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Posts Tagged ‘Catholicism’

“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)
FALSE SLOGANS
“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)
PRACTICAL POINTS
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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Catholics have grown used to being questioned about their faith and beliefs. We hear all sorts of pre-conceived ideas posed on to us in question format, such as ‘Do you worship statues?’  or ‘Why confess to a priest?’ and so on…  And as many of us know, should one fail to reply to any such questions convincently enough, one better be prepared to be bombarded with bible verses and rhetoric that ‘prove’ our ‘errors’…

Below is a challenged designed for bible Christians that every Catholic should be familiar with:

Please for more of similar material visit The Catholic Knight

Where did the Bible come from? When was it codified? What books were first listed as belonging in the Christian canon? How has the canon changed over time in various groups? What books were included in the first edition of the King James Bible? When did the Council of Jamnia take place, who were its members, and what did it do?

Before the Books of the Bible were canonized, how was the Gospel spread? Before the printing press was invented some one-thousand and five hundred years after Christ, how was the Gospel spread? How do the answers to these questions apply to the concept of “sola scriptura,” or the “Bible alone” as the rule of faith? What does 2 Peter 3:16 warn against? 2 Peter 1:20-21 says Scripture is of ___ ____________ _____________? What does the word “profitable” mean? In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, what does the word “profitable” mean? Does “profitable” mean “is sufficient for” in any dictionary? Was there a New Testament canon at the time Paul wrote that verse? If not, then what Scripture was he referring to?

What do 2 Thessalonians 2:15, 2 Thessalonians 3:6 and 1 Corinthians 11:2 say about Tradition? When did this Tradition stop being in effect? What did Jesus mean when He told his followers to heed those who sat on the Chair of Moses in Matthew 23:2? What does that say about Jesus’ expectations for his followers to obey earthly authority?

What does 1 Timothy 3:15 indicate is the rule of faith? What do you believe is the rule of faith, and why?

The man to whom Jesus is speaking in Matthew 16:18-19: what was his name before those verses? What was his name after those verses? What does that name mean? What language did Jesus speak? What is the name given to this man in Jesus’ original language? What does that word mean? What other people in the Bible were given name changes? What did name changes signify in Hebrew life? What metaphoric object does Jesus give the man in Matthew 16:18-19? What does this symbolize? What did they symbolize in Isaiah 22? What are “binding and loosing”?

If Christ is a High Priest, and we are members of His royal priesthood, what are the offerings of each? If Christ is a High Priest forever, can his offerings have stopped? Did the fact that the Israelites were members of the royal priesthood negate the ordained Levite priesthood? Did the New Testament Church have bishops, elders (presbyteros, priests), and deacons or was it non-hierarchical? What is the rebellion of Korah mentioned in Jude 1:11? (hint: see Numbers 16:3) What does it mean that Jesus is a “High Priest after the order of Melchizedek”? In John 6:52-58, what is the meaning of the word “is”? In I Corinthians 11:23-30, why does Paul say some people become sick — and what does that indicate to you? Since Messiah has come, where today are the incense and “pure offering” offered up as predicted in Malachi 1:10-11? What is the root word of the word “priest”? What is the root word of the word “presbyter”?

How does Paul refer to himself in 1 Corinthians 4:14-15? In what way do the Apostles treat new Christians according to 1 Thessalonians 2:11? How does Paul refer to Isaac in Romans 9:10? How does John address his audience in 1 John 2:13?

What does I Peter 3:18-21 say baptism does? Whom does Acts 2:38-39 say that baptism is for? Whom does it indicate the promise of baptism is for? What does Colossians 2:11-12 compare baptism with? When were people circumcised to enter into the Old Covenant (i.e., at what age)? Did or did not Paul baptize entire households? In John 3:1-7, it says we are to be baptized in the Spirit and _______? In Whose name are we to be baptized according to Matthew 28:19? Do you believe something different about Baptism than what these verses teach? If so, why? How did the earliest Christians baptize according to the non-canonical writings of the earliest Christians (e.g., the Didache, written in about 50 AD)?

According to Acts 8:14-17 and Acts 19:5-6, what did Peter, Paul and John do in addition to baptizing? Do you believe that what they did is unimportant? If so, why?

