Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Truth, what is it?

The definition of 'truth' is 'opposite of error'. Truth means it is conformable to fact. It is correct. Truth in action, is when the human conscience agrees with the intellect. Truth is 'ONE'. There can be only one truth, Jn 17:17-23. Any variation in the one truth is not truth at all, but error.

Truth is a person. Jesus Christ said, "I am the way, the truth and the life", Jn 14:6. When GOD created each one of us, He wrote His law into our hearts... "When the Gentiles who have no law do by nature what the Law prescribes, these having no law are a law unto themselves. They show the work of the LAW WRITTEN IN THEIR HEARTS. THEIR CONSCIENCE BEARS WITNESS TO THEM, EVEN WHEN CONFLICTING THOUGHTS ACCUSE OR DEFEND THEM",
Rom 2:14-15. See also Heb 8:10 and Heb 10:16.

It is our conscience that examines these laws. The 'free will' we were given when we were created makes a decision based on what conscience is telling it, and what the intellect is saying. 'Free will' gives us the ability to make the right or the wrong decision in GOD's eyes. GOD made the laws, and over and over again, He has urged us to do right, and warned us against doing wrong. If we did not have free will, there would be no need for urging or warnings. GOD could simply command us to do His will and we would be helpless to resist. 

By using free will, we decide which course of action will be taken for each individual incident we face in life. By using free will, each decides for himself where he will spend eternity.

GOD sends no one to hell. We send ourselves through the decisions we make in this life. In addition to GOD's laws written in our hearts, GOD also built in a hunger for Him and an innate desire to seek Him out. Since GOD is 'truth', that innate desire is to seek the 'truth' in all things. When we have sought the truth and have found it, then we have found GOD.

That leads into the purpose of this file. In order to find the truth, we have to test for it. We have an obligation to question if we are in the process of entering the wide gate to perdition, or the narrow gate to salvation. "Enter by the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who enter that way. How narrow the gate and close the way that leads to life! AND FEW THERE ARE WHO FIND IT", Matt 7:13-14. Clearly, these two verses say that the majority of us are on the broad way to destruction. 

Don't you want to be on the narrow way to heaven?

In order to insure you are on the right path you have to work at it. You are obliged to look at all the options, examine them with the intellect, and seek an agreement with the conscience. 

Satan is very clever at disguising himself and at deceiving us into believing what appears as truth, is in fact error. See Isa 5:20, "Woe to you that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light and light for darkness." He is the one who is responsible for so many who are traveling down the broad way. He is constantly telling you that you are on the narrow way, when in fact, he really has situated you on the wide way, the super highway to his domain.

We must not just lie down and accept what we have as being the truth without testing for it on a continual basis. If you just lay back and refuse to test for it, the chances are you are on the wide way as Matt 7:13-14 is trying to tell you.
So how do you test for the truth? I have already given you the answer in the first paragraph. You have to look for error, and you have to see if the truth is conformable to fact. Here are some guidelines. Consult your conscience as you follow these pointers...

    1. Have you felt uncomfortable (conscience speaking) with some Bible verses that do not seem to conform to the teaching of your Church? All of Scripture is harmonious and it all should fit together like a giant picture puzzle.

    2. When you do question some teaching, do you get definitive answers every time?

    3. Do you get meaningless or nebulous answers that don't make sense?

    4. Are you absolutely sure that you are in the Church that Jesus Christ founded? He only founded 'A' Church in Matt 16:18. That verse does not say 'Churches'. I am reminded of 1 Cor 10:12, "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."

    5. There are over 33,800 different Christian sects in the world today. How can you be sure you have chosen the right one?

    6. Remember, 'TRUTH IS ONE', so how can there possibly be 33,800 different Christian Churches, all teaching that ONE TRUTH?

    7. If all those Churches taught the same truth, then there would not be 33,800, but only one. What does an examination of conscience say now?

    8. That means there have to be 33,799 Churches teaching error. If that is the case, then there are 33,799 Churches on the 'wide path' and only one on the 'narrow'. I don't like those gambling odds of 1 in 33,800. Does that bother your conscience?

    9. Most all Churches claim to be the Church of truth. Who do you believe? Which one is right? Which Church does the Bible say is the Church of truth?

    10. The Church of truth is spelled out in the Bible. It is the only Church that was given the authority, the one in whom the Holy Spirit dwells forever, John 14:15-17.

    11. "But he who does the truth comes to the light that his deeds may be made manifest, for they have been performed in GOD", Jn 3:21. This verse says it all.

    12. If you haven't found truth then you haven't found GOD.

This is a very serious letter, one that all should heed if they are truly serious about their salvation. After all, you are playing Russian Roulette with your immortal souls. All of us will spend eternity either in heaven, or in hell. We make that choice ourselves with our own free will. We only have this one life in which to make that choice. Who knows when that life will end? It might be in the next minute or two. There is no second chance. The time is NOW!

Have you ever thought about eternity as compared to the life in this world? This lifetime is insignificant, a mere blink of an eye, compared to the eons of the tortures of hell, or of the unimaginable joys of heaven. "Eye has not seen or ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, what things GOD has prepared for those who love Him." 1Cor 2:9...

Written by Bob Stanley, October 9, 1998 , http://www.thecatholictreasurechest.com/index.htm

Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by denzio

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"Christian is my name, and Catholic my surname. The one designates me, while the other makes me specific. Thus am I attested and set apart... When we are called Catholics it is by this appellation that our people are kept apart from any heretical name."
Saint Pacian of Barcelona, Letter to Sympronian, 375 A.D..

"Always remain close to the Catholic Church, because it alone can give you true peace, since it alone possesses Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the true Prince of Peace."
Blessed Padre Pio...

"It is because Christ is the sole canon of her preaching that the Church adheres so obstinately and so rigidly to His traditional message. It is for this reason that she can endure no modernism, no fraternizing with the spirit of the age."
Karl Adam, The Spirit of Catholicism...
"The Catholic Church understands its opponents, her opponents do not understand the Catholic Church."
Hilaire Belloc, the Great Heresies...
"People can relate to a crucified Christ displayed in Catholic Churches, as each one of us has a cross to carry. None of us can relate to a risen Christ, as none of us has ever risen from the dead."
Fr. Groeschel...
"Apologetic knowledge of the Catholic Church is deeper than the ocean depth and no one will ever reach the bottom."
"While Protestants study the menu (the Bible), Catholics enjoy the meal."
Dr Scott Hahn...
"Dogmas of the Catholic Church are interconnected. If one is rejected, such as the infallibility of the Pope, then all are rejected."
Fr. Trujillo...
"Here is the shotgun analogy. Fire a Protestant shotgun and a Catholic shotgun at a wall. The pattern will be the opinions of those within, liberal, conservative, etc. With the Catholic, we always know who is at the center, the Pope and the Magisterium. With the Protestant, how can we determine who is in the center?"
Marcus Grodi, ex Protestant minister, now Catholic...
"You blind guides who strain out the gnat but swallow the camel."
Matthew 23:24...
"The Catholic faith does not teach what we used to think and vainly accused it of."
St. Augustine, Confessions, 6, 11, 400 A.D..
"For those who spread lies about the Catholic Church: their ignorance is their lack of knowledge, their stupidity is their wisdom, and their truth is falsehood."
Author Unknown...

"Heretics bring sentence upon themselves since they by their own choice withdraw from the Church, a withdrawal which, since they are aware of it, constitutes damnation."
St. Jerome Commentaries on Titus, 3, 10 386 A.D..

"Where Peter is, there is the Church."
St Ambrose of Milan, On twelve Psalms 381 A.D..

