Today’s question: What biblical thoughts or Scriptures bring you great peace?

Today’s question: What biblical thoughts or Scriptures bring you great peace?

Answer: Knowing and loving God is what leads to peace and joy, beyond all understanding, which is eternal salvation, in Jesus Christ. That is the ongoing mission of the holy Church and the Lord’s enduring promise to its’ members.

Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always: again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men.

The Lord is nigh.

Be nothing solicitous: but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline: think on these things. The things which you have both learned and received and heard and seen in me, these do ye: and the God of peace shall be with you.

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

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

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

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

(Posted today on Yahoo Answers)

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

ANSWER:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Asked and answered on Yahoo Answers

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

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

Answer: Not exactly.

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

1 X 1 X 1 = 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God will do the rest. His grace is sufficient.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Those who know God know that this is true.

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

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

Once a Catholic, always a Catholic – you hope!

One of the sweet things about being a priest is being able to minister at a person’s deathbed. The veil between this world and the next is very thin at that point, and you can see so much. When I say you can “see” so much what I mean is that so much is revealed. At that point the person who is dying is usually very vulnerable and open. Their worldly facade is fading. Their accomplishments and pride are forgotten. They realize that all the stuff of this world will soon be left behind.

Often the person is quietly sleeping. The family is gathered around and there is no response as the last rites are given. On the other hand, sometimes the process is very conscious. More than once I’ve been called to visit a man or woman who has called the parish office specifically because they know they are dying and they want to see a Catholic priest.

So I once made my way to a small apartment in a not so good part of town. I was admitted to find a man in his sixties with a haggard expression gasping for air. Call him Ralph.

Read more

For more than 1900 years, the serenity and peace of the Catholic Faith and the certainty of the Church’s immutable doctrine were widely recognized as products of the fullness of divine grace and truth, which she alone possessed.

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But now all has changed… dreadful days have come upon us which the appeasing rhetoric of modernized Christians cannot hide: the Revolution of the atheist world has entered the Church and is wearing everything down.

There is no longer any stability and the Church appears to have entered into a perennial Revolution which changes everything continuously: confusion in the rites, confusion in doctrine, confusion in morals, confusion in discipline.

You do not know if the truth of today will be the same tomorrow. Many, priests and faithful, rush around anxiously in order not to be left behind, adapting themselves in whatever way they can, to this wearisome confusion.

The one who is truly seeking God in this revolutionary Church, is left frightfully alone.

What to do in this suffocating atmosphere? And what not to do?

First of all, it is important not to be beset by agitation, it is important not to react like revolutionaries: that would be like treating a disease, which is precisely what the Revolution is, with the same illness. The revolutionary spirit, even when it pretends to save the good, will never be the solution.

Instead, it is essential to stay really outside of the Revolution, by living Catholicism integrally in the stability that was there, before the Revolution invaded everything.

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Editor’s note: Vatican II is what happens when God finally steps aside and permits the men who run the Catholic Church to pursue all the desires of their hearts.

5 keys to better discernment

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Five general principles of discernment of God’s will that apply to all questions about it, and therefore to our question too, are the following:

  1. Always begin with data, with what we know for sure. Judge the unknown by the known, the uncertain by the certain. Adam and Eve neglected that principle in Eden and ignored God’s clear command and warning for the devil’s promised pig in a poke.
  2. Let your heart educate your mind. Let your love of God educate your reason in discerning his will. Jesus teaches this principle in John 7:17 to the Pharisees. (Would that certain Scripture scholars today would heed it!) They were asking how they could interpret his words, and he gave them the first principle of hermeneutics (the science of interpretation): “If your will were to do the will of my Father, you would understand my teaching.” The saints understand the Bible better than the theologians, because they understand its primary author, God, by loving him with their whole heart and their whole mind.
  3. Have a soft heart but a hard head. We should be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves,” sharp as a fox in thought but loyal as a dog in will and deed. Soft-heartedness does not excuse soft-headedness, and hard-headedness does not excuse hard-heartedness. In our hearts we should be “bleeding-heart liberals” and in our heads “stuck-in-the-mud conservatives.”
  4. All God’s signs should line up, by a kind of trigonometry. There are at least seven such signs: (1) Scripture, (2) church teaching, (3) human reason (which God created), (4) the appropriate situation, or circumstances (which he controls by his providence), (5) conscience, our innate sense of right and wrong, (6) our individual personal bent or desire or instincts, and (7) prayer. Test your choice by holding it up before God’s face. If one of these seven voices says no, don’t do it. If none say no, do it.
  5. Look for the fruits of the spirit, especially the first three: love, joy, and peace. If we are angry and anxious and worried, loveless and joyless and peaceless, we have no right to say we are sure of being securely in God’s will. Discernment itself should not be a stiff, brittle, anxious thing, but—since it too is part of God’s will for our lives—loving and joyful and peace-filled, more like a game than a war, more like writing love letters than taking final exams.

Read more from Peter Kreeft

A woman is trapped in the wreckage of a horrific car crash. Then a Catholic priest who had anointing oil with him, arrived.

PictCatholicCard

“He came up and approached the patient, and offered a prayer,” New London Fire Chief Raymond Reed told KHQA-TV. “It was a Catholic priest who had anointing oil with him. A sense of calmness came over her, and it did us as well.”

Considering how many people were at the scene and interacting with the mystery faith leader, the story is a fascinating one.

“I can’t be for certain how it was said, but myself and another firefighter, we very plainly heard that we should remain calm, that our tools would now work and that we would get her out of that vehicle,” the firefighter added.

Now here’s where things get weird.

Read more

Editor’s note: These things happen way more often than most people think. Here’s another short, illustrated, real-life, personal story.

God loves you. God will provide – and that often means answering frantic prayers with just the right person, for the job. All we can do in the mean time, is try not to mess things up too badly – and/or too often – since God’s ways are not our ways – and it’s never wise to act recklessly or presumptuously.

It’s also always a good idea to say a quick prayer for anyone who you might notice, happens to be in distress, may have been injured, may be very near death, or has recently died.

One more thing … thank God for priests. The vast majority of priests are nice guys who are just trying to do God’s work, under what usually turns out to be very difficult circumstances. Priests are at their best – and are most appreciated  – when they are attending to the souls of those who are literally, staring death in the face. Those who have been there will, I am sure, agree.

James 5:14-15 Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. (15) And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man. And the Lord shall raise him up: and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him.

Additional related links:

A last chance for lost souls

Anointing of the Sick, Last Sacraments, and the Apostolic Pardon

What Are “Last Rites”?

Priest’s Heroic Battle Action

Priests Prevented From Anointing Boston Marathon Bombing Victims

Three kinds of holy oil/chrism

Saint Padre Pio and the Angels

Papal visit to shore up situation in Lebanon, the last, best hope for preserving Christianity in the middle east.

The pope arrived in Harissa on time at 6 p.m. to sign the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation for the Middle East, and was greeted by Lebanese and Vatican flags as well as banners bearing the word “peace” in multiple languages.

Gathered opposite the church on chairs set out for the event, visitors said the pope’s visit was a sign that Christians would retain a presence in Lebanon despite their uncertain future in the rest of the region.

“If Christians remain here [in Lebanon], the whole region will become better and different,” said Tony Haddad, who came to catch a glimpse of the pope from the nearby town of Bzommar.

Haddad, who described the visit as historic, said that Vatican’s concern for the people of Lebanon and the region means it has blessed the country and will not abandon it, despite unrest in the Middle East.

More

* * * NEWS FLASH – swallowing small amounts of saliva, over extended periods of time, is ALWAYS FATAL * * *

Momento mori: Latin phrase meaning, “Remember, you will die”.

This is the truest reality there is. This is what makes us all the same. It doesn’t matter how rich we are, or how popular we are, or how powerful we are: we are all going to “kick the bucket” one day. Isn’t that a nice thought?

