Tag Archives: Tradition

The Agnus Dei

image

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Before the Agnus Dei

After the priest says the prayer beginning, “Deliver us, O Lord, we beseech,” he prays that the peace of the Lord may be always with us.

Then there is a short prayer. It asks that all those who recieve Holy Communion may be helped to save their souls and be happy forever in heaven. This prayer is made by the priest as he drops a small piece of the Sacred Host into the chalice. The chalice contains the blood of Our Lord.

The Agnus Dei

The prayer that we call “The Agnus Dei” is said next. “Agnus Dei” is the Latin for “Lamb of God.” Three times this prayer uses words spoken by St. John the Baptist. St. John called Our Lord the “Lamb of God” when he pointed Jesus out to the Jews. He was showing Him to them as their Savior. St. John said: “Behold the Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world.” He meant that Jesus would give His life for them.

The Bible tells us that the Jews offered a lamb to God on their greatest feast of the year. The lamb was the victim of their sacrifice. The lamb was offered to God to make up for sin. The lamb was a sign of Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus alone could make up to God for the sins of men.

When the priest says “have mercy on us” and “grant us peace,” he strikes his breast. People strike their breasts as a sign of what they are thinking. They wish to make known to God and to others that they are thinking of their sins.

Our Lord is still saving men. In the Mass He continues to offer Himself to God the Father to make up for the sins of men. He is the lamb or victim offered in sacrifice. He is making up for sin and obtaining grace for men.

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!!

Advertisements

The Offering of the Chalice

image

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!!

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

image

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

image

Before The Priest Offers The Host

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Parts of the Mass Lesson 5

image

image

Holy Mass has two large parts. The first part is called The Mass of the Catechumens. It consists of the prayers and readings from the beginning of Mass to the Offertory.

The word catechumens is a very old word. Long ago people who were preparing to receive the Sacrament of Baptism were called catechumens or learners. During the time of instruction, they were permitted to be present only at the first part of the Mass. They had to leave after the sermon. It was in this way that the first part of the Mass received the name, “Mass of the Catechumens” or the “Mass of the Learners.”

The second part of Holy Mass is called The Mass of the Faithful. This part of the Mass begins with the Offertory and continues to the end of Holy Mass.

The word faithful means baptized Christians. For several hundred years, only the baptized were allowed to assist at the second part of Holy Mass.

There is another division of the parts of Holy Mass. One part is called the  Ordinary of the Mass. The other part is called the Proper of the Mass.

The Ordinary of the Mass is made up of the prayers which, with few exceptions, do not change. The Proper consists of the prayers and readings that change from day to day.

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!!

Ecclesiastical Materialism

image

Introduction. From the title, one might expect that I would be writing about avarice among the clergy. I am not addressing that at all, however. Recently I received from an old friend, who is a Novus Ordo conservative, a note in which he invited me to come back “to Rome — and the true Church — outside of which there is no salvation.”

His invitation, although made with all good intentions, nevertheless prompted me to write this response. What he means is that I should give up my repudiation of Vatican II and its subsequent reforms, submit to the local bishop, and be somehow “regularized” within the structures of the Novus Ordo.

First response. My first response is the
following. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that there is one true Church of Christ, and only one, which is the Roman Catholic Church. The Novus
Ordo teaches that the Church of Christ merely “subsists in” the Catholic Church. (Lumen Gentium)

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that outside of the Roman Catholic Church there is no salvation. The
Novus Ordo teaches that outside the Roman Catholic Church there is salvation, namely that non-Catholic
religions are means of salvation. (Decree on Ecumenism,
Catechesi Tradendæ of John Paul II)

The Roman Catholic Church condemns religious liberty. The Novus Ordo teaches religious liberty. (Decree on
Religious Liberty)

The Roman Catholic Church condemns the idea that the college of bishops has
supreme jurisdiction over the whole Church. The Novus Ordo teaches this condemned doctrine, known as collegiality. (Lumen Gentium)

The Roman Catholic Church condemns adultery and fornication in all
cases. The Novus Ordo teaches that these are morally acceptable in certain cases. (Amoris Lætitia)

The Roman Catholic Church condemns as a mortal sin of sacrilege the giving the Holy Eucharist to non- Catholics. The Novus Ordo approves of it. (1983 Code of Canon Law)

The Roman Catholic Church condemns the use of birth control devices as mortally sinful and intrinsically evil. The Novus Ordo permits birth control devices for prostitutes. (Ratzinger,
“Benedict XVI,” in a published interview)

What I have responded above is only a smattering of the myriad dogmatic, moral, liturgical, and disciplinary contradictions between the Roman
Catholic Church and what we call the Novus Ordo. We could provide the endless list of heresies and blasphemies of Bergoglio. But these things are well known.

