Monday, September 24, 2018

THE Divine Sacrifice

On his own blog, Jesse claimed that the Eucharist is a re-sacrificing of Christ because it is offered repeatedly.

You said, The Eucharist is called a divine sacrifice (CCC, 1068),

Get it right.  It's called THE Divine Sacrifice.

1068 It is this mystery of Christ that the Church proclaims and celebrates in her liturgy so that the faithful may live from it and bear witness to it in the world:
For it is in the liturgy, especially in THE divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, that "the work of our redemption is accomplished," and it is through the liturgy especially that the faithful are enabled to express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church.

 and is done repeatedly.

It's offered repeatedly.  But Jesus Christ did His part only once.  What was His part?  He sacrificed Himself upon the Cross.

Have you never wondered why Scripture calls Jesus, the Lamb of God?  By the way, Protestants claim to wash themselves in the Blood of Christ.  Where do they get that Precious Blood?  They can't and don't.  But Catholics are washed in the Precious Blood of Christ every time we partake of the Eucharist.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Catholic and Protestant presuppositions are different

So, then, it is paramount to discover which presupposition is true. Does that sound logical?
My fellow Catholics can correct me if I’m wrong. But I believe the Catholic Church teaches us the following.
1. Jesus Christ did not write any Scripture.
2. Jesus Christ established a Church.
3. Jesus Christ commanded the Church to teach all which He commanded.
Do you deny any of these three?
Those are the basis of our presupposition which can be found in CCC #113 2. Read the Scripture within “the living Tradition of the whole Church”. According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church’s heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (“. . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church”).
We can also see this presupposition confirmed in Scripture and how the Apostles applied it:
Matthew 28:19-20
King James Version (KJV)
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Luke 24:44-46
44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
Acts 17:1-3
1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
So, to summarize, we believe that Jesus Christ established a Church and commanded that Church to pass on His Sacred Tradition. That Sacred Tradition includes the knowledge that the Old Testament Scriptures reveal Christ. In other words, the Sacred Tradition of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament in the sense that it contains and explains how Jesus Christ fulfilled the prophecies.
But that is not all. Sacred Tradition is the basis of the New Testament. Jesus Christ did not write it. His followers wrote it based upon His life, deeds and Teachings.
Therefore, one must know and understand Sacred Tradition in order to understand the Scriptures. And since the Church is the one which has maintained these Sacred Traditions, she is the one which best understands the Scriptures.

Basically, Protestants deny all of this.  They cast aside the authority of the Church, they cast aside the authority of Sacred Tradition.  They claim that all their authority is derived by their personal understanding of the Bible, in spite of the fact that the Bible nowhere authorizes such an attitude.

What say you?

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Every one of the Sacraments is a bestowal and effusion of divine grace


I’m a latecomer to the discussion, but I saw the term, “Catholic point of view” bandied back and forth and the only point of view I saw was justification by faith and works ascribed to the Catholic paradigm..
Whereas, Trent says:
Trent VI
CHAPTER VIII
HOW THE GRATUITOUS JUSTIFICATION OF THE SINNER BY FAITH IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD
But when the Apostle says that man is justified by faith and freely,[44] these words are to be understood in that sense in which the uninterrupted unanimity of the Catholic Church has held and expressed them, namely, that we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, without which it is impossible to please God[45] and to come to the fellowship of His sons; and we are therefore said to be justified gratuitously, because none of those things that precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace of justification.
For, if by grace, it is not now by works, otherwise, as the Apostle says, grace is no more grace.[46]
we are therefore said to be justified gratuitously, because none of those things that precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace of justification.
Therefore, the Catholic paradigm is twofold.
We inherited the Justification by faith and works from the Jews. Wherein, those who keep the Commandments are forensically justified by God at the Judgment Seat. We must all stand before that seat where we will be judged according to our works.
But Jesus Christ has received and established a New Dispensation, wherein we are now justified by our faith apart from any works, in the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. Especially and primarily in the Sacrament of Baptism.
However, everyone of the Sacraments is a bestowal and effusion of divine grace which washes away our sins and unites us to God. And we present ourselves to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to the extent of our faith as long as we put no obstacles in the way of God’s outpouring of grace in our soul.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Luther’s sin was not in saying, “faith alone”.

