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Remove wordpress and place in browser each day for a different sermon from traditional priests and saints everywhere on every subject.
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners: and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:8
As has been pointed out in previous posts, we know that all good comes from God. Anything that does not come from God is not good, because mankind has the free will to accept the good things from God or not. This includes so-called Christian religions not revealed to us by Christ, private interpretations of Scripture, religous movements, addictions, distractions, things that are man-made that are not a testament to God’s goodness and glory. A lot of these things may appear good, or may have the appearance of being Christian, but once again being Christian means accepting everything Christ has taught us through His Church (the Catholic Church). These things are in fact used by the Devil to pull people away from the one true Faith, under the false notion of being good, by the millions.
Noe’s Ark not only existed and is recorded in the Old Testament, but remains of the Ark have been found. This story is also represented in the New Testament with the establishment of Christ’s Church as the Ark, and the ratio of those who will make it to everlasting life and those who perish. There are an abundant amount of relations between the Old Testament and the New, that when not taken out of context apply to the Catholic Church. The “Catholo” (Greek for everywhere the same, universal), is the religion revealed by God. We are called to give testimony to that religion and that one alone, because God gave it to us at the last supper (the first mass). If you look at Jewish tradition before Christ, the Mass is in direct correlation with the old practices of the Pascal meal, as well the sacrifices that use to be made (more on this and what has happened to the Catholic Church to come).
The point is that if we really truly believe what has been mentioned above then one must live his life in accordance with it; in hopes that our example can be one for others to follow to God. Man was created for a supernatural end, not just a natural one of dying. We were called to a supernatural end of seeing Our Creator (the Beatific Vision), face to face for eternity. This may not sound like much, but seeing God will fulfill every possible want and need we could ever have, forever. We can only obtain this by using a supernatural means, His Church. Using anything else will only obtain us a natural end which is death, forever.
His Church, when we let go of our wills, teaches us how to be holy, how to be truly happy, and how to be Christian. It has to, for if it did not it would not be a means. Let us look at some evidence:
The true Church of Christ ought to always practice the perfection of Christian life:
Looking at the New Testament, it is filled with teachings from Jesus on how to live the perfect Christian life. There are many examples of recommended virtues direct from Scripture. In addition to these virtues, Jesus was entirely poor and lived on alms as an example to us, and taught His Apostles to carry nothing when they went to preach. He also taught us to be humble, meek and obedient even to those of which we have no obligation. He left us examples of poverty, chastity, and self-denial. Of what purpose were all these examples if they were not to be put into practice?
Considering the examples Jesus has set for us, consider the lives of the Saints who have imitated these virtues throughout their entire lives and were able to perform miracles as Our Lord did. Moreover, the Catholic Church as a whole has always put into practice these virtues in every season for the love of God.
Consider the glory of so many Saints and other devout religious who gave up all and risked their lives to travel to foreign countries and spread the faith, without other expectation than of labors, miseries, and martyrdom, and without any other aim than the honor of God and the salvation of souls.
Many of these Saints have died for Christ as did St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Polycarp, St. Agnes and St. Cecilia.
They have won whole nations to Christ like St. Patrick, St. Boniface, St. Ansgar, St. Methodius, and St. Francis Xavier.
They have founded religious orders of men and women that won countless souls to the perfect following of heroic virtues such as St. Benedict, St. Bernard, St. Francis, St. Dominic, St. Madeline Barat.
They have given up all in life to care for the sick, the poor and the imprisoned such as St. Camillus, St. Vincent de Paul, and St. John of Matha.
They have defended the faith in every part of the world as did St. Athanasius, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Canisius.
These are just a few examples. Now compare these to the lives of the Protestant reformers and their subsequent churches who condemned the monastic discipline and gave it up altogether. And rather than imitate the virtue of poverty, many aim to make the temporal goods of their church theirs.
The virtue of chastity was condemned and has been scarcely practiced since. In addition, without a Pope to be obedient to and no need to consult others on interpretation of Scripture, the virtue of obedience was blurred. And with no need to confess sins, the borders of morality have been blurred as well. Martyrdom is also scarcely heard of in Protestant churches since the Reformation. Many ministers marry when they did not in the early Church. (“He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God.” 1 Cor 7:32).