The four marks of the Church. I will add to this first response the four marks of the Church.

(1) The Roman Catholic Church is one in faith, that is, in order to be Catholic all must profess the same dogmatic and moral teachings which are taught by the
Roman Catholic Church. The Novus Ordo has no unity of faith, and as we have seen, has no continuity with the Catholic past in any of the essential aspects of the Church’s unity.

(2) The Roman Catholic Church
is catholic, that is, universal, since it preaches a single doctrine to the whole world. Since the Novus Ordo lacks unity in doctrine, and lacks continuity with the
Church’s past in matters of doctrine, it cannot have the mark of catholicity. For catholicity presupposes unity.

(3) The Roman Catholic Church is holy. The Novus Ordo is unholy, because it condones evil disciplines, preaches condemned doctrines and heresies, leads people into error and sin, and promotes the evil New Mass, promotes abominable ecumenical acts with non-Catholic religions, and condones
sacrilegious liturgical practices.

(4) The Roman Catholic Church is apostolic. The Novus Ordo has abandoned apostolic doctrine and discipline, and teaches and does what is contrary to this sacred apostolic deposit.

Come back to what?

My friend’s invitation makes it sound as if the Catholic religion is intact in the institutions he wants me to embrace. It is as if it is the year 1950, and that I have wandered off into schism because of my pride. If this were true, I would return immediately. But there is an elephant in the room.

The elephant is this: The Novus Ordo is innovation, is heresy, is alien to the religion revealed by God and taught by the Roman Catholic Church.

It is as much a break with the past as the heresy of Martin Luther was. What is different, however, between Martin
Luther and the Novus Ordo? There is this significant difference: Martin Luther was excommunicated and subsequently founded his own church.

The Novus Ordites have never been excommunicated, and have never founded their own church. This difference is the key to understanding the present problems in the Catholic
Church.

Ecclesiastical materialism. Now I will explain ecclesiastical materialism. The Roman Catholic Church has a visible aspect and an invisible aspect. What is visible is the external profession of faith, the administration of the sacraments, and the visible government. What is invisible is the grace and assistance of the Holy Ghost which infuses the virtues of faith, hope, and charity, the authority to govern, and the indelible character on the soul in Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders.

The Holy Ghost, furthermore, assists the Church by an invisible influence in its promulgation of doctrine, morals, liturgy, and discipline, in such a way that these things are free from error. It is this invisible assistance which guarantees the infallibility and indefectibility of the
Church.
All of these qualities are invisible, but are nonetheless what make the Catholic Church the one, true Church of Jesus Christ, outside of which there is no salvation. These invisible qualities have made the Catholic Church for two thousand years the unchanging, permanent, always consistent and coherent institution of divine truth in a sinful, ignorant, and ever-fluctuating world.

Even the administration of the sacraments has an external and internal aspect. The external aspect is the visible rite itself. The internal aspect is the validity of the sacrament, whereby it confers the grace it signifies. It is therefore possible that the external rite be observed and administered, even
though, through some internal and invisible defect, the sacrament is not valid.

In our discussion here, we are saying that what is left of the authority of the Church in the Novus Ordo is merely the material or visible aspect of authority,
that is, persons designated to receive authority. What is lacking to them is the divine authority, and the divine assistance which necessarily accompanies it.
Body and soul. Just as the soul is the life of the body, so it is authority which gives life, so to speak, to the person who is designated to be pope or bishop. It is to say that a mere election or appointment is not sufficient. The authority must come to him from Christ, the Invisible Head of the Church, in order that
he be a true pope or a true bishop.

This authority is transferred only on condition that the designated person have the intention of promoting the objective and proper ends of the institution over which he is placed. It is for this reason that the president-elect of
the United States does not obtain power in November
when he is merely elected, but in January when he is inaugurated, and only on condition of swearing to uphold the Constitution of the United States. He must swear that he intends to lead the country to its
objective and proper ends. Were he to fail to so swear, he would fail to obtain the power, and would remain a president-elect, a president only materially, until such time as the Congress removed the election from him.

