Sufffering: Does it have a purpose?


“Thank you for this. I will focus on these questions next time I feel angry about something.” FROM a CAF Post

Originally Posted by

Yes it does… I found prayer did not help.. but time does ease the pain,, then it does depend on what it was in the first place.. but it does help if others realise just what they have done helps as well…. it took a long time but I forgive .

“Thank you. I don’t think that in my case the person will ever realise what they’ve done. But I don’t expect that anymore. I think I have forgiven them, but the hurt is so deep and profound that it will take years for it to be less intense.”

Perhaps dear friend, it might be good to revisit the purpose of suffering in our lives?

Whether we know it, or like it; God remains always in charge.  Everything that happens, from the most insignificant to Life-Changing occurrences;  and everyone that crosses our life’s path, happens because God’s “handprints” are on it.

Everything happens for 1 of 2 reasons

1. The Possible Glory of God

2. Our own Possible sanctification

Isaiah 43: 7 & 21 ““And every one that calleth upon my name, I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, and made him & This people have I formed for myself, they shall shew forth my praise”

Suffering too fits within these perimeters. Since mans “Fallen condition” humanity has had to suffer in various ways and to differing degrees. No one is exempted.

Take Up your Cross and Follow Me: Phil.2: 8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross Luke.9 :23 And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Mark.8: 34 And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Luke.9: 23 And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke.14: 7 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”

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.

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, “

So suffering is going to happen. What to do with “it” then becomes the right consideration.

IF we moan and complain; not only is there no benefit; but the condition itself often worsens. or at least seems too. If, on the other hand we accept it as an opportunity given to us from God for His Glory [God is always Glorified when we accept and do His Divine Will], then we also aid our own sanctification; merit Grace and earn assistance for ourselves or others, for whom we can choose to offer up our suffering.

So from life’s minor irritations to life-endangering illness; everything can be put to a meaningful use. It’s our choice and God’s perfect Will. An opportunity for grace or an opportunity to just complain about it.

If one “discovers” that pain  “does not help” it is because one does NOT fully understand prayer.

ALL prayers are ALWAYS”S answered; but God can day ‘NO!” as well as “yes” and also “”not now.” We cannot put God on our timetable; nor can we command God: God Commands us.

God Bless you,

Pat

Advertisements

Riding the Cusp of Truth


Countless Millions are Riding the Cusp of Truth, without even knowing it

 

I’m Catholic: Philosophical musings on the matter of “a single truth.”

by Pat Miron

Matt.13: 45-46 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it“.

Here’s the risk

Prov.12: 17 “He who speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
but a false witness utters deceit.” …
2nd. Tim. 4: 3-4 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, [ACTUALLY its been here for awhile already] 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.”

Rom.1: 18, 25 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.” … 2Cor.4;1-5 “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”

Here’s “the truth ” explained …. “What is true remains true even if nobody believes it; and a lie remains a lie even if everybody believes is” Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Here’s the source of ALL truth: [Always] 

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. … John.8: 12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” … John.9: 5 “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”John.11: 25 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,” …

John.12: 26“If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.” … John 14:23-24 “Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.”

Jesus, with a ardent burning desire for the salvation of Souls, desires that there still be a Devine-presence, a single source of the truth ever in our midst; available as a guide, a light to shine in the darkness of sin-filled secularisms ”MEISM‘S“; to brighten the path, to lead the way. To hold “the key’s” and to be able to unlock “the gate.” To keep, define and protect God’s Singular truths.

Matt. 16:17-19 “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 I will build my 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.”

Matt.28 Verses 16, 18-20 “ Now the eleven disciples [Apostles] went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. .. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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 17:18-19 “As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. [MEANS: With God actual powers and Authority].. And for their sake I [Jesus /God] consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth. … John 20:21-22 “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”!

Here is WHY truth is important

Sir.4: 25,28 “Never speak against the truth, but be mindful of your ignorance. Strive even to death for the truth and the Lord God will fight for you. [Conversely by implication here is the message that those who seek not the truth, will have God fighting against them.] Rom.2: 8 “but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury.”

Here is the problem

John 8: 45-46 “But, because I [Jesus] tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?

Here’s the reason for this document

2 Tim.1: 1-2, 7, 13-14 “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy,

my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. … for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel in the power of God, For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 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.”

Here is Merriam-Webster definition for “truth.”

1. aarchaic:fidelity, constancy b: sincerity in action, character, and utterance

2. a (1): the state of being the case : fact (2): the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality (3)often capitalized: a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality b: a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true <truths of thermodynamics> c: the body of true statements and propositions 3. a: the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality bchiefly British: true 2 c: fidelity to an original or to a standard”

Here is The Catholic Dictionary [by Father John Hardon S.J.]

TRUTH.

“Conformity of mind and reality. Three kinds of conformity give rise to three kinds of truth. In logical truth, the mind is conformed or in agreement with things outside the mind, either in assenting to what is or in denying what is not. Its opposite is error. In metaphysical or ontological truth, things conform with the mind. This is primary conformity, when something corresponds to the idea of its maker, and it is secondary conformity when something is intelligible and therefore true to anyone who knows it. In moral truth, what is said conforms with what is on one’s mind. This is truthfulness and its opposite is falsehood.”

Not to long ago while listening to Father Mitch Pacwa’s homily at Mass; Father used the term: “Designer Religions” as a reality of today’s world. I had never head the expression before; but knew exactly what he meant and the point that he was making. 2nd. Tim. 4: 3-4 By definition and applied logic, truth is “One”. But that definition, tradition, and even logic have been over ruled by “MEISM.” {my personal view, my understanding, is of the greatest importance; overriding every other consideration.}

“MEISM” came to America’s shores with “The Bialy’s” in the virgining Twentieth -Century. They are widely credited with being the American-birth-parents” of what we know today as the “New Age Religions”

Because Protestantism was already well founded here in America [one could be anything socially but “a catholic” it seems], New Age philosophy had a fertile ground in which to seed and grow. Because of it’s “Designer aspects” it caught in quickly and widely.

Added to this fertile ground was the emerging technology of Electronic Media. Radio; then Television and Movies. Each having the common denominator of being a “business” seeking customers for there wares and, of course money. LOT”S of money. It was the business aspects that seems to have driven some of the Philosophy and Theology of the rapidly growing number of “communions” within the Protestant ranks. Expressions of “self” taught as singular truths. An example of this is the “Sinners Prayer.” Made necessary as an expedient “to “make” salvation” fast enough to fit broadcast schedules and commercial breaks. Here are BUT a Few References for this position.

http://www.bible.ca/g-sinners-prayer.htm; http://www.biblestudyguide.org/articles/prayer-sinners-prayer/sinners-prayer.htmhttp://gospelcall.blogspot.com/2010/05/short-history-of-sinners-prayer.html

It seems both appropriate and necessary to ask if “A partial truth” is to be considered equal in every way as “the truth”? And do “good intentions” act as a sort of “truth filler/ justifier?” A third question might be; asking when “Objective Truth” as a defined reality metamorphosed into today’s reality of a “Subjective”- quasi-truth that finds very wide acceptance took hold? And IS commonly held to be “equal too” what at one time was the accepted reality that “truth” is [was] singular; one truth per precisely defined issue.

So as not to get too far off track; the timing is not of great relevance to the fact that it’s here; it’s fully imbedded in religious matters and circles and it’s validity is seemly no longer even questioned. The how’s and why’s of this fact I will leave for someone far brighter than me.

What concerns the salvation of Souls is; or ought to be a matter of great importance to all of us who are, if even occasionally, placed in situations where we are asked to either explain or defend some aspect of our Catholic Faith. From this narrowed perspective the how, who, and why of bible translation becomes thee point of demarcation. The point where Objective truths; can at will be changed to Subjective personal choice with seemingly complete immunity.

The necessary question here then becomes; are such changes granted  or permitted by our God? [who else really matters?] Another way of asking this might be; “does truth still matter; Objectively speaking?” Will God accept one’s personal opinion, ones preferred choices over or as a substitute to God’s Own Teachings? The answer, because God is and MUST BE, and MUST Remain perfect is NO! He cannot and does not.

It seems reasonable that all who seek a relationship with Our God, must be “seekers of God’s truth on God‘s rules and mandates.” The gifts of the Holy Spirit while normally disbursed  at random according to His Will;

1st. Cor. 12:11] His Own desire; have a common thread; THEE TRUTH, that runs through them. But because God’s Mercy is only exceeded by God’s Love for us; God permits TRUE Seekers to ask and pray for all of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Piety, Fear of the LORD, Prudence and Right Judgment.

On all matters dealing with religious truths, finding them, understanding them and accepting them on God’s terms, at some early point leads one quite naturally to the Bible. While not “everything” God teaches is enclosed therein; that which is not is clearly authorized by God within its pages, mandates, commands and teachings.

“Vatican City, Apr 23, 2009 (CNA).-[Catholic News Agency] On Thursday morning, Pope Benedict addressed representatives of the Pontifical Biblical Commission following their plenary assembly and said that a correct understanding of Scripture does not come from “the individualistic illusion that biblical texts can be better understood outside the community of believers” but rather rises from the Tradition of the Church.

Benedict XVI began by underlining the importance of the chosen theme, which “concerns not only believers, but the Church herself, because the Church’s life and mission necessarily rest upon the Word of God … .”

Pope Benedict, himself an academic, also warned Catholic biblical scholars that the study of Sacred Scripture cannot be reduced to a purely academic exercise but must involve a perception of “the Word of God in these texts.”