Why did the Protestant reformers oppose and stop practicing these virtues in direct opposition to the examples of Our Lord and early Church?
In summary, the Protestant reformers and most Protestant churches that came afterward have abandoned these virtues of the perfect Christian life at the word of the reformers; ordinary men. Yes, all of these virtues are not mandatory, but we can see they are highly recommended in Scripture. Christ gave us these repeated examples for a reason, and the Catholic Church and Her Saints and those in monasteries have continually practiced these virtues to the fullest. If we are to achieve Heaven we need to as well, the greater we practice these virtues of Faith so as to lead others, the greater reward we merit from God for eternity.
God Bless BJS!!
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
I use to think sobriety was just about not drinking and trudging through life and trying to tell people not to do what you did. Today I know that sobriety for me is a simple equation.
Being Dry + Serenity = Sobriety
But what is serenity? Better still how do I find it, reach it, etc? By definition serenity is the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; sereneness. Serene is calm, peaceful, tranquil; unruffled. The word originated in between the late 1400s to early 1500s. It came from the latin word serenus which was in reference to weather and a clear sky.
For me serenity comes with a realization that the only thing I have power over in many situations is my emotions, my actions, and most of my thoughts. Serenity is an inner peace attained by letting go and letting God. This is where I come to qualms with the program of AA.
A higher power, is merely a descriptive term for God, it does not identify who the true God is. There is only one God, for all of us, whether one accepts Him as God or not; it is the triune God with His three natures the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I understand that AA is a program of attraction rather than promotion. And for good reason, to save individuals from the disease of addiction no matter what they happen to believe in.
However what good is it to have a sober life when your soul is damned for eternity? Let’s be realistic, when we die we either go to Heaven or Hell, forever. If one used a scale to measure their life, with the things they were suppose to be doing in order to know, love, and serve Our Creator to get to Heaven; and they started at zero (which is untrue from original sin, but lets say we start at zero), then addictive behavior or alcoholism would put them in the negative.
Achieving sobriety therefore, cancels out addiction and removes that distraction from our lives. However, it does not set us on the path that Christ Himself gave us through the Church He established. Sobriety may give us a clearer mindset, but it does not give one the Faith. AA is a program based on mostly charity (which is essential, but not the only requirement for salvation), and a touch of spirituality.
Sober living is wonderful, in just the short time I’ve been sober I have learned and gained appreciation for so much. Being sober is the way one should be to make life decisions. But what good is a sober life if it is not used to glorify the One True God? Being sober is not the end all be all. And being sober without the Faith established by Christ is likened to trying to catch up to someone running down the street by jumping on a treadmill.
Another big saying in AA is that it is a program of progress not perfection. I have to disagree here too. Most everyone has heard the phrase, “practice makes perfect” but what if one is practicing (whatever they are doing), the wrong way? Should not the phrase be modified to say, “perfect practice makes perfect?”
“We are not saints, the point is we are willing to grow along spiritual lines…”, A.A. HOW IT WORKS
Why can’t we strive to be saints? Is this not what we are called to be? I understand the humility of this statement, could it be modified to state that we are not saints but we are striving to be in the eyes of Our God?
“Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
Considering how many examples of saints are across the world in all the ages…even if one were to not believe about one example of a story they hear about a saint; there are too many accounts of people in all places and times, testimonials from Catholics, Protestants, and people from all different beliefs converting because of these Catholic saints!
Saints who so loved God and did His will that they actually had supernatural abilities!! Testimony after testimony after testimony…all over the world!
“Otherwise believe for the very works’ sake. Amen, amen I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do.” John 14:12
Sobriety is undoubtedly a good thing. When, like all good things, it is used for the glory of God. Why all for Gods glory? Because we have absolutely no right to claim anything as our own. Not even our own bodies, it’s all His, everything is His. We are living on borrowed time, why? Because He loves us and wants us to be with Him.
All good comes from God as we know, but have we given that obvious statement much thought? If all good comes from God then the things that are not good do not come from God. The things that appear as good are deceitful lies that steer us away from God to Hell. Sobriety is the tool we have to see through the lies. This is how we discover objective truths, and this is how we find God and how to serve Him the right way.