With all due respect to PF, I think he missed the point.

Like the Council of Trent, PF sets out to compare Martin Luther's doctrine of faith alone with St. Paul's Doctrine of faith apart from works of the law.  Unlike Trent, however, he then compares Martin Luther's doctrine of faith alone with St. Paul's doctrine of justification by faith, hope and charity (probably because it agrees with St. James' justification by faith and works).

I know, I know.  You're asking, "And that is wrong, why?"

It is because Martin Luther's error does not lie in that he used the terminology, "faith alone" when talking about St. Paul's doctrine of justification.  It is because he denied the validity of the doctrine of justification by faith and works.   They are both correct.  We can look through the annals of Catholic history and find many Catholic Fathers who used the terminology "faith alone" in terms of justification, long before Martin Luther.  But none of them denied justification by faith and works.  This is where, in my opinion,  PF missed the point.  Do you see?

Let me try to explain a different way.

St. Paul’s teaching is precisely the teaching of the Catholic Church which is so beautifully expounded in the documents of the Council of Trent.

Lets go back.
1. The Council of Trent was gathered, in part, to respond to Luther’s errors. One of those errors was the doctrine of justification by faith alone. I think everyone here would agree with me on this point, right?
2. Luther’s doctrine of faith alone is based primarily upon a misunderstanding of St. Paul’s teaching that we are justified by faith without the deeds of the law (Rom 3:28). That is, in fact, why he added the word “alone” to that verse. I think the Catholics here would agree with me on that point also, right?

Notice that the Council did not respond by juxtaposing St. James teaching of justification by faith and works against St. Paul’s teaching. No. Its almost as though they forgot all about it. But they didn’t. They merely ignored it, initially. They realized that St. Paul was not here reiterating St. Jame’s teaching, which is also a valid teaching. The Council focused upon justification which occurs in Baptism (Trent 6, Ch. IV).

Why?

Because they realized that St. Paul was not talking about justification by faith and works, but about justification that occurs in the Sacraments. The washing of regeneration of the Holy Spirit. Here is the teaching of the Catechism on the Sacraments:

740 These “mighty works of God,” offered to believers in the sacraments of the Church, bear their fruit in the new life in Christ, according to the Spirit. (This will be the topic of Part Three.)

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 why later, the Council also says:
CHAPTER VII
IN WHAT THE JUSTIFICATION OF THE SINNER CONSISTS, AND WHAT ARE ITS CAUSES
This disposition or preparation is followed by justification itself, which is not only a remission of sins but also the sanctification and renewal of the inward man through the voluntary reception of the grace and gifts whereby an unjust man becomes just and from being an enemy becomes a friend, that he may be an heir according to hope of life everlasting.[30]
The causes of this justification are:
the final cause is the glory of God and of Christ and life everlasting; the efficient cause is the merciful God who washes and sanctifies[31] gratuitously, signing and anointing with the holy Spirit of promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance,[32] the meritorious cause is His most beloved only begotten, our Lord Jesus Christ, who, when we were enemies,[33] for the exceeding charity wherewith he loved us,[34] merited for us justification by His most holy passion on the wood of the cross and made satisfaction for us to God the Father, the instrumental cause is the sacrament of baptism, which is the sacrament of faith,[35] without which no man was ever justified finally, the single formal cause is the justice of God, not that by which He Himself is just, but that by which He makes us just, ….

Luther’s sin was not in saying, “faith alone”. Many Catholics before him used that terminology, but they used it correctly. Realizing that we are justified by God in the Sacraments. Not by any work in our part.

Luther’s error was confusing the justification which occurs in the Sacraments by faith apart from works, with the forensic justification by faith and works to which we will all be subject when we stand before the Judgment seat of Christ. He concluded, in error, that the new dispensation of Jesus Christ, by grace, eliminated the need to keep the Commandments in order to be just in the eyes of God. I know its a bit more complicated than that, but that is the way I summarize it.

