The Catholic apologist’s universal scriptural reference sheet

BibleInspired

Sola scriptura

Jn 21:25 … not everything is in the Bible.
2 Thess 2:15; 2 Tim 2:2; 1 Cor 11:2; 1 Thess 2:13 … Paul speaks of oral tradition.
Acts 2:42 … early Christians followed apostolic tradition.
2 Pet 3:16 … Bible hard to understand, get distorted.
2 Jn 1:12; 3 Jn 1:13-14 … more oral tradition.
2 Pet 1:20-21 … against personal interpretation.
Acts 8:31; Heb 5:12 … guidance needed to interpret scriptures.


Sola fide

Jas 2:14-26 … what good is faith w/o works?
Heb 10:26 … must avoid sin.
Jas 5:20 … “earning” forgiveness.
Lk 6:46; Mt 7:21; Mt 19:16-21; Jn 5:29 … must do will of God.
1 Cor 9:27 … “buffet my body …”
Phil 2:12; 2 Cor 5:10; Rom 2:6-10, 13, 3:31; Mt 25:32-46; Gal 6:6-10; Rev 20:12 … works have merit.
1 Jn 2:3-4; 1 Jn 3:24; 1 Jn 5:3 … keep commandments.

Salvation (once and for all?)


1 Cor 9:27 … after preaching … I myself disqualified.
1 Cor 10:12 … thinks that he stands … lest he fall.
Phil 2:12 … work out salvation with fear and trembling.
Heb 4:1 … fear of failing to reach salvation.
1 Jn 5:16,17 … some sins are mortal, some not.
Rom 11:21,22 … spare branches, continue or be cut off.


Deuterocanonicals

Deuterocanonicals were used in NT: 2 Mach 6:18-7:42 … Heb 11:35; Wisdom 3:5-6 … 1 Pet 1:6-7; Wisdom 13:1-9 … Rom 1:18-32
Septuagint (Gk, w/ Deuterocanonicals) version of OT quoted in NT, noticably different from Hebrew version: Is 7:14 … Mt 1:23; Is 40:3 … Mt 3:3; Joel 2:30-31 … Acts 2:19-29; Ps 95:7-9 … Heb 3:7-9 etc.


Purgatory…

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A Biblical Bucket List for Believers: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

BibleInspired

In the last few years the phrase “Bucket List” has come into the American lexicon. A bucket list is a list of this to accomplish before you die. There is some sort of TV show related to this that I have never seen, but from the few snips I have seen, it is mostly about frivolous, even unpleasant stuff.

But for the Christian the Scriptures announce a number of things that we well ought to have either done or have up and running long before we die. Our goal is to die in an act of loving God, to die in the life giving transformation relationship we we call faith. And our prayer is that grace and mercy have had the necessary affects to make us ready to go home and be with God.

The list that I present here is modified by me a bit, but in essence not original to me.

View the list

About the four (authentic) Gospels of Jesus Christ and their (supposed) discrepancies


Now, the cherubim of Ezekiel had four faces and four forms, namely, of a lion, a man, a calf, and an eagle. S. John, in the Apocalypse (chap. iv.), calls them four living creatures. “The first living creature,” he says, “was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, and the third living creature, having the face, as it were, of a man, and the fourth living creature was like an eagle flying.”

The lion denotes S. Mark, whose face, i.e., the beginning of his Gospel, is the cry and the roar of John the Baptist in the wilderness, “Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand:” the calf denotes S. Luke, who commences his Gospel with the ancient priesthood, whose victim was a calf. The man denotes S. Matthew, who begins with the human genealogy of Christ. The eagle denotes S. John, who, soaring aloft from earth to heaven, balances himself like an eagle, and thunders forth, as it were, that Divine exordium, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Deservedly does S. Denis the Areopagite, in his Epistle to the same John, call him the sun of the Gospel, and his Gospel itself the memory and the renewal of that Theology, which he drew from the Lord, as he lay upon His breast, and left to be beheld in his Gospel by those who came after, like a ray of the sun.

Listen to S. Jerome in his Preface to S. Matthew: “First of all is Matthew the publican, surnamed Levi, who published a Gospel in Judæa in the Hebrew language, chiefly for the sake of those from among the Jews who had believed in Jesus, but who still observed the shadow of the Old Law, after the truth of the Gospel had come in its place. The second is Mark, the interpreter of the Apostle Peter, and first Bishop of the Church of Alexandria, who had not indeed himself seen the Lord, the Saviour; but related the things which he had heard his master preach, rather according to the truth of what was done, than the order. The third is Luke the Physician, a Syrian by nation, an Antiochene, whose praise is in the Gospel. He was a disciple of the Apostle Paul; and composed his work in the parts of Achaia and Bœotia. He aimed somewhat loftily; and as he himself confesses in his Preface, narrated what he had heard rather than what he had seen. The last is John, the Apostle and Evangelist, who loved Jesus very greatly, and who, lying upon the Lord’s bosom, drank of the very purest streams of doctrine, and who alone was privileged to hear from the Cross, ‘Behold thy Mother.’”

These four so appropriately wrote the words and deeds of Christ, that they seem to make a kind of musical harmony of four chords; for what each one writes is different in style from the others, but agrees with them in meaning and in facts. What one is silent about, another supplies: what one gives concisely, another relates more at large: what one obscurely hints at, another gives at length. As S. Augustine says, “Although each seems to have preserved his own order in writing, yet they are not found to have written as though any one were ignorant of what had been said by him who preceded; but as each was inspired, he added the not superfluous co-operation of his own labour.”

Lastly, the discrepancies of the Evangelists are the greatest possible testimony to their truthfulness. As S. Chrysostom says in his Preface to S. Matthew, “If altogether and in every respect they exactly corresponded, and with the utmost precision with respect to times and places were in perfect verbal agreement, there is not one of our enemies but would believe, that they were engaged in a common design to deceive, and that they had framed the Gospels by human understanding, for they would not judge that this supposed harmony arose from simple sincerity, but was the result of contrivance.” And again, he says, “If any one whatsoever had related everything, the others would have been superfluous: or if again, on the other hand, each had written nothing which was found in the others, there could have been no proof of their agreement. Wherefore they have written many things in common, and yet each hath related something specially and peculiarly his own. And thus they have escaped the charge of writing for writing’s sake, merely to add to the number of the Gospels, as well as the opposite danger of bringing discredit upon everything, by each giving entirely different events.”

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“I don’t know where we went wrong other than that we obviously don’t understand the Scriptures in the way that we should.”

I had profiled several believers before May 21. The day after, most didn’t answer the phone. Those who did wouldn’t talk on the record. But one man, his voice quavering, said he was still holding out hope that they were one day off. Another believer asserted that their prayers worked: God delayed judgment so that more people could be saved, but the end is “imminent.”

Tom Evans was contrite. Evans is on the board of Family Radio, the organization led by Harold Camping, who calculated and promoted the May 21 date.

“I don’t know where we went wrong other than that we obviously don’t understand the Scriptures in the way that we should,” he says.

It’s very hard for us to say, ‘Boy, was I stupid!’ The more committed a person is to their prophecy, the more likely they are to justify that action, and to try to convince people that their belief was in some way right or good. – Elliot Aronson, psychologist

Camping has yet to make a statement, but Evans hopes they will not recalculate and announce a new date for Judgment Day. After all, they’ve done that at least once before — in 1994 — and he believes they’ve learned a lesson.

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DECLARATION ON THE RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS


The Vatican document NOSTRA AETATE, proclaimed by Pope Paul VI, on October 28, 1965, makes a number of important points about Catholicism, Islam, and Judaism. And once a few inexcusably vague and misleading passages are suitably parsed and properly understood, it says nothing that any good Catholic would not (or should not) already know.

Unfortunately, most Catholics have never read NOSTRA AETATE, so it has often been misquoted and misused by some Catholics, as well as those of other faiths, to take unfair advantage, and to spread further confusion in the Catholic ranks.

I suggest you read the document for yourself. Note what is actually stated and what is not. Be very careful to make absolutely no assumptions about language therein which appears to reference certain events and/or covenants, but fails to specifically name them, describe, and/or explain their precise significance.

Also, pay particular attention to the following verses from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, which have often been taken out of context, in order to state something that St. Paul obviously never intended:

“theirs is the sonship and the glory and the covenants and the law and the worship and the promises; theirs are the fathers and from them is the Christ according to the flesh” (Rom. 9:4-5)

Read the complete text of the St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans.

The true meaning of the document:

Catholics are called to act with unbridled charity to all, no matter what their faith tradition. Unjust and unwarranted discrimination is always to be avoided, and the dignity of persons, along with respect for their religious freedom is always to be observed, without exception. Doing anything less constitutes a serious sin. Meanwhile, Catholics are bound to affirm and uphold all the authentic teachings of the Catholic faith. Compromising on ANY of these, constitutes a serious sin.

The false, liberal “take” on NOSTRA AETATE:

All religions are valid paths to God. Those of other faiths are no longer in need of evangelization, since they have their own covenant(s) and arrangements with God.  Catholics are obligated, out of guilt for past offenses, to “roll over” and “give in” any time a non-Catholic criticizes the teachings or the actions of the Church. To do otherwise is inconsiderate, hurtful, rude, and most significantly … politically incorrect … and being politically incorrect constitutes the “unforgivable sin” against liberals, progressives, and modernists, everywhere.