What do Proverbs 28:13 and 1 John 1:9 say we should do with our sins? What authority was given to the twelve who were with Jesus in the Upper Room in John 20:21-23? What power was given specifically to Simon Peter in Matthew 16:19? What sort of ministry is described in 2 Corinthians 5:18? Do you believe something different than what these verses teach? If so, why?

How does James 5:14 describe how the elders (presbyters, priests) dealt with the sick? What did they use to help the sick? Does the faith community you’re involved with do this? If not, why not?

What does Matthew 19:6 say about marriages that are put together by God? Does your faith community teach something different? If so, why?

Mark 12:26-27 says that God is the God of what three people? What does it say about these three people (i.e., what condition are they in)? Is God the God of Abraham? Is God the God of the dead? How can he be both the God of Abraham but not the God of the dead but the living? What does Revelation 6:9-10 say about what the “souls of them that were slain” are doing? Where are those souls? What does Hebrews 12:1 say we are surrounded by? Who are they? What does this say about those who die in Christ? Does your faith community teach something different? If so, why?

What woman in Scripture gave birth to the man who was to rule all nations? Where does Revelation 12 say this woman is? What does the word “magnify” mean? In Luke 1:46-49, what does “magnify” mean? Who is the “Queen in Gold” of Psalm 45:10-17? In what ways does this Psalm make Luke 1:48 clear?

If Christ is the New Adam Christ (Romans 5:14-15, 1 Corinthians 15:22, 1 Corinthians 15:45), who is the New Eve? Who are the only two people in the Old Testament to have been without original sin from their first moments?

What three things did the Ark of the Covenant have within it (hint: see Hebrews 9:4)? What did Mary carry within her and in what ways are the contents of the Ark similar? Compare Luke 1:39-56 and 2 Samuel 6:2-16: in what ways are the Ark of the Covenant and Mary similar?

What is the Jewish “Mourner’s Kaddish” (or “Quaddish”) and why is it prayed? What is the meaning of 1 Corinthians 3:13-15? What does Revelation 21:27 say about the unclean? If you were to die right now, today, would you be clean enough to stand before Almighty God? For whom was Paul praying in 2 Timothy 1:16-18 and what was his condition at that time?

What does James 2:24 say about how we are justified? What kind of faith is mentioned in Galatians 5:6? Whom does Jesus say will enter the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew 7:21? What does Ephesians 2:8-9 say about the possibility of saving ourselves through works? What does that verse say we are saved by? Does your faith community teach either salvation by faith alone or by works alone? If so, why?

What does Hebrews 3:12-14 indicate about the possibility of departing from God? Under what conditions does it say we can be “partakers of Christ”? In what way does Philippians 2:12 say we should approach salvation? Do you approach salvation in this way? If not, why not? Are babies saved? Are 5 year olds saved? 19 year olds? At what point, if any, do the conditions for salvation change and how do your answers affect the concept of “once saved, always saved”?

What does Acts 7:51 say about the ability to resist the Holy Spirit? What does this mean in terms of the existence of free will? Does your faith community teach something different about free will? If so, why?

What does Luke 23:34 indicate about those who act in ignorance? What does Romans 9:15 indicate about the ultimate sovereignty of God?

Revelation 17:15-18 speaks of a whore which is “that great city.” What is this city according to Revelation 11:8? Where was Christ crucified?

How did the Jewish historian, Josephus, describe the Temple in Jerusalem that was destroyed in A.D. 70?

Why does Jesus say He came according to John 12:25-27? What is the nature of the Kingdom according to John 18:36? How long has this been the nature of the Kingdom according to Matthew 25:34? What do those three verses say to those who might believe Jesus came (and will come again) to set up an earthly kingdom? Does Galatians 3:7-29 differentiate between the “seed of Abraham” and the Church? Who is a Jew according to Romans 2:28-29? With whom is the New Covenant made according to Jeremiah 31:31-34? Are there people who say they are Jews but are not according to Revelation 2:9 and 3:9? Given these verses, are people properly referred to as “Gentiles” when they enter the New Covenant? Did God keep His promises to the ancient Israelites concerning the Holy Land according to Joshua 21: 43-45, 1 Kings 8: 56, Nehemiah 9: 7-8? Why did they lose their rights to the Holy Land according to Deuteronomy 28: 58-68?

