Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Word of God comes in the Traditions of Jesus Christ and Scripture

Anti-Catholic says:
Many Catholics DO know the Bible very well. But most lay people do not.
This is my experience as a 35 year Catholic. Most of my family are Catholics and extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews) are pretty much clueless when it comes to the Bible. And some of them are very active in the Catholic Church.
Most Lutherans don’t know it very well, either.
Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses, on the other hand, know it very well. And haven’t got a clue as to what it all means.

Please don’t be offended, but the truth is, most Catholic lay people know the Word of God better than any Protestant.

The Word of God comes in the Traditions of Jesus Christ and Scripture. The Traditions of Jesus Christ are essential for a proper understanding of the Word of God. They are the underpinning of the Scriptures. Jesus did not write Scripture. He established a Church and deposited in that Church the Traditions. It is based upon these Traditions that the Church wrote the New Testament.

And Protestants who think they know the Bible are only repeating the extra-biblical traditions of men taught them by their respective churches. They rejected the true Word of God when they rejected the Traditions of Jesus Christ. Now they try to pin the Word of God on top of traditions and practices which can nowhere be found in the Bible.

That’s the truth.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Monday, October 2, 2017

Sacred Tradition is the Word of God.

Anti-Catholic says:
I have yet to meet a RC that knows the Bible well.

Without meaning any disrespect. I don’t know any Protestant who understands the Bible, not even your best scholars. True, you guys repeat the words well enough. But you don’t know the true meaning of the words. And that’s the ones you know.

For the most part, you go by the extra-biblical traditions taught you by your church. I’ll give you an example:
Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
Most Protestants don’t even know that verse is in Scripture. Those who have read, disregard it. Here’s the Protestant doctrine, “I won’t check my brain at the door! I’m a free thinker.”
And here’s the kicker. Most Catholics know the Word of God better than most Protestants.  A devout Catholic, on the street, understands the Word of God better than Billy Graham or any other of your high and mighty televangelists or preachers.  You see, the Word of God does not come in the Bible alone.  It is passed down in the Sacred Traditions of Jesus Christ, which you have abandoned.
Sincerely,
De Maria

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Bible is Church Teaching

Anti-Catholic asks:Are you saying that church teaching determines the meaning of a verse-passage and not the Bible?  In other words, its not what the original intent of the author of a book of the Scripture that guides what the Scripture means but rather church teachings.
That’s a false dichotomy. The Bible is Church teaching. The Catholic Church inherited the Old Testament and wrote the New.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus Christ did not write a word of Scripture? Because He wanted us to flock to His Church to get His understanding of the Word. Jesus Christ taught the Church His understanding of the Old Testament. This is the understanding which the Church now passes down to us (Luke 24:32).

Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

OSAS by any other name, is still an error


Anti-Catholic says:

I've already answered question.  I do not believe in OSAS.
Actually, you haven't addressed my point. Feel free to drop it if you feel badgered.But this is the point I'm making. The Pentecostal or Evangelical supposed denial of OSAS is simply a different version of the same doctrine. Why?

1. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you believe that you were saved by your faith ALONE.. Because you said, "To have true faith is to be saved." Is that correct?

2. Now, if a person has true faith, according to you, can that person fall away?

3. Also, you know the day you were saved and the hour you were saved and you do not believe that you, personally, can ever fall away. Am I correct?

I believe I know the answer to those questions. But correct me if I'm wrong.

You believe you have true faith.
Therefore, you believe you are saved.
Therefore, you believe you will not fall away.

If that's what you believe, then you believe in OSAS.

If you do not believe that, then I have to admit that I have been wrong in this discussion. And I remain baffled by your statement that the parable of the sheep and goats can be viewed through the lens of faith alone. Because the only lens ever presented to me by a Protestant, Evangelical or otherwise, has been, OSAS. The sheep were saved because they were always saved. The goats were condemned because they didn't have true faith.

Correct me if I'm wrong.


Quote:
this My pastor and other spiritual leaders will be held accountable for how they have lead me and what they have taught me. Therefore, I should respect, honor, and obey their godly counsel.
Wow! That is a first. The response is virtually the same as that I would receive from a Catholic.

Quote:
There is nothing about confession in this verse.

Except for this part. The verse in question, Heb 13:17, is a description of what occurs in the Sacrament of Confession.

1. We submit to our Priest.
2. We confess to them our sins because we acknowledge that they watch over our souls.
3. They give an account of our sins to God when they pray for God to forgive our sins.
4. We obey their command when they give us the penance which we must do in order to make satisfaction for our sins. Its all there in a very concise manner. Protestants don't recognize it because they have dumped the Traditions of Jesus Christ which are the basis of the New Testament.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Thursday, August 31, 2017

How do I prove the divinity of Christ, to a Jehovah, from Scripture?