Truth is in history, its in day to day activity, its in everything. The truth about what things really are, what truly matters and what matters not is where you find God and from God and His Will you can achieve true serenity, true happiness, and true life for eternity. His Will is not easy according to the comforts of the world and society, and it’s because the world lies to us. It makes us comfortable so the devil can take us from Him who made us.
True serenity is found in doing the Will of God. Doing otherwise leads to impossible expectations that don’t get met and get people angry, lustful, or drunk. Sorting through the world of chaos and finding His Will for us will lead us to a perfect peace we will never know here.
God Bless BJS!!
“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10
We should not be satisfied merely to keep the commandments of God, but should always be ready to do good deeds, even when they are not commanded. The commandments of God state the minimum requirements for salvation. They should be kept not merely according to the letter, but also according to the spirit, which obliges us to strive for greater perfection.
Actual sin is any willful thought, desire, word, action or ommission forbidden by the law of God.
All of these seven deadly sins, are the origins of every offense we commit before Our Creator. They become the obstacles and chief obsessions in our minds of what we want to focus on instead of what we should be focusing on.
Pride-Unrestrained appreciation of our own worth (opposite of Humility)
Greed-Immoderate desire for earthly goods (Opposite of Liberality or being poor in spirit)
Lust-Hankering for impure pleasures (opposite of Chastity)
Anger-Inordinate desire for revenge (opposite of Meekness)
Gluttony-Unrestrained use of food and drink (opposite of Temperance)
Envy-Sorrow over another’s good fortune (over Brotherly Love)
Sloth-Laxity in keeping the Faith and the practice of virtue (over Diligence)
The 7 Deadly Sins, also known as “The 7 Capital Sins,” are those sins that give rise to other sins. They were first enumerated by Pope St. Gregory the Great in “Moralia in Job.”
God Bless BJS!!
The Bible was not put under one cover until the Councils of Hippo (393) and 3rd Council of Carthage (397) accepted the official list of books. Not for over 1000 years after these early Councils was the printing press invented (~1450), so Bible manuscripts were quite rare and costly before the printing press came about. Between 397 and 1450 then, how did most people learn about the contents of Scripture, and who was the authoritative figure for the early Church during these centuries? The authority clearly could not have been the Bible, but clearly was the Church Herself who preached it to the faithful. So how can Scripture have been our only guide for the centuries before copies of the Bible were readily available, and were the people who lived during those centuries all damned because they did not have access to Scripture?
Consider this verse from Scripture: “Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name” John 20:30-31. What else does this tell us than Jesus did and said other things that were not recorded in Scripture? Are we really to think that anything Jesus did or said that didn’t make it into the books of Scripture are false or should not be adhered to?
Consider the verse, “But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written” John 21:25. Clearly there are many things Jesus said and did that were passed on as tradition (by word of mouth) and did not make it into the books of Scripture.Nowhere in Scripture do we see references to Jesus writing anything down during His public life, nor does Scripture show that He ever asked His Apostles to write down what He was teaching either. We can see only Peter, Paul, James, John Jude, Matthew, Mark and Luke wrote parts of what Our Lord taught, the others did not write anything as far as is recorded. If Scripture were the ONLY resource we should have for our salvation, surely Jesus and His Apostles would have written constantly, but they did not. Instead Scripture shows that the Apostles TAUGHT as they were instructed by Our Lord: “Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” Matt 28:19. So while Scripture is essential, tradition is also essential. Nowhere in Scripture does it say Scripture alone should be accepted as revelation, and it certainly does not say we should condemn Apostolic tradition. Look all through the Gospels and you will see nothing spoken against tradition except for traditions which are human or against Scripture. Why do the Protestant reformers add this to Our Lord’s words? It is forbidden to add anything to Scripture, as it is to take anything away from it. Why do the Protestant reformers also take away the traditions which are expressly authorized?
Consider the verse, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.” 2 Thessalonians 2:14. What else does this tell us than the Apostles spread the word of God not only through Epistles, but also by WORD, and that we should hold to the traditions which we are taught? Any unwritten Apostolic doctrine we call Tradition.
Consider the verse, “If any man be hungry, let him eat at home; that you come not together unto judgment. And the rest I will set in order, when I come.” 1 Corinthians 11:34. This clearly shows St. Paul writing important words to the Corinthians, then stating he will “set the rest in order” when he comes, yet we do not have writing about them elsewhere. What he said then, will it be lost to the Church? No, it has come down through tradition.
Consider the verse, “Having more things to write unto you, I would not by paper and ink: for I hope that I shall be with you, and speak face to face: that your joy may be full.” 2 John 1:12. St. John had something worthy of being written yet he chose to speak instead. Instead of Scripture, he has made tradition.
Consider the verse, “Hold the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me in faith, and in the love which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:13. This is clearly St. Paul recommending to St. Timothy an unwritten Apostolic word. This is tradition! Also consider the verse, “And the things which thou hast heard of me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2. What is this but the Apostle speaking, the witnesses relating, and St. Timothy teaching, followed by these teaching others? This is clearly tradition.
Consider the verse, “I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now” John 16:12. When did He say these things which He had to say? Was it all written? It is also said that He was forty days with them teaching them of the Kingdom of God, but we have neither all of His apparitions nor everything He told them during that time.
Consider the verses, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” Matthew 28:20, and “He that heareth you, heareth me” Luke 10:16, etc. This clearly shows the Apostles teaching is true revelation.
God Bless BJS!!
Nowhere in the bible does it state faith “alone” justifies, and this new doctrine was not heard of before the 16th century. Why did the Protestant reformers propose it and what authority gave it to them?
Consider the verse, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in. Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.” Matthew 25:34-36. Are these not examples of good works?
Why would Our Lord give them so much emphasis if only faith was of importance?
Consider the verses, “And behold one came and said to him: Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting? Who said to him: Why asketh thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He said to him: Which? And Jesus said: Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The young man saith to him: All these I have kept from my youth, what is yet wanting to me? Jesus saith to him: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow me.” Matt 19:16-21. Are the above verses not filled with good works?
How much more proof from Scripture do we need to show that Our Lord commanded us to do good works for our salvation?
Consider the verse, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works.” Matthew 16:27. Again here we have more proof that good works are required of us.
Consider the verse, “And every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labor.” 1 Corinthians 3:8. Again this clearly does NOT refer to faith alone, but to labor, which is works.
Consider the verse, “And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2 (St Paul). What is charity other than helping the needy? Charity is clearly considered among good works. And in the same Chapter we also see the verse, “And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Corinthians 13:13). This clearly puts charity BEFORE faith, so to say “faith alone” is all that is required of us is clearly contrary to Scripture.
Consider the verse, “Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only?” James 2:24. How much more plain can it be said that faith alone is not enough for our salvation?
Consider the verse, “What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him?” James 2:14. And we see several verses later that the answer to this question is NO.
Consider the verse, “So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself.” James 2:17. No explanation is needed for this verse!
Consider the verse, “But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith.” James 2:18. Another extremely obvious verse that proves our point on the subject.
Consider the verses, “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar?” James 2:20-21. No explanation is needed for these verses.
Consider the verse, “For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead.” James 2:26. How can the Protestant reformers claim faith is sufficient when we read a verse like this with such obvious meaning?
And finally consider the verse, “Wherefore, brethren, labor the more, that by good works you may make sure your calling and election.” 2 Peter 1:10
In summary, justification by faith alone has overwhelming opposition in Scripture. Some Protestants have been known to reference other verses from Scripture in an attempt to show that works are NOT required for our salvation. However if one looks at verses that appear to speak negatively about works, they are clearly referring to works that glorify men and not God. Here we agree; works done to please men do not help with attaining our salvation.
God Bless BJS!!
Churches founded by anyone but Christ do not call in the name of God, and indeed, they are not even churches. They have no legal basis to exist. For example, if you want to found a business you must go to the state and found a corporation or a partnership. If you do not go to the state and receive a legal basis from the state for this business and you open up your business and claim to be a corporation or partnership, and you arie discoverlmd, you are consitdered a fraud. You might even see time in jail for such a thing, because you have no legal status, and according to the state you do not exist. The same is true of so called “churches” who present themselves as “churches” andlkkp5 “religions” as if they have posole l8license or charter from God. They have no such charter or license; they have not been established by God they have been established by human beings. And in each of those cases if you look at their history you can trace right back to the point where some human being invented them. So they should be called collections of heretics or schismatics. But not churches.
