Sunday, November 30, 2014

Work out your salvation in fear and trembling

So you work for your salvation?

What does Scripture say?
 Philippians 2:12 King James Version (KJV) 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.

Sincerely, De Maria

Saturday, November 29, 2014

First Sunday of Advent - November 30, 2014

USCCB »  Bible »  Daily Readings

November 30, 2014
Lectionary: 2 year B
Reading 1 IS 63:16B-17, 19B; 64:2-7

A reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah.  This reading is in the context of the Babylonian exile.  The Jews were captured and taken away from their homes.  Only a remnant remained in Jerusalem.  The rest were living in captivity in far away lands.  God permitted this because of their disobedience.  It was a result of the curses which God proclaimed in the very beginning, in the book of Deuteronomy in the "Punishment for idolatry".
You, LORD, are our father, 
God is our Father, because He is the creator of all things.
our redeemer you are named forever.
Our redeemer is a reference to the Messiah, who will pay for the sins of mankind and unite us to God.
Why do you let us wander, O LORD, from your ways,
and harden our hearts so that we fear you not?
The answer to this question is, because they are rebellious and do not obey.  It is the consequence of their rebellion.
Return for the sake of your servants,
the tribes of your heritage.
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
with the mountains quaking before you,
while you wrought awesome deeds we could not hope for,
such as they had not heard of from of old.
No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you
doing such deeds for those who wait for him.
This is a reference to the Exodus, when God saved Israel from Egypt. 
Would that you might meet us doing right,
that we were mindful of you in our ways!
Isaiah is interceding for the people of Israel.  He is crying out for forgiveness and mercy.  This is very important because Isaiah is a righteous man and it is to the righteous that God pays heed.
Behold, you are angry, and we are sinful;
all of us have become like unclean people,
all our good deeds are like polluted rags;
we have all withered like leaves,
and our guilt carries us away like the wind.
There is none who calls upon your name,
who rouses himself to cling to you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and have delivered us up to our guilt.
Yet, O LORD, you are our father;
we are the clay and you the potter:
we are all the work of your hands.
Isaiah is trusting in the mercy of God.  He knows that the people of Israel are "anawim", they are "poor in spirit" and can offer God nothing but their repentance and sorrow for their sins.

Responsorial Psalm PS 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
R/ (4) Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
We have seen the face of God in Jesus Christ, our Saviour.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
from your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
A reference to the Ark of the Covenant.  Two angels, or cherubim, were carved upon it on either side of the Mercy Seat.
Rouse your power,
and come to save us.
The Psalmist,  King David, calls for God to come and save the nation.
R/ Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Like Isaiah, the Psalmist admits that without God's grace, we can do nothing good.
R/ Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
May your help be with the man of your right hand,
with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name.
R/ Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
And this final stanza recognizes the coming of the Son of Man, which is euphemism for the Messiah, Jesus Christ, our Saviour.

Reading 2 1 COR 1:3-9

The 2nd reading is from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.
Brothers and sisters:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
He begins with a blessing which hearkens back to the Gospels. 
I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
This is a reference to his prior visit and to the initiation of many of them into the Christian faith.
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is a reference to their having received the Sacrament of Confirmation and thus having received the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
He will keep you firm to the end,
irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
This is not a proclamation of absolute salvation.  Although that is how it sounds.  It is a proclamation of the hope we have in Jesus Christ.  There are many other texts where St. Paul speaks of the assurance of hope in our salvation.

Alleluia PS 85:8
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Show us Lord, your love;
and grant us your salvation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Alleluia means "God be praised".  And in this prayer, we are calling for that which God has already shown us in His Son.  His love and His salvation.

Gospel MK 13:33-37
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
Christ warns His disciples to work out their salvation in fear and trembling.
You do not know when the time will come.
You don't know when you will die.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Nor do you know when the Son of man will come back.
Watch, therefore;
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
Therefore, be prepared.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”
All of us must be aware of this.  Not just our priests or rulers in the Church.  We must all be conscious of our actions and do the will of God.  Because we don't know when He will call us home.

Are you saved?

I don’t know. I don’t judge myself. Scripture says that Christ is my Judge.
1 Corinthians 4:
2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

Very simple. Faith alone is dead.

That does not say that one is saved by works does it?
Nope. But it does say that if one does not work, he will not be saved.
It is describing the work of the SHEEP.  The Sheep were not ever GOATS. the Goats never behaved like sheep  This was a judgment of rewards , not salvation .
The terms Sheep and Goats are metaphorical. They represent the behaviour of the two.

The Sheep represent those individuals who, having faith in Christ, express their faith in works of corporal mercy.

The Goats represent those who claim to have faith in Christ, note that they call Him Lord, but their lack of works betrays their lack of faith.

Mat 16:27"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."
Note that it says, "every man". Not simply "every believer".

Luke 14:14"For thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just."
Excellent quote. Did you read the rest?
12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

Its about feeding the poor. If you feed the poor, God will recompense you. Its not about faith alone. Its not about sitting around saying, "OH, I'm so holy, I know I'm saved because I believe."

