Tag Archives: Apostle

The Three Remembrance Prayers Before the Consecration Lesson 2

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The Preface is recited aloud by the priest. If we listen, we can hear it. But after the Sanctus everything is quiet. The priest prays in a very low voice. We are almost at the most holy part of the mass.

You already know that the Preface is the introduction to the Canon. You know, too, that the Canon is the Consecration part of the Mass.

The first three prayers of the Canon are called remembrance prayers. In these prayers the priest and people are remembering to pray for special persons and blessings.

The First Remembrance Prayer

In the first remembrance prayer, after asking Almighty God to accept our gift of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we ask Him for blessings on the Church.

Therefore, most gracious Father, we humbly beg of Thee and entreat Thee, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, to deem acceptable and bless these gifts, these offerings, these holy and unspotted oblations, which we offer unto Thee in first instance for Thy holy and Catholic Church, that Thou wouldst deign to give her peace and protection, to unite and guide her the whole world over; together with Thy servant N., our Pope, and N., our bishop, and all true believers, who cherish the catholic and apostolic faith.

The Second Remembrance Prayer

In the second remembrance prayer, we pray for those near and dear to us. We also pray for all present at Holy Mass.

Be mindful, O Lord, of Thy servants and handmaids, N. and N., and of all here present, whose faith is known to Thee, and likewise their devotion, on whose behalf we offer unto Thee, this sacrifice of praise for themselves and all their own, for the good of their souls, for their hope of salvation and deliverance from all harm, and who pay Thee the homage which they owe Thee, eternal God, living and true.

The Third Remembrance Prayer

In the third remembrance prayer, we ask Almighty God, because of the holiness of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints, please to hear their prayers and protect us.

In the unity of holy fellowship we observe the memory first of the glorious and ever virgin Mary, mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ; next that of Thy blessed apostles and martyrs, Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Thaddeus; of Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and of all Thy saints, by whose merits and prayers grant that we may be always fortified by the help of Thy protection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

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Mass of the Faithful: The Offertory; The Offering of the Host Lesson 1

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Accept, O holy Father, almighty and eternal God, this spotless host which I, Thy unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, to atone for my numberless sins, offenses, and negligences; on behalf of all here present and likewise for all faithful Christians, living and dead, that it may profit me and them as a means of salvation unto life everlasting. Amen.

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Before The Priest Offers The Host

Long ago, people brought their gifts for the Church to the altar at the beginning of the Offertory of the Mass. During this time the choir sang a Psalm from the Bible. Today, a few sentences are read at the beginning of the Offertory. They contain part of the Psalm that the choir once sang. The priest reads this short prayer from the Missal. It is called the Offertory of the day and changes daily.

After the Offertory prayer the priest is ready to say the prayer offering the host to God. First, he takes the veil off the chalice and puts it on the right side. You already know that the paten is the small gold-like plate on which the priest brought the host to the altar. This is the host which is to be consecrated during Holy Mass.

The priest holds up the paten with the host on it and offers the host to God in the prayer printed at the beginning of this lesson. The prayer reminds us that God is our Father, that He is holy, that He can do all things, and that He always was and always will be.

If you were to put this prayer in simple English it would read like this:

“Recieve, O God the Father, this host which is to be consecrated and offered to You. I know how sinful I am, but I offer this host to You to make up for my sins. I offer it to You for all present in this church. I also offer it to You for all Catholics, living and dead, that it may help me and them to be happy with You forever in heaven.”

This prayer tells us that the priest is offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to atone for his sins, and to pray for all present and for all faithful Christians, living and dead. The prayer reminds us of the love that Christians should have for one another and, first of all, for the people of their own parish.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

The Gospel Lesson 2

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At that time, as Jesus was speaking to the crowds, behold, a ruler came up and worshipped Him, saying, “My daughter has just now died; but come and lay Thy hand upon her, and she will return to life.” And Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples. Now a woman who for twelve years had been suffering from hemorrhage, came up behind Him and touched the tassel of His cloak, saying to herself, “If I touch but His cloak I shall be saved.” But Jesus, turning and seeing her, said, “Take courage, daughter; thy faith has saved thee.” And the woman was restored to health from that moment. And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the crowd making a din, He said: “Begone, the girl is asleep, not dead.” And they laughed Him to scorn. But when the crowd had been put out, He went in and took her by the hand; and the girl arose. And the report spread throughout all that district. (Gospel for the Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost.)

