What does the word “Eucharist” mean?  Philip Kosloski: Re-Blogged

What does the word “Eucharist” mean?

 Philip Kosloski

© Jeffrey Bruno|Aleteia


The word isn’t of English origin, and has many different levels of meaning.

One of the most used words in Catholicism is the word “Eucharist.” It’s heard every Sunday at Mass and Catholics use it all the time. What does it mean?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church offers a brief definition of the word.

The inexhaustible richness of [the sacrament of the eucharist, i.e. the “Mass”] is expressed in the different names we give it. Each name evokes certain aspects of it. It is called:

Eucharist, because it is an action of thanksgiving to God. The Greek words eucharistein and eulogein recall the Jewish blessings that proclaim — especially during a meal — God’s works: creation, redemption, and sanctification. (CCC 1328)

In the original Greek version of the Gospels, Jesus is recorded using a similar word while celebrating the Last Supper.

Take this, and divide it among yourselves … And he took bread, and when he had given thanks [εὐχαριστήσας – eucharistēsas] he broke it and gave it to them (Luke 22:18-19).

Essentially, the word “Eucharist” means “giving thanks,” but in a Jewish context is directed specifically towards giving thanks to God.

Early on the word was adopted to refer to the entire sacrament of the Eucharist, more commonly known as the Mass, where Catholics celebrate God’s saving act on the cross. There is even an ancient document called the Didache that possibly dates to the time of the apostles and uses this word in this context.

Celebrate the Eucharist as follows: Say over the cup: “we give you thanks, Father, for the holy vine of David, your servant, which you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be glory for ever.”

Over the broken bread say: “We give you thanks, Father, for the life and the knowledge which you have revealed to us through Jesus your servant. To you be glory for ever” … Do not let anyone eat or drink of your Eucharist except those who have been baptized in the name of the Lord.

Besides referring to the entire celebration of the Eucharist, the word is also used even more specifically to refer to the bread and wine that are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus.

So the word “Eucharist” is a multi-faceted word with many different dimensions, all going back to the basic human need of giving thanks to God.



{Actually} “Pray’n WHAT we’re Say’n”;  Start of Part Six             03/11/2018 Our Roman Catholic Creeds…

{Actually} “Pray’n WHAT we’re Say’n”;

 Start of Part Six             03/11/2018

Our Roman Catholic Creeds…

               Profession and expression of our faith

The tenth expression of our Catholic belief is: The forgiveness of sins.

It is sheer stupidity to deny that you and I are sinners. It is a simple denial of truth, a lie. What may be true is that we do not have a full and clear understanding of what sin is, of the various natures of sin, or the damnable consequences of our sinful actions.

All sin lessens God’s flow of love and grace to us by degree, depending on the seriousness of the offence. There are two categories of sin. Sins of lesser harm are termed “venial sins.” They need not be, but should be confessed, as the humiliation is good for our souls and a source of additional grace. Venial sins are forgiven when we ask God with firm intention to avoid them in the future and by proper participation of Holy Mass and reception of the Body and Blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ, in the sacrament of Holy Communion, and or by a proper confession. The other category, “mortal sins,” are so serious that they permanently (until we repent, Confess and receive absolution) separate us from God’s grace, and self-condemn us to hell, should we die before we are able to properly repent and confess them. “Mortal sin destroys sanctifying grace and causes the supernatural death of the soul.” Catholic dictionary.

Mortal sin requires serious matter, full knowledge and understanding, clear and deliberate intent, and full consent of the will. Opportunity and ability to know and to understand is the same as actual knowledge. Sin is an act of the will that does not require fulfillment in order for serious sin to exist, knowledge and desire are sufficient. A proper sacramental confession that includes a complete telling of all our mortal sins, true contrition, a firm purpose of amendment, agreement to avoid the temptation when possible, and to, with God’s special help, not sin in the same manner again, sealed with absolution and penance are the essential requirements for forgiveness and being reunited to God’s grace, and full communion with His Church.

Christ Himself instituted the sacrament of Penance, and requires confession of all serious (Mortal) sins to a duly ordained priest confessor, to be reunited with Him and his bride, our Church.

“It is through the sacrament of Penance that the baptized can be reconciled with God and with the Church: {God’s Way}The sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn.” cf. CCC 980 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 Jn. 1:9; John 20:19-23

“Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be a Catholic {***} in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance.”  CCC 1415 to receive Christ in serious sin is to blaspheme our Lord! {***} Or Orthodox.

The eleventh article of our faith proclaimed in our Creed is: “I Believe In The Resurrection of The Body.”  

           We are made in the image and likeness of Christ. Christ was born, lived on earth, and died for our sins and possible salvation. On Easter Sunday, according to historical proven testimony of eyewitnesses, Christ rose bodily from the dead, and thus, in the second, the General Judgment, we shall too. “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” Jn. 14: 2-3 our glorified bodies will be reunited with our soul, and in this state we shall spend eternity.

