Thursday, December 30, 2010

Part 1: For those struggling to recognize that the Catholic Church fulfills Sacred Scripture entirey, and both teaches & assists us in following Him free from error

For those interested in following Christ, please consider the following two observations from Sacred Scripture with respect to your own lives:

(1) "Jesus said to them, 'Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from Heaven (note: ONLY Christ has come down from Heaven, thus, the Eucharist is Him). Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread, will live forever.' "- John 6;

coupled with the following verse:

(2) "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." - John 14

I humbly suggest that if we are involved in a church that prevents us from keeping Christ's commandments, based on His words alone, we are not showing Him that we love Him, and that we hope to spend eternity with Him.

The issue of Peter being the rock upon which Christ built His Church (Matthew 16)

The successors of St. Peter are given authority by Christ in Hs Name to govern the Church on earth. Peter comes from the Greek word "Petros" meaning "Rock"; and Matthew 16:17-19 uses the term "Rock." Petros is the masculine version of the word "Petra," meaning "rock." It would, however, be incorrect to give a man a feminine name, thus the name Petros was given to him. In Hebrew/Aramaic it is the same, but with Kepha. Kepha means "rock." Christ would have originally called Simon "Kepha," since they spoke Aramaic as their first language. In the Gospel of St. John (specifically, ch. 21), Christ asked St. Peter 3 times "Do you love me," and Peter answered "yes" all 3 times, to which Christ responded: "Feed my sheep."

The scribe -- the sort of prime minister of old Israel -- was the one given the keys of the house of David in the Old Testament (Isaiah 22:22). The parallel to this in the New Testament is Christ giving the keys of heaven to St. Peter, the rock upon which Christ built His Church. (Matthew 16)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

‎"We didn't leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left us." - Fr. Groeschel

Voting & Violating "The Golden Rule"

Judgement Day; the necessity of loving others while we are still given the opportunity

"He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,... naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.' Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?' He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.'And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

- Matthew 25

Friday, December 3, 2010


As to politics, Christ made it clear that we are to give the government what it is due, but we are to give God what He is due (and what God is due is for the good of all). Considering we are selfish by nature, if we have to make a choice to choose either what we think is best or what other people think is best, verses what God has revealed is best, then we would all do well to stick with what God revealed is best, if for some reason that hasn't already proved to be crystal clear.

Christ was crucified under Pontius Pilate, a coward, who knew Christ was innocent and yet allowed Christ to be crucified. Pontius Pilate represents those who don't have the courage to stand up for what is right and to be fair in determining what happens to the innocent. This sounds all too familiar with "pro-choice" (pro-abortion). To vote "pro-choice" is to either be a coward, or selfish; there is a lack of concern, love and care for the victim (the unborn child), and of course, a total lack of trust in Divine Providence. We then think it will benefit someone if we, instead, "play God," and support the murder of the most innocent being in creation without cause; just like Pilate did to Christ. We all know we have free will, and I do respect the free will of others as a gift from God, but it would help many if we vote wisely, instead of selfishly and/or cowardly:

‎"In truth I tell you, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me."-Matthew 25

It is impossible for us to recognize that Pontius Pilate was to Christ (innocent party), what we are/could be to the unborn (the modern day, most innocent party) without God revealing it to us, through the Church. Pilate, too, "personally" did not want to allow Christ to be killed, and yet, he allowed others to take control instead of standing up for what was right.

Someone summed it up best when she said:
"Pontius Pilate in the Gospels, who personally found no guilt in Jesus, but for fear of the crowd, washed his hands of the whole affair and handed Jesus over to be crucified, suggesting 'I'm personally opposed to crucifixion, but I don't want to impose my belief on others.' This is the same as the view of 'I am personally opposed to abortion/killing the most innocent being in creation, but I don't want to impose my belief on others.' " And thus like those of us who too don't personally agree with killing the unborn, when we allow others to take control and carry it out rather than be firm in standing by what our conscience tells us is right, we are no different than Pilate.

This is the kind of truth we can't come to using our own limited knowledge/intellect.

Thankfully, God has revealed time after time again that He is a God of infinite love and a God of infinite mercy: He reveals that our mistakes do not define us, so long as we repent, that is, so long as we turn back to Him and start anew. We need not look back on our mistakes, worrying whether God has forgiven us; He has made it clear that He will. We have no excuse not to love one another, especially the most vulnerable.

This is also why there is no room for condemnation in Catholicism; Catholics recognize that we are not to assume God's role in the judgment seat which belongs to Him alone. We are, instead, to grow in love and assist others in their personal growth.


An attempt to clear up many misunderstandings:

First, Catholics do not believe that Catholicism is a man made, organized religion. Specifically, a closer look at the teachings of the Church suggest and reveal that flawed/selfish beings who are also limited by time and do not have a bird's eye view of the world, do not have (1) the ability/foreknowledge to know absolute right from wrong, in order to know what to avoid and what to embrace to maintain peace and joy in our lives and in the lives of others, nor (2) nor do we love one another on a level that calls for us to constantly sacrifice our free will in order to make sure that we don't disrupt the peace for someone else; disrupting peace for one pers...on, as we know, has a domino effect, and disrupts the peace for others. The effects of one action travel so far beyond us that it would require a bird's eye view of the world and the ability to see inside each human being's heart in order for us to determine what is "good" and "evil" on a global level. We recognize our inability to establish peace for even ourselves, and yet, we seek it constantly. Thus, we are entirely unable to, ourselves, establish peace among 6 billion+ different people, time after time again; If this were possible, of course, we would all be filled with joy on an hourly basis.

In order to become aware of what is good and what is not, God must first reveal it to us, like a father would out of love for his children. Thus only a loving God/Creator would have the ability and the will to create ,and then reveal to us, a law that is perfect in maintaining peace and love among all, timeless in that it applies to every generation time after time again, and one which offers both external and internal peace & joy for all, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; this is the law of the Catholic Church.

Thus it follows that the teachings of the Church could have only been inspired by a loving Creator; One who loves each of us intimately as His children. This is why the law calls for much; we recognize our inability to live up to its expectations, either due to our own weaknesses, or because we do not love one another enough to sacrifice the things we want to do, even when they prove to be harmful to us in the long run.

The Sacraments in the Roman Catholic Church were designed as an avenue for us to receive grace from God as much as we choose (emphasis here on the free will we have been given). They are a physical means in our physical world to receive supernatural aid (grace) in order to be freed from whatever harmful feelings/addictions, etc, are keeping us in bondage (lust, jealousy, anger, pride, and the like), and thus, are consequentially hurting others; those created in the image and likeness of God, those who God loves.

Christ established a Church, and indicated that it is He who is building & guiding His Church in Truth - not the pope or bishops in their human nature (that is, without divine revelation), but instead, it is God Himself who inspires the documents and teachings of the Church. God, as He did in both the Old Testament and New Testaments, continues to use imperfect human beings in order to reveal Himself, guiding us all in Truth for our own sake; truth about who we are, why we are here, why life is the way it is, where we should be headed for our own sake, and how to get there -- and also how to maintain lives in peace, both internally and externally, a peace that continues on into eternity.

This is why Christ said to His apostles:
"Whoever listens to you, listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me." - Luke 10

If popes and bishops in their human nature had been guiding the Church for the last 2,000 years without God, there would be inconsistencies in Catholic teaching, as we are all different and have different personal opinions; you don't see this in the Catholic Church's teachings. It begs the question "where is all of this brilliant, consistent truth coming from?"
Jesus promised that the Church (teachings on faith, morals, the Sacraments, etc.) will be guided in Truth until the end of time, and that evil will not prevail against the Church (that is, no flawed human being will be able to twist the Truth around and teach false doctrines - whatever teachings and documents His Church approves of, were promised to be divinely inspired, and thus, can be trusted; it does not take much effort to trust flawless documents that are beyond human comprehension. The Church has also been consistent in its teachings for the last 2,000 years and offers logical answers to questions in every human being's mind and heart, free of inconsistencies and further questions; there is no trace of flawed human error in the teachings of the Catholic Church.

The Church also provides a flawless interpretation of the bible. No human being is able to recognize the parallels between the Old Testament and the New Testament the way the Catholic Church has taught it, which is why only Catholicism recognizes them and teaches them.

Further, flawed human beings such as ourselves do not have the knowledge or motive to create the laws of the Catholic Church. For example, most of us, at some point in our lives, have laughed off the Catholic Church's ban on pre-marital sex. We just don't understand what all the fuss is about - why the ban, we wonder. But a closer look reveals that if this practice is taken seriously, there would be a rapid decline in the following: jealousy, anger, broken hearts, grudges, divorce, unwanted pregnancies, STD scares, STDs, anxiety, lies, love triangles, suicides, and murder, etc., etc. We know, despite our reluctance to admit it, that these are the feelings and conduct that result from pre-marital sex -- and they don't all have to occur, obviously - but God doesn't want us to experience one bit of jealousy toward one another; and thus, the Catholic Church encourages that marriage be based on sincere love (agape), and not sexual attraction. This is why we read in the Old Testament that the same word used to describe the love Adam felt for Eve is the word used to describe the love Ruth had for Naomi (Ruth's mother in law). This is agape, and it is what God intended for couples to feel toward one another; a love that is pure, sincere and that lasts, as opposed to a lustful attraction which feels like "agape."

