Tuesday, August 26, 2014

To Reject the Tree is to Reject Its Fruit

One must ask our Bible-loving non-Catholic brethren where the Bible came from. How did the early Christians know which Jewish scriptures to reject and which ones to accept as inspired?

When Jesus walked the earth, there was much debate amongst the Jews about what books belonged in their canon and which did not. Some sects accepted books like Enoch and Jubilees, others didn't. The Pharisees accepted the prophets. The Sadducees did not.

How, then, did the early Christians know which Gospels and Epistles were inspired, and which should be rejected as apocryphal?

These decisions were officially debated and decided by the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Nicea in the 4th Century. So, if we reject the Roman Catholic Church and its authority to hold dogmatic councils under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then... we are also rejecting the Bible! To reject the tree is to reject its fruit.



other related resources:

http://www.blogos.org/theologyapologetics/gospels-accurate.php

http://noquestionleftbehind.blogspot.com/2009/04/where-did-bible-come-from.html

Note: I do not know if the book (pictured above) is good . . . . but I just ordered it.  :-)
Here is the review:

This is an exceptional little book! Bishop Graham's prose style is delightful, though he can be a bit forceful at times, which may offend some Protestants. (But, if you disagree with him on any point, study up and try to refute it. You'll be sorely disappointed.) 

Some reviewers here have complained that the text isn't footnoted, but not many books written around the same time period (1911) were. He does, however, list a brief bibliography in the back, and if you're willing to do the research, his facts check out. It is also slightly outdated, in that he quotes and praises the Douay-Rheims Bible, which has been supplanted by the New Jerusalem and New American Bibles in English-speaking Catholic liturgical use. 

It is unfortunate that Bishop Graham isn't around to update this with information about the Dead Sea Scrolls, as they contain even more support for the Catholic canon of the Old Testament. But these trivialities aside, this is an excellent brief history of where the Bible came from, how the canon was determined, and the Catholic thoughts on the Bible. Highly recommended for Catholics, of course, and non-Catholics especially.


 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Treasure Trove of Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Listen Online)


1.  Misunderstanding the World Misunderstanding the World
2.  Jesus the Eternal Priest Jesus the Eternal Priest
3.  The Drama of the Mass The Drama of the Mass
4.  Memorial of the Cross Memorial of the Cross
5.  The Denial of Sin The Denial of Sin
6.  Triple Transference Triple Transference
7.  Persevering Prayer Persevering Prayer
8.  The Incarnation The Incarnation
9.  The Passion of Christ Continues The Passion of Christ Continues
10.  The Power of the Resurrection The Power of the Resurrection
11.  The Betrayal of Judas The Betrayal of Judas
12.  Mary Mother and Spouse Mary Mother and Spouse
13.  The Hour of Testing The Hour of Testing
14. The Fall and Conversion of Peter The Fall and Conversion of Peter

Source: http://www.bishopsheentoday.com/school-of-bishop-sheen-2/a-retreat-for-everyone/

Monday, July 7, 2014

Judge Not . . .

Zechariah 8:16
These then are the things you must do: Speak the truth to one another; judge with honesty and complete justice in your gates.


John 12:48
Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day.


Matthew 18:15-17
15  If your brother sins [against you], go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. 

16   If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
17  If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.


Proverbs 31:9 
Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.   

1 Corinthians 11:27-29
27  Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.
28  A person should examine himself,  and so eat the bread and drink the cup.  
29  For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. 

John 7:24
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.
 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Why Be Catholic, by Patrick Madrid

 

Highly recommended!
http://www.amazon.com/Why-Be-Catholic-Important-Question/dp/0307986438

Q&A with Patrick Madrid

Q. What inspired you to write Why Be Catholic?
It was more a matter of “who” than “what.” Over the last 30 years or so, I have encountered countless people who have posed this very question. Some couldn't imagine anything more ridiculous or objectionable than the Catholic Church, and others who were genuinely interested in becoming Catholic sought answers and information. I’m convinced that, “Why be Catholic?” is a very important question, whether it comes from a scoffer or from a seeker. I wrote this book so I could present to the reader, regardless of his or her feelings about the Catholic Church, what I believe to be the compelling and convincing answers. These reasons can change one’s life for the better if they are honestly considered and explored.

