an Atheist Ask about heaven


“What do you do in heaven?”

 

[QUOTE] Atheists like myself are often told that if we don’t believe we go to hell. Now, I don’t know if hell is universally a pit of fire across all denominations of Christianity but eternal torture seems to be.

Unfortunately, I’ve never told why I should want to go to heaven. What happens there? What do you do? [QUOTE]

That my young friend is a GREAT and a Profound question

The short answer is because heaven and hell are REAL and you DON”T wish to go to hell.

In order more fully respond your question; requires understanding a bit about God’s Nature; Human nature; Good & Evil and our personal life choices.

Because you identified yourself as an Atheist, allow me to briefly address each of these issues, without providing biblical evidence of them; as you seem not to find that as valid evidence. I’ll be brief and encourage you to ask further questions as they occur to you.

1. We Catholics [the original Christians] believe in:

One God

Who has only One set of Faith beliefs

And Founded only One “Catholic/Christian” church

2. Without a willingness to seek the truth and be open to it when exposed; there is to reasonable way to answer your question.

3. So we start with two essential premises.

1. Everything that exist has a cause to exist. Meaning “something” or “someone” had a “cause, a reason  for bringing it into existence.

2. “Something or someone had to be the First cause“ of everything that exist. Any other position is illogical to the point of being silly. We choose to identify this “Force” as our “God.” It is an impossibility for man to fully comprehend the ‘Who; the What and the Why of God; which is part is why we term this belief; based on what limited things we can know; can accept; as the “practice of our FAITH.”

[NOT SHOUTING: CAPS FOR EMPHASIS ONLY]

4. Because of the size of the Universe; [BILLIONS OF STARS, PLANETS AND GALAXIES], its complexity [TAKE FOR EXAMPLE THE “NATURAL LAWS”], and its right-Order WITH SO MANY THINGS BEING IS THEIR RIGHT “PLACE“  FOR EXAMPLE THE ROTATION OF THE SUN AND MOON AND THEIR ESSENTIAL EFFECTS ON LIFE FORMS; Then the most astounding evidence of all: man himself; we can know that this “First Cause” is: 1.intelligent beyond our comprehension 2. Good  3. Powerful without limits.

5. This is a brief summary of WHY we believe in the existence of “God” ; who Created humanity; and for whom God Created the entire Universe in order that man “COULD” ; if open to logical truth; know that “God” must as a reality; a fact; exist, and who’s existence and mans unique and essential role requires in an absolute sense the existence of a  Heaven; a Hell and  a Purgatory in order to remain a “Good and Perfect God.”

6. Having briefly addressed “God’s Nature”, we turn now to human nature.

Man alone of the BILLIONS of Created [to make out of nothing] things can do all of the following:

Rationalize; make something complex out of lesser things [sending a man to the moon and back for example]; and man alone can choose to love and or to hate.

In order to accomplish these things, man must possess [and alone does possess] the essential attributes. A Mind [not speaking here of the brain], an Intellect [not speaking here of our “IQ”] and a “Freewill” [so man alone can respond by choice, not simply instinct]; AND a human “Soul.” [defined here as the “source; the animator of ALL life forms… BUT noting that just as there are differing degrees of complexity in the hierarchy of the physical reality; so too a similar hierarchy exist for the Soul, which mans again at the top of the complexity order.]

These by far are the most powerful; signifient and important realities of man, and in existence within the entirety of the Universe itself. This is so evident upon reflection that only the most obstinate would even attempt to deny it. Such Powers must, absolutely have a precise reason to exist.

Here I will quote the bible, not as a source of proof; but a proof explaining logically why man alone exist and man alone has such powerful attributes. These attributes by the way; emulate our God in two ways: they are Spiritual realities and they are Eternal. Can neither die or be killed.

FROM the Prophet Isaiah who BTW prophesied Christ birth some 700 years before it took place, explains the reason for man’s existence this way:

Isaiah 43 Verses 7 and 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.”

God had no real reason; no actual need to Created either the Universe or man himself, except that God DESIRED and WILLED to be known; acknowledged and loved.

Therefore God Created humanity alone with the ability to freely choose to love Him or to hate Him. This response absolutely requires the Spiritual attributes that man alone has. The “freewill” is essential because God who is “Perfect” and Loves Perfectly; desire “perfect-love” in return. And this is only possible when love is FREELY given; freely bestowed.

IF you doubt what I’m sharing; DO THIS.

Look into a mirror and tell me what you see and what you chose to wear today. To both get dressed and to look into a mirror required you to use all three of your Spiritual attributes. Quantify for example your own “freewill.” What is its size; shape; color and weight? Can’t be done; but can you deny that you and all men have them? They are Spiritual Realities.

7. Because these attributes exist in all-men; both good and evil exist as personal choices of men. Greed; Pride, Lust and so on exist side by side with tolerance; charity; Faith, Hope and Love.

God can only CAUSE “good things” BUT permits evil as a mans option of where man chooses to spend Eternity in his “other /inner-self”; the Eternal package of Mind, Intellect, Freewill and Soul.

Actions have and cause consequences.

Good causes [normally] more good; and Evil [normally] causes more evil. BECAUSE it is man’s choice their MUST EXIST a “just and fair” payback by the CREATOR, who permits man to choose at some point in time. Either in this life or in ones Eternal Life.

That’s the reason for the reality of both hell and heaven. Both places of Eternal rest are literally “earned” by ones life choices.

So where one ends up is ones own choice. One cannot blame God or others.

9. Hell can be describes as you suggested as a place of incomprehensible and unending suffering and torment. Most notably will be the longing unfulfilled to see God and to be with God; which for Lost souls shall NEVER happen! Heaven is just the opposite. A place of eternal peace, happiness and joy. Complete contentment; no wants and no desires. What one does WILLFULLY; and JOYFULLY is to honor; to thank and to praise God for all of eternity.

So that friend is a brief explanation. I hope you will find a need for further questions.

May God the Creator guide you to His Truth; because TRUTH is singular. Amen.

PJM/ pat

a necessary rebuttal to a very human opinion on the Catholic Eucharist


[QUOTE]

jimmy james commented on the Catholic Eucharist: a protestant truth or a catholic FACT?

“If Your Presence does not go with us—do not send us up from here!” Exodus 33:15

and it goes on and on

Ignatius speaks of the Spirit of God within him (there is within me a water) beckoning him to come. He had no delight in corruptible food such as earthly bread, but rather the living bread come down from heaven, namely, the flesh of Christ that was sacrificed for the sins of the world. And for drink he desired not corruptible wine, but the incorruptible blood of Christ shed for the remission of sins. Ignatius was about to encounter his Lord face to face!

