Tag Archives: Christ

​Sphere of Infallibility

 

Since the time of Christ, from the first council of the Apostles in Jerusalem in the year 50, to the last Vatican Council in 1870, there have been held in all twenty-one general or ecumenical councils. The Vatican Council, shown above, declared the dogma of the infallibility of the Pope.

 

    When does the Church teach infallibly? –The Church teaches infallibly when it defines, through the Pope alone, as the teacher of all Christians, or through the Pope and the bishops, a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by all the faithful.The Church, as the representative or substitute of Jesus Christ on earth, is infallible, and speaks with His own words: “This is why I was born, and why I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37). 

  1. When the Church makes an infallible pronouncement, we are not to suppose that a new doctrine is being introduced. For instance, when the Holy Father in 1854 defined the Blessed Virgin’s Immaculate Conception as an article of faith, the infallible definition was not a proclamation of a new doctrine, but was merely an announcement of an article of faith true from the very beginning, and publicly defined only in order to make the dogma clear to all and to be believed as part of the deposit of faith left to the Church.Another example is the definition of the Holy Father’s infallibility, made in 1870 by the Vatican Council. The dogma was true from the very beginning, and had been universally held. But as in recent times many objections were being made against it, the Bishops in the Vatican Council thought it best, in order to make clear the stand of the Church, to make an infallible definition. 
  2. The Church makes infallible pronouncements on doctrines of faith and morals, on their interpretation, on the Bible and Tradition, and the interpretation of any part or parts of these. The dogma of the Inmaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin was an interpretation of a long-standing Tradition in the Church.The Church also pronounces on the truth or falsity of opinions, teachings, customs, etc., with relation to fundamental doctrines. Another subject on which the Church makes infallible declarations is in the canonization of Saints. All whom the Church has raised to the glory of the altar by a solemn canonization are undoubtedly now in heaven, enjoying eternal bliss in the presence of God.
    When does the Church teach infallibly through the Pope alone? –The Church teaches infallibly through the Pope alone, when he speaks officially (ex cathedra) as the Supreme Head, for the entire universal Church.As the Pope has authority over the Church, he could not err in his official teaching without leading the Church into error. As Our Lord said to Peter, the first Pope: “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may not fail; and do thou, when once thou hast turned again, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:31-32).In order to speak infallibly, the Pope must speak ex-cathedra, or officially, under the following conditions: 

  1. He must pronounce himself on a subject of faith or morals. Infallibility is restricted to questions regarding faith and morals. The Church pronounces on natural sciences and on legislation only when the perversity of men makes of them instruments for opposing revealed truths.If the Pope should make judgments on mathematics or civil governments, he is as liable to error as any other man with the same experience. Letters to kings and other rulers are not infallible pronouncements. However, we should hold the Pope’s opinions on any subject with great respect, on account of his position and experience. 
  2. He must speak as the Vicar of Christ, in his office as Pope, and to the whole Church, to all the faithful throughout the world. In his capacity as private teacher, for example, in his encyclical letters, he is as any other teacher of the Church.Should the Pope, like Benedict XIV, write a treatise on Canon Law, his book would be written in a private capacity, and liable to error, just as the books of other theologians. We accept, not on faith, but in obedience to his authority, out of respect for his experience and wisdom. 
  3. He must make clear by certain words his intention to speak ex-cathedra. These words are most often used: “We proclaim,” “we define,” etc.The Pope’s infallible decrees are termed “doctrinal,” since they involve doctrine. From the earliest days of the Church, the infallibility of the Pope has been acknowledged. In the year 417 the Holy See condemned the Pelagian errors; St. Augustine cried out the famous words, “Rome has spoken; the cause is ended!” The Council of Florence in 1439 called the Pope “the Father and Teacher of Christians.”
    When does the Church teach infallibly through the Pope and the bishops? –The Church teaches infallibly through the Pope and the bishops when convened in a general (or ecumenical) council. [when they INTEND to teach infallibly(RMO)] 

  1. A General Council is an assembly convened by the Holy See, of all the bishops of the world, and others entitled to vote. It represents the teaching body of the Church, and must be infallible.In the year 50 the Apostles held the first General Council in Jerusalem. Its decisions were proclaimed as coming from God, the final decree beginning with these words: “For the Holy Spirit and we have decided to lay no further burden upon you” (Acts 15:28) 
  2. Over a General Council, the Pope or his legate presides; a representative number of bishops and others entitled to vote, such as cardinals, abbots, and generals of certain religious orders, must be present. Upon confirmation by the Pope, a General Council’s decrees are binding on all Christians.It must be understood that the decrees of a General Council have no binding authority until confirmed by the Pope. There is no appeal from the Pope to a General Council. 
  3. A unanimous vote is not necessary for an infallible decision of a general council; a great majority is sufficient.The most notable of the General Councils so far held following the Council of Jerusalem have been: (1) the Council of Nicea, in the year 325, which pronounced against the heresy of Arius; (2) the Council of Ephesus, in the year 425, which declared Mary the Mother of God; (3) the Council of Nicea. in 787, which declared the veneration of images as lawful and profitable; (4) the Council of Trent, 1545-1563, which declared against the heresies of Luther; (5) the Council of the Vatican, 1870, which defined as an article of faith the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope. 
  4. Even when the bishops are not gathercd together in one place, they form the teaching body of the Church, united with the Pope. Therefore their voice must be infallible, otherwise the universal Church would be led into error. For the same reason as above, the daily ordinary uniform teaching of the Church in every place in the whole World is infallibly true.“Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

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

Advertisements

​Church and State

 

Once the Pharisees asked Our Lord: “Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not? Our Lord asked for a coin and then inquired, ‘Whose image and inscription does it bear?'” They answered, “Caesar’s.” And Our Lord said. “Render, therefore, to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Thus we are taught to give both the State and the Church what is due to each, in accordance with the end that each pursues.

 

    What are the spheres of the Church and of the State? –The spheres of the Church and of the State are defined and dictated by each one’s respective purpose.Both the Church and the State derive their just powers from God. All rights and duties on earth come to us ultimately from God through the Divine Law, either natural or positive. As Leo VIII said, “The Almighty has appointed the charge of the human race between two powers, the ecclesiastical and the civil, the one being set over divine, the other over human things.” 

  1. The Church is a complete and perfect spiritual society whose purpose is to sanctify men and lead them to eternal happiness with God in heaven. In spiritual matters, therefore, it has absolute and exclusive powers.The sphere of the Church is the supernatural and eternal; it includes everything relating to spiritual and moral affairs, matters affecting man’s eternal salvation: for example, the worship of God, preaching of the Gospel, decision of what is morally right and morally wrong, government of its members, restriction of such rights as will endanger their eternal welfare, education of the clergy, religious education of its members, etc, 
  2. The State is also a society, but its purpose is limited to the promotion of man’s temporal welfare.  In purely temporal and political matters, the State is supreme. The Church does not prefer one form of civil government to another, provided it does not conflict with Catholic teaching.The sphere of the State includes such purely temporal matters as a choice of a form of government, the development of agriculture, industries and trade, collection of taxes, restriction of certain civil and political rights (such as the right of suffrage, of bearing arms, etc.) , the enforcement of law and order, etc. 
  3. Since both Church and State were established for the good of men, they cannot be totally separated without evil consequences. Even when a complete separation is advisable, it should never mean the antagonism of the State against the Church.Man and the State, even in the realm of politics and temporal matters, are under God’s law, both revealed and natural, the Law that is above all mankind, of whatever race. Man has no right to make his own laws without regard for the law of God. “It is the Church, not the State, that is to be man’s guide to heaven” (Leo XIII). The State is even bound to protect the Church in the exercise of its functions; this is because the State must protect the rights of its citizens, and of these rights the religious ones are of utmost importance. 
  4. Although primarily concerned with spiritual matters, the Church evidently is entitled to certain temporal aids, in order to be able to pursue its mission effectively.It must build churches and seminaries, collect revenue, conduct schools for the proper religious training of its members, etc. 
  5. The State, as representing the collective will of the people, cannot be made god, as is done in communism and fascism.Then man becomes grossly material, bound by rods of his own fashioning, helpless and gone mad, because he cannot conquer the world.
    What is the contribution of the Catholic Church to American democracy? –In general we may say that the fundamentals of American democracy were derived from traditional thought and philosophy; and since these, being of Western Europe, were essentially Catholic, therefore our democracy had its roots in the Catholic Church. 