"A Christian man is Catholic while he lives in the body; cut off, he is made a heretic; the Spirit does not follow an amputated member."
Saint Augustine...
"The Catholic Church Always Has What The World Is Lacking."
G.K. Chesterton...
"When the world goes wrong, it proves that the Church is right."
G.K. Chesterton...
"It is contradictory for a Protestant to accept the Bible and reject the authority of the Catholic Church which gave it to him."
"In attacking the Catholic Church, Protestants sever their own roots."
Author Unknown...
"Protestant Churches have songs and prayer. Catholic Churches have songs, prayer, and sacrifice."
Dr. Scott Hahn...
"No protestant should quote Scripture at all, for he has no means of knowing which books are inspired; Unless of course, he wants to accept the authority of the Catholic Church for that."
Fr. William Most...
"If you read the Bible with Catholic eyes, things will start popping out at you."
Author Unknown...
"Thanks to the Catholic Church, the authority and the integrity of the Bible was kept intact."
Author Unknown...
"Catholic beliefs for 2000 years have been affirmed by independent study."
"The fullness of truth is in the Catholic Church."
"Our Church is the fastest growing Church in the world. We have one billion Catholics in the world today." (1995)
Fr. Luke Zimmer...

Note! Now there are 1,070,000,000 Catholics as of April 2001. World Christian Encyclopedia
"You must all follow the lead of the bishop, as Jesus Christ followed that of the Father; follow the presbytery as you would the Apostles; reverence the deacons as you would God's commandment. Let no one do anything touching the Church, apart from the bishop. Let that celebration of the Eucharist be considered valid which is held under the bishop or anyone to whom he has committed it. Where the bishop appears, there let the people be, just as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not permitted without authorization from the bishop either to baptize or to hold an agape; but whatever he approves is also pleasing to God. Thus everything you do will be proof against danger and valid."
Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrneans, 107 A.D..
"From what has been said, then, it seems clear to me that the true Church, that which is really ancient, is one; and in it are enrolled those who, in accord with a design, are just... We say, therefore, that in substance, in concept, in origin and in eminence, the ancient and Catholic Church is alone, gathering as it does into the unity of the one faith which results from familiar covenants, - or rather, from the one covenant in different times, by the will of the one GOD and through the one Lord, - those already chosen, those predestined by GOD who knew before the foundation of the world that they would be just."
Saint Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, 202 A.D..
"It is therefore, the Catholic Church alone which retains true worship. This is the fountain of truth; this, the domicile of faith; this the temple of GOD. Whoever does not enter there or whoever does not go out from here, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation... Because, however, all the various groups of heretics are confident that they are the Christians, and think that theirs is the Catholic Church, let it be known: that is the true Church, in which there is confession and penance, and which takes a salubrious care of sins and wounds to which the weak flesh is subject."
Lactantius, The Divine Institutions, 304 A.D..
"Let us note that the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, was preached by the Apostles, and was preserved by the Fathers. On this was the Church founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is nor any longer ought to be called a Christian."
St. Athanasius, Letter to Serapion of Thmuis, 359 A.D..
"I should not believe the Gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church."
 Saint Augustine of Hippo, Against the Letter of Mani, 397 A.D..
"This Church is Holy, the One Church, the True Church, the Catholic Church, fighting as she does against all heresies. She can fight, but she cannot be beaten. All heresies are expelled from her, like the useless loppings pruned from a vine. She remains fixed in her root, in her vine, in her love. The gates of hell shall not conquer her."
Saint Augustine of Hippo, Sermon to Catechumens on the Creed, 6, 14, 395 A.D.

Written by Bob Stanley, October 9, 1998 , http://www.thecatholictreasurechest.com/index.htm

Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by denzio

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Here are some very basic obligatory rules that all Catholics should know. However, some Catholics are either ignorant of them, or knowingly fail to abide by them.

*Attend Mass every week. To deliberately miss Mass on Saturday vigil or on Sunday, is a mortal sin.
*Attend Mass on Holy Days of obligation. We are obligated to do so on certain Feast Days of the year. The Church bulletin and a good Catholic calendar lists these obligatory days.
*Go to Confession at least once a year. If in mortal sin, go as soon as possible. A mortal sin is a sin against any one of the Ten Commandments. The CCC has distinct references to mortal and venial sins.
*Believe with all your heart in the True Presence, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
*Do not receive Holy Communion if you know you have a mortal sin on your soul. That would be yet another and worse mortal sin called a Sacrilege. 

*Do not receive Holy Communion if you know you have a mortal sin on your soul. That would be yet another and worse mortal sin called a Sacrilege. Examination of Conscience is suggested each day and especially before Confession.
*"Obey your superiors and be subject to them, for they keep watch as having to render an account of your souls; so that they may do this with joy, and not with grief, for that would not be expedient for you." Hebrews 13:17 Adults are subject to their superiors at work, to authority, and to the law. Of course, all these are subject to the law of God and that is where our first allegiance must be. Obey the teaching of the Holy Father the Pope, and the teaching of the Magisterium.
*We must respect life in the fullest sense. Abortion is murder of GOD's most helpless creature, an innocent child in its mother's womb. Life begins at conception. Pro-Abortionists try to conceal what is really "Legalized Murder", by using the term, "Pro-Choice". It is NOT a mothers "choice" whether to murder her unborn child or not. The child is not hers. It belongs to GOD. It is not a part of her body. How could it ever be if it is a he and she is a she? It is a separate person with its own human systems and could even have a different blood type. Our Creator has thus created each person singularly, independently functioning and with the potential to be a humble member of the world or to become great. In our wonderful country, we each have the power to vote to put great people into leadership. A good Catholic, casts the right vote intelligently and carefully for a person who is Pro-Life which is Pro-GOD. To vote with the tide of popularity that encompasses arrogance, self-aggrandizement and self-pride for advocates who are "pro-choice" is to vote into power those who are the proponants of the culture of death. This is strictly forbidden and against the teaching of the Catholic Church which is the teaching of Christ! A vote for Pro-Life is saying yes to GOD. Remember, Mary, Our Blessed Mother said "YES" to GOD. Make your vote count for Life!
*Do not practice Contraception. It is counter to Holy Scripture and the teaching of the Church. Natural Family Planning, as taught by the Catholic Church is the way to go. Pope Paul VI wrote an Encyclical in 1968 in which he envisioned the evil consequences if contraception were to continue. It is called Humanae Vitae. Be sure to read paragraph #17 as it foretold exactly what would happen and is happening today over 30 years later. Contraception is the drugged mentality that leads to abortion and more.
*The parents have the responsibility to teach their children right from wrong at an early age, and to see to it that they have the proper Catholic education. Teach them their Sunday obligation, their prayers, that GOD loves them, etc., as soon as they are able to understand. It is not the responsibility of the Church to do this, as the primary responsibility rests upon the parents.
By the example of their parents, they shall learn. Our children when ill-prepared and with no role-models to emulate, go into the world as young adults and are prey for the many false religions and cults waiting to capture them. In their ignorance of the truth, they are enticed by the falseness and succumb to its teachings. Get your children into a sound religious education program. Ask questions of the teachers, lay and religious alike. Search for a program that is solid.
*Have a loving devotion for Our Blessed Mother of GOD.
*Pray the Rosary every day.
*Say your prayers every day. Say the Act of Contrition each night.
*Support the Church financially. Every person should know what they are able to contribute.
Our Creator has thus created each person singularly, independently functioning and with the potential to be a humble member of the world or to become great. In our wonderful country, we each have the power to vote to put great people into leadership. A good Catholic, casts the right vote intelligently and carefully for a person who is Pro-Life which is Pro-GOD. To vote with the tide of popularity that encompasses arrogance, self-aggrandizement and self-pride for advocates who are "pro-choice" is to vote into power those who are the proponants of the culture of death. This is strictly forbidden and against the teaching of the Catholic Church which is the teaching of Christ! A vote for Pro-Life is saying yes to GOD. Remember, Mary, Our Blessed Mother said "YES" to GOD. Make your vote count for Life!

________________________Written by Bob Stanley, October 9, 1998 , http://www.thecatholictreasurechest.com/index.htm

Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by denzio

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Q. Where did the word originate?

A. It comes from the Greek word Katholikos, which was later Latinized
into Catholicus.

Q. What is the meaning of the word?

A. It means 'Universal', which in itself means, 'of or relating to, or affecting
the entire world and all peoples therein'. It means, all encompassing,
comprehensibly broad, general, and containing all that is necessary.
In summation, it means all people in all places, having all that is
necessary, and for 
all time.

Q. But is it Biblical?

A. Yes it is. It is in Matthew 28:19-20, "Go, therefore and make disciples
all nations...teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you;
And behold, I am with you 
all days, even unto the consummation of
the world."
That is a statement of Universality, Katholicos, Catholicus, Catholic.

Q. I have heard that the word 'Catholic' did not come into use for hundreds
of years after Jesus Christ founded His Church.

A. Not true. The first recorded use of the word that I could find, is in
St. Ignatius of Antioch's letter to the 
Smyrneans, paragraph 8,
of 107 A.D., "Where the Bishop appears, there let the people be, just as
where Jesus Christ is, there is the 
Catholic Church."
Undoubtedly the word was in use before the time of this writing.

Q. Some say the Catholic Church ended with Constantine (285-337), with
the "Edict of Milan" which he issued in 313, which allowed the Church
to practice openly. Others say that is when the Church began. Who is right?

A. Neither is right. The Catholic Church is the true Church founded by
Jesus Christ and He guaranteed its perpetuity, Matthew 28:20, and its
unfaltering truth, 1Timothy 3:15. Now if either of the arguments in the
question were true, than don't you think the Church Fathers would have
mentioned it somewhere? Instead, the Church Fathers mention the Catholic Church
by Name in hundreds of their writings and spanning many centuries.
Ask the ones who say these things to show you documented proof.

In the Apostles Creed, the word "Catholic" is clearly written within:
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Many non-Catholic sects also recite the Apostles Creed during their services. However, several of those who do, have substituted the word "Universal", for "Catholic". Thus they have substituted the meaning of the word for the word itself.

Here is what Church Fathers had to say. In every case the word "Catholic"
is used. Notice the dates, as they span over a century before and after
Constantine. The JXXXX refers to the paragraph numbers in "The Faith
of the Early Fathers", by William A. Jurgens.

Catholic Church...

Ignatius, Letter to the Smyrneans 8:1-2. J65. 106AD
Martyrdom of St. Polycarp 16:2. J77,79,80a,81a, 155AD
Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis 7:17:107:3. J435, 202AD
Cyprian, Unity of the Catholic Church 4-6. J555-557, 251AD
Cyprian, Letter to Florentius 66:69:8. J587, 254AD
Lactantius,Divine Institutions 4:30:1. *J637, 304AD
Alexander of Alexandria, Letters 12. J680, 324AD
Athanasius, Letter on Council of Nicea 27. J757, 350AD
Athanasius, Letter to Serapion 1:28. J782, 359AD
Athanasius, Letter to Council of Rimini 5. J785, 361AD
Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 18:1. J836-*839, 350AD
Damasus, Decree of Damasus 3. J910u, 382AD
Serapion, The Sacramentary 13:1. J1239a, 350AD
Pacian of Barcelona, Letter to Sympronian 1:4 J1243, 375AD
Jerome, Against the Pelagians book 1-2 417 A.D.
Augustine, Letter to Vincent the Rogatist 93:7:23. J1422, 408AD
Augustine, Letter to Vitalis 217:5:16. J1456, 427AD
Augustine, Psalms 88:2:14, 90:2:1. J1478-1479, 418AD
Augustine, Sermons 2, 267:4. *J1492, *J1523, 430AD
Augustine, Sermon to Catechumens on the Creed 6:14. J1535, 395AD
Augustine, The True Religion 7:12+. *J1548, *J1562, J1564, 390AD
Augustine, Against the Letter of Mani 4:5. *J1580-1581, 397AD
Augustine, Christian Instruction 2:8:12+. *J1584, J1617, 400AD
Augustine, Baptism 4:21:28+. J1629, J1714, J1860a, J1882, 411AD
Augustine, Against the Pelagians 2:3:5+. *J1892, *J1898, 421AD
Innocent I, Letter to Probus 36. J2017, 417AD
Fulgence of Ruspe, Forgiveness of Sins 1:19:2, J2251-2252, 517AD

The following writings attest to the antiquity of the Catholic Church.

Church Antiquity...

Hermas, The Shepherd Vis 2:4:1. J82
Anonymous 2nd Letter of Clement to Corinthians 14:2. J105
Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis 7:17:107:3. J435
Augustine, Letter to Deogratias 102:15. J1428
Augustine, Psalms 90:2:1. J1479
Augustine, Predestination of Saints 9:18. J1985
Gregory I, Letter to John 5:44:18. J2295 595AD

The following writings support the perpetuity of the Catholic Church.

Church Forever...

Clement, Letter to Corinthians 42:1,64. J20,29a 80AD
Anonymous, 2nd letter of Clement to Rome 14:2. J105
Cyprian, Unity of the Catholic Church 4. J555-556
Cyprian, Letter to the Lapsed 33:27:1. J571
Hilary, The Trinity 7:4. J865 Augustine, Psalms 90:2:1. J1479
Augustine, Sermon to Catechumens 6:14. J1535

The following writings tell of the founding of the Catholic Church.

Church Founded...

Clement, Letter to Corinthians 42:1. J20
Hermas, The Shepherd Vis 2:4:1-3:5:1. J82-84 140AD
Anonymous, Letter of Clement 14:2. J105
Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3:16:6. J217a
Tertullian, Demurrer Against Heretics 9:3. J289
Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis 7:17:107:3. J435 202AD
Cyprian, Unity of the Catholic Church 4. J555-556
Cyprian, Letter to the Lapsed 33:27:1. J571
Hilary of Poitiers, The Trinity 7:4. J865
Augustine, Homilies on John 9:10. J1814

The following writings attest to the fact that the Catholic Church
was seated in Rome.

Church Seated in Rome...

Clement, Letter to the Corinthians, Address. J10a 80AD
Ignatius, Letter to the Romans, J52
Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3:3:3. J210-211
Cyprian, Letter to Cornelius 59:55:14. J580
Council of Constantinople, Canon3. J910d
Damasus, Decree of Damasus 3. J910u
Optatus of Melvis, Schism of Donatists 2:2. J1242

The following writings tell of the unity of the Catholic Church.

Church Unity...

Didache 4:3. J1b Ignatius, Letter to the Philadelphians 3:2. J56
Tertullian, Demurrer Against Heretics 20:4. J292
Cyprian, Unity of the Catholic Church 4. J555-556

The following writings attest to the 'Universality' of the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church is truly 'Universal' as its name implies.

Church Universal...

Didache, 9:1,10:1. J6,7
Clement, Letter to Corinthians 5:1. J11
Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians 3:2. J38
Martyrdom of St. Polycarp, Address. J77,79,81a
Hermas, The Shepherd Par 9:17:4. J93
Anonymous, Letter to Diogenetus 6:1. J97a
Aristides of Athens, Apology 15. J112
Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 110. J144
Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1:10:1. J191,192,215,257
The Muratorian Fragment. J268
Tertullian, Against the Jews 7:4. J320a
Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation Greeks 10:110:1. J405
Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 18:23. J838
Damasus, Decree of Damasus 3. J910u

Written by Bob Stanley, October 9, 1998 , http://www.thecatholictreasurechest.com/index.htm

Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by denzio

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Question: Some of my Pentecostal friends believe that speaking in tongues is a sign that you are “saved.” Does the Catholic Church have an official stance on speaking in tongues?

I don’t believe that the Catholic Church has an official stance on speaking in tongues. In recent years its approach to this phenomenon seems to have been one of cautious acceptance, with an emphasis on the “cautious.”

Speaking in tongues (also known as “glossolalia,” from the Greek word “glossa” meaning tongue or language) has been part of Catholic experience at two periods of our history.

