Tag: God

Jesus Christ The King

 King of Kings

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   Jesus Christ King of Kings

         This will be the last post dealing with The Second Article of the Apostles Creed,  ” And in Jesus Christ His Only Son, Our Lord. ” We will briefly look at how Jesus fulfills, transforms, and perfects kingship from the old to the new. How do we recognize Jesus as King? Well, first of all Jesus came from the tribe of Judah, and from the kingly line of David. Both, Jesus’ mother Mary and His Foster Father St Joseph were of the tribe of Judah, from the line of David. In fact, St Joseph, had the blood right to the throne of David himself. So, just that alone gives good reason for Jesus’ title, ” Son of David.” You can trace the lineage of Jesus in Chapter 1 of The Gospel of St Matthew verses 1-18. Lets see what the Angel Gabriel said to Mary, Jesus’ Mother in Luke Chapter 1, “[31] Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. [32] He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. [33] And of his kingdom there shall be no end.” So we have an Angel from heaven declaring moments before the actual Annunciation, prophesizing the fact of Jesus’  Kingship and His Eternal Reign. I think that alone is sufficient proof of Christs Kingship. But, their is much more. Holding the office of King, Jesus would have certain duties and responsibilities that would be required of Him. Some of the duties and responsibilities of a Kingly office would be to govern and  judge His subjects or people. Good Kings are also wise, merciful,  and will make sure their people have food, and if need be, will even lead their armies into battle and even die for their subjects. Jesus is indeed, The King of Kings. He fulfills all of those requirements of a King.

    Jesus really showed His authority and laid down His precepts and New Laws when He preached the Sermon on the Mount in The Gospel of St Matthew from Chapter five to chapter seven. These precepts/laws give specific instructions on how to live a Heavenly life on earth in Jesus’ Kingdom, all the while preparing ourselves for the Heavenly Kingdom of Heaven, after our souls leave our bodies when we die. We will look more at the organization of Jesus’ Kingdom in future posts, although I must state now that The One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church is that organization. Jesus being a true King, demanded strict adherence to The New Law that He personally and authoritatively laid out. John 14,”  [15] If you love me, keep my commandments.” And, in John 15, Jesus says “[10] If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; as I also have kept my Father’ s commandments, and do abide in his love.” Once again, He is showing His authority as King, telling us about His Commandments!

     Jesus, when He stood before Pontius Pilate confessed Himself to be King, but of a Heavenly nature, here is the text from John Chapter 18 ” [33] Pilate therefore went into the hall again, and called Jesus, and said to him: Art thou the king of the Jews? [34] Jesus answered: Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me? [35] Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Thy own nation, and the chief priests, have delivered thee up to me: what hast thou done? 36] Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence. [37] Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.” When reading or quoting from The Holy Bible I prefer the Douay-Rheims or RSV  translation of The Holy Bible. In John 5 we see Jesus speaking of His authority ,” [22] For neither doth the Father judge any man, but hath given all judgment to the Son.” And in Matthew 28,”. [18] And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.” How much power did Jesus say He has ? I’m quite very positive He said,  ALL POWER! That’s our King, so do not be afraid! Our King has ALL POWER ! In  1925 Pope Pius XI established a special feast in honour of  The Kingship of  Christ,the encyclical is called , ” Quas Primas .” Here is a link to the encyclical Quas Primas      http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_11121925_quas-primas_en.html           

  Their is much much more throughout The Holy Scriptures and Holy Tradition about Christs Kingship, this is only a small beginning to get everyone started. The entire Book of Revelations deals with Christs Kingship, it could definitively be argued that the entire Bible from front to back, all 73 Books, point directly to Christs’ Kingship. So when you are reading your Bibles, keep an eye out for reference to Christs Kingship, and reference it somehow, with a little crown maybe in your Bible. Mark down other places where you have found refernces to Christs Kingship and join them together and before you know it you will be a Catholic Apologist or maybe even become a Marian Catechist :-).  May God Bless you Always, and keep you safe from the world, the devil and ourselves.      IN  JMJ, Lee

And in Jesus Christ, His Only Son, Our Lord

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   It is vitally important to state exactly who Jesus Christ actually is. Jesus Christ is God made man. Jesus Christ is Our Lord, The Second Person of The Blessed Trinity, true God  and true man. Jesus Christ is one Person, with two natures, human and divine.

    Taken from The Athanasian Creed , this is a simple, but thorough teaching of who Jesus is. ” The true faith is : we believe and profess that Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and man. As God, He was begotten of the substance of  the Father before time. As man, He was born in time of the substance of His Mother. He is perfect God ; and He is perfect man, with a rational soul and human flesh. He is equal to the Father in His Divinity bo ut He is inferior to His Father in His humanity. Although He is God and man, He is not two but one Christ. And He is one. He is one not because His Divinity was changed into flesh, but because His humanity was assumed by God. He is one not at all because of a mingling of substances, but because He is one Person. As a rational soul and flesh are one man, so God and man are one Christ.” This again taken from The Athanasian Creed from the fifth Century, and  also can be found in the book, The Sources of Catholic Dogma  by Henry Denzinger, also referred to as just Denzinger under article 39. This Creed is definitely my personal favourite. It is thought that St Ambrose probably authored this Creed and not  St Athanasius, the great defender of Jesus’ Divinity against the heretic arians. We will cover heresies in the future. The term we use to describe the joining together of Jesus’ Divine and human nature is called the hypostatic union. This union will never cease to be.