  1. The philosophical principles of the Declaration of Independence show such a remarkable similarity to traditional Catholic philosophy as to have been derived from it. Most particularly have these principles been inherited from two outstanding Catholic theologians, St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) and St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621). These principles are inflexible against Communism as well as Plutocracy, State Socialism as well as extreme Individualism.Some principles so derived are: the equality of man in nature and essence, the function of government to care for the common good, the consent of the governed as a requirement for power of rulers, the right of people to change governments, etc. 
  2. Not only did our democracy get rooted in Catholic principles; today Catholic thought continues to nourish that democracy.For this reason the Church insists on the sanctity of marriage, of the family; the Church instructs her children in loyalty to the State. 
  3. In the founding of our Republic, Catholic aid also came into the realm ofdeeds. Many Catholics took part in the war for independence not only by actual fighting, but by contributing money, services, and other resources. And we must not forget that France, a Catholic nation, sent four fleets, besides money and soldiers. Poland and Spain, Catholic countries, also gave aid.Well did our First President say to Catholics: “I presume that your fellow citizens … will not forget the patriotic part you took in the accomplishment of our Revolution and the establishment of our government.”
    What should be the attitude of the Catholic citizen towards the State? –The Catholic citizen is bound in conscience to obey the State, provided faith and morals are not endangered thereby. 

  1. The State is not the master, but the servant, of the citizens. The inherent rights of individuals, and particularly of parents, cannot be usurped by the State.For instance, parents, not the State, have the natural right to educate their children. The State should merely supervise and facilitate education, but should not enact laws contrary to the obligations of parents to give their children a religious education. 
  2. After the Revolution, for a considerable period, Catholic schools together with schools of other denominations received government support. Then gradually, laws were passed forbidding such support.Our schools are benefiting, however, under the National School Lunch Act of 1946; Congress regularly appropriates money to implement this free school lunch program. Our colleges may secure loans at favorable interest rates under legislation adopted by the Housing and Home Finance Agency. Indirectly our colleges benefit from the GI Bill of Rights, since legislation authorizing the extension of educational benefits to veterans does not discriminate with respect to schools; a veteran may select any approved school. In addition to assistance to schools, our hospitals are receiving substantial construction grants under the terms of the Hill-Burton Law. 
  3. In questions of right and wrong, what should rule is not the majority, but the right, even if it is upheld by the smallest of minorities.

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

In a Nutshell

Here is what I gathered from your email:

1. Do you think Catholicism or Christianity is in competition?

2.  Other lessons/belief systems that offer it’s own wisdom, comfort, and moral guidance?

3.  What is wrong with the idea that every religious tradition offers different, but equally valid lessons about the world?

4.  Could there be more to life than just Catholicism?

5.  Is there something wrong with the person who decides what they truly believe?

My initial thoughts:

1.  Christianity – religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or it’s beliefs and practices (it does not say some beliefs and practices).

2.  The Catholic Church is the main and earliest form of Christianity (there has to be a reason for that like everything else in the universe).

3.  How can something be in competition with itself?

4.  Truths from other “Christian” religions are either natural truths or taken from the Catholic Church and that is an historical fact, repeated over and over.

The first question that comes to my mind is whether or not you believe or recognize Jesus Christ as God (not just another Santa Claus like pretty much everyone treats Him), the 2nd person of the Blessed Trinity, or if you think of Him as another human being with no real significance. 

Let us consider some points that can help us recognize the Divinity of Christ using reason and history. Reason because everyone has it, even those without Faith. And history because everyone lives in it, and it’s applicable, whether you like it or not.

1.  Socrates had no one foretell his birth.  Buddha had no one to pre announce him and his message or tell the day when he would sit under a tree. Confucius did not have the name of his mother and his birthplace recorded.

2.  Search the writings of the Jewish people and the related history of the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. There have been no more prophecies of anyone coming after Christ.

3.  What separates Christ from all men is that first He was expected; even the Gentiles had a longing for a Deliverer, or Redeemer. This fact alone distinguishes Him from all other religious leaders.

4.  A second distinguishing fact is that once He appeared, He struck history with such impact that He split it in two, dividing it into two parts: one before His coming, the other after it. Buddha did not do this, nor any of the great Indian philosophers. Even those who deny  God must date their attacks upon Him A.D. so and so, or so many years after His coming.

5. A third fact is this: every other person who ever came into this world came into it to live. He came to die. Death was a stumbling block to Socrates – it interrupted his teaching. But to Christ, death was the goal and fulfillment of His life, the gold that He was seeking. Few of His words or actions are intelligible without reference to His Cross. He presented Himself as a Savior rather than merely a Teacher. It meant nothing to teach men to be good unless He also gave them the power to be good, after rescuing them from the frustration of guilt.

6. The story of every human life begins with birth and ends with death. In the Person of Christ, however, it was His death that was first and His life that was last. “the Lamb slain as it were, from the beginning of the world.”

7.  A fourth distinguishing fact is that He does not fit, as the other world teachers do, into the established category of a good man. Good men do not lie. But if Christ was not all that He said He was, namely, the Son of the Living God, the Word of God in the flesh, then He was not “just a good man”; then He was a knave, a liar, a charlatan, and the greatest deceiver who ever lived. If He was not what He said He was, the Christ, the Son of God, He was the anti-Christ! If He was only a man, then He was not even a “good” man, but He was not only a man. He would have us either worship Him or despise Him – despise Him as a mere man, or worship Him as true God and true man.

He will not allow us to pick and choose among His words, discarding the hard ones, and accepting the ones that please our fancy. We need a Christ Who will restore moral indignation, who will make us hate evil with a passionate intensity and love goodness to a point where we would drink death like water.

– The Life of Christ, Bishop Fulton Sheen 1958.

“It is thy own lips that have called Me a King. What I was born for, what I came into the world for, Is to bear witness of the Truth. Whoever belongs to the Truth, listens to My Voice.” (JOHN 18:37)

So as Christ is God and easily the most important and only pre-announced person in history, and as the Old Testament is mirrored through His Church in the New Testament. True Catholicism ties the ancient Jewish traditions of sacrifice  (bread and wine for Thanksgiving, and the Pascal lamb for atonement of sins); Christ brought these sacrifices together as the Priest, the Victim, and the Redeemer all at once. With the Last Supper being the first Catholic Mass Christ said:

“And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat : THIS IS MY BODY, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: THIS CHALICE IS THE NEW TESTAMENT IN MY BLOOD: THIS DO YE, AS OFTEN AS YOU SHALL DRINK, FOR THE COMMEMORATION OF ME.

For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily  (hence the Sacrament of Confession), shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgement to himself, not discerning (believing, reverence towards the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist under the appearance of bread and wine, the whole of the Catholic Faith, and everything Protestants and everyone else aims to destroy), the body of the Lord. Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep.”

What it comes down to is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the same exact sacrifice offered to God the Father by His only begotten Son but in an unbloody manner. And the whole of the Faith depends on whether or not the person really and truly believe that after the bread and wine are transubstantiated they are completely and wholly, the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. Because it was given from Christ to His Apostles and passed down through the imposition of hands to the Bishops and priests of the true church today.

