Dialog With an Unbeliever by Patrick

Originally Posted by fishbrains

Once again, I am going to commend you for your tenacity, and it’s obvious that you are trying to answer questions pretty thoroughly with RCC apologetics.

Yet, I don’t care about any of your answers, because you haven’t addressed a very fundamental issue. Why should we believe in your god or bible?

My dear friend,

Are you reading ALL of MY post?

I HAVE addressed both issues more than once already. HOWEVER if you can’t find them; PLEASE let me know and I will do so again; just for you. EVERY Soul is important. We’re approaching Thanksgiving so I have family stuff to do too. BUT I’ll look back to see if I still need to reply to you, God willing; AFTER you have checked my previous post within this string.

God Bless you,



My friend I apologize.  I just reviewed my post and not one of them address your two concerns. So I will now endeavor to correct that oversight.

I warn you however that it is neither my task nor my goal to “convert you to my beliefs.” That too remains the purview of this God [capitol “G” because there is, and can be only one True God;] which I will endeavor to establish.

Also I am neither a Theologian nor a Philosopher; I am though a Trained and Experienced Catechist. A “Marian Catechist” which is a Lay Apostolate approved by Rome; to teach, to share, to explain and when necessary, to defend our Catholic Faith. So please consider this as you read on. I also am not associated in any manner with the scientific or historical communities.

My evidence will be verifiable by simple logic and the powers of observation of things around us.

Why you should believe in “my god.”

Let’s begin at the beginning. I will use the Bible which has two major sections now called the Old Testament [dates to about 4,000 YEARS ago; and the New Testament which now dates to approximately 2,000 years ago.  Those facts alone give testimony to a “source’, a “Power” of both “unimaginable-might” and “unquenchable-intelligence;” far greater than any person in the recorded history of humanity.

“Truth” must be what it is: Singular per defined issue. Pope Benedict XVI had this to say about truth:

“There cannot be my truth and your truth or there would be NO truth.” It is from this premise that I proceed.

In proving God; I shall take a divided approach. First I shall establish God’s [I agree that the term “God”; at least at this juncture, is “my term”; not yours] “unlimited power.” God, whom I shall define briefly here as: “God is all good things perfected” … secondly we shall establish that God is a God of unlimited Intelligence; and thirdly we hope to establish God, as God of unlimited authority.

God of unlimited Power & Intelligence [2 for the price of 1 here]

I wish to first clarify that is proclaiming this; that there is one thing God cannot do. God cannot be the direct and intentional cause of “EVIL.” God can and does permit evil to exist; but cannot by intent be the direct cause of evil.

God can, and God is the “cause”; the very “source” of all good things and all goodness. So right off we’re going to establish that both “fairness” and “justice” are “good things.” God in Divine Justice can and does permit Blessings for man’s good choices and evil for our bad choices. It is to be understood that these consequences follow man’s personal choices freely [unimpeded] exercised.

The first book in the bible is termed: “The Book of Genesis;” and relates is a metaphorical manner the “Story” of Creation, of which we only have to accept as literal [1] that God is the Creator of everything that exist. [2] That Adam and Eve may have actually been called “Sam & Sally: BUT that they were given a perfect existence which they squandered in a desire to get the only thing they didn’t have: namely being God! I don’t wish to get too far from our focus in this pos#49.t. In doing so they “invented sin” and caused God’s Justice to inflict the human conditions of our existence as a consequences.  I did cover this in quite some detail in one of my post #49.

From the book of Genesis; Chapter 1, verses 26 & 27

[26] “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.” [27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them”

So then we ask: What “exactly” is this “image of God”? And the New Testament book of John chapter 4 in verses 23 & 24 gives us the answer: [23]”But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. [24] God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. “There’s that pesky word “truth” again.

To be clear: the teaching here is that God is ‘Spirit”; that is “non-matter.”

Question: How then can man possibly emulate God? Or is the bible all fairy-tails? Can this mystery be solved, much less established?

Question: Did you choose what you’re wearing as you read this? If so; than I can prove the existence of God.

The entire universe exist for two reasons: [1] that God could be “found” [2] That god would be glorified. I will use the Bible as evidence of this; as it also establishes the reason and purpose of its existence.

Also from the Old Testament; the Book of the Prophet Isaiah [from whom we’ll hear more later on] is the precise reason for man’s existence in this world.

