of one faith received from the Apostles;
  • common celebration of divine worship, especially of the sacraments;
  • apostolic succession through the sacrament of Holy Orders, maintaining the fraternal concord of God’s family.

816     “The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter’s pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it. … This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him.”

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12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit, in the Catholic Tradition

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…altogether we have 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit in Catholic Tradition. As we can see many  of them speak to zeal, while others in a way that seeks to set forth a virtue rooted in moderateness.

One of the great gifts the Spirit seeks to give us is not a rejection of passion or other human gifts, but a moderation and proper appropriation of them. For God the Holy Spirit has given all the gifts of the World, including beauty, and human passions for a reason and for a good end. But the Fruits of the Spirit are gifts to both to inspire zeal and to regulate and appreciate what God has given for a reason and a purpose. By these gifts we steer a middle ground between rejection and indulgence, excess and defect, enjoyment and hedonism. Modus omnibus in rebus (All things in moderation (including moderation)). The Sequence Hymn for Pentecost says of the Holy Spirit:

Flecte quod est rigidum (Bend what is rigid),
fove quod est frigidum (warm what is cold),
rege quod est devium. (rule what deviates).

And thus we see both zeal and moderation in these gifts and in all things a ruling over anything that deviates. Come Holy Holy Spirit, rule our hearts and inflame them with your love.

See all 12

“God sent forth his Son”

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From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

486     The Father’s only Son, conceived as man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, is “Christ”, that is to say, anointed by the Holy Spirit, from the beginning of his human existence, though the manifestation of this fact takes place only progressively: to the shepherds, to the magi, to John the Baptist, to the disciples. Thus the whole life of Jesus Christ will make manifest “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.”

II. … BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY

487     What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ.

Mary’s predestination

488     “God sent forth his Son”, but to prepare a body for him, he wanted the free co-operation of a creature. For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of his Son a daughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, “a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary”:

The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life.

489     Throughout the Old Covenant the mission of many holy women prepared for that of Mary. At the very beginning there was Eve; despite her disobedience, she receives the promise of a posterity that will be victorious over the evil one, as well as the promise that she will be the mother of all the living. By virtue of this promise, Sarah conceives a son in spite of her old age. Against all human expectation God chooses those who were considered powerless and weak to show forth his faithfulness to his promises: Hannah, the mother of Samuel; Deborah; Ruth; Judith and Esther; and many other women. Mary “stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and receive salvation from him. After a long period of waiting the times are fulfilled in her, the exalted Daughter of Sion, and the new plan of salvation is established.”

1 X 1 X 1 = 1: The Mystery of Our Triune God … Who IS One

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

I. “IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT”

232 Christians are baptized “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”53 Before receiving the sacrament, they respond to a three-part question when asked to confess the Father, the Son and the Spirit: “I do.” “The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity.”54

233 Christians are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: not in their names,55 for there is only one God, the almighty Father, his only Son and the Holy Spirit: the Most Holy Trinity.

234 The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the “hierarchy of the truths of faith”.56 The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men “and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin”.57

235 This paragraph expounds briefly (I) how the mystery of the Blessed Trinity was revealed, (II) how the Church has articulated the doctrine of the faith regarding this mystery, and (III) how, by the divine missions of the Son and the Holy Spirit, God the Father fulfills the “plan of his loving goodness” of creation, redemption and sanctification.

236 The Fathers of the Church distinguish between theology (theologia) and economy (oikonomia). “Theology” refers to the mystery of God’s inmost life within the Blessed Trinity and “economy” to all the works by which God reveals himself and communicates his life. Through the oikonomia the theologia is revealed to us; but conversely, the theologia illuminates the whole oikonomia. God’s works reveal who he is in himself; the mystery of his inmost being enlightens our understanding of all his works. So it is, analogously, among human persons. A person discloses himself in his actions, and the better we know a person, the better we understand his actions.

237 The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the “mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God”.58To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.

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Pope Benedict XVI and “The Little Pentecost”

During his regular weekly audience in the Vatican, the Pope spoke about prayer, in particular, “The Little Pentecost”:

The kings of the earth stood up: and the princes assembled together against the Lord and his Christ. For of a truth there assembled together in this city against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, To do what thy hand and thy counsel decreed to be done.

And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants that with all confidence they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thy hand to cures and signs and wonders, to be done by the name of thy holy Son, Jesus.

And when they had prayed, the place was moved wherein they were assembled: and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost: and they spoke the word of God with confidence. And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul. Neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed was his own: but all things were common unto them. And with great power did the Apostles give testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord: and great grace was in them all.  (Acts 4:26-33)

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Editor’s note: We could use some spectacular, public healing miracles right about now to help illustrate the folly of the Obamacare mandate, and to reaffirm Catholic teachings on chastity and sexual morality.