Some practical reasons why many (even some non-Catholics) believe that the Holy Catholic Church is the one, true Church of Jesus Christ

 

Personally Founded By Jesus Christ
Catholicism is a dynamic and enduring faith, personally instituted by Jesus Christ, for the purpose of our salvation; divinely and appropriately structured, in order to effectively to deal with the various challenges presented by all the “ages” of man.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 766 The Church is born primarily of Christ’s total self-giving for our salvation, anticipated in the institution of the Eucharist and fulfilled on the cross.
“The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of the crucified Jesus.”

“For it was from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death upon the cross that there came forth the ‘wondrous sacrament of the whole Church.'” As Eve was formed from the sleeping Adam’s side, so the Church was born from the pierced heart of Christ hanging dead on the cross.

“Born” on Pentecost, of the Holy Spirit
The one Church of Jesus Christ was “born” on Pentecost, about 34 A.D. and according to Saint Ignatius of Antioch, who lived during the early 2nd century, has been known as “Catholic” – since at least, 107 A.D.

The Holy Catholic Church has always been said to possess four identifying “marks”:

The Church is ONE
Jesus personally founded, authorized, empowered and perpetually guaranteed only ONE Church – The Holy Catholic Church – for the purpose of our salvation.

The Church is HOLY
Thanks to Jesus Christ, its’ founder and head, who embodies holiness, in every possible way. Jesus remains the head of his “Mystical Body”, which is the Church. That which God takes to himself is holy, indeed, for he himself makes it so, by his own, awesome power and grace.

The Church is CATHOLIC
Catholic means “universal”. One bread, one body, one Spirit of God, for all true believers in Jesus Christ.

The Church is APOSTOLIC
The same Apostles who accompanied Jesus Christ on his salvific mission, who were present at the Last Supper, at the foot of the cross, who experienced the risen Christ and the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost (minus Judas, plus Saint Matthias and Saint Paul) who went out and established all the original Christian congregations, preserving and transmitting all the original, divinely revealed truths, as well as selecting their own duly ordained successors, whose continuing mission was to propagate the true faith of Jesus Christ, until he returns for “The People of God”, at the end of the age.

The (present day) Bishops and the Pope govern the Church and minister to its various needs according to the power and authority personally given to the first Bishops (and priests) of the Church – known as “the Apostles” – by our Holy Lord, Jesus Christ, while he still walked the earth.

The Great Commission
According to that same Christ, the primary purpose of the Bishops – suitably assisted by Priests, Deacons and other, qualified Catholics – is to Evangelize: effectively reach out to share the authentic, Holy Gospel/Christian faith; Teach: faithfully preserve and accurately disseminate/interpret/strive to correctly, charitably and authoritatively apply all the divinely revealed truths; Baptize (and sanctify, in various, other appropriate ways) in the name of God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – in accordance with his awesome power, grace and express will.

Sacred and Apostolic Tradition
Catholics believe that Jesus Christ remains the head of the Catholic Church, with the Holy Spirit as its perpetual advocate; infallibly guiding the Church from generation to generation, to all truth.

The continuous and somewhat mysterious process by which that divine leadership actually occurs is known as “Tradition”.

The Holy Bible
Catholics believe that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, Holy Spirit inspired, written Word of God. The Catholic Church originally compiled and certified all the authentic, Old Testament sacred texts, wrote and certified all the New Testament sacred texts, and with the extraordinary assistance of Saint Jerome, translated all the original languages into Latin – the common language of the people of that time – by the 4th century. In the year 1455, The Catholic Latin Vulgate Bible became the first mass-produced publication of Johann Gutenberg, the acknowledged inventor of the movable type, printing press. The Latin Vulgate was later translated into the English language, Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible, with the English language New Testament published in 1582, followed by the English Old Testament, in 1609-1610.

The Holy Bible continues to be a perennial, “best seller”

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
Catholics believe that The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a real-time, divinely empowered, re-presentation of the Last Supper, as well as Jesus Christ’s one time, once for all, perfect and atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world, on the cross, at Calvary.