Isaiah 43: verses 7 & 21: “[7] everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” & 21: [21] the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise. My friend you now know something most Catholics don’t even know.

So our God creates the entire Universe [the idea that multiple gods did this is so bizarre as to not merit discussion]. The Universe is far too Vast; Complex and Ordered, for there to have been more than a single source for it. And our God did this so that his created humanity; who alone in the entire Universe of Billions of stars, galaxies and planets created only one; only planet earth that can be scientifically proven [not thought to be; but is] able to support the life forms that we are aware of.

Then on planet earth with its Many Millions of things; and a uncounted number of “living things”; again, only one of them is able to love or hate. Only one is able to make complex things out of less complex things. Our cars and computers for example. That one “thing” is humanity. Nothing exist that is more perfect; more complex; more evidently God “created.” And only man is able to logically find God through the Universe that He created [a term meaning: “to make something out of nothing] for THAT very purpose.

So the Universe is created so that man alone is able to discover God from the Majesty of size, complexity Ordered arrangement, [as in commanded; not even remotely possible as an accident or for that matter as a Big Bang. Where did the stuff that went BANG originate?]

Now back to man and just how we do alone in all of creation; emulate our God. We pointed out earlier that Our God Is “Spirit.” And asked the obvious question: HOW can man possibly emulate our God? And then I told you that if you choose what your wearing as you read this; that I can prove both God’s existence and HOW.

May Jesus, GOD, continue to guide OUR life-path’s,


Why do Roman Catholics kneel at Mass? by Philip Kosloski |


Why do Roman Catholics kneel at Mass?

Philip Kosloski |

The physical posture is an ancient one, used by Christians since the very beginning.

For Roman Catholics, kneeling is one of the most distinctive physical gestures of prayer during the celebration of Mass. In fact, for many centuries the lay faithful of the Roman Rite would kneel for almost the entire duration of Mass.

Why is that?

While it’s true that standing during prayer was a common posture of the early Christians (and is currently maintained by many Eastern Christians during the Divine Liturgy), kneeling was also part of early Christian tradition.

According to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), kneeling was something highly disfavored by both Greek and Roman culture. Ratzinger writes in his book Spirit of the Liturgy, “If we look at history, we can see that the Greeks and Romans rejected kneeling … kneeling was unworthy of a free man, unsuitable for the culture of Greece, something the barbarians went in for. Plutarch and Theophrastus regarded kneeling as an expression of superstition … Aristotle called it a barbaric form of behavior.”

Ratzinger claimed that, “Kneeling does not come from any culture — it comes from the Bible and its knowledge of God.” In particular, “Saint Luke, who in his whole work (both the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles) is in a special way the theologian of kneeling prayer, tells us that Jesus prayed on His knees. This prayer, the prayer by which Jesus enters into His Passion, is an example for us.”

Catholics kneel because Jesus kneeled during prayer.

Additionally, kneeling is typically seen in the Gospels as a way to express supplication and adoration. Often in the New Testament kneeling is preceded by an act of faith, “I do believe, Lord,” and completed by an act of adoration at the majesty of God (cf. John 9:35-38).

Elsewhere, like in many of the healing narratives, the person is presented kneeling in supplication, asking to be healed.

For these reasons the Roman Rite instructs the faithful to kneel during Mass specifically when Jesus is made present on the altar. According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, “In the Dioceses of the United States of America, [the faithful] should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy) until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer.”

This physical posture is meant to express a spiritual attitude of adoration before the triune God, truly and substantially present in the Holy Eucharist. It is an act of humility, recognizing our own littleness before the Creator of the world. The act of kneeling prepares our hearts to receive God within our souls, striking down our pride with a physical reminder of what our soul should be like spiritually.

In this way, kneeling in the context of the Roman liturgy is directly tied to Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist.

While not officially part of the Rite, it is a common custom in some churches to maintain a kneeling posture until the consecrated hosts are placed back within the tabernacle.

Kneeling during Mass is an ancient posture, one that expresses a deep spiritual truth that is connected to the Real Presence of Jesus on the altar.