I recently saw this question asked on the Internet.  This is how I would respond.

In my debates with JW, Evangelicals and other Non-Catholics, I don't try to prove anything definitively from Scripture.

My reasons.

1. The old saying is true, "for some, no proof is necessary. For others, no proof is ever enough."

2. They read Scripture differently than we do.

a. They read Scripture to discover their doctrines within. In fact, the JWs are famous for rewriting Scripture in order to write their doctrines into it.

b. Whereas, we know that New Testament Scripture is written based upon the pre-existing Traditions of Jesus Christ. That which Jesus Christ taught the Apostles is the basis of the New Testament. Thus, we go to the Church for our understanding of the Word of God. Not to Scripture.

3. Remember, we do not believe in the false doctrine of Scripture alone.

Having said that, I still engage them. But on our terms. Not theirs.

First of all, I keep in mind that proof texting is a no-win plan. As many texts as you provide to back up Catholicism, they can provide texts, which they twist, to support their errors. So, it's a stalemate.

So, my game plan is like this. Let's take the Divinity of Christ, for example.

JW says, "Proskyneo means obeisance and that proves that no one worshipped Christ in the early Church". 
Me, "Mm? Then why do all the Early Church Fathers, worship Christ? Let me give you a list."
Polycarp, who was taught by the Apostle, St. John, in his Letter to the Philippians, said: 
Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal high priest himself, the Son of God Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and truth...and to us with you, and to all those under heaven who will yet believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ and in his Father who raised him from the dead. 

Another disciple of St. John, Ignatius, said: 
Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her which hath been blessed in greatness through the plentitude of God the Father; which hath been foreordained before the ages to be for ever unto abiding and unchangeable glory, united and elect in a true passion, by the will of the Father and of Jesus Christ our God; even unto the church which is in Ephesus [of Asia], worthy of all felicitation: abundant greeting in Christ Jesus and in blameless joy. 
Being as you are imitators of God, once you took on new life through the blood of God you completed perfectly the task so natural to you
There is only one physician, who is both flesh and spirit, born and unborn, God in man, true life in death, both from Mary and from God, first subject to suffering and then beyond it, Jesus Christ our Lord. 
You get the drift, right? Now, I can guess how the discussion might go. They'll say, "Christianity went into apostasy at the time of Constantine" 
And I say, "that's not true. Again, the Church Fathers prior to Constantine all teach the same things the Catholic Church Teaches today. It's your church that teaches heresy and your church is the new comer. Let's see what Scripture says about that: 
Gal 1:8 New World Translation
6 I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away* from the One who called you with Christ’s undeserved kindness to another sort of good news.+ 7 Not that there is another good news; but there are certain ones who are causing you trouble+ and wanting to distort the good news about the Christ. 8 However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, I now say again, Whoever is declaring to you as good news something beyond what you accepted, let him be accursed. 
You, Jehovah's, are adding to the Teaching of the Church which came by Jesus Christ, something new which we do not accept.
And that's how I would respond.  I hope that helps.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bye Ash


On Monday, August 14, we said goodbye to Ash, our dog.  It was heartbreaking.  

12 years ago, on Ash Wednesday (thus the name), I took the kids to the Dog Pound to get a dog (what else, right).  Although I had promised my wife that we would never have another pet, yet I felt it necessary to get a puppy, because our youngest son was developing a n irrational fear of dogs.  So, I thought the remedy might be to get a pup that our children could raise.  And it worked!  

The moment that I told my kids that we were getting a puppy, they were so excited.  It’s all they could talk about.  So, we got to the pound and there he was.  A majestic, black pup showing a great deal of confidence and looking very strong.  I looked him in the eye and he looked right back at me.  He stood out all the more because his kennel was right next to a sickly looking puppy that couldn’t even hold his head without shaking.  So, I told the kids, “we’ll take the black one.”  

But they weren’t looking at the dogs with a critical eye, like I was.  They were looking at the dogs through the eyes of their hearts.  And they said, “can we have the other one?”  Of course, I objected.  I said, “He looks sick.  He’ll probably die and then what?”  But they looked at me with their Betsy Clark faces and said, “But he’s so cute.”  Well, what could I say?  When they look at me like that, I’m putty.

So, we went home with a sickly dog.  But, I was encouraged, because my youngest held him all the way home.

