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Frequently Asked Questions About Catholicism

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by KC Catholic, May 7, 2002.

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  1. JeffreyLloyd

    JeffreyLloyd Ave Maria, Gratia plena! Supporter

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    Hi EnterHisgateswithpraise! The Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church is the same thing.

    St. Peter was the bishop of Rome way in the first century. Since that time every person who has held the office of Bishop of Rome has had the same authority St. Peter had, he is the head of Christ's Church on here on Earth. We call him Pope, (which means papa). So Christ's church is associated with that city.

    So when people "Roman Catholic" that is what they mean. It is the one Church that is been around for 2000+ years, check out this little article:

    http://www.catholic.com/library/Pillar.asp
     
  2. Miss Shelby

    Miss Shelby Legend

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  3. Symes

    Symes New Member

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    Have you ever considered that Peter was called by Christ as Satan and told to get behind Him.

    That Peter was told that when he was converted to strengthen his brethren.

    That Peter denied Christ three times.

    This is not the type of role model one would build their Church on.

    Eph 1:22

    tells us that Christ is the "head over all things to the Church"

    Christ is the cornerstone that was rejected.

    I would much rather have Christ as the head than a man who was a sinner.
     
  4. JeffreyLloyd

    JeffreyLloyd Ave Maria, Gratia plena! Supporter

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    Christ holy church is filled wih sinners (Romans 3:23). We didn't make up Matthew ourselfs. Here Christ clearly establishes His Church upon Saint Peter.

    There is ample evidence in the New Testament that Peter was first in authority among the apostles. Whenever they were named, Peter headed the list (Matt. 10:1-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:14-16, Acts 1:13); sometimes the apostles were referred to as "Peter and those who were with him" (Luke 9:32). Peter was the one who generally spoke for the apostles (Matt. 18:21, Mark 8:29, Luke 12:41, John 6:68-69), and he figured in many of the most dramatic scenes (Matt. 14:28-32, Matt. 17:24-27, Mark 10:23-28). On Pentecost it was Peter who first preached to the crowds (Acts 2:14-40), and he worked the first healing in the Church age (Acts 3:6-7). It is Peter’s faith that will strengthen his brethren (Luke 22:32) and Peter is given Christ’s flock to shepherd (John 21:17). An angel was sent to announce the resurrection to Peter (Mark 16:7), and the risen Christ first appeared to Peter (Luke 24:34). He headed the meeting that elected Matthias to replace Judas (Acts 1:13-26), and he received the first converts (Acts 2:41). He inflicted the first punishment (Acts 5:1-11), and excommunicated the first heretic (Acts 8:18-23). He led the first council in Jerusalem (Acts 15), and announced the first dogmatic decision (Acts 15:7-11). It was to Peter that the revelation came that Gentiles were to be baptized and accepted as Christians (Acts 10:46-48).

    Peter the Rock

    Peter’s preeminent position among the apostles was symbolized at the very beginning of his relationship with Christ. At their first meeting, Christ told Simon that his name would thereafter be Peter, which translates as "Rock" (John 1:42). The startling thing was that—aside from the single time that Abraham is called a "rock" (Hebrew: Tsur; Aramaic: Kepha) in Isaiah 51:1-2—in the Old Testament only God was called a rock. The word rock was not used as a proper name in the ancient world. If you were to turn to a companion and say, "From now on your name is Asparagus," people would wonder: Why Asparagus? What is the meaning of it? What does it signify? Indeed, why call Simon the fisherman "Rock"? Christ was not given to meaningless gestures, and neither were the Jews as a whole when it came to names. Giving a new name meant that the status of the person was changed, as when Abram’s name was changed to Abraham (Gen.17:5), Jacob’s to Israel (Gen. 32:28), Eliakim’s to Joakim (2 Kgs. 23:34), or the names of the four Hebrew youths—Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah to Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Dan. 1:6-7). But no Jew had ever been called "Rock." The Jews would give other names taken from nature, such as Barak "lightning," (Judg. 4:6), Deborah ("bee," Gen. 35:8), and Rachel ("ewe," Gen. 29:16), but never "Rock." In the New Testament James and John were nicknamed Boanerges, meaning "Sons of Thunder," by Christ, but that was never regularly used in place of their original names, and it certainly was not given as a new name. But in the case of Simon-bar-Jonah, his new name Kephas (Greek: Petros) definitely replaced the old.