End Quotes

 another  “I-Catholic”

Faith” and the World God has placed us in

Composed and researched by Patrick Miron

Recently our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, was heard to make this statement: “Today, “Faith” is in a greater crisis than at any time in history.” This from a man not prone to hyperbole or even exaggeration. His Holiness went on to say: “ Faith” must gain in both knowledge [what we believe] and in practice [how we live and demonstrate our Faith.]”

 So it seems reasonable to ask WHY?

 Following the many warnings of his predecessor; Pope John Paul II, who spoke clearly and frequently on the dangers of the current [New] age and “Relativism,” ; the scourge and plague of Satan that has led to an amazing degree of self-reliance. “It’s only Wrong If I say it’s Wrong! That has spread to every nation, and touched people of every faith.

 If we don’t have the one TRUE FAITH that Christ lived and died for, that Christ Himself taught, then we stumble [and MANY fall] into the sin-laden pit of:


 Self-interpretation of Gods Holy Word which is an anti-biblical position ….

 2nd. Peter Chapter One verse 20-21 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. “ 

 2Pet.3: 16 “peaking of this as he [PAUL] 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. “

 Rom.10: 17 “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ”

 1Tim.3: 15 “if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth“. [All SINGULAR] The CC. Nowhere is this more true than in the catholic Church where Jesus Christ resides in His Glorified Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.


 Living by the standards we give ourselves

 Practicing faith as WE CHOOSE, not the WAY Christ taught

 Accepting as truth what we agree with and discarding everything that may require humility, suffering, or others views of truth even when biblically supported.

 Abiding by our OWN Moral standards, and at times, rejecting even “intrinsic evils”

 Ignoring God’s Commandments in favor of these we have “written” for ourselves

 Luke.17: 5 “The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”  This was a prayer, a plea of the Apostles. If they needed greater faith; can we safely assume that you and I do not?

Evidence and signs of the urgent need for “TRUE Faith” [SINGULAR]

 First, it might be helpful to point out that just as Christ Founded only One New Church, One New Covenant; One New Faith logically and factually which are intrinsically bound together, and  like the Trinity itself cannot be separated. [Despite the fact that for 400 years the Protestant communities have with great regularity, done just that.]

 They ignore, or seek alternative understanding for Christ very own words. Words from a Perfect God who cannot error in what he meant to say. “Words have specific meanings” and God knowing full well that His words would be read and dissected for countless generations chose them with utmost care and prudence. Christ KNEW exactly what he was saying and Teaching, as verified by the understanding and practice of His One true Church. His Catholic Church. From “death unto life,” from Christ to the present and onward..

 Denial of the ONLY One Church is anti-biblical; teaching against what the bible actual says

 Denial of Just One Faith is anti-biblical; teaching against what the bible actually say’s

 Matt: 16:15-19 especially verse 19: Matt.16: 19 “I [JESUS] will give you [Peter and my New Church]  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.” Christ Catholic Church was the ONLY Christian Church, as proven by secular history, when these words were spoken, written and included in the Canon of the Bible.

 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.

Eph. 4: 4 -8“There is one body [One Church] and one Spirit, [One set of beliefs] just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, [One God] one faith, [One set of doctrine and dogma] one baptism,[ By water in the Trinity]  one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. ”

 Friends, where is the lack of clarity and specificity in these passages?

 We live in times where “Fallen away Catholics” are now the second largest religious group in America.

 Fallen away Christians seem not to be tracked. Why is that? Perhaps it’s too difficult to tract THOUSANDS of churches and sets of belief?

 The number of Protestant Faiths continues to increase daily. Can there logically be THOUSANDS of sets of “true- faith?” This is illogical and denies what Christ Himself Wills.

 Agnostics [those claiming that there is NO GOD] have become MUCH, MUCH more vocal and visible, causing doubts and attracting many who are lazy and by choice, ignorant.

 So what’s the answer?

 Only God knows for sure.

 But if all of us do not use the gifts given to us by God specifically in order that we might be able to Know Him, Love Him and Serve Him; we can expect the current faith crisis to worsen.

 Isaiah 43: 7 “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” 21 the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.”

Each any every one of us has been gifted with the Spiritual Gifts [similar to God’s own] of a “Mind, Intellect and freewill” which too, are intrinsically bound together, unable to be separated from our souls.

