Salvation outside the Catholic Church: What do we know about it – for certain?

Cardinal_Burke

Cardinal Burke may officially
weigh-in 
on this matter

All references to salvation in Vatican Council II are implicit, invisible and hypothetical. They are not explicit, visible in the flesh and seen in real life.

In fact, other than those who have been officially declared saints by the Catholic Church, no one living here on earth can possibly know the true status of anyone else’s – or even their very own – eternal soul.

Since salvation outside the Church is not the province of man – but solely of God – and hence, a great miracle – is it wise, prudent, or in any way appropriate for high level Catholic clerics to declare that God will (routinely) save anyone, so long as they try to live a “good” life, according to the dictates of their conscience? Furthermore – is it right and just for them to require others to believe it, too?

All of this and more is the subject of Lionel Andrade’s latest post.

Doctors give unborn boy zero chance of survival before he gives them a ‘true miracle’.

Doctors reminded the couple that any child with Down syndrome and severe heart defects would not survive. Because Amy and Aaron were against abortion, a doctor offered another option – inducing early labor at 28 weeks when the baby would be too young to survive.  But Amy knew that was the same thing as abortion.

The Vawters soon found themselves switching to a Catholic hospital in Spokane, WA because it was closer to family and their support network. The doctors there didn’t once pressure Amy to abort and she says she was very happy with their attitude towards her and her baby.

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Editor’s note: Somebody should send this article to the ACLU – which recently filed a law suit against Catholic hospitals because they do not do abortions – although I doubt they would care to read it.

Our Lady of Guadalupe: Led directly to the largest mass conversion in the history of the world!

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Read the miraculous, true story of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Submitted by Bob Stanley

A few extra-biblical things you probably didn’t know about St. John the Baptist

john-the-baptist

When King Herod heard from the Magi about the birth of the Messiah, he decided to kill all the infants up to two years old at Bethlehem and the surrounding area, hoping that the new-born Messiah would be among them.

Herod knew about John’s unusual birth and he wanted to kill him, fearing that he was the foretold King of the Jews. But Elizabeth hid herself and the infant in the hills. The murderers searched everywhere for John. Elizabeth, when she saw her pursuers, began to implore God for their safety, and immediately the hill opened up and concealed her and the infant from their pursuers.

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Editor’s note: We know from scripture that St. John the Baptist was born during Passover, in the spring. We also know that St. John was conceived and subsequently born 6 months before Jesus Christ – meaning that Jesus was most likely born in the month of September or October. (Add 6 to 3 or 4 and you get September or October – NOT December.)

But Jesus may well have been conceived in late December, so there’s still plenty of reason for joy. Plus – there have been a number of modifications (not to mention outright errors and “slippage”) to the calendar over the years, so December 25 may be correct, after all!

Merry Christmas! 

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

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by Doug Lawrence

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

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

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

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

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

Ruth 4:9-22
(9) And he said to the ancients, and to all the people: You are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and Chelion’s, and Mahalon’s, of the hand of Noemi:
(10) And have taken to wife Ruth, the Moabitess, the wife of Mahalon, to raise up the name of the deceased in his inheritance lest his name be cut off, from among his family and his brethren and his people. You, I say, are witnesses of this thing.
(11) Then all the people that were in the gate, and the ancients, answered: We are witnesses: The Lord make this woman who cometh into thy house, like Rachel, and Lia, who built up the house of Israel: that she may be an example of virtue in Ephrata, and may have a famous name in Bethlehem:
(12) And that the house may be, as the house of Phares, whom Thamar bore unto Juda, of the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this young woman.
(13) Boaz therefore took Ruth, and married her: and went in unto her, and the Lord gave her to conceive, and to bear a son.
(14) And the women said to Noemi: Blessed be the Lord, who hath not suffered thy family to want a successor: that his name should be preserved in Israel.
(15) And thou shouldst have one to comfort thy soul, and cherish thy old age. For he is born of thy daughter in law: who loveth thee: and is much better to thee, than if thou hadst seven sons.
(16) And Noemi taking the child, laid it in her bosom, and she carried it, and was a nurse unto it.
(17) And the women, her neighbours, congratulating with her, and saying, There is a son born to Noemi, called his name Obed: he is the father of Isai, the father of David.
(18) These are the generations of Phares: Phares begot Esron,
(19) Esron begot Aram, Aram begot Aminadab,
(20) Aminadab begot Nahasson, Nahasson begot Salmon,
(21) Salmon begot Booz, Booz begot Obed,
(22) Obed begot Isai (Jessie), Isai (Jessie) begot David.

