April 1, 2015
Holy Week is a time of great penance and reflection. It is the most important time to reflect on Jesus’s approach to the Cross. As Jesus’s Passion approaches, it is a special time to reflect on what He did for me, my family, and the World ; how Jesus willingly chose to go through torture, humiliation, and execution for ll of us, knowing that many would turn their backs on Him. I think about the twelve Apostles and their last week with Jesus before His Crucifixion on Good Friday. I will contemplate the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Scourging at the Pillar, and the rest of the sorrowful mysteries. Like St Ignatius of Loyola suggests : I will try to imagine being at these actual places and take part in what happened.
Look at Jesus’s hands as He turns the simple bread into His Body. Watch His hands as He holds the chalice of wine and turns it into His Blood. Watch Jesus wash the feet of His Apostle’s ; always teaching us through His Word and His action’s. Imagine the way Jesus felt knowing that Judas was going to betray him for thirty pieces of silver. Can you imagine? Betray your Creator, whom you just spent the last three years of your life with ?
To be honest, every time I commit a sin, I betray Jesus! Every time I sin, I add a lash to His Scourging. Every time I sin, Jesus sweats a tear of blood because of me. Every time I sin, I strike the nail through His hands and His feet. Every time I sin, I pierce our Lord through His precious side! Let me never forget dear Lord that you carried and assumed all of my personal sins onto yourself!
Jesus in His human nature, literally took all of the sins of mankind into and onto His body. Can you imagine the actual weight of all of mankind’s sins ; past, present, and future? I have a hard time living with my own sins, never mind someone else’s. Think about it. Can you imagine carrying around someone else’s sins? Jesus didn’t just do it for those who love Him. Jesus chose to take the sins of those who hate him to! Thank you Jesus!
Holy Week Video from Spain with a live link for Holy Week Events ! Click on En Directo and you will have live feed of Holy Week from Spain. Here is a link for the schedule of Holy Week events.
Here is a link to live Holy Week events in Spain!!!
Have a truly Holy Week !
The Eighth Article of the Apostles’ Creed
January 31, 2015
” I Believe in the Holy Spirit “
The Eighth Article
In order to properly catechize, certain definitions of words should be expressed. The reason for this, is because many just don’t know what certain words actually mean. Sometimes we may have an idea of what a certain word, or idea is trying to express. However, I have found that it is better to just spell out, definitively what certain words are trying to communicate. I was, and still can be one of those people, who think they know what certain words and phrases mean. I was amazed, when I started to actually look up certain words in my Modern Catholic Dictionary by our founder Servant of God Father John Hardon. I had no idea how wrong I was when it came to certain definitions of words.
The particular word I am thinking of in the Eighth Article of the Apostle’s Creed is ” believe “. What does the word “ believe ” really mean? Well, let’s take a look what Servant of God Father Hardon has in the dictionary he wrote. Quickly, can you believe he actually wrote a dictionary? Here is what is written in his dictionary, ” Belief is the acceptance of something as true on a trustworthy person’s word. It differs from faith only in the stress on confidence in the one who is believed. Moreover, belief emphasizes the act of the will, which disposes one to believe, where faith is rather an act of the mind, which assents to what is believed.” Now, lets be honest, how many of us knew what the word ” believe ” actually meant ? Belief is an act of the will, faith is an act of the intellect. I choose to believe. I make that choice, with God’s grace of course.
Ok, onto the Eighth Article of the Apostle’s Creed. This article teaches us that Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to sanctify the human race. The Holy Spirit, also known as the Holy Ghost, is the third person of the Blessed Trinity. The Holy Spirit is equal to Jesus, and God the Father. Three Divine persons, One God. The one and only God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. However, God the Father is not God the Son or God the Holy Spirit. I know this can get quite confusing, so I will direct you to Frank Sheed’s excellent book called ” Theology and Sanity “. This particular book, more than any other, helped me to understand the mystery of the Trinity to some degree. This book by Frank Sheed helped my belief in the Holy Trinity to make sense.
Their is one bit of information about the Holy spirit that I would like to communicate with you before we move on. When we we speak of Him, the Holy Spirit, we speak of His ” procession “. We speak of the Holy Spirit as ” proceeding ” from the Father and the Son. Remember that word “ proceeds “. We speak of the Son, as being “ generated ” from the Father. All three Persons of the Holy Trinity are eternal, and outside of time, equal to one another.
The role of the Holy Spirit is to sanctify us, hence the word ” Holy “. The Holy spirit is the Spirit of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church. Like the human soul animates the body, the same can be said of the Holy Ghost, who gives life to the Church.
Let us look to St Luke for the many references to the Holy Spirit in Sacred Scripture. In fact, I have heard the Book of Acts referred to as the Gospel of the Holy Spirit. We will look at that in our next post.
May Almighty God protect us from the world, the devil and ourselves,
What is Purgatory?
January 24, 2015
The Seventh Article of the Apostle’s Creed
“From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead”
What is Purgatory ?