All of us have to get by the silly notion that we can Share in Christ Glory, without participating in His Suffering.  Rom.8: 17 “and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him”

Friends now is the time to review and reflect. Am I where Christ wants me to be? Do I know our faith? Can I explain it to others? Do I live my faith public ally? Am I doing all that I can, all that Christ expects from me?

Each of us is asked to take our Faith to a higher lever. More prayer, more frequent use of the Sacraments, more time with the Bible [knowing that if your understanding does not agree with what the CC Teaches; it’s wrong.]
No-one “can make you do it.”  But God has placed us here in this time and place in order that we might freely choose to know, to love and to SERVE our God.

 Faith and Salvation are at risk. What can, what will I do about it? PRAY for direction friends.

 Love and prayers,


Hell Will Hurt Like Hell by DAVID MILLS 

Hell Will Hurt Like Hell

Many Christians try to make Hell less Hellish, and use C. S. Lewis to do so.


He doesn’t like the idea of Hell, this voice of urbane secular liberalism, of people who pity the poor yokels who not only believe in God but think he has standards. “What modern believer wouldn’t want to cast off this old, sadistic barrier to faith in a loving God?” writes Vinson Cunningham in The New Yorker. “What kind of deity draws such a hard line between his friends and his enemies, and holds an eternal grudge?”

“I’m writing about hell because it is an unthinkable, horrible, destructive concept that can’t possibly be true,” claimed an old article a Facebook friend posted the same day. It appeared in the liberal Catholic weekly The National Catholic Reporter. After a good bit of not entirely coherent ranting, Carol Meyer finished: God could never ever “be so mean and evil as to create hell. … All arguments for hell, however reasonable they once sounded, are debunked by one single truth — God is LOVE. The end of the story.”

You may roll your eyes, but unless I miss my guess, most American Christians half-agree with Cunningham and Meyer. If you doubt this, ask yourself how often you tell anyone else their lives could end that badly. Do you remind yourself that you could be damned?

Evangelical or Catholic, we look for ways to soften the teaching. We want to make Hell less Hellish. We’d be better Christians, though, and better friends to others, if we didn’t. Whatever Hell is, it’s going to hurt. A lot. We need to warn others. We need to warn ourselves.

Two Kinds of People

  1. S. Lewis offers a good way to make Hell less Hellish, while still believing in it as Christianity requires, and many of us use him for it. In his book The Great Divorce, the narrator tells the story of a trip to another world, where some people choose happiness and other people don’t. The second group seem more clueless than wicked. Their sins seem fairly minor. You can see yourself in all of them. (The book gives us, along with his Screwtape Letters, a piercingly acute understanding of the ways we fool ourselves into thinking we’re okay when we’re not. Do read it.)

He meets the Scottish writer George Macdonald, who explains what he’s seeing. “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock, it is opened.”

Lewis had written about this a few years before, in his book The Problem of Pain. We can “think of this bad man’s perdition not as a sentence imposed on him but as the mere fact of being what he is.” He calls the damned “successful, rebels to the end,” who get what they really want. God doesn’t push them into Hell and slam the door shut. “The doors of hell,” Lewis writes, “are locked on the inside.”

As he put it in an essay called “The Trouble with X,” which you can find in God in the Dock: “It’s not a question of God ‘sending’ us to Hell. In each of us there is something growing up which will of itself be Hell unless it is nipped in the bud.”

We don’t like the idea of God sending people to Hell. We’d rather think of people sending themselves to Hell by creating their own Hell. It will be nicer than the lake of flaming fire one. It gets God off the hook. He doesn’t send you to Hell. You go there on your own. You buy the ticket and get on the bus. And if you do, we think, maybe you’ll get somewhere not half bad.

Hell Will Be That Bad

We royally miss the point when we try to make Hell less Hellish. I think we tend to think like this: We assume that if we want something, it can’t be too bad for us. We want more ice cream, not more cyanide, and we don’t mind gaining a little weight to get it. The doctor may shake his head, but we like rocky road, so there. And we may also assume that if God says to us “Thy will be done,” it’ll work out. Maybe not as well as letting his will be done, but well enough.

The traditional pictures tell us something we don’t want to see. Hell will really be that bad. Even if we make our own Hell, we’ll make Hell. You don’t want to live there. You don’t want anyone you care about to live there. Because it’s not living. It’s dying, eternally.

