Tag Archives: Gospel of Matthew

Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Mass during the Day

Icon of Saints Peter and Paul“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Saint Peter on the Person on Christ, Matthew 16:16

Saints Peter and Paul are the founders of the Diocese of Rome. One was the Prince of the Apostles and the first Bishop of Rome, known as the office of the Papcy today, and the other was the majority author of the New Testament books and something of a travelling evangelical priest/bishop.

Catholic Culture wrote this short tidbit about these two great saints (more after the readings of course):

Veneration of the two great Apostles, Peter and Paul, has its roots in the very foundations of the Church. They are the solid rock on which the Church is built. They are at the origin of her faith and will forever remain her protectors and her guides. To them Rome owes her true greatness, for it was under God’s providential guidance that they were led to make the capital of the Empire, sanctified by their martyrdom, the center of the Christian world whence should radiate the preaching of the Gospel.

St. Peter suffered martyrdom under Nero, in A.D. 66 or 67. He was buried on the hill of the Vatican where recent excavations have revealed his tomb on the very site of the basilica of St. Peter’s. St. Paul was beheaded in the via Ostia on the spot where now stands the basilica bearing his name. Down the centuries Christian people in their thousands have gone on pilgrimage to the tombs of these Apostles. In the second and third centuries the Roman Church already stood pre-eminent by reason of her apostolicity, the infallible truth of her teaching and her two great figures, Sts. Peter and Paul.

A plenary indulgence may be gained today by anyone who makes devout use of a religious article blessed by a bishop and who also recites any approved profession of faith (e.g. the Apostles Creed), as long as the usual conditions are satisfied.

Catholic Culture prepared this special section during the Year of St. Paul.

via Catholic Culture | Liturgical Year


Read the Bible at Mass

First Reading: Acts 12:1-11

In those days, King Herod laid hands upon some members of the Church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also. –It was the feast of Unleavened Bread.–  He had him taken into custody and put in prison under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. He intended to bring him before the people after Passover. Peter thus was being kept in prison, but prayer by the Church was fervently being made to God on his behalf.

On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter, secured by double chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison. Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying, “Get up quickly.” The chains fell from his wrists. The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.” So he followed him out, not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first guard, then the second, and came to the iron gate leading out to the city, which opened for them by itself. They emerged and made their way down an alley, and suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter recovered his senses and said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting.”

Responsorial Psalm34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (5) The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.

R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.

R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.

R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

Second Reading: 2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18

I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.

The Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel Reading: Mt 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply:

“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”


St. Peter

Peter’s original name was Simon. Christ Himself gave him the name Cephas or Peter when they first met and later confirmed it. This name change was meant to show both Peter’s rank as leader of the apostles and the outstanding trait of his character — Peter (in Hebrew Kephas) the Rock. Peter was born in Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. Like his younger brother Andrew, he was a fisherman and dwelt at Capernaum. Peter’s house often became the scene of miracles, since the Master would stay there whenever He was teaching in that locality. Together with his brothers John and Andrew, Peter belonged to the first of Jesus’ disciples (John 1:40-50).

After the miraculous draught of fish on the Sea of Galilee, Peter received his definitive call and left wife, family, and occupation to take his place as leader of the Twelve. Thereafter we find him continually at Jesus’ side, whether it be as spokesman of the apostolic college (John 6:68; Matt. 16:16), or as one specially favored (e.g., at the restoration to life of Jairus’ daughter, at the transfiguration, during the agony in the garden). His sanguine temperament often led him into hasty, unpremeditated words and actions; his denial of Jesus during the passion was a salutary lesson. It accentuated a weakness in his character and made him humble.

After the ascension, Peter always took the leading role, exercising the office of chief shepherd that Christ had entrusted to him. He delivered the first sermon on Pentecost and received the first Gentiles into the Church (Cornelius; Acts 10:1). Paul went to Jerusalem “to see Peter.” After his miraculous deliverance from prison (Easter, 42 A.D.), Peter “went to a different place,” most probably to Rome. Details now become scanty; we hear of his presence at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:1), and of his journey to Antioch (Gal. 2:11).

It is certain that Peter labored in Rome as an apostle, that he was the city’s first bishop, and that he died there as a martyr, bound to a cross (67 A.D.). According to tradition he also was the first bishop of Antioch. He is the author of two letters, the first Christian encyclicals. His burial place is Christendom’s most famous shrine, an edifice around whose dome are inscribed the words: Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: Against frenzy; bakers; bridge builders; butchers; clock makers; cobblers; Exeter College Oxford; feet problems; fever; fishermen; harvesters; locksmiths; longevity; masons; net makers; papacy; Popes; ship builders; shipwrights; shoemakers; stone masons; Universal Church; watch makers; Poznan, Poland; Rome; Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi; Diocese of Las Vegas, Nevada; Diocese of Marquette, Michigan; Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island; Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Symbols: Two keys saltire; pastoral staff and two large keys; inverted cross; inverted cross and two keys saltire; crowing cock; fish; two swords; patriarchal cross and two keys saltire; two keys and a scroll; sword.
Often portrayed as: Bald man, often with a fringe of hair on the sides and a tuft on top; book; keys; man crucified head downwards; man holding a key or keys; man robed as a pope and bearing keys and a double-barred cross.

via Catholic Culture | Liturgical Year


St. Paul

Paul, known as Saul (his Roman name) before his conversion, was born at Tarsus in the Roman province of Silicia about two or three years after the advent of the Redeemer. He was the son of Jewish parents who belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, was reared according to the strict religious-nationalistic party of the Pharisees, and enjoyed the high distinction of Roman citizenship.

As a youth he went to Jerusalem to become immersed in the Law and had as a teacher the celebrated Gamaliel. He acquired skill as a tent-maker, a work he continued even as an apostle. At the time of Jesus’ ministry he no longer was at Jerusalem; neither did he see the Lord during His earthly-life. Upon returning to the Holy City, Paul discovered a flourishing Christian community and at once became its bitter opponent. When Stephen impugned Law and temple, Paul was one of the first at his stoning; thereafter his fiery personality would lead the persecution. Breathing threats of slaughter against the disciples of Jesus, he was hurrying to Damascus when the grace of God effected his conversion (about the year 34 A.D.; see January 25, Conversion of St. Paul).

After receiving baptism and making some initial attempts at preaching, Paul withdrew into the Arabian desert (c. 34-37 A.D.), where he prepared himself for his future mission. During this retreat he was favored with special revelations, Christ appearing to him personally. Upon his return to Damascus he began to preach but was forced to leave when the Jews sought to kill him. Then he went to Jerusalem “to see Peter.” Barnabas introduced him to the Christian community, but the hatred of the Jews again obliged him to take secret flight. The following years (38-42 A.D.) he spent at Tarsus until Barnabas brought him to the newly founded Christian community at Antioch, where both worked a year for the cause of Christ; in the year 44 he made another journey to Jerusalem with the money collected for that famine stricken community.

The first major missionary journey (45-48) began upon his return as he and Barnabas brought the Gospel to Cyprus and Asia Minor (Acts 13-14). The Council of Jerusalem occasioned Paul’s reappearance in Jerusalem (50). Spurred on by the decisions of the Council, he began the second missionary journey (51-53), traveling through Asia Minor and then crossing over to Europe and founding churches at Philippi, Thessalonia (his favorite), Berea, Athens, Corinth. He remained almost two years at Corinth, establishing a very flourishing and important community. In 54 he returned to Jerusalem for the fourth time.

Paul’s third missionary journey (54-58) took him to Ephesus, where he labored three years with good success; after visiting his European communities, he returned to Jerusalem for a fifth time (Pentecost, 58). There he was seized by the Jews and accused of condemning the Law. After being held as a prisoner for two years at Caesarea, he appealed to Caesar and was sent by sea to Rome (60 A.D.). Shipwrecked and delayed on the island of Malta, he arrived at Rome in the spring of 61 and passed the next two years in easy confinement before being released. The last years of the saint’s life were devoted to missionary excursions, probably including Spain, and to revisiting his first foundations. In 66 he returned to Rome, was taken prisoner, and beheaded a year later. His fourteen letters are a precious legacy; they afford a deep insight into a great soul.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: Against snakes; authors; Cursillo movement; evangelists; hailstorms; hospital public relations; journalists; lay people; missionary bishops; musicians; poisonous snakes; public relations personnel; public relations work; publishers; reporters; rope braiders; rope makers; saddlemakers; saddlers; snake bites; tent makers; writers; Malta; Rome; Poznan, Poland; newspaper editorial staff, Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Diocese of Covington, Kentucky; Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama; Diocese of Las Vegas, Nevada; Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island; Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Symbols: Book and sword, three fountains; two swords; scourge; serpent and a fire; armour of God; twelve scrolls with names of his Epistles; Phoenix; palm tree; shield of faith; sword; book.
Often portrayed as: Thin-faced elderly man with a high forehead, receding hairline and long pointed beard; man holding a sword and a book; man with 3 springs of water nearby;

Things to Do:

  • From the Directory on Popular Piety, this feast is important because “it is always useful to teach the faithful to realize the importance and significance of the feasts of those Saints who have had a particular mission in the history of Salvation, or a singular relationship with Christ such as St. John the Baptist (24 June), St. Joseph (19 March), Sts. Peter and Paul (29 June), the Apostles and Evangelists, St. Mary Magdalen (22 July), St. Martha (29 July) and St. Stephen (26 December).”
  • The Directory on Popular Piety also explains the devotion of the Christian Pilgrimage. During the Middle Ages in particular, “pilgrims came to Rome to venerate the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul (ad Limina Apostolorum), the catacombs and basilicas, in recognition of the service rendered to the universal Church by the successor of Peter.”
  • Besides the recipes in our database, Cooking With the Saints by Ernst Schuegraf has seven recipes alone for the feast of St. Peter. This is a wonderful book, beautifully illustrated with art of the saints and the actual dishes. This would be a great addition to your liturgical year library.
  • Learn more about St. Paul, read Paul of Tarsus

via Catholic Culture | Liturgical Year

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Office of Readings for Friday in the 11th Week in Ordinary Time

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

HYMN

All hail, adorèd Trinity;
All hail, eternal Unity;
O God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, ever One.