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Before going to the left side to read the Gospel, the priest stops at the center of the altar. He looks up at the crucifix. Then he bows low, with hands folded, and prays. The prayer he says asks God to prepare his heart and his lips to make the Gospel known.

The Missal, which was at the right side of the altar, has been carried to the left side. The Gospel is one of the parts of the Mass that changes each day. It is the second and the most important of the two instructions in the Mass of the Catechumens.

The people stand during the Gospel to show their respect for the word of God. The Gospel is taken from the Bible. It tells what Our Lord said and did. It tells what He taught. Our Lord never taught a single lesson that He Himself did not put into practice.

Before reading the Gospel, the priest says: “Dominus vobiscum” – The Lord be with you. And the server answers: “Et cum spiritu tuo” – And with you, too.

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Then the priest is ready to read the Gospel. But first he makes four small crosses. You have seen him make a little Sign of the Cross on the book, on his forehead, on his lips, and on his breast. We also can make these little crosses on our foreheads, on our lips, and on our breasts. With the priest, we can ask God that our minds may know the teachings of Our Lord, that our tongues may make them known, and that our hearts may love them.

When the priest has finished reading the Gospel, the server says: “Praise be to Thee, O Christ.” At this time the priest kisses the book saying: “By the words of the Gospel, may our sins be blotted out.”

If you read the Gospel carefully, if you listen to the priest as he reads it to the people, you will learn how Our Lord lived, you will be reminded of lessons, many of which you already know. You will also learn new lessons about the things our Blessed Lord taught while He was on earth.

We should always try to find in the Gospel of the Mass a message from God to us. We should think about that message and plan what we can do about it right away. Sometimes it is not easy to put Our Lord’s teachings into practice. But we should recall the lesson in the Catechism on grace. Actual grace, if we will use it, helps us to do good and to avoid sin. And we know that one of the principal ways of obtaining grace is to receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

​Indefectibility of the Church

 

The Catholic Church will endure to the end of time, for it is founded on a rock. The powers of evil will beat in vain against it. They will break themselves and perish, but the Church will remain, indefectible. The testimony of almost two thousand years proves the perpetuity of the Church. Nothing that malice and envy could invent; nothing that the world, the flesh; and the devil could do have been left untried in the past 1900 years. Still the Church is with us, exactly as Christ founded it, and stronger than ever.

 

    What is meant by the indefectibility of the Catholic Church? –By the indefectibility of the Catholic Church is meant that the Church, as Christ founded it, will last until the end of time.The Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that Christ “shall be king over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33) 