God the Father said, in the book of Genesis (the first book of the Bible) "Let us make man in OUR image and likeness." (Genesis 1:26).

We are made in God's image. God is: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The love between the Father + Son = the Holy Spirit. Thus this is what the family is meant to represent; the love between a father and a mother = the child.

Because the Blessed Trinity cannot ever be broken, the family bond was never meant to be broken. When we offend that of which is sacred in its nature, the results never turn out the way we hope they would.

This begs the question "Who, but a loving God (that is, One who loves those who we do not care about, and One who knows each of His children intimately, and One who is not limited by time, and thus, can foresee future mistakes and discourage the conduct in which our mistakes result from), would discourage pre-marital sex?

A human inspired institution would not create such limits on conduct that every member is naturally inclined to desire without knowledge of themselves, their Creator, and the world they are in.

Christ promised not to leave us orphans (we aren't alone in our weaknesses; He has provided an avenue where He will remain with us), and thus, the Sacraments serve as a means for us to choose (with our free will) if we are interested in creating peace for ourselves and those around us; we are not expected to grow in love for one another and have the strength to avoid conduct we may temporarily enjoy, but that prove to hurt either ourselves or those around us, without God's help; all God asks is that we use our free will and choose to use the means He makes available to receive His grace, in order to grow in peace, joy, and love... and thus, create peace among His other children.

Jesus' 12 apostles represented the leaders of the Catholic Church today (bishops, the pope). Judas, one of the 12, betrayed Jesus, which led to the most brutal and unjust death the world has ever known. The betrayal of Jesus by one of his apostles foreshadowed a small number (emphasis here) of religious leaders in the future who would betray him again; we know that we are all sinners, and some of us are worse than others. Because we were given free will to accept or reject God's grace, there will be some who reject God's grace entirely, and who commit grave acts of injustice toward others; members of the Catholic Church are not excluded from this reality. Scandal in the Roman Catholic Church is a means to draw people away from it. But Christ promised that the Church will be guided in truth until the end of time, and that its teachings on faith and morals and the Sacraments, will never be influenced by the enemy of God/us, so as to lead anyone away from God, the source of joy, goodness, and eternal life.

I hope that we will all continue to be fair, and not assume that because a small number of those who should be the most faithful to Jesus, chose instead to reject and betray Jesus as well as God's grace, and that we should thus judge the majority of priests who have given up their lives (the funny thing about life is that these men are the happiest people I have ever known, but for sake of argument, they chose God over a life that isn't entirely devoted to Him and the rest of us) and strictly/faithfully adhere to the teachings of Christ with love. These men should not only be respected, appreciated, and admired, but also loved for the sacrifices they make for all of us. I would rather not know what our world would be like without their faithfulness in prayer and charity toward all of us; thank God for them.

The Eucharist ("bread from Heaven"), is the spiritual equivalent to Manna, the "bread from Heaven" in the Old Testament, which served to sustain the flesh; the Eucharist serves to sustain the soul (that is, to keep it full of joy and to give us strength to live up to God's expectations so that we grow in joy and spread joy among others). The Eucharistic miracles coupled with the creation of Saints, who were able to remain joyful even while being tortured, support this fact. The Old Testament involves life on earth (Israel) and the New Testament involves life in eternity (Heaven; the spiritual aspect of our existence).

Because we are made up of body and spirit, this body and spirit theme that runs throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament makes sense. To name a few more:

(1) The wood from the tree in the Garden of Eden has a connection to the wood of the cross in the New Testament in that the cross redeemed the mistake surrounding the wood in the Garden of Eden in the Old Testament;

(2) The "10 commandments" and their connection to Israel (which involve life on earth) are like the "8 beatitudes" in the New Testament which have a connection to Heaven (which involves the spirit aspect of our lives);

(3) Christ, a 33 year old perfectly lived life/free of sin became the Passover lamb; since Christ was a sacrifice for the sins of the world (until the end of time), it makes sense that a 33 year old divine individual, without sin, was necessary to be sacrificed given the amount of sins he covered in order to balance the scales of justice- one pure lamb isn't sufficient for the sins of mankind. In the New Testament, we also read that the Romans pierced Christ's side while he was on the cross, to make sure he was dead, and that water followed the last drop of blood in him. This meant that he was literally, a perfect sacrifice; there was no blood left in his body. He shed every ounce of it, which is evidenced by the fact that water followed the last drop;

(4) Eve's (a non-virgin) "no" to God's will in the Old Testament became the Blessed Mother's/Mary's (a virgin) "yes" in the New Testament;

(5) The manner in which Adam (a non-virgin) used his free will in the Old Testament led to original sin... the same original sin that Christ's (a virgin) free will in the New Testament was used to redeem, etc.

(6) Brit Milah = Sacrament of Baptism

(7) In the Old Testament, when someone inadvertently touched the ark, they died on the spot; in the New Testament, when crowds of people pushed, shoved, pulled and touched Jesus, rather than drop dead on the spot, they were healed.

(8) Christ being lifted up on the cross (stating, in the bible, "If I am lifted up, I will draw all men to myself" (God)) is symbolized in the book of Numbers in the Old Testament by Moses holding up the bronzed serpent.

A sacrifice was necessary due to our imperfect nature; we offend God throughout the day, but what's interesting is that offending God means offending ourselves and other people, whether our conduct results in an increase of broken hearts, hurt feelings, anger, jealousy, etc-- God wishes for us not to feel these feelings, ever, and this is why we're warned against conduct we all enjoy engaging in, but that of which ultimately proves to leave someone sad, hurt, angry, jealous, etc.

Christ said that our inclination to "sin" makes us ill/sick, because sins prevent us from spreading only love among one another; that is, love that doesn't create issues among one another. Very often we confuse genuine love with a selfish need for something.

With this in mind, it begs the following questions:
(1) Is God not great enough to give us physical means in our physical world for us (to choose) to take advantage of, to give us the strength to grow in selflessness and stay away from the things that prove to hurt us and other people?; and
(2) Is God not loving enough to give us those means, when he knows that our inclination to sin hurts us and others? No, of course not. Unfortunately, and I say this with all due love and respect, if we consider the amount of practicing Catholics we know (those who attend both regular Confession and Mass), it explains why more genuine love isn't spreading among one another; if we don't use the means God has so clearly given it's difficult for us to help contribute to the spread of selfless/sincere love among others.

We know that we can't grow to be purely lovingly selfless people on our own ("agape" is the term used for this level of love, which is the love God has for us); generally, it isn't our nature. In order to grow in "good works" built on a selfless love for one another, we need grace from God- if this weren't true, we wouldn't have as many problems among one another; problems among us begin with an individual's heart-- if we're feeling negative emotions, those feelings control our conduct in some way-- unless we've mastered the art of controlling ourselves perfectly, which isn't possible. Do we know anyone who smiles and proceeds to lend a helping hand within seconds after they've been provoked? I can't say that I do. This type of behavior doesn't seem natural for anybody.
Christ promised that he would not leave us orphans, which are what the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist ("bread from Heaven") are to be used for. When used together, they are designed to give us the grace to be kinder toward one another, and to give us the strength not to miss the things we all enjoy doing but that prove not to be beneficial for ourselves and for others; the more we take advantage of them, the more joyful we become; they were also designed as a physical means in our physical world that offer people a means to remain consistently joyful; they were designed out of love. If we find ourselves dreading Mass, we haven't been taught that the Mass serves as a "joy fix" for us. We do not do God a favor by attending Mass. Instead, He has done us a favor beyond measure, by providing a means to access joy, each and everyday if we choose to, and to conform to the image of Christ, which is the purpose of our lives here. Missing Mass is said to be sinful because it's a deliberate "no" to the joy God is so willing to give. While we may use our free will as we wish, it would be for the good of both ourselves and others if we use our free will in ways that will ensure we remain charitable and joyful in life.

When we feel happy and fulfilled, unfortunately, it is often short lived; bumps in the road, in some aspect of life will always follow. As CS Lewis wisely noted "If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."

Because God is perfectly good and just, when we do things that aren't perfectly good, we aren't choosing God. Because of this, coupled with the fact that God is justice itself (unjust things aren't "good," and thus, aren't coming from an all good and loving being), we don't deserve eternal joy in Heaven with God when this life is over. But God, being our savior and in order to remain who He is (a perfectly "just"/fair being), sent Christ as a sacrifice in order to balance out the scales of justice, so that our mistakes don't end up separating us from God, the source of goodness, for eternity.