Purgatory is a state or condition in which the souls of the just who die with the stains of sin are cleansed before they are admitted to heaven. This cleansing is necessary as we read in Revelation chapter 21:27 ” There shall not enter into it any thing defiled, …” this taken from The Question and Answer Catholic Catechism by Servant of God Father John Hardon. Sounds simple, right? For some, not so. Here I will try and explain it as best I can using Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.
Catholics did not just make up this well known Dogma of the Faith. The teaching on purgatory is rooted in the Orthodox Jewish Faith before the time of Jesus Christ. In the Second Book of Maccabees we read in Chapter 12: And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection,  (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,)  And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. We also read in the very next verse about praying for the dead in purgatory. Here is verse  It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins. Ok, I admit that I am not a scripture scholar or exegete by no means whatsoever. But it does not take a scholar or exegete to read this passage of Holy Scripture and understand what is going on. We have text, and we have context here. The Jews prayed for the dead, implying that sins are forgiven in this life, and the life to come as well. Now, if we are in Heaven vis a vis with God we have no need of these prayers and sacrifice. If we die in mortal sin, that is outside of friendship with God, these prayers and sacrifice will also do us no good. Their must be another place, and their is, we call it Purgatory. Hmmmmm, I wonder why Luther removed this book from his own personal interpretation of what the Bible should contain. This particular Book from Holy Scripture has been removed from most protestant Bibles, conveniently because of the fact that it gives tremendous credibility to the Catholic Dogma on Purgatory. I know, this was a long paragraph :-), and yes I still use emoticons sometimes.
Now, the souls in Purgatory are definitely in friendship with God. These souls died in a state of sanctifying grace. The souls in Purgatory have the hope of the Beatific Vision, they just need a little, or possibly a lot of cleaning before standing face to face with God. In fact, the souls in Purgatory still possess the virtues of faith , hope, and charity. Purgatory is a really good, actually, it is a great place to be. If you are in Purgatory, you are on your way to Heaven. Your salvation is assured! This doesn’t mean that the purging or purification process will be easy. In fact, the “purifying fire” of Purgatory will be intense, but necessary.
Praying for the Poor Souls in Purgatory
It is only possible to gain merit with God while you are alive on this earth. Once you die, you lose that ability to gain merit. Therefore, if a soul is in Purgatory it cannot make satisfaction or expiate for their sins while on earth. The process of being in Purgatory will eventually make satisfaction for ones sins, but their is a way in which we can help this process to speed up. We here on earth can assist our brothers and sisters that are in Purgatory. How? We can pray for them. We can have Masses said for the souls in Purgatory, or a particular soul in Purgatory ( Masses said for souls in Purgatory are the most efficacious intercession that we can make for them). Before I go to bed at night I will often pray for family members or friends who have passed away. I will also pray for friends of friends, or friends family members who have passed away. It also a good thing to pray for priests who are in purgatory, some of them may need many prayers to be released also.
One thing to remember, or to be conscious of is the fact that these souls in Purgatory are also interceding and praying for us. These souls are part of the Mystical Body of Christ, also known as the Church Suffering.
I am going to leave you with this writing from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI from the Encyclical Spe Salvi ” 48. A further point must be mentioned here, because it is important for the practice of Christian hope. Early Jewish thought includes the idea that one can help the deceased in their intermediate state through prayer (see for example 2 Macc 12:38-45; first century BC). The equivalent practice was readily adopted by Christians and is common to the Eastern and Western Church. The East does not recognize the purifying and expiatory suffering of souls in the afterlife, but it does acknowledge various levels of beatitude and of suffering in the intermediate state. The souls of the departed can, however, receive “solace and refreshment” through the Eucharist, prayer and almsgiving. The belief that love can reach into the afterlife, that reciprocal giving and receiving is possible, in which our affection for one another continues beyond the limits of death—this has been a fundamental conviction of Christianity throughout the ages and it remains a source of comfort today. Who would not feel the need to convey to their departed loved ones a sign of kindness, a gesture of gratitude or even a request for pardon? Now a further question arises: if “Purgatory” is simply purification through fire in the encounter with the Lord, Judge and Saviour, how can a third person intervene, even if he or she is particularly close to the other? When we ask such a question, we should recall that no man is an island, entire of itself. Our lives are involved with one another, through innumerable interactions they are linked together. No one lives alone. No one sins alone. No one is saved alone. The lives of others continually spill over into mine: in what I think, say, do and achieve. And conversely, my life spills over into that of others: for better and for worse. So my prayer for another is not something extraneous to that person, something external, not even after death. In the interconnectedness of Being, my gratitude to the other—my prayer for him—can play a small part in his purification. And for that there is no need to convert earthly time into God’s time: in the communion of souls simple terrestrial time is superseded. It is never too late to touch the heart of another, nor is it ever in vain. In this way we further clarify an important element of the Christian concept of hope. Our hope is always essentially also hope for others; only thus is it truly hope for me too. As Christians we should never limit ourselves to asking: how can I save myself? We should also ask: what can I do in order that others may be saved and that for them too the star of hope may rise? Then I will have done my utmost for my own personal salvation as well.