Behold to Thee, this festal day,
We meekly pour our thankful lay;
O let our work accepted be,
That sweetest work of praising Thee.

Three Persons praise we evermore,
One only God our hearts adore;
In Thy sure mercy ever kind
May we our true protection find.

O Trinity! O Unity!
Be present as we worship Thee;
And with the songs that angels sing
Unite the hymns of praise we bring.

“All hail, adored Trinity” by Keble College Choir; Words: Unknown author, 11th Century (Ave! Colenda Trinitas); translated from Latin to English by John Chandler, Lauda Syon, Part 1, 1857.
“All hail, adored Trinity” performed by Keble College Choir is available from Amazon.com

PSALMODY

Ant. 1  I am worn out with crying, with longing for my God.

Psalm 69:2-22; 30-37
I am consumed with zeal for your house

They offered him a mixture of wine and gall (Matthew 27:34).

I

Save me, O God,
for the waters have risen to my neck.

I have sunk into the mud of the deep
and there is no foothold.
I have entered the waters of the deep
and the waves overwhelm me.

I am wearied with all my crying,
my throat is parched.
My eyes are wasted away
from looking for my God.

More numerous than the hairs on my head
are those who hate me without cause.
Those who attack me with lies
are too much for my strength.

How can I restore
what I have never stolen?
O God, you know my sinful folly;
my sins you can see.

Let those who hope in you not be put to shame
through me, Lord of hosts:
let not those who seek you be dismayed
through me, God of Israel.

It is for you that I suffer taunts,
that shame covers my face,
that I have become a stranger to my brothers,
an alien to my own mother’s sons.
I burn with zeal for your house
and taunts against you fall on me.

When I afflict my soul with fasting
they make it a taunt against me.
When I put on sackcloth in mourning
then they make me a byword,
the gossip of men at the gates,
the subject of drunkards’ songs.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. I am worn out with crying, with longing for my God.

Ant. 2  I needed food and they gave me gall; I was parched with thirst and they gave me vinegar.

II

This is my prayer to you,
my prayer for your favor.
In your great love, answer me, O God,
with your help that never fails:
rescue me from sinking in the mud;
save me from my foes.

Save me from the waters of the deep
lest the waves overwhelm me.
Do not let the deep engulf me
nor death close its mouth on me.

Lord, answer, for your love is kind;
in your compassion, turn towards me.
Do not hide your face from your servant;
answer quickly for I am in distress.
Come close to my soul and redeem me;
ransom me pressed by my foes.

You know how they taunt and deride me;
my oppressors are all before you.
Taunts have broken my heart;
I have reached the end of my strength.
I looked in vain for compassion,
for consolers; not one could I find.

For food they gave me poison;
in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. I needed food and they gave me gall; I was parched with thirst and they gave me vinegar.

Ant. 3  Seek the Lord and you will live.

III

As for me in my poverty and pain
let your help, O God, lift me up.

I will praise God’s name with a song;
I will glorify him with thanksgiving,
a gift pleasing God more than oxen,
more than beasts prepared for sacrifice.

The poor when they see it will be glad
and God-seeking hearts will revive;
for the Lord listens to the needy
and does not spurn his servants in their chains.
Let the heavens and the earth give him praise,
the sea and all its living creatures.

For God will bring help to Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah
and men shall dwell there in possession.
The sons of his servants shall inherit it;
those who love his name shall dwell there.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

God our Father, to show the way of salvation, you chose that the standard of the cross should go before us, and you fulfilled the ancient prophecies in Christ’s Passover from death to life. Do not let us rouse your burning indignation by sin, but rather, through the contemplation of his wounds, make us burn with zeal for the honor of your Church and with grateful love for you.

Ant. Seek the Lord and you will live.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell) – a moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

The Lord will teach us his ways.
And we will follow in his footsteps.

READINGS

First reading
From the book of Judges
The birth of Samson is foretold

The Israelites again offended the Lord, who therefore delivered them into the power of the Philistines for forty years.

There was a certain man from Zorah, of the clan of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren and had borne no children. An angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Though you are barren and have had no children, yet you will conceive and bear a son. Now, then, be careful to take no wine or strong drink and to eat nothing unclean. As for the son you will conceive and bear, no razor shall touch his head, for this boy is to be consecrated to God from the womb. It is he who will begin the deliverance of Israel from the power of the Philistines.”

The woman went and told her husband, “A man of God came to me; he had the appearance of an angel of God, terrible indeed. I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name. But he said to me, ‘You will be with child and will bear a son. So take neither wine nor strong drink, and eat nothing unclean. For the boy shall be consecrated to God from the womb, until the day of his death.’” Manoah then prayed to the Lord. “O Lord, I beseech you,” he said, “may the man of God whom you sent, return to us to teach us what to do for the boy who will be born.”

God heard the prayer of Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman as she was sitting in the field. Since her husband Manoah was not with her, the woman ran in haste and told her husband. “The man who came to me the other day has appeared to me,” she said to him; so Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he reached the man, he said to him, “Are you the one who spoke to my wife?” “Yes,” he answered. Then Manoah asked, “Now, when that which you say comes true, what are we expected to do for the boy?” The angel of the Lord answered Manoah, “Your wife is to abstain from all the things of which I spoke to her. She must not eat anything that comes from the vine, nor take wine or strong drink, nor eat anything unclean. Let her observe all that I have commanded her.”

Then Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “Can we persuade you to stay, while we prepare a kid for you?” But the angel of the Lord answered Manoah, “Although you press me, I will not partake of your food. But if you will, you may offer a holocaust to the Lord.” Not knowing that it was the angel of the Lord, Manoah said to him, “What is your name, that we may honor you when your words come true?” The angel of the Lord answered him, “Why do you ask my name, which is mysterious?” Then Manoah took the kid with a cereal offering and offered it on the rock to the Lord, whose works are mysteries.

While Manoah and his wife were looking on, as the flame rose to the sky from the altar, the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell prostrate to the ground; but the angel of the Lord was seen no more by Manoah and his wife. Then Manoah, realizing that it was the angel of the Lord, said to his wife, “We will certainly die, for we have seen God.” But his wife pointed out to him, “If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a holocaust and cereal offering from our hands! Nor would he have let us see all this just now, or hear what we have heard.”

The woman bore a son and named him Samson. The boy grew up and the Lord blessed him; the spirit of the Lord first stirred him in Mahaneh-dan, which is between Zorah and Eshtaol.

RESPONSORY Luke 1:13, 15; Judges 13:5

The angel said to Zechariah: Your wife will bear you a son, and you must name him John; he will drink no wine or any strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb.
For the boy is to be a Nazarite consecrated to God.

The angel of the Lord appeared to the wife of Manoah and said to her: You shall conceive and bear a son, and no razor must touch his head.
For the boy is to be a Nazarite consecrated to God.

Second reading
From a treatise on the Lord’s Prayer by Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr
We are God’s children; let us abide in his peace

Christ clearly laid down an additional rule to bind us by a certain contractual condition: we ask that our debts be forgiven insofar as we forgive our own debtors. Thus we are made aware that we cannot obtain what we ask regarding our own trespasses unless we do the same for those who trespass against us. This is why he says elsewhere: The measure you give will be the measure you get. And the servant who, after his master forgives all his debt, refuses to forgive his fellow servant is thrown into prison. Because he refused to be kind to his fellow servant, he lost the favor his master had given him.

Along with his other precepts Christ lays this down even more forcefully with a most vigorous condemnation. He says: When you stand up to pray, if you have anything against anyone, let it go, so that your heavenly Father may also forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses. You will have no excuse on the day of judgment, for then you will be judged just as you have judged, and you will suffer whatever you have done to others.

God bids us to be peace-loving, harmonious and of one mind in his house; he wants us to live with the new life he gave us at our second birth. As sons of God, we are to abide in peace; as we have one Spirit, we should be one in mind and heart. Thus God does not receive the sacrifice of one who lives in conflict, and he orders us to turn back from the altar and be first reconciled with our brother, that God too may be appeased by the prayers of one who is at peace. The greatest offering we can make to God is our peace, harmony among fellow Christians, a people united with the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

When Cain and Abel first offered their sacrifices, God considered not so much the gifts as the spirit of the giver: God was pleased with Abel’s offering because he was pleased with his spirit. Thus Abel the just man, the peacemaker, in his blameless sacrifice taught men that when they offer their gift at the altar they should approach as he did, in the fear of God, simplicity of heart, ruled by justice and peaceful harmony. Since this was the character of Abel’s offering, it was only right that he himself should afterward become a sacrifice. As martyrdom’s first witness and possessing the Lord’s qualities of justice and peace, he foreshadowed the Lord’s passion in the glory of his own death. Such, then, are the men who are crowned by the Lord and will be justified with him on the day of judgment.

But Saint Paul and the sacred Scriptures tell us that the quarrelsome man and the troublemaker, who is never at peace with his brothers, cannot escape the charge of internal dissension even though he may die for Christ’s name. For it is written: He who hates his brother is a murderer, nor can he attain the kingdom of heaven. God cannot abide a murderer. He cannot be united with Christ, who has preferred to imitate Judas rather than Christ.

RESPONSORY Ephesians 4:1, 3, 4; Romans 15:5, 6

I implore you to lead a life worthy of the vocation to which you have been called. Be careful to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is but one hope given to you by your calling.