What are the Talmud and Kabbalah? What does the Talmud say about Jesus Christ and Mary? How is modern Judaism different from the religion of the Old Testament?

What objects are described in 1 Kings 6:29? What about in Ezekiel 41:17-19? What does this mean in light of Exodus 20:4?

Did the religion of the Old Testament have a sense of sacred time, sacred space, and sacred objects? Is there anything in the New Testament that indicates the concept of consecrated things/places/times has changed? What media does God use to effect miracles in:

Joshua 3:15; 1 Samuel 4-6; and 2 Samuel 11-1?______________

Numbers 21:9?______________

2nd Kings 13:21?______________

Mark 5:25?______________

Acts 5:15?______________

Acts 19:12?______________

What is the true relationship of the people described as “brothers” in: Genesis 11:26-28 and Genesis 14:14? In Genesis 29:15? In 1 Chronicles 23:21-22? In 2 Kings 10:13-14? In Deuteronomy 23:7 and Jeremiah 34:9? In Matthew 23:8? In John 20:17-18 and Matthew 12:49? In 1 Corinthians 15:6? Who is the real mother of “James, the brother of Jesus” according to your view of these verses: Matthew 27: 55-56, Mark 3:18, Mark 15:40, John 19:25, and Jude 1? What does “firstborn” mean (hint: see Exodus 13:2, Exodus 13:14-15, Numbers 18:15)?

What is “Easter” called in Latin? In Italy, France and Spain, Portugal or Brazil? What is it called in Germany, Sweden, and Denmark? What do Byzantine Catholics call it? What is the common root word for all these names? What does that root word indicate about the origins of the holy day known in English speaking countries as “Easter”?

Everyone wants to be part of a “New Testament-style Church” — but few are the people who read what the earliest Christians wrote! If worshipping and believing like the Apostles did are, indeed, what you want, then why haven’t you read thoroughly Sacred Scripture, the Didache (the first century “Teachings of the Twelve Apostles”), Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, John Chrysostom, Augustine (all of him, not just the parts that, pulled out of context, seem to support various modern positions!), Hippolytus, etc. Even Origen and Tertullian give witness to what the early Christians believed… How can you know what the earliest Church was like if you don’t look? What is holding you back? If you read these Early Christian Writings, ask yourself: what Church today is like the Church they described? What Church today teaches Bible-based answers to the questions above?

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Has some-one finally got it right?

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In essence, yes, though they do not call it purgatory. Jews do believe in a purification (a purgation) which takes place after death. When a Jewish person’s loved one dies, it is customary to pray on his behalf for eleven months using a prayer known as the mourner’s Qaddish (derived from the Hebrew word meaning “holy”). This prayer is used to ask God to hasten the purification of the loved one’s soul. The Qaddish is prayed for only eleven months because it is thought to be an insult to imply that the loved one’s sins were so severe that he would require a full year of purification.

The practice of praying for the dead has been part of the Jewish faith since before Christ. Remember that 2 Maccabees 12:39-46, on which Catholics base themselves for one of  the main evidence for the observance of this practice, show that, a century and a half before Christ, prayer for the dead was taken for granted. Unlike Protestantism, Catholicism has preserved this authentic element of Judeo-Christian faith. 

Read also: Is Purgatory a second chace at Salvation?

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No, it is not true. Protestants have as their sole rule of faith the written Word of God, which we find in Sacred Scripture. The Catholic Church has as its sole rule of faith, the entire Word of God, as it is found in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

All of the Word of God was at one time passed on orally: Sacred Tradition. Eventually, some of Sacred Tradition was written down; this became Sacred Scripture, which is written tradition. However, Scripture itself tells us that not all of the things that Jesus said and did were written down. And listen to what Paul says about “tradition”:

2 Thes 2:15, “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.” Traditions! Traditions taught by word of mouth, in other words, oral tradition, and traditions taught by letter. Traditions which they are being told to “stand firm and hold to”. Sacred Scripture and Tradition do not contradict themselves, but complement each other.

1 Cor 11:2, “I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you.” The Corinthians are being commended by Paul because they maintain the traditions that he passed on to them. Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

2 Tim 2:2: “and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” What we have here in 2 Timothy is an instance, in Scripture, of Paul commanding the passing on of oral tradition.

