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What is the Immaculate Conception?

Most people think it’s the conception of Jesus but this is wrong.  The Immaculate Conception is the conception of the Virgin Mary and is celebrated on the feast day of December 8th.  The Virgin Mary was conceived without the stain of Original Sin so that she could be the perfect and pure place for Jesus to be conceived and protected for the pregnancy.

When a woman is conceived, all of her eggs are formed within her for her whole life.  She never makes more eggs after birth, they only mature, usually one each month in anticipation of a pregnancy.  Think about it, God wanted the perfect and pure place for the conception of His Son but the Virgin Mary’s eggs had to be perfect for the conception too.  Since they were all formed at conception, then God had to intervene to prevent Her from having Original Sin and to form the perfect egg within Her for Jesus.  So God’s plan for the birth of His Son was already in progress at the conception of Jesus’ Mother.

The Virgin Mary’s parents, St. Ann and St. Joachim, were barren and older.  They were visited by an angel saying that they will conceive.

The Virgin Mary is HONORED, not worshipped, for being the Mother of God and we ask for Her intercession for our intentions.  We ask Her to pray for us and our intentions to Her Son because Jesus wouldn’t say no to His mother because He loves Her.  So as long as what we ask for is in alignment with God’s will, the Virgin Mary will intercede for us.  Why don’t we just go directly to Jesus?  Because you can’t have Jesus without Mary and you can’t have Mary without Jesus.  They are forever connected.  Jesus loved and honored His mother and so should we.  Mary always points us to Her Son and teaches us about Him.  What better way of learning about Jesus than through the eyes of His mother, who saw his childhood, miracles, suffering, passion, and resurrection.  Jesus gave His mother to us all as Our Mother when He was on the cross.  The Fourth Commandment tells us to Honor thy father and mother, this includes Jesus’ Mother.

So the next time someone refers to the Immaculate Conception as the conception of Jesus, you can tell them what it REALLY is, the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary to prepare for the coming of Jesus.  For remember, without the Virgin Mary, we wouldn’t have Jesus.

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How to spring your loved one from Purgatory

First off, Purgatory is the place where a soul goes to get purified after death but before going to Heaven.  You cannot go to hell from Purgatory.  Once you are in Purgatory, you are guaranteed to go to Heaven but you must be purified of any smaller sins and you must make retribution for your sins you committed during life.  Kind of like, if you were a child and broke a window with your baseball.  You would apologize for what you did but you would still have to clean up the broken glass and pay for the window to be repaired (you might be grounded too.)  This is Purgatory.  Check out these scripture readings: 2 Maccabees 12 (only in a Catholic Bible), and 1 Corinthians 3: 10-15

If you would like to “spring” your loved one from Purgatory, from Nov 1-8 of any year, you can go to any cemetery (doesn’t have to be the cemetery they are located in) and pray some prayers for your loved one, then ask for the Plenary Indulgence to go to your loved one, releasing them from Purgatory.  Also say in prayer, “If my loved one doesn’t need the indulgence, please give it to a soul who needs it the most”.  This is such a beautiful way to show our love to our loved ones.  Remembering them is great but to help them to see God is the ultimate gift to give them.

After this, you can ask for your loved one to pray for YOU too.  I recently did this for my Godfather.  It was so beautiful to think that I could help him to see the Glory of God when he spent his life helping me to learn about God.  Funny how things come around.  Today I will be going to a cemetery and praying for a homeless man that I knew, who was killed by a vehicle.  Shortly before he was killed, he asked me to pray for him.  I took this seriously and have been praying for him ever since. He was so repentant before he died.   I pray that God looks with mercy on him.

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What is the only unforgivable sin?

Many of us don’t think we sin.  What is a sin anyway?  What is the one unforgiveable sin?  I thought Jesus forgave all sins?  My parents or grandparents think I sin but I just think they are old fashioned.  They need to come up with the times right?  I just want to be free to follow my own rules.

Sin is when we are going in the opposite direction from God.  If we are not going toward God, then we are going away from God.  Sin is our choice to separate ourselves from God.  He gave us free will and respects our choice, even if we choose to leave and separate from Him.  The people who are in Hell are all volunteers.  They chose it.  God does not send people to Hell, they go willingly because they don’t want God.  He respects our choice to reject Him because He loves us.  This sounds backwards but He doesn’t want to force us to love Him.  He wants our total self-giving of ourselves to Him.  He doesn’t just want a little or want us to draw a line in the sand and say I will only give THIS much.  He wants all of us.

Sin can be big or small.  The small sins are called venial sins.  They aren’t as serious but if you have enough of them that can be serious.  These are smaller imperfections in us that cause problems.  Big sins are called mortal sins.  They ARE VERY SERIOUS!  These are like breaking the Ten Commandments or harming someone in a serious manner with ill intent.  These are sins like lying, stealing, killing, fornication (sex out of marriage), adultery, and not honoring God.  Think of the venial sins as paint spatter on your soul and think of the moral sins as big black ink stains on your gleaming white soul.

Our parents and grandparents most of the time can see our wrongdoings better than we can see ourselves.  They only have our best interest at heart.  Their biggest fear is for you to lose your soul and salvation.  Wouldn’t that be horrible if they went to heaven and you didn’t?  Think of the deep sorrow they would have for you.  They want to share the love of Heaven with you.  They are responsible to God for the salvation of your soul and they have to answer to God for the wrong choices you make.