Nothing else that any human being has ever done comes even close to this importance. That is God on the Altar right in front of your eyes! He did it for the Jews in the Old Testament when they wandered the desert for 40 years. He was a white mana that came down for them every morning to satisfy all their physical needs. And now His precious Body and Blood are our spiritual food if we want an eternity of happiness with God and it’s the only way we get to Heaven. Everything else is made up because ex-Catholics could not live up to the moral standards Christ instituted to His Apostles.

Just as a father has love for his children and does things that may at first seem harsh but ultimately is out of love of his children, so Christ gave us His Church, and promised to be with us until the end of time if we only adhere to the truth and everything He has commanded of us. Not just the things WE want to do or believe in, because history is full of that. It is daily obedience to the Will of God. Baptism for the washing of the soul from the stains of original sin, frequent reception of the Sacraments, keeping the commandments, observing sundays and holy days of obligation, as long as we are alive on this Earth we can turn to God and repent and start living the way we are supposed to be living. Denouncing the world, and all its enticing material things, dying to our physical senses, and seeking only the solicitation of the things that are of God’s Will for us. Obedience is paramount in making it into the Ark of the New Testament. We cannot get to Heaven by ourselves, you need the Holy Ghost dwelling in your soul and you receive that through His Church not anyone else’s. Just as Faith without works is dead, works without Faith are useless. Christ’s Presence in the Holy Eucharist IS the Catholic Faith, and it IS Christianity.

“If any man eat of this bread, He shall live forever; and the bread that I will give, IS MY FLESH, for the life of the world.”

John 6:52

What could be more important, efficacious for the salvation of our souls, than adherence to what the Creator of the Universe has commanded us to do? And who else has such a love for us, as to make themselves one with Him by offering us the bread of His flesh for our salvation? How important is it to you? If one believes they are a good person, is that simply enough? Because if one were truly a good person would they not follow and listen to the Source of all Good, God made man, Christ Himself?

The Laity

 

“I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, even as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold. Them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John 10:14-16). All those not baptized are sheep of Christ that have not yet heard His voice. They must also be brought into the Church. Protestants are sheep that have left the fold of Christ. They must return to the Church, if they would hear the voice of Christ, the Good Shepherd, Who lovingly calls them to His True Church.

 

    Who are the laity of the Church? –The. laity of the Church are all its members who do not belong to the clerical or to the religious state. 

  1. All members of the Church, whether clerical, religious, or lay, are termed “the faithful.” After Baptism we join the ranks.The laity must remember that they are part of the Church. They must understand that when anyone speaks of the “Church” they are included, as we include the heart and mind of a man with his soul when we speak of him. The Church is you and I. 
  2. The clerical state includes all priests and aspirants to the priesthood who have received tonsure. Students of seminaries are aspirants to the priesthood.“Tonsure” is the rite by which a layman is initiated into the clerical state. The bishop, or any delegated prelate, cuts the candidate’s hair in some prescribed form, and invests him with a surplice. 
  3. The religious state includes those who are members of religious orders or congregations, bound by either temporary or perpetual vows of poverty, chastity, obedience.Aspirants, postulants, and novices are preparing to embrace the religious state.
    Do Catholic Sinners continue to belong to the Church? –Yes. 

  1. Unless one cuts himself off by heresy, apostasy, or excommunication, a Catholic sinner continues to be a member of the Church. Those in mortal sin are called “dead members”, for their soul dead in sin.Indeed the Church is the Church of Saints; but the greatest part of its activities has to be for sinners. Perhaps we may say, without fear of contradiction, that most of the members of the Church are sinners. We all fall away from the ideal, at some time or other; then the Church calls, to bring us back. 
  2. Until we attain heavenly bliss, there will always be the darkness of sin, the pain of evil. Christ Himself spoke of bad fish with the good, of cockle among the wheat.Of the sheep in the fold, one wanders out. But Our Lord longs for the wanderer, let us help bring him back. 
  3. God gave Catholics the grace of their holy religion. But He also gave them their free will. And they are free to choose: whether to act in full accordance with His commands and counsels, or whether to practice only a part, or whether to violate those commands.There is a wide gap between belief and practice; it is that gap that divides Catholics into practical and nominal Catholics.
    Must the faithful think and act alike? –No. 

  1. The faithful must believe in all the doctrines entrusted by Christ to His Church, and act in accordance with those doctrines; but these pertain to the field of faith and morals, not to other matters. Therefore there is no question about “thinking and acting alike,” among the 425,000,000 Catholics in the world.Each Catholic is an individual. He must believe that Jesus Christ is God; but with one of his Catholic friends he may differ concerning the best political party to join. He must not deny his Church, but he may argue with the parish priest about who should be one’s favorite Saints. 
  2. The Church is for no particular class, whether millionaires, or laborers, scientists or children; the Church is classless, and for all classes, for all men. These cannot all act and think in one uniform pattern.The different classes among Catholics arise from causes apart from the Church, such as racial, cultural, and social causes. But anywhere and everywhere one can be a good Catholic. 
  3. Good Catholics believe alike in this: that they are members of a divinely-established Church, the well-being of which it is their duty to further, by striving to attain the perfection indicated by Christ.The Church presents us with the ideal, and provides the means to reach that ideal, inviting and urging us, feeding and shepherding the flock. But the Church does not guarantee salvation for all the faithful; because among its doctrines the freedom of the will is as fundamental as the divine authority of the Church.
    How can the laity help the Church in the care of souls? –The laity can help the Church in the care of souls by leading lives that will reflect credit on the Church, and by cooperating with their bishops and priests, especially through Catholic Action.“Even so, let your light shine before men, in order that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). 

  1. A good Catholic makes serious efforts to save his soul. He keeps the commandments of God and the Church. He receives the sacraments. He does all things prescribed by Christ through the Church.Therefore, he must know his religion. He must not be ignorant of Christian doctrine, for by it he learns how to save his soul. By it he learns what to believe, and what to do. 
  2. A good Catholic obeys his ecclesiastical superiors in spiritual matters, and gives them due respect. He sees in his lawful superiors Christ’s representatives on earth.He is loyal to the Church in word and deed. He does not criticise it, or make derogatory remark about it. Even if his priests may have faults, he tries his best not to bring them and the Church into contempt. If the faults are public and grievous, he may bring the matter to the attention of lawful authority, but always with great prudence. 
  3. According to his means, he contributes towards the support of the Church.This is a serious obligation which too many Catholics neglect. The Church needs support as much as the civil government. It cannot subsist on air. Religion makes no progress where Catholics are so indifferent as to begrudge their material support. 
  4. A good Catholic has before him a wide scope of activity if he wishes to participate in the work of the Church; there are no barriers between man and God.Should a Catholic be moved by a spirit of reform, he need not cut himself off from the Church by founding a new sect. He busies himself within the Fold of the Church, taking active steps to attain the reform he desires. For always there is need of reform in practices and current conditions, though never in fundamental doctrine.

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

​Foundation of the Church

Ninth Article of the Apostles’ Creed

 

 

From among His disciples Our Lord chose twelve Apostles, and gave them special training. He sent them forth to teach His doctrines, saying, “As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” The Apostles were the foundation of the True Church. Christ gave them all power and authority, saying, “He who hears you hears me: he who rejects you rejects me.”
    Did Jesus Christ found a Church? –Yes; all history, religious and non-religious, including the Bible, clearly proves that Jesus Christ founded a Church. 