Attempts to use Ignatius’ words here to support transubstantiation are nothing short of ridiculous. It is incomprehensible to think that anyone could ignore the obvious context of this letter (or any of Ignatius’ letters) just to promote their agenda. Unfortunately it will continue to be the case. But for those who truly desire truth and are willing to take the time, the agendas of some will not prevail over truth.[/QUOTE]

And you know this because the bible confirms your views? NO! Impossible; it does not.

FIVE separate authors of the NT [all Catholics BTW]; three of whom where witness PLUS God Himself say otherwise. SEE MY ORGINAL POST PLEASE.

[QUOTE]Conclusion

The church of the first three centuries, indeed, did not possess a real presence doctrine; the writings of the church fathers from that era certainly portray that. In particular, Clement of Alexandria and his student Origen explicitly deny that such a doctrine could have existed. But it has been demonstrated in this article that even clearly explicit references from authentic sources denying the notion of transubstantiation is not enough to convince devout Catholics that their beloved doctrine is false.[/QUOTE]

Gosh that IS New NEWS! The Bible itself proclaims otherwise as do these Early Catholic Fathers of the Church Jesus Founded: His One Catholic Church.

Immediately after Christ’s Ascendtion the Apostles and the Early believers PUT into practice EXACTLY what Jesus Commanded. It is termed “BREAKING THE BREAD

Luke 24:35 “And they told what things were done in the way; and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread” 

Acts Of Apostles 2:42 “And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

 Acts Of Apostles 2:46 “And continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they took their meat with gladness and simplicity of heart”

CCC #1345 As early as the second century we have the witness of St. Justin Martyr for the basic lines of the order of the Eucharistic celebration. [OUR Catholic Mass]  They have stayed the same until our own day for all the great liturgical families. St. Justin wrote to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) around the year 155, explaining what Christians did:

On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place.

The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits.

When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.

Then we all rise together and offer prayers* for ourselves . . .and for all others, wherever they may be, so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.

When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss.

Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren.

He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks (in Greek: eucharistian) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts.

When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: ‘Amen.’

When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the “eucharisted” bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.

AND READ THESE TESTIMONIES OF THE EARLY CC FATHERS:

St. Ignatius: became the third bishop of Antioch, succeeding St. Evodius, who was the immediate successor of St. Peter. He heard St. John preach when he was a boy and knew St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna. Seven of his letters written to various Christian communities have been preserved. Eventually, he received the martyr’s crown as he was thrown to wild beasts in the arena.

“Consider how contrary to the mind of God are the heterodox in regard to the grace of God which has come to us. They have no regard for charity, none for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, none for the man in prison, the hungry or the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead.” “Letter to the Smyrnaeans”, paragraph 6. circa 80-110 A.D

ST. AMBROSE OF MILAN: “You perhaps say: ‘My bread is usual.’ But the bread is bread before the words of the sacraments; when consecration has been added, from bread it becomes the flesh of Christ. So let us confirm this, how it is possible that what is bread is the body of Christ. By what words, then, is the consecration and by whose expressions? By those of the Lord Jesus. For all the rest that are said in the preceding are said by the priest: praise to God, prayer is offered, there is a petition for the people, for kings, for the rest. When it comes to performing a venerable sacrament, then the priest uses not his own expressions, but he uses the expressions of Christ. Thus the expression of Christ performs this sacrament.” The Sacraments” Book 4, Ch.4:14. Bishop of Milan from 374 to 397

Clement of Rome (80 A.D.) in Corinthians 36:1 refers to the Eucharist as the “offering of the gift.” St. Clement, bishop of Rome, 80 A.D., to the Corinthians, 40:

Since then these things are manifest to us, and we have looked into the depths of the divine knowledge, we ought to do in order all things which the Master commanded us to perform at appointed times. He commanded us to celebrate sacrifices and services, and that it should not be thoughtlessly or disorderly, but at fixed times and hours. He has Himself fixed by His supreme will the places and persons whom He desires for these celebrations, in order that all things may be done piously according to His good pleasure, and be acceptable to His will. So then those who offer their oblations at the appointed seasons are acceptable and blessed, but they follow the laws of the Master and do not sin. For to the high priest his proper ministrations are allotted, and to the priests the proper place has been appointed, and on Levites their proper services have been imposed. The layman is bound by the ordinances for the laity.

Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (the Didache), 9:2; 14:1, circa 90 A.D.: Regarding the Eucharist … Let no one eat and drink of your Eucharist but those baptized in the name of the Lord; to this, too, the saying of the Lord is applicable: Do not give to dogs what is sacred.

On the Lord’s own day, assemble in common to break bread and offer thanks; but first confess your sins, so that your sacrifice may be pure. However, no one quarreling with his brother may join your meeting until they are reconciled; your sacrifice must not be defiled. For here we have the saying of the Lord: In every place and time offer me a pure sacrifice; for I am a mighty King, says the Lord; and my name spreads terror among the nations. [Mal 1:11,14].

St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Philadephians, 4:1, 110 A.D.: Be ye careful therefore to observe one eucharist (for there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ and one cup unto union in His blood; there is one altar, as there is one bishop, together with the presbytery and the deacons my fellow-servants), that whatsoever ye do, ye may do it after God.

St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4, 18, 2, 180 A.D.: It is not oblations as such that have met with disapproval. There were oblations of old; there are oblations now. There were sacrifices among the people of Israel; there are sacrifices in the Church. Only the kind of oblation has been changed: now it is offered by freemen, not by slaves. There is one and the same Lord, but the character of an oblation made by slaves is distinctive, so too that of an oblation made by sons: their oblations bear the mark of freedom.

We must make oblation to God, and in all things be found pleasing to God the Creator, in sound teaching, in sincere faith, in firm hope, in ardent love, as we offer the firstfruits of the creatures that are his. The Church alone offers this pure oblation to the Creator when it makes its offering to him from his creation, with thanksgiving.

We offer him what is his, and so we proclaim communion and unity and profess our belief in the resurrection of flesh and spirit. Just as bread from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread but the Eucharist, made up of two elements, one earthly and one heavenly, so also our bodies, in receiving the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, for they have the hope of resurrection St. Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor of Children [2,2,19,4] 202 A.D.:

The Blood of the Lord, indeed, is twofold. There is His corporeal blood, by which we are redeemed from corruption; and His spiritual Blood, that with which we are anointed. That is to say, to drink the Blood of Jesus is to share in His Immortality. the strength of the Word is the Spirit, just as the blood is the strength of the body. [20,1] Similarly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. The one, the Watered Wine, nourishes in faith while the other, the Spirit, leads us on to immortality. The union of both, however, –of the drink and of the Word,–is called Eucharist, a praiseworthy and excellent gift. Those who partake of it in faith are sanctified in body and in soul. By the will of the Father, the divine mixture, man, is mystically united to the Spirit and to the Word.