The modern heresy is that we all worship the same God, how many times have you heard that said? That despite all of the differences that people may have about dogma and religion that we all worship the same God and it really doesn’t matter fundamentally what religion we belong to. This is supremely false and is a blasphemy. It is based on a subtle fallacy, a subtle fault of reasoning, because it is true that anyone who has a religion worships a supreme being. There were people in the Old Testament who worshipped flies. They worshipped something that they considered to be a supreme being. But “supreme being” is merely a descriptive term for God, it does not identify the True God. No one in his right mind would say that the worship of a fly is the same thing as the worship of The Blessed Trinity, that they are the same God. You would have to be crazy to say such a thing. Yet, in both cases they are “supreme beings” in the minds of those who worship. And so because “supreme being” applies to both, the conclusion is we all worship the same God. And that’s nonsense. This heresy that we all worship the same God is based on another fallacious reasoning process. It is true that someone may, through invincible ignorance (ignorance that they cannot overcome), may want to worship the same God when they are worshipping a false God. They may think through no fault of their own that their false God or false Christ is true. Just as you may think when you are going down the wrong way on the freeway that you are in fact going the right way on the freeway. It’s possible. If they do labor under this invincible ignorance God will not hold that against them, the false worship. God will not count that as a sin. It still remains however, that they are worshipping a false God. Just as if through invincible ignorance you get on the freeway on the wrong side and go down the wrong way you might be perfectly innocent because you made some mistake that you did not realize, but it does not change the fact that you are going down the wrong way on the freeway and that you are going to probably have a terrible accident.
Because people might be guiltless, because of their ignorance in worshipping a false God; it does not in any way canonize, or justify, the false worship or false God. But because subjectivism is the philosophy of the day, what you think in your head becomes reality. That is the mental disease that practically the whole world has today. That if I think it, than that’s reality. So if I am sincere in my false religion, well then that religion becomes true and good and legitimate. And that’s false. Because the mind must conform itself to reality, it is not the author and creator of reality. Just as the camera is made to take pictures, it is the reality that imposes itself on the camera and not the camera that imposes itself on reality. Our perception of God is very important because it is the truth and it is the most important truth. It is more important than all of the truths of biological science, or medical art, or of mathematics or civil engineering. Much more important that we know the truth about God than we know the truth of any of those things. Much more important that we know the truth about God then that we have wheels to roll on. And had man never invented the wheel but known the true God he would be in a much better condition today. To say we all believe in the same God but we perceive Him differently abandons the very idea of truth about God. Imagine students saying we all know the same mathematics but we just perceive it differently. Or doctors in medical school saying we all know the same human body we just perceive it different and where one doctor might prescribe a medicine another might prescribe a poison. That’s absurd, if you perceive something differently than someone is wrong. You may even both be wrong, but you can’t both be right if you perceive it differently. And so this idea that we merely perceive God differently abandons the very notion of truth about God which is the most important truth that we have.
This idea ruins the very notion of the incarnation and the establishment of the Catholic Church, if it is not necessary to know truth about God then why did God come down upon the earth, and assume human flesh. If it is not important that we know the truth about God, why did Christ establish the “Catholo” or universal church to be a constant beacon of truth throughout all the ages? Why did the martyrs go to their tortured deaths in the early ages and throughout the history of the church if it is not important what God we know, or what the nature of that God is? It is the most important thing and it is more important than our own lives because we must give up our lives for the truth of the faith, for the true God, the true church, the true religion, as many of our ancestors have. And if there is no such thing as a strange God then what is the purpose of the first commandment; “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange Gods before Me?” That becomes a meaningless commandment in the face of, “we all believe in the same God we merely perceive Him differently.” And when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai and found the Jews in front of their golden calf, dancing and fornicating like idolaters did he say, “Well we all believe in the same God we merely perceive Him differently?” No he took the tablets of the Ten Commandments and destroyed the golden calf and then put to death 23,000 people at the command of God because they worshipped the wrong God. At the command of God those people were put to death by the sword, because they worshipped a false God. Where is ecumenism in that? Where is, “we all worship the same God’’ there? Rather, do we not hear loud and clear that the most important truth of our lives is the true God, the true faith, the true church? Yet, the modern heresy is the basis of uniting the human race today.