1 Thes 2:13, “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the Word of God, which is at work in you believers.” So, they received as the Word of God that which they heard, not simply that which they read in Scripture.

In other words, the Bible clearly supports the Catholic Church’s teaching that the Word of God is contained in both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

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In the liturgy of the word Catholic Christians come together to thank God for God’s gifts. Listening to God’s word (the Bible) they grow in faith more conformed to the mind of Christ. Liturgy celebrates the wonders of creation and gives thanks for the reality of redemption. The liturgy is a celebration not of what God has said, but of God today is speaking to our hearts and souls. The daily readings are not a random selection of scriptural passages that will form the Liturgy of any given Mass. Rather it is the result of a carefully selected set of passages that are specially related and intended to shed light upon the Gospel Scripture. The daily readings are, therefore, are relevant within the context of the liturgical calendar and conform a progression and logical account of the history of salvation, culminating on Our Lord’s  redeeming works. If a Catholic assiduously attends Mass during the course of two years, he/she will be able to go through the entire bible with the Church.

A). The First Reading: -The Hebrew Scriptures: The first reading is mostly chosen from the Old Testament and during some seasons the Book of Acts might be read. This reading usually harmonizes with the Gospel reading (see below). This reveals the continuity between Israel and Jesus who comes not to replace but to fulfill Israel.

B). The Responsorial Psalm: The Psalm reflects themes in the readings. The Psalm consists of an antiphon. This is a vehicle of prayer and praise – an atmosphere of prayer within which the readings occur.

C). The Second Reading – The Christian Scriptures: This reading is also referred to as the Epistle, is usually from one of the letters in the New Testament which may also include the Book of Acts or the Book of Revelations. While the letters address particular situations in the early Church, their message transcends the centuries to motivate contemporary Christians and deepen our appreciation of the mystery of Christ.

D). The Gospel – Alleluia: “Alleluia” is a Latin echo of the Hebrew acclamation “Praise God!” and is a key word in Christian worship. Here it heralds the Gospel. In a solemn celebration the church deacon goes to the altar where the Gospel is enthroned. He lifts the book and, accompanied by servants (altar-boys) with candles and on some occasions incense (symbols of Christ’s light), processes with the Gospels held high while choir and community acclaim the good news with “Alleluia,” alternating with verses appropriate to today’s Gospel. Christians acclaim the most wonderful deed of God among humankind, Jesus Christ, here made visible in the book containing His words and message to us all.

E). The Gospel Reading: The Gospel is the climax of the liturgy of the word. Catholic faith teaches that in proclaiming the Gospel, Christ is truly present to the community. For this reason the community stands to witness to Christ’s resurrection which allows him to be present to his people.

As the deacon or priest introduce the Gospels all in the community sign themselves with the sign of the cross traced on the forehead, the lips and over the heart. This signing reminds us “Christ in my thoughts” <forehead>, “Christ from my lips or what I say”<lips> and “Christ in my heart” <over the heart>.

Hearing the Gospel proclaimed also reminds and identifies Catholics with the first community which heard these words for the mouth of Jesus. On the conclusion of the reading the minister proclaims, “This is the Gospel of the Lord.” He means not the book, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the “Good News” itself. The community affirms in faith by responding, “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ”.

F). The Homily (or mini-sermon): Christians believe that “faith comes through preaching.”(Romans 3:13-15). This idea is rooted in Jewish belief that the creative power of God’s word transforms human life.

The Scriptures are not always easy to understand and apply to present life. For this reason the homily breaks open the Scriptures, showing how the word of God addresses us today. What import does the Gospel have for our lives today, for the world we live in, for issues in the community forum?

G). The Profession of Faith: (the Creed): The Creed is a written profession summarizing the community’s search for an ever deepening understanding of Jesus and His message. The Nicene-Constantinople Creed is most often used at Mass, although the Apostles’ Creed may be used at some liturgies. Please note that both creed’s are used by not only the Catholic Church, but also by Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Orthodox and many other Christian faiths.

H). General Intercessions (Prayers of the Faithful): The people petition God for the needs of the Church, society, the parish, people in need, the sick and suffering, and those who have died. They direct our faith which has been deepened through prayer and listening to God’s word to specific situations today. These prayers conclude the Liturgy of the Word.

An overview of the Liturgy of the Eucharist will be posted shortly.  Please visit this page soon again!

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