Q. What do you love most about being Catholic?

I love being Catholic the way Noah loved being on the Ark when the flood came. Like the Ark, the Catholic Church is not perfect. It’s not tidy, clean, and odor-free. It has plenty of problems and challenges and unruly passengers, but it’s still the “ark of salvation” given to us by God and I love that I get to be on board. I love the beauty of the Catholic Church’s teachings, its Liturgy, art, architecture, music, and wisdom. I love the Catholic Church because it is “ever ancient, ever new.” I love tracing its existence back 2000 years to Jesus Christ and the Apostles, and I get to be part of that. I love being Catholic because of its richness and diversity. It’s a big hospital for sick people – sinners like you and me. I love being Catholic because I can have the most personal relationship with Jesus Christ possible, by receiving Him, body, blood, soul, and divinity, in the Holy Eucharist.

Q. How did you become a Catholic apologist? What is the most rewarding part of your job? What is the most challenging?
Although born-&-raised Catholic (I never left the Church or even had the slightest doubt about whether I should be Catholic), I did nevertheless experience a profound re-conversion or re-commitment to Jesus when I was in my mid-20s. As I was praying to God to show me what to do with my life, the door to the world of apologetics opened unexpectedly. God answered my prayers by opening that door to work at Catholic Answers, back in early 1988. I’ve never looked back, always grateful for this wonderful opportunity to serve in this part of the Lord’s vineyard. I think the most rewarding aspect of the work I’ve been privileged to do is knowing that it helps others draw closer to God and the things of God. Not because of me, but because the truth, as Jesus promised, will set us free. As for challenges, to be frank, I really don’t see any. Sure, the work sometimes involves routine inconveniences that come with traveling, but that’s nothing compared to the hardships Saint Paul endured, including beatings, stoning, getting shipwrecked, starved, etc. (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). That puts it all into perspective for me.

Q. In Why Be Catholic you write that “being Catholic does not require that I fully comprehend every truth God proposes to me.” Could you elaborate on that point?
Well, for example, I don’t fully comprehend what it means to have a soul. I know I have one, I know it’s in my body. I can think, ponder, remember, be self-reflective, self-aware, and love. But how exactly that all happens in me, and how my soul and body work together as a single unit, I don’t fully comprehend. No one does. But we know these things are true even if we can’t understand all their complex realities. That is the nature of truth. It’s not necessary to first understand every single facet of a truth before he will deign to accept it. These divine mysteries revealed by God are deep and far more profound than the fact that I have a soul. We should never forget that a mystery is not something we can know nothing about, it is something we cannot know everything about.

Q. Who should read this book?
I wrote Why Be Catholic? for two particular audiences: the first is the person who is not Catholic, may not know much about the Catholic Church and, heck, may not even like the Catholic Church. I want to take that reader gently by the arm and show him what the stained glass windows look like from the inside, the way they were meant to be seen, with the sunlight streaming through them so that their meaning and beauty can be understood and appreciated.
The second audience, naturally, is Catholics, whether they are firm in their faith or wavering, plagued with many doubts and questions. For them, I pray that Why Be Catholic? will serve as a gentle and comforting reminder that they are in the right place. They are on the Ark and, no matter how turbulent the ride may get or how jostling the conditions on board might be, if they remain they will make it through the flood.

Review


"The Catholic Church is the last place most people would expect to find their intellectual and spiritual home, so they never investigate it. Why should they? How could the Church—with its rules, rigidity, and reputation—possibly be where true happiness is found? How could it, appreciated for its pageantry but disdained for its teachings, have anything to offer the modern world in general or them in particular? It’s this very improbability that Patrick Madrid cuts through in showing that only the Catholic faith can satisfy everyone’s deepest longings." -Karl Keating, President, Catholic Answers

"If this book had been available when I was still a Protestant, I may have been convinced to become Catholic without reading any further.  It’s a great resource for dispelling much of the misinformation and ignorance that abounds about the Church and also a reminder to us Catholics as to how blessed we truly are." -Gail Buckley, Founder & President, Catholic Scripture Study International

"This book is as simple and clear as its title.  In ten chapters, master apologist Madrid explains and explores ten good reasons to be Catholic--ten good, true and beautiful things the Church offers us.  Each is explained in a way almost impossible to misunderstand, and enlivened by fascinating actual incidents from the author's life.  Full of historical facts and commonsense arguments for Catholic teachings, yet not intimidatingly 'scholarly,' this is a perfect book for inquirers or beginners." 
~Dr. Peter Kreeft, author of Handbook of Christian Apologetics"Patrick Madrid's latest book goes to the heart of the matter and answers the question 'Why Be Catholic?'  In a world that has a love hate relationship with religion, and especially all things Catholic, Mr. Madrid bravely, clearly, and convincingly provides the answer to that question, helping every Catholic understand the basics of the faith but also gives the Church a reason to celebrate it!" 
~Fr. Leo E. Patalinghug, founder of GraceBeforeMeals.com