  1. Christ meant His Church to endure to the end of the world. It is to be indestructible and unchanging,-to possess indefectibility. Christ, God Himself, could scarcely have come, and with such incredible pain and labor have founded a Church which would die with the Apostles.He came to save all men. Those to live in future ages needed salvation as much as the people of Apostolic times. 
  2. Christ said to Peter: “Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). By the “gates of hell”, He meant all the power of the devil-all kinds of attacks, physical violence as well as false teaching.Christ promises here that the Church would be assailed always, but never overcome. This promise of Our Lord has been proved for almost 2000 years by the facts of history. Not one of the persecutors of the Church has prevailed over it. On the contrary, many of them have come to a fearful end. There will always be Popes, bishops, and laity, to Compose the Church; the truths taught by Our Lord will always be found in His Church. 
  3. After telling His Apostles to teach, all nations, Christ said: “Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world” (Matt. 28:20).As the Apostles were not to live to the end of the world, Christ must have been addressing them as representatives of a perpetual Church. 
  4. The Apostles themselves understood Christ to mean that His Church should endure. After organizing Christian communities, they appointed successors in their place, to live after them and carry on the Church.The Apostles instructed these successors to ordain in turn other bishops and priests. All these acts were to assure the perpetuity of the Church. 
  5. Christ intended the Church to remain as He founded it, to preserve the whole of what He taught, and the shining marks which He gave it in the beginning. If the Church lost any of the qualities that God gave it, it could not be said to be indefectible, because it would not be the same institution. Indefectibility implies unchangeability.Our Lord promised to abide by the Church, to assist it, and to send the Holy Ghost to remain in it. God does not change: “Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world” (Matt. 28:20). 
  6. Because of its indefectibility the truths revealed by God will always be taught in the Catholic Church. St. Ambrose said: “The Church is like the moon; it may wane, but never be destroyed; it may be darkened, but it can never disappear.”St. Anselm said that the bark of the Church may be swept by the waves, but it can never sink, because Christ is there. When the Church is in greatest need, Christ comes to its help by miracles, or by raising up saintly men to strengthen and purify it. It is the bark of Peter; when the storm threatens to sink it, the Lord awakens from His sleep, and commands the winds and the waves into calm: “Peace; be still!”
    Has the Catholic Church actually proved itself indefectible? –The Catholic Church has, throughout its long history, proved itself indefectible, against all kinds of attack from within and without, against every persecution and every heresy and schism.As its Founder was persecuted, so the Catholic Church has been and ever will be persecuted. “You will be brought before governors and kings for my sake” (Matt. 10:18). “And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake” (Matt. 10:22). “No disciple is above his teacher, nor is the servant above his master” (Matt. 10:24).They will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues” (Mark 13:9). “They will arrest you, and persecute you” (Luke 21:12).

     

  1. The Church survived three hundred years of incredible persecution under pagan Rome. Of the 33 Popes that ruled before the Edict of Milan, 30 died as martyrs. That mighty Empire, with its colossal strength, before whose standard the nations quailed, could not kill the infant Church or stop its progress. In a short time the Popes were ruling where the imperial Caesars had issued edicts against the Christian Church.The Roman Empire waged ten fierce persecutions against the Church, but could not destroy it. In the year 313 the Emperor Constantine was converted, and granted the Church freedom by the Edict of Milan. 
  2. Then for two centuries hordes of barbarians swept upon civilized Europe, destroying the old Roman Empire. The Church not only survived, but converted and civilized the barbarians.God’s ever-watchful providence brought about the conversion of the Frankish king Clovis, with a great number of his warriors. This was the beginning of the firm establishment of the Church in the Frankish kingdom, although missionaries had gone there from the first century. In the eighth century St. Boniface converted Middle and Northern Germany, until then the home of violent paganism. 
  3. For nine centuries Mohammedanism threatened Christian civilization. It was the Church under the Popes that urged the nations to league against Mohammedanism.In the sixteenth century the Mohammedan menace was removed. 
  4. Not only non-Christians, but its own rebellious children have persecuted the Church. From the beginning heresy has attacked it from within. And still the Church lives, greater than ever, changeless, indefectible.The long history of the Catholic Church is attended by schism and heresy, but each attack has only strengthened it. It has continued to live and spread in spite of everything and everybody. 
  5. The Church is the Bride of Christ, cast into prison, starved, thrown to the beasts, trampled underfoot, hacked, tortured, crucified, and burned. But this fair Bride emerges from it all in the bloom and freshness of youth, serene, calm, immortal.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!

​The Catholic Church:Catholicity and Apostolicity

 

The apostolicity of the Church receives additional proof from the fact that today it still administers the very same seven sacraments administered by the Apostles. Non-Catholic churches have abandoned most of the sacraments, but the Catholic Church preserves and administers them all. Among the sacraments thus preserved are (1) Confirmation, and (2) Extreme Unction. St. Peter and St. John administered the first (Acts 8:14-17). St. James wrote about the second (Jas. 5:14,15).