    Look at the scene

    Not only was there significance in Simon being given a new and unusual name, but the place where Jesus solemnly conferred it upon Peter was also important. It happened when "Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi" (Matt. 16:13), a city that Philip the Tetrarch built and named in honor of Caesar Augustus, who had died in A.D. 14. The city lay near cascades in the Jordan River and near a gigantic wall of rock, a wall about 200 feet high and 500 feet long, which is part of the southern foothills of Mount Hermon. The city no longer exists, but its ruins are near the small Arab town of Banias; and at the base of the rock wall may be found what is left of one of the springs that fed the Jordan. It was here that Jesus pointed to Simon and said, "You are Peter" (Matt. 16:18).

    The significance of the event must have been clear to the other apostles. As devout Jews they knew at once that the location was meant to emphasize the importance of what was being done. None complained of Simon being singled out for this honor; and in the rest of the New Testament he is called by his new name, while James and John remain just James and John, not Boanerges.

    Promises to Peter

    When he first saw Simon, "Jesus looked at him, and said, ‘So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas (which means Peter)’" (John 1:42). The word Cephas is merely the transliteration of the Aramaic Kepha into Greek. Later, after Peter and the other disciples had been with Christ for some time, they went to Caesarea Philippi, where Peter made his profession of faith: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16). Jesus told him that this truth was specially revealed to him, and then he solemnly reiterated: "And I tell you, you are Peter" (Matt. 16:18). To this was added the promise that the Church would be founded, in some way, on Peter (Matt. 16:18).

    Then two important things were told the apostle. "Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:19). Here Peter was singled out for the authority that provides for the forgiveness of sins and the making of disciplinary rules. Later the apostles as a whole would be given similar power [Matt.18:18], but here Peter received it in a special sense.

    Peter alone was promised something else also: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 16:19). In ancient times, keys were the hallmark of authority. A walled city might have one great gate; and that gate had one great lock, worked by one great key. To be given the key to the city—an honor that exists even today, though its import is lost—meant to be given free access to and authority over the city. The city to which Peter was given the keys was the heavenly city itself. This symbolism for authority is used elsewhere in the Bible (Is. 22:22, Rev. 1:18).

    Finally, after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples and asked Peter three times, "Do you love me?" (John 21:15-17). In repentance for his threefold denial, Peter gave a threefold affirmation of love. Then Christ, the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14), gave Peter the authority he earlier had promised: "Feed my sheep" (John 21:17). This specifically included the other apostles, since Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me more than these?" (John 21:15), the word "these" referring to the other apostles who were present (John 21:2). Thus was completed the prediction made just before Jesus and his followers went for the last time to the Mount of Olives.

    Immediately before his denials were predicted, Peter was told, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again [after the denials], strengthen your brethren" (Luke 22:31-32). It was Peter who Christ prayed would have faith that would not fail and that would be a guide for the others; and his prayer, being perfectly efficacious, was sure to be fulfilled.

    Who is the rock?

    Now take a closer look at the key verse: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church" (Matt. 16:18). Disputes about this passage have always been related to the meaning of the term "rock." To whom, or to what, does it refer? Since Simon’s new name of Peter itself means rock, the sentence could be rewritten as: "You are Rock and upon this rock I will build my Church." The play on words seems obvious, but commentators wishing to avoid what follows from this—namely the establishment of the papacy—have suggested that the word rock could not refer to Peter but must refer to his profession of faith or to Christ.

    From the grammatical point of view, the phrase "this rock" must relate back to the closest noun. Peter’s profession of faith ("You are the Christ, the Son of the living God") is two verses earlier, while his name, a proper noun, is in the immediately preceding clause.

    As an analogy, consider this artificial sentence: "I have a car and a truck, and it is blue." Which is blue? The truck, because that is the noun closest to the pronoun "it." This is all the more clear if the reference to the car is two sentences earlier, as the reference to Peter’s profession is two sentences earlier than the term rock.

    Another alternative

    The previous argument also settles the question of whether the word refers to Christ himself, since he is mentioned within the profession of faith. The fact that he is elsewhere, by a different metaphor, called the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:4-8) does not disprove that here Peter is the foundation. Christ is naturally the principal and, since he will be returning to heaven, the invisible foundation of the Church that he will establish; but Peter is named by him as the secondary and, because he and his successors will remain on earth, the visible foundation. Peter can be a foundation only because Christ is the first one.

    In fact, the New Testament contains five different metaphors for the foundation of the Church (Matt. 16:18, 1 Cor. 3:11, Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:5-6, Rev. 21:14). One cannot take a single metaphor from a single passage and use it to twist the plain meaning of other passages. Rather, one must respect and harmonize the different passages, for the Church can be described as having different foundations since the word foundation can be used in different senses.

