“The Great Apostasy” vs. the Promises of Christ and Divine Providence

Many non Catholics have made the false charge that the Catholic Church Apostatized shortly after the last Apostle died and therefore the Catholic Church of today is not the primitive Christian Church founded by Jesus Christ in Matthew 16:18.

No genuine historical documents, exact dates, or names are ever presented by them to substantiate this false charge.

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Eight PA Residents Join Missionaries of the Gospel of Life

YORK, PA — Peg Pritchard’s secret? The personal invitation.

Eight men and women made their promises as Missionaries of Evangelium Vitae (MEV) on Saturday at St. Joseph’s Church here. Last year, 13 made promises. Next year? Who knows, but people already have told Mrs. Pritchard they would like to be part of her next Life Cell.

“I guess the numbers are good,” said Mrs. Pritchard, who made her promise in 2008, along with her friend and Life Cell co-facilitator Vicki Crispo. “There is such a passion that we have, that I think people see it and know it and feel it. When people ask me about MEV, I say, ‘Maybe you should consider it. Just come and see.’ The personal invitation works very well.”

For the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life (“Evangelium Vitae”), a ministry of New York-based Priests for Life, clergy and laity devote 10 months to a year studying the 1995 encyclical written by Pope John Paul II and then commit the rest of their lives witnessing to the dignity and respect of all individuals, from conception to natural death, focusing in particular on the protection of the child in the womb.

“It’s pro-life spirituality. What we stress first and foremost is their relationship with the Lord,” Mrs. Pritchard said. “After they make their promises, He will direct them and they will discern what God is asking of them, and He will equip them for it.”

Some are moved to pray outside abortion clinics, others to work at pregnancy resource centers or to reach out to post-abortive men and women…some will begin Respect Life groups at their churches.

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This Week’s Ask Alice: “Ask and you will receive.”



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Cathi H writes: What does Jesus mean when he says,
“Ask and you shall receive” when clearly there are a million cases when it doesn’t work out that way? And I’m not referring to selfish prayers, but for things like wisdom, peace, provision for my children’s needs, etc. Thanks!

Alice answers: Jesus wasn’t joking when he said, “Ask and you shall receive.” Our Lord does not make empty promises. He is true to His word. God answers every prayer in His own way, in His own time. When we don’t get what we want quickly, we think God has refused to give us what we ask for in faith. However, God’s prayer clock does not tick according to our time.

“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens….He has made everything appropriate to its time, and has put the timeless into their hearts, without men ever discovering, from beginning to end, the work which God has done.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11)

Clearly, God’s ways are not our ways. After praying for wisdom, we might become tongue-tied when attempting to counsel a troubled friend. Perhaps, we were called to be a listener, not an adviser, to our friend, and God answered our prayer after all. If we pray for peace in our family, God might ask us to be a peacemaker, who must endure the stress of settling family feuds.

One of my relatives has been angry with God since the death of her husband. she felt that God ignored her prayers for successful surgery. Recently, she was crying that God let him die. Recalling his alcoholism, smoking, emphysema, COPD, acid reflux and type-A personality, I suggested that instead of shortening her husband’s life, maybe God lengthened it, in answer to a prayer whispered long ago.

After they adopted a child, the husband had asked God to let him live to see his daughter celebrate her 21st birthday. That prayer was indeed answered, since their daughter had just turned 21, at the time of his death. My friend had never considered the date of her husband’s death as God’s gift of a longer life.

God’s unique way of answering prayers also involves my precious daughter, who is battling her third relapse of Hodgkins’ Disease. On April 1, she was scheduled to enter the hospital for her 2nd Stem Cell Transplant. Scores of people have been praying that she would need only a mini transplant, instead of a major one, that requires intense amounts of chemotherapy. Her suitcase was packed, and just last Saturday, she received the Sacrament of Anointing.

