Thursday, August 4, 2016

Purgatory described in 1 Cor 3

NC says:
1 Corinthians 3:10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

Love this passage too. Speaks measures about motives, faith and works. God bless.

Amen! A perfect depiction of the state of Purgatory.


De Maria

Monday, August 1, 2016

Election Novena 2016

My family and I just started praying a Novena to St. Jude that God may provide us with a Godly person to lead our country.  I hope that all of you are praying for the same cause.  Especially considering the top 2 characters which have been nominated this year.

Novena To St. Jude 

Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus,  the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult  cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.

Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is  almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive  the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and  sufferings, particularly - that God may grant us Godly men for whom we may vote who will uphold His will.

- and that I may praise  God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be  ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as  my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.


May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the  tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.
(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and the Hail Mary)

Is St. Paul confusing?

Scripture says:
2 Peter 3:15And account that the long suffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
In this article, I would like to explain:
1. What, in my opinion, is confusing about St. Paul's theology.
2. How it is different from the theology of the other New Testament authors and
3. What I believe is Martin Luther's misunderstanding.
In my understanding of Catholic doctrine, there are two types of justification:
1. By faith and works
Repentance (i.e. conversion), is the acquisition of faith and the virtues by the grace of God.
1989 The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit is conversion, effecting justification in accordance with Jesus' proclamation at the beginning of the Gospel: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, thus accepting forgiveness and righteousness from on high. "Justification is not only the remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man.
This justification occurs at the beginning of conversion and after and between the justification of the Sacraments.
2. By faith apart from works
This is justification "sacramental is", wherein God washes away our sins according to our faith:
1992 Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men. Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy. Its purpose is the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life:
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.
Justification in the Sacraments is a work of God. We rest from our works and let God wash away our sins with the washing of the Holy Spirit:
1116 Sacraments are "powers that comes forth" from the Body of Christ, which is ever-living and life-giving. They are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body, the Church. They are "the masterworks of God" in the new and everlasting covenant.
1131 The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.
That disposition is one of faith:
1127 Celebrated worthily in faith, the sacraments confer the grace that they signify. They are efficacious because in them Christ himself is at work: it is he who baptizes, he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace that each sacrament signifies. The Father always hears the prayer of his Son's Church which, in the epiclesis of each sacrament, expresses her faith in the power of the Spirit. As fire transforms into itself everything it touches, so the Holy Spirit transforms into the divine life whatever is subjected to his power.
This is the beginning of the confusion. This is why St. Peter said that St. Paul's teachings were sometimes confusing. And why St. James thought St. Paul was teaching against Moses:
Acts 21:20And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: 21And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. 22What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
Why? Because St. Paul understood the Sacraments. He preached justification by faith APART from works:
Galatians 2:16Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Notice how he repeatedly says here, "faith OF Christ". He is not speaking about believing in Christ. He is speaking about the observance of the rituals instituted by Christ in His new way. He is speaking of the Sacraments.
This, I believe, is the difference between St. Paul and the other Apostles preaching. Although all parties understood the washing away of sin in the Sacraments and the perfection of faith in works. The other Apostles did not seem to understand why St. Paul seemed to be denouncing good works in one breath (see above) and commending them to the highest degree in another:
Galatians 5:6For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
I'm of the opinion that all the New Testament authors understood Gal 5:6, but only St. Paul understood Gal 2:16.
And this, I also believe, is Luther's error. Except that Luther, lacking the guidance of the Holy Spirit which protected the Apostles from error, did fall because he did not connect the Sacramental teaching of St. Paul. Luther recognized the Sacraments and he recognized the perfection of the sinner. But he applied St. Paul's teaching wrongly across the board. He failed to recognize the difference between the justification (i.e. perfection) that occurs as a result of the effort of the man of God:
2 Peter 1:4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.5And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
I believe it is very important that we should all understand the Sacraments. Because it is in the Sacraments that we are juistified by faith, apart from works. I've spoken to too many Catholics who speak as though the only way to be justified is by faith AND works. Whereas it is clear, that God justifies us in the Sacraments, without any effort on our part. The Sacraments are God's mighty works.
If we don't understand this difference, we will never understand why brother Luther fell away.
Let me know what you think.