           “The Father has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment” Jn. 5: 27-29

Why? Why indeed? Why were we created? To know, love and serve the Lord in this world, and to be happy with Him in the next. Why were we created in the image and likeness of God? Because it was His will to do so. Why would The Almighty offer His Son for our possible salvation, a sacrifice that he did not even require from father Abraham? Why would Jesus endure, even for a time, to be made less than the angels, and to willingly endure the most painful and the most humiliating death known to the age of the God murderers? And why would that same Christ, desire and insist to remaing here, Body and Soul, complete humanity and complete Divinity, neglected, ignored, abused, hidden and humiliated in the Sacred Host of Holy Communion, and within our tabernacles? Why, you ask. The answer is Perfect Love, because true Love knows no bounds, and we are truly loved! Amen.

The twelve and final proclamation of our Creed: “And life Everlasting”

Could, would God in mercy and justice ordain anything less? No! The sacrifice was too great, the offer of salvation too important to God, and to us. The will of God had to come to fruition. God’s love, mercy and justice are too complete, too perfect to allow for anything except eternity. But eternity where and with whom? With Almighty, all loving God, or with the hateful, evil, spiteful, vengeful Satan, we decide. Life everlasting infers and confers no ending, no time limit. It is an eternal judgment, and a final judgment. Nothing is impossible for God, and nothing is impossible for us with God’s love, mercy and assistance.

Never lose HOPE while still on earth!

The decision to go to Heaven or to condemn us to Hell is ours! Even Almighty God cannot (will- not) because to do so would invalidate the very reason why God made us in His Very Image and Likeness, and along with His Holy angels, we alone have a “free-will and an intellect.”

These gifts are “free” but with strings attached. We are to use our intellect to discover and know God, then to serve Him, even to the point of following our Blessed Mother and the Saints, but returning to God our wills. Meaning we are to make right use of the talents, gifts and graces God makes available to each of us.

God will never ask more of us than we are able WITH HIS HELP to do!

This is our Roman Catholic FAITH. Learn it, Love it, Live it and Share it!

          May God bless and keep you and hold you in the palm of His Hand.


I know this is long and covers a great deal of factual information. But as an FYI, this same topic takes TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY THREE PAGES in the Catechism!    03/11/2018

Thanks for joining with me. If you have any questions, here is my E-Mail Address,  patrickmiron66@hotmail.com

{Actually} “Pray’n WHAT we’re Say’n”; Start of Part Five of six Our Roman Catholic Creeds…

{Actually} “Pray’n WHAT we’re Say’n”;

Start of Part Five of six

Our Roman Catholic Creeds…

               Profession and expression of our faith

     The eighth article of our faith: “I believe In the Holy Spirit” 

As we have already discussed the Trinity we shall limit our discussion of this truth to biblical evidence and the purpose of the Spirit of God in our midst.

“John baptized with water, you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 1: 5 “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses to the end of the earth” cf. Acts 1: 8 tells us that we are called to know, live and share our faith and are offered sufficient graces to accomplish the task.  When we are in the state of grace, there is an indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

“Know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Cor. 6: 19-20

Clearly and directly we are told that all sins against the body; abortion, birth control, masturbation, adultery, are all serious sins against God, for our bodies are not ours, but His, and judgment will be made on how we use all of the gifts God loans us, our very bodies included.

Jesus and the Father are one, so too are Jesus and The Holy Spirit.  “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.” Jn. 20: 20-23 Jesus here instituted the sacrament of penance. This is an exclusive Sacrament of the Catholic (Universal) Church. Take advantage of it.

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”  This sums up the purpose of The Holy Spirit, guide, provider, protector and comforter. God Triune desires that we get to heaven and that we lead other to heaven; the Holy Spirit is the manifestation of God, sent to lead us there.  1Cor 12: 4-7

The ninth article of the Roman Catholic faith is: “The Holy Catholic Church, and the Communion of Saints.”

The Communion of Saints acknowledges the eternal union with God in heaven of all those who by the manner and the degree that they knew, loved, served and obeyed God; endured the suffering and trials of earth, and triumphed over evil, have become the “Church Triumphant”, the saints of heaven.

“The Holy Catholic Church” is a proclamation of many statements about our faith. 

          “Thesignifies One, and properly so. For Christ founded only one Church, the Roman Catholic Church. Every church that calls themselves “Christian” is rooted in the only Church that Christ founded. Every church outside full communion with the Roman Catholic Church is in schism.

The term “schism” is understood as a willful separation from the unity of the one true Church. All other sects are clearly heretical, and in serious error, for we shall see that “The Church” cannot be in error in her official pronouncements, therefore it follows naturally that all those who disagree with, or fail to abide by official doctrine and dogma’s of the One Church must be, and factually are in error as they have built their houses on the quicksand of heresy and rejection of the single truth.  “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my (singular) church”. Mt. 16:18

Christ’ One TRUE Church, now has thousands of denominational branches. In 1913, only 168 different religious denominations were reported in the Catholic Encyclopedia. The 2000 edition of the World Christian Encyclopedia reports 33,820.