  1. After teaching publicly what He required all to believe and practice, thereby announcing the main doctrines of His Church, Christ gathered a number of disciples. From them He chose twelve, to whom He gave special instruction and training. The term “a kingdom”, by which Our Lord used to refer to His Church, implies organized authority. And He said to the special men He had chosen, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (John 15:16). He did not teach the disciples for themselves alone, but to be the foundation of His Church. God did not come to save only a few disciples, but all men. 
  2. Christ said to the men He had chosen: “As the Father has sent me, I also send you” (John 20:21), bidding them go and preach the doctrines He had taught. He sent them to all nations, promising salvation to those that should believe, and threatening condemnation to those refusing to believe.“He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16). God is just; He would not have threatened condemnation to unbelievers unless He had furnished the means whereby they could believe. His Church is this means; all men must join it. 
  3. Not only did the men chosen by Christ have authority; He gave them extraordinary powers, particularly the twelve special men, the Apostles. “Then having summoned his twelve disciples, he gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every kind of disease and infirmity” (Matt. 10:1).
       

    1. They had power to sanctify, when Christ bade them: “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). 
    2. They had power to forgive sin, when Christ said to them: “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them” (John 20:23). 
    3. They had power to rule when Christ said: “He who hears you hears me; and he who rejects you rejects me; and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Luke 10:16). And: “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven” (Matt. 18:18). 
    4. They had power to offer sacrifice, when at the Last Supper Christ, after instituting the Eucharist, bade them:“Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Cor. 11:24-25).

     

  4. After training the disciples and Apostles to form the organization of His Church, Christ chose Simon Peter, and made him the Chief. Simon, whose name Christ changed to Peter, was the Head of the Church. On Simon Christ promised to build His Church, saying: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church” (Matt. 16:18). After the Resurrection He confirmed Peter’s authority over the Church, saying to him: “Feed my lambs; feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17). 
  5. Finally, He promised to remain for all time with the Church He established. If the death of Our Lord were to do good only to a few persons then living in Judea, its merits would have been very limited. But it could do good to future generations only if there were an organization with authority to carry on His teachings and preserve them from all change. This is His Church.
    Why did Jesus Christ found the Church? –Jesus Christ founded the Church to bring all men to eternal salvation.Our Lord Jesus Christ established the Church in order to lead men to heaven by:

       

    1. Continuing His teaching and example; and 
    2. Applying the fruits of His Sacrifice on the cross to all men until the end of the world. Our Lord gave to the Church a three-fold office: the office of teacher, the office of priest or sanctifier, and the office of pastor or ruler. By these offices Christ intended His Church to accomplish the purpose for which He founded it.

     

  1. After Pentecost Sunday the Apostles began to carry out their mission of making disciples of all nations. Through them and their successors this mission continues and will continue to the end of the world. On the first Pentecost about three thousand were received into the Church after St. Peter’s sermon. They were the first members converted and baptized since the Ascension of Our Lord.
    Was the Church founded by Christ a visible organization? –The Church founded by Christ was a visible organization, with certain distinguishing marks. 

  1. No one can deny that Jesus Christ gathered disciples, and out of them chose twelve Apostles, to whom He gave special instruction and orders. He formed them as the foundation of His organization; was this not visible? Speaking of a stubborn man, He said: “If he refuse to hear even the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen” (Matt. 18:17). And He promised his disciples: “Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven” (Matt. 18:18). Surely something must be visible to bind and loose, to be heard and obeyed. And Christ referred to this visible organization as a city set on a mountain, that cannot be hidden (Matt. 5:14). 
  2. From the very beginning the Apostles exercised their authority and powers; these were signs of a very visible organization. They did not advise; they directed, as superiors, and decided, as judges. Thus St. Paul excommunicated the sinful Corinthian; and he commanded the Hebrews: “Obey your superiors, and be subject to them” (Heb. 13: 17). 
  3. The Apostles and Fathers condemned schism. This fact implies a visible organization; for how can there be schism against an invisible body? St. Paul urged the Corinthians: “By the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ … that there be no dissensions among you” (1 Cor. 1:10). And St. Cyprian in the third century wrote: “Whoever is separated from the Church is separated from the promises of Christ … One cannot have God as a Father who has not the Church as his mother.”


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

The Public Life of Jesus Christ

 

Our Lord spent the three years of His public life teaching, healing the sick, working miracles to prove His mission and Divinity. One of His most wonderful miracles was the raising of Lazarus. Lazarus had been dead and buried four days. But Jesus went to the sepulchre and ordered the stone closing it to be taken away. Then He cried: “Lazarus, come forth!” And Lazarus came forth from the grave. Because of this miracle, the Pharisees became more envious, and even planned to kill Lazarus, so as to make it appear that Jesus had not raised him from the dead.

 

    When did Christ begin His public life? –Christ began His public life when He was about thirty years old.

     

  1. After spending long years in obscurity and humble toil, Jesus Christ next entered upon a period of activity, going about and teaching publicly. He left His home in Nazareth, and began His public life by an act of great humility: His baptism at the hands of St. John the Baptist in the river Jordan.

    The mother of St. John the Baptist was St. Elizabeth, cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. John lived a life of very rigorous penance in the desert, preparing himself for his role of forerunner or precursor of the Saviour. About two years before Christ started His public life, John the Baptist went out of the desert, and began to preach penance; he baptized in the Jordan all those who believed in his teachings and wished to begin a new life.

    St. John the Baptist was the forerunner or precursor of Christ. He spoke to the people of the coming Messias, and pointed Jesus out to them as the “Lamb of God.” He was put to death by Herod, because he reproved the ruler for his immoral life.

    Jesus came to John to be baptized; immediately afterwards, as Our Lord came out of the river, the Holy Ghost came down upon Him in the form of a dove, and a Voice from heaven was heard saying: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).

     

  2. After His baptism, Jesus went into the desert, where He fasted forty days and forty nights. This teaches us to look upon baptism as a call to penance, and to prepare for all kinds of activity by mortification and prayer.

    The forty days of Lent are intended to commentorate the forty days’ fast of Our Lord. Lent lasts from Ash Wednesday till midnight of Holy Saturday.

     

  3. After Our Lord’s long fast, the devil was permitted to tempt Him. Christ rebuked the devil, and angels came to minister to Him.

    From this temptation of Our Lord we know that a temptation is not sinful. As long as we resist the devil, we are pleasing to God, however strong may be the temptation that assails us. “God is faithful and will not permit you to be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also give you a way out that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor.10:13).

    How long did Christ’s public life last? –Christ’s public life lasted about three years, during which He went about preaching, teaching, and doing good.

     

  1. Upon His return from His forty-day fast in the desert, Jesus called His first disciples. In a few days He performed His first miracle, changing water into wine at a marriage-feast in Cana, at the request of His Mother, although, as He told her, His time had not yet come.

    Among the outstanding works of Jesus during the first year of His active life were: He drove sellers out of the Temple, saying they made it a “den of thieves”. He cured the ruler’s son, Peter’s mother-in-law, the paralytic at the pool, the daughter of Jairus. He calmed the tempest.

     

  2. Jesus began the second year of His public life by an act of utmost significance: He chose from the many that followed Him, “the Twelve”, His twelve Apostles, Himself calling them Apostles. In the Sermon on the Mount He summarized His teachings; it is the law of love taking the place of the law of fear.

    During the second year of His mission, Christ performed many miracles, among which were: the cure of the centurion’s servant, of the widow’s son at Naim; the first multiplication of the loaves; He walked on the water, and bade Peter walk on it, too. He forgave Mary Magdalen, and sent the Apostles on their mission. He began teaching in the form of parables, comparing what He wanted to teach with common things. Among His parables of this period were: the sower, the rates and wheat, the mustard seed, the pearl of great price.

     

  3. In His third year of teaching, Jesus went to Galilee and Phoenicia, because in Judea where He had been teaching, the Pharisees for envy and jealousy sought to kill Him. In Phoenicia He gave in to the entreaties of a Gentile, a Canaanite, who persevered in asking Him to cure her daughter.

