The Image of God from the catholic catechism


Start of Lesson #9   The a-A, b-B, c-C’s of Catholism

 

THE IMAGE OF GOD: CCC#’s 356-361

In God’s entire Created Universe, man in the only living Creation that has the ability, and the  essential attributes necessary to know of God, and then to  freely choose to actually “KNOW God.” To alone know who and what God is in a limited, but sufficient manner. Man alone emulates our God

who is Spirit and Truth.

Gen.1:26-28; And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth Jn. 4:23-24 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore him. God is a spirit; and they that adore him, must adore him in spirit and in truth.”

In order for man to [1] Emulate our God [2] Possess the potentiality of fulfilling the precise reason for mans existence; each of the following “God-LIKE” attributes are essential. While these attributes are of the same “type” as God’s, they fall far short in every other comparison with God’s attributes. His being perfect and complete; ours imperfect and incomplete; BUT completely- sufficient nevertheless.

Man alone is given a mind [not speaking here on the brain]; an Intellect [not speaking of “I.Q.”], and a freewill; ALL of which are permanently attached to our SOULS. Like God, each of these is a “Spiritual-Reality” which cannot die or be killed. It is this God-Like-Spiritual package that survives our mortal life here on earth, and will spend Eternity in the location of OUR OWN CHOICE: heaven or hell.

CCC #356 Of all visible creatures only manis “able to know and love his creator”. He is “the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake”, and he alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God’s own life. It was for this end that he was created, and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity”

Morally, Logically and Theologically; because man alone has the necessary attributes to “Know God”

[1] This then become the goal; the very purpose of mans existence. [2] God thereby obligates Himself to make Knowledge of Him a true and REAL possibility. To this end then, everything in God’s Created Universe exist FIRSTLY to make mans knowledge of God a possibility, and then to fulfill its other purpose for existence.

CCC #358 God created everything for man, but man in turn was created to serve and love God and to offer all creation back to him:

What is it that is about to be created, that enjoys such honor?

What is man that great and wonderful living creature, more precious in the eyes of God than all other creatures! For him the heavens and the earth, the sea and all the rest of creation exist. God attached so much importance to his salvation that he did not spare his own Son for the sake of man. Nor does he ever cease to work, trying every possible means, until he has raised man up to himself and made him sit at his right hand”

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”

CCC # 359 “”In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear.”

St. Paul tells us that the human race takes its origin from two men: Adam and Christ

 . . . The first man, Adam, he says, became a living soul, the last Adam a life-giving spirit. The first Adam was made by the last Adam, from whom he also received his soul, to give him life… The second Adam stamped his image on the first Adam when he created him. That is why he took on himself the role and the name of the first Adam, in order that he might not lose what he had made in his own image. The first Adam, the last Adam: the first had a beginning, the last knows no end. The last Adam is indeed the first; as he himself says: “I am the first and the last.”

End of Lesson #9   The a-A, b-B, c-C’s of Catholism

 

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FROM: Confirmation Do you know what it does [forwarded]


 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

 

http://marysaggies.blogspot.com/2013/10/do-you-know-what-confirmation-is-and.html

Do You Know What Confirmation Is And What It Does?

First off, the best place to start exploring Confirmation is to begin by exploring what both the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation are and are not.

Baptism is the first of the Sacraments of Initiation, that is, a Sacrament which cleanses our souls of the guilt (not the stain) of original sin, makes us partakers of the Divine Nature, brings us into the family of God (the Church), makes us sons and daughters of the Father & brothers and sisters of Christ, and it gives us sanctifying and actual grace. It is not complete in the sense that it doesn’t give us every grace we need to have a mature Christian faith. Rather, it is the gateway into a Christian and Sacramental life.

The Catechism describes Baptism in this way:

1213 “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”

Baptism is not intended by Christ to do everything for us in the spiritual life, but to start the process of living a life bound to Him and the Church.

Confirmation is the strengthening process of the graces we already received in baptism. It is NOT just an affirmation of the person getting confirmed, as if it is about what we do – but more about what Christ does for us. Most Catholics believe it to be the other way around. They incorrectly view Confirmation as our “choosing Christ” and about our desire to be Catholic.