Read NOSTRA AETATE for yourself

Practical tips for a better understanding of supernatural healing.

by Doug Lawrence

The “Big Picture”

For thousands of years, it was widely accepted and understood that only the inimitable, unknowable, immutable God could forgive sins. Likewise, in spite of man’s knowledge of certain beneficial and even therapeutic natural compounds, the authentic healing arts also remained essentially in the hands of God, alone.

Yet today, thanks to Jesus Christ, the sacraments of his Catholic Church, and the Catholic ministerial priesthood, it is indeed possible to obtain total absolution from sin, and thanks to modern advances in medical care and the sciences (which were also fostered by the Church’s many contributions to Western civilization) it is also possible (in many cases) to obtain genuine physical healing, as well.

And while physical healing has never been the primary role of the church, the link between healing and the forgiveness of sins is one of the oldest and most essential of all, since that link was forged by none other than Jesus Christ, in one of the first public miracles of his earthly ministry.

Luke 5:17-26 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he sat teaching, that there were also Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, that were come out of every town of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was to heal them.

And behold, men brought in a bed a man who had the palsy: and they sought means to bring him in and to lay him before him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in, because of the multitude, they went up upon the roof and let him down through the tiles with his bed into the midst before Jesus. Whose faith when he saw, he said: Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.

And the scribes and Pharisees began to think, saying: Who is this who speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? And when Jesus knew their thoughts, answering he said to them: What is it you think in your hearts?

Which is easier to say: Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say: Arise and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man hath the power on earth to forgive sins (he saith to the sick of the palsy), I say to thee to: Arise, take up thy bed and go into thy house.

And immediately rising up before them, he took up the bed on which he lay: and he went away to his own house, glorifying God. And all were astonished: and they glorified God. And they were filled with fear, saying: We have seen wonderful things today.

For those suffering from chronic or incurable illnesses, who are looking to God for supernatural healing, there is much to be learned from the above passages. Let’s take it “by the numbers”:

“And it came to pass on a certain day, as he sat teaching, that there were also Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, that were come out of every town of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was to heal them. “

The Book of Genesis makes it clear that death, along with all human infirmities, are the collective result of Adam’s sin. The prophetic OT books inform us that the promised Messiah would have power over death, hell, and all human infirmities, while none of those things would have even the slightest power over him.

In that same vein, there was absolutely nothing in the Law of Moses, or in the Ten Commandments, which had the power to obtain forgiveness of sins, or to redeem mankind from eternal slavery to Satan, sin, and death. That type of relief is a function of grace … grace could only be obtained by and through Jesus Christ.

The assembled Pharisees and the Doctors of the Law, who were in the habit of “lording” the requirements of the law over the people, primarily for their own aggrandizement, were quite probably loathed to admit this.

“And behold, men brought in a bed a man who had the palsy: and they sought means to bring him in and to lay him before him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in, because of the multitude, they went up upon the roof and let him down through the tiles with his bed into the midst before Jesus. Whose faith when he saw, he said: Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.”

Sometimes, it will be necessary to rely on the kindness of friends, family, and even strangers, in order to obtain what we need from God. God most certainly provides, but we must be open to that divine provision, whatever it’s form, and cooperate with it, in every way possible.

Since faith remains absolutely essential in these matters, our most reliable helpers and intercessors will typically be faithful Catholics, who know and love God, and who understand how he customarily operates. Foremost in this regard are the saints in Heaven, followed by the saints on earth … fellow members of the Body of Christ … good people who we personally know, or to whom we are related … by blood, by baptism/grace and by nature. (Not necessarily in that order.)

The men who brought the paralytic to Jesus literally stopped at nothing in order to accomplish their mission. While we know little about their personal traits or proclivities, the fact that they acted definitively and with extreme perseverance in order to bring their friend/relative/loved one to Christ, says it all.

In that regard, it is also quite possible that the afflicted one was unconscious, or that he had little or no real faith of his own, and that the entire episode was the result of one or more unknown, faithful person’s free response to the grace of God, which promptly acted upon, resulted in a genuine (and very famous) miracle.

How many of us would resort to carrying someone up to the roof, chopping a hole, and then lowering a friend down through that hole, in order to bring him to God? It sounds crazy! Do such things even happen any more? No wonder miraculous healings seem to be so rare, in today’s world! Yet under the circumstances, these men did nothing more than what was required. And it certainly appears to “put the lie” to the heretical concept of “faith alone”.

Then, there’s the matter of Jesus choosing to first, forgive the man’s sins, rather than simply heal his physical infirmities … and the fact that Jesus chose to refer to the paralytic as “man” … rather than by his given name.