    Look at the Aramaic

    Opponents of the Catholic interpretation of Matthew 16:18 sometimes argue that in the Greek text the name of the apostle is Petros, while "rock" is rendered as petra. They claim that the former refers to a small stone, while the latter refers to a massive rock; so, if Peter was meant to be the massive rock, why isn’t his name Petra?

    Note that Christ did not speak to the disciples in Greek. He spoke Aramaic, the common language of Palestine at that time. In that language the word for rock is kepha, which is what Jesus called him in everyday speech (note that in John 1:42 he was told, "You will be called Cephas"). What Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 was: "You are Kepha, and upon this kepha I will build my Church."

    When Matthew’s Gospel was translated from the original Aramaic to Greek, there arose a problem which did not confront the evangelist when he first composed his account of Christ’s life. In Aramaic the word kepha has the same ending whether it refers to a rock or is used as a man’s name. In Greek, though, the word for rock, petra, is feminine in gender. The translator could use it for the second appearance of kepha in the sentence, but not for the first because it would be inappropriate to give a man a feminine name. So he put a masculine ending on it, and hence Peter became Petros.

    Furthermore, the premise of the argument against Peter being the rock is simply false. In first century Greek the words petros and petra were synonyms. They had previously possessed the meanings of "small stone" and "large rock" in some early Greek poetry, but by the first century this distinction was gone, as Protestant Bible scholars admit (see D. A. Carson’s remarks on this passage in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, [Grand Rapids: Zondervan Books]).

    Some of the effect of Christ’s play on words was lost when his statement was translated from the Aramaic into Greek, but that was the best that could be done in Greek. In English, like Aramaic, there is no problem with endings; so an English rendition could read: "You are Rock, and upon this rock I will build my church."

    Consider another point: If the rock really did refer to Christ (as some claim, based on 1 Cor. 10:4, "and the Rock was Christ" though the rock there was a literal, physical rock), why did Matthew leave the passage as it was? In the original Aramaic, and in the English which is a closer parallel to it than is the Greek, the passage is clear enough. Matthew must have realized that his readers would conclude the obvious from "Rock . . . rock."

    If he meant Christ to be understood as the rock, why didn’t he say so? Why did he take a chance and leave it up to Paul to write a clarifying text? This presumes, of course, that 1 Corinthians was written after Matthew’s Gospel; if it came first, it could not have been written to clarify it.

    The reason, of course, is that Matthew knew full well that what the sentence seemed to say was just what it really was saying. It was Simon, weak as he was, who was chosen to become the rock and thus the first link in the chain of the papacy.

    Copyright © 1979-2003, Catholic Answers. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission. www.catholic.com
     
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  5. JeffreyLloyd

    JeffreyLloyd Ave Maria, Gratia plena! Supporter

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    Here is what the Church Fathers thought of Peter:

    Clement of Alexandria

    "[T]he blessed Peter, the chosen, the preeminent, the first among the disciples, for whom alone with himself the Savior paid the tribute [Matt. 17:27], quickly grasped and understood their meaning. And what does he say? ‘Behold, we have left all and have followed you’ [Matt. 19:27; Mark 10:28]" (Who Is the Rich Man That Is Saved? 21:3–5 [A.D. 200]).

    Tertullian

    "For though you think that heaven is still shut up, remember that the Lord left the keys of it to Peter here, and through him to the Church, which keys everyone will carry with him if he has been questioned and made a confession [of faith]" (Antidote Against the Scorpion 10 [A.D. 211]).

    "[T]he Lord said to Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. . . . Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church; and whatever you shall have bound or you shall have loosed, not what they shall have bound or they shall have loosed" (Modesty 21:9–10 [A.D. 220]).

    The Letter of Clement to James

    "Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon [Peter], who, for the sake of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by Jesus himself, with his truthful mouth, named Peter, the first fruits of our Lord, the first of the apostles; to whom first the Father revealed the Son; whom the Christ, with good reason, blessed; the called, and elect" (Letter of Clement to James 2 [A.D. 221]).

    Origen

    "f we were to attend carefully to the Gospels, we should also find, in relation to those things which seem to be common to Peter . . . a great difference and a preeminence in the things [Jesus] said to Peter, compared with the second class [of apostles]. For it is no small difference that Peter received the keys not of one heaven but of more, and in order that whatsoever things he binds on earth may be bound not in one heaven but in them all, as compared with the many who bind on earth and loose on earth, so that these things are bound and loosed not in [all] the heavens, as in the case of Peter, but in one only; for they do not reach so high a stage with power as Peter to bind and loose in all the heavens" (Commentary on Matthew 13:31 [A.D. 248]).