Monday, July 25, 2016

A man can lose his salvation

De Maria October 27, 2012 at 1:15 AM
Hi Christopher Lake,
You said:
I am a former Catholic convert (from agnosticism). Do you know that the majority of the original Protestant Reformers (and those, like me, who follow in their footsteps today, such as Presbyterians and Reformed Baptists) did not hold to the articulation of “Once Saved, Always Saved” found here, but rather to the “Perserverance of the Saints,” which is a very different doctrine?
I didn’t know that.
It is true that genuine Christians will lead lives which are characterized by a hunger for holiness. If a person claims to be a Christian, trusting in Christ for his/her salvation, yet that person is not fighting sin and doing good works, he/she is quite likely not a genuine Christian.
That sounds reasonable.
Scripture states clearly that only the person who endures *to the end* (in faith) will be saved.
That is the Catholic Teaching.
However, Scripture also claims (of the converted person, the Christian) that “He (God) who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6, ESV) According to this verse, God began the good work in us through bringing us to conversion, and He will complete the good work in us that He began. He leaves no person who has been born again in such a state that the person can somehow become “un-born again.” This being said, God will complete His good work in us through our *perseverance* in the faith– which He Himself *ensures.*
Your stated assumption is that God “leaves no person who has been born again in such a state that the person can somehow become “un-born again.”
But this contradicts Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
St. Peter addresses this error more pointedly:
2 Peter 2:20-22
King James Version (KJV)
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Therefore, it seems to me that your assumption that God saves all who are born again, is false, when compared to Scripture.
Again, from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (2:12-13) We persevere in the faith– all *true* Christians do. We do so though, because God works in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. This is the Reformed, *Biblical* doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints (all Christians being called “saints” in the Bible, not just those who have been canonized).
1. All Christians are saints, that is Catholic Teaching. Have you ever heard of the communion of saints? That means that the saints on earth communicate with the saints in heaven.
2. The Reformed doctrine of the Perseverence of the Saints, is that precisely, a reformed innovation of the Gospel of Christ. In the Gospel of Christ, many who receive the Word fall away. God does not continue to work in them because they refuse to cooperate with God’s will:
Matthew 7:21-23
King James Version (KJV)
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Two last verses which show that for those who have been truly converted, they *will* persevere in the faith, *and* their salvation can also never be lost:
Let’s unpack those verses in context and in order.
“For those whom He foreknew
\Whom did He foreknow? He is God, so that means He foreknew everyone.
He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son,
That would be all mankind, wouldn’t it:
Genesis 1:27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.
That just says that God made us in order that we might become brothers of Christ:
Romans 8:15
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
For those whom He predestined He also called,
I believe Catholics and Protestants agree that God calls everyone with no exception.
1 Timothy 2:4
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
and those whom He called He also justified,
Here, the unspoken assumption must be that those who were called and obeyed:
Hebrews 5:9
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
For many are called, as the Scripture says:
Matthew 20:16
So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
and those whom He justified He also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30, ESV)
Again, the assumption is that the justified did not turn away.
John 15:2-6
King James Version (KJV)
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
And these are the elect.
Matthew 24:31
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Those who remain. They who have persevered to the end and did not fall:
2 Peter 1:10
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
In the second verse here, anyone who is predestined and called is also justified and glorified. There is no category left for people who were predestined, called, and justified, but who later lost their salvation.
Only if you read the Scripture without correlating to the rest of Scripture. If you allow two verses to contradict themselves, then that is what you get, two contradicting Scriptures. Scripture teaches that men can fall away from the faith. Therefore it is impossible that Scripture also teaches that men do not fall away from the faith.
1 Timothy 1:19
Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
If a person has been predestined, called, and justified by God, this verse states that he/she *will* be glorified. Again, this will not happen without the person’s perseverance in the faith to the end, but the perseverance is once which is empowered and ensured by God (Philippians 1:62:12-13).
That is reasonable if you are looking at it from the end. From the perspective of who is in heaven. Without God, they would not have persevered. That is Catholic Teaching.
But if you are looking at it from an earthly perspective and your understanding, as you seem to have explained earlier, is that everyone who is called will be justified and everyone justified will be glorified, you are wrong. It contradicts Catholic Teaching and the teaching of Scripture which Heb 6:6-10 and 2 Pet 2:20-22 clearly show.
This is what Protestant Reformed Christians believe. The “Once Saved, Always Saved” easy-believism without obedience to God is a relatively recent invention and is *not* faithful to the Protestant Reformation.
Depending upon what you mean above, it is either right or wrong. That which is right is in accordance with Catholic Teaching. That which is wrong is not.
Christopher Lake October 17, 2009 at 5:46 AMTypo– I meant to write, in in the last section of my comment that “this (glorification) will not happen without the person’s perseverance in the faith to the end, but the perseverance is *one* (rather than “once”– the typo to which I referred) which is empowered and ensured by God. I would love to read your reply to my (admittedly lengthy) comment! Take care and be blessed!
I don’t think the typo makes a difference in your meaning or my reply. I hope that you come back and read this reply and that it is helpful to you.
May you also be blessed exceedingly,
De Maria

