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Great Media Explaining What Jesus Taught

There’s a website called FORMED, that has many audio programs, movies, video programs, and eBooks on it of Catholic content.  This is a beautiful website that contains so much information about the life of Jesus and the truth of what He taught.  There are movies you can show your family without worry, for movie night and popcorn.  You can download the eBooks to your device and take them with you.  The audio programs are wonderful to listen to and explain many interesting topics, some with a little humor.  When you go onto the website, scroll down and you can play the little video explaining the website.

There’s programs for youth, Spanish-speaking, and sacramental preparation.  It contains documentaries, faith formation and Bible studies.  It even contains programs explaining the Church’s true teaching on topics such as pro-life and abortion, homosexuality (program is called “Called to Courageous Love”), God and Science, and how to be truly happy.

I have found this website to be extremely helpful in my faith path and I love the movies and their good quality content.  Their content is added to frequently.  I absolutely love the program called “Convinced”.

It costs $9.99 per month (American money) and you can receive a 7-day free trial also.  You can call your parish and see if they have a subscription.  If they do, the parish would give you a code to put in so that it is free for you to access.

Click here to find www.formed.org

I don’t receive any kickbacks or paid advertisements from this website (or any other advertising) but I just feel that it is such a good way to help people to find the truth.

Click here to find more topics.

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Ever Wondered Why?

Have you ever wondered why Catholics pray to saints?  Or genuflect?  Or call it Mass instead of worship service?  All questions are good questions.  Whatever your question, you can get dozens of answers on the radio show, Called to Communion.  It is meant for people who have questions but didn’t know where or who to ask.  It is also on EWTN on Thursdays and Saturdays.  Check for the time in your area.

Click on the link below and then click on the “Called to Communion” link for several podcasts to listen to.  Also, if you would like to subscribe to their feed, click on “Subscribe” right under the name of the show.

There’s another answer forum that is very interesting.  Catholic Answers is a great resource for those nagging questions.  You can watch a video, listen to audio or look it up by topic.  This show is also coming to television soon.

I sincerely hope that these help you in your search for the One True Church.

For more posts, click here, or click on the menu buttons above.

 

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Who’s Your Authority?

This is a deep question to ask yourself and others.  No matter what your religion, ask yourself “Who’s the authority in my/your church?”  You might say, the pastor, the Synod, the Bible, or a leader who started your church.  If someone comes to your door and wants to offer you literature or talk to you about your religion, ask them the question of authority.

If the answer is the Bible, then lets look at the history of the Bible.  The Bible was put together in the year 382 at the Council of Rome, in the Catholic Church.  The Catholic Church is still the authority of interpreting Scripture.  There is nothing in the Bible that states that the Bible is the only authority and source of truth.  The Catholic Bible is the New American Bible.  Other translations of the Bible such as the New World Translation or the King James Version have had books and parts of Scripture removed or changed to fit their doctrines.  The King James Version has had seven books removed.  Most people think that the Catholics have added books but this is not true.

If the answer is a pastor, Synod, or leader of your church, then this can create a pitfall of individual interpretation of the Scriptures.  If we all interpret the Scriptures on our own, then we can end up with several different meanings. These people are well-meaning but how can you be certain that you have the right interpretation? I found an exercise in the book, Where Is That in the Bible? by Patrick Madrid. See below:

If someone wrote the words:  “I never said you stole money.”  Sounds like it would be simple to understand, right?  I’ll write all possible interpretations with different emphasis and see what you think.

  • I never said you stole money.  Meaning someone else said that you stole money.
  • I never said you stole money.  Meaning he thought it but didn’t say it.
  • I never said you stole money.  Meaning he said that someone else did.
  • I never said you stole money.  Meaning he thought you lost it.
  • I never said you stole money.  Meaning he thought you stole something else but not his money.