Tertullian [ca. 200/206 AD] in his treaties on Prayer [6,2], quotes John 6 in connection with a spiritual understanding of the Lord’s prayer “give us this day our daily bread.” In a spiritual sense Christ is our daily Bread, presumably because of the practice of the daily reception of the Eucharist. Later in that same treatise [19,1] he writes; Likewise, regard to days of fast, many do not think they should be present at the sacrificial prayers, because their fast would be broken if they were to receive the Body of the Lord. Does the Eucharist, then, obviate a work devoted to God, or does it bind it more to god? Will not your fast be more solemn if, in addition, you have stood at God’s altar? The body of the Lord having been received and reserved, each point is secured: both the participation in the sacrifice and the discharge of duty.

I wish to admonish you with examples from your religion. You are accustomed to take part in the divine mysteries, so you know, when you received the body of the Lord, you reverently exercised every care lest a particle of it fall, and lest anything of the consecrated gift perish. You account yourselves guilty, and rightly do you so believe, if any of it be lost through negligence. but if you observe such cation in keeping His Body, and properly so, how is it that you think neglecting the word of God a lesser crime than neglecting His Body? St. Cyprian of Carthage, the Lord’s Prayer, 252 A.D., chapter 18:

As the prayer proceeds, we ask and say: ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ This can be understood both spiritually and simply, because either understanding is of profit in divine usefulness for salvation. For Christ is the bread of life and the bread here is of all, but is ours. And as we say ‘Our Father,’ because He is the Father of those who understand and believe, so too we say ‘our Bread,’ because Christ is the bread of those of us who attain to His body. Moreover, we ask that this bread be given daily, lest we, who are in Christ and receive the Eucharist daily as food of salvation, with the intervention of some more grievous sin, while we are shut off and as non-communicants are kept from the heavenly bread, be separated from the body of Christ as He Himself declares, saying: ‘I am the bread of life which came down from heaven. If any man eat of my bread he shall live forever. Moreover, the bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world.’ Since then He says that, if anyone eats of His bread, he lives forever, as it is manifest that they live who attain to His body and receive the Eucharist by right of communion, so on the other hand we must fear and pray lest anyone, while he is cut off and separated from the body of Christ, remain apart from salvation, as He Himself threatens, saying: ‘Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you.’ And so we petition that our bread, that is Christ, be given us daily, so that we, who abide and live in Christ, may not withdraw from His sanctification and body. St. Cyprian, Letter of Cyprian to a Certain Magnus, 6 (76), 5; 255 A.D.:

Finally, the sacrifices of the Lord proclaim the unity of Christians, bound together by the bond of a firm and inviolable charity. For when the Lord, in speaking of bread which is produced by the compacting of many grains of wheat, refers to it as His Body, He is describing our people whose unity He has sustained, and when He refers to wine pressed from many grapes and berries, as His Blood, He is speaking of our flock, formed by the fusing of many united together. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catecheses, 23 (Myst. 5), 8-18; 350 A.D:

After the Spiritual Sacrifice, the unbloody act of worship has been completed. Bending over this propitiatory offering we beg God to grant peace to all the Churches, to give harmony to the whole world, to bless our rulers, our soldiers, and our companions, to aid the sick and afflicted, and in general to assist all who stand in need; and then we offer the Victim also for our deceased holy ancestors and bishops for all our dead. As we do this, we are filled with the conviction that this Sacrifice will be of the greatest help to those souls for whom prayers are being offered in the very presence of our holy and awesome Victim. . . In the same fashion, when we offer our prayers to God for the dead, even though they be sinners, we weave no crown, but instead we offer Christ slaughtered for our sins, beseeching our merciful God to take pity both on them and on ourselves. St. Cyprian wrote to the Ephesians circa 258 A.D:

The priest who imitates that which Christ did, truly takes the place of Christ, and offers there in the Church a true and perfect sacrifice to God the Father. St. Ephraim Homilies [4,4] AD 338-373

Our Lord Jesus took in His hands what in the beginning was only bread; and He blessed it, signed it, and made it holy in the name of the Father and in the name of the Spirit; and broke it and in His gracious kindness He distributed it to all His disciples one by one. He called the bread His living Body, and did Himself fill it with Himself and the Spirit.St. Hilary of Poitiers, The Trinity [8,14] A.D. 356-359:

When we speak of the reality of Christ’s nature being in us, we would be speaking foolishly and impiously–had we not learned it from Him. For He Himself says: `My Flesh is truly food, and My Blood is truly Drink. He that eats My flesh and drinks My Blood will remain in Me and I in him [John 6:56-57].’ As to the reality of His flesh and blood, there is little room left for doubt, because now, both by the declaration of the Lord Himself and by our own faith, it is truly Flesh and truly Blood. And these Elements bring it about, when taken and consumed, that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. Is it not true? Let those who deny that Jesus christ is true God be free to find these things untrue. But He Himself is in us through the flesh and we are in Him, while that which we are with Him is in God. St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew, 82, 4, 370 A.D.:

Let us submit to God in all things and not contradict Him, even if what He says seems contrary to our reason and intellect; rather let His words prevail over our reason and intellect. Let us act in this way with regard to the (eucharistic) mysteries, looking not only at what falls under our senses but holding on to His words. For His word cannot lead us astray. . . When the word says, `This is My Body’, be convinced of it and believe it, and look at it with the eyes of the mind. . . How many now say, `I wish I could see His shape, His appearance, His garments, His sandals.’ Only look! You see Him! You touch Him! You eat Him! St. Augustine, Sermons, [227] A.D. 391-430:

… I promised you, who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the Sacrament of the Lord’s Table, which you now look upon and of which you last night were made participants. You ought to know what you have received, what you are going to receive, and what you ought to receive daily. That Bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ. Through that bread and wine the Lord Christ willed to commend His Body and Blood, which He poured out for us unto the forgiveness of sins. If you receive worthily, you are what you have received. End quotes

[QUOTE]]While researching this article, I asked the Catholic website, “The Real Presence Association” to do the right thing and remove their out-of-context quote from Clement from their borage of other quotes used to support their cause. I did this specifically to get their reaction, knowing they would not actually remove the quote. I was trying to gather a collection of responses to Clement’s statement that the eating of the flesh of Christ was a metaphor from various Catholic websites. Few responded to my requests. But The Real Presence Association did respond, and I was a bit surprised by their defensive posture. Here is the response[/QUOTE]

AS A FYI; AS THE OP OF THIS SRTING; I TOO AM A MEMBER OF THE “REAL PRESENCE ASSOCIATION” ALSO I NOT IN YOUR ‘RESEARCH YOU FAILED TO USE THE BIBLE???? WHY IS THAT????