(Rev 22:12)"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."
Beautiful! Now read the rest:
Revelation 22:13-15
King James Version (KJV)13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Note that those who do not keep the Commandments are not permitted in the city and may not eat of the Tree of Life. And they are classified amongst the dogs and idolaters.

1Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."
Now read the rest:
1 Peter 5
King James Version (KJV)The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock.And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Note that it is those Pastors who have given good example and fed the flock of God who will be judged worthy to receive the crown of glory.

Keep reading. He also calls the laity to be subordinate and to endure suffering for the faith in order that they may be saved:

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

The Goats are condemned , not because they did not work, but because they had never repented and believed
The fact that they did not work is the evidence of their lack of faith. THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT.

Jesus doesn't say, "41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:42 For Ispoke and ye did not believe." No! Jesus said:

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

They didn't do the corporal works of mercy for their fellow man, therefore they were condemned to hell.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Very good. Note that the verse does not say, "there is no condemnation for those who claim to have faith alone." We must walk after the Spirit, which means, we must keep the Law of God:
Romans 8
King James Version (KJV)There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
This is speaking of the Sacraments. It is in the Sacraments that those who keep the Commandments of God are saved APART FROM THEIR WORKS. 

Mark 16:16
King James Version (KJV)16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

If we believe that God can save us through the Sacraments, we are saved. If we don't, we are condemned.

[b]They were not sheep because they did the work that God had ordained for them, they did the work because they were the sheep
That works for me. Either way, it is by faith and works that we are saved. Not by faith alone. Goats live by faith alone.

Gal. 2:16: "[T]hat we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified
Absolutely! But note that the Sheep were not saved by their works. They were saved by God because they were sheep. Because they obeyed Him did the works which He commanded.

Goats refuse to do the works which God commands. Goats live by faith alone.

Here Jesus teaching on salvation by works
Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Very good. A good tree brings forth good fruit. Faith alone brings about no fruit, therefore that tree is evil.

Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Absolutely! Note how the good tree works and it is by their works that the good one is distinguished from the bad one.

Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Faith alone is here described. Anyone who claims to have faith alone is hewn down since they produce no good fruit.

Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Still good. The good tree works and it is by their works that the good one is distinguished from the bad one.

Mat 7:21 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.
Great! Note how this obliterates faith alone. Just because some calls Jesus, Lord, does not mean that He recognizes that person. Just because someone claims faith alone, doesn't mean that Jesus recognizes that person.

Mat 7:22[b] 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?
Still true. It is God who judges our works. That means you as well. Look at the next line. You claim that judgement of works is just for rewards. But judgement of works is for eternal salvation or damnation.

Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Thanks for providing this verse. You have just disproved your own assumptions.

A good tree brings forth good fruit , that is fruit that is attached to the vine.
Absolutely! For without Christ we can do nothing. That is the entire point of good works. Those who don't do them are not attached to the vine. Faith alone is dead.

If it is not attached to the vine it bears no good fruit and it is thrown into the fire.
Wonderful! You are arguing my case better than I could myself. No good works, thrown into the fire.

But you say, isn't feeding the hungry and clothing the naked good work?
Perhaps it is you asking that question. I know those are good works which Jesus requires of us.

Jesus qualified that answer here is what HE said
A corrupt tree ( not attached to the vine can not do work that is pleasing to him, even if done in HIS name)
Lol! Where does that say that feeding the hungry and clothing the naked is not a good work? You are reading your false teachings into Scripture.

A good tree ( a sheep, a saved man) can not bring forth bad fruit.
Absolutely! Because it is God working through that tree.

He says the sheep were ministering to HIM as they ministered. The goats did not.
Very good. The goats did not do the works of God therefore they are condemned.

So the sheep did God pleasing work not to be saved, but because they were already His sheep ( saved) .
Lol! You really are persuaded by the false doctrines of the Protestants aren't you?

Lets look at what Scripture says. Were the sheep saved before they even did the work pleasing to God or only after they did the work pleasing to God?

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Read it carefully. Jesus says that they will inherit the Kingdom of God because they did the works of corporal mercy. He did not say, "because of your faith alone."

Lets continue:

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Note how Jesus is rewarding what they DID. Not what they claimed to believe.

Lets continue:
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

And these are sent to everlasting fire, not because they did not claim to believe. But because they did not do the corporal works of mercy for their fellow men.

Very simple. Faith alone is dead. You need to DO the will of the Father in order to be saved BY GOD. Not by your works.

You do the works of corporal mercy. God has mercy on you.
You refuse to do the works of corporal mercy. God will refuse to have mercy upon you.

Very simple.


De Maria

Friday, November 28, 2014

Dr. Thomas Howard Conversion

7 QT's on Santa Claus

When I was young,  no one taught me of the relationship between Santa and the Catholic Church.

I had a vague understanding that he was a Saint because of the title, "Santa" which means Saint in Spanish.  My wife had a similar experience, so, in order to remedy that problem for our children, we made sure to associate the Santa in popular culture to the true Santa, Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra.

