Illustrated Catholic Study aims to present the immutable truths of the Christian faith, unencumbered by denominational concerns or political differences

PART ONE:
The primeval events
that resulted in the Fall of Man

PART TWO:
The totally gratuitous
saving works of God


PART THREE:
Why we venerate
the Blessed Virgin Mary

PART FOUR:
The mystery
of our redemption
revealed

PART FIVE:
The spiritually vital mission
of the Holy Church

PART SIX:
Our personal identity
in Jesus Christ


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A short, 12 point study on the Holy Trinity

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The Church teaches that the Holy Trinity
is the central mystery
of the Christian Faith.

But how much do you know about this mystery?

What is its history?

What does it mean?

And how can it be proved?

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

1. Where does the word “Trinity” come from?

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Trinity Sunday: Simple mathematical equation explains the sacred reality of the Holy Trinity.

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1 x 1 x 1 = 1

A text-based explanation from the Catholic Encyclopedia at New Advent.com:

The Blessed Trinity

This article is divided as follows:

The moral obligation to participate in the eucharistic sacrifice on Sundays dates from the very beginning of Christianity.

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The obligation to attend Sunday Mass exists. It is a commandment of the Church which binds under the penalty of grave sin. It exists for a specific reason and should be known and loved, so that the soul feels a need to fulfill it. The fact that it is a law helps to create a religious consciousness of this need, which, in turn, makes it easier to fulfill the obligation.

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Pope on the Holy Trinity: “the only context in which the believer can be in full communion with Christ is the Church and her living Tradition.”

The Pope acknowledged that Christian monotheism builds on the faith of Judaism. But with the incarnation of Jesus, this faith “came to be illuminated with a completely new light: the light of the Trinity, a mystery which also illuminates brotherhood among men.”

Pope Benedict next addressed the question of how scholars can identify authentically Catholic thought. He observed that many Christians take the Bible as the ultimate source of authority, but said that reliance on Scripture, while necessary, is not sufficient.

“The Bible is always necessarily read in a certain context,” the Pope said, “and the only context in which the believer can be in full communion with Christ is the Church and her living Tradition.”

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Libs just “hate” the word “consubstantial” in the new Mass translation

“There are a lot of people upset by the changes, and the process by which the changes were made,” said Tom Kyle, 72, a Catholic from Farmington who says the church should be more open. “There is a lot of resistance from the clergy. A lot of the priests don’t like it.”

The word “consubstantial” is one example of what Kyle says represents a backward step for the church.

“Technically, it’s correct, but people don’t know what ‘consubstantial’ means,” Kyle said. “It doesn’t make any sense for many. And it doesn’t have the same flow.”

Link

Editor’s note-

Dear Mr. Kyle:

Consubstantial means that Jesus Christ, like all the members of the Holy Trinity, is of one and the same eternal, uncreated, divine essence … i.e. substance. (You remember … God from God. Light from Light. True God from True God?)

Since God made us to know him, love him, and serve him … in this world … and in the next … there’s absolutely nothing “backward” about developing a deeper understanding of the divine nature … especially at Mass.

A more complete treatment of the subject can be found here,  and here, in the venerable Catholic Encyclopedia.

Now that we’ve put that behind us, why not just relax and worship God in spirit and truth, the way it was always supposed to have been done?

Sincerely,

Doug Lawrence
Just Another Faithful Catholic

Making the Sign of the Cross is absolutely ancient, rooted not only in the Old Testament but the New.

The Catholic Sign of the Cross is absolutely ancient, rooted not only in the Old Testament but the New (Apocalypse speaks of those who have the sign of God in their foreheads — and those who have the sign of the Beast in their foreheads).

When Catholics undergo the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Bishop (sometimes a priest) seals the sign on our foreheads with holy chrism. St. John of Damascus wrote:

This was given to us as a sign on our forehead,
just as the circumcision was given to Israel:
for by it we believers are separated and distinguished from unbelievers.

Crossing one’s self recalls this seal, and the invocation that is said while making this holy sign calls on our God — the Father, His Son, and the Holy Ghost — and is a sign of our of belief; it is both a “mini-creed” that asserts our belief in the Triune God, and a prayer that invokes Him.

The use of holy water when making this sign, such as we do when we enter a church, also recalls our Baptism and should bring to mind that we are born again of water and Spirit, thanks be to God.

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Submitted by Doria2

An excellent explanation of what Catholics believe about the Holy Trinity (and why)

In history, God prepared the human family for this revelation of Himself. The pinnacle of the preparation was the Jewish religion. It seems that a lot of Old Testament history is made up of God drumming into the heads of the Israelites that the various idol gods of the nations were unrealities, or as St. Paul would later have it, demons (1 Cor 10: 20), and that He is the only true God. Although, even so, Jewish scripture contained many “hints” of the unity-in-diversity of God (Gen. 1: 26; 11: 7, 19: 18-24; Ps. 110: 1; Is. 6: 1-3; Zech. 3: 1,2).

