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The Apostle’s Creed Points the Way

The Apostle’s Creed’s history comes from the Apostles 2000 years ago.  These were some of our Early Church Fathers giving us a road map to help us find the way to what Jesus taught us.  It’s a faithful summary of the Apostle’s faith.

It starts out with the words, “I believe…”.  This is a profession of faith.  We profess our belief in God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Forgiveness of Sins, the Resurrection of the Body and Life Everlasting.

  • I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;
    • (God is one, loving, living, merciful, gracious, truth, love, the first person of the Trinity, Almighty, and created everything for His glory and it is ordered and ruled by His laws.)
    • (The Trinity is one God but three separate persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  The Trinity is NOT three Gods.)
  • and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
    • (Jesus is the second person of the Trinity.  Jesus, in Hebrew, means “God saves”.  The word “Christ” comes from the Hebrew “Messiah” which means “anointed”.  “He descended into Hell” means that Jesus descended “into the depths of death so that the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those that who hear will live”.  Remember that Heaven was not open at this time and Satan had the power over death and evil.  All those who had died were waiting for the Messiah to open Heaven because of the Fall of man.  The Hell we think of where Satan is, is not the same place Jesus went.  Jesus ascended into Heaven 40 days later after His Resurrection.)
  • I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
    • (The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, is a who and not a what, is symbolized by water, anointing, fire, dove, cloud and light, the seal, and the finger of God.)
    • (The Holy Catholic Church is the church that Jesus founded through the apostles 2000 years ago.  It is a visible church.  It possesses the four marks of the true church: one, holy, catholic (universal) and apostolic.  No other church on earth possesses all of these four marks.)
    • (Communion of Saints, means a communion of faith, sacraments, charisms, charity in the faithful to form one body with Christ as the Head of the Church.)
    • (Forgiveness of Sins, means the power given by Jesus in John 20:22-23 for the Apostles to forgive or retain sins.  This power is only for the apostles and their successors.  This is the Sacrament of Confession)
    • (In 1 Cor 15:12-14 it states that “…if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain…But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”  Those alive in Christ will raise again body and soul and have life everlasting in Christ.)
    • Amen means “I believe”.
    • Many non-Catholic churches say the Apostle’s Creed but might hold a different meaning than what the apostles or Jesus meant.  Do your research and find out if your church truly believes what the apostles believed in the Early Church.

The Four Marks of the True Church are as follows (CCC 866-870):

  1. The Church is one: acknowledges one Lord, confesses one faith, is born of one Baptism, forms only one Body, is given life by the one Spirit, for the sake of one hope (Eph 4:3-5) at whose fulfillment all divisions will be overcome.
  2. The Church is holy: the Most Holy God is her author; Christ her bridegroom, gave himself up to make her holy; the Spirit of holiness gives her life.  Since she still includes sinners, she is “the sinless one made up of sinners”.  Her holiness shines in the saints; in Mary she is already all-holy.
  3. The Church is catholic: she proclaims the fullness of the faith.  She bears in herself and administers the totality of the means of salvation.  She is sent out to all peoples.  She speaks to all men.  She encompasses all times.  She is “missionary of her very nature.”
  4. The Church is apostolic.  She is built on a lasting foundation: “the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Rev 21:14).  She is indestructible (Mt 16:18).  She is upheld infallibly in the truth: Christ governs her through Peter and the other apostles, who are present in their successors, the Pope and the college of bishops.
  5. The sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic,…subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him.  Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines.  (This means that many, not all, elements of truth are found outside of the Catholic Church but the fullness of faith is found within the Catholic Church.)

CCC stands for Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Please see the Catechism paragraph numbers 194-1065 for reference.

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When Everything is Going Wrong!

Have you ever felt this way?  No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, it just seems that you can’t win in life?  Sometimes it feels like you just get an edge up and get knocked down again?  When it rains it pours!

Now the critical question, have you turned away from God?  I’m not saying that God is taking His revenge on you.   God doesn’t take revenge on anyone.  But are you trying to get through life all on your own?