The Catholic Ministerial Priesthood
Through the power of the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood and the Holy Spirit, the crucified and risen Christ becomes present on the altar for us at Mass, under the auspices of bread and wine – body, blood, soul and divinity – so we Catholics might have the opportunity to personally participate in his propitiatory sacrifice – joining in with him to offer his divine perfection to God the Father, for our needs, for the needs of the Holy Catholic Church and for the whole world.

The Seven Sacraments
Catholics believe that each of the Seven Sacraments, which were instituted by Jesus Christ, to give grace, constitutes a unique, personal encounter with the risen Christ that is divinely ordered to the salvation of souls and exquisitely suited to the diverse needs of the People of God, throughout every phase of their earthly existence.

Rooted In the Judeo-Christian Tradition
This basic Catholic theological system has many similarities to that which had previously been employed by the Old Testament Hebrews: A reliance on a combination of Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and Divine Teaching Authority; the three biblical “witnesses” by which the truth might always be properly discerned.

But now, thanks to our Holy Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church also possesses the truly salvific power and grace that was not yet available in times of old.

A Mere COINCIDENCE of Human History?
The fact that the Holy Catholic Church (inexplicably) remains the world’s longest reigning, continuous government (of any kind) and the fact that the Catholic Church still manages to exist at all, in spite of a 2,000 year history of some of the worst internal scandals and leadership failures imaginable (as well as some of mankind’s greatest triumphs) serves to lend serious credibility to the Church’s original and exclusive claim of its’ divine origin in Jesus Christ and of God’s unwavering, perpetual solicitude.

A question about the Holy Eucharist

Question: To any normal person, this sounds very much like the script of a gruesome horror film. The whole idea of “eating Jesus’ body” and “drinking his blood” is grotesque in the extreme. What do you believers have to say about this?

Answer: The Jews were required to eat the flesh of the Passover Lamb, ever since God liberated them from slavery, in Egypt.

Christians have been required to eat the risen and glorified flesh and blood of Jesus Christ – the true, Lamb of Godever since he liberated all of mankind from perpetual slavery to Satan, sin and death by his atoning sacrifice on the cross, at Calvary and his subsequent, glorious resurrection from the dead.

This is an essential part of a uniquely powerful Eucharistic Celebration/Commemoration (known as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass) where we Christians joyfully, thankfully and powerfully receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ (known as “The Real Presence”) under the more palatable and aesthetically pleasing auspices of ordinary bread and wine.

To put it even more simply:
This is merely one more extraordinary and awesome example

of God’s total self-giving for our salvation.

For those in the know, who possess at least a modicum of true faith, this is historically and traditionally consistent, logical, rational and supernaturally nourishing.

For others, it remains a total mystery and a scandal.

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

A question about the possibility of divine justification, prior to Jesus’ perfect and atoning sacrifice, on the cross.


Question: In the Gospel of Saint Luke, Chapter 18, verse 9, we read the story of The Pharisee and the Tax Collector. In verse 14, it goes on to say that the Tax Collector went home justified, by God. I thought that prior to Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross, nobody was ever justified, by God. What am I missing?

Answer: Prior to Jesus’ atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind, God provided many types of opportunities for man to give God thanks and praise and to offer up imperfect forms of animal (and other) sacrifices to God, for various good purposes and intentions.

While none of those “forms” of worship (or even our best attempts at perfectly keeping the Old Law) had the power to destroy Satan’s power over man, or reopen the Gates of Heaven, they did serve to (imperfectly) please/appease God and impute a certain level of righteousness/justification to those who faithfully and correctly practiced them.

The souls of those who God considered to be “justified” in that manner, were supernaturally “marked” for eventual salvation, in Jesus Christ and subsequently detained in a special “place” in the afterlife – known (alternatively) as Hell, or “The Bosom of Abraham” – while they awaited the perfect and atoning sacrifice of our Holy Redeemer, on the cross, at Calvary.

Catholic Tradition informs us that Jesus escorted all those faithful souls to Heaven, while his dead body lay in the tomb, for three days and nights, awaiting his glorious Resurrection.

It is noteworthy that, in the half-century since the Council, the post-Conciliar liturgical texts have not themselves had any apparent power to inculturate themselves into our society and to generate anything similar to what the classical texts had produced.