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

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

Saint Paul sums things up quite nicely:

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

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

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

The article that inspired this post:

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

Miracle story about mysterious “guardian angel” priest goes viral

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Text and video

Related Link: “Fishers of Men” Video Trailer

Her son Paul had just been diagnosed as “permanently and irreversibly brain-damaged”.

padrepioheadshot
Saint Pio of Petro of Pietrelcina

But Betty was not about to give up on her son. Even though she had nine other children at home, she felt like the woman in the Bible who had ten coins but lost one and could not stop searching until she found it.

“We just decided Paul needed a miracle,” Betty said. “In the end, if Paul didn’t get better, I would accept it, but in the meantime, I was really going to believe I could have a miracle and I would at least pray with faith.”

A woman from St. Madeline’s in Ridley Park, gave her five prayer cards for people who were in the process of beatification and needed a miracle. Every day after Mass, she and her mother would go to the hospital and pray the rosary over Paul, then say the five prayers. “Whenever I came to the Padre Pio prayer, Paul blessed himself, even though he was totally unconscious,” Betty said.

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Jimmy Akin writes about the apparitions at Fatima

fatima3

1) What happened at Fatima, Portugal?

A young shepherd girl, Lucia dos Santos, said that she experienced supernatural visitations as early as 1915, two years before the famous appearances of the Virgin Mary.

In 1917, she and two of her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, were working as shepherds tending their families’ flocks. On May 13, 1917, the three children saw an apparition of Our Lady. She told them, among other things, that she would return once a month for six months.

At Our Lady’s third appearance, on July 13, Lucia was shown the secret of Fatima. She reportedly turned pale and cried out with fear, calling Our Lady by name. There was a thunderclap, and the vision ended.

The children again saw the Virgin on September 13.

In the sixth and final appearance, on October 13, a dramatic outward sign was given to those gathered to witness the event. After the clouds of a rainstorm parted, numerous witnesses—some as far as 40 miles away—reported seeing the sun dance, spin, and send out colored rays of light.

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They don’t call it “miraculous” for nothin’.

MiraculousMedalPic

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Among the patients admitted was a boy about nine years old. He had been sled-riding down hill, lost control of the sled and ran into a tree head-on. He fractured his skull and X-rays showed he had suffered severe brain damage.

When I finally got to visit his room at the hospital, he had been in a coma for ten days, no speech, no voluntary movements of the body. His condition was such that the only question was whether he would live. There was no question of recovering from what was diagnosed as permanent and inoperable brain damage.

After blessing the boy and consoling his parents, I was about to leave his hospital room. But then a thought came to me. “That Vincentian priest. He said, ‘The Miraculous Medal works.’ Now this will be a test of its alleged miraculous powers!”

I didn’t have a Miraculous Medal of my own. And everyone I asked at the hospital also did not have one. But I persisted, and finally one of the nursing sisters on night duty found a Miraculous Medal.

What I found out was that you don’t just bless the medal, you have to put it around a person’s neck on a chain or ribbon. So the sister-nurse found a blue ribbon for the medal, which made me feel silly. What was I doing with medals and blue ribbons.