[QUOTE]The real presence doctrine of the Catholic Church was, in fact, unheard of in the early centuries of the Christian church. It is interesting to think about how central the sacrifice of the mass is in Catholicism, and yet nowhere in early church do we find direct reference to it; only obscure evidence that, when taken in context, proves to be evidence to the contrary[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE]Test all things; hold fast that which is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21
Share this [/QUOTE}:[BY ALL MEANS; PLEASE DO…PJM ORIGINATOR OF THIS STRING.

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ALLOW ME TO ADD MY CONCLUSION:

 

WHEN EVER MAN FIGHTS GOD; GOD WINS…AMEN

PAT MIRON

Some Questions for God


Subject:  Interesting Question…     (Please see my note at the end of this story. — D.)
 
 
Me:   God,  can I ask you a question? God:   Sure. Me:   Promise you won’t get  mad? God:  I promise. Me:   Why  did you let so much stuff happen to me today? God:  What do  you mean? Me:   Well, I woke up  late. God:  Yes. Me:   My car  took forever to start. God:   Okay. Me:   At lunch they made my sandwich wrong and I  had to wait. God:  Hmmm. Me:   On  the way home my phone went dead just as I picked up a  call. God:  Okay. Me:   And on  top of all that, when I got home I just wanted to soak my feet in my new foot  massager and relax, but it wouldn’t work!  Nothing went right today!   Why did you do that? God:  Well, let me see.  The  Death Angel was at your bed this morning and I had to send one of the other  angels to battle him for your life.  I let you sleep through  that. Me:   (humbled):  OH… GOD:  I didn’t let your car start because there was a  drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the  road. Me:   (ashamed) God:  The  person who made your first sandwich today was sick and I didn’t want you to  catch what he has. I knew you couldn’t afford to miss  work. Me:   (embarrassed):  Ok… God:  Your phone went dead because the person who was  calling was going to give false witness about what you said during that call.   I didn’t even let you talk to them so that you would be  covered. Me:   (softly) I see,  God. God:  Oh, and that foot massager had a short that was  going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight.  I didn’t think  you wanted to be in the dark. Me:   I’m sorry  God. God:  Don’t be sorry, just learn to trust me in all  things, the good and the bad. Me:   I will trust  you. God:  And don’t doubt that MY plan for your day is  always better than your plan. Me:   I won’t,  God.  And let me just tell you God, thank you for everything  today. God:  You’re welcome, child. It was just another day  being your God and I love looking after my children.
Keep this going  if you believe in HIM.  You never know who needs to receive this  message
 
(When I read this story, it reminds me of all the people who did  not make to work on time or not at all to the World Trade Center  on 9/11/01.  They were held up for some very minor problems or were  ill or their alarm did not go off, etc., etc., etc.  God does have his  plan for all of us and if it isn’t your time, it just isn’t your  time. Remember this when things don’t seem to be going the way they  should. It is probably our lord  keeping us safe.    God Bless all of you ~~ D.)
 

In Reply to being asked what is the CC doing to make the world a better place?


My question was not in any way an attempt to discredit the aid work, and phenomenal financial assistance the CC provides to alleviate global poverty.

But the question one must ask oneself is, why has all this aid and assistance over the past several decades still not removed the injustice of extremes of wealth and poverty to continue to afflict humanity?

IMO its because there are two powerful forces at work at all times, and in all places. Good and Evil; God and Satan. God has committed and promised that He wins in the End. But much harm can, will, has been done while one awaits the Return in Glory of God Almighty.

God wins in the end; but Satan seems to be winning now. We are to do everything God permits us to do and then LEAVE it up to Him

The CC teaches man to uphold a just and fair character, to show forth compassion, love and selflessness in all we do. But what is the purpose of being just in a social order that reflects only injustice? What is the point in being selfless, when the way society is ordered reflects only selfishness?

Souls are won or LOST; one at a time . God alone is in charge of the “results committee.”

We are called to know our Faith; live it publicly and share it whenever and however God permits us too. We are not to get discouraged; not lose OUR Faith; or Hope or Love. God will; because God must judge each of us on OUR personal life choices. First we must “save ourselves” then, and only then are “free” to work WITH God in saving others. One Soul at a time. Faith is God’s Gift to give or withhold.

Don’t expect results; but give a maximum effort. We can never have too much Faith; too much Hope or too much charity. But like the Apostles and Paul we are “spiritual farmers”; we plant the seeds; someone else waters and God ALONE makes it grow. If we understand our role like this; it is far easier to be smiling when we get up and when we retire for the day. Do what you can DO! That is Gods expectation and ought to be yours as well.

My question is not about individual financial donations, and not about individual spirituality and salvation. My question is in regard to the social order and collective spirituality that is a very obvious reality in the world today.

How is the CC addressing a change to this global disorder?

In this age of “mass-communication” and secularized; New Age religion and thoughts of Me; Me  and MINE, one ought to take the view of One Soul and One day at a time; With, In and through God. The Catholic Church remains the ROCK-FAST bearer and owners of the single truths. The Spiritual Truths; and all Moral Truth; and frankly commonsense and logic on these matters as well. We alone have the keys to heaven; we alone are the RIGHT path to ones personal salvation. We alone are that One Lit candle in the dark and dank world in which we live. Which is why we are always and everywhere in devious ways; duplicitous acts, and concealed contempt; under attack. But Christ told us to expect exactly this.

What is the Catholic Church doing? Just what Christ Commanded us to do

Matthew Chapter Five: 1-20 “

Christ’s sermon upon the mount. The eight beatitudes.

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain, and when he was set down, his disciples came unto him. And opening his mouth, he taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. The poor in spirit: That is, the humble; and they whose spirit is not set upon riches. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.  Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you. You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.

So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Do this my friend and count on God to produce the results. That is His Job. Amen,

God Bless you,

Pat

the Catholic Eucharist: a protestant truth or a catholic FACT?


[QUOTE]  The Father – God the Father who is in Heaven
The Son – Jesus Christ who is now seated at the Right Hand of the Father
The Holy Spirit – Sent from God into your body to help guide you and lead you down the path Christ laid out for you. This is the Trinity. How can the Eucharist given by the priest, overpower the Holy Spirit given by Christ?[/QUOTE]

You lack my friend, a full and correct understanding. Allow me please, to assist you.

The Eucharist; “the Real Presence of Christ” is;

FROM God the Father

OF God the Son [Jesus]

BY the Holy Spirit

These three comprise the Blessed Trinity Mt. 28:19-20. And they are “one each”; EACH Co-Equal and Co-Eternal. The Miracle of the Eucharist is actually  TWO back to back Miracles. 1. The Priest [“Persona Christi” or in the “Person of Christ”] is actually; instantly and temporally while the Consecration takes Place; turned into is a real-sense”; “Another Christ” through whom the second Miracle takes place: Making Jesus; “Really’ Truly and Substanually [all of Him] Present to us. There is no “over-powering and it is the one and SAME Holy Spirit; and the One and the same Jesus. That is why it is the Divine Mystery.