Lewis knew this. Look again at The Great Divorce. Early in the book, the narrator finds that the city (the city of the damned, though he doesn’t know that yet) keeps growing, because people can’t stand each other and keep moving. Poor Napoleon lives by himself in a mansion now millions of miles from anyone else. All he does all day and night is pace back forth blaming other people. He made his own Hell, and he’s alone, and resentful, and tired, and he will be forever.

Our great and loving Father will let us be Napoleon if we insist. He will let us make our own Hell. Lewis described how we do this: “Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different than it was before,” he wrote in Mere Christianity. One of those choices, the creature you make yourself when you tell God “My will be done,” lives “in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself.” It lives a life of “madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness.”

Don’t be that person. Don’t let anyone else be that person. Remember that Hell is Hell.

End Quotes




By Patrick Miron


[QUOTE=I think the necessary first step is to define what a “Religion” is.

[1] How does “a religion” differ from a simple Belief in “God”
[2] Does a religion set the rules on how we should live?
Or can a set of rules define a religion.?
[3] Do rules define God?
[4] Is there any evidence that God defines rules at all.?
[5]How could you establish who makes rules, Man or God?
[6] If it is God that makes the rules, how is it that ever religion and denomination has different rules?[/QUOTE]

Thank you for asking. I’m NOT a theologian so please consider that in reviewing my responses.

[1] How does “a religion” differ from a simple Belief in “God”

“RELIGION. The moral virtue by which a person is disposed to render to God the worship and service he deserves. It is sometimes identified with the virtue of justice toward God, whose rights are rooted in his complete dominion over all creation. Religion is also a composite of all the virtues that arise from a human being’s relationship to God as the author of his or her being, even as love is a cluster of all the virtues arising from human response to God as the destiny of his or her being. Religion thus corresponds to the practice of piety toward God as Creator of the universe. (Etym. probably Latin religare, to tie, fasten, bind, or relegere, to gather up, treat with care.)” Father Hardon’s Catholic Dictionary

Webster’s 1913 Dictionary


n. 1. Assent to a proposition or affirmationor the acceptance of a fact,            opinionor assertion as real or truewithout immediate personal knowledgereliance upon word or testimonypartialor full assurance without positive knowledge or       absolute certaintypersuasionconvictionconfidenceas, belief of a       witnessthe belief of our senses.


Belief admits of all degreesfrom the slightest suspicion to the fullest      assurance.

– Reid.

2. (Theol.) A persuasion of the truths of religionfaith.

No man can attain [to] belief by the bare contemplation of heaven and    earth.

– Hooker.

3. The thing believedthe object of belief.

Superstitious prophecies are not only the belief of foolsbut the talk        sometimes of wise men.

– Bacon.

4. A tenetor the body of tenetsheld by the advocates of any class of viewsdoctrinecreed.

In the heat of persecution to which Christian belief was subject upon its  first promulgation.

– Hooker.

Ultimate belief
a first principle incapable of proofan intuitive truthan intuition.

– Sir W. Hamilton. END QUOTES


In my own words:

“Religion” is the belief in and of God or god{s}, with an eye towards Worshiping, worshiping Him, him or them. {Thought with action}

“Belief” is knowledge of God or gods; without an outward or even an inner acknowledgment of same. {Thought without action}

[2] Does a religion set the rules on how we should live?

Doing so is a foundational, fundamental precept of all religions; although these precepts can vary greatly.

[3] Do rules define God?

No, God defines Moral Rules & the Natural Laws {the 10 Commandments and the Beatitudes for example}

[4] Is there any evidence that God defines rules at all?

Absolutely: Good& Evil, and the ability to know, and to choose freely either one {with consequences}.  … In the entire created universe only humanity emulates our God with an immortal Soul that is Rational.

[5]How could you establish who makes rules, Man or God?

GREAT question!

Both, and both are essential for viable society; a happy self and for understanding & meriting WHY it is that we {humanity} even exist.

As “goodness” originates with God; God is therefore the author of all things “good.”

“Rules” would need to be further defined and categorized; but here are some published examples.

Types of Rules. There are three types of normal rules — Legislative, Procedural and Interpretive. The term “administrative rules” refers generally to rules promulgated by an administrative agency. Emergency rules are legislative rules which are promulgated in an emergency.

Critical Categories

Academic: These rules and expectations are related to learning,

Social: These rules and expectations involve interactive issues such as fighting, put-downs, insubordination and the misuse of technology-related devices.