May God grant you to live in harmony with one another, so that together you may glorify God with one voice.
There is but one hope given to you by your calling.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Almighty God,
our hope and our strength,
without you we falter.
Help us to follow Christ
and to live according to your will.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

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via Divine Office

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Ash Wednesday: The First Day of Lent

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Ashes imposed on the forehead of a Christian on Ash Wednesday. Image via Wikipedia.

The time has now come in the Church year for the solemn observance of the great central act of history, the redemption of the human race by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In the Roman Rite, the beginning of the forty days of penance is marked with the austere symbol of ashes which is used in todays liturgy. The use of ashes is a survival from an ancient rite according to which converted sinners submitted themselves to canonical penance. The Alleluia and the Gloria are suppressed until Easter.Abstinence from eating meat is to be observed on all Fridays during Lent. This applies to all persons 14 and older. The law of fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday applies to all Catholics from age 18 through age 59.

via Catholic Culture : Liturgical Year.


My Lenten Journey

In an effort of being open and honest, I would like to inform those who read my blog that I will be fasting from one of my most favorite things this Lent. That is blogging itself. Aside from this post, I will be limiting myself to no more than one post per week – if absolutely necessary, such as an important story, etc.

The internet and blogging for me, at times, can be quite a distraction. There are moments when I feel that I focus on the things of the passing digital age rather than more on God, my family and work. So in order to follow Our Lord the best way I know how, blogging and the internet must be severely limited. There are of course other things I seek to do in order to balance this sacrifice with a gift. In that, again, I turn to Our Lord and I seek to increase my daily Mass attendance to…daily…Mass attendance and being what I like to call “radiation therapy” – making a consistent Eucharistic Holy Hour at least once per week.

I pray brethren that you intercede for me in both matters; that I may be successful in both of these endeavors for the Glory of God in Heaven.


Daily Scripture Readings

First Reading Joel 2:12-18

Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment. Perhaps he will again relent and leave behind him a blessing, Offerings and libations for the LORD, your God. Blow the trumpet in Zion! proclaim a fast, call an assembly; Gather the people, notify the congregation; Assemble the elders, gather the children and the infants at the breast; Let the bridegroom quit his room, and the bride her chamber. Between the porch and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep, And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people, and make not your heritage a reproach, with the nations ruling over them! Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land and took pity on his people.


Responsorial Psalm Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17

R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight.”

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.


Second Reading 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2

Brothers and sisters:

We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Working together, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

For he says:

In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.


Gospel Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”


Ash Wednesday

At the beginning of Lent, on Ash Wednesday, ashes are blessed during Mass, after the homily. The blessed ashes are then “imposed” on the faithful as a sign of conversion, penance, fasting and human mortality. The ashes are blessed at least during the first Mass of the day, but they may also be imposed during all the Masses of the day, after the homily, and even outside the time of Mass to meet the needs of the faithful. Priests or deacons normally impart this sacramental, but instituted acolytes, other extraordinary ministers or designated lay people may be delegated to impart ashes, if the bishop judges that this is necessary. The ashes are made from the palms used at the previous Passion Sunday ceremonies.

— Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year, Msgr. Peter J. Elliott

The act of putting on ashes symbolizes fragility and mortality, and the need to be redeemed by the mercy of God. Far from being a merely external act, the Church has retained the use of ashes to symbolize that attitude of internal penance to which all the baptized are called during Lent.

— Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

From the very early times the commemoration of the approach of Christ’s passion and death was observed by a period of self-denial. St. Athanasius in the year 339 enjoined upon the people of Alexandria the 40 days’ fast he saw practiced in Rome and elsewhere, “to the end that while all the world is fasting, we who are in Egypt should not become a laughing stock as the only people who do not fast but take our pleasure in those days.” On Ash Wednesday in the early days, the Pope went barefoot to St. Sabina’s in Rome “to begin with holy fasts the exercises of Christian warfare, that as we do battle with the spirits of evil, we may be protected by the help of self-denial.”

— Daily Missal of the Mystical Body

Things to Do:

  • Go with your family to receive ashes at Mass today. Leave them on your forehead as a witness to your faith. Here is a Lenten reflection on the meaning of the ashes on Ash Wednesday. If you have children, you may want to share this with them in terms that they can understand.
  • Today parents should encourage their children to reflect upon what regular penances they will perform throughout this season of Lent. Ideally, each member of the family should choose his own personal penance as well as some good act that he will perform (daily spiritual reading, daily Mass, extra prayers, almsgiving, volunteer work, housecleaning, etc.), and the whole family may wish to give up one thing together (TV, movies, desserts) or do something extra (family rosary, Holy Hour, Lenten Alms Jar).
  • The use of Sacrifice Beans may help children to keep track of their Lenten penances. Some families begin this activity (with undyed beans!) on Ash Wednesday and then use the collected beans to cook a penitential bean dish for Good Friday at the end of Lent.
  • Here is a Lenten prayer that the family may pray every night from Ash Wednesday to the first Saturday in Lent, to turn the family’s spiritual focus towards this holy season.
  • Read the Holy Father’s 2010 Message for Lent.

Ash Wednesday: The First Day of Lent

Ashes imposed on the forehead of a Christian o...

The time has now come in the Church year for the solemn observance of the great central act of history, the redemption of the human race by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In the Roman Rite, the beginning of the forty days of penance is marked with the austere symbol of ashes which is used in todays liturgy. The use of ashes is a survival from an ancient rite according to which converted sinners submitted themselves to canonical penance. The Alleluia and the Gloria are suppressed until Easter.Abstinence from eating meat is to be observed on all Fridays during Lent. This applies to all persons 14 and older. The law of fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday applies to all Catholics from age 18 through age 59.

via Catholic Culture : Liturgical Year.


My Lenten Journey

In an effort of being open and honest, I would like to inform those who read my blog that I will be fasting from one of my most favorite things this Lent. That is blogging itself. Aside from this post, I will be limiting myself to no more than one post per week – if absolutely necessary, such as an important story, etc.

The internet and blogging for me, at times, can be quite a distraction. There are moments when I feel that I focus on the things of the passing digital age rather than more on God, my family and work. So in order to follow Our Lord the best way I know how, blogging and the internet must be severely limited. There are of course other things I seek to do in order to balance this sacrifice with a gift. In that, again, I turn to Our Lord and I seek to increase my daily Mass attendance to…daily…Mass attendance and being what I like to call “radiation therapy” – making a consistent Eucharistic Holy Hour at least once per week.

I pray brethren that you intercede for me in both matters; that I may be successful in both of these endeavors for the Glory of God in Heaven.


Daily Scripture Readings

First Reading Joel 2:12-18

Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment. Perhaps he will again relent and leave behind him a blessing, Offerings and libations for the LORD, your God. Blow the trumpet in Zion! proclaim a fast, call an assembly; Gather the people, notify the congregation; Assemble the elders, gather the children and the infants at the breast; Let the bridegroom quit his room, and the bride her chamber. Between the porch and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep, And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people, and make not your heritage a reproach, with the nations ruling over them! Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land and took pity on his people.


Responsorial Psalm Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17

R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight.”

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.


Second Reading 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2

Brothers and sisters:

We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Working together, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

For he says:

In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.


Gospel Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray t
o your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”


Ash Wednesday

At the beginning of Lent, on Ash Wednesday, ashes are blessed during Mass, after the homily. The blessed ashes are then “imposed” on the faithful as a sign of conversion, penance, fasting and human mortality. The ashes are blessed at least during the first Mass of the day, but they may also be imposed during all the Masses of the day, after the homily, and even outside the time of Mass to meet the needs of the faithful. Priests or deacons normally impart this sacramental, but instituted acolytes, other extraordinary ministers or designated lay people may be delegated to impart ashes, if the bishop judges that this is necessary. The ashes are made from the palms used at the previous Passion Sunday ceremonies.

— Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year, Msgr. Peter J. Elliott

The act of putting on ashes symbolizes fragility and mortality, and the need to be redeemed by the mercy of God. Far from being a merely external act, the Church has retained the use of ashes to symbolize that attitude of internal penance to which all the baptized are called during Lent.

— Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

From the very early times the commemoration of the approach of Christ’s passion and death was observed by a period of self-denial. St. Athanasius in the year 339 enjoined upon the people of Alexandria the 40 days’ fast he saw practiced in Rome and elsewhere, “to the end that while all the world is fasting, we who are in Egypt should not become a laughing stock as the only people who do not fast but take our pleasure in those days.” On Ash Wednesday in the early days, the Pope went barefoot to St. Sabina’s in Rome “to begin with holy fasts the exercises of Christian warfare, that as we do battle with the spirits of evil, we may be protected by the help of self-denial.”

— Daily Missal of the Mystical Body

Things to Do:

  • Go with your family to receive ashes at Mass today. Leave them on your forehead as a witness to your faith. Here is a Lenten reflection on the meaning of the ashes on Ash Wednesday. If you have children, you may want to share this with them in terms that they can understand.
  • Today parents should encourage their children to reflect upon what regular penances they will perform throughout this season of Lent. Ideally, each member of the family should choose his own personal penance as well as some good act that he will perform (daily spiritual reading, daily Mass, extra prayers, almsgiving, volunteer work, housecleaning, etc.), and the whole family may wish to give up one thing together (TV, movies, desserts) or do something extra (family rosary, Holy Hour, Lenten Alms Jar).
  • The use of Sacrifice Beans may help children to keep track of their Lenten penances. Some families begin this activity (with undyed beans!) on Ash Wednesday and then use the collected beans to cook a penitential bean dish for Good Friday at the end of Lent.
  • Here is a Lenten prayer that the family may pray every night from Ash Wednesday to the first Saturday in Lent, to turn the family’s spiritual focus towards this holy season.
  • Read the Holy Father’s 2010 Message for Lent.

