29 July, 2010

Aggie Catholics: 10 Fun Catholic Facts

Aggie Catholics: 10 Fun Catholic Facts

23 comments:

  1. 10 - We have tons of friends. Not only are there more than 1.16 billion Catholics, but we also have the Angels and Saints.
    -----------------------
    This reminds me....many years ago, my youngest son was worried about me. That I needed to get out more.

    He said my friends are all dead. I was talking to dead people.

    He was describing my prayer life. I told him I am not lonely and there was no need to worry about me.

    I was praying to saints for their intercessions.
    I told my son if he had some concerns to take up with the Catholic Church. They see no wrong in praying. Furthermore, the Roman Catholic Church even honor people who see dead people.

    I do not think that helped my case. (grin)

    Anyway in jest, I told my son if he came to the house one day and saw me putting a place setting for Joan of Arc & her horse and John the Baptist without his head and pointing to St.Teresa of Avila's favorite chair...then start to worry and please do get me some mental health help as soon as possible.

    It was obvious my youngest son prayer life was somewhat to be questioned then.

    By the way...I do not see dead people. (smiling)

    Lina

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  2. Lina,

    I'm afraid the RCC has mislead it's people down through the ages on this as well as on many other doctrines. The only person the Bible teaches us to pray to is God, i.e. our wonderful Saviour, Jesus or our Heavenly Father through Jesus. Jesus is the only mediator between God and men. (see 1 Timothy 2:5) "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews ch4 vs16

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  3. Small Town Guy,

    I do get what you are saying about Jesus.

    I was relating to a situation that happened a long time ago with my youngest son.

    As for the Saints I believe they are like these little signs pointing to Jesus.
    Furthermore, Mother Mary is like the largest billboard sign pointing to her son Our Lord and Savior....Jesus.

    This simply reminds that wonderful statement..."Jesus through Mary".

    Thank you for your input Small Town Guy.

    Lina

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  4. Dear Lina,

    You are a most gracious soul. I would urge you to consider that only God has omnipotent powers to hear prayers from countless people all over the world at any time of the day or night. Jesus is waiting for sinners to come unto him. "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light." Matthew ch11 vs 28 to 30 Saint Joseph's NAB

    The Bible teaches us Jesus is most gracious and merciful. He will hear our prayers and He is advocating at the right hand of God the Father on behalf of his people. There is no indication in Scripture that Mary, as wonderful a person as she is, has been given power to hear prayers or intercede. Neither is there any indication in Scripture that the saints are able to hear prayers and intercede.

    Mary, was blessed in being the vessel who would carry the Saviour when He came into the world. But she was still human and as the Bible teaches, a sinner who needed a Saviour. Mary said "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior." Luke ch1 vs 46,47. Mary knew she needed a Savior.

    Jesus was the only one who was sinless. Mary is not the Mother of God. The triune God has no Mother. Mary was in fact the mother of Jesus' earthly humanity, but not the mother of Jesus divinity.

    God wants us to worship Him alone through Jesus. Some think that because Jesus is the Son of God that He is too high or powerful for us to go directly to Him; so they try to pray to others to intercede for them. That is not what Jesus taught us to do as the verse I just quoted shows. He wants us to come unto Him, nobody else. Trust in Him alone for our salvation, nobody else. Read about the Good Shepherd in John chap.10.

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  5. Small Town Guy you said:
    "Mary is not the Mother of God. The triune God has no Mother. Mary was in fact the mother of Jesus' earthly humanity, but not the mother of Jesus divinity."

    It is obvious by that quote (I am taking a leap of faith here)you are not Roman Catholic but a Christian? That is alright by me.
    I am taking time off this summer to read The Gospel According to Thomas , also known as The Gospel of Thomas, is a New Testament-era apocryphon, almost completely preserved in a Coptic papyrus manuscript discovered in 1945 at Nag Hammadi, Egypt.
    Thomas was one of Jesus' twelve apostles. Thomas is also called Didymus (the twin) each of the three times he appears in the Gospel According to John.

    Sometimes Big Guy, I mean Small Town Guy it doesn't hurt to think outside the Roman Catholic box if you get my drift!

    Have a great summer!

    Lina

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  6. It is alright by me too that you are "only" a Christian and not a Catholic Christian, brother Wayne. :}

    The heresy that Mary was only the mother of Jesus the man, and not the whole person, including divinity of Jesus was first apparently started by the Nestorians in the 5th Century. But, apparently Nestorius himself came to not believe what he spoke up about, and the Nestorian Church came back to union with the Catholic Church on this matter.

    As Catholic.com lays it out very simply: "Since Mary is Jesus’ mother, it must be concluded that she is also the Mother of God: If Mary is the mother of Jesus, and if Jesus is God, then Mary is the Mother of God. There is no way out of this logical syllogism, the valid form of which has been recognized by classical logicians since before the time of Christ."

    It might surprise you to know that Martin Luther and John Calvin both confirmed that Mary was in fact the Mother of God.

    So, chalk the heresy of Mary's status as a mother up to 30,000 denominations and counting, where the truth gets murkier and murkier, as each new sect finds something to disagree with.

    You are way off the mark this time, my friend.

    God Bless You

    Michael

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  7. MBrandon,

    Michael,
    It seems you actually believe Mary is the mother of God. That is very suprising. Even when I grew up in the RCC, I don't think I ever heard of that. I went to a RC school in grade nine and part of ten and don't recall the nuns even mentioning it. Let me grab my book, Instructions in the RC faith, and see if this is official. Strange though that if Mary is the mother of God, why was that never mentioned by the apostles all the way through the New Testament? Also, what about the Old Testament? It is absolutely silent on such a doctrine. But why let the Bible stand in the way? I have never heard Luther or Calvin believed that. I will have to look into it. Certainly every protestant church I have been to in the past 30 years has never said a word about that. I have never even heard of Protestant church that believes that.

    So when God said in the Old Testament there is no God beside Me, was He not being accurate? Are you saying Mary was a God too or how did God who is eternal come to have a mother?

    The Bible teaches that there is a trinity but never a mother of God.

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  8. MBrandon,

    Michael, I did find the term "Mother of God" mentioned in the comprehensive online catechism.

    Boettner goes into some detail about the subject "Mother of God" and how it came to be a Romanist dogma. He says it is the result of "centuries of growth, often stimulated by church prelates". "Yet the full-fledged system of Mariolatry is a comparitively recent development in RC dogma, particularly in the last 100 years."

    Up until the 4th century there was no special veneration of Mary. I might have mentioned this before but the term "Mother of God" originated with the Council of Ephesus in 431A.D. This is an important point you should seriously consider Michael. "The purpose of the expression as used by the Council of Ephesus was not to glorify Mary, but to emphasize the deity of Christ over against those who denied His equality with the Father and the Holy Spirit." The Nestorians held that Jesus, born of Mary, was only a man. "it was therefore only to emphasize the fact that the 'person' born to Mary was truly divine that she was called the 'Mother of God'."

    The term "Mother of God" came to have an entirely different meaning than intended by the early church. "It no longer had reference to the orthodox doctrine concerning the person of Christ, but instead is used to exalt Mary to a supernatural status as Queen of Heaven, Queen of the Angels, etc., so that, because of her assumed position of prominence in heaven, she is able to approach her Son effectively and to secure for her followers whatever favors they ask through her." Loraine Boettner's book "Roman Catholicism".

    The Bible calls Mary the mother of Jesus and gives her no other title. The Roman church over the centuries has exalted her to these other positions and titles. While some might see it as harmless, in fact, many think of Mary as more powerful than Christ. So they go to her and worship her. Yet, the Bible makes it clear we are to worship God only. Anything else is idolatry.

    The fact is Scripture proves God has always existed and has no mother. Mary would be in great distress if she knew people thought of her as the mother of our Creator. This is completely unscriptural. The truth is, as to His human nature, Jesus had no father; as to His divine nature, He had no mother.

    Turtulian, one of the ancient and greatest authorities, apart from the inspired apostles and Christ, who died in 222 A.D. spoke against the legend concerning Mary's birth. He also believed after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph lived in a normal marriage relationship. Jesus had half brothers. This is mentioned in the New Testament. The exaltation of Mary was a gradual development.

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  9. Michael,

    A book you may have heard of called "The Glories of Mary" makes a number of statements in it that directly contradict the Bible. This book is considered to be some kind of authority by RC people. I can't quote the whole thing, but will mention one part from the book and then tell what the RC Bible says about the subject.

    The RCC church:
    "And she is truly a mediatress of peace between sinners and God. sinners receive pardon by ... Mary alone" (pp 82, 83). "Mary is our life....Mary is obtaining this grace for sinners by her interecession, thus restores them to life" (p. 80). "He fails and is LOST who hs not recourse to Mary (p.94).

    The Word of God:
    For there is one God, and ONE Mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5). "Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). "Christ...is our life" (Col. 3:4).

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  10. Wayne:

    When presented with the Catholic perspective of the truth, as understood by the Church for 2000 years, you wander down new paths.

    Boettner was ignorant of the Catholic Faith, showing himself up as a bigotted Reformer, late to the party with an axe to grind. Because you happen to agree with what he says does not make him or you correct in your assessment. And even more so, it does not make what he said truthful, just an interesting opinion. I am hopeful that Mr. Boettner is now sitting at the feet of Jesus, where he has learned the truth, and has found the fullness of revelation.

    It is not the Catholic Church that made things up as it went along, but Boettner.

    Here is what Catholic.com says about Mary including quotes from many holy men and women from the early Church, such as Irenaeus in 189, and coming forward.

    http://www.catholic.com/library/Mary_Mother_of_God.asp

    You must remember that they did not have laptops in the days of the early Church, and most people could not read or write, so most communication was verbal . . . oops tradition again. So, things got written down when they got written down, the dealy in which proves nothing about what the Church taught and believed.

    Jesus was not followed around by a stenographer to the best of my knowledge.

    Are you (and me too) interested in the truth, or in being right? This is a serious question, and one that we all need to answer for ourselves.

    I appreciate your faith, and your commitment to Christ. It however is too shallow for me personally, and so I continue to practice my faith in the Catholic Church, where the whole revelation of Christ resides.

    At the center of the Catholic Church is the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. If you get that, you have no choice but to be a Catholic. If you do not get that, then you have no choice but to be elsewhere, as you are.

    http://freethroughtruth.blogspot.com/2010/08/most-holy-sacrifice-of-mass.html

    But, just because you cannot understand its depth and meaning does not really justify you attacking it. When you attack something you do not really understand or even seek to, you betray a spiritual ignorance that does not become a man of faith.

    Take a breath, or a few hundred, and suspend your disbelief for a time period. Read to seek truth, with an open heart and mind, not starting with a bias. (Boettner won't cut it.) What if you have been wrong about the Catholic Church? Would it be better to be right (in your own mind) or to have discerned the truth without blinders?

    Just a thought, brother.

    Michael

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  11. Michael, Tim,

    At the last supper Jesus, while eating, took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying "Take and eat; this is my body. Then he too a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, 'Drink from it, all of you, for this my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father." Matthew ch26 vs26b to 29

    Several points I learn from these verses.
    Jesus was reclined at the meal with His disciples when He said these words. Therefore, when he said "this is my body" and "this is my blood of the covenant", it could not have been meant to be taken that He was also present in the elements literally. He was still present with them in His physical body so was not in the elements. The elements were meant to represent symbollically his body and blood.

    Not only was He present with them physically at the meal, but He said "I shall not drink this fruit of the vine..." vs 29. Therefore He is saying right here it is still wine (fruit of the vine). Why would he call it fruit of the vine if it had been changed to His physical blood?

    Christians were forbidden to drink blood and forbidden to eat human flesh (canibalism).

    Also, if the wine is changed into Christ's blood, why does the RCC not normally give the wine to the people? This is what Jesus did. But the priest is the only one who receives the wine. Why? Why doesn't everyone receive the bread and wine if the bread is supposed to be His body and the wine His blood?

    Also, in 1 Corinthians ch.11 we have more instruction about the Lord's Supper. In verse 24 it quotes the Lord as saying "Do this in remembrance of me" Again after giving the cup (wine) again the apostle quotes the Lord: "Do this , as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."

    The Lord's Supper was meant to be celebrated in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice; not to consume Christ's physical body and blood. That is canibalism and is not taught in these verses.

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  12. STG: Thanks for your response. You have arrived at the essential point of departure between our belief systems. For us, (RC) the Eucharist IS the real presence of Christ. It is a belief that extends back to our earliest writings and recollections as a faith community. It was the belief of virtually all Christians until the Reformation where an alternative hermeneutic was provided by Luther, Calvin et al.

    As to the distribution of communion under both species (RC terminology for the common sharing of both the consecrated bread and wine), it is in fact the preferred manner in which the Eucharist is to be celebrated. If you remember back to the H1N1 flu pandemic, many Bishops instructed that the practice be suspended due to concerns over spreading the virus.

    I do not expect you to necessarily believe what Catholics do about the Eucharist, and not believing in no way diminishes my view of you as a Christian. Could you explain to me why it is that you seem to think believing as I do places me outside of the Christian communion?

    Fr. Tim

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  13. Tim,

    I appreciate your gracious response. As far as I know I have not made a point of saying anyone is outside or inside the christian communion. I don't see any value in making that judgment. I am not the one to say who is in or who is out. I would prefer to talk about doctrine and what I believe is biblical truth and leave the business of judging who is a christian to God.

    I have tried to explain to you and others that Paul's epistle to the Hebrews explains how Christ has already made a complete atonement for sin and there are no more offerings for sin. I have also tried to show that the apostolic christians relied on Scripture and what the apostles taught. What value do you see in the Eucharist?

    Wayne

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  14. Wayne:

    You try so valiantly to disprove a most essential article of the Catholic Faith, to fight what early Church fathers and the faithful believed without reservation from the very beginning. They were there in the early days of the Church. They saw the miracles, the faith of others, and they consumed the Body and Blood of Our Lord and Saviour, as part of their gathering.

    The problem is not that you do not embrace this simple and beautiful teaching of faith, but that so many Catholics before you, and still, do not come to the table of the Lord with the reverence that is demanded by our belief in the Real Presence, thereby giving witness to the power of the Eucharist.

    You have boiled it all down to your personal interpretation of the scriptures and that of others who just can't get their heads around this essential Catholic belief, and it is so hard for you to grasp, that you personally judge anyone who does so as a member of an anti-Christian cult.

    I don't believe it, so it cannot be true. What spiritual arrogance for one who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

    You know in your heart that Christ is present in the Eucharist, and you have known it from your childhood. It is not head knowledge, not emotional knowledge. It is heart knowledge.

    Is it so important for you to be right that you will give precedence to the knowledge of your head over what your heart is telling you?

    Either come home, Wayne, or stop spreading lies about the Catholic Church.

    God Bless You

    Michael

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  15. Tim, MBrandon,

    "For us, (RC) the Eucharist IS the real presence of Christ. It is a belief that extends back to our earliest writings and recollections as a faith community. It was the belief of virtually all Christians until the Reformation where an alternative hermeneutic was provided by Luther, Calvin et al."

    How can you be absolutely certain that it was the practice of the apostolic christians? Are you sure you are not accepting that as a given from a biased source which has a vested interest in making that claim? If you only accept information from one source, in your case, tradition, you have no way of knowing whether it is true or not. Because you have been conditioned to only look at one source of information, your ability to impartially reason may have been compromised. This is the same problem MBrandon has. He claims everything he believes is the absolute truth based solely on the claims of the same source, the RCC. If the RCC says it is the truth, then it must be the truth irrespective of what others might point you to consider the Bible teaches.

    Mbrandon comes with exactly the same rationale. Michael, if you are reading this, consider that truth has to have some basis other than what fallible men in the RCC say; the only reliable basis for all truth must be what the Holy Spirit reveals in God's written Word. Apart from that, you have no basis for claiming what you believe is the absolute truth. Tradition cannot be questioned or verified because there is no way to prove where it came from. There is no way of proving or disproving whether a teaching is true or false apart from a trustworthy and solid reference source.

    To simply claim something is true because the RCC says it is true, and the RCC says it is true because tradition says it is so, is no argument for truth at all.

    Does it not show a complete surrender of one's faculties (mind) to a system which demands complete surrender of all reasoning and ability to think for one's self? Did not God give us the power to think and reason things out for ourselves? Or did he give us a mind to blindly surrender it to other fallible men?

    When you appeal to so-called tradition, as you gentlemen do, then there is no avenue left for rational discussion to verify the authenticity or truth of your claims. All discussion becomes impossible because there is nothing left to appeal to to verify your claims.

    Rational discussion no longer exists. In such a religious system, blind obedience is all that matters. Thinking and reasoning and verification with a trustworthy reference point apart from what church hierarchy say is taboo. Is there a parallel with this system and Islam? Blind obedience?

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  16. Mbandon,

    Don't forget Luther and Calvin were both RC priests at one time and when they discovered the basic biblical truths about salvation, they rejected the false teachings of Rome on this subject. However, that does not mean they suddently had everything correct. They may have held some beliefs such as Luther may have had concerning Mary which were not biblical. But on the the essential basics, I think Luther was correct in his belief that Rome had departed from the biblical teachings of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. Luther came to believe by the grace of God that the Scriptures were the final authority for what is truth as did Calvin.

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  17. What value do I see in the Eucharist is a question I still ask myself now and then.

    It is Jesus. Who told me that? I do not know the exact person who told me that but it must be many people because I am a cradle Catholic. This mystery must have been reinforce by many folks especially by my mother, I assume.

    In the late 1970's I was convinced I witnessed an Eucharistic miracle or some kind of phenomenon. To this day not even my husband knows about it.

    It was a sunny day. I was at an 11:00 a.m. Sunday Mass. The Church was pack with parishioners. I got a seat towards the back of the Church. It was your normal Sunday morning Mass.

    Eventually, I got up to go and receive the Holy Host. My two hands were clasp together. Then I realize I could not for the life of me separate my hands. My fingers were intertwine, I distinctly remembered saying to myself: "this is ridiculous."

    I took a deep breath and I counted up to 10. I still could not separate my hands. Again, I distinctly remembered saying to myself: "The priest is going to think I am mocking the Eucharist because people were receiving the Host in their hands not on their tongue."

    Again, I tried to separate my hands, I was not successful.

    I decided to take the chance(the priest was a Fr. Harrington with a gruff loud voice, sort of scared me way back then) and I went ahead to receive the Holy Presence on my tongue, there was no problem with that. I went back to my seat and knelt down, it is shortly after that I realize my hands were apart.

    This event happened only once in my life and I will be 57 years old soon.

    Wayne(Small Town Guy)...your question to Fr. Tim reminded me of that incident.

    I may not understand the Eucharist. Nevertheless, for me it seems I got a message loud and clear, "You do not fool around or mock the Eucharist!"

    The aftermath of this event lasted a long time bearing good fruits of the Holy Spirit as one would say. But being very human the memory just drifted away like any other of my personal experiences. I seem to forget the goodness of God.

    I need to learn to fall in love with Jesus everyday like I fall in love with my husband over again everyday.

    This may not make sense to you and that is alright because I do not understand the full extent of it myself.

    Have a great day!

    Blessings to all,

    Lina

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  18. Michael said, in response to something Wayne said (encapsulating what he perceives to be Wayne's attitude): "I don't believe it, so it cannot be true. What spiritual arrogance for one who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ."

    What an astute observation! But let's not limit it to the squabble among sects of Christianity, okay? That attitude is pervasive in every Abrahamic religion -- even among members of the same religion.

    I don't know exactly what it is about religions other than my own, but it seems like there's a conspiracy of exclusion going on for those who don't toe the party lines as defined by a few alpha members. If you don't buy into every single little detail without question, you "can't" be a real [whatever]!

    But it does seem to be confined to the Abrahamics. I don't know of any Buddhists who think like that. Or Sikhs. Or Pagans.

    Something in the biblical waters, maybe?

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  19. Lady Janus: It comes from the very nature of our religions as being 'revealed' religions. It is because of our desire and concern to ensure orthodox and faithful transmission of this revelation. So it's not in the water, it's in the books.

    Fr. Tim

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  20. Lina:

    Thank you for sharing your story of the Eucharist. I had a similar experience many years ago, where the Eucharist became very real for me, and I then knew that I knew that it was the Real Presence.

    For those who believe, no proof is necessary, and for those who do not believe, no proof is sufficient.

    It is interesting that matters of deep faith occur by personal revelation. We can know things in our mind, but for them to make it into our hearts, takes an incident that turns things we believe because we were taught them into something that confirms for us in no uncertain terms that these beliefs are REAL.

    So, the Eucharist being shown to you as real does not require me or anyone else on the planet to believe it.

    But, it is a strange breed of cat, who feels compelled to disavow you of your beliefs, to attempt to prove to you beyond a shadow of his/her doubt that what you profess to believe is impossible.

    To me, when I have encountered this (or worse still when I have propounded it myself) it is because of insecurity on the part of the critic, rather than a defect on the part of the believer.

    Lady Janus above brings an interesting perspective on the squabbles that exist between and among Christians and Jews.

    When you possess a pearl of great worth as Christians believe, it is not unreasonable, in fact even mandated by the Gospel to share that pearl with others. Problematically, we tend to share the shell, and not the pearl.

    But, then I am reminded of the old hymn "They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love." Also, St. Francis comes to mind, who proclaimed: "Preach the Gospel, and if necessary use words."

    I find it somewhat distracating in one sense for someone to attempt to stuff his version of the bible down my throat, based largely on a revisionist historical perspective. Though I find the exercise distracting, I appreciate the sincere faith of one who believes that he/she is standing up for his/her faith in so doing.

    What I find most interesting is that this exercise with Brother Wayne is strengthening my faith in the Catholic Church and its teachings, the warts of its adherents not withstanding. I am grateful to him for affording me this opportunity to study my faith a little deeper.

    Life is anything but dull.

    Michael

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  21. Tim: So...the nature of revealed religions is to "reveal" one's own brand to as many others as possible in the hopes of gaining...what? It's a numbers game? That seems likely, given the force of insistence that some proselytizers have. And the "prize" for the most numbers is...what?

    And the squabbling seem mostly to be about pretty picatune matters. Take the Shi'a and the Sunni, just for starters. They kill one another over who "inherited" the leadership of Islam after Mohammed ! They are not content merely to follow their own paths and let the others be. It's literally a matter of life and death.

    The more experience I have with book religions, the more I am convinced that the whole goal of such things is to eradicate the individual in favor of the collective...and everyone wants to be on the board of directors!

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  22. Thanks, MBrandon

    Michael, it was ordinary moments turn into extra-ordinary moments in time. That morning I was well rested, at ease and very peaceful. Also, I was not under any influence of any alcohol or drugs.

    A wise St. Joseph nun told me once, to be very careful who you share your inner most thoughts to. They may be use against you.

    If at the next big family gathering I decided to tell them about that day in 1970’s’, do you honestly think they would believe me? I do not think so. They knowing very well I had already a visit to a psychiatrist. I am still seeing a doctor. They already told me more ways than one I am the very religious one of the family, maybe even too much. They witness a little of my meltdowns. They were personal problems with the Catholic Church, local church scandals, priests, etc… plus finding out I was molested when I was nine. Therefore, my credibility is not good.

    Even though, that amazing Sunday morning happened many decades ago. They will only recall the last few years and the recent events. If I were in their shoes I would find it hard to believe me also.

    One thing is certain about the whole event it sure keeps me humble!

    Thus, your statement rings true: “For those who believe, no proof is necessary, and for those who do not believe, no proof is sufficient.”

    By the way, I recall seeing this quote before a movie started; it was in “The Song of Bernadette”, starring Jennifer Jones. That was a good movie.

    Lina

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