See how just a little emphasis on a different word can cause a different interpretation of the small simple sentence.  Patrick Madrid asks, “Which would you say is more likely to be open to misinterpretations, this six-word sentence or the Bible?”  You can go to 4 different churches on the same street, on the same Sunday and get four different interpretations and sermons on the same Scripture reading.

If your authority is the Catholic Church, then you are following the Bible which says, “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”  Luke 10:16   “I am writing you about these matters, although I hope to visit you soon. But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.”                  1 Timothy 3:14-15   The Catholic Church was given the authority through Jesus when he said, ” I will give you (Peter) the keys to the kingdom of heaven.  Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  Matthew 16:19

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St. Peter with Keys to the Kingdom

 

 

The Protestant churches reject the authority of the Catholic Church but yet declare that the Bible, that the Catholic Church put together 1500-2000 years before their existence, is their sole source of Scripture and authority.  The true authority is the Catholic Church, including the magisterium (Apostolic line of Popes, Bishops, Priests) and the Catholic Bible.  In rejecting this authority, a person can easily be led to error in their faith because of individual interpretation.  When you read the Bible with the understanding of the Church, you see faith in a different light and it makes much more sense.  There is a universal understanding of Scripture and Tradition instead of scattered meanings.

So when you ask the question, “Who’s your authority?”, be sure you get the answer of the only church Jesus gave authority to…the Catholic Church.  If not, then it falls flat.

 

Photo credit: The Vatican

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Why do Catholics go to Reconciliation/Confession?

One of the seven sacraments is called Reconciliation or Confession.  Catholics have a gift that can be found no where else, going to Confession.  In Confession, we go in to the Confessional and receive great blessings and graces from God in this sacrament.  These graces help us to perfect our virtues and to detach ourselves from sin.  The priest sits in Persona Christi, or in the person of Christ.  This means that the priest acts as Christ on earth.  This doesn’t mean he’s God, he’s doing what Jesus would do and he’s also acting on the authority of Jesus.  Jesus gave the apostles the authority to forgive sins.  ” I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.  Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19  This authority is only given through the Catholic Church passed down through Jesus.  Contrary to beliefs in other churches, this is not a valid authority in other denominations.

Can’t I just go directly to God for forgiveness?  You can for smaller sins, if your life is in danger, or you can ask for forgiveness directly from God but if you go to Confession, you will receive so much more.  You will receive large amounts of grace to resist sin and you will also be affirmed hearing the priest say the words of absolution.  God and Jesus meant for all to go to Reconciliation and to benefit from the sacrament by putting it into place through the apostles.

When we go into the Confessional, we can either sit facing the priest or we can go behind a screen in anonymity.  We make the sign of the cross and say, “Bless me father for I have sinned.  It’s been ( how many months or years) since my last confession and these are my sins.  (State your sins here and their severity or frequency)  For these sins and the sins I can’t remember, I am sorry for.”  At this point, the priest counsels the person on the sins and gives them penance, then absolves them of their sins.  The words of absolution are very comforting to hear and you have a sense of relief that your sins are gone.  You don’t get that when you confess to a minister of a different church.

The Seal of the Confessional is the absolute vow that the priest will not reveal what is discussed in the confessional.  Even if a person confesses they committed a grave sin, that sin cannot be revealed to anyone else.  The priest can’t even reveal anything if they are subpoenaed to court.

When we sin, we separate ourselves from God.  When we go to Reconciliation, we “Reconcile” with God again because we repent and amend our lives, detaching ourselves from sin.

Penance is given by the priest to maybe help us with understanding a teaching or some prayers.  Penance is meant to “make up” or in reparation to God for what we have harmed with our sins.

Reconciliation/Confession is a wonderful gift from God to people who want to rid themselves of the shame, guilt and burden of sin.  You can walk out of the Confessional feeling refreshed, lighter, relieved and knowing the true gift of God’s mercy when we really don’t deserve it.

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Photo credit: Pinterest

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Why Can’t a Non-Catholic take Communion in the Catholic Church?

