Tag Archives: Divine

The Offering of the Chalice

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We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the chalice of salvation, humbly begging of Thy mercy that it may arise before Thy divine majesty with a pleasing fragrance, for our salvation and that of all the world. Amen.

It is easy to see the priest offer the wine to God. Before he does so, the people have seen him pour the wine and a little water into the chalice. As the priest offers the chalice to God, he is holding it in his hands.

In the prayer, priest and people offer to God the wine that is to be changed into the blood of Christ. In their prayer they pray not only for all faithful Catholics, but for everyone in the world.

In simple English, the prayer of offering the chalice to God would read something like this: “We offer to You, O God, the wine that is to be changed into the blood of Christ. We know we are not worthy to make this offering, but we pray that it may be pleasing to You. We offer it to You, asking Your help to live a good life here on earth, that we may be happy with You one day in heaven. We ask this same help for everyone in the world. Amen”

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

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Hearing God’s Personal Message To You

If ever we are meant to see Our Creator face to face in one beautiful moment of bliss for all eternity; is it not well to consider the statement we always hear that everything happens for a reason, our reason. I have heard this statement so many times in my life, but does one ever really stop and contemplate the power and practicality behind those words?

In order to fully understand the meaning of this statement, we must first realize the reality of coming from such an omnipotent and infinite Designer. Since we are created from the ashes of the Earth, but live in a world of constant change and development; no matter how much of a pedestal mankind would like to elevate itself to, we are still subject to an inevitable change. Unfortunately the separatism that mankind undergoes in attempting to isolate itself from it’s Creator is nigh impossible to achieve, but is seemingly most always the goal of the societies we live in. As well, most people do not understand that created matter is in fact the lowest form of reality, that our senses deceive us in this life and that everything that seems important to devote our time and lives to is in fact not when compared to eternity.

“As a father hath compassion on his children, so hath the Lord compassion on them that fear him; for he knoweth our frame, he remembereth that we are dust.” (Ps. 102: 13-14).

“Can a woman, forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? And if she should forget, yet will not I forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee in my hands; thy walls are always before my eyes.” (Is. 49:15-16)

One may consider the accomplishments mankind has achieved when it comes to the extent of space travel, as compared to the vastness and stretches of space itself. Apollo 13 currently holds the Guinness world record for the farthest travel by mankind in space at 248,655 miles away from the Earth. The Voyager satellite has since now, entered interstellar space and is still venturing forth. But what of those accomplishments compares to the vastness and openness of the space in which we occupy? Hardly any comparison if one takes the zoomed out perspective and sees the inifinte universe in its entirety.

Down at a molecular level, things are happening within us everyday that we are unaware of. White cells are fighting off infections and intruders to the body constantly. Billions of male sperm enter into the female body and fight through obstacle after obstacle; finally releasing it’s tail to enter into the female egg when but one sperm out of billions is left to lay claim to it’s long awaited destination. Automatically knowing what to do, when to do it, and not being given any direction by us as human beings.

The only thing we do have control over is our free will to choose the good things in life and our intellect to know what is TRULY good and what is only apparently good. This Earth as I have stated before is our Garden of Eden. This Earth is mankind’s workshop to achieve the designed end to which we are all subject. There is no middle ground, and we know this because this is what God in the person of Jesus Christ has come to tell us through His Church, and through His Apostles, and Disciples. Knowing that there is no middle ground, one must make a conscience decision everyday in every thought, word, or action to consecrate themselves to God and His Divine Providence for us or to work against it.

How do I know what God’s plan for me is? In order to answer this question, we should start with the best but probably most overlooked example of how we should be living our lives, it is the example of our first parents Adam and Eve. Many exclaim that such stories are only myths and often times distort their relevance when it comes to how it applies in their own lives. Regardless of the details the message is extremely simple and one worth considering everyday. That message is that when Adam and Eve cooperated with everything that God gave them they were happy and in constant contact with Him. It is when THEY chose to hide from Him and when THEY chose to disobey His command that life for them got a little bit harder. And by harder I mean that they were cast out of the Garden and that death, diseases, and sickness are now upon us all as a result.

Getting back to the infinite Majesty of God, is it not possible to think that whatever choices we make, who ever we are surrounded with, and whatever we are doing; that God is speaking to us through all these things. I do not mean that in a general sense, but that the events and happenings in our lives happen, as a result of the direction and guidance we need from God and His bottomless knowledge of His created beings.

“Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they?” Matthew 6:26

It is said that not one hair falls from our heads without Our Lords consent. That makes everyday a test, a journey, the surrounding events in our lives are a result of how well we are doing, whetherour circumstances are TRULY or only apparently good. If we live in the reality that we all are meant for God then truly good things do and are happening to you, and not just apparently good things.

The things and circumstances placed before us in our lives are a direct reflection of the Love we do or do not have for God. Much as a Gardner who prunes a plant to bear good fruit, God knows what’s best for each and every one of us. We do not, because we do not do a well enough job of governing our senses with out His Graces. If we deny His Graces and live life according to the flesh, then we will die according to the flesh. Everything we need to know about how a person lived can be discovered from the manner in which they died. Whether or not someone has run out of favor or chances to use God’s graces to do His Will and be truly happy even in this life. And we know that the sins of one affect all, as a stone thrown into a still morning lake creates an unending ripple affect.

My grandfather was raised Catholic. During my youth I watched as he attended Church every Sunday with His wife, who taught Catechism to the students. Both of them prayed the rosary with all 8 of their grandkids whenever we were there and there was barely a moment I saw my grandfather without a rosary or Catholic book in his hands. Both my grandparents were extremely devout, and when they noticed the changes of Vatican 2 taking place in the Church, turning it from the only sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God the Father into another Protestant service, they got up and walked out and did not go to mass until they found a parish that celebrated the Tridentine Mass the was codified at the council of Trent (St. Athanasius in Vienna Va), and did not recognize the heretical hierarchy of the new Novus Ordo religion.

I grew up praying the mass in the basement of a house, we prayed the Novena to St. Joseph to obtain a bigger church, a school, and more priests. Everything we prayed for we eventually received. By the time my grandfather was nearing his death, he completely tuned himself out from the rest of the world, received last rights from our priests several times (as he had several close calls), the final time being in the hospital, he was being given the Apostolic Blessing and died halfway through, on Christmas Day. At this point we now had 3 priests in our parish, his dying wish was to have a high mass said with 3 priests which was accomplished without a hitch. As well, his final resting place (next to his wife in Buffalo, who also died several years prior to him, painlessly in a stroke induced coma); was being pounded by a severe snowstorm as my parents escorted his casket to the Chapel up north. My dad stated that when they got there, the Church was beyond any beauty they had seen in person as well there was an air infantry unit (as my grandfather was a WW2 Veteran), ready and waiting to give him one of the most solemn and reverent burials my parents had ever seen.