In reality, the traditional ordering of the Sacraments is Baptism – Confirmation – Eucharist. Only in the last 100 years or so has the process changed to have Confirmation come after Eucharist. But, there is a trend, in some areas of the Church, to reverse this.

In Vatican II, the Church taught the following:

“They are more perfectly bound to the Church by the sacrament of Confirmation, and the Holy Spirit endows them with special strength so that they are more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith, both by word and by deed, as true witnesses of Christ” (LG, 11)

This teaching about how we become evangelists, full of the Holy Spirit, who go out into the world to preach and live the Gospel comes straight from the Bible:

“When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 8: 14 – 17

We see here that Baptism isn’t complete nor is it all there is. The laying on of hands (Confirmation) was needed for the completion of the Sacrament and the coming of the power of the Holy Spirit. This is what happens in Confirmation. It is the same thing that happened to the Apostles at Pentecost. Once they received the Holy Spirit they immediately went out and preached.

The Catechism states:

CCC, 1303 “From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:
– it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, “Abba! Father!”;
– it unites us more firmly to Christ;
– it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
– it renders our bond with the Church more perfect;
– it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross:”

So, in the sense that our Baptism isn’t enough to complete (but rather begin) our initiation into Christ, it isn’t enough. In the sense that Baptism does what Christ intended it to do (begin the life of grace) – it is enough.

Fr. Barron tells us even more

Conscience MUST be [rightly] formed by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver


So the unspoken word here seems to be: a conscience not FORMED in line with what Christ Catholic Church Teaches; still has a way’s to go in order to be “RIGHTLY FOMED” [pjm]

Denver Archbishop: Consciences Have to Be Formed, Not Just Followed Speaks to Health Care Professionals About Listening to God’s Voice

DENVER, COLORADO, October 22, 2013 (Zenit.org) – Acting in accord with one’s conscience is important, if that conscience is informed by the voice of God, says Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver.

The archbishop spoke of the role of conscience in promoting a Culture of Life on Saturday at a White Mass for Health Care Professionals.

“What has happened with so many Catholics today is that they have come to understand conscience as listening to their own voice,” he said, “rather than listening to the voice of God as he has revealed himself in Scripture and in Tradition.”

The archbishop quoted soon-to-be Saint John Paul II, who wrote that “the first and fundamental step towards … cultural transformation consists in forming consciences with regard to the incomparable and inviolable worth of every human life.”

“It is important for us to form consciences, especially in our own time when people are told, ‘Well, just follow your conscience,’” he continued. “Most people today do not even know what conscience is, let alone that they are called to form their conscience.

“It is essential that we help people to understand that conscience is the voice of God living within the human heart (Guadium et Spes,16). They must quietly listen for that voice and open their hearts to it.”

The archbishop explained that if one rejects God, “then one’s conscience becomes deadened and hardened, because you deny that there is even a voice to listen to.”

Addressing the health care professionals in attendance, he said that it is “essential for us in whatever field of life we are in, in whatever vocation we are in, to be those who help people form their consciences, to understand what conscience is, and that yes, and understand that one’s conscience can become hardened, can become deadened, and can be erroneous when it is not faithful to God and to the truth.”

 

PART II

 

Denver Archbishop’s Homily at Mass for Health Care Professionals

“It is important for us to understand that we are called to promote a culture of truth and love that springs from that encounter with love, who is Jesus Christ”

http://us-mg5.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.rand=81t2lhvf8t7rb#

DENVER, COLORADO, October 22, 2013 (Zenit.org) – Here is the homily of Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver at the White Mass celebrated Saturday.

My dearest brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today as we gather for the Gospel of Life conference we also celebrate the Memorial of the North American Martyrs, of those who first came to the United States and proclaimed the good news of Jesus Christ, who laid down their lives in that proclamation of the Gospel.

The Gift of Faith

We hear within our readings for today, the importance of the gift of faith. In the first reading from Romans we are told the righteousness that comes from faith is a gift. Abraham “believed, hoping against hope, that he would become the father of many nations” (Rm 4: 18). All of us know, in faith, that Abraham is the first to believe in the promises of God, promises that were given to the people of Israel and fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Jesus reminds us in the Gospel that “everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God” (Lk 12: 8). It is precisely in putting our faith in Jesus Christ, having a personal relationship with him, coming to know Jesus intimately, that we who follow him then live our faith in the world.