Okay, you may say, so what? After we come to accept this basic reality, we have to make sure we do everything with our end in mind. God tells us in the Book of Sirach, “Call no man happy before his death, for by how he ends, a man is known” (11:28 [RNAB]). The world is filled with examples of men who began well and ended badly! We need to make sure that we are not one of them!

If we keep our end in mind then we can begin to reflect on what is most important: What will I accomplish with my short time on earth? What do I want people to say about me once I’ve taken my last breath? Was my life worth living? Will I be a person who changed the world? Will I be a person who gave more than I took? Or will I be a person who took more than I gave? Will people say of me, “I loved to be around that man because he was a true man and he gave his life away for others”? Or will they say, “That person was one of the most miserable human beings you would ever want to meet”? What will others say about you?

Read more from Father Larry Richards

Garvan Byrne died at the age of 11 after a long illness, but he left behind an amazing and inspiring video for people of faith.

Click here … and have the Kleenex ready

I don’t know if Garvan Byrnes is worthy of sainthood.  But it seems to me that the Church should consider investigating his life and death to see if he is worthy of  being named a “Servant of God.”  From there, God will decide how high this young man should rise on that scale of sanctity.   It may all come down to whether God permits miracles to be permitted when people petition Garvan in the name of Jesus.

Thanks to Te Deum laudamus!

Michael Voris “brags” about the “Coolness” of Catholicism

Truth is .. Catholicism always has been cool.

We built western civilization .. the only thing that relativists, socialists and atheists ever built was guillotines and death camps.

Our problem of late it just that many of us have been asleep for a while .. not really minding or paying attention to the candy store.

And while many of us were sleeping .. losers sneaked past and somehow claimed the mantle of cool.

Well .. if you think broken homes, shattered childhoods, self-esteem rooted in lies, cheating spouses, objectification of women, the death of masculinity, the ascendancy of lesbian-centered feminism, the glorification of mothers murdering their children, the nightmare of addictions .. and every other such social evil is cool .. then you need to hit the road Jack.

What’s so cool about a mounting toll of human physical, emotional and psychological carnage,?

So why is Catholic so cool? Because it makes you a man .. it makes you able to stand on your own two feet. While all these social losers tear you down .. they are actually jealous of you and what you have.

Watch the short video

After 52 weekly columns we bid farewell to “Ask Alice” and say hello to “Religious Ed”


Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

After one full year/52 weekly columns, we bid farewell to Alice and thank her for her faith, her wit, her knowledge, her love, as well as her tireless service to all our readers … and the whole Church.

Alice plans to keep up with her other ministries and church work, something that will hopefully be much easier now, without a looming, 5 AM, Thursday morning deadline.

We plan to keep all of Alice’s previous columns available for reference, on-site. See the “CATEGORY” drop down menu, on the right side of the main viewing window, or simply use the search box.

We wish Alice and her family the very best of all God’s blessings, supernatural abundance and peace, along with a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Our new weekly Q&A columnist,
“Religious Ed”®
will begin his column
on Thursday, January 12, 2012.

“Ed” is a staunchly conservative Catholic, with many years of experience in both the “pre” and “post” Vatican II Church. Ed likes to remind people that, while God IS love, his wrath is also genuine, awesomely formidable and nothing to be marginalized or ignored!

Ed theorizes that many of the evils that God allows to exist in the world are actually divine chastisements, stemming from corruption in the Church and in the world, at large. 

One example: The rise of Islamic terrorism in the West closely coincided with the wide-spread, legalization/government promotion of abortion. If infants can’t be safe and secure inside their mother’s womb, why should anyone expect to experience security in their land?

Similarly, the rise of militant homosexuality closely coincided with the illicit establishment of the “Lavender Mafia” inside the Catholic Church, presently thought to encompass one-third to one-half of the hierarchy and priesthood, and wielding a particularly deviant homosexual influence over the bulk of Catholic seminaries.