I ran into a friend last week and he told me of so many things that had gone wrong for him.  He said, “Just when I think I can get ahead, something else goes wrong.  I don’t get it, what am I doing wrong?”  He seemed so beaten down by life.  I told him, “Come back to God.  What your doing isn’t working.  God is waiting for you to come back.  If you turn back to Him, He will bless you and your life.  That doesn’t mean you will never have any problems but things go better with God in your life.  Let Him guide you instead of trying to do it all on your own.”  He said, “That makes so much sense.”

God is waiting with open arms for us to come back to Him.  When we come back to the Sacraments to replenish our Grace, life goes so much better.

I heard someone say one time, “If you aren’t going toward God, you are going away from God.  There’s nothing in the middle.”  Which way are you going??

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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.

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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.

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Can’t Get to Mass?

If you can’t get to Mass, you can still watch it online at the following links below:

Also, if you would like to watch Catholic TV, click here.

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What is RCIA?

RCIA stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.  This is a class meant for anyone who wants to know more about the Catholic Church or for those who missed a sacrament when they were younger like confirmation or baptism.  It usually starts about September and ends at Eastertime but can go all year through.  Usually, this is about a nine month process.  People who want to strengthen their faith or just curious about the Church can go to all or some of the classes.  Just because you attend does not mean that you have to become Catholic but once you begin to understand the truths of the Church, you may feel the tug to take that leap and become Catholic.  If that is what you desire, then you would finish the classes, pick a sponsor for confirmation, and come into the fullness of the faith, usually at Easter.  You would declare that you believe what the Church teaches.  A sponsor would help to answer questions you may have and to guide you in your faith journey, helping you to build your faith stronger.  The classes are usually two hours long and cover the basics of the Catholic Faith.  You still need to keep learning about the faith after the classes because there is so much to learn.  It’s like an onion with many layers.  All you have to do to get started is go to the nearest Catholic Church and ask about the RCIA classes.  The Church will help you get started.

Usually, when you start another church, you just sign up and you start going or maybe they don’t even require you to sign up.  You can church hop without much trouble.  You might not even really understand what that new church teaches.  In the Catholic Church, we take doctrine and the 2000 year history seriously and want people who attend to understand what the teachings are. There’s a lot to cover in the classes too.  That’s why it takes months to become Catholic.

Can you pick and choose what you believe and still be Catholic?  The answer is no.  That is what is called a cafeteria Catholic.  If you struggle with certain topics such as the Virgin Mary, saints, calling a priest Father, or whatever other topic, you need to find out more and understand why the Church teaches it.  Once you understand it, it will be easier to accept.  You don’t have to be a scholar and understand everything about the Church, but you should be able to say that you accept the authority of the Church to teach the truth of Jesus.  Many people struggle with the authority of the Church since many have not had to accept higher authority than the pastor in their church.  This is a very fundamental cornerstone in the Church.  We hold the Pope with high honor because he is in the succession of St. Peter, the first Pope, and given authority through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, because… “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. Matt 16:18   It’s the truth and we have an obligation and God-given desire to accept the truth.

Some people are not ready to do any more than go to the classes for a year or two and that’s ok.  There is no pressure to become Catholic.  This is your faith journey and there is no time limit on it.  If you feel the tug toward the Church or just plain curious, take the next step and ask about the RCIA classes to find out the truth about the Church, then when you are ready take the next step into the Church.  If you are not quite ready, take your time and listen to God’s call.  He’ll lead you where He wants you to be on His time.

I’ve heard people say, “I will NEVER become Catholic!” then when they learn more about it…they end up in the loving arms of the Catholic Church and wouldn’t give it up for anything.

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Christian Show for Men, by Men

EWTN has a wonderful show for men about living the message of Jesus Christ.  If you click on the link below, you will find the video library of all of their seasons.  It is based on a sports show format.  Men talk about what it specifically means for men to be a Christian.  You can be masculine and Christian at the same time with dignity.

http://www.crossingthegoal.com/video-library