However, I blessed the medal and had the father hold the leaflet for investing a person in the Confraternity of the Miraculous Medal. I proceeded to recite the words of investiture. No sooner did I finish the prayer of enrolling the boy in the Confraternity than he opened his eyes for the first time in two weeks. He saw his mother and said, “Ma, I want some ice cream.” He had been given only intravenous feeding.

Then he proceeded to talk to his father and mother. After a few minutes of stunned silence, a doctor was called. The doctor examined the boy and told the parents they could give him something to eat.

The next day began a series of tests on the boy’s condition. X-rays showed the brain damage was gone.

Then still more tests. After three days, when all examinations showed there was complete restoration to health, the boy was released from the hospital.

This experience so changed my life that I have not been the same since. My faith in God, faith in His power to work miracles, was strengthened beyond description.

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Healing miracle declared in Colorado Springs

The sudden healing of a 4-year-old Colorado Springs boy in 1999 after two nuns prayed for the founding Mother of their order to intercede has been ruled a miracle by the Vatican.

The sisters of Mount St. Francis learned recently that Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel, foundress of the order, would be beatified because of the miracle.

Bonzel founded the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration in 1863 in Olpe, Germany. She died in 1905, at age 74.

“It’s really just overwhelming,” said Jan Burgie, who had asked two sisters at Mount St. Francis in northwest Colorado Springs to pray for her son. “We were doubly blessed, with the healing and a lifelong friendship.”

Link

One of our regular readers sent me a nice (and very timely) sample of his poetry. I think you’ll like it.

Mystic Priest – Coming Into the Presence of God, by D.B. Wilde is a themed collection of Christian poetry. It reflects a period where a priest of this world and subsequent afterworld brought life’s spiritual happenings to the forefront of awareness.

It’s obviously not your usual type of Christian stuff.

Buy it at Amazon. It’s also available from Barnes and Noble (Nook), ibooks/itunes (iPad).

Locals remember when Father Louis Guanella, an Italian priest from the 1900’s opened the miracle door in America, while the world peaked in.

MIRACLE DOOR

In America’s town

a skateboarder crashes

resulting in brain trauma.

A youth inside looking out

pleads to “bring me home,”

while doctors remove

his front temporal lobe.

Survival, meet vegetative state,

injected lunch with eyelids closed

a mother’s tears fall, resolved by faith

bound by love, a prayer request

brings Blessed Louis Guanella

across the divide to the healing line,

bone relics arrive first

banded around the wrist.

Faith breeds a miraculous recovery,

reborn youth discusses his ordeal

over a cup of tea

as befuddled doctors

vouch to The Higher Power

and a Blessed is made a Saint.

******

Saint Louis (Luigi) Guanella was canonized on October 23, 2011. His Feast Day is coming up on October 24th.

Don Guanella Village was founded in the mid 70‘s in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It includes a school for teenagers with developmental delays. So when Don Guanella performed a miracle recently in a nearby town, it was extra special.

Read more about this saint and the religious order he founded

******

A couple more poems by D.B. Wilde …

On a hot summer night, guided by the light of a full moon, I invited several Saints to walk and pray the rosary. It was such a memorable walk, I promised the Saints they would be in the poem collection. Well here they are!

 WALKING THE ROSARY

Walking down the road,

no digital reminder

as invitees show up

to pray the rosary.

Norbert greets the arrival of Katharine Drexel; Ignatius Loyola laughs with Francis Xavier; Catharine Laboure pours love to Rita of Cascia; Gianna Molla races to John Neumann and Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Philomena engulfs the group

with Mystic Priest in hand,

souls streaming by moonlight,

all side by side

walking down the road

praying the rosary.

Coming forward is Paul the Hermit, Thomas of Villanova, Thomas Aquinas; alas Augustine arrives with Padre Pio and Francis of Assisi. Enter patron Basil the Great alongside Macrina the Younger, Anthony of Padua,
Vincent de Paul and Patrick of Ireland.

Joined by soldiers at play;

Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael,

are elated and smiling widely

for our glorious Queen Mary

is walking among us.