The following week I discussed these events with my father wondering in amazement how he was able to coordinate everything and deal with a snowstorm that shut down roads and get everything accomplished. He stated to me that it just happened, everything fell into place without having to do anything. The first thing that came to my mind, was the testament to how this man, my grandfather, lived and devoted his life to God. That God was doing, for him, what he could not do for himself, because my grandfather had devoted his life to the service of His Creator.

When my grandmother passed, my mother was able to find and give me her rosary. At that point in my life I was in the throws of addiction. I had children out of wedlock (contrary to how I was raised), I drank everytime I could find money, I was addicted to pain pills and anything I could get my hands on. Anything to fill the void, and it was bad. I was consistently getting my girlfriend pregnant, we were constantly having utilities shut off because I was blowing money left and right, and my poor son and daughter had to deal with their parents screaming and fighting.

I began to pray every decade of the rosary as much as time would allow, every single day. I started going back to Alchoholics Anonymous, I got a sponsor, I started working the steps. I was able to get a year of sobriety down one day at a time. Sometimes one Hail Mary at a time. And then I kept going, and prayed for more. I prayed to get out of the volatile situation, I prayed for His Will, for the eyes of my significant other to be opened to the changes I had been attempting to make, as 5 years of Hell living with an addict and being pregnant back to back 4 times started to boil over in my first year of attempting to get sober.

I leaned extremely hard on Our Blessed Mother, the saints, and God. As soon as I got a year of sobriety our lease was up and if I continued to stay something bad would happen. We were on the verge of literally ripping each other’s heads off in front of our children. I found a room for rent after many nights sleeping in my truck or at my sponsors house and I left.

Three months later we were engaged, God has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. I have never been happier, because we separated, I made Holy Communion for the first time in 6 years. I have become an example that my kids do not run away from, my fiance loves, and my co-workers come to for advice and help. When we do right and live right God works His miracles through us! I only seek His Will for me everyday and I practically do not have to do anything but reap the rewards. I have had amazing moments of clarity and gratitude where I broke down crying. Not being financially well off, I had a wedding ring fall into my lap and the cross I thought I was to be cursed with carrying my whole life become another reason for me to live and to love.
We only have to live right and do right and have the Faith (see the blog post “In a Nutshell”), and He will meet us halfway. All we have to do is pray, hope, and don’t worry. That small inner voice that you hear everyday will guide you. You can become an instrument for His use in affecting day to day miracles and changes in others. We are all destined to be Saints! It does not matter where you come from, what you believe or don’t believe, everyone’s final end is God. The less we put ourselves, and our sensual desires for fleeting worldly things in between us and Him the more manifest the miracles become. Don’t believe me? Try listening to that small inner voice, the one that is constantly telling you to seek the Truth in all things. LOOK FOR THE TRUTH, not the apparent truth. You do not need to be rich if you have His Graces, and love conquers all. Look to the cross, and bear yours with patience. If Christ as God, had to suffer so much to prove His love for men, what will we have to suffer to prove our love for Him? Contrary to what most believe we actually have to work in order to obtain salvation. What’s the point of being born to just put your feet up, and not do anything? Where is the reward in that? Are not the Saints who are literally numbered in the millions all over the world, and in all times of our existence not the examples we need to follow to be like unto Christ? A life of hard and fruitful labor, with the mindset of laying up our treasure in Heaven that neither moth nor rust consumes, nor thieves break in and steal will pay off in this life AND for eternity. Do not stop drawing souls to Him and Truth until He says it’s time!

God Bless BJS!!

Prayer/Meditation (and subsequent chapters)

The following excerpts are from a book entitled The Spiritual Combat. By Lorenzo Scupoli. A book that subsequently, St. Francis de Sales carried with him for 18 years!


PRAYER
WE HAVE SHOWN that distrustfulness of self, confidence in God, and proper application of the faculties of the soul are the indispensable weapons of conquest in the spiritual combat. Yet a far more important weapon is prayer, since by it are obtained, not only the above-specified virtues, but everything requisite for our salvation. Prayer is the channel of all Divine grace; by it God is compelled, as it were, to grant us the strength of Heaven, and destroy by our weak hands the fiercest of our foes. But in order to receive full benefit from our prayer, the following method should be observed:
1. We must desire sincerely to serve God with ardent fervor in the manner most agreeable to Him; and this desire will be enkindled within our breasts if we consider three things attentively. The first is that Almighty God deserves our homage and service by reason of the excellence of His sovereign being, His goodness, beauty, wisdom, power, and His ineffable, infinite perfection. The second is that God in Heaven became man on earth to consecrate a life of thirty-three years to the cause of our salvation. He condescended to dress our wounds with His own hands, and heal them, not with oil and wine, but with His own precious blood and immaculate body, torn and disfigured by cruel whips, thorns, and nails. The third point is our realization of the obligation to observe His law, and discharge every duty, since this is the only way we can expect to triumph over the devil, to become masters of ourselves, and children of God.

2. We must have a vibrant, living faith and a firm confidence that God will not refuse the assistance necessary to serve Him faithfully and work out our salvation. A soul rekindled with this holy confidence is like a sacred vessel, into which Divine Mercy pours the treasures of His grace; and the larger the vessel, the greater the abundance of Heavenly blessings it receives through prayer. For how can God, Whose power is limitless, and Whose goodness is alien to all deception, ever refuse His gifts to those whose petitions He has encouraged, and whose perseverance and faith He has promised to reward with the blessings of the Holy Spirit?

3. But our motive for prayer must be the will of God rather than the will of self. We must apply ourselves to this divinely appointed duty because He has commanded it, and we must wish no more than that which is in utter conformity to God’s plan. Thus, our intention will not be to make the Divine will subservient to our own, but rather, to transform the human will so that it is in complete harmony with the Divine. The reason for this humble accedence to the Divine will is the perversity of our own, tainted as it is with a blind self-love. Guided by ourselves alone, we would err and stumble, but the will of God, essentially just and holy, cannot be mistaken. Thus the will of God should be the will of men, since not to follow the former is to go astray. Let us, then, be most solicitous that all our petitions be agreeable to God, and if doubts arise concerning the concurrence of the human with the Divine, let a humble submission to Divine Providence accompany our requests. If, however, the things we ask are, by their very nature, pleasing to Him, such as grace, virtue, etc., then let us beg them with a view to pleasing and serving His Divine Majesty, rather than for any other consideration, however creditable.

4. If we wish our prayers to be efficacious, our actions must suit the petitions, and we must exert much energy in making ourselves worthy of the favors we ask. For prayer and interior mortification are inseparable, and he that seeks a particular virtue, without making a serious effort to practice it, only tempts God.

