Posts Tagged ‘Catholic Faith’

“And He gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Until we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ; that henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive. But doing the Truth in charity, we may in all things grow up in Him who is the head, even Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-15)
What kind of church did Jesus intend to establish?

A church that would be universal, united and holy, one that could not teach error and that could not be destroyed.
Which is the only church that has these qualities?

Only the Catholic Church.
What does the word “Catholic” mean?

It means “universal”, embracing all.
Why is the Church of Jesus called “Catholic”?

Because it is:
for all people
of all nations
of all times
it teaches all the doctrines of Jesus.
“Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
When was the name “Catholic” first used of the Church of Jesus?

In the year 110, by St. Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, who wrote:
“Where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” (Ad Smyrn. 8:2)

“The Church is called Catholic by all Her enemies, as well as by Her own children. Heretics and schismatics can call the Church by no other name than Catholic, for they would not be understood, unless they used the name by which the Church is known to the whole world.” (St. Augustine, 4th-5th Centuries, in De Vera Religione-“Concerning True Religion”)
Is the Catholic Church spread all over the world?

Yes, its approximately 1,000,000,000 members are from all races and all colors and all sections of the world.
The marvelous growth of the Church in spite of great obstacles and fierce persecution, is certainly a sign that it is the Church of Jesus Christ.
What is meant by the unity of the Catholic Church?

This unity means that all Catholics worldwide–
Believe the same things,
Obey the same laws,
Receive the same Sacraments,
Worship at the same Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,
Are all united under the same authority, that of the Pope in Rome.
“And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in Me; that they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in Me, and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us.” (John 17: 20-21)
Why is the Catholic Church holy?

It is holy because–
Its Founder, Jesus Christ, is holy,
It teaches a holy doctrine.
It gives Its members what is needed to lead a holy life,
Thousands of Its members, from every walk of life, from every race and from every period of history, have become Saints.
Why cannot the Catholic Church ever teach error?

Because Jesus Christ promised to be always with His Church to protect it from error.
“Going therefore, teach ye all nations… Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Has the Catholic Church ever changed its teaching?

No, for some 2,000 years the Catholic Church has taught the same things which Jesus Christ taught.
“The Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the Truth.” (1 Timothy 3:15)
Why can the Catholic Church never be destroyed?

Because Jesus promised that…
“The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:18)

“The God of Heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed.” (Daniel 2:44)
Has anyone ever tried to destroy the Church?

Yes, as Jesus Christ foretold, many governments have tried without success to destroy the Church, and thousands of Catholics (martyrs) have died for the True Church.
“They will deliver you up in councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. And you shall be brought before governors, and before kings for my sake…and you will be hated by all men for My name’s sake.” (Matthew 10:17-22)
“All religions are good.”

Answer: There is only one religion, as far as God is concerned, since He established only one, not three hundred. All other religions were established by men who had no authority from God to start them. A religion is either true or false, just as a dollar bill is either genuine or counterfeit. Although a religion may have some truth, it is a false religion if it was established by a man.
“It does not make any difference what church you belong to.”

Answer: It certainly does make a difference whether you belong to the one established by God or to one established by a man. It makes a difference whether you belong to the church that has everything necessary to lead you to Heaven, or not.
“All religions teach the same thing and believe in the same God.”

Answer: All religions disagree on the important teachings of Jesus Christ. Some teach that He is God; others say He is not. Some teach that you have to be baptized to get into Heaven; others deny the necessity of Baptism. Some teach that Baptism really takes away sin, while others hold that it is only a symbol. If all religions believed in the same God, they would all have to teach the same things, since God cannot contradict Himself. God is not the author of confusion and contradiction, but of clear, unchangeable Truth.
“Jesus Christ, yesterday and today, and the same forever. Be not led away with various and strange doctrines.” (Heb. 13:8-9)
“It doesn’t matter what you believe; it’s how you act that counts.”