May almighty God protect us from the world, the devil and ourselves
ps feel free to leave comments or questions, I can only get so much into a single post.
The Danger of One Mortal Sin
January 7, 2015
Solemn Declaration by Pope Benedict XII in “Benedictus Deus,” Jan 29, 1336
Papal Coat of Arms of Pope Benedict XII
Hi everyone, it is nice to be back posting once again. I hope all my readers and their families had a wonderful and holy Christmas and new year. May God in His mercy and goodness bless all of us this year of 2015, and may He come quickly!
The headlines of the secular news are filled with despair and hopelessness. Our True Faith and Hope rests in One, Jesus Christ our True King and Lord. We must never lose hope and keep our eyes on Him. So many distractions, including Catholic news in many cases can keep us from what’s truly important; readying ourselves for His glorious return! May we keep our souls focussed on Him this year, and pray to praise , reverence and serve our Lord with a great apostolic zeal this year! May we all be “praises of glory,” as Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity states.
The Danger of One Mortal Sin
This topic is not a popular one, but it is necessary and a true teaching of the Catholic Church. This topic also will be covered in detail, so that we cannot plead ignorance when asked, “what merits entrance into eternal hell?”. The short answer is that one mortal sin is enough for us to merit eternal damnation. How do we know this? Simple answer, because it was Dogmatically defined in 1336 by Pope Benedict XII, to set the record straight. One thing about articles of the Catholic faith that are solemnly defined from the Chair of St Peter. They are true, and unchangeable. We read in Matthew Chapter 16 ”  And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
It is our actual eternal salvation we are talking about here, like, forever and ever. This sounds important , no? So many church men and teachers turn their backs and side-step this teaching or actually don’t even believe it. This is deadly, eternally deadly! Let us take a look at exactly what was Dogmatically defined in 1336 by Pope Benedict XII in case it leaves room for interpretation, which I assure you, it does not. Here is what is written from the edict “Benedictus Deus” . This also can be found in Denzingers book Sources of Catholic Dogma article 531. Here goes :
(On hell and the general judgment)
Moreover we define that according to the general disposition of God, the souls of those who die in actual mortal sin go down into hell immediately (mox) after death and there suffer the pain of hell. Nevertheless, on the day of judgment all men will appear with their bodies “before the judgment seat of Christ” to give an account of their personal deeds, “so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body” (2 Cor. 5.10).”
So, this is definitive. Now we need to ask the question what constitutes a mortal sin. We can also answer that question quickly and easily and will do so, here and now. I don’t want anyone wondering about that question because of its gravity.
What is a Mortal Sin?
First off, the term mortal sin is not used as often these days to kind of soften the blow, but it is the proper term for such a subject. The more popular terms for mortal sin today are “serious sin” or “grave sin”. Do not be fooled by these terms, serious or grave sin, they are still mortal sin. Another word that is used is deadly, which is also very true and appropriate.
Quickly here I will give the three elements that makes a sin mortal in nature
1. the matter involved must be serious
2. one must have knowledge that it is wrong
3. one must freely choose or intend to commit the action or omission
Another disclaimer, this topic will be covered in more detail when posting on the Sacrament of Penance in the near future unless Jesus comes first of course ; which would be super awesome! So, if He does come, we will all be a little more ready for Him , right? Another quick note, if you even think you may have one mortal sin either through thought, word or deed ; proceed directly to your nearest priest and confess your sins to the best of your knowledge! I should have said that earlier, but I didn’t.
Ok, back to the three conditions that constitute a mortal sin. First the particular thought, word, action, or inaction must be serious. Secondly, I must know what I am doing is wrong, seriously wrong. I cannot sin through complete ignorance. If I don’t know it is a mortal sin to miss Sunday Mass and Holy days of obligation, than that would not be a sin for me. However, if I know that not attending Mass on Sunday is a mortal sin and choose to go visit family or play hockey or go to that nephews Birthday party instead….. well, not such a smart move their sunshine . Another note, and it is a biggy. If I personally choose to remain ignorant, for fear that finding out the Truth will interfere with my good times. Ouchhhh, God is smarter than that, He has that base covered to. That person, would be guilty of that sin.
Third, I cannot commit a mortal sin unless I freely choose what God has forbidden. If we know the matter is serious, and we willingly choose to go through with the sin anyways, ouchhh, ouchhhh ouch again. This is indeed a mortal sin.
One last thing. God gives us so much grace through His Church and His Sacraments so that we can deal with these situations and temptations of sin. Temptation is everywhere these days, but so is His grace and plenty of it. I am not here to condemn anyone, I am only laying out the long standing Tradition and True teaching of the Catholic Church. One thing I always try to practice myself is to protect my eyes and ears of possible occasions of sin. I don’t listen to certain types of music because they can make me think of unholy things. Same goes with the internet and magazines, newspapers. I willingly try to avoid pictures or images or articles that may lead me into sinful thinking or action. Also, I try and get to confession at least twice a month. It is so important, especially in the climate we live in today.
Remember, the Truth is the Truth. Peoples “opinions” really don’t matter much when it comes to our final judgement. Hell is just as real as Heaven. Let us choose Heaven, the ball is in our court folks!
May Almighty God bless us and protect us from the world, the devil and ourselves
The General Judgement
December 15, 2014
Continuation of the Seventh Article of the Apostle’s Creed
” From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead “
The General Judgement
In this post I am going to be focussing on the General Judgement. Like I stated in the last post we are one day closer to the second coming of Christ, therefore we are one day closer to our final and General Judgement. So, let us be prepared ! One item about the General Judgement that I would like to clear up right from the start. If , after our Particular Judgement, we are graced with the Beatific Vision (seeing God face to face in Heaven), we don’t have to worry that God might change His mind. In other words, if we are in heaven or purgatory after we die here on earth, than we don’t have to worry that at the General Judgement that God may decide to change His mind and toss us in Hell. It doesn’t work that way. I am going to borrow a line that some of my protestant brothers and sisters occasionally use, “ Once saved, always saved.” Of course, I am only using “once saved always saved” in reference to the particular and general judgements. Another day, we will look at the false doctrine of “once saved always saved”, but not today. I really hope that didn’t confuse anyone.
To use an analogy that is Catholic, the General Judgement is to the Particular Judgement what Confirmation is to Baptism. In the Sacrament of Confirmation, our Baptism is actually completed and strengthened. It is like this at the General Judgement, it is a confirmation of sorts, of our Particular Judgement. Or, if we are alive on earth and have not actually died when the General Judgement takes place, than it will be likened to getting Baptism and Confirmation one after another or combined. Like I said, just using an analogy to help in explaining the General Judgement.
So, what can be expected at the General Judgement. Well folks, to be very blunt, this is what EVERYTHING is leading up to. EVERYTHING is pointing to this very moment in history. HIS story, get it…This is His story and He has so kindly and lovingly willed us to be a part of it and to share in His love.
God , in His wisdom, mercy and justice will reveal to the world, and everyone who ever lived , how each person actually fit into the grand scheme of time. The General Judgement is social. We will all be unveiled publicly, every single last one of us. All of our acts of charity, or evil for that matter, will be open and exposed for each and everyone to see. We will also see how these acts played out, and the long lasting and life changing effects that good, and evil had on mankind as a whole. Gods mercy, and His justice will all make sense at that time. A thought occurred while meditating on this topic. You know how sometimes we ask God the question WHY? Why God, did this or that child die. How could you let so many people get killed? Why did you let my mother get cancer? Why did my dad die at 63 and now my mom is without her husband? … God, in His love, compassion, understanding, mercy and justice will answer ALL of these questions, every single one of them. Not because He has to, because He will. All will be explained, and all will also make complete and perfect sense to everybody, and I mean everybody.
Now, here are a few references to the General Judgement taken from scripture. Here is where the Truth speaks and should wake us up a lot, hopefully. The reason I say this is because the choices we make, and the actions we take, while here on earth, will decide for us whether we choose to go to Hell, or to Heaven. Yes, we decide whether we go to Heaven or Hell by what we do, or by what we do not do for that matter. God confirms our decision. Once we die, our will is fixed, no turning back from this point. So lets get this right folks, and use the long standing teachings of the Catholic Church to be our sure and certain guide, to hopefully get to Heaven with Gods grace.
Oh yes, the Scripture references to the General Judgement. Let us look at Matthew Chapter 25, and these verses speak for themselves. Little commentary is needed here. Here goes, ”  And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty.  And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats:  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.  Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” All the angels, yes it says ALL the ANGELS! That is a lot of angels, billions and billions , maybe more. Oh, and notice that Jesus is coming as a King in His majesty, and going to be judging us. One more thing, notice how Jesus tells us that the kingdom is, and was actually prepared for us from the beginning of the world. Prepared for us, for you. I love that part. Just saying…
Their is more here from Matthew 25, let us look ”  For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.  Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink?  And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee?  Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee?  And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me. Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink.  I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me.  Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee?  Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me. And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.” Notice what it states in verse 41. Hell was not prepared for us, but for the wicked devil and his demons. So why would we ever choose this horrible eternity. Let us choose to try and take part in Gods Holy will for us and try to participate with abundance of grace that is available to us through prayer and the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. So much grace is available to us through the Catholic Church, it is amazing!
One more point that I definitely have to cover is that the General Judgement will take place after the resurrection of our bodies. We will all face the Just Judge with body and soul. Also, our eternal destiny will also be in body and soul, either in Heaven or in Hell.