    In Galilee Jesus cured a deaf-and-dumb man, using signs that the Church has adopted in its baptismal ceremonies; he performed the miracle of the second multiplication of the,loaves. On Mount Thabor He was transfigured in the presence of Peter, James, and John. Among other cures were those of the ten lepers, and the man blind from birth. He promised the primacy over all to Peter, paid the tribute to Caesar, forgave the woman caught in adultery, sent out his seventy-two disciples on a mission, called the rich young man, instructed Mary and Martha, and was the guest of Zacheus. He told the parables of the unmerciful servant, the Good Samaritan, the lost sheep, the lost groat, the greater supper, the unjust steward, the prodigal son, Dives and Lazarus, the Pharisee and the publican, the laborers in the vineyard.

     

  4. Finally, at the end of His public life, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. By this time the envy of the Pharisees was so great that they determined to bring about the death of Jesus; Judas came as a ready tool.

    Magdalen anointed Our Lord, as He said, for His burial. He entered Jerusalem in triumph riding on an ass, with children waving palms and singing. He told the parable of the husbandmen and the heir, to show the Pharisees that He knew of their designs against Him. And last of all, He ate the Last Supper with His Apostles, there instituting the Holy Eucharist.

    What was Chrisfs aim in His public life? –Christ’s aim in His public life was to teach what God requires all to believe and practice, so that all may enter the kingdom of heaven.

     

  1. For this purpose He gathered some seventy-two disciples, and from them chose twelve Apostles, to whom He gave special instruction and training. By them He established His Church, which was to carry on His work after His death, to continue teaching what He had openly and publicly taught.

    He spoke to large crowds, sometimes numbering four or five thousand people, as when He multiplied the loaves and fishes. Christ taught in the simplest manner, so that all might understand without difficulty. He used plain, homely words. He often used signs and parables, and illustrated His meaning by examples from nature and common life.

     

  2. In the doctrines He taught, a leading idea is: “Seek first the kingdom of God.”

    He taught a new rule of faith, and gave new commandments. He taught the precept of love, even for our enemies. He revealed certain mysteries: such as those of the Blessed Trinity, of His own divinity, of the Last judgment. He instituted the seven sacraments.

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

The Hidden Life of Jesus Christ

 

 

After the finding in the Temple, Jesus returned with Mary and Joseph to Nazareth. There He lived with them, doing all He could to help His Mother and St. Joseph in their work. Jesus, God Himself, obeyed mortals, because He wanted to set us an example. He lived a life of obedience, humility, and poverty in Nazareth till He was about thirty years old , This hidden life teaches us, among other things, the value in the eyes of God, of prayer, humility and obedience.

 

    How may the life of Jesus Christ be divided? –The life of Jesus Christ may be divided into three parts: His childhood to the time when He was twelve years old; His hidden life, to the time when He started His teaching; and His public life, to the time of His death.

     

  1. After the murder of the Holy Innocents, the Child Jesus lived in Egypt with His mother and St. Joseph until the death of Herod, then returned with them to the Holy Land.

    An angel appeared to Joseph and said, “Arise, and take the Child and his Mother, and go into the land of Israel” (Matt. 2:20). Just as St. Joseph had obeyed without question when told to take the Child to Egypt, so now he obeyed, knowing that God Who watches over the birds of the air would watch over those given into his charge.

     

  2. The Holy Family lived in Nazareth. From there, every year Mary and Joseph went to worship at the Temple of Jerusalem. When Jesus was twelve years old, He went along with His parents to celebrate the Pasch at Jerusalem. Then Mary and Joseph left the city to return to Nazareth, but Jesus remained behind without their knowledge.

    “But thinking that he was in the caravan, they had come a day’s journey before it occurred to them to look for him among their relatives and acquaintances. And not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem in search of him” (Luke 2:44-45) We can only imagine the distress of Mary and Joseph upon having lost Jesus, most precious to them, the Child that had been entrusted to their care. And what was their joy when after three days search they found Him in the Temple, in the midst of the wise men there, hearing and questioning them! Mary told how great had been her grief when she said, “Behold, thy father and I have been seeking thee sorrowing” (Luke 2:48). But Jesus replied, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49)

    Jesus dearly loved Mary and Joseph, but He did not hesitate to cause them pain and part from them, in order to obey His heavenly Father’s will. In imitation of Him, many young people leave home and their dear parents, to enter the priesthood or a religious congregation, to serve God completely.

     

  3. Some non-Catholic interpreters insist that Jesus had brothers, that He was not the only Son of Mary. Those spoken of in the Gospels as the “brethren” of Our Lord (Matt. 13:55), were His blood relatives; it was the practice among the Jews to call near relatives “brethren”.

    So Abraham called his nephew Lot in this manner: “Let there be no quarrel between me and thee…. for we are brethren” (Gen. 13:8). As St. John Chrysostom wrote, Our Lord on the cross would not have needed to commend His Mother to his Apostle John, if she had had other children.

    How long did the hidden life of Jesus Christ last? –The hidden life of Jesus Christ lasted from His return to Nazareth at the age of twelve until He entered into public life, at the age of thirty.

     

  1. Of this part of Christ’s life all we directly read from Holy Scripture are two statements: “And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them…. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and grace before God and men” (Luke 2:51, 52). In these two sentences is contained the history of eighteen years of the life of Jesus Christ, the God-Man.

    In the Temple, at the early age of twelve, Jesus had proved His wisdom before the doctors of the law. As St. Luke writes, “And all who were listening to him were amazed at his understanding and his answers” (Luke 2:47). But did He continue after this unusual and favorable beginning; did He stay on to preach His doctrine? No; instead, He meekly followed His parents as a young child of that age, and went to live with them in obscurity in Nazareth.

     

  2. The actions of Jesus Christ are intended for us as examples and instructions, as much as His words. As He said, “I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you also should do” (John 13:15) The hidden life of Jesus is for us a perfect model of humility. He lived in poverty and lowliness: the Mother He chose was a poor woman; His foster-father was a carpenter; the town in which He spent the greatest part of His life was an obscure place despised by the Jews: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46)

    By His hidden life Jesus Christ teaches us to learn holiness and wisdom before we presume to teach others. He teaches us, by living in obscurity, to fight against our vanity, which makes us desire to be doing only what seems great and important, which makes us desire to be praised and noticed. By His hidden life Our Lord teaches us to subdue our pride, to live day after day without impatience or complaint, unknown to the world, and even despised, if that is the will of God for us; then we shall have true peace of heart. And so Jesus said, “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Matt. 11:29). For long years of obscurity in Nazareth, He was just “a carpenter’s son”.

     

  3. The hidden life of Jesus Christ is for us a perfect model of obedience: “And He was subject to them.” The God of all created things, almighty and infinite, was subject to two poor and unknown mortals. He obeyed them in all things, promptly, constantly, cheerfully, and with great love.

    Let us model our obedience on this perfect pattern. Let us obey our superiors as representatives of God, giving them due respect and prompt obedience. When our parents command us, and we go about doing what they want, but with murmuring and without spirit, is that the obedience that the Child Jesus gave in Nazareth? When we have to do some unpleasant or difficult task, let us imitate Jesus in His very words: “Yes, Father, for such was thy good pleasure” (Matt. 11:26).

    In this way our obedience will be like that of Jesus, supernatural; we shall obey human beings for the love of God; we shall really be obeying God Himself, in the persons of those He has placed over us. By the example of His hidden life our Lord set the principle for the religious life, particularly for that in contemplative orders.

     

  4. Jesus “advanced in wisdom and grace before God and men.” Although He possesed all wisdom and grace from the first moment of His mortal life, He manifested them only gradually and in a way that was in keeping with His years.