[QUOTE] Why would Christ want to come to us in bread in wine when He lives in us as the Holy Spirit.”[/QUOTE]

Consider it this way: If I had a $1,000.00 bill in my hand. Would you rather I just show it to you or GIVE IT to you? That dear friend is kind of the difference. In addition to FIVE Eucharistic passages: Mt.26; Mk. 14. ; Luke 22; John 6 and 1st Cor. 11; READ Mt. 28:20.Those final words are thee FINAL WORDS of Jesus just moments before He ASSENDED back into heaven.

By being “Really” Present not only “to us” BUT “IN-US” Jesus Himself becomes the GREATEST possible [in quality and quantity ] of grace available to humanity; because it is Literally God Himself. As we Consume God Worthily; God Himself comes into God; while at the same time we share “IN GOD HIMSELF.”

[QUOTE]The Breaking of the bread is the representation of the ultimate sacrifice of Christ death on the cross. And eating of the bread and wine should serve as a reminder that Christ lives in us as the Holy Spirit[/QUOTE]

No, no my friend: READ THE ACTUAL WORDS:

May I be frank? Your understanding expresses the alternations and aberrations to the singular truth Spoken by Jesus Himself and FIVE different NT authors of the Bible; THREE of who are Personal witness to this Commanded Miracle; and FOUR of whom were Martyred in heinous ways for this belief.

John 5:[RSV] 3-36-38 ““But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has granted me to accomplish, these very works which I am doing, bear me witness that the Father has sent me. 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.”

Matthew 26: 26-28 “And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat.

This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.

MARK 14: 22-24 “And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread; and blessing, broke, and gave to them, and said Take ye. This is my body. And having taken the chalice, giving thanks, he gave it to them. And they all drank of it.  And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many.

MARK 14: 22-24 “And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread; and blessing, broke, and gave to them, and said: Take ye. This is my body. And having taken the chalice, giving thanks, he gave it to them. And they all drank of it.  And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many.[ NOTE: A Covenant cannot be ratified by a mere symbol; it REQUIRES BLOOD!]

Luke 22: 19-21″And taking bread, he [GOD] gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me. In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you.

Paul 1 Cor.11: 23-29 “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread.  And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take Ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me.  For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: [to be worthy of the privilege]  and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks judgment to himself”

John from Chapter 6: 47-57 “Amen, amen I say unto you: He that believeth in me, hath everlasting life.

I am the bread of life.  I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen [MEANS; TRULY; TRULY] I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me, and I in him”

NO WHERE DOES IT SAY; OR EVEN IMPLY THAT JESUS IS ONLY GIVING A ‘SIGN; OR A MERE SYMBOL!

[QUOTE] Our bodies are temples. With this reminder, we have then invited the Holy Spirit to guide us! At the last supper, Christ was not literally saying He was the bread and wine. If that were the case the trinity would be the Father, the Son, the Eucharist (only available at church)[/QUOTE]

Woops; there ya go again; and your still missing the SINGULAR truth. I have  shared the actual WORDS of GOD HIMSELF and Five Apostles; PLEASE SHOW ME WHERE IT EXPRESSLY say’s that these are mere signs or symbols. YOU CAN’T [EMPHAISIS not SHOUTING]; BECAUSE IT’S A FALES UNDERSTANDING. GOOGLE “EUCHARISTIC MIRACLES” [caps 4 emphasis not shouting]

Further what YOU non-catholics receive IS  ONLY a sign or symbol; what we catholics receive is EXACTLY what Christ SAID; Promised and DELIVERS.

[QUOTE] I’m afraid the Church has taken it out of context. We have taken away from the true sacrifice of Christ, a one time event, if we think the sacrifice at Mass is greater. Jesus made it already. It is Finished. [/QUOTE]

Having been Trained; Tested; Experienced and Certified to Teach our Catholic Faith for nearly 20 years now; I’m no longer surprised at your views. BUT THAT SAID: How One misunderstanding LEADS to a multitude of “man-made-up beliefs”; contradicting the very WORDS of GOD HIMSELF; still astounds me. [There would be a lot of smiles in this post if I were permitted to add them. Have not reached 50 Post yet.

It’s too profound to explain in greater details BUT what happens at EVERY MASS is a “re-presentation” MEANING actually; really; factually a re-presentation of the VERY ONE and same sacrifice of Calvary; Again and Again: [it’s a Mystery concealed within a  Miracle] Christ Can and DOES only One Time: BUT God CAN do ANY Good thing! Amen!  … ?????

[QUOTE] We shall do it only in remembrance of the true sacrifice[/QUOTE].

  1. READ the passages I provide; EVEN in your “man- modified] KJ Bible. Where do the WORDS say or even-imply your position? They simply do not. ASK the identical question about Catholic belief and practice and GET FIVE CLEAR: CONCISE and Precise references. Which dear friend is more credible?
  2. [QUOTE] Jesus sacrificed Himself for all men [/QUOTE]

TRUE-BUT;

  1. He knew and expected ONLY a FEW to meet ALL OF THE NECESSARY Conditions; to ACCEPT HIS version of the truth. Mt. 26:28 above; Mt. 14: 24 also above. Recall also the story of the “Narrow Gate”

Matthew 7:13 “Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat“.

[QUOTE] If the Eucharist truly was Jesus, He would also want to available to All men.[/QUOTE]

No again [another smile]. Here’s why. God is Perfect and those who receive Him MUST do so w/o sin; [thus in a manner “perfected]  and Certainly w/0 Mortal sin 1st. John5:16-17; and “Lesser venial sins 1st. John 1:8-10; are forgiven at the from part of the Mass by the “Act of Contrition” which can through the Powers of the Key’s in the CC; BUT NOT Mortal sins which MUST BE CONFESSED John 20:19-23

Matt.5: 48You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matt.19:21  Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” John.17:23 “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.” : Rom.12: 2 “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”

2 Timothy 3:17 “That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.”Ephesians 6:13 “Therefore take unto you the armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect.”

[QUOTE]He did not make people put their hands a certain way or be an elite group. He made Himself available to all who believed in Him[/QUOTE]

Consider this LOGICAL FACT; if you permit it to be?

We believe in Only One God right? RIGHT!

God is Perfect as God MUST be right? Right.

Then dear friend explain to me please; how one Perfect God can hold contradicting positions of the very same well defined issues????? Positions BTW that only changed when the Protestant revolution came to be [actually Henry the VIII had some earlier]… This is a MORAL and a Theologically IMPOSSIBILITY for our Perfect God.