“The interpretation of Sacred Scriptures cannot be a merely an individual academic undertaking, but must always be compared with, inserted into, and authenticated by the living Tradition [means the entire body of Catholic Teaching] of the Church. “This norm is essential in order to ensure a correct and reciprocal exchange between exegesis and Church Magisterium,” the Pope stated.

But the Holy Father went further, offering a corrective reminder to biblical scholars, saying, “Catholic exegetes do not nourish the individualistic illusion that biblical texts can be better understood outside the community of believers. 

[THIS MEANS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH] The opposite is true, because these texts were not given to individual scholars ‘to satisfy their curiosity or to provide them with material for study and research’. The texts inspired by God were entrusted to the community of believers, to the Church of Christ, to nourish the faith and to guide the life of charity.” Matt. 28: 16, 18-19  [cf] “Go and teach the entire world what I have taught you”

The Pontiff also summarized the Church’s understanding of Scripture and Tradition.

“Sacred Scripture is the Word of God in that it is written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Tradition, on the other hand, integrally transmits the Word of God as entrusted by Christ the Lord and by the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and their successors so that they, illuminated by the Spirit of truth, could faithfully conserve, explain and spread it through their preaching.” 

John 14:16-17 fulfilled in John 20: 21-22. [Pope] Benedict XVI closed his address to the commission by emphasizing the need to harmonize the Magisterium and academic scholarship. “Only within the ecclesial context can Sacred Scripture be understood as the authentic Word of God which is guide, norm and rule for the life of the Church and the spiritual development of believers. This means rejecting all interpretations that are subjective or limited to mere analysis [and hence] incapable of accepting the global meaning which, over the course of the centuries, has guided the Tradition of the entire people of God.”

From this discourse let us seek out from a super-abundance of evidence;  some biblical supportive “teaching expressions” of this truth. The truth that God choose only Peter, the Apostles and His Catholic Church; and enables ONLY them to Know, understand correctly and fully understand and therefore, be able to share what it is God Commands. At it’s core is God’s Plan for salvation of all souls. No other manner works, and no other teachings are seen as relevant by God.  Knowing what the bible is teaching [not only saying] exist only in the Inspired, Enlightened, Protected, and Guided by BOTH Jesus Himself and God the Holy Spirits, One God with Only One set of Faith beliefs and in only One Church. That which is traceable historically provable to date back to the Apostles, to the time of Christ earthly Visitation. ….Today’s Catholic Church, alone chosen and Instituted by Christ Himself, as the ONLY “Church”  that existed anywhere in the world for about one thousand years before the Great Eastern Schism that fractured God’s perfect plan. The fact that it continues to exist is evidence of God’s protection and guidance.

One: Who did Christ chose?

John.15: 16, 19 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. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

Luke 22: 28-32 [28] “You are those who have continued with me in my trials; 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. [the entire world]

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,
but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.”

Matthew 16:18-19  “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my 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.” This authority and power is then given also to the Other Apostles, and through them to the Catholic Church Leaders to follow in Matthew 18: 18 … Matt.17: 1-4, 10-13 “And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light.  And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Eli’jah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli’jah.” …And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Eli’jah must come?” He replied, “Eli’jah does come, and he is to restore all things; but I tell you that Eli’jah has already come, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of man will suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples [Apostles] understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist’ …[This establishes the term “disciples and Apostles” as being One and the Same and this power and authority is handed on to All of the Apostles]… Matthew 18: 1-6 setting up verses 14-18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. “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; 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 on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven‘.”

Two: Granting of “succession” as an absolute necessity in order that Christ Works to the Entire World is a possibility. 1st. Tim. 4:14-16 “

Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood.  Meditate upon these things, be wholly in these things: that thy profiting may be manifest to all Take heed to thyself and to doctrine: be earnest in them. For in doing this thou shall both save thyself and them that hear thee“.  … Matt.13:9-12 “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.”  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. “

SUCCESSION: God-

chosen Ordained Leaders Share in Jesus’ Ministry and Authority

Matt. 10:1,40 – Jesus declares to His apostles, “he who receives you, receives Me, and he who rejects you, rejects Me and the One who sent Me.” Jesus freely gives His authority to the apostles in order for them to effectively convert the world. Matt. 16:19; 18:18 – the apostles are given Christ’s authority to make visible decisions on earth that will be ratified in heaven. God raises up humanity in Christ by exalting his chosen leaders and endowing them with the authority and grace they need to bring about the conversion of all. Without a central authority in the Church, there would be chaos (as there is in Protestantism).

Luke 9:1; 10:19 -Jesus gives the apostles authority over the natural and the supernatural (diseases, demons, serpents, and scorpions). Luke 10:16 – Jesus tells His apostles, “he who hears you, hears Me.” When we hear the bishops’ teaching on the faith, we hear Christ Himself. Luke 22:29 – the Father gives the kingdom to the Son, and the Son gives the kingdom to the apostles. The gift is transferred from the Father to the Son to the apostles.Num 16:28 – the Father’s authority is transferred to Moses. Moses does not speak on his own. This is a real transfer of authority. John 5:30 – similarly, Jesus as man does nothing of His own authority, but He acts under the authority of the Father. John 7:16-17 – Jesus as man states that His authority is not His own, but from God. He will transfer this authority to other men. John 8:28 – Jesus says He does nothing on His own authority. Similarly, the apostles will do nothing on their own authority. Their authority comes from God. John 12:49 – The father’s authority is transferred to the Son. The Son does not speak on his own. This is a transfer of divine authority. John 13:20 – Jesus says, “he who receives anyone who I send, receives Me.” He who receives the apostles, receives Christ Himself. He who rejects the apostles and their successors, rejects Christ. John 14:10 – Jesus says the Word He speaks is not His own authority, but from the Father. The gift is from the Father to Jesus to the apostles. John 16:14-15 – what the Father has, the Son has, and the Son gives it to the apostles. The authority is not lessened or mitigated. John 17:18; 20:21 as the Father sends the Son, the Son sends the apostles. The apostles have divinely appointed authority. Acts 20:28 – the apostles are shepherds and guardians appointed by the Holy Spirit 1 Peter 2:25 – Jesus is the Shepherd and Guardian. The apostles, by the power of the Spirit, share Christ’s ministry and authority. Eph. 2:20 – the Christian faith is built upon the foundation of the apostles. The word “foundation” proves that it does not die with apostles, but carries on through succession.”  http://www.scripturecatholic.com/apostolic_succession.html

Three: Only One “Church” chosen, Guided by God and Protected by God; the singular SOURCE for the fullness and accuracy of God‘s own truth. His catholic Church.;

Psalms 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”

Matthew 28: 16, 18-19 “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  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 14:16-18, “And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you. “I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you” … verse 26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, “ 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. “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.”

Four: One God Only: 2 Mac.7: 16 “But those who had held fast to God even to death and had received the full enjoyment of deliverance began their departure from the city, crowned with all sorts of very fragrant flowers, joyfully and loudly giving thanks to the one God of their fathers, the eternal Savior of Israel, in words of praise and all kinds of melodious songs.” ….

Exod.3: 6,14-15 “And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.  God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, `I AM has sent me to you.'” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, `The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations”

Five:  One Church Only: 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,built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstonein whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” …. 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” …

Six: One Faith [only one set of teachings to be believed] 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 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. … John 3:27 John answered, “No one can receive anything except what is given him from heaven. …. Col.2: 8 “See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ” …. Eph. 5: 6-10, 15-17 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not associate with them, for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),  and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of the time, because the [present] days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” … Acts.16: 5 “So the churches [THE ONLY “Churches in existence when the bible was 100% written are today’s Catholic Churches] …were strengthened in the [ONE] faith, and they increased in numbers daily.”

Seven: Truth while always remaining Only One per issue; nevertheless takes different forms. Let’s review them briefly: QUOTES taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia …

Logical Truth; between the knower and the outward expression which he gives to his

knowledge

“Reality” is actually “what is” Objectively

“Ideas” are what We think or choose to think they are and therefore are Subjective [a lesser truth relative to “Objective truths“] Pjm

“To judge that things are what they are is to judge truly very judgment comprises certain ideas which are referred to, or denied of, reality. But it is not these ideas that are the objects of our judgment. They are merely the instruments by means of which we judge. The object about which we judge is reality itself — either concrete existing things, their attributes, and their relations, or else entities the existence of which is merely conceptual or imaginary, as in drama, poetry, or fiction, but in any case entities which are real in the sense that their being is other than our present thought about them. Reality, therefore, is one thing, and the ideas and judgments by means of which we think about reality, another; the one objective, and the other subjective.”

Moral Truth; and between the thing itself, as it exists, and the idea of it, as conceived by God

“Hence a better definition of moral truth would be “the correspondence of the outward expression of thought with the thing as conceived by the speaker”. 

Moral truth, therefore, does not imply true knowledge. But, though a deviation from moral truth would be only materially a lie, and hence not blameworthy, unless the use of words or signs were intentionally incorrect, moral truth does imply a correct use of words or other signs. A lie therefore, is an intentional deviation from moral truth, and is defined as a locutio contra mentem; i.e. it is the outward expression of a thought which is intentionally diverse from the thing as conceived by the speaker. It is important to observe, however, that the expression of the thought, whether by word or by sign, must in all cases be taken in its context; for both in regard to words and to signs, custom and circumstances make a considerable difference with respect to their interpretation. Veracity, or the habit of speaking the truth, is a virtue; and the obligation of practising it arises from a twofold source. First, “since man is a social animal, naturally one man owes to another that without which human society could not go on. But men could not live together if they did not believe one another to be speaking the truth. Hence the virtue of veracity comes to some extent under the head of justice [rationem debiti]” (St. Thomas, Summa Theologiæ II-II.109.3). The second source of the obligation to veracity arises from the fact that speech is clearly of its very nature intended for the communication of knowledge by one to another. It should be used, therefore, for the purpose for which it is naturally intended, and lies should be avoided. For lies are not merely a misuse, but an abuse, of the gift of speech, since, by destroying man’s instinctive belief in the veracity of his neighbour, they tend to destroy the efficacy of that gift.”