What has happened to the Church since 1958.
What we are facing in the Novus Ordo is this: Modernists, by remaining secretive for decades, managed to obtain by the normal and legal process of appointment and designation, a position in the Church to which authority is normally connected. So John XXIII was elected pope in 1958. By a defect, however, the authority, which is invisible and which is given byChrist the Head of the Church, was never transferred to John XXIII and his successors. What was this defect? It is that they intended to pervert the Church, and to lead it in a direction contrary to its nature and purpose given to it by God. In a word, they wanted to
transform the structures and institutions of the Roman Catholic Church into a huge vehicle of their
Modernism. This evil intention is what has blocked the flow of authority from Christ into them. Without this authority they remain non-popes, false popes.

The bishops who have embraced this perversion of Catholicism are also false bishops for the same reason.
That the authority of Christ and the assistance of the Holy Ghost are lacking can be seen from the
Hiroshima effect of Vatican II.

The Novus Ordo religion — essentially Modernism — has wrecked all of the institutions of the Catholic Church. What is left is only a lifeless shell of these institutions. There are the same physical buildings. There are the same
institutions of government. There is still a functioning Vatican. There is still a diocesan bishop. There is still a chancery. There are pastors appointed.
There are functioning parishes. There are rectors of seminaries, the few that are left.

What we are seeing here, however, is merely a carcass of the Church’s authority. It is something like
a dead whale which has washed up on the shore. These institutions, both the buildings and the government, constitute, from a purely material and
visible point a view, a continuity with the past. Internally and invisibly, however, they are full of doctrinal, moral, liturgical, and disciplinary
corruption. The stench of death rises from them, that is, the stench of heresy and all of its effects.

Everything is infected with gangrene: the Mass, the rites of the sacraments, the catechism, doctrine, morals, attitudes. We see the effects of this infection, as well, in the emptying of the seminaries, convents and religious houses of all kinds, in the breathtaking
decline of religious belief and practice, especially among the young, in the nauseating and disgusting conduct of the clergy, even to the point of sodomitic orgies in the Vatican, enhanced with both drugs and liquor, which recently took place, and was reported in the major newspapers, e.g., the London Times.

The Novus Ordo popes, consequently, are mere “cadavers” of real popes, inasmuch as they sit in the chair of Peter, wear the uniform of a pope, but have no power from Christ to teach, rule and sanctify in His name.

My second response. My second response, therefore, is that the Novus Ordo conservatives are
ecclesiastical materialists. They can see only the continuity of lifeless institutions from pre- to post-Vatican II, and from that they conclude that salvation consists in adhering to these lifeless institutions. They see only the material side of the Church, its visible
side, and turn a blind eye to the absence of the invisibles of the Church, especially the assistance of the Holy Ghost in keeping the Church free from error and defection. The Novus Ordo religion is one big error and defection. The fact that error and defection can be found in it is an infallible sign that the invisible assistance of the Holy Ghost is not with the Modernist “popes” and “bishops.” They have no authority to rule, no matter if they are maintaining
the buildings and governmental institutions of the Church.

An analogy. To illustrate my point, I will make an
analogy to a hijacked airplane. Imagine a scene in which terrorists, who have come through the ranks of the airline as uniformed, licensed, and authorized
pilots, one day show their true colors by announcing that the airplane will be flown into the side of a building. They slit the throats of anyone who tries to
stop them. From the outside, the plane is flying as normal. Inside there is chaos, terror, and horror. The Novus Ordo conservative could be compared
to the passenger who would say: “For as long as we are still flying, and the pilots are authorized and uniformed pilots, and the airline logo is still on the
plane, there is nothing to fear.”

The sedevacantists are those who have done something to stop the evil pilots, and who have had the common sense to declare that if the pilots intend the ruination of the aircraft and its passengers, they do not have the authority to pilot the plane. These sedevacantists are considered “extreme” and “misled” by the passengers who are consoled — indeed blinded — by the purely external signs of the normal functioning of the plane. These are the Novus Ordo
conservatives. A carcass of authority.

The Novus Ordo conservative looks merely at the carcass of authority
and government, which is really the only thing left intact since Vatican II, and from it concludes to the identity of the pre- and post-Vatican II religion. He
fails to understand that if the invisible qualities of the Church do not vivify the visible institutions of the Church, then these institutions are dead in the
practical order.

The Catholic Church, as the Church founded by Christ and assisted by the Spirit of Truth, always retains these institutions of the papacy and episcopacy and her faithful are always attached to them. Therefore in this present hijacking of these institutions, the Church does not lose her power to
teach, to rule, and to sanctify, for these pertain to her divine constitution. Just as the solution to the hijacked
airline is to wrest the control of the aircraft from those who would pervert its function and destination, so the solution for the Church is to wrest control of these sacred institutions from the Modernists so that once again the government of the Church may
function normally.