A couple more pieces from Sacred Scripture about the General Judgement from Luke Chapter 12 ”  For whatsoever things you have spoken in darkness, shall be published in the light: and that which you have spoken in the ear in the chambers, shall be preached on the housetops.  And I say to you, my friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.  But I will shew you whom you shall fear: fear ye him, who after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear him.” This is Jesus speaking here , we should listen up probably.
From Psalm 48 in Douay Rheims, or 49 in RSV we read in verse  Hear these things, all ye nations: give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world.  All you that are earthborn, and you sons of men: both rich and poor together. And in Canticles Chapter 8 verse  Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy as hard as hell, the lamps thereof are fire and flames.
St John also speaks about the General Judgement in Chapter 5 of the Gospel verse: ” Wonder not at this; for the hour cometh, wherein all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God.  And they that have done good things, shall come forth unto the resurrection of life; but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.” Judgement here is condemnation by the way.
Next post, we will be looking at Heaven, Hell, Purgatory and or, some combination of these topics. So, that being said, if you have made it this far in this post good for you, their is hope after all. I know some people just balk or altogether, or just shut right down when the word hell is brought up. It is as if they are gonna live forever, or some may even be convinced that the actual place doesn’t exist. Some people are gonna be in for one huge surprise. Well, believe me, and much more, believe the Catholic Church and Jesus Christ, that Heaven, Hell and Purgatory are all more real than the false bill of goods that the world has been trying to feed us.
If these topics make you feel uneasy that is a good sign. If these topics shut you right down or you choose to completely look the opposite way and pretend its all not real, maybe you should consider going to Sacramental Confession. Confession makes these topics a little easier to stomach, really you should try it. I try and go at least every couple of weeks. It is amazing how after going to Confession regularly makes these topics easier to look at.
As always feel free to comment, criticize or just say hello in the comment box at the top of the post
til next time, unless of course Jesus comes back before I write my next post, just saying, we never know the day or the hour…
May Almighty God Bless us and protect us from the world, the devil and ourselves
The Seventh Article of the Apostles’ Creed
December 5, 2014
” From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead ”
Chapel of Bones in Alcantarilha, Portugal
As we begin to take a look at the Seventh Article of the Apostle’s Creed, I ask you to take a few minutes to meditate, or ponder the moment of your death, sitting, or standing before Almighty God, about to be judged, for how you spent your life here on earth. Just a couple of thoughts before we begin. First, we all will die and most do not know exactly when. Second, we ALL will be judged for how we lived our life, like it or not, we cannot evade this. We must accept that all of us are actually born to die in a sense, but it’s how we live, that will decide how we will spend our life in eternity.
I have just ended my 30 day Ignatian retreat with the Marian Catechist Apostolate. As a result of the spiritual exercises, I was able to ponder such subjects of life, death, heaven, hell and purgatory. One of the insights I acquired during these exercises is the relationship between free-will and time, curious. We are all taught that one gift that God has given us that is uniquely ours is that of our free-will. It occurred to me, that another gift that God has given us that is uniquely ours, is time. Both of these gifts, if used wisely, with Gods grace, should be gifted back to Our Lord, freely on our part. It also occurred to me, how I have abused this precious gift of time that God has so graciously gifted me with. Sometimes, I thank Him for the generous extension He has given me. A result of others prayers, I am certain, especially my dear mother. So, when thinking of the end it also occurred to me that our actual ETERNAL FUTURE, depends upon our present here in time. From the finite to the eternal. This is very serious business folks. Every moment matters and our eternal future is riding on our Yes to Gods will and the time He allows us here on this earth. Eternity is a long, long, long, long, long……..long time, eventhough we will be outside time, that is how long eternity is. Its even longer than that! So let us all stop wasting our time and give some of it at least, back to God, along with our wills.
So, on with the catechesis shall we. We have two kinds of judgement, and we will be taking a look at the first type in this post. The two types are called the Particular Judgement that happens immediately after we die, and we have what is called the General Judgement at the end of the world.
St Paul in the Book of Hebrews in Chapter 9: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment”. We will be immediately judged according to how we lived our lives as soon as we die. It is very important to remember that our stay here on earth is limited, and is used to test our entrance into the heavenly kingdom. God, is so merciful! He sends us so many messengers, and so many graces. He wants us to be with Him in Heaven, but we also need to show that we want to be with Him in Heaven as well. All of the Sacraments of the Catholic Church are specifically God given, to help us to gain eternity with Him in Heaven. Not only that, but the Sacraments also give us a taste of Heaven on earth, especially in the Holy Eucharist.
When we die, in the most simplest terms, our souls leave our bodies. We will be judged according to our works, more specifically on our charity. Have we sacrificed our time and our lives for others, for God. Have we tried to pray for those who have offended, or hurt us. Have we turned away from temptations that would lead us away from God. Have we taken that extra minute to spend with family, with a stranger, with that annoying man or woman? Was I constantly picking away at how this or that person lived out their Catholic Faith? These are some of the questions I ask myself at times. Believe me, I fail at these questions many times, I’m just grateful for some bit of awareness.