If I’m understanding this information correctly; one may be sharing a false understanding without intent to do so, or awareness that they are in fact spreading “Subjective truths” while holding them as “Objective realities.” [This despite clarity of teaching in the Bible]. That perhaps lessons moral- culpability; unless God has made it possible for one to know His Truth. It is this factor that illuminates the fact that we must not be judgmental; and allow God alone to be the Judge. And Judge he Will, based on what God makes possible for one to know, and therefore by Grave Moral Obligation to accept; life and practice.

Here is what MUST happen:

“MEISM” must be converted to “Theism”

“Designer Religions”

and personalized religious beliefs converted to:

God’s One Designed Faith and beliefs and Divinely Exposed Truths

“My will” must become “Thy Will Be Done”

Truth must be seen not as an option; a personal choice; or a “Designer-option,“ but the Devine Will of our Loving God. Truth, as the first fruit of Devine Wisdom must ought to be sought.

Matt.7: 8 “For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” The initiative is left up to us and the results up to God.

Like God who is One

Like Faith believes which are One in Objective reality

Like Church as desired by God; there is But One

Truth too is “One”

I’d like to close this teaching document with a few random quotes I heard the other day on EWTN’S Daily Mass by a visiting priest: Father Larry Richards:

“God is not out to get us; God is out to Love us”

“Once we are Baptized we can call: “Abba…. Father”  Hi dad”

“The God of All things Created is our dad”

Speaking of the Judgment, Father quoted

John 14:20: “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.”

Acts 13:26-27 : “”Brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you that fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets which are read every sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning him.

Ps.2 Verses 10 to 11 “Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, with trembling”

John.14 Verses 1 to 6 “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” [“doubting”] Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”

May God grant us His Truth, His Way, His Salvation,

Love and prayers always,

Pat

 

Rapping the “Rapture”


Rapping …  the  … Rapture  

This is the BASIS for the Fundamentalist / Protestant position of those who choose to believe in a “Third coming of Christ. Because this not an issue that either leads to Salvation or eternal damnation, I choose not to spend a great amount of time on it.

“Preterists and Historicists call us “Futurists” (Premillennialists) partly because we believe Jesus will return to Earth at the end of the great tribulation period and before the 1000 years of peace begins, but largely because we believe the Antichrist will come on the scene in the future. However, Preterists believe the Antichrist and the Second Coming happened almost 2000 years ago (way back in 70 AD), and (again) we Premillennialists believe the antichrist (and the Second Coming) will come in the future. The Historicists also believe the Antichrist appeared in the past, but that the Second Coming will take place at the end of the 1,000 years (the Millennium).”

http://arkhaven.org/eschatology.htm [a non-catholic site]

Catholic and Biblical evidence points to only the Incarnation of Christ and His Second and final coming: The Final judgment! At the end of the world as we know it. Anything beyond this is man’s fables, and unguided by the Holy Spirit understanding.

John 16:8: And when he is come, he will convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment. .. Matthew 24:5 For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ: and they will seduce many .. Matthew 24:42 Watch ye therefore, because ye know not what hour your Lord will come. Matthew 24:44 Wherefore be you also ready, because at what hour you know not the Son of man will come .. Luke 12:40 Be you then also ready: for at what hour you think not, the Son of man will come. ..John 14:3 And if I shall go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will take you to myself; that where I am, you also may be. .. John 14:18 I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you. ..Revelation 3:3 Have in mind therefore in what manner thou hast received and heard: and observe, and do penance. If then thou shalt not watch, I will come to thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know at what hour I will come to thee. .. Revelation 11:14 The second woe is past: and behold the third woe will come quickly: Haydock’s Catholic Commentary: Ver. 14. These visions belonged to the second woe, and the third woe is at hand. — Second woe; the persecution of antichrist. — Third woe, or the day of judgment, is near at hand.”


Here is some additional [opinion] information for those who may have an interest in this topic.

http://www.forerunner.com/eschatology/X0004_4._Disp_Rebuttal.html  [a non-catholic site]

“Two Views of the Bible

Dispensationalism is derived from the idea that God has worked in different ways throughout history through different economies or dispensations. A dispensationalist makes a severe division between the Old and New Covenants, God acting with wrath and vengeance in the Old Testament and with love and grace in the New Testament. Dispensationalism teaches the imminent “secret” rapture of the Church, divides the end times into several dispensations, and teaches a conspiratorial view of history with evil forces rivaling the forces of God.

John Nelson Darby, founder of a group called the Plymouth Brethren in the 1830s, is the father of modern dispensationalism. Darby taught that the Second Coming of Christ was imminent. He rejected the creeds of the early Church and believed social reform to be useless. C.I. Scofield, a Texas pastor, popularized the teachings of J.N. Darby in a systematic theology known as dispensational premillennialism. C.I. Scofield first compiled his reference Bible as a teaching aid for missionaries. It soon became one of the most widely used tools for Bible study among entire denominations such as Southern Baptists and Disciples of Christ.

Despite the fact that many of the early dispensationalists were orthodox Christians, this shift in theology paved the way for an much greater error, antinomianism, which means literally “anti-law.” Antinomianism states that since man is saved by faith alone, and since faith frees the Christian from the law, he no longer bound to obey the law.

Antinomianism creates a false theological system in which the laws of the Bible cannot apply to governing the individual or society. Dispensationalism promoted antinomian thinking by de-emphasizing the relationship of the Old Testament law to the individual under the New Testament. In turn this led to a waning influence of Christians in society, since most of the laws pertaining to civil government are found in the Old Testament.

To the orthodox Christian

, the unity of the covenants of Scripture and the moral law of God are obvious foundations of Christian social order. The covenantal idea of God’s unchanging eternal covenant and a corresponding high view the moral law of God, stand in stark contrast to dispensationalism and antinomianism.

The dispensational theory of premillennialism has gained great popularity mainly among modern evangelicals. The dispensational view of premillennialism, with its elaborate conspiracy theories, time tables, charts and graphic scenarios, is essentially a chiliast error. It has been most often accompanied by the false notion that the Second Coming is a predictable event with an identifiable time-table. This is despite Christ’s warning that “it is not for you to know the times or the seasons” (Acts 1:7).

The fascination with the exact date of the Second Coming always appears as history approaches years with big round numbers. Chiliasm reappeared shortly before 500, 1000 and 1500 AD. Not surprisingly, we saw a reemergence of this error in full force as we approached 2000. Financially profitable publications advancing theories and speculations on the Second Coming are appearing everywhere. In contrast to Christ’s biblical admonition against predicting the time of the Second Coming (Mat. 25:13), many evangelical books authored in recent years have predicted the exact time of the Second Advent, for example

: Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth, Edgar Whisenant’s, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be In 1988, and Harold Camping’s 1994, which was a best seller in 1993, and the novel series, Left Behind, by Tim LaHaye

However, now that we have passed the millennial milestone of 2000, many Christians are reconsidering their eschatological viewpoint

. Many Christians have been taught that geo-political Israel would be a focus of end-times events. Seeing now that over 50 years have passed since the establishment of a Jewish nation-state, many are reconsidering an alternate interpretation of both the Mount Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation.

What about the rapture?

In my rebuttal to classic premillennialism, I argue that the purpose of the book of Daniel is to point the Jews to the exact time and circumstances surrounding the coming of the Messiah. The main purpose of Daniel’s prophecy is to point to the first advent, not the second advent. Further, the context of 1 Corinthians 15:23-25;50-54 indicates a simultaneous Second Coming and final judgment.

So what about the rapture? Is the rapture secret or not? Postmillennialists believe in the rapture. We simply do not believe in the dispensationalist version of this great event. The rapture is synonymous with the resurrection of the righteous. However, this event will not be secret. It will not occur seven years prior to a future millennium, nor 1007 years prior to the final judgment. Postmillennialists believe in the rapture. We believe it will occur at the time of the Second Coming, just before the final judgment, after the millennial reign is complete.”  …

End of this Quote that is greatly edited as a FYI.

CATHOLICS & the “Rapture”  is a DUH! ?????? [PJM]

Raptured or Not?

A Catholic Understanding …“What is the Catholic teaching”

onhttp://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac1005.asp

“The Rapture?” It was over 30 years ago that a student in my Scripture class asked me that question. Drawing on all my years of Catholic education (kindergarten through the seminary and doctoral studies), I replied, “The what?” I had never heard of it.

“In the intervening years, talk of the Rapture has become much more pervasive in our culture. Through radio and TV preachers, the Moral Majority movement of the 1970s and 1980s, the turn of the millennium in the year 2000, and the phenomenal success of the “Left Behind” series of novels (recently completed at volume 12 and earning a cover story in the May 24, 2004 issue of Newsweek magazine, it is likely that few Catholics today would share my response. They would, however, probably still be a bit puzzled by it, and ask another question as well, “Will we, as Catholics, share in the Rapture?”