Our priest was approached by a woman who challenged him with this question.  “Why can’t a non-Catholic take communion in the Catholic Church?  And why can’t a Catholic take communion in a Lutheran or protestant church?”  The priest said, “Let me ask you this; what do you do with the leftovers of communion?”  She said, “Well, we put it (the wafers) back into the little zip baggie and put it back into the cupboard, or we take the homemade bread home and eat it with lunch.”  The priest said, “We as Catholics would gasp at that. We put what hosts are left from Communion in a Tabernacle because we believe it IS the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus.”  She said to him, “But we believe that Jesus is with the bread too. Aren’t they the same?”  He said, “We don’t believe it’s a symbol or that Jesus is under the bread, we believe that the bread has turned into Jesus and is no longer bread anymore.”  He also said that if a non-Catholic is not in union with the beliefs of the Catholic Church, then they should not partake of the comm-union of the Catholic Church.  The same is true with a Catholic taking communion in a protestant church.  A Catholic doesn’t believe the same as a protestant and is not in union with that church so they should not partake in their communion.  In leaving, the woman said to him, I guess I never thought of it that way.

I spoke with another priest who told me that some protestants had visited his Cathedral and had a church service in their rooms while they stayed.  After they had left, the priests had found their “blessed bread” in the garbage.  You would never find that in the Catholic Church because we don’t throw away Jesus, we adore and honor Him. (see below photos)

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Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.  A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.   1 Corinthians 11:27-29

This would not be true if it was just a symbol or if Jesus was with the bread.  This is only true if the Eucharist/Holy Communion actually IS the Body of Jesus and not bread anymore.  A miracle occurs each time we are at Mass; the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  This is why we call the Eucharist, The Blessed Sacrament.

Catholics should not receive the Eucharist is they have mortal sin on their souls either.  They have to refrain from receiving until they go to Confession.  We are supposed to go with a clean soul.

So to tell someone who is non-Catholic that they can’t receive communion in the Catholic Church is not being snobbish, it’s to help them understand that Jesus truly is present in the Eucharist and you need to understand that and be in union with the Catholic Church to receive.  We certainly don’t want someone to drink and eat Judgment upon themselves.5409ba69d44ed13c9ebf8c5b565a41f7

 

Photo credits: Pinterest, Catholic Answers Forums

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Story of a Presbyterian turned Catholic

This is a video of Journey Home with Dr. David Anders, former Presbyterian, radio host for Called to Communion on the EWTN radio stations.  He makes many very important points.  He researched the Church history in the early church fathers and found himself on the path to the Catholic Church.  To subscribe to the Called To Communion feed, click here.

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No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church

There is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church.  Does that mean that only Catholics are the ones going to heaven?  No.  It means that anyone who knows the truth of the Catholic Church and still rejects it, will not go to heaven.  Anyone who doesn’t know the truth of the Catholic Church and is ignorant of it’s teachings will be given mercy and judged on their current knowledge and desire to be with God.

If someone knows the truth of the Catholic Church and still rejects its teachings, rejects it with their mouth and actions, rejects the Eucharist, rejects the Virgin Mary, and rejects it’s sacraments, then they will not go to heaven.  Also, if they are rejecting the Eucharist, they are rejecting Jesus, Himself.

It states in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC#846-848):

“846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?  Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body;

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church, which men enter through Baptism as through as door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

847  This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience–those too may achieve eternal salvation.

848  Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”

Does this mean that a person doesn’t have to search out the truth in the Catholic Church?  No.  This is not a get out of jail free card.  This means that we all have an obligation to God to search out the truth and find our way into the Catholic Church.  We always have to keep learning and we always have to accept the truth and not reject the Church or it’s teachings.  Also, we need the Eucharist, Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, to have eternal life in heaven.  We only find this in the Church so if we reject the Eucharist or it’s teaching, then we will not have eternal life unless we are ignorant of it’s teachings.

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