Last night, the oncologist informed her that a PET scan had revealed a small spot, necessitating the major procedure. Instead of feeling devastated, she was unusually peaceful, calmly asking if there was another way to eradicate the spot. Her oncologist mentioned a new drug that has been extremely successful, so she decided to try it, in the hope that the mini transplant will indeed be possible.

“Leave it to the Lord and wait for him.” (Psalm 37:7)

Our family is very happy with her decision, as we have been praying that she wouldn’t need the 2nd stem cell transplant, or that she would receive the mini transplant, instead. We believe God is answering our prayers for healing … in His way … and in His time.

“That is why I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

 

Doug Lawrence suggests this short, daily affirmation:

God hears my prayers. God will answer my prayers. God is answering my prayers. God has answered my prayers. God will continue to answer my prayers. God will never leave me or forsake me. Amen.


Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

This Week’s Ask Alice: Is There A Link Between Faith and Prosperity and A Question About the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Heather writes: Why do you say God is going to make my life better if I believe? It doesn’t say that anywhere in the bible.

Alice Answers: Accounts of God’s punishments are rampant in the Old Testament from the moment Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden to the Great Flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. And all of those chastisements occur in Genesis, the first book of the Bible.

For the Israelites, 215 years of Egyptian enslavement culminated with the ten plagues. Basically, God was punishing the sinful, disobedient people of ancient times. However, the Old Testament also contains countless examples of God’s protection. Many righteous people such as Noah (with his Ark afloat), Joseph (whose dreamy gift saved him from slavery) and Moses (the Jewish baby rescued by Pharaoh’s own daughter) were recipients of God’s Mercy.

“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him may not die but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

In the New Testament we see God’s deep, abiding love manifested through His Son, Jesus. Examples of Jesus’ divine mercy and love are evident when our Lord dined with Zacchaeus, the tiny tax collector, cast out seven demons from Mary Magdalene, fed thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fishes, saved an adultress from stoning, and forgave the woman who washed His feet with her hair.

Sadly, ours is a sinful world where both good and evil people suffer. “For his sun rises on the bad and the good, he rains on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45) God doesn’t cause all of the sickness and suffering in the world. Many societal and personal wounds are the result of people’s cruelty and indifference toward one another.

God doesn’t promise earthly pleasures and treasures, but he does promise joy, peace, comfort, love and a heavenly banquet to those who those believe in him. Both the Old and New Testaments are overflowing with God’s wonderful promises. “You believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” (1Peter 1:8)

“Present your needs to God in every form of prayer and and in petitions full of gratitude. Then God’s own peace, which surpasses all understanding, will stand guard over your hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus.” (Phillippians 4:6).

When we are going through tough times the Lord invites us to, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will refresh you.” (Matthew 11:28) “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will grant you the desires of your heart…” (Psalm 37:4)

In addition to the countless gifts bestowed upon believers, God is saving the best gift for last.

“Eye has not seen, ear has not heard… what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1Corinthians 2:9)

No husband, wife, sibling, parent, friend, lawyer, philanthropist, psychologist or physician could make and keep such perfect promises!

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

****

Nancy writes: The priest at a local church I know will hear confessions and tell the penitent to say their Act of Contrition outside of the confessional, in the church, and then he will give them absolution! Is this a valid confession?

Alice Answers: We Catholics tend to appreciate ritual, especially when it comes to important things. And what could be more important than the peace of mind that comes from having all of our sins totally and absolutely forgiven?

For that reason, it’s best for all concerned to always try to do everything “by the book” … but sometimes, things don’t go exactly as planned.

I don’t know your priest or your parish, but my guess is that the time frame available for hearing confessions is limited, the number of priests available is small, and the lines are long.

Under such conditions, asking people to make their Act of Contrition in advance would not be considered an abuse, and it would also not be likely to affect the validity of the sacrament, in any way.