In this Update we will address these questions. We will begin by looking at the meaning and origin of the Rapture doctrine. Then we will briefly consider the key biblical passage which is foundational to it. Finally, we will highlight some problem areas it presents

The Rapture doctrine: what and when?

But what do we mean by “the Rapture”? The word can be used in different ways. Spiritual writers have used it for mystical union with God, or our final sharing in God’s heavenly life. This is not the sense we are using it in here; we are using it in a much more specific way.

For many American fundamentalist Christians, the Rapture forms part of the scenario of events that will happen at the end of the world. While differences exist among various groups, the more common view goes like this: At the end, Jesus will come on the clouds of heaven and the righteous (“the saints”) will be raptured, that is, caught up into the air, to be with Christ. They will be separated from sinners who will remain on the earth to endure a period of great suffering (the Tribulation).

After this, Jesus will rule on earth for 1000 years (the Millennium); finally, then, Jesus comes at the end in judgment (the parousia) and will inaugurate the new heavens and the new earth. The Rapture is significant, then, as the first of the events that mark this “end of the world.” This scenario appears as such nowhere in the New Testament; it is put together through a particular interpretation of various and scattered texts.

While speculation about the end of the world is as old as Christianity, this particular scenario is not. In fact, it is not yet 200 years old!

Origins of the Rapture

The Rapture seems to have been invented by a British religious figure named John Nelson Darby (1800-1882). He was ordained in the Church of Ireland and worked there to convert Catholics away from their folly. He was extremely pessimistic about what he saw as the state of the world and the state of the Church. He eventually left it, joining a dissident group called the Plymouth Brethren of which he soon became a prominent leader.

About 1830, he began teaching that Jesus’ coming at the end of time would be preceded by a “rapture of the saints.” Some members of his own Brethren community objected that this was not biblically founded, but Darby dismissed any criticism. It had, he claimed, been revealed to him by God.

He would eventually distance himself from this group and travel extensively in the 1860s and 1870s in Europe, the United States, and Canada, where his views were very influential. (Especially important is their appearance in the Scofield Reference Bible, which was printed first in 1909. The 1967 edition is still in print and is very popular in many Protestant fundamentalist circles.)

Despite Darby’s denials, scholars have suggested several possible influences on his Rapture views. In 1830, in Port Glasgow, Scotland, a 15-year-old girl, Margaret MacDonald, a follower of a charismatic Scottish preacher, Edward Irving, attended a healing service at which she saw a vision of a two-stage return of Christ. Darby adopted and expanded her vision.

Another suggestion traces the influence to a Jesuit priest, Manuel Lacunza (1731-1801), who was born in Chile but came to Italy in 1767 where he would spend the rest of his life. Posing as a converted Jew (under the pseudonym Juan Josafat Ben Ezra), he wrote, in Spanish, a large apocalyptic work entitled The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty. The book appeared first in 1811, 10 years after his death. In 1827, it was translated into English by none other than Edward Irving, an acquaintance of and possible influence on Darby. Given Darby’s hatred of Catholics, this possible influence adds an ironic touch!

The ‘Rapture text’ in Scripture

Those who propose the Rapture maintain that it is found in Scripture. From its first appearance, as we have seen, others have questioned this. What are we to think?

Written by Paul from Corinth, about 50 or 51 A.D., less than 20 years after the death of Christ, 1 Thessalonians is commonly considered the oldest book of the New Testament. It is clear that these earliest Christians were eagerly expecting Jesus’ return in glory at the end of the world. As time went on and this was delayed, two pastoral problems emerged that Paul addresses in these lines.

The first is the question of when. Paul tells them that they “know very well” that we do not know the time of the end; it will come like a thief in the night. This becomes a truism throughout the New Testament, appearing in the Synoptic Gospels

(Mt 24:42,44; Mark 13:21-23, 32-33; Luke 12:39-40; 17:20-24; 21:34-35); Acts of the Apostles (1:6-7); the Letters (our passage and 2 Peter 3:9-10); and even in the Book of Revelation, not once but twice (Rv 3:3; 16:15)! Needless to say, this clear teaching has been consistently ignored by many up to the present day.

The second question seems more urgent. Since Christ’s coming was delayed, some of the community had died. Those who were left became worried: Would the dead lose out in some way at Christ’s return? Would they be at any disadvantage?

In describing Jesus’ return, Paul combines imagery drawn from two sources. From biblical apocalyptic (e.g., Daniel 7:13), he gets the coming on the clouds of heaven with the angelic trumpets. From his Greco-Roman experience, he gets the imagery of an arrival of a king on a state visit (in Greek, parousia); a joyful multitude goes out to meet him on the road and accompany him back to the city.

The dead will rise first and then we, the living, will be “snatched” up to join them in the air. Many pagan epitaphs of the time spoke of the living “being snatched” away by death. Here Paul speaks of our “being snatched” up to join the Lord and to welcome him at his return.

In the ancient world, the “air” was a scary place filled with unseen beings, many of them hostile. Together with Christ, there will be nothing to fear. Paul means this as a message of comfort and consolation for the Thessalonians. Christians do grieve the loss of their loved ones, but they should not do so “as others do who have no hope.”

The passage is about Jesus’ return in glory at the end of the world. The New Testament knows of only one such return. There is no “first” second coming!

Further, the passage says absolutely nothing about being “separated from” sinners; the whole thrust is exactly the opposite. It is about “being together with” the dead. There is no suggestion that once we meet Jesus “in the air” that he then turns around and goes back, taking us with him, to return later.

The conclusion is clear: There is no basis whatsoever in this passage for a doctrine of the Rapture. To see such a doctrine here is a complete distortion of the biblical text. If we were to examine other biblical texts often cited in support of this doctrine (e.g., Mt 24:40-41; Luke 17:34-35; Rv 3:10), the results would be the same.

Church teaching on the Rapture

A s Roman Catholics, we might ask, “Has the Church censured anything regarding the Rapture doctrine?” The answer would have to be no and yes.

No, to my knowledge, there has never been an explicit statement relative to the Rapture. But as we have seen, the Rapture forms part of a particular millennial expectation based on a particular use of biblical texts. Yes, the Church has explicitly rejected both this kind of speculation and this way of interpreting the Scriptures.

The Council of Ephesus (431) denounced it as “a deviation and a fable.” It was denounced again in 1516 at the Fifth Lateran Council. In 1824, the work of Manuel Lacunza (noted above) was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books. In 1941 and 1944, responding to questions from the Archbishop of Santiago, Chile, the Congregation of the Holy Office (now the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) again rejected this kind of millennial speculation with explicit reference to the work of Lacunza. As recently as April 22, 1998, with the turn of the millennium approaching, Pope John Paul II warned again against this way of thinking.

In interpreting biblical texts, the Church has stressed that it is essential that we take account of their literary genres since truth is expressed differently in different types of writing (Vatican II: Dei Verbum #12; Catechism of the Catholic Church #110).

In its 1993 document, The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church, the Pontifical Biblical Commission both reaffirmed this (Section I-A) and rejected as inadequate the so-called “fundamentalist” interpretation at play in the Rapture doctrine and scenario (Section I-F).

As John Paul II expressed it on April 22, 1998, “We know that the apocalyptic images of the eschatological discourse about the end of all things should be interpreted in light of their intense symbolism.” It is not language that should be taken literally

Problems with the Rapture

We might conclude by asking, “What view of the world is encouraged, even legitimized by the Rapture/Left Behind ideology?” It can be fairly described as an extremely pessimistic, “outsider mentality.” It feels “left out” of the world and of society, so it eagerly anticipates leaving all of that behind. In fact, God shares their disgust, and the signs are clear: God is coming soon to put an end to it. The world itself is doomed to destruction, so there is obviously no point in caring for it or protecting it now.

Everyone left behind on the earth at the time of the Rapture will be subject to the sufferings of the Tribulation. The violence envisaged and described (as in the “Left Behind” novels) is almost pornographic in detail.

The spirit of vengeance is much in evidence as those “left behind” are subjected to extreme anguish. The hope that the earth and most of its inhabitants will soon be destroyed is a cause of happiness and rejoicing among those who are eager to be separated from sinners and “raptured” out of the world because then they will be with the Lord.

To this we might juxtapose another, very different, world view. The world of God’s creation is basically good (Gn 1). Though it is marred and broken by sin and death, it is still created in, through and for Jesus Christ

(Col 1:15-20). The world shares in the redemption of God and even now is groaning, awaiting the fullness of redemption (Rom 8:19-23) which will be manifested as a (re)new(ed) heavens and (re)new(ed) earth (Rv 21:1-5).

God sent the Son into this world out of love to show us the way to life. Jesus did not separate himself from sinners but, on the contrary, they seem to have been his preferred company. If we want to be with the Lord, we should be together with sinners.

God sent the Son into this world out of love to show us the way to life. Jesus did not separate himself from sinners but, on the contrary, they seem to have been his preferred company. If we want to be with the Lord, we should be together with sinners.

In all the Gospels, he is criticized by the self-righteous, “He eats with publicans and sinners” (e.g., Luke 5:29-32), but, as he assures us, there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just

(Luke 15:7,10). The day of the Lord’s second coming is delayed, in fact, precisely because “ [the Lord] is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9-10). Jesus’ harshest words are reserved for those who think they are secure and look down on others (e.g., the Pharisee and the publican, Luke 18:9-14).

Even though we may long for the day of the Lord’s return in glory, the time of that return is unknown. Not even Jesus knows; only the Father knows (

Mark 13:32). We are warned against false prophets who say that the end is near (Mt 24:23-26), but Jesus assures us, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Mt 28:20).