 

    Why is the Church catholic or universal? –The Catholic Church is catholic or universal because, destined to last for all time, it never fails to fulfill the divine commandment to teach all nations all the truths revealed by God.“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses for me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the very ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). 

  1. The very name of the Church is Catholic, that is, universal. Even its critics admit that it is catholic. It has existed in all ages since the time of Christ, and teaches all peoples of every nation the same faith.It was St. Ignatius (50-107 A.D.) appointed Bishop of Antioch by Saint Peter, who first used the Greek word Katholicos, meaning “universal,” when referring to the Church founded by Christ; this he did in order to distinguish the True Church, already being preached throughout the world, from heretical churches that had arisen.In the fourth century certain sectarians protested against the True Church, yet still called themselves Christians. And so Catholics began to call themselves “Catholic.” In that same century St. Augustine said: “All heretics wish to call themselves Catholics; yet if you ask any of them to direct you to a Catholic church, he will not direct you to his own!”Wherever we go, whether in Europe, America, Africa, Asia, or Australia, we shall find the Catholic Church established. Everywhere it teaches the same doctrines taught in the United States; everywhere it is ruled by the same Head recognized in the United States: the Pope.

    When we say the Church is Catholic or universal, we understand that wherever it exists it must have the mark of unity. Otherwise it would not be the same body, but many separate bodies. Some heretical churches have branches in different countries, but they are really different bodies, because they change doctrines under different conditions.

     

  2. The Church everywhere teaches all the doctrines that Christ commanded His Apostles to teach.In the Catholic Church is fulfilled the prophecy of Malachy: “From the rising of the sun to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation; for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of Hosts” (Mal. 1:11). 
  3. The True Church must be so organized that it can admit all men into its communion. This the Catholic Church does. Christ founded the Church for all men, not only for a selected few, He died for all men, and wishes the fruits of His death to do good to all men. At present only the Catholic Church is to be found all over the world, ministering to all races and peoples, to all classes of the population, poor or rich, wise or ignorant, saint or sinner. The Catholic Church is the only Church for Everyman.Most denominations are national; all are localized. For example: in Germany the Kaiser used to be the head of the Lutheran Church; in Russia the Czar used to be head of the Russian Church. The Queen of England is head of the Anglican Church.
     

  1. Why is the Catholic Church apostolic? –The Catholic Church is apostolic because it was founded by Christ on the Apostles, and, according to His divine will, has always been governed by their lawful successors.Apostolicity is easily proved by the facts of history. If a church cannot trace back its history lawfully in an unbroken line step by step to the Apostles, it is not the True Church. 
  2. Pope Pius XII, our present Pope, is the direct successor of St. Peter.He is the lawful successor of the Pope who preceded him; and thus each Pope lawfully succeeded the one before him, until we reach St. Peter, the first Pope, chosen by Christ Himself. 
  3. All the sees founded by the Apostles perished or were interrupted, except the See of Peter alone. Where Peter is, there is the True Church founded by Our Lord.Those denominations that broke away from the Church thus lost their connection with the Apostles. They were all begun by individuals who could never have had any authority from either Christ or the Apostles. Most of them came some 1500 years too late. 
  4. Non-Catholic denominations claim that they did not begin new churches, but merely “reformed” the old one. In answer we ask, Did the True Church exist at the time of the founding of these new churches, or not?If it did not, then Christ’s promise to be with His Church always had failed; His Church had died, and no human reform could possibly have resurrected it. If it did exist, then those who invented new doctrines were not reforming it, but founding new churches. 
  5. In the same way, the Church derives all its holy orders, doctrines, and mission from the Apostles. It is “built upon the foundation of the Apostles,” of which Christ is the corner-stone (Eph. 2:20). It holds intact the doctrineand traditions of the Apostles, to whom Christ gave authority to teach.St. Paul says: “Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel to you other than that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema!” (Gal. 1:8). A church which at any time denies an apostolic doctrine, discards the sacrament of Holy Orders, or breaks away from obedience to the Pope, ceases to be apostolic. It becomes a dead branch broken off from the parent vine which is Christ Himself: “I am the vine: you are the branches” (John 15:5). 

