Mary and Catholic Beliefs


I’M Catholic
By Pat Miron
MARY and our Catholic Beliefs

It’s NOT that Catholics think too highly of Mary because she is the Mother of our God. NO; it is because so many do not, and many cannot get past the fact that Mary is “simply mortal.” Mortal yes BUT the most perfect[ed] human being in the history of humanity. There seems to be a powerful reluctance to give “Credit where Credit is Clearly DUE.”

Mary: We can choose any response EXCEPT NO RESPONSE

The parable Jesus uses to teach a multitude of lessons from Matthews chapter 13: 2- 17, on the planting of seeds has been told many times and many fine lessons have been shared, and God Willing; learned from this rich text.

But have you ever heard of it applied to Catholic belief in Mary?

Matt.13: 2 – 17 “And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

[12] For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says: `You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it”

Wow, this sounds like a very prejudiced God; a God of “rash-judgments”? Why would God give more to someone who seemingly does not need it and at the same time take from folks “in need?”

The answer lies in Divine Justice. Those “who have”….Have “it” because they sought “it.” [or because someone else sought “it” on there behalf.] While those in need actually suffer from “WANT.” It’s a self fulfilled malnutrition of SPIRIT; of GRACE refused, rejected or incorrectly applied.

They heard, BUT did not listen. They listened but did not understand AND THEN left it at that point of willingly not knowing, not really caring enough to bother seeking the truth. Choosing instead the easier way; the slippery down hill slope to self-gratification; Pride, Lust, Greed, Envy, Gluttony, Anger, and Laziness. So we ought not feel that God in anyway is unloving, unjust, or unfair. We freely choose the path we’ll take. God will offer guidance, even nudge us in the right direction; BUT the eye works just like the ears. One can see without “seeing” by freely choosing to do so. …. And GOD PERMITS US TO DO IT!

Some to be fair, at least make the attempt; but their effort takes the form of “want without a great deal of logic”, relying on “the SELF” rather then seeking Gods plan for them where it actually can be found. [One does not look for blueberries at Lowes, just because there LOGO is partly BLUE.] The Bible clearly warns about this possibility. And the “needy” are many, and there are many who don’t think Christ speaks directly To them when He SAYS: Matt.7: 21, 24, 26 “Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. “Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand” There is a “natural”; if without Grace tendency, to think that Jesus isn’t speaking about me. Being blunt: if your not in or investigating the Catholic Church; YOU are precisely to whom Christ is speaking in this passage.

John 5: 37 “And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness to me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen; and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe him whom he has sent. You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life [Speaking of accepting the entire WORD of GOD as well as CORRECT Understanding of it]. I do not receive glory from men. [Meaning disobedience is rampant!] But I know that you have not the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me” [Obey Me!]

Eph.3: 9 to 12 “And to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; that through the church [SINGULAR: meaning THE CATHOLIC Church] the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in him. “

2Pet.2: 1 -3 “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; from of old their condemnation has not been idle, and their destruction has not been asleep.

Helping us to “hear,” and to “see” is Mary’s task. It is Mary’s task 1. Because no one has ever done it better. [She is the MOST fertile seed that found the MOST fertile ground] 2. No one has ever desired to share from her wealth of experience, with “her children, ”as Mary desires to lead ALL of us to her Son Jesus. And make no mistake: that is indeed what we are “Her Children” if we allow it. [John 19:26-27]. 3. It is the task assigned to Her by Christ.

The Sower is of course Jesus Christ. …. We; ALL of us, Mary included are the “soil” and the “seeds” is the very WORD OF GOD. It seems at first glance that the seeds are indiscriminately scattered. NO, not so. Just as “the sun shines at the same time on a candle and on clay; melting one and Hardening the other; the sun representing opportunity, is fairly distributed. It is “what we are” that determines the effect of the “sun” and the effect of God’s WORD upon each of us.

By choosing our “own” path, we effectively choose the type of ground “we become.” I have known each of the types over the years. The first is one who falls “on the pathway of social life” ”[worldly influence], and is soon focused on anything but God. Many are the “rocky ground” where they at first are ON FIRE; a bonfire for a short time; and then quickly burn out, not having achieved or accomplished what THEY thought ought to be accomplished, forgetting God’s proper role in one’s Spiritual-growth. Others Fall among the thorns and were chocked and were suffocated by partial truths and lack of right understanding. These are folks who are either uninformed, or more commonly misinformed. They have purchased the “faith of mortal men“, rather than the faith and teaching of God. Then there is the smallest group. Saint Augustine if memory serves estimates it at about 25%. These few are the good seed. What makes them “good seed” is NOT ONLY “where they fall” BUT actually being fertile seed in Fertile Ground. The common characteristic is a HUGE DOSE of humility. A willingness to be “sown” where and how God choices them to be sown. In all of human HISTORY no one was more fertile seed, on more fertile ground, No one ever was more humble than Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother too, if we permit it?

In a summarized form this same lesson is repeated in the parable of the “Narrow Gate.” “Many seeds are sown” but few find fertile ground. “many are called but few seem willing to pay the price of admission. Matt.22: 14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

“But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it”

This parable is at one and the same time a history lesson, a prophesy and a mandate. It acknowledges that all have had the opportunity to be taught , [offered grace] but not everyone has had the opportunity to be taught either by Christ in PERSON, or taught everything Christ mandates, commands and guides His Church to teach. Not everyone has been 1. Taught Directly by Christ 2. Have heard “the WORD” correctly, completely and truthfully proclaimed 3. Have even, in the present times by not going to “the singular source” for Faith Beliefs and Moral absolutes; set up by Christ for this precise reason, Christ One Church, with only One Set of Beliefs, and of course Only One God: Triune, ONLY found in His Church: The Catholic Church. [Eph.4: 1-7 and Eph. 2: 18-22].

Mary in order to become the Mother of God, the Mother of Jesus Christ, had to be [in an absolute sense] perfected. God simply could not be born of a women with any stain of sin. But what did this “perfection” entail. What was the price that Mary PAID in FULL, for this singular honor? Salvation always comes at a price.

Let’s do a quick recap of Mary’s life.

Mary was one of the Bibles “miracle babies”. She was born of very religious parents, who even in OLD AGE never despaired, never gave up hope for a child. The traditional Jewish beliefs at the time was that no children was a DIRECT Punishment from God for having in some way failed him; so there was a stigma attached to being barren. When Anna became pregnant she and her husband [whose name is not specified in the bible] knew that it was truly a GIFT from God. This was a people accustomed to sacrifice and giving thanks to God for Gods beatitude of love for them.

Sacred Tradition holds [this in an optional belief, not mandated] that in thanksgiving Mary’s parents took Mary at an early age [2 to 3 years old] and presented her to the Temple Highpriest to become a “TEMPLE VIRGIN.” This was neither common nor rare. These virgin girls were raised officially by the Highpriest; but actually by select women who were trained to do this. They were instructed in the Torah, the Commandments [now over 600 strong], and the history and Traditions of the Jewish nation. QUITE UNUSUAL for women at the time. She would have stayed likely until early puberty., when often they were given in marriage as young teenage girls. Mary at an early age had “dedicated herself to God” as a virgin. Again not uncommon but not absolutely required either.

So as the time of her Temple departure grew near Mary felt great stress on how she would be able to keep her Chastity Vow. She found herself “given” to Joseph as his wife. [Women were seen as property not really people]. She was virgin but not stupid. She certainly would know that sex and children would be expected from her.

So up to this point Mary has suffered being raised without parents [an Orphan] and no family life. Then she faced the uncertainty of keeping her promise to God. This MUST have been very difficult. Vows, then as now were seen as a PERSONAL COVENANT with God. Not something taken lightly.

Mary a teenage girl, and a avowed virgin, is given in marriage. Out of “the blue” [pun intended], an ANGEL of God appears to her and announces that she; from all women for all of time, has been chosen by God to become the Mother of Gods Son.

Keep in mind, Mary was well aware that “they” were waiting for the Messiah. She likely was taught that this physical person would be a kind-of New King David. A military leader to lead the nation once again in freeing them from oppression; now to the Romans, and to freedom and an new independent Jewish Nation. Her response is TRULY Astounding. Mary does not ask the obvious question of: “WHY ME?” Rather she ask the pragmatic question: HOW?…. How is this possible?

I am a virgin? Without hesitation putting aside her Vow of virginity because YAHWEH -God asked her too., she grants her Lord what he ask. This kind of Faith., mirrors that of Abraham who asked for “signs“ not asked for by Mary. This kind of complete trust in God is unparalled in humanities history. And from a young teenage girl, not even imaginable. There is no need to ask “who is charge of Mary’s Life?” Mary or God! Clearly God is. [And that my friends is one of the most important KEYS to understanding why we Catholics hold Mary is such high esteem].

Mary’s reply is a reflection of Mary’s Faith, Mary’s Hope, and Mary’s Love.:
Luke 1:26-28 “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, FULL OF GRACE,” the Lord is with you!” …. Mary’s response: 34 -35 And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God….. Even when told this INCREDIBLE manner this is to take place, one sees ONLY Faith, Only Hope and Truly Love. Mary’s response is: [Luke 1:38] And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.” What we might have done? That friends is the Second KEY on why Mary is so highly esteemed.

Behind the scenes is yet anther factor that Mary knew and still said yes to God. Her very life was put at risk. Women who got pregnant before marriage were commonly stoned to death. And Mary HAD TO have known this. Once again we see the F. H. L. of Marian perfection in action.

Without asking for a sign; she nevertheless is given one. The Angel informs her that [yet another miracle baby] will be born to her cousin in her advanced age. [John the Baptizer]. Putting aside her concerns for herself, Mary rushes to the aid of her aged cousin. [No easy task, that!] When Mary greets Elizabeth the baby in her womb “LEAPS FOR JOY.” Both mother and child are granted “Infused knowledge” and KNOW that they are in the presence of holiness: Elizabeth shouts with JOY! BLESSED IS THE FRUIT OF YOUR WOMB! … “Who am I that the mother of the Messiah should come to visit me?” Friends this response is “GOD INSPIRED” and it is the very response that God desires you and I have for His Mother too. Joseph and Elizabeth are quick to recognize the uniqueness and holiness of Mary. And today both of them are SAINTS. That friends is another- KEY that God desires we grab a hold of. Mary is Gods GIFT to humanity to LEAD us and DIRECT us to our Lord. No one else has the access to God that Mary has. THINK ABOUT THIS REALITY! And think of the possible benefits this can be to your Growth in holiness.

Divine Providence is ever-present. God accomplishes what God desires in the time and manner He desires. Most often there is a message; a lesson hidden in the events.

We are now at the point were Joseph too has been spoken to from an Angel sent by God; and like Mary, he too displays complete Faith, Hope and Love, and accepts the mysterious will of God, simply because THAT is what it is.

They are required to make the long trip to Bethlehem which Providently means “HOUSE OF BREAD“ [and is the “city of king David.“] Because Joseph is “of the Line of king David”, this is where they MUST register for the Roman census. Mary is near TERM, and the trip had to be extremely uncomfortable and difficult for both of them. They arrive around dusk and can “find no room at the Inn.” This could have been because the INN was fully Booked; but more likely because of the mandate from ROME the INN Keeper was gouging his kin and Joseph simply lacked the funds to pay for a room. Divine Providence strikes once again. They find a cave in the hills that Shepherds used in foul weather. It was furnished and smelled like the barn it was. And it is here, that the LORD of LORDS, our God in born. And laid in a manger: a place for feeding the stock. [“house of Bread, a manger and Christ = the foretelling of the Most Holy Eucharist]. … God IS in charge! Can you imagine the difficulties? The filth, the stench, no water source and only the meager supplies they had with them. The message here had to be confusing even to MARY who knew that this son; was the long awaited Messiah. Yet God assures them that he is With Them. Luke 2:8-14 “And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!” Luke tells us “Mary pondered all of these things in her heart.” Obviously God had yet to make known to them, the details of His plan. So Mary gave birth to Christ in a Stable, a cave for sheep. Christ by these circumstances was making it known [later -The Good Shepherd“] that he has come for ALL. Especially the poor, ill and lame. For sinners not for His Glory. …. That would come later.

I’M Catholic
By Pat Miron
MARY and our Catholic Beliefs
PART TWO OF 2 Mary and our Salvation

Luke 2:21-35 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” [indicating extreme poverty] Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel.” And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”

Once again the mysterious way’s of God are made known. This final verse was making Mary and Joseph aware that SHE TOO WOULD HAVE TO SUFFER. I wonder if Mary had any second thoughts? The answer is NO! Mary always and every time said “YES” to God. TRUST like Mary had can only come from the ultimate living of the Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love. She modeled what we ought to deem to emulate. “I believe in God” AMEN!

Soon the first sword would make itself known. Matt.2:13, 19 “Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying,

Lets pause a minute to consider what this meant to them. 1. They had to abandon home, family, friends, and most of there meager positions [Divine Providence though had provided the “Gold, Incense and Mirth” given to them from the “THREE WISE-MEN.”] 2. They were told not only to :move” but to move back to Egypt: Highly significant as it indicates “back into captivity…[the exodus reversed]. And this was PAGAN land and They would be ill-treated for memories were long and it was the JEWS who cost them Pharaoh and all of His troops and the plagues ect. They were unlikely to make many friends or find much sympathy in Egypt. 3. With no hesitation and no complaints they did as God desired.