It is clear that God's laws weren't designed to "burden our free will" (if that were true, we wouldn't have been given free will), or to add obligations to our already long list of them. God is not limited by time (the sciences reveal that time had a beginning), and as a result, it's safe to trust that He knows best what we should embrace and avoid in order to live in peace among one another. Because God is superior to us in nature, we can trust that there is no manipulation in our relationship with Him, but instead, only infinite love that He is always willing to give-- the problem is, we don't want His love as much as He wants to give it. We see God's love over and over again in the bible (and those who have heard that the Old Testament presents an angry God must read the context before proceeding in false belief; every emotion in connection to God was a result of His everlasting, Fatherly love for the Jewish people), but consider why God gave the Jewish people the 10 commandments. He gave them commandments out of love, to teach them how to live in peace among one another.

For those who believe God has abandoned us, we should consider that we have free will, and that He doesn't force Himself on us- we can choose to get to know Him or not-- to know Him is to adore Him, and those who seek him sincerely will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).

We live in a world we knew nothing about without first knowing God's revelation. For those who have not sincerely searched for truth in this life, I ask: Is it logical, intelligent, and/or rational to conclude without studying all the facts available to us? Imagine if science, or law, or medicine, or law enforcement, etc., operated in such a way?

When the facts available reveal a loving Creator, the only unintelligent, irrational and illogical thing to do is reject Him.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Faith Alone" is a false teaching, and only serves to lead some of us further away from God (who is joy itself)

Many have believed that the good thief on the cross was saved "by faith alone" (a false teaching). Considering that submitting a deceptive time sheet is stealing (and lying, of course), I ask, when was the last time a person was called to hang on a cross and die of asphyxiation for such a thing?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fr. William Casey on the Eucharist

Fr. William Casey on the Biblical roots of the power of prayer & the obligation to pray for one another (especially for the deceased)

"The Biblical Story of the [Roman Catholic] Mass" (particularly, its Old and New Testament roots)

Knowing God Exists/Hell is the consequence of choosing not to know God during one's life

"What did Jesus teach about the Holy Trinity?"

"What did Jesus reveal about Himself?"

"What is Mortal Sin?"

What was the Original Sin in Genesis (Adam and Eve)?

"In what ways has God shown His love for us?"

"How was Man Created?"

"Why do so Few People Pay Attention to God?"

No one Made God; We are His Creation

"Who is God?"

"Can There be More Than One God?"

"Does Every Person Have a Desire For God?"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Trinity in the Book of Genesis (first book of the Old Testament) and how it relates to our lives here

If God is love, how do we know that's true?

God has given so much proof that He is out there, from miracles, to the truth of the old and new testament, to how they literally support the other, even though they were written at least hundreds of years apart (which requires someone who not limited by time to inspire the entire bible), through its perfect truths that have no flaws, and the fact that everything that seems to hurt or upset or anger us in life, is somehow warned against in scripture, especially through Christ; the bible has all the answers to create a world of perfect peace among 6 billion+ DIFFERENT people, time after time, after time again... that is not being inspired by men, but rather, again, one who knows each of us so intimately on a level where He seems to know exactly how to keep order, peace and happiness both externally (among one another) and internally (within ourselves) for each person, time after time again. Considering we cannot create peace in our own daily lives even when we try to, it makes sense that other human beings cannot either, which means, the Church and its teachings, the bible and the Church's interpretation of the bible, can only come from a loving Creator; God, who Christ taught us about. At the end of the day, those struggle with faith can do one simple thing: sincerely ask God to help them acquire faith in Him, so that they can be sure He is truly there. I know of no one who has done this and been left unanswered/disappointed.

I'd also like to point out that in Genesis, we read "let US create man in OUR image"... the fact that the Trinity consists of the love between God the Father + God the Son = the Holy Spirit, and how human beings are created through the love... between Father + Mother which = their children/their child... and, of course, recognizing that the Church's teachings on this revelation came thousands of years after Genesis was written... is enough to reveal to us that Christ was, is and always will be trustworthy, and so is His Church, who is being run not by men, but men who are vessels of God's Divine Providence.

God is love because God is a union of "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" = the love between Father & Son is the Holy Spirit, which means, God is love itself, through the three unique persons in the Blessed Trinity, which is who God is. I should ...mention that I'm not speaking on my own wisdom, obviously (I couldn't make this up if I tried :-)), but between the Pope's book titled "God is love" and many other sources like the Catechism, this is all explained, and it is all rational, and it simply just couldn't be inspired by anyone except for a being unlimited by time: our loving God.
God revealed that "the law" (that is, conduct that creates love, instead of heartache, and hate, jealousy etc.) is written on the "human heart" - in other words, we are created in such a way where deep down inside, although we are easily fooled, we know right from wrong, though it helps to have a model to see it lived out and it helps to have someone explain it further to us (The same way the law of the US has legal commentary to explain a simple law for us, and how there is case law, which are real life people with real life situation that the law is applied to for us to further understand how the law is to be lived out in order to spread peace.

Christ is the equivalent to a "legal commentator" ... on God the Father's law. Christ explains it for us, and we quickly see that peace is what would result if we choose to cooperate with God and follow that law.... and (2) he is also "real life case law" in that Christ followed God's law, which is truly "love all people, no matter what they've done, and no matter who they are) perfectly. Without these things, it is difficult to discern good and bad without being misled or confused.

Considering Catholic beliefs are rooted in the fact that this life is a spiritual battle between good v. evil, it makes sense that because everything the Church teaches tends to eliminate everything that we enjoy doing, but that proves to cause some sort of pain or negative emotions down the line, it makes sense that following its teachings and using the Sacraments (Which are sources of grace that we can choose to use with our free will, in order to receive the strength not to engage in conduct we enjoy doing (from pre-marital sex, to gossiping, to being spiteful, to seeking revenge, etc.), will leave to an all loving God who is not the cause of such negative emotions in us - the opposite of a loving God, would be that influence (Which, again, Christ, and thus, His Church, and Christianity as a whole, recognize as "the enemy" (Satan; the one who hates God, and thus, hates God's creation and God's children; every human being in creation)

Monday, October 11, 2010

We are "Created in God's Image"/The Holy Trinity

“God said, ‘Let US make man in OUR own image" - Genesis 1

God, here, is revealing himself, as we learn later through Christ in the New Testament:

(1) The love between God the Father + God the Son = The Holy Spirit

(2) The love between a father + a mother = their child/children

God = 1 GOD, but three distinct persons make up GOD; all three of them are UNIQUE, though they are cosubstantial. This is what is meant when we say "God is love."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Reality of Suffering in Life, Taught to Us Through Genesis

In the Beginning (Taken from Catholic Online)

The Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, provides an extraordinary account of “the beginnings” of the created order and most particularly the origin of man and woman. The name itself means the “Book of the Beginnings.” However, this book provides much more. It presents us with deep insights into the very reason we human beings are the way we are and reveals how we can change.

This first Book of the sacred text was a reference point for the Lord Jesus Christ in His authoritative teaching on the absolute prohibition on divorce (See, e.g. Matthew 19). It has, throughout Jewish and Christian tradition, become the reference point for explaining the deeper meaning of God’s relationship with his creation and the crown of his creation, humankind.

The story of the fall of the human race, recorded in the third chapter, is a profoundly insightful account of the wrong choice made by our first parents after they were invited into a relationship with the Creator and the results of that choice – in the lives of all of those who would be borne from them.

After having been fashioned out of love by Love and for love, having been given the capacity to choose to love in return, they chose against love. In so doing, they suffered the consequences of their errant exercise of freedom. In the wake of that rupture of relationship all of creation was deeply affected. They committed this “original sin” precisely when they used their freedom (the very essence of what reflects the “Image of God” within each of us) to reject God’s invitation to participate in a relationship of love.

What makes us human beings different than all the other creatures (which God fashioned out of His love for us) is our capacity to make choices. God was not (and still is not) interested in the rote response of robots. He wants the loving response of sons and daughters. He invites us into communion with Him. He wants the free gift of men and women who choose to love Him.

Ah, the extraordinary power of our capacity to choose. It opens up either heaven or hell. In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself.” (par. 1861)

The results of this wrong choice had generational repercussions.

The Mark of Cain (Taken from Catholic Online)

One of the other accounts in the “Book of the Beginnings”, the “Book of Genesis” in the Old Testament of the Sacred Scriptures, also packed with deep insight, is the story of Cain and his brother Abel:

“The man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have produced a man with the help of the LORD. Next she bore his brother Abel. Abel became a keeper of flocks and Cain a tiller of the soil.

In the course of time Cain brought an offering to the LORD from the fruit of the soil, while Abel, for his part, brought one of the best firstlings of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not. Cain greatly resented this and was crestfallen.

So the LORD said to Cain: "Why are you so resentful and crestfallen? If you do well, you can hold up your head; but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door: his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master."

Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let us go out in the field." When they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD asked Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" He answered, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?"

The LORD then said: "What have you done! Listen: your brother's blood cries out to me from the soil! Therefore you shall be banned from the soil that opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.

If you till the soil, it shall no longer give you its produce. You shall become a restless wanderer on the earth." Cain said to the LORD: "My punishment is too great to bear. Since you have now banished me from the soil, and I must avoid your presence and become a restless wanderer on the earth, anyone may kill me at sight."