    Catholics Do Not Believe:

    That the Pope is God and can do no wrong;
    That anybody or anything may be
        worshipped or adored besides the True God;
    That the Blessed Virgin is equal to God;
    That images may be worshipped;
    That indulgences give permission to
        commit sin;
    That a Mass can be bought;
    That forgiveness of sin can be bought;
    That sin can be forgiven without true sorrow;
    That scapulars, medals, crucifixes, and
        other sacramentals can give graces without
        proper dispositions on the part of the user;
    That non-Catholics will all be damned;
    That all Catholics will go to heaven;
    That the Bible is the only rule of faith;
    That anybody may interpret the Bible;
    That Our Lord Jesus Christ established many Churches;
    That outward piety is profitable without charity of the spirit;
    That all religions are the same.
     


    This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!

    The Primacy of Peter

     

     

    When Our Lord said to Peter, “And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” He clearly meant: “I will give you supreme authority over My Church. You shall be My representative.” The true test of loyalty to Christ is not only to believe in Him and worship Him, but to honor and obey the representatives He has chosen. Our Lord chose St. Peter as His Vicar. It is rebellion against Christ to say to Him: “I will worship You, but I will not recognize Your representative.” This is what Christians do, who deny the authority of the successor of Peter.

     

      Did Christ give special power in His Church to any one of the Apostles? –Christ gave special power in His Church to Peter, by making him the head of the Apostles and the chief teacher and ruler of the entire Church. 

    1. When Simon, led by his brother Andrew, first met Christ, Our Lord said to him: “Thou art Simon, the son of John; thou shalt be called Cephas” (John 1:42). Christ spoke in Aramaic, and the original Cephas, or “Kepha” means stone or rock, which we interpret Peter. Our Lord must have some special purpose for having Simon’s name changed, particularly as the word Kepha was never used as a proper name then. 
    2. When, at Caesarea Philippi, Peter made the memorable confession of faith in the name of the Apostles: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Christ promised to make Peter the head of His Church (Matt. 16:17-20). In reply Our Lord said: “Blessed. art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to thee, but my Father in heaven. And I say to thee, thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
         

      1. Our Lord changed Simon’s name to Peter, which means Rock. He said that He would make Peter the Rock on which His Church should be founded. As the foundation of a building holds up, supports, and preserves the building, so Peter was to hold the same office for Christ’s Church. 
      2. Our Lord. promised to Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven. In ancient as well as modern times, keys are a symbol of authority. He who lawfully carries the key to a building has the right himself of entering and of admitting or excluding others. Our Lord said to all the Apostles, “Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained” (John 20:23). But to Peter alone did Our Lord address these words: “I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”

       

    3. Christ, after the Resurrection, fulfilled His promise, and appointed Peter head of the Church (John 21:15-17On the Lake of Gennesareth, “Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, dost thou love me more than these do?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, dost thou love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A third time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, dost thou love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him for the third time, “Dost thou love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee,” He said to him, “Feed my sheep.” By this Christ entrusted to Peter the whole flock, thus making him the head shepherd. The “lambs” (the weak and tender portion of the flock) are the faithful, and the “sheep” (those that nourish the lambs) are the pastors, bishops and priests. The sheep of Christ are those who submit to Him, the Good Shepherd (John 10: 14). Never did Christ say to any other Apostle: Feed My whole flock. As the shepherd is responsible for the flock, he is given authority comparable to his responsibility. 
    4. Christ also conferred on Peter special marks of distinction not conferred on the other Apostles. He gave him a new name. He chose him as a companion on the most solemn occasions. After the Resurrection, He appeared to Peter first, before showing Himself to the other Apostles. The Lord said: “Simon … I have prayed for thee that thy faith may not fail; and do thou, when once thou hast turned again, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:31-32As with every well-regulated society, the Church needed a visible head; Christ appointed St. Peter visible head of the Church. The city has its mayor, the state its governor, the nation its President. At the head of every government is a president or king. Even in the family, the father is the head. Every corporation has a head. The Church is a visible society; that is, it is composed of human beings. It needs a head as well as any other organization. Christ is always its invisible, Head, but it needs a visible head to take His place among men.
      Did Peter actually exercise his primacy? –Yes, Peter actually exercised his primacy, and the other Apostles and the disciples recognized him as the head of the Church. 