Then there were the quiet years. Have any of you parents ever “lost a kid” in a mega-store. Karen and I did when our first child was about 3 years old. We met someone we knew and were talking to them and Kelly just got bored and walked away unnoticed. I can tell you from experience your heart stops, and the beating you give yourself is far worse than anything someone else could do to you. I cannot imagine the PAIN, the guilt, the complete sense of being helpless. Mary and Joseph experienced this when Jesus was 12 years old. They had to trek to Jerusalem for a holy-FEAST. When the Feast was completed and there Moral obligation had been fulfilled, they left with family and friends to return home. It was not until the next day that Mary became very concerned. Jesus had not returned for supper, and had not said anything about being with other friends or family. [Men traveled with men and women with women; so each thought Jesus was with the other. In the morning having anxiously searched for Jesus among the travelers; none of whom had even “seen Jesus.” The frantic parents returned to Jerusalem and searched for THREE DAYS. [Again we see the hand of Divine providence] before finding Jesus “in the TEMPLE” discussing and EXPLAINING PROFOUND teachings to the Priest. When confronted and asked why he did this Jesus replied: “Do YOU not know that I MUST be about My Fathers Business.” Jesus was reminding them both not to get too comfortable in there family life. That he came with a MISSION. … To have to endure for THREE days a missing child is incomprehensible to me. TALK about suffering! Yet in the background is Divine providence again. The “three days” was a prelude for Mary of the three days that Jesus would remain buried; dead, in the tomb after His Passion.

The Next scene is the Wedding Feast of Cana. Joseph has died, so as not to interfere in any way with the Ministry of Christ. It is HIGHLY NOTABLE that Mary is still present. Mary approaches her son and his “friends” who too where invited to the wedding Feast that often lasted a week or more. … John.2: 1-11 “ On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, [RAN OUT] the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Of considerable note is the fact that it is MARY who Initiates the action; the first Miracle and what it foretells. Mary approaches Jesus seeming to KNOW things that we don’t! 1. She expects Jesus do perform a miracle, even though Jesus has yet to do so. Jesus even tell her “it’s not MY TIME YET.” Still Mary persist: ’Do whatever he tells you.” 2. The hidden dialog here between mother and son is that BOTH KNOW that in revealing his Divinity she if launching Jesus on His Ministry. 3 NOTICE how Jesus address her. As “WOMEN,“ not as MOTHER, MARY is in effect being told IF I Do this you are sending me to an early death [“MY TIME HAS NOT YET ARRIVED“] AND Mary is being told that she too will be made to suffer. 4. Look at what the next verse; verse 12 reveals: John 2:12 “After this he went down to Caper’na-um, with his mother and his brothers [Apostles] and his disciples; and there they stayed for a few days.” Mary to be a part of her sons ministry; she is nearly always in the background. And what MOTHER would not be attuned and aware of the soon to build hatred, and what pain and internal suffering was added to Mary’s daily cross knowing that she could only endure; she could only combine her suffering with that of her son.?

John 19: 25-27 “So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag’dalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved [John] standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home

No doubt about it; the PASSION of Christ is about the Passion of Christ. Yet that is not our theme for today. The Bible indicates that Mary was present at the foot of the Cross,. Sacred Tradition affirms that Mary was there for the entire ordeal. So logic tells us that Mary would have been present to hear the crowds chant for Christ crucifixion, the crowing of thorns and the scourging at the pillar. These events are prayed in The Stations of the Cross. Simeon’s prophesy about a “sword piercing Mary’s heart” is fulfilled to the letter. Words fail in trying to capture the pain of a Mother watching her son; HER INNOCENT SON, suffer the scourging, the crowing with thorns, crowds calling for Christ Crucifixion and the trek to the place of the “the SKULL” carrying the heavy Cross; then being there to see your son NAILED hands and feet to the Cross, not just crucified. This nailing was intended to highlight the CRIMES of the prisoner; to increase the pain, and to increase the humiliation. Yet Christ is the “Innocent Lamb of God.” … Key here is understanding that AFTER ALL OF THIS pain and suffering is when Jesus asked MARY to be “our Mother too,” while HANGING FROM THE CROSS, a CROSS THAT WE; You and ME, placed Him on, and again without hesitation, Mary accepts this role for Her Sons sake and for ALL of us. She agrees to take AN ACTIVE ROLE in humanities salvation. NOT a primary role; but nevertheless, an ACTIVE ROLE. Mary not ONLY forgives us [she being the ONLY human- being not accountable for these barbaric acts inflicted on her Son]; but actually desires [because Her Son so desires] that we be forgiven, that we be given grace, and that we be permitted to freely choose to; or NOT TO; participate in the PROCESS of Human salvation as taught by Christ and passed on by Christ Church.

Mary has the title of QUEEN of Heaven and of Earth because just as the Eucharist is the “Sacrament par albescence” so Mary is placed above every angel, every Saint and all mankind. When the Church proclaims someone “Blessed” or a “Saint” the FIRST PROCLAMATION is not as many of us suppose; is NOT an affirmation, a declaration, that this Person definitely is in Heaven, rather the FIRST assurance is that this person by careful and extensive investigation has lived while on earth a exemplary, and “extraordinary” holy life. Having done this and having passed the investigation and the test of Miracles, they are proclaimed a Saint; one who definitely is in Heaven. Even the Angels and saints honor Mary who She is and what She has done. We too will benefit from this practice.

Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces
by Father William G. Most

Closely related to the Catholic teaching on Mary’s cooperation in the redemption is the teaching that, with through and under her Son, she is Mediatrix of all graces. What exactly does this mean?

The term Mediatrix in itself could refer to either the objective redemption (the once-for-all earning a title to grace for all men), to the subjective redemption (the distribution of this grace to individual men), or to both. It is most usual to use it to refer only to subjective redemption, i.e. , the process of giving out the fruits of the objective redemption, throughout all centuries. We must consider whether or not the term Mediatrix applies to all graces or only to some. We will ask also about the nature of the mediation: is it only by way of intercession, that is, does Mary simply pray to her Son that he may give us grace, or does God also use her as an instrument in distributing grace. To begin, we can say without doubt that the title “Mediatrix” is justified, and applies to all graces for certain, by her cooperation in acquiring all graces on Calvary.
The Second Vatican Council (Lumen gentium ## 61-62), said:

… in suffering with Him as He died on the cross, she cooperated in the work of the Savior, in an altogether singular way, by obedience, faith, hope, and burning love, to restore supernatural life to souls. As a result she is our Mother in the order of grace.

This motherhood of Mary in the economy of grace lasts without interruption, from the consent which she gave in faith at the annunciation, and which she unhesitatingly bore with under the cross, even to the perpetual consummation of all the elect. For after being assumed into heaven, she has not put aside this saving function, but by her manifold intercession, she continues to win the gifts of eternal salvation for us. By her motherly love, she takes care of the brothers of her Son who are still in pilgrimage and in dangers and difficulties, until they be led through to the happy fatherland. For this reason, the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adiutrix, and Mediatrix. This however it to be so understood that it takes nothing away, or adds nothing to the dignity and efficacy of Christ the one Mediator. For no creature can ever be put on the same level with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer….”

We notice that Vatican II did not add the words “of all graces.” However, as many papal texts point out, Mary’s role in dispensation flows logically from her role in acquiring all graces. Further, the Council itself added a note on the above passage, in which it refers us to the texts of Leo XIII, Adiutricem populi, St. Pius X, Ad diem illum, Pius XI, Miserentissimus Redemptor, and Pius XII, Radiomessage to Fatima.

Leo XIII, in the text referred to, spoke of her, as we saw above, as having “practically limitless power.” St. Pius X said she was the “dispensatrix of all the gifts, and is the “neck” connecting the Head of the Mystical Body to the Members. But all power flows through the neck. Pius XII said “Her kingdom is as vast as that of her Son and God, since nothing is excluded from her dominion.” These and many other texts speak in varied ways of Mary as Mediatrix of all graces, so often that the teaching has become infallible.

Objection
Protestants object to this , saying that there is only one mediator: 1 Tim 2:5. We agree that there are many ways in which Christ is the only mediator between God and man. 1) There is only one mediator who is such by very nature, being both true God and true man. 2) There is only one mediator whose whose work is necessary, without whom, in God’s plan, there could be no salvation. 3) There is only one mediator who depends on no one else for power.

Mary differs on all three counts. 1) Mary only a creature, but it was appropriate that God be freely choose her as Mediatrix because he had made her Mother of the God-man, the Redeemer–it was she who on behalf of the whole human race consented to God’s plan of salvation by proclaiming herself the handmaid of the Lord. 2) Her role was not necessary, since Christ was and is the perfect Redeemer and the perfect Mediator. Rather, Mary was associated with her Son by the free decision of the Father, a decision which we cannot ignore. 3) Her whole ability to do anything comes entirely from her Son, and hence we are not contradicting Lumen gentium # 62 which says no creature can be ever counted together with Him.

Really, the Father did not need her at all, except that if He decreed the incarnation, He necessarily decreed a Mother: she was and is that Mother. But everything else in which He has employed her is not needed.

Yet, if we recall the economy of redemption, it is clear that the Father wants everything to be as rich as possible, so that He will not stop with something lesser if there is more than can be done. Really, the incarnation in a palace, without death, would have been infinite in merit and satisfaction, as we have seen in the section on her cooperation in the redemption.

Further, the principle of St. Thomas helps here. In Summa Theologiae I. 19. 5. c., Thomas says that it pleases God to have one thing in place to serve as a title or reason for granting something further, even though that title does not move Him. It is His love of all goodness and good order that leads Him to act this way. Hence too, even though Calvary earned infinite forgiveness and graces, the Father wills to provide titles for giving out these, in the Mass. Even though He did not need even our Lady, yet He willed to employ her. Even though there is no need of any other saints, in objective or subjective redemption, yet He wills to add them–all to make everything, every title, as rich as possible.

Lumen gentium [Vatican II Document] speaks of her as taking care of all her children. We are extremely numerous, but yet not infinite in number. Therefore, we are not too numerous for her to see and care for. For her capacity for that infinite vision of God is in proportion to her love on earth, so great that Pius IX, as we saw, said it was so great that “none greater under God can be thought of, and no one but God can comprehend it.”

Is her mediation merely by intercession, prayer for us to her Son and to God the Father? Or does she also play a role in the distribution of graces from the Father through her Son to us? Many today, influenced by Protestant theology, tend to speak of grace merely as favor, and so say grace is not a thing given. But that would imply Pelagianism, the heresy that says that we can be saved by our own power. For if God merely sits there and smiles at me, and gives me nothing, that would mean that I had to do it by my own power.
So we answer, since Mary was associated with her Son in acquiring grace for us, she will also share with him in distributing that grace to us. This fits well with the words of the Popes, who call her the administra of grace, meaning that she administers or dispenses it. So Pope Leo XIII, Iucunda semper, said:

“… when He [the Father] has been invoked with excellent prayers, our humble voice turns to Mary; in accordance with no other law than that law of conciliation and petition which was expressed as follows by St. Bernardine of Siena : ‘Every grace that is communicated to this world has a threefold course. For by excellent order, it is dispensed from God to Christ, from Christ to the Virgin, from the Virgin to us.'”

Mary is so honored NOT for WHO she is: RATHER for What SHE IS, and WHAT She suffered in unity with Her Son Jesus, and especially what She modeled PERFECTLY for us to emulate., … Mary is THEE most fertile seed, in THEE most fertile ground. Mary’s ROLE in addition to being the dispenser of grace [not the creator of grace; not even the one who determines who is to be offered grace], BUT the dispenser of grace. Is to aid, direct and assist us in doing God’s WILL …. Matt. 5:48 “you “therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Mary, better and more effectively than any other human Saint, is located closer to the THRONE of God; and has better access to Him than anyone else. The Role of Mary as OUR Mother/ Intercessor is to ADD Her prayers to OUR prayers making them far more likely to be answered quickly and always in the manner that is BEST for our Spiritual well-being. AMEN!

Without a VERY ACTIVE prayer life, one cannot know; cannot truly be in an in-depth personal relation with our God; with Jesus. If one is not is such a relationship with Jesus it will be impossible to understand the “KEY” Role God has shared with His Mother, and the ESTEEM that Jesus has for His Mother, and desires us to partake in.

What we Catholics hold as the truth about Mary is that 1. She is “Ever-Virgin,” 2. That She was assumed Body and soul into heaven. The key word here being “assumed,” God’s doing, not Mary’s. These are Graces; Gifts from a Loving and GRATEFUL God. There can be no doubt that Mary choose “to pay the price of admission to heaven.” Multiple Miracles have proven this fact… Further we believe that God choose to permit Mary to cooperate continually in humanities salvation by being HIS dispenser of ALL Graces. These special graces; this merited reward stems from the FACT that once God decided on our salvation through the Incarnation, that the “Mother” of the Messiah, had to be, in an absolute sense, “Perfected” in order to permit God; both God and now man; to be Perfect. It’s really as simple as that.

For the benefit of those who might wish to see what we actually teach: Here are some selected teachings of the CC on Mary.

148 The Virgin Mary most perfectly embodies the obedience of faith. By faith Mary welcomes the tidings and promise brought by the angel Gabriel, believing that “with God nothing will be impossible” and so giving her assent: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word.” Elizabeth greeted her: “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” It is for this faith that all generations have called Mary blessed.

490 To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.” The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”. In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.

506 Mary is a virgin because her virginity is the sign of her faith “unadulterated by any doubt”, and of her undivided gift of herself to God’s will. It is her faith that enables her to become the mother of the Savior: “Mary is more blessed because she embraces faith in Christ than because she conceives the flesh of Christ.”

510 Mary “remained a virgin in conceiving her Son, a virgin in giving birth to him, a virgin in carrying him, a virgin in nursing him at her breast, always a virgin”
963 Since the Virgin Mary’s role in the mystery of Christ and the Spirit has been treated, it is fitting now to consider her place in the mystery of the Church. “The Virgin Mary . . . is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer. . . . She is ‘clearly the mother of the members of Christ’ . . . since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head.” “Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church.”

964 Mary’s role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. “This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to his death”; it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:

Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother’s heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: “Woman, behold your son.”

970 “Mary’s function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin’s salutary influence on men . . . flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it.” “No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source.”

974 The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son’s Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of his Body.