The first was in the very early Church, as recorded in the New Testament. There are three references in the Acts of the Apostles to speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4,6, 10:46 and 19:6). In these instances, speaking in tongues is described as a community-wide experience which assists in the establishment and expansion of the community of faith. When St. Paul describes tongues in his letter to the Christians in Corinth (1 Corinthians 14:5) he seems to be observing not a community-wide event but a gift that particular Christians receive. Paul recognizes it as a gift from the Holy Spirit, but considers it a less important gift than some others and counsels that it must serve, as do all the Spirit’s gifts, to build up the community rather than create distinctions or divisions among its members.

After the time of St. Paul, speaking in tongues does not make a wide appearance in the Catholic Church until 1967. In that year a Catholic prayer group meeting near Duquesne University in Pittsburgh received this gift. Other charismatic Catholic prayer groups began to experience speaking in tongues, and it became a key element in the development of the charismatic movement within the Church. It usually takes place at prayer meetings, but can also be part of private, individual prayer.

Speaking in tongues is not a phenomena unique to Catholic Christians. Some Protestant Christians in the United States, called “Pentecostals,” began to speak in tongues at the beginning of the 20th century. They considered it a sign of being baptized by the Holy Spirit. Speaking in tongues had spread to some “mainline” Protestant denominations by 1960.

What is glossolalia? Some have believed that the “tongue” spoken is an ancient language not known to the speaker, or perhaps a combination of different languages. But this does not seem to be the case. Linguistic researchers who have studied this practice believe that it’s not a true language but rather consists of sounds that are formed like speech but have no intelligibility of their own. It’s not a miraculous occurance, but can be a genuine form of prayer.

While the Catholic charismatic movement has spread throughout the world, and charismatic prayer groups have found a home in many Catholic parishes, this movement would still represent a minority of Catholics. The Catholic Church does not believe that speaking in tongues is necessary for salvation or that its practice makes one a “better” Catholic or Christian.

Is speaking in tongues good or bad? The answer is probably that it depends. St. Paul’s test for judging gifts of the Spirit may still be the best. If speaking in tongues (or any other gift) brings genuine wisdom, understanding, right judgment, knowledge, and reverence to a person or a community, it’s likely to be a genuine gift of the Spirit. If a community which practices speaking in tongues is also characterized by joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trust, gentleness, humility, generosity, mercy, justice and truth, then it seems evident that the Holy Spirit is at work there. If, however, speaking in tongues leads to elitism, a sense of some Christians being “in” and others “out”, anger, dissension or divisiveness, then that particular faith community may be focusing too much on the gift of tongues to the detriment of other gifts which might more effectively build up its unity.

By Fr Joe Scott CSP

Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by Catholic and Proud

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The following article is originally posted by and credited to Bro. Bo Sanchez

Bo Sanchez

This will be short.
Let me begin with one of my favorite stories…
On her way home, a woman was walking on the sidewalk.  She saw a parrot in a pet shop window.  Upon seeing her, the parrot said, “Lady, you are really ugly!”
Shocked, the woman walked away in a huff.
The next day, she walked again on the same road.  She saw again the parrot peering through the pet shop window.  And sure enough, when the parrot saw her, it said, “Lady, you are really ugly!”
The woman couldn’t take it anymore…
She barged in the pet shop and told the owner, “Your bird outside has been telling me that I’m ugly.  You better do something about that parrot.  When I walk here tomorrow, and that bird says the same thing about me, I’ll sue you!”  The owner was very apologetic and said, “It won’t happen again, Ma’am.”
The next day, she walked home on that same road.  Once again, she sees the parrot, and the parrot sees her.  She stopped and with an icy stare asked, “Yes?”
The bird, strutting back and forth, cocked, “You know.”

You Don’t Have To Be Perfect To Love Yourself 
Friends, many of us have an inner parrot that tells us, “You’re ugly.”
We have an inner parrot that we carry around within us, cruel and rude.  We actually don’t need the devil anymore to accuse us and damn us to Hell.  Because we do it ourselves.
These feelings of shame drive us to our addictions.
Friend, fire your inner parrot.  (Better yet, fry him with olive oil, a little garlic, and chilli.)
Start telling yourself the truth: That you’re God’s child and beautiful beyond imagination.  And that God will use even your worst weaknesses.
Remember: You don’t have to be perfect to be loved.

Your Weakness Is A Gift
In the Bible, St. Paul boasted of his “Thorn in the Flesh”. 
It was his weakness.
But whatever it was, about this weakness, he said these immortal, mind-boggling words.  “At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, “My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.”  (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
How can your weakness be gift?

Your Weakness Blesses You In 3 Great Ways 
 First, my weaknesses humble me.  It makes me depend in God even more.  And I see how He uses me mightily despite all my weaknesses!  That is why the Bible says, God chooses what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful. (1 Corinthians 1:27)
Second, my weaknesses make me more merciful towards others.  I believe that someone who easily judges others hasn’t yet accepted his own weaknesses.  If he had, he wouldn’t be judgmental.  But because he hasn’t, he projects his self-anger towards other people.
Third, my weaknesses bond me with others in a way that nothing else can.  When I share the story of my past and my addiction to someone else, I disrobe my defences and become vulnerable to him.  In this way, I also give permission to that person to disrobe his defences as well.

Friend, thank God for your weaknesses, your struggles, and your problems.
They are great gifts that will bless you and others.

May your dreams come true,
Bo Sanchez

Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by denzio

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The following article is originally posted and credited to catholic.com.

April 29, 2013

It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord,
but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
-Bob Dylan
Let’s play a little game. I’ll give you four news items and you tell me what they have in common. Please answer in complete sentences, fill in ovals completely with a no. 2 pencil, and show your work.
1. Belgian archbishop Andre Leonard found himself the target of a lewd attack while participating in a debate at a Brussels university. Four women leapt from the audience, removed their shirts to reveal crude slogans painted on their torsos, and yelled shrilly at the archbishop while dousing him with (one hopes) bottled water. The women were evidently trying to protest Church teaching on homosexuality; the slogan on one woman’s chest (the only one I can safely repeat in this space) read, “My Body, My Rules.”
2. Nature magazine published an indignant editorial criticizing a Vatican conference promoting adult stem-cell therapies, saying that “it’s wrong… to raise false hopes of quick fixes” for the disabled and terminally ill." (Of course, this is precisely what enthusiasts for embryonic stem-cell research (ESCR) did for years, before that therapy’s lack of success led to ever-diminishing returns from the maudlin appeals of celebrities and politicians, but no matter.) Meanwhile, research advances in induced pluripotent stem cells, which promise the theoretical power and utility of embryonic stem cells without the moral problems of harvesting them, are putting even greater pressure on the ESCR camp.
Adult stem cell therapy is producing actual results, while induced pluripotent cells offer nearly unlimited potential without killing anybody.Follow the money and you’ll see where the future is. Yet for some reason many scientists, politicians, and journalists still cling stubbornly to the embryonic stem-cell dream.
3. Recently the Swedish government introduced hen, a new gender-neutral pronoun. Though perhaps not a bad idea in itself (if English won’t return to the universal male pronoun, to the principle of “the male embraces the female,” here’s one editor who’d prefer a made-up word to the hodgepodge of clumsy alternatives one encounters at present), it has become an icon of this famously progressive country’s forced march towards the obliteration of sexual differences.
Same-sex marriage? That’s so yesterday’s news. In the land of hen, all our mental connections between sex and names, dress, interests, or roles must be expunged. School speech codes will forbid the phrase “boys and girls” and discourage “playing house” that favors mother-father scenarios over more creative modern parenting combos. Meanwhile, proposed “gender pedagogues” will monitor schoolrooms to make sure that Jack and Jill don’t play with trucks more than dolls, or vice-versa. (Jack’s the girl, by the way… or is hen?).
4. Kermit Gosnell. Well, you probably already know some things about this monster in human form. Among the little factoids emerging from his trial that you didn’t learn from the mainstream news was that Gosnellkept severed hands and feet from babies he killed, charmingly preserved like prize butterflies. After a long strategic huddle, pro-abortion groups finally emerged to condemn Gosnell’s actions, running with the line that Gosnell’s excesses actually throw the reasonableness of regular abortion into sharp relief, but they have yet to offer a coherent reason why it’s wrong to collect the chopped-up parts from babies you kill in the womb, but not to kill them and chop them up in the first place.
Okay, time’s up. So what’s our red thread? Genesis 3:5:
For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
The sin of our first parents lay not simply in their disobedience to a positive command from God, but in their desire for mastery over good and evil, and thus over life and death. They sought to seize a divine prerogative and so upend the basic cosmic order.
 “My Body, My Rules.” You could work at it for a long time and not come up with pithier expression of the fallen human will. The Genesis 3 mentality rejects objectivity, rejects natures, rejects any connection between being and acting—and replaces those things with self-determination. In like fashion, the Swedish gender police are out to discard what human nature reveals about itself and replace it with an artificial construct, down to the minutest levels. Those Belgian lesbians and gender pedagogues believe that if they lie with a woman as with a man, or ban urinals, they will be like God.
ESCR proponents are drawn to the theoretical potential of embryonic cells, sure; but if their unwillingness to embrace better alternatives is any indication, apparently some are drawn to their symbolism even more. What a fitting way to declare to the universe that men are the masters of good and evil, of life and death: by causing the death of some in order to give life to others.
And of course, there is no better example of grasping for the divine than a man, like Gosnell, who relishes slaughtering the innocent for its own sake.
But the joke’s on all of them. For there’s someone else who wants to be like God, who is in fact the very author of that desire.  And his name is magnified in the sins of those he ensnares. We may think we can be the master of good and evil, but in the end we’re either God’s child or Satan’s patsy.

Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by denzio

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Have you noticed that you seemed incomplete each day if you can not facebooking, twitting and surfing for personal gratification? I think you need to examine yourself.

Now imagine that you still don't have internet nor anything associated with this "e-master". What you have is your dearest TV and got hooked!

(A parody on Psalm 23, in a homily broadcast on EWTN-18 March 2002)

The TV is my shepherd I shall not want,

It makes me to lie down on the sofa.

It leads me away from the faith,

It destroys my soul.

It leads me to the path of sex and violence for the advertiser’s sake.

Even though I walk in the shadow of Christian responsibilities.

There will be no interruption, for the TV is with me.

Its cable and remote control, they comfort me.

It prepares a commercial for me in the midst of my worldliness

and anoints my head with secular humanism and consumerism.

My Covetousness runs over;

surely ignorance and laziness shall follow me all the days of my life,’

and I shall dwell in the house of wretchedness watching TV forever.

Is TV or internet your good shepherd?

Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by denzio

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Every time we hear a truth, like Mary's Assumption for instance, some immediately ask "Where is it in the bible" ?

It is understandable we are looking for an authority to validate such claims. But my question is, which authority is the Court of final appeal in confirming Christian Truth?

The Church or the Bible?

If you say the Bible, you are not so wrong, but the only problem is: there was a time when the bible was not there, and did the Christians in those times go to hell or believe lies? NO!

The bible is a book of Authority, but it is not to the bible that the Lord said "Whoever listens to you , listens to me" or "Whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven" (these are words showing DELEGATION OF ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY)

It is not the bible that Christ said "Go around the world and proclaim the good news"

the Bible is the written form of the will of God, while the Church is the LIVING Image of God on earth; it is the Church who is the Minister of Redemption; given power to proclaim the Good news, baptize and forgive sins; the Church gives Salvation through the exercise of the Ministry of Christ. The Bible was canonized by the Church and therefore the Church has more power than the Bible.

Something we fail to know is : Authority was given to Peter and the Apostles to define teachings; to direct the People on what to believe and what not to. The present day Apostles (Bishops) and the Peter (The Pope) also inherited this Authority.

But it has always been a problem with people without faith to believe things from their times; they always found it difficult to believe that a man they can see in their time has Authority from God to teach validly. In the time of Christ, people doubted him because they could see him, they knew his parents; he was their neighbor/brother. They preferred the things of the past; preferred Elijah and other ancient prophets. 

In their minds they believed God could delegate authority to men, but they would only believe that if THAT MAN WERE ALREADY DEAD; LONG DEAD. As for a man still breathing before them, this is possible, but they could not stop doubting unreasonably; they could not stop asking for signs.

Today people think like the ancient faithless crowd, that God only gave power to Peter and Paul to teach WITHOUT  A BIBLE and not to the Pope to teach without the bible. People do not even understand the extent of Authority given to the Bishops and how they are meant to exercise it. The painful thing is that even Catholics who claim to be "wise" try to challenge the Church. They say "I am a Catholic, but these teachings are wrong because they have no biblical foundation". Like i said, they are understandable since they seek foundation. But the problem is that the truth you deny has the same foundation with the Bible you want to believe; the Two Are founded on APOSTOLIC Authority, and it is this that you should resort to; Apostolic authority wielded by the Pope and Bishops in communion with him.

The one who has the Authority; the Keys to the Kingdom of heaven (given by Christ to Peter, the prince of the Apostles) is the head of the Apostles, not the Bible. We read the Bible today because the bearer of that Key, says we should read it as Book of Authority, how then are we placing the Bible over the Church who gathered it and canonized it ?

The Church believes that the Bible has great Authority, but she also recognized that Tradition has power as well. While the bible is the written form of the Will of God, Tradition is the Oral form of the same will. So, if we were not too fast in condemning the Church and read histories behind these truths, then we will begin to understand why they are believed by the Church.  If you think you are wiser than thousands, or even millions of bishops who professed this faith for 2000 years now, then i think you need to think again.

May God help us all.

Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 by Catholic and Proud





November 1, 1950

1. The most bountiful God, who is almighty, the plan of whose providence rests upon wisdom and love, tempers, in the secret purpose of his own mind, the sorrows of peoples and of individual men by means of joys that he interposes in their lives from time to time, in such a way that, under different conditions and in different ways, all things may work together unto good for those who love him.(1)

2. Now, just like the present age, our pontificate is weighed down by ever so many cares, anxieties, and troubles, by reason of very severe calamities that have taken place and by reason of the fact that many have strayed away from truth and virtue. Nevertheless, we are greatly consoled to see that, while the Catholic faith is being professed publicly and vigorously, piety toward the Virgin Mother of God is flourishing and daily growing more fervent, and that almost everywhere on earth it is showing indications of a better and holier life. Thus, while the Blessed Virgin is fulfilling in the most affectionate manner her maternal duties on behalf of those redeemed by the blood of Christ, the minds and the hearts of her children are being vigorously aroused to a more assiduous consideration of her prerogatives.

3. Actually God, who from all eternity regards Mary with a most favorable and unique affection, has "when the fullness of time came"(2) put the plan of his providence into effect in such a way that all the privileges and prerogatives he had granted to her in his sovereign generosity were to shine forth in her in a kind of perfect harmony. And, although the Church has always recognized this supreme generosity and the perfect harmony of graces and has daily studied them more and more throughout the course of the centuries, still it is in our own age that the privilege of the bodily Assumption into heaven of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, has certainly shone forth more clearly.

4. That privilege has shone forth in new radiance since our predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the loving Mother of God's Immaculate Conception. These two privileges are most closely bound to one another. Christ overcame sin and death by his own death, and one who through Baptism has been born again in a supernatural way has conquered sin and death through the same Christ. Yet, according to the general rule, God does not will to grant to the just the full effect of the victory over death until the end of time has come. And so it is that the bodies of even the just are corrupted after death, and only on the last day will they be joined, each to its own glorious soul.

5. Now God has willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary should be exempted from this general rule. She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body.