Answer: It does matter, because you act according to your belief. It does matter whether you believe killing a person dying of an incurable disease is a sin or not, or whether marriage is to last until death or not. God has given the human race certain, definite truths to believe, and He expects everyone to believe them.
“He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)

He told His Apostles: “Going therefore, teach ye all nations… teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20)
You have an obligation to join the Catholic Church; otherwise, you cannot go to Heaven. However, joining the Church is a very serious step, because in so doing, you place yourself completely and forever under the authority of the Church in all things concerning religion. This means that you promise to believe everything the Church teaches, to worship the way the Catholic Church worships, and to obey all the laws of the Church.
It is not unreasonable to place yourself under the authority of the Catholic Church, because its authority is from God.
“He who heareth you, heareth Me; and he who despiseth you, despiseth Me; and he who despiseth Me, despiseth Him Who sent Me.” (Luke 10:16)
By joining the Catholic Church, you can be sure of what you have to believe and do in order to save your soul, and you will be able to lead a good life and attain salvation with the graces flowing from the Sacraments and the countless other sources of spiritual strength provided by God’s Church. Besides, you will have the peace of mind that comes only from knowing that you are doing God’s will.
“For you were as sheep going astray; but you are now converted to the shepherd and bishop of your souls.” (I Peter 2:25)

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This entry is my response to the blog post: We are Christians, not Catholics because we choose to follow Christ

The article above ( unfortunately, the link to it has been broken) is full of misconceived ideas. A sad problem that I see in a lot of former Catholics, specially in America. But this problem has deep roots, as most former Catholics had never really known their Catholic faith as they decide to leave the Church. In my experience, this is true in 99% of the cases, more often then not their opinions on Catholicism are not based on facts, but on their personal (mis) perceptions and experiences.

It is interesting when someone says: “As a Catholic I didn’t know Jesus and the Bible”, as though it was the Church’s fault they didn’t! No Christian person should feel they can blame others for their own failure in building a relationship with the Lord. 

I always try to prompt former Catholics and critics of Catholicism to ponder on the fact that although we have the Liturgy of the Word at daily Mass, the Catholic worship is not a Bible study assembly. Mass is a thanksgiving celebration to God the Father that includes the Liturgy of the Word, along with the Eucharist (thanksgiving in Greek).  However, to deny that the study of the Scripture is an important part of the Catholic faith is to declare  that one doesn’t know what takes place at Mass.  The Church goes through the entire Bible in the course of two years, with no repeating passages read each day. Every Sunday the readings include at least one passage from the OT, plus the Psalms, which are carefully selected to shed light on the NT readings.  At daily Mass two NT passages are read and explained in the homily.

Everyday many millions of Catholics listen to the readings at Mass and then come home and open their own Bibles to reflect on the teachings that they have read in Church. I guess what I mean is that it takes a personal commitment to follow Jesus. Unfortunately,  these days people have grown more and more comfortable with the notion of pointing fingers, rather than taking responsibility for their actions or inactions.

On the other hand, I have seen numerous protestant Christians who, in their search for the truth, have joined the Catholic Church either because they could no longer bear the weight of division within Protestantism, the diversity of scriptural interpretations accepted and professed by the different churches, or simply because when they learn what Catholic Christianity actually teaches  they are taken by surprise by the richness of the Church’s Scriptural foundations.

The article I am debating here, at a first glance, seems to be calling people to be true followers of Christ, which is great and clashes in NO shape or form with what the Catholic faith teaches.  However, a closer look tell us that in fact the poster has an agenda and his  focus is not simply to promote discipleship of Jesus, but to incriminate the Catholic Church and indirectly discriminate her members.

Christ is the centre of the Catholic Faith. We believe that salvation is a free gift of God, and that faith in Jesus is necessary for salvation. Therefore, imitation of Christ is a core belief of Catholicism. Obedience to His teachings and the keeping of God’s commandments are the fruits of our faith. In other words, Catholics are called to be true disciples of Christ not only through their faith but also in their actions.

Clearly,  prejudice against Catholicism is a problem that cannot be tackled only through ‘apologetic efforts’.  I suspect that giving a true witness of the Gospels would be considerably  more effective. However it may be,  I am a follower of Christ and a proud Catholic. Amen!

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This video summarizes so well what the Catholic Church represents, I thought I’d share it with those who may not have seen it yet.

There are other versions available in different languages, including my native Portuguese. I hope you like it!

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Funny how sometimes  we take things for granted to a point that something as wonderful as the Holy Mass can seem so  trivial that we don’t fully appreciate it, isn’t it?


The celebration of Mass

We hear the sad news of how many Parish churches are being ‘consolidated’ or even closed down permanently, as attendance to Holy Mass decreases in many parts of the Catholic world. I believe the neglect in the faith formation of modern Catholics, especially after the II Vatican council, might just have a big part  to do with this problem. Many Catholics these days are in need to re-learn about their faith in order to fully embrace their Catholic  heritage and thus become true Catholics and Christians. (more…)

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