This is our chance, actually, this is our Grace, not chance. This is our time here on earth, that God has specifically chosen for us to be in. This is nothing to complain about. We are here, right now, to give Glory to God! We are all called to be little “praises of Glory” as Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity says. All the graces are available, right here, right now. The exact same graces are here now that were here during St Teresa of Avila’s time, as St Athanasius’ time, Saint Francis of Assisi’s time…… the Grace is available! We are called to be saints, here and now in this moment of time that God has graced us with.
So let us not fear death, but pray for a happy death ; a life lived for God, with His Grace, and the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church as my compass. Rest assured, if we are obedient to His will, to the best of our ability, we shall be eternally happy. If we live a life of selfishness and refuse His grace til the moment we die, we shall be eternally in misery. The choice is obvious, isn’t it? Lets stop wasting time and try and take part in Gods Holy Will. It is wise to remember what it reads in Holy Scripture, from the Book of Ecclesiasticus 7: “In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin. “
May Almighty God protect us from the World , the devil, and ourselves
For the Greater Praise of Glory!
The Sixth Article of the Apostle’s Creed
October 28, 2014
” He ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right of God, the Father Almighty “
I apologize for not posting on Catechesis as much lately. The mission of this site has not changed,if anything, it has been strengthened and galvanized. Now, more than ever, it has become so glaringly obvious, that Catechesis in its most basic form, is so desperately needed. Not only is Catechesis needed for the lay faithful, or the potential convert or revert, but also for many, and I say many Catholic priests and their superiors. I will do my best to provide sound Catechesis on a regular basis. Please, print, copy, email, send whatever information from this site that you find useful for yourself, students, children, parents, priests, Bishops…… Use whatever you like from this site to help evangelize and catechize the population. Just give Canadian Catechist a little plug, that’s all I ask :-). And yes, I do use emoticons lol!!!
Once again, sorry for the delay in posting on Catechesis. I have had a couple of minor health issues that I have been dealing with lately. Nothing serious, but definitely enough to slow me down a bit. This month, I am also preparing for the thirty-day Ignatian retreat of the Spiritual Exercises. So please keep me in your prayers, I am going to need them. The Spiritual Exercises start on November first for myself and some of the other members of the Marian Catechist Apostolate who are working towards becoming Consecrated Marian Catechists. I hope others who read this site consider becoming Marian Catechists.
He ascended into Heaven
Let us begin with the first part of the article, “He ascended into Heaven“. Because of the fact that Jesus now has a glorified body ( which in itself, has many amazing characteristics ), he was able to ascend into Heaven by use of His human power, as well as His Divine power. Jesus ascended by His own power. He was not taken up into Heaven like Elias from the Old Testament here in 2 Kings 2: “And as they went on, walking and talking together, behold a fiery chariot, and fiery horses parted them both asunder: and Elias went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” So, we believe as it says in the Catechism of the Council of Trent that “ we believe that Christ ascended into Heaven as God and man by His own power.” You see, because Jesus now has a glorified body, he could travel at the behest of His soul. He could literally go wherever His Soul wished. We call this particular characteristic of a glorified body, “ Agility “. The agility that Jesus’ glorified body now has, gives him the ability to move at the speed of light at the command of the will. Their are some other really awesome characteristics that a glorified body has that I’m itching to tell you about, but they will have to wait until I post on the ” the eleventh article of the Apostle’s Creed “, which is coming soon!
Some may be wondering, or ask the question, ” why did Jesus go to Heaven” ? Why didn’t Jesus stay here? He could have stayed if He chose to as the God and man, right? To answer the last question first, Jesus is here as God and man, hidden under the species of bread and wine in every Catholic Church in the Holy Eucharist. To answer the question of why did Jesus go to Heaven. He told us exactly why He went in John 17: “But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. ” So, when He goes to Heaven, Jesus will send the Holy Ghost to help to strengthen and confirm the Apostle’s in their Faith. That is not all, their is another very important reason that Jesus went to Heaven. Also from the Gospel of John Chapter 14: ” In my Father’ s house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I shall go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will take you to myself; that where I am, you also may be.” Jesus is going to prepare a place for His followers.
So far, just from this little bit of text from the sixth article of the Apostle’s Creed we have a lot of catechetical teaching. Their is more. Jesus didn’t go to Heaven alone, oh no, He brought others with Him! Who did He bring? He brought the souls of the just whom He had delivered from the limbo of the Fathers. Those whom He preached to when He “ descended into hell “. All the Old Testament Saints including Adam and Eve, St John the Baptist, St Samuel, St David…..went with the Most Glorious King of Heaven and Earth into Heaven that very day, exactly 40 days after His Resurrection.
We will cover more on this article of the Creed shortly…
May Almighty God Bless us all, and protect us from the World, the devil, and ourselves
How Do We Practice What We Learn?
