Sunday, November 29, 2015

Why is the Eastern rite Liturgy not referred to as the “Mass”?

It is actually an error to do so.  But no one seems to know why.  Yet the reason seems perfectly clear to me.  It is because of the Eucharist.

The Eastern rite Liturgy is called the Eucharist, the Love Feast and Our Lord’s Table.  It confects a true Eucharist in all regards.  But it is never called the Mass because it does not celebrate the Eucharist with Masah.  Masah is the Greek word for unleavened bread.  It goes back to the Hebrew, “matzha”.  Which dates all the way back to the time of the Passover which was celebrated with unleavened bread.

The Western rite (i.e. Roman) Liturgy has always been called the “Misa” or Mass because it celebrates the Eucharist with unleavened bread.  As the Scripture says:

Exodus 12:15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

If the Mass were a derivation of the word “dismissal”, you would expect the same to be true in the Eastern rite, since they also have a dismissal.  Yet, that is not the case.  

Prepare the way of the Lord!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Rerun: Romans 8, a Catholic perspective

This Chapter is frequently used by Protestants to support the false doctrine of Once Saved Always Saved.  It does no such thing.  Here is a Catholic understanding of the entire chapter.

Romans 8 King James Version (KJV)
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Those who live according to the  the Spirit of God will not be condemned because they do not commit the sins of the flesh but do the works of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Because it is by the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ that we are made free from the sinful nature in our flesh.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, 
The Law of God, the Commandments, are written in our hearts.  But the law of sin in the flesh is opposed to the Law of God and dominates the sinful nature.
God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Therefore, God sent His only Son appearing as a sinful man in order to destroy sin in man.
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Now, the righteousness of the Law of God in the Commandments, is fulfilled in us, who have received the life of Christ in the Sacraments and now walk after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; 
Because, those who seek their own pleasure follow after sin.
but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
But those who seek after God do the will of God.
6 For to be carnally minded is death;
Those who seek after sin will be condemned to eternal punishment, the death of the soul.
but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
But those who seek after God will receive eternal life and reconciliation with God.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
But those who seek after the flesh are enemies of God.  For they will not submit to God's will, nor can they ever, since they are opposed to God.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Therefore, those who live for themselves can't please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. 
But, those who are God's do not seek after themselves, because the Holy Spirit dwells in their hearts.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
But if any man does not have Christ's spirit dwelling in him, that man does not belong to Christ.
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
But if Christ dwells in you, then you are dead to sin and made alive by the Spirit of Christ which leads you to do the will of God.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
And if the Spirit of God is in you, then He shall raise you to eternal life by the power of His Holy Spirit.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
Therefore, don't live according to the wicked yearnings of the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Because if you do, you will suffer condemnation.  But if you live according to the righteousness of the Spirit, you will put to death the sins of the flesh and gain eternal life.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Because those who are led by the Holy Spirit are children of the Father.
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.
Because the Holy Spirit gives us the courage to call God, "our Father".
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And the Spirit of God affirms our belief that we are sons of God.
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.
And if we are sons of God, then we will receive an inheritance which will will share with His only begotten Son, if and only if, we suffer with Him that we may together receive His love.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Because, I deduce, that the sufferings of this life are no comparison to the magnificence which we will receive
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Because the creation hopes for the revealing of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Because made creation weak and incapable of saving itself, in order that it could hope for salvation by God.
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Thus creation itself shall be freed from sin when the sons of God receive their freedom.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Therefore, all creation suffers until now
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
And not only creation, but even we who have received the sanctifying grace of God by the Spirit, even we suffer, hoping for the time when we are admitted into heaven and recognized as sons of God.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Because we are saved by perseverance in faith, because we don't yet see what we will receive, and so we wait with expectation.
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
And since we can't yet see what we will receive, we continue to wait with perseverance.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: 
The Holy Spirit gives us strength to overcome our weakness
for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:
Because we don't know how to pray as we should
but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
So, the Holy Spirit prays for us with sounds that we don't know how to make
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, 
And God knows what the Holy Spirit says
because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Because the Holy Spirit intercedes for God's people according to ask for those things which God wants us to have
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, 
And we know that everything that happens is for the good of those who love God

*Note:  Those who love God is the over arching assumption of the following verses.  In other words, God foreknows all, but only those who love Him are called and only those who love Him answer His call and only those who love Him are justified, etc. etc.