"To be Catholic is to be joyously human and alive; ready to both party and to feel deeply the grief of this world.  It is to know deep common sense and deep mystery; to weep at the tomb of Lazarus and to shout in triumph over death at the tomb of Jesus.  Patrick Madrid gets this and is one of the best guides to the Faith writing in English." 
~Mark P. Shea, author of The Heart of Catholic Prayer"Our Sacraments, Church history, our Traditions, the Saints; after reading this beautiful examination of our faith, the question that comes to mind for me is not why be Catholic but why would you be anything but Catholic? Patrick's latest book will no doubt be a tool to bring fallen away Catholics back into the fold and help attract others to the one, holy, apostolic faith as well." 
~Teresa Tomeo, author of God's Bucket List
“Patrick Madrid has done it again.  With wit, humility, and nearly three decades of experience, Madrid lovingly responds to the top misconceptions about Catholicism, making it simple for each of us to swing wide the gates in welcoming people into the Catholic Church.” 
~Greg Willits, author of The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid



More About the Author




Biography

PATRICK MADRID is a life-long Catholic. He has authored or edited 16 books on Catholic themes, including Search and Rescue, Where Is That in the Bible, and the acclaimed Surprised by Truth series.

In the fall of 2012, he will release four new books with four different publishers: Our Sunday Visitor, Servant Books, Saint Benedict Press, and Random House.

Since 1996, Patrick has published Envoy Magazine, and he also serves as the director of the Envoy Institute, which is dedicated to teaching Catholics how to explain their Faith more intelligently, defend it more charitably, and share it more effectively.

Commenting publicly on the effectiveness of Patrick's approach to doing apologetics, Cardinal Edward Egan, Archbishop Emeritus of New York, said, "How do you bring a friend or relative back into the Church? First you pray. Then, you follow Patrick Madrid's advice in [his book] Search and Rescue."

Prior to launching the Envoy apostolate, Patrick worked at Catholic Answers for eight years (1988 to 1996), where he served as vice president.

A veteran of a dozen formal, public debates with Protestant ministers, Mormon leaders, and other non-Catholic spokesmen, he has presented over 2000 seminars on Catholic themes, in English and Spanish, at parishes, universities, and conferences across the U.S. and around the world.

Patrick hosts the Thursday edition of EWTN's "Open Line" radio broadcast (3-5 p.m. ET), heard on approximately 195 AM & FM stations across the country, as well as on Sirius Satellite Radio channel 130 and globally via shortwave.

Patrick earned a bachelor of science degree in business at the University of Phoenix, as well as a B.Phil. in philosophy and an M.A. in dogmatic theology at the Pontifical College Josephinum (Columbus, OH).

He teaches theology and apologetics as an adjunct professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

His website is www.patrickmadrid.com.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Typology Chart - The Virgin Mary - The Ark of the New Covenant

THE VIRGIN MARY - THE ARK OF THE NEW COVENANT

"Mary, in whom the Lord himself has just made his dwelling, is the daughter of Zion in person, the Ark of the Covenant, the place where the glory of God dwells. She is 'the dwelling of God [...] with men.'"
CCC# 2676