Not so!" the LORD said to him. "If anyone kills Cain, Cain shall be avenged sevenfold." So the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest anyone should kill him at sight.

Cain then left the LORD'S presence and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

Genesis 4:1-16

This story provides a framework within which we can more fully understand our relationship with God and our obligations to one another. The question “Am I my brothers’ keeper” still echoes in our day.

How we respond to this question will have implications for our personal and family life, our social and international relationships, and indeed the very future of the world in which we live. The story of the offspring of Adam and Eve is a story about the obligations of human solidarity.

We are our brothers’ keeper. The sin of Cain was a sin against solidarity.

So much about the story is rich with deeper meaning For example; it is interesting to note where Cain settled after this horrible act of fratricide. Following his attempt to “cover up” and his pronouncement of his “independence” from God (the root of every false understanding of freedom) he was banished to the “Land of Nod.”

“Nod” literally means “to wander.” Since that dreadful act of fratricide, it seems that the entire human race, born bearing this mark of Cain, has wandered aimlessly- searching for both the God whose fellowship they rejected and for the brother they killed.

God’s response to Cain’s choice to murder his brother revealed both the consequences of every wrong choice and His extraordinary mercy in spite of our errant exercise of our capacity to choose.

Cain lost his very identity and wandered through life with no purpose. Yet even in all of this, God “marked” Cain for protection. He never stopped loving him.

The fruit of that first sin, committed at that tree in the garden called Eden, was now playing itself out in the offspring of Adam and Eve.

Two brothers who were born of the same parents made two very different choices. This dichotomy plays itself out throughout human history.

There is also the deeper meaning behind the two offerings the brothers brought to the altar. What was it about those offerings that either pleased or displeased God? Did God prefer meat to grain? Of course not-he had created both and needed neither. He looked at the order of love that the sacrifices revealed.

Cain “in the course of time” brought some of his grain. The sacrifice was only an afterthought to him. This response revealed a relationship with God that was not integral to his life but rather was itself an afterthought. On the other hand, Abel brought the “first of his flock”, revealing in his actions the centrality of his relationship with God, a life surrendered in love.

Two men, each with the same parents, each exercised their own freedom to choose — one to life and love (in spite of suffering physical death at the hand of his brother) and the other to an aimless existence as a member of the living dead.

Ah, the bitter fruit of that tree in the garden … and the sweet fruit of the second tree that would be planted thousands of years later to undo its bitter effects.

The Sign of the Cross and Our Mission (Taken from Catholic Online)

Now, in an age that has all too often chosen the way of Cain, we who follow Jesus Christ are called to both proclaim and demonstrate the obligation of human solidarity and more-we are called to live “redemptively” to bear the fruit of the second tree. We have been marked with a new sign, the sign of the Cross.

In our “post- September 11” world, we who are Christians in America have been presented with a “missionary moment”. Something extraordinary has happened. That event that rightly shocked our world, revealing again the horror of fratricide, has also become a moment for grace. Millions of people, in response to that fateful day, have paused to reconsider the question of Cain “Am I my brothers’ keeper?”

In his infinite mercy, the God of both Cain and Abel still extends the invitation to love. He also shows us the way. We were given real examples of lives poured out in sacrifice for others.

All of this has opened so many hearts and minds to discover the deeper truths of human existence. It may in fact be a new beginning, one whose story has yet to be written.

Those of us who bear the sign of the cross in this moment are members of a race who still bear the mark of Cain. They are being “protected” by a loving God who is inviting them to the new way of love. They need to see this path with their own eyes. We are called to show them the way. We are called to reveal the life of heaven on earth.

Christians are the ones who now have the greater obligation, to walk the way of human solidarity and more – to lead all those with whom we interact every day from the “land of nod, East of Eden” to the beauty of the new creation revealed in the One who stretched His arms out on that second tree and brought heaven to earth and earth to heaven.

That is the sign of the Cross. We reveal its deeper meaning when we respond to the invitation so aptly and simply stated by the Apostle John: “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.”

This is the Christian Mission.

The Tree of the Cross and the Christian Vocation (Taken from Catholic Online)

The entire drama of human history has been played out between two trees.

First, there is the bad fruit still falling from the one in that garden where the dreadful choice was made to reject the invitation to love.

Then there is the second, planted from heaven itself on Calvary’s Hill, where the living God, in the person of His beloved Son, both paid the price of the sin of the human race and offers us the path to authentic peace through the choice to love as He loves.

The choice that we are Christians are now called to make, at the foot of the Cross, is to be “our brothers keeper” and so much more. Those of us, who would stand under that tree, eat its fruit and respond to the great invitation of Jesus Christ, Love Incarnate, are now called to live “redemptively”- loving even our “enemies.

The disciple John in his first letter to the nascent Christian community provides great insight into solidarity, the mark of Cain and the Christian vocation:

“For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another, unlike Cain who belonged to the evil one and slaughtered his brother. Why did he slaughter him? Because his own works were evil, and those of his brother righteous.

Do not be amazed, (then,) brothers, if the world hates you.

We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. Whoever does not love remains in death.

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word ...

The choice of Cain was to reject his very purpose in life - to love his brother and to go beyond that – to recognize that all men and women are “his brother”. In doing so he rejected the human obligation of solidarity.

The mark that he bore he passed on to the entire human race. It was a mark of aimless isolation but also protected him from further harm, so that he could find the path to redemption. This was the only way to undoing the consequences of that dreadful choice of fratricide.

The choices that we make not only affect the world around us –they actually make us. We become what we choose. The way to overcoming the wrong choice of selfishness is selflessness, choosing to love the “other” as another self.

The answer to the fundamental “question” that Cain mockingly posed to the living God is a resounding “Yes”—we are our brothers’ keeper. The God who is love hoped for so much more from His creation. Throughout the unfolding history of His relationship with the human race He would continue to love and to invite, through the giving of the Law, the prophets and the giving of a Covenant.

In the “fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4 and 5) God himself would come among us as a man “like us in all things but sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) Because He was Divine, He alone could redeem us; pay the price for all the wrong choices made by all men and women.

Because He was human, through His sacred humanity, He would show us a new way, the way of sacrificial love. The depth of that love would be revealed at the second tree where he would stretch out His arms and give Himself fully to those whom He had created and who had turned against the invitation to a communion of love.

Now, we who follow this “new Adam” (whom both the Christian scriptures and tradition reveal is Jesus Christ, in and through whom the new creation is borne) and are reborn through baptism, are given the chance to both make the right choice and invite others to do the same. We are invited into an even greater obligation of solidarity, the continuation of the creative and redemptive work of Jesus Christ, the Christian vocation.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of solidarity:
“The principle of solidarity, also articulated in terms of "friendship" or "social charity," is a direct demand of human and Christian brotherhood. An error, "today abundantly widespread, is disregard for the law of human solidarity and charity, dictated and imposed both by our common origin and by the equality in rational nature of all men, whatever nation they belong to. This law is sealed by the sacrifice of redemption offered by Jesus Christ on the altar of the Cross to his heavenly Father, on behalf of sinful humanity." …respect for the human person considers the other "another self." It presupposes respect for the fundamental rights that flow from the dignity intrinsic of the person….The equality of men concerns their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it….The differences among persons belong to God's plan, who wills that we should need one another. These differences should encourage charity.

Monday, October 4, 2010

How Old Is Your Church?

How Old Is Your Church?

If you are a Lutheran, your religion was founded by Martin Luther, an ex- monk of the Catholic Church, in the year 1517.

If you belong to the Church of England, your religion was founded by King Henry VIII in the year 1534 because the Pope would not grant him a divorce with the right to remarry.

If you are a Presbyterian, your religion was founded by John Knox in Scotland in the year 1560.

If you are a Protestant Episcopalian, your religion was an offshoot of the Church of England founded by Samuel Seabury in the American colonies in the 17th century.

If you are a Congregationalist, your religion was originated by Robert Brown in Holland in 1582.

If you are a Methodist, your religion was launched by John and Charles Wesley in England in 1744.

If you are a Unitarian, Theophilus Lindley founded your church in London in 1774.

If you are a Mormon (Latter Day Saints), Joseph Smith started your religion in Palmyra, N.Y., in 1829.

If you are a Baptist, you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched it in Amsterdam in 1605.

If you are of the Dutch Reformed church, you recognize Michaelis Jones as founder, because he originated your religion in New York in 1628.

If you worship with the Salvation Army, your sect began with William Booth in London in 1865.

If you are a Christian Scientist, you look to 1879 as the year in which your religion was born and to Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy as its founder.

If you belong to one of the religious organizations known as 'Church of the Nazarene," "Pentecostal Gospel." "Holiness Church," "Pilgrim Holiness Church," "Jehovah's Witnesses," your religion is one of the hundreds of new sects founded by men within the past century.

If you are Catholic, you know that your religion was founded in the year 33 by Jesus Christ the Son of God, and it is still the same Church.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"In the Beginning... A Catholic Understanding of Creation and the Fall" - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

I plan to type this book out (it's very short) in its entirety and post it here. It's fascinating, logical, and utterly brilliant; it can only come from a loving God.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This position is not meant to hurt, offend or single out any one of us, as we are ALL flawed human beings who naturally fail to measure up to the moral standard of Judeo-Christian values: none of us should EVER use God's loving advice in order to point out, or call attention to the struggles of another human being.

Reflecting on the fruit that our conduct bears helps all of us understand the purpose of Judeo-Christian values, and in that, it helps us see that such values are nothing more than advice from a loving Father, a Father who is unlimited by time, and who knows our hearts and needs better than any of us ever will. Such values are very clearly advice from a loving Father (God) to us, His children, who He clearly does not want to ever see hurting, or even bickering amongst eachother. None of us, naturally, would or could create Judeo-Christian values in their entirety - we don't know ourselves which conduct causes us pain and which conduct does not, unless it is plainly obvious. We, like children, need advice from One who is unlimited by time, and who foresees the conduct we engage in and the "fruit" it produces. And then, He warns us either against it, or advises us to embrace it.

It is trust in God and knowledge of His wisdom (through personal reflection of our own conduct and the fruit it produces) that is, or at least SHOULD BE, the basis for conservative views. It is NOT to point out struggles each of us have, and our failings, but instead, it guides us all in joy and peace, so that peace spreads among one another, instead of other negative emotions (sadness, anger, jealousy, frustration, impatience, etc.).

None of us live up to conservative standards naturally, which is why to point out the struggles and failings of others when they are already aware of them is useless, hurtful, and thus, wrong.

But like children who do not naturally live up to the advice/rules of their loving parents, this does not make such advice/rules incorrect, or wrong; the same concept holds true for God's loving advice/rules for us.

Our personal struggles and how we feel inside do not make any of us an "abomination," so long as we focus on what is best for us and for those around us, and to strive in always conducting ourselves in ways that help heal ourselves and others. Loving one's neighbor calls each of us to refuse conduct that we may enjoy, but that proves to be hurtful to ourselves and/or to those around us... and of course, to those even beyond our sphere of influence.

Being imperfect, we are entirely unable to live up to even some Judeo-Christian values, without God's grace. Let us always work toward loving one another, and reflect on our conduct and the fruit it produces for us and for others (something as small as impatience, or something as large as rage/anger/hate), and lovingly encourage one another in an honest and sincere way... because the truth is, none of us are without sin, giving none of us the right to torment fellow sinners.

Catholic Bible for the Young (and Adults) -

More on Fr. Steven Scheier's Near Death Experience (shorter version)

Father Steven Scheier Describes his Near Death Experience on Mother Angelica Live

Thanks for this, Mike

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"When we speak about the wrath of God, what we are really saying are the consequences of not following the law of God that we bring upon ourselves, that come out of the nature of things; they are so terrible, that it looks like God is angry at us, when we indeed are the ones who have caused the wrath, not God." - Fr. Groeschel

The Cost of Abortion

The One True Faith : The Book of Revelation

The One True Faith : Eucharistic Miracles

The One True Faith : Eat My Flesh

The One True Faith : Joy of the Faith

The One True Faith : There's Only One True Church

The One True Faith : The Church Fathers

The One True Faith : Twelve Catholic Myths

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Role of the Priesthood in Demonic Possession/Exorcisms

The Existense of Evil Spirits

Fr. Frank Pavone - Our Bodies Now & In Eternity

Fr. Corapi on How to Read the Bible & the Church's Authority

Lay Faithful

From the Catechism:


897 "The term 'laity' is here understood to mean all the faithful except those in Holy Orders and those who belong to a religious state approved by the Church. That is, the faithful, who by Baptism are incorporated into Christ and integrated into the People of God, are made sharers in their particular way in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly office of Christ, and have their own part to play in the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the World."[430]
The vocation of lay people

898 "By reason of their special vocation it belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God's will.... It pertains to them in a special way so to illuminate and order all temporal things with which they are closely associated that these may always be effected and grow according to Christ and maybe to the glory of the Creator and Redeemer."[431]

899 The initiative of lay Christians is necessary especially when the matter involves discovering or inventing the means for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine and life. This initiative is a normal element of the life of the Church:
Lay believers are in the front line of Church life; for them the Church is the animating principle of human society. Therefore, they in particular ought to have an ever-clearer consciousness not only of belonging to the Church, but of being the Church, that is to say, the community of the faithful on earth under the leadership of the Pope, the common Head, and of the bishops in communion with him. They are the Church.[432]

900 Since, like all the faithful, lay Christians are entrusted by God with the apostolate by virtue of their Baptism and Confirmation, they have the right and duty, individually or grouped in associations, to work so that the divine message of salvation may be known and accepted by all men throughout the earth. This duty is the more pressing when it is only through them that men can hear the Gospel and know Christ. Their activity in ecclesial communities is so necessary that, for the most part, the apostolate of the pastors cannot be fully effective without it.[433]
The participation of lay people in Christ's priestly office

901 "Hence the laity, dedicated as they are to Christ and anointed by the Holy Spirit, are marvellously called and prepared so that even richer fruits of the Spirit maybe produced in them. For all their works, prayers, and apostolic undertakings, family and married life, daily work, relaxation of mind and body, if they are accomplished in the Spirit - indeed even the hardships of life if patiently born - all these become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. In the celebration of the Eucharist these may most fittingly be offered to the Father along with the body of the Lord. And so, worshipping everywhere by their holy actions, the laity consecrate the world itself to God, everywhere offering worship by the holiness of their lives."[434]

902 In a very special way, parents share in the office of sanctifying "by leading a conjugal life in the Christian spirit and by seeing to the Christian education of their children."[435]

903 Lay people who possess the required qualities can be admitted permanently to the ministries of lector and acolyte.[436] When the necessity of the Church warrants it and when ministers are lacking, lay persons, even if they are not lectors or acolytes, can also supply for certain of their offices, namely, to exercise the ministry of the word, to preside over liturgical prayers, to confer Baptism, and to distribute Holy Communion in accord with the prescriptions of law."[437]
Participation in Christ's prophetic office

904 "Christ . . . fulfills this prophetic office, not only by the hierarchy . . . but also by the laity. He accordingly both establishes them as witnesses and provides them with the sense of the faith [sensus fidei] and the grace of the word"[438]
To teach in order to lead others to faith is the task of every preacher and of each believer.[439]

905 Lay people also fulfill their prophetic mission by evangelization, "that is, the proclamation of Christ by word and the testimony of life." For lay people, "this evangelization . . . acquires a specific property and peculiar efficacy because it is accomplished in the ordinary circumstances of the world."[440]
This witness of life, however, is not the sole element in the apostolate; the true apostle is on the lookout for occasions of announcing Christ by word, either to unbelievers . . . or to the faithful.[441]

906 Lay people who are capable and trained may also collaborate in catechetical formation, in teaching the sacred sciences, and in use of the communications media.[442]

907 "In accord with the knowledge, competence, and preeminence which they possess, [lay people] have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and they have a right to make their opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard to the integrity of faith and morals and reverence toward their pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons."[443]
Participation in Christ's kingly office

908 By his obedience unto death,[444] Christ communicated to his disciples the gift of royal freedom, so that they might "by the self-abnegation of a holy life, overcome the reign of sin in themselves":[445]
That man is rightly called a king who makes his own body an obedient subject and, by governing himself with suitable rigor, refuses to let his passions breed rebellion in his soul, for he exercises a kind of royal power over himself. And because he knows how to rule his own person as king, so too does he sit as its judge. He will not let himself be imprisoned by sin, or thrown headlong into wickedness.[446]

909 "Moreover, by uniting their forces let the laity so remedy the institutions and conditions of the world when the latter are an inducement to sin, that these may be conformed to the norms of justice, favoring rather than hindering the practice of virtue. By so doing they will impregnate culture and human works with a moral value."[447]

910 "The laity can also feel called, or be in fact called, to cooperate with their pastors in the service of the ecclesial community, for the sake of its growth and life. This can be done through the exercise of different kinds of ministries according to the grace and charisms which the Lord has been pleased to bestow on them."[448]

911 In the Church, "lay members of the Christian faithful can cooperate in the exercise of this power [of governance] in accord with the norm of law."[449] And so the Church provides for their presence at particular councils, diocesan synods, pastoral councils; the exercise in solidum of the pastoral care of a parish, collaboration in finance committees, and participation in ecclesiastical tribunals, etc.[450]

912 The faithful should "distinguish carefully between the rights and the duties which they have as belonging to the Church and those which fall to them as members of the human society. They will strive to unite the two harmoniously, remembering that in every temporal affair they are to be guided by a Christian conscience, since no human activity, even of the temporal order, can be withdrawn from God's dominion."[451]

913 "Thus, every person, through these gifts given to him, is at once the witness and the living instrument of the mission of the Church itself 'according to the measure of Christ's bestowal."'[452]

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Modern Day, Short Clip of God, Christ, and Us - Tear Alert

The Blessed Mother & the Moon in the book of Revelation

In the book of Revelation, the "moon" is said to be under the Blessed Mother's feet, because the moon is not the source of the light; instead, the moon gives no light of its own, but rather, the moon reflects the light of the sun.