Read more at Fr Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment Site

In times of great confusion, such as our own day, many Catholics are baffled on how to react.

questionSome claim that we must obey our leaders no matter what, and that to voice the slightest disagreement with them is a manifestation of disrespect and disobedience. Not only is this way of thinking incorrect, it also paralyzes Catholics into inaction and heightens their confusion. What we hope to demonstrate is that, according to the Saints, and according to the consistent teaching of the Church, Catholics are bound to resist even prelates if they deviate from the unchanging doctrine and Tradition of the Catholic Church.

Many also believe that it is impossible for a Supreme Pontiff to deviate in any way from the straight and narrow. This is partially correct. The Holy Ghost will always protect a Pope from defining error as truth, for example, from teaching error in an ex cathedra pronouncement. (1) That is certain. But it is demonstrable from the teachings and writings of the Saints that even the highest authority in the Church may fail in his duty and may drift into deviations from Church Teaching.

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Saint Luke’s Presentation narrative effectively puts the lie to the recently popular “Late Epiphany Theory”

Presentation-in-temple

Today we hear the Gospel of Luke proclaimed, where we are treated to pertinent details of the Lord’s Presentation in the Temple, under the Mosaic Law, 40 days after Christmas:

And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord: And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons: And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon: and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel. And the Holy Ghost was in him. And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, He also took him into his arms and blessed God and said Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace: Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel. And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser. She was far advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity. And she was a widow until fourscore and four years: who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving night and day. Now she, at the same hour, coming in, confessed to the Lord: and spoke of him to all that looked for the redemption of Israel. And after they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their city Nazareth. (Luke 2:22-39)

epiphany

As of late, nearly every Christmas, we’re told by highly educated “experts” and “specialists” that the Magi/Wise Men didn’t make it to Bethlehem for a year or two after the birth of Christ, and that the Holy Family was likely living in a rented/borrowed house there when the Magi finally arrived.

Yet here we have Saint Luke, who had earlier testified, in writing, that everything he wrote was true, eye-witness testimony, told in the correct order:

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a narration of the things that have been accomplished among us, According as they have delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word: It seemed good to me also, having diligently attained to all things from the beginning, to write to thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mayest know the verity of those words in which thou hast been instructed.  (Luke 1:1-4)

saintlukegospel

The Gospel of Saint Luke clearly states that Jesus was duly presented at the Temple 40 days after birth, according to the Law, and the Holy Family returned to Nazareth immediately afterward.

Catholic Tradition holds that the Magi arrived very shortly after the birth of Jesus – probably a couple of weeks (or less) after the blessed event. Not months or years later!

So, who are we to believe? Late-day progressive Bible critics who generally scoff at the concept of divine inspiration and supernatural inerrancy – or contemporary eye-witnesses to the actual events and circumstances in the life of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and others?

What do you think? 

Is modernist Catholic doctrine based on settled misunderstandings of the truth of things?

2plus2

Although it is very difficult for those who see Catholicism through political lenses to grasp this, popes are not like presidents or state governors, and doctrine is not like public policy. Which means that a change of papal “administration” does not—indeed cannot—mean a change of Catholic “views.” Doctrine, as the Church understands it, is not a matter of anyone’s “views,” but of settled understandings of the truth of things.

Nor are popes free agents who govern by the seat of their pants, if you‘ll permit the phrase. Prior to the completion of Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Pope Paul VI proposed adding to that seminal document a sentence stating that the pope is “accountable to the Lord alone”—an effort, I suspect, to protect papal authority and freedom of action from potential civil or ecclesiastical encroachments. But the council’s Theological Commission rejected Pope Paul’s proposed amendment, noting that “the Roman Pontiff is . . . bound to revelation itself, to the fundamental structure of the Church, to the sacraments, to the definitions of earlier Councils, and (to) other obligations too numerous to mention.”

Those “other obligations” include honoring the truth of things built into the world and into us. At an academic conference years ago, a distinguished Catholic philosopher remarked (perhaps hyperbolically) that “If the pope said that ‘2+2 = 5,’ I’d believe him.” An even more distinguished Catholic philosopher gave the correct, and far more Catholic, response: “If the Holy Father said that ‘2+2 = 5,’ I would say publicly, ‘Perhaps I have misunderstood His Holiness’s meaning.’ Privately, I would pray for his sanity.”

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