Jesus reminds us too, that a word spoken against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. And essentially that sin against the Holy Spirit is truly the rejection of the voice of God. It is a radical rejection of God himself, a lack of belief in putting one’s faith in God. Because when one does not believe, essentially what one says is that God is not faithful or trustworthy. And we know that when we read Sacred Scripture, and most especially the Gospels, God is trustworthy; he is faithful.

Jesus also assures us in today’s Gospel that when you are taken “before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be, or what you are to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say” (Lk 12: 12). What a tremendous promise! Do we believe it?

My dearest brothers and sisters, that too, points to the gift of faith. A deep trust and confidence in Jesus, in the promise of the Holy Spirit; that the Holy Spirit will prompt us when we proclaim the good news of Jesus, when we teach, when we go before others and into the world.

A Clash of Cultures: Life vs. Death

As we celebrate today the call of the Gospel of Life, certainly we recall the encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (EV) of John Paul the Great in 1995. John Paul warned that we live in a time of spiritual battle and spiritual warfare. He stated, “…we are facing an enormous and dramatic clash between good and evil, death and life, the ‘culture of death’ and the ‘culture of life.’

We find ourselves not only ‘faced with,’ but necessarily ‘in the midst of’ this conflict: we are all involved and we all share in it, with the inescapable responsibility of choosing to be unconditionally pro-life” (EV 28).

John Paul the Great referred to the importance of all of us having the responsibility of choosing to be unconditionally pro-life, and that is true of anyone who claims to be Catholic. One must see the dignity of human life, the beauty and goodness of human life, from the moment of conception until natural death.

My brothers and sisters, it is essential for us to be those who proclaim that truth, to be those who give witness to it.

Pope Francis, in a September 20th address to participants of an international meeting of Catholic Medical Associations, reminded them:

“Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world’s rejection. And every elderly person – I spoke of children: let us move to the elderly, another point! And every elderly person, even if he is ill or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the ‘culture of waste’ suggests! They cannot be thrown away!”

And it is precisely a “throw away culture” that Pope Francis speaks about often, that is truly a “culture of death,” a culture that turns its back on the truth of Jesus Christ and the dignity of the human person. John Paul II would remind us, “We are asked to love and honor the life of every man and woman, and to work with perseverance and courage, so that our time, marked by all too many signs of death, may at last witness the establishment of a new culture of life, the fruit of a culture of truth and of love” (EV 77).

It is important for us to understand that we are called to promote a culture of truth and love that springs from that encounter with love, who is Jesus Christ. And in that encounter with love, in that encounter with mercy, we come to know and to receive he who is the Son of God.

We know too that we live in a culture that is deeply rooted – at least at this point in time – in relativism: each and every person is free to choose what the truth is. And with that type of approach, with no common approach to truth, that means that if each person is deciding what truth is, there is going to be conflict.

There are going to be disagreements. And those “multiple truths” can lead to war, to violence, to a throw away culture, to disregard for the dignity of the human person and to hatred of our brother or sister.

Human beings are capable of discovering truth, and that the truth is a person, it is Jesus Christ who leads us into all truth, who is valid for every human being. We are called to proclaim that in love. We must propose those truths constantly and courageously, helping people to come to know the truth of Christ.

Formed Consciences Change the Culture

We are reminded by our former Holy Father, soon-to-be Saint John Paul II, “The first and fundamental step towards… cultural transformation consists in forming consciences with regard to the incomparable and inviolable worth of every human life” (EV 96).

It is important for us to form consciences, especially in our own time when people are told, “Well, just follow your conscience.” Most people today do not even know what conscience is, let alone that they are called to form their conscience. It is essential that we help people to understand that conscience is the voice of God living within the human heart (Guadium et Spes 16). They must quietly listen for that voice and open their hearts to it.

But if one rejects God and says there is no God, then one’s conscience becomes deadened and hardened, because you deny that there is even a voice to listen to. And that is a sin against the Holy Spirit. It is failing to recognize the dignity of the human person and that we are truly created in the image and likeness of God.

Sadly, what has happened with so many Catholics today is that they have come to understand conscience as listening to their own voice, rather than listening to the voice of God as he has revealed himself in Scripture and in Tradition. It is essential for us in whatever field of life we are in, in whatever vocation we are in, to be those who help people form their consciences, to understand what conscience is, and that yes, and understand that one’s conscience can become hardened, can become deadened, and can be erroneous when it is not faithful to God and to the truth.