5. Before we ask anything of God, we ought to thank Him most humbly for the innumerable benefits He has graciously bestowed upon us. Let us say to Him: “O Lord, Who after creating me, didst mercifully pay the price of my redemption, delivering me from the fury of myriad enemies, come now to my assistance; and forgetting my past ingratitude, bestow upon me this favor I now ask.” If, however, at the very time we seek to attain a particular virtue, we find ourselves tempted to the contrary vice, let us thank God for granting us the opportunity of practicing the virtue in question, and look upon the occasion as a favor.

6. As the entire force and efficacy of prayer is attributed solely to the goodness of God, at the conclusion of our petitions we should constantly remember the merits of our Savior’s life and passion, and His promise to graciously hear our requests, with one or the other of these sentences:

A) “I beseech Thee, O Lord, through Thy infinite mercy, to grant my petition.”

B) “Through the merits of Thy Son, bestow this favor on me.”

C) “Be mindful, O God, of Thy promises, and hear my prayers.” Again, we may have recourse to the intercession of the blessed Mother and the other Saints; for they prevail much with God, Who is pleased to honor them, in proportion to the honor they accorded Him on earth.

7. We must persist in prayer, since God certainly cannot overlook our humble perseverance. For if the pleadings of the widow in the Gospel prevailed with the wicked judge, how can our pleadings be ignored by God, Who is infinitely good? Thus, although our favors may not be immediately granted, and may even appear to be ignored by God, we must not lose our confidence in His infinite goodness, nor desist from prayer. For God possesses both immense power and will to grant us those things conducive to our ultimate welfare. Therefore, if we are not wanting in ourselves, we shall inevitably obtain what we ask for, something better, or perhaps both. As for the rest, the more we churlishly think ourselves slighted by God, the more we should hold ourselves in contempt. But in considering our misery, we should contemplate the Divine mercy, and far from lessening our confidence in Him, we must increase it; for the steadier we remain in situations attended by fear and diffidence, the greater will be our merit. Finally, let us never cease to thank God, blessing equally His wisdom, His goodness, His charity, whether He grants or refuses our petition. Whatever happens, let us be undisturbed, contented and resigned to divine Providence in all things. 

MENTAL PRAYER

MENTAL PRAYER is the elevation of our minds to God, asking of Him either expressly or tacitly those things of which we stand in need. We ask for them expressly when we say in our hearts: “O my God, grant me this request for the honor of Thy holy name”; or “Lord, I am firmly convinced that this petition is Thy will, and for Thy greater honor, I ask this petition. Accomplish, therefore, Thy Divine will in me.” When harassed by the attacks of the enemy, let us say: “Come swiftly, O Lord, to my assistance lest I fall a prey to my enemy”; or “O God, my refuge and my strength, help me speedily, lest I perish.” When temptation continues, we must continue the same prayer, courageously resisting the foe; and when the fury of the combat has passed, let us address ourselves to the Almighty, imploring Him to consider our weakness in the face of the enemy’s strength: “Behold, my God, Thy creature, the work of Thy hands, a man redeemed by Thy precious blood. And behold Satan trying to carry him from Thee to utterly destroy him. It is to Thee I fly for aid, and it is in Thee that I place my entire confidence, for I know that Thou alone art infinitely good and powerful. Have pity on a miserable creature who stumbles blindly, though willfully, into the path of his enemies, as do all who forsake the assistance of Thy grace. Help me therefore, my only hope, O sole strength of my soul!” We tacitly ask favors of God when we present to Him our necessities, without making any particular request. Placing ourselves in His Divine presence, we acknowledge our incapacity to avoid evil or do good without His aid. We are nevertheless inflamed with a desire of serving Him. Thus we must fix our eyes upon Him, waiting for His assistance with unbounded confidence and utter humility. 

The confession of our weakness and the desire to serve Him, this act of faith so performed, is a silent prayer which will infallibly obtain our request from Heaven. The more sincere the confession, the more ardent the desire, and the more lively the faith, the greater will be the efficacy of the prayer before the throne of God. There is another method of prayer similar to this, but more concise, consisting as it does in but a single act of the soul. The soul presents her requests to the Almighty, adverting to a favor already asked and still sought, although not formally expressed. Let us endeavor to cultivate this kind of prayer, and employ it on all occasions; for experience will convince us that nothing is more easy, yet nothing more excellent and efficacious.

MEDITATION

WHEN A CONSIDERABLE length of time is to be spent in prayer, it is advisable to make a meditation on some feature of our Savior’s life or passion; the reflections naturally arising from such meditation should then be applied to the particular virtue we are striving to attain. If, for instance, you need patience, contemplate the mystery of your Savior scourged at the pillar.

Consider first the blows and revilements hurled at Him by the soldiers as they brutally drag their innocent victim to the appointed place as ordered.

Secondly, consider Him stripped of His garments, exposed to the piercing cold. 

Thirdly, picture those innocent hands, bound tightly to the pillar.

Fourthly, consider His body, torn with whips until His blood moistened the earth. And finally, envision the frequency of the blows, creating new wounds, reopening others on that sacred body. Dwelling on these or similar details, calculated to inspire in you a love of patience, you should try to feel within your very soul the inexpressible anguish so patiently borne by your Divine Master.

Then consider the excruciating agony of His spirit, and the patience and mildness with which that agony was endured by Him Who was ready to suffer even more for God’s glory and your welfare. Behold, then, your Master, covered with blood, desiring nothing more earnestly than your patient acceptance of affliction; and be assured that He implores for you the assistance of the Heavenly Father that you may bear with resignation, not only the cross of the moment, but the crosses to come. Strengthen, therefore, by frequent acts your resolution to suffer, with joy; and, raising your mind to Heaven, give thanks to the Father of mercies, Who didst send His only Son into this world to suffer indescribable torments, and to intercede for you in your necessities. Conclude your meditation by beseeching Him to grant you the virtue of patience, through the merits and intercession of this beloved Son in Whom He is well pleased.

ANOTHER METHOD OF MEDITATION

THERE IS ANOTHER method of prayer and meditation besides the one to which we have adverted. In this latter method, having considered the poignant sufferings of your Savior and His patient endurance of them, you proceed to two other considerations of equal importance. The one is the consideration of Christ’s infinite merits, and the other, of that satisfaction and glory which the eternal Father received from His obedience—an obedience unto death, even the death of the Cross. You must represent these two considerations to the Divine Majesty, as two powerful means of obtaining the grace you seek. This method is applicable, not only to all the mysteries of Our Lord’s passion, but to every exterior or interior act He performed in the course of His passion.
A METHOD OF PRAYER BASED ON THE INTERCESSION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN

BESIDES THE METHODS of meditation already mentioned, there is another which is addressed particularly to the Blessed Virgin. We first consider the eternal Father, then Jesus Christ Our Lord, and finally, the Blessed Mother. With regard to the eternal Father, there are two considerations. The first is the singular affection He cherished from all eternity for this most chaste Virgin whom He chose to be the mother of His Divine Son. The second is the eminent sanctity He was pleased to bestow upon her and the many virtues she practiced in her lifetime. 