6. Thus, when it was solemnly proclaimed that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, was from the very beginning free from the taint of original sin, the minds of the faithful were filled with a stronger hope that the day might soon come when the dogma of the Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven would also be defined by the Church's supreme teaching authority.

7. Actually it was seen that not only individual Catholics, but also those who could speak for nations or ecclesiastical provinces, and even a considerable number of the Fathers of the Vatican Council, urgently petitioned the Apostolic See to this effect.

8. During the course of time such postulations and petitions did not decrease but rather grew continually in number and in urgency. In this cause there were pious crusades of prayer. Many outstanding theologians eagerly and zealously carried out investigations on this subject either privately or in public ecclesiastical institutions and in other schools where the sacred disciplines are taught. Marian Congresses, both national and international in scope, have been held in many parts of the Catholic world. These studies and investigations have brought out into even clearer light the fact that the dogma of the Virgin Mary's Assumption into heaven is contained in the deposit of Christian faith entrusted to the Church. They have resulted in many more petitions, begging and urging the Apostolic See that this truth be solemnly defined.

9. In this pious striving, the faithful have been associated in a wonderful way with their own holy bishops, who have sent petitions of this kind, truly remarkable in number, to this See of the Blessed Peter. Consequently, when we were elevated to the throne of the supreme pontificate, petitions of this sort had already been addressed by the thousands from every part of the world and from every class of people, from our beloved sons the Cardinals of the Sacred College, from our venerable brethren, archbishops and bishops, from dioceses and from parishes.

10. Consequently, while we sent up earnest prayers to God that he might grant to our mind the light of the Holy Spirit, to enable us to make a decision on this most serious subject, we issued special orders in which we commanded that, by corporate effort, more advanced inquiries into this matter should be begun and that, in the meantime, all the petitions about the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven which had been sent to this Apostolic See from the time of Pius IX, our predecessor of happy memory, down to our own days should be gathered together and carefully evaluated.(3)

11. And, since we were dealing with a matter of such great moment and of such importance, we considered it opportune to ask all our venerable brethren in the episcopate directly and authoritatively that each of them should make known to us his mind in a formal statement. Hence, on May 1, 1946, we gave them our letter "Deiparae Virginis Mariae," a letter in which these words are contained: "Do you, venerable brethren, in your outstanding wisdom and prudence, judge that the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin can be proposed and defined as a dogma of faith? Do you, with your clergy and people, desire it?"

12. But those whom "the Holy Spirit has placed as bishops to rule the Church of God"(4) gave an almost unanimous affirmative response to both these questions. This "outstanding agreement of the Catholic prelates and the faithful,"(5) affirming that the bodily Assumption of God's Mother into heaven can be defined as a dogma of faith, since it shows us the concordant teaching of the Church's ordinary doctrinal authority and the concordant faith of the Christian people which the same doctrinal authority sustains and directs, thus by itself and in an entirely certain and infallible way, manifests this privilege as a truth revealed by God and contained in that divine deposit which Christ has delivered to his Spouse to be guarded faithfully and to be taught infallibly.(6) Certainly this teaching authority of the Church, not by any merely human effort but under the protection of the Spirit of Truth,(7) and therefore absolutely without error, carries out the commission entrusted to it, that of preserving the revealed truths pure and entire throughout every age, in such a way that it presents them undefiled, adding nothing to them and taking nothing away from them. For, as the Vatican Council teaches, "the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter in such a way that, by his revelation, they might manifest new doctrine, but so that, by his assistance, they might guard as sacred and might faithfully propose the revelation delivered through the apostles, or the deposit of faith."(8) Thus, from the universal agreement of the Church's ordinary teaching authority we have a certain and firm proof, demonstrating that the Blessed Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven- which surely no faculty of the human mind could know by its own natural powers, as far as the heavenly glorification of the virginal body of the loving Mother of God is concerned-is a truth that has been revealed by God and consequently something that must be firmly and faithfully believed by all children of the Church. For, as the Vatican Council asserts, "all those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the written Word of God or in Tradition, and which are proposed by the Church, either in solemn judgment or in its ordinary and universal teaching office, as divinely revealed truths which must be believed."(9)

13. Various testimonies, indications and signs of this common belief of the Church are evident from remote times down through the course of the centuries; and this same belief becomes more clearly manifest from day to day.

14. Christ's faithful, through the teaching and the leadership of their pastors, have learned from the sacred books that the Virgin Mary, throughout the course of her earthly pilgrimage, led a life troubled by cares, hardships, and sorrows, and that, moreover, what the holy old man Simeon had foretold actually came to pass, that is, that a terribly sharp sword pierced her heart as she stood under the cross of her divine Son, our Redeemer. In the same way, it was not difficult for them to admit that the great Mother of God, like her only begotten Son, had actually passed from this life. But this in no way prevented them from believing and from professing openly that her sacred body had never been subject to the corruption of the tomb, and that the august tabernacle of the Divine Word had never been reduced to dust and ashes. Actually, enlightened by divine grace and moved by affection for her, God's Mother and our own dearest Mother, they have contemplated in an ever clearer light the wonderful harmony and order of those privileges which the most provident God has lavished upon this loving associate of our Redeemer, privileges which reach such an exalted plane that, except for her, nothing created by God other than the human nature of Jesus Christ has ever reached this level.

15. The innumerable temples which have been dedicated to the Virgin Mary assumed into heaven clearly attest this faith. So do those sacred images, exposed therein for the veneration of the faithful, which bring this unique triumph of the Blessed Virgin before the eyes of all men. Moreover, cities, dioceses, and individual regions have been placed under the special patronage and guardianship of the Virgin Mother of God assumed into heaven. In the same way, religious institutes, with the approval of the Church, have been founded and have taken their name from this privilege. Nor can we pass over in silence the fact that in the Rosary of Mary, the recitation of which this Apostolic See so urgently recommends, there is one mystery proposed for pious meditation which, as all know, deals with the Blessed Virgin's Assumption into heaven.

16. This belief of the sacred pastors and of Christ's faithful is universally manifested still more splendidly by the fact that, since ancient times, there have been both in the East and in the West solemn liturgical offices commemorating this privilege. The holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church have never failed to draw enlightenment from this fact since, as everyone knows, the sacred liturgy, "because it is the profession, subject to the supreme teaching authority within the Church, of heavenly truths, can supply proofs and testimonies of no small value for deciding a particular point of Christian doctrine."(10)

17. In the liturgical books which deal with the feast either of the dormition or of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin there are expressions that agree in testifying that, when the Virgin Mother of God passed from this earthly exile to heaven, what happened to her sacred body was, by the decree of divine Providence, in keeping with the dignity of the Mother of the Word Incarnate, and with the other privileges she had been accorded. Thus, to cite an illustrious example, this is set forth in that sacramentary which Adrian I, our predecessor of immortal memory, sent to the Emperor Charlemagne. These words are found in this volume: "Venerable to us, O Lord, is the festivity of this day on which the holy Mother of God suffered temporal death, but still could not be kept down by the bonds of death, who has begotten your Son our Lord incarnate from herself."(11)

18. What is here indicated in that sobriety characteristic of the Roman liturgy is presented more clearly and completely in other ancient liturgical books. To take one as an example, the Gallican sacramentary designates this privilege of Mary's as "an ineffable mystery all the more worthy of praise as the Virgin's Assumption is something unique among men." And, in the Byzantine liturgy, not only is the Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption connected time and time again with the dignity of the Mother of God, but also with the other privileges, and in particular with the virginal motherhood granted her by a singular decree of God's Providence. "God, the King of the universe, has granted you favors that surpass nature. As he kept you a virgin in childbirth, thus he has kept your body incorrupt in the tomb and has glorified it by his divine act of transferring it from the tomb."(12)