We Catholics, who pick and choose who and what we will obey, are no better. We are guiltier. Members of Christ only and true Church are offered graces not available outside this Mother’s embrace. Shame on us! We will be judged all the more severely.

In 1965 (The year Vatican II ended) the Catholic population in the U.S. was reported at 45,600,000, and obligatory Sunday Holy Mass attendance was approximately 70%, (31,920,000). In 2001 the official National Catholic Directory reports the number of professed Catholics in the U.S. had climbed to 63,683,030, and yet obligatory Sunday Mass attendance, is about one third of the 1965 number, at 15,921,000, which in only 25% of professed Catholics. This clearly points out that there are many Catholics not practicing their faith, and potentially hell bound.  God’s laws become and are expressed as Church Law. They remain God’s law, and our salvation depends on compliance and obedience to all of them. God does not permit us to choose only what we wish to obey! 

Christ Church, properly named and understood is ‘The Mystical Body of Christ,” as she is modeled after Christ Himself, and is both a society and a community of believers. A society on a worldwide perspective, made up of a multitude of individual communities of believers that we here call parishes, which in turn consist of us, “the Church militant,” so named as we are in constant battle with the forces of evil.  The Mystical Body with the Pope as its head, and the bishops who in union with the Pope, teach and lead the faithful.

Christ Church, the Roman Catholic Church continues to this day to be governed by the structure ordained by Christ. A single leader, our ordained Pontiff, who like Peter, is the undisputed head of the body, “The Vicar of Christ,” supported by all bishops who are in full communion with our Pontiff form the Magisterium, the Catholic Teaching Authority of the Roman Catholic Church.  A body cannot function without a head, or a head without a body. Only in unity (communion) does the body of the church function well and properly as designed and ordained by God. Only the Catholic Church can support the claim of an unbroken 2000-year tradition of continuous rule and governance.

           “Holy” The only Church founded by the Christ, Jesus, is and has to be, can only be “holy,” in that she represents Christ Himself, and because Christ founded Her, made Her His bride, and died to sanctify her. (This cannot and does not preclude the very real possibility of Her children being serious sinners. Nor, as we now painfully know, are our leaders exempt from the possibility of serious sin. Pjm) “The Church then, is the holy people of God, and her members are called ‘saints.’ (And are called to become Saints. Pjm) “CCC 823 “Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD has said, ‘I will show myself holy among those who are near me, and before all the people I will be glorified.'” Liv. 10: 3

“Catholic”   “Its original meaning of “general” or “universal” has taken on a variety of applications in the course of Christian history. First used by St. Ignatius of Antioch, {around 100-107 A pjm}, it is now mainly used in five recognized senses: (1) The Catholic Church is distinct from Christian ecclesiastical bodies that do not recognize the papal primacy; (2) the Catholic faith as the belief of the universal body of the faithful, namely that which is believed “everywhere,” always and by all; (3) Orthodoxy as distinguished from what is heretical or schismatically; (4) the undivided Church before the Eastern Schism of 1054; thereafter the Eastern Church has called itself orthodox, in contrast with those Christian bodies which did not accept the definitions of Ephesus and Chalcedon (Church Councils), on the divinity of Christ; (5) In general today the term “Catholic” refers to those Christians who profess a continued tradition of faith and worship and who hold to the Apostolic succession of bishops and priest since the time of Christ.” Father Hardon’s Catholic dictionary

“Church” There are two distinct understandings of the term “church.”

First we, the people of God are the church body. But we are not, “The Church” (As in a suitable replacement for the Real Presence of Christ, as some would have us believe.) We, the community of believers, the kingdom of God, the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church Militant make up the church.

The Church Council of Trent, 1545-1563 has defined this society with Christ as her head as, “the union of human beings who are united by a common profession of the same Christian faith, and by participation of and in the same sacraments under the direction of their lawful pastors, especially of the one representative of Christ on earth, the Bishop of Rome. Each element in this definition is meant to exclude all others from actual and vital membership in the Catholic Church. “Catholic dictionary

          Second: “A church, “a house of prayer in which the Eucharist is celebrated and reserved, where the faithful assemble (All of the faithful), and where is worshipped the presence of the Son of God our Savior, offered for us on the sacrificial altar for the help and consolation of the faithful – this house ought to be in good taste and a worthy place for prayer and sacred ceremonial.”  CCC 1181

All Salvation is through the Roman Catholic Church” Though at times mysteriously and conditionally.

The First Vatican Council, 1867-1870 repeated, clarified and certified as Catholic doctrine and dogma several key elements to this belief of our faith that was also proclaimed in the Church Council of Ephesus 431 AD, again at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, and at the Council of Florence, 1438-1445.

A dogma is repeated usually to correct current heresies, because of a Holy Spirit inspired greater understanding, and or, because of the importance of the issue.   A “doctrine” is defined as any truth taught by the Church as necessary for acceptance by the faithful.”  A “dogma” is a proposed (defined and to be accepted) truth that relates to issues of faith and morals, is revealed from God through Divine Revelation, transmitted from the Apostles or Sacred Scripture, or by tradition and proposed by the Church for acceptance by all the faithful, and also when the Church proposes in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection to these.  A dogma, is first in the hierarchy of truths to be accepted and believed.