Meditating on the affection of the eternal Father for our Lady, you must begin by raising your mind above all created beings; look forward to the vast expanses of eternity, enter into the heart of God, and see with what delight He viewed the person destined one day to become the mother of His Son; beseech Him by that delight to give you sufficient strength against your enemies, especially those who most grievously afflict you. Contemplate, then, the virtues and heroic actions of this incomparable Virgin; make an offering of each or all of them to God, as they are of such efficacy as to obtain for you divine assistance in your particular necessities. 

After this address yourself to Jesus, begging Him to be mindful of that loving mother who for nine months carried Him in her womb, and from the moment of His birth paid Him the most profound adoration. For this was her acknowledgment that this Child was at once God and man, her Creator and her Son. With compassion she saw Him poorly accommodated in a humble stable, nourished Him with her pure milk, kissed and embraced Him a thousand times with maternal fondness, and through His life and at His death, suffered for Him beyond expression. Present this picture to the Savior, that He may be compelled, as it were, by such powerful motives, to hear your prayers. Appeal to the Blessed Virgin herself, reminding her of her commission from all eternity, to be the Mother of Mercy and the refuge of sinners, and that after her divine Son, you place your greatest confidence in her intercession. Present to her the fact, asserted by the learned and confirmed by miracles, that no one ever called upon her with a lively faith, and was left unaided. Finally, remind her of the sufferings of her Son for your salvation, that she may obtain of Him the grace necessary to make proper use of His sufferings for the greater glory of that loving Savior.

God Bless BJS!!

​Bishops and Priests

    What jurisdiction has a bishop? –A bishop rules over that part of the Church, an organized territory called a bishopric, diocese, or see, assigned to him by the Pope.The word “bishop” is a translation from the Greek episcopos, which means “overseer,” a term first applied during apostolic times. To Titus St. Paul wrote, “For this reason I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set right anything that is defective and shouldst appoint presbyters in every city” (Tit. 1:5). 

  1. The bishops are the major-generals in the vast army of the Church. They command the different divisions of that army, subject to the authority of the commander in-chief, the Bishop of Rome. Under their jurisdiction are the parish priests in charge of parishes. As the Pope is the successor of St. Peter, so the other bishops are the direct successors of the other Apostles. Bishops are called “princes of the Church.” To them Our Lord spoke: “He who hears you hears Me.” They and their vicars general are termed ordinaries because they have ordinary, or immediate, jurisdiction over the diocese 
  2. A bishop administers the temporal possessions of his diocese, and gives an account of their administration to the Pope. He provides for the education and training of candidates for the priesthood, and the religious education of his whole flock. He gives faculties to hear confessions, censors books on religious subjects, and has many other powers for the proper administration of his diocese. A bishop is supreme in his diocese, but he is subject in all things to the Pope, who appoints him. The Pope grants their jurisdiction to bishops; before a bishop can exercise his office, he has to be recognized and confirmed by the Pope. He is obliged to go to Rome at stated intervals, to report on the state of his diocese. A bishop has the right to be called to a General Council, which is an assembly of the bishops of the world, presided over by the Pope. But, “If anyone is eager for the office of bishop, he desires a good work” (1 Tim. 3:1) 
  3. A bishop is shepherd of his flock. He appoints and supervises parish priests to help him. In governing his diocese, he is assisted by a number of “canons”, or by diocesan consultors. A coadjutor or auxiliary bishop is commissioned to assist the bishop of a diocese. Usually a coadjutor bishop is one with the right of succession. The Pope addresses a bishop Brother, because as bishops they have the same rank. Bishops wear a mitre, and carry a crosier as a sign of their office of pastor. They wear a pectoral cross. They have a ring, as a symbol of their union with their diocese. The faithful kiss this ring in token of obedience and respect. 
  4. Vicar Apostolic is a bishop who rules over a territory that is not yet fully organized, called a Vicariate ApostolicWhen the territory is first organized, it is usually placed under the care of a priest, and not a bishop. This priest is called a Prefect Apostolic and his territory is an Apostolic Prefecture. 
  5. titular Bishop or Archbishop is one who bears the title of a diocese, but has no jurisdiction over it. Nuncios, apostolic delegates, coadjutor and auxiliary bishops, and vicars apostolic are generally titular. Titular bishops and archbishops have no actual sees; they are given the titles of certain sees that previously existed, but that have since disappeared in the reorganization of jurisdictions, or because of the inroads of Mohammedanism, heresy, or paganism. The names of the sees are kept intact, and awarded to those whom the Holy See wishes to raise to the rank of bishops, and given special work. 
  6. An Archbishop or Metropolitan is a bishop who has certain powers of jurisdiction granted by the Pope over neighboring dioceses composing his province. Archbishops wear a pallium, a white strip of wool, on the shoulders, as a symbol of gentleness. They act as first judges of appeal from a decision of their suffragan bishops.
    Who assist the bishops in the care of souls? –The priests, especially parish priests, assist the bishops in the care of souls. 

  1. Parish priests are captains in the great army that is the Church. They command the soldiers of the Church, all baptized persons residing in the particular districts, called parishes, assigned to them by the bishops. The parish priest carries out the purpose of Christ in founding the Church. He teaches the people their religion, their duties towards God and each other. He governs the people, leading them in Catholic work. He sanctifies them by administering the sacraments. 
  2. Parish priests receive their orders and jurisdiction from the bishop. They are his spiritual children, and are bound to carry out his commands. In the parish the parish priest represents the bishop, and no one may, without his consent or the bishop’s, exercise spiritual functions there, such as marrying, baptizing, preaching, burying, giving extreme unction, etc.vicar forane (called also urban and rural dean) is a parish priest having supervisory power in the name of the bishop over neighboring parishes. A vicar-general is the chief among the officers of a diocese. Parish priests of large districts have priests helping them, called curates or assistants. 
  3. The duties of parish priests are many, varied, and of great responsibility. Like all priests, they are pledged to lifelong celibacy. Daily they must recite the Breviary, the priests’ book, which cannot be read under less than an hour’s time. On account of these heavy responsibilities all Catholics have the obligation to pray for their priests, and to help them as much as possible, especially that they may continue in the love of God, and be enlightened by the Holy Ghost.A parish priest and his curates have to visit the sick of the parish any time of the day or night, whenever there is a call. He has to give the last sacraments to the dying, however contagious or repellent the disease of such persons might be. He has to hear confessions hour after hour; he has to fast as long as the Masses he is scheduled to say have not been said. He must renounce the world with all its worldly amusements for the love of God. As shepherd of his flock, he is responsible to God for the souls of those committed to his charge; and on the day of judgment, he has to render a strict account of his stewardship over them.