    Cyprian of Carthage

    "The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.’ . . . On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all [the apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]).

    Cyril of Jerusalem


    "The Lord is loving toward men, swift to pardon but slow to punish. Let no man despair of his own salvation. Peter, the first and foremost of the apostles, denied the Lord three times before a little servant girl, but he repented and wept bitterly" (Catechetical Lectures 2:19 [A.D. 350]).

    "[Simon Magus] so deceived the city of Rome that Claudius erected a statue of him. . . . While the error was extending itself, Peter and Paul arrived, a noble pair and the rulers of the Church, and they set the error aright. . . . [T]hey launched the weapon of their like-mindedness in prayer against the Magus, and struck him down to earth. It was marvelous enough, and yet no marvel at all, for Peter was there—he that carries about the keys of heaven [Matt. 16:19]" (ibid., 6:14).

    "In the power of the same Holy Spirit, Peter, both the chief of the apostles and the keeper of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, in the name of Christ healed Aeneas the paralytic at Lydda, which is now called Diospolis [Acts 9:32–34]" (ibid., 17:27).


    Ephraim the Syrian

    "[Jesus said:] Simon, my follower, I have made you the foundation of the holy Church. I betimes called you Peter, because you will support all its buildings. You are the inspector of those who will build on Earth a Church for me. If they should wish to build what is false, you, the foundation, will condemn them. You are the head of the fountain from which my teaching flows; you are the chief of my disciples. Through you I will give drink to all peoples. Yours is that life-giving sweetness which I dispense. I have chosen you to be, as it were, the firstborn in my institution so that, as the heir, you may be executor of my treasures. I have given you the keys of my kingdom. Behold, I have given you authority over all my treasures" (Homilies 4:1 [A.D. 351]).

    Ambrose of Milan

    "[Christ] made answer: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church. . . .’ Could he not, then, strengthen the faith of the man to whom, acting on his own authority, he gave the kingdom, whom he called the rock, thereby declaring him to be the foundation of the Church [Matt. 16:18]?" (The Faith 4:5 [A.D. 379]).

    Pope Damasus I

    "Likewise it is decreed . . . that it ought to be announced that . . . the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it" (Decree of Damasus 3 [A.D. 382]).

    Jerome

    "‘But,’ you [Jovinian] will say, ‘it was on Peter that the Church was founded’ [Matt. 16:18]. Well . . . one among the twelve is chosen to be their head in order to remove any occasion for division" (Against Jovinian 1:26 [A.D. 393]).

    "Simon Peter, the son of John, from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, brother of Andrew the apostle, and himself chief of the apostles, after having been bishop of the church of Antioch and having preached to the Dispersion . . . pushed on to Rome in the second year of Claudius to overthrow Simon Magus, and held the sacerdotal chair there for twenty-five years until the last, that is the fourteenth, year of Nero. At his hands he received the crown of martyrdom being nailed to the cross with his head towards the ground and his feet raised on high, asserting that he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord" (Lives of Illustrious Men 1 [A.D. 396]).

    Pope Innocent I

    "In seeking the things of God . . . you have acknowledged that judgment is to be referred to us [the pope], and have shown that you know that is owed to the Apostolic See [Rome], if all of us placed in this position are to desire to follow the apostle himself [Peter] from whom the episcopate itself and the total authority of this name have emerged" (Letters 29:1 [A.D. 408]).

    Augustine

    "Among these [apostles] Peter alone almost everywhere deserved to represent the whole Church. Because of that representation of the Church, which only he bore, he deserved to hear ‘I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven’" (Sermons 295:2 [A.D. 411]).

    "Some things are said which seem to relate especially to the apostle Peter, and yet are not clear in their meaning unless referred to the Church, which he is acknowledged to have represented in a figure on account of the primacy which he bore among the disciples. Such is ‘I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,’ and other similar passages. In the same way, Judas represents those Jews who were Christ’s enemies" (Commentary on Psalm 108 1 [A.D. 415]).

    "Who is ignorant that the first of the apostles is the most blessed Peter?" (Commentary on John 56:1 [A.D. 416]).

    Council of Ephesus

    "Philip, presbyter and legate of [Pope Celestine I] said: ‘We offer our thanks to the holy and venerable synod, that when the writings of our holy and blessed pope had been read to you . . . you joined yourselves to the holy head also by your holy acclamations. For your blessednesses is not ignorant that the head of the whole faith, the head of the apostles, is blessed Peter the apostle’" (Acts of the Council, session 2 [A.D. 431]).