However, that is not what St. Paul meant as we can see, since he teaches that only they who do the law will be justified (Rom 2:13). He understands that God only sheds His mercy upon the righteous (Ex 20:6; Tit 3:5; Rev 22:12-15).

To summarize.
St. Paul is right.  In the Sacraments, we are not justified by our works, in the Sacraments. This is what, in my opinion,  St. Paul meant, the faithful man is justified by the mercy of God in the washing of regeneration which is the Sacrament of Baptism (Titus 3:5; Trent VI, Ch. VIII).

Martin Luther is wrong.  We are justified by faith and works, when we meet our Maker at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Rev 22:12-15; St. James 2:24; Trent VI, Chapter X).

Sunday, September 2, 2018

For those who converted to Roman Catholicism, how did you test the veracity of the Marian dogmas?



Lolo asks:

For those who converted to Roman Catholicism, how did you test the veracity of the Marian dogmas?
I'm a revert from atheism. I became convinced of the truth of the Marian Dogmas in two ways.

1st. I was first convinced of the Doctrine of the Mother of God. I did not even consult Scripture for that one. I used what I later learned was Luther's syllogism.

Mary is the Mother of Jesus.
Jesus is God.
Therefore, Mary is the Mother of God.

Later, I noticed that although the terms, Assumption and Queen of Heaven are not used explicitly in reference to Mary, she is described as being in heaven and wearing a crown of twelve stars in Rev 12:1.

Revelation 12:1
King James Version (KJV)
1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

Then someone pointed out to me that one verse earlier St. John described seeing the Ark of the Covenant, but suddenly he started speaking about a Woman in heaven. This, of course, relates to the Doctrine of the Ark of the New Covenant:

Revelation 11:19
King James Version (KJV)
19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Then, I noticed that Rev 12:17, speaks of Mary as mother of all who keep the Commandments and hold the Testimony of Christ:
Revelation 12:17
King James Version (KJV)
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.

As I studied Scripture further, I noticed that the Word of God speaks of her in the highest praise. 

Luke 1:26-28King James Version (KJV)
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.


Let's break this down:
ANGEL GABRIEL
1. an angel is a messenger of God. That is what the word, angel, means.
2. this angel, Gabriel, is one of the four angels that stands before the throne of God.


WAS SENT FROM GOD
1. God sent this angel to Mary.
2. Since this angel is a messenger of God's, God sent Him to deliver a message.
3. Therefore, the angel was not speaking on his own, but was communicating God's message to Mary.
4. If we skip down to verse 28, we see that this was a message of praise (i.e. blessed art thou).
5. Therefore God praised Mary through His Angel.


That is great praise indeed. Do you know of any man whose praise is worth more than God's? In other words, what do you value more highly, the praise of man or the praise of God?
But, there's more. God sent the Angel to do His Will. What is His Will. Obviously, God sent the Angel to deliver a message of praise. Therefore it is God's will that the Angels praise Mary.


And there's yet more. Because the Holy Spirit inspired a holy woman to exclaim, ""Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! "
still in:
Luke 1:41-45
King James Version (KJV)
41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
Should we break this down?
1. The Holy Spirit is God the Third Person of the Holy Trinity.
2. Therefore, God inspired Elisabeth to praise Mary.
3. This praise is inscribed in the Word of God for all generations.
4. Since Elisabeth is a member of the human race, then it is safe to conclude that God wills that men praise Mary.
5. And we find, again, that God praised Mary through His Saint. Saint Elisabeth praised Mary when she was inspired by the Holy Spirit to do so. That means that it is the Holy Spirit's praise which she passed on. That is why Scripture is called the Word of God. Because it is inspired by the Holy Spirit.