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

The Church & Divine Revelation

Before printing was invented about 1450, books could be reproduced only by making manuscript copies on parchment or sheepskin. A complete Bible cost a fortune, because of the time and expense necessary for copying. Copyists made mistakes, or abbreviations which others misunderstood. The illustration shows manuscripts in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, the languages oftenest used in early Bible copies. They give an idea of the difficulties before the invention of printing.

 

Did Christ intend the Gospel to be proclaimed by the circulation of the Bible? — No; it was mainly by preaching that He intended to convert the nations.

Our Lord said: “Go, make disciples of all nations.” “Preach the Gospel to every creature.” “He that heareth you heareth me.” Christ did not say: “Go and make all nations read the Bible.”

 

  1. The Apostles never circulated a single volume of the Bible, but “they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them” (Mark 16:20). The New Testament was not written till Christianity was already established.

    Christ bade His Apostles teach all men “to observe all commanded you” (Matt. 28:20). He commanded them to preach, not necessarily to write.

     

  2. God did not intend Holy Scripture to be our rule of faith independently of a Living Voice. Even under the Old Law, the Jews, in spite of their great veneration for Holy Scripture, never dreamed of a private appeal to the Word of God.

    When a religious dispute arose, it was decided by the high-priest and the Council. Their decision was to be obeyed under penalty of death. Thus the Jews did not appeal to the dead letter of the law, but to the living voice of the tribunal that God had established.

     

  3. When Christ came on earth, He did not change this order of things. On the contrary He commanded the Jews to obey their constituted teachers, however disedifying their private lives might be.

    Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The Scribes and the Pharisees have sat on the chair of Moses. All things, therefore, that they command you, observe and do” (Matt. 23:2-3).

     

  4. Until the Protestant outbreak in the sixteenth century (1517), no attempt had ever been made to have any people governed by the dead letter of the law in either civil or religious affairs.

    No one certainly pretends to live in society according to his own private interpretation of the civil laws. When cases come up, they are always decided by a competent tribunal.

     

Why cannot the Bible be the sole guide to salvation? — It cannot, because:

 

  1. It is not within the reach of every one. If it were the only guide, it should be within the reach of every inquirer, for God wishes all men to be saved.

    If the Bible were the only guide to eternal salvation the primitive Christians would have been at a disadvantage, for the books that make up the Bible were gathered together only after the Church was established. Even when the parts were put together, for centuries there were very few manuscript copies. Copies remained few till the invention of printing in the fifteenth century.

    If the Bible were the only guide to salvation it would be of little help to those unable to read, as well as to the great mass of mankind today, who have neither the knowledge nor the capacity to penetrate the meaning of the written word.

     

  2. The Bible is difficult to understand, frequently full of obscurities and difficulties, even for the learned.

    St. Peter himself said of the Epistles of St. Paul, that they have “certain things difficult to understand, which the unlearned and unstable distort, just as they do the rest of the Scriptures also, to their own destruction” (2 Pet. 3:16). The Fathers of the Church, who spent their whole lives in the study of the Bible, all pronounce it full of difficulties, needing careful interpretation.

     

  3. The Bible does not contain all the truths necessary for eternal salvation.

    For example, every Christian is obliged to sanctify Sunday. But nowhere in the whole Bible, from Genesis to the Apocalypse, is there one word authorizing the sanctification of Sunday.

     

On whose authority do we accept the Bible as the Word of God? — We accept the Bible as the Word of God on the authority of the Catholic Church.

 

  1. By God’s command, the Catholic Church proclaimed the truths of Divine Revelation, as contained in both Holy Scripture and Tradition.

    Before His Ascension, Our Lord said to the Apostles: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you … and behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world” (Matt. 28:18-20).

     

  2. It was the Catholic Church that in the fourth century declared which books were inspired by God and which were not. For fifteen hundred years the Catholic Church was the sole guardian of the Bible.

    The Bible was not always as it is now, a compact book, bound neatly. For several centuries the Bible was in separated fragments, scattered over Christendom. At the same time other books under the name of Scripture were circulated among the faithful.

     

  3. It is the Church that assures us that the translation from the original languages is faithful. The Bible needs an interpreter because it is frequently very difficult to understand. The Catholic Church alone was empowered by God to interpret the Bible. No one is allowed to interpret it contrary to the teaching of the Church.

    The Protestant denominations who favor private interpretation have divided and subdivided for the same reason. No two of them interpret the Bible in the same manner. If we are really to interpret the Bible privately, we must know the original languages in which the books were written. How many can have that knowledge?

     

Did God intend Holy Scripture to be our rule of faith? — No, God intended our rule of faith to be the Living Voice of the teaching Church.

The Apostles and their successors have always taught mankind, especially by preaching. Thus the Church fulfills the command of Jesus Christ, and will fulfill it to the end of the world, as He promised. If Our Lord wanted the Bible to be our rule of faith, why did He not write a book, instead of founding a Church?

We can know the true meaning of the doctrines contained in Divine Revelation from the Catholic Church, which has been authorized by Jesus Christ to explain His doctrines, and which is preserved from error in its teachings by the special assistance of the Holy Ghost.

“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel to you other than that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema” (Gal. 1:8).

To those who claim they can interpret and understand the Scriptures themselves:

The Protestant reformers claim that we simply need to refer to Scripture for our salvation. We agree, but when two people disagree on the interpretation of Scripture, who shall be the judge as to the correct interpretation? Disagreements arise in nearly every verse of Scripture of which could easily lead one of the parties to damnation. It is illogical to think that Our Lord would expect us all to interpret Scripture on our own with no judge to turn to since this will always lead to endless disagreements. There can be countless wrong answers to a question, but only one right answer. All of those interpreting Scripture incorrectly will be lead down the wrong road. It is illogical for us to think God left us in anarchy with respect to interpretation of Scripture, at the mercy of the winds and the tide, with no pilot to help steer the way, as this would mean he wishes our destruction. As with a ship at sea, if everyone attempts to steer in the direction they think is right, we will inevitably wind up lost.

Consider the Constitution of the United States if there were no U.S. Government to rule over it and make decisions over conflicts and offenses that arise with it. The result would be anarchy. Where have you ever seen any great province or organization which has governed itself? Consider any governed country, state, or any organized group throughout the history of the world. All were governed by an earthly leader of some sort or else they would wind up in chaos and confusion. If there were not a king in a kingdom, a foreman in a shop, or a captain of a ship, there would be no order. Why then do the Protestant reformers claim that all of their members do not need an earthly ruler to help guide them? What has this gotten them but thousands of opposing denominations (and growing) which is nothing better than anarchy? Never can a province be well governed by itself, especially when it is large.

If it is true that the Scriptures are so easy to understand, what is the use of the commentaries made by countless Protestant ministers, and what good are so many schools of Theology?
Also consider the verse, “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). How else can we interpret this than to say Scripture is difficult to understand, and to interpret it incorrectly can lead to our destruction?