Any time anyone supports or takes the life of an unborn child or promotes assisted suicide or euthanasia or treats others as though they can be thrown away, their conscience is deadened and erroneous, and they are not listening to the voice of God or the voice of truth but rather are listening to the father of lies, to the evil one.

The Gospel of Life and the Archdiocese

Finally, we too in the archdiocese must be those who go, as Pope Francis has said so often, to the outskirts; to be those who go out into the world, into the “culture of death” – the “culture of waste,” and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Twenty years ago when John Paul II visited Denver for World Youth Day, he reminded the young people at the closing Mass:

“Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places, like the first Apostles who preached Christ and the good news of salvation in the squares of cities, towns and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel (Cf. Rm 1:16). It is the time to preach it from the rooftops (Cf. Mt 10:27). Do not be afraid to break out of comfortable and routine modes of living, in order to take up the challenge of making Christ known in the modern ‘metropolis.’ It is you who must ‘go out into the byroads’ (Mt 22:9) and invite everyone you meet to the banquet which God has prepared for his people. The Gospel must not be kept hidden because of fear or indifference. It was never meant to be hidden away in private. It has to be put on a stand so that people may see its light and give praise to our heavenly Father.”

John Paul II noted, in that time 20 years ago, of the importance of giving witness, of the importance of trusting in the Lord and proclaiming the Gospel.

In his September 20th address, Pope Francis reminded those involved in medical care that they were to “…be witnesses and diffusers of the “culture of life.” Your being Catholic entails a greater responsibility: first of all to yourselves, through a commitment consistent with your Christian vocation; and then to contemporary culture, by contributing to recognizing the transcendent dimension of human life, the imprint of God’s creative work, from the first moment of its conception. This is a task of the New Evangelization that often requires going against the tide and paying for it personally. The Lord is also counting on you to spread the ‘gospel of life.’” In closing his address, Pope Francis stated to the health care workers, and I state to you today, “The credibility of a health care system is not measured solely by efficiency, but above all by the attention and love given to the person, whose life is always sacred and inviolable.”

My dearest sisters and brothers, it is essential for us to understand these truths, to understand what both Pope Francis and soon-to-be St. John Paul II speak to us in terms of our mission in the New Evangelization.

It is only with great confidence and intimacy with the Holy Spirit that we will go forth and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. It is only trusting in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and praying for those gifts of the Holy Spirit, of knowledge, understanding, wisdom, counsel, fortitude, fear of the Lord, and piety, asking the Holy Spirit to stir those gifts into flame, that I may go into the “culture of death” and proclaim the only hope, who is Jesus Christ, to proclaim the goodness of life!

Each and every one of you, my brothers and sisters, whether you are physicians, nurses, dentists, or therapists, whether you are seminarians or teachers, in whatever field you may be, you always have the opportunity to proclaim Christ by how you live—to be those who point to the truth of our Lord and call others into relationship with him. And you must always be rooted in charity as you help people to come to know the love of Christ.

As we continue with our celebration of the Eucharist today, first, I encourage you to open your hearts to Jesus Christ, to be those who enter into deeper communion and deeper intimacy with our Lord. My brothers and sisters, Jesus hungers for each and every one of you. He desires to be your best friend. And he is with you always, even in those moments when you may feel lonely or in those moments when you may feel abandoned, or in those moments when the devil will tempt you with fear or distrust. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and most especially in the Eucharist that you will receive.

Secondly, I encourage you to be those who truly give witness to our Lord in the public square. Be not afraid, as John Paul the Great spoke those words, be not afraid! Do not let fear or discouragement keep you from proclaiming the “gospel of life” and entering into the “culture of death,” the “culture of waste.” There are opportunities every day for you to proclaim the truth, to be participants in the New Evangelization.

Finally, my brothers and sisters, as you receive the Eucharist today, I ask you to open your hearts to our Lord. Pray to him. It is the closest you can be to our Lord, every time you receive the Eucharist. Pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, pray for wisdom to know how to evangelize, to be those who trust in the Holy Spirit.