   Because of Adams sin in the garden, if we were to be restored to friendship with God, this eternal breach had to be crossed. As I briefly explained in the earlier post on original sin,when Adam disobeyed God, the damage done, was eternal in scope. Problem is, Adam being a creature, is a finite being. A finite being cannot fix an eternal problem. But, it was a man who broke off friendship with God, so, somehow man needs to be redeemed. Somehow, man has to be involved in satisfying Gods justice due to mans sin against Almighty God. Thank God, for God. Only God could come up with such a perfect solution for us to have friendship restored with Him. He is so merciful and loving that right after The Fall, He said in Gen 3:15 also referred to as the Proto-Evangelium ” I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed : she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” So we have the incarnation, or the enfleshment of God, in the One Person of  Jesus Christ, true God, and true man. He alone could restore friendship with God, and reach across that eternal divide caused by Adam and be Our Perfect Redeemer. Not only did God promise a Redeemer in Gen 3:15, Jesus is prophesied all throughout the Old Testament. We will look at more about The Second Article of The Apostles Creed in my next couple of posts on here. May God protect us from the world, the devil , and ourselves…   In JMJ, Lee

THE SECOND ARTICLE OF THE APOSTLES CREED

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And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord

         to be continued shortly…….

 

 

 

 

Original Sin

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Original Sin

   This will be the last post on The First Article of The Apostles Creed. Like I stated before, here we are only touching on the basic teachings of our beautiful Catholic Faith ; in the future we will look at more intermediate and advanced questions and teachings that will  help enrich our study of The Catholic Faith. Our understanding, and especially our childrens and grandchildrens understanding of The Catholic Faith must grow in keeping with their secular education. If their education in The Faith does not grow alongside their secular education, their is a great danger that they will end up abandoning their faith. We have seen the result of this in all the pew studies. In all truth, even as is stated in General Catechetical Directory by Pope Paul VI, teaching the faith should start at physical birth. Daily prayer, going to Mass regularly, sacramentals in the home like Holy Water and Blessed statues and Crucifixes should be common place in a faithful Catholics home.  This helps in creating the domestic Church for Husband, Wife and Children and in instruction, and also in witnessing to others about our beautiful Catholic Faith. Now, getting to Original Sin…

  Ultimately Original Sin is the absence of supernatural life that our first parents lost when they sinned. The results of original sin are that we do not have a share in the divine life of the soul which is necessary to enter heaven. Also, we lost the immortality of the body. We must all die. We also lost our immunity from disease and sickness. Last but not least, we have that inner struggle with concupiscience. In other words, we are much more inclined to sin, even when we do not want to. We have a weakened will and our intellect has been darkened. Strange thing with sin is, the more we sin, the weaker our will becomes and the darker our intellect becomes. It is a very hard circle to exit once it becomes a lifestyle choice. It takes a great grace, and lots of prayers from loved ones to help break that cycle, but with God, anything is possible. The power of prayer is not to be under estimated, as St Alphonsus said, ” its the short prayers that penetrate the heavens.”

 The sin of our first parents was a sin of disobedience. Rom 5:19 “By the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners.” The root of the disobedience was pride. Sound familiar? “non serviam” the words of Lucifer himself. Do I say this throughout the day? Unfortunately I do, not always consciously, but I do catch myself in the selfish, I will not serve mode. This is one of the results of Original Sin in many cases, no doubt. Thank God for those short prayers, the Sacraments, and Holy mass which all help to make it much easier to say, ” Thy will , not mine be done, ” instead of ” I will not serve.”  The Council of Trent teaches that Adam lost sanctity and justice by transgressing the Divine Commandment (D 788). Since the punishment is proportionate to the guilt, the sin of Adam was clearly a serious sin. So, maybe you ask why do I inherit Adams sin? And why was his disobedience dealt with so harshly? To answer the first question, Adam was the human race in a sense. Adam was the representative of the whole human race. On his decision, which was made freely, depended the preservation or the loss of the supernatural endowment, which was a gift, not to him personally, but to the human nature. Remember what God said in Gen 2:16,17   ” [16] And he commanded him, saying: Of every tree of paradise thou shalt eat: [17] But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.” So, indeed Original Sin is transmitted by natural generation, from Adam all the way down to our parents, and handed on to us. We are all born with it, except of course in  the case of Jesus and Mary. Jesus and Mary were both conceived without the stain of original sin. The Council of Trent says  In the Baptism of children that is expurgated which they have incurred through generation (D 790, 791). Baptism renews friendship with God and any guilt of original or actual sin of the one being baptized and restores us to supernatural life. The other Sacraments help us to stay friends with God and keep us pleasing to Him through the ups and downs of this journey we call life. And if by chance we fall from grace and do sin, He has been kind enough to give us the awesome gift of Confession. A most amazing Sacrament, and I try and go at least twice a month. So many graces have been transmitted to me through this most awesome Sacrament.

    Now to deal with the severity of Adams sin. I will try and state this plainly. When you assault a regular citizen you may get probation for a first offence depending on how bad the assault was. When you assault a police officer, it is most certain you will go to jail and be judged more harshly. Could you imagine the person who would assault a Supreme Court Justice or the Prime Minister, that person would definitely be punished much more harshly considering the offense and whom the offense was directed at. It would have long lasting effects on that persons life and possibly even affect others. Now, imagine the offense against Almighty God, Creator of All things seen and unseen, who is Eternal. When you offend our Eternal God, it will have eternal consequences. Especially considering the simple command that was given to Adam and Eve. Hence the reason for the results of their sin.

So, the Good News, God immediately promised a Saviour in Gen 3:15       [15] I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

[15] She shall crush: Ipsa, the woman; so divers of the fathers read this place, conformably to the Latin: others read it ipsum, viz., the seed. The sense is the same: for it is by her seed, Jesus Christ, that the woman crushes the serpent’s head.

God always has a plan, and uses the fall to send His own Son Jesus Christ to redeem us and give us the chance to have a share in Gods own Divine Life. What an Awesome God we have!  Next time we will begin to look at The Second Article of The Apostles’ Creed…And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord

In JMJ,  Lee

PS   Oh yes, in case you are wondering about Adam and Eves final destiny, they are Saints in Heaven with God and even have a feast day, Dec 24 every year.

 

The Nature and Origin of Man

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Nature and Origin of Man

      So one question that definitely seems to escape the thoughts of most it seems today, finds its answer here in The Catholic Church. My hope is that we all ask this question and come to the only true answer. The question is, why are we here, or better yet, why did God create us? The answer is simple and should be memorized and taught especially to our youngsters, they NEED to know this. God created man to know, love, and serve his Creator and Lord in this life and in this way attain heaven and eternal happiness in the life to come. Once again, please teach and re-teach your children and grandchildren this important truth, it is a simple but effective moral compass in this turbulent place we call  earth.Now, more than at any other time in history, we need direction and True purpose. This is our purpose for being, we have mission.

 Once again , we are Gods creatures, composed of spirit and body, and by spirit we refer to our immaterial soul. By our bodies we refer to our material nature. Man is a rational animal, therefore, man has the use of reason, unlike mere animals. Our soul is immortal and will never die. The soul is a very special gift from God. It is created “ex nihlo,”  out of nothing and infused into our body at the exact moment of our conception. Our parents help in the creation of our body, but God alone creates the soul and unites it with our body. We also refer to this moment as immediate animation. At that very moment, we are a human person and need to be protected as such!

We will touch also on some of the specific gifts that Adam and Eve possessed before the fall. Adam and Eve possessed supernatural gifts and also what we call preternatural gifts. So, to start with, Adam and Eve had sanctifying grace. This can be described as friendship with God, coupled with faith, hope and charity and the right to enter heaven. No creature has a right to these gifts, hence the name supernatural, since they only belong to God alone.

Now we get to the preternatural gifts, I remember them by referring to the three I’s , bodily immortality, integrity, and infused knowledge. It helps in remembering, and teaching little memorization tricks to keep the Truths of the Faith always ready and accessible. So these preternatural gifts are not natural to man, they were gifts given to our first parents which they lost through their fall. Sanctifying grace, the most important gift that was lost is restored with Baptism, but the preternatural gifts are not restored. Immortality simply means our First Parents were never intended to die, and this gift was intended to be passed on through generations. Integrity means that our First Parents were free of concupiscence. In other words, they were not inclined to sin. They didn’t have that tension between the flesh and spirit, their body and soul were in harmony with one another. They were well aware of Gods will. Infused knowledgerefers to the fact that they didn’t have to struggle to learn or overcome ignorance. Adam and Eve certainly would have known that serpents do not speak, and that something was out of order when the “nahash” entered the Garden.

  Adam and Eve are truly historical figures, our First Parents. All human beings on this earth descend from Adam and Eve, a single set of parents, this is called monogenism. Polygenism was rejected by Pope Pius XII, who warned, ” the faithful cannot embrace that opinion that maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation through him as the first parent of all or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents.” ( Humani Generis 37).

In the next post we will look at Original Sin and its effects. May GOD bless us all, and keep us safe from ourselves, the devil and the world.  In JMJ,  Lee

PS   :   as always, comments, questions and discussion is encouraged   🙂

First Article of Creed Continued…..Angels

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 Angels

  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.

Amen.

“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