19. The fact that the Apostolic See, which has inherited the function entrusted to the Prince of the Apostles, the function of confirming the brethren in the faith,(13) has by its own authority, made the celebration of this feast ever more solemn, has certainly and effectively moved the attentive minds of the faithful to appreciate always more completely the magnitude of the mystery it commemorates. So it was that the Feast of the Assumption was elevated from the rank which it had occupied from the beginning among the other Marian feasts to be classed among the more solemn celebrations of the entire liturgical cycle. And, when our predecessor St. Sergius I prescribed what is known as the litany, or the stational procession, to be held on four Marian feasts, he specified together the Feasts of the Nativity, the Annunciation, the Purification, and the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.(14) Again, St. Leo IV saw to it that the feast, which was already being celebrated under the title of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother of God, should be observed in even a more solemn way when he ordered a vigil to be held on the day before it and prescribed prayers to be recited after it until the octave day. When this had been done, he decided to take part himself in the celebration, in the midst of a great multitude of the faithful.(15) Moreover, the fact that a holy fast had been ordered from ancient times for the day prior to the feast is made very evident by what our predecessor St. Nicholas I testifies in treating of the principal fasts which "the Holy Roman Church has observed for a long time, and still observes."(16)

20. However, since the liturgy of the Church does not engender the Catholic faith, but rather springs from it, in such a way that the practices of the sacred worship proceed from the faith as the fruit comes from the tree, it follows that the holy Fathers and the great Doctors, in the homilies and sermons they gave the people on this feast day, did not draw their teaching from the feast itself as from a primary source, but rather they spoke of this doctrine as something already known and accepted by Christ's faithful. They presented it more clearly. They offered more profound explanations of its meaning and nature, bringing out into sharper light the fact that this feast shows, not only that the dead body of the Blessed Virgin Mary remained incorrupt, but that she gained a triumph out of death, her heavenly glorification after the example of her only begotten Son, Jesus Christ-truths that the liturgical books had frequently touched upon concisely and briefly.

21. Thus St. John Damascene, an outstanding herald of this traditional truth, spoke out with powerful eloquence when he compared the bodily Assumption of the loving Mother of God with her other prerogatives and privileges. "It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in the act of giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father. It was fitting that God's Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God."(17)

22. These words of St. John Damascene agree perfectly with what others have taught on this same subject. Statements no less clear and accurate are to be found in sermons delivered by Fathers of an earlier time or of the same period, particularly on the occasion of this feast. And so, to cite some other examples, St. Germanus of Constantinople considered the fact that the body of Mary, the virgin Mother of God, was incorrupt and had been taken up into heaven to be in keeping, not only with her divine motherhood, but also with the special holiness of her virginal body. "You are she who, as it is written, appears in beauty, and your virginal body is all holy, all chaste, entirely the dwelling place of God, so that it is henceforth completely exempt from dissolution into dust. Though still human, it is changed into the heavenly life of incorruptibility, truly living and glorious, undamaged and sharing in perfect life."(18) And another very ancient writer asserts: "As the most glorious Mother of Christ, our Savior and God and the giver of life and immortality, has been endowed with life by him, she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with him who has raised her up from the tomb and has taken her up to himself in a way known only to him."(19)

23. When this liturgical feast was being celebrated ever more widely and with ever increasing devotion and piety, the bishops of the Church and its preachers in continually greater numbers considered it their duty openly and clearly to explain the mystery that the feast commemorates, and to explain how it is intimately connected with the other revealed truths.

24. Among the scholastic theologians there have not been lacking those who, wishing to inquire more profoundly into divinely revealed truths and desirous of showing the harmony that exists between what is termed the theological demonstration and the Catholic faith, have always considered it worthy of note that this privilege of the Virgin Mary's Assumption is in wonderful accord with those divine truths given us in Holy Scripture.

25. When they go on to explain this point, they adduce various proofs to throw light on this privilege of Mary. As the first element of these demonstrations, they insist upon the fact that, out of filial love for his mother, Jesus Christ has willed that she be assumed into heaven. They base the strength of their proofs on the incomparable dignity of her divine motherhood and of all those prerogatives which follow from it. These include her exalted holiness, entirely surpassing the sanctity of all men and of the angels, the intimate union of Mary with her Son, and the affection of preeminent love which the Son has for his most worthy Mother.

26. Often there are theologians and preachers who, following in the footsteps of the holy Fathers,(20) have been rather free in their use of events and expressions taken from Sacred Scripture to explain their belief in the Assumption. Thus, to mention only a few of the texts rather frequently cited in this fashion, some have employed the words of the psalmist: "Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark, which you have sanctified"(21); and have looked upon the Ark of the Covenant, built of incorruptible wood and placed in the Lord's temple, as a type of the most pure body of the Virgin Mary, preserved and exempt from all the corruption of the tomb and raised up to such glory in heaven. Treating of this subject, they also describe her as the Queen entering triumphantly into the royal halls of heaven and sitting at the right hand of the divine Redeemer.(22) Likewise they mention the Spouse of the Canticles "that goes up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of aromatical spices, of myrrh and frankincense" to be crowned.(23) These are proposed as depicting that heavenly Queen and heavenly Spouse who has been lifted up to the courts of heaven with the divine Bridegroom.

27. Moreover, the scholastic Doctors have recognized the Assumption of the Virgin Mother of God as something signified, not only in various figures of the Old Testament, but also in that woman clothed with the sun whom John the Apostle contemplated on the Island of Patmos.(24) Similarly they have given special attention to these words of the New Testament: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women,"(25) since they saw, in the mystery of the Assumption, the fulfillment of that most perfect grace granted to the Blessed Virgin and the special blessing that countered the curse of Eve.

28. Thus, during the earliest period of scholastic theology, that most pious man, Amadeus, Bishop of Lausarme, held that the Virgin Mary's flesh had remained incorrupt-for it is wrong to believe that her body has seen corruption-because it was really united again to her soul and, together with it, crowned with great glory in the heavenly courts. "For she was full of grace and blessed among women. She alone merited to conceive the true God of true God, whom as a virgin, she brought forth, to whom as a virgin she gave milk, fondling him in her lap, and in all things she waited upon him with loving care."(26)

29. Among the holy writers who at that time employed statements and various images and analogies of Sacred Scripture to Illustrate and to confirm the doctrine of the Assumption, which was piously believed, the Evangelical Doctor, St. Anthony of Padua, holds a special place. On the feast day of the Assumption, while explaining the prophet's words: "I will glorify the place of my feet,"(27) he stated it as certain that the divine Redeemer had bedecked with supreme glory his most beloved Mother from whom he had received human flesh. He asserts that "you have here a clear statement that the Blessed Virgin has been assumed in her body, where was the place of the Lord's feet. Hence it is that the holy Psalmist writes: 'Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark which you have sanctified."' And he asserts that, just as Jesus Christ has risen from the death over which he triumphed and has ascended to the right hand of the Father, so likewise the ark of his sanctification "has risen up, since on this day the Virgin Mother has been taken up to her heavenly dwelling."(28)

30. When, during the Middle Ages, scholastic theology was especially flourishing, St. Albert the Great who, to establish this teaching, had gathered together many proofs from Sacred Scripture, from the statements of older writers, and finally from the liturgy and from what is known as theological reasoning, concluded in this way: "From these proofs and authorities and from many others, it is manifest that the most blessed Mother of God has been assumed above the choirs of angels. And this we believe in every way to be true."(29) And, in a sermon which he delivered on the sacred day of the Blessed Virgin Mary's annunciation, explained the words "Hail, full of grace"-words used by the angel who addressed her-the Universal Doctor, comparing the Blessed Virgin with Eve, stated clearly and incisively that she was exempted from the fourfold curse that had been laid upon Eve.(30)

31. Following the footsteps of his distinguished teacher, the Angelic Doctor, despite the fact that he never dealt directly with this question, nevertheless, whenever he touched upon it, always held together with the Catholic Church, that Mary's body had been assumed into heaven along with her soul.(31)