As a FYI: I have a very Active Internet Ministry; but can’t yet post my URL. How ever

know that I can and do have Lessons that explain each of these points if FAR greater detail, that I can POST for you if you desire and IF I’m permitted to do do. They tend to be quite long.

[QUOTE] So do you still consider me Catholic if this is what I believe?[/QUOTE]

No; fraid not. [another smile]. Truth is SINGULAR. One per Issue. Next to the Bible my favorite Author is the Late Archbishop Fulton Sheen. His Book “The Life of Christ” is AWESOME! His Excellency said this about truth:

“Even if nobody accepts THEE truth; the “truth” remains THEE Truth; AND even if everybody believes a LIE; it still remains a LIE.”

And Pope Benedict on the very day He became our 266th POPE said this:

“There CANNOT be your truth and my truth” because then their would be NO TRUTH.”

There is very much more I can add and prove; but SPACE….

God Bless you;

Working4christ/PJM/ Pat

The Wedding Feast at Canna


 

The Wedding Feast at Cana

by: Marcellino D’Ambrosio, PhD

Everyone knows the story of the first of the Lord’s “signs” — how Jesus changed water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana at the request of Mary, his mother. But there is more to the story than at first meets the eye. 

Epiphany, to most of us, means the three kings. But the term Epiphany means “manifestation” or “revelation,” and traditionally the Feast of the Epiphany celebrates three revelatory events, the Magi’s visit, the Lord’s baptism, and the wedding feast at Cana.

The link is not hard to see. The Magi’s homage shows divinity of this child-king who is to die for his people. Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan reveals a glimpse of God’s inner life as Trinity. And the wedding feast of Cana reveals the divine power at work in this carpenter from Nazareth. And it does so smack dab in the middle of everyday life, at a wedding reception.

The fourth gospel calls the Lord’s miracles “signs.” They all point to Jesus’ divinity. But they also profoundly symbolize what it is that he has come into this world to do for us. At Cana, he transforms water into wine. Now water is good but rather ordinary. It does not have much taste. Wine in ancient Israel was special, generally reserved for feasts and Sabbaths. It is a symbol of joy, and the exhilaration it provides is a great blessing. Note that the wine Jesus provided was rich, flavorful, and of the very best quality.

The Old Covenant was good. It was good to know that God is one that the way to please him is through just actions. That’s really what the ten commandments are all about–justice to God, who alone deserves our worship, and justice to other human beings who all deserve our respect, seeing that they are made in God’s image. But this covenant did not tell the whole story–the inner life of God as Trinity, this is present there only in hints and shadows. Neither does the Old Covenant provide people with the power to live the commandments. The law is written on stone tablets, and people must try to live it through sheer will power.

Jesus transforms this situation. Religious life now becomes intimacy with God, sharing in the eternal celebration of love between Father, Son and Spirit. And the new law is written in hearts by the Holy Spirit who empowers Christians to live it. Natural human life is good. But the new supernatural life brought by Christ is richer and much more flavorful.

How does Jesus work this transformation? Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the same power that transformed chaos into paradise, a virgin into the mother of the messiah, and bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.

Christ was anointed with this wonder-working Spirit following his baptism. We share in this anointing through confirmation. So why do we think that the gifts of the Spirit were only for New Testament times? Or why would we think that they are only given to the greatest saints? St. Paul in I Corinthians 12 says that there are different works of the Spirit but it is the same God who accomplishes all of them in everyone. And then, “to each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”

At the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church officially taught that the charisms of the Holy Spirit were not limited to the apostolic era but are essential equipment for all times and are poured out upon all the faithful through baptism and confirmation. That means that we Catholics belong to the largest Pentecostal Church in the world.

So what is needed to awaken the wonder-working power of the Spirit that lies dormant in the lives of so many Catholics? Going back to Cana, it seems to me that if Mary’s intercession could be a catalyst for the first miracle, it could be the catalyst for many more.

This originally appeared in Our Sunday Visitor as a reflection on the Mass Readings for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, cycle C (Isaiah 62:1-5; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-12) and is republished here by permission of the author.

 

A History of Our Catholic Mass


 

I am Catholic

by Pat Miron and friends

A …. History of our Catholic Mass

Catechism of the Catholic Church

CCC # 1345

As early as the second century we have the witness of St. Justin Martyr for the basic lines of the order of the Eucharistic celebration. They have stayed the same until our own day for all the great liturgical families. St. Justin wrote to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) around the year 155, explaining what Christians did:

“On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place.

The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits.

When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.

Then we all rise together and offer prayers* for ourselves . . .and for all others, wherever they may be, so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.

When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss.

Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren. 

He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks (in Greek: eucharistian) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts.

When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: ‘Amen.’

When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the “eucharisted” bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.”

Introduction

“Our Mass goes back, without essential change, to the age when it first developed out of the oldest liturgy of all. It is still redolent of that liturgy, of the

days when Caesar ruled the world and thought he could stamp out the faith of Christ, when our fathers met together before dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as to a God. The final result of our inquiry is that, in spite of unsolved problems, in spite of later changes, there is not in Christendom another rite so venerable as ours.” —–“From roughly the time of St. Gregory [d. 604] we have the text of the Mass, its order and arrangement, as a sacred tradition that no one has ventured to touch except in unimportant details.”

The Early Catholic Liturgy 

The earliest and most detailed account of the Eucharist is found in St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, which, of course, predates the Gospels, and was written in Ephesus between 52-55 A.D. Scholars agree that the Consecration formula used by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 11, quotes verbatim from a stylized formula already in use in the Apostolic liturgy. The passage is rich in doctrine. It identifies the Eucharist with the Passion. A new and permanent covenant or alliance is concluded between God and man in the Blood of Jesus. His sacrifice was mystically anticipated at the Last Supper. The Apostles, and implicitly their successors, are commanded to celebrate the Eucharist in His memory; and this remembrance is of such efficacy that it is an unceasing proclamation of His redemptive death, and renders it actually present until the day when He returns in the full glory of His Second coming. The Eucharist is the memorial of the Passion, anamnesis in Greek, and it commemorates the Passion by renewing it in an unbloody manner upon the altar. Finally, great purity of soul is required to take part in a rite as sacred as the offering and reception of the Body and Blood of Our Savior. 