Bible:Dash the Infants of Our Enemies Against the Rock!

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Pope Benedict XVI baptizing. Image via Canterbury Tales by Taylor Marshall.

Dash Thy Little Ones Against the Rock!

Recently, I had a little exegetical epiphany while meditating on the Vulgate Psalms in Latin. Previously I’ve been troubled by Psalm 136{137}:9, which reads, “Blessed be he that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock.” Being blessed for infanticide? Huh?

However, the Clementine Vulgate version opens itself to a very beautiful allegorical reading:

“beatus qui tenebit et adlidet parvulos tuos ad petram.”

We are encouraged to dash the infants of our enemies “ad petram.”

Now couple this with the Vulgate version of Matthew 16:18

“et ego dico tibi quia tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversum eam.”

To read it allegorically, we should be asking that the infants of our enemies be dashed against Peter and the foundation of the Catholic Church! For example, see the photo at that top of this post–that’s Pope Benedict’s hand baptizing an infant.

It’s edifying (nerdy Latin Vulgate pun intended) to pray Psalm 136 with Mt 16:18 in mind, and then intend that the children of our enemies (secularists, terrorists, haters of the Church, those who have hurt us) be thrown against Peter and the Church…that they be baptized, saved, and remain within the barque of Peter…

The Psalms are so rich. It’s too bad that Psalm 136:9 has been removed from the Liturgy of the Hours. A true pity.

via Dash Thy Little Ones Against the Rock! ~ Canterbury Tales by Taylor Marshall.

Taylor Marshall is an accomplished scholar and I truly enjoy his work especially when he points out little nuggets of the faith-building, truth-supporting facts.

Psalm 137[136] reads:

1 By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion.
2 On the willows there we hung up our lyres.
3 For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
4 How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither!
6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!
7 Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites the day of Jerusalem, how they said, “Rase it, rase it! Down to its foundations!”
8 O daughter of Babylon, you devastator! Happy shall he be who requites you with what you have done to us!
9 Happy shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock! (Psalms (RSV) 137)

To place this verse in some context, consider that the Psalmist is speaking to his enemies, the enemies of Israel: Babylon. In his commentary on the Psalms, St. Augustin contends that the Psalmist is expressing the need for Babylon to repay it transgressions against Israel. He states:

“Happy shall he be that repayeth thee, as thou hast served us.” What repayment meaneth he? Herewith the Psalm closeth, “Happy, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the rock” (verse 9). Her he calleth unhappy, but him happy who payeth her as she hath served us. Do we ask, what reward? This is the repayment. For what hath that Babylon done to us? We have already sung in another Psalm, “The words of the wicked have prevailed against us.” For when we were born, the confusion of this world found us, and choked us while yet infants with the empty notions of divers errors. The infant that is born destined to be a citizen of Jerusalem, and in God’s predestination already a citizen, but meanwhile a prisoner for a time, when learneth he to love ought, save what his parents have whispered into his ears? They teach him and train him in avarice, robbery, daily lying, the worship of divers idols and devils, the unlawful remedies of enchantments and amulets. What shall one yet an infant do, a tender soul, observing what its elders do, save follow that which it seeth them doing. Babylon then has persecuted us when little, but God hath given us when grown up knowledge of ourselves, that we should not follow the errors of our parents. …How shall they repay her? As she hath served us. Let her little ones be choked in turn: yea let her little ones in turn be dashed, and die. What are the little ones of Babylon? Evil desires at their birth. For there are, who have to fight with inveterate lusts. When lust is born, before evil habit giveth it strength against thee, when lust is little, by no means let it gain the strength of evil habit; when it is little, dash it. But thou fearest, lest though dashed it die not; “Dash it against the Rock; and that Rock is Christ.” (Augustin on Psalms 137)

In this commentary St. Augustin equates the “little ones” to sin; sin which must be dashed against Christ Who is the Rock. Some may say that Taylor is way off base on this one but I would disagree. Peter is named such because he is the visible Rock upon whom Jesus built the Church. Furthermore, Jesus left Peter the “keys to the kingdom of heaven.” In doing this, Jesus makes Peter His steward or vicar. Peter speaks with the authority of Christ. As such, Taylor’s argument that this Psalm, read in an allegorical fashion in light of the New Covenant, extols us to dash the ‘little ones’ of our enemies, “against Peter, the foundation of the Catholic Church!” In this Taylor speaks of infant baptism into the Catholic Church.

It is important to note that none of this can be accomplished without Jesus. So “dashing the little ones” against the Peter the Rock is equivalent to dashing them against Jesus the Rock. This is evidenced by Jesus’ words to Saint Paul, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?…I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting”  (Acts (RSV) 9:4b, 5b). Jesus does not say to Paul, then Saul, “Why do you persecute my Church?” No, He asks Paul, “Why do you persecute ME.” The Church is the Body of Christ, we refer to her as the mystical Body of Christ. And if there is only One Christ, there can logically be only One Body or One Kingdom, One Israel – simply One.

To this One, Jesus left stewardship to Peter. And thus, dashing the little ones of our enemies against the Rock that is the foundation of the Church is visibly Peter and invisibly Jesus.

Nice work Taylor!

Bible:Dash the Infants of Our Enemies Against the Rock!

Pope Benedict XVI baptizing.

Dash Thy Little Ones Against the Rock!

Recently, I had a little exegetical epiphany while meditating on the Vulgate Psalms in Latin. Previously I’ve been troubled by Psalm 136{137}:9, which reads, “Blessed be he that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock.” Being blessed for infanticide? Huh?

However, the Clementine Vulgate version opens itself to a very beautiful allegorical reading:

“beatus qui tenebit et adlidet parvulos tuos ad petram.”

We are encouraged to dash the infants of our enemies “ad petram.”

Now couple this with the Vulgate version of Matthew 16:18

“et ego dico tibi quia tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversum eam.”

To read it allegorically, we should be asking that the infants of our enemies be dashed against Peter and the foundation of the Catholic Church! For example, see the photo at that top of this post—that’s Pope Benedict’s hand baptizing an infant.

It’s edifying (nerdy Latin Vulgate pun intended) to pray Psalm 136 with Mt 16:18 in mind, and then intend that the children of our enemies (secularists, terrorists, haters of the Church, those who have hurt us) be thrown against Peter and the Church…that they be baptized, saved, and remain within the barque of Peter…

The Psalms are so rich. It’s too bad that Psalm 136:9 has been removed from the Liturgy of the Hours. A true pity.

via Dash Thy Little Ones Against the Rock! ~ Canterbury Tales by Taylor Marshall.

Taylor Marshall is an accomplished scholar and I truly enjoy his work especially when he points out little nuggets of the faith-building, truth-supporting facts.

Psalm 137[136] reads:

1 By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion.
2 On the willows there we hung up our lyres.
3 For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
4 How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither!
6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!
7 Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites the day of Jerusalem, how they said, “Rase it, rase it! Down to its foundations!”
8 O daughter of Babylon, you devastator! Happy shall he be who requites you with what you have done to us!
9 Happy shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock! (Psalms (RSV) 137)

To place this verse in some context, consider that the Psalmist is speaking to his enemies, the enemies of Israel: Babylon. In his commentary on the Psalms, St. Augustin contends that the Psalmist is expressing the need for Babylon to repay it transgressions against Israel. He states:

“Happy shall he be that repayeth thee, as thou hast served us.” What repayment meaneth he? Herewith the Psalm closeth, “Happy, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the rock” (verse 9). Her he calleth unhappy, but him happy who payeth her as she hath served us. Do we ask, what reward? This is the repayment. For what hath that Babylon done to us? We have already sung in another Psalm, “The words of the wicked have prevailed against us.” For when we were born, the confusion of this world found us, and choked us while yet infants with the empty notions of divers errors. The infant that is born destined to be a citizen of Jerusalem, and in God’s predestination already a citizen, but meanwhile a prisoner for a time, when learneth he to love ought, save what his parents have whispered into his ears? They teach him and train him in avarice, robbery, daily lying, the worship of divers idols and devils, the unlawful remedies of enchantments and amulets. What shall one yet an infant do, a tender soul, observing what its elders do, save follow that which it seeth them doing. Babylon then has persecuted us when little, but God hath given us when grown up knowledge of ourselves, that we should not follow the errors of our parents. …How shall they repay her? As she hath served us. Let her little ones be choked in turn: yea let her little ones in turn be dashed, and die. What are the little ones of Babylon? Evil desires at their birth. For there are, who have to fight with inveterate lusts. When lust is born, before evil habit giveth it strength against thee, when lust is little, by no means let it gain the strength of evil habit; when it is little, dash it. But thou fearest, lest though dashed it die not; “Dash it against the Rock; and that Rock is Christ.” (Augustin on Psalms 137)

In this commentary St. Augustin equates the “little ones” to sin; sin which must be dashed against Christ Who is the Rock. Some may say that Taylor is way off base on this one but I would disagree. Peter is named such because he is the visible Rock upon whom Jesus built the Church. Furthermore, Jesus left Peter the “keys to the kingdom of heaven.” In doing this, Jesus makes Peter His steward or vicar. Peter speaks with the authority of Christ. As such, Taylor’s argument that this Psalm, read in an allegorical fashion in light of the New Covenant, extols us to dash the ‘little ones’ of our enemies, “against Peter, the foundation of the Catholic Church!” In this Taylor speaks of infant baptism into the Catholic Church.

It is important to note that none of this can be accomplished without Jesus. So “dashing the little ones” against the Peter the Rock is equivalent to dashing them against Jesus the Rock. This is evidenced by Jesus’ words to Saint Paul, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?…I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting”  (Acts (RSV) 9:4b, 5b). Jesus does not say to Paul, then Saul, “Why do you persecute my Church?” No, He asks Paul, “Why do you persecute ME.” The Church is the Body of Christ, we refer to her as the mystical Body of Christ. And if there is only One Christ, there can logically be only One Body or One Kingdom, One Israel – simply One.