In order to wrest control, however, it is first necessary to identify the hijacker and to proclaim what is common sense: that he who intends the destruction of the aircraft and its passengers does not have the authority to pilot the aircraft. Likewise the Modernist, though sitting in a papal or episcopal throne, does not have the authority to pilot the Church.

The worst thing anyone could do in such a case is to reassure Catholics that because we find these Modernists sitting in the papal throne or episcopal
throne, then for that reason they must have the authority to rule the Church. It is as absurd as to say that because the hijacking pilots are seated in the cockpit, they have the authority to pilot the plane and we must obey them.

The Novus Ordo conservative, in remaining loyal to the Modernist “authorities,” stymies and paralyzes
a proper and efficacious reaction to the problem in the Church. He invites everyone to rally to the Modernists, and to spurn and condemn the sedevacantists as schismatics. If the four Novus Ordo cardinals who presented the Dubia to Francis had the
courage to declare him a non-pope, for reason of heresy, the Catholic Church would be on the road to recovery. Instead, they were careful to tell Francis that they were not sedevacantists. Cardinal Burke, one of the Dubia cardinals, stated in an interview in
December that if Francis were a public heretic, he would no longer be the pope.

Leave Rome? Who has left Rome? It is not to leave Rome, the one true Church, to be faithful to Catholic doctrine, liturgy and discipline. It is not to leave Rome to denounce as Modernism, the worst
heresy to assail the Church according to Saint Pius X, the aberrations of Vatican II in doctrine, liturgy, and discipline. It is not to leave Rome to declare that those who deviate from the true faith cannot rule the Catholic Church.

It is to leave Rome, however, to embrace the new religion of Vatican II, and to associate with the authority of Christ those who have devastated, in a matter of fifty-nine years, counting from 1958, the magnificent Catholic Church, built up for centuries by true popes and bishops with the assistance of the
Spirit of Truth. For Rome is the Church, and the Church is the Faith.

All of these discussions always revert to a single question: Do the reforms of Vatican II constitute a new religion, different from the Catholic religion? If
they do, then the position of the sedevacantists is correct. For it is impossible that the Church, assisted
by the Holy Ghost, could promulgate to the whole world a false religion. If, on the other hand, they do not constitute a new religion, if indeed there is
continuity of true doctrine, liturgy and discipline, then the sedevacantist is wrong and the Novus Ordo conservative is right. So it is pointless to talk about
anything else unless this single burning question is answered.

His Excellency Bishop Donald Sandborn Most Holy Trinity Seminary

God Bless BJS!!

Existence of Purgatory

 

Both reason and faith tell us that there is a middle ground of expiation, where the soul is cleansed from all stain of sin before it can enter the glory of heaven. “There shall not enter into it anything defiled” (Apoc. 21:27). Christ said, “Amen, I say to thee, thou will not come out from it until thou hast paid the last penny” (Matt. 5:26). Even persons who deny the existence of purgatory instinctively pray for their loved ones who have died. This would be great inconsistency if their reason did not tell them that their prayers would do the dead good. Prayers are useless for those in heaven or hell.

    What is purgatory? –Purgatory is a place of temporary punishment for those who die in the state of grace, but are guilty of venial sin, or have not fully satisfied for the temporal punishment due to their sins.

  1. Purgatory is a middle state where souls destined for heaven are detained and purified. Souls in purgatory cannot help themselves, for their time for meriting is past. But they can be helped by the faithful on earth, by prayers and other good works.In some places, at eight o’clock at night, the church bells sound, to admonish the faithful to pray for the souls in purgatory. This hour is in commemoration of Christ’s prayer in the garden. We should then kneel and pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Requiem aeternam: “Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them,” etc. 
  2. Belief in the utility of praying for the dead automatically includes belief in the existence of purgatory. If there were no purgatory, it would be useless to pray for the dead, because saints in heaven need no help, and those in hell are beyond aid.And we can be sure there will be no more purgatory after the General judgment; because the reason for its existence will have passed. 
  3. Purgatory is a place of temporary punishment for those who have died in venial sin, or who have not fully satisfied God’s justice for mortal sins already forgiven.
       