And to those who say they must read and understand Scripture themselves, consider the large number of poor ignorant people who cannot read the Scriptures. What is to happen of them? Obviously they can find and seek their salvation through the mouth of a pastor. “How shall they believe him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14)
Consider the verse, “And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias. And he said: Thinkest thou that thou understandest what thou readest? Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.” (Acts 8:30-31Obviously interpretation of Scripture is needed!

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

God Bless BJS!!

Divine Tradition

Before the 15th century when printing was invented, the Bible was reproduced by copying in longhand. We should be very grateful to the monks and nuns of ancient times who labored lovingly, making manuscript copies of old documents that had come down from earliest times. Without this loving care, we would not have our Holy Bible today.

 

Are all the truths revealed for us by God found in the Bible? — Not all the truths revealed for us by God are found in the Bible; some are found only in Divine Tradition.

 

  1. The Bible itself states that it does not contain all that God revealed.

    “There are, however, many other things that Jesus did; but if every one of these should be written, not even the world itself, I think, could hold the books that would have to be written” (John 21:25)

     

  2. The truths of Divine Revelation which have not been written down in Holy Scripture have come to us by the Tradition of the Church.

    St. Paul bade the Thessalonians: “Hold the teachings that you have learned, whether by word or by letter of ours” (2 Thess. 2:15).

     

What is meant by Divine Tradition? — By Divine Tradition is meant the revealed truths taught by Christ and His Apostles, which were given to the Church only by word of mouth and not through the Bible, though they were put in writing principally by the Fathers of the Church.

 

  1. In a wide sense Tradition embraces the whole teaching of the Church, including the Bible, since it is only from the Church that we have the Bible. In a stricter sense Tradition includes only what was handed down orally from the Apostles.

    The Apostles themselves say that there is much that they have delivered to the faithful by word of mouth (2 John 12; 1 Cor. 11:2). Among many examples of truths in Tradition, not clearly manifested in Holy scriptures, are: the exact number of sacraments, the time of institution of some sacraments, the books that make up the Bible, the Baptism of infants, and Sunday observance.

     

  2. All the truths of Divine Tradition now have found their way into books. From the first Christian centuries the practices and doctrines of Tradition were preserved by saintly teachers whom we call Fathers of the Church. They were disciples of the Apostles, contemporaries of those disciples, or disciples of the disciples. These holy and learned men instructed the Church in the years of its first growth.

    Chief among the Fathers of the first six centuries (date is of death), are: the Doctors of the Church (see below), and Saints Clement of Rome (99), Ignatius of Antioch (107), Polycarp (155), Justin (165), Irenaeus (202), Cyprian (258), Dionysius (265), Gregory Thaumaturgus (270), Optatus (372), Martin of Tours (397), Gregory of Nyssa (398), Epiphanius (403), Celestine I (432), Vincent of Lerins (450), and Caesarius of Arles (542).

     

  3. Besides the writings of the Fathers, the truths of Divine Tradition may be found chiefly in: (a) writings of the Doctors of the Church; (b) decrees of Popes and Church councils; and (c) the liturgy of the Church as found in the Missal and rituals.

    We call “Doctors of the Church” those ecclesiastical writers, noted for learning and holiness of life, who have by Church authority been proclaimed with that title, and whose feasts have been extended to the whole Western Church. Among the Fathers of the Church, these are honored as Doctors: Saints Hilary (368), Athanasius (373), Ephraem (378), Basil the Great (379), Cyril of Jerusalem (386), Gregory Nazianzen (389), Ambrose (397), John Chrysostom (407), Jerome (420), Augustine (430), Cyril of Alexandria (444), Peter Chrysologus (450), Leo the Great (461), and Gregory the Great (604).

    Among the outstanding Doctors of the Church of the Middle Ages are: Saints Peter Damian (1072), Anselm of Canterbury (1109), Bernard (1153), Thomas Aquinas (1274), Bonaventure (1274), Albert the Great (1280). Of later Doctors we have: Saints Peter Canisius (1597), John of the Cross (1605), Francis de Sales (1612), Robert Bellarmine (1621), and Alphonsus Liguori (1787).

     

Why must Divine Tradition be believed as firmly as the Bible? — Divine Tradition must be believed as firmly as the Bible because it also contains the word of God.

 

  1. Several years passed before the Gospels were written down. In the meantime, Christians had to depend on Tradition solely: Tradition is older than the New Testament.

    When the books composing the New Testament were written, the various writers had some definite and immediate purpose in mind. For example, St. Paul wrote his Epistles to the various churches of Gentiles that he had converted, to remind them of his teachings in his absence. St. Luke wrote his Gospel for the citizen of Rome, Theophilus, to instruct him in the new religion. St. John’s Gospel was to combat heresies denying the divinity of Christ.

     

  2. If the Church teaches any doctrine that cannot be found in Holy Scripture, it will be found in Tradition, and therefore traceable to the Apostles.

    Those who follow up the course of a river gradually draw near the source, and discover whence the waters flow. In the same way we can trace the historical sources of the teachings of the Church and arrive at their source: the Apostles themselves.

     

  3. Divine Tradition teaches us all the doctrines that were taught by the Apostles. It comes to us from the Apostles. Every single doctrine the Church teaches comes direct from the Apostles. The Church does not issue new doctrines.

    The four Evangelists wrote their relations of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ in widely separated places; it is a proof of authenticity that the Gospels agree in their essentials, and often even repeat the very same words. When the writers of the New Testament did begin to write, they did not intend to set down all the details of Catholic faith and practice, but only such points as were immediately interesting or that needed clarification.

     

Without Tradition, would we know what the Bible is? — No.

 

  1. Tradition teaches us what books belong to the Bible. By tradition the Church kept intact all the books of the Bible for fifteen hundred years before the existence of denominations that nevertheless assert the Church does not care for the Bible.

    Protestant denominations reject Tradition. Consequently, they cannot agree about which books to include in the Bible. One denomination eliminates one part, other denominations omit other parts, according to the respective private interpretation.

     

  2. Having rejected Tradition, Protestants cannot be certain that the books they have accepted are genuine. On whose authority have they accepted what they have? Protestant Bibles, the most popular of which is called the “King James version,” omit all or parts of the Books of Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Machabees (I and II), and parts of Esther and Daniel.

    Luther rejected the Epistle of St. James, because the Apostle said that faith without works is dead. Luther and followers omitted the Apocalypse, the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the Epistle of St. Jude.


The Protestant reformers had no legitimate mission from God (or from someone given power by God) to reform the Church:

Jesus Christ instructed His Apostles to preach the Gospel to the whole world, therefore they had an “immediate” mission from God. St. Paul sent Timothy of Ephesus and Titus of Crete as Bishops to help him on his first mission, therefore they had a “mediate” mission from someone given the power by God to send them.
On the other hand, never have we seen any of the Protestant reformers show any mission from God or from anyone else to reform the church. Rather it is readily apparent they wrongfully took it upon themselves to make reforms. “How shall they preach unless they be sent”? (Romans 10:15)
No individual has the right to associate himself with the Apostles or attempt to act under their authority; the individual must be sent or commissioned with divine authority. “He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber” John 10:1. 

