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 Human Nature of Jesus Christ!!!
May 29, 2014
“Who was Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary”
After professing our faith in Jesus Christ’s divinity as the only begotten Son of God, we immediately declare that ” He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary “. Jesus’ Divinity means He has the exact same nature as God, His Father. We don’t speak of His Divine nature as being created, because it wasn’t, it was generated from the Father. Jesus as the second person of the Divine Trinity has all the attributes of God the Father, He is eternal like His Father. We will look more at Jesus’ Divinity in future posts and the relationship between the Three Divine Persons in God. For now, lets examine some more of Jesus’ human, created nature.
Now, once again I have to state that Jesus is one Divine person with two natures and two wills, He has a human nature and a human will. Jesus has a Divine nature and a Divine will, but He is still one person, not two persons in the same body. If you were to ask your mother if she gave birth to your nature or your person, and assuming that she is not some kind of philosopher or psychologist type, she would rationally answer that she gave birth to a person and named him ” whatever your name is, insert here.” I have to say that Frank Sheeds book called ” Theology and Sanity” explains the mystery of the Holy Trinity superbly. Now, just because Jesus has a human nature doesn’t mean he could sin, because He couldn’t, it just wasn’t in Him, it was actually impossible for Him to sin. Jesus is what we call ” impeccable” or simply “sinless.” Once again, this is not speculation this is absolute truth or De Fide. The Council of Florence solemnly declared it in 1441. However that being said, it was always a part of Catholic Teaching that Jesus was “ impeccable “. St Augustine taught, ” Let everyone that believes that the flesh of Christ revolted against His Spirit, be excluded” (Opus imperfectum c. Iul, IV 47). Christ therefore did not have “concupiscence” that is, He never was inclined to sin. His soul did not struggle with His flesh, they were in perfect harmony with one another. Jesus, even though He had a free will as part of His human nature, it always participated perfectly with His Divine will. Pope Benedict XVI writes beautifully of Jesus’ Divine and human will in the second book of The Jesus of Nazareth series. The main reason for Jesus’ impeccability lies in the fact of the Hypostatic Union. Jesus is a Divine person, therefore cannot be the subject of sin. The Council of Chalcedon in 451 states ” similar to us in all things, except sin” ( D 148 ).
It is also a teaching of the Church that from the very moment of Christ’s conception He had the Beatific Vision, in other words He immediately had a face to face with God and knew Him perfectly. I take a quote from the schoolmen from Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Dr. Ludwig Ott, ” at the same time a pilgrim on earth and at the destination of His earthly pilgrimage.” Therefore , since Jesus had the Beatific Vision He did not have the theological virtues of Faith and Hope.
I will continue on this post shortly…… In JMJ,Lee