2618 The Gospel reveals to us how Mary prays and intercedes in faith. At Cana, the mother of Jesus asks her son for the needs of a wedding feast; this is the sign of another feast – that of the wedding of the Lamb where he gives his body and blood at the request of the Church, his Bride. It is at the hour of the New Covenant, at the foot of the cross, that Mary is heard as the Woman, the new Eve, the true “Mother of all the living.”

500 Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus. The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, “brothers of Jesus”, are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls “the other Mary”. They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.

From the Book: “ The Deceiver” by Father Livio Fanzaga

“We should keep very much in mind an essential and irremovable aspect of the work of redemption completed by Christ, that it is realized with the intimate, constant, and fundamental collaboration of the Virgin Mary. Divine Wisdom has decided the women, [Mary] the new Eve, should be placed side by side with the new Adam [Christ] in the struggle against Satan for the liberation of humanity. As Christ is the Redeemer so Mary is the “co-redeemer” [through the merits of Jesus]. From the moment of the Incarnation until Christ’s death on the Cross, the Mother is beside the Son and shares each moment of the deadly conflict. … it is affirmed and it is true: It will NOT be the women who crushes the head of the serpent, BUT He SEED [JESUS].”

Mysterium Fidei! __ Blessed Pope John Paul II …. Ecclesia de Eucharistic ; #54-55

“If the Eucharist is the Mystery of [our Catholic] faith which so greatly transcends our understanding as to call for sheer abandonment to the word of God, then there can be no one like MARY to act as our support and guide in acquiring this disposition… At the Annunciation Mary conceived the Son of God in the physical reality of His Body and Blood, thus anticipating within herself what to some degree happens sacramentaly in every believer who receives, under the signs of bread and wine, the Lord’s Body and Blood. As a result, there is a profound analogy between the FIAT which Mary said in reply to the angel, and the AMEN which every believer says when receiving the Body of our Lord…. In continuity with the Virgin’s faith, in the Eucharistic mystery we are asked to believe that the same Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, becomes present in His FULL humanity and Divinity under the signs of bread and wine.” END Quote.

And may Mary; our Mother; the Mother of our God lead us into His Divine Presence.

God Bless you; Mary PRAY for us Now and at the hour of Death; AMEN!

Key’s to the Kingdom = Key to salvation?


i Catholic
By Pat Miron
Key’s “to The Kingdom” Explained
Collected and written in part by Pat Miron

In your opinion, what does the phrase “keys to the kingdom” refer to?

Quote:
“I would like just one Catholic to tell me specifically what they think these keys are that” were given to their church.

Who? Jesus the Christ [Mt. 16:16] The Son of God. All Knowing – all Wise – all everything Good. A key element of Gods Perfect Goodness is that God is and has to be “All-Fair and All Just.” Otherwise He would not be God.

The words used by Jesus are carefully selected to insure proper understanding.

[Mt. 16: 15-19] He [JESUS] said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, [Peter is in a personal one on one conversation with Jesus here] “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And [JESUS]I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock [ON YOU PETER] I will build my [SINGULAR] church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. [19] I [Jesus] will give you [PETER / My new Church] the keys of the kingdom of heaven, [To be understood as everything one needs to get to heaven; Including Christ Himself] and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The choice of words selected by Christ. To “bind” and to “loose” were common, rabbinical, legally binding at Law terms for exactly that! Complete, and free governance. Jesus, Peter and all that heard knew exactly what Jesus meant!

WHERE Mt. 16:13: “Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” “

Caesarea Philippi is in the Northern hill country of Judea. It was a by their standards, a large town. It was also the site of the areas Major Pagan Temple.

The location Jesus chooses is a clear indication of the Mission of His Church, and Peter and the Apostles. “Overcome, do away with pagan worship.” Jesus not only gives His Church this Mission, He gives His Church all of the tools and authority needed to accomplish it!

Why? The “Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven” is a literal statement of FACT! [Mt. 16:19] Jesus speaking directly to Saint Peter at the occasion of Founding His [now Catholic] Church: “[19] I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

This is what Jesus said, did, intended and has accomplished. It’s what the Word of God clearly says and clearly means. Amen!

Back in the time if Jesus it was common for major cites to be walled in for protection from attack. These cities actually had two real GATES, with REAL KEYS. A minor gate and the Main gate.

Now under independent rule, each major city also had there own king, and thus a “kingdom.” So there were many Kings and many kingdoms. A brief reading of the Old Testament list many Kings (who often merged with other kingdoms for the purpose of self-defense) because they were often too small to be completely independent against other NATIONS, who too merged all of their kingdoms resources to do battle and gain territory.

So the Apostles and the Jewish people of that time period would have been familiar and comfortable with the idea of a King and his Kingdom, as well as a Prime Minister who is the Keeper of the Key’s.

Typically the Prime Minister had complete, autonomous control of ALL day to day activities. The Prime Minister answered to NO-ONE except the King Himself. Thus the Pope answers directly to God.

This is the common understanding and the very reason for the specific reference to “Keys” and the “Kingdom.” There would have been absolutely zero doubts about what Christ was saying, doing and mandating for Peter, now the “Prime Minister” for Christ new Kingdom!

This account is historically provable. Indeed Christ intended to start His (ONE) Church, and to give Peter and those “prime-ministers” (POPES) complete and autonomous control and governance of His Church. WHY? Because Christ knew He would soon return to the Father.

Isaiah 22:22-24 Re: PETER(and Jesus)“And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him like a peg in a sure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father’s house. And they will hang on him the whole weight of his father’s house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons”

Mt. 28: 19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

John 10: 1″Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door [ MY CHURCH] but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber; 2 but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

Rev. 3: [RE: PETER] [/b]. “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens.

Eph. 2:19 “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple [SINGULAR] in the Lord; [singular] in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” [b]

John 20: 19-22 “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

The last two color-highlighted verses are pregnant with teaching and meaning: Jesus is in the upper room with the eleven Apostles and 120 other disciples…. Clearly He is speaking Directly to the Apostles. [Verses 17 and 23 give evidence of this], as do these passages:

Mark.16:14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen“. Luke.24: 9 “and returning from the tomb they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them,”

As the Father [God] has sent “Me” [also God and man] , even so I [God] send you.”

This is saying that Just I came in the Power of God; so I send you with My Powers. It is these words that are attributed as Christ Officially initiation of the CC. [“CC”] means the Roman Catholic Church with Her Present 22 branches that are in FULL Communion with Rome. [The term means in alignment with and Obedient too].

Haydock’s Catholic Commentary [widely recognized throughout the years as perhaps the best… Written in the late 1800’s.]

Ver. 21. As the Father hath sent me. The word mission, when applied to our Saviour Christ, sometimes signifies his eternal procession from the Father, and sometimes his mission, as he was sent into the world to become man, and the Redeemer of mankind: the first mission agrees with him, as the eternal Son of God; the second, as man, or as both God and man. The mission which Christ here gives his apostles, is like this latter mission, with this great difference, that graces and divine gifts were bestowed on Christ, even as man, without measure: and the apostles had a much lesser share in both these missions. See St. Augustine, lib. iv. de Trin. chap. xix. xx. tom. 4. p. 829. and seq. (Witham) —

A few words about Binding and Loosing: FYI: I make use of Strong’s [non-catholic] Lexicon to get definitions from the Bibles English to there Hebrew and Greek meanings.

Bind/ Hebrew = 3256 yacar yaw-sar’ a primitive root; to chastise, literally (with blows) or figuratively (with words); hence, to instruct:–bind, chasten, chastise, correct, instruct, punish, reform, reprove, sore, teach. 6105 `atsam aw-tsam’ a primitive root; to bind fast, i.e. close (the eyes); intransitively, to be (causatively, make) powerful or numerous; denominatively (from 6106) to crunch the bones:–break the bones, close, be great, be increased, be (wax) mighty(-ier), be more, shut, be(-come, make) strong(-er).

Bind Greek = 332. anathematizo an-ath-em-at-id’-zo from 331; to declare or vow under penalty of execration:–(bind under a) curse, bind with an oath.

Loose Hebrew = 332. anathematizo an-ath-em-at-id’-zo from 331; to declare or vow under penalty of execration:–(bind under a) curse, bind with an oath. 7971 shalach shaw-lakh’ a primitive root; to send away, for, or out (in a great variety of applications):–X any wise, appoint, bring (on the way), cast (away, out), conduct, X earnestly, forsake, give (up), grow long, lay, leave, let depart (down, go, loose), push away, put (away, forth, in, out), reach forth, send (away, forth, out), set, shoot (forth, out), sow, spread, stretch forth (out).

Loose Greek= 142. airo ah’-ee-ro a primary root; to lift up; by implication, to take up or away; figuratively, to raise (the voice), keep in suspense (the mind), specially, to sail away (i.e. weigh anchor); by Hebraism (compare 5375) to expiate sin:–away with, bear (up), carry, lift up, loose, make to doubt, put away, remove, take (away, up). 630. apoluo ap-ol-oo’-o from 575 and 3089; to free fully, i.e. (literally) relieve, release, dismiss (reflexively, depart), or (figuratively) let die, pardon or (specially) divorce:–(let) depart, dismiss, divorce, forgive, let go, loose, put (send) away, release, set at liberty. 2673. katargeo kat-arg-eh’-o from 2596 and 691; to be (render) entirely idle (useless), literally or figuratively:–abolish, cease, cumber, deliver, destroy, do away, become (make) of no (none, without) effect, fail, loose, bring (come) to nought, put away (down), vanish away, make void.

Haydock’s On Mt. 16:19 ‘The Key’s”

Ver. 19. And I will give to thee the keys, &c. This is another metaphor, expressing the supreme power and prerogative of the prince of the apostles. The keys of a city, or of its gates, are presented or given to the person that hath the chief power. We also own a power of the keys, given to the other apostles, but with a subordination to St. Peter and to his successor, as head of the Catholic Church. — And whatsoever thou shalt bind, &c. All the apostles, and their successors, partake also of this power of binding and loosing, but with a due subordination to one head invested with the supreme power. (Witham) — Loose on earth. The loosing the bands of temporal punishments due to sins, is called an indulgence: the power of which is here granted. (Challoner) — Although Peter and his successors are mortal, they are nevertheless endowed with heavenly power, says St. Chrysostom, nor is the sentence of life and death passed by Peter to be attempted to be reversed, but what he declares is to be considered a divine answer from heaven, and what he decrees, a decree of God himself. He that heareth you, heareth me, &c. The power of binding is exercised, 1st. by refusing to absolve; 2nd. by enjoining penance for sins forgiven; 3nd. by excommunication, suspension or interdict; 4th. by making rules and laws for the government of the Church; 5th. by determining what is of faith by the judgments and definitions of the Church. (Tirinus) — The terms binding and loosing, are equivalent to opening and shutting, because formerly the Jews opened the fastenings of their doors by untying it, and they shut or secured their doors by tying or binding it.

[QUOTE]=Protestant= You are really behind the times. Catholicism; especially in North America has become a house divided, on abortion, and other issues. [B] The [/B] only [B] difference is Catholics won’t call the differences “denominations.” [/B] They use other fancy words and terminology. [/QUOTE]

As highlighted I tend to agree with you on this one point. But that is not “the only difference.”

The Catholic Church in America (what some of refer to as the American catholic? Church) holds many different views, moral, political and biblical than us Roman Catholics living here in America.

[QUOTE]I would like just one Catholic to tell me specifically what they think these keys are that were given to their church. I would be willing to bet that the OP doesn’t even know and will have to look it up. [/QUOTE]

Allow me to at least try to respond to your challenge.

In order to do so I must attempt to answer for you the W’s, who, what, where and why?

Who? Jesus the Christ [Mt. 16:16] The Son of God. All Knowing – all Wise – all everything Good. A key element of Gods Perfect Goodness is that God is and has to be “All-Fair and All Just.” Otherwise He would not be God.

So from this we are able to understand that when God teaches He does so with complete understanding of what it is He is teaching, and does so in a manner those whom He chooses to enlighten WILL UNDERSTAND that. [Mt. 11:25-26]

The words used by Jesus are carefully selected to insure proper understanding.

[Mt. 16: 15-19]

He [JESUS] said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, [Peter is in a personal one on one conversation with Jesus here] “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And [JESUS]I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock [ON YOU PETER] I will build my [SINGULAR] church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. [19] I will give you [PETER / My new Church] the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

This is part of the discourse in which Christ makes clear in unambiguous language that He intends to: 1. Form His Church (singular use of “I” and “you” and “church.” 2. That it is to be only ONE church. 3. That Peter is given the access (gate keys) to heaven. 4. Peter (and Peter alone) is given all of the power and authority to govern with COMPLETE autonomous authority, answering ONLY to God Himself!

We can know this by the choice of words selected by Christ. To “bind” and to “loose” were common, rabbinical, legally binding at Law terms for exactly that! Complete, and free governance. Jesus, Peter and all that heard knew exactly what Jesus meant! Exactly what Jesus meant! At the time these were very commonly used words. Also see [Mt. 18:15-18] “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; [SINGULAR] and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind [Mandate / decide on] on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

WHERE? Mt. 16:13: “Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” “

The timing and the location were of great significance to the message, the purpose and the mission of what Jesus was in the process of setting up and doing. Jesus was aware of when and how soon He would be put to death.

Caesarea Philippi is in the hill country of Judea. It was a by their standards, a large town. It was also the site of the areas Major Pagan Temple. Thus Jesus ask, “ who do people say that I am.” Not satisfied with the response Jesus then “ask His decuples (plural.) PETER answers, [Mt. 16: 16 ]Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

This is significant, for the mandate that follows is directly out of the mouth of God! And all there were aware of this fact.

The location Jesus chooses is a clear indication of the Mission of His Church, and Peter and the Apostles. “Overcome, do away with pagan worship.” Jesus not only gives His Church this Mission, He gives His Church all of the tools and authority needed to accomplish it!