Quoting the Vatican Council Encyclical letter of December 9, 1854, by his holiness Pope Pius IX, Singulari quadam, written to correct a current heresy that all religions are of equal value, affording equal opportunity to eternal salvation, Pius IX {1846-1848} wrote infallibly: “It must, of course be held as a matter of faith that outside the apostolic Roman Church no one can be saved, that the Church is the only ark of salvation, and whoever does not enter will perish in the flood.  {**} On the other hand it must likewise be held as certain that those affected by ignorance of the true religion, if it is not invincible ignorance (our fault – if they have accepted the opportunities and grace to know or learn the truth), are not subject to any guilt in this matter before the eyes of the Lord.” No.1647   It then goes on to say: “Let us tenaciously cling to the Catholic doctrine that there is (but) one God, one faith, one baptism,” referencing Eph. 4: 4 – 6 “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.”

(**}The Catechism of the 90’s had to be changed to better articulate this possible and highly conditional expressed exception. Here then is what our Current Catechism teach; NOTE that is NOT a change in Dogma, which are unchangeable; only a more clear expression of it.

#1260 “Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.”62 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity”

#846 “How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the CatholicChurch was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336

#847 “This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by gracetry in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

#848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”338   Mission – a requirement of the Church‘s catholicity

Let us be clear on what is being infallibly {John 17:17-20} said.  

           We are saying that all, each and every soul that is saved is somehow mysteriously connected, although perhaps not directly, to the only Church founded by Jesus Christ. There are many who lead lives that are faithful and faith-filled despite their limited understanding of the one true Church as the sole avenue of salvation. Knowing that God alone can make this Judgment, here are two who come to mind are Dr. Billy Graham and Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family. The issue is not intelligence, rather it is Grace offered and accepted. “Jesus declared, “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding. Yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will. No one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”  Cf. Mt: 11: 25 – 28 Why in His providence, God enlightens some and withholds understanding from others is, and shall continue to be a great mystery of our faith. It has to do with cooperating with offered graces.

Many saved souls have never, through their own fault, been exposed to the concept and reality of Christ and Christianity, and yet God’s Providential Will provides salvation, if they too have lived to the best of their ability, God’s rule of charity and love, which is laid on the hearts, and souls of all mankind.  Christ is the only means of salvation, and Divine Will, connects His Church to anyone and everyone.

We need be clear that those born into the Catholic Church, raised in the Church, or given the opportunity to know or to learn the truth, will be severely judged if they leave, deny, fail to accept in total and in truth, the wisdom, doctrine, dogma’s and teachings that infallibly bind all of His children. Good and bad, informed, misinformed, obedient and disobedient are all expected to know, to live and to share the faith, and are offered the necessary graces to do so. To be clear, opportunity to know is fully equal to actual knowledge of the truth! Laziness, difficulty, hardship, following the crowd, earns their own just reward, eternal damnation! The Christian Religion cannot be fully and correctly practiced except through the Church that Christ founded.

End of Part Five               03/10/2018

{Actually} “Pray’n WHAT we’re Say’n”; Start of Part Four of six Our Roman Catholic Creeds…

{Actually} “Pray’n WHAT we’re Say’n”;

Start of Part Four of six

Our Roman Catholic Creeds…

               Profession and expression of our faith

The sixth Article of our faithHe ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.”

          The Creed imposes a dual trinity of belief. Our God is Triune in nature, with three equal, but unable to be separated persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and The Son was born, did die, and is risen as was foretold. Amen!

Obedient to His Fathers will, Jesus lays down His life for us.

“For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father.” Jn. 10:17-18

Jesus The Christ: Mission accomplished!

“After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said, “I thirst.” A bowl full of wine vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the wine vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth.  When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished”; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”(Died) Jn. 19:28-30

“Redemptionwhich apples to every Human Soul ever to exist: past, present and to come were now ABLE to conditionally access Heaven which had been locked out as a consequence of “Original Sin.” Gen. 3:23-24

“Salvation” was now conditionally possible to all the Souls willing to pay God’s price of admission.

  “As they (the Apostles) were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts. 1: 9-11

Why? “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself.” Jn. 12:32

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” Jn. 1: 14

          The seventh Article of faith is: “From there he will come to judge the living and the dead”

          “I the Lord speak the truth, I declare what is right.” Isa: 45:19   “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father, but by me.” Jn. 14: 6

          “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” The Lord will judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Heb.10: 30-31 

“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 liking, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”1 Timothy 4: 1-5

We must not forget that sinning is possible by Omission as well as Commission.

God’s specific plan for our individual salvation varies.

The Catholic Church is not the only means to heaven, it is however the specific means chosen by God for our salvation, and it is, when faithfully followed the surest way to get there. Indeed all salvation is channeled through her. God gave the Church, His bride His Mother as guide. Christ gave us a Pope to lead us, a teaching authority, the Magisterium, which consist of all bishops who are in union with him, to instruct us, and two simple commands: Love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself.