    1. A boy steals an apple from a stall in the market; this is a venial sin punishable in purgatory. Some argue that God is a good God, and will not punish such slight sins with the pains of purgatory. We must remember, nevertheless, that the judgments of God are different from those of men, as His holiness is far above human holiness.“My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts.” Let us reverence God’s holiness and justice, as we have loving confidence in His mercy. 
    2. A man commits a cruel murder. This is a mortal sin which, unrepented and unconfessed, will send him to hell.The man repents, confesses, and obtains absolution for his sin; the guilt therefore is removed. But justice requires that he make up for the evil he has done; this atonement takes place in purgatory, unless he makes full satisfaction before death.

     

  4. The doctrine of purgatory is eminently consoling to the human heart. It consoles us when our loved ones die. Purgatory is a bond of union making us realize that death is not an eternal separation for the just, but only a loss of their bodily presence.Purgatory gives us an assurance that we are still in touch with our beloved dead. We are consoled by the knowledge that we can still help them with prayer, as in life we so helped them.
    Is the doctrine of the existence of purgatory reasonable? –The doctrine of the existence of Purgatory is not only reasonable, but its negation is eminently contrary to reason; it is taught in Holy Scripture, and has been taught by the Church from the very beginning.

  1. The doctrine of a middle state of purgation is taught in the Old Testament,and was firmly believed in by the Hebrews.After a battle, Judas Machabeus ordered prayers and sacrifices offered up for his slain comrades. “And making a gathering, he sent twelve drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection. For, if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead. And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness had great grace laid for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins” (2 Mach. 12:43-46). 
  2. When Our Lord came on earth, He purified the Jewish Church of all those human changes that with the years had crept into its usages and beliefs. But He never reproved anyone for belief in a middle state of purgation, or prayers for the dead.On the contrary, Christ more than once implied the existence of purgatory. He said “And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this world, or in the world to come” (Matt. 12:32). When Our Lord said that a sin will not be forgiven in the next life, He left us to conclude that some sins will be thus forgiven. But in the next life, sins cannot be forgiven in heaven: “There shall not enter into it anything defiled” (Apoc. 21:27). Neither can sins be forgiven in hell, for out of hell there is no redemption. They must therefore be forgive middle state, Purgatory. 
  3. Belief in the existence of Purgatory is a continuous and solemn teaching of the Church. From St. Paul, the early Fathers, the Doctors of the Church, on through the ages, the Church has taught the existence of Purgatory, and the correlated doctrine of the usefulness of praying for the dead.From the beginning Christians prayed for the dead at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The oldest books used at Mass contain prayers for the dead.The doctrine of Purgatory was given solemn definition by the Council of Trent as follows: “There is a purgatory, and the souls there detained are assisted by the suffrages of the faithful, but especially by the most acceptable, sacrifice of the altar.”

    This dogmatic definition contains three points of faith that all Catholics are compelled to believe: (a) that there is a purgatory; (b) that after death souls suffer there for their sins; (c) that the living can extend assistance to such souls.

     

  4. Reason demands belief in the existence of purgatory. If a man dies with some slight stain on his soul, a sin of impatience, or an idle word, is he fit to enter heaven? God’s sanctity forbids it: “There shall not enter into it anything defiled” (Apoc. 21:27) . But must such a soul be consigned to hell? God’s mercy and justice forbid it.Therefore reason concludes the existence of a middle and temporary state of expiation, where the soul is cleansed from all stain of sin before it can be admitted into the perfect holiness and bliss of heaven. “Amen, I say to thee, thou wilt not come out from it until thou hast paid the last penny” (Matt. 5:26). 
  5. Among nearly all peoples there has persisted a belief that souls must undergo some sort of purification after death. This would point to the doctrine of purgatory.The Greek story of Prometheus implies a place of purgation. The Egyptians and others believed in the transmigration of souls. Legends and myths of all nations, as well as burial customs, indicate belief in the possibility of helping the dead.

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!!

​The Catholic Church: Unity and Holiness

 

The Catholic Church is One, because it has one Divine Founder, God Himself, Who cannot be divided. All its members hear and obey the voice of their Shepherd. The Catholic Church is Holy, because it imitates its Holy Founder, the Incarnate Son of God. Its members strive for holiness, aided by divine sacraments instituted by Christ Himself.

 

    Why is the Catholic Church one? –The Catholic Church is one because all its members, according to the will of Christ, profess the same faith, have the same sacrifice and sacraments, and are united under one and the same visible head, the Pope. 