Procedural: These rules and expectations are more important and apply to all.

Cultural: These rules and expectations are about the way we treat minority groups based on religion, race, sexual orientation or disability.
Personal: These are rules and expectations self-made towards being a benefit to society & self

All societies, whether free or not, need limits to protect the rights of the individuals who comprise that society

  1. Rules that Promote Safety

Safety rules includes physical safety and emotional safety.

  1. Rules that Promote Morality

Rules that instill values and sound moral judgments

  1. Rules that Develop Healthy Habits
  2. Rules that Prepare one for the Real World

Different situations call for different types of rules. Robert’s Rules classifies rules based generally on their application and use and on how difficult they are to change or suspend:

  • Charter: The charter may be either your articles of incorporation or a charter issued by a superior
  • organization  Bylaws: The bylaws are fundamental rules that define your organization
  • Rules of order: Rules of order are written rules of procedure for conducting meeting business in an orderly manner and the meeting-related duties of the officers
  • Standing rules: These rules are related to the details of administration rather than parliamentary procedure

Different situations call for different types of rules. Robert’s Rules classifies rules based generally on their application and use and on how difficult they are to change or suspend:

  • Charter: The charter may be either your articles of incorporation or a charter issued by a superior
  • organization  Bylaws: The bylaws are fundamental rules that define your organization
  • Rules of order: Rules of order are written rules of procedure for conducting meeting business in an orderly manner and the meeting-related duties of the officers
  • Standing rules: These rules are related to the details of administration rather than parliamentary procedure

I’m not sure where you’re going with this, but it’s intriguing, Thank you,


Three Ways to Gain a Plenary Indulgence Before Easter: by MAURA ROAN MCKEEGAN

Three Ways to Gain a Plenary Indulgence Before Easter


One August morning, several years ago, I went to 8 a.m. daily Mass with my two young children. In front of us sat some students from our local Catholic university.

On the way back from receiving Communion, my children and I walked past the students. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that one of the girls was smiling at my children as we passed by her. It wasn’t the kind of thing that would normally catch my attention, but there was something special, even holy, in her smile. She was radiant, and I could feel the joy it gave her to see my small children.

Never would I have dreamed, when we crossed paths with her that morning in the place where heaven meets earth, that this lovely young woman, full of life, would take her last breath that day.

That same afternoon, she lost her life in a tragic car accident. She was 19 years old.

It is a compelling sign of her deep faith that this student spent the last morning of her life at Mass. And there is more to her story.

On the day before she died, as I found out later, a priest had told her and some other students about a particular opportunity for gaining a plenary indulgence. They attended Mass and said prayers for the Holy Father that day, so she was able to fulfill two of the conditions for receiving the indulgence. Then the priest said that he would be available the rest of the week for confessions, reminding the students that sacramental confession was another one of the conditions for obtaining the plenary indulgence.

One of those students sought out the priest for confession that very evening.

That student was the young woman who died the next day.

There is a feeling of invincibility that comes with youth and health and friendship and warm summer days. Many 19-year-olds live in the moment, not fully realizing the importance of preparing their souls for eternity.

This young woman did live in the moment, embracing all the joy that life offered her, but she also kept her eyes fixed on heaven.

In the twenty-four hours before her entrance into eternity, she resolved, with wisdom beyond her years, to fulfill the conditions to receive a plenary indulgence. And she did not wait to go to confession. She went immediately, without knowing how extraordinarily soon she would need that grace.

We never know what a day will bring. What we do know is that each day could be our last. One day, we will wake up for the last time.

Like this young woman, we, too, have the chance to act immediately in a way that will affect our souls eternally. By God’s mercy, our Mother, the Church, strews our earthly path with chances to gain plenary indulgences, both for ourselves and for the souls in purgatory.

In the coming weeks before Easter, Catholics in a state of grace have several opportunities to gain a plenary indulgence. Here are three of them:

Make the Way of the Cross

A plenary indulgence is granted to those who piously make the Way of the Cross.