By combining St. Paul’s account with those of the four synoptic Gospels, we have the essentials of the Eucharistic liturgy in every ancient rite. Our Lord took bread, gave thanks, blessed and broke it, and gave it to His Apostles to eat; then He took a cup of wine, again gave thanks [Luke and Paul do not add this second thanksgiving], said the words of Institution [or Consecration] over it, and gave it to them to drink. We thus have the five essential elements for the Christian Eucharist: 1) Bread and wine are brought to the altar; 2) The celebrant gives thanks; 3) He takes bread, blesses it and says the words of Consecration; 4) He does the same over the wine; 5) The consecrated Bread, now having become the Body of Christ, is broken and is given to the people in Communion together with the contents of the Chalice, that is, the Precious Blood. 

A Short History of the Roman Mass

by Michael Davies

Gradual Development of Ceremonies

Although there was considerable liturgical uniformity in the first two centuries there was not absolute uniformity. Liturgical books were certainly being used by the middle of the 4th century, and possibly before the end of the third, but the earliest surviving texts date from the seventh century, and musical notation was not used in the west until the ninth century when the melodies of Gregorian chant were codified. The only book known with certainty to have been used until the fourth century was the Bible from which the lessons were read. Psalms and the Lord’s Prayer were known by heart, otherwise the prayers were extempore. There was little that could be described as ceremonial in the sense that we use the term today. Things were done as they were done for some practical purpose. The lessons were read in a loud voice from a convenient place where they could be heard, and bread and wine were brought to the altar at the appropriate moment. Everything would evidently have been done with the greatest possible reverence, and gradually and naturally signs of respect emerged, and became established customs, in other words liturgical actions became ritualized.

In the first place there were many formulas that occur in the Old or New Testament, that were well known in Jewish services. These were used as liturgical formulas by Christians too. Examples of such forms are: “Amen,” “Alleluia”, “Lord have mercy”, “Thanks be to God “, “For ever and ever”, “Blessed are Thou O Lord our God.” Moreover it will be noticed that extempore prayer always tends to fall into stereotyped formulas A man who prays for the same object will soon begin to repeat the same words. This may be noticed in extempore preaching. The fact that since all early Christian language was saturated with Biblical forms means that it would hardly be possible for the bishop to use different words and forms each time he prayed, even if he tried to do so. And why should he try? So the same expressions recurred over and over again in the public prayers. A formula constantly heard would soon be considered the right one, especially as in some cases [the psalms and Lord’s prayer] the liturgy already contained examples of constant forms. A younger bishop when his turn came to celebrate, could do no better than continue to use the very words [as far as he remembered them] of the venerable predecessor whose prayers the people, and perhaps himself as deacon, had so often followed and answered with reverent devotion.

The Origins of the Roman Rite and its Liturgical Books 

By about the middle of the 4th century there were certainly some liturgical books, How long before that anything was written one cannot say. The first part of the liturgy to have been written appears to have been the Diptychs. The word Diptych is derived from the Greek for twice­folded. A Diptych consisted of two tablets [covered with wax at the beginning] hinged and folded together like a book. On one the names of the living for whom prayers were to be said were written, on the other the names of the dead. These names were then read out by the deacon at the appointed place in the liturgy. Their use, in the East went on till far into the middle ages. Then the lessons were set down in a book. The old custom of reading from the Bible until the bishop made a sign to stop, soon gave way to a more orderly plan of reading a certain fixed amount at each liturgy. Marginal notes were added to the Bible showing this. Then an Index giving the first and last words of the amount to be read is drawn up. Other books were read besides the Bible [lives of Saints and homilies in the Divine Office]; a complete Index giving references for the readings is the “Companion to the books.” comes, liber comitis or comicus. Lastly, to save trouble, the whole texts are written out as they are wanted, so we come to the [liturgical] Gospel­book (evangelarium), Epistle­book [epistolarium], and finally the complete Lectionary [lectionarium]. St. Jerome [324-420] is widely believed to have been commissioned by the pope to select the Epistles and Gospels used for each Sunday of the liturgical year, which have been used since in the traditional Roman Missal. 

5 Meanwhile the prayers said by the celebrant and deacon are written out too.The Canon of the Mass Dates
from the 4th Century

Towards the end of the fourth century St. Ambrose of Milan, in a collection of instructions for the newly baptized entitled De Sacramentis, quotes the central part of the Canon which is substantially identical with, but somewhat shorter than, the respective prayers of the Roman Canon. This proves beyond doubt that the core of our Canon, from the Quam oblationem [the prayer before the Consecration], including the sacrificial prayer after the consecration, was in existence by the end of the fourth century.

The earliest Roman Sacramentaries are the first complete sources for the Roman Rite. These were written in the Latin language which had gradually replaced Greek as the language of the Roman liturgy. Scholars differ as to the precise time when the transition was complete, giving dates from the second half of the third century up to the end of the fourth. Both languages must have been used side by side during a fairly long period of transition.

7 The genius of the Latin language certainly affected the ethos of the Roman Rite. Latin is naturally terse and austere when compared with the rhetorical abundance of Greek. It was a natural tendency of Latin to curtail redundant phrases, and this terseness and austerity are a noticeable mark of the Roman Mass.

The Reform of St. Gregory the Great

St. Gregory the Great became Pope in 590 and reigned until 604. His achievements during those fourteen years almost defy credibility. Prominent among the many important reforms that he undertook was that of the liturgy. His pontificate marks an epoch in the history of the Roman Mass, which, in every important respect he left in the state that we still have it. He collected the Sacramentary of Gelasius into one book, leaving out much but changing little. What we now refer to as The Gregorian Sacramentary cannot be ascribed to the Pope himself as, apart from other evidence, it contains a Mass for his feast, but it is certainly based upon his reform of the liturgy and includes some material composed by him.

The keynote of the reform of St. Gregory was fidelity to the traditions that had been handed down [the root meaning of the Latin word traditio is to hand over or hand down]. His reform consisted principally of the simplification and more orderly arrangement of the existing rite—–the reduction of the variable prayers at each Mass to three [Collect, Secret, and Postcommunion], and a reduction of the variations occurring at that time within the Canon, prefaces and additional forms for the Communicantes and Hanc Igitur. These variations can still be found on a very few occasions such as Christmas and Easter. His principal work was certainly the definitive arrangement of the Roman Canon. The Lectionary was also given a definitive form, but was still to undergo considerable change subsequently. The Order of Mass as found in the 1570 Missal of St. Pius [1566-1572], apart from minor additions and amplifications, corresponds very closely with the order established by St. Gregory. It is also to this great Pope that we owe, to a large extent, the codification of the incomparable chant that bears his name

A Sacred Heritage Since the 6th Century 

We have now arrived at the early middle ages. From this time forward there is little to chronicle of the nature of change in the order of the Mass itself which had become a sacred and inviolable inheritance, its origin forgotten. It was popularly believed to have been handed down unchanged from the Apostles, or to have been written by St. Peter himself. Dr. Fortescue considers that the reign of St. Gregory the Great marks an epoch in the history of the Mass, having left the liturgy in its essentials just as we have it today. He writes: There is, moreover, a constant tradition that St. Gregory was the last to touch the essential part of the Mass, namely the Canon. Benedict XIV [1740­ 1758] says: “No pope has added to or changed the Canon since St. Gregory.”