Why? Why indeed! Jesus knew from the moment of his Conception in the Virgin womb of His Mother, what Gods plan (His Plan) was. He knew that he would suffer and die that He would rise from the Dead, and be our Redeemer. He further knew that [Mt. 22:14 “14 ] For many are called, but few are chosen.” The word “chosen, in this context means “chosen BY US!” In other words, many will deny, and many will die because of unbelief, because of the personal choice we make.

Jesus clearly knew what lie in store for His Disciples and the persecution His Church, and His Disciples, would have to face. This is precisely why the mandate, why the authority, why the church, why they too would die professing that Christ is Lord! That Jesus remains present “ Really Present,” why Jesus instituted the Seven Sacraments. All this so that His Church would have the power and the authority, the tools and the grace, to become the “Narrow Gate” of Christ plan for our Salvation. [Mt. 7: 13.]

The “Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven” is a literal statement of FACT! [Mt. 16:19] Jesus speaking directly to Saint Peter at the occasion of Founding His [now Catholic] Church: “[19] I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

This is what Jesus said, did, intended and has accomplished. It’s what the Word of God clearly says and clearly means. Amen!

I made the point of why Jesus selected Caesarea Philippi, and it was primarily because it was the “center of pagan worship for the area.” Indeed it was the location of a very large Pagan Temple.

But why did Jesus use the term “the keys?” Was there a specific reason? Would those to whom Jesus was speaking have easily picked up on what Jesus was saying and doing?

Our Blessed Lord was fond of Parables that told stories in order to make the point He was trying to make. So we can understand that whatever words Jesus selected were carefully chosen.

Have you by chance ever watched EWTN and the morning rosary?] The reason I ask is that it shows various parts of Jerusalem today. Jerusalem even today continues to be a walled in fortified city, with real gates, and real keys.

Back in the time if Jesus all major cites were walled in for protection from attack. These cities actually had two real GATES, with REAL KEYS. A minor gate and the Main gate.

Now under independent rule, each major city also had there own king, and thus a “kingdom.” So there were many Kings and many kingdoms. A brief reading of the Old Testament list many Kings (who often merged with other kingdoms for the purpose of self-defense) because they were usually too small to be completely independent against other NATIONS, who too merged all of their kingdoms resources to do battle and gain territory.

So the Apostles and the Jewish people of that time period would have been familiar and comfortable with the idea of a King and his Kingdom, a Prime Minister who is the Keeper of the Key’s.

Such was true of Kings and Kingdoms. All day to day governance was given to a person that they selected as “Prime Minister.” An example of this is Genesis 42 and Joseph, the brother sold into slavery, which is made Prime Minister of all of Egypt.

Typically a Prime Minister had complete, autonomous control of ALL day to day activities. The Prime Minister answered to NO-ONE except the King Himself and nobody but the King.

This is the common understanding and the very reason for the specific reference to “Keys” and the “Kingdom.” There would have been absolutely zero doubts about what Christ was saying, doing and mandating for Peter, now the “Prime Minister” for Christ!

This account is historically provable. Indeed Christ intended to start His (ONE) Church, and to give Peter and those “prime-ministers” (POPES) complete and autonomous control and governance of His Church.

Some further Biblical evidence on the Authority of the Pope and the Only Church actually founded by Christ.

Authority

Luke 10:16 “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

John 21: 15-19 [15] When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.” (This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Eph. 4: 1-7 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body [WHICH MEANS ONE CHURCH] and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Luke 22:28 “You are those who have continued with me in my trials; 2 and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Mt. 28: 19-20 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

2nd. Cor.11: 12 “And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.”

1 Peter 1: “12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things which have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news to you through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”

John 10: 1″Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door [ MY CHURCH] but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber; 2 but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

Mt. 7: 21 “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.”

2 Peter 2: 1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; from of old their condemnation has not been idle, and their destruction has not been asleep.

Mt. 16: 15 He [Jesus] said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I [singular] tell you, you are Peter,[singular] and on this rock [singular] I will build my [singular] church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.[singular] 19 I [God singular] will give you [singular] the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you [singular] bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Eph. 4: 4 -8 “There is one body [One Church] and one Spirit, [One set of beliefs] just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, [One God] one faith, [One set of doctrine and dogma] one baptism,[ By water in the Trinity] one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said,

Eph. 5: 23 Christ is the head of the church [SINGULAR] , his body, [[SINGULAR].

1 Cor. 14: 12 “ So with yourselves; since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church. [singular]

Eph. 3: 9 “And to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10 that through the church [SINGULAR] the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,

Col. 1: 18 “ He is the head of the body [singular], the church; [singular] he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell”

Acts 20: 28 “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of the LORD” [SINGULAR]

Mt. 18: 15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; [singular] and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. [18] Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

1 Cor. 12: 12-1 “For just as the body [singular] is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, [singular] though many, are one body, [singular] so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”

The Keys represent unlimited Power of Governance as well as being “the [also singular] narrow gate” one MUST enter to attain salvation. PJM [Matt. 7:13-14.]

God’s Continued Blessings for you and your’s,
Love and prayers,
Pat

Sola Scriptura?


“DEFINITION of Sola Scritura [Scripture Alone] given by Greg Krehbiel

“Scripture is the only infallible rule for faith and practice” — hence, all “churches” and any “traditions” (today) are fallible. [As indicated at other times; while this may be true for the Protestant Community; it clearly and biblically [John 14 and John17] is untrue for the Catholic Church.

COROLLARY (and necessary implication) of SS :

The only interpretation of Scripture that is binding on the Christian conscience is that of the individual exegete (assuming normal adult intelligence) since all “churches” and any “traditions” are fallible.

I. SS is UNBIBLICAL

(1) there is no direct teaching of SS in Scripture (OT or NT)

(a) although possibly implied by 2 Tim 3:15-17; 1 Cor 4:6; etc)

2Tim.3 Verses 15 to 17: and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

1Cor.4: 6 “I have applied all this to myself and Apol’los for your benefit, brethren, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.”

(b) denied by 1 Cor 11:2; 2 Thess 2:15; 2 Tim 1:13-14; John 21: etc)

1Cor.11: 2 “I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you.”

2Thes.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.”

2Tim.1 Verses 13 to 14: “Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us”

John 21: 24 -25 “This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true. But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”

(2) there is no statement that apostolic oral revelation would cease to be a rule of faith (was argued it has in fact “passed away”)

(3) or at least SS is “non-biblical” since the NT is silent about the “passing away” of the apostolic oral revelation (cf. Matt 24:35; Acts 2:42; 1 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 1:25; 2 Pet 3:2; etc)

II. SS is UNHISTORICAL

(1) the early Church (1st century) functioned without the NT — this is granted — all special revelation was oral from Christ to His apostles to the early Christians — no written besides OT

(2) even after NT was written the Church functioned without complete NT canon (various books were questioned or not known or not included in some canon lists in the early centuries)

(3) the Church Fathers denied SS — this is challenged by such Protestant apologists as James White and William Webster

(4) the Church councils and early Creeds do not mention SS — (“I [We] believe in one holy catholic apostolic Church” rather than “I believe in the one holy Scripture alone”)

(5) Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox (all “ancient” Churches that trace back through apostolic succession) deny SS today

III. SS is ILLOGICAL (or incoherent)

(1) Scripture alone does not teach “Scripture alone” (see I. above)

(2) Scripture alone can’t tell us what “Scripture” is (NT canon)

(a) to argue from “fallible knowledge” and historical testimony directly to inspired Scripture is not possible by reason — Protestants must simply accept this “by faith alone”

(b) to argue from “fallible knowledge” and historical testimony to an infallible Church founded by Christ and protected from error by the Holy Spirit according to Christ’s promises –[John 14] which same Church ultimately decided the canon — THEN to inspired Scripture is reasonable (Catholic solution)

(c) or Scripture is “a fallible collection of infallible books” (R.C. Sproul’s “solution” to incoherency problem — but how does he know these books are inspired if “fallible” canon?)

(3) Scripture alone can’t resolve the differences in OT canon

(4) Scripture alone — being an inanimate object — can’t make any infallible and binding decisions concerning either canon or any (mis)interpretation — Scripture is simply assumed by definition to be “self-interpreting” and “self-authenticating” without need of any infallible Church — this begs two important questions

(a) How do I know the Bible *IS* the Word of God?

(b) How do I know *MY* interpretation of Scripture is correct?

(5) Scripture alone can’t function as the sole rule of faith for a Christian populace that was entirely illiterate and Bibles were inaccessible before the age of printing (ante 1450 AD)

IV. SS is INCONSISTENT

(1) the Church recognized the NT canon through “tradition” alone and every Protestant today is the beneficiary of that tradition

(2) to argue the “infallibility of God’s special providence” (Eric Svendsen) allowed the Church to recognize the NT canon can’t be limited to just the canon — i.e. the same providence of God should protect the Church in general from officially teaching error since she is guided by the “Spirit of truth” (Jn 16:13)

(3) everyone has a “tradition” (although Protestants insist it is fallible) when interpreting Scripture so the question is which tradition should one use and why?

(4) also inconsistent to attack the beliefs of that very Catholic Church that gave us the Bible — I would argue of course that the Catholic Church of 400 AD is the same Church of 1996 AD

V. SS is IMPROBABLE — follows directly from II. 3) to 5) above

VI. SS is UNWORKABLE (and impractical)

(1) the fact of over 20,000 Protestant denominations and sects in contrast to the unity of faith (Eph 4:5) in the Catholic Church

Eph. 4: 4 -8“There is one body [One Church] and one Spirit, [One set of beliefs] just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, [One God] one faith, [One set of doctrine and dogma] one baptism,[ By water in the Trinity] one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said,

(2) Scripture alone is not perspicuous enough (cf. 2 Peter 3:16) to resolve major doctrinal disputes or moral teachings

2Pet.3: 16 “peaking of this as he [PAUL] in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. “

(3) how can the individual Christian know today who is right?

(4) SS implies nobody is bound to any interpretation but their own since all “churches” and any “traditions” are fallible

(5) each individual Christian is fallible but the historic Christian and Catholic solution is the Magisterium that teaches God’s Word infallibly (e.g. in Ecumenical Councils) — does it really work?

Much more could be said but this is simply a brief statement outlining the Catholic (or Orthodox) case.

All of these points are fully explored and documented in the massive book by Robert Sungenis, Not By Scripture Alone : A Catholic Critique of the Protestant Doctrine of Sola Scriptura (Queenship Publishing, 1997).”

Love and prayers,

Pat

So Hows’ YOUR Prayer Life?


I’m Catholic

So How’s Your Prayer-Life?
By Pat Miron

Just how important is prayer anyway?
Let’s take a look at what Jesus Himself demonstrated for us.

Matthew 3: 13-17 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” .. Matthew 4: 1-11 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. … And he fasted forty days and forty nights, [implied here is constant prayer and communion with ‘The Father”] and afterward he was hungry. … And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, `Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, `He will give his angels charge of you,’ and `On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, `You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! for it is written, `You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him….

Notice that Jesus is baptized in His human nature before He is directed into the desert to do spiritual warfare with Satan.. The significance here is GRACE and it’s importance in the war against Satan. And make no mistake; it is a WAR! Even in His perfected human nature, Jesus found it prudent [doing the RIGHT thing at the RIGHT time] to be “filled” with the grace of the Holy Spirit from Baptism and then STILL fasted and prayed for “forty days” before His very human temptations. A second important thing to be aware of is how crafty Satan is. Notice he waits for the weakest moment when Jesus is h=destracted by hunger BEFORE HE STRIKES, be fore he makes his assault. Like our Guardian Angel and the Holy Spirit; Satan too is EVER-Preset, just waiting for the opportune time when for what ever reason our WILL is weakened and our guard is down. Expect this kind of attack and you will not be surprised. Develop a consistent and disciplined prayer life and you’ll ALWAYS be ready to defend yourself against Satan and His lies.

The temptation of “bread” represents all of humanities hungers and “drives“… sex, power, avarice, greed, gluttony, envy and sloth. Each of these depicts a human frailty, and thus a window of opportunity for Satan to temp us. Satan WILL SEEK TO FIND the one most likely to cause us to sin!

The second temptation aims to show us our equality, perhaps even thoughts of superiority over God. Why else would one attempt to force God to act? Pride is the most used tool of Satan. It is how Satan felt that he could better God and Failed; it is what He used to tempt successfully BOTH Adam and Eve, and it is the “justification” for every man -originated religion in the entire world. “I Do know MORE; I Do know Better than….”

The third temptation teaches us the cunningness and boldness of Satan’s lies. Here Satan offers God what is not even His to give. Satan has no morals, no values, no ethics, no scruples; NONE! Thus the only boundaries are those set on our behalf by God. Satan cannot ever override our FREEWILL. We MUST choose [perhaps not even freely, in the sense of being unprovoked] to cooperate with what the Father of lies offers us.

Prayer is the antidote that God makes available to us. It is the shield he gives to us. Prayer leads to GRACE, and grace to defeat for Satan. In this sense of understanding; the Sacraments become a POWERFUL form of prayer.

Did Jesus HAVE TO PRAY? No, even in His human nature, Jesus was Perfect. So why then did Jesus pray? Because Jesus knew that the “only book many will read” is our example. And Jesus taught both by what he SAID and by what he did. And So should we.

Jesus Himself taught by personal example that prayer is FAR more a necessity than a luxury. Luke.18:And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.

Matt.6: 5-6 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Matt.14: And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, Matt.19: Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. Mark.1: And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed. Mark.6: And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. Mark.9: And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” Luke.3: Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, Luke.5: But he withdrew to the wilderness and prayed. Luke.6: In these days he went out to the mountain to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God. Luke.9: Now it happened that as he was praying alone the disciples were with him; and he asked them, “Who do the people say that I am?” Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became dazzling white. Luke.11: He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” Luke.21: But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke.22: I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.” And when he came to the place he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” John.14:And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, John.17:I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom thou hast given me, for they are thine;

When faced with a trial, when bearing your cross, when there is a special need, a special want, when your hurting or ill, and even when your joyful: PRAY!