Here are the requirements, according to the Enchiridion of Indulgences: 

  • The exercise must be done before legitimately erected stations.
  • 14 stations are required. Although it is customary for the icons to represent pictures or images, 14 simple crosses will suffice.
  • The common practice consists of fourteen pious readings to which some vocal prayers are added. However, nothing more is required than a pious meditation on the Passion and Death of the Lord, which need not be a particular consideration of the individual mysteries of the stations.
  • A movement from one station to the next is required. But if the stations are made publicly and it is not possible for everyone taking part to go from station to station, it suffices if at least the one conducting the exercise goes from station to station, the others remaining in their places.
  • Those who are “impeded” can gain the same indulgence if they spend at least one half an hour in pious reading and meditation on the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Recite the “Prayer before a Crucifix” after Communion on a Friday

A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite this prayer after Communion before an image of Christ crucified, on a Friday in Lent and Passiontide (partial indulgence on other days):

Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus, while before your face I humbly kneel and, with burning soul, pray and beseech you to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment, while I contemplate with great love and tender pity your five wounds, pondering over them within me, calling to mind the words which David, your prophet, said of you, my good Jesus: “They have pierced my hands and my feet; they have numbered all my bones.”

Attend Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday

A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who attend liturgical services for the adoration of the Cross on Good Friday, and devoutly adore and kiss the Cross.

In order to obtain an indulgence, a Catholic in the state of grace must have the intention to obtain it and must fulfill the following conditions: (a) make a sacramental confession (within about 20 days before or after); (b) receive Holy Communion; (c) recite at least one Our Father and one Hail Mary for the Holy Father; and (d) be free from attachment to all sin, including venial. The indulgence becomes partial if the conditions are partially fulfilled.

A note about the last condition: Sometimes people wonder whether it is possible for them to be completely detached from venial sin. But, as I have written about before, I believe the answer to this is found in Mark 10, when Jesus tells his disciples how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God, and they wonder who then can be saved.

“For human beings it is impossible, but not for God,” Jesus tells them. “All things are possible for God.”

Even if it would be impossible for us to be completely detached from sin, it is not impossible for God. So let us ask Him for the grace to achieve it. My dear friend Suziesuggests adding this little prayer to the other prayers for the indulgence:

“Dear Holy Spirit, if I am not detached from all sin, please make me detached now, so that I may gain this plenary indulgence that my Mother, the Church, offers to me, Her child.”

As Matthew 7 reminds us, “Ask, and it will be given you;” for our Father in heaven gives “good things to those who ask him.” If we ask for the grace to be detached from all sin in order to obtain this indulgence, either for ourselves or to offer for another soul (how grateful are the souls in purgatory when we gain indulgences for them!), I believe He will grant it.

May the Holy Spirit lead you ever closer to the mercy of God as you draw near to His Heart this Lent and always.

By Maura Roan McKeegan

Maura Roan McKeegan is the author of a series of children’s picture books about biblical typology, including: The End of the Fiery Sword: Adam & Eve and Jesus & Mary; Into the Sea, Out of the Tomb: Jonah and Jesus; and Building the Way to Heaven: The Tower of Babel and Pentecost (Emmaus Road Publishing). Her articles have appeared in publications such as Catholic Digest, The Civilized Reader, Franciscan Magazine, Guideposts, and Lay Witness. You can contact her at Maura.Roan.McKeegan@gmail.com.

“ R”   Catholics  Idolaters ? by Patrick Miron I’m a Catholic

R”   Catholics  Idolaters ?

by Parickt Miron

I’m a Catholic

 There are a great many charges leveled against the Catholic Church on a all to frequent basis by non-Catholic – Christians and others as well. Often out of ignorance; not knowing the logic and foundation for what we hold to be the singular truth. It’s what they have been told, so it’s what they believe. Among the more common charges is that we Catholics are “idolaters,” and the question before us is it true? After all we do “pray to Mary, the Mother of God,” and to Angels and Saints. So it would seem that their at least might be some grounds to support these charges. And there is plenty of evidence of statues, stained-glass windows, prayer-cards, religious art that seems to add credence to the charge.

The answer rest is in the terminology used. In the charges leveled is the word “Worship,” As in Catholics “Worship Mary.” This is an incorrect understanding of Catholic Practice. Catholics; like non-Catholic-Christians hold to the fact that “Worship” is reservered to God alone. So then; what is it that Catholics do, if it’s not “Worship?”