Until that time, we are to be about the Lord’s work, “Blessed are those servants whom the master will find at work when he arrives”

(Mt 24:46). If we look too eagerly for Jesus’ return on the clouds of heaven, we may pass him by too often on the street (Mt 25:31-46). It would seem that what gets left behind most in the “Left Behind” mentality is the whole Bible.

What’s a Catholic to believe?

We began with several questions: What is the Catholic teaching on the Rapture? There is none; there is no traditional Christian teaching on the Rapture. It is a late, and rather suspect, arrival on the scene.

Will Catholics be raptured? No, of course not, but then neither will be anyone else. But we are left behind with one final—and most important—question. It is not about the future, the question, Will I be taken up by the Rapture? Rather, it’s more about a present question: Will I be taken in by it?” End Quotes this article BY:

Michael D. Guinan, O.F.M., Ph.D., is a professor of Old Testament, Semitic languages and biblical spirituality at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, California

A friend just asked me


Hey Pat, how have you been? I’ve got a question for you. Could you please address this scripture which has been pointed out to me before by a Protestant friend regarding calling a priest, father.

Matthew 23:9 Also, perhaps you could help me with explaining the sacrament of reconciliation to a priest in simple, understandable terms. This one seems to be very hard for one who is Protestant to grasp when they feel all you have to do it “go straight to God”.

“Why, when you can go straight to God”, I hear this a lot.

Thank you!

****

Hi **** really GREAT questions.

To put us in the right frame of mind we need to understand that God does nor conform to “OUR way of thinking”; so man therefore MUST conform to God’s [often incomprehensible] way of thinking.

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord”

Perhaps you have heard me ask: Who’s in charge? Me or God.

Jer.7: 23“But this command I gave them, `Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.”

Next we must understand the purpose and function of the Old Testament as it relates to the New Testament. The OT introduces the Messiah [Redeemer and Savior] and the New, now perfected Covenant. The NT completes; fulfills and PERFECTS the OT.

Matthew 5:16-18 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. [and make perfect] 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.”

Matthew 23:9 From the Douay Bible: “But be not you called Rabbi. [means teacher] For one is your master; and all you are brethren” [FYI: This is the Older and correct translation]

From the RSV Catholic Bible: “ And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.”

From the King JamesDo not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.”

I point this our as a precautionary note for you. In this case however, even though the term “rabbi” has been changed to “Father“; the teaching, when rightly understood is the same.

Matthew 13: 10-15 And his disciples came and said to him: Why speakest thou to them in parables? And his disciples came and said to him: Why speakest thou to them in parables?

Who answered and said to them: Because to you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven: but to them it is not given. For he that hath, to him shall be given, and he shall abound: but he that hath not, from him shall be taken away that also which he hath. Therefore do I speak to them in parables: because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And the prophecy of Isaias is fulfilled in them, who saith: By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand: and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive. For the heart of this people is grown gross, and with their ears they have been dull of hearing, and their eyes they have shut: lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”

Despite prostrations to the contrary [and unknown or unrecognized by most of them]; No protestant has the “True [singular faith of Jesus Christ”

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

John.10: 16And 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”

John 12: 48-49 “He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.  For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak.”

Acts.20: 28“Take heed to yourselves [the Apostles and by Succession today’s CC]  and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, [SEE: Jn. 20:21-22]  to care for the church of God [SINGULAR] which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.”

2 John 8-9 “Anyone who is so “progressive” as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son”

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,built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstonein whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

Here then is the reason for this teaching: ALL lack of right understanding is imposed by God’s absolute need  for Justice and is a penalty  imposed for hardened hearts. God’s Divine Nature and sense of “Perfect Justice” demands that He grant to everyone Sufficient grace to actually truly Know Him through constant teaching of ONLY; His One God; One Faith and One Church true Faith. Keep in mind that any tome a passage is culled and separated from its body of teaching; we put right understanding at GREAT risk.

John 10:30 “I and the Father are one“.

When placed back into the context of the complete TEACHING; it’s a warning from the First Commandment:

Exo. 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.” Its message is that nothing should, or can, or may be placed in competition to God himself. The term “father is used” because in that generation; time and place, the “father” held absolute sway and total authority.

From the RSV Catholic Bible: parts of Mt. 23:1-31 “Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; [the seat of authority and in theory God’s guidance and protection.. Today represented by the CC] … so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. … [8] But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. [9] And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. …  Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; 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”… ] whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.  “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, `If any one swears by the temple, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? And you say, `If any one swears by the altar, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it; and he who swears by the temple, swears by it and by him who dwells in it; and he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it. … “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity. You blind Pharisee! first cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside also may be clean. So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. … Thus you witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.” [MEANS KILLED or tried to: The Singular Faith of God].

Now on to your second question

Priest and Confession … Let me be clear from the get-go. ONLY God can and ONLY God DOES forgive sins. On that we agree. Where we disagree is HOW our SOVERIGN-GOD chooses to accomplish this. I’d like further to point out that God’s WAY is the ONLY way; sins WILL BE forgiven; because its is the Mind, Devine Will and Heart of God that Mandates that it be done this way.

First I will simply explain [1] how it is accomplished [2] then, why it is accomplished in this very precise manner [3] and conclude  providing some history and evidence to support points One and Two.

What I shared above about God being “in-charge” Because he IS “God” absolutely must be “perfect.” One necessary condition of this perfection is that God neither can, or does change. The Old Testament God and the New Testament Christ; are the One same God.

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, and I change not”

We will provide evidence of this necessary fact below. Dating back as far as Moses; with the Commanded priesthood of Aaron and his sons being chosen by God, who God gave a necessary Role for the forgiveness of sins; about 4,000 years ago; to the Institution of the New testament priesthood; therefore one ought NOT expect God to change the base structure that he had long ago set in place and established as a mandate. As GODS WAY of forgiving mans sins.

1st. Tim. 4:14-16 “Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood. Meditate upon these things, be wholly in these things: that thy profiting may be manifest to all Take heed to thyself and to doctrine: be earnest in them. For in doing this thou shall both save thyself and them that hear thee.”

The Priesthood and Sacrament of Ordination was Instituted by Christ at the Last Supper [the first Mass]; with the Words: “DO THIS IN COMMERATION Of Me .” Luke 19:21 and Paul 1st. Cor. 11: 24-25]

 

  HOW? …  [1] While it is through God’s Grace; and His Sacramental call to Holy-Orders,  and His actual and Real- Powers being utilized; it nevertheless IS his Catholic priest who are GRANTED From God; His very own Authority and Powers to Forgive mans sins.

John 20:19-23 “Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.”

WHY? … [2] 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 17 “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; [meaning literally: Unto SPIRTUAL-DEATH] I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin,  but there is sin which is not mortal. [And yes the K J Bible says the same things.]

We will provide evidence of the OT use of priest to “hide/ cover” sins; which ONLY now in the perfected New Covenant are actually FORGIVEN. And because God cannot and does not change; one ought to expect some perfected form of these practices in and under His New Covenant.

The Evidence and History [3] There is abundant biblical evidence that God could; would and did by absolute necessity pass on to Peter; the Apostles and by Succession when He expanded His mandate from Only the Jewish people to the “entire world” in Mark 16;14-15 “At length he appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again. And he [Jesus] said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  And again in Matthew 28: 16-20And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. [I NOW pass it on to YOU!“] Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”

To insure that we all could [and there should ]understand, God Sovereign right to pass on His very Powers and Authority; He makes a point of of doing exactly that very early in His Ministry.

Mt. 10:1-8 “And having called his twelve disciples together , he gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases, and all manner of infirmities. And the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the publican, and James the son of Alpheus, and Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent: commanding them, saying: Go ye not into the way of the Gentiles, and into the city of the Samaritans enter ye not. But go ye rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And going, preach, saying: The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils”

Mt. 16;18-19 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I [Jesus] will build my church, [singular] and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven”

Mt. 18: 16-18 “And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them: tell the church. [singular]  And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, [now expanded to ALL of the Apostles] whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.

John 17:17-20 Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me

Old Testament Evidence of priest and a direct ROLE in the “covering 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.4: 20,26, 31 Thus shall he do with the bull; as he did with the bull of the sin offering, so shall he do with this; and the priest shall make atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven. And all its fat he shall burn on the altar, like the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings; so the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin, and he shall be forgiven. …And all its fat he shall remove, as the fat is removed from the peace offerings, and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a pleasing odor to the LORD; and the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven.

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.” [FYI: this is the origin of the “Escape – Goat” …

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”

Hebrews 4:14 “Having therefore a great high priest that hath passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God: let us hold fast our confession.

Hebrews 4:15 “For we have not a high priest, who can not have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin”

Hebrews 5:1For every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins

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”

2 Thess. 1:8 “inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,”

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.

****, Hope this does the trick for you. If not, just let me know.

God Bless you;

Pat

“Clarity with Charity” [a timely reminder for all of us]


Clarity with Charity – A Meditation on the 8th Commandment

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

http://blog.adw.org/2013/04/clarity-with-charity-a-meditation-on-the-8th-commandment/

The Eighth Commandment, You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor, proclaims the splendor and the beauty of the truth. It is not often that we hear of the truth described in this way but consider how precious and essential a foundation the truth is for our lives. One of the dangers, when it comes to commandments is that we see them merely as prohibitions. So for example here, we might think, “OK, I’m not supposed to lie.” Well, yes, but the Commandment is more than that! It is an exhortation for us to love the truth, live the truth, and proclaim the truth. Let’s look at some of the implications and distinctions regarding this Commandment.