Open your heart in prayer and pray especially for those who are so deeply rooted in the “culture of death.” Pray for their conversion, pray for their change of heart, pray that the Blood of Jesus will flow over their consciences, that the Blood of Jesus will flow over their hearts and minds to take away the hardness, to open them to the truth, to his love and mercy. It is only with fervent prayer that our culture will be transformed and that we will have the strength to continue to proclaim the “gospel of life” – that Jesus has truly come into the world so that we might have life and life abundantly. God bless you and thank you for your witness to life.” END QUOTES

 

Savation Mandates [God’s Way]


“…The universality of salvation means that it is granted not only to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the Church. Since salvation is offered to all, it must be made concretely available to all. But it is clear that today, as in the past, many people do not have an opportunity to come to know or accept the gospel revelation or to enter the Church.

The social and cultural conditions in which they live do not permit this, and frequently they have been brought up in other religious traditions. For such people salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his Sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit. It enables each person to attain salvation through his or her free cooperation…”
– Blessed Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio (1990)

One of the highly significant differences in Catholic Doctrine vs. Protestant Doctrine is that We Catholics actually do use the entire Bible; not just the parts that on the surface tend to support our personal views. This is critical for discovering and uncovering the Truths about ones Salvation.

Using ONLY ONE Rule for “Right Understanding” of Both the Bible itself and what IT proclaims and teaches is necessary for Ones own salvation; we conclude that OSAS simply is not Biblical.

The “One Infallible Rule” for RIGHT understanding is NEVER, EVER, at anytime may one verse, or one passage contradict and change other verses. WHY? To do so would both VOID and VIOLATE the entire Bible; making it useless as a Faith Teaching tool.

Salvation is Always a PROCESS.

The Norm begins with the Sacrament of Baptism; [John 3:5] and assuming one lives beyond that Highly Blessed Sacrament and sins further AFTER Baptism; many other Christ Instituted Sacraments have essential roles.

Notably: The Mass with the Most Holy Eucharist; Christ Himself the giver of Grace; the Sacrament of Confession/ Reconciliation/ Penance: God’s ONLY approved method for the forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism; and Confirmation and the Gift of the Holy Spirit. And of COURSE the Sacraments of the Final Anointing / the “Last Rites” which like Baptism has the God granted authority to act in EFFECTS as does baptism.

John.15: 10“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love[This means MAYBE can merit salvation, and CANNOT do so without Obedience]

1John.2: 3,5 “And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments. … but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him:” [This means Hears, Obeys, accepts and applies what Jesus Himself taught, and what His one CC Teaches]

1John.3: 8-10, V. 24 “He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God [MEANING OBEYING GOD CHOOSES TOO] commits sin; for God’s nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God. By this it may be seen who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not do right is not of God, “ ..”All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.”

So we have as Necessary: 1. Christian Baptism 2. Avoiding sin by our free choice 3. Obeying the Commandments; Matt. 19:17 [which includes obedience to the CC and its leaders through the First Commandment] , Not dying with unremitted Mortal sins [1 John 1: 5-6, and 1John 5:16-17 and John 20:21-23], Charity: John 13:34, Good Works, James Chapter 2, and complete Obedience to ALL that Christ taught, Mark 1:15. This even is an limited list. Clearly though the idea that One can ONLY Profess belief in Christ and be Baptized and thereby Merit salvation is only a Dangerous MYTH.

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.”

1Pet.4: 13 ” But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

1Pet.5: 1, 9 “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.”

Phil.1: 29“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, “

2Thes.1: 5“This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be made worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering “

God Bless you,

patrick68

” I NEED SOME ANSWERS”


……………………………

My dear friend in Christ,

We are delighted to welcome you to CAF, where God’s singular truths can be uncovered and, God Willing, discovered.

As a point of reference; it was clever of you to pretend to be a catholic on Halloween. We have been asked these questions many times, but never in my memory by a Catholic. Still I’m grateful for the opportunity to address these issues with you. Know also that the FORUM limit’s the size of post so my replies are brief in order to address ALL of your points, and KNOW that ALL are welcome to post their views here.

[QUOTE]I need some answers.

 I have been a Catholic all my life, but there have been some questions regarding the faith that have troubled me lately.

How can Catholics say that we believe in God’s grace when we believe that one goes to Heaven or Hell based on whether or not they died in a state of mortal sin? That seems to teach a works-based salvation, not a faith-based salvation. See Jn 3:16 and Eph. 2:8-9 [/QUOTE]

I’m familiar with both. May I suggest you re-read: Eph. 4:1-7 & Jn. 10:16

You have 3 Q’s touching on sin, so for the sake of brevity, allow me to combine them into ONE response.

[QUOTE]

Why do Catholics confess to a priest, when we should be confessing to God? The Bible says that only Jesus Christ is our mediator with God.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE] I took Holy Communion today even though I had been at a bar last night and got a little drunk. The reasons why I didn’t abstain was because I couldn’t find a definitive answer as to whether I had committed a mortal sin, or merely a venial sin, or if I had even sinned at all[/QUOTE]

Your questions seem to indicate a lack of the fullness of God’s bible teaching on the matter of sin: God used His priest even in the OT for sin forgiveness. READ: Lev. 5:15; 6:7 as examples. As a FYI:  catholics “receive Christ,” we don’t “take him.”

SIN IS: any and all actions that oppose God’s Will and Commandments. Mt. 19:17 Jesus replied: “But if thou wilt enter into life, [HEAVEN]  keep the commandments”

Emphasis, not shouting here.

[B] 1John.1 Verses 8 to 10:[/B] “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. [B ]If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”[/B]

[B]  1John.5 Verses 16 to 17[/B]”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. [B] There is sin which is mortal[/B]; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, [B] but there is sin which is not mortal. [/B]

[B]  John.20 Verses 20 to 23[/B]]” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. [B][U] Jesus said to them [/U][/B] again, “Peace be with you. [B] As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”  [/B] And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  [B][U][COLOR=”Red”][SIZE=”5″]If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained[/SIZE][/COLOR][/U][/B].”

Catholics “Confess to Priest” in humble Obedience to God’s Command and Will. God did not have to do it this way but freely choose to so that their would be not the slightest doubt that He God HAS forgiven our sins. The non-catholic way is a recent, and very human invention and not very likely; acceptable to God.

http://www.bible.ca/g-sinners-prayer.htm

Because God can be described as: EVERY GOOD THING [AND ONLY GOOD] PERFECTED, we can know that He MUST be “fair and just.” Therefore sin must be judged according to its intent and effects. A “fib” can’t be judged like murder for example. Mortal sins are so serious that they separate one from a Personal relationship with God until the sin is Confessed and forgiven.

Venial sins can be forgiven through prayer and petition. Which is WHY at the start of Mass  this is done so that one has been “perfected” and thus MADE worthy to receive Christ in Person. Matt.5:48 “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Mortal sin can ONLY be forgiven through Sacramental Confession as the Normal Mandate of Christ.

Not everything is in the bible

. Were this actually God’s NOT man’s rule; there would be Not be a “church” today if this not true. WHY? It took about 70 years for new church to choose the OT books to be included and the  NT to be authored by its CATHOLIC writers. So their was a PROLONGED period when the early church GREW W/O the aid of today’s bible. The Early NT church did what the OT Jews did and relied on Tradition, and word of mouth teaching.

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

2 Thess. 2: 13-15 “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.

READ the final two verses in John 20 and 21 and you’ll discover that even the bible TELLS us that not everything is “in the bible.”

A Mortal sin MUST: 1 be serious matter 2 Know [OR SHOULD KNOW] it will be a Mortal sin 3 and desire to do it anyway.

[QUOTE] Where in the Bible does it say that we are not to take Holy Communion if we are in a state of unrepented mortal sin? Remember, if it’s not in the Bible, then it’s not doctrine.[/QUOTE]

1st Cor. 11: 23-30 [parts here] “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, Take ye, and eat: this is my body… This chalice is the new testament in my blood… Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord… For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. Therefore are there many who sleep.” [DEAD in their MORTAL ISIN]

[QUOTE] Where in the Bible is Purgatory mentioned?[/QUOTE]

It’s NOT by Name: nor are “bible” catholic, protestant or theology BUT here it is:

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.”

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.

[QUOTE] How is not idolatry to pray to the Virgin Mary and the saints? Again, the Bible says that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to our Heavenly Father. Also, how are the statute, crucifixes, rosaries, etc. not forbidden graven images? [/QUOTE]

IF Catholics actually DID what you think we do; then yes. BUT that’s not what we ARE DOING. All catholic prayer HAS GOD as the end goal. It is FAR more accurate to say that we pray THROUGH [not “to”] Mary and the Saints.

Like Moses in the Breech; Mary and the Saints INTERCED for us. Adding the merits of their own prayers ON-TOP of ours. The Hail Mary, except for the final petition can be found in it’s entirety in Lk. Chpt. One.

[QUOTE] Where in the Bible does it say that things like masturbation, cohabitation, etc. are sins? I can’t seem to find any references to these. In fact, I can’t seem to find any distinction between venial and mortal sin. James 2:10 actually seems to teach AGAINST the venial vs. moral sin doctrine[/QUOTE]

IMPOSIBLE-My friend, there is one Infallible rule for RIGHT Understanding of the bible: [emphasis not shouting] James is saying only that such HAS SINNED.

NEVER-EVER

Can, may or DOES

1 bible verse, passage or teaching

INVALIDATE- make VOID or OVERRIDE another

Verse, passage or teaching

Where this not true the bible would be worthless to teach or learn ones Faith

Space [not facts] prohibit a more specific reply. But you need to understand that the Ten Commandments are CATAGORIES of sins; NOT “the entire list of possible sins.”

READ Mt. 5: 21-25 to get a hint of this by Christ Himself. BECAUSE Not everything is in the Bible [Jn 20 and 21] Christ actually GAVE His very Powers and authority to Peter [Mt. 16:18-19] and through Peter to the Church [Mk.16:14-15; Mt. 28:16-20] and THIS;

Jn 17:17-20 “Sanctify them in truth. [God can’t deny God’s own request] As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. [MEANS: with Christ very Own Powers and Authority] READ Mt. 10:1-8 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” The Power to ‘Bind and Loose” is the Power and Authority to Make Laws and regulations and GOVERN!

[QUOTE] Can a non-Catholic be saved? It seems to me that any Christian who accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and doesn’t die in a state of mortal sin will be saved.[/QUOTE]

Can anyone be saved? YES! CONDITIONALLY! All salvation must and does flow through the CC [no other church / faith even existed for about 1,000+ years]

ONLY those who GOD has not granted the POSSIBILITY of Knowing Him, his One [and only One set of Faith beliefs] and One Church [all that Christ Founded and desires] MIGHT be saved outside of His Church. ANYONE and everyone who can KNOW of God, His One Faith and One Church is GRAVELY bound to advantage it. CCC #’s 780; 846; 847. The KEY here is what GOD wants; not what we choose as “better.”

[QUOTE] Can you be considered “born-again” as a Catholic? I do feel that I had a spiritual reawakening that caused me to take the Church seriously. Does that count as being born-again[/QUOTE]

Sacramental Baptism [Jn 3:5] does it and it’s affirmed in sacramental Confirmation. [Pentecost]. Wish I had more space, there’s TONS more I can share.

God Bless you!

Patrick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heaven and a Ho Hum attitude about it by Msgr. Charles Pope


http://blog.adw.org/2013/10/ho-hum-on-heaven-not-only-have-many-lost-a-proper-fear-of-hell-but-also-a-deep-longing-for-heaven/

 

Heaven and a Ho Hum attitude about it

Ho Hum on Heaven? Not only have many lost a proper fear of Hell, but also a deep longing for Heaven. By: Msgr. Charles Pope

Many years ago I was taught that the essence of heaven is the Beatific Vision. That is, one will look upon the glorious and radiant face of God, and find in that look the fulfillment of all desires, and a joy (beatus) beyond all telling.

And surely this description remains both true and worth repeating. However,

I have noticed that some get stuck on the the word “vision” and to some extent on the word “face,” and tend to reduce the experience to a kind of “static” (unchanging) vision.

For our experience of the “face” of another is that it does not change. And we are further taught that God does not change.

And thus, in being asked to consider heaven as a beatific vision (or beholding) of God’s face, some struggle to imagine

what one might do after about twenty minutes, let alone for all eternity. Therefore, people often shift their thinking about heaven to playing golf, being reunited with loved ones, walking streets of gold, and having mansions.