John Paul the 2nd has been considered a Saint, when he died the people clamoring in St. Peter’s square said, “Make him a saint, right away!” There was frenzy about him. Precisely because he abandoned the existence on Catholic dogma and he tried to unite the world according to the principles of this modern heresy which has been described above. He kissed the Quran, he praised the voodoo religion, and he participated in just about every false right, false religion, on the face of the earth. With the message that these religions, although they may have certain falsehoods in them they admit, have supernatural truth and value because they are man’s sincere movement toward God. They are not man’s movement toward God just as going down the wrong side of the freeway is movement towards your goal. In fact it is the opposite; you are moving away from your goal and you are in grave danger of dying when you go done the wrong way. But he praised these false religions as Ratzinger, and Francis does, he praised them. As if they had a certain value, a certain license from God to exist. And he praised them as means of salvation. Tools that God uses for the sanctification of souls, voodoo. So this heresy that rots out the very basis of Catholicism has become now the great truth of mankind. Let us not be sucked in by the attitude that all we need is the traditional mass. Modernists have not taken a single step backward from this religion rotting heresy. That we all worship the same God, and that the true religion doesn’t matter, and that all religions have a certain value in the eyes of God. False religions are an abomination in the sight of God and if someone is saved who is in those false religions it has nothing to do with that false religion, it has to do with the grace of God and their ignorance. And as a matter of fact their false religion is actually something that works against their salvation. And is in no way a tool of God.
This was an abridged version of a sermon given by his Excellency Bishop Donald Sandborn of The Most Holy Trinity Seminary Brooksville FL
God Bless BJS!
“He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day“.John 6:55
“Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.” John 6:54
If it is a matter of indifference what a man believes, assuming he is a “decent person” then it was absolutely useless for God to make any revelation. If someone is free to reject what God reveals, what purpose was it for Christ to send forth His Apostles and disciples to teach all nations, if those nations can freely believe whatever they desire? This would be insulting to the very nature of God. If God makes a point to reveal something through Divine Revelation (by miracle or prophecy) He wants it to be believed. Mankind is bound by his conscience among other things, to believe what God has revealed. Man is also bound to worship God with his reason and intellect along with his heart and will. God owns everything He has given us, we are only stewards of these gifts in our lives and are to use them for His glory alone and not ours. There should be no man and certainly not a Christian who rightly asserts that we are not bound to believe what God has has revealed and taught. This religious indifferentism (more in a later writing), is heretical to everything Christ has put before us as our God, and is a rejection of the one true religion revealed by Him.
True Faith as stated by the majority of Protestants, is to believe in the Lord Jesus. Catholics agree with this as well, they share the belief that Jesus is the Son of the Living God and that we must believe all that He has revealed and taught us to have True Faith. Without which, there is no salvation, no hope of Heaven, and eternal damnation as we have Jesus’ own words for it. If Jesus under that pains of Hell commands me to believe what He has taught, then He must provide a means in which to learn and understand His teachings. This has to be a means that is present at all times, through all ages, and to every type of person smart or ignorant, all over the world. This means must teach without error, because if it did not, it would surely not be a means for salvation at all. Both Catholics and Protestants state that Christ has provided such a means, but where they differ is the means in and of itself. Protestants state it is the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible, while Catholics state it is the Church of the Living God.
Suppose God had intended for mankind to learn His religion from a book. Would not have Jesus given us all books? Perhaps, He would have instructed His Apostles to “write Bibles and give them to everyone so they can figure out what works best for their salvation.” Instead Christ said, “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” If Christ had stated the former, there would have been no Christianity, just confusion. As we can see from history however, THAT did not start happening until the 16th century. Ever since then, religion after religion, and church after church popped up all fighting against each other due to private interpretations of the Bible.
Christ never even gave His Apostles the command to write anything down. They went forth and preached everywhere, planted the Church of God throughout the earth, never writing during Our Lord’s time on Earth.
1.) St. Matthew – wrote about 7 years after Christ left the Earth for the benefit of a few people. So there was a Church that had already existed for 7 years prior to that.
2.) St. Mark – wrote about 10 years after Christ.
3.) St. Luke – wrote about 25 years after Christ.
4.) St. John – wrote about 63 years after Christ. And he wrote the last portion of what is in the Bible, the Book of Revalation, about 65 years after Christ. So the Catholic (comes from Hebrew “Catholo” or universal), Church had existed for 65 years prior to this point.