The name “Adam” literally means “The Man”.

Jesus, the Messiah, came to make “The Man” whole again, by making the forgiveness of sins possible. Only then could the corruption and death that sin inevitably brings, be rightly remedied.

The forgiveness of sins must logically precede everything else.
(And in God’s system of things, it always does.)

Jesus Christ, faith, church, and grace, as well as personal initiative, would henceforth, always remain as integral parts of our continuing process of reconciliation with God, and our daily struggle against the corrupting forces of evil.

A Plan for Supernatural Healing



1) Go to Confession. Go to Mass.
Receive Holy Communion. Get Anointed.

The Mass and the Sacraments are the most powerful, abundant
and effective channels of God’s grace,
and grace is the means by which ALL supernatural healing occurs.

If you’re too sick to go to church,
ask a priest to come to your hospital or home.


2) Pray.

Go to daily and Sunday Mass.
Make your case with God, in prayer.
Pray the Rosary. “Mom” will take care of you.
Pray for Saintly intercession.
Then … do it all some more … as best you can.


2) Ask friends, relatives and church members
to pray for you.

Ask them to go to Mass, to Confession,
and to receive Holy Communion too,
since the efficacy of their prayers on your behalf is (typically)
dependent on the amount of “respect” God has for them,
and that too, is essentially, a function of grace.

Click here to learn more about “Merit”


3) Cultivate the Cardinal Virtues
of FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY, in your own soul.

Cling to Jesus Christ …
for without him, there can be no real hope.
At the same time, do everything possible to fully cooperate
with your priest, your doctors and your other care-givers.
That way … you’re “good to go” … no matter what!

Believe that God heals and that the Mass,
the sacraments, and the prayers of the faithful
are truly effective indeed,
according to the order of God’s abundant grace.

Believe that God will answer your prayers
in the best possible way, at the best possible time.

Never fear!
Romans 8:31  What shall we then say to these things?
If God be for us, who is against us?

The Memorare
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins,
my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand,
sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer me. – Amen.


Look for the love …

Matthew 25:36  Naked, and you covered me:
sick, and you visited me:
I was in prison, and you came to me.

Matthew 25:40  And the king answering shall say to them:
Amen I say to you,
as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren,
you did it to me.

At the very least,
the illness or infirmity of a friend or relative
provides ordinary people
with an opportunity to actually live the Gospel.

At the very least,
illness or infirmity
provides the afflicted with the time and opportunity
to turn to God for supernatural solace and support …
and that is often a very precious commodity
in today’s fast-paced world.


Try to make sense of the suffering.

Suffering remains a great mystery,
yet we know that suffering was an integral part
of Christ’s earthly life,
and particularly of his atoning sacrifice
for the sins of the world,
on the cross at Calvary.

In his letter to the Colossians,
St. Paul explains that our own sufferings might,
when offered up and combined with those of Jesus Christ,
somehow help to save souls,
or serve to alleviate the suffering of others.

Offering up our sufferings to God, to be applied as he sees fit,
is in itself a beautiful act of faith, hope and charity.
On a more practical note,
such devotions help make our sufferings
more endurable …
or might even alleviate them, entirely.

Many believe that earthly suffering
may actually serve to reduce or eliminate
the need for a “stay” in Purgatory, when we die.

Some Catholics who have endured and overcome
extreme suffering have described their ordeal
as “a true gift from God”.

In the order of God’s supernatural grace,
as the Blessed Virgin Mary has already
personally demonstrated,

Nothing is Broken.
Nothing is Missing.

God’s grace is truly sufficient.

Get some right away!

(And remember … God heals all types of afflictions …
not just medical issues.)

Honey, if you ever leave me, I’m going with you …

The Scripture says that a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife (Gen 2:24).

Now “cling” is a strong word. It means to stick like glue. Notice that a man does this. Boys run around and play the field, but a man looks for a wife and, finding her,  leaves his parents and clings to her. This is what a man does. He works hard to preserve union with his wife. He seeks to understand her needs and to provide, to be affectionate, affirming and encouraging. He confirms her authority over the children and teaches them to respect her.

Too many men today are passive husbands and fathers. But the Scriptures place on the man the first obligation to cling to his wife. When a marriage is in trouble it is usually the wife who calls me. This is already a sign of trouble since the Lord says that clinging is the essential role the man. If there is trouble he should be the first to notice it and to work to restore proper union with his wife.

It is true today that many men have little recourse if a wife simply wants to leave, no-fault divorce is too easy and is hard to fight . But of course the question is what did he do when he first saw trouble, first saw the unity of his marriage threatened.

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