It is also well to remember that those who love God are those who keep His commandments:
Exodus 20:6
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 Those who love God are those who respond to His call and do His will as revealed in the Commandments
29 For whom he did foreknow,
God knows all.  Therefore, He did know who would return His love.
he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, 
and His plan was that all mankind be made in the image of His Son, the image of God.
that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
That His Son, Jesus Christ, God with us, might lead us all into heaven to be adopted children of God.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate,  them he also called:
Not only that, but God planned that all mankind would accomplish His will by keeping His commands.
and whom he called, them he also justified: 
and those who responded to His call and did as He commanded, these are they who love Him.  So, He forgave them their sins.  As the Son said in the Gospels:
John 14:21
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.
and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
And to those who persevered in well doing and pleased God, He will give the crown of glory.
31 What shall we then say to these things? 
What shall we say then?
If God be for us, who can be against us?
 If God is in our corner, who can defeat us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
God the Father is He who gave up His Son to die for our sins.  If He gave us His Son, don't you think He will give us anything else that we need?
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
God is Judge and can read man's heart.  No other man can do so.  Therefore, if God says that we are righteous, who can deny it?
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who is our Judge but Jesus Christ, who died, rose again and is now seated on the Throne of Glory at the right hand of the Father.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Nothing can stop love God from loving us.  No trouble, no suffering, no attack, not hunger or poverty nor danger nor even threat of life.
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Because we have already given our lives for God.  We no longer live, but Christ lives in us.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
So, even in death, we have won through Christ who loved us to His death.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
And I believe with all my heart, that nothing, not death, not life, not angels, not kings nor magistrates, not now and not ever,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, 
Not anything above nor anything below, not any other thing in creation,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God, 
will be able to take God's love away from us
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And this love was made manifest in our Lord, Jesus Christ, who died in order that we might live. 

Where is Infant Baptism in the Bible?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Paraphrasing the Summa: First part, Question 2, Article 1

Question 2. The existence of God

Does God exist?  In article 1, below, St. Thomas doesn't answer this question.  He explains why some people do and some people do not believe in God.  

Article 1. Whether the existence of God is self-evident?

Does God's being need to be proven?

Objection 1. It seems that the existence of God is self-evident. Now those things are said to be self-evident to us the knowledge of which is naturally implanted in us, as we can see in regard to first principles.
First principles?  Have you ever heard someone say, "that's a given."  That means that it goes without saying.  Or that it is common knowledge to all.  Remember in grade school when they spoke of the "commutative principle" of addition?  That is a first principle of addition.  This is objector is talking about the first principles of proving something in philosophy.  That is what this objection is talking about.  And he says that the existence of God is a first principle, such as this.
But as Damascene says (De Fide Orth. i, 1,3), "the knowledge of God is naturally implanted in all." Therefore the existence of God is self-evident.
He says that St. John of Damascus says that the knowledge of God is in all men, therefore, the existence of God is self evident and does not need to be proven.
Objection 2. Further, those things are said to be self-evident which are known as soon as the terms are known, which the Philosopher (1 Poster. iii) says is true of the first principles of demonstration.
Aristotle, the Philospher, said that those things are obvious which are recognized as soon as they are named.
Thus, when the nature of a whole and of a part is known, it is at once recognized that every whole is greater than its part.
So, if we speak of a car and we speak of a car's headlight, we right away know that the car is much bigger than the headlight because the headlight is a part of the car.  This is obvious to all.
But as soon as the signification of the word "God" is understood, it is at once seen that God exists. For by this word is signified that thing than which nothing greater can be conceived.
Everyone understands the word "God" to represent the being who is greater than anything which exists.  Therefore, God exists.
But that which exists actually and mentally is greater than that which exists only mentally.
 And that which exists in real life as well as in the mind is greater than that which exists only mentally.  (Compare this to the whole is greater than the part, above).
Therefore, since as soon as the word "God" is understood it exists mentally, it also follows that it exists actually. Therefore the proposition "God exists" is self-evident.
So, since, as soon as God exists in the mind, He also exists in reality, then it is obvious that God actually exists.
Objection 3. Further, the existence of truth is self-evident. For whoever denies the existence of truth grants that truth does not exist: and, if truth does not exist, then the proposition "Truth does not exist" is true: and if there is anything true, there must be truth. But God is truth itself: "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6) Therefore "God exists" is self-evident.
No one can deny that truth exists.  Because, if one claims that the idea"truth does not exist" is true, then it there is at least one truth. And truth does exist.  And since God is truth, as Scripture says, "I am the way, the truth and the life".  Then, it is obvious that God exists.