    "Philip, the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See [Rome] said: ‘There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors’" (ibid., session 3).

    Pope Leo I

    "Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . has placed the principal charge on the blessed Peter, chief of all the apostles, and from him as from the head wishes his gifts to flow to all the body, so that anyone who dares to secede from Peter’s solid rock may understand that he has no part or lot in the divine mystery. He wished him who had been received into partnership in his undivided unity to be named what he himself was, when he said: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’ [Matt. 16:18], that the building of the eternal temple might rest on Peter’s solid rock, strengthening his Church so surely that neither could human rashness assail it nor the gates of hell prevail against it" (Letters 10:1 [A.D. 445).

    "Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . established the worship belonging to the divine [Christian] religion. . . . But the Lord desired that the sacrament of this gift should pertain to all the apostles in such a way that it might be found principally in the most blessed Peter, the highest of all the apostles. And he wanted his gifts to flow into the entire body from Peter himself, as if from the head, in such a way that anyone who had dared to separate himself from the solidarity of Peter would realize that he was himself no longer a sharer in the divine mystery" (ibid., 10:2–3).

    "Although bishops have a common dignity, they are not all of the same rank. Even among the most blessed apostles, though they were alike in honor, there was a certain distinction of power. All were equal in being chosen, but it was given to one to be preeminent over the others. . . . [So today through the bishops] the care of the universal Church would converge in the one See of Peter, and nothing should ever be at odds with this head" (ibid., 14:11).
     
  6. CFOCdude

    CFOCdude New Member

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    I put their importance in this order:
    1. God
    2. Jesus Christ
    3. Blessed Mary
    4. All good Saints
    5. All good Angels
    6. Everything else good


    Here is a good read on why Catholics like myself pray to mary so much:

    CATHOLICS AND MARY

    Q. Who was Mary?

    A. Mary was a Jewish girl, born of a human mother and a human father, but chosen by God to be the earthly mother of the "Son of God".

    Q. Why is she "so special"?

    A. The creature God chose to become the mother of His Divine Son would have to be "special"; in fact she would have to be "the most perfect" of all of God's creations, even more perfect than the Angels in Heaven.

    Q. What does the Bible say about Mary's "being special"?

    A. In all the Holy Scripture, she alone is honored by the statement "all generations shall call me blessed" (Luke 1:48).

    Q. Why do Catholics pray to Mary?

    A. All things that Christ said and did were well planned to give us example and teaching. Performing His first miracle at the request of Mary was no accident (John 2:1-12). Here Christ showed respect for His Mother and that He has an ear for what she requests. When we pray to Mary, or any of the saints, we do one thing and one thing only; we ask them to pray for us. Mary, nor any of the saints, have no power or authority on their own. So we ask them to pray to Christ, for us in exactly the same way we ask a minister or priest to pray for us.

    Q. Why should Mary care?

    A. If Mary is the most perfect of all of God's creatures, then this perfection MUST include a perfect love. The most perfect human love is the love of a mother for her child. A human perfection of love IS that every human is loved AS HER OWN CHILD. In essence what Christ did was to share His Mother with us in His love and in her love. This is one reason why we call her "Mary, our Mother". With her in Heaven, we know that we have one who loves us as her own children - so we feel that in reality Christ gave us two mothers; our natural mother and His own mother.

    We also honor her with the title, "Mary, our Mother" in much the same way as the Jews honor Abraham by calling him, "Abraham, our Father".

    Q. What is the position of Mary in our salvation?

    A. Mary's whole purpose is to lead us to Christ, our Savior. Her constant message to us is summarized in her last words in Scripture, "whatever Jesus tell you to do - DO IT" (John 2:5).

    Q. In order to be saved, is it necessary to pray to her or the saints?

    A. NO! NO! This is not necessary. We can be saved ONLY through Jesus Christ. Mary's whole being is dedicated to "bring us to Christ" and "for us to live Christ".

    Q. What about her apparitions such as at Fatima?

    A. In the Old Testament, God frequently sent a prophet to warn the Jews of their doom if they continued to sin against Him. If God warned the Jews before punishment, it stands to reason that He would warn us if punishment is due, only now in addition to sending the Angel Gabriel, He also sends His most Blessed Mother. That is what Fatima is all about. God performing a miracle witnessed by over 50,000 people at Fatima to prove that the message was from Him. And the message? Basically the same as to the Jews; i.e., a warning of chastisement if we did not repent and return to Christ, that there would be another War during the reign of Pope Pius XI - and that was World War II. Then, if we still did not repent, and return to Christ, God would allow Russia to chastise the world.