The Ark of the Covenant
The Virgin Mary
The Ark of the New Covenant
God the Holy Spirit overshadowed and then indwelled the Ark. The Ark became the dwelling place of the presence of God [Exodus 40:34-35] God the Holy Spirit overshadowed and then indwelled Mary. At that time Mary's womb became the dwelling place of the presence of God [Luke 1:35].
The Ark contained 
• the Ten Commandments (the words of God in stone)
•  a pot of manna
•  Aaron's rod that came back to life
[Deuteronomy 10:3-5; Hebrews 9:4]
The womb of the Virgin contained Jesus:  •  the living Word of God enfleshed
• the living bread from heaven
•  "the Branch" (Messianic title) who would die but come back to life
[Luke 1:35]
The Ark traveled to the hill country of Judah to rest in the house of Obed-edom [2 Samuel 6:1-11] Mary traveled to the hill country of Judah (Judea) to the home of Elizabeth [Luke 1:39]
Dressed in a priestly ephod, King David approached the Ark and danced and leapt for joy [2 Samuel 6:14] John the Baptist, son of a priest who would himself becomes a priest, leapt for joy in Elizabeth's womb at the approach of Mary [Luke 1:43]
David shouted for joy in the presence of God and the holy Ark [2 Samuel 6:15] Elizabeth exclaimed with a loud cry of joy in the presence God within Mary [Luke 1:42]
David asked, "How is it that the Ark of the Lord comes to me?" [2 Samuel 6:9] Elizabeth asks, "Why is this granted unto me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" [Luke 1:43]
The Ark remained in the house of Obed-edom for 3 months [2 Samuel 6:11] Mary remained in the house of her cousin Elizabeth for 3 months [Luke 1:56].
The house of Obed-edom was blessed by the presence of the Ark [2 Samuel 6:11] The word "blessed" is used 3 times in Luke 1:39-45 concerning Mary at Elizabeth's house.
The Ark returned to its sanctuary and eventually ends up in Jerusalem where the presence and glory of God is revealed in the newly built Temple [2 Samuel 6:12; 1 Kings 8:9-11] Mary returned home from visiting Elizabeth and eventually comes to Jerusalem, where she presents God the Son in the Temple [Luke 1:56; 2:21-22]
God made Aaron's rod (which would be kept in the Ark) return to life and budded to prove he was the legitimate High Priest [Numbers 17:8]. God would resurrect His Son, who had become enfleshed in Mary's womb and born to bring salvation to all mankind, to prove He is the eternal High Priest [Hebrews 4:14].
When the Ark was outside the Holy of Holies [when it was being transported] it was to be covered with a blue veil [Numbers 4:4-6] In Mary's appearances outside of heaven visionaries testify that she wears a blue veil.
In Revelation 11:19 John sees the Ark of the Covenant in heaven [this is the last verse of chapter 11] In Revelation 12:1 John sees Mary in heaven. It is the same vision Juan Diego saw of Mary in 1531 — the Woman clothed with the sun and standing on the moon.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Catholic Angelology

In Catholic Angelology, the Seraphim & Cherubim are the first two highest order of a nine-fold celestial hierarchy of beings we so commonly call collectively "the Angels". 

Known as the "multi-winged ones", they are the models of perfect reverence. Before the intimacy of the consecration in the Sanctus we should invoke a unity with them and entering an acknowledgement we are before the throne of Calvary's summit to whom our kneels are bending.
  •  Revelation 4:8
    Each of the four living creatures had six wings and were covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,' who was, and is, and is to come."

  • Isaiah 6:2 
    "Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory."

  •  Ezekiel 1:11
    Such were their faces. They each had two wings spreading out upward, each wing touching that of the creature on either side; and each had two other wings covering its body.

  •  Exodus 25:19 
    "Make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends. 20"The cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be turned toward the mercy seat.
    Mercy Seat


Thank you to David Crawford for this info.  God bless my Facebook Friends!

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Celebration of the Eucharist (Saint Justin, martyr)

From the first apology in defense of the Christians by:
~Saint Justin, martyr

The Celebration of the Eucharist

No one may share the Eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ.

We do not consume the eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Saviour became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, so also the food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus by the power of his own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving.

The apostles, in their recollections, which are called gospels, handed down to us what Jesus commanded them to do. They tell us that he took bread, gave thanks and said: Do this in memory of me. This is my body. In the same way he took the cup, he gave thanks and said: This is my blood. The Lord gave this command to them alone. Ever since then we have constantly reminded one another of these things. The rich among us help the poor and we are always united. For all that we receive we praise the Creator of the universe through his Son Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.

On Sunday we have a common assembly of all our members, whether they live in the city or the outlying districts. The recollections of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as there is time. When the reader has finished, the president of the assembly speaks to us; he urges everyone to imitate the examples of virtue we have heard in the readings. Then we all stand up together and pray.

On the conclusion of our prayer, bread and wine and water are brought forward. The president offers prayers and gives thanks to the best of his ability, and the people give assent by saying, “Amen.” The Eucharist is distributed, everyone present communicates, and the deacons take it to those who are absent.
The wealthy, if they wish, may make a contribution, and they themselves decide the amount. The collection is placed in the custody of the president, who uses it to help the orphans and widows and all who for any reason are in distress, whether because they are sick, in prison, or away from home. In a word, he takes care of all who are in need.

We hold our common assembly on Sunday because it is the first day of the week, the day on which God put darkness and chaos to flight and created the world, and because on that same day our Savior Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For he was crucified on Friday and on Sunday he appeared to his apostles and disciples and taught them the things that we have passed on for your consideration.

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