In this case, the sun is Christ, and the moon is the blessed mother, who serves to reflect the light of "the sun" - her son; Christ, the "light of the world."

The Blessed Mother is the perfect reflection of Christ, the light of the world, in that she guides people to Him.

Our Father




Philosophy of Life

The Mercy of God

The Love of God

The Purpose of Life

Fr. Robert Barron on the Point of the Cross and the Triumph of the Cross

Missed Opportunities

"The healthy, untroubled, human heart beats 60 beats per second - which corresponds to the fact that there are 60 seconds per minute... and 60 minutes per hour." - thanks Lorena, great observation

"We are so inlove with the gifts God has given us, that we have lost love for the One who gave them."

The Grief of God

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fr. Robert Barron Responds to Hawking/Atheism

Wonderful reflections (lectures) on a variety of topics

Quotes about Christ over the years

"A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." -C.S. Lewis

"As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene....No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life." -Albert Einstein

"God may thunder His commands from Mount Sinai and men may fear, yet remain at heart exactly as they were before. But let a man once see his God down in the arena as a Man--suffering, tempted, sweating, and agonized, finally dying a criminal's death--and he is a hard man indeed who is untouched." - J.B. Phillips, "Your God Is Too Small"

"I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him." –Napoleon

"No one else holds or has held the place in the heart of the world which Jesus holds. Other gods have been as devoutly worshipped; no other has been so devoutly loved." -John Knox

Even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardour of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ of old. --Fyodor Dostoyevsky

"Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander the Great, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science and learning, he shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of school, he spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, he set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times." –Philip Schaff

"I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history." -H.G. Wells

"As the centuries pass, the evidence is accumulating that, measured by His effect on history, Jesus is the most influential life ever lived on this planet." -Historian Kenneth Scott Latourette

"Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the Child of a peasant woman. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. He had nothing to do with this world except the naked power of His Divine manhood. While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a Cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth while He was dying—and that was His coat. When He was dead He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Such was His human life—He rises from the dead. Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today He is the Centerpiece of the human race and the Leader of the column of progress. I am within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever were built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that One Solitary Life." -James C. Hefley

"Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3. Yet the influence of Christ's 3-year ministry infinitely transcends the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all antiquity."

"I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are very wise and very beautiful; but I never read in either of them: 'Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden.' " -St. Augustine

"Buddha never claimed to be God. Moses never claimed to be Jehovah. Mohammed never claimed to be Allah. Yet Jesus Christ claimed to be the true and living God. Buddha simply said, "I am a teacher in search of the truth." Jesus said, "I am the Truth."
Confucius said, "I never claimed to be holy." Jesus said, "Who convicts me of sin?" Mohammed said, "Unless God throws his cloak of mercy over me, I have no hope." Jesus said, 'Unless you believe in me, you will die in your sins.'"

Fundamentally, our Lord's message was Himself. He did not come merely to preach a Gospel; He himself is that Gospel. He did not come merely to give bread; He said, "I am the bread." He did not come merely to shed light; He said, "I am the light." He did not come merely to show the door; He said, "I am the door." He did not come merely to name a shepherd; He said, "I am the shepherd." He did not come merely to point the way; He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." -J. Sidlow Baxter

"Jesus is the God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair." –Blaise Pascal

A"n unsurpassed master of the art of laying bare the inmost core of spiritual truth." -Geza Vermes

"There is something so pure and frank and noble about Him that to doubt His sincerity would be like doubting the brightness of the sun."- Charles Edward Jefferson

"Jesus Christ is to me the outstanding personality of all time, all history, both as Son of God and as Son of Man. Everything he ever said or did has value for us today and that is something you can say of no other man, dead or alive. There is no easy middle ground to stroll upon. You either accept Jesus or reject him." -Sholem Asch

"Jesus is God spelling Himself out in language that men can understand." -S.D. Gordon

"Only Christ could have conceived Christ." -Joseph Parker

In Jesus, God wills to be true God not only in the height but also in the depth – in the depth of human creatureliness, sinfulness and mortality. --Karl Barth

"It was this same Jesus, the Christ who, among many other remarkable things, said and repeated something which, proceeding from any other being would have condemned him at once as either a bloated egotist or a dangerously unbalanced person...when He said He himself would rise again from the dead, the third day after He was crucified, He said something that only a fool would dare say, if he expected longer the devotion of any disciples—unless He was sure He was going to rise. No founder of any world religion known to men ever dared say a thing like that! --Wilbur Smith

"Because Christianity’s influence is so pervasive throughout much of the world, it is easy to forget how radical its beliefs once were. Jesus’ resurrection forever changed Christians’ view of death. Rodney Stark, sociologist at the University of Washington, points out that when a major plague hit the ancient Roman Empire, Christians had surprisingly high survival rates. Why? Most Roman citizens would banish any plague-stricken person from their household. But because Christians had no fear of death, they nursed their sick instead of throwing them out on the streets. Therefore, many Christians survived the plague." -“2000 Years of Jesus” by Kenneth L. Woodward, NEWSWEEK, March 29, 1999, p. 55.

Despite our efforts to keep him out, God intrudes. The life of Jesus is bracketed by two impossibilities: "a virgin's womb and an empty tomb". Jesus entered our world through a door marked,"No Entrance" and left through a door marked "No Exit." -Peter Larson

"The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity. If the resurrection did not take place, then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then Christ is God and the Christian faith is absolute truth." -Henry Morris

"If I might comprehend Jesus Christ, I could not believe on Him. He would be no greater than myself. Such is my consciousness of sin and inability that I must have a superhuman Saviour."-Daniel Webster

"Our problem is this: we usually discover him within some denominational or Christian ghetto. We meet him in a province and, having caught some little view, we paint him in smaller strokes. The Lion of Judah is reduced to something kittenish because our understanding cannot, at first, write larger definitions."-Calvin Miller

"People talk about imitating Christ, and imitate Him in the little trifling formal things, such as washing the feet, saying His prayer, and so on; but if anyone attempts the real imitation of Him, there are no bounds to the outcry with which the presumption of that person is condemned." -Florence Nightingale

"Even Christ pleased not Himself. He was utterly consumed in the zeal of His Father’s house. As man He ever moved for God. As God He ever moved for man." -Geoffrey T.Bull

"There was no identity crisis in the life of Jesus Christ. He knew who He was. He knew where He had come from, and why he was here. And he knew where He was going. And when you are that liberated, then you can serve." -Howard Hendricks

"The Lord ate from a common bowl, and asked the disciples to sit on the grass. He washed their feet, with a towel wrapped around His waist - He, who is the Lord of the universe!" -Clement of Alexandria

"How was it that, even in the common tasks of an ordinary life, Jesus drew the praise of heaven? At the core of His being, He only did those things which pleased the Father. In everything, He stayed true, heartbeat to heartbeat, with the Father's desires. Jesus lived for God alone; God was enough for Him. Thus, even in its simplicity and moment-to-moment faithfulness, Christ's life was an unending fragrance, a perfect offering of incomparable love to God." -Francis Frangipane

"Jesus Christ: The meeting place of eternity and time, the blending of deity and humanity, the junction of heaven and earth" – Anonymous

"You cannot go outside of A and Z in the realm of literature; likewise Christ Jesus is First and Last of God's new creation, and all that is in between; you cannot get outside of that." -T. Austin Sparks

"It is as if God the Father is saying to us: "Since I have told you everything in My Word, Who is My Son, I have no other words that can at present say anything or reveal anything to you beyond this. Fix your eyes on Him alone, for in Him I have told you all, revealed all, and in Him you will find more than you desire or ask. If you fix your eyes on Him, you will find everything, for He is My whole word and My reply, He is My whole vision and My whole revelation." -Anthony M. Coniaris

"Whenever the method of worship becomes more important than the Person of worship, we have already prostituted our worship. There are entire congregations who worship praise and praise worship but who have not yet learned to praise and worship God in Jesus Christ."-Judson Cornwall

"The message of Christ is not Christianity. The message of Christ is Christ." -Gary Amirault

"To holy people the very name of Jesus is a name to feed upon, a name to transport. His name can raise the dead and transfigure and beautify the living."- John Henry Newman

"God will answer all our questions in one way and one way only. Namely, by showing us more of his Son." -Watchman Nee

"Christianity is not a doctrine, not truth as truth, but the knowledge of a Person; it is knowing the Lord Jesus. You cannot be educated into being a Christian." -T. Austin-Sparks

"I have one passion. It is He, only He." -Count Zinzendorf

Physics & God

Bichemistry & God

Cosmology & God

Physics, Astronomy & God

DNA & Creation

The Fossil Record Proves Creation - Lee Strobel

Effects of Sin

Joy & Depression

How to Control Your Anger

A Priest Explains the Rosary

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

15 Promises to those faithful to the Rosary

Besides the Indulgences attached to the Rosary, Our Lady revealed to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche additional benefits for those who devoutly pray the Rosary. Our Lady's promise is shown in darker blue text. Additional explanation on and doctrinal connections to each promise is shown following in the smaller normal text font and color. Note that the Rosary is the prayer (non-Liturgical) with the most published Magisterial / Papal documents expounding on its excellence. Vatican II's summary on Our Lady is contained in Lumen Gentium chapter VIII.

1. Whosoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces. Signal Graces are those special and unique Graces to help sanctify us in our state in life. See the remaining promises for an explanation for which these will consist. St. Louis de Montfort states emphatically that the best and fastest way to union with Our Lord is via Our Lady [True Devotion to Mary, chapter four].

2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary. Our Lady is our Advocate and the channel of all God's Grace to us. Our Lady is simply highlighting that She will watch especially over us who pray the Rosary. (see Lumen Gentium chapter VIII - Our Lady #62) [a great more detail is available on this topic in True Devotion to Mary, chapter four, by St. Louis de Montfort]

3. The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies. This promise, along with the next, is simply the reminder on how fervent prayer will help us all grow in holiness by avoiding sin, especially a prayer with the excellence of the Rosary. An increase in holiness necessarily requires a reduction in sin, vice, and doctrinal errors (heresies). If only the Modernists could be convinced to pray the Rosary! (see Lumen Gentium chapter V - The Call to Holiness #42) St. Louis de Montfort states "Since Mary alone crushed all heresies, as we are told by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary)..." [True Devotion to Mary #167]

4. It will cause 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 for Eternal Things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means. This promise, along with the previous, is the positive part, that being to live in virtue. Becoming holy is not only avoiding sin, but also growing in virtue. (see Lumen Gentium chapter V - The Call to Holiness #42)

5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish. Since Our Lady is our Mother and Advocate, She always assists those who call on Her implicitly by praying the Rosary. The Church reminds us of this in the Memorare prayer, "... never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession, was left unaided ..."

6. Whosoever 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. This promise highlights the magnitude of Graces that the Rosary brings to whomever prays it. One will draw down God's Mercy rather than His Justice and will have a final chance to repent (see promise #7). One will not be conquered by misfortune means that Our Lady will obtain for the person sufficient Graces to handle said misfortune (i.e. carry the Crosses allowed by God) without falling into despair. As Sacred Scripture tells us, "For my yoke is sweet and my burden light." (Matthew 11:30)

7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church. This promise highlights the benefits of obtaining the most possible Graces at the hour of death via the Sacraments of Confession, Eucharist, and Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick). Being properly disposed while receiving these Sacraments near death ensures one's salvation (although perhaps with a detour through Purgatory) since a final repentance is possible.

8. Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the Light of God and the plenitude of His Graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the Merits of the Saints in Paradise. Our Lady highlights the great quantity of Graces obtain through praying the Rosary, which assist us during life and at the moment of death. The merits of the Saints are the gift of God's rewards to those persons who responded to His Grace that they obtained during life, and so Our Lady indicates that She will provide a share of that to us at death. With this promise and #7 above, Our Lady is providing the means for the person to have a very holy death.

9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary. Should one require Purgatorial cleansing after death, Our Lady will make a special effort to obtain our release from Purgatory through Her intercession as Advocate.

10. The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of Glory in Heaven. This promise is a logical consequence of promises #3 and #4 since anyone who truly lives a holier life on earth will obtain a higher place in Heaven. The closer one is to God while living on earth, the close that person is to Him also in Heaven. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states "Spiritual progress tends toward ever more union with Christ." (Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2014)

11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by recitation of the Rosary. This promise emphasizes Our Lady's role as our Advocate and Mediatrix of all Graces. Of course, all requests are subject to God's Most Perfect Will. God will always grant our request if it is beneficial for our soul, and Our Lady will only intercede for us when our request is good for our salvation. (see Lumen Gentium chapter VIII - Our Lady #62)

12. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities. If one promotes the praying of the Rosary, Our Lady emphasizes Her Maternal care for us by obtaining many Graces (i.e. spiritual necessities) and also material necessities (neither excess nor luxury), all subject to the Will of God of course.

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. Since Our Lady is our Advocate, She brings us additional assistance during our life and at our death from all the saints in Heaven (the Communion of Saints). See paragraphs 954 through 959 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

14. All who recite the Rosary are my Sons, and brothers of my Only Son Jesus Christ. Since the Rosary is a most excellent prayer focused on Jesus and His Life and activities in salvation history, it brings us closer to Our Lord and Our Lady. Doctrinally, Our Lady is our Mother and Jesus is our Eldest Brother, besides being our God. (see Lumen Gentium chapter VIII - Our Lady #62)

15. Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination. Predestination in this context means that, by the sign which is present to a person from the action of devoutly praying the Rosary, God has pre-ordained your salvation. Absolute certainty of salvation can only be truly known if God reveals it to a person because, although we are given sufficient Grace during life, our salvation depends upon our response to said Grace. (See Summa Theologica, Question 23 for a detailed theological explanation). Said another way, if God has guaranteed a person's salvation but has not revealed it to Him, God would want that person to pray the Rosary because of all the benefits and Graces obtained. Therefore the person gets a hint by devotion to the Rosary. This is not to say that praying the Rosary guarantees salvation - by no means. In looking at promises #3 and #4 above, praying the Rosary helps one to live a holy life, which is itself a great sign that a soul is on the road to salvation. (See also paragraphs 381, 488, 600, 2782 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.) In fact, St. Louis de Montfort says even more strongly that "an infallible and unmistakable sign by which we can distinguish a heretic, a man of false doctrine, an enemy of God, from one of God's true friends is that the hardened sinner and heretic show nothing but contempt and indifference to Our Lady..." [True Devotion to Mary, #30]

Reminder: these promises mean that, by faithfully and devoutly praying the Rosary, Our Lady will obtain for us the necessary Graces to obtain said promises. It is still up to each individual soul to respond to those Graces in order to obtain salvation.

The Rosary - Sorrowful Mysteries - Part 2

The Rosary - Sorrowful Mysteries - Part 1

Why God Permits Evil

Fr Corapi on the Church and the present scandal - Part 4

Fr Corapi on the Church and the present scandal - Part 3

Fr Corapi on the Church and the present scandal - Part 2

Fr Corapi on the Church and the present scandal - Part 1

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Beatitudes (the spiritual equivalent to the 10 commandments) - Great actor

The meaning of each beatitude:

First beatitude

The word poor seems to represent an Aramaic 'ányâ (Hebrew 'anî), bent down, afflicted, miserable, poor; while meek is rather a synonym from the same root, 'ánwan (Hebrew 'ánaw), bending oneself down, humble, meek, gentle. Some scholars would attach to the former word also the sense of humility; others think of "beggars before God" humbly acknowledging their need of Divine help. But the opposition of "rich" (Luke 6:24) points especially to the common and obvious meaning, which, however, ought not to be confined to economical need and distress, but may comprehend the whole of the painful condition of the poor: their low estate, their social dependence, their defenceless exposure to injustice from the rich and the mighty. Besides the Lord's blessing, the promise of the heavenly kingdom is not bestowed on the actual external condition of such poverty. The blessed ones are the poor "in spirit", who by their free will are ready to bear for God's sake this painful and humble condition, even though at present they be actually rich and happy; while on the other hand, the really poor man may fall short of this poverty "in spirit."

Second beatitude

Inasmuch as poverty is a state of humble subjection, the "poor in spirit", come near to the "meek", the subject of the second blessing. The anawim, they who humbly and meekly bend themselves down before God and man, shall "inherit the land" and possess their inheritance in peace. This is a phrase taken from Psalm 36:11, where it refers to the Promised Land of Israel, but here in the words of Christ, it is of course but a symbol of the Kingdom of Heaven, the spiritual realm of the Messiah. Not a few interpreters, however, understand "the earth". But they overlook the original meaning of Psalm 36:11, and unless, by a far-fetched expedient, they take the earth also to be a symbol of the Messianic kingdom, it will be hard to explain the possession of the earth in a satisfactory way.

Third beatitude

The "mourning" in the Third Beatitude is in Luke (6:25) opposed to laughter and similar frivolous worldly joy. Motives of mourning are not to be drawn from the miseries of a life of poverty, abjection, and subjection, which are the very blessings of verse 3, but rather from those miseries from which the pious man is suffering in himself and in others, and most of all the tremendous might of evil throughout the world. To such mourners the Lord Jesus carries the comfort of the heavenly kingdom, "the consolation of Israel" (Luke 2:25) foretold by the prophets, and especially by the Book of Consolation of Isaias (11-16). Even the later Jews knew the Messiah by the name of Menahhem, Consoler. These three blessings, poverty, abjection, and subjection are a commendation of what nowadays are called the passive virtues: abstinence and endurance, and the Eighth Beatitude (verse 10) leads us back again to the teaching.