******

THREE HEAVENS

Satan walks proud and visible

having previously defined

his authority over First Heaven

by what was given to him,

he flaunts it, offering

wayward minds carnal delights.

God buffets between

heaven and earth

seemingly everywhere,

teaching Saints

omnipresence. Ignatius, a pupil

in God’s Seven Stars class,

leaves divine love snippets

to the earthly Jesuit community

to counteract Satan’s deeds.

First Heaven’s liquid moon

illuminates the night sky,

as sunrise lifts the day,

life’s transformation begins

from time, space and nature

to another state of being.

By His presence,

eagles soar

beyond the cirrus clouds

into the exosphere,

the enigmatic Second Heaven,

the galactic battleground

of raging divine warfare

within interstellar black holes.

In the Third Heaven

elliptical eyes

suspended in space, float inside

the new Jerusalem, a heaven merged

with a jeweled earth

a paradise with no sun and no moon.

Oneness with His presence,

the Cosmic Christ manifests Himself

into our non-human form

whenever and wherever

He wishes.

68th miracle of Lourdes is officially recognised

Apparition at Lourdes, France

The case of a nun who started walking after being paralysed for years has become the 68th miracle to be recognised at the French shrine of Lourdes.  The priest at Traverso’s diocese of Casale Monferrato officially recognised it as a miracle at a Mass Thursday, the Sanctuary authorities said.

The incident happened in July 1965, when the nun, Luigina Traverso, started walking during a visit to the holy site.  Born in 1934, the nun had been wheelchair-bound despite several operations for lumbar sciatica.  She, “was overwhelmed by a sensation of warmth and well-being and warm sensation and felt the sudden impulse to get up,” said the Catholic Silesian Sisters order, the Filles de Marie-Auxiliatrice.  “She started moving her paralysed limbs.”

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Jesus Icon begins to shed oily tears, miraculous healing follows

Isaac is 12 years old and has been receiving treatment for almost three years. However, his response to treatment has been very poor and the physicians at Texas Children’s Hospital told them that Isaac had, at the most, three more months to live. Nahed was crying and begging God for mercy. She wrote a note to God telling Him that the only hope she had left for Isaac to be cured was a miracle from Heaven. She asked Father Ishak to place her note in the alter under the chalice.

“On Monday, November 11, 1991, Isaac became very sick. While lying in his parent’s bed, about 2:30 p.m., mumbling some prayers and looking to a portrait of Jesus Christ hanging on the Eastern wall of the bedroom, he saw the eyes of Jesus in the picture moving and the figure of Jesus protruding out. He screamed, calling for his mother. Nahed came running and examined the picture. There was an oily liquid shedding like tears from the eyes of Jesus.

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Editor’s note: This is one of the best Jesus pictures I’ve ever seen. It looks real!

Miraculous Icon produces copious amounts of heavenly oil for 17 weeks … and counting.

Fragrant myrrh filled the air. The encounters with the centers of attraction were quick, but the reactions were indelible. Some came away shaken and streaming tears. A few talked of a wave of peace and calm coming over them. Others described a sense of divine providence.

In uncertain times, people want something, anything, to believe in. The spiritually inclined often look to the heavens for answers, and when they get what they think is a sign, they embrace it wholeheartedly.

For the past 17 weeks, St. George’s Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in Taylor has been hosting services centered on two icons of the Blessed Mother of the Theotokos. The faithful believe the icons seep myrrh, a heavily perfumed oil, for reasons St. George’s officials are leaving unexplained.

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Details on alleged Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen miracle emerge

On Sept. 16, 2010, Bonnie Engstrom and her husband Travis prayed fervently to Archbishop Sheen after she delivered a stillborn son.

The baby, whom they named James Fulton after the archbishop, had no pulse for 61 minutes after he was born. As doctors prepared to declare the time of death, however, his heart started beating. Although the physicians predicted serious medical problems, James Fulton is now a happy, healthy one-year-old.