To this One, Jesus left stewardship to Peter. And thus, dashing the little ones
of our enemies against the Rock that is the foundation of the Church is visibly Peter and invisibly Jesus.

Nice work Taylor!

The Meat of the Eucharist: Defending the Real Presence (Part 2)

Here is the second comment by llondy and the one who solidified my decision to partition my full responses in two posts. As before, my comments will be inserted between paragraphs.


Denying the Truthfulness of God

Yes, the discussion is “meaty” , and it continues from the 16th century when the Church in Rome had become so far in error with the Word of God hidden from the people that it needed to be corrected according to scripture. It refused correction and the protest turned into the truth being proclaimed sadly along with many untruths. If the Church in Rome would have accepted correction, or even would today, perhaps we could retain again one Holy and Catholic Church physically. Unfortunately the only true Holy and Catholic Church remains the invisible bride of Christ displayed visibly in churches all across the world. This will be changed in the end when Christ comes back for his beloved bride. So in response to your first point it is the Protestant movement that tried to reform Rome not “fall away” but was forced to go with scripture that Rome was violating based on authority it was never given. Jews rejected teh savior outright which is entirely different thing all together.

Some may have noted the reference to the Fourth Lateran Council in the previous post. This Council was held in 1215. The lead sentence of this comment and paragraph shows how those who persist in the slavery of their own pride by Protesting the One True Church of God, will inadvertently admit the truth concerning the Church, her authority and her teachings.

To address some of the accusations let me start with the usual, “hiding the Word of God” from the people.” This is patently false. The Church has never hid the written Word from any person as the Bible is primarily a liturgical book which is one of the ways that God speaks to us directly. “Still, the Christian faith is not a ‘religion of the book.’ Christianity is the religion of the “Word” of God, a word which is ‘not a written and mute word, but the Word which is incarnate and living'” (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 108). As such, the Scripture is read and taught every day at every Mass all over the world (Malachi 1:11).

As for the Church needing correction, what human on this earth has the authority to correct her? Certainly none of the Protestant Reformers. The Bible cannot do the correcting as it is a book that must be understood in conjunction with the of part of the Deposit of Faith, Sacred Tradition or the lived experience of the Mystical Body of Christ. Furthermore, the Bible came out of the Church, the Church did not come from the Bible. Much of what is now the written Word was actually oral instruction that was put to letter during the first century and later “canonized” by the Church in the late fourth century and early fifth century with the final infallible promulgation at the Council of Trent. This was a necessary response to the rapid increase of false doctrine being proclaimed by Martin Luther and other Protestants. Keep in mind, that it was Luther who removed books from the Bible, the very Bible he read as a Catholic priest.

However, we must concede that some of Luther’s problems with the happenings around him were valid, his decision to seek reform outside the Body of Christ is equal to denying God, His Word, His Truth and His Authority. For it was Jesus Himself, that guaranteed that “the gates of hell would not prevail against the [Church]” (Matthew 16:18). Furthermore, it was Jesus who, in fulfillment of Isaiah 22:22,  “And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open” with His words to Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”  (Matthew 16:18). Only God has the authority to designate His steward.

And because the Catholic Church remains in existence, doing so for over 2,000 years, we can honestly say that God is a God of Truth and keeps His promises – for the Lord says as much. Yet this Protestant, like many others, fabricate the idea that the Mystical Body of Christ is some invisible entity that remains present within all of the disparate ecclesial communities (they cannot be rightly referred to as a church like the Catholic Church or even the Eastern Orthodox Churches) despite their own disunity. For them, the measure of truth is limited to their personal understanding of the Scripture. This is dangerous to their souls.


Blinded By the Truth

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Luther in 1533 by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Image via Wikipedia.

To your second point there is no evidence in scripture that the passages in the synoptic Gospels relate to the Lord’s supper in a literal sense. In fact as I have already pointed out there is much mor eevidence both logically and BIblically against it. Since the points I made were not refuted but only circumvented I will move on

The Bread of Life Discourse is, for me, one of the clearest parts of Scripture. Jesus Himself offers no further explanation but rather increases the tone in which He is making His point allowing those who choose to remain in disbelieve to leave. If in my com-box reply I did not address their concerns adequately, I certainly hope the extended version did. If not, let me offer these words from the chief Protestant Reformer Martin Luther:

Who, but the devil, has granted such license of wresting the words of the holy Scripture? Who ever read in the Scriptures, that my body is the same as the sign of my body? or, that is is the same as it signifies? What language in the world ever spoke so? It is only then the devil, that imposes upon us by these fanatical men. Not one of the Fathers of the Church, though so numerous, ever spoke as the Sacramentarians: not one of them ever said, It is only bread and wine; or, the body and blood of Christ is not there present.

Surely, it is not credible, nor possible, since they often speak, and repeat their sentiments, that they should never (if they thought so) not so much as once, say, or let slip these words: It is bread only; or the body of Christ is not there, especially it being of great importance, that men should not be deceived. Certainly, in so many Fathers, and in so many writings, the negative might at least be found in one of them, had they thought the body and blood of Christ were not really present: but they are all of them unanimous.”

Luther’s Collected Works, Wittenburg Edition, no. 7 p, 391


Is Jesus a Vine: A Poor Analogy

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The Vine, illustrated. Image via Wikipedia.

It is true that the Lord Jesus said I am the bread of life. He also said he was the vine in John chapter 15 and we would never take him literally there. Jesus is the bread that feeds us through the Spirit and by his blood shed on the cross our sins are covered and God’s wrath is satisfied. “This do in remembrance of me” so we take communion to remember what he has done for us. We do not have to go “back to the foot of the cross” for Christ is with us through the Holy Spirit as we remember him in communion. To make the cross necessary again is to in some way say that once was not good enough.

Let me begin with the end. The Cross is not made necessary again, the Church, “preach[es] Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 1:23) and keeps with Malachi 1:11 and the Heveanly Liturgy found in the Book of Revelation. Because God is outside time and space, the decide performed on Him by the Romans, His very own sacrifice on Calvary, continues to this very day for every person today.

This is the reason for the sacrifice of the Mass. We are made present at the very moment of our salvation.

The manner in which God chooses to nourish is us is of His own design. Only He could come up with a way that addresses to dual aspect of our human nature, mortal body immortal soul – material and spiritual. This is why the Eucharist is central the Christian Faith. Thus He says to us, “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (John  6:56), which is much like your reference to John 15 and the analogy of Jesus as the True Vine, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Jesus is again driving home the fact that we need Him, He does not need us. He came to save us and part of that salvation includes complete and total communion with Him, which includes allowing him to abide fully in us – literally. When we receive the Holy Eucharist, Jesus sanctities us by His presence within us. We become walking, living tabernacles of the Lord. That is why we are warned by Saint Paul not to eat or drink of Eucharist unworthily, for in doing so, “will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord”  (1 Corinthians 11:27). If Jesus is not Really Present, then how can we be guilty of such direct profanity against His very body and blood?


On Church Authority

To the point of Church authority, the verses given by no means confirm Apostolic succession and the Church in ROme has no record of Pope’s for the first 600 years if truth be told. The Holy Spirit was indeed given in a special way to the Apostles who were direct witnesses of Christ himself. They had the power to do miracles, speak in tounges etc.. They also gave the power to those they “Directly” laid hands on and their is no record of it going any farther in Scripture. Any further succession between the Apostles direct influence was initially fabricated by the church in Rome and continues to this day. The authority given is only in what we read in the scriptures by those blessed Apostles and Paul who were directly inspired. There is no further inspiration or infallibility or authority passed down which is why we refer to the “Scripture alone”

On this matter, the Protestant refuses to accept what is part of the historical record. It is ironic, however, that many Protestants choose to discard this aspect of history while adhering to the fruits of the Church and her Apostolic successors, namely the Bible and dogmas such as the Trinity.

Again, while attempting to disprove the succession of the Apostles by those we now call bishops including the pope who is the Bishop of Rome and holds primacy among all other bishops, this Protestant makes the case for Catholicism, “They also gave the power to those they ‘Directly’ laid hands on.” As seen above, it their contention that this did not continue after the timeline of Scripture, yet if this were the case – there would be no Scripture and Jesus, again, would be found at fault concerning His words in Matthew 16:18 on the invincibility of the Church.

Coupled with this supposed lack of succession, the lead sentence of the commenter accuses the Church fabricated the records of papal succession of the first 600 years of her existence. Yet can this “Bible-only” Christian truly deny the words of Paul his companion in Rome who then became Peter’s successor, Linus? Paul verifies the existence of Linus in 2 Timothy 4:21, states, “Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brethren.” In post-scriptural documents we then have reference to Linus in those written by Eusebius and other Patristic era authors. Moreover, there were three popes who reigned after Linus and prior to the death of the last Apostle, Saint John the Evangelist, who is reported to have died around AD 100: Saint Anacletus (Cletus), Saint Clement I and Saint Evaristus. If there is valid evidence of this papal charade then I ask this dear Protestant to provide it. For accusations without evidence are lies.

As for the authority given by Jesus to remain solely with the first Apostles is truly preposterous. This would nullify the Great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). This also contradicts the admission of this succession being present in Scripture. It is clearly present in Scripture but the story of the Christian Faith does not end with the Bible as our lives in Christ today attest. The end of the story is only known to God.