  1. They have unity in doctrine, worship, and government. They have “One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism.” There has never been any other society, religion, or government whose members are so closely united.If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand” (Mark 3:24). “Holy Father, keep in thy name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one even as we are” (John 17: 11). 
  2. There are about 425 million Catholics united in doctrine. This unity is evident and admitted by all. All Catholics every where believe each and every article of faith proclaimed by the Church. Wherever a Catholic goes throughout the world, he will find his home in the Catholic Church. There he will find his brethren in Christ all believing as he does. If he deliberately denies even one article of faith of the Church, he ceases to belong to it.International Eucharistic Congresses, held in different countries, in different parts of the world, every other year, are a good proof of the unity of the Church. In such Congresses the faithful from all nations-African, American, -Australian, Chinese, English, Filipino, French, German, Indian, Irish, Japanese, Russian, Spaniard,-one and all bow down in adoration of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Eucharist. 
  3. All Catholics today hold the same faith that Catholics in the past held.The same Gospel of peace that Jesus Christ preached in Judea, the same that St. Peter preached in Antioch and Rome, the same that St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians and the Ephesians, the same that apostles of all nations have been preaching for the last 1900 years, is preached today and taught in the Catholic Church throughout the world, from January to December-“Jesus Christ yesterday, and today, and the same forever” (Heb. 13:8). 
  4. The Catholic Church is one in worship. All members make use of the same Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and receive the same sacraments. Although rites vary, the essentials of worship laid down by Christ form the foundation of all. Certain ceremonies have been appointed by the Church, to show more clearly in outward form the spiritual significance of whatever act is being done, and to increase the devotion of those who are present or take part in tht religious acts. The ritual varies in various places, certain ancient rituals from the early days of the Church being preserved. But in general the Roman ritual, the one followed by the diocese of Rome, is the one followed. The change of ritual does not change the substance of the religious act, which is preserved in its entirety. 
  5. All Catholics are united in governmentEverywhere the faithful obey their pastors, the pastors obey the bishops, and the bishops obey the Pope. The Catholic Church is truly “one fold and one Shepherd”, its unity standing out unequalled in all history.
    Why is the Catholic Church holy? –The Catholic Church is holy because it was founded by Jesus Christ, who is all-holy, and because it teaches, according to the will of Christ, holy doctrines, and provides the means of leading a holy life, thereby giving holy members to every age.St. Peter called the Christians of his time “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation” (1 Pet. 2:9). 

  1. The Founder of the Catholic Church, Jesus Christ, is holy. The Church exhorts its children to imitate its Divine Founder. No founder of any other church is as holy as Jesus Christ, Son of God. And among the children of the Church we may mention as examples of holiness the canonized Saints. 
  2. The Catholic Church teaches the highest and holiest doctrine ever presented to any people, a standard of perfection. The same precepts delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai, the same warnings uttered by the prophets in Judea, the same sublime lessons taught by Our Lord: these the Church teaches from year to year.The Church teaches its children to know, love, and serve God, and thus to become saints. It urges on them the truth: “What does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Matt. 16:26). It exhorts them to imitate Christ. 
  3. The Catholic Church provides powerful means for holiness, in prayer and the Sacraments. By the Sacraments a Catholic receives abundant graces. One who is faithful in the reception of the Sacraments will never fail to live a righteous life and die a happy death. Every Catholic is obliged to my his morning and night prayers, and to resort to prayer in every necessity and temptation, as well as to prayer of thanksgiving. He is required under pain of sin to hear Mass on Sundays and holydays of obligation. 
  4. The Catholic Church produces holy members in its saints and martyrs. In every age and country the Church is the Mother of saints, martyrs, confessors, and holy men and women who live in Christ. We do not, however, maintain that all Catholics are holy. Unfortunately, some do not live up to the teachings of the Church; that will be their condemnation. We must remember that even among the Apostles there was one Judas. Our Lord Himself taught in the parable of the wheat and the cockle that the good and the bad will grow up side by side in His Church. 
  5. The Catholic Church still has the gift of miracles. Christ promised His Church the gift of miracles, a sign of holiness. “He who believes in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these he shall do” (John 14:12). Each holy soul proposed for canonization must have worked two miracles before beatification, and two more before canonization. We constantly read of miracles at Lourdes and other shrines. The cures at Lourdes are declared genuine by a board of physicians, many of whom are non-Catholic. 
  6. The Catholic Church carries on numberless works of holiness. It is the great Mother of Mercy and Charity to the helpless. It instructs children in school, cares for the poor, the sick, the lepers, the deaf, blind, dumb, the old, the orphaned and abandoned. It engages in all kinds of missionary and charitable activity.

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!!