Monday, May 1, 2017

True faith is accompanied by good works


Quote:
To have true faith is to be saved.
True. But who is the judge of true faith, you or God?

Quote:
Many Protestants use the language of salvation ("I am saved"; "Are you saved?") as a short hand for speaking of faith in Christ. To have faith in Christ is to be saved. True faith will be evidenced by a change in heart and life. From this conversion and growth in grace flows good works.
One difference. They claim faith ALONE saves. Whereas Scripture says differently.
Salvation is granted to them who OBEY Christ:

Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;  

But, one is not even justified by faith ALONE.

James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Much less is one saved by faith ALONE.
Quote:
It is also Protestant teaching.

That depends on the Protestant. There are some Protestants which hold the Catholic Teaching. But, for the most part, they deny the Catholic Teaching and call it blasphemous.

Quote: Faith alone. But what is true faith? What does it mean for someone to truly believe in Jesus. Well for starters, we will see a true conversion of heart and life growing out of that faith. If we do not see good works present in someone's life, we cannot say with confidence that their faith is genuine.
So Faith Alone. But a living faith. It must produce good fruit. "You shall know them by their fruit." So works follow faith. True faith will produce good works. Or to use the salvation terminology, a person who is really saved will do good works.
You contradict Scripture and Catholic doctrine and then confirm Scripture and Catholic doctrine in one fell swoop.

First, faith, if it is accompanied by the fruits it produces, is not alone. That confirms the Catholic doctrine and the Scripture.

Second, true faith produces good works and salvation follows. Here it is, in Scripture:

James 2:14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

The implication is obvious. Faith, without works, faith unaccompanied by works, faith alone, can not save. Period. The end.

Whereas, faith which produces good works, does save. You have said so. That is the Catholic Teaching.

Quote: But we already have "CONFIRMATION" by God that he hears "the repentant sinner and washed away their sin." We have this confirmation by warrant of Scripture: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) What other confirmation is needed?
Are you making an entire theology out of one verse? Scripture tells you what else is needed. Baptism (Mark 16:16). And after, Confession (Heb 13:17) and throughout your life, good works (Matt 25:31-46). Do you take one verse and discard the rest of the Gospel?

Why? That is why you need the Church. The Church understands the Word of God and explains it infallibly to all:

Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Sincerely,

De Maria

Monday, April 17, 2017

Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God



After many well thought out discussions about the events on Holy Week, a Protestant objects:
There is no Biblical basis for two separate killings of two different lives (of the lamb and of Jesus) being one sacrifice.

Seriously?

Do you have any evidence from the early Church Fathers of this non-Biblical notion?

After all those well thought out postings of the Holy Week timeline, I can hardly believe that you say such a thing. But, ....

Ok. Let's go back to the Old Testament.

On Mt. Moriah, which would later be known as Golgotha, a father sacrificed his son in accordance with God's will.  

Genesis 22
And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. ...


The son carried the wood for his execution, up the hill.

6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; ....

The son asked a question which was given a prophetic answer:

7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

Just when Fr. Abraham was about to give up his son's life:

11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.


And the lamb of God was provided for the sacrifice:

13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

This was the first foreshadowing of the Lamb of God's sacrifice on Golgotha.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Fast forward to the Passover where God said:

Exodus 12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:....43 And the Lord said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:

44 But every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.

45 A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof.

46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.


Scripture ties this back to:

John 19:33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:

34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.


The confirmation that the Apostles understood that Jesus is the Lamb of God who was sacrificed for our Christian Passover are in these words:

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:

That also links the sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God, to the unleavened bread of the Eucharist. As well as these words:

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

But that's another lesson. Suffice to say, Jesus is the Lamb of God who offered His life for the salvation of the world. Since Jesus is God, only His life would suffice:

Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

Does that help?

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Passover is the Mass

Where in Scripture do we find the passover becomes the Mass?

Here.

Matthew 26:
16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?
18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.

Note that Jesus prepares the disciples for a Passover. But this is what He says during that Passover:
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

That, of course, is a description of the Eucharistic meal.  The very same meal we receive at every Mass.

Jesus prepared the disciples for a Passover. But during that Passover, celebrated the Mass. St. Paul obviously understands this:

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:


The True Meaning of Easter

Monday, March 20, 2017

Question on the final judgement



 I've heard that at the Final Judgment, each soul has to make account of his sins.
According to Scripture:

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

The Catechism says:

1039 In the presence of Christ, who is Truth itself, the truth of each man's relationship with God will be laid bare.626 The Last Judgment will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life:

All that the wicked do is recorded, and they do not know. When "our God comes, he does not keep silence.". . . he will turn towards those at his left hand: . . . "I placed my poor little ones on earth for you. I as their head was seated in heaven at the right hand of my Father - but on earth my members were suffering, my members on earth were in need. If you gave anything to my members, what you gave would reach their Head. Would that you had known that my little ones were in need when I placed them on earth for you and appointed them your stewards to bring your good works into my treasury. But you have placed nothing in their hands; therefore you have found nothing in my presence."