Thursday, July 21, 2016

If a person has faith, then works will be present

De Maria October 26, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Hi Terry,
I was blissfully reading through Ray’s website when I ran across this comment, to which apparently, no one responded. Soooo…here’s my attempt.
You said,
Terry July 19, 2008 at 2:22 AMHi Steve, we are really saved by the Lord Jesus alone – not the Lord Jesus plus are own works .
That’s a false dichotomy Terry. Have you not read in Scripture?
Philippians 2:11-13
King James Version (KJV)
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
The works which we do in obedience to Christ for our salvation are in fact God’s work through us.
However if a person has faith then good works will be present.
That is the Catholic Teaching.
Please consider the following passage and my bried comment.

Romans 5:6 “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
When we were powerless means when we were without grace.
Christ died for the ungodly means that Christ died for all men. Ungodly means mortal.
7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
Christ died not just for the good but also for the wicked, that they might be repent and turn to God:
Matthew 9:13
But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
And this, through no work of our own. This is the salvation apart from works to which St. Paul so frequently refers. Christ died for us because it was in the eternal plan of God. Christ died as an example that we should follow in His steps:
1 Peter 2:21
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Christ died that we would take up our Cross and also be saved:
Romans 8:17
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
But this is no teaching about faith alone. It is by the grace of God that Jesus came to this earth, the only begotten Son of God, to die on the Cross that we might have life. Without any effort on our part. In fact, He came because so many men were not making any effort to do the good works of God and He provided the example they needed in order to turn to the Father and be saved.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
We-means the Baptized believers in Christ.
Justified by His blood-means justified in the Sacraments of Christ.
Saved from God’s wrath through Him-means by obedience to His Commands:
John 14:21-23
King James Version (KJV)
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
10 For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
When we were God’s enemies means when we were living in the flesh, sinning without repentance:
Romans 6:16-17
King James Version (KJV)
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
What Paul is saying is that if God did the greater that is – saved us when we were powerless while we were ungodly sinners and his enemies then how much more shall we be saved now we are his children and part of His family.
St. Paul is taking poetic license. God does not save unrepentant sinners. God saves REPENTANT SINNERS. God saves the righteous. God saves those who have kept His Commandments:
Romans 2:1-7
King James Version (KJV)
1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
Having become a child of God,
First you must be Baptized. Prior to that you must have accepted the grace of conversion, which is the gift of faith (Rom 4:16), turned to God and begun to seek Him (Rom 5:2Heb 11:6). And then, seeking Him, studied to show yourself approved (2 Tim 2:15). And then, having learned God’s will, repented of your sins and begun to do the works which God prepared from the beginning (Eph 2:8-10Acts 26:20)
the Ten Commandments. And then, request Baptism from the Church believing that God can do that which He promised (Mark 16:16Acts 22:16). Then one becomes a child of God having been washed and renewed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism (Titus 3:5).
having been Adopted by Him, having been joined to Christ and transferred into the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son do you think its possible that one day He could disown you, kick you out of his family and transfer you back to the kingdom of darkness. It was unthinkable for Paul.
Which Paul? Certainly not the one who wrote the New Testament Epistles:
Hebrews 10:25-31
King James Version (KJV)
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
2 Corinthians 5:10-12
King James Version (KJV)
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. 12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.
Every blessing Terry
And to you,
De Maria