When Christ was facing the reality of His passion; His Cross He prayed so earnestly that He shed Blood like sweat…. Matt.26: 36- 44 “Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsem’ane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go yonder and pray.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” {In these words Friends is the KEY to successful prayer} Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done.” So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. “

The Key to a successful prayer life is discipline. How often, and with what regularity we are praying is FAR more important in the beginning than what we pray, or even how we pray. TEACH yourself to Pray at a minimum THREE times a day. ASK the Holy Spirit and our Blessed Mother to assist you in this endeavor. At a minimum pray: 1. Upon arising from sleep 2. Around lunch time and 3. Before going to bed. This is the minimum any of us should be praying with regularity and consistency.

Once this is developed into a GOOD habit; then concern yourself with what and how you are praying.

There has never been a SAINT who did not pray, and pray often. Please KNOW that we are engaged in a WAR for our souls. If you want to win; if you want to attain Salvation; then friend PRAY! And pray often!

You ALL continue in MY daily prayers,
God Bless you, Pat

Double Sevens and salvation


I am Catholic
Collected by Pat Miron

From the Catholic Encyclopedia and Wikipedia.

What are the Seven Capital Sins?

In the early centuries of the Church, the formal list of the capital sins took a few different forms. The earliest predecessor to the list that has been accepted for the past millennium was penned in the 4th century by a monk named Evagrius Ponticus, who listed eight “evil thoughts.” Seven of these evil thoughts were first listed formally by Pope Gregory the Great and later were enumerated by Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica: vainglory (pride), avarice (greed), gluttony, lust, sloth, envy, anger (I-II:84:4). Since that time, theologians have retained the list.

Pride – Pride is an unrestrained and improper appreciation of our own worth. This is listed first because it is widely considered the most serious of the seven sins; pride often leads to the committing of other capital sins. Pride is manifest in vanity and narcissism about one’s appearance, intelligence, status, etc. Dante described pride as “love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one’s neighbor.”

Greed – Greed, which is also known as avarice or covetousness, is the immoderate desire for earthly goods, as well as situations such as power. It is a sin of excess. The object a person is greedy about need not be evil, but the issue lies in the way one regards the object, placing inappropriate value on it. Greed can further inspire such sinful actions as hoarding of materials or objects, theft and robbery, trickery, and manipulation.

Gluttony – Gluttony, which comes from the Latin gluttirei – to gulp down or swallow, refers to the sin of over-indulgence and over-consumption of food and drink. The manners in which gluttony can be committed, as first mentioned by Pope Gregory the Great and later reiterated by Thomas Aquinas, are eating too soon, eating too expensively, eating too much, eating too eagerly, eating too daintily, and eating wildly.

St. Alphonsus Liguori explained that “it is not a fault to feel pleasure in eating: for it is, generally speaking, impossible to eat without experiencing the delight which food naturally produces. But it is a defect to eat, like beasts, through the sole motive of sensual gratification, and without any reasonable object” (The True Spouse of Jesus Christ).

Lust – The sin of lust refers to impure desire of a sexual nature. Sexuality is a gift from God, and not inherently impure in itself. However, lust refers to the impure thoughts and actions that misuse that gift, deviating from God’s law and intentions for us. Indulging in the sin of lust can include (but is not limited to) fornication, adultery, bestiality, rape, and incest and can lead to such things as sexual addiction.

Sloth – Sloth is often described simply as the sin of laziness. However, while this is part of the manifestation of sloth, the central problem with sloth as a capital sin is spiritual laziness. The sin of sloth means being lazy and lax about living the Faith and practicing virtue.

The Catholic Encyclopedia explains: “In general [sloth] means disinclination to labor or exertion. As a capital or deadly vice St. Thomas calls it sadness in the face of some spiritual good which one has to achieve. . . St. Thomas completes his definition of sloth by saying that it is torpor in the presence of spiritual good which is Divine good. In other words, a man is then formally distressed at the prospect of what he must do for God to bring about or keep intact his friendship with God. In this sense sloth is directly opposed to charity.”

Envy – The sin of envy or jealousy is more than merely one person wanting what someone else has; the sin of envy means one feels unjustified sorrow and distress about the good fortune of someone else. The law of love leads us to rejoice in the good fortune of our neighbor – jealousy is a contradiction to this. Envy is named among the capital sins because of the other sins to which it leads.

Anger or Wrath – From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
“[Anger is] the desire of vengeance. Its ethical rating depends upon the quality of the vengeance and the quantity of the passion. When these are in conformity with the prescriptions of balanced reason, anger is not a sin. It is rather a praiseworthy thing and justifiable with a proper zeal. It becomes sinful when it is sought to wreak vengeance upon one who has not deserved it, or to a greater extent than it has been deserved, or in conflict with the dispositions of law, or from an improper motive. The sin is then in a general sense mortal as being opposed to justice and charity.”

Because anger can be just, and due to the common usage of the word anger, this capital vice is often referred to as wrath or rage, emphasizing the unbalanced and improper motives which result in anger being a mortal

The Seven Virtues
(Also called the Seven Contrary Virtues or Seven Heavenly Virtues)

The concept of the seven capital virtues has been an aspect of Catholic Faith for several centuries, having gained recognition and popularity in the middle ages. This list of seven virtues is a set of virtues which are to counter the temptation to succumb to the seven capital sins. For this reason, they are sometimes also called the seven contrary virtues; they represent the opposite of the seven sins.

The list of seven capital virtues stems from the subject matter of an epic poem written by an early Christian poet, Aurelius Prudentius Clemens, at the end of the 4th century. The poem, Psychomachia (meaning Battle of Souls), is an allegory which describes seven virtues defeating seven vices.

The seven contrary or capital virtues are as follows:

Humility – Humility is the virtue that counters pride. As pride leads to other sin, true humility clears a path for holiness. Pride is a sin based on undue and inappropriate appreciation of one’s self worth. Conversely, the virtue of humility is about modest behavior, selflessness and the giving of respect.

Liberality – Liberality, or generosity, is the virtue that is counter to greed – the sin of immoderate desire for earthly things. The virtue of liberality is focused not merely on the appropriate concern regarding one’s earthly things, but furthermore on generosity and a willingness to give, freely and without request for commendation.

Chastity – Chastity is the counter-virtue to the sin of lust. Chastity embraces moral wholesomeness and purity, and in both thought and action treats God’s gift of sexuality with due reverence and respect.

Meekness – Meekness, or patience, is the virtue that counters the sin of unjust anger, also called wrath or rage. Where the sin of wrath is about quick temper and unnecessary vengeance, the virtue of meekness focuses on patiently seeking appropriate resolution to conflicts, and on the ability to forgive and show mercy.
Temperance – The virtue of temperance or abstinence counters the sin of gluttony. To be gluttonous is to over-indulge. On the opposite hand, the virtue of temperance is centered on self-control and moderation.

Kindness – Kindness, or brotherly love or love for one’s neighbor, is the virtue which counters the sin of envy. Envy, in contradiction to God’s law of love, is manifest in a person’s sorrow and distress over the good fortune of another person. Conversely, kindness and brotherly love is manifest in the unprejudiced, compassionate and charitable concern for others.

Diligence – Diligence, or persistence, is the virtue which acts as a counter to the sin of sloth. Sloth, as a capital sin, refers to laziness in matters of Faith. Diligence in matters of the spiritual combat laziness and this virtue is manifest in appropriately zealous attitudes toward living and sharing the Faith.

Satan leads us to Sin and God to Virtue. No surprise there. What is the SHOCK is that God does not inhibit our choice. He does however offer GRACE to those who seek it. So seek GRACE where it may be found and merited. The Seven Sacraments are the GREATEST source of Grace available to humanity. BUT it is up to us to avail ourselves, to protect ourselves, and to make frequent and worthy use of them.

Does God actually forbid it?


That dear friend is a wonderful question.

Fist lets add some right perspective to our conversation [B][I]: “Forbidden by Mt.6: 7” See Psalm 136: Repeats “For His Kindness endures forever” 26 TIMES [/I][/B] And there are other places where repetition takes place as well. So we must be specific and precise in our reply.

Matt.6: 7 “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words.”

Notice that Matthew refers to “gentiles” [he is speaking to a Jewish audience.] This is important because Mt. is a Levite [ a member of the lower Jewish priesthood] and knows that the Torah does repeat praise and worship at times. In effect Mt. is separating religious from secular practices.

For those that may not know the rosary; is begins with the Apostles Creed; a summation of our beliefs. The other prayers are the Lords prayer [ 6times], the Glory be [to the Trinity] also 6 times; and the “Hail Mary” [53 times]

Because post are limited in size I can’t share the words of each at this time. BUT each petition of the Hail-Mary is found in Luke’s Gospel; chapter one, so it is biblically grounded.

The entire Rosary is a “prayer of petition.” Meaning a plea for divine assistance. It is far MORE accurate to explain that these prayers are “intercessory” in nature, than to Mary or to Saint so and so. We are asking Mary [and at time various Saints] to plead our needs and wants before the throne of God, because they ARE in God’s presence, and because in doing so they: Mary and the Saints ADD there own pleas to and with ours; making them more effective and meaningful. These payers are NOT intended to stop with Mary of the saints; but are to be “hand delivered” by them on our behalf.

In order to have “vanity” have ANY role at all, it would be necessary for us to be vain in our attempts. The polar opposite is true; as prayers of intercession require [absolutely] ones humility to beg for help from someone other than ourselves. 1Thes.5: 17 “pray constantly“, Luke.18: 1 “And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Rom.1: 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers,

So, vanity has No place in our prayer; and repetition is FACTUALLY NOT forbidden. I pray this brief explanation clarifies for you what your seeking? If not let me know.

Salvation History the How and WHY of it


I’m a Catholic
Salvation History; “the how and why’s of it “
by Pat Miron {In four parts} …. PART One of 4

Mt. 7: 21-23 “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven”

There we shall rest and see, we shall see and love, we shall love and praise. Behold what will be at the end without end. For what other end do we have, if not to reach the kingdom which has no end? St. Augustine, De civitate Dei 22,30

“Humanity alone, of all of God’s created creatures was willed for God’s own sake.” a quote by Father Wade Mendez of the Fathers of Mercy

This means that there is a precise reason for our existence. What is truly amazing is that God leaves it up to us to determine if this desire of His Divine will finds fulfillment or rejection by us. Isa.43 Verses 7 & 21: “every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” AND the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.”

One of the most important and least understood Faith issues, and one of critical merit, are those surrounding the Salvation of our souls. Despite the logic of only a possible single truth, Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, New Agers, Utilitarian’s and Atheist all hold differing views and understandings. Our goal here is to ONLY express the TRUTH of the Roman Catholic Church, because it is thee singular truth, and therefore in the end, the one that matters most.

The Bible-Book of Genesis in the account of Creation, God determined that He would create out of His WANT, not out of any real “need”, humanity in “his image.” [Gen. 1:26-27] When God created the universe, He already knew that to “complete” His work, a masterpiece, mirroring traits of Himself would be desirable. So humanity alone are given a mind, a intellect, a freewill; all permanently attached to our souls. These are Spiritual attributes that remain with US for ever. Thus humanity alone can love and rationalize right from wrong; good from evil. The consequences of these facts is that we; not God, decide where we will spend eternity. And this is the first critical lesson of our salvation.

God gives every human being a mind, intellect, freewill and attaches them forever to our souls, as an ever-lasting sign of His love for us and as a stamp of our uniqueness, our bond with and our obligations TO Him. These “things” like God Himself are of a “spiritual nature.” Therefore they cannot be killed or die. And in this way we have evidence of our first likeness of God.

1 John 4: 16 “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.” This friends then is the guiding principle of and for our personal salvation.

Two additional shared “things” that are unique to God and to humanity alone are the ability to freely choose to love [or hate] and the ability to conceptualize, think, and to be rational [logical], and only humanity can invent. These gifts of mind, intellect, and freewill, are not unencumbered, and are not without attached conditions and so to speak; a required price to be remitted to God, with a promise of further reward or penalty, depending on our response; our choices and our decisions. While MUCH is required; NOTHING is mandated.

Heb.6: 10 “For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do.”

Rev.2: 23 “and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.”

1 Peter 1: 17 “Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, “

“ Matt.19: 17 “And he said to him, …. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”

John 3:5 “Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.

Luke.14: 7 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”

God is perfect and desires to be surrounded by “perfect things.” knowing full well, that very often we will fall short of the mark. Certainly God could have just “made us perfect,” sort of like clones of Himself. But no; true-love commands and demands perfection as a free-choice, a self-willed reality of a remote possibility. …. Why? Because only in the effort is the gift of love returned, made possibly perfect. This possibility of perfection, and our necessary effort to strive to attain it then form the background for the story of salvation. It is a dramatic LOVE STORY. A key to understanding it is the nearly incomprehensible reality that God desires a personal relationship with His humanity [His alter-image], FAR- more than we are capable of comprehending. It is God seeking us, long before we choose to in return, seek Him.

After the “fall from grace” of Adam and Eve; God had to rethink how this now fallen nature of His humanity both ought to and might be redeemed. God could have simply chosen to “give-up on humanity” as a failed effort. Or chosen many other ways to accomplish it. Because God is Love, and Mercy and for an nearly- incomprehensible reason; clearly desires a personal relationship with man; He choose to have US decide for ourselves, if we truly desire salvation. … After all that was the purpose of humanities Creation in the first place.

In Genesis 3:12-15; Yahweh makes the prophesy of a future Messiah. Salvation- History slowly unfolds.

“The man said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I ate.” The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed;… he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” take careful note of the blame game. Adam blames God; Eve blames satan, and neither claim personal responsibility. THEN notice God’s reaction. He does NOT accept excuses!