We regularly underestimate how much God wishes to do for us, and will do for us if we ask with humility; “Father if it is your will…” and when our pleas conform to His plan for our greater good.

Grace, which is a free gift from God, is the means of leading us in faith, hope and love, and is needed for salvation. The single greatest source of grace is the Holy Eucharist, and why not? It is The Christ!

Grace, a free unmerited gift from God, helps us to be happy in this world and the next, has several forms:

Actual Grace: Temporary supernatural intervention by God to enlighten the mind or strengthen the will.

Efficacious Grace: The actual grace to which free consent is given by the will so that graces produce their divinely intended purpose.

Habitual Grace: A supernatural gift that makes one pleasing to God.

Justifying Grace: The grace by which one is restored to God’s friendship, through baptism and penance.

Sacramental Grace: The grace conferred by the valid and fruitful reception of the seven sacraments. The single greatest source of grace available to us is in receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, Holy Communion.

Sanctifying Grace: Participation in divine life received from God.

          Supernatural Grace: Are special graces infused into ones soul so as to be habitual (they help form a proper conscience) and aid in Supernatural direction and inclination for Justification and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. These graces stem from the Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of The Lord, and from the three Moral virtues: Justice, Temperance and Fortitude, and the three Theological virtues: Faith, Hope and Charity. These are Quoted from Father Hardon’s Catholic Dictionary

          The Final Judgments.

          The Particular Judgment “Like a thief in the night” Christ will come. We will face immediate judgment the very moment we die. Accounting will have to be given for fulfilling God’s plan for us. We will be judged for what we could have done and what we should have done. Did we practice selfless Charity; did we love God most or love others (yes even our family are to take second place) and ourselves more? Were we Obedient to His Commandants and the Corporal and Spiritual works of mercy and did we live our faith, which always requires sacrifice? Heaven and Hell are real! Where we spend eternity, is up to us. God always provides and offers sufficient graces. It is our decision to accept or reject them.

The General Judgment: The same Christ will come in all His Glory and final judgment will be made on mankind from all ages, and our bodies will be reunited with our soul. “Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; their men will weep and gnash their teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” Mt. 22: 13-14

In our profession of faith, when we proclaim belief in the “living and the dead,” we acknowledge the General Judgment, where mankind from all ages will be separated and found justified to be and remain in God’s presence for all time, or in justice be condemned to the depths of hell for eternity.  There is always a price to pay. Play now and pay latter, or sacrifice and pray now to attain the peace and joy that can only be had in the presence of the Almighty.

End Part Four       03/09/2018

Mom is Not Always Right, Mother Church Is   Ines A. Murzaku: RE-Blogged

Mom is Not Always Right, Mother Church Is

There is currently a commercial on Italian television for a new car model. Before presenting the car, the commercial starts with floating and colorful male condoms followed by as colorful birth control pills and saying, “dad says condom, mom says the pill and I say surprise, surprise.” At which point, the commercial shows a baby laughing and giggling.

Does this mean that the baby is an “accident” caused by not following mom and dad’s recommendations to use the pill or condom, or that neither worked to prevent pregnancy, or that the baby is the result of freedom to express sexual desire?

The commercial continues, “punk music says anarchy and pop music says dance, and I say freedom.” It concludes with the freedom to choose the new car model. The only association seems to be between the freedom to choose condom or pill and freedom to choose a particular model of car.

Although this is a commercial of very poor quality, it’s not a bad reflection of our contemporary moral chaos. It’s shocking to see the colorful floating condoms and colorful small pills, and more shocking to realize that what this Italian car commercial is showing is that these days parents are the first promoters of free and contraceptive love among their unmarried children.

Where have the family and its usual values gone in a post-Vatican II and post-Humanae Vitae culture? Which raises yet another question: are Millennials, especially women, following their parents’ recommendations in choosing contraception?

According to a 2016-2017 study of 9,000 women in nine countries, “Women and contraception: From baby boomers to millennials – has anything really changed,” Millennials choose the same contraceptives their Baby-Boomer mothers chose, although “Millennials know little about long-term effects of contraceptives. And about 70 percent of those women who use or do not use long-term contraception say they do not understand how these really work, while 50 percent of baby boomers (between 50-65 years old) said they knew how the contraceptive coil worked.”

Conventional wisdom says that Millennials are raised and trained to be independent critical thinkers, active news and information seekers. Still they are unaware of the risks of post-modern culture, including health risks related to artificial contraception. According to the study mentioned above, Millennials are not much active in choice of contraceptives. They make the same choices their mothers made in the 1970s and show little interest in other options. They are, as a health provider puts it, not open to “contraceptive dialogue.”

Why are the Millennials stuck in the seventies? Moms are not always right – as Millennials are only too happy to believe on other matters. What is wrong with this picture?