We named him on the way home.  They were all throwing out names.  But I suggested Ash.  He was white with a bunch of dirty spots.  Not like a dalmation.  More like someone had spilled an ash tray on a white dog.  I said, “Well, you guys like Ash Ketchum (of Pokeman fame) and today is Ash Wednesday, why don’t we name him Ash?”  And they loved it.  So, it stuck.

At first, he just laid around.  I was afraid that he wouldn’t make it.  But after a couple of days, the sickly pup was jumping around acting like any other pup.  The only fear I had left was that my kids would love him to death.  At the Pound, they told us that Ash was a “German Shepherd mix”.  But, as he grew up, he looked more and more like a Catahoula.  

It was a match made in heaven.  My kids slept on him and he slept on them.  If he was on the floor, they slept with him on the floor.  If they were on the bed, he got into the bed.  They slept on top of him.  He slept on top of them.  I’m surprised the little pup that fit into the palm of my hand when we got him, survived.  But he did.  And he thrived.  Ash grew to be 40 pounds of sleek muscle.  He was fast and he was gentle.  And he was quiet. He wasn’t a barky dog.  He would bark occasionally, to be let out.  And to be let back in.  And when strangers knocked at the door.  He played with the kids and slept with the kids and they grew up together.

There were the usual growing pains.  “Dad!  Ash is biting us!”  “Dad!  Ash is scratching us!”  They ran together, they wrestled.  It was awesome!

He never did get the hang of “fetch” though.  He’d go get that first one.  But then, it was like, “Look, if you insist on throwing that, you’ll have to get it yourself.  I’ll be here when you get back.”   

And, of course, if he wasn’t playing or eating, he was sleeping.  He loved to find a sunbeam and curl up under it, as he’s doing in the photo.





As for me, he was my eating companion.  On my midnight sojourns to the fridge, or whenever we were alone in the house together, he would sit with me as I ate and tossed him some of my food.  He always caught it in the air and swallowed it without chewing.  We used to go on walks and I loved to let him go when we got to an area where he had room to run.  He loved to run.  And, oh man!  Could he run.  When I went to work, he would chase my car to the end of the block.  Then the kids, who were trying to keep up, would call him back.   When I came home from work, he would run down the stairs to greet me as soon as I walked in the door.

But then came a day, about a year or so ago, when I tossed him some food and he missed it.   And then came a day when I took him for a walk and let him go, but he didn’t run.  Then came a day when he just watched me drive away.  And a day when he didn’t run down to greet me.

Sometimes we would jokingly say, “Ash is getting lazier and lazier.”  Sometimes we would realize that he was getting older.  

But we never thought this day would come.  

The day when he couldn’t get up.  When he couldn’t raise his head.  He could barely wag his tail.  The day when he would leave us.   

Today is Tuesday, August 15th.  Whether it was a dream or what, I don’t know.  But Ash woke me up this morning.  It was 5am and I heard him bark the way he would when he wanted someone to let him out .  I threw my blanket off,… then I remembered.  I smiled and I said, “Good morning, Ash.”


Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful blessing you bestowed upon us, in the form of a little sickly dog.  Ash enlarged all of our hearts and gave all of us a greater capacity to love.  I can never thank you enough for the grace of our lovely little dog, Ash. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Eternal life and the Blood of Christ

Anti-Catholic said:

de Maria -
Your polemic is so fatuous and blasphemous that I trust any reasonable fence-sitter who compares it with the scriptures will be repulsed. 

Big words. No meaning. Let us compare our respective arguments to the Scriptures. I guarantee, yours are found wanting.

If you think your soul got eternal life when you ate Christ's "blood" (i.e., sacramental wine according to the allegorical interpretation of your non-literal religious traditions) then don't be a hypocrite and claim you don't know if you are saved or not until the day of judgment - either Christ says you have eternal life, or Christ lied. So make up your mind what you believe, you fickle religious nut. 

I'll let the reader decide who is the religious nut between you and I. As for having eternal life, learn the meaning of the these words:
Matthew 24:13
King James Version (KJV)
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.


I stand by what I wrote,


And God is your judge just as He is ours. You will be judged by every word you speak and every deed you have done, just as we will. You claim to save yourself by your faith alone. You have your reward. We, rely upon God to save us.