Need we say more? Let's do it anyway.
Mother of God
Luke 1:43-45
New International Version (NIV)
43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” 

Lets break this down:
1. The word "Lord" is here mentioned two times.
2. In the second instance, it is an obvious reference to God. "Blessed is she who believes that the LORD would fulfill His promises." That is an obvious reference to God.
3. Therefore, then, what could she possibly have meant when she said, "mother of my LORD"?
4. Since she was inspired by the Holy Spirit to utter these words, she must have meant what is most obvious. Is Jesus, God? Yes. Therefore, the words she uttered could also be translated, "mother of my GOD".
5. So, God explicitly teaches us, in His Word, that Mary is the Mother of God.


Is there any higher praise than that?


And so, I became convinced by the reading of Scripture, that all the Catholic Dogmas about Mary are true.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Saturday, September 1, 2018

God is the authority over the Catholic Church.



Hi Jonathan,
I’m responding to your comment #97.
I left out most of the discussion and only addressed the point of authority because the rest seemed to be about ad hominems. I didn’t see any point in entering that part of the discussion. Perhaps you and I can come to a better understanding.
You said on
March 9th, 2013 3:27 am 
I must admit, I on’t think I could have possibly asked for a better response to my posts….. We’re talking about what is the ultimate standard, and as such, there can only possibly be circular reasoning on the issue! I will freely admit that I start with God and his word as my foundation, and I end with God and his word as my foundation. Completely circular, and happily accepted as such.
I’ll have to challenge you on two points you made there.
1. That appealing to an ultimate standard must be by way of circular reasoning.
There is more than one way to appeal to an ultimate authority.
a. The Protestant methodology is circular. It is me and my Bible. If a Protestant is asked a question, the answer is invariably, “The Bible tells me so.”
b. Whereas Catholic methodology is many and varied. It can be circular, inductive or deductive, depending upon the situation.
i. Circular reasoning is not necessarily wrong. It is simply not persuasive when it is the only type of reasoning employed.
ii. Inductive reasoning is reasoning from the specific to the general.
iii. While deductive reasoning is reasoning from the general to the specific.
The Catholic methodology is more robust and persuasive than the Protestant methodology because we don’t rely upon Scripture alone. But upon Sacred Tradition, Scripture and Magisterium.
So, to contrast the Catholic situation with the Protestant. A Protestant will say, “the Bible tells me so.” Whereas a Catholic will say, “The Bible tells me so and that is confirmed in Sacred Tradition and in the Teaching of the Church (Magisterium). In addition, the Catholic methodology also admits historical and archaeological evidence. In fact, all branches of science are admissible in the Catholic court.
2. That you begin with God and his word as your foundation, and end with God and his word as your foundation.
In practice, you don’t. You begin with your own understanding and end with your own understanding as your foundation. That is why Protestants accuse Catholics of checking their brain at the door of the Catholic Church.
Let’s compare the Protestant and Catholic methodology again.
Say two Christians have a dispute upon what it says in Scripture. If they are Protestant, they debate. If neither is persuaded by the other, they simply go their way.
If two Catholics dispute about Scripture, they go to the Church for an authoritative decision. The Church tells them which is right and which is wrong. This is confirmed historically. See the debates between St. Athanasius vs Arius; and St. Augustine vs the Pelagians.
You also said:
As I mentioned last time, the Roman Catholic Church states that it’s ultimate authority is God. But in actuality, it is not God, but the Roman Catholic Church itself. So I’m starting to see that this is what I need to show my Roman Catholic friend – the Roman Catholic Church makes a subtle authority swap and slips itself into the place of God as the ultimate authority. Hopefully, he’ll be able to see it, and hopefully some of your comments here will help him. They really are quite good at exposing the ultimacy of the Roman Catholic Church in its own beliefs.
I’ll have to dispute that one also.
The authority over the Catholic Church is God. Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church and Jesus Christ is God. And it is Jesus Christ who empowered the Catholic Church to be the authority over His flock.
This is based upon the principle established by Jesus Christ:
Luke 10:16
King James Version (KJV)
16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
Jesus Christ was sent by the Father:
John 20:21-23
King James Version (KJV)
21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me,…
And He sent the Church:
… even so send I you.
Again, Jesus was sent by the Father:
Matthew 28:18-20
King James Version (KJV)
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
And He sent the Church.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
And that Church is the Catholic Church.
Sincerely,
De Maria