    1. Peter’s name always stands first in the lists of Apostles; Iscariot’s is always last. St. Matthew even calls Peter the “first Apostle.” But he was neither first in age nor in election, for Our Lord had called Andrew; his elder brother, before him. He must therefore have been first in honor and authority. 
    2. It was Peter that proposed the election of another to take the place of Judas. In obedience to Peter’s advice, the Apostles put forward two among the disciples to choose from; and after praying, they chose Matthias (Acts 1:21-26). 
    3. It was Peter that preached the first sermon on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Ghost had descended on the Apostles; they spoke so that each person present (and there were many nationalities in the crowd) heard his own language being spoken. The people were amazed; and Peter spoke (Acts 2:14-36). 
    4. It was Peter that admitted the first converts from Judaism (Acts 2:38-41), as well as from paganism (Acts 10:5).“And he (Peter) ordered them (the Gentiles) baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:48). This was a thing unheard of, that the Jews, “of the Faith”, should consort with “heathen”; but Peter broke all bonds. 
    5. Peter worked the first miracleHe gave a man lame from birth the power to walk (Acts 3:6-8). 
    6. Peter meted out the first punishmentAnanias (and later his wife Sapphira) had lied and cheated; and having been rebuked by Peter, fell down dead (Acts 5: 1-6). 
    7. Peter cast out the heretic Simon Magus. This heretic had wanted to purchase the power of the Apostles of bringing down the Holy Ghost on those on whom they laid hands (Acts 8:19-20). 
    8. Peter made the first visitation of the churches (Acts 31-32). 
    9. In the first Council at Jerusalem, there was much disputing, but when Peter spoke, all submitted (Acts 15:7-12).“After a long debate, Peter got up and said, … ‘But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus’ … Then the whole meeting quieted down” (Acts 15:7, 11-12). 
    10. After his conversion, St. Paul presented himself to Peter (Gal. 1: 18) . 
    11. Of the early churches established by the Apostles, the Church of Rome was the highest in rank. It was the See of Peter.

    This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!


    ​The Apostles: First Bishops of the Church

      To whom did Christ give the power to teach, to sanctify, and to rule the members of His Church? –Christ gave the power to teach, to sanctify, and to rule the members of His Church to the Apostles, the first bishops of the Church.

       

    1. St. Peter was the first Head. After a miraculous escape from prison in Jerusalem, he founded his See in Antioch; here the followers of Christ were first called Christians. Peter made frequent missionary journeys through Judea, Samaria, Galilee, Asia Minor, and probably even Greece. He finally fixed his See at Rome.St. Peter presided at the Council of the Apostles in Jerusalem in the year 50 A. D. At the same time that St. Paul was beheaded, St. Peter was crucified head downwards, on Vatican Hill, Rome, 67 A. D. 
    2. St. John, the Beloved Disciple, lived at Ephesus and governed the Church in Asia Minor. In the time of Trajan he was thrown into a caldron of boiling oil, but was miraculously preserved. Later he was banished to Patmos, where he had the revelations which we call the Apocalypse. He died at the age of about 100 years, the last of the Apostles, and the only one who did not die a martyr’s death. He left his Gospel and Epistles. 
    3. St. James the Greater, St. John’s brother, labored in Judea, and according to tradition, travelled as far as Spain. He was the first of the Apostles to be martyred being beheaded in Jerusalem in the year 44, by Herod Agrippa. 
    4. St. Matthew preached among the Ethiopians, Persians, and Parthians, and was martyred in Parthia. He wrote the first of the four Gospels. 
    5. St. James the Less was Bishop of Jerusalem. He was cast down from the pinnacle of the Temple in 63 A. D. He left one Epistle.
    6. St. Andrew, St. Peter’s brother, preached along the lower Danube, and was crucified in Greece.