First, the unlimited use of contraception by two generations of women – Baby Boomers and Millennials – tells us a lot about the state of the family, marriage, free sex, cohabitation, and more generally our current moral chaos. Obviously, the family is failing to teach Millennials about the mystery of the body and conjugal love, what St. John Paul II calls an “adequate anthropology” that sees man as an image of God. It is in the family and from parents, as Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila wrote recently in his pastoral letterThe Splendor of Love, that “we learn the meaning of our body and the calling to give of ourselves, that is, the spousal meaning of the body.” There is no substitute for the family as the first educator and evangelizer in society.

Second, it is surprising how Millennials choose to remain uninformed (despite hours on the Internet) about the long-term effects of artificial contraceptives and how they really work. A study in The New England Journal of Medicine followed 1.8 million women for over 10 years. It found that the risk of breast cancer was “higher among women who currently or recently used contemporary hormonal contraceptives than among women who had never used hormonal contraceptives.”

Fifty years ago, Paul VI’s prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae predicted the coming of “marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards,” the destruction of the family, and lowering “the reverence due to a woman.” Since then it has become the “Gospel of Sexuality” where Church teaching on the subject is explained clearly and succinctly. Not many Catholics, however, live by its principles. I often wonder how many Catholics – Baby Boomers and Millennials – have read or even know about it and the moral use of Natural Family Planning (NFP).

In 1993, on the 25th anniversary of Humanae Vitae Mother Teresa addressed the crowd of thousands gathered in Omaha, Nebraska:

I hope we have grown stronger in our conviction that to listen to the Church is to listen to Jesus Himself. Humanae Vitae clearly expresses the mind and will of God about marriage. It reminds us of the beauty of married love in God’s plan as an expression of total self-giving and helps us to accept the child as the fruit of that love. The child is a birth gift of God to the family. Contraception cannot be an expression of total self-giving because in contraception, something is done to one’s self to destroy the power to conceive a child. Contraception is “yes” to selfishness and “no” to true love because contraception is something done to one’s self, turns the attention to one’s self.

Mother Teresa was speaking from her experience of teaching NFP among the poor of the poorest in India. She was convinced that there is no need for the Pill because there was an authentic-natural alternative, built on a profound knowledge of the body coupled with the virtue of self-control, which had proven to strengthen conjugal love and fidelity.

Mother Teresa and Paul VI were resisting, not conforming to popular culture. They were seeking God’s will as to what is good, pleasing, and perfect. (Romans 12:2) And they were perfectly right. Their advice is worth exploring – and following.

Mom is not always right. Mother Church is.


*Image: The Holy Father greets a holy Mother [Pope Bl. Paul VI and Mother Teresa, May 6, 1978]


{Actually} “Pray’n WHAT we’re Say’n”;  Start of Part Three of six Our Roman Catholic Creeds…

{Actually} “Pray’n WHAT we’re Say’n”;

 Start of Part Three of six

Our Roman Catholic Creeds…

               Profession and expression of our faith

Our Creeds fourth Article of Faith is: “Jesus Christ suffered Under Pontius Pilate, was crucified and was buried.”   A historically provable fact.

Here again are several questions and points of consideration. Oddly, the logical place to begin to understand these mysteries is to begin at “the end.”

The last words of Jesus on the Cross of Salvation were: “It is finished.” Jn. 19: 30 what was finished we ask? The payment for the price of admission to Eternal Life with God for ALL eternity. The “tickets” have been brought with a great price, ”you were bought with a price.” cf. 1Cor: 6: 20, but they are attainable to us only if we too “pay the price of admission” through informed obedience to God’s and Church laws, works of mercy, and, as best we are able, love each other as He loves us. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Jn. 15:12

Salvation history begins with the birth of Jesus the Christ (which means, “Savior”), proceeds to a life of teaching by example, miracles of faith to establish faith, and ended with the greatest possible manifestation of love that was possible, even for The God-man. Death; death on the cross, made necessary by our sinful lives. “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1. Cor. 1:18

“Can you imagine what a crucifixion is?

“And you, who were dead in sin, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our sins, having canceled the bond which stood against us with its just demands of retribution; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” cf. Col. 2:13-14

The Salvation story is often told, and is known to all of the world’s “great religions,” Christians and heathens alike. It need not be recounted here. What is amazing, is that the providence and will of God does not demand that everyone accept its reality and truth.

That the offer of salvation, while open to all, is not equally available to all is evident,” Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him” Ps: 85:9, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, kept in heaven for you” (Peter 1:3-4). “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.” 1 Tim. 2:5-6

          “Whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” Jas. 5:20

Why was Christ feared, hated and put to death by the Religious Leaders of the time?

          First: They choose not to accept God’s grace and comprehend that Jesus was the long awaited Christ; the Messiah, the very Savior foretold in their parchment scrolls.  “O thou hope of Israel, its savior in time of trouble, why should thou be like a stranger in the land, like a wayfarer who turns aside to tarry for a night” Jer. 14: 8 

 Second: Jesus ate with sinners, spoke and forgave prostitutes, healed the poor and lame, claimed to have the power to forgive sins and even gave them a demonstration that He indeed did have this power. He allowed his followers to “work” on the Sabbath; worked countless miracles, many of them too on the Sabbath, and was exceedingly successful in starting a religious revolt against Traditional Religious- Judaism Jesus was a threat, both real and imagined. Many of the unfair practices of the Scribes and Pharisees were being threatened by this Upstart Jesus.They feared Him because He usurped their power. Full of greed, full of fear, full of pride, they could not be full of grace. Unrepentant sinners, they were unable to recognize Goodness and God, in the presence of what they perceived only as greatness.