    We can obtain much merit before God without doing any striking actions, by merely being humble and obedient in the place of life in which it has pleased God to put us. If Christ the Son of God, God Himself, was content to be humble, poor, and unknown, to do common tasks day by day for the greater part of His earthly life, is there any reason why we should be ever trying to exalt ourselves, to attract admiration, ever to feed our vanity?

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

The God-Man

 

Throughout the centuries God sent prophets to predict different events and facts concerning the promised Saviour. Among the most important prophets were Jeremias, Isaias, Daniel, and Ezechiel. Daniel predicted the exact time of the birth of the Redeemer. He said His kingdom would have no end, and would embrace all kingdoms. Isaias prophesied that the Messias would be born of a virgin, would be both God and Man, and would die patiently and willingly like a lamb for our sins.

 

    What is the chief teaching of the Catholic Church about Jesus Christ? –The chief teaching of the Catholic Church about Jesus Christ is that He is God made man. 

  1. Christ Himself said that He is God. The Jews understood His claim literally, and He was condemned to death for blasphemy, for making Himself the Son of God.Christ said: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18). “And the high priest said to him, ‘I adjure thee by the living God that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus said to him, ‘Thou hast said it'” (Matt. 26:63). “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). 
  2. Christ proved His claims by wonderful miracles, by prophecies, by His knowledge of all things, and by the holiness of His life. These miracles Christ worked in His own name, not as His followers did, who worked in the name of God. He simply said: “I will, be thou made clean” (Matt. 8:3)Christ Himself appealed to His miracles as a testimony of the truth of His doctrines and divinity, saying: “If you are not willing to believe me, believe the works” (John 10:38) . Christ foretold future events. Among other things, He predicted His passion, death, and resurrection, the treason of Judas and the perpetuity of His Church. 
  3. The Apostles, the followers of Christ Himself, plainly taught that Christ is God, and died in testimony of their faith. St. John says: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” “And the Word was made Flesh.” St. Paul writes: “In him (Christ) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). St. Thomas openly professed the divinity of Christ when he said: “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). St. Peter said: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” 
  4. The Church teaches that Jesus Christ is God. Its teachings have spread throughout all nations, in spite of untold obstacles.The Church has grown by the simplest of means, its spread ever accompanied by wonderful miracles, by which God designs to show forth the truth of the Church. The doctrine of the divinity of Christ is the foundation of the Christian religion. 
  5. Even the enemies of the Catholic Church have admitted their belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ. Napoleon, about to die, said: “I know men, but Jesus Christ was more than man. My men deserted me in the field when I was there leading them. Christ’s army has been faithful for centuries. A Leader who has an army which functions though He is dead is not man.”
    Why is Jesus Christ God? –Jesus Christ is God because He is the only Son of God, having the same divine nature as His Father.“And they all said, ‘Art thou, then, the Son of God?’ He answered, ‘You yourselves say that I am’ ‘ And they said, ‘What further need have we of witness? For we have heard it ourselves from his own mouth'” (Luke 22:70-71) 

  1. Man after the Fall was unable to regain of himself his former holiness. He became like a sick man who could not arise from bed. He needed Someone to raise him up. Since the sin he had committed had been an offense against an Infinite God, the atonement needed had to be by an Infinite One, the Son of God Himself.“God so loved the world that he gave his onlybegotten Son” (John 3:16). “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). 
  2. Christ is called the “Word”. Just as the thought in our minds finds expression in a word, so the Son of God dwelling in the bosom of His Father was shown to the world when the Word became man.“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1: 1,14).
    Why is Jesus Christ man? –Jesus Christ is man, because He is the Son of the Blessed Virgin, and has a body and soul like ours. 

  1. The birth of Jesus Christ is a fact of history. He was born of Mary, who was espoused to a carpenter named Joseph, who lived in Nazareth of Galilee. The archangel Gabriel said to Mary, “The Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God.” 
  2. Jesus Christ is true man, because He has a body and soul like ours. He derived His human nature from His mother.History tells us of Jesus Christ, Who preached in and about Jerusalem over nineteen hundred years ago. Many records tell of His appearance, of His words, of His actions, of His teachings. Nobody doubted that Jesus Christ was a Man, for He could be seen and touched like other men. He lived and died Just as men of all times live and die.
    How can we prove that the religion God has revealed through Christ is worthy of belief? –We can prove that the religion God has revealed through Christ is worthy of belief, because:

     

  1. Jesus Christ, announcing Himself as the true Son of God, whose coming was foretold by the prophets, preached doctrines which He said all must believe. If Christ is God, then the religion He established is true, and the Church He founded is the true Church. We can believe everything He says, even without understanding it, because God cannot err.If Jesus Christ were not God, then Christianity would be a farce, and the sooner it were done away with the better. If Christ were not God, then He were an impostor who, by claiming divinity, had led billions into error for almost 2,000 years. 
  2. Christ worked wonderful miracles, which showed that the God of truth approved His teachings. Christ worked so many miracles publicly that all flocked to Him to be cured. “But when John had heard in prison of the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples to say to him, ‘Art thou he who is to come, or shall we look for another?’ And Jesus answering said to them, ‘Go and report to John what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise, the poor have the gospel preached to them'” (Matt. 11:2-5)
    1.  

    2. Christ performed miracles on inanimate objects, as when He changed water to wine, calmed the storm, multiplied loaves. 
    3. He healed in an instant the sick, the blind, the lame. He expelled devils. 
    4. He raised the dead to life; as the daughter of Jairus, the son of the widow of Naim and Lazarus. Even His enemies acknowledged His miracles. The Pharisees planned to kill Lazarus, because the Jews believed in Jesus as a result of the miracle. 
    5. He worked miracles on His own Person, as in the Transfiguration, Resurrection, and Ascension.

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

​The Devils/Temptation

 

It was the archangel Michael who led the good angels: “And there was a great battle in heaven; Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels. And they did not prevail, neither was their place found any more in heaven” (Ap. 12:7,8).

 

What happened to the angels who did not remain faithful to God? — The angels who did not remain faithful to God were cast into hell, and these are called bad angels, or devils.

“Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41).

 

  1. We also call them demons or fallen angels. Led by the most excellent of the angels created by God, Lucifer or Satan, the bad angels refused to obey God when He tested them. God did not give them a chance to repent, but cast them at once into hell.

    “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer. … Thou saidst in thy heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, … I will be like the Most High,'” (Is. 14:12-14). Jesus said, “I was watching Satan fall as lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18).

     

  2. God did not create devils, but glorious angels. The rebel angels turned themselves into devils by their sin.

    By one grave sin against God these angels of light became vile demons, and were condemned to hell for all eternity. We should draw a lesson from this and determine never to sin.

     

What is the chief way in which the bad angels try to harm us? — The chief way in which the bad angels try to harm us is by tempting us to sin.

 

  1. The bad angels tempt man and try to draw him away from God. Often the devil appears as an angel of light, and we are tempted by evil which appears good. Under this guise the devil is most dangerous.

    “Be sober, be watchful! For your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet 5:8-9).

     

  2. Without God’s permission, the devil can do us no harm. God sometimes permits the devil to tempt just men, to cleanse them from imperfections.

    Our Lord Himself was tempted by the devil. God permitted Job to be harmed bodily by the devil. Saint Anthony, Saint Teresa, and many other saints suffered from the temptations of the evil one. But these temptations only drive the just to greater love of God. “The life of man is a warfare” (Job. 7:1).

     

  3. Sometimes devils are permitted to enter the body of a man, exercising power over his faculties; this is called diabolic “possession”. At other times devils torment one from without; and this state is called diabolic “obsession”.

    When God permits diabolic obsession or possession, it is to show in some way His glory, or to punish sin, convert sinners, or provide some means for the practice of virtue.

     

  4. In cases of diabolic possession or obsession, the aid of the Church should be sought; for the Church received from Christ the power of exorcism. This is the act of driving out or warding off evil spirits. It is only with the permission of his bishop that a priest is permitted to exorcise evil spirits.