    7. St. Philip preached in Phrygia and Scythia, and was crucified at Hieropolis.

    8. St. Matthias, chosen to take the place of Judas, preached in Ethiopia, and was martyred in Sebastopolis.

    9. St. Jude preached in Syria, and was martyred in Persia. He wrote the “Catholic Epistle”.

    10. St. Simon preached in North Africa, and was martyred in Persia.

    11. St. Bartholomew preached in India, Arabia, and Assyria. He was flayed and crucified in Armenia.

    12. St. Thomas preached in Persia, Medea, and went as far as India. He was martyred in India, pierced with a lance at the command of the king.

    13. St. Paul was converted miraculously (Acts 9) in the year 34. He of all the Apostles labored the most abundantly. He wrote many Epistles. He is called the Apostle of the Gentiles, because he carried the Gospel to the pagan world. He travelled extensively and successively to Seleucia, Cyprus, Asia Minor, Phrygia, Galatia, Macedonia, Thessalonica, Athens, Corinth, Miletus, and finally Rome. From Rome he went to Spain and the East, then returned to Rome, where he was martyred in 67 A. D.
      Did Christ intend that this power should be exercised by the Apostles alone? –No, Christ intended that this power should be exercised also by their successors, the bishops of the Church. 

    1. The Apostles first preached in Judea on the very first Christian Pentecost. Then they dispersed throughout the different countries of the then known world. Everywhere they preached, baptized, and ruled the Christian communities. They were the first bishops of the Church.“As the Father has sent me, I also send you” (John 20:21). 
    2. The Apostles chose men to assist them, imparting to them greater or less powers. Before leaving a place, they chose a successor with full powers (Acts 14:22). Those who received only a small part of the powers of the Apostles were called deacons. Those given greater power were the priests. Those appointed successors to rule in the place of the Apostles were the bishops. 
    3. Christ had given the Apostles full powers to choose successors, when He gave them the powers His Father had given Him (John 20:21). It was His wish that the Apostles should have successors to continue the Church, which He said would last till the end of the world (Matt. 28:20). Without successors to the Apostles, the Church would have no rulers, and being unorganized would never have lasted.

     

    Apostolicity of Catholic Doctrines

    (Adapted from Cardinal Gibbons, “Faith of Our Fathers”)