Friday, August 24, 2018

St. Paul was talking about the Sacraments


  1. St. Paul’s teaching is precisely the teaching of the Catholic Church which is so beautifully expounded in the documents of the Council of Trent.
    Lets go back.
    1. The Council of Trent was gathered, in part, to respond to Luther’s errors. One of those errors was the doctrine of justification by faith alone. I think everyone here would agree with me on this point, right?
    2. Luther’s doctrine of faith alone is based primarily upon a misunderstanding of St. Paul’s teaching that we are justified by faith without the deeds of the law (Rom 3:28). That is, in fact, why he added the word “alone” to that verse. I think the Catholics here would agree with me on that point also, right?
    Notice that the Council did not respond by juxtaposing St. James teaching of justification by faith and works against St. Paul’s teaching. No. Its almost as though they forgot all about it. But they didn’t. They merely ignored it. They realized that St. Paul was not here reiterating St. Jame’s teaching, which is also a valid teaching. The Council focused upon justification which occurs in Baptism (Trent 6, Ch. IV).
    Why?
    Because they realized that St. Paul was not talking about justification by faith and works, but about justification that occurs in the Sacraments. The washing of regeneration of the Holy Spirit. Here is the teaching of the Catechism on the Sacraments:
    740 These “mighty works of God,” offered to believers in the sacraments of the Church, bear their fruit in the new life in Christ, according to the Spirit. (This will be the topic of Part Three.)
    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 why later, the Council also says:
    CHAPTER VII
    IN WHAT THE JUSTIFICATION OF THE SINNER CONSISTS, AND WHAT ARE ITS CAUSES
    This disposition or preparation is followed by justification itself, which is not only a remission of sins but also the sanctification and renewal of the inward man through the voluntary reception of the grace and gifts whereby an unjust man becomes just and from being an enemy becomes a friend, that he may be an heir according to hope of life everlasting.[30]
    The causes of this justification are:
    the final cause is the glory of God and of Christ and life everlasting; the efficient cause is the merciful God who washes and sanctifies[31] gratuitously, signing and anointing with the holy Spirit of promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance,[32] the meritorious cause is His most beloved only begotten, our Lord Jesus Christ, who, when we were enemies,[33] for the exceeding charity wherewith he loved us,[34] merited for us justification by His most holy passion on the wood of the cross and made satisfaction for us to God the Father, the instrumental cause is the sacrament of baptism, which is the sacrament of faith,[35] without which no man was ever justified finally, the single formal cause is the justice of God, not that by which He Himself is just, but that by which He makes us just, ….
    Luther’s sin was not in saying, “faith alone”. Many Catholics before him used that terminology, but they used it correctly. Realizing that we are justified by God in the Sacraments. Not by any work in our part.

    Luther’s error was confusing the justification which occurs in the Sacraments by faith apart from works, with the forensic justification by faith and works to which we will all be subject when we stand before the Judgment seat of Christ. He concluded that the new dispensation of Jesus Christ, by grace, eliminated the need to keep the Commandments in order to be just in the eyes of God.

    I know its a bit more complicated than that, but that is the way I summarize it.

    However, faith alone is not what St. Paul meant.  Since he teaches that only they who do the law will be justified (Rom 2:13). He understands that God only sheds His mercy upon the righteous, folks (Ex 20:6; Tit 3:5; Rev 22:12-15).

     To summarize. St. Paul is right. We are not justified by our works. This is what St. Paul meant. The faithful man, who does righteous works, is justified by the mercy of God in the washing of regeneration which is the Sacrament of Baptism (Titus 3:5; Trent VI, Ch. VIII).

    Those who do not do righteous works in accordance with God's will, are not included in the formula for salvation.  They are in the group headed for condemnation (Matt 25:31-46).

     Sincerely, De Maria