     

  5. The Church forbids Catholics to have anything to do with spiritism. This is calling up the spirits of the dead.

    Some manifestations are spirit-rapping, table-lifting, slate-writing, apparitions, communications through mediums in a state of trance. Most of the spiritist seances are fraudulent, but sometimes the devil manifests himself. God can permit the souls of the dead to return to earth. But there is no indication that He permits Himself to obey mediums. The devil may sometimes impersonate the spirits of the dead. Satan is old and skillful in deceit, and can assume the appearance of an angel of light.

     

Do all temptations come from the bad angels? — Some temptations come from the bad angels; but other temptations come from ourselves and from the persons and things about us.

 

  1. This is what we mean when we say that temptations come to us from the flesh, the world, and the devil.

    The evil inclinations of our weak and corrupted nature tempt us to sin. The world, with its sinful wants and vanities, tempts us to sin. The devil goes about continually tempting us, making use of both our nature and the world for his evil purposes.

     

  2. In itself, temptation is not a sin. It becomes sinful only when: (a) we bring it upon ourselves by carelessness or overconfidence; (b) we play with, take pleasure in, or yield to it.

    The greatest saints have often been most strongly tempted. Our Lord even permitted Himself to be tempted. Thus we see that temptation is not a sin, because we are not responsible for it.

     

  3. God permits us to be tempted in order to try us, to let us win an eternal reward.

    God subjected the angels to a test. Those who passed it are now enjoying Him in heaven, their reward. “Because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee” (Tob. 12:13).

    God permitted the devil to tempt our first parents. Temptations serve to keep us humble. God permits all mankind to have temptations but never temptation beyond their strength to resist. “God is faithful and will not permit you to be tempted beyond your strength” (1 Cor. 10:13).

     

  4. The stronger the temptation, the greater the graces God gives for its conquest.

    The conquest by the saints of wicked temptations have made them greater saints. Christ Himself was tempted by the devil, to gluttony, to avarice, and to pride. He wanted to show us that by resisting we may rise to greater love of God. Good men who art worried because so many temptations assail them should remember that ants quickly gather over a jar of honey; the devil strives to catch the good, because he is already sure of the wicked.

     

Can we always resist temptations? — We can always resist temptations, because no temptation can force us into Sin, and God will always help us if we ask Him.

The length of time during which a temptation persists does not make it sinful, if we continue resisting it. A temptation may attack us all our lives, but as long as we fight it, or pay no attention to it, as long as we do not yield, we commit no sin. We have not been conquered, and God will reward us for the good fight.

 

  1. No temptation can do us harm if we obey God’s laws and keep away from sin. If we resist, temptation will flee from us.

    Our lot for all eternity depends entirely on ourselves. God votes for heaven; the devil votes for hell. The deciding vote is ours. Shall we vote for heaven or for hell? “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

     

  2. When assailed by temptation, one must at once resist. It is easier to conquer temptation at the beginning than later on, just as a fire is easier to put out at the outset.

    Since nothing can be done without divine grace, one must pray. One must imitate the Apostles who had recourse to Jesus when a storm arose. Let him say at once, “Lord, make haste to help me!”

     

  3. Some remedies against temptation are:

     

    1. Watchfulness and prayer.

      “Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation” (Matt. 26:41). Avoid idleness, keeping always occupied, either by work, or by wholesome recreation. If evil thoughts enter the mind, think of other things, in this way ignoring the temptation.

       

    2. Frequent confession and Holy Communion.

       

    3. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the Guardian Angels

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

God Bless BJS!!

The Truth As Revealed By God & What the Jews Missed/Ignored

“I say to you, that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?” Luke 18:8

They have not known, nor understood: for their eyes are covered that they may not see, and that they may not understand with their heart.” Isaiah 44:18

Having eyes, see you not? and having ears, hear you not? neither do you remember.” Mark 8:18

The Son of God worked miracles. Jesus raised people from the dead, the blind could see, the deaf could hear, dumb could speak, lame could walk, He multiplied bread and fed thousands. Even with these miracles the Jews rejected Him as the long awaited Messiah. God prepared the world for 4,000 years for this singular event, the coming of Christ, and when it happened they did not accept Him as their foretold Saviour.  How could they be so blind to these events that pointed to Christ? The Pharisees and Scribes knew the law and all the prophecies, they should have and most probably recognized the Messiah. With their voluntary and prideful blindness, it was not a matter they could not see, but rather they would not see. The same thing is happening today with the Novus Ordo religion (so-called Catholics of the modern world), the higher ups, clergy, bishops, and so-called popes should see through all the fraud, lies, and deceit and know this is not the Catholic religion established by God made man, but they will not.

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you  free.” John 8:32

Almighty God has revealed one religion through Jesus Christ, who has done things that Mohammed and Buddha have never done. Divine evidence is there, nothing else cuts it as far as “religion” or even comes close. Without the Faith however, it is impossible to please God (no matter how charitable you are), you cannot get to Heaven without the Faith as revealed by Christ.

“Woe to them that are fainthearted, who believe not God: and therefore they shall not be protected by him.” Ecclesiasticus 2:15

He that believeth in him is not judged. But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18

How can you believe, who receive glory one from another: and the glory which is from God alone, you do not seek?” John 5:44

Within everyone is ability to find the true Faith, the evidence is there. Men of good will, and who look for and seek the truth; if they do not contain hinderance of self through pride and other earthly distractions, will find the truth. Let go and let God. Here we look at the very first bit of evidence in the first human beings to be created, the descendants of Adam along with the Hebrew meanings of their names, to find a message from the Almighty:

1. Adam – Man, in the image of God

2. Seth – Substituted by (Cain killed Abel, Seth took his place)

3. Enos – Frail man

4. Kenan – Fell lamenting

5. Mahalalel – The Blessed God

6. Jared – Shall come down

7. Enoch – The Teacher

8. Methuselah – His death shall send

9. Lamech – to the humble

10. Noah – Rest/consolation

Man, in the image of God substituted by frail man, fell lamenting. The Blessed God shall come down. The Teacher, His death shall send to the humble, rest or consolation.

God was giving us a message through the names of the first human beings on this Earth that He would come down to die for our sins and provide us with a means of rest from the effects that sin had on the whole human race

On the subject of why Jews are so often persecuted throughout history, and why God still allows them to carry on; Saint Augustine states that the purpose is this: So clearly does the Old Testament and its prophecies point to Jesus that Pagans might accuse Christians of making it all up and writing it out, attempting to make everything fulfilled by Christ. Pagans cannot use this arguement because the Jews who did not and do not recognize Christ as the Messiah, verify that the Old Testament had come from their forefathers and that it is clearly their possession. This ownership therefore negates any possibility that Christians made it up and also verifies the Divine miracles which we will get to in a moment.

Prophecies Before the Coming of Christ:

1. The Prophet Micheas: foretold that the Messiah would be born in Bethleham (Micah 5:2) 

2. The Prophet Haggai: said the Messiah would visit the second temple. This prophecy was made after the first temple had been destroyed and the second was being built. People were lamenting that this temple was nowhere in comparision to the size and grandeur of the first, but it was stated the glory of this last temple will be greater than the first because He will come to it. That temple is now destroyed, so this prophecy cannot be fulfilled today.

3. Jacob (In Genesis): prophezied that the scepter would not pass from Judah until the Messiah would come (Genesis 49:10). Judah and his descendants ruled God’s chosen people (David was from this line, as were the Maccabees), the scepter passed when the Romans conquered the Jews in 39 B.C. and put Herod in charge over the Jews.