To address the final statement, “There is no further inspiration or infallibility or authority passed down which is why we refer to the ‘Scripture alone,'” I would like to offer the following words. Concerning inspiration, the Church is clear in her belief that inspiration in the manner of those who authored the Canonical Books of the Bible ended with John and makes no claim to the contrary. However, on the dogma of infallibility, the Church states that:

899 In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility. By a “supernatural sense of faith” the People of God, under the guidance of the Church’s living Magisterium, “unfailingly adheres to this faith.”(417)

890 The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium’s task to preserve God’s people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church’s shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. The exercise of this charism takes several forms:

891 “The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful – who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals…. The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium,” above all in an Ecumenical Council.(418) When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine “for belief as being divinely revealed,”(419) and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions “must be adhered to with the obedience of faith.”(420) This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.(421) (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Footnotes:

415 PO 4 cf. Mc 16,15
416 LG 25
417 LG 12 cf. DV 10
418 LG 25 cf. Vatican Council I: DS 3074
419 DV 10
420 LG 25
421 LG 25

On the matter of authority, again I ask, why would Jesus endow Peter and the Apostles with stewardship of His the earthly extension of His Kingdom if it would die with Him or with the last pages of the Bible (which was not in existence then nor did Our Blessed Lord command any person to write)? This lack of planning is not consistent with a God described as a, “God [Who] is not a God of confusion but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). Without clear, visible leadership how can any person profess to know the truth? There is only one Truth and this Truth does not change:

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. (Ephesians 4:4-7)

In an effort to retain some sort of authority that could even come close to opposing that which was directly endowed by Christ to His Church, Luther invented the so-called doctrine of Sola Scriptura or Scripture Alone. What negates this as a valid and God-given doctrine is the fact that Scripture cannot and does not proclaim as much. While it is true that the Bible is inerrant and authoritative, it is not the sole authority as the Bible could not reveal itself without the man under the inspiration and protection from error as promised by Jesus and provided by the Holy Spirit.

Much of Sola Scriptura is founded on a fallible and ironically exclusive (towards the Church anyway) understanding of 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, the only Scripture available and recognized as such as the Old Testament in the form of the Septuagint. At this moment in history the Jews had not developed any canon and no longer retained any authority to do so as these New Testament was penned in the era after Christ. Again I wish to make it clear, the Bible came out of the Church, the Church did not come out of the Bible.

This is the mechanism that God choose to establish to shepherd His flock. This is the institution that was built on Peter:

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-17)


The True Church

God Bless you and God Bless the true Church until he comes.

“…the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.” (1 Timothy (RSV) 3:15)

Allow to quote from one of my own pages:

The Four Marks of the Church

The Four Marks of the Church are characteristics that distinguish the true Church of Christ from all other religions and even other Christian faith traditions. As stated previously, these Four Marks are:

  • One (Unity)
  • Holy (Sanctity)
  • Catholic (Universality)
  • Apostolic (Continuity)
  • These Marks are stated in the Nicene Creed and recited at every Mass at which this creed is used. The historicity of these Marks, as defined above, reach as far back as the AD 381 Council of Constantinople. However, Saint Ignatius of Antioch refers to the same concepts in his patristic writings of the 2nd Century AD.

    One (Unity)

    The Unity or Oneness of the Church as a Mark refers to the “internal and spiritual union, but this union must also be external and visible, consisting in and growing out of a unity of faith, worship, and government (New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia – Unity (as a Mark of the Church)).”

    Holy (Sanctity)

    The Holiness of the Church exists not because of her members but because of her founder. Jesus, who is both True Man and True God, founded the Church and thus setting her apart for Himself and for His purposes.

    Catholic (Universality)

    Many in Biblical circles already know that the word “catholic” is Greek for “universal.” This not only speaks to the nature of Christ’s Church as a “little c” catholic but also speaks to the role of the “big C” Catholic Church. Many wonder how this is but one need not look far to find a Catholic parish near their home not what country or language. Simply put, there is almost no place on this earth where I cannot find a place to worship in unity with the entire Church. Again, the use of catholic in reference to the Catholic Church is found as early as the 2nd century AD, in the writings of Saint Ignatius Antioch.

    Apostolic (Continuity)

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, found at New Advent, refers to this Mark as “Apostolicity.” If goes on to say, “Apostolicity is the mark by which the Church of today is recognized as identical with the Church founded by Jesus Christ upon the Apostles (Apostolicity).” Every bishop in the Catholic Church, including the Pope, can trace their ordination heritage all the back to through the Twelve to Jesus Himself.

    The Meat of the Eucharist: Defending the Real Presence (Part 2)

    Here is the second comment by llondy and the one who solidified my decision to partition my full responses in two posts. As before, my comments will be inserted between paragraphs.


    Denying the Truthfulness of God

    Yes, the discussion is “meaty” , and it continues from the 16th century when the Church in Rome had become so far in error with the Word of God hidden from the people that it needed to be corrected according to scripture. It refused correction and the protest turned into the truth being proclaimed sadly along with many untruths. If the Church in Rome would have accepted correction, or even would today, perhaps we could retain again one Holy and Catholic Church physically. Unfortunately the only true Holy and Catholic Church remains the invisible bride of Christ displayed visibly in churches all across the world. This will be changed in the end when Christ comes back for his beloved bride. So in response to your first point it is the Protestant movement that tried to reform Rome not “fall away” but was forced to go with scripture that Rome was violating based on authority it was never given. Jews rejected teh savior outright which is entirely different thing all together.

    Some may have noted the reference to the Fourth Lateran Council in the previous post. This Council was held in 1215. The lead sentence of this comment and paragraph shows how those who persist in the slavery of their own pride by Protesting the One True Church of God, will inadvertently admit the truth concerning the Church, her authority and her teachings.

    To address some of the accusations let me start with the usual, “hiding the Word of God” from the people.” This is patently false. The Church has never hid the written Word from any person as the Bible is primarily a liturgical book which is one of the ways that God speaks to us directly. “Still, the Christian faith is not a ‘religion of the book.’ Christianity is the religion of the “Word” of God, a word which is ‘not a written and mute word, but the Word which is incarnate and living’” (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 108). As such, the Scripture is read and taught every day at every Mass all over the world (Malachi 1:11).

    As for the Church needing correction, what human on this earth has the authority to correct her? Certainly none of the Protestant Reformers. The Bible cannot do the correcting as it is a book that must be understood in conjunction with the of part of the Deposit of Faith, Sacred Tradition or the lived experience of the Mystical Body of Christ. Furthermore, the Bible came out of the Church, the Church did not come from the Bible. Much of what is now the written Word was actually oral instruction that was put to letter during the first century and later “canonized” by the Church in the late fourth century and early fifth century with the final infallible promulgation at the Council of Trent. This was a necessary response to the rapid increase of false doctrine being proclaimed by Martin Luther and other Protestants. Keep in mind, that it was Luther who removed books from the Bible, the very Bible he read as a Catholic priest.

    However, we must concede that some of Luther’s problems with the happenings around him were valid, his decision to seek reform outside the Body of Christ is equal to denying God, His Word, His Truth and His Authority. For it was Jesus Himself, that guaranteed that “the gates of hell would not prevail against the [Church]” (Matthew 16:18). Furthermore, it was Jesus who, in fulfillment of Isaiah 22:22,  “And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open” with His words to Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”  (Matthew 16:18). Only God has the authority to designate His steward.

    And because the Catholic Church remains in existence, doing so for over 2,000 years, we can honestly say that God is a God of Truth and keeps His promises – for the Lord says as much. Yet this Protestant, like many others, fabricate the idea that the Mystical Body of Christ is some invisible entity that remains present within all of the disparate ecclesial communities (they cannot be rightly referred to as a church like the Catholic Church or even the Eastern Orthodox Churches) despite their own disunity. For them, the measure of truth is limited to their personal understanding of the Scripture. This is dangerous to their souls.


    Blinded By the Truth

    Luther in 1533 by Lucas Cranach the Elder

    To your second point there is no evidence in scripture that the passages in the synoptic Gospels relate to the Lord’s supper in a literal sense. In fact as I have already pointed out there is much mor eevidence both logically and BIblically against it. Since the points I made were not refuted but only circumvented I will move on

    The Bread of Life Discourse is, for me, one of the clearest parts of Scripture. Jesus Himself offers no further explanation but rather increases the tone in which He is making His point allowing those who choose to remain in disbelieve to leave. If in my com-box reply I did not addr
    ess their concerns adequately, I certainly hope the extended version did. If not, let me offer these words from the chief Protestant Reformer Martin Luther:

    Who, but the devil, has granted such license of wresting the words of the holy Scripture? Who ever read in the Scriptures, that my body is the same as the sign of my body? or, that is is the same as it signifies? What language in the world ever spoke so? It is only then the devil, that imposes upon us by these fanatical men. Not one of the Fathers of the Church, though so numerous, ever spoke as the Sacramentarians: not one of them ever said, It is only bread and wine; or, the body and blood of Christ is not there present.

    Surely, it is not credible, nor possible, since they often speak, and repeat their sentiments, that they should never (if they thought so) not so much as once, say, or let slip these words: It is bread only; or the body of Christ is not there, especially it being of great importance, that men should not be deceived. Certainly, in so many Fathers, and in so many writings, the negative might at least be found in one of them, had they thought the body and blood of Christ were not really present: but they are all of them unanimous.”

    Luther’s Collected Works, Wittenburg Edition, no. 7 p, 391


    Is Jesus a Vine: A Poor Analogy

    The_Vine_and_the_Branches_parable

    It is true that the Lord Jesus said I am the bread of life. He also said he was the vine in John chapter 15 and we would never take him literally there. Jesus is the bread that feeds us through the Spirit and by his blood shed on the cross our sins are covered and God’s wrath is satisfied. “This do in remembrance of me” so we take communion to remember what he has done for us. We do not have to go “back to the foot of the cross” for Christ is with us through the Holy Spirit as we remember him in communion. To make the cross necessary again is to in some way say that once was not good enough.