32. Along with many others, the Seraphic Doctor held the same views. He considered it as entirely certain that, as God had preserved the most holy Virgin Mary from the violation of her virginal purity and integrity in conceiving and in childbirth, he would never have permitted her body to have been resolved into dust and ashes.(32) Explaining these words of Sacred Scripture: "Who is this that comes up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her beloved?"(33) and applying them in a kind of accommodated sense to the Blessed Virgin, he reasons thus: "From this we can see that she is there bodily...her blessedness would not have been complete unless she were there as a person. The soul is not a person, but the soul, joined to the body, is a person. It is manifest that she is there in soul and in body. Otherwise she would not possess her complete beatitude.(34)

33. In the fifteenth century, during a later period of scholastic theology, St. Bernardine of Siena collected and diligently evaluated all that the medieval theologians had said and taught on this question. He was not content with setting down the principal considerations which these writers of an earlier day had already expressed, but he added others of his own. The likeness between God's Mother and her divine Son, in the way of the nobility and dignity of body and of soul - a likeness that forbids us to think of the heavenly Queen as being separated from the heavenly King - makes it entirely imperative that Mary "should be only where Christ is."(35) Moreover, it is reasonable and fitting that not only the soul and body of a man, but also the soul and body of a woman should have obtained heavenly glory. Finally, since the Church has never looked for the bodily relics of the Blessed Virgin nor proposed them for the veneration of the people, we have a proof on the order of a sensible experience.(36)

34. The above-mentioned teachings of the holy Fathers and of the Doctors have been in common use during more recent times. Gathering together the testimonies of the Christians of earlier days, St. Robert Bellarmine exclaimed: "And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, could be reduced to ruin? My soul is filled with horror at the thought that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought him into the world, had nourished and carried him, could have been turned into ashes or given over to be food for worms."(37)

35. In like manner St. Francis de Sales, after asserting that it is wrong to doubt that Jesus Christ has himself observed, in the most perfect way, the divine commandment by which children are ordered to honor their parents, asks this question: "What son would not bring his mother back to life and would not bring her into paradise after her death if he could?"(38) And St. Alphonsus writes that "Jesus did not wish to have the body of Mary corrupted after death, since it would have redounded to his own dishonor to have her virginal flesh, from which he himself had assumed flesh, reduced to dust."(39)

36. Once the mystery which is commemorated in this feast had been placed in its proper light, there were not lacking teachers who, instead of dealing with the theological reasonings that show why it is fitting and right to believe the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven, chose to focus their mind and attention on the faith of the Church itself, which is the Mystical Body of Christ without stain or wrinkle(40) and is called by the Apostle "the pillar and ground of truth."(41) Relying on this common faith, they considered the teaching opposed to the doctrine of our Lady's Assumption as temerarious, if not heretical. Thus, like not a few others, St. Peter Canisius, after he had declared that the very word "assumption" signifies the glorification, not only of the soul but also of the body, and that the Church has venerated and has solemnly celebrated this mystery of Mary's Assumption for many centuries, adds these words of warning: "This teaching has already been accepted for some centuries, it has been held as certain in the minds of the pious people, and it has been taught to the entire Church in such a way that those who deny that Mary's body has been assumed into heaven are not to be listened to patiently but are everywhere to be denounced as over-contentious or rash men, and as imbued with a spirit that is heretical rather than Catholic."(42)

37. At the same time the great Suarez was professing in the field of mariology the norm that "keeping in mind the standards of propriety, and when there is no contradiction or repugnance on the part of Scripture, the mysteries of grace which God has wrought in the Virgin must be measured, not by the ordinary laws, but by the divine omnipotence."(43) Supported by the common faith of the entire Church on the subject of the mystery of the Assumption, he could conclude that this mystery was to be believed with the same firmness of assent as that given to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. Thus he already held that such truths could be defined.

38. All these proofs and considerations of the holy Fathers and the theologians are based upon the Sacred Writings as their ultimate foundation. These set the loving Mother of God as it were before our very eyes as most intimately joined to her divine Son and as always sharing his lot. Consequently it seems impossible to think of her, the one who conceived Christ, brought him forth, nursed him with her milk, held him in her arms, and clasped him to her breast, as being apart from him in body, even though not in soul, after this earthly life. Since our Redeemer is the Son of Mary, he could not do otherwise, as the perfect observer of God's law, than to honor, not only his eternal Father, but also his most beloved Mother. And, since it was within his power to grant her this great honor, to preserve her from the corruption of the tomb, we must believe that he really acted in this way.

39. We must remember especially that, since the second century, the Virgin Mary has been designated by the holy Fathers as the new Eve, who, although subject to the new Adam, is most intimately associated with him in that struggle against the infernal foe which, as foretold in the protoevangelium,(44) would finally result in that most complete victory over the sin and death which are always mentioned together in the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles.(45) Consequently, just as the glorious resurrection of Christ was an essential part and the final sign of this victory, so that struggle which was common to the Blessed Virgin and her divine Son should be brought to a close by the glorification of her virginal body, for the same Apostle says: "When this mortal thing hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory."(46)

40. Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination,(47) immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages.(48)

41. Since the universal Church, within which dwells the Spirit of Truth who infallibly directs it toward an ever more perfect knowledge of the revealed truths, has expressed its own belief many times over the course of the centuries, and since the bishops of the entire world are almost unanimously petitioning that the truth of the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven should be defined as a dogma of divine and Catholic faith--this truth which is based on the Sacred Writings, which is thoroughly rooted in the minds of the faithful, which has been approved in ecclesiastical worship from the most remote times, which is completely in harmony with the other revealed truths, and which has been expounded and explained magnificently in the work, the science, and the wisdom of the theologians - we believe that the moment appointed in the plan of divine providence for the solemn proclamation of this outstanding privilege of the Virgin Mary has already arrived.

42. We, who have placed our pontificate under the special patronage of the most holy Virgin, to whom we have had recourse so often in times of grave trouble, we who have consecrated the entire human race to her Immaculate Heart in public ceremonies, and who have time and time again experienced her powerful protection, are confident that this solemn proclamation and definition of the Assumption will contribute in no small way to the advantage of human society, since it redounds to the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, to which the Blessed Mother of God is bound by such singular bonds. It is to be hoped that all the faithful will be stirred up to a stronger piety toward their heavenly Mother, and that the souls of all those who glory in the Christian name may be moved by the desire of sharing in the unity of Jesus Christ's Mystical Body and of increasing their love for her who shows her motherly heart to all the members of this august body. And so we may hope that those who meditate upon the glorious example Mary offers us may be more and more convinced of the value of a human life entirely devoted to carrying out the heavenly Father's will and to bringing good to others. Thus, while the illusory teachings of materialism and the corruption of morals that follows from these teachings threaten to extinguish the light of virtue and to ruin the lives of men by exciting discord among them, in this magnificent way all may see clearly to what a lofty goal our bodies and souls are destined. Finally it is our hope that belief in Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven will make our belief in our own resurrection stronger and render it more effective.

43. We rejoice greatly that this solemn event falls, according to the design of God's providence, during this Holy Year, so that we are able, while the great Jubilee is being observed, to adorn the brow of God's Virgin Mother with this brilliant gem, and to leave a monument more enduring than bronze of our own most fervent love for the Mother of God.

44. For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

45. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.

46. In order that this, our definition of the bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven may be brought to the attention of the universal Church, we desire that this, our Apostolic Letter, should stand for perpetual remembrance, commanding that written copies of it, or even printed copies, signed by the hand of any public notary and bearing the seal of a person constituted in ecclesiastical dignity, should be accorded by all men the same reception they would give to this present letter, were it tendered or shown.

47. It is forbidden to any man to change this, our declaration, pronouncement, and definition or, by rash attempt, to oppose and counter it. If any man should presume to make such an attempt, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

48. Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, in the year of the great Jubilee, 1950, on the first day of the month of November, on the Feast of All Saints, in the twelfth year of our pontificate.


Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 by Catholic and Proud

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