++++++++++++++++++++God's timing is not our timing, but He is never late.++++++++++++++++++++

Layers - in the knowledge of God and the path to holiness

Learning about God is like unwrapping a head of lettuce, pealing back one leaf at a time. Always there is another leaf below. We will eventually reach the center of the head of lettuce; but we will never unwrap everthing there is to know about God.

The path to holiness is like pealing an onion. God shows us what is sinful and convicts us that we have sinned. No matter how sweet the onion, there are always tears in the peeling. No matter how sweet the grace of repentence, there are always the pain of letting go of the sin. As the peeling of the onion reveals another layer, so God shows us what we lack in holiness, drawing us ever closer to "be(ing) perfect even just as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48

What I Believe

Why I am and always will be a Catholic. "So Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. Tthe living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever." John 6:53-58 The words and actions of man cannot sanctify. Only the priest, empowered by his ordination, can invoke the Holy Spirit to transform the bread and wine into Jesus so we can receive Him - Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity into our bodies and souls. This is the core of the Catholic Church; without this there is no purpose or meaning to the Catholic Church. There are other ways to holiness, to grow in grace; there is no better way than union with Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

Visitation Catholic Church

Visitation Catholic Church

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ignorance of Church Teachings

I’ve been reading message boards about the Catholic Church. The amount of ignorance about the Catholic Church is almost overwhelming. These people ran the gamut from those who are still Catholics, (some sounded rather nominal), to those who left the Church, (the worst seem to be ex-Catholic priests who act superior in their knowledge and authority), to Bible ‘scholars’, (both those who ‘used to Catholic’, and those who ‘never were’) who knew nothing about the teaching of the Church and from their comments also had a limited acquaintance with the Bible, to those openly hostile to any religion.

Sacraments. Some denominations say all that you need is a personal relationship with Christ, that you don’t need to do ‘things’, i.e. sacraments to know Christ or to get into heaven. One needs to look at the sacraments from a different frame of mind, i.e. sacraments as a manifestation of a personal relationship with Christ.

Most educators today agree that children learn best by combining teaching methods, oral, visual, touch-as in writing. I learn best by the visual. I can hear directions and write them down, but I don’t really know where I am going until I look at the map and see my path. Others do just as well by the hearing or writing method, not getting lost that is.

God made men both spiritual and physical. To reach all of us better, He made our encounters with Him, both spiritual and physical. Think of Moses and the burning bush and sound. God could have just put a thought into Moses’ head, but would it have made the same impact with him? God also thought it necessary to have someone write down the Ten Commandments, or for that matter Scripture. Why not let people pray and have the Holy Spirit lead them?

Some people are able to develop an intense relationship with God by just praying. Most others need to add physical manifestations of God’s presence, like a sunset, a flower, or a church setting, or singing. Sacraments are encounters with Christ and His love and grace. Christ has given us physical actions to accompany the spiritual. In Baptism, the pouring of water engages our senses so that the physical part of us is joined with the spiritual as our sins are washed away. In the Eucharist, Jesus engages our five senses so that our whole being can be in communion with Him. Our ears hear the words of consecration, we see the host and the wine, we touch the host and taste and maybe smell the host and the wine as we follow His command to eat His Body and drink His Blood. Thus, our communion with Christ is not only spiritual, but also a physical communion with His Body and Divinity. (The hearts of the disciples on the road to Emmaus were on fire when Jesus explained the Scripture, but they did not recognize Him until the ‘breaking of the bread’, the early Church’s term for the Eucharist.) The other sacraments likewise are physical actions united with the spiritual action of God’s grace. God gives us every chance to ‘get it’. When we meet with other people we don’t just stand there and stare. We shake hands, talk, kiss, hug, etc. Sacraments are what happens when man meets God; they are not an action that we do to get something, like going to work to earn a pay check, I do this so you give me that.

Don’t assume that someone else, especially a ‘used to be’ or a ‘never was’ really knows what they are talking about in regards to the Catholic Church.

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