    Let me begin with the end. The Cross is not made necessary again, the Church, “preach[es] Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 1:23) and keeps with Malachi 1:11 and the Heveanly Liturgy found in the Book of Revelation. Because God is outside time and space, the decide performed on Him by the Romans, His very own sacrifice on Calvary, continues to this very day for every person today.

    This is the reason for the sacrifice of the Mass. We are made present at the very moment of our salvation.

    The manner in which God chooses to nourish is us is of His own design. Only He could come up with a way that addresses to dual aspect of our human nature, mortal body immortal soul – material and spiritual. This is why the Eucharist is central the Christian Faith. Thus He says to us, “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (John  6:56), which is much like your reference to John 15 and the analogy of Jesus as the True Vine, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

    Jesus is again driving home the fact that we need Him, He does not need us. He came to save us and part of that salvation includes complete and total communion with Him, which includes allowing him to abide fully in us – literally. When we receive the Holy Eucharist, Jesus sanctities us by His presence within us. We become walking, living tabernacles of the Lord. That is why we are warned by Saint Paul not to eat or drink of Eucharist unworthily, for in doing so, “will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord”  (1 Corinthians 11:27). If Jesus is not Really Present, then how can we be guilty of such direct profanity against His very body and blood?


    On Church Authority

    To the point of Church authority, the verses given by no means confirm Apostolic succession and the Church in ROme has no record of Pope’s for the first 600 years if truth be told. The Holy Spirit was indeed given in a special way to the Apostles who were direct witnesses of Christ himself. They had the power to do miracles, speak in tounges etc.. They also gave the power to those they “Directly” laid hands on and their is no record of it going any farther in Scripture. Any further succession between the Apostles direct influence was initially fabricated by the church in Rome and continues to this day. The authority given is only in what we read in the scriptures by those blessed Apostles and Paul who were directly inspired. There is no further inspiration or infallibility or authority passed down which is why we refer to the “Scripture alone”

    On this matter, the Protestant refuses to accept what is part of the historical record. It is ironic, however, that many Protestants choose to discard this aspect of history while adhering to the fruits of the Church and her Apostolic successors, namely the Bible and dogmas such as the Trinity.

    Again, while attempting to disprove the succession of the Apostles by those we now call bishops including the pope who is the Bishop of Rome and holds primacy among all other bishops, this Protestant makes the case for Catholicism, “They also gave the power to those they ‘Directly’ laid hands on.” As seen above, it their contention that this did not continue after the timeline of Scripture, yet if this were the case – there would be no Scripture and Jesus, again, would be found at fault concerning His words in Matthew 16:18 on the invincibility of the Church.

    Coupled with this supposed lack of succession, the lead sentence of the commenter accuses the Church fabricated the records of papal succession of the first 600 years of her existence. Yet can this “Bible-only” Christian truly deny the words of Paul his companion in Rome who then became Peter’s successor, Linus? Paul verifies the existence of Linus in 2 Timothy 4:21, states, “Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brethren.” In post-scriptural documents we then have reference to Linus in those written by Eusebius and other Patristic era authors. Moreover, there were three popes who reigned after Linus and prior to the death of the last Apostle, Saint John the Evangelist, who is reported to have died around AD 100: Saint Anacletus (Cletus), Saint Clement I and Saint Evaristus. If there is valid evidence of this papal charade then I ask this dear Protestant to provide it. For accusat
    ions without evidence are lies.

    As for the authority given by Jesus to remain solely with the first Apostles is truly preposterous. This would nullify the Great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). This also contradicts the admission of this succession being present in Scripture. It is clearly present in Scripture but the story of the Christian Faith does not end with the Bible as our lives in Christ today attest. The end of the story is only known to God.

    To address the final statement, “There is no further inspiration or infallibility or authority passed down which is why we refer to the ‘Scripture alone,’” I would like to offer the following words. Concerning inspiration, the Church is clear in her belief that inspiration in the manner of those who authored the Canonical Books of the Bible ended with John and makes no claim to the contrary. However, on the dogma of infallibility, the Church states that:

    899 In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility. By a “supernatural sense of faith” the People of God, under the guidance of the Church’s living Magisterium, “unfailingly adheres to this faith.”(417)

    890 The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium’s task to preserve God’s people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church’s shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. The exercise of this charism takes several forms:

    891  “The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful – who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals…. The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium,” above all in an Ecumenical Council.(418) When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine “for belief as being divinely revealed,”(419) and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions “must be adhered to with the obedience of faith.”(420) This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.(421) (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

    Footnotes:

    415 PO 4 cf. Mc 16,15
    416 LG 25
    417 LG 12 cf. DV 10
    418 LG 25 cf. Vatican Council I: DS 3074
    419 DV 10
    420 LG 25
    421 LG 25

    On the matter of authority, again I ask, why would Jesus endow Peter and the Apostles with stewardship of His the earthly extension of His Kingdom if it would die with Him or with the last pages of the Bible (which was not in existence then nor did Our Blessed Lord command any person to write)? This lack of planning is not consistent with a God described as a, “God [Who] is not a God of confusion but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). Without clear, visible leadership how can any person profess to know the truth? There is only one Truth and this Truth does not change:

    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. (Ephesians 4:4-7)

    In an effort to retain some sort of authority that could even come close to opposing that which was directly endowed by Christ to His Church, Luther invented the so-called doctrine of Sola Scriptura or Scripture Alone. What negates this as a valid and God-given doctrine is the fact that Scripture cannot and does not proclaim as much. While it is true that the Bible is inerrant and authoritative, it is not the sole authority as the Bible could not reveal itself without the man under the inspiration and protection from error as promised by Jesus and provided by the Holy Spirit.

    Much of Sola Scriptura is founded on a fallible and ironically exclusive (towards the Church anyway) understanding of 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

    All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

    When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, the only Scripture available and recognized as such as the Old Testament in the form of the Septuagint. At this moment in history the Jews had not developed any canon and no longer retained any authority to do so as these New Testament was penned in the era after Christ. Again I wish to make it clear, the Bible came out of the Church, the Church did not come out of the Bible.

    This is the mechanism that God choose to establish to shepherd His flock. This is the institution that was built on Peter:

    When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-17)


    The True Church

    God Bless you and God Bless the true Church until he comes.

    “…the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.” (1 Timothy (RSV) 3:15)

    Allow to quote from one of my own pages:

    The Four Marks of the Church

    The Four Marks of the Church are characteristics that distinguish the true Church of Christ from all other religions and even other Christian faith traditions. As stated previously, these Four Marks are:

    1. One (Unity)
    2. Holy (Sanctity)
    3. Catholic (Universality)
    4. Apostolic (Continuity)

    These Marks are stated in the Nicene Creed and recited at every Mass at whi
    ch this creed is used. The historicity of these Marks, as defined above, reach as far back as the AD 381 Council of Constantinople. However, Saint Ignatius of Antioch refers to the same concepts in his patristic writings of the 2nd Century AD.

    One (Unity)

    The Unity or Oneness of the Church as a Mark refers to the “internal and spiritual union, but this union must also be external and visible, consisting in and growing out of a unity of faith, worship, and government (New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia – Unity (as a Mark of the Church)).”

    Holy (Sanctity)

    The Holiness of the Church exists not because of her members but because of her founder. Jesus, who is both True Man and True God, founded the Church and thus setting her apart for Himself and for His purposes.

    Catholic (Universality)

    Many in Biblical circles already know that the word “catholic” is Greek for “universal.” This not only speaks to the nature of Christ’s Church as a “little c” catholic but also speaks to the role of the “big C” Catholic Church. Many wonder how this is but one need not look far to find a Catholic parish near their home not what country or language. Simply put, there is almost no place on this earth where I cannot find a place to worship in unity with the entire Church. Again, the use of catholic in reference to the Catholic Church is found as early as the 2nd century AD, in the writings of Saint Ignatius Antioch.

    Apostolic (Continuity)

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, found at New Advent, refers to this Mark as “Apostolicity.” If goes on to say, “Apostolicity is the mark by which the Church of today is recognized as identical with the Church founded by Jesus Christ upon the Apostles (Apostolicity).” Every bishop in the Catholic Church, including the Pope, can trace their ordination heritage all the back to through the Twelve to Jesus Himself.

    Can science help us to understand transubstantiation?

    Media_httptrustinjesu_aomer

    Eucharist Wallpaper. By Jim Lersch via PHATMASS.

    How can science help us to understand transubstantiation?


    Greetings,I am currently enrolled in RCIA at St. Francis Solano in Sonoma, Ca. (Diocese of Santa Rosa). My question is regarding the Church’s teaching of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

    I’m clear about what St. John writes, reporting what Jesus said about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. I am also clear that with the exception of a few heresies that the Real Presense has been taught from the early church fathers to the Counsel of Trent and on until today. This information was provided to me by the two priests at St. Francis and through the RCIA classes.

    However none of this changes the fact that when properly consecrated bread and wine is examined in a modern laboratory at a chemical and or a subatomic level, precisely nothing has changed … it is just bread and wine.

    Thus my question. How can this be reconciled? How does an intelligent person approach this? Obviously St. Thomas Aquinas and others did not have modern scientific equipment or methods to discover what we know today. How might their opinions differ, if at all, in the light of today’s scientific evidence against the doctrine of transubstantiation.

    Your assistance with this would be most appreciated. This is the single block that I have remaining on my path to conversion. I simply must find a way through it. Any recommendations for recent (specifically not historical) apologetics that take into account modern science would be a God-send.

    Thank you so very much for your time and attention,

    May God richly bless you


    Last edited by Fr. Vincent Serpa; Yesterday at 2:24 pm.