    Q. How do we know that at Fatima it was not the devil impersonating Mary?

    A. Mary's message was: "Repent, and return to Christ and His teaching." No matter what good is done, some people will call it the work of Satan, just as they accused Christ of being the devil. Christ's answer then certainly applies to this situation now (Matt. 12:22-37).

    CATHOLICS AND THE ROSARY

    Q. What is the Rosary? Where did it come from?

    A. In the dark ages of ninth century Ireland, the Monks recited or chanted the 150 Psalms of David day-after-day as a community prayer or "Praise to the Lord". The local peasants outside the monastery wanted to join in with the brothers in Christ in this praise but they could neither read nor write so they would instead recite the Lord's Prayer or the greeting of the Angel Gabriel when he announced to Mary that she was chosen to be the Mother of the Son of God. (Now called "Hail Mary".) (Luke 1&2) As peasants moved away from the monastery, they wished to continued this practice and so would stop what they were doing at that time of day and kneel in prayer and say 50 (50=bouquet or rosarium and thus the name Rosary) or 150 Our Fathers or Hail Mary's and count these prayers by small stones in a pouch or by knots on a string. In this way, they were joining in a "community of prayer" no matter where they were. It is believed by most Catholics that in the 12th century, Mary appeared to St. Dominic and told him that this was a pleasing form of prayer, but that instead of saying a repetitious prayer, we should incorporate a part of the life of Christ into EVERY Rosary. So that in actuality each time we say a Rosary, we should re-live a part of the life of Christ.

    Therefore, whenever we re-live "The Joyful Mysteries" of the life of Christ we follow these events in the Holy Bible in Luke Chapter 1&2, and we meditate on the most meaningful moments of our salvation history: the Angel Gabriel announcing to Mary that she has been chosen to be the Mother of the Son of God (The Annunciation); then re-live Mary's visit to her kinswoman, Elizabeth (The Visitation); then all of the events of the trip into Bethlehem and the "Birth of Our Lord"; then of Christ being "Presented at the Temple"; and finally His being lost for three days and being found in the Temple. Likewise, when praying the Sorrowful Mysteries, we re-live the Passion and Death of Our Lord. And when saying the "Glorious Mysteries" we re-live all the events of His Resurrection, Ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, and then follow the death, assumption and re-uniting of Mary with her Divine Son in Heaven.

    Can there be any form of prayer more meaningful than re-living the life of Christ and what He did for us?

    Q. But why the repetition of prayer? Did not Christ Himself say we should not just repeat ourselves?

    A. True, Christ said we should not just say words until they have no meaning. And the Rosary should NOT be just a repetition of words but rather a chain of prayer that encircles these important events in the life of Christ, Our Savior. In other words, it should not be just a repetition of prayer but also a sequence of events.

    Q. So what does the Rosary help us do?

    A. It praises Jesus, Our Savior, and forces us to learn more about His life and His teachings. It help to organize our thoughts and meditations on Jesus; it acknowledges and honors Mary as the Mother of Our Savior. It gives us a "liturgy" so that we can more closely join together as a "community" in prayer. It can be a great stimulus to the learning of doctrine, which is necessary to anchor, develop, guide and live our faith. (Matt. 7:21-27;John 12:48; John 14:23).

    Q. Is it necessary to "Pray the Rosary" in order to be saved?

    A. No, it is NOT. However, if Fatima is true, then God sent Mary as a messenger to warn us "that unless we repent and return to Christ, we will be chastised by Russia". And also we believe that Mary asked each of us to Praise Jesus and Honor Jesus and His Most Blessed Mother by praying the Rosary each day. Therefore, if Fatima is true, and we ignore the Rosary, then we are ignoring God's warning in our time.

    "Jesus, Mary, I love You, Save Souls"

    Here are the 15 promises of Mary if you say the rosary:

    The Blessed Mother’s Promises to those who Pray the Rosary

    The following promises were given by the Blessed Mother to Saint Dominic and Blessed Alan in the twelfth century. These promises are fifteen in number and are for Christians who recite the Rosary. The Blessed Mother promises:


    1. Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall receive signal graces.

    2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.

    3. The Rosary shall be powerful armor against hell. It will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies.

    4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish. It will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God. It will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.

    5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall not perish.

    6. Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries, shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice. He shall not perish by an unprovided death. If he be just, he shall remain in the grace of God and become worthy of eternal life.

    7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.

    8. Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have, during their life and at their death, the light of God and the plentitude of His graces. At the moment of death, they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.