Revelation 22:14
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.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Thursday, August 3, 2017

re: Can God wash away your sins by water? 2



Originally Posted by De Maria
Can we baptize without water? Here's what I say, correct me if I'm wrong:
It is not, "In Baptism, water is the sign of what the Spirit does". It is that "in Baptism, water is the effectual sign which signifies and produces what the spirit does."
To compare, if a man claims that he has been baptized by the Holy Spirit because he claims this happens by "faith alone", this may or may not be true. Scripture says the Spirit blows where it will.
But, if a man claims that he has been baptized by the Holy Spirit when he was baptized in the Sacrament of the Catholic Church, then this is true. Because Christ has tied the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, to the pouring of the water and proclamation of the word.
The Church says it this way:
1238 The baptismal water is consecrated by a prayer of epiclesis (either at this moment or at the Easter Vigil). The Church asks God that through his Son the power of the Holy Spirit may be sent upon the water, so that those who will be baptized in it may be "born of water and the Spirit."40
What do yo think?

Sincerely,



De Maria
response by fellow Catholic:

You bring up an interesting point here De Maria. I think the discussion can be broke down to (1) whether the sacraments are merely outward signs of an invisible reality i.e. the conferring of grace or (2) whether the sacraments are both outward signs of the conferring of grace and causes of grace.

Stated briefly, the Church teaches the second point. The sacraments worthily received confer the grace that they signify (CCC #1127). They are not just mere signs. The principle cause of grace is of course God or the Holy Spirit in the sacraments. According to St Thomas Aquinas, by divine power, the sacraments are an instrumental cause of grace such like the humanity of Jesus was an instrument of his divinity in bringing about the redemption of the human race. For example, the water used in baptism not only signifies a washing away of our sins and a cleansing of our soul, but there is in the water as well as in the words used in baptism, a divine spiritual power that actually causes the cleansing of the soul and the bestowal of grace. This seems to be the meaning of #1238 from the CCC De Maria quotes above.

St Augustine, which St Thomas Aquinas quotes in his Summa Theologica, says this:

"whence hath water so great a power , that it touches the body and cleanses the heart"

Again St Augustine:

"Nor should you marvel, if we say that water, a corporeal substance, achieves the cleansing of the soul. It does indeed, and penetrates every secret hiding place of the conscience. For subtle and clear as it is, the blessing of Christ makes it yet more subtle, so that it permeates into the very principles of life and searches the innermost recesses of the heart"

And St Bede:

"Our Lord conferred a power of regeneration on the waters by the contact of His most pure body."

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Re: Can God wash away your sins by water?

Baptism now saves you


Quote:

More like a blowtorch.
Scripture says, more like a Tsunami:

1 Peter 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Can God wash away your sins by water?

saved through water

Can we baptize without water? Here's what I say, correct me if I'm wrong:

It is not, "In Baptism, water is the sign of what the Spirit does". It is that "in Baptism, water is the effectual sign which signifies and produces what the spirit does."

To compare, if a man claims that he has been baptized by the Holy Spirit because he claims this happens by "faith alone", this may or may not be true. Scripture says the Spirit blows where it will.

But, if a man claims that he has been baptized by the Holy Spirit when he was baptized in the Sacrament of the Catholic Church, then this is true. Because Christ has tied the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, to the pouring of the water and proclamation of the word.

The Church says it this way:
1238 The baptismal water is consecrated by a prayer of epiclesis (either at this moment or at the Easter Vigil). The Church asks God that through his Son the power of the Holy Spirit may be sent upon the water, so that those who will be baptized in it may be "born of water and the Spirit."40

What do yo think?

Sincerely,

De Maria

A Father is to be honored

    1. Confused Catholic said:

      I easily go along with calling a priest "father", I wouldn't address a priest without using a title. But how to justify calling a priest "My Lord" (Monsignor)? And what about the titles: excellence, eminence, right reverend, very reverend.. and so on. These titles from courtly times need to go; or just used as a private hierarchy within the clergy.


      You said they need to go, but why? Are these not consecrated people and, especially in the cases of bishops, direct successors of the Apostles

      These are all titles given a "father". A father is "Lord" of his house. A mother, the wife of the father, "Lady" of his house.

      Mister is simply a derivative of "master". And it means, "Lord". Likewise, Mistress, is a derivative of "master" as well. Although it now bears a bad connotation associated with adultery, the Mistress of the house is the Lady of the house
    2. This is one of the reasons why Protestants abhor the title in respect to priests. Because they deny that they must obey them. They claim they believe the Scriptures. I don't know what they do with Heb 13:17:

      Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

      Sincerely,

      De Maria



Saturday, July 1, 2017

Evangelicals do not agree with Catholic Teaching


Quote: 
Your explanations betray your ignorance of the different views that evangelicals have on eternal security.
I don't concern myself with the errors of men but only with the eternal truth of the Word of God.

Quote:
Not all evangelicals believe in what you are claiming they believe.
Enough of them do that I can make a valid point against their theology.