           Paralyzed by a fear that they “had to” kill, they hung their fear on the Cross of Calvary. “I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” Jn. 10:17-18 

          Over time they had transformed Yahweh God’s Ten Commandments into 613 unbending, must abide rules; their oppression was worse than that of the Roman conquerors. They could not see that the Age of Law, had to give way to the Age of Grace. That Salvation was at hand, and Faith, Hope and Love were the way to earn it.

What happened to the soul of Jesus when He died? 

           When Jesus died, His body and soul were separated from each other, as it will be with us (Only for the time that He remained in the tomb CCC 624). But His soul was never separated from His Divine Nature.

                    Christ wished to be buried in order to prove that He had really died. “And when he (Joseph the priest) learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. And he bought a linen shroud, and taking him (Jesus) down (from the cross), wrapped him in the linen shroud, and laid him in a tomb, which had been hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. ” Mk. 15:45-46

The Fifth Article of our faith: “He descended into hell, the third day He arose again from the dead.”

Whether we term it “hell,” or “Sheol” in Hebrew, or “Hades” in Greek, we speak of a place of eternal Damnation.  We should do so with the greatest fear and trepidation.  Hell may or may not be a pool of fire. It certainly is the location of deep and everlasting depression. A place void of hope, filled with constant unrelenting despair. The full knowledge that God’s presence is forever lost, that one is forever separated from all love; that no chance for forgiveness exist, and complete isolation from every good, from every Happiness, and a permanent tormented mind and soul, are the just rewards of those who earn it. God does not send souls to hell, we send ourselves!

In this petition though we are speaking of the “Limo of the Fathers”; a temporary place for the Souls of the Just, who were “locked out of heaven as one of the consequences of Original sin.

Exo. 3: 23-24 “ [23] And the Lord God sent him {Adam & Eve} out of the paradise of pleasure, to till the earth from which he was taken. [24] And he cast out Adam; and placed before the paradise of pleasure Cherubims, and a flaming sword, turning every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

Our Catechism: 633 “Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” – Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek – because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”: “It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.” Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him”

Why did Christ visit hell? (small “h”.)

           “Christ went down into the depths of death (Limbo) so that “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” Jesus did not actually visit “the Hell” we know about, but rather the “hell” small “h” that was the place where all the good went and stayed, awaiting the opening of the “Gates of Heaven.” Catholic term, this place as “Limbo of the Fathers.” A place of waiting, an in-between Heaven and Hell place of no suffering but also of incomplete joy and happiness, lacking the Beatific Vision.

Prior to the act of Salvation, the death of Christ on the cross, access to heaven was denied to souls who had passed into eternal life worthy of access to heaven. They were “In the Limbo of the fathers”.  A place of rest and peace, but lacking the beatific vision (being in the actual presence of God), and therefore lacking that total and complete happiness which can only be had in God’s presence.

End of Part Three        03/08/2018

{Actually} “Pray’n WHAT we’re Say’n”;  Start of Part Two  #2 of 6  Our Roman Catholic Creeds…  Profession and expression of our faith

The tile of this series is:

{Actually} “Pray’n WHAT we’re Say’n”;

 Start of Part Two  #2 of 6

 Our Roman Catholic Creeds…

               Profession and expression of our faith

           The third article of faith we proclaim in our Creed:  Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.”

           Mary, Mother of God, is the first, the most perfect and the most beautiful tabernacle of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

           What is it we are saying, and what is it we believe about this mystery and gift from God, of Himself?

   First we are saying that Mary is truly and really the Mother of the Second person of the divine Trinity, God whom we recognize and identify as Jesus Christ. “And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” Lk. 1: 34-35

Faith is a requirement of most religions and it is Almighty God’s plan not to reveal all secrets to us, because not knowing, or being able to comprehend and understand these mysteries, makes us all the more reliant on Him our Creator, Him our Savior, Him our Comforter.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Is: 55: 8-9 Our Church Fathers, inspired by God, teach us through many wonderful resources; one of the most recent and most valuable is the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), issued in 1994 and again in 1997.

Not only is Mary the Mother of God, but she is also our mother ……

            “Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” Jn. 19: 25-27  And in this special grace from God to Mary, and to us, He made His mother, for all time, “mother of all mankind.”

Consider this: Almighty God entrusted His only Son to the virginal womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In human terms and in reality, Mary is the Mother of God! Should we; may we not also trust ourselves to her loving guidance and embrace? By a gift from Christ on the cross of Calvary, Mary was to adopt us as her own.