If anyone during anytime was to be considered Christian, it was these direct followers of Jesus Christ Himself. They were the pillars on which Christ built His Church. How were they suppose to know how to achieve salvation if they were in the process of writing parts of the Bible? Would Jesus have left His Church 65 years without a teacher if the Bible is suppose to be that? The answer is no, God would not do that. Out of these men, maybe St. John read the Bible, but no other did, everyone of them died martyrs and heroes for the Church of Jesus Christ. They knew how to save their souls just as true Catholics do today, from the teachings of the Church of God.
For over 300 years the Church that Christ established at the Last Supper spread itself all over the world without the Bible. No one even knew what books constituted the Bible at this time. During the time of the Apostles many false gospels and epistles were being spread. Gospels such as Simon, Nicodemus, of Mary, of Barnabus, and the Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus were all being spread amongst people who had no way of knowing which were truly inspired and which were false. Even those more learned disputed their validity.
In the 4th century the Pope of Rome, Head of the Church, succesor of St. Peter, brought together all the Bishops of the world into a council. The decision was made to decide which books constituted the Bible which is how we Catholics have it now. The Gospels that did not display sufficient evidence of Divine Inspiration from the Holy Ghost were rejected. Until this point in history the Bible was unknown to the whole world. There was no Bible to guide anyone. It is impossible to believe that Christ would leave the human race without a book for salvation if that was His intended means to learn His religion. And not just for 300 years was the Christian world left without the Bible but for over 1400 years!
The printing press was invented in the middle of the 1400s, about 100 years before there was a Protestant in the world. Before the printing press was invented, Bibles were rare and costly things. Historians will tell you that only about 1,000 years ago, Bibles were so rare and costly that it took a fortune for one to buy himself a copy. Everything had to be written by hand with pen, upon parchment or sheepskin. It was very tedious, slow, and costly. Historians also state that it took approximately 20 years to hand copy a Bible, if someone were paid even just a dollar a day that would amount $8,000. With todays standards of minimum wage that would be well over $300,000! How could people afford such a thing so necessary to the salvation of their souls? Before printing it is estimated that not even 1 in 20,000 people owned a copy of the Bible. Why would Jesus make it so hard for men if He intended for the Bible to be the end all be all for eternal salvation?
Supposing that every person did have a Bible, what good would it do those who could not read? As the Bible was also written in Greek or Hebrew, what good would it do for someone who could not understand these languages? Even as today it is translated into English, French, and many other languages; how are we to know whether or not these translations are faithful to the original text? If they are not, then it is no longer the Word of God but a false translation. Most people have to depend on the opinions of the learned. But if learned opinions vary and often contradict one another on how the Word of God is to be translated, than who is correct? There are a great number of Protestant layman, preachers, and bishops, who have written whole volumes on errors contained in different versions, the King James Version alone is said to have over 30,000 errors. How can one be so sure of eternal salvation with 30,000 errors?
Assuming the problem of unfaithful translations is completely out of the picture, and everyone had enough money to procure faithful translations of the Word of God for use in private interpretation; who’s interpretation is correct? How are you to save your soul if you hesitate and doubt certain people’s interpretation of Scripture? Throughout the world there are over 350 different denominations or churches that all state the Bible is their guide and teacher. However, just as truth is one, God is one, there can be no contradiction. Protestants state that the man who reads the Bible right and prayerfully has truth, and they all say they read it right.
Let us suppose there is an Episcopal minister. He is a sincere, honest,, well-meaning and prayerful man. He reads his Bible in prayerful spirit, and from the word of the Bible, he concludes that it is clear there must be Bishops. For without Bishops there can be no priests, without priests no Sacraments, and without Sacraments no Church. The Presbyterian is a sincere and well-meaning man. He reads the Bible also, and deduces that there should be no bishops, but only presbyters. “Here is the Bible to give you the lie,” says the Presbyterian. Yet both of them are prayerful and well-meaning men.
Then the Baptist comes in. He is a well-meaning, honest man, and prayerful also. “Well,” says the Baptist, “have you ever been baptized?” “I was,” says the Episcopalian, “when I was a baby.” “And so was I,” says the Presbyterian, “when I was a baby.” “But,” says the Baptist, “you are going to Hell as sure as you live.”