In light of all this, the clerical sex abuse scandals were not only likely, but virtually guaranteed. Yet the church still refuses to enforce the established rules preventing homosexuals from applying to the priesthood, and the bishops generally do very little to reign in militantly homosexual priests and their parishes.

Maybe after another $2.6 billion in payouts, they’ll finally get the message. Not likely though, since it’s not their money!

Send Your Questions or Comments to Ed

Remembering to pray: A Prayer of Spouses for Each Other

Lord Jesus, grant that I and my spouse may have a true and understanding love for each other. Grant that we may both be filled with faith and trust. Give us the grace to live with each other in peace and harmony. May we always bear with one another’s weaknesses and grow from each other’s strengths. Help us to forgive one another’s failings and grant us patience, kindness, cheerfulness and the spirit of placing the well-being of one another ahead of self.

May the love that brought us together grow and mature with each passing year. Bring us both ever closer to You through our love for each other. Let our love grow to perfection. Amen.

Link

A Most Mysterious Moment of Mercy

Read how God went to a lot of trouble to provide for one of his own.

Alaska bishop can’t quite see Mecca from his window, but evidently, he can “feel the love”.

For some Americans, their first encounter with Islam came from associations made by learning more about the events of Sept. 11, 2001 and the people involved. For a number of citizens, the religion of Islam has become an object of suspicion and hostility.

In the 1960s, the Catholic Church took into consideration Islam and Muslim believers at the Second Vatican Council. The Council documents state:

“The Church has also a high regard for the Muslims. They worship God, who is one, living and subsistent, merciful and almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men [and women]. They strive to submit themselves without reserve to the hidden decrees of God, just as Abraham submitted himself to God’s plan, to whose faith Muslims eagerly link their own. Although not acknowledging him as God, they venerate Jesus as a prophet, his Virgin Mother they also honor, and even at times devoutly invoke. Further, they await the day of judgment and the reward of God following the resurrection of the dead. For this reason they highly esteem an upright life and worship God, especially by way of prayer, alms-deeds and fasting.

Over the centuries many quarrels and dissensions have arisen between Christians and Muslims. The sacred Council now pleads with all to forget the past, and urges that a sincere effort be made to achieve mutual understanding; for the benefit of all men [and women], let them together preserve and promote peace, liberty, social justice and moral values.”

Link

Editor’s note: Hey, bishop … how many Muslims live up there in the Great White North?


Good Friday Rosary Campaign Picking Up Steam


Imagine what might happen if every Catholic in the world would pray a Rosary on the same day!

We have an example in October of 1573, when Europe was saved from the invasion of the mighty Turkish fleet, by the praying of the Rosary by all Christians!

So, on Good Friday, let us all pray a Rosary for peace in the world and the return of moral values to our communities. If possible, please pray your Rosary between Noon and 3:00pm.

Also, please e-mail this message to every Catholic on your address list, and ask them to pass it along to every Catholic on their lists.

Let’s unite in praying one of the most powerful prayers in existence, for these intentions, on one of the holiest days in our Church year.

God bless us all!

Submitted by Joan H, and Doria2

Interfaith Dialog with Muslims?

From the American Catholic site:

I would encourage folks to engage the thought of Miroslav Volf, Robert Louis Wilken and Peter Kreeft on our topic. Recently Miroslav Volf has been interviewed about his new book on Islam. These interviews are very much worth checking out. Refer to it below.

A Voice across the Great Chasm: An Interview with Miroslav Volf

Meet Miroslav Volf, whose ‘Allah’ is a path to peace

Also don’t miss out on Robert Louis Wilken’s award winning FT article if you haven’t read it yet.

FIRST THINGS – Christianity Face to Face with Islam by Robert Louis Wilken

In my previous post below (Alliance of Civilizations or Clash of Civilizations?) I linked to Peter Kreeft’s work on this topic.

Related Posts:

Fr. Richard J. Neuhaus on Islam and Reform

Alliance of Civilizations or Clash of Civilizations?

What is the meaning of existence?

The Ground Zero Mosque And Religious Freedom (4 Parts)