The Protestant Break with Liturgical Tradition

The sound and invariable practice of the Church in the West was breached for the first time by the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformers. They broke with the tradition of the Church by the very fact of initiating a drastic reform of liturgical rites, and this would still have been the case even had their reformed liturgies been orthodox. The nature of their heresy was made clear not so much by what their rites contained as by what they omitted from the traditional books. [Emphasis added] In 1898 the Catholic bishops of the Province of Westminster published a scathing denunciation of the liturgical revolution initiated by English Reformers, a revolution which was radically incompatible with the principle enunciated by Canon Smith. The Anglican claims that their services aimed at simplicity and a return to primitive usage were dealt with in very vigorous language. The Catholic Bishops denied the right of national or local churches to devise their own rites.

They must not omit or reform anything in those forms which immemorial tradition has bequeathed to us. For such an immemorial usage, whether or not it has in the course of ages incorporated superfluous accretions, must, in the estimation of those who believe in a Divinely guarded visible Church, at least have retained whatever is necessary, so that in adhering rigidly to the rite handed down to us we can always feel secure; whereas, if we omit or change anything, we may perhaps be abandoning just that element which is essential. And this sound method is that which the Catholic Church has always followed . . . That in earlier times local churches were permitted to add new prayers and ceremonies is acknowledged . . . But that they were also permitted to subtract prayers and ceremonies in previous use, and even to remodel the existing rites in the most drastic manner, is a proposition for which we know of no historical foundation, and which appears to us absolutely incredible. [Emphasis added] Hence Cranmer, in taking this unprecedented course, acted, in our opinion, with the most inconceivable rashness.

History of the Mass

Short History of the Development of the Mass in the past several years

Following the Council of Trent, Pope St Pius V, concerned with some innovations and improper accretions in the Order of the Mass in some areas, reviewed the Roman Missal. When he was finished, he declared that all priests of the Latin Church throughout the World must use the Roman Missal he prepared when they said Mass. They could not add a single word to it, or choose to leave a single word out, without his authority. Only those rites which had already been established for more than two centuries before the date he promulgated the new Missal were allowed to say Mass differently (eg, the Milanese Rite, the Dominican Rite).

And so the Mass changed very little for over 400 years. (Parts of it, such as the Kyrie and the Eucharistic Prayer have remained unchanged for well over 1,000 years!) A few Popes made minor changes to the Missal over time. The Holy Week liturgies were changed in the 1940s. And then, many thought it was sacrilege, Pope John XXIII added the name of St Joseph to the Canon of the Mass (the Eucharistic Prayer). For over 1,000 years, since it had been settled by Pope Gregory the Great, the Canon of the Mass had not been changed. It was considered the untouchable core of the Mass.

Over the last 100 years, there had been considerable momentum in the “Liturgical Movement” calling for reform of the Mass, the possibility, for example, of saying Mass in the local language of the people rather than Latin.

And, of course, the Mass was so very different from the way the Protestants worshipped God.

Then, Pope John XXIII (not content on adding the most chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the Canon) convened the Second Vatican Council. The Fathers discussing the Sacred Liturgy decreed that Latin must remain the language of the Mass and the Church, that Gregorian Chant must retain pride of place in Sacred Music. They said that any reforms that were necessary and could grow organically from the existing form which would allow for greater participation of the laity was to be encouraged. They said that only where the local Bishop considered there were sufficient pastoral reasons could part of the mass be said in the vernacular. There was no permission for Mass to be said with the priest’s back to God rather than facing Him. There was no suggestion that communion could be given in the hand standing. There was no suggestion of almost all reference to the Sacrificial aspect of the Mass being downplayed or removed. There was no suggestion that most references to angels and saints and Heaven should be removed.

After the close of the Council, Pope Paul VI set up a Consilium to prepare a new Mass, to “implement the desires of the Council”. He called a number of Cardinals together to see the new Mass celebrated and to comment. Apparently, favourable comments did not abound. The focus of the Consilium was clearly to reform the Mass far beyond what the Council Fathers had intended or desired. Several Protestant theologians were observers at the Consilium, the intention being that they should be able to say of the new Mass that there was nothing offensive in it to them.

The Holy Father promulgated the New Missal and declared that within a matter of practically a few months, no other Missal could be used without the Latin Church, not even those rites which Pope St Pius V had deemed sufficiently established to be retained. All other ways of saying Mass were banned.

Within a couple of years, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster in England had obtained permission from the Holy Father for any priest in England and Wales to celebrate Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962

At the commencement of his pontificate, Pope John Paul II sought information from bishops throughout the world on the situation of those who were “resisting” the liturgical reforms. As a result of these reports, the Holy Father, seeking to accommodate the concerns of Archbishop Lefebvre’s followers and others who preferred the pre-conciliar Liturgy authorised an Indult in 1984 allowing a limited permission for the Tridentine Mass to be said. There were quite a few restrictions imposed, however (eg, the Masses could not be said in Parishes).

In 1988, the Vatican and Archbishop Lefebvre signed a Protocol that would see the Holy Father approving the appointment of a bishop of Lefebvre’s choosing in return for Lefebvre and his followers accepting the Church’s Magisterium and that Vatican II and the promulgation of the new Mass were part of it.

Archbishop Lefebvre signed it, but later reneged on the agreement and went ahead and consecrated three bishops illicitly. He, the bishops, any priests of the Society and any members of the faithful who formally adhered to their schism were swiftly excommunicated… and remain excommunicated. The Holy Father, however, issued a motu proprio Ecclesia Dei stating that the aspirations of those who were attached to former liturgical traditions were “legitimate” and that Bishops should be “generous” in allowing Tridentine Masses to be offered in their dioceses. He established a commission whose primary responsibility was to help the faithful to obtain Latin Masses in their dioceses and to facilitate the return to the Church of those who were now in schism.

And return some did… Several priests of the Society soon returned to the Church and at the urging and with the blessing of the Holy Father formed the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter, an order of priests with permission to administer the Sacraments solely according to the Missal of 1962. END QUOTE

My NOTE [PJM]: More recently still, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has removed ALL restrictions on saying the Mass in Latin. While it REMAINS the “Extraordinary Form”  [meaning the secondary form for Mass], it nevertheless can be requested and can be said by QUALIFIED and trained priest, without a Bishops authorization being required,

Further, many language changes shall shortly appear restoring the actual meanings of the Original Latin Text, which had been weakened to accommodate the English language.

God less you ALL,

Pat