September 18, 2014
Fifth Article of the Apostle’s Creed continued…
; the third day He rose again from the dead
In this post I am going to be not so much catechizing on What we believe, but more on how we put what we believe into practice. So, how we can practice and grow in our faith. It is of course an excellent practice to learn as much as one can about our beautiful Catholic Faith, but we must put this knowledge and faith into practice, to truly grow into a deeper more fruitful relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! All Catechesis, must be Christ-centered!!!
Being a member of the Marian Catechist Apostolate demands that we not just grow in our doctrinal and catechetical learning, but also spiritually. We need to have a balance of doctrinal and spiritual development, that balances ones complete make up as a Marian Catechist and as a member of the Church Militant on earth. I believe it can become a temptation at times to believe because we are learning about God, that we are getting to know God in a better way. I have to say that this is not always true. In fact, many of the so-called brightest theologians and scripture exegetes have turned out to be heretics, apostates and in some cases even atheists! One that immediately comes to mind is Martin Luther and John Calvin, their are many , many more. In fact, they are in our midst today ,and not just an anomaly of the distant past.
We can actually put into practice what we learn in the Articles of the Apostle’s Creed. How you say? Certainly, on Sundays and our Holy Days of obligation we attend Mass faithfully. Even more, if at all possible, we should be attending Holy Mass as often as possible, not just limited to the Holy Days of obligation. Their are other pious practices that will help us to grower closer to our Lord and His Holy Mother. The daily praying of the Holy Rosary is actually praying, and meditating on the Gospel itself! Another practice that Marian Catechists do is to pray the daily Angelus at least two times a day.
Traditionally, Wednesdays were a day to especially honour St Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus and the chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I can tell you from personal experience, that St Joseph’s intercessory ability is awesome! He has helped me in many tough situations. Please build a strong relationship with this most great Saint, second only to Mary the Mother of God (Theotokos) . Here is a link to an ancient prayer to St Joseph that I choose to say everyday, it can also be used as a 9 day Novena prayer. Once again, prayers to St Joseph are very powerful and always answered! This is what my patroness Saint, Teresa of Jesus says of St Joseph, “I know by experience,” says St. Teresa of Avila, “that the glorious St. Joseph assists us generally in all necessities. I never asked him for anything which he did not obtain for me.”
So on Fridays, in commemoration of Jesus’ Passion and Death on the Cross, we are obliged to perform some act of penance or mortification. Ouchhh!!! Did you say mortify? Yes, I did! This does not mean, nor do I suggest that you whip or flag yourself half to death. Some people still may do this, but any penance or mortification should also be discussed with one’s spiritual advisor! I am only touching on a couple suggestions. This can be as simple as abstaining from meat, or having a computer fast for that day. It is meant to help unite yourself with our Lord and His Passion and death. A small token to add to the Mystical Body in Heaven and Earth. It also helps us to aquire virtue, especially in temperance. Practicing penance and mortification helps by bringing our unruly passions into check through practice. Remember, we “practice our Faith”. I have to admit, I have a sweet tooth! It is a tough one for me, but its easier when I offer it up to our Blessed Lord ! It helps to bring that particular passion into check.
Of Course, we cannot forget the day dedicated to our Lady, Saturday. Saturday is the day that we honour the Blessed Virgin Mary. We honour our Lady, whose Faith remained unshaken on that Holy Saturday, and never faltered. She had Faith and Hope that Her most Holy Son, Jesus Christ would indeed rise from the dead, as He said He would. In honour of Her, we can light a votive candle for Our Lady’s intentions, or honour her by just spending a little more time meditating on the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. For those who have a devotion to our Blessed Mother, I might suggest the book True Devotion to Mary by St Louis Marie de Monfort . This book is a masterpiece of Marian devotion and is a favourite of mine and was a favourite of St John Paul II. His papal motto “Totus Tuus”, meaning, all yours, was borrowed from St Louis de Monfort!
Til next time,
may Almighty God Bless us, and protect us from the World, the devil, and ourselves!!!
The Third day He rose again from the dead!!!