4. Prophecy of Daniel (605 B.C. – 530 B.C.): stated that when Jerusalem was beginning to be rebuilt there will be 69 weeks of years until the public appearance of the Messiah (note Daniel was not even alive when they started rebuilding Jerusalem). 453 B.C. was the start of rebuilding (69 weeks of years comes to 483 years), which puts the time at 30 A.D. when Christ started His public ministry.

5. Isaiah: said He would be born of a virgin of the house of David.

6. Isaiah: also stated the Messiah would have a precursor (Malachi 3:1)

7. Balaam: states a new star will rise at His birth (Book of Numbers 24:17)

8. Psalms 71: that kings from a distant land would come worship Him and offer Him gifts.

9. Jeremias: talks about children being put to death at His birth.

10. Prophet Osee (Hosea): that He would have to flee into Egypt and return from there.

11. Isaiah: Messiah would be both God and man, a child shall be born and He shall be called “God the Mighty”

12. Psalms 109: the Messiah would be like Melchisidech and offer bread and wine in sacrifice.

13. Isaiah: a great worker of miracles, describing these miracles he states the blind will see, lame walk, deaf hear etc. 

14. Zacharius: that He would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey (palm Sunday, when the Jews were bringing the paschal lambs for sacrifice, the Lamb of God).

15. Zacharius: stated He would be sold for thirty pieces of silver (Judas Iscariot).

16. Psalms 40: betrayed by one of His own disciples (Judas Iscariot).

17. Zacharius: forsaken by His own disciples.

18. Psalms 21: He will be mocked.

19. Isaiah: He will be beaten and spit upon.(50:6)

20. Psalms 72: He would be scourged.

21. Canticles: He would be crowned with thorns.

22. Psalms 73: He would be given gall and vinegar to drink.

23. Psalms 21: They would cast lots for His garments.

24. Psalms 21: They would pierce His hands and feet.

25. Isaiah 53: That He would die with criminals/evildoers.

26. Isaiah 53: He would be as patient as a lamb.

27. Isaiah 53: He would die willingly for our sins.

28. Psalms 15: His Body would not see corruption.

29. Psalms 72: He would return to Heaven.

30. Psalms 109: He would sit at the right hand of the Father.

31. Joel: His doctrine would be spread by His Apostles out of Jerusalem to the whole world.

32. Duetromony: Jews would be punished and scattered for rejection of Messiah (28:25)

33. Daniel Chapter 9: Osee temple destroyed, curtain ripped, priesthood would end, sacrifices cease, never to be rebuilt.

“There will be a clean oblation, the continual sacrifice throughout the world offered to God from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same…” The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Psalms 109: The Messiah will come to judge all men.

When the Jews offered the paschal lamb in rememberance of their delivery from the Egyptians and took the blood and put it on their door posts, the angel of death passed over their houses. God told them to offer the lamb every time of the year at the passover; they would take the lamb and in the waving ceremony would point the lamb to the North, South, East, and to the West making the sign of the cross (unbeknownest to them), just as when the priest offers the host at mass and places it on the corporal making the sign of the cross as well with the chalice.

In todays times when Jews still offer the lamb at passover they take a wooden pomegranite stick and put it into the throat of the lamb running the length to its feet, while using another wooden only stick to prop open the chest cavity also making the sign of the cross.

Men of the Old Testament and their Correlation to Christ:

1. Noah: the sacrfice of quitting the Ark when the flood was complete signified a New Covenant with God (rainbow), as Christ did when leaving the world after dying on the Cross.

2. Malchisedech: a king of justice, was king of Salem (that is the king of peace), Christ was both king and priest and offered bread and wine in sacrifice. Christ in the last supper changed the bread and wine into His own Body and Blood, sealed with death on the Cross.

3. Isaac: only begotten and well beloved son of His Father (Abraham), carried the wood on which he was to be sacrificed and offered himself willingly (as Christ carried His cross). He was restored to his father and from him sprang countless offspring.

4. Jacob: was persecuted by his brother and afterwords reconciled to him through the son of a rich father, he wandered in a strange land and won his bride through long service, as Christ did with His Church. Jacob had 12 sons of whom Joseph was his beloved/Christ 12 Apostles of which St. John was His beloved.

5. Joseph: the well beloved son of his father, Joseph was hated by his bretheren, sold by them for silver after great humiliation he was raised to the highest honor. And by his council he saved all his people from death. Heralds proclaimed all should bow their knees before him and he was reconciled to his bretheren. Just like Christ.

6. Moses: when a child escaped the cruel command of the Egyptian king (as Christ fled with His family), when it was ordered that all Jewish boys were to be killed.  He was rescued by being placed in a wicker basket in the Nile river. Spent his youth in Egypt, fasted 40 days before publication of ancient law, freed Iseralites from slavery, brought them to the promised land, worked miracles in proof of Divine Mission, interceded for the people of God. Appeared on Mt. Sinai with a shining countenance just like Christ on Mt. Tabor (sermon on 8 beautitudes), and was a mediator of the ancient covenant.

7. David: born in Bethlehem, spent youth in humble state, vanquished giant Goliath the enemy of the people of the Lord. He was king of Iserael, he had to suffer much but triumphed over all his enemies.

8. Jonas: was three days and nights in the belly of a whale, as Christ ressurected after three days. He preached penance to the Ninevites.

The paschal lamb was slain on the Friday preceeding the paschal Sabbath and offered to God, it was eaten and to be without spot, in the prime of its age and not a bone to be broken. Just as Jesus was offered back to God and still is every hour of every day every where in the world for over 2,000 years.

The blood sprinkled on the door posts preserved the people from temporal death, Christs’ blood from spiritual death. It was eaten before they departed for the promised land as Our Lord gives us His body to eat before our departure to Heaven.

The emissary goat had hands imposed on it by the high priest, signifying everyones sins being placed on it and then being driven out into the desert to die. Just as Christ took on all the sins of mankind coming from Heaven to die on Earth. As the priest today extends his hands over the bread and wine in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to signify its true nature as a sacrifice for our sins.

The brazen serpent in the desert was set upon wood so that all who gazed upon it would be healed from the bite of the fiery serpent and from the wounds of their sins. Just as Christ was raised on the cross so that all who look to Him with Faith and Hope are saved from the deadly effects of sin. Hence our Lord says as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, “so must the Son of Man be lifted up that whosoever believeth in Him may not parish, but have life everlasting.”

The mana that was lived off of for 40 years while the Jews were in the desert is a type of Holy Eucharist as Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. It was white and came down from Heaven every morning and was to be consumed at that time. It contained within itself everything that all His people needed, young, old, sick, healthy it satisfied everyones physical needs just as the Blessed Eucharist today satisfies all our spiritual needs.

“The Jews therefore murmured at him, because he had said: I am the living bread which came down from Heaven.” John 6:41

Miracles:

People can verify with the spreading of Christianity throughout the world and that these Apostles who were simple fisherman spread the Faith based off these miracles. Even the Jews who wrote and spread horrible things about Christ and Our Lady, their strongest arguement would have been that He never performed these miracles. But they never say anything about that. His miracles were so public so people could see firsthand. His ressurection had over 500 people witness that were willing to shed their blood and die because they saw Him alive again, wounds and all.

The Jews wanted Him to come down from the cross, but He died. They wanted Pilate to put Jesus to death to say that even the Pagan Romans knew how bad He was but it backfired. Pilate instructed them to put their own guard at the tomb. Jews paid Roman soldiers to say that while they were asleep they witnessed the disciples come and take the body of Christ. As St. Augustine again points out, how can anyone witness anything being asleep?

And lastly, the Jews were scattered as foretold, 1 million were put to death, 90,000 enslaved and the rest scattered and persecuted even up until today. All of history centers around the birth of Christ. He founded one church the Catholic Church and this is also proven by history. This Vatican 2 “Catholic Church” is not that church. It denies the first commandment in recognizing false validity of other religions created by men.

God Bless BJS!!