God also prepared the human family for revelation of Himself through the Hellenization of the Jews. The Diaspora was no accident (Duet 32: 8). The Church would need the language of Greek philosophy to express herself about Christ. Regarding St. John’s use of the Greek term “Logos” in John 1:1, Romano Guardini wrote: “In order that this conception of the Logos, idea and source of all ideas, stand ready to serve sacred Christology, Greek thought labored for six centuries” (The Lord, p. 538).

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Just In Time for Pentecost: Interesting chart explains the mystery of the Holy Trinity.


View the chart

St. Patrick calls us to live in the Heart of the Church for the Sake of the World

Patrick cultivated a lifestyle of deep, constant and abiding prayer which bore the fruits of ongoing conversion. He learned to discern the voice of the Lord in his daily life, developed the eyes of faith and received the power of the Holy Spirit through which he was able to respond to the call to become a missionary in his age. Each of us is invited to do exactly the same in our age. The Risen Lord who changed Patrick’s life still calls men and women today.

Read more at Catholic Online

A chance encounter with a Jehovah’s Witness

By Doug Lawrence

Recently, I was at the local shopping mall, helping my 90 year-old mom handle some last minute Christmas gift exchanges, when a nicely dressed older gentlemen stepped up and inquired whether we knew that Jesus was going to return soon, and that he (Jesus) would (among other things) bring an end to all pain and suffering.

Sensing we might be a while, I asked my mom to take a nearby seat.

“Yes,” I said. “When Jesus comes again, our mortal bodies will be instantly transformed into glory, there will be judgment, and for those who pass muster, there will indeed be no more suffering, no more tears, and no more death.”

“As for the time frame: Almost 2000 years ago, on the first Christian Pentecost, St. Peter announced the beginning of “these last days” … but he never gave us a date for the end.”

“Jesus didn’t even know when that would be,” said my friend.

He went on: “And when Jesus comes again, he will bind Satan, rule and reign on Earth for a thousand years, and after that, he’ll let Satan loose again for a little while, just to see what happens. You know … to see if we learned anything … just like in the Garden of Eden, with Adam and Eve.”

“Wait just a minute,” I said. “You don’t really believe that after all that, Jesus is going to let Satan loose again, do you?”

“That’s what the Bible says … and we have to take the Bible literally.” (Rattling off a chapter and verse from the Book of Revelation).

“Your rules,” I said.

“But allow me to suggest a different, yet still quite literal interpretation: No authentic Catholic saints or scholars (including St. John, the writer of the Book of Revelation) ever believed or taught that the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ was anything but a long, symbolic period of time. And the idea that Satan would once again be allowed to roam free again, after Jesus comes again in glory, has also always been a total non-starter.”

“But what about taking the Bible literally?”

“I’m not done yet.”

“If you really need a literal thousand year period, here’s one for you: We can count one thousand years between the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Throughout that time, the Catholic Church alone, according to the power and authority given to it by Jesus himself … was busy rebuilding all of modern western civilization, in the image of Heaven.”

“And throughout that thousand year period, there’s absolutely no doubt that Jesus Christ was enthroned as King of Kings and Lord of Lords … ruling and reigning in Heaven  … and reigning on Earth, through his Church … the only Church that he ever personally founded, for the sake of our salvation. And of course, it had to be the Catholic Church, since there was no other Christian church in existence, at that time.”

“After that gracious and divine thousand year ‘head start’ … the now mature one, holy, apostolic and universal Church of Jesus Christ … would have been plenty strong enough to take on all comers … whether it be Satan and his minions, or the newly minted Protestant reformers. But it certainly was not all sweetness and light. In fact, it’s pretty clear that things have trended significantly downward, from there. Don’t you agree?”

No answer from my friend.

Instead, he asked, “Who did Jesus pray to?”

“To his Father, in Heaven,” I replied.

“If Jesus was God, why did he need to pray to anyone?”

“Simple communication,” I said. And when you’re deliberately making do on this Earth, in an ordinary flesh body, by yourself, on a long, dangerous mission, in enemy territory, you need all the help you can get. Even if you’re God.”

“How can both Jesus and his Father be God? Isn’t that impossible?”

“God can do just about anything he wants. He’s God. In fact, I’m pretty sure the Bible confirms that all things are possible with God. I can even give you a formula that serves to mathematically ‘model’ the Holy Trinity: 1 x 1 x 1 = 1. See how simple that is?”

“But God has many sons.”

“Sure. In a natural sense, as with us humans, and even in a limited, supernatural sense, as with the angels. But there’s only one ‘son’ who is divinely begotten … not created … from the very same eternal, godly ‘stock’ as his Father. God from God. Light from Light. True God from true God. And that’s Jesus Christ.”

“Are you a minister or something?”

“No. I’m just another faithful Catholic. How about you?”

“I was going to become a Baptist, but I decided to become a Jehovah’s Witness, instead.”

“I see,” I replied.

I continued to explain, “For years, my mom used to get the “Watchtower” and “Awake” (Jehovah’s Witness) magazines sent to her house, by a family friend. I read all of them from cover to cover. Lots of interesting stuff in them, too. But it’s their conclusions that (as a Catholic) never made sense to me. And (I have to tell you) they still don’t.”

“I much prefer (in spite of the internal and external corruption, with which the Church has always contended) to rely on 2,000 years worth of the world’s finest Catholic scholarship, systematic theology, divine revelation, and practical philosophy … which I’ve taken the time to personally research, thoroughly validate, and humbly attempt to live … rather than the contrary opinions of a few anonymous JW fellows from Brooklyn … who have … time and again … proved to be wrong.”

“Do Jehovah’s Witnesses still believe that Jesus Christ is really just Michael the Archangel?”

“I have to be going,” said my friend.

Gathering up our packages and heading out, my mom was beaming. “That was an interesting conversation. I enjoyed listening,” she said.

“He was a nice fellow.” I said. “We should pray for him!”

Read more about Jehovah’s Witnesses

Article points out the fact that Jesus spoke quite extensively and definitively on the evils of homosexual behavior

jesusreading

… “Jesus said nothing about homosexuality.” In fact, Jesus most certainly has said a lot about it. The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, “God is the author of Sacred Scripture” (CCC 105). One source for this is 2 Timothy 3:16, which asserts, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching.” Therefore, Jesus, as the second person of the Holy Trinity, has spoken on the issue of homosexuality, not only through natural law, but through the Bible (via Leviticus, Romans 1, and 1 Cor. 6, among others).

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How Well Do You Know the Holy Spirit Spirit – the Spirit of Truth?

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The Holy Spirit is one of three distinct Persons that make up the one eternal God. Each person of the three is God, yet they exist together in a form we describe as the Holy Trinity. (CCC 685 i.e. Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Regardless of which divine person (or persons) may appear to be working at any given time or during any given event, the three persons of the Trinity always act together, eternally united in a mysterious and very special way. (CCC 266)

It may help to think of God the Father as the sovereign architect of all that is seen and unseen; of God the Son as the literal and personal, eternally begotten expression of God’s infinite love and justice. You might think of God the Holy Spirit as the expression of the infinite love which the Father has for the Son, and the Son for the Father … full of divine power, wisdom and glory.

There’s a great mystery here and much we can’t understand. Study the Bible and Catechism for the next 50 years or so and you might begin to appreciate the awesome nature and workings of the Holy Trinity. For now, I suggest you accept it on faith.

Saint Thomas Aquinas explained that each person of the Trinity is of one and the same eternal, uncreated, godly “essence” … so each is indeed the one, true God. If you’re comfortable with third grade mathematics, the Holy Trinity can also be handily described by the following equation: 1 x 1 x 1 = 1.

More of What We Know About The Spirit of Truth

We know the Holy Spirit as the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. (CCC 246)

He is the “Mighty Wind” who swept across the waters of the young earth and the “Breath of Life” who introduced Adam to his soul. (Genesis 1:2 and Genesis 2:7)

He guided pairs of every creature into Noah’s Ark and later, He personally opened the fountains of the great deep and the loosed the floodgates of heaven. (Genesis 7: 9 – 11)

He is the fiery Destroyer of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 19:24)

He is the One who quickened the infertile womb of Sarah, granting faithful Abraham a beloved son. (Genesis 18:14)

It is the Holy Spirit who hardened the heart of Pharaoh and who led the Israelites out of Egypt. He is the “Pillar of Cloud” and “Pillar of Fire” who protected His people in the desert and showed them the way. (Exodus 10:1 and Exodus 13:22)

The Holy Spirit is the strong “Burning Wind” who parted the Red Sea. (Exodus 14:21) He is the “Finger of God” who rendered the Ten Commandments in stone. (Exodus 31:18)

It was He who stopped up the River Jordan so His people could pass over on dry ground (Joshua 3:17) and it was He who caused the walls of Jericho to crumble. (Joshua 6:20)

The Holy Spirit guided the smooth, solitary stone that was launched by David’s sling, defeating Goliath, the hulking beast and mortal enemy of Israel. (1st Samuel 17:49)

He has spoken through the Prophets (and inspired all the writers of the Bible). The Holy Spirit is also the source of all authentic Old Covenant and New Covenant sacred Tradition.

To save His prophet Daniel, he sent an angel to shut the mouths of hungry lions. (Daniel 6:22)

With the consent of the Virgin Mary, He conceived the baby Jesus in her womb. (Luke 1:26)

He is the power behind every miracle. (Exodus 9:16, 2nd Kings 17:36, Psalms 77:14, Psalms 105:27, Isaiah 22:21, Jeremiah 16:21, Daniel 4:3, Matthew 9:2, Mark 1:27, Luke 1:35, Luke 4:14, Luke 4:36, Luke 5:17, Luke 9:44, Luke 10:19, Luke 24:49, John 1:12, John 17:2, Acts 1:8, Acts 4:33, Acts 10:38, Romans 1:3, Romans 9:17, Romans 13:1, Romans 15:13, Romans 15:19, 1st Corinthians 6:14, 2nd Corinthians 3:14, 1st Thessalonians 1:5, 1st Peter 4:14, 2nd Peter 1:3)

He dwelled within the Tabernacle in the desert (Exodus 33:9) and in the Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. (1st Kings 8:10) Today, He sanctifies our Church (John 14:16) and dwells within every baptized, faithful and repentant Christian. (2nd Corinthians 6:16)

The Holy Spirit descended like a dove on the baptized Jesus (Matthew 3:16) and it was through the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus, fully man and fully God, perfectly accomplished His divine mission.

Acts 10:38 Jesus of Nazareth: how God anointed him with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

It is the Holy Spirit who darkened the sky and shook the earth on Good Friday (Matthew 27:45-51) rending the veil in the Temple from top to bottom, leaving it desolate, and 3 days hence, along with the Father and the Son, restored and glorified Jesus’ broken and crucified mortal body, raising him up, never to die again. (Romans 8:11)

On Pentecost, visible as tongues of fire and audible as wind and thunder, He anointed Mary and the Apostles (and on all those gathered together with them), and presided at the birth of the Holy Catholic Church. (Acts 2:1)

He remains the Paraclete (advocate) and Spirit of Truth who guides the Church throughout history, protecting it from doctrinal error. (John 14:16)

At Baptism, the Holy Spirit sweeps sin from our soul and takes up residence there, indelibly marking us as adopted children of God, members of the Church, citizens of Heaven, and co-heirs with Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 4:30, Galatians 4:7)

At Mass, it is the Holy Spirit who transforms ordinary bread and wine into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. (CCC 1375)

Through the other Sacraments, particularly Confirmation and Holy Orders, that same Spirit scribes additional marks, imparts special graces, and bestows unique spiritual gifts. (CCC 1317, CCC 1121, CCC 800)

Just before our Savior returns, the Holy Spirit will speak through God’s elect, revealing the “Man of Sin” (Antichrist, false-christ, the Beast) to all those with “eyes to see” and “ears to hear”. (2nd Thessalonians 2:3)

It is the Holy Spirit, who will, at the end of the age, transform our mortal bodies into glory and renovate the earth with holy fire, making all things new again. (2nd Peter 3:7 -12, Revelation 21:1)

We know all this and more about the Holy Spirit because it was revealed; first, by Jesus Christ, and later by the Spirit himself, working through the Apostles and their ordained successors; the Bishops of the Holy Catholic Church.

Read more …

Is belief in the Holy Trinity essential for Christians?

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Q: Is belief in the Holy Trinity essential for Christians?

A: The existence of the triune God as three divine and distinct persons in one, true God was revealed to the apostles by Jesus Christ and confirmed by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

The Trinity doctrine of the Catholic Church predates the Bible by some 350 years, and is not dependent on scripture at all, although knowing the doctrine, it is quite simple to find biblical support for it.

Only the descriptive term “Trinity” took some time to be agreed upon by the Church. Otherwise, personal knowledge of the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit … has always been essential to the authentic Christian faith.

http://ccc.scborromeo.org.master.com/tex…

Explain the Holy Trinity in the simplest terms possible

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Q: Explain the Holy Trinity in the simplest terms possible.

A: The Holy Trinity is three divine and distinct persons in one true God.

The Son is eternally begotten of the Father, and is of the same godly “stuff”. Hence, the Son is also God.

The Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son, and is also of that same godly “stuff”. Hence, the Holy Spirit is also God.

So … all three persons are God, and all three are eternally united in an infinitely perfect and loving way.

 Hence, they are truly one.

1 x 1 x 1 = 1.

Get it?

Added later, in response to the comment: In this context “begotten” explains the “source” of the 2nd person of the Trinity, the only Son of God. Begotten, as opposed to being created. And since this has ALWAYS been the case, from eternity, we say that Jesus is eternally begotten. In other words, the Son of God has always existed. (God was, is, and always will be.)

The Nicene Creed explains it in more detail (courtesy of newadvent.org). Click the links for more detail :

We believe (I believe) in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. (God of God) light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried; and the third day rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. And (I believe) in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son), who together with the Father and the Son is to be adored and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets. And one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We confess (I confess) one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for (I look for) the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.”