It is clearly God’s intent to have a women be a MAJOR element of the human salvation process. Just as both genders were involved in the “FALL from grace”; so to both are to be involved in our possible salvation and return to grace.. We know now that “women” is to be the Mother of Jesus; the future Messiah; the “man-God.”

There can be no doubt that That God has a specific plan that will require our cooperation, and our knowledge of the plan, along with our humility to accept the plan. These are essential and minimum requirements of our ability to choose to fulfill it. IF WE ARE UNAWARE of the specifics of God demands; or if WE HAVE VARIANT understandings, [any and all that do not FULLY- concur with that of Jesus and the RCC should be considered as such]. We set for ourselves a nearly impossible task. Yes “The Way” is singular with a very few exceptions permitted, all of which will be specified later. If we don’t the “WHAT” than how can one possibly know and possess the ’HOW?” And therefore be saved?

After Adam and Eve had children, their children’s children had children and their children had more children; tribes were formed, cultures developed; countries were formed and many practices that ignored and offended God became common practice because man was doing it their-own way, and removing God’s Will from their choices.

A propensity to sin was evident, and Satan was claiming many souls. Among the more despicable practices were the innovation of numerous false gods, false idols and deviant worship and sacrifice customs including even some offering of there own children as sacrifices to these numerous man-made gods. Sexual mores were at least as corrupted as they are today. Once humanities fallen nature came into existence Satan was grated enormous powers of influence, and sin seemed to rule “the day.” It would seem that this trend only becomes more dominate as time progresses. Yet Satan can ONLY act and succeed with OUR freewill-consent!

God is extremely patient and “long-suffering,” full of love and mercy. …. God, for reasons known only to Him, determined that he would choose just one of these tribes and endeavor to form them into “His people,” guided by His rules, conditions and covenants. He would “be there God; and they would be His people.” God choose the Hebrew nation, starting with Abram. … and Only One God; Only One set of faith beliefs and Only one religious Institution. This would remain the standard for ALL of human existence.

Deut. 30:19 “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live,” Clearly God offers ONLY His Way.

Abram came from “Ur“, near the north end of the Persian gulf. Abram’s father, Terah moved the family further north to Haran [Gen. 11:25-31]. When Abram was 75 years old God told Abram to move his family to Canaan. …Abram a faithful God-fearing man did what God asked of him, and took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and their slaves and families and made the move.

God was pleased but choose to test Abram further. He promised Abram that he would be the “father of a great nation, as numerous as the stars in the sky” and then changed their names to Abraham and Sarah. [A sure sign of future greatness].

Yahweh then makes a Covenant with Abraham and through him to the entire Jewish nation: Gen. 17: 9-11 “And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.” God’s Providence is usually conditional. Here God offers to “be their God” [their Only God] and to have them be God’s people IF they follow this demand. Today’s equivalent is the Sacrament of Baptism. [John 3:5] Baptism is a NORMAL CONDITION TO ONES SALVATION.

At this point both Abraham and Sarah were already beyond the normal “birthing years” Abraham was 99 and Sarah was 90, God’s promise must have rang hallow as they were still childless . God was testing their faith in His Word. …Despite a skeptical wife, God fulfilled His promise and a son whom they named Isaac was born to them.

Yahweh had yet another faith challenge for Abraham. He directed him to go out into the desert, build an altar of sacrifice and offer up young Isaac, his ONLY and beloved son to God. We know that Abraham did as he was directed and at the last moment an “angel of God” [a term when used in the OT, that refers to Jesus Christ, the Messiah of the New Testament] who saved Isaac at the last possible moment.

Finally TRUE Faith had at last been found, tested and proven, and a savior of the nation was introduced. God kept His promise and Abraham through his son Isaac would indeed be the father of the GREAT Hebrew nation.

There is much to be learned in these doings.

God demonstrated Faith, hope and love for humanity. …These “theological virtues” as we now call them are the impetus and foundation for Gods grace offer to us; and faith, hope and love are our “right” response to God’s offer. We are to recognize; and then freely choose to accept and apply the graces offered to us. This is ALWAYS the first step in our personal salvation mission. God initiates AND THEN, WE choose to accept or to reject His offer. We choose or reject God’s PLAN, for our own salvation.

Much testing, training, and formation would take place in the ensuing years of the Hebrew nation. There were times of faith, and times of failure. Each had its own reward. After many years of disobedience, and neglect of God by headstrong actions we find the Hebrew nation now conquered and enslaved in Egypt. The same Egypt that many years earlier had Joseph, [the faithful son] who had been sold into slavery by his brothers, and who through God’s direct-interventions; was made Prime Minister to the Pharaoh; the second most powerful position in the land; by foretelling of a severe famine, and subsequently saved Egypt, his father Jacob and his family from starvation. Before dying, his father, Jacob foretold a future Messiah would at some point come.

We jump ahead now to Egypt and the time of captivity. To Moses and the key events that apply to salvation history. …Because we are covering a span of about four-thousand years from Adam to Jesus; it is necessary to be very selective in our review process.

Something that we need to be aware of is the constant callings of God as He reaches out, time and time again; overlooking previous failings, God continues to offer additional opportunities, patiently forming these people unto Himself. God called out to Adam and Eve “where are you?” God called Abraham, God called Jacob and Joseph and now we find God calling Moses. And Aaron. PART of God’s patience at this juncture stems from the fact that the Hebrew nation was not yet even formally “under God’s laws.” much less under grace as we currently are. Because God is both “fair and Just” He factors in what HE MAKES AVAILABLE FOR US TO KNOW, and that [NOT what we believe or choose to accept] becomes God’s Judgment baseline.

Genesis 3:1-5 “Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Mid’ian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the LORD [REMEMBER this is OT language for Jesus Christ] appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.” When the LORD saw that he turned [ANOTHER REFERENCE TO JESUS] aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here am I.” Then he said, “Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” Once again we see God reaching out to His humanity.

So God chooses Moses, who claims that he is not competent to do as God demands of him, because he lacks the necessary “speaking skills.” God solves the problem and tells Moses that His brother Aaron will speak on his behalf. So Moses grudgingly accepts the task. Moses and Aaron see the Pharaoh who becomes increasingly hard-hearted, thick-headed and obstinate. The bible say’s “God made Pharaoh this way,” BUT no, the correct understanding is that each denial, each refusal of a request was accompanied by a known- corresponding consequence, so in effect denial of God’s Will was the preference of Pharaoh rather than obedience to God. Pharaoh’s sinful actions and the accumulative consequences of sin are the real cause of the plagues. This too is a specific and clear warning of the consequences of OUR own sins and how they effect our own ability to deny God, and ignore God’s Will. The more we sin; the more difficult it is not to sin again; as our ability to recognize evil is diminished within us and our conscience is dimmed which results in blurring our understanding of right over wrong. This LESSON plays out time and time again over NINE entire chapters so that WE, you and ME, hopefully get the message God wants us to have.

The next key event coincides with the final warning: the “plague of DEATH” of every firstborn person and animal throughout the entire land. …Yahweh, protecting “His own,” introduces the “Passover warranty” by offering and accepting the blood of a [the] unblemished lamb, which is to be marked on every door in order to protect, and to save those so marked. [This is a metaphor for the seal of Baptism on every soul and the prophesy of Yahweh / God, offering His First-born Son, [the Lamb of God… John 1:29,36] Jesus for our salvation], In order that death will pass by those protected without claiming yet another victim [soul for Satan]. The ritual includes the use of “unleavened bread”, which is why today’s Communion – host REQUIRES using ONLY unleavened bread. The “Passover” celebration is to be an annual event that includes consumption of a “unblemished lamb,” unleavened bread, [no time to let bread rise; the urgency of NOW! Is the “time of salvation], with bitter herbs, reminding them of the sacrifice of leaving behind much of what they possessed, and of course, wine: three glasses [representing the Trinity; even though they were unaware of this fact.] The Catholic Mass takes its roots from the Jewish Passover: Seder meal. And it too is critical to potential salvation.

This recounting of early events culminates in the crossing of the RED SEA. For SOME; From death unto life, and for others from life unto death. ….Always’ OUR CHOICE!

Once again God makes clear: I AM your God [and only ME] and you are MY People. God always and everywhere insist on Only One God, Only One set of faith-beliefs; and only one church. … Gen. 13: 21-22 “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night; the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.

I’m a Catholic
Salvation History; “the how and why’s of it “
by Pat Miron {In four parts} …. PART TWO of 4

That “God” is synonymous with “love” is clear and indisputable. God’s desire to take care of us and provide ALL of what He knows we need is legend. Here we find God following His people as a cloud by day and fire by night. Always visible to them; always there to guide and protect them; and STILL MANY doubted, griped, and complained. But God doesn’t give up easy. This is another key to our salvation. GOD REMAINS ALWAYS available to us until the moment of death.

Gen. 16: 4.6.12-15 “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law or not. So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, “I have heard the murmurings of the people of Israel; say to them, `At twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.'” [Inserted…Book of Numbers 11: 13-14 MOSES SPEAKING TO GOD: Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me and say, `Give us meat, that we may eat.’ I am not able to carry all this people alone, the burden is too heavy for me. …In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning dew lay round about the camp. And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as hoarfrost on the ground. When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat. Here, [the bread of life], The bread that saves is being BOTH given AND foretold! “ FYI: MANNA means “what is this?” The significance here is subtle and quite amazing. God’s Salvation begins with the body needs and wants in order to train them about salvation of their souls. The manna of course leads to our Eucharist. The difference is critical: Manna here is from God; while Eucharist is BOTH from God and God Himself . The fact that God also “gave then “flesh to eat,” is also a sign of the Eucharistic-miracle to come when Christ gives us His own Flesh to consume in the Catholic Holy Communion..

The next HIGHLY significant event effecting salvation History is God giving to Moses the Ten Commandments. [Exodus chapter 20]

And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. “You shall have no other gods before me.”
“You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day”
“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. “
4. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
5. “You shall not kill. “
6. “You shall not commit adultery”.
7. “You shall not steal”.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
9. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; or property”
10.“you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbors.” Here we are to discover that the ONLY sure-way to salvation WILL BE GOD’S DETERMINED PATH.

Now the Hebrew nation will be judged going forward is conditional, based on compliance to the specified command of circumcision AND full obedience to the Commandments and WHAT EVER ELSE Moses ADDS TO THEM!… CHAPTERS 21-24 go on to detail MANY, MANY additional requirements as “covenant attachments”. NOT SO DIFFERENT from what the CC is empowered to do in New Testament times.

The salvation lesson point here is understanding and acknowledging that God is in CHARGE! God does not provide ‘wiggle room” for other opinions and other beliefs. … ONLY One God; and Only One set of faith believes is permitted and found acceptable by God.

A note of interest. The Catholic list of Commandments differs from the non-Catholic Christian list to permit Protestants to have a “cause” to deny Catholicism, and to accuse us of “idolatry.” …A charge that is bluntly untrue. There is a second list in the book of Deuteronomy that list what we Catholic use. The point is completely irrelevant as to content, because BOTH sets command the same things despite the verbiage differences.

The next highly significant event is God commanding Moses to build both a ARK of the Covenant and a meeting place [THE FIRST TEMPLE /CHURCH] according to precise instructions from God Himself. Exodus. 25:10-22

“They shall make an ark of acacia wood; two cubits and a half shall be its length, a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. And you shall overlay it with pure gold, within and without shall you overlay it, and you shall make upon it a molding of gold round about. And you shall cast four rings of gold for it and put them on its four feet, two rings on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it. You shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, to carry the ark by them. The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. And you shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you. Then you shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark; and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you of all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.”

I included quite a bit of the text here to show that God is very demanding and precise it what He expects from us. DO NOT OVERLOOK THIS CRITICAL POINT.

Now that God has taken control of their [and our] spiritual life; the next necessary element is to raise the authority and the dignity of the “priesthood.” … We know that even in Abrahams time there was already in place a priesthood of at least two levels. Highpriest and subordinate- priest. Psalm 110:4; the Highpriest Melchiz’edek.” who was honored by Abraham; and the Father of Moses, Jethro, who was also a priest. Exodus 18:1. The early bible does not seem to specify responsibilities at least up to the selection of a permanent CLASS of priest requested by God starting with Aaron and the Levites.

In Exodus chapter 28:1-2 “Then bring near to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel, to serve me as priests — Aaron and Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abi’hu, Elea’zar and Ith’amar. And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. [30] And in the breastpiece of judgment you shall put the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goes in before the LORD; thus Aaron shall bear the judgment of the people of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually. Exod.29: 1 “”Now this is what you shall do to them to consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests.”

In addition to offering sacrifices and being in charge of the Ark of the Covenant and the Tent [Church/Temple] of meeting; God gave to these priest a precise and specific role for the forgiveness of sins. Lev.5: 13 “Thus the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin which he has committed in any one of these things, and he shall be forgiven. And the remainder shall be for the priest, as in the cereal offering.” … Lev.6:7 “and the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he shall be forgiven for any of the things which one may do and thereby become guilty.”

Lev.16: 8-9, 21 “and Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for Aza’zel. .. And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the LORD, and offer it as a sin offering; …and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins; and he shall put them upon the head of the goat, and send him away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness.” … So we see where the tradition of God using priest in the act of forgiveness of sins dates all the way back to at least Moses. … Lev. 1:10 “If his gift for a burnt offering is from the flock, from the sheep or goats, he shall offer a male without blemish;”

There was at this point three distinct levels of “ordination” Highpriest [Bishops]; priest [priest] and Levites [Deacons].

The next significant event in the history of salvation is found in Lev. Chapters 1 to9 and is a precise warning about false gods and false religions. “Lev.19: 1-4 “And the LORD said to Moses, “Say to all the congregation of the people of Israel, You shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy. Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.” TAKE NOTE: Moses here is acting in the role of today’s Pope. Aaron is the “CHIEF- Highpriest“, who answers to the ONE [singular] in authority above him. Lev. 29: 14 “When a man dedicates his house to be holy to the LORD, the priest shall value it as either good or bad; as the priest values it, so it shall stand.”

Following this we learn something that has already been shared, and is repeated in a different manner here in order to STRESS the importance of NOT questioning those God has chosen, and Placed in authority to act, teach and lead on HIS BEHALF. God gives to these men and to His Church; His personal warranty to make it indisputability clear to us that He, God is present, and He God remains IN CHARGE. [Mt. 16:15-19; John 15:16] “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

14:16-17; John 17:15-19 and John 20:19-22], provide the NT evidence of the moral of this OT account. Anyone, for what so ever reason who fails at this command ought to fully expect to have to settle accounts with God Himself.

Num.12: 1-11 “Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman; and they said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the LORD heard it. Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all men that were on the face of the earth. And suddenly the LORD said to Moses and to Aaron and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting.” And the three of them came out. And the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the door of the tent, and called Aaron and Miriam; and they both came forward. And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in dark speech; and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them, and he departed; and when the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. And Aaron turned towards Miriam, and behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, do not punish us because we have done foolishly and have sinned.”

In yet another example of how our personal choices effect our salvation; be it in this world or in the spiritual realm; the notion that because we can; therefore we are entitled too choose to reject God; to reject God’s leaders; or to remake god into an image we find easier to deal with and accept is always rejected by God. Our decision to ignore all that God had already has done to protect and to provide for our needs is both extreme and foolish.

The message here points out the high risk of “following the crowd” and it isn’t going to endear one with God. … God gives to EACH of us a mind, intellect, and a freewill and attaches them to our souls so that we CAN; and we MUST; choose right from wrong; good or evil on the merits we ARE ENABLED by God to know for ourselves. Lack of effort on out part to discover truth will be judged as an EXCUSE; NOT a “reason” to not condemn us.

God choose certain men to go ahead and scout the “promised land.” They reported back that as God promised it is “a land of milk and honey” BUT the inhabitants are men “like GIANTS.” The “people en -mass” then decide to override Moses and Aaron [and therefore GOD], and choose a new leader to take them back to Egypt. Effectively ignoring all that had been taught to them, done for them and ignoring that God Himself had committed and proven to them that so long as they OBEY Him; He will provide, He will protect and He will prevail.

With GREAT reluctance they are convinced to go forward. BUT God punishes them so that every person will die who took park in the revolt; before they are given access to the promised land, and it is primarily the next generation that inherits God’s promise.

Our “key” salvation lesson is one that seems is the most difficult to learn and to accept. It deals with two KEY ISSUES regarding our salvation: Faith and total-OBEDIENCE in and to God.

Numbers 20: 6-12 “Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tent of meeting, and fell on their faces. And the glory of the LORD appeared to them, and the LORD said to Moses, ….”Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water; so you shall bring water out of the rock for them; so you shall give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?” And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his rod twice; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their cattle. And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

Among the errors of humanity; right from the “Fall from grace” onward, is our seemly impossible to grasp understanding of the Nature of God and how it necessarily relates to HIS Divine Fairness and sense of Justice driven by the sins we commit. Here we see Moses have a “temper-tantrum,” ..[very much like those who think they know more; or they know better than God; or choose to follow those who once DID hold this position…] brought on by oft repeated denials of God; and of Gods Divine Providence for them. Moses strikes the rock TWICE; NOT Once as directed; and the consequences of this seemingly “little error in judgment” is [perhaps even justified in the mind of Moses and us] results in God permitting Moses to view the ‘promised land from afar; but does not permit him to enter into it.”

WHY? Because to those to whom much is given; MUCH WILL BE EXPECTED… If you are in the state of Grace; it is because of Gods benevolent love for YOU! YES, we do have to cooperate with Gods offered grace. But we MUST always do it with humility and in full accord to what GOD DEMANDS.

God in His Goodness and Mercy; offers the Hebrew nation a way to stay connected to Him; their God by a daily and continual offering that in a foundational way; is not so very different from the Catholic mass of today:

Numbers 28: 1-10 “The LORD said to Moses, “Command the people of Israel, and say to them, `My offering, my food for my offerings by fire, my pleasing odor, you shall take heed to offer to me in its due season.’ And you shall say to them, This is the offering by fire which you shall offer to the LORD: two male lambs a year old without blemish, day by day, as a continual offering. The one lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer in the evening; also a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a cereal offering, mixed with a fourth of a hin of beaten oil. It is a continual burnt offering, which was ordained at Mount Sinai for a pleasing odor, an offering by fire to the LORD. Its drink offering shall be a fourth of a hin for each lamb; in the holy place you shall pour out a drink offering of strong drink to the LORD.
The other lamb you shall offer in the evening; like the cereal offering of the morning, and like its drink offering, you shall offer it as an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to the LORD. “On the sabbath day two male lambs a year old without blemish, and two tenths of an ephah of fine flour for a cereal offering, mixed with oil, and its drink offering: this is the burnt offering of every sabbath, besides the continual burnt offering and its drink offering” The tie in and significance here in the fact that God offers out of His WANT; ways and means for us to cooperate with His commands; and in doing so grants us the privilege of being able “to merit” additional grace; so KEY to ones salvation effort. It is such an exchange between us and God that permits one to actually “merit” [which does not mean “to earn”], ones salvation in accord with Gods plan for us.

Friends we are now in the fifth and final book of the Torah, what we call the “Pentateuch”, the first FIVE BOOKS of the Old Testament. In the book of Deuteronomy, we find immediately another key, another guide to our own salvation. It involves God setting up a structure of governance and judgment that finds favor with Him, because it is His way of doing it. A second key point is that EVERY promise, every Covenant that God makes with us is CONDITIONAL on INFORMED and humble, and complete obedience to His Divine Will. Duet. 4: 1-2 “And now, O Israel, give heed to the statutes and the ordinances which I teach you, and do them; that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, gives you. …You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it; that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” The chapter ends with a GRAVE warning NOT to make, permit or allow other gods that divide our loyalties, our allegiance to the One True God. Do not accept false gods and what they teach.

Moses is soon to be removed from his position as the people now enter into the “promised land.” A needed replacement is evident; as is a need for continued unity and obedience. So God sets up “Judges” and “commanders” to be the new form of governance. …It is highly significant that these; like priest; are chosen, not elected. Appointed because of ability, holiness and impartiality. The message here is that governance is always to be in the form selected by God. And that the truly wise; in humility, subject themselves to what God KNOWS is best for us.

After a time the Hebrew nation were exposed to many gods, differing faiths and governance by Kings, not like the Judges Yahweh had demanded. The people once again went against God’s Will, and demanded from God a King like everyone else had. God warned them that this not a good idea and not His desire, as kings would tax them, make slaves out of some and conscript many men for their war-machines. Still the “plea” persisted and God relented by giving them King Saul; who [surprise; surprise], was not a good ruler.

I’m a Catholic
Salvation History; “the how and why’s of it “
by Pat Miron {In four parts} …. PART THREE of 4
Matt.7: 21 “”Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Luke.6: 46 “Why do you call me `Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

Luke 2:6-14 “And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”

And from this day onward, Gods Created humanity and the entire world would be forever changed. From now on man would be no longer under “the laws of old;” but now under GRACE and enlightenment”… Mt. 13:12 “For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away”

This is good news for those humble enough, smart enough or both, to “Be still and know.” Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ.” This is certainly true; but very much incomplete to the point of being dangerously misleading. Who you choose to listen to is every bit as important as listening itself. Choosing with God to hear those both chosen by God and qualified to teach, and therefore the ONLY possible source of complete, the full truth, without a personal agenda, is Christ keeper of the key that accesses the gate to heave; His Catholic Church. The New Testament is loaded with caution signs that are often ignored; as many choose to think that “he MUST BE TALKING about someone else”… WHO ME?

Matt.7: 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matt.10: 16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Luke.10: 3 “Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.” Acts.20: 29 “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock”

2nd. Peter 2: 1”But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction

1st.Tim. 1:6-7 “Certain persons by swerving from these have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make assertions”

2nd. Tim. 4:3-4 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths”

Romans 13: 2 “Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”

Acts.20: 28 “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God [singular] which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.”

1Cor.12: 28 And God has appointed in the church [singular] first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues

Eph.3:10 “that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.”

1Tim.3[15] if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth

Matt.10: 2 “The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zeb’edee, and John his brother…….;”

Luke 22: 31-32 [Jesus Speaking to Peter] “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.”

The entire story of “personal salvation” rest solidly on two clearly articulated, indisputable; MUST-BE accepted Foundational-Teachings by our God Himself.

Only One God [as defined by God Himself, not man], Only One set of Faith Beliefs, now in the possession of the Roman Catholic Church, [Mt. 16:19] and Only One Church. Christ Own Catholic Church, to whom alone Christ entrusted the One key; to the One gate to heaven. Nowhere in the entire Bible; first to the last page does God ever; not even once; tolerate more than One God; or the Only Faith HE Himself teaches and has authorized and chosen personally to teach in His name; with His Powers and with His Authority. [Mt. 10: 1-8, Mt. 16:15-19, John 20:19-22] The “key’s to the gate of heaven are given to only Saint Peter and His Catholic Church; nowhere else can one find the complete, full and singular truths of the Bible correctly explained. This is God’s design and God’s own Will. Accept it or RISK everything.

Matt.10: 1-8 THESE MEN ARE ALL CATHOLICS; The founders of today’s Catholic Church… And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zeb’edee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, `The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay… After His Resurrection this was changed to the “entire world.” [Mt. 28:19-20].

The second principle is “LOVE” in ALL of it various forms and applications.

Both by God’s Will and necessity; salvation is to be possible; BUT NOT EASY; as the “narrow gate” account makes so very clear. The steps and the process of meriting ones own salvation can be known with humility and effort, but “Salvation” and “redemption” both from Christ are SEPARATE issues. Redemption is now an accomplished fact for everyone; BUT salvation is dependent on our personal choices and to what degree we accept what GOD [not man], teaches, and will be granted only to those who actually know what God demands; and then does it.

Exod.20: 3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
Exod.34:14 “(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), “
Deut.5:7 “`You shall have no other gods before me.
1Kgs.8: 60 “that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other.”

Isa.45: 5-6 “I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I gird you, though you do not know me, hat men may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other

Bar.3: 35 “This is our God; no other can be compared to him!

Acts.4: 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

1Cor.11: 16 If any one is disposed to be contentious, we recognize no other practice, nor do the churches of God

We see here a narrow definition of God; one that is clearly singular in Person and singular in definition [understanding of who he actually is]. Not simply who God is ; but THEE-Only God and is to include ONLY the sense of accepting and living ALL that He actually teaches. Therein in is the RISK; the rub; the affront to ones ego; ones own will, doing battle [perhaps unknowingly; which in the end, makes little if any difference] because there is and can be but One Single truth; one and only one understanding that He God, WILL ACCEPT, and in the end; what God makes possible for us to know, accept and live is what is the minimum expectation of our God.

John.10: 16 “And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd” Matt.7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few. John 14: 6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”

Eph. 4: 1-7 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body [WHICH MEANS ONE CHURCH] and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, [Meaning only One set of beliefs] one baptism,
one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Eph. 2:19-20 “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [singular] built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; [singular] in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

John.13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” Mark.12: 31-32 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he”

Before summarizing in A clear and concise manner what is necessary for salvation in a no-nonsense, blunt manner; I wish to make clear that it is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that salvation “may be” possible without being a member, under closely defined conditions, of the Catholic Church.

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation

754 “The Church is, accordingly, a sheepfold, the sole and necessary gateway to which is Christ. It is also the flock of which God himself foretold that he would be the shepherd, and whose sheep, even though governed by human shepherds, are unfailingly nourished and led by Christ himself, the Good Shepherd and Prince of Shepherds, who gave his life for his sheep.

819 “Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth” are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.” Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to “Catholic unity.”

ONLY IF one is without fault: unaware of the CC as being the One choice of Christ Himself; and then; ONLY if a “Perfect Contrition” for sins is made; followed immediately by a change in life style that reflects a sincere repentance. Can and will forgiveness of one’s sins be granted by God. KEEP IN MIND; GOD’S STANDARDS ARE MUCH TOUGHER THAN OURS; [One cannot be assured that our understanding of “perfect” will match God’s own understanding of what is perfect.] AND HE READS OUR HEARTS AND CANNOT BE FOOLED. ………. ONLY THROUGH THE CATHOLIC SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION CAN COMPLETE ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS OF SIN AS KNOWN FACT be reality!. THE “SINNERS PRAYER” AND OTHER RECENT HUMAN INNOVATIONS, such as “OSAS,“ our ANY of the saved by “only ________ “ , WILL NOT grant FORGIVENESS OF SINS! They give false hope, because they are founded by men; NOT God, and they founded on lies, and partial truths, misunderstandings and at times misrepresentations of fact.

It is folly, foolishness, gullibility, and a lack of understanding and Faith that allow anyone to think they can follow Christ in Glory; without first following Christ in suffering. Such thinking is completely without logic or merit.

1Pet.4: 13 ” But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 1Pet.5: 1, 9 “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.” 2Tim.4: 5 “As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” Phil.1: 29 “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, “ 2Thes.1: 5 “This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be made worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering “ Heb. 2: 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering.”

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church [the Catholic Church] which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

Awareness is the same as knowing and choosing for what ever-reason not to join. God MUST Judge us based on what He makes POSSIBLE for one to know; NOT on what we are willing to accept!

845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.

