March 30, 2014
BAD ANGELS…..First Article of Apostles Creed Continued
So, were the bad angels always bad? The answer is no, God created all of the angels good. Lets see what The 4th Lateran Council in 1215 has to say, ” the devil and the other demons were created by God good in their nature but they by themselves have made themselves evil” D 428, D 427.
The Angels were subjected to a moral testing, they were in a state of pilgrimage in which they were required to merit The Beatific Vision of God. The Good Angels who passed the test entered into the blessedness of heaven (Matt 18:10, Tob 12:15, Heb 12:22, Rev 5:11, 7:11. The bad angels who did not cooperate freely with Gods will, and through their own pride and envy chose freely not to serve God, fell under the ban of eternal damnation (2 Peter 2:4, Jud 6 ). The Fathers and theologians generally refer to the fall the words from Jeremiah 2:20 ” non serviam ” in English, it translates as ” I will not serve .”
Well, what if I choose not to believe that the devil and his demons are real? You had better change your mind quick, and it is a good chance that the devil or one of his demons has made that suggestion to you. The devil truly exists and we see his handiwork everywhere we look. Satanism, satanic cults, devil worship, abortion, radical feminism,exorcisms are all very publicized and glamourized in the secular world for it not to be true. So, how do we resist the devil and his temptations and is it always the devil that tempts us? We resist the devil with our will and the help of the Sacraments of the Church. 1 Cor 10:13 states ” God will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able. ” It is not always the demon who tempts, it could be our own flesh or the world, but always keep your guard up through daily prayer, regular confession, daily rosary, and of course The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Eucharist to protect yourself from the evil one. Sacramentals like Holy Water and the Brown Scapular are also very helpful in fending off the evil one . Some of the other ways we protect ourselves from the evil one are by making prudent decisions by what we expose ourselves to. Definitely stay away from astrology, palm readers, psychics, yoga, white or black magic, mediums, Ouija boards, séances, pornography, sexually explicit movies or images, and away from other sources ,or potential sources of temptations. We have that responsibility also to make willfull decisions that won’t put us in an occasion to sin or draw others into sin either.
The Council of Trent names as a consequence of Adams sin mans subjection to the power of the devil D 788, D793. The Church’s belief finds liturgical expression in the ceremonies of Baptism. We know that the devil tempts and tries to hurt us spiritually and morally, but in certain circumstances, he can in fact harm us physically. A type of demonic infestation is possession, obsession , and oppression. This is when the evil spirit , takes forceable possession of the human body, so that the bodily organs and lower part of the soul, but not the higher parts of the soul are dominated by him. In these cases often a good confession can heal the one afflicted. Sometimes some deliverance prayers will be needed, and in less common cases, a priest who is granted permission by the Bishop will have to perform an exorcism or exorcisms to rid the person of the demonic possession.
in JMJ, Lee
March 26, 2014
Good Angels…..First Article of Apostles Creed continued
I find it a very appropriate day to blog about Good Angels. Of course today is the First Class Feast of The Annunciation of The Blessed Virgin Mary, March 25 and yesterday was St Gabriels feast day, the Archangel chosen by God to announce to Mary that she was to be the Mother of Christ. The Angel in the above image of the Annunciation is none other than the Angel Gabriel. He was hand picked by God to deliver Good News to Mary.
I think it is important to note that although each individual angel is indeed a different unique species from one another since they are not of a material nature but a spiritual nature, that their still are different classes of angels. Actually, nine Choirs of Angels is the language we use to identify the hierarchy,types or government if you will, of angels.. Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Quod Apostolici muneris, writes of the distinct nature of the choirs of angels, ” Just then as the Almighty willed that, in the Heavenly Kingdom itself, the choirs of angels should be of different ranks, and subordinated the one to the other; again just as in the Church, God has established different grades of orders with diversity of functions…” St Teresa of Avila who saw angels on more than one occasion, a favourite Saint of mine, and most powerful intercessor , also Doctor of the Church writes of the choirs, ” Their names they never tell me; but I see very well that their is in heaven so great a difference between one angel and another, and between these and the others, I cannot explain it.”
