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

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Rebutting even more anti-Catholic objections to Marian Doctrine



  • Anti-Catholic said:

    If Joseph was a man 

    He was and is a man.
  • then this is something he would have needed to deal with.

    Have you ever read in Scripture that God will give you the grace you need to fulfill your vocation?
    2 Thessalonians 1:11
    King James Version (KJV)
    11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

    After all, one of the benefits of marriage is for the man and the woman to express their sexuality towards each other in holy and godly way.

    What do you think is a greater benefit? To serve God or to have sex with your spouse? This is what Scripture says:
    1 Corinthians 7:
    32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

    There is no reason to think Joesph did not have normal sexual desires and wanting to have children of his own. Same would apply to Mary. 

    You are projecting. To us, we are taught that God satisfies all our desires:
    Our Heart is Restless Until it rests in You
    Saint Augustine of Hippo

    Apparently, you are taught that the highest blessing is sex with your spouse. But that is wrong. We are made for God. St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary received a blessing beyond calculation. They were united to their God in this life.

    Children without brothers and sisters do not experience family life the same way that those that do. Does not mean they are less but they don't have this experience.

    Does that make them less human? You admit it doesn't, so why even bring that up?

    Sincerely,

    De Maria
  • Wednesday, March 8, 2017

    Baptism justifies and saves

    Naaman washed, 7 times, in the Jordan

    Baptism does not justify.
    Christ justifies through Baptism. Do you, like Naaman, deny that God can work through the water?

    2 Kings 5:10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. 11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.

    God can even heals through the mud:

    John 9:11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

    This is all plainly taught in Scripture.

    Christ justifies

    Through Baptism.

    Baptism is a sign
    It is an effective sign which accomplishes what it signifies by the Power of God.

    How silly to believe that someone is committing blasphemy by knowing that it is the power of Christ, not water that justifies.
    How silly to make that claim. We know that it is Christ working through the Sacrament. That is the Catholic Teaching:

    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.

    But Christ has connected justification and the water by the Word. Therefore, the Sacrament is efficacious:

    Ephesians 5:26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

    Certainly we never want to take anything away from baptism,
    But you have already in declaring your unbelief that God can use the water to wash away our sins:

    Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

    but we need to realize that it is not baptism that makes one a Christian--it is knowing Christ and being known by Him. 
    It is both. Christ has established the Sacraments so that we can know that we are washed of the Spirit and born again children of God:

    John 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    What we must believe to be saved is told to us in Romans 10:9-13,
    Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    Belief doesn't mean "claiming faith". Belief means putting God's words into practice:

    Matthew 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. 22 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? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:

    The statement that you are justified by taking part in a sign is analogous to the early controversy over circumcision, about which Paul said in Romans 2:25-29,
    That's the meaning of Mark 16:16. Any man who is baptized but does not believe in the power of Christ which is poured forth in this sacrament has condemned himself. If a person is baptized who does not believe in Christ, that person has condemned himself.

    But let's examine that verse:

    Romans 2:25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. 26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? 27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? 28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

    Note that there is a spiritual circumcision. What does St. Paul say that is?

    Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

    Spiritual circumcision is accomplished in Baptism. As Scripture clearly illustrates.
    Likewise, justification is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit.
    Absolutely! It is in Baptism that we are washed and regenerated by the Spirit of God:

    Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

    Sunday, March 5, 2017

    Rebutting more anti-Catholic objections to Marian Doctrine


    Anti-Catholic says:Point 4 is enough to show that Mary was not a life long virgin. 

    No, it has been effectively rebutted several times. Please read the responses rather than ignoring the points of rebuttal. That is the only way you could make this claim.

    Point 1 does not mention anyone in the NT having sex either. Should we assume that it never happened to the people mentioned such Peter or Jarius?

    Your logic is faulty.
    1. You claim that Scripture does not say that Mary is a perpetual virgin, therefore you conclude that Mary is not a perpetual virgin.

    2. To support that contention, you provide an example of Scripture not mentioning that anyone had sex. To be consistent with your first claim, you should conclude that therefore, since it isn't mentioned in Scripture, it can't be true. But you conclude the opposite.

    3. Your logic supports the Catholic position.

    If Mary was a perpetual virgin then how does Joseph deal with his sex drive?

    With the grace of God. Do you really believe the myths that men will go blind if they don't have sex?

    Where do you get the idea that "Sex is never done after contact with the Divine Presence" from Scripture? There was nothing from the angel when he spoke with Mary that it was forbidden for her to have sexual relations with her husband. 

    Was there anything that said it was permitted?

    There is absolutely nothing to be gained theologically by Mary not having normal sexual relations with her husband and having more children.

    That is because you don't discern the meaning of Scripture spiritually. Mary is not simply a vessel which carried the Divine Being of Christ. She is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

    If she were to have sex with St. Joseph, she would become an adulteress and St. Joseph an adulterer.

    Now, let me show you that Mary is married to the Holy Spirit. The important terminology here is "overshadowed".

    A euphemism for marriage in the Old Testament is covering:
    Ruth 3:
    7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down. 8 And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet. 9 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.

    Ruth, effectively asked Boaz to marry her. If you read the rest of the story, you will see that Boaz understood and was determined to do so.

    To a Jew, it is clear that when the Holy Spirit "overshadowed" the Virgin Mary, He took her to Himself and the logical outcome is that a Child would be born. The Virgin Mary then married St. Joseph for righteousness sake. The same reason that the sinless Jesus was Baptized.

    St. Joseph, being a righteous man, would have known better than to go into the Virgin Mary, having been informed in a dream that she bore the Child by the Holy Spirit:
    Matthew 1:20
    But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

    Before Jesus was born it would have been since the prophecy said He would be born of a virgin. See Isaiah 7:14. After this prophecy was fulfilled there is no reason for her to remain a virgin. 

    You say this because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.

    Also, if Jesus was to experience humanity to the fullest extent then being part of a family where He had brothers and sisters would be expected.

    Being an only child makes one no less a human.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria