The Healing Powers of the Seven Sacraments

By Patrick Miron

Another I AM a Catholic Lesson

I suppose that a good place to begin is to ask ourselves why the Sacraments exist at all; and then ask why Christ as their author; the very source of the Seven Sacraments, choose to institute either explicitly, or implicitly SEVEN of them.

The two most common, in my opinion attitudes towards the Sacraments seem to be indifference or ignorance of them and their reasons for existence. I say this because of the often caviler attitude one sees when they are received, and the shocking fact that so many Catholics [it would seem to be in name only], don’t even bother to access them. The loss is ours.

A primary reason for the Sacraments existence is that they, each and every one of them of them can, and indeed, ought to have some role in OUR own Salvation. But today I would like to take a different emphasis, closely related to our salvation efforts, a unique “fruit” [Mt. 12:33] that emanates from them.. How do the Seven Sacraments “HEAL US”?

Why then DO the Sacraments exist? [This from a non-Catholic source]

http://www.gotquestions.org/seven-Catholic-sacraments.html

“Question: “Are the seven Catholic sacraments biblical?”

Answer: “Sacraments are outward signs of inward grace, instituted by Christ for our sanctification” (taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia). The Roman Catholic Church teaches that while God gives grace to man without outward symbols (sacraments), He has also chosen to give grace to man through visible symbols. Because God has done this, man is foolish to not make use of this God-provided means of gaining sanctification.

In order to qualify as a sacrament, the Roman Catholic Church states that it must meet the following three criteria: a) the external, that is, a sensibly perceptible sign of sanctifying grace, b) the conferring of sanctifying grace, c) the institution by God or, more accurately, by the God-Man Jesus Christ. Thus, sacraments are not merely a symbol, but are believed to actually confer sanctifying grace upon the recipient. The Roman Catholic Church believes that all of their seven sacraments were instituted by Christ Himself. There are seven Roman Catholic Sacraments, and they are as follows:

1) Baptism, which the Roman Catholic Church teaches removes {all sin including} original sin while infusing the act with sanctifying grace.

2) Penance, in which one confesses his/her sins to a priest.

3) The Eucharist, considered the reception and consumption of the actual body and blood of Christ.

4) Confirmation, a formal acceptance into the church along with special anointing of the Holy Spirit.

5) Anointing of the sick, performed by a priest using oil. The priest anoints the sick person´s forehead and hands with oil. This is associated not only with bodily healing but with forgiveness of sins. When performed on a dying person, it is called Extreme Unction (or last rites or final anointing).

6) Holy Orders, the process by which men are ordained to clergy.

7) Matrimony, which provides special grace to a couple.”

The following are verses commonly cited to support the Roman Catholic belief concerning the sacraments:

“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6). “Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God’” (John 3:5). “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). “That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:26). “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:23). “And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:15). “Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:17). “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed” (John 6:54-55)” END of Quotes used from this non Catholic Source

The author of the above site is a non-Catholic whose aim it is to nullify and debunk these gifts from Christ, as an on-going and necessary effort to quash Catholicism in order to justify Protestantism, who have to accomplish the first objective, of destroying Catholic beliefs and practices so that they can then supplant them with their own man-made substitutes… Jesus who on the Cross expressed Seven Last Words; one of which is “I Thirst”; [John 19:28] meaning that Christ having done all he could as “a Man”; desired to do more which He could only do as God. That “more” is the cause and the effects of the Seven Sacraments; which Christ empowered his Apostles and through them by absolute necessity; to include the Successors of Peter; to initiate in His Name, the Seven Sacraments which exist for the aid and purpose of the salvation of more Souls, who otherwise might not attain heaven.

“The [or HIS] Church”; Mt. 16:18-19. “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, [precisely singular] and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. [All of them implied here] 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”

These powers, this authority to” bind and loose” which will then [absolutely] be accepted and blessed by God in Heaven. Were at that time and in that place [The walled in city of Jerusalem, with its gates and keys and one man who had charge of them] and by absolute necessity [Mt. 10:6-7 & Mt 28:16-20], passed on to the successors of Peter.

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. [Meaning exactly what it proclaims: with Gods Powers and Authority; all though to a lesser degree] And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be [Will Be and ARE] sanctified in truth. And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me”

[Parts of]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:… Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils: freely have you received, freely give” So dear friends let us have no more talk, no further doubts about the validly, or the desire of Christ to do more, or the powers and authority in the Holy Name of Jesus, to actualize the Seven Sacraments through the “bark of Peter.”

Mt. 28: 16-20 “And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. … 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.”
Why Seven Sacraments?

In the era of Christ earthly visitation, and for eons before that stupendous event, the Hebrew peoples had a vastly different understanding and appreciation for numbers in the bible, than what modern man commonly understands today.

http://www.agapebiblestudy.com/documents/the%20significance%20of%20numbers%20in%20scripture.htm

Numbers had their own meaning along the line of there “own story.” The number “seven” meant “fullness; completeness and perfection.” As God Inspired the Old Testament authors, I suspect that this understanding by Christ had at least a little bit to do with the number of Sacraments. Seven Sacraments then imply the “perfect” number; the “sufficient number” to accomplish ALL that God envisioned for them. Every contingency, every need was foreseen by God who ordained that His Sacraments were ample and plentiful to facilitate our Spiritual growth, and to merit our salvation, when used correctly and frequently.

So then, just HOW do the Sacraments individually and collectively “heal?”

Nothing defines God for us as much as, or as clearly as do His seven Sacraments. They are not only the “par excellent” manner for us to really come to know God on a very personal level. They are the road to Holiness, desired and called for by God for us: 1 Peter 1:16 “Because it is written: You shall be holy, for I am holy” Like charity and humility; holiness is yet another “key” to meriting our own salvation. And the Sacraments, act not only as a means to grace; but incredibly, a source of grace that mortal man, in a sense can “command” God to offer to us by granting us the power to initiate the frequency of this grace –source- offering, and then, by the degree of our participation, actually allow us to control the amount of Grace offered and received by us. … This critical grace-element in our quest for salvation moves and protects through “Sacramental-grace” an effective aid to avoid sin, as well as offering grace to further cement our personal relationships with God.

Baptism: is the first Sacrament, and like a healing balm introduces God’s fanatical-like love for us; as God empties and pours His Love and Mercy upon us. This Sacrament is so critically important that the Church allows it to be validly and licitly obtained outside the confines of the Catholic Church, by other “Christian Churches” when the correct form and matter are employed: John 3:5 “Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” & Mt. 28:19 Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” … Not only does it put into effect our “actual kinship” with God; making us “children of God”, it heals all who receive it from both the dangers and lingering effects of ALL PAST sins; including the inherited debt of inherited “Original sin.” … So all-encompassing is this relief that it even makes full payment for the Temporal Punishment all sins incur; perfects our Souls until we sin again, and makes our Souls now perfected, ready for heaven if we should die without any further sins.

This Sacraments healing is a Spiritual Healing, and the ultimate Grace as it makes us “Children of God” and perfects our Souls

Penance: Each of the Sacraments in some manner completes and perfects a Tradition of the Old Testament, such as Circumcision being perfected by Baptism, and sin forgiveness through the sacrificial actions of an Old Testament priest, and forgiveness accepted by God; to actual sin-forgiveness by a New Testament Priest empowered by God to act in His name. [The Power of the Key’s in Mt. 16:18-19. … 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 [Apostles] 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 you the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, and they are retained.”

This is the Sacrament of knowing and experiencing TRUE Inner peace, as nothing else in this world can grant. It is the Sacrament of KNOWN FORGIVENESS of our sins. There is no unforgivable sin, and no “new sin.” The “Confessional” is like a hospital for spiritual heath and growth. What is shared there is KEPT there; It is a place of solitude, repentance and immediate inner-peace; a release from worldly concerns and an inner sanctum where we can once again connect with God’s Mercy and Love for us. The “Seal of Confession” is absolute and irrevocable, even under the most severe duress. The Old Testament Jews had to wait for the annual “Yom-Kippur,” the “Day of Atonement” Exodus 30:10 & Lev. 19:22, to know that their sins were covered over by the OT Priest for another year. We don’t need to wait for some annual event; Sacramental Catholic Confession is ours for the asking, and offered at least weekly by all Catholic Churches. [In un-persecuted countries].

The man-made “quick-fixes” of “Once saved, always saved”; “altar calls”, going “directly to God” are really opposed to what Christ Himself ordained and desires. There likelihood of them actually working hinges on “Perfect Contrition” and then actually making life-changing actions to avoid those same sins in the future. [“True Contrition”] resulting in a HIGH degree of uncertainty for actual forgiveness of sin in these man-invented methods. With Christ Sacramental Confession, man is in effect demanding that God forgive them in the manner they are comfortable with; NOT the manner Christ has prescribed.
James 5:16 “Confess therefore your sins one to another: and pray one for another, that you may be saved. For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much.”
http://www.the-pope.com/feeneyite.html

The Healing of this Sacrament is the GIFT of true inner peace and assured union with our God

Eucharist: Not only is this the Sacrament at the Summit of our Catholic Faith; it is the pinnacle of man’s search for a TRUE “Personal Relationship” with our God. Not only can we meet God; we actually and literally enter into God even as he is entering into us. … “Be not afraid”; John 6:20; “Fear not” Mt. 28:5; “My Peace I give to you” John 14:27… Not as the world gives you peace, do I give you peace.” John 14:27 the healing powers of the Eucharist are legend.

That God would stoop so low as to become a mortal man, like us in every way but sin is astounding; SHOCKING! But that God, GOD! Would become for us our Bread and our Wine, our nourishment and the ultimate means of our Salvation is beyond descriptive words, and can best be seen in the light of Christ becoming a helpless babe, born in a stable. The Creator of the World and all that is in it, who comes to us as a helpless babe, totally dependent upon Mary and Joseph, mere mortal beings for everything. In effect this has God being dependent upon man; rather than man being ever dependent upon God. Is it any wonder that many simply lack the Faith to accept this reality?

… In the Eucharist, in Catholic Holy Communion, that very same God-man stoops even lower, and demonstrates even a more perfect humility, by actually becoming OBJECTS of both derision and Worship, in the form of inanimate objects. Ordinary bread and wine are transformed into Christ Himself. And therefore becomes an unphathomable source of Grace, because it is; IT IS God Himself. The healer of all hurts, all pain, all sorrow, and comes to heal us spiritually and even physically. John 6:55-57 “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him.” This last promise explains precisely what Catholic Holy Communion accomplishes. Man’s relationship with GOD can’t be more intimate, more personal or more efficacious than this.

The healing of this Sacrament is the joy of being as close to God as is humanity possible on earth. It is the Gift of Christ Himself, come to heal us from all our worries and concerns, and can even lead to physical healing.

Confirmation: This Sacrament is one where God reaches out to actually touch us; both literally and figuratively. “Literally” because there is in this Sacrament an actual “laying on of hands” and an indelible anointing with a Blessed Oil. “Figuratively” because its effects are conditional on our response and acceptance of the graces it offers and imposes. The Graces made manifest in this Sacrament enable us to become personally convicted for Christ. Rightly received and fully accepted we are not only enabled to fully practice our Faith; but also to share it with others. … In fully practicing our Faith, we are healed, and inner-directed away from the “near occasion of sin” in our lives. Thus we can discover the healing of true peace and joy in our lives.

The healing of this Sacrament marks us indelibly as “Children of God.” Because it invokes a personal Covenant between the Holy Spirit and the one Confirmed. Its special blessing comes in the form of inner conviction for Christ, true Wisdom and the gift of Courage to practice and share our Catholic Faith, guided by the Holy Spirit.

Anointing of the sick :An abundance of God’s Merciful Love is offered to humanity, as we come to know Christ [through Baptism], and are made truly and literally “children of God”; perfect in every spiritual way, and this gift is once again offered in this, “final anointing” Sacrament which too grants TOTAL sin –forgiveness, and even the forgiveness of all Temporal Punishment due to our sins, even holds the possibility of physical healing [when God knows it will benefit our Spiritual well-being]. This Sacrament like Baptism perfects our Souls until sin looms in us once again. Just as in Baptism these Souls are made ready for immediate access to heaven.

James 5:14-15 “Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man: and the Lord shall raise him up: and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him.”

Mt. 5: 19 “Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Recent years has seen a major change in the understanding of this Sacrament which for generations had been reserved for those dear death. Now the Church [through the Power of the Key’s]; guided by the Holy Spirit, permits and encourages us, who are seriously ill, or going in for a serious medical procedure; as well as those who are well advanced in years, along with those near death to request this sacrament, even prior to being on the known verge of death.

Unlike Baptism which is a “once in a lifetime gift”, the anointing of the sick can be received multiple times. God’s Merciful Love is made boldly manifest when we first meet Christ and then again, with similar powers and expressions as we seem to be on the verge of facing Christ as the final and Supreme Judge of our lives actions and activities. The Spiritual healing effects of this Sacrament are total as are the healing effects of Baptism. The physical healings are dependent of God’s plan for our lives.

This Sacraments healing comes in the form true inner peace, as it removes both our sins and the guilt of those sins, bring us once again close to God, and God’s Peace as we near death. The healing of this Sacrament is a total Spiritual healing and renewal of our Souls to the same sate of Perfection as did our Baptism. BUT, it can, God Willing, also cause a physical healing of our illnesses when God knows it can lead to our Spiritual growth.

Marriage Genesis 1: 26-28 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply…”

Marriage in our life time has been hi-jacked, beat up, is being redefined, minimalized, and simply ignored. I suspect that of the Seven Sacraments, “marriage” may be the source of the greatest Varity and number of sins, as well as, on a continuing basis, the most grievous sins. From prideful MEISM, to Murder of the holy innocents; from adultery to contraception; marriage has birthed the most common, and the most abundant sins of our era. How something so intrinsically beautiful, has led to such debasement is testimony to Satan’s presence and influence, and man’s willing prideful nature. But Marriage has also been the constant source of a “greater love” and pronounced personal sacrifice. A means and a common cause of healing for each member. A unity of mind, heart and body to aid and strengthen the Souls; directing them towards God and heaven.

Mt.19: 4-9 “And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” He said to them, “For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for infidelity, and marries another, commits adultery.”

When mankind chooses to accept and enter into the life-vocation that God has predestined them for; God commits Himself to make sufficient grace for that endeavor available to make the salvation of their Soul possible. But regardless of ones “state in life”; there will be trials, challenges and struggles. Nothing “comes easy,” because this is the state of fallen- man’s inherited role; to now prove our love and commitment to our God.

Marriage however because it units two souls in a common endeavor, with mutual goals, offers unique opportunities for support and healing each other’s hurts and needs in many grace-filled ways. Truly the family that DOES pray together, has a greatly enhanced chance to stay together. And healing easily, and regularly flows from one spouse to the other.

The healing of this Sacrament comes in the form of special graces to withstand the normal day to day challenges of married life, as well as to assist each other, and offspring to grow closer to God. It is the joy of two becoming as one. And then this “one” becoming “one” with God.

Holy Orders: This last Sacrament, often not being recognized outside the realm of the Catholic Church is surprising as it follows Old Testament Tradition and history: Exodus 28:1 “Then bring near to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel, to serve me as priests — Aaron and Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abi’hu, Elea’zar and Ith’ama” …

John 15:16 “You have not chosen me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit; and your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you”

There is a perspective that highlights the unique importance of this Sacramental Priesthood, which can teach that which is ordained as the Sacrament Priesthood to point the way to a personal relationship with our God, heals and comforts like a candle in a dank and dark room, because it is through the Sacramental Priesthood that Sacramental Confession; that Sacramental Holy Communion; Most Holy Eucharist, and Sacramental Confirmation, as well as the Sacramental Anointing of the sick, and even this very Sacrament itself of Sacramental Ordination; the Succession of the Priesthood through the Key’s of Peters successors, that mankind is enabled, is fed and fueled by God’s Grace, to avail themselves of these Sacraments Soul-saving Sacraments. In other words without the Sacramental Priesthood, there would be no Holy Communion; no known forgiveness of sins, No Confirmation, no “Last Rites” for immediate passage to heaven should we die without further sinning. And that dear friends sums up the importance and significance of the Christ Instituted Seven Sacraments. Each offering its unique healing. And it’s unique role in the salvation of Souls, which otherwise might not qualify to make the Beatific Vision, seeing Christ face to face for eternity.

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”

One has to wonder about the motives of the Leaders of the Protestant Reformation discounting the use by God of His chosen Priest in the Old Testament for sin forgiveness; and yet seeming to be shocked, that the same God would simply follow suit under the New Covenant; but now in a Perfected and fully complete manner? Are we to understand that Yahweh could do this, but Christ could not? Are they not the same God?

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.”

Matt.9: 6-8 “But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — he then said to the paralytic — “Rise, take up your bed and go home.” When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.”

John 17: 18 & 20:21 “As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” & He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.”

Matt.10: 1: “And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity” Mt. 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The Old Testament leads to the New Testament, which completes and perfects it. The New Testament encompasses the Old, and the Old explains the New. They are One Book, One History. One directory for the salvation of Souls.

In the Old Testament Yahweh-God needed to be very specific about the roles of the men He choose for special duties. Exodus chapters 28-30 makes this case evident for us. So why the big change in priest authority, roles and powers in the New Testament? GRACE! We are now under Grace while Old Testament times were directed and restricted by “the law.” Meaning at first the Ten Commandments, which were over time added to include 613 additional binding laws. Rom. 6: 14 “For sin shall not have dominion over you; for you are not under the law, but {NOW} under grace”

It is because humanity miraculously met God [Jesus Christ] face to face; it is because Christ choose to Die that we MIGHT live; it is because Christ became the Redeemer of the world, and the world’s possible conditional salvation. It is Love because God is Love and Grace is the precise and full expression of that Love.

Because of Christ, and because of Grace, man could now be entrusted with many more powers and far greater authority. Mt. 10:1-8, Mt. 16:15-19, John 20:1923, John 17: 11-26, and Mt. 28:16-20
The healing of this Sacrament comes from the indispensable role of Priest in the Sacramental life of God’s Church. It the Sacrament that encompasses all of the other Sacraments; and makes them possible and available to each of us.

The healing comes to the Priesthood in the form of another indelible sign, and the graces needed to live fully the ministry with the God granted ability to make the Sacramental Life of the Church available to their flocks; and thereby be blessed by God for Faithful Service to Him and to us.

SUMMATION

The “key’s,” here made present through His Church, are the common thread between God, His Seven Sacraments and each of us, through the One Church that He founded, guides and desired. From this then flows Gods graces to heal us from all that ails us. First Spiritually, and then, if God desires it, also from what ails us physically. God offers to heal us from the oft consequences of our own wrong evil life choices which commonly are self-inflicted. Driven by pride, fermented in MEISM, and often soaked in sloth. … Seeking a quick fix; when only what “Dr. God” prescribes and makes available will cure what ails us. That dear friends is the role, the purpose AND promise of the Seven Sacraments. Each promises to heal us in a unique way through God’s graces which contains the promise and ability to make our relationship with our God more intimate and personal conditionally depending on our acceptance of the Sacramental Graces, and our willingness and desire to be healed; both Spiritually and physically.

Luke 11:9-10 “And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.”

Mt. 7: 7-8 “Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened”

Revelation 3: 19-21 “Such as I love, I rebuke and chastise. Be zealous therefore, and do penance. Behold, I stand at the gate, and knock. If any man shall hear my voice, and open to me the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that shall overcome, I will give to sit with me in my throne: as I also have overcome, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.”

Mt. 5: 48 “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect”

1 Peter 1: 16” Because it is written: You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

We must be perfect and perfected to enter into God’s Bliss of heaven. Christ Seven Sacraments are Christ and His Church’s testimony and evidence that God DOES Love us and is Merciful; and offers us extraordinary aids, if we use them to attain, our life’s goal.

Matthew 5: 1-12

[1] “Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.
[2] And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
[3] “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[4] “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
[5] “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
[6] “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
[7] “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
[8] “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
[9] “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
[10] “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[11] “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
[12] Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Christ Seven Sacraments make these desires and realities of God possible.

God Bless you,
Patrick

A “Daily Reflection” reblogged on John 6

Daily Reflection
Reflection – April 24, 2015

Robert Kloska ’90

Sometimes our familiarity with the story and teachings of Christ can inoculate us against the absolutely shocking nature of some of his claims. This Gospel passage is an example of commonly-known statements made by Jesus that are actually incredible and astonishing! Can you imagine being present and hearing them for the first time?

“Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink.”

John tells us that the Jews quarreled because at least some of them seemed to believe that he was making a statement that he meant to be taken literally. How could that be?

When Jesus is misunderstood in other situations in the Gospels, he simply explains himself better. He frequently breaks his parables down into very simple parts. But here, Jesus does something different. Rather than explain that his words were meant only symbolically or that he was just using a figure of speech, Jesus seems to drive home the literal meaning of his words. “My Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink.”

Previously in this chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish. By doing so he established his authority over food. A bit later, he walked on water. By doing this, he established his authority over his own body. John situates these two events immediately before one of the most difficult teachings of Jesus: his real presence in the holy Eucharist.

In clarifying his words, Jesus doesn’t backpedal—in fact, he insists on it even in the face of great controversy. Belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is central to our Catholic faith, but it is a deep mystery, an odd mystery, a beautiful mystery.

Let us all pray for greater faith when we confront the wonderful mystery of the holy Eucharist.

One God, Faith & Church from the bible by Pat Miron

Dear friend in Christ, below is the short version of One God, having just One set of Faith beliefs and desiring only the One true Church which he did establish. Eph. 4:1-7

Here is why I choose those specific passages.

Mt. 10:1-8 [1] “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. [2] And the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, [3] 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, [4] Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. [5] 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. [6] But go ye rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. [7] And going, preach, saying: The kingdom of heaven is at hand. [8] Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils: freely have you received, freely give”

First we note that Jesus is speaking directly to, and exclusively to his “disciples”; who a few words later are identified as His 12 Apostles, whom he names, leading off with “Peter FIRST”.;
Secondly we see that the terms “disciples” and “Apostles” are used interchangeably.

Then another point of critical understanding, Jesus shares [to a lesser degree] some of his Godly powers of healing and even raising the dead; which the bible reports that both Peter and Paul actually did. Peter: Acts 9:39-40 & Paul Acts 30:9-10; from verse #8
Then take note of verses 6 & 7; where Christ’s issues the mandate to his Apostles to go only to “the house of Israel.”

The second passage I suggested is Mt. 16:13-19

“ [13]And Jesus came into the quarters of Caesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is? [14] But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. [15] Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? [16] Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. [17] And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. [18] And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon [YOU] this rock I will build my church,[singular] and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [19]And I will give to thee [ALL OF] the keys of the [MY] kingdom of whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. [20] Then he commanded his disciples, that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ. 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.”

These passages may well be the most frequently quoted in the bible, and very often the least accepted and understood.

First Christ choose carefully the location where he would establish His new Faith, in his One Church with Peter as its head. Jesus was following his own Old Testament Traditions of just One Chosen People; being led by one chosen MAN. From Abraham, Moses, the Judges, Kings like David and Solomon, and the Prophets like Isaiah; always one, man to lead his one chosen people.

Secondly, Christ choose the location of Caesarea Philippi carefully and with purpose: This was the location of the area’s largest and most frequented Pagan Temple. So by choosing this spot Christ was implying that the purpose of his new One Faith in One Church, was to defeat Paganism. [the term “Paganism”] here means all faith beliefs except this one new Faith Christ was Teaching and demanding adherence too.]

Third: It is biblically indisputable that Christ singled out Peter for this task of leadership. This will be proven in future lessons. It is notable that Christ points out that when Simon-Peter points Jesus out as “THEE CHRIST”, that he has been enlightened and guided by “My Father”… [Infused Knowledge].

Forth: Christ then specifies that he intends to give to Peter “ALL of the Key’s,” meaning ALL Access to His Kingdom [Heaven.], and that the gates to hell would NEVER prevail against her [Mother Church].
Fifth: Are the absolute Powers of “binding and or loosing”; which at that time and place affirms two teachings: [1] unlimited powers of governance. The ability, even the obligation to makes laws that bind, and to change them later if necessary; answerable ONLY to the King of that walled in city which actually does have gates and keys. Jerusalem was such a city then and now. The king of that city [which represents heaven and Christ] commonly appointed a MAN to run the city in his name].

[2] The second meaning on these terms deals with Powers and authority to forgive sins in God’s name: 1 John 1: 5-6; 1 John 5: 16-17 & John 20: 19-23. Also in future lessons. In both cases Christ commits the Trinity to accept and obey what this man, and his Successors bind and loose.

John 17:11-26 [This is a last minute prayer by Jesus in his humanity, to the Divinity of His Father]

11] And now I am not in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name whom thou has given me; that they may be one, as we also are. … [14] I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world; as I also am not of the world. [15] I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil. [God cannot deny Himself] [16] They are not of the world, as I also am not of the world. [17] Sanctify them in truth. [This means to guide and to protect them] Thy word is truth. [18] As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. [This means exactly what it says: Christ sends them with the SAME Powers and Authority as his Father had sent Him] [19] And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. Here Christ gives himself as the warranty of THEM not ever teaching in error on Faith beliefs and Moral issues] [20] And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me; [21] That they all may be one, [Here Christ affirms that it is his Desire to have only One Church with One set of Faith beliefs] as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. [22] And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one: [23] I in them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved me. [24] Father, I will that where I am, they also whom thou hast given me may be with me; that they may see my glory which thou hast given me, because thou hast loved me before the creation of the world. … [26] And I have made known thy name to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them.”

Once again we see in v-11, Christ speaking about His Apostles and ONLY His Apostles [and successors by absolute necessity as we shall soon see], directly and exclusively. And He specifically notes His desire for One Church only.

In v-14 makes known “that the world will hate them”
verses. 15-17 Has Christ in His human nature, asking His Father [Divine Nature] to keep them from teaching on Faith matters and or Morals in error. It must be understood that Jesus who is god cannot deny himself this request.

v-18 is SHOCKING! Here Christ confirms that He is sending THEM with the same authority and some of the powers that the Father sent Jesus Himself. This is repeated again in John 20:21

v-19 has Jesus giving Himself as the Personal warranty of the “SEE of Peter” teaching in error on all Faith belief matters and also Moral issues.

v-20 has Jesus praying that ALL will hear and Obey her Teachings [the Church’s]

v-21 & 22 For a second time we see Jesus praying for just One Church, with just one set of Faith beliefs.
v-26 is a version of “My Peace I leave with you.”

Mark 14: 15-16 “[14] 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. [15] And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Note the change in the final Mandate Jesus gives His Apostles He changes the Mandate from Mt. 10:6-7 “only the House of Israel” to NOW the WHOLE WORLD, thus making succession an absolute necessity.
The final passage I suggested is Mt. 28: 16-20

“16] And the eleven disciples [remaining Apostles after Judas hung himself] went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had ppointed them. [17] And seeing him they adored: but some doubted. … [19] Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
[20]Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: [“Commanded here means both taught you and demand of YOU] and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” … This teaching duplicates what Saint Mark relayed, but with more specificity.

*Again the 11 remaining Apostles are singled out and specified.
**Again we see the mandate from Mt, 10: 6-7 changed to the Entire World

***Here we see Christ specifying as a DEMAND that they [the Apostles] teach the whole world ALL that he Jesus had taught to THEM. And a final promise to be with THEM [the Church he founded] until the end of time.

Therefore any teaching that do not align with the Catholic Church on Faith beliefs and or Morals, ALSO do not have God’s approval. Amen!

A Biblical teaching on the problem of (self) deception By: Msgr. Charles Pope

A Biblical teaching on the problem of (self) deception

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

http://blog.adw.org/2014/01/a-biblical-teaching-on-the-problem-of-self-deception/
“One of the more troublesome and damaging human traits is the tendency for us to be deceived. Scripture speaks often of this problem, and we do well to look to some of the texts and see what they have to teach us.

Perhaps, it is good it first to look to the Latin and Greek roots of the word “deceive.”
The Latin root comes from decipere, meaning, “to ensnare” (de (of or up) + capere, (to seize or take). And thus the Latin emphasizes our tendency to be easily caught up, or carried away; to be ensnared by error. Indeed, so easily are we carried away by the latest fashions, trends, and thinking of the world. Having been carried away, we are ensnared by error, and to some degree cut off from the truth.

Regarding the Greek roots, there are several words in the Greek New Testament that often get translated “deceive” in English. But by far, the most common is πλανάω – planao – meaning to go astray, get off-course; to deviate from the correct path, roaming into error, wandering off; (or in the passive voice) to be misled. Planao is the root of the English term, planet (meaning “wandering body”). This term in the Greek New Testament nearly always conveys the sin of roaming from the truth.

And thus we see that the Greek emphasis is that we go astray, or are led astray, that we wander off. Isaiah the prophet lamented, All we like sheep have gone astray; every one to his own way (Is 53:6) Yes, and if sheep are wayward animals, human beings are more so, for at least a Sheep knows its master’s voice, but too many of us will listen to anyone but the Lord, and follow them.

Regarding our tendency toward deception, we can distinguish three different stances toward the problem.

I. On the one hand, we are sometimes the victim of deception. And the Scriptures frequently warn, “Do not be deceived….” Jesus warned At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many (Mat 24:11)
St. Paul also lamented false apostles and Judaizers who misled many. He warned of savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. (Acts 20:29-30) He also spoke of some who will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons (1 Tim 4:1).
St. John warned of the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world (1 John 4:3).

Thus, to some degree we are victims of deceivers. The Scriptures warn us to be on our guard, do not be deceived! That is, “You are not to allow these deceivers to lead you astray, to make you wonder about in error and in sin. We are to resist them and see them for the deceivers they are.

II. In another, and hopefully rarer version, we can be among those who deceive. Here is referred to something deeper than the more common human foible of lying. But rather, the deeper deceiving is referred to here of misleading people in matters regarding the true faith.
God warns deceivers Why do you boast of evil, you wicked man? Why do you boast all day long, you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God. You who practice deceit, your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor. You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth. You love every harmful word, you deceitful tongue! Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin(Psalm 52:1-5).

God declares a curse on those shepherds who mislead his flock: Woe to the shepherds who are mislead and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” declares the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds.(Jer 23:1-3)

Jesus declares If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. (Mat 18:6)

St. Paul speaks of the a lot of deceivers in 2 Tim 3:13: But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

III. But the final category of deception is perhaps the most troubling of all. It is a kind of a middle ground between being a victim of deception and a victimizer. It is that middle ground where we connive in deception. Where we allow deceivers to speak to us, and not only do we not rebuke them for their deception, we perk our ears and in effect say, “Tell me more.”
We do this, because to some degree, many want to be deceived, they want to be confirmed in their sin, in their weakness. Somehow, many want the truth to be watered down, are are delighted to listen to those who call into question the demands of righteousness. Yes, many of us connive, we enter into agreement with the deceivers.

And thus many of the warnings that we “not be deceived” are not simply warnings to the presence of deceivers, but a warning to our own tendency to enter into agreement with those would deceive us. In this context, the warning, “Do not be deceived,” takes on more the tone of
“Don’t kid yourself; don’t tell lies to yourself; don’t go on playing the fool or the ignoramus. You know better, and the voice of God echoing in your conscience bears witness to the fact that you’re lying to yourself, you are letting others lie to you.”
Premier among the conniving texts is St. Paul’s warning to Timothy: For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear, and will turn away from the truth(2 Tim 4:3).

What are some of the common ways people “want” to be deceived? A brief survey of Scripture reveals this. I have highlighted the various forms of the word “deceive” to illustrate that God is teaching us about the various forms of this sinful connivance.

A. That our actions will not have consequences: Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8 )

B. That faith can be perfunctory, intellectual or merely lip service. That good intentions are enough and that one can love the world: But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves… If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:22-27)

Hear the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’ “If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless. ‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things?Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 7:1-11)
D. That Sexual Sin is no big deal – Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9-10)
Be sure of this, no fornicator, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light… and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness. (Eph 5:5-11)

When lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. (James 1:16)

E. That regular consort with sin and sinners will not affect us: Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. (1 Cor 15:33).

But encourage each other daily, while it is still today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’sdeception. (Heb 3:13)

F. That we can wholly avoid deception and error apart from Scripture and the Teaching of the Church: Jesus answered them, “You are deceived, because you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God. (Matt 22:29)

Wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the Truth and so be saved. (1 Thess 2:10)

Here then is a brief excursus on the lamentable human tendency to wander, to be be carried off, to be deceived. And frankly, too many of us want to be deceived. Be alert to this deep drive rooted in sloth and pride. Learn its moves, and despise its lures” END

“Let Those with ears [actually] hear” by Pat Miron

Intriguing & thought-provoking

“Understanding” … much like an onion has many layers

I AM Catholic: by Patrick Miron

Matthew 11:15: “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Can you recall the first time you heard these words of Christ? I first recall hearing them while I was still in high school. Even now, after all of these 50+ years, they still give me pause for reflection.

Mark 4:9 “And he said: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Certainly this is not meant literally; as everyone “has ears,“ therefore it must be allegorical or metaphorical. … Actually it’s both. It’s a short moral lesson and it is also a teaching [teaching] something besides what it say’s. The message here is that God gave man two ears and only one mouth, so that we are enabled to hear more than we say. But then it goes even further and poses the question; “is hearing” the same as “understanding what is heard?” Obviously it is not necessarily so.

Luke 8:8 “And other some fell upon good ground; and being sprung up, yielded fruit a hundredfold. Saying these things, he cried out: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

What is interesting here is two things: First the delineation that some both heard and understood; while many seemed to differing degrees, not too. Second in the enormous effectiveness of the minority who did both “hear” and “understood” the teaching. It provides the teaching that god rewards exceedingly, those who hear, understand, accept and obey His Teachings.

John 8:43 “Why do you not know my speech? Because you cannot hear my word“.

This must be an important lesson for humanity to hear AND to understand, as it is so often spoken about, and addressed by all FOUR Gospel authors. And here, Paul, a fifth author of the bible gets into the same message; or is it? Rom.10: 17 “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ.“ And of course even Saint Peter adds to the discussion. So now we have six bibles authors teaching it.

2nd. Peter 1: 16-21 “You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

An ongoing point of wonderment for me personally, is the seemingly apparent lack of seeing even the very obvious, for all those who hear, and are thus afforded an opportunity for grace, but then still fail to comprehend the intended message correctly or fully. This is most often caused by listening to men’s views and opinions; rather than God’s teaching; which always involves the issues of man’s pride and self-will.

This cautionary note by the hand-selected Successor to our Perfect God, Saint Peter, the holder of “the only key’s to heavens access,” [Mt. 16:15-19] seems to have very little traction within the numerous Protestant faiths. Who not only disagree [as there very existence depends upon them doing,] with the Catholic Church, but also with each other. Because they hear, but fail to grasp, or choose to reject truth, which is always singular.

2nd. Peter 3: 14-17 “Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability”

So my friends, is the fundamental problem; not preaching and teaching? Or is it Not “hearing”? Or might it be not hearing but lacking right “understanding” of what is being shared? Or some combination of these? Let’s peal off a layer or two and see what we uncover.

Matthew 13:13 “Therefore do I [Our Good and Perfect; unerring God] speak to them in parables: because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand”

Matthew 13: 1-13 “The same day Jesus going out of the house, sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered unto him, so that he went up into a boat and sat: and all the multitude stood on the shore. And he spoke to them many things in parables, saying: Behold the sower went forth to sow. And whilst he soweth some fell by the way side, and the birds of the air came and ate them up. And other some fell upon stony ground, where they had not much earth: and they sprung up immediately, because they had no deepness of earth. And when the sun was up they were scorched: and because they had not root, they withered away. And others fell among thorns: and the thorns grew up and choked them. And others fell upon good ground: and they brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

The core teaching here refers to God’s OFFERED Grace, and man’s optional ways of responding to God‘s generosity. Archbishop Fulton Sheens explanation from his book: THE LIFE OF CHRIST”; explains this phenomenon is this manner:

cf. The same “sun” [Son/Christ]] shines at the same time [offers grace to] a candle and clay: [the hearing and unhearing] melting the first, while at the same time hardening the second. [Granting His understanding or withholding His understanding; as the subject itself warrants.] So while God is the “cause”; the subject itself remains the essential- reason.

And his disciples came and said to him: Why speakest thou to them in parables?

Even Peter and the other Apostles struggled with this aspect of God and His Just-Mercy. He explained to them as was necessary [as those already having {possessing} more], but did not do the same for the multitudes. This was both because they [ the Apostles were granted a higher degree of Grace and Understanding , and thus were enabled to “hear and understand” as they were chosen to be Teachers of His singular truths. [Mk. 16:14-15 & Mt. 28:16-20.]

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, [more] and he shall abound: but he that hath not, from him shall [what little they have] 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.

I highlighted this because it’s meaning is to be understood as an “obstinate denial, and a freely chosen unbelief“, not simply a “doubt.” They could have and should have understood and believed [John chapter- six is an excellent example of this: The BREAD of LIFE Discourse] but their pride and egos blocked God’s truth from their ability to understand. Once again God is the “cause”; but they themselves are the reason.

And the prophecy of Isaias is fulfilled in them, [Isaiah 6:10] 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”

I think the message here is those seeking reasons NOT to believe, are left by God, to there pride-filled whiles and wishes. Truth is singular and is to be sought through God’s grace.

Matthew 13:16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.”

Man is to recognize, and acknowledge God’s plentiful graces and give thanks for them

Matthew 13: 41-45 “The Son of man shall send his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all scandals, and them that work iniquity. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the just shine as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

Matthew 15:10 “And [Jesus] having called together the multitudes unto him, he said to them: Hear ye and understand.” [LISTEN TO ME! I AM God].

Matthew 13: 13-14 “Then came his disciples, and said to him: Dost thou know that the Pharisees, when they heard this word, were scandalized? But he answering them, said: Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they are blind, and leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the pit.”

In another place Christ Teaches “by their FRUITS” you shall know them.

Matthew 7: 14-25 “Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it! Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity. Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock, And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock.”

Some out of God’s fold claim that God here is speaking of His Catholic Church. This is IMPOSSIBLE! WHY? Because He’s TEACHING His chosen Apostles this Lesson. And because in Mt. 16:15-19; He Promises that the Gate of hell will not [CANNOT] prevail.

Like God teaches here: those that are enabled to hear [meaning TO UNDERSTAND]; will and do so. Those following man-made religions, must first turn towards God , with humility in-order to be granted HIS singular, and critically important understanding.

Mark 4: 11-14 “And he said to them: To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but to them that are without, all things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand: lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. And he saith to them: Are you ignorant of this parable? and how shall you know all parables? He that soweth, soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown, and as soon as they have heard, immediately Satan cometh and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.”

Luke 8:13 “Now they upon the rock, [rocky soil] are they who when they hear, receive the word with joy: and these have no roots; for they believe for a while, and [then] in time of temptation, they fall away.”

Luke 8:18 “Take heed therefore how you hear. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given: [MORE] and whosoever hath not, that also which he thinketh he hath, shall be taken away from him.” … Grace upon grace: John 1: 16-17 “And of his fulness we all have received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”

John 8:47 “He that is of God, [MEANING HERE: One God, with His Only possible, One set of faith-beliefs in His only One founded catholic church] heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not [truly following His singular-truth and His One Church] of God.”

John 10:16 “And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.”

What does Christ mean? “Cannot hear?”

Do you dear friend; have ears capable of hearing God’s singular truths? If you do: GIVE THANKS! If you do not; TURN to God in humility and pray for his right understanding.

Psalms 6:5 “Turn to me, O Lord, and deliver my soul: O save me for thy mercy’ s sake”

Mark 1:15 “And saying: The time is accomplished, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel“.

LORD, please grant us your Understanding.

The Bible is a Catholic Book by Pat Miron and unknown author

We READ but DO we Understand what we have Read?

Isaiah 43 verses 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.” “Shew” is at times translates as “might.”

“>>>> I’m confused by your statement that the Church supplants the Bible with Tradition. If you study the creation of the Bible, you will find that the canon was ultimately defined by Pope St. Damasus in council in 382AD. When deciding what was appropriate for inclusion in the New Testament canon, they had 4 criteria:

1) The books had to be useful for study and the liturgy
2) They had to be apostolic
3) they had to be universally recognized
4) They had to be consistent with Catholic Tradition.

So, in fact, the Bible is a subset of Catholic Tradition that can only be correctly understood in light of that Tradition. Be open to the idea that when your understanding of scripture doesn’t seem in sync with Catholic tradition, the problem might be with your understanding of the correct interpretation of scripture. If you think seriously about it, you quickly come to the conclusion that the Church has divine inspiration, 2000 years of experience, and literally millions of theologians on its side. How can any of us compare our understanding of scripture to that. So now, when something doesn’t seem quite right to me, I ask myself “what am I missing” rather than assuming that I am right and the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church is wrong“. FROM a CAF post.

Understanding The Bible:
A Catholic Guide To The
Word of God from WWW. Beginning Catholic.com/understanding

Too many Catholics aren’t comfortable reading and understanding the Bible.
Let’s look at the most essential principles taught by the Catholic Church for reading and interpreting Scripture.

For a strong faith, it’s important to know this!

The Bible is uniquely important

The Holy Bible is unmatched in importance for learning about God, his plans for us, and how he has worked through human history for our salvation.
Pope John Paul II wrote:

[Sacred Scripture] is truly divine, because it belongs to God truly and genuinely: God himself inspired it, God confirmed it, God spoke it through the sacred writers—Moses, the Prophets, the Evangelists, the Apostles—and, above all, through his Son, our only Lord, in both the Old and the New Testament.

It is true that the intensity and depth of the revelation varies [within the Bible], but there is not the least shadow of contradiction [between different parts of Scripture].
(Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Patres Ecclesiae,
January 2, 1980)

Since God inspired & confirmed the Bible, we had better know how to read it correctly!

Key principles for reading Scripture

These three points are essential to a basic understanding of the bible:
God is indeed the principal author of Sacred Scripture.

God made use of specific people that wrote in a human language, and did so at a particular time and place in history.

At times we have to work carefully to determine exactly what a sacred author is asserting to be true, distinguishing that from something he’s using as an image to help us understand the truth more clearly.
We need to look at each of these points in detail…

God is the principal author of Scripture

If there is only one thing you remember about understanding the Bible, let it be this point!

To get it just right, I’ll quote from the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

God himself is the author of Sacred Scripture.
(Compendium of the Catechism, #18)

(The Compendium of the Catechism has a wonderful section on understanding the Bible within the part about Divine Revelation. You should read all of #6-24 to get a full understanding, but #18-24 are specifically about Scripture.)

God chose to reveal to us certain truths for the sake of our salvation. This message of salvation is the set of revealed truths which we call the “deposit of faith,” or Divine Revelation. The Bible is primarily concerned with telling us these truths, which are without error. God himself made sure of that.

The Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) said it well: “everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit” (Dei Verbum, #11).
Got it?
Good. That’s the most essential point for reading & understanding the Bible. Now, remember that point as we look at some other details…

God made use of people to write the Bible

This is important: God did not “dictate” the Bible, word for word, to people who just wrote down his words. Instead, he did something…

…more amazing!

He made use of specific people to write the various sacred books of the Bible. And although God gave each author special grace to aid him in this work, each author wrote in a way that was natural to him.

This is also really important for a true Catholic understanding of the Bible. We have to understand this point completely, or we risk a serious misunderstanding!
The Second Vatican Council put it this way:

In composing the sacred books, God chose men and while employed by Him they made use of their powers and abilities, so that with Him acting in them and through them, they, as true authors, consigned to writing everything and only those things which He wanted.

(Vatican II, Dei Verbum (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation), 11)
These writers used the language of their time, and they used words and wrote in a style that reflected their own personalities and educations.

Some people get nervous when they start reading about this point—don’t be! This is important for a solid understanding of the Bible.
Let’s summarize it this way:

These men had to work with the imperfections of human language and understanding.

Despite this limitation, the Holy Spirit still used them to write the message of salvation in a way that was completely accurate.

John Paul II made this point when he addressed the Pontifical Biblical Commission in 1979:

The language of the Bible is to some degree linked to language which changed over the course of time…. But this only reaffirms the paradox of the [Christian] proclamation of revelation: …people and events at particular points in history become the bearers of an absolute and transcendent message.
(Pope John Paul II, Address, April 26, 1979)

This is really quite astonishing—God was willing to work through people to tell us his saving truth. He revealed his divine truths via historical acts, using events and people of his choosing.

And he did so using…

Human language and knowledge

God also used human language and knowledge—with all of its limitations—to tell us his eternal truths.

He conveyed things to people through words and actions that made use of the ways of speaking and thinking that were common at the time. God worked this way so it would be possible for humans to write down or pass on these eternal truths.

The people who experienced these events and received God’s divine messages either wrote them down later, or would pass them on in a reliable oral tradition that was later written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Of course, sometimes we have to work carefully to get past the imperfections of human language and knowledge in order to see what God wanted to tell us. This is an important step for understanding the Bible!

Unlocking the original meaning
We can easily put these principles to practical use when reading Scripture.
First, learn to understand exactly what the inspired authors meant when they wrote their words. A good Catholic commentary will help explain any relevant language, concepts and cultural references. (I recommend the Navarre Bible commentary, which is outstanding in its explanations and its desire to help you see how the Church understands even the smallest details of the Bible.)

That’s an essential first step—if you don’t understand what the sacred author was saying to people in his own cultural context, in terms as they were used at the time, you won’t be able to clearly see what God is saying through him.

But don’t worry! It’s really not hard to get this right for many passages. And once again, a good commentary will do the heavy lifting for you.
And once you understand the sacred author’s actual message…

Embrace the Word of God

The whole point of reading and understanding the Bible is to encounter God, understand the revelation he has given us, and grow in faith.
So now that you’ve read a passage of Scripture and understand what the author is saying…

…take that next step—listen to God!

Scripture is a living thing, meant for people in all times & places. God speaks through it now just as much as he did when it was written.

To help our faith grow as we read Scripture, the Church gives us three important points for interpreting and understanding the Bible:

“Be especially attentive ‘to the content and unity of the whole Scripture'” (Catechism, 112). It all fits together, so don’t just look at parts in isolation.

Read the Bible within “the living Tradition of the whole Church” (Catechism, 113), since the Holy Spirit guides the Church in interpreting Scripture. Especially helpful is seeing how the Saints, Popes, and Church councils have commented on Scripture.

Pay attention to “the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation” (Catechism, 114). Like point #1, above, the entire deposit of faith forms a wonderful unity—doctrine sheds light on Scripture, and Scripture on doctrine.

Let the Bible enkindle your faith

Some people feel intimidated when they start to read Scripture.
But not you!

Now you have a solid foundation for understanding the Bible. The basic principles contained in this article will help you overcome many uncertainties people have with Scripture.

So start reading!

Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.

Why [and how] “Thingamajigs” got invented by Pat Miron

Why [and how] “Thingamajigs” got invented
by Pat Miron

Another I AM A Catholic Lesson

This is a story about how the “Thingamajigs” got invented. [A slightly satirical account of why and how the bible exist.]

Everyone knows that we can’t tell how the thingamajigs were invented without including a bit about “oomloffs” [which of course come complete with their own “fleabaces”].
Lets go back to a long, long, long time ago. Back to the beginning.
I am a genius [of course], and everyone knows that genius’ “CREATE” NEW STUFF. After having already made BILLIONS of things, and placing them here, there and everywhere, and knowing that I had “done good,” I sat back and admired all that I had made. But I was the only one aware of all that I had accomplished [out of nothing-no-less!]. …. Not soooo good.

So then it came to me. [Did I mention that I’M a GENUS?] …. I’ll make Oomloffs and give them a fleabace so they too can know Me and what I have made and appreciate Me and all that I made. [Including them.]

So I did. The Original “Oomloffs” were a lesser version of ME. [Cleaver! Right?] All was good [for awhile that is]. Then out of the blue a bunch of Oomloffs became defective. [I hate it when that happens] but it was my own fault for giving them a fleabace. So I got rid of the defective models and was determined to make a second edition. The “OOMLOFF- 2.”

And I did. But this time I modified their fleabaces, so that they would not be quite as efficient as the “Model 1” Oomloffs. I compensated for this by placing them in perfect conditions. And even made these model 2,s with the ability to reproduce themselves, so I wouldn’t have too. But I did build in a regulation system that I still controlled [pretty smart huh?] Then I gave them everything they could possibly desire, short of being exactly like me.
After all, [One Genus is MORE than enough.]

Well, you can imagine my disappointment when the model 2 prototypes; influenced by the rejected model 1’s, became defective in the very same manner. I knew this was a possibility, but thought because I gave them a perfect environment, it would be enough. After all, they had everything including ME!… WRONG! [Darn, I Do hate it when that happens.]

While I was thinking about how to correct this, I gave the “Model 2,s” a lot of freedom and even permitted the Model 1’s [all of them defective], to mix and muddle with the Model 2,s. The Model 2’s REALLY liked this ability to self-produce and soon there were ca-zillions of them. [That my friends is a WHOLE BUNCH OF THEM!] So many that I had to step in. [Again.]

In the “whole lot” [all of em] of the Models 2’s I found ONLY one set of Oomloffs that would not [and had not] permitted themselves to be influenced by the defective Model 1,s. So I kinda washed my hands of all of the Model’s 2;s except for the one set that was still good. I was now convinced that I had to continually do a “QC” [quit – cheating] test on them so I left the Model 1’s in place to test them. [I Had to get some use outa them Model 1‘s!]

I then decided I needed a “business plan.” [Did I mention that I’m a Genus?] In order to have a business plan, everyone knows that ya gotta have a “BM” [Business Manager]. So I appointed and choose the lead Model 2 for the task. I gave him verbal guidance and directions and told him not only to supervise the other Model 2’s, but to teach them how to not become defective. [I hadent invented writing yet]. Heck they were just learning verbal communication skills. Even us Genius gatta go slowly. [Oomloffs are kinda new and VERY COMPLEX ya know.]

My idea for a Business manager was pretty good. Not perfect, but pretty good. So I decided that was what I would do from now on. I’d appoint a “BM” to supervise, direct and lead all the other Oomloffs. And to teach them how NOT to become defective. But because there were sooooo many of them, and because they did after-all have fleabaces; some took to the teaching well and some didn’t. And I was getting more and more defective Oomloffs all the time. Further action on my part was needed.

By now there were so many Oomloffs that there were wars and fights and feuds and a lot of other kinds of false teaching besides what I taught and I wanted. …. What should a Genus like me do? It would be no simple matter. I had to pretty much go back to the old drawing board and figure how to regain my original influence. How would what I taught get taught?

So I sent My Son. They’ll listen to Him, I thought. [he’s a genus too, “like Father, like Son.”]. In the meantime much of what we had taught and commanded, and the successes and failures were being recorded as I had by now, invented writing. So my son had a HUGE task ahead of him, but also now had previous history [experience] to assist him. … Now I’m not one to “micro-manage” a business, so my son had a great many decisions to make on just how he would now run the family business. We talked about it, but I left it mostly up to him.

My son [Genus that he is… “like Father like son“], developed and modified our original business plan. He recognized that the task that lie before him was too big [even for a genus to accomplish by himself]. So he choose twelve Oomloffs that he personally would teach and train how to avoid becoming defective like so many other Oomloffs had chosen to do. [That ability to freely choose is what I gave Oomloffs fleabaces for]. Then knowing that he would soon retire, My son choose one of them to take his place and set up a plan for this Business-Management model to always be continued. He even gave him the “BBM” [big Business Manager] his authority and powers. He then foresaw that even this was not going to be enough; so he inspired several carefully chosen Oomloffs to write a business Instruction AND “Training manual; a “Thingamajig“. Explaining the products in detail and just as importantly explaining how to use them correctly, safely and effectively and fully in avoiding becoming defective too.

Because Oomloffs are of a VERY complex design, and because I built into them the ability to make there own decisions, it would not be possible [or prudent] to allow just anyone to be able to read and UNDERSTAND precisely what the “Thingamajig“. shared. [This is seriously complex stuff after-all.] So pains were taken to insure that Not just anybody could just pick it up and correctly understand the “Thingamajig“, and then make the right decisions on how NOT to also become defective without guidance. That is WHY my son personally trained these twelve carefully chosen Oomloffs [One of whom became defective despite his best efforts] … did I mention that [I hate it when that happens?] My son and I carefully crafted and supervised personally the message and instructions to be shared so that ONLY certain Oomloffs, chosen by Him, and me; then carefully and fully trained would have access to ALL of the knowledge, [that’s the “key”] to ALL of the secrets, all of the hidden and partially concealed instructions to avoid becoming defective too.

We knew that with twelve [an even number] of “BO’s“ [“Boss Oomloffs”] that there might be disagreements and debates that had to be settled. That is WHY my son choose just One to be in charge and direct and supervise all of the others. And also why my son set up JUST ONE place, one organization that has on-going access and guidance from me and my son personally. …. We, Me and My Son warranty the teaching 100%, because we are still very much involved in what is taught. So long as we are involved [which is forever], it will remain this way.

In the meantime the Old Model 1 Oomloffs are doing there best to wreck the company. [Jealously rules them]. Many not chosen by Me and My Son use the Teaching the-“Thingamajig“, BUT ONLY My Managers can translate and interpret it fully and correctly. So ANYONE wishing to be trained how NOT to become defective MUST go to My management team. My Business Organization. They alone have “the key.” [Did I mention that my Son and I are genus?]

Friends this satirical look at the bible bears a vital salvation message. Thousands of Protestant denominations have assumed a right not granted, and not desired by God.
Namely the “right” to self interpretation of God’s Holy Writ, the Catholic Bible. As a punishment for this, a great multitude of souls are at grave risk, because they have by there assent to false teachings, cooperated with this dissimulation; many, maybe even most, unknowingly. And yet because God makes available to everyone sufficient grace to not simply “know of Christ,” but more critically, the opportunity to know Christ truth and God’s own teachings, there is a Just Judgment due.

Some of you may have found my story hard to follow? That was my intent. The bible is even more difficult, more complex and uses even a wider variety of forms to share it’s messages. And that was the point I am hoping to make in this document.

From the beginning with Abraham, Noah, Moses, David, Solomon, the Prophets, and the Apostles; God has chosen precisely how His Teaching would be shared and in the process, protected, by God Himself.

Logic ought to dictate that simply because one can read a book, one may not by that fact alone, have the training necessary to comprehend it, and to be able to actually follow and do what it is saying. If the book describes how to perform open heart surgery, or nuclear fission, or rocket-science, we may know many of the words, maybe even understand a few of the concepts; but can just anybody read and then teach others how to do what the book commands? Yet, this is exactly what ministers outside of the Catholic Church have assumed a right [and an ability] to do. They have usurped powers and authority not granted and certainly not desired by God Himself.

Why friends did Christ; following the Old Testament example; insist on belief in Only Him; in ONLY what he taught and Only one faith organization? Anyone agreeing that “this may have been true at one time; but the CC gave up that Godly protection, simply proves my point. This is literally an impossibility; because it contradicts 1st. Tim. 3:16-17, Mt. 28:16-20, John 14:16-17, John 20:21-22, and John 17:15-19; as well as a GREAT many other passages that explain that this simply cannot be. It is a impossibility!

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

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

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

Eph. 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [singular] built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; [singular] in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” [NOW READ JN. 14;16-17 AND JN. 20;21-22] The CC WAS THE only “CHURCH” IN EXISTENCE WHEN THE Bible was completely written by the end of the 1st. Century, so every biblical reference to “church” or “churches” is speaking about today’s CC.

Jer.3: 15 “`And I will give you shepherds [plural] after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”

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

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

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

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

2 Tim. 4: 1-4 ”I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.”

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

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

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. “

2nd. Peter 3: 14-17 “Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability

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

And friends even these are just a smattering of the evidence that exist in the Bible when correctly understood. NOTICE in Matthew 16, when Jesus presents “The KEY’S [plural] to Peter to the gates of heaven… ONE of these key’s is the exclusive right and the exclusive ability of the Pope, and the Magesterium ALONE to correctly and fully explain the Gospel message.

Belief in God; IF it’s going to get you to heaven, MUST be on God’s terms and conditions. Obedience to the Commandments includes complete obedience to the faith organization that Jesus Himself choose and protects. And there IS ONLY ONE such organization. That dear friends in not open to compromise or discussion. It is God’s way; or it is you’re way. One stands a MUCH better chance of getting you to heaven than the other. But God permits [but does not allow] us to choose for ourselves. Amen!

May God continue to Bless and guide you,

Love and prayers,
Pat

“Real Change” reblogged from “Somebody loves me blog”

Real Change

by blmaluso
Are you ready to take that step to make a real change in your life? I’m not talking about things like earning a new degree, finding a new job, getting married, losing weight, eating healthier, enjoying a new hobby, exercising more,…etc, etc. Those kinds of things are important, and can lead to a certain degree of happiness, but that is not what your spirit is searching for.

Your spirit is searching for the truth. Your spirit is searching for peace. Your spirit is searching for love.

You don’t have to search far to find what you are looking for. Jesus already loves you, and is right there in your midst. He has always been there. You know the little nudges you have been feeling; the questions about faith and God that you just can’t seem to shake off.

You know He is there, but haven’t been able to take that step out in faith. Something is holding you back from letting go and just inhaling the healing, saving grace of God.

You know who you are. You know that you SAY you believe, but what is keeping you from opening the door to allow the Holy Spirit to flood your life? Your life is filled with love and good deeds but you are still searching…

When everything in your life is going smoothly, just the way you planned it to go, you put your faith and the Lord on the back burner. “The Lord wants me to be happy” you say…as you carry on your day to day life without much of a change. Kind of a lukewarm existence. Believing that Jesus is your savior…after all, you’ve accepted Him in your heart, stating that “Jesus loves me as I am.” You are traveling through life almost at a standstill. One decision away from a true, intimate relationship with Him, which only requires your desire to love Him back and please Him with your life.

Yes, Jesus loves you. How do you love Him back?

And then comes the time of sadness, suffering and despair. When those times are happening, what are the thoughts running through your mind? “Lord, why have you allowed these things to happen? Why is it always me? Haven’t I suffered enough? Haven’t we all suffered enough? Where are you now, Lord?” These thoughts and torments swirl through your being and stubbornly you shut the door on the Lord. He is right there, and waiting for you to accept His love and peace, but you are too busy trying to “fix” things yourself. Once again you decide that Jesus will understand. It’s just not the right time to turn your heart and life over to Him. After the crisis is over…maybe then.

What will it take for the Lord to get your attention? Good times, bad times, what???

He loves you in a way that you cannot imagine. He is waiting to infuse your heart, body, and soul with His Holy Spirit. However, He will not intrude where He is not wanted or invited. He is waiting for your commitment of love and fidelity to His Sacred Heart.

Which part of your life will you keep from Him?

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Seeking a Personal Relationship & Encounter with our Blessed Lord by Pat Miron

Seeking a “PERSONAL” Encounter & Relationship with Christ…
… Setting first the necessary foundation for this discussio
n

God’s Perfect Mercy – A Meditation for Divine Mercy Sunday

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

We live in times in which mercy, like so many other things, has become a detached concept in people’s minds, separated from the things that really help us to understand it. For indeed, mercy makes sense and is necessary because we are sinners in desperate shape. Yet many today think it unkind and unmerciful to speak of sin as sin. Many think that mercy is a declaration that God doesn’t really care about sin, or that sin is not a relevant concept.

On the contrary, mercy means that sin does exist. {And is to be Forgiven as God Ordains, not simply excused as some would have it …added by Pat Miron … John 20:19-23} Thanks be to God for the glory, the beauty, and the gift of His mercy! Without it, we don’t stand a chance. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly going to need boatloads of grace and mercy to make it. Only through grace and mercy can we be freed from sin and healed from its effects, or ever hope to enter the presence of God’s glory in Heaven, of which Scripture says, But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false (Rev 21:27). Somebody say, “Lord, have mercy!”

Mercy does not mean there is no judgment; mercy exists because there is a day of judgment. Mercy does not mean there is no Hell; mercy exists because Hell does. Somebody say, “Lord, have mercy!” Without mercy we are lost. With it we stand a chance, but only if we accept our need for it. Mercy, Lord, have mercy …
[ADDED by Pat Miron] …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; 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 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”

Another I AM A CATHOLIC Lesson
by Pat Miron

My dear friends in Christ,

Quite a number of years ago, when I was still working and traveling regularly, I was listening to a Protestant radio station, as I often did back then. I happened to tune into the John MacArthur radio program [John is a “Fundamentalist Christian”] … I heard that day the most shocking thing I have ever heard out of the mouth of someone who chooses to call themselves [without living Christ example] a “Christian”; I heard our friend John say multiple times that “it is OK TO HATE.” It’s the last time I have ever listened to Protestant broadcasting.

No doubt, some fellow “Christians” feel something similar about some of OUR Catholic beliefs and practices. The difference being that Catholic beliefs and practices ARE explainable and justifiable when one makes an effort to actually learn the truth about them rather than accept unchallenged, the common hysteria of competing faiths. . I have never seen a biblical foundation/justification for “hating” which clearly contradicts and countermands what Jesus taught & personally modeled for us by His Life on earth.

John 13: 34-35 “. A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.”

Dear friends, brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ; there can be no justification, no supportable grounds for hatred, because there are no valid and sustainable explanations which permits a presumption for some actual “right” to hate one another. A lack of true Christian charity in never excusable. To assume an authority to speak FOR Christ; while clearly not being guided by His teachings, grace and the Holy Spirit; or to presume a right or a call to speak on behalf of Christ, when biblically, morally and logically, none can ever exist, except in communion with Christ, the bible and His One Church, is a serious error and a personal failing in judgment.

The world would do well to “jump on the wagon” of Traditional Catholic Teaching that proclaims that we are to HATE the SIN; BUT Love the sinner! Amen!

… Why is it that so many people attempt to restrict or at least limit what God actually wants to do in, through and with them?

Within in the worldwide Christian community, there is nothing sought with more vigilance, with more expended energy or more emotional- capitol spent, than in seeking an abiding and Personal Relationship with Jesus. Despite good intentions. Christians; meaning here “all” Christians, but especially those not within the confines of Christ One-“MY CHURCH”; [found in Mt. 16:18-19], seem commonly not to grasp that such personal relationships though desired by Christ needs to be on His Terms, His Conditions, Mandates and Teachings. And then all of them, not just the ones we choose to agree with. …While others, who correctly acknowledge that Christ instituted and desired only one Church, presume in error that despite clearly articulating His desire for just ”One Church & its implied one set of faith beliefs”, somehow deduce that Christ intended to permit [fully] grafting into “IT” [His One Church: singular] more than 1,000 years AFTER He had already established HIS “My Church.” … AND then adding insult to injury, inject their own set of revised faith beliefs, so that what they desire, want and think, becomes a reality solely on the basis of their desire or lack of right understanding. That my friends is an unattainable able leap of faith and logic.

So often today in the “ME, ME, ME” world we live in, we do not even give a fleeting thought to what is actually expected of us by God, but jump right in to what “I want”; what “I choose to believe,” what “I will accept as the conditions for my participation.” And if it’s not to my liking, I’ll move on until I am satisfied. … Friends, is that really WWJD? … What would Jesus Do? And in doing so, are we not placing ourselves ahead of God and above what Christ wants, expects and demands?

Luke 6: 43-49 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. “Why do you call me `Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep, and laid the foundation upon rock; and when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But he who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation; against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

Luke 24:6-35 “He is not here, but is risen. Remember how he spoke unto you, when he was in Galilee, [7]Saying: The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. [8] And they remembered his words. [9] And going back from the sepulchre, they told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest. [10] And it was Mary Magdalen, and Joanna, and Mary of James, and the other women that were with them, who told these things to the apostles. [11] And these words seemed to them as idle tales; and they did not believe them. [12] But Peter rising up, ran to the sepulchre, and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths laid by themselves; and went away wondering in himself at that which was come to pass. [13] And behold, two of them went, the same day, to a town which was sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, named Emmaus.[14] And they talked together of all these things which had happened. [15] And it came to pass, that while they talked and reasoned with themselves, Jesus himself also drawing near, went with them. [16] But their eyes were held, that they should not know him.

A point of critical understanding here is us being made aware that God can and does withhold right understanding according to HIS Divine Justice. Right understanding is never to be presumed or assumed. [Mt. 16:18-19 & 28: 16-20]… It is also notable that here our Blessed Lord is seeking them; not them seeking their Savior, and we need to ask if this mirrors what is frequently happening in our own lives. Just as God sought Adam and Eve in the Garden; so too God is always seeking a personal relationship with us. Always calling us to Himself.

Wis. 7: 7 “Wherefore I wished, and understanding was given me: and I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came upon me”

Jer. 5:21 “Hear, O foolish people, without understanding: who have eyes, and see not: and ears, and hear not.”

Eph. 4:18 “Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts. “

2 Peter 19-21 “And we have the more firm prophetical word: whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: **[20]

“Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation.”

**[20] No prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation: This shews plainly that the scriptures are not to be expounded by any one’s private judgment or private spirit, because every part of the holy scriptures were written by men inspired by the Holy Ghost, and declared as such by the Church; [2nd. Timothy 3:16-17] therefore they are not to be interpreted but by the Spirit of God, which he hath left, and promised to remain with his Church [Mt. 28:20] to guide her in all truth to the end of the world. Some may tell us, that many of our divines interpret the scriptures: they may do so, but they do it always with a submission to the judgment of the Church, and not otherwise. Explanation by Douay Bible

[21] For prophecy [here meaning RIGHT Understanding] came not by the will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Ghost. Christ gave the Keys to ONLY Peter and through Him to today’s Catholic Church; and further commanded only His Church which He promised to guide and guard to teach His Faith, which is WHY He choose to establish only One Church so man could not easily be led astray:

John 28:21-22” 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.”

Mt. 28:16-20 “And the eleven disciples [the remaining Apostles] went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: Going therefore, teach YOU 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.”

Consequently, the FULLNESS & completeness of God’s truths [always’ singular] are as Christ intended, found ONLY in His Catholic Church. Which is not simply my opinion, but what Christ and the Bible actually teach. Which explains why the Catholic Church after 2,000 years still have but one set of Faith beliefs;[Eph.4:1-7] while Protestantism, after a few hundred years has thousands.

[Luke 24 continued] [21] But we hoped, that it was he that should have redeemed Israel:

Here we see the beginning of what sort of summarizes the faith beliefs of today’s Protestantism mired in a lack of right-understanding. THEY desired that the long foretold, expected and taught about “Redeemer/ Savior” would be like David, one to actually, once again set the Hebrew nation free from the slavery which their sins had Justified God to inflict again upon them, right along with limited right understanding. Not seeing or being enables to comprehend that God had a better plan. He would offer Salvation [the ultimate freedom] conditionally and set man free from sin, pride and material self-interest, and He would seek a Personal Relationship with us in a manner never even conceived by man. … In effect they wanted to tell God HOW to be God, rather than summit themselves to God. [The Jews were so afraid of the MIGHTY God, that they would not even pronounce His name aloud]; that He was seeking a very Personal relationship with them was unimagined.

These two reflected the common desire of the time, that Christ meet THEIR expectations of Him. Similarly today’s Protestants one and all, some knowingly and most unknowingly desire to remold God into THEIR image of God, dictating to God how He WILL save them, rather than seeking humbly, to discover and uncover God’s clear salvation plan to those who He grants His Understanding too, and how He tells us He is Willing to aid us conditionally, which is the path taught by His Catholic Church. Mt. 13: 9 “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” & Lk. 11:28 “But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it. “ Acts 20: 28-30 “Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. I know that, after my departure, ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” And yes this passage has been altered in the King James to reflect a different teaching.

Luke continued: [25] Then he said to them: O foolish, and slow of heart to believe in all things which the prophets [today’s Catholic Church] have spoken.

[26] And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures, the things that were concerning him. … [30] And it came to pass, whilst he was at table with them, he took bread, and blessed, and brake, and gave to them.

Dear friends, there is no more unmistakable biblical foundation for the thrust of this Lesson than the [1]Reality of Christ Real Presence; which is either not rightly understood, or in the other extreme, [2] rightly understood but presumed to available to them in error.

… [1] Despite the testimony of FIVE different authors of God’s “Inspired” Words [2 Tim. 3:16-17], And Jesus Himself; & the immediate post Resurrection full acceptance and practice of the Early Catholic Church [no other Christin Church would exist for another 900 years anywhere in the world], and fully backed by the secular history proven testimony of the Early Church fathers]; many permit themselves to be convinced by false teachers. [Mt. 7:15 & Mt. 24:11]; which is further evidenced by God through numerous Eucharistic Miracles only He could and does allow. Please SEE …http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/a3.html

… [2] Then we have some Protestant Churches who accept and claim “to have” the Real Presence knowing that it is REALLY Jesus Christ, BUT lack all that is essential to make their dreams a reality [do you doubt that God can do ANY GOOD thing?] Is not the Divine greatest of all possible “good things?”… No Christian can doubt this. So their “holy communion” is only a remembrance; a visible sign, nothing but a very nice symbol; but certainly NOT Jesus Christ in Person.

Luke Continued [31] And their eyes were opened, and they knew him: and he vanished out of their sight. [32] And they said one to the other: Was not our heart burning within us, whilst he spoke in this way, and opened to us the scriptures? … [35] And they told what things were done in the way; and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread.”

FYI: “in the breaking of the bread” was the original term for today’s Holy Eucharist. Amen!

On Planet Earth dear friends there can be and there is no other way to have a closer, a more intimate, and more grace-filled opportunity with the Risen Lord for a Real and Personal Relationship with Our God, than in Catholic Holy Communion. Which extends to the other Churches that have Provable Direct and unbroken, unencumbered DIRECT Apostolic Succession which is a requirement to validly and licitly have the GIFT of Christ Himself while still on earth.

Catholic Holy Communion is the summit, the perfection and the desire of our God to Be Really, Truly and Substanually present to US, in the par-excellence of all possible personal relationships. In Catholic Holy Communion. .. Isiah 55:6-8 Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found: call upon him, while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unjust man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God: for he is bountiful to forgive. For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”

For those seeking a true and most intimate and ultimate personal relationship with their God; such is attainable in ways never before foreseen, or envisioned but can be had in the Catholic Church founded, guided and protected in Her Doctrines; because in this One Church, God is Really and Truly Present. Not if I may use the word “only” in Sprit; BUT GOD Himself, Personally. The very same Christ who died on the Cross for us. Amen!

May God Bless you and Guide and lead you to where He wants you to be.
Patrick

reblogged: A meditation on Christ Divine Mercy

APR
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God’s Perfect Mercy – A Meditation for Divine Mercy Sunday
By: Msgr. Charles Pope
resurrection-iconWe live in times in which mercy, like so many other things, has become a detached concept in people’s minds, separated from the things that really help us to understand it. For indeed, mercy makes sense and is necessary because we are sinners in desperate shape. Yet many today think it unkind and unmerciful to speak of sin as sin. Many think that mercy is a declaration that God doesn’t really care about sin, or that sin is not a relevant concept.

On the contrary, mercy means that sin does exist. Thanks be to God for the glory, the beauty, and the gift of His mercy! Without it, we don’t stand a chance. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly going to need boatloads of grace and mercy to make it. Only through grace and mercy can we be freed from sin and healed from its effects, or ever hope to enter the presence of God’s glory in Heaven, of which Scripture says, But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false (Rev 21:27). Somebody say, “Lord, have mercy!”

Mercy does not mean there is no judgment; mercy exists because there is a day of judgment. Mercy does not mean there is no Hell; mercy exists because Hell does. Somebody say, “Lord, have mercy!” Without mercy we are lost. With it we stand a chance, but only if we accept our need for it. Mercy, Lord, have mercy!

Oh, thanks be to God for mercy! So let’s consider the glory and the gift of mercy on this Sunday of divine mercy. The Gospel for today’s Mass speaks both to the need for mercy and the glory of it. Let’s look at four teachings on mercy, God’s perfect mercy.