I have quoted Pope Benedict regarding this problem before, but his statement of the problem is worth repeating:

Perhaps many people reject the faith today simply because they do not find the prospect of eternal life attractive….To continue living for ever —endlessly—appears more like a curse than a gift….to live always, without end—this, all things considered, can only be monotonous and ultimately unbearable…. The term “eternal life” is intended to give a name to this known “unknown”. Inevitably it is an inadequate term that creates confusion. “Eternal”, in fact, suggests to us the idea of something interminable, and this frightens us; “life” makes us think of the life that we know…[which] very often it brings more toil than satisfaction, so that while on the one hand we desire it, on the other hand we do not want it

. (Spe Salvi, 10, 12).

So, a lot of our terminology, though biblical and correct, is lost to modern ears

and the modern imagination. It needs greater explanation, even among believers who are often very vague about the contours and promises of heaven.

I have articulated before that somehow we must communicate that the “eternal” in “eternal life” is not a reference only to the length of life, but to the fulness of life

. To be in heaven is not merely to live forever, but to be fully and gloriously alive in a manner which we can barely even imagine now. It is to have all our gifts, and every aspect of who we are, gloriously perfected, with a God-like glory.

St. Ireneus says

that the Glory of God is man fully alive. The Lord told St. Catherine of Siena that if she were ever to see a soul glorified in heaven, “You would fall down and worship because you would think you were looking at me.”

This is our glory and this is our dignity

, to one day have a God like perfection and glory, and to become fully alive in an unimaginable and powerful way.

And as for our “vision” of God. We ought not think of it as

some sort of static vision, as if we were looking at a picture or face that never changes.

Rather, because God is infinite our grasp of his glory with be inexhaustible.

Thus, all eternity will never be enough for us to comprehend him. From moment to moment, one new and greater glory after another will be reveled. He will be our one desire, and our hearts will never tire of God and God alone.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux speaks to this in one of his sermons.

He meditates on what will happen to us when we finally see Him whom our soul has longed for:

Nor, I think, will a soul cease to seek him even when it has found him. … when the soul happily finds Him, its desire is not quenched but kindled…Rather it is oil poured upon the flames….Joy will be fulfilled, but there will be no end to desire, and therefore no end to the search.

(Sermon 84.1 on the Song of Songs)

Yes! Heaven will not be a static vision at all.

It will be truly a beatific (happy) vision, but it will be anything but “static.” There will be Joy, after joy, glory upon glory, for all eternity. And each fulfilled desire will kindle a deeper desire as our hearts grow deeper and wider with love.

Do most Christians know of this understanding? Probably not.

Frankly most of us are too vague about heaven and seldom meditate upon it.

Sadly, to be vague about the reward, tends to kill any effort to strive for it.

And thus we face today, not only a lack of reverential fear of Hell (which we have well discussed here), but also a lack of zeal to seek God and Heaven.

It is a “perfect storm” which which explains a lot

of spiritual tepidity today and the lack of evangelical zeal that has plagued the Church for at least the last 100 years.

We need to be a lot clearer

about death, judgment, Heaven and Hell and also realize that our descriptions especially about heaven, often fail to communicate its vision let alone inspire others to seek it, whatever the cost.

To that end, I offer this little reflection and invite your own comments and reflections

From the ‘Radical Life” site DON”T GET TO COMFORTABLE


Don’t get too comfortable

 

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” – C. S. Lewis

If I look for truth, I may find comfort – but I may not. Life is not about being comfortable. It’s about pressing forward out of my comfort zone. It’s about getting up everyday and accepting whatever challenge I am faced with, staying faithful to the truth and searching for the meaning and value in the suffering I endure.

The Christian life is not the secret to success, but the shortcut to sainthood. It is not here to cure your pain so much as to keep you from wasting it.

We are obsessed with getting rid of pain. That’s often a good thing, but it’s not the most important thing. What’s more important is the soul that is forged in the fire of that pain. In this fire, we discover the truth about who we are.

We are reminded that we are small and weak and in need of help. That we have limits and are in need of a Limitless One. This is the truth. Too much comfort puts us in danger of forgetting it.

You weren’t made for this world, so don’t get too comfortable.

QUOTED FROM

https://snt147.mail.live.com/default.aspx?id=64855#n=2038851595&fid=1&mid=14b052c1-41ae-11e3-9934-00215ad71a08&fv=1