In the Book of Exodus, chapter Twenty we read this admonition: this command from God. Exodus 20: And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. “You shall have no other gods before me.” “You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”

 FROM OUR Roman Catholic  Catechism

 2136 The duty to offer God authentic worship concerns man both as an individual and as a social being.

 2135 “You shall worship the Lord your God” (Mt 4:10). Adoring God, praying to him, offering him the worship that belongs to him, fulfilling the promises and vows made to him are acts of the virtue of religion which fall under obedience to the first commandment

 2105 The duty of offering God genuine worship concerns man both individually and socially. This is “the traditional Catholic teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies toward the true religion and the one Church of Christ.” By constantly evangelizing men, the Church works toward enabling them “to infuse the Christian spirit into the mentality and mores, laws and structures of the communities in which [they] live.” The social duty of Christians is to respect and awaken in each man the love of the true and the good. It requires them to make known the worship of the one true religion which subsists in the Catholic and apostolic Church. Christians are called to be the light of the world. Thus, the Church shows forth the kingship of Christ over all creation and in particular over human societies

Well that certainly seems clear enough? But is it REALLY? … The most basic, inviolable, indeed; Infallible rule for understanding the Bible correctly [as God Himself intends], is that Never-Ever can one part of the Bible contradict another portion. Where this even the slightest possibility, the Bible would be worthless as a tool for teaching or learning ones Faith. When ever this appears to take place we can be certain that it is we; not the bible that is in error.

 So my friends let’s turn to the book of Numbers; the same God giving direction to the same Moses.Num.21:8 -9 “And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. And here is another example of God’s Command to Moses: from the Book of Exodus no-less. Exod.25: 18-22 “And you shall make two cherubim [ANGELS] of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you of all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel. … Exod.26: 1 “Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen and blue and purple and scarlet stuff; with cherubim skillfully worked shall you make them.”

So what’s the deal here, we have God directing; actually commanding Moses to “MAKE and display IDOLS” to be used as God commands?

The explanation is in the CORRECT understanding of the term “Idols”. Go back and re-look at Exodus 20 and take note of the fact that God specifies “FALSE gods“; not just any images. What God prohibits is anything that is in competition to His God-Head. Images that lead one [or at least that is their intended purpose], are NOT prohibited because they are a means to a building a closer unity with God. It is the purpose of the image that determines if in fact it is an IDOL, or something that reminds us of heavenly things. Certainly Mary, the Saints, Angels all qualify as “holy things” that ought can, and ought to lead us in the direction of God; not towards any “false competing” gods. So statues, art, images of Saints and Mary are quite “OK” with God, as a means of gaining possible closer union with Him.

This discussion would be incomplete without an explanation of WHY we do what we do. To try to make the issue clear we will use the ”HAILMARY” [used in the Rosary] prayer, which is by far the most used prayer next to the LORDS PAYER, as our example of what we Catholics actually do, and why we do it.

 Hail Mary, [Lk. 1:28]

Full of Grace [Lk. 1:28]

The Lord is with thee [Lk 1:27]

Blessed are you among all women [Lk 1:42]

And Blessed in the fruit of your womb: Jesus [Lk. 1;42]

Holy Mary [Lk.1: 28]

Mother of God 1:35

Pray for us sinners [our catholic petition]

Now and at the hour of our death

Amen” [I BELIEVE!]

Romans 12: 2 “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. “

 Luke Chapter One

26 And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women 29 Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. 31 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever 33 And of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34 And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?

35 And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

 The final petition: “ Pray for us sinners, Now and at the hour of our death” is the reason Catholics pray to [actually THROUGH them] Mary and the Saints Our prayers ARE DIRECTED to God; BUT with the intercession, the HELP of Mary and the Saints who ADD their own prayers on-top of ours making them far more effective, and pleasing to God.

 We call them “Intercessory Prayers.” Luke.18: 1 “And he [Jesus] told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. … Eph.6: 18 “Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,”

 As one can see, from reading the New Testament, Jesus Himself prayed often as did the Apostles. Prayer is lifting out minds and heats to God. So the fact that Catholics use reminders of those who have both “passed before us“; and PASSED the necessary steps required for ones salvations is a form of “VENERATION“, NOT “Worship,” which is RIGHTLY reserve red to God alone.

 Therefore the charge against Catholics as Idolaters is blatantly FALSE, and unmerited.

 God Bless you,