    Fr. Vincent Serpa
    Catholic Answers Apologist


    Hi,Saint Thomas would not have been helped by modern science if it had been present in his time. The question is a theological one and science doesn’t have the tools to determine theological matters. He used Aristotelian philosophy as a tool which works quite well. The substance or essence (that which makes a thing what it is) of the bread and wine changes, while the accidents or non-essentials (the appearance and all that is physically measurable) remain the same. There is no physical way of determining the change. There never was. It remains a matter of faith for us—no less than it was for the apostles.

    When so many of His disciples left because they couldn’t accept the idea of consuming His flesh and blood (Jews were not allowed to consume ANY kind of blood), Jesus turned to the twelve and said: “Will you also go away? Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God’” Jn 6: 68. The apostles didn’t understand any more than those who left understood. But they trusted Him because they loved Him. They couldn’t prove that a change would take place that couldn’t be verified by physical examination. Nor can we. The question remains, do we love Him enough to trust Him in this. For over two thousand years millions of Catholics have.

    I do pray that, after considering the fact that God would allow Himself to be tortured and put to death by people He created from nothing-because of a love so beyond our minds to fathom, you will be one of them.

    Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


    Additional recent answers by Fr. Vincent Serpa


    Last edited by Fr. Vincent Serpa; Today at 12:03 am.

    via How can science help us to understand transubstantiation? – Catholic Answers Forums.

    As usual, a very good question is answer in a very excellent way by Fr. Vincent Serpa.

    The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is a doctrine that existed from the moment of the Last Supper (Luke 22:19-20, Mark 14:22-24, Matthew 26:26-28) and is the fulfillment of what Christ promised in the Bread of Life Discourse found in John 6:22-59. To go one step further, Saint Paul affirms that Jesus is indeed substantially present under that accidents of bread and wine in his First Letter to the Corinthians:

    Abuses at the Lord’s Supper
    But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you assemble as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and I partly believe it, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. When you meet together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal, and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

    The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
    For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

    Partaking of the Supper Unworthily
    Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world. So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another — if any one is hungry, let him eat at home — lest you come together to be condemned. About the other things I will give directions when I come. (1 Corinthians 11:17-34)

    Saint Paul’s words are extremely powerful and instruct the faithful concerning the Sacramental Presence of Our Blessed Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist. This letter supports the Catholic doctrine to a tee and even sheds light on the required fast (1 hour) prior to receiving Holy Communion.

    In reiteration of Fr. Serpa’s response above, science does not have the capability to prove or disprove the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. This is due in part, to the fact that all Truth is a revelation from God. So much of what science teaches remains in the realm of practical theory and not absolute truth. What is certainly a proved truth, such as the fact that life begins at conception, is affirmed and accepted by the Church.

    However, the truth of the Eucharist is a reality of faith and theological and not physically tangible in the same manner as the reality of the accidents themselves. Thus the reason why this is a mystery, which is, “any truth that is unknowable except by divine revelation” and “anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown” (Dictionary.com: Mystery). The Real Presence is of course a truth that is not kept secret but rather the full understanding about how God performs this miracle every day, all over the world remains unknown and elicits the same questions from non-believers and those Christians who lack the faith as were asked by many of the Jews who heard Jesus refer to Himself as the “Bread of Life.” Marinate on the following passages and the responses by both the unfaithful and the faithful:

    The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you…”

    Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before?

    It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

    But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.

    Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”

    Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:52-53, 61-69)

    Media_httptrustinjesu_ovdye

    Eucharist wallpaper via Life Teen.

    Do you desire to be like Judas and the others who abandoned Our Blessed Lord because they desired to NOT BELIEVE in the very words of Jesus? Or do you desire to emulate faithful Peter, the rock and foundation of Jesus’ visible Church, and ACCEPT, BELIEVE and OBEY the words of Our Lord even while being unable to understand or comprehend? The choice is always your but consider the following words of the LORD on the issue of understanding Him and His mystery:

    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. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

    Lastly, I wanted to add this somewhat related audio segment from NPR’s Talk of the Nation: Science Friday titled Can Science Shape Human Values? And Should It?

    The audio, for me, is related because there is voiced contempt for the Church by one of the guests in addition to there being a presupposition that science can fully measure the validity of morals and determine whether some issues are good or bad. The physical sciences can in no way make any determination of good or evil because the truths uncovered by these sciences are not influenced by good or evil. Get what I am saying?

    Can science help us to understand transubstantiation?

    jimlersch_eucharist1024

    How can science help us to understand transubstantiation?


    Greetings,I am currently enrolled in RCIA at St. Francis Solano in Sonoma, Ca. (Diocese of Santa Rosa). My question is regarding the Church’s teaching of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

    I’m clear about what St. John writes, reporting what Jesus said about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. I am also clear that with the exception of a few heresies that the Real Presense has been taught from the early church fathers to the Counsel of Trent and on until today. This information was provided to me by the two priests at St. Francis and through the RCIA classes.

    However none of this changes the fact that when properly consecrated bread and wine is examined in a modern laboratory at a chemical and or a subatomic level, precisely nothing has changed … it is just bread and wine.

    Thus my question. How can this be reconciled? How does an intelligent person approach this? Obviously St. Thomas Aquinas and others did not have modern scientific equipment or methods to discover what we know today. How might their opinions differ, if at all, in the light of today’s scientific evidence against the doctrine of transubstantiation.

    Your assistance with this would be most appreciated. This is the single block that I have remaining on my path to conversion. I simply must find a way through it. Any recommendations for recent (specifically not historical) apologetics that take into account modern science would be a God-send.

    Thank you so very much for your time and attention,

    May God richly bless you


    Last edited by Fr. Vincent Serpa; Yesterday at 2:24 pm.

    Fr. Vincent Serpa
    Catholic Answers Apologist


    Hi,Saint Thomas would not have been helped by modern science if it had been present in his time. The question is a theological one and science doesn’t have the tools to determine theological matters. He used Aristotelian philosophy as a tool which works quite well. The substance or essence (that which makes a thing what it is) of the bread and wine changes, while the accidents or non-essentials (the appearance and all that is physically measurable) remain the same. There is no physical way of determining the change. There never was. It remains a matter of faith for us—no less than it was for the apostles.

    When so many of His disciples left because they couldn’t accept the idea of consuming His flesh and blood (Jews were not allowed to consume ANY kind of blood), Jesus turned to the twelve and said: “Will you also go away? Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God’” Jn 6: 68. The apostles didn’t understand any more than those who left understood. But they trusted Him because they loved Him. They couldn’t prove that a change would take place that couldn’t be verified by physical examination. Nor can we. The question remains, do we love Him enough to trust Him in this. For over two thousand years millions of Catholics have.

    I do pray that, after considering the fact that God would allow Himself to be tortured and put to death by people He created from nothing-because of a love so beyond our minds to fathom, you will be one of them.

    Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


    Additional recent answers by Fr. Vincent Serpa


    Last edited by Fr. Vincent Serpa; Today at 12:03 am.

    via How can science help us to understand transubstantiation? – Catholic Answers Forums.

    As usual, a very good question is answer in a very excellent way by Fr. Vincent Serpa.

    The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is a doctrine that existed from the moment of the Last Supper (Luke 22:19-20, Mark 14:22-24, Matthew 26:26-28) and is the fulfillment of what Christ promised in the Bread of Life Discourse found in John 6:22-59. To go one step further, Saint Paul affirms that Jesus is indeed substantially present under that accidents of bread and wine in his First Letter to the Corinthians:

    Abuses at the Lord’s Supper
    But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you assemble as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and I partly believe it, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. When you meet together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal, and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

    The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
    For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he b
    roke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

    Partaking of the Supper Unworthily
    Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world. So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another — if any one is hungry, let him eat at home — lest you come together to be condemned. About the other things I will give directions when I come. (1 Corinthians 11:17-34)

    Saint Paul’s words are extremely powerful and instruct the faithful concerning the Sacramental Presence of Our Blessed Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist. This letter supports the Catholic doctrine to a tee and even sheds light on the required fast (1 hour) prior to receiving Holy Communion.

    In reiteration of Fr. Serpa’s response above, science does not have the capability to prove or disprove the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. This is due in part, to the fact that all Truth is a revelation from God. So much of what science teaches remains in the realm of practical theory and not absolute truth. What is certainly a proved truth, such as the fact that life begins at conception, is affirmed and accepted by the Church.

    However, the truth of the Eucharist is a reality of faith and theological and not physically tangible in the same manner as the reality of the accidents themselves. Thus the reason why this is a mystery, which is, “any truth that is unknowable except by divine revelation” and “anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown” (Dictionary.com: Mystery). The Real Presence is of course a truth that is not kept secret but rather the full understanding about how God performs this miracle every day, all over the world remains unknown and elicits the same questions from non-believers and those Christians who lack the faith as were asked by many of the Jews who heard Jesus refer to Himself as the “Bread of Life.” Marinate on the following passages and the responses by both the unfaithful and the faithful:

    The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you…”

    Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before?

    It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

    But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.

    Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”

    Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:52-53, 61-69)

    eucharistwallpaper1280

    Do you desire to be like Judas and the others who abandoned Our Blessed Lord because they desired to NOT BELIEVE in the very words of Jesus? Or do you desire to emulate faithful Peter, the rock and foundation of Jesus’ visible Church, and ACCEPT, BELIEVE and OBEY the words of Our Lord even while being unable to understand or comprehend? The choice is always your but consider the following words of the LORD on the issue of understanding Him and His mystery:

    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. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

    Lastly, I wanted to add this somewhat related audio segment from NPR’s Talk of the Nation: Science Friday titled Can Science Shape Human Values? And Should It?

    The audio, for me, is related because there is voiced contempt for the Church by one of the guests in addition to there being a presupposition that science can fully measure the validity of morals and determine whether some issues are good or bad. The physical sciences can in no way make any determination of good or evil because the truths uncovered by these sciences are not influenced by good or evil. Get what I am saying?