Here’s why:

In order to receive absolution for sins, the Sacrament of Penance typically requires three things of the penitent: 1) Genuine contrition (sorrow) for committing the sins; 2) Repentance. The existence of a firm purpose of amendment, including both a sincere intention and a real, practical possibility of turning away from sin; 3) Verbal confession of all known mortal sins, to the priest.

Assuming that everyone involved is acting in good faith, and that all three of the above mentioned things are present, the confession is considered to be good, the priest may absolve, sins are forgiven, sanctifying grace is restored to the soul, and all is well.

With these essential conditions fully satisfied, the power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is also more than sufficient to overcome most other variations in formula or follow through.

Changing the order of some things, omitting the Act of Contrition, and/or even failing to perform the assigned penance would not (typically) serve to invalidate an otherwise good confession. And of course, in times of emergency, war, or imminent peril, certain other expediences might also become necessary or prudent, in order to save souls.

Obama has broken 8 campaign promises to make health care debate public

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama repeatedly told voters that the health care overhaul would take place in a public forum, most notably on C-SPAN, conservative bloggers pointed out today.

In a video montage posted on Breitbart.tv, Obama is seen promising voters — on eight different occasions — that the health care debate would be transparent.

For example, during a meeting with the editorial board of The San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 20, 2008, Obama said, “These neogtiations will be on C-SPAN, and so the public will be part of the conversation and will see the choices that are being made.”

In another clip, dated Nov. 14, 2008, Obama told voters that the process would be transparent.

“We will work on this process publicly. It’ll be on C-SPAN. It’ll be streaming on the Internet,” he said.

Read his lips

The reason for our joy: Christmas is proof that God always keeps his promises


by Doug Lawrence

The first thing God did after Adam fell from grace was call a meeting. (That probably explains why meetings have always seemed like a form of punishment, to many of us.)

The Old Testament Bible Book of Genesis, Chapter 3, verse 15, duly records the promise God made to Adam at that meeting … the promise of a redeemer … who would one day come to repair the damage that had been done … something that Adam could never hope to accomplish on his own.

Genesis 3:15 I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

Until that day, all of mankind would remain enslaved to Satan, sin, and death … except for the Virgin Mary, who was, by special privilege of God, conceived without sin, in order to make it possible for her to become the mother of our holy Savior, Jesus Christ. (That’s also why the above Bible verse has both a decidedly masculine as well as feminine “sense” to it.)

When Almighty God sets out to fulfill a promise, there’s nothing in the universe that can stop him … hence the joyous and absolutely confident proclamation of the angels, on that first Christmas.

Luke 2:10-14 And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people: For, this day is born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of good will.

As we all know, within the space of some thirty-three short years, that mild babe in the manger went on to perfectly fulfill all the prophecies and promises that God had ever made, concerning him … destroying Satan’s evil dominion, reconciling sinful mankind, opening the gates of Heaven, and permanently establishing the Kingdom of God, on the Earth.

Thanks to Christ, the state of war that had existed between man and God since ancient times was at an end. From that day forward, God’s grace would trump sin and death, while Satan, the former slave master and undisputed “Prince of this World” would remain a tragic, desperate fugitive on earth, (much like the late Iraqi dictator Sadaam Hussein, who spent his last days cowering in an underground “spider hole” until justice finally caught up with him.)


Now (and forever) Jesus reigns
as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!


The Foundation of Israel in 1948 … Prophecy fulfilled?

Q: The Foundation of Israel in 1948 … Prophecy fulfilled?

A: Many would think so, and many have gone to great lengths to make it so, but the fact remains that the artificially reconstituted modern day nation of Israel has little in common with the original “Chosen People” of God … except for their continuing persecution of Christians.

Fact is, all the promises God made to Israel were kept when he conducted them into the promised land, gave them their sovereignty, and eventually their Messiah, Jesus Christ.

God “owes” them nothing more.

The Christian Church is now the “People of God” in the world, heir to all the promises of Christ … and the only “holy nation” worth being part of … for Jew and Gentile, alike.