Fourth beatitude

The others, however, demand a more active behaviour. First of all, "hunger and thirst" after justice: a strong and continuous desire of progress in religious and moral perfection, the reward of which will be the very fulfillment of the desire, the continuous growth in holiness.

Fifth beatitude

From this interior desire a further step should be taken to acting to the works of "mercy", corporal and spiritual. Through these the merciful will obtain the Divine mercy of the Messianic kingdom, in this life and in the final judgment. The wonderful fertility of the Church in works and institutions of corporal and spiritual mercy of every kind shows the prophetical sense, not to say the creative power, of this simple word of the Divine Teacher.

Sixth beatitude

According to biblical terminology, "cleanness of heart" (verse 8) cannot exclusively be found in interior chastity, nor even, as many scholars propose, in a general purity of conscience, as opposed to the Levitical, or legal, purity required by the Scribes and Pharisees. At least the proper place of such a blessing does not seem to be between mercy (verse 7) and peacemaking (verse 9), nor after the apparently more far-reaching virtue of hunger and thirst after justice. But frequently in the Old and New Testaments (Genesis 20:5; Job 33:3, Psalms 23:4 (24:4) and 72:1 (73:1); 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:22) the "pure heart" is the simple and sincere good intention, the "single eye" of Matthew 6:22, and thus opposed to the unavowed by-ends of the Pharisees (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18; 7:15; 23:5-7, 14) This "single eye" or "pure heart" is most of all required in the works of mercy (verse 7) and zeal (verse 9) in behalf of one's neighbor. And it stands to reason that the blessing, promised to this continuous looking for God's glory, should consist of the supernatural "seeing" of God Himself, the last aim and end of the heavenly kingdom in its completion.

Seventh beatitude

The "peacemakers" (verse 9) are those who not only live in peace with others but moreover do their best to preserve peace and friendship among mankind and between God and man, and to restore it when it has been disturbed. It is on account of this godly work, "an imitating of God's love of man" as St. Gregory of Nyssa styles it, that they shall be called the sons of God, "children of your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:45).

Eighth beatitude

When after all this the pious disciples of Christ are repaid with ingratitude and even "persecution" (verse 10) it will be but a new blessing, "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

So, by an inclusion, not uncommon in biblical poetry, the last blessing goes back to the first and the second. The pious, whose sentiments and desires whose works and sufferings are held up before us, shall be blessed and happy by their share in the Messianic kingdom, here and hereafter. And viewed in the intermediate verses seem to express, in partial images of the one endless beatitude, the same possession of the Messianic salvation. The eight conditions required constitute the fundamental law of the kingdom, the very pith and marrow of Christian perfection. For its depth and breadth of thought, and its practical bearing on Christian life, the passage may be put on a level with the Decalogue in the Old, and the Lord's Prayer in the New Testament, and it surpassed both in its poetical beauty of structure.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Interesting obversation about the Trinity

1. God came as "Father" in the Old Testament
2. God came as "Son" in the New Testament
3. God came as the "Holy Spirit" after Christ ascended into Heaven (which Christ promised to his apostles - and it's interesting, but the Holy Spirit is the only being in creation who has allowed us to affirm human conduct and virtue 2,000 years after we were told of the effects He has on an individual), and that is who is still with us.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Examination of Conscience

NOTE - Graces are given freely by God in the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist in order to (1) keep us filled with joy and (2) to give us the ability to grow in love and avoid our personal temptations, which, despite temporary happiness, hurt ourselves and hurt others. God knows, of course, that we are unable to completely help ourselves without His grace, and thus, we have the free will to take advantage of the physical means He has established (the Sacraments), or reject them.

The Summa Theologica - St. Thomas Aquinas

FIRST PART (QQ. 1-119)

Index Question

  1. The Nature and Extent of Sacred Doctrine
  2. The Existence of God
  3. On the Simplicity of God
  4. The Perfection of God
  5. Of Goodness in General
  6. The Goodness of God
  7. The Infinity of God
  8. The Existence of God in Things
  9. The Immutability of God
  10. The Eternity of God
  11. The Unity of God
  12. How God Is Known by Us
  13. The Names of God
  14. Of God's Knowledge
  15. Of Ideas
  16. Of Truth
  17. Concerning Falsity
  18. The Life of God
  19. The Will of God
  20. God's Love
  21. The Justice and Mercy of God
  22. The Providence of God
  23. Of Predestination
  24. The Book of Life
  25. The Power of God
  26. Of the Divine Beatitude
  27. The Procession of the Divine Persons
  28. The Divine Relations
  29. The Divine Persons
  30. The Plurality of Persons in God
  31. Of What Belongs to the Unity or Plurality in God
  32. The Knowledge of the Divine Persons
  33. Of the Person of the Father
  34. Of the Person of the Son
  35. Of the Image
  36. Of the Person of the Holy Ghost
  37. Of the Name of the Holy Ghost---Love
  38. Of the Name of the Holy Ghost, as Gift
  39. Of the Persons in Relation to the Essence
  40. Of the Persons as Compared to the Relations or Properties
  41. Of the Persons in Reference to the Notional Acts
  42. Of Equality and Likeness among the Divine Persons
  43. The Mission of the Divine Persons


Index Question

  44. The Procession of Creatures from God, and of the First Cause of All Things
  45. The Mode of Emanation of Things from the First Principle
  46. Of the Beginning of the Duration of Creatures
  47. Of the Distinction of Things in General
  48. The Distinction of Things in Particular
  49. The Cause of Evil


Index Question

  50. Of the Substance of the Angels Absolutely Considered
  51. Of the Angels in Comparison with Bodies
  52. Of the Angels in Relation to Place
  53. Of the Local Movement of the Angels
  54. Of the Knowledge of the Angels
  55. Of the Medium of the Angelic Knowledge
  56. Of the Angels' Knowledge of Immaterial Things
  57. Of the Angels' Knowledge of Material Things
  58. Of the Mode of the Angelic Knowledge
  59. The Will of the Angels
  60. Of the Love or Dilection of the Angels
  61. Of the Production of the Angels in the Order of Natural Being
  62. Of the Perfection of the Angels in the Order of Grace and of Glory
  63. The Malice of the Angels with Regard to Sin
  64. The Punishment of the Demons


Index Question

  65. The Work of Creation of Corporeal Creatures
  66. On the Order of Creation Towards Distinction
  67. On the Work of Distinction in Itself
  68. On the Work of the Second Day
  69. On the Work of the Third Day
  70. On the Work of Adornment, As Regards the Fourth Day
  71. On the Work of the Fifth Day
  72. On the Work of the Sixth Day
  73. On the Things That Belong to the Seventh Day
  74. On All the Seven Days in Common


Index Question

  75. Of Man Who Is Composed of a Spiritual and a Corporeal Substance: and in the First Place, Concerning What Belongs to the Essence of the Soul
  76. Of the Union of Body and Soul
  77. Of Those Things Which Belong to the Powers of the Soul in General
  78. Of the Specific Powers of the Soul
  79. Of the Intellectual Powers
  80. Of the Appetitive Powers in General
  81. Of the Power of Sensuality
  82. Of the Will
  83. Of Free-Will
  84. How the Soul While United to the Body Understands Corporeal Things beneath It
  85. Of the Mode and Order of Understanding
  86. What Our Intellect Knows in Material Things
  87. How the Intellectual Soul Knows Itself and All Within Itself
  88. How the Human Soul Knows What Is above Itself
  89. Of the Knowledge of the Separated Soul
  90. Of the First Production of Man's Soul
  91. The Production of the First Man's Body
  92. The Production of the Woman
  93. The End or Term of the Production of Man
  94. Of the State and Condition of the First Man as Regards His Intellect
  95. Of Things Pertaining to the First Man's Will---Namely, Grace and Righteousness
  96. Of the Mastership Belonging to Man in the State of Innocence
  97. Of the Preservation of the Individual in the Primitive State
  98. Of the Preservation of the Species
  99. Of the Condition of the Offspring As to the Body
  100. Of the Condition of the Offspring As Regards Righteousness
  101. Of the Condition of the Offspring As Regards Knowledge
  102. Of Man's Abode, Which Is Paradise


Index Question

  103. Of the Government of Things in General
  104. The Special Effects of the Divine Government
  105. Of the Change of Creatures by God
  106. How One Creature Moves Another
  107. The Speech of the Angels
  108. Of the Angelic Degrees of Hierarchies and Orders
  109. The Ordering of the Bad Angels
  110. How Angels Act on Bodies
  111. The Action of the Angels on Man
  112. The Mission of the Angels
  113. Of the Guardianship of the Good Angels
  114. Of the Assaults of the Demons
  115. Of the Action of the Corporeal Creature
  116. On Fate
  117. Of Things Pertaining to the Action of Man
  118. Of the Production of Man from Man As to the Soul
  119. Of the Propagation of Man As to the Body