The nine choirs are as follows, The Seraphim, The Cherubim, The Thrones, The Dominations, The Virtues, The Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. In a more intermediate study in the future, we will look at the different functions of these nine choirs and how they relate with God, one another and with us here on earth.
The Archangels that are known to us as Catholics definitively through Sacred Scripture and Sacred tradition are Archangel St Michael, Archangel St Gabriel, and Archangel St Raphael. We know that their are more Archangels, ” I am Raphael, one of the seven who stand before the Lord” (Tob 12:16). We do not know the names of the other four, we might have wait and see who they are in heaven. If you want to read more about Angels, you might like Joan Carrol Cruz’s book Angels and Demons or Peter Kreefts book Angels and Demons: What do we Really Know about Them? I have read both these books and really appreciated the thoroughness of each.
Next time we will look at Bad Angels….
in JMJ, Lee
First Article of Creed Continued…..Angels
March 20, 2014
As we continue looking at the First Article of the Apostles Creed, “ I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth “ we will do a basic study on Angels. This is a very popular subject with people of all religions and even no religion, since most people seem to believe in angels existence. Of course we know they do exist and have a very active part in our day to day life. We will take a quick look at what The Church has to say about Angels.
The word Angel, actually means “one who is sent” or ” messenger.” Angels are revealed to us all through Sacred Scripture (Psalm 103:20-21, 148:2, Genesis 48:16, Matt 22:30, Lk1:26,Peter 2:4, Rev 5:11……) and all through Sacred Tradition.
God created angels as pure spirits. They are spiritual beings, non-corporeal : therefore, having no bodies. Each Angel is a person, a subsisting intelligent being with an intellect and a will. Angels are immortal beings, not to be confused with God, who is Eternal. Each Angel is a completely unique creature of God, naturally superior to man and closer to God in semblance. He is the creator, they are creatures. His knowledge is infinite, angels knowledge is finite. He knows past, present, future….Angels do not know the future unless specially revealed to them by God. Angels , good and bad had choice in the beginning, to either co-operate with Gods will and spend eternity with Him in heaven, or be cast into hell for willful disobedience. We will continue for the next two or three posts on Angels: Good and Bad. Don’t forget to stay in constant contact with your guardian angel. I ask mine to remind me of appointments, to help me remember many things and to help protect me from the world, the devil and myself. I also try and thank him also for the guidance he gives me and all the help he has given me over the years. This is the Guardian Angel prayer, I say it every day when I wake and when I go to bed and also say it to my children and ask their Guardian Angels to watch over them always.
Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom God’s love commits me here, Ever this day, be at my side, To light and guard, Rule and guide.
“From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their (the angels) watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united to God.”
– from the Catechism of the Catholic Church; 336.
in JMJ, Lee
March 15, 2014
This post in particular I will be trying to keep as basic and understandable as possible. For those who would like to explore more into the topic of Providence I can suggest a book by Father Reginald Garrigou Lagrange called Providence.
To begin, I will use the definition from the Modern Catholic Dictionary by Father John Hardon. Providence-” God’s all-wise plan for the universe, and the carrying out of this plan by his loving rule or governance. The eternal world plan and its fulfillment in time are together called divine providence.” Also as expressed by the First Vatican Council (1869-70) ” God in His providence watches over and governs all things that He made, reaching from end to end with might and disposing all things with gentleness (Denzinger 3003).
Ok, so through Gods Providence He guides all that He has created always taking into account our free will, which if we use to cooperate with His will, we shall reach heaven. Human freedom is part of the divine plan.Nothing happens that is not either permitted or ordained by God’s will. So, we often hear a lot about God’s will and some people like to loosely attach this or that situation, event, churchman to God’s will. And, that this event, or what this or that person said must be God’s will. Well, when you hear a person say that this or that action is Gods will, in a certain sense they are correct. But, you may want to interject that it may be God’s permissive will, allowing something to take place, rather than God’s Holy ordained will, being pleased with a situation and blessing an act.