Following your own rules sounds nice but if everyone followed their own rules, society would be chaos because who determines which rules we follow?  One person might think well stealing isn’t a big deal but the person he steals from might miss their car pretty bad.  We need to follow rules that are uniform to have a structured society.  We have to follow the laws or we have consequences.  We can’t speed or we would get a ticket or have an accident.

Jesus came to give us a second chance as mankind.  Yet we still refuse His mercy.  He died for our salvation, yet we still refuse Him and the only Church He founded.  We refuse to ask for forgiveness.  We commit sins and refuse to admit that we are sinning.  How horrible we treat Him.  We commit the sin of pride by thinking we are beyond sinning and don’t need forgiveness, or worse yet, we think the sin we committed is too grievous that we don’t deserve forgiveness.  This is the ONE UNFORGIVEABLE SIN, either thinking we don’t sin, not asking for forgiveness, or thinking its too bad that we don’t deserve it.  This is actually us rejecting God’s mercy and the mercy of the Holy Spirit.  If you think of Judas who turned Jesus over to be crucified, he realized that what he had done was wrong.  He tried to return the money he received but it didn’t clear his conscience.  He thought what he had done was unforgivable and killed himself.  How sad it is, that all he had to do was go to Jesus and ask for forgiveness.  What a story in the Bible that would have been huh?

Close your eyes for a moment, imagine that Jesus is tied to the pillar and the soldiers are scourging Him.  What a horrible sight, a painful sight to behold.  Now imagine that every time you sin, YOU are the one scourging Him.  This may sound like something hard to hear or you may say that sounds stupid; I mean after all we certainly wouldn’t do that.  But every time we sin and put ourselves first instead of God, that’s exactly what we are doing.  Think about it.  When we curse and use God’s name in vain or the “OMG” slang we are dishonoring God.  We need to think about our actions and understand that whatever we do to others, we have done to Jesus.

Yes we are human and not perfect by any means, but I have a remedy for you for all of this.  God doesn’t want to condemn us, He wants to offer and freely give His forgiveness and mercy for us to come back to Him.  We need to ditch the pride and come back humble and repentant to Him.  I you are Catholic and haven’t been to confession for awhile, go now and receive buckets of grace from Jesus!  If you are not Catholic, repent and come back to God, ask forgiveness.  Trust in Jesus that He will lead you to His mercy.  Everyone thinks that Jesus came to preach love but I am telling you that He really came to preach MERCY AND FORGIVENESS FOR ALL OF US, WE JUST NEED TO LEARN TO ASK FOR IT.

For more information please go to the link below.  It will bring you to a website PDF file of the Diary of St. Faustina.  This is an amazing story of Jesus coming to a nun and asking for people to come to His Divine Mercy.  This is a true story and is all documented in her diary and approved by the Catholic Church.  Please step into His mercy.  Jesus I trust in You.

http://www.boziemilosrdenstvo.sk/download/diary.pdf

 

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Statues? What’s up with all the statues?

Why do Catholics worship statues?  Do Catholics commit idolatry?  Are they even Christian?

Yes, Catholics are very much Christian and everything is based on what Jesus taught us.  Catholics have Bible verses in every Mass (service).

I remember a story about what the Catholic Church may look like from the outside.  If you stand outside of the church, you can see the stain glass windows but they are dark and unappealing.  The building just looks like any other building and not very exciting or even a little weird to people outside.  But if you look at it from the inside, the stain glass windows are so vibrant, beautiful and they tell a story.  Lights illuminate the ornate painted gold scrollwork on the walls and the beauty within.  Once you get to know what the Catholic Church is all about, you see the beauty within.

Statues in the Catholic Church are reminders for us, like people would have pictures of their family in their wallet.  If we didn’t have pictures of our great grandparents, we wouldn’t know what they looked like, right?  We honor the Virgin Mary (I will write more about that later) and the saints but only ask for them to pray FOR us, like we ask our family and friends to pray for us.  Idolatry would be if we thought that the statue itself would be able to do what we ask, but the statues only remind us of Jesus or the saints and we only worship God and Jesus.

We also have crucifixes of Jesus on the cross to remind us of His sacrifice for us.  We are not crucifying him again.  Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection are all one thing, not separate.  You can’t have one without the other. People have asked me why we want weddings in the church instead of on the beach.  The answer is, so that we have a crucifix to look at and remind us of the sacrifice that we are called to do within our marriage which is a covenant (promise) between the couple and God, instead of a contract of only the couple.

Although it may LOOK like we worship the statues, we are really using the statue to remind us of the person and asking for the person to PRAY FOR US and WITH US to God.  If you think about it, if you wanted something you would go to your mom and ask for her to ask dad for you right? Why?  Because you know that he wouldn’t refuse her on your behalf.  It’s the same with the Virgin Mary and Jesus and God.  The Virgin Mary goes to her Son and asks Him for and with us for our request and Jesus will always listen to His Mother.  The saints do the same thing.  They are our huge family in Heaven and they are on our side and willing to assist us to reach heaven.

Jesus gave His mother to us when He was on the cross dying.

26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loves, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.  John 19:26-27

Jesus not only gave the Virgin Mary, his mother, to John to care for but He also gave her to us as our Mother.  She is our Blessed Mother in Heaven and we need to honor her as Jesus would.