My friends consider carefully this prayer shared from Father Hardon’s “Stations of the Cross”; the Fifth station where Simon is conscripted and forced by the Romans to assist Jesus in carrying His Cross, for fear by the Jews that He would die before they get the chance to actually Crucify Him:

“Lord Jesus teach me as you taught Simon of Cyrene to collaborate with you in the Redemption of souls. They are Redeemed by your Blood, shed on Calvary; but not without readiness to do our part. ….No less than Simon, we must believe that you want us, without absolutely speaking needing us, to carry our share of the Cross, if your redemptive mission is to be accomplished. Deepen our faith in the necessary role we have to play in assuring our own salvation and that of the rest of mankind. Make it clear to us that we have a freewill that we must want to exercise. Amen”
As a few of you may know; Father John A. Hardon S.J., was one of the most respected Theologians of the Twentieth Century, and he clearly affirms humanities necessary role in our own salvation.

Part of the problem stems from a common misunderstanding of the bible terms; “redemption and salvation.” While at times having a synonymous meaning; most often they have significantly different applications.

Redemption has four key factors: 1. It applies to all of humanity; bar-none. And it is now accomplished fact. 2. As it applies to our after-life, it has two highly significant effects. First, Christ by His passion, death and Resurrection earned and merited for ALL of humanity sufficient grace for everyone’s POSSIBLE salvation. Second “earned” does not mean or imply granted or even given, or that “all” or even “some” have to accept it. 3. And this is the KEY. While the necessary grace has been earned; and sort of put into a secured-bank-account for us, we MUST QUALIFY personally and individually for the ”loan [grace].” 4. Because the gate [singular] to heaven had been locked by the Grave-sin of our parents; Adam and Eve. AND Christ alone has the key to unlock the gate. This is the very key that Jesus entrust to Peter and today’s Catholic Church. [Mt. 16:19; John 20:19-22].

Salvation on the other hand, refers to ONLY those who “merit” it and do ALL that is necessary to qualify for “the loan” [grace] without which attaining salvation is impossible. Just as a loan application requires a lot of information; so too, salvation requires a lot of effort and many steps. It is never a simple, or a easy process to qualify for it. GOOD THINGS require an good- effort on our part. Acts.4: 12 “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Understanding just what this actually means and entails is the purpose of this entire document.

Romans 12:1-2 “I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” 2Cor.13: 5 “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding to your faith [meaning thee One complete and true-Faith]. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

I’m a Catholic
Salvation History; “the how and why’s of it “
by Pat Miron {In four parts} …. PART FOUR of 4
I can think of no better advice than this to begin the final segment of this document pertaining to and explaining “Just WHAT is REALLY needed if one is to be Saved?” What is it we must …. 1. KNOW? 2. UNDERSTAND? and 3. Then Applying
it to our lives and live it? This is the “lock” on the gate of heaven to which Peter Alone holds thee “key.” WHY? Because this is God’s Divine Will.

Matthew 7: 21-27 “Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’ “Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.”

Jer.3: 15 “`And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. …Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” 2nd. Cor.11: 12-13 “And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.” Luke 10:16 “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

John 10: 16 And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd. Mt. 16: 15 “He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock [ROCK = Foundation of you Peter] I will build my [SINGULAR] church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

1Tim. 3: 15 “if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the [SINGULAR] household of God, which is the church [SINGULAR] of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth” [SINGULAR] .. FYI FACT: ….This HAS TO refer to today’s RCC as no-other “church” even existed at the time these words were spoken and written.

The necessary question to be asked by each of us is: Am I actually following God’s Divine and Perfect Will; if I’m not following what Christ lived, really and actually taught, shared and designated others to continue to teach? Then am I “really” following God’s will? Matthew 28:19-20; John 20:19-22 are exceedingly clear, precise and obligatory on all of us. Matthew 16: is not a mere recommendation; it is the Willed act of our Perfect God. It is the map, the guide, and the truth, as Christ Himself intends: “The Way.”

The FIRST necessary condition: I suspect that everyone [or nearly everyone] reading these lessons has a firm conviction that salvation, does, can and MUST flow through Jesus Christ. The reason there are so many different formulations of Christianity is NOT correctly understanding or agreeing just what this condition actually entails.

Certainly it does mean 1. That we have to recognize that Jesus is “true God and at the same time; True man.” 2. That we must have a “personal relationship” with Christ. 3. That we must actually know WHAT Christ Himself teaches without the “spin,” personal understandings being interjected, and or, incorrect or limited interpretations of HIS teachings. One cannot actually be a TRUE follower of Christ; if they have a wrong, or in complete understanding of BOTH who Christ is [that’s the easy part]; and ACTUALLY and FACTUALLY knowing what Christ Himself taught and left us instructions to follow, [and this is the HARD part], and therefore Jesus has every right to expect us to KNOW and to follow, fully, completely and obediently, what He taught and lived. That is the WHY Jesus provides, guides and protects the RCC; [Jn.14:16-17; Jn.17:15-19; John 20:19-23], so there is ONE place we can all go to discover the singular truths. BUT understand; just as there is BUT One God; there is and can be Only One set of true teachings. And it begins logically with the Apostles, empowered by Jesus Himself : “as the Father sent Me; SO TOO, I Send YOU“ [John 20: 21-22] with HIS Power and with His Authority, and this continues; just as logically today through the direct Apostolic successors of The Popes of the RCC.

2nd. Cor. 9: 13 “Under the test of this service, you will glorify God by your obedience in acknowledging the gospel of Christ,”

The second requirement is Christian Baptism. [John 3:5, Mark 16:16] This sacrament has the power to remove all existing sins as well as sins accumulated “pay-back” penalties. This then becomes a primary fruit of both redemption and salvation. HOWEVER, the effects of this Love of Christ for us effects and applies to ONLY those sins committed prior to receiving the sacrament. It accomplishes ONCE, all that is required for our salvation So that if one were to die without committing ANY other sins; such a person; NOW PERFECTED, would immediately upon death, enter into the Beatific Vision and be with God. It is NOT a guarantee that we cannot, or will not sin again! [1 John 1:8-10, 1 John 5:16-17, John 20:23]. Because further sins wreck’s the perfection, and requires additional actions on our part, If we are to attain our salvation.

The third condition is adherence to the Commandments. And perhaps best summarized in the Lords Prayer petition of “THY WILL BE DONE: ON EARTH JUST AS IT IS IN HEAVEN [fully; without question in Perfect conformity to God’s Divine Will. This MUST include acceptance and full obedience to the One organization that God choose, set up and protects] …..and Just as when the list of ten Commandments were given to Moses; the “ten” were only categories of sins; and by NO means, a complete list of possible ways to say ‘NO!” to our God. …You will recall that right after the ten Commandments were given they were immediately followed by several chapters that detailed what they actually obligated. A similar but smaller version of this takes place in Matthews Chapters five and six which cover the Beatitudes’ and the Lords Prayer. Both are pregnant with multiple requirements and obligations. And again, one cannot follow them if one does not know and understand them. This condition ends with this admonition. Mt. 19:17 [Jesus speaking 1st. Person] .“If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”

The Forth Necessary condition involves the forgiveness of sins.
Mt. 5:48 “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

1John.1 Verses 8 to 10 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

1John.5 Verses 16 to 1 “If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.

John.20 Verses 20 to 23” “Peace be with you.“ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”

I admit to personally being puzzled by the reactions of all those who hesitate to accept and follow this extremely clear, concise and specific command of Jesus; both within the Catholic Church and outside Her ranks. After all; this is for OUR benefit; not God’s. God is perfect; it is humanity that needs forgiveness for sin. And only we benefit. Friends, it is not as if this is up for discussion; or like our opinion actually matters. …. GOD HAS SPOKEN> Either listen or be willing to pay the price. … Be assured dying with unconfessed; unforgiven; un-remitted Mortal sin will send you to HELL!

Besides the clarity of the command is the ESSENTIAL benefit of Known forgiveness of our sins. TRUE inner peace is possible and is even one of the goals actually specified by Christ. Even the hang-up of confessing to a priest is strange as this was a common Old Testament Practice, carried forward; and now Perfected by Christ himself as we are now “under GRACE“ and they were “under the written law.” And yes it is, it can only be, and it remains Jesus Himself who actually does the Forgiving.

God is “perfect love.” It has always been the desire of God, that everyone created in “His Image” [Gen. 1:26-27], be saved. However perfect love has no room for selfishness, so God makes the most important of all possible decisions; our own; and then takes a hands off position and honors what we ourselves have chosen. We; NOT GOD, decide where we choose to spend eternity.

Notice in [John 20: 19-23] the careful selection and the economy of words chosen by our Perfect God. The fewer words; the less likely they will not be rightly understood. Christ in a further manifestation of His love for us, desires that like Adam and Eve before they fell from Grace; had PERFECT Peace and complete [should have been]; contentment, and so should we. They lacked nothing! Nothing except not actually being “God.”

So peace is a critical issue for God’s list of “wants for us.” WHY? Because when one has “inner-peace,” one is more likely to be prayerful, pious, and God centered and be in a more intimate relationship with God. All very good for ones personal salvation; which is God’s most desired goal for us and for God Himself.

Inner peace is MUCH more likely when one is ASSURED that their sins HAVE BEEN forgiven; and the chances of ones salvation are GREATLY enhanced through the Catholic Sacrament of Confession because KNOWN- FORGIVENESS is a Catholic reality. Unlike other faiths; who offer “high risk-possibilities” and unfulfilled promises, with high hopes and great [nearly always unmet] expatiations, BECAUSE they insist on mans created remedy; while at the same time completely ignoring God’s provided solution, and thinking???? That it’s as good?

Notice the WORDS, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” POWERFUL WORDS of God! …Here Christ transfers His actual authority and power as GOD to Peter and the CC. With these very WORDS Jesus officially Begins His Catholic Church. These words are followed by “Receive the Holy Spirit.” This is God’s Own WARRANTY of Her [the CC] Teaching ONLY the truth on ALL matters touching ALL “Faith-beliefs and Morals.” NOT only an assurance of TRUTH but without even the slightest POSSIBILITY of error!

Then and ONLY THEN does God grant and COMMAND his priest to have an active role in the forgiveness of sin. Briefly defined this role is to: 1. Hear the sins of the penitent 2. Pass judgment on the sincerity and degree of sorrow 3. Advice the penitent on how they might avoid these sins in the future 4. Grant God permission to actually forgive the sins 5. Supply a “penance” suitable to the sins confessed, similar to the OT “sin-offering.” This must be accomplished before God’s forgiveness takes effect.

The Sacrament of Confession is both the SWORD and the Shield to protect us from satan’s attacks. It is an enormous source of the grace needed in order to be saved.

Lev.5: 13 “Thus the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin which he has committed in any one of these things, and he shall be forgiven. And the remainder shall be for the priest, as in the cereal offering.” … Lev.6:7 “and the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he shall be forgiven for any of the things which one may do and thereby become guilty.”

Numbers 15: 25 -28 “And the priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the people of Israel, and they shall be forgiven; because it was an error, and they have brought their
Offering an offering by fire to the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD, for their error.
And all the congregation of the people of Israel shall be forgiven, and the stranger who sojourns among them, because the whole population was involved in the error…And the priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who commits an error, when he sins unwittingly, to make atonement for him; and he shall be forgiven”

The Fifth condition for salvation

Deals with the essential elements and Gift of Grace. While Grace is always a free Gift from God; Divine providence permits Catholics to control the flow of Sacramental Grace by the frequency and worthiness of our reception of the sacraments. Especially those instituted by Jesus to direct our path of salvation towards Him. Confession and the Most Holy Eucharist; the gift and Grace of Christ Himself. The Mass is thee most perfect of ALL prayers, and of all possible forms of Worship. We are invited to unite our personal sacrifices with those of the Altar: By God; Of God and For God.

Know dear friends that no single item is of greater need and importance than God’s grace. For God to permit HIS children to control the flow of Sacramental grace, is one of the GREATEST mysteries of Faith, and evidence of God’s immeasurable love for us; and of the Catholic Church. And only through the eyes of love, can it be possible.

Mary; the Mother of God is so highly esteemed by Jesus that He permits Her to handle the flow of Grace to us. Therefore we have yet another GREAT reason to hold Her in very high regard too. One who prays THROUGH Mary to Her Son Jesus, will have a good friend and the ultimate intercessor on there side. A VERY Wise action.

And the Sixth and Final Condition for salvation

Love, charity and good-works: James Chapter Two: 8-26

This lesson; this condition is so important that I will allow Jesus Himself and Saint James explain to you.

“If you really fulfill the royal law, according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well. But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. .. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy; yet mercy triumphs over judgment. What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith [alone] save him? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But some one will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe — and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.

Matthew 25: 31-46 “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. …. Then the King will say to those at his right hand, `Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, `Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ …. Then they also will answer, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ Then he will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Love is the summation of everything God commands of us. Love is the perfect description of our God; and ONLY love has the power to heal and to PERFECT us; which is necessary if we are to spend eternity with God, not satan.

John.10: 1-2, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door [SINGULAR] but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber; but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep“…. John.17: 3 “And this is eternal life, that they know thee the Only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” Acts.2: 38 “And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Rom.13: 14 “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” 1Cor.3: 11 “For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Eph.1:5, 17 “He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,”

Eph. 2:19-20 “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [singular] built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; [singular] in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Phil.2: 2 “complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”

John 17:18-24 “As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth. “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world”

A SUMMATION of this entire document can be put into three words; if, IF, they are understood and fully accepted. …. “Repent AND Convert!”

Ezek.18: 30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin.
Ezek.14: 6 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Repent and turn away from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. Mark 1:15 “and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” Acts.26:20 “but declared first to those at Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God and perform deeds worthy of their repentance.”

The need for repentance is clearly understood by most of us. BUT without proof; without giving evidence; it by itself means very little. True repentance will ALWAYS lead to a modification of how we lead our lives. If we fail to permit ourselves to be humbled, to become more personally pious, to be fully-obedient to all those God places in our lives to lead us to Him, and to be more pro-active in our charity; then we have missed a God Given opportunity to be forgiven to be healed, and to be saved.
Amen!

God Bless you and grant you the necessary humility, Grace and wisdom to accept Him at His own Words. When seeking thee truth; prudence dictates that one Go where it Can be found.
Pat