Prayer is a big part of divine providence. We must pray, I say again, we must pray. God has forseen our prayers from eternity and thus included them in His plan for the universe, to give us and others, what He knew we would ask for. We should always choose to pray, it is a great use of the liberty that God gave us. Another point about prayer is that it is not God who changes His mind when a prayer is answered even though it may appear that way. We already learned that earlier, God does not change. The change that occurs through prayer is due to God’s grace, and the change takes place in the pray-er.
Ok, so why all the evil in the world? God can only know for sure. We know God does not create evil or cause people to sin, sin is an abuse of our free-will. We know that God permits evil. The Catechism has this to say about why God permits evil in the world , ” Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit an evil if He did not cause good to come from that very evil, by ways that we should fully know only in eternal life” (324).
O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways
Next post we will be taking a look at Angels : Good and Bad, may God Bless you and keep you safe from the world, the devil, and yourself :-). in JMJ… Lee
First Article Continued…
March 10, 2014
Well, I feel compelled to continue on this topic as it has so much importance especially in this day and age. As I pour through my resources on the First Article of the Apostles Creed, I feel a responsibility to make sure what I communicate to you is what could be described as the ” meat “, not just the milk. The resources I am primarily using for this part of my blog I must note: Marian Catechist textbooks always, The Catholic Catechism by Servant of God Father John Hardon SJ, and also My Catholic Faith by Most Reverend Louis LaRavoire Morrow, DD and of course The Holy Bible, I prefer the Douay-Rheims translation. The last book I mentioned, My Catholic Faith is an excellent beginner Catechism and beautifully put together with some beautiful old art, which I have come to love. Before we get to the next topic of The First Article, I also want to suggest a book on The Trinity that has really enriched and elevated my personal relationship with The Blessed Trinity. That book is “The Spiritual Doctrine of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity. ” This spiritual doctrine of hers has helped change my prayer life for the better to incorporate the Trinity especially through mental prayer.
( Gen 1:1 ) ” In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” Indeed, He did. God created the world out of no existent material, ex nihlo, out of nothing. This is not a theory, this is a fact , and how do we know? Because God Himself has revealed this to us through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Not only that, but so many of the brightest scientific minds, are coming to the conclusion through their studies that Someone is intimately involved in the mechanics of our universe. Really? We know that, and we know without a doubt it is God. Because of Gods love, He chose to create the world to share something of His own perfection with us. Also to be noted, time began with the creation of the world, therefore God created the world in time, as time is also a measure in change.
By Gods complete freedom He chose to create the world we live in, however, He didn’t have to create this world at all, He could have created a different one if He chose to. His creation also cannot add or subtract anything from Our God, who is Infinitely Perfect in Complete Fullness. Therefore it is a completely gratuitous action on Gods part, so we owe Him adoration, praise and thanksgiving through prayer and deed at all times. Also to be noted EVERYTIME a child is conceived, God creates a soul ex nihlo, out of nothing , and immediately unites the soul with the body prepared for it by the parents.( Jer 1:5 ) “Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb,”
Upcoming posts will be on Divine Providence closely followed by Angels: Good and Bad, see you soon. Feel free to comment or ask questions. We are just brushing the surface for now, but I believe it is important to start with the basics. And remember, yes it is extremely important to learn about God, but it is just as important to really get to know God, through prayer and deed. And the highest form of prayer is The Holy Mass. ” Don’t just say the Mass, Pray The Mass! ”
The First Article of the Apostles’ Creed
March 8, 2014
The First Article of the Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth
The Apostles’ Creed is a statement of belief of the principle truths of our Faith. The Creed dates back to the Apostles’ themselves. It is important to understand that what we believe are Truths, not opinions, theories, or myths, but indeed Truths for all mankind.