In addition to serving as an auxiliary bishop of New York and bishop of Rochester, Archbishop Sheen was best known for his weekly radio broadcast, “The Catholic Hour,” and his later weekly television program, “Life is Worth Living.”

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Father Z writes about the May, 1990 miracle needed for the canonization of St. Juan Diego

Juan Jose fell about 10 meters and landed close to a friend of his, Jesus Alfredo Velasquez Ramirez, who saw him land on his head on the concrete pavement.  Juan Jose was bleeding copiously from the mouth, nose and ears.  They covered him, thinking he was dead.

He suddenly sat up, rose and went to the stairs leading to his apartment.  On meeting his mother coming down the stairs he asked his mother’s forgiveness.  They embraced and remained that way for another ten minutes or so before the ambulance came.

During the ambulance ride Juan Jose said he had lost his vision.

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Loreto: The Holy House miraculously transported by angels to the place prepared for it by God.


Falling between the feasts of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe, is the feast of The Holy House of Loreto. Here, then, is Caravaggio’s Madonna of Loreto, an extraordinarily moving painting. Caravaggio painted it in 1604, when he was thirty-three years old.

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The cause for Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s sainthood should be an integral part of the Catholic Church’s “New Evangelization”

by Doug Lawrence

The “poster boy” for Pope Benedict’s “New Evangelization” could well be the most famous television evangelist who ever lived: the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

Archbishop Sheen died 32 years ago, but not before his wit, wisdom, and Irish Catholic charisma made illuminating the Catholic faith a weekly, nationally televised experience … informing and entertaining millions of Catholics and non-Catholics, alike.

Attempting to advance Sheen’s cause for sainthood, and in need of a confirmed miracle, some say the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen interceded to save the life of a stillborn baby at a Peoria hospital in September of 2010.

That may well be so, but his “first” real miracle has been clearly apparent to Catholics (and others) of discernment, for many, many years. Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s entire life and career was a miracle!

America was then and is today, a very anti-Catholic place. Yet somehow, Sheen managed to get his own network television show, and he regularly bested the ratings of the competition, to boot. If that’s not a miracle, then I don’t know what is!

It’s time for the Vatican to put aside petty rivalries and jealousies, and get fully on board with this cause, since the best possible “face” for the “New Evangelization” is the same one that made Catholicism widely known and accepted on network television, in the 1960’s.

Much of  the late archbishop’s work has been very well preserved, and with the latest advances in computer graphic animation, it should be no problem at all to digitally “resurrect” him … in both word and likeness. Maybe we could team up the “digital” Archbishop Sheen with a “live” Father Robert Barron?

Two things are pretty certain: 1) It’s doable. 2) Jesus would be pleased!

So what’s stopping us?

Related article

Inspiring, modern saint story: “Not only do I get a miracle and get to be saved, now I get to meet the pope.”

Glisson was expected to die or be severely disabled due to brain injuries suffered March 15, 2002, in a roller-blading accident on Baltimore Pike in Springfield.

“I didn’t expect him to survive,” said Dr. Richard Buonocore of Newtown Square, the neurosurgeon who, with a trauma team at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, operated on the 21-year-old twice within 12 hours of his accident.

While his parents, Donna and William Glisson Sr., kept a bedside vigil in Crozer’s intensive care unit where he was on a respirator, a family friend, Noreen Yoder of Thornbury, took his cause to a higher power. Now director of the Widener University Child Development Center in Chester, Yoder was a former staff member at Don Guanella, so she informed the community there about the comatose young man’s need for a miracle.

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Husband: “I’m a Catholic – I believe in miracles.” Then, brain dead wife recovers.

Gloria Cruz, 56, underwent brain surgery after a tumor was discovered when she suffered a stroke on March 7 and was rushed to the Royal Darwin Hospital in Darwin, Northern Territory.

Doctors told her husband Tani Cruz, 51, the case was “hopeless” and she would probably die within 48 hours following the surgery.

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