    9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.

    10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.

    11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.

    12. All those who propagate the holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

    13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.

    14. All who recite the Rosary are my sons and brothers of my only Son, Jesus Christ.

    15. Devotion of my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.



    ....hope this clears things up a bit for people. Mary did come to fatima and made the miracle which more than 50000 people witnessed. I even prayed and asked Mary for a sign of how powerful she was after hearing an arguement from my aunt who is a Christian. That night after praying the rosary I got the biggest feeling of love and grace. It was like when you find out someone you have liked likes you but about twice as strong and constant. I think it's just like when Jesus Christ came here...not many believed He was the Son of God until he died and stayed 40 days after...but who can blame them. Maybe it's the same situation with why people question Catholics about why we praise Mary so much. God has sent us a little more information then just what's in the Bible. We gotta look at what's going on right now and the signs and help God sends (Mary being one of them in which he entrusted the peace of the world to). Jesus is perfect so he must obey thy parents. His parent is Mary so if Mary prays to Jesus for something, he obeys because he is pure and sinless. Because Mary shared so much in the suffering and sorrowfulness of Christ, she shares so much in Christ's Glory and Joy in heaven. Btw, vain repition would be saying something without meaning and understanding. In other words, not even thinking about what you're saying. Anyway, I hope I gave people a better understanding. Not sure if all this has been posted before but I thought it would be good anyway.
     
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  7. BAChristian

    BAChristian Discerning the Diaconate. Please pray for me.

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    In order to keep this thread clean and to focus on actual frequently asked questions, please ask your individual questions in a new thread.

    We'd be more than happy to address them there.

    Thanks!
     
  8. Carrye

    Carrye Weisenheimer

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    In early Christian times, Baptism and Confirmation were given in one continuous ceremony. The Acts of the Apostles gives us an example of how this took place:

    When they heard this [that John the Baptist’s baptism was different from Jesus’], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. As Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came down on them and they began to speak in tongues and to utter prophecies (Acts 19:5-6).

    Before long, around the third century, the two sacraments were separated. One of the reasons they were separated was very practical and in line with the resources available at the time. Because a bishop performed Confirmation, he would need to be present for the baptism as well, because we have already said that Baptism and Confirmation were given together. Bishops were rare in many areas, and because of the difficulty of travel, bishops were often unavailable. As more and more infants were being baptized, many of them immediately before death, there were simply not enough bishops to baptize, and thus confirm, everyone. But it was not only for practical reasons that the two sacraments were separated; there was a Scriptural basis for this as well. While the passage from Acts above shows the unity of the two sacraments, an earlier passage shows the separation:

    When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. The two went down to these people and prayed that they might receive the Holy Spirit. It had not as yet come down upon any of them since they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. The pair upon arriving imposed hands on them and the received the Holy Spirit. Simon observed that it was through the laying on of hands that the apostles conferred the Spirit (Acts 8:14-18).



    In addition to the development of the sacrament through history, there was also a development in the sacrament’s theology. Early theologians discussed how Baptism was different from Confirmation, as the gift of the Holy Spirit is associated with both sacraments. They also discussed whether Confirmation was necessary for salvation. Those who proposed that it was not, reasoned that the opposite view would mean Baptism was useless. Other theologians posited that it was desirable, but not necessary for salvation. The third camp, that which St. Thomas Aquinas supported, believed it was a means of achieving spiritual perfection, as the help of the Holy Spirit is necessary to bring about this perfection. St. Thomas illustrates this belief by saying,

    All the sacraments are in some way necessary for salvation: but some, so that there is no salvation without them; some as conducing to the perfection of salvation; and thus it is that Confirmation is necessary for salvation: although salvation is possible without it, provided it be not omitted out of contempt (Summa III, Q72:1)

    It is interesting that St. Thomas had to advocate this view at all, for in his writings he responds to questions of others, and so he was responding to a very real and pressing question. People before his time accepted the necessity of Confirmation, as we have said earlier that Confirmation and Baptism were received together, and so it is interesting that it was only after the rites were separated that this question arose.

    Despite all of the developments, the questions, the discussion, it is clear that the practice of confirming people took its roots in apostolic times. We can see this from the scriptural accounts that have been left, some of which have been mentioned already. While some people would propose that the sacrament of Confirmation is an apostolic invention, we are able to conclude otherwise. We know that any practice that is written down is one that was taking place long before the time it was recorded. We also have Jesus’ promise that he would send his Holy Spirit:

    And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you (Jn 14:16-18).