One fact needs to be stated firstly about the First Article of the Apostles’ Creed , and that is only God must exist. Everything we have is a gift of God’s Almighty Power. Everything we have is from God, but He has chosen to give us something which we can call our own, and that is our free will.
The First Vatican council defined 15 of God’s divine perfections, even though God’s perfections are beyond numbering. For our case, we will look at six that help us to understand God.
The first is that God is unchangeable or immutable ” For I The Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6). It may be hard for us to grasp because everything around us changes, but God does not. He cannot gain anything He doesn’t already possess, or lose anything He already has. He is the absolute fullness of infinite perfection within Himself.
God is infinitely good. EVERYTHING He does is good . God cannot sin or lie. God wastes no thing He has created and no opportunity to draw goodness from it, even though it may look otherwise to some, God ALWAYS draws good from evil.
God is infinitely free. He was free to create us and the world or not, and if He had chosen He could have even created a different or better world.
God is omnipotent, all powerful and almighty. What God wills is done, unlike us creatures. God alone only has to exist, He keeps all created things in existence because He wills it.
God is omniscient or all knowing or seeing. He knows past, present and future, His knowledge is infinite, it has no bounds.
God is all-loving of Himself necessarily. Love is His nature. He is loving of all His creatures in willing their very existence. “God is love, and he who abides in love , abides in God, and God abides in Him ” (1 John 4:16)
Their are so many more that we could state, but we will stick to these six ; many others I am certain will come out through the coming posts, or you can do some research on your own with the resources I mentioned in the previous post.
Three Persons in One God, The Holy Trinity
The Trinity is the cardinal mystery of Christianity. Three Divine Persons in One God. These three persons are God The Father ( Creator ), God The Son ( Redeemer ), and God The Holy Ghost ( Sanctifier ). They all have one Divine will, the same nature and same being. We can try and help you understand this, but this mystery is hidden from reason alone and faith is needed. I have to give a suggestion that really helped in my understanding of The Holy Trinity. The suggestion is to read Frank Sheed’s book “Theology and Sanity.” It is the best communicated explanation of the mystery of The Holy Trinity I know of. Jesus Christ Himself revealed to us the existence of The Trinity when He said ” Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of The Son, and of The Holy Ghost” Matt 28:19
To Be Continued…
Some Basic Definitions and Explanations about this Site
March 2, 2014
Hello again! I think it is important to set some boundaries for this blog site and set some goals if you will. The purpose of this site is to be a place where true Catholic teaching can be found and accessed by all. I will start with the Twelve Articles of the Apostles Creed which are the first things. I plan on starting with basic teachings on the Creed and hope to get into a more intermediate and advanced catechesis as time goes on. I will plainly state that any teachings on this blog will be from orthodox resources, such as all catechesis manuals from Marian Catechists Apostolate, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott, The Sources of Catholic Dogma by Henry Denzinger, Summa Theologica by St Thomas Aquinas, The Catholic Catechism and The Question and Answer Catechism both by Servant of God Father John A Hardon, of course The Catechism of the Catholic Church and also The Roman Catechism: The Catechism of the Council of Trent and also many Papal documents and encyclicals such as Catechesi Tradendi by Blessed John Paul II and Evangelii Nuntiandi by Pope Paul VI. I will try to limit myself to making this a place for sound catechetical activity rather than a place to just give another opinion, their seem to be so many of those already. It has also been brought to my attention by my friend Felix that their are very few Canadian Catholic Catechetical resources on the web. So, voila, now we have one that I hope will help many people learn the Truths of The One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church. I will try to post as much as possible, but as life sees it right now, I cannot give a straight schedule of when I will post. Once again, I will begin very shortly on the first article of The Apostles Creed ” I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth.” May God Bless you all. In JMJ, Lee
St Charles Borromeo Pray for Us