I. The Prelude to Mercy – There is an old saying that if you don’t know the bad news, the good news is no news. And thus as this Gospel opens we enter a room where ten Apostles are gathered in fear; the doors are locked. These are broken, troubled, and disturbed men. All of them but John had fled, deserting the Lord. One of them had denied even knowing Jesus, not once but three times. Here they are, humiliated, downcast, and sinfully without faith. Never mind that Jesus had told them on numerous occasions that He would rise on the third day. Even though several women and two disciples from Emmaus had said they had seen Him alive, on this the third day, these men persist in sinfully rejecting this news that conformed to His promise. Yes, we enter a locked room of fearful men who are downcast, disgraced, and disbelieving.

But it is here that we find the prelude to mercy! They are about to blessed and to experience profound mercy. But don’t miss this prelude. Again, if you don’t know the bad news, the good news is no news; so don’t miss this picture.

One of the great errors of our day is the proclamation of mercy without repentance, without reference to our sinful condition. So many pulpits have gone silent on sin! And therefore are silent on the true glory of mercy and the astonishing gift that it is! Ah, mercy! Divine mercy! Perfect mercy!

But the point of mercy is not to go out and tell others how terrible they are, but rather to tell them about the forgiveness of sin! Now this is why we need a mercy Sunday. On the one hand we’re living in rebellious times, times in which many are dismissive of sin and have refashioned God into just a nice fellow who doesn’t really care all that much about sin (despite what His own scriptures say to the contrary), reducing mercy is to mere kindness and a sort of blindness on God’s part.

On the other hand these are also times when many are scared and angry with God, rejecting His judgments and glorious moral vision. A lot of people know that their lives are in disorder: their families are broken; they are confused; greed, materialism, lust, and other sinful drives are taking a heavy toll. Many are angry with the Church because deep down they know we are right; they don’t like being reminded that people don’t have any business calling good what God calls sinful.

But most of all, many are confused and angry because they don’t know forgiveness. Consider what Psalm 32 says so beautifully:

Blessed is the one whose fault is taken away, whose sin is forgiven, to whom the Lord imputes no guilt! … As long as I would not speak of my sin, my bones wasted away and your hand was heavy upon me. Then I acknowledged my sin to you, my guilt I did not hide, and you took away the guilt of my sin!

You see, the key to having this blessed state is the acknowledgement of sin.

The Lord said to St. Faustina,

You see what you are of yourself, but do not be frightened at this. If I were to reveal to you the whole misery that you are, you would die of terror. … But because you are such great misery I have revealed to you the whole ocean of my mercy (Diary II. 718).

Now some reading this sort of text think, “There goes that Catholic guilt thing again.” But let’s be honest, it’s not really an exaggeration. The truth is that most of us can be thinned-skinned, egotistical, unforgiving, unloving, unkind, mean-spirited, selfish, greedy, lustful, jealous, envious, bitter, ungrateful, smug, superior, vengeful, angry, aggressive, unspiritual, un-prayerful, stingy, and just plain mean. And even if all the things on the list don’t apply to you, many of them do. In addition, even that long list is incomplete. We are sinners with a capital ‘S’ and we need serious help.

And thus, just as Psalm 32 says, the glory of mercy is unlocked by the acknowledgment of sin. Jesus said further to St. Faustina,

My love and my mercy [for you] know no bounds! … The graces I grant are not for you alone, but for a great number of other souls as well. … The greater the sinner the greater the right he has to my mercy (Diary II.723).

Do not forget this necessary prelude to mercy: the acknowledgement of our sin. If you don’t know the bad news, the good new is no news.

II. The Peace of mercy – Into this upper room filled with men who are dejected, disgraced, doubting, humiliated, hurt, sinful, and sorrowful, the Lord came. The text says, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.”

Do you see the glory and the gift of this moment? The Lord says to them, “Peace be with you.” Now I don’t know about you, but if I had been hiding out, denying Him, and running from responsibility at the critical moment, and then suddenly the Lord whom I had let down and offended appeared, I might be a little nervous! But what does the Lord say to these embarrassed and dejected men? “Peace be with you!”

What is peace? It is more than the absence of conflict or division. Peace is the presence in a relationship of all that should be there: justice, integrity, reciprocity, mutuality, and so forth. The Greek word used is eirḗnē, which is from the root eirō meaning “to join or tie together into a whole.” So it means wholeness, a state in which all essential parts are joined together. Peace is God’s gift of wholeness.

Do you see the glory of this moment? The Lord does not merely say, “I will not punish you for what you have done.” He says, “Between you and my Father there is now peace, there is wholeness, there is completeness, there is present in the relationship all that should be there, there is justice.” The Lord does not merely overlook what a mess we are, He makes us whole and pleasing to His Father.

All is well, all is complete, all that is necessary is supplied by my atoning death and resurrection!

Such mercy, such a grace, such a gift!

In English, the text says that they rejoiced. But here, too, the English translation does not capture the richness of the Greek word ἐχάρησαν (echarēsan), which means to delight in God’s grace. It means to powerfully experience God’s grace (favor), to be conscious of and astonished by (glad for) His grace! This is no mere passing happiness. This is abiding astonishment at the sheer gift of God’s mercy and grace. The Apostles do not just get happy for a moment; they are given the gift of stable, serene, confident joy at the unfathomable gift of God’s mercy and goodness. They had sinned and yielded to fear; they had run from the Lord and ignored His teaching; but the Lord stands before them and says “Shalom, Peace be with you. May the full favor of the Lord be with you. May you experience that God is pleased that you are well and seeks to draw you more deeply into His love.”

Here is mercy; sweet, beautiful, soul-saving mercy; and astonishing and unexpected grace! There is shalom; there is peace; there is deep, abiding, and confident mercy. It is a joy and mercy that is unmerited. It is stable because it is rooted in the stable and abiding love of God.

III. The Priesthood of Mercy – The text says, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

There is not time here to develop a full apologetic of the Sacrament of Confession entrusted to the Church. But to those who say, “I don’t have tell my sins to any priest, I can just go straight to God,” the Lord Jesus never got your little memo. He gave the power to forgive sins to the Apostles and their successors. That is clear in this passage. The Lord does not do pointless, foolish things; what He says here is to be taken seriously. He tells these imperfect men, “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

There is something deeply personal, even if imperfect (on account of the imperfection of priests), in the way the Lord wants us to experience his mercy. But the emphasis is on the personal.

There is a beautiful story of St. John Paul and a fallen bishop. The bishop had fallen from grace; he had had an affair with a woman, and although he ended it, the story came out later and he resigned. Some months later he was called to Rome to meet with Pope John Paul. As he waited to see the Pope, he was nervous. Had the Pope called him to rebuke him? He sat alone, waiting for the Pope to enter. The door opened and the sainted pope walked across the room and greeted the fallen bishop. “I have one question to ask you,” said Pope John Paul. “Are you at peace?” “Yes,” he replied. “Thanks be to God!” said Pope John Paul. The fallen bishop took the joy of that mercy into the remainder of his life and went on to care quietly for the spiritual needs of religious who were underserved in a certain part of this country. He never forgot the mercy he experienced and the story was told at his funeral, for he himself told it often.

There is just nothing that surpasses the way the Lord can convey his mercy in the deeply personal way of the confessional. There is nothing more precious than those words that conclude every confession: “I absolve you of your sins, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Go in peace. Thanks be to God!”

The Lord did not want his mercy to depend on some self-generated notion that mercy was extended. He wanted us, for whom faith comes by hearing, to hear those precious words: “I absolve you from your sins … Go in peace.” There is nothing more wonderful and certain than those words spoken by the Lord through His priests.

IV. The Prerequisite of Mercy – But one of the Apostles, Thomas, was missing. Here was the most wounded of all the Apostles, so wounded that he drew back from the only place mercy could be found, for where two or three were gathered the risen Lord appeared in the midst of them. In drawing back, Thomas blocked his blessings.

The point is this: the Lord unfailingly offers His mercy. He says, No one who calls on me will I ever reject (Jn 6:37).

The question is, will we call on him? There is only this one need, this one requirement for mercy: that we ask for it. Jesus says, Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me (Rev 3:20). The door to our heart and to repentance must be opened from the inside. The Lord will not force His mercy. This is why there is a Hell. Without God’s mercy we are doomed; we don’t stand a chance. His mercy is free except for this price: we must surrender our pride, admit our need, and open the door.

Thanks be to God that St. Thomas did not persist in his impenitent stance, but instead rejoined the community where mercy and the Lord were to be found. Sure enough, where two or three were gathered the Lord appeared once again and St. Thomas found mercy. The Lord rebuked Thomas’ lack of faith but rewarded his penitence.

St. Thomas opened the door from the inside of his heart. The Lord lovingly entered and built up his faith so that never again would Thomas think that he could find the Lord on his own terms. Rather, Thomas would seek the Lord where He could be found: in the Church, among those gathered in His name. Mercy is found where God is found. He knocks but it is we who must open the door and receive Him into our hearts on His terms not ours.

St. Thomas fell to his knees, astonished by the Lord’s mercy; such mercy, such a glorious gift. “My Lord and my God!” The Lord never stopped calling Thomas. The Lord did not give up but waited until Thomas answered the door. “Peace, Shalom, Thomas. I am glad you are here. Now never again stop believing in my mercy and love for you. Never again draw back thinking I am lost to you. I love you with an everlasting Love. I have called you and you are mine. Peace to you, and mercy, Thomas.”

Mercy! So great, so divine, so perfect. It is a mercy that does not deny the need for its own existence. When humbly received, it conveys peace through the priesthood that Christ Himself established. It is a mercy which, as a prerequisite, respectfully knocks and waits for our “yes.” Lord, give us your perfect mercy.

I have it on the best of authority that Thomas sang a song later that night, a song that sang of the Lord’s mercy and persistence, of His abiding call when we would give up. Yes, I have it on the best of authority that he sang,

I almost let go;
I felt like I just couldn’t take life any more.
My problems had me bound;
Depression weighed me down;
But God held me close
so I wouldn’t let go.
God’s mercy kept me;
so I wouldn’t let go

I almost gave up;
I was right at the edge of a break through,
but couldn’t see it.
The devil really had me,
but Jesus came and grabbed me,
and He held me close,
so I wouldn’t let go.
God’s mercy kept me,
so I wouldn’t let go.

So I’m here to day because God kept me
I’m A live today only because of His grace
Oh He kept me, God kept me
God’s mercy kept me,
so I wouldn’t let go

God’s perfect mercy: divine, healing, calling, converting, and soul-saving. Mercy, yes, perfect mercy.