August 24, 2014
Second part, of the Fifth Article of the Apostle’s Creed
We have talked, actually typed and hopefully read, wink wink, much of what has been written on this blog about Our Dear Lord and His life and death. Now we need to look at the true historical event that took place on that First Easter Sunday! I have to say, I love meditating on the Glorious Mysteries of Our Lord and Lady’s Holy Rosary, especially on this mystery in particular ; Jesus’ Resurrection. In the words on Father Fernbeck, ” can you just imagine, ” seeing Our Blessed Lord’s resurrection, actually seeing Him come out of that tomb in His Glorified state at that ! It truly is a mystery worth meditating and praying on with much regularity. So, as I have stated here before, this blog deals with the TRUE TEACHINGS of The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and this part of the catechesis is also part of our Faith. I cannot stress with enough emphasis that Jesus’ Resurrection is not just a strict mystery, but a historical ,reasonable and credible, recorded event that can be substantiated and proved through the many historic documents and witness testimonies that are still available to us today. As St Paul saids in 1 Corinthian 15:” And if Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” We know, for a fact that Jesus truly raised Himself from the dead, by His own Divine Power because of the testimony of His disciples and the hundreds of other witnesses that saw Him. If you do not believe this, than no reasonable, sane person could ever believe in any recorded history or person that existed for that matter, that has ever been written about at almost anytime in history. We have much more historical, recorded history detailing about Jesus’ life death and resurrection than we do about any historian before or even after His time on earth including Josephus among the Jews, Caesar and Pliny among the Romans, and Herodotus and Thucydides, Plato and Aristotle among the Greeks. So, it is a very reasonable, historical and credible mystery, to believe in Our Lord and His Glorious Resurrection. One other historical, recorded proof just amazes and adds tremendous credibility to the truth of Our Lord’s Resurrection , is the fact of the willing, courageous martyrdom of 11 of the 12 Apostle’s and the many disciples and witnesses of Our Lord’s Resurrection . So many of the same Apostles and disciples who originally abandoned our Lord because of fear, most heroically went willing to their death for Him only after having seen Our Lord after He raised Himself from the dead. We know to this day where many of those Apostles and disciples are actually buried today! Yes, today, we can visit the Holy Relics of many of the first martyrs, many are in Rome at St Peters Basilica and all over Rome for that matter. People don’t willingly die for something they don’t believe in, they just don’t. Especially not the way so many of the disciples of Jesus did, who happily, joyfully, and willingly were martyred giving witness and true testimony to Our Risen Lord! We still have martyrs today, look at Syria and Iraq in particular, and please pray for our brothers and sisters in the middle east especially!
I will continue more on Jesus’ Resurrection shortly
May God Bless us and protect us from the world, ourselves and the devil
He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead!
August 18, 2014
The Fifth Article of the Apostle’s Creed
” He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead “
when we hear the word “Hell,” I believe what comes to some peoples minds is the burning furnace of Hell, the smell of sulphur, where the demons of satan are running about everywhere, unchecked, tearing souls apart, limb from limb in an everlasting fire, howling and screaming, uneneding suffering and absolute hopelessness, deprived of ever seeing God. Something say, from the imagery detailed in Dantes Inferno, his Divine Comedy. Now, I must state this plainly, I do not suggest at all that this “Hell” is not real, however, this is not the “Hell” that we are going to be covering in the Fifth Article of the Apostle’s Creed. The Hell that Jesus descended into is also known as “the abode of the dead,” or the Limbo of the Fathers, or the underworld or Sheol in Hebrew, or Hades in Greek. This is the place, where the souls of the just were dwelling. The souls of the Old Testament Saints would have been there awaiting Our Dear Lords arrival. the souls of Adam and Eve, Moses, king David, Samuel the Prophet, Ruth, Isaiah, Daniel, Jeremiah, the Maccabean Martyrs, St Joseph and even St John the Baptist would have been their waiting for Our Lords arrival, and so many more. This Hell, was definitely a much better Hell to be in, than that other Hell that we will be discussing in another post. I believe this is why in more modern versions of the Creed we hear or read, that “He descended to the dead.” I have to admit, that I am not favourable to any change in any Creed or teaching to the Church at all, however, this particular change from the word “hell” to” dead” seems to make some sense and clear up a misconception. But, I still say “Hell” regardless! The word would never have to be changed to” dead” if ALL Pastors of souls didn’t shy away from the teachings of Hell and properly catechize ALL truths of the Faith and make the distinction between the two hells.
Jesus descended to the underworld after He died to visit the souls of the just who had died up to that time and were detained in the limbo of the Fathers. His descent was a manifestation of His power and authority over ALL Creation, including the underworld. Christ visited the just souls not with His body but with His soul, united with His Divinity, because Jesus truly died as we learned in the previous post. You may be asking, why would just souls be detained in limbo? Simple answer, sin! Christ came to save us from sin, He alone could open the gates of heaven to us and restore friendship with God, He is our Redeemer! If you take notice of the art I chose for this post, also referred to as “The Harrowing of Hell,” it shows the doors of hell busted down by Our Lord, and He is carrying the Standard of Salvation. Can you just imagine the joy that the just souls must have had when that door was smashed down by Our Lord. However, we have to remember a very important point; the souls of the just did not immediately enter heaven after Jesus preached salvation to them and gave them the Good News. The souls of the just in limbo, still had to wait 40 days until Jesus’ ascension into Heaven, only after that, were the souls of the just able to enjoy the Beatific Vision and have a true face to face with God!
Next post we will look at the second part of this article that deals with the Resurrection of Our Lord!
May God protect us from the world, the devil, and ourselves!
ps please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters that are still being persecuted in the Middle East, most especially in Syria and Iraq!!!!!