Consider verses such as “As the Father hath sent me, I also send you” John 20:21 and  “He that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me” John 13:20.
How can people without any authority attempt to make such drastic decisions affecting a divinely founded, global Church? Laity or princes do not have authority or power to start such a mission, rather someone must be sent legitimately, in Apostolic fashion, such as from a Bishop, or their mission is null. “Neither doth any man take the honor to himself but he that is called by God, as Aaron was.” Hebrews 5:4

If you say the reformers were given appropriate mission to reform the Catholic Church, then we ask who is the authority that sent them? We know it was not the Catholic Church for the ideas of the Reformation are against Catholic teaching, and it was not the Lutheran and other Protestant churches for they were not yet formed when the reformation was being organized. So on who’s authority was the mission of the Reformation?

If the church from which the Protestant reformers came were true, they can only be labeled heretics for having left it. And if the church from which the reformers came were NOT true, then that church could not have given the reformers true mission to reform the Catholic Church.


To those who say the Protestant reformers had an immediate mission from God to reform the Catholic Church:

To claim that the Protestant reformers were given direct mission by God to reform the church requires undeniable proof, otherwise people all over the world could easily claim direct mission from God on all sorts of beliefs, then where would we be? Then each time we thought we were following the truth we would be forever interrupted by men claiming an extraordinary vocation. Is that how Jesus intended His Church to be?

Consider the miracles sent by God through Moses so that others would believe his mission. Also consider the miracles performed by Jesus and the Apostles so that the people would believe their word. Yet the Protestant reformers, despite making the most drastic changes to the Catholic Church since its founding, have never shown a miracle or any other sign to prove their mission, as would have occurred elsewhere in Scripture with such a drastic change to the faith. Jesus did not hesitate to show signs when reforming the Church, so what audacity do the Protestant reformers have to propose changes as drastic as Jesus made without showing any signs? “Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? 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 14:11,12
Why should we take the Protestant reformers mere word without a sign? He who boasts an extraordinary mission from God without immediately producing undeniable signs cannot be believed.

If there was a true immediate mission from God to reform the church, then we ask which one had the true mission; Luther, Calvin, or another reformer? Each of these men had opposing beliefs from the start which resulted in different denominations so it is quite obvious these men did not have an immediate mission from God.

For those who would like to claim the Protestant reformers were true prophets, why did they act contrary to all other prophets before them by not showing any undeniable signs to prove their words, and by opposing the one true Church which no other true prophet has ever done?
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema” Galatians 1:8.
Consider the repeated vulgarity, and blasphemous writings of the reformers. Did Our Lord or the Apostles or Saints speak in this manner? Are we really to believe that someone sent from God to reform the Church was to speak in this manner?
Furthermore, why would Luther claim he was not someone holy if he truly had an immediate mission from God to reform the Church?

And lastly, the Protestant reformers such as Luther and Calvin each have openly claimed the Catholic Church to have been the True Church during the early centuries of Christianity. Then later when these men fell into disagreement with the Church, they suddenly claimed it was a false Church. Do you think someone who had an immediate mission from God would teach that something is true, then later recant and teach the exact opposite? Have we ever seen Our Lord or His Apostles teach us something and then later have a change of heart and teach us the exact opposite? It is plainly obvious that hypocritical teaching is not from God.

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

God Bless BJS!!

Divine Revelation

​Divine Revelation comes down to us by two means: through Holy Scripture, written down under divine inspiration, and through Tradition, handed down orally from Apostolic times. We read the Bible with great respect, for it is the Word of God. We treat Tradition with as great reverence, for God speaks through Tradition as well. It is wrong to believe the Bible alone without Tradition. That is like believing the Word of God written in the morning and denying it spoken in the afternoon.

Can we know God in any other way than by our natural reason? — Besides knowing God by our natural reason, we can also know Him from supernatural revelation.

 
God has often revealed Himself to men through means beyond the ordinary course of nature. This is supernatural, or Divine Revelation, as opposed to the natural revelation of Himself that God makes in the external world, and the revelation He makes through our natural reason and conscience.
Some revealed truths are beyond the power of the human understanding; we could never, by our own abilities, have known such truths if God had not revealed them. For instance, could we by ourselves have known about the Blessed Trinity, had God not revealed it?
 
The public revelation of truths to men by God began with Adam and Eve and ended at the death of Saint John the Apostle.
Private revelations have been made to holy persons, such as those of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary, and those of Our Lady of Lourdes to St. Bernadette. But these private revelations are never proposed to the faithful as articles of faith. When the Church approves them, it merely states that there is nothing in them contrary to faith or morals.
 
How may Divine Revelation be classified? — Divine Revelation may be classified into pre-Christian and Christian revelation.
 
Pre-Christian revelation may be divided into:
 
primitive revelation, made to Adam and Eve;
patriarchal revelation, made to the patriarchs; and
Mosaic revelation, made to Moses and the prophets.
God spoke to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Paradise. He spoke to Abraham, to Noe, sending Noe to preach to sinful men before the Flood. He sent Moses to the Israelites when Pharaoh oppressed them. The patriarchs and prophets were called messengers of God, and often received from Him extraordinary powers, of miracles and prophecy, in order that they might be believed.
 
Christian revelation contains the truths revealed to us by Jesus Christ, either directly or through His Apostles.
Our Lord commanded His Apostles to teach all these truths to the end of time. “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.”
 
Why should we believe in Divine Revelation? — We should believe in Divine Revelation because God, Who is its Author, cannot deceive nor be deceived.
 
No reasonable man can believe in any truth until he is sure it is revealed by God. We know that God is the Author of Revelation because He has proved it by external acts, especially by miracles and prophecies.
The writers who made Divine Revelation known worked under direct inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Who is, therefore its Author.
 
Miracles are extraordinary works perceptible to the senses, that cannot be accomplished by the mere powers of nature. They are brought about by the action of a higher power
The coming to life of a dead man is a miracle. So is the instantaneous cure of a man blind or paralytic from birth. Our Lord and the Apostles worked many miracles.
 
Some extraordinary works never before heard of or known but invented are not miracles. They are mere discoveries of previously unknown processes or combinations.
An example is the radio. And so were the first telegraph, telephone, wireless, phonograph, etc. All of these are very wonderful. Even today people in general do not understand them fully. But they are not miracles, because they are produced by the forces of nature as harnessed through the ingenuity of man.
 