  The second mystery of the Incarnation involves understanding the singular honor and requirements of this special call, of the teenage Mary, who did not fully understand yet responded with complete faith. “And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Lk. 1: 38

          The catechism tells us, “”Mary is more blessed because she embraces faith in Christ than because she conceives the flesh of Christ.” CCC 506 Mary is chosen for this highest honor, from all women, in all ages, because of her complete faith. She therefore is our model of faith and faithfulness.  Mary is the only person to accept and properly apply all of God’s offered graces.

The third mystery is a dogma of faith of the Roman Catholic Church, declared by our Supreme Pontiff, Pope Pius IX, and proclaimed in 1854, “from the chair of Peter.” It is the inspired word of God, and therefore cannot be in error. From the very moment of inception, Mary was without any trace of sin, even “original sin,” which all mankind inherits from the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve. Further, Mary’s soul remained spotless without sin throughout her entire life. This was necessary because Mary, as we indicated at this beginning of this topic, was the first and most perfect tabernacle of Jesus. God would not settle for less. Ineffabilis Deus

The forth mystery, a dogma of our faith, confesses that Mary was Virgin prior to being impregnated by the Holy Spirit, gave birth to Jesus and remained a Virgin even after the birth of the Son of God. Again we ask why, and are told that these gifts are “appropriate to her role as Mother of God. CCC 490, CCC 500   “The Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin”, before, during and after birth.  CCC 499 Ineffabilis Deus

Why do Catholics pray to Mary and other saints?  

          Gen. 20:7, Exo. 8:9, Lev. 15:16, Phil. 1:9, Jn. 5:14, Bar. 1:11 & Mt. 5:44; these are all examples of prayer for others; which is the foundation of and for intercessory prayer.

          The practice of praying to Mary and other saints is an affirmed tradition that has been approved by our Church Fathers. Its very roots can be traced to the Old Testament, to Jesus Himself and to the Apostles.

“Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God” (CCC 2590) Our understanding of why this practice is not only tolerated, but greatly encouraged, is aided by the understanding that properly understood and practiced, Catholics, pray “through,”  more than pray ”too” Mary and the Saints.

What is our Church saying?  The “bottom line” is that while our prayers are directed to Mary and the Saints who by the good example of that part of their lives that were holy, worthy of emulation and lasting reward, the prayers we say are but petitions to God through them. (In Mary’s case, it is her entire life.) They are called “intercessory prayers.”

 Two examples will help make the point clearer. Praying the Rosary is a long established Catholic Tradition.  The Rosary begins with the very “Apostles Creed” we are speaking about. Then proceeds to “The Lord’s Prayer,” the “Our Father,” and three “Hail Mary’s,” and then our common prayer to the Blessed Trinity, that we call the “Glory be.” This is a prayer of glory, praise and thanks to each person of the Trinity. Each “decade” of the rosary begins with recalling a significant event in the Life of Christ, Joyous, Sorrowful, Glorious, and the most recent Luminous Mysteries, and then proceeds with an “Our Father, followed by ten “Hail Mary’s and ends with a “Glory-be.” Each is directed to God through our mother’s intercession.

The second example reviews briefly the words and meaning of the “Hail Mary prayer’” for those unfamiliar with it or who have not given its words careful thought.  “Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee,” are the words of the angel Gabrielle’s greeting to her. ” Hallowed be thy name. Blessed art thou among women and blessed be the fruit of your womb, Jesus,” facts that are the honor due the sinless Mother of God, and the words expressed by her cousin Elizabeth when she went to visit her before Jesus was born. We then ask our mother Mary to intercede with her son, our Savior, Jesus on our behalf, by praying: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen!” (Which means, I believe!).  We are praying through, more than to Mary.  Our prayer request is similar when we are praying to (through) Saints.

Are these particular prayers, strictly required for our salvation? No! But praying in general is. If not absolutely necessary, then why do we pray them?

There are three very good reasons. 1. Our efforts are duplicated and doubled by our mother Mary and the saints to whom we direct our prayers. 2. Their lives and sacrifices have earned them a place in heaven where they can, and do see God, face to face, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face” 1 Cor. 13: 12, they have justly earned a greater access to God, which they utilize on our behalf. 3. We sometimes, with cause fear the Lord, or feel unworthy and inadequate to speak to The Almighty directly. Because prayer is essential to our salvation, and our salvation is God’s desire for each of us, our Churches teaching authority, the Magisterium, strongly recommends these and other prayers and pious acts.

“By keeping the memorials of the saints – first of all the holy Mother of God, then the apostles, the martyrs, and other saints – on fixed days of the liturgical year, the Church on earth shows that she is united with the liturgy of heaven. (CCC 1195)

Conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit” Affirms and confirms Mary as Mother of God! It was this Godly impregnation that makes Mary so unique and the Mother of God! Her perpetual virginity is yet another special gift to Mary from a All Powerful God, who kept Mary completely sinless throughout her entire life, not by influencing Mary’s “free-will,” but rather by providing super abundant Graces, which Mary accepted and fully applied to her life.

End Part Two    03/07/2018