Next comes the Unitatrian, well-meaning, honest, and sincere. “Well,” says the Unitarian, “allow me to tell you that you are a pack of idolators. You worship a man for a God who is no God at all.” And he gives several texts from the Bible to prove it, while the others are stopping their ears that they may not hear the blasphemies of the Unitarian. And all of them contend that they have the true version of the Bible.
Next comes the Methodist, and he says, “My friends, have you got any religion at all?” “Of course we have,” they say. “Did you ever feel religion,” says the Methodist, “the spirit of God moving within you?” “Nonsense,” says the Presbyterian, “we are guided by our reason and judgement.” “Well,” says the Methodist, “if you have never felt religion, you never had it, and will go to Hell for eternity.”
The Universalist next comes in, and hears them threatening one another with external hellfire. “Why,” says he, “you are a strange set of people. Do you not understand the Word of God? There is no Hell at all. That idea is good enough to scare old women and children,” and he proves it from the Bible.
And now comes in the Quaker. He urges them not to quarrel, and advises that they do not baptize at all. He is the sincerest of men, and gives the Bible for his faith.
Another comes in and says, “Baptize the men and leave the women alone. For the Bible says, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. “So,” says he, “the women are all right, but baptize the men.”
Next comes in the Shaker and he says, “You are presumptuous people. Do you know that the Bible tells you that you must work out your salvation in fear and trembling, and you do not tremble at all. My brethren, if you want to go to Heaven shake, my brethren, shake!”
So in this scenario we see seven or eight different denominations, all differing from each other as to what is essential for salvation. All using whatever version of the Bible, illustrative private interpretation to justify their reasoning, and opinions. What if one were to bring over 350 different denominations that exist in the world? All taking the Bible as their guide and teacher, and all differing from each other. Are they all right? Some believe in Hell, some do not. Some believe Christ is God, others do not. Some believe Baptism is essential, some do not. All cannot be true.
Who, then, is correct? He who has the true meaning of the Bible? The Bible never tells us who holds the true meaning, it never settles that quarrel because it is not the teacher. The Bible is a good book, we Catholics admit the Bible is the inspired word of God (Jesus being the actual Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us), the language of inspiration, but your explanation of the Bible is not the language of inspiration. Your understanding of the Bible is not inspired, for surely you do not pretend to inspired!
When the Constitution in the United States was established George Washington did not say, “Let every man read the Constitution and make a government unto himself. Let every man make his own explanation of the Constitution.” If Washington had done that, there would have never been a United States, it would have been a Divided States. Instead the Constitution along with Supreme Law, was given to the American people. A Supreme Court and Judges were appointed to provide the true explanation of the Constitution for everyone from President to homeless Veteran. In fact its a three tier check and balance system (3 is a good number, remanant of The Blessed Trinity), if anyone takes the Constitution and laws into their own hands and are not kept in check, anarchy ensues.
Every government is of this way, a Constitution and a Supreme Court or Judge that gives the meaning of this Constitution. Someone visible that you can go to, lay complaints or questions before. Our Divine Lord established His Supreme Court, His Supreme Judge, “Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.” (Matthew 18:18) It gives us the true meaning of Scriptures, The Son of the Living God has pledged His Word that His Court is infallible, and therefore, the TRUE Catholic never doubts.
“I believe,” says the Catholic, “because the Church teaches me so. I believe the Church because God commanded me to believe her.” Jesus said: “Tell the Church. And if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.” (Matthew 18:17) “He that believeth you believeth Me. He that despiseth you despiseth Me.” (Luke 10:) Sadly everyone despises the Church nowadays and there has always been great adversity towards it. The Catholic believes because God has spoken, and upon the authority of God.
Protestants say, “We believe in the Bible.” They understand it to the best of their opinions as those who came before them (most broke off from the Church for some personal gain), and use private interpretation. This is only a testimony of man, therefore it is only human faith, not Divine Faith or taking God’s Word for something. It is Divine Faith alone by which we give honor and glory to God, by which we adore His infinte wisdom and veracity. That adoration and worship is necessary for salvation.
God Bless, BJS
Parts of this blog were taken, adapted, and abridged from a sermon given by Fr. Arnold Damen, S.J. (1815-1890)