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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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How Much Do You Know About Being Catholic?

Take this quiz and find out how much you know about what Catholics believe.  Answers are below.

  1. How do you make the Sign of the Cross?
  2. To whom did Mary go visit as soon as she found out she was pregnant with Jesus?
  3. True or False:  The Stations of the Cross are a Sacrament.
  4. Do Catholics WORSHIP or HONOR Mary?
  5. What is the name of the Pope?
  6. What was the name of the Pope before our present Pope?
  7. Yes or No: Mother Teresa has officially been named a saint of the Church.
  8. What does the word Catholic mean?
  9. Yes or No:  Should a Catholic receive communion at a non-Catholic service?
  10. True or False:  A Lutheran can receive communion at a Catholic Mass.
  11. True or False:  Only a priest can baptize someone.
  12. Can a person be baptized more than once?
  13. True or False:  A person can receive the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick more than once.
  14. True or False:  Priests can NEVER reveal what they hear in confession even if they are brought to court.
  15. True or False:  Judas was one of the 12 Apostles.
  16. How many days are in Lent?
  17. What is the name of the day that begins Lent?
  18. The day Jesus died is called ___________________________?
  19. The day Jesus rose from the dead is called _________________________?
  20. What does it mean to “Fast” in the Catholic Church during Lent?
  21. True or False:  People can fall out of purgatory and go to hell.
  22. Who was the first Pope?
  23. What do we celebrate on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception?
  24. What do we celebrate on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary?
  25. What happened to Jesus on the Feast of the Ascension?
  26. At what age must a Pope retire?
  27. The sin of Adam and Eve is called the ____________________sin.
  28. How many Sacraments are there?
  29. Name the Sacraments.
  30. What kind of oil is used for the sacrament of baptism, confirmation, holy orders and anointing of the sick in the Church?
  31. True or False:  If you are Catholic, you are guaranteed to go to heaven when you die.
  32. True or False:  Catholics can receive the Sacrament of Confirmation more than once.
  33. True or False:  Jesus was married.
  34. Name four saints.
  35. In Christian art, what is the dove a symbol of?
  36. True or False:  If we forget God, God will forget us.
  37. When a priest explains the Gospel during Mass, this is not a sermon, it is called a ______________.
  38. True or False:  Just having a sexual thought or feeling is a sin.
  39. What is it called when we believe something that cannot be scientifically proven?
  40. How many beads are in a decade of the Rosary?
  41. What prayer is said on the large beads of the Rosary?
  42. Jesus grew up in what religion?
  43. What is the little voice in our head that tells us right from wrong?
  44. What is the piece of furniture called where the priest sets the bread and wine and says the prayers to make it become the Body and Blood of Jesus?
  45. True or False:  We are only pretending at Mass when we say the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus.
  46. True or False:  A person always has the right to end his/her life.
  47. True or False:  A Catholic can have their ashes scattered anywhere they want after they die.
  48. Where does the Pope live?
  49. Who elects the Pope?
  50. What color smoke comes from the chimney of the Vatican when a Pope is elected?
  51. What is the smoky stuff used sometimes at Mass on special occasions by the priest called?
  52. True or False:  An evil action is permitted if the result is good.
  53. What was the name of the angel who told Mary she would give birth to Jesus?
  54. What is it called when we drop to one knee before going into a pew?
  55. Do we genuflect when we go into a non-Catholic church?
  56. Why don’t we genuflect when we go into a non-Catholic church?
  57. Jesus cried when a friend of his died.  Who was this?
  58. In the Bible, who made Jesus perform his first miracle?
  59. What celebration was Jesus at when he performed his first miracle?
  60. Finish this sentence from a prayer:  HAIL MARY, FULL OF ________________________.
  61. What is the gold container called where the Body of Christ is kept during the week?
  62. What is the name of Mary’s mother?
  63. What is the name of Mary’s father?
  64. True or False:  Is it possible for God to do something evil if He chooses to?
  65. True or False:  Is it possible for God NOT to love us?
  66. True or False:  Catholics believe that everything that the Pope teaches is infallible, meaning no matter what the says he is right.
  67. True or False:  The Pope cannot sin.
  68. True or False:  Catholics believe that the Bible is the Word of God.
  69. True or False: Catholics worship statues.
  70. True or False:  Once your are baptized Catholic you are always Catholic, no matter what.

 

 

Answers are below:

  1. Touch your forehead as you say, “In the name of the Father”, touch your chest and say, “and the Son”, touch your left shoulder and say, “and the Holy”, touch the right shoulder and say, “Spirit”, fold your hands in prayer and say, “Amen.”
  2. Her cousin Elizabeth.
  3. False, the Stations of the Cross are NOT a Sacrament.
  4. Catholics HONOR  Mary.
  5. Pope Francis.
  6. Pope Benedict
  7. Yes, Mother Teresa is officially a saint of the Church as of September 2016.
  8. The word Catholic means “universal”.
  9. No, a Catholic should not receive communion in a non-Catholic church, because the non-Catholic church does not believe the same about communion as the Catholic, so the Catholic is not in communion with the non-Catholic church.
  10. False, a Lutheran CANNOT receive communion at a Catholic Mass, because the Lutheran does NOT believe the same about the Eucharist as the Catholics so they are not in Communion with the Church.
  11. False, anyone can baptize someone if that person is in imminent danger of death.  They can baptize with water or whatever liquid is available, “In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.”
  12. False, a person can only be baptized once.
  13. True, you can receive the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick more than once.
  14. True, priests can NEVER reveal what they hear in confession.
  15. True, Judas was one of the 12 Apostles.
  16. There are approximately 40 days in Lent.
  17. Ash Wednesday begins Lent.
  18. The day Jesus died is called Good Friday.
  19. The day Jesus rose from the dead is called Easter.
  20. Fasting in the Catholic Church during Lent means to eat the equivalent of one meal during the day.
  21. False, people CANNOT fall out of Purgatory and go to hell.  Once they are in Purgatory, they are guaranteed to go to heaven.
  22. The first Pope was St. Peter.
  23. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a celebration of the conception of the Virgin Mary, within her mother, without Original Sin, in preparation of her becoming Jesus’ mother.
  24. The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is the celebration of the Virgin Mary going to heaven body and soul, not under her own power, but under God’s power.
  25. The Feast of the Ascension is the celebration of Jesus going up to heaven under His own power.
  26. Popes are not required to retire at any age.
  27. The sin of Adam and Eve is called Original sin.
  28. There are seven Sacraments.
  29. Baptism, Holy Communion, Reconciliation/Confession, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Matrimony, and Anointing of the Sick.
  30. The oil used for the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick is called Chrism oil.
  31. Catholics are not guaranteed to go to heaven when they die.  You can lose your salvation as they DON’T believe in “once saved, always saved”.
  32. False, Catholics can only be Confirmed once.
  33. False, Jesus was NOT married.
  34. Common saints are: St. Joseph, St. Christopher, St. Theresa, St. Francis, St. Michael, St. Clare, St. Padre Pio, St. Maria Goretti, