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.

catechismbook

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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The Immaculate Conception of Mary was God’s “firewall” against human corruption and sin.

Godfirewall

by Doug Lawrence

For the computer savvy, architects and firemen, nothing more needs to be said.

For everyone else:

fire·wall

/ˈfī(ə)rˌwôl/
Noun
  1. A wall or partition designed to inhibit or prevent the spread of fire.
  2. Any barrier that is intended to thwart the spread of a destructive agent.

For a number of very good reasons, it would not have been fitting for Jesus, the Eternal God and 2nd person of the Holy Trinity, become man, to be conceived in anything less than sinless and holy human flesh … a spotless vessel … set apart and sanctified for service to God, alone.

Due to the existence and the method of propagation of Adam’s Original Sin … absent the Immaculate Conception … where God proactively applied the saving grace and merit of Jesus Christ to the soul of his human mother, even from the moment of her conception … such a thing would have been impossible.

And of course, nothing is impossible with God.

More Lenten Catechesis from Andy P/Doria2: Only One Church!

As a continuation of Lenten reflections, first I had to show the history of the Church. Now there are many who may feel – which Church? Well there is only one that goes back to Jesus the Christ, Himself. That Church is THEE Church. The Catholic Church.

Now, I’m going to show how He built ONE Church – not the thousands of denominations we have today.

Warts and all, there is only one Church. The Catholic Church. Pass this on to your friends for discussion or just plain ol’ education. Catholic are woefully under catechized. Learn the truth. It really is all that matters –

The Church must be one

Mt 16:18-19 – upon this rock I will build my Church (singular) – 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Mt 18:17 – tell it to THE Church; if he refuses to listen even to THE Church… (must be visible) –

17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Jn 10:16 – there will be one fold and one shepherd. – 16 And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.

Jn 17:17-23 – I pray that they may be one, as we are one – 17 Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth. 18 As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth. 20 “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.

Jn 17:23 – that they may be brought to perfection as one – 23 I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.

Rom 12:5 – we, though many, are one body in Christ – 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Rom 15:5 – God grant you to think in harmony with one another – 5 May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom 16:17 – I urge that there be no divisions among you – 17 I appeal to you, brethren, to take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them.

Col 3:15 – the peace into which you were called in one body – 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.

Eph 4:3-6 – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father – 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.

Eph 4:4 – one body, one Spirit, called to be one hope – 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call,

1Cor 1:10 – I urge that there be no divisions among you – 10 I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

1Cor 12:13 – in one spirit we are baptized into one body – 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

Phil 2:2 – be of same mind, united in heart thinking one thing – 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Editor’s note: For the record … in addition to being One … the Catholic Church is also Holy (of God), Apostolic (established by the men (and their duly ordained successors) who were hand-picked, trained, and empowered by Jesus Christ) … and Universal (for all).

These four “marks” help us to properly identify the Catholic Church, always and everywhere.

One more applicable Bible verse: “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:15)

Lenten catechesis on the Catholic Church from AndyP/Doria2

During Lent, I decided to begin a catechesis, or short lessons on the Catholic faith. This is for you and/or people you know who have questions about our faith. I suggest you start a folder on these teachings and save them for when you are asked about what we believe. And one day, you will be asked. Especially from those who seek to get you to leave this “false Church.”

Also especially important is the truth you pass on to your children, grandchildren, and other family members most of whom are woefully, inadequately educated in the most important facet of their lives. Their eternity.

Only one Church goes back to Jesus The Christ and the Apostles. Sure there were many heresies throughout history but the one that has done and continues to do the most damage are the 25 – 30,000 Protestant groups out there who constantly attack our faith.

There is only one Church. See here why:

First from the Bible:

THE CHURCH

Mt 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, * and on this rock * I will build my church, and the powers of death * shall not prevail against it. 19* I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Jesus Christ came to die for us all and yes, to build a Church. The only Church that goes back to the 30’s AD. The Catholic Church.

Mt 18:15* “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18* Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

You see. If all else fails, “tell it to the Church”

Mt 28:18* And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19* Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20* teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

And He promised to be with us forever. Anyone who believes that His Church failed is calling our lord a liar.

Lk 10:16* “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

Our Lord is speaking to the early Church leaders here. Anyone who rejects His Church rejects Him.

Jn 16:13 – Spirit of truth will guide you to all truth. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14* He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Declare to whom? Who is our Lord speaking to? The Apostles. The early church.

1Tim 3:14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, 15 if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.

The Church. The pillar and bulwark or foundation of truth. When did this Church disappear? Who too it’s place? Why did Jesus say He would be with us forever? Did He lie?

ONE CHURCH!!!

Now from the very earliest giants of Catholic thought. Notice the dates after the quotes:

Ignatius of Antioch

“Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop or by one whom he ordains [i.e., a presbyter]. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church” (Letter to the Smyrneans 8:2 [A.D. 110]).

Irenaeus

“But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul—that church which has the tradition and the faith with which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. For with this Church, because of its superior origin, all churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world. And it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition”. (Against Heresies 3:3:1 [A.D. 189]).

Augustine

“We must hold to the Christian religion and to communication in her Church, which is catholic and which is called catholic not only by her own members but even by all her enemies. For when heretics or the adherents of schisms talk about her, not among themselves but with strangers, willy-nilly they call her nothing else but Catholic. For they will not be understood unless they distinguish her by this name which the whole world employs in her regard” (The True Religion 7:12 [A.D. 390]).

“We believe in the holy Church, that is, the Catholic Church; for heretics and schismatics call their own congregations churches. But heretics violate the faith itself by a false opinion about God; schismatics, however, withdraw from fraternal love by hostile separations, although they believe the same things we do. Consequently, neither heretics nor schismatics belong to the Catholic Church; not heretics, because the Church loves God, and not schismatics, because the Church loves neighbor” (Faith and Creed 10:21 [A.D. 393]).

“If you should find someone who does not yet believe in the gospel, what would you [Mani] answer him when he says, ‘I do not believe’? Indeed, I would not believe in the gospel myself if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so” (ibid., 5:6).

“There are many other things which most properly can keep me in [the Catholic Church’s] bosom. The unanimity of peoples and nations keeps me here. Her authority, inaugurated in miracles, nourished by hope, augmented by love, and confirmed by her age, keeps me here. The succession of priests, from the very see of the apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after his resurrection, gave the charge of feeding his sheep [John 21:15–17], up to the present episcopate, keeps me here. And last, the very name Catholic, which, not without reason, belongs to this Church alone, in the face of so many heretics, so much so that, although all heretics want to be called ‘Catholic,’ when a stranger inquires where the Catholic Church meets, none of the heretics would dare to point out his own basilica or house” (Against the Letter of Mani Called “The Foundation” 4:5 [A.D. 397]).

Hope you find this useful.

Your brother in Christ,

AndyP/Doria2

A short illustrated study guide

My favorite part of the new Mass translation

by Doug Lawrence

After a number of weeks, people are finally getting used to the new Mass translation.

“And also with you” is being successfully replaced by “And with your spirit” at least four times out of five, and amazingly, no one has yet expired while attempting to pronounce the word “consubstantial”.

I have no quarrel with any part of the new translation, but I’ve already decided which part of it I like the best … and it comes down to the addition of just one, little, four letter word, uttered during the people’s invitation to prayer, near the close of the offertory: HOLY!

May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands
for the praise and glory of his name,
for our good
and the good of all his holy Church.

I don’t know exactly why, but it’s nice (actually, very inspiring) to be reminded that the only church Jesus Christ ever founded for the purpose of our salvation, can still remain holy, in spite of all the corruption and sin in the world.

Seems to me, the word “holy” should have always been there, from the get-go!

Official USCCB Site

How should the Catholic keep Sunday holy, and how does he profane it?

Sunday is kept holy by abstaining from all servile work performed for wages or gain, or not commanded by necessity; by passing the day in works of piety; in hearing Mass devoutly, listening to the word of God in church and spending the day at home in a quiet manner pleasing to God.

If justly prevented from being present at church on Sundays and holy days of obligation, we should unite, in spirit, with the priest and the faithful assembled there, and pray fervently; during the rest of the day we should read books of devotion, and endeavor to perform some work of charity.

Sunday is profaned by being spent either in idleness, or in unnecessary servile work, or in that which is still worse, debauchery, and other sinful actions. It would be better, that is, less sinful, as St. Augustine says, to till the field on such days, than to spend them in frivolous, dangerous, and sinful pleasures.

But it is not forbidden, after having properly attended divine service, to participate on Sundays and holy days in honorable, decorous entertainment of the mind and heart.

Excerpted from “Explanation of the Epistles and Gospels” by the Rev. Leonard Goffine (1874)

Submitted by Bob Stanley

This week’s Ask Alice: Does the term “holy” rightly apply only to God, alone?



Send A Question To Alice

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

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Mario asks: My Protestant friend does not think Mary deserves the title “holy”. He states only God is holy and only God can be considered holy. Is the Blessed Virgin Mary truly holy? Why in the Hail Mary prayer does it use the word “holy” (as in “Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners…”)?

Alice answers: The “Hail Mary” which Catholics pray, contains the exact words found in every Protestant, i.e., King James Bible!

“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee:
blessed art thou among women.”
(Luke 1:28)

The archangel Gabriel’s greeting to Mary is the only time in the Bible that an angel praises a human being. In this Scripture verse, Gabriel proclaims that Mary has been perfected in grace. An angel is a messenger of God. Clearly, Gabriel proclaimed the message that Mary is holy because she was sinless. Also, Mary is holy because she carried, bore, and nurtured the Son of God.

“The power of the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” (Luke 1:35)

Doesn’t your Protestant friend consider saints and angels to be holy? According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the word “holy” means, “Belonging to, derived from, or associated with a divine power, sacred. Living according to a strict or highly moral religious or spiritual system; saintly: a holy man.”

The same dictionary defines “saint” as, ” a person who has died and gone to Heaven.” The definition for “blessed” is, “held in veneration, revered.”

All of the dictionary definitions, when compared, define “holy” as a title that befits the Blessed Virgin. To call Mary, the Mother of God, holy, is not only a Catholic truth, but, also, an example of correct English word usage as well!

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

*****

Doug Lawrence adds: In a Christian context, the word “holy” literally means to be permanently set apart for God’s service.

Leviticus 27:28 Any thing that is devoted to the Lord, whether it be man, or beast, or field, shall not be sold: neither may it be redeemed. Whatsoever is once consecrated shall be holy of holies to the Lord.

“Holy” also typically denotes spiritual fidelity, and a complete absence of sin.

Catholics experience holiness in Jesus Christ, through our worthy participation in the sacraments of the church, and by our active participation in the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

The Blessed Virgin Mary experienced (and continues to experience) holiness in Jesus Christ, in a much more direct manner!

Like many of her contemporaries, Mary, the Mother of God, took a vow of holy virginity in the Temple, at a very young age. Under the Mosaic Law, Mary would remain a virgin, totally devoted to God, even after a subsequent marriage.

The relevant passages can be found in Numbers, chapter 30, where the Law of Moses specifically authorizes just such a vow.

If a woman vow any thing, and bind herself by an oath, being in her father’s house, and but yet a girl in age: if her father knew the vow that she hath promised, and the oath wherewith she hath bound her soul, and held his peace, she shall be bound by the vow: Whatsoever she promised and swore, she shall fulfil in deed. (Numbers 30:3-4)

While the mere taking of such a vow would not necessarily make a person holy, God’s election of that person, for the purpose of divine maternity, most certainly would. There’s absolutely no doubt that the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of God’s “elect”.

Talk about a “personal relationship” with God!
Of all Christians, Protestants, in particular,
ought to be able to easily understand and appreciate
this aspect of Mary’s holiness!

Divine Transformation:

On Mount Sinai, Moses was (literally) transformed after spending only 40 days with God.

And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights: he neither ate bread nor drank water, and he wrote upon the tables the ten words of the covenant. And when Moses came down from the Mount Sinai, he held the two tables of the testimony, and he knew not that his face was luminous from the conversation of the Lord. And Aaron and the children of Israel seeing the face of Moses, were afraid to come near. And being called by him, they returned, both Aaron and the rulers of the congregation. And after that he spoke to them, And all the children of Israel came to him: and he gave them in commandment all that he had heard of the Lord on Mount Sinai. And having done speaking, he put a veil upon his face.
(Exodus 34:28-33)

For over 30 years, Mary shared her earthly dwelling place with Jesus, who is God, in the flesh. Imagine the effect the Son of God would have on his Blessed Mother, after spending more than 30 years with her?! Note that Mary also is routinely pictured, wearing a veil!

Apostolic Testimony:

The apostles and the disciples knew Mary, and they had no doubt that she was all of these things, and more … according to the power and grace of her son, Jesus, whose human body was divinely fashioned from Mary’s sinless and holy flesh.

The angel Gabriel hailed Mary as “full of grace”. To be “full” means just that … with no room at all in her soul for sin of any kind. God made her that way. He did it for himself … but mainly,
he did it for us.

Jesus Christ … “The holy that was born of thee” … was made of Mary’s own, holy flesh. While there’s no doubt that the power of God alone made that possible, the FACT remains!

The Bible tells us that nothing unholy can enter Heaven. That’s because God dwells in Heaven, with his angels and his saints, and his personal standard of holiness is infinitely high. Would the Father disrespect his son by providing for him (during his nine months in Mary’s womb) anything less than a sinless … and less than holy … human vessel, in which to dwell? Not likely!

Would Jesus accept a woman as his mother that was anything less than holy? Absolutely not! The “mission requirements” of the Messiah demanded a holy mother who would also serve as his most faithful and trusted disciple … one who could not be “turned” by the forces of evil.

For Mary, holiness was absolutely required.
God provided it, Mary willingly cooperated,
and Yahweh’s Salvation (Jesus) was born.
Case closed!

Testimony of the Scriptures:

God makes days holy:

Exodus 12:16 The first day shall be holy and solemn, and the seventh day shall be kept with the like solemnity: you shall do no work in them, except those things that belong to eating.

God makes Israel a holy nation:

Exodus 19:6 And you shall be to me a priestly kingdom, and a holy nation. These are the words thou shalt speak to the children of Israel.

God makes men holy:

Exodus 22:31 You shall be holy men to me: the flesh that beasts have tasted of before, you shall not eat, but shall cast it to the dogs.

God makes priestly vestments holy:

Exodus 28:2 And thou shalt make a holy vesture for Aaron, thy brother, for glory and for beauty.

God makes sacrificial vessels holy (bearing graven images, no less):

Exodus 28:36 Thou shalt make also a plate of the purest gold: wherein thou shalt grave with engraver’s work, Holy to the Lord.

God makes animal sacrifices and the hands of the priests who offer them, holy:

Exodus 29:33 That it may be an atoning sacrifice, and the hands of the offerers may be sanctified. A stranger shall not eat of them, because they are holy.

God makes the altar of sacrifice holy, as well as those who serve there:

Exodus 29:37 Seven days shalt thou expiate the altar and sanctify it, and it shall be most holy. Every one, that shall touch it, shall be holy.

God makes oil holy:

Exodus 30:25 And thou shalt make the holy oil of unction, an ointment compounded after the art of the perfumer,

God makes incense holy:

Exodus 30:35-36 And thou shalt make incense compounded by the work of the perfumer, well tempered together, and pure, and most worthy of sanctification. And when thou hast beaten all into very small powder, thou shalt set of it before the tabernacle of the testimony, in the place where I will appear to thee. Most holy shall this incense be unto you.

Because we are God’s children, and he is our God, he makes us holy, through our faithful observance of his laws and precepts:

Leviticus 11:44 For I am the Lord your God. Be holy because I am holy. Defile not your souls by any creeping thing, that moveth upon the earth.

Leviticus 20:7-8 Sanctify yourselves, and be ye holy: because I am the Lord your God. Keep my precepts, and do them. I am the Lord that sanctify you.

God’s name is holy, simply because it is HIS name. Wouldn’t Mary be similarly holy simply because she is HIS (Jesus’) mother?:

Leviticus 22:32-33 Profane not my holy name, that I may be sanctified in the midst of the children of Israel. I am the Lord who sanctify you: And who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that I might be your God. I am the Lord.

Leviticus 27:28 Any thing that is devoted to the Lord, whether it be man, or beast, or field, shall not be sold: neither may it be redeemed. Whatsoever is once consecrated shall be holy of holies to the Lord.

I can quote another 387 instances just like these, from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, where God makes various people, days, and things “holy”.

When God takes something or someone to himself and deems it “holy” … who can say otherwise?

This chapter from my book might also be of interest (link)

I hope this helps!

May God richly bless you and yours,

Doug

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

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.

Read more

Submitted by Doria2

One … Holy … Catholic … Apostolic … Plus 2 More?

The Nicene Creed fittingly noted four marks of the True Church: one, holy, catholic and apostolic. These marks identify four essential qualities and characteristics the Church has and they distinguish the True Church from any false claimants. Now we, of course cannot add authoritatively to this venerable list. Nevertheless permit me a couple of “prayerful additions” to the four marks of the Church. These cannot join the official list but I humbly submit these “marks” for your consideration to serve in a similar way to distinguish the True Church from false claimants and to give insight into the Church’s truest identity.

Read more from Msgr. Charles Pope

The main purpose of this site


Learn the Catholic Faith.

Live the Catholic Faith.

Share the Catholic Faith.

Because there is no substitute
for a regular program of Catholic
prayer and study,
along with full, faithful, active participation in
all of the work, worship, sacraments and devotions
of the Catholic Church …

the ONLY church that Jesus Christ
EVER personally founded,

for the GLORY of God and
the PURPOSE of our SALVATION.

O n e – H o l y – C a t h o l i c – A p o s t o l i c

Critics who wonder why we don’t leave the Catholic Church just don’t get it!


John 6:61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalize you?

John 6:64-70 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that did not believe and who he was that would betray him. And he said: Therefore did I say to you that no man can come to me, unless it be given him by my Father. 

After this, many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him.

Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away?

And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.

And we have believed and have known that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.

Jesus answered them: Have not I chosen you twelve? And one of you is a devil.

***

Jesus Christ personally founded only one church … a church that is and will remain holy, Catholic and apostolic, until the end of time …  no matter how badly some of us might behave … simply because the church belongs to God … and the power of the one time, once for all, propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ is more than sufficient to atone for even the deadliest sins of all mankind.

This is not to say that anyone will receive a “free pass” or “license” in order to escape God’s justice, which is perfect.

God is love, but his wrath remains real, formidable, and virtually inescapable, since wrath is due not to a lack of love, but to the divine judgment which necessarily falls upon sin in the moral world, over which God most certainly rules.

The entire length of  human history is nothing more than the blink of an eye to the eternal and almighty God.

Those who believe not, or who do not know God, see the current problems in the church as opportunities to tear down that which they are able to neither appreciate or understand, while the truly faithful see those same events as both a test, and a call to action.

True faith in Jesus Christ also demands faith in his universal church, of which he is known to have said, “…Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.  And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” – Matthew 16:17-19

Any questions?

The Anti-Christmas Crowd Has Reason On Their Side, While All We Catholics Have, is God.

The anti-Christmas crowd has reason on their side.

It’s not rational for God, the Supreme Being of the entire universe, to care about the lowly inhabitants of an insignificant planet.

It’s not rational for God to condescend to becoming one of us.

It’s not rational to believe that one person could (at the very same time) be both fully God and fully man.

It’s not rational for God to choose a “putrid backwater” of the ancient world, then known as Roman occupied Palestine and Judea, to be the home of his divine son.

It’s not rational for God to choose a lowly Jewish maiden (the sinless, Virgin Mary) to be the mother of his son.

It’s not rational for God to ask the maiden’s consent.

It’s not rational for God to wait patiently for that consent.

It’s not rational to believe that a woman might conceive a child without benefit of some type of physical sex act or medical procedure.

It’s not rational for humans to believe in angels (or devils).

It’s not rational for a lowly human to even consider being part and party to such an unimaginable, boldly metaphysical, wholly unlikely and totally unparalleled event.

It’s not rational for the here-to-fore unseen, unknowable, ineffable God to expect anyone of sound mind to agree to take part in such a thing.

It’s not rational for the Son of God to be born after the usual nine months of gestation, without loss of the woman’s virginity.

It’s not rational for the Son of God to be born in a stable, because no room was available elsewhere.

It’s not rational for “Kings of the East” to set out on extended pilgrimage based primarily on their limited understanding of ancient and obscure Hebrew prophecy.

It’s not rational to believe that the same Kings were guided to their destination by the appearance of a mysterious, dedicated, still unexplained and unidentified heavenly light (star).

It’s not rational for the Son of God to have to flee the country of his birth in order to foil an assassination attempt on his person, by an earthly king.

It’s not rational for the Son of God to be raised by a decidedly “middle-class” foster-father, in an indistinct and virtually unknown little town called Nazareth, and to eventually become a carpenter.

It’s not rational for a married couple to voluntarily and permanently fore-go sexual relations with each other.

It’s not rational to believe in Scripture/Bible prophecy.

It’s not rational to believe that one man could, during the course of his short, thirty-three years of earthly existence, perfectly fulfill all of the hundreds of Bible prophecies that were written about him.

It’s not rational to believe that the atoning death of the Son of God at the hands of sinful mankind, could somehow ultimately result in the successful reconciliation of mankind with God.

It’s not rational to believe that God so loved the world, that he gave us his only begotten Son: that whoever believes in him may not perish, but may have life everlasting.

It’s not rational to believe that it is possible for a man to raise himself up again from the dead.

It’s not rational to believe that, having risen, that same man could give us his glorified flesh and blood to eat, as true food and true drink, and as the antidote to eternal death and hell.

It’s not rational to believe that a little group of eleven apostles and a few hundred disciples could establish one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church that would eventually convert the pagan Roman Emperor, then the entire Roman Empire, and one day, go on to encompass most of the known world.

It is not rational to believe that having reconciled the world to God by his life, death and resurrection, that Jesus Christ will one day return to judge the living and the dead, and that his kingdom will have no end.

It may not be rational, but the bulk of the above events have already occurred and passed into history, while our Christian faith informs us that the last will also truly come to pass, in God’s good time.

Merry Christmas!

More on this here

What is Sacred Tradition and why is it special?

hspiritenhcls

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

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

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

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

How many Churches did Jesus Christ found?

petersheep

Q: How many Churches did Jesus Christ found?

A:  He founded only one Church.
And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” – Matthew 16:18

Notice that it is only ONE CHURCH in that verse. He did say Church, and not churches, did He not?

Thanks to Bob Stanley, of the Catholic Treasure Chest

Click here to read more

Divine Providence and the Catholic Church

 hspiritenhcls

Someone recently wrote:

“Absolutely no church in this world is The Church as you so think that the catholic is. You personally are but a part of the body of Christ. Just as each of us make up the complete body of the living God, Jesus Christ.”

My reply:

I know precisely who I am in Christ, since Jesus and the Church have clearly defined the rights, responsibilities, and privileges that go along with Church membership.

I strongly suspect that no one has ever explained to you how awesome God and his authentic Church really are.

Jesus refers to the Church as his, and he gave his life for it. That makes it holy.

Jesus founded the Catholic Church and no other. That makes it one.

Jesus gave the apostles the “Great Commission” and sent them out into the world to establish the Church and to save souls. That makes it apostolic.

Jesus expressed his fervent desire that all should be one in his authentic Church, even as he and God the Father are one. That makes it catholic (universal).

Jesus gave awesome power to the men he hand-picked and personally trained, so that the fruits of his redemptive work could be freely and properly distributed. That’s authority.

Jesus appointed certain men to offer perfect sacrifice to God for the people, always and everywhere, without fail. That’s  authentic ministerial priesthood and holy communion. 

With Jesus at the head of the Church, and with the Holy Spirit as the official arbiter of all divine truth, the frailties and foibles of the sinful men who govern the Church pose no effective barrier to salvation. That’s divine providence.

Praise God!

Is the Roman Catholic Church the one true holy church of Jesus Christ?

Q: Is the Roman Catholic Church the one true holy church of Jesus Christ?

A: Jesus founded only one Church for the purpose of our salvation … the Church that has been known as Catholic since at least 107 AD.

Jesus authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed the Catholic Church until the end of time, and he did it personally, while he still walked the earth.

Not surprisingly, the Catholic Church remains constituted precisely as Jesus originally set it up … one, holy, catholic, and apostolic … in spite of the 50 or so generations of more or less corrupt men who governed it.

The Catholic Church survived the destruction of Jerusalem, the fall of Rome, and every other type of challenge and persecution the world could throw at it, while it literally converted the whole world for Christ.
The Catholic Church compiled, wrote, translated, and certified the Bible, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and it continues to preserve and defend the entire sacred deposit of faith today.

It is also the longest reigning world government of any kind on earth, responsible for saving the world after the fall of Rome, and for contributing all that’s good to modern western civilization.

The Catholic Church has led countless souls to Heaven by witnessing for Christ, baptizing, and faithfully preaching the Gospel to people of every nation and every generation.

None of this was done in secret. Not even one small part of Catholic doctrine is less than fully documented, not properly explained, or less than completely correlated with the holy scriptures.

Indeed, the Catholic Church maintains a tradition of the world’s finest and most complete theological scholarship and practical philosophy, available freely to all, the likes of which is unrivaled by any other group or faith tradition, anywhere.

Finally, and since the very beginning, the Catholic Church has enjoyed the real and substantial presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist … body, blood, soul and divinity … the one time, once for all, eternal sacrifice for the sins of the world … available to all … right here and right now … not to mention all the other sacraments, which are in themselves close, personal, and intimate encounters with the risen Christ.

I could go on.

Let anyone who chooses to try to refute any or all of the above lodge his objections with Jesus Christ, who remains the head of the Catholic Church .. the only Church for which he suffered and died, and the only Church which is betrothed to him, as his bride.

https://douglawrence.wordpress.com/a-shor…

A Catholic eucharist question????

Q: After you received the bread (Eucharist) and you go back to your seat.

Everybody kneels and prays. What do you pray??????? Do you say your own prayers???? Some Hail Mary???? Some Glory Be???

Please!!! Serious Answers!! I just received my first Eucharist today and they didn’t tell me.

A: Jesus remains physically present for about 15 minutes after you receive him. During that time, you’re as holy as you’re ever likely to get, this side of Heaven.

You have a wonderful opportunity to adore Jesus, and to “commune” with all the angels, all the saints, and all the “People of God” no matter where they might be, through him, with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

You can also just simply “be” and let Jesus do all the “talking”.

Exactly what you do and how you chose to do it is up to you.

What are some Instances Of Holiness In The Bible?

Q: What are some Instances Of Holiness In The Bible?

A: Of course, God is holy.

People, places, and things become holy when God accepts them, takes them to himself, or sets them apart, for his particular purpose(s).

Holiness is something that is impossible to achieve on our own.

Holiness is something we Christians experience, and hopefully become, in and through Jesus Christ and his Church.

Adam and Eve were originally holy … before the fall.

The ground on which Moses walked, when he encountered God, was holy. Odds are, Moses eventually became holy, too, since he spent a lot of time in God’s immediate presence.

The desert Tabernacle was holy, as was the Ark of the Covenant, and later … so was the Temple in Jerusalem.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is Holy. Mary was the first person in history to be “saved” … and she was saved, from the moment of her conception. She was also the first person since Adam and Eve to receive sanctifying grace from God. This was to equip and prepare Mary to become the mother of Jesus.

John the Baptist was probably holy, since he had a special mission from God, he was baptized by the Holy Spirit while still inside his mother’s womb, and he was also a martyr.

Golgatha (Calvary) is holy, since that’s where Christ’s blood was poured out. Jesus’ tomb would also be holy, for much the same reason.

The Church is holy, because it comes from God, and it belongs to God.

Baptism makes a person holy.

The Bible is holy, because it is the inerrant, written Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

St. Stephen, the first martyr of the Church was holy.

Christians who confess their sins, who exhibit true contrition for them, and who authentically repent, might be holy … at least until they commit another sin.

Every Catholic and Orthodox Church building and sanctuary is holy, since the real presence of Jesus Christ is typically reserved there.

Denominational Christian church buildings are holy, because they are dedicated to God.

Catholics who receive the Holy Eucharist, while in a state of grace, are most certainly holy, since they enjoy the real presence of Jesus Christ within them, which for a short time, makes them living tabernacles of the Lord.

Moving further along, all the saints in Heaven, as mentioned in the Book of Revelation, are holy.

When Jesus comes again, all of creation will become holy … transformed by the power of God … for eternity.

There’s probably a number of other good examples, and I dont mean to exclude anyone or anything. I just ran out of time.

Here you go Doug – I’m very interested to hear by what means are you saved.

This is a follow up to the earlier post on Catholics and the Eucharist:

Q: Here you go Doug – I’m very interested to hear by what means are you saved.
is it your association with the Catholic Church …
is it the completion of the sacraments …
is it the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross …
or some other means?

A: I’m “saved” by God’s total self-giving for my salvation, and by my personal decision to cooperate with him, his grace, and his plan.

God’s plan for our salvation obviously includes the following:

First and most essentially,  Jesus the Messiah, and all his great works …

Next, the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church which Jesus personally founded, authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed, for the purpose of our salvation …

Next, the sacraments of the Church, which were instituted by Jesus Christ to give grace …

And finally, the faith and the works of all the People of God, who remain part of the mystical body of Christ, of which Jesus remains the head.

There typically is no other way. (And please note that Jesus is first and foremost in each of the above.)

Click here for a study of salvation, searching the Catholic Catechism

Pentecost Bible Study – Physical Manifestations of the Holy Spirit – From Genesis Through Revelation

Pentecost Bible Study

Physical Manifestations of the Holy Spirit
From Genesis Through Revelation

God has apparently made many more appearances in our realm of existence than most of us can possibly imagine, and even when those events are duly recorded in scripture, they are often missed, or mistaken for something else.

Click the link below to view a 9 page compilation of virtually EVERY appearance God has ever made (at least as recorded in scripture) and be sure to spend a little extra time towards the end … contemplating the events of the first Christian Pentecost, and their direct aftermath.

Click here for more (PDF file format)