    APOSTOLIC CHURCH CATHOLIC CHURCH PROTESTANT CHURCHES
    1. Our Saviour gave pre-eminience to Peter over the other Apostles: “I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 16:19). “Strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32). “Feed my lambs; feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17). 1. The Catholic Church gives the primacy of honor and jurisdiction to Peter and to his successors. 1. Other Christian communions deny Peter’s supremacy over the other Apostles.
    2. The Apostolic Church claimed to be infallible in her teachings. “When you heard and received from us the word of God, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but, as it truly is, the word of God” (1 Thess. 2:13). 2. The Catholic Church alone, of all the Christian communions, claims to exercise the prerogative of infallibility in her teaching. Her ministers always speak from the pulpit as having authority, and the faithful receive with implicit confidence what the Church teaches, without once questioning her veracity. 2. Protestant churches repudiate the claim of infallibility, denying that such a gift is possessed by any teachers of religion. The ministers advance opinions as embodying their private interpretation of the Bible. Their hearers are expected to draw their own conclusions from the Bible.
    3. Our Saviour enjoined and prescribed rules for fasting: “When thou dost fast, anoint thy head and wash thy face, so that thou mayest not be seen by men to fast” (Matt. 6:17). The Apostles fasted before engaging in sacred functions: “They ministered to the Lord, and fasted.” “When they had appointed presbyters for them in each church, with prayer and fasting, they commended them to the Lord” (Acts 14:22). 3. The Church prescribes fasting to the faithful at stated seasons, particularly during Lent.
    A Catholic Priest is always fasting when he officiates at the altar. He breaks his fast only after he says Mass. When Bishops ordain Priests they are always fasting, as well as the candidates for ordination.
    3. Protestants have no law prescribing fasts, though some may fast from private devotion. They even try to ridicule fasting. Neither candidates for ordination, nor the ministers who ordain them are ever required to fast on such occasions.
    4. St. Peter and St. John confimed the newly baptized in Samaria. “They laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:17) 4. Every Catholic Bishop, as a successor of the Apostles, likewise imposes hands on baptized persons in the Sacrament of Confirmation, by which they receive the Holy Ghost. 4. No denomination performs the ceremony of imposing hands except Episcopalians, and even they do not recognize Confirmation as a Sacrament.
    5. Our Saviour and His Apostles taught that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ: “Take and eat; this is my body … All of you drink of this, for this is my blood” (Matt. 26:28). “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not the sharing of the blood of Christ? And the bread that we break is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord?” (1 Cor. 10:16). 5. The Catholic Church teaches, with our Lord and His Apostles, that the Eucharist is truly and indeed the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine. 5. The Protestant churches; condemn the doctrine of the Real Presence as idolatrous, and say that, in partaking of the communion, we receive only a memorial of Christ.
    6. The Apostles were empowered by our Saviour to forgive sins: “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them” (John 20:23). “God,” says St. Paul, “hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 7:10,11) 6. The Bishops and Priests of the Catholic Church, as the inheritors of Apostolic prerogatives, profess to exercise the ministry of reconciliation and to forgive sins in the name of Christ. 6. Protestants affirm on the contrary, that God delegates to no man the power of pardoning sin.
    7. Regarding the sick, St. James gave this instruction: “Is any one among you sick? Let him bring in the presbyters of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14). 7. One of the most ordinary duties of a Catholic Priest is to anoint the sick in the Sacrament of Extreme Unction. If a man is sick among us he is careful to call in the Priest of the Church that he may anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 7. No such sacrament as that of anointing the sick is practiced by any Protestant denomination, not withstanding the Apostle’s injunction.
    8. Of marriage our Saviour said: “Whoever puts away his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if the wife puts away her husband, and marries another, she commits adultery” (Mark 10:11,12). And again St. Paul said: “To those who are married, not I, but the Lord commands that a wife is not to depart from her husband, and if she departs, that she is to remain unmarried … And let not a husband put away his wife” (1 Cor. 7:10,11). 8. Literally following the Apostle’s injunction, the Catholic Church forbids the husband and wife to separate from one another; or, if they separate, neither of them can marry again during the life of the other. 8. The Protestant churches, as is well known, have so far relaxed this law of the Gospel as to allow divorced persons to remarry, during the lifetime of those they have divorced.
    9. Our Lord recommended not only by word but by His example, to souls aiming at perfection, the state of perpetual chastity. St. Paul also exhorted the Corinthians by counsel and his own example to the same angelic virtue: “He who gives his virgin in marriage does well, and he who does not give her does better” (1 Cor. 7:38). 9. Like the Apostle and his Master, the Catholic clergy bind themselves to a life of perpetual chastity. The members of our religious communities for men and women voluntarily consecrate their chastity to God. 9. All the ministers of other denominations are permitted to marry. And far from inculcating the Apostolic counsel of celibacy to any of their flock, they more than insinuate that the virtue of perpetual chastity, though recommended by St. Paul, is impracticable.

    This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!