On the contrary, No one can mentally admit the opposite of what is self-evident; as the Philosopher(Metaph. iv, lect. vi) states concerning the first principles of demonstration. But the opposite of the proposition "God is" can be mentally admitted: "The fool said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 52:1). Therefore, that God exists is not self-evident.
 St.  Thomas argues against the idea that God's existence does not require proving.  Since atheists exist, he says,  and they deny the existence of God. That is proof that the existence of God is not obvious to all.
I answer that, A thing can be self-evident in either of two ways: on the one hand, self-evident in itself, though not to us; on the other, self-evident in itself, and to us.
Huh?  I think he means that something can be self evident to some, but not to others.  But, we'll keep reading.
A proposition is self-evident because the predicate is included in the essence of the subject, as "Man is an animal," for animal is contained in the essence of man. If, therefore the essence of the predicate and subject be known to all, the proposition will be self-evident to all; as is clear with regard to the first principles of demonstration, the terms of which are common things that no one is ignorant of, such as being and non-being, whole and part, and such like.
Some ideas are obvious.  For example.  If we say that "a dog is an animal".  Those who have seen dogs, know that dogs are animals before they are told.  So, this is obvious.
If, however, there are some to whom the essence of the predicate and subject is unknown,
But, if someone has had no experience with dogs.  That person would not know what you were talking about when you say, "dog".  Therefore, for them, this idea of "a dog is an animal" is not obvious, since they have never heard of a dog.
the proposition will be self-evident in itself, but not to those who do not know the meaning of the predicate and subject of the proposition.
So, if the person is ignorant of a subject, to that person, the notion being discussed is not obvious.  *

* We have an example of this with native Americans.  It is said that when they first saw horses, they assumed they were giant dogs.  Whereas, to a European, the idea of a horse being an equine was self evident, to a native American, it was not. 
Therefore, it happens, as Boethius says
Boethius is an early Church philosopher and martyr.
(Hebdom., the title of which is: "Whether all that is, is good"), "that there are some mental concepts self-evident only to the learned, as that incorporeal substances are not in space."
Now, this I understand.  Boethius says that some concepts are self-evident only to those who have studied the idea (the learned).
Therefore I say that this proposition, "God exists," of itself is self-evident,
So, then, to those who believe in God, the idea that God is real, is obvious.
for the predicate is the same as the subject, because God is His own existence as will be hereafter shown (3, 4).
??What the predicate and the subject have to do with it, I have no idea.
Now because we do not know the essence of God, the proposition is not self-evident to us; but needs to be demonstrated by things that are more known to us, though less known in their nature — namely, by effects.
Because God's nature can not be known by the human mind, it is only by studying His creation that we can come close to understanding the nature of God.  So, the existence of God is not obvious.
Reply to Objection 1. To know that God exists in a general and confused way is implanted in us by nature,
In general, men know that something exists which is greater than us.  But that is a vague idea of God.
 inasmuch as God is man's beatitude. For man naturally desires happiness, and what is naturally desired by man must be naturally known to him.    
But all men desire to be  happy.  And all men desire to know God because to know God is to be happy.
This, however, is not to know absolutely that God exists; just as to know that someone is approaching is not the same as to know that Peter is approaching, even though it is Peter who is approaching; for many there are who imagine that man's perfect good which is happiness, consists in riches, and others in pleasures, and others in something else.
But many people mistake creatures and comforts for the ultimate good which is God.
Reply to Objection 2. Perhaps not everyone who hears this word "God" understands it to signify something than which nothing greater can be thought, seeing that some have believed God to be a body.
Not everyone understands the significance of the word, "God".
Yet, granted that everyone understands that by this word "God" is signified something than which nothing greater can be thought, nevertheless, it does not therefore follow that he understands that what the word signifies exists actually, but only that it exists mentally.
Nor does everyone who understands the word, believe it signifies anything real.
Nor can it be argued that it actually exists, unless it be admitted that there actually exists something than which nothing greater can be thought; and this precisely is not admitted by those who hold that God does not exist.
And just because some believe that something exists, that is not proof of its existence.  That is why some do not believe that God exists.
Reply to Objection 3. The existence of truth in general is self-evident but the existence of a Primal Truth is not self-evident to us.
The fact that truth exists, is self evident.  But not all truths are self evident.

"Temporal punishments for sin", what does that mean?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Catholic Answers - Restoring Marriage Conference, San Diego,

Destination: San Diego
Marriage is fundamental to mankind. But it’s in serious trouble.

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Join us March 3-5, 2016 for the Catholic Answers Conference, Restoring Marriage Today, and find out how you can become part of the solution. 

Join special guests Bishop James Wall, Fr. Larry Richards, Dr. Ray Guarendi, and Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse along with Patrick Coffin, Tim Staples, Jimmy Akin, Trent Horn, and Christopher Check for the Catholic Answers 2016 Conference, Restoring Marriage Today, March 3-5, 2015 in San Diego, California.

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