Prophecies are predictions of future events that could not have been known by natural means. For the confirmation of the faith, or for the benefit of men, God raised up prophets. Generally speaking, the gift of prophecy is a sure sign that the possessor is a messenger of God.
The prophets told about the coming of the Messias. Their prophecies were fulfilled when Christ came on earth. The major prophets were Isaias, Jeremias, Ezechiel, and Daniel. They are distinguished from the twelve minor prophets, because of the greater volume of their prophecies. Forecasting the weather correctly is not prophecy. It is the result of a scientific knowledge of natural facts.
 
How has Divine Revelation come down to us? — Divine Revelation has come down to us through Holy Scripture, written down under divine inspiration, and through Tradition, handed down orally from Apostolic times.
 
From Adam and Eve, at different times, God inspired men to write down His revelations. These passed from generation to generation as sacred books.
For pre-Christian revelation, there were forty-five of these sacred books, composing the Old Testament. They were jealously guarded by the Israelites, the Chosen People, whom God Himself had chosen to keep His truths intact for the instruction of future generations.
 
Finally our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, came to earth to reveal Divine truths to men. After His death, His Apostles and disciples wrote about Him and His teachings.
There are twenty-seven of these books, composing the New Testament. With the forty-five books of the Old Testament they were scattered in different parts of the world, until the Church gathered them together into one Book, Holy Scripture, or the Bible.
 
The deposit of faith which Jesus Christ entrusted to the Church is made up of two parts: Holy Scripture, and Divine Tradition, this latter being composed of the truths passed down by word of mouth, and not written down till after the death of Christ’s Apostles and disciples, principally by the Fathers of the Church.
Divine Revelation was completed at the death of the last of the Apostles. Since that time no new revelation has been made for the instruction of the whole of mankind. Whenever the Church decides a point of faith, it does so according to Scripture or Tradition. It simply finds out what has been revealed from the beginning.

Taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distrubutor.

God Bless BJS!!

Divine Providence

​Many people make themselves miserable worrying over the future. They should have more trust in Divine Providence. Let them do the best they can, and leave the rest to God, Who cares for them. Our Lord said, “Look at the birds of the air: they do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you of much more value than they? … Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or, ‘What shall we drink?’ or, ‘What are we to put on?’ for your Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be given you besides” (Matt. 6:26-33).

Does God see us? — God sees us, and watches over us with loving care.

God preserves and governs the world. If He were to take away for one instant His sustaining power, the whole creation would at once fall back into nothingness
It is as if He held us in His hand. If He withdrew it for a moment, we would be nothing. “When thou shalt take away their breath, they shall die, and return again to the dust” (Ps. 103:29)

Nothing happens without the will or permission of God. Our Lord tells us that not one sparrow falls to the ground without the will of our Heavenly Father, and that the very hairs of our head are numbered.

God is to the world and men as the engine is to a train, as the pilot is to a ship. He guides the whole universe and all creatures. He guides the nations. “Cast all your anxiety upon him, because he cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7)

What is God’s loving care for us called? — God’s loving care for us is called Divine Providence, His plan for guiding creatures to their proper end.
Divine Providence is good, constant, and just. It watches over even the humblest and most despised creature on earth.

Of the paternal tenderness of God, Holy Scripture speaks thus: “Can a woman forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? And if she should forget, yet will not I forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee in my hands; thy walls are always before my eyes” (Is. 49:15,16).

 God has special care for those who are poor, despised, and forgotten by the world. He has often shown forth His glory by means of the humble
So poor shepherds were the first to receive news of the birth of the Saviour. So poor fishermen were His Apostles. So a poor maiden was His Mother.
 

If Divine Providence is good, why do poverty, sickness, sufferings, and other physical evils exist?
— Physical evils are often the result of the weakness of creatures in body and mind.
Although we often do not understand God’s arrangements, we must have faith and exclaim with the Apostle: “How incomprehensible are God’s judgments, and how unsearchable his ways!” (Rom. 11:33).
 
Physical evil is partly a punishment for actual sin. It serves to sanctify the good, and helps them attain eternal salvation. The greatest sufferers have often been the greatest saints. God sends suffering to the just man in order to prove his love.
So holy Job lost everything he had, yet loved God more. So Tobias became blind and poor, and only proved his love for God.
 
God never sends anyone suffering beyond his strength. To gain merit, we must be patient and resigned under suffering. Let us imitate Our Lord in the Garden, whose prayer was, “Father, not my will, but thine, be done!” Our Lord taught us to say, in the Our Father, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
He who resigns himself joyfully to the will of God, in sickness, death, poverty, persecution, and other misfortunes, obtains true peace of heart; he will be blessed even on this earth.
 
God often sends physical evil to sinners in order to bring them back into the right way. It serves as a warning to them.
Among those who were converted through bodily sickness, we may mention St. Francis of Assisi and St. Ignatius of Loyola.
 
Sufferings can be a boon, and should be welcomed. By sufferings, patiently accepted, the punishment due for sin is diminished or cancelled. The more we suffer in this world, the less would we have to pay in the next life, in purgatory.
As St. Paul said, “I am filled with comfort; I overflow with joy in all our troubles” (2 Cor. 7:4). “For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that will be revealed in us.” And St. Ignatius spoke from experience when he said, “When God sends us some great trouble, it is a sign that He designs great things for us, to raise us to great holiness.”
 

If Divine Providence is just, why do the good often suffer misfortunes, and the wicked enjoy prosperity and honors?
— The misfortunes and satisfactions of the world are not real and lasting, and cannot gauge God’s justice.
 
No sinner has true happiness; his conscience will not give him inner peace. Riches, honor, and pleasures can never give peace to the spirit. On the other hand, no lover of God has true misery, for he possesses inner peace and a good conscience. Real reward and punishment begin only after death.
On earth sinners are rewarded for whatever good they do. Their good fortune lasts only for this life. The just are punished on earth for whatever sins they may have committed. Their reward is full in the other life.
 
We must therefore resign ourselves lovingly to the will of God. Thus we shall have peace of mind even in the midst of the greatest trials. Suffering should remind us that this is not our true home, and that we are citizens of heaven.

“The Lord ruleth me, and I shall want nothing”
(Ps. 22:1). “In thee, O Lord, have I hoped, because thou hast saved my soul” (Ps. 30:1, 8).
 

Is God responsible for sin?
— God is not responsible for sin; sin is the result of man’s wrong use of his free will.
 
God does not will or cause sin; He forbids it and will punish the sinner. He permits sin for His own reasons, to sanctify the good, by trying them and giving them opportunities for more faithful obedience.
God created man free to choose good or evil. He wishes us to choose good, in order that we may merit heaven. But since we are free, we can, if we so wish, choose evil. God is not responsible for our sins.
 
Even the evil that God permits to happen, He turns to our good. He draws good out of evil.
The wicked persecutions of the Church make the Gospel better known and loved among the just. Thus the patriarch Joseph said to his brothers, “You thought evil against me, but God turned it into good” (Gen. 50:30). “For those who love God, all things work together unto good” (Rom. 8:28).

Taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distrubutor.


God Bless BJS!!