What about the sins we confessed in the Sacrament of Confession?  Aren't they forgiven and forgotten?  
Yes. They are forgiven and forgotten before you get to the Judgment Seat. But not before Final Purification. Let me back up.

They are forgiven. But there remains a price to pay for the "temporal consequence" of the sin.

Baptism washes away sin. There is nothing that remains of sin when one is baptized. No temporal consequence. Even Original Sin is washed away. Nothing remains. If a person dies right after Baptism, without having committed any other sins. He will have a clean slate when he appears before the Judgment Seat.

Confession is different. If a man is baptized and then commits sin again, as most of us do. He must return to the fountain of grace, the Sacrament of Confession and ask forgiveness. The sin is forgiven, if the man is sincere. But, there remains a "temporal consequence" which must be atoned by suffering or by doing good deeds.

For me, the best illustration of this concept is in the Bible, when King David had an adulterous affair with Bathsheba and murdered her husband. God sent the Prophet Nathan to visit him and the story goes like this:

2 Samuel 12:
Nathan's Parable.  1 The Lord sent Nathan to David, and when he came to him, he said: “Tell me how you judge this case: In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor. 2 The rich man had flocks and herds in great numbers. 3 But the poor man had nothing at all except one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children. Of what little he had she ate; from his own cup she drank; in his bosom she slept; she was like a daughter to him. 4 Now, a visitor came to the rich man, but he spared his own flocks and herds to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him: he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” 5 David grew very angry with that man and said to Nathan: “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves death! 6 He shall make fourfold restitution for the lamb because he has done this and was unsparing.” 7 Then Nathan said to David: “You are the man!

Nathan’s Indictment. “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel. I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave you your lord’s house and your lord’s wives for your own. I gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were not enough, I could count up for you still more. 9 Why have you despised the Lord and done what is evil in his sight? You have cut down Uriah the Hittite with the sword; his wife you took as your own, and him you killed with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. 11 Thus says the Lord: I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives before your very eyes, and will give them to your neighbor: he shall lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You have acted in secret, but I will do this in the presence of all Israel, in the presence of the sun itself.”

David’s Repentance. 13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan answered David: “For his part, the Lord has removed your sin. You shall not die, 14 but since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you will surely die.” 15 Then Nathan returned to his house.

Notice that God forgave King David. But read the underlined words. All those punishments came to pass. If you read on, you will see that David's own son tried to kill him, chased him out of the Kingdom and slept with David's wives on the roof of his house so that all of Israel could witness it. Not only that, but his children went to war with one another and his Kingdom was divided.

God forgave David, yet David had to pay for the "temporal" consequences of his sins.

We also must pay. God was kind enough to send His only begotten Son to die for our sins upon the Cross. Thus, we were washed of those sins in Baptism.  He made us Priests, Prophets and Kings.  And God then made us part of His household. God made us His own children. But then we chose to sin again. For His part, God forgives us, if we repent. But, we must pay for the temporal consequence of these sins, ourselves.

If we haven't paid for them before we die, we will be cleansed of them in Purgatory. The Final Purification.

Now, when we appear before the Judgment Seat. Our sins, which we confessed in the Sacraments, are forgiven and forgotten.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Answering an anti-Catholic's questions about Mary

Annunciation

Anti-Catholic asked:
Where do we see anything in their writings of any mention of her by name? Where do we see any of them exhorting believers to pray to her?

Have you read in Scripture that Jesus is our example?

1 Corinthians 11:1
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ. Therefore, as her Child, Jesus had to ask Mary for comfort, nourishment and protection from the elements. He is our example. Therefore we do the same.

Now, most Protestants say, "She was His mother, not ours." But you are mistaken. Jesus appointed Mary our mother. That is plain in Scripture. To be more precise, Jesus appointed Mary the mother of all whom He loves and all who love Him.

First:
John 19:26-28
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. 28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

Catholics are taught to read Scripture as though God was speaking to us. Now, are you a beloved disciple of Christ? To put it differently, are you a disciple whom Jesus loves?

Catholics would answer, "Yes" to that question and therefore accept Jesus command to take Mary as our mother and bring her into our home (i.e. heart).

For the second part of this explanation, you need to be aware of other verses in Scripture.
Genesis 3:15
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

The seed of the Woman is not just Jesus. Let me show you:
Revelation 12:17
17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Do you consider yourself someone who keeps the Commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus? If so, then you are seed or a child of the Woman. That Woman is Mary. And therefore, Scripture says that all who fight the good fight on behalf of God in Christ, are children of Mary.

God appointed Mary our spiritual mother. Jesus gave Mary to the disciples whom He loves. Therefore, as any good children, we ask our mother for that which Our heavenly Father provides us through her.

Sincerely,

De Maria