Quote:
Therefore, when I and other posters articulate a very evangelical understanding of salvation, faith, and works, you are confused because it looks very similar to Catholic teaching, and yet it contradicts what you've come to think the "evangelical" position is.
It is you who made it seem as though Evangelicals unanimously believed what you are teaching. But you have now admitted that you follow a more Catholic position on this matter than the average Evangelical. Although your position, is itself, an error.

Quote:

I find that the Catholics on this forum tend to believe that all evangelicals believe in Once Saved Always Saved, and that is a universally held doctrine among evangelical churches.

It may not be completely universal. But enough Evangelicals believe it that we may safely generalize that they all do. Whenever the odd Evangelical appears who holds a slightly different variant of that belief, we can handle those argumens, case by case. Suffice to say, that if the variant does not agree with the Catholic Teaching, it is still in contradiction of the Word of God in Scripture, as well.

Quote:
It is not, and many, many evangelicals find it an abhorrent theology.

That is good to hear. Now if they would only take the next step and embrace the Catholic Church, it would be wonderful!

Good talking to you,

Sincerely,


De Maria

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Body and Blood of the Lord

Why is the Eucharist so important?  Let's go to the book of Hebrews to find out.

Heb 10:25-31

First, St Paul says:

25 Let us not neglect our church meetings,
We call that the Mass. He says, don't neglect to meet together for the Mass. Why? He'll tell us next.
as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.
Apparently, people were already skipping out on the Mass, back then.
26 If anyone sins deliberately by rejecting the Savior after knowing the truth of forgiveness, this sin is not covered by Christ’s death; there is no way to get rid of it. 
Then he says that neglecting to meet together for the Mass is the same thing as rejecting Christ's sacrifice. It amounts to a deliberate sin against Christ.
This is why missing the Mass is considered a mortal sin in the Catholic Church.  
27 There will be nothing to look forward to but the terrible punishment of God’s awful anger, which will consume all his enemies. 
Those who miss the Mass are considered God's enemies and can be certain that they will be punished for their ingratitude.
28 A man who refused to obey the laws given by Moses was killed without mercy if there were two or three witnesses to his sin. 29 Think how much more terrible the punishment will be for those who have trampled underfoot the Son of God and treated his cleansing blood as though it were common and unhallowed,...
There's the answer!  Why is the Eucharist so important?  Because it is the Body and Blood of Christ.  
Why is missing the Mass considered to be a trampling underfoot of the Son of God? 
Because it is offering of the Body of Christ which hung on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins.
Why is it considered to be an insult to the cleansing blood of Christ? 
Because it is truly the offering of the Blood of Christ which was shed for our salvation.
Notice how he compares the Old Testament gathering to the New.  Saying that the New Testament gathering truly offers the Body and Blood of our Lord.  Thus, to miss the Mass is no trivial thing.
Let's go to 1 Cor 11:27 So if anyone eats this bread and drinks from this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, he is guilty of sin against the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 That is why a man should examine himself carefully before eating the bread and drinking from the cup. 29 For if he eats the bread and drinks from the cup unworthily, not thinking about the body of Christ and what it means, he is eating and drinking God’s judgment upon himself; for he is trifling with the death of Christ. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick, and some have even died.
Back to Hebrews 10:29...
...and insulted and outraged the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to his people.
It is such a wicked sin that St. Paul virtually equates it with the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit:

Mark 3:28 “I solemnly declare that any sin of man can be forgiven, even blasphemy against me; 29 but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven. It is an eternal sin.”
30 For we know him who said, “Justice belongs to me; I will repay them”; who also said, “The Lord himself will handle these cases.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Yes, the Mass is so important that willfully missing it turns us into God's enemies.  Please, inform those whom you love.  Do not neglect the Mass.  Because doing so is to insult the Body and Blood of the Lord.



Saturday, June 3, 2017

Pentecost

A sound as of a mighty wind

Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after the Passover.  It is originally a Jewish Holy Day celebrating the first-fruits of the harvest and the revelation of the Law on the Mountain.  There is a spiritual connection between those two which is revealed in the Christian celebration.  

Jesus Christ is the first fruits of the Christian faith.  


1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

He was raised on the 1st day of the week and on the first day beginning the season of First Fruits which ends on the 50th day with Pentecost. Pentecost is known as the Feast of Harvests in the OT Scriptures.

It is also on this day that the Jews received the Law on the Mountain in the Sinai desert.  And it is on this day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles in the upper room and they received the power to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world.

ACTS 2:1-11

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

Pentecost is also regarded as the Birthday of the Church.  The day that the Apostles were confirmed with the power to preach the Gospel to the world.

ACTS 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

When they had gathered together they asked him,
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”

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