    The gift of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus says, allows him to come to us. The Lord did not will that after his resurrection, we would be left alone, and so he provided yet another way, the Holy Spirit, for him to reside within us. It is for this reason that we are called ‘temples of the Holy Spirit’. We can see other very real example of this in the Eucharist.

    We are also left with the writings of early Christians such as Tertullian. Tertullian provides a beautiful reflection about the progression of a Christian in the spiritual life and used the sacraments to illustrate this development.

    No soul whatever is able to obtain salvation unless it has believed while it was in the flesh. Indeed, the flesh is the hinge of salvation . . . The flesh, then, is washed [baptism] so that the soul may be made clean. The flesh is anointed so that the soul may be dedicated to holiness. The flesh is signed so that the soul may be fortified. The flesh is shaded by the imposition of hands [confirmation] so that the soul may be illuminated by the Spirit. The flesh feeds on the body and blood of Christ [the Eucharist] so that the soul too may feed on God. They cannot, then, be separated in their reward, when they are united in their works (The Resurrection of the Dead 8:2).

    Tertullian’s observation that reward cannot be separated from works is an important one. All three sacraments are complementary and work to deepen spiritual perfection in the individual, the result of this spiritual perfection being eternal life.

    While it was from early times that the practice of confirming people was accepted, it was not until the Council of Florence in the early 15th century that the matter and form of the sacrament became official. The Council established that the matter was the anointing with oil and the imposition of hands, while the form was the prayer that was said. Whenever we talk about ‘matter’ with regard to the sacraments, we’re talking about the human elements that are used; for example, in the Eucharist, the matter is wheat bread and wine. The ‘form’ is always the prayer that is used. Again, using the Eucharist as our example, the form is the words of consecration as found in the Eucharistic prayer. It is interesting here to note the form used by early Christians for Confirmation,

    'O Lord God, who made them worthy of the remission of sins through the Holy Spirit's washing unto rebirth, send into them our grace so that they may serve you according to your will, for there is glory to you, to the Father and the Son with the Holy Spirit, in the holy Church, both now and through the ages of ages. Amen.' Then, pouring the consecrated oil into his hand and imposing it on the head of the baptized, he shall say, 'I anoint you with holy oil in the Lord, the Father Almighty, and Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit.' Signing them on the forehead, he shall kiss them and say, 'The Lord be with you.' He that has been signed shall say, 'And with your spirit.' Thus shall he do to each" (The Apostolic Tradition 21).



    Today the bishop will pray,

    All-powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by water and the Holy Spirit you freed your sons and daughters from sin and gave them new life. Send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their helper and guide. Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence. Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence. We ask this through Christ our Lord (CCC 1299).



    From these two prayers, we can understand a great deal about what the Confirmation rite looks like, as well as what effects come from the sacrament.

    First, the bishop is the ordinary minister of the sacrament. The apostles’ successors were given this task, and so it is the bishop’s responsibility. However, when times of need present themselves, especially around Easter, priests can act as ministers of the sacrament.

    The bishop then anoints the person’s forehead with chrism saying, “Be sealed with the Holy Spirit” and “Peace be with you” to which the newly confirmed replies “And also with you.” This exchange of peace, also called the ‘kiss of peace’ is symbolized by a handshake, and “demonstrates ecclesial communion with the bishop and with all the faithful” (CCC 1301). This sign of communion is important because, just as by our baptism, we enter into the Christian community, by our Confirmation this bond is strengthened.

    Each sacrament brings specific gifts. Confirmation, as we have said, brings the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings with him other gifts, those of: wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence, wonder and awe in God’s presence. All of these gifts are used to achieve the spiritual perfection that St. Thomas spoke of. Along with the seven-fold gifts of the Spirit mentioned earlier, the Spirit also brings a sense of identity. We have said that our bond of community is strengthened, and with this our sense of who we are in Christ is deepened. During the Confirmation ritual, a candidate is asked to renew his baptismal promises. In this way he is reaffirming the promises that were likely made on his behalf by his parents, and thereby making them his own. The renewal of baptismal promises is another way that the sacrament of Confirmation is united to the sacrament of Baptism.

    The Holy Spirit allows a person to live his vocation with strength and courage. Each person has a purpose and has something to contribute to the Body of Christ, the Church, and to his brothers and sisters. With this strength also comes responsibility. The confirmed person is now charged with using his gifts for the good of others, for we were not made to keep these gifts to ourselves; it is when we fail to use the gifts that we fall into sin and need the sacrament of Reconciliation.
     
  9. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 Taking a break Staff Member Supporter Staff on LOA CF Ambassador

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