A prayer to Santa Claus (i.e. Saint Nicholas)

A Prayer to Saint Nicholas

Glorious St. Nicholas, my special patron, from thy throne in glory, where thou dost enjoy the presence of God, turn thine eyes in pity upon me and obtain for me from our Lord the graces and helps that I need in my spiritual and temporal necessities and especially this favor, provided that it be profitable to my salvation. Be mindful, likewise, O glorious and saintly Bishop, of our Sovereign Pontiff, of Holy Church, and of all Christian people. Bring back to the right way of salvation all those who are living steeped in sin and blinded by the darkness of ignorance, error, and heresy. Comfort the afflicted, provide for the needy, strengthen the fearful, defend the oppressed, give health to the infirm; cause all men to experience the effects of thy powerful intercession with the supreme Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V. Pray for us, O blessed Nicholas.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

O God, who has glorified blessed Nicholas, Thine illustrious Confessor and Bishop, by means of countless signs and wonders, and who dost not cease daily so to glorify him; grant, we beseech Thee, that we, being assisted by his merits and prayers, may be delivered from the fires of hell and from all dangers. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
When our children were young, we taught them that their letters to Santa were prayers to St. Nicholas.

We taught them that St. Nicholas was a Bishop and his cap, is really a Mitre.

We frequently recounted the true life of  Saint Nicholas.

Of course, the popular Santa is still fun. But we made sure our children knew that this is a fairy tale invented by non-Catholics.

Did it work?  Yes.  Our children are now, 15, 17, 25 and 27.  We asked them how they felt about how my wife and I had handled the "Santa dilemma".  They all agreed that, even though some of them had shed tears when they discovered that Santa wasn't literally sliding down the chimney, they wouldn't have missed the excitement for the world.

Furthermore, they all said they would do the same for their children.

A new Santa.  Pope emeritus Benedict, wearing the Santa cap.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

EWTN Live - 2014-11-26 - Jennifer Fulwiler -

PPK becomes Catholic

Southern Baptist Seminarian Leaves to Become a Catholic - Interview with Anthony Baratta

The triple sign of the Cross

As I was going over the things to expect on your first time to the Church, it occurred to me that there is a ritual we perform before the reading of the Gospel, that many people find confusing.   I know that I never knew what it meant as a youngster.  I only learned it after I came back to the Church.  Years after I came back to the Church.  By that time I was almost thirty years old.

For those not familiar with this ritual, after we come into Church for Mass and say the preliminary prayers, we begin to listen to Scripture Readings.  The last Scripture reading is from the Gospel.  At this point, everyone stands and proclaims, "Alleluia!" (Except during Lent when we say, "Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ!"

Then, the Priest or Deacon says, "A reading from the Holy Gospel according to…."  to which we respond, "Glory to you Lord Jesus Christ!"

Simultaneously, we begin to move our right hand in front of our face in this manner and pray this prayer:

First, you trace a cross over your eyes, touch your right thumb to your forehead, from you forehead you move your thumb to your nose, then your your left cheek, then your right cheek.  And you begin quietly, to yourself, to pray saying, "May the Word of God be ever on my mind…."

Then, you trace a cross over your mouth, touch your nose, your chin, the left corner of your mouth, then the right corner of your mouth and say, "On my lips…."

Then,  you trace a cross over your heart, still with your right thumb, cross your heart, and say, "and in my heart".  (See notes at the bottom)

Some people stop there but I was taught to do a fourth cross, the one with which we're all familiar.

And say, "In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".

And then we remain standing as we listen to the Gospel.

As a youngster, I could see that it was some form of the sign of the Cross, and I could see some people mouthing some words, but it is a silent prayer so I couldn't make out what they were saying.  I was always afraid and ashamed to ask anyone what it meant.  

Now, I've met many people who were in the same boat with me.  We need to do better as Catholics and not presume that everyone knows, even our own children, everything that we are doing.

Anyway, I hope that helps newbies and even oldies who had never thought about why we do that.

Notes:  There are slight variations of the triple sign of the cross which are less complicated.  The prayer remains the same.  

1.  With your thumb, tap your forehead three times, tap your lips three times, and tap your heart three times.


2.  With your thumb, trace a small cross on your forehead, another on your lips and another on your heart.

Happy Thanksgiving!


We read Scripture according to how Scripture says we should read it.

Man you read scripture different than I do thats for sure.
True. We read Scripture according to how Scripture says we should read it. According to the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:6

King James Version (KJV)

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.


De Maria

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Support our Texas Nuns!

Catholics keep saying that there are 20,000 Protestant denominations. That's just not true!

As of 2007, there are 39000!  And it is projected there will be 55000 by 2025.

Here is the current total number of "Christian denominations" as of 2007 according to the "Global Christianity" pages at Gordon-Conwell, and projected for 2025 if present trends continue:

19001970mid-2000mid-20072025 projected
Roman Catholics
Marginal Christians
Congregations (worship centers)

The vast majority of this projected "growth" in denominations are due to Protestants (another 500+ denominations added from 2000 to 2025) and Independents (another 20,000+ denominations added from 2000 to 2025). See Barrett's Encyclopedia, Table 1-5, pages 16-18.

Pretty sad state of affairs.  It certainly isn't what Jesus wanted:

John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.  20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.