I. The first implication of the Eighth Commandment is that we should love the truth

, for it is of God and that we should seek to live the truth in our lives. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says,

Christians must be dedicated to the truth and live according to it. The Old Testament attests that God is the source of all truth. His Word is truth. His Law is truth. His “faithfulness endures to all generations.”[Ps 119:90; Prov 8:7; 2 Sam 7:28; Ps 119:142] Since God is “true,” the members of his people are called to live in the truth.

To follow Jesus is to live in “the Spirit of truth,” whom the Father sends in his name and who leads “into all the truth.”[Jn 16:13] To his disciples Jesus teaches the unconditional love of truth: “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes or No.’”[Mt 5:37] (Catechism 2465, 2466).

So, we are to witness to it by word and deed. This is particularly the case with the truth of our faith, the truth which has set us free.

This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds. Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it known. All Christians by the example of their lives and the witness of their word, wherever they live, have an obligation to manifest the new man which they have put on in Baptism and to reveal the power of the Holy Spirit by whom they were strengthened at Confirmation.

(Catechism 2472)

II. Put away falsehood –

Scripture bids us, Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. (Eph 4:22-25) So the Eighth Commandment upholds the goodness and beauty of the truth, exhorts us to celebrate it and instructs that we must avoid all sins against the truth. There are numerous ways that the we can sin against the truth. It will be fruitful for us to consider them each in turn, along with some distinctions.

III. False Witness

– Nothing can be so injurious to individuals as to harm their good name or reputation. Without a good reputation it becomes difficult for an individual to successfully relate to and interact with others whether it be for business or merely at a personal level. Clearly, to bear false witness against someone is to harm their reputation and we are forbidden to do so.

In the technical sense, false witness is something which takes place in a court of law and since it is under oath it is also called perjury.

But it is also often the case that false witness is given in daily matters through lies, half truths, exaggeration, and the like. Clearly our call to love the truth and to respect the reputation of others forbids us engaging in such activities.

Respect for the reputation of others also forbids us from:

A. Rash judgement – assuming without sufficient foundation the moral fault of a neighbor

B. Detraction – disclosing an other’s faults and failings without a valid reason to others who did not know them

C. Calumny – imputing false defects to another with the knowledge that they are false.

Yet it is also possible to offend the truth by

D. Inappropriately praising others

E. By refusing to correct them when it is proper to do so.

F. Flattery distorts the truth when it falsely attributes certain good qualities or talents to another. This is usually done to ingratiate oneself to individuals or for some other ulterior motive(s).

Such behavior becomes particularly sinful when it confirms another in malicious acts or sinful conduct.

IV. Lying

A lie consists in speaking a falsehood with the intention of deceiving…Lying is the most direct offense against the truth. To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead into error someone who has the right to know the truth.

By injuring man’s relation to truth and to his neighbor, a lie offends against the fundamental relation of man and of his word to the Lord…The Lord denounces lying as the work of the devil: “You are of your father the devil, . . . there is no truth in him….he is a liar and the father of lies.” [Jn 8:44]….

By its very nature, lying is to be condemned. It is a profanation of speech, whereas the purpose of speech is to communicate known truth to others. The deliberate intention of leading a neighbor into error by saying things contrary to the truth constitutes a failure in justice and charity…

A lie does real violence to another. It affects his ability to know, which is a condition of every judgment and decision…Lying is destructive of society; it undermines trust…and tears apart the fabric of social relationships

. (Catechism 2482-2485)

Acts of lying are sins from which we must repent. Lying is also a sin that demands reparation. That is to say, since lying causes actual harm and real damage. These damages must be repaired. The actual truth must be made known to those who deserve to know it. The reputations of others which have been harmed by the lie must also be restored.

V. Is lying always so evil?

The gravity of a lie is measured against the nature of the truth it deforms, the circumstances, the intentions of the one who lies, and the harm suffered by its victims. (Catechism 2484). Thus there are big lies and smaller ones. Nevertheless, it is always wrong to intentionally lie.

This includes so called “polite lies.” For example suppose a phone call comes in for someone in the household who has indicated a preference not to be disturbed just now. It is a lie to say, “She is not here.” Yet you could say, “She is not available now.” Other social situations are less simple! For example, if Mrs. Smith asks you, “Do you like my new hairstyle?” Suppose you do not. It is in fact wrong to say, “Yes, I like it.” Granted, we all feel a bit stuck in such situations! Perhaps we could answer truthfully but discreetly and say, “You look alright.” (Presuming that we do think so).

But wouldn’t it be nice if we actually felt secure enough either to indicate, charitably, our true feelings or to indicate our preference not to answer the question? Wouldn’t it be even nicer if our relationships with others were so based in sincerity and truth, that people both gave and expected honest answers? It is to this blessed state that the Lord points when he says, Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ (Mt 5:37).

VI. What about secrets?

– This reflection has thus far emphasized the goodness and the splendor of the truth as well as the importance of communicating that truth to others who need it. However, as the Catechism states:

The right to the communication of the truth is not unconditional..Fraternal love…requires us in concrete situations to judge whether or not it is appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for it. The good and safety of others, respect for privacy, and the common good are sufficient reasons for being silent about what ought not be known or for making use of a discreet language.

The duty to avoid scandal often commands strict discretion. No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have the right to know it…Everyone should observe an appropriate reserve concerning persons’ private lives.

Those in charge of communications should maintain a fair balance between the requirements of the common good and respect for individual rights.

Interference by the media in the private lives of persons engaged in political or public activity is to be condemned to the extent that it infringes upon their privacy and freedom.

(Catechism 2488, 2489, 2492)

However, the fact that we are permitted, even obliged, to keep certain secrets and maintain discretion, does not mean that we are free simply to lie. For example we cannot say, “I don’t know anything about that” if we do. Neither can we make up false answers to requested information. When we must decline to give information that is properly to be kept secret, we must still remain truthful. We might say instead, “I am not free to discuss this matter with you now.” Or, “It would be inappropriate for me to comment on that.” Or, “Why don’t you ask him yourself?” Occasionally we may need to be more direct and say, “This is a private matter and not for you to know.”

VII. Are all secrets sacred?

– Thus secrecy and discretion are often proper. Here too however, absolutes must be avoided. Sometimes we are asked to keep secrets that we should not keep. For example, suppose someone confides in you that they intend to commit a serious crime, or bring harm to another? It would be wrong to keep such a secret.

Other things being equal secrets ought to be kept, save in exceptional cases where keeping the secret is bound to cause very grave harm to the one who confided it, to the one who received it, or to a third party, and where the very grave harm can be avoided only by divulging the truth. (Catechism 2491).

An exception to this is the seal of confession which may never be violated for any reason whatsoever: The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore, it is a crime for a confessor in any way to betray a penitent by word or in any other manner or for any reason. (Catechism 2490).

VIII. On the Manner of speaking the truth

– That the truth should be celebrated and declared is surely an essential truth. However, one must not sever the declaration of truth from charity. An old Latin Motto says, veritatem in caritate (the truth, in charity). For the truth without love can bludgeon, or it can be something we use only to win an argument. Further, love without truth, is mere affirmation of others in often destructive tendencies, and really not love at all.

Yes, the truth should be spoken, but always in love. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). An older priest once told me, “If your people really know you love them, you can tell them almost anything, even the hardest truths, and they will accept it.

Further truth often has a time it is best revealed. Jesus said, I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. (John 16:12-13) Where there is time, we often do well to lead people patiently, to the deeper truths in stages.

IX. Final thought

– Jesus has taught us that the truth will set us free (Jn 8:32). If this be the case then anything which distorts the truth leads to bondage. Thus the eighth commandment calls upon us to love the truth and to love one another by proclaiming the truth and witnessing to it in sincerity with mutual respect and love.

Here is an amazing illusion, a kind of visual “lie.” It is not a lie per se, since the illusionist makes it clear he is creating an illusion, and invites, dares, us to discover how he misleads our eyes. I must say this is a VERY good illusion

Clarity with Charity [a timely reminder to all of us]


 

Clarity with Charity – A Meditation on the 8th Commandment

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

http://blog.adw.org/2013/04/clarity-with-charity-a-meditation-on-the-8th-commandment/

The Eighth Commandment, You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor, proclaims the splendor and the beauty of the truth. It is not often that we hear of the truth described in this way but consider how precious and essential a foundation the truth is for our lives. One of the dangers, when it comes to commandments is that we see them merely as prohibitions. So for example here, we might think, “OK, I’m not supposed to lie.” Well, yes, but the Commandment is more than that! It is an exhortation for us to love the truth, live the truth, and proclaim the truth. Let’s look at some of the implications and distinctions regarding this Commandment.

I. The first implication of the Eighth Commandment is that we should love the truth

, for it is of God and that we should seek to live the truth in our lives. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says,

Christians must be dedicated to the truth and live according to it. The Old Testament attests that God is the source of all truth. His Word is truth. His Law is truth. His “faithfulness endures to all generations.”[Ps 119:90; Prov 8:7; 2 Sam 7:28; Ps 119:142] Since God is “true,” the members of his people are called to live in the truth.

To follow Jesus is to live in “the Spirit of truth,” whom the Father sends in his name and who leads “into all the truth.”[Jn 16:13] To his disciples Jesus teaches the unconditional love of truth: “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes or No.’”[Mt 5:37] (Catechism 2465, 2466).

So, we are to witness to it by word and deed. This is particularly the case with the truth of our faith, the truth which has set us free.

This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds. Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it known. All Christians by the example of their lives and the witness of their word, wherever they live, have an obligation to manifest the new man which they have put on in Baptism and to reveal the power of the Holy Spirit by whom they were strengthened at Confirmation.

(Catechism 2472)

II. Put away falsehood –

Scripture bids us, Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. (Eph 4:22-25) So the Eighth Commandment upholds the goodness and beauty of the truth, exhorts us to celebrate it and instructs that we must avoid all sins against the truth. There are numerous ways that the we can sin against the truth. It will be fruitful for us to consider them each in turn, along with some distinctions.

III. False Witness

– Nothing can be so injurious to individuals as to harm their good name or reputation. Without a good reputation it becomes difficult for an individual to successfully relate to and interact with others whether it be for business or merely at a personal level. Clearly, to bear false witness against someone is to harm their reputation and we are forbidden to do so.

In the technical sense, false witness is something which takes place in a court of law and since it is under oath it is also called perjury.

But it is also often the case that false witness is given in daily matters through lies, half truths, exaggeration, and the like. Clearly our call to love the truth and to respect the reputation of others forbids us engaging in such activities.

Respect for the reputation of others also forbids us from:

A. Rash judgement – assuming without sufficient foundation the moral fault of a neighbor

B. Detraction – disclosing an other’s faults and failings without a valid reason to others who did not know them

C. Calumny – imputing false defects to another with the knowledge that they are false.

Yet it is also possible to offend the truth by

D. Inappropriately praising others

E. By refusing to correct them when it is proper to do so.

F. Flattery distorts the truth when it falsely attributes certain good qualities or talents to another. This is usually done to ingratiate oneself to individuals or for some other ulterior motive(s).

Such behavior becomes particularly sinful when it confirms another in malicious acts or sinful conduct.

IV. Lying

A lie consists in speaking a falsehood with the intention of deceiving…Lying is the most direct offense against the truth. To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead into error someone who has the right to know the truth.

By injuring man’s relation to truth and to his neighbor, a lie offends against the fundamental relation of man and of his word to the Lord…The Lord denounces lying as the work of the devil: “You are of your father the devil, . . . there is no truth in him….he is a liar and the father of lies.” [Jn 8:44]….

By its very nature, lying is to be condemned. It is a profanation of speech, whereas the purpose of speech is to communicate known truth to others. The deliberate intention of leading a neighbor into error by saying things contrary to the truth constitutes a failure in justice and charity…

A lie does real violence to another. It affects his ability to know, which is a condition of every judgment and decision…Lying is destructive of society; it undermines trust…and tears apart the fabric of social relationships

. (Catechism 2482-2485)

Acts of lying are sins from which we must repent. Lying is also a sin that demands reparation. That is to say, since lying causes actual harm and real damage. These damages must be repaired. The actual truth must be made known to those who deserve to know it. The reputations of others which have been harmed by the lie must also be restored.

V. Is lying always so evil?

The gravity of a lie is measured against the nature of the truth it deforms, the circumstances, the intentions of the one who lies, and the harm suffered by its victims. (Catechism 2484). Thus there are big lies and smaller ones. Nevertheless, it is always wrong to intentionally lie.

This includes so called “polite lies.” For example suppose a phone call comes in for someone in the household who has indicated a preference not to be disturbed just now. It is a lie to say, “She is not here.” Yet you could say, “She is not available now.” Other social situations are less simple! For example, if Mrs. Smith asks you, “Do you like my new hairstyle?” Suppose you do not. It is in fact wrong to say, “Yes, I like it.” Granted, we all feel a bit stuck in such situations! Perhaps we could answer truthfully but discreetly and say, “You look alright.” (Presuming that we do think so).

But wouldn’t it be nice if we actually felt secure enough either to indicate, charitably, our true feelings or to indicate our preference not to answer the question? Wouldn’t it be even nicer if our relationships with others were so based in sincerity and truth, that people both gave and expected honest answers? It is to this blessed state that the Lord points when he says, Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ (Mt 5:37).

VI. What about secrets?

– This reflection has thus far emphasized the goodness and the splendor of the truth as well as the importance of communicating that truth to others who need it. However, as the Catechism states:

The right to the communication of the truth is not unconditional..Fraternal love…requires us in concrete situations to judge whether or not it is appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for it. The good and safety of others, respect for privacy, and the common good are sufficient reasons for being silent about what ought not be known or for making use of a discreet language.

The duty to avoid scandal often commands strict discretion. No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have the right to know it…Everyone should observe an appropriate reserve concerning persons’ private lives.

Those in charge of communications should maintain a fair balance between the requirements of the common good and respect for individual rights.

Interference by the media in the private lives of persons engaged in political or public activity is to be condemned to the extent that it infringes upon their privacy and freedom.

(Catechism 2488, 2489, 2492)

However, the fact that we are permitted, even obliged, to keep certain secrets and maintain discretion, does not mean that we are free simply to lie. For example we cannot say, “I don’t know anything about that” if we do. Neither can we make up false answers to requested information. When we must decline to give information that is properly to be kept secret, we must still remain truthful. We might say instead, “I am not free to discuss this matter with you now.” Or, “It would be inappropriate for me to comment on that.” Or, “Why don’t you ask him yourself?” Occasionally we may need to be more direct and say, “This is a private matter and not for you to know.”

VII. Are all secrets sacred?

– Thus secrecy and discretion are often proper. Here too however, absolutes must be avoided. Sometimes we are asked to keep secrets that we should not keep. For example, suppose someone confides in you that they intend to commit a serious crime, or bring harm to another? It would be wrong to keep such a secret.

Other things being equal secrets ought to be kept, save in exceptional cases where keeping the secret is bound to cause very grave harm to the one who confided it, to the one who received it, or to a third party, and where the very grave harm can be avoided only by divulging the truth. (Catechism 2491).

An exception to this is the seal of confession which may never be violated for any reason whatsoever: The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore, it is a crime for a confessor in any way to betray a penitent by word or in any other manner or for any reason. (Catechism 2490).

VIII. On the Manner of speaking the truth

– That the truth should be celebrated and declared is surely an essential truth. However, one must not sever the declaration of truth from charity. An old Latin Motto says, veritatem in caritate (the truth, in charity). For the truth without love can bludgeon, or it can be something we use only to win an argument. Further, love without truth, is mere affirmation of others in often destructive tendencies, and really not love at all.

Yes, the truth should be spoken, but always in love. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). An older priest once told me, “If your people really know you love them, you can tell them almost anything, even the hardest truths, and they will accept it.

Further truth often has a time it is best revealed. Jesus said, I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. (John 16:12-13) Where there is time, we often do well to lead people patiently, to the deeper truths in stages.

IX. Final thought

– Jesus has taught us that the truth will set us free (Jn 8:32). If this be the case then anything which distorts the truth leads to bondage. Thus the eighth commandment calls upon us to love the truth and to love one another by proclaiming the truth and witnessing to it in sincerity with mutual respect and love.

Here is an amazing illusion, a kind of visual “lie.” It is not a lie per se, since the illusionist makes it clear he is creating an illusion, and invites, dares, us to discover how he misleads our eyes. I must say this is a VERY good illusion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catholics on Purgatory: WHY? part 2 of 2


 

Catholics on Purgatory:

 

              What Does It Mean & Why must it exist 

part 2 of 2

Friends do not allow the sin of Presumption to mislead you into thinking these passages means “my faith in you as ‘My God’ is sufficient.” NO! That is NOT the true meaning.

Haydock’s Catholic Commentary: Verses 17-18 Ver. 18. From your vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers. St. Peter teacheth what St. Paul repeats in many places, that it was in vain for them to hope to be saved by the ceremonies and precepts of the former law, to which their forefathers had added many unnecessary and groundless traditions. They could only hope for salvation by believing in Christ, by the price of whose precious blood they were redeemed from their sins, as they had heard by the word of the gospel preached to them. His doctrine is the same with that of St. Paul, of St. James, of St. John, and of the other apostles, that to be saved it is not enough to have faith or hope in Christ, but it must be a faith joined and working by charity, obeying the law of Christ in the spirit of charity with a sincere and brotherly love of every one, without setting our hearts upon the vanities and corruptible things of this world, remembering that all flesh is as grass, or the flowers of the field, which wither and pass away in a very short time. Thus presently vanish all riches, honors, pleasures, and all the glory of this life, but the word of God and his promises will bring us to happiness which will last for ever”

All bibles teach that God’s Perfect and Divine sense of Fairness and Justice absolutely requires that sin has at least two major categories; with varying levels of culpability within each of them. “Mortal” sins are like a “mortal wound” causing a fatality to ones Soul and a total and complete breech in ones “personal relationship” with God that “faith alone” was never intended by God to restore, and is never-ever able to mend; repair or reestablish. WHY? Because its Not God’s Will. God has long ago determined that His Priest will have a role in the forgiveness of sins. This dates back at least as far as Moses and the Priestly class of Aaron and his sons. That dear friends is about 3,500 YEARS AGO!

Read John 20:19-23 and see for yourself that God HAS NOT changed His mind. Mal. 3:6For I am the Lord, and I change not”

King James Bible 1 John 5: 16-17 “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask , and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.” Nothing is said about sins after ones Baptism or “conversion” being wiped out. Not once in the Bible can one find this expressed!

Exodus 28:1 “Take unto thee also Aaron thy brother with his sons, from among the children of Israel, that they may minister to me in the priest’ s office: Aaron, Nadab, and Abiu, Eleazar, and Ithamar”

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.”

Why God’s Perfect Wisdom Long Commanded using Priest in the forgiveness of sins?

Because God Loves us Perfectly and desires that we be “at peace” within ourselves and thus be more inclined to love Him more perfectly in return. Because of the actions of the Old Testament priest AND the now expanded Power; Authority and Actions of Christ Himself entrusted to and Through His New Testament; New Covenant Catholic Priest [and those others having and maintaining Direct Apostolic Succession] to whom ALL Seven of the Sacraments are given; the actions of the Priest enables one to know with absolute certainty; not just hoping, based on some man-made teaching; but God’s very Own Words, Promise  and Authority

[John 17:15-19] that one sins ARE Forgiven when His priest say so. [John 20;19-23].

Hebrews 5:1 “For every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins”

1st John.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 17 “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 ” 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 [His Apostles] 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”

King James Bible “21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit , they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain , they are retained” It say’s the SAME thing. The difference lies in how protestants choose to translate and understand it. BUT Jesus Christ our Perfect God once again is so precise and clear in His language that one must DENY God’s being “perfect” and actually prevaricate to conclude anything but the very obvious intent based on historical evidence and  long time practice.

[4] The meaning, Reasons and Purpose of Human Suffering

Take Up your Cross and Follow Me

Phil.2: 8 “And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross Luke.9 :23 And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Mark.8: 34 And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Luke.9: 23 And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke.14: 7 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” [Means: CANNOT attain Heaven].

Like an avalanche; one Protestant misunderstanding leads to another, and another and another. It’s ALL down hill from the first error which leads necessarily to the seemingly unending and ever-growing issues and problems created by mortal mans attempt to compete with God’s Divine and Perfect Will and plan for: One God, with One set of Faith beliefs in His one Church. To be clear this is usurpation of Sovereign Rights, which in turn explain why they do not possess many “faith-truths” and struggle greatly if and when they seek to uncover the actual truth of God’s Words and teachings.

Suffering at its root has God either as the direct cause or at least its occurrence is with God’s permission. Always and every time for His POSSIBLE Glory and our own possible sanctification with the aim of leading us closer to Him, both in the present time and for eternity.

This idea that “ones faith alone” finds favor and approval from God lacks once again a  full understanding of God’s Nature and what in Fairness and Justice, absolutely must flow from it. Seeking a “free-ride” is human nature. It’s why sinning is easier and more enjoyable than not sinning. And it’s Satan’s foundation for every other lie he postulates.

Every Covenant offered by God in the Old Testament was conditional on complete Obedience to the Commandments, laws and Mandates attached to them. Each for its compliance required a degree of “self-giving” and sacrifice. This continues under the New Covenant as well. Nothing less ought to be expected.

Suffering holds a high potential for Gods Grace when it is accepted as His Will, and Offered up to Him either for ourselves, or even for others. That is why suffering exist. Certainly sin is the “natural birth parents” of death, sickness, pain, misery and all suffering. But God OFFERS man an opportunity to make something good out of something evil, which he alone is able to do. But, as is most often the case; God demands humanities cooperation with Him for this to take place.

This critical lesson seems to be lost on the OSAS, “my faith only” crowd. Because God Suffered so intensely; prudence ought to dictate that man too MUST pay a price for salvation. There is very much evidence of this reality throughout both testaments of the bible.

One has to be of the mindset that Christ Jesus is a more loving and merciful God under His new Covenant than He was under the Old Covenants. IMPOSSIBLE!  One could seem to however build “a case” [which would too be an impossibility] that just the opposite is true because under the Old Covenants sins WERE forgiven and covered over without the necessary condition of Confession to His Priest and their Permission and Absolution before ANY sins are forgiven which is God’s clearly stated expatiation in the New Covenant [as the NORM]. [John 20:19-23]

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 [the priest] 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.” [“the origin of the “escape goat“] And their sins were forgiven.

So why could God do it then; but not now?

That certainly is the right question to ask. It has to do directly with God’s very Nature and how it relates directly to sin forgiveness. By absolutely necessity God’s understanding of Fair and Just actions on his part must find application under His new Covenant. It has to do with them being judged based only on the “man added laws” as well as the commandments,” while we NOW are judged Under Grace enabling us to obey better and more fully understand who and what God is, and what God commands of us as a direct result of GRACE. It’s what God CHOOSES to do, verses what God has the power to do, and or; “could do” but does not.

Romans 6:14 “For sin shall not have dominion over you; for you are not [no-longer only] under the law, but under grace“.

John 1:17 “For the law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ

Rom.5:1-2 “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.

Mt. 25: 27-29 “Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. … For to every one who has will more be given, [more] and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away”

Divine Justice will, because God MUST Judge us all based not on what we know. Not on what we choose to accept and believe; but ONLY on what God makes possible for us to know, accept, obey and live.

Luke.5 :17 to 26 “ On one of those days, as he was teaching, there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. And behold, men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they sought to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?” When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, `Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, `Rise and walk’?  But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — he said to the man who was paralyzed — “I say to you, rise, take up your bed and go home.”

This very Power and Authority is what God passes on to His Apostles and by His Mandate to “teach the entire world what I taught to YOU”

[cf. Mt. 28:18-20], commanded Succession; to today’s catholic church [s] and those others with Direct Apostolic Succession only. These passages both affirm and confirm this very fact.

John 17:18 -20 “As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world

. And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.  And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me”

John 20:21-23  “He [Christ-Jesus] said therefore to them [Exclusively to His Apostles] again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.”

Some information on the common “Nature of ALL sins”

You may be surprised to discover that ALL sins have a public nature? How so, and what does it matter? This fact dear friends is the explanation for God’s Justification for Purgatory.

Both “venial” [lesser sins], and “Mortal” unto spiritual death sins, create a “public obligation” which causes God who must be Perfect to be literally unable to accept any Soul into His presence which too is not perfect, and therefore demands repayment in full.

Lev.22: 21“And when any one offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering, from the herd or from the flock, to be accepted it must be perfect; there shall be no blemish in it.”

Rev. 21: 27 But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” [Made perfect]

Mt. 5: 26 “truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.”

Matt.5: 48“You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

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.”

1 Cor. 3: 13-14 “each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.  If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, [Purgatory] though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Here are some examples that may help clarify this reality?

Adultery; abortions, theft, lying, slander, greed, anger, failing to Worship God weekly as He commands, swearing, lusting, and every other sin effects others besides ourselves. Even if we are unaware of this fact. This then holds the possibility of scandal, and could even assist or move someone to sin similarly. Because God is Perfect, so too MUST God’s sense of Fairness be Perfect, and His Judgment naturally follows suit.

This unseen, and perhaps even unknown debt makes our Souls imperfect and must be corrected before entering into the Beatific Vision. And because many die before having repaid this necessary debt, God designed a way to save a great many additional Souls who otherwise would be unfit and  unsuited to enter into Gods Presence. So Purgatory flows directly from God’s Mercy and through His love for us.

God’s Plan for the Living to repay these debts.

Perhaps you have heard of “Indulgences” It’s the issue Martin Luther rightly took exception with on how they were at his time, being misused. We cover this topic in detail in a separate lesson so I’ll be brief here.

Works by themselves

; no matter how many or how good and great they are, will NOT  get anyone into heaven. Yet they do have merit; and do have a specific redeeming value to them and ARE to be practiced as One of the Conditions for Salvation of anyone mature enough to know and to choose to sin. This of issue of “Good-Works” is not understood and even ignored as a Solid Biblical Teaching by Protestants accepting OSAS and “by MY faith alone” teachings. … Are not “Good Works” following both the example Of Christ and his Command to TEACH ALL WHAT I TAUGHT YOU?

[cf. Mt. 28;18-20] James 2:14-20 “What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him? And if a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food: And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit? So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself. But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith. Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

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.”

This issue is clearly and so evidently tied to Gods GREAT Commandment:

John 13:34“A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another” that its merits seem to be impossible to ignore. Every good deed, every act of charity is a partial “pay-back” of the debt we incur by our sinful actions. Further, the Church; fully empowered by Christ to do so has modeled Christ Mercy and Love and permits “Indulgences” to ALSO have a signifient role [if we allow it]. Indulgences take to specifically-conditional forms. 1. A partial payback of this debt and 2. A total repayment of this debt, until we sin again.

The Sacrament of Catholic Confession: What it does and DOES NOT do.

Simply put there is NO SIN that cannot, and will-not be forgiven with TRUE repentance, contrition and a firm commitment to TRY with God’s grace not to sin in the same manner again; through the Sacrament of Known Forgiveness.

True sorrow

True repentance’

A Firm commitment to avoid the near occasion of this sin in the future

And a complete Confession of [at least] ALL Mortal sins; venial sins optional and a good idea and source of additional grace from God TO a Priest as Chosen and empowered by Christ Himself.

WILL result in ALL of them being completely Forgiven by God through His Catholic priest absolution and petition on our behalf.

While ALL confessed sins meeting this criteria ARE forgiven and forgotten by God; the “latent effects;” the necessary payback created by them remain and too must be expunged to make ones Soul; “perfect.” And that my friends is the role of Purgatory for ALL who die “in the State of God’s Grace”, without any unconfessed or unforgiven Mortal sins on their souls.

Protestant ought to be very concerned about this as they seen clearly to be in violation of the first and often, the second Commandment:

Exo. 20: 1″ 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.”

By virtue of having a competing faith; this is exactly what they are doing

. There is neither rime nor reason to hold that our perfect God waited for Luther and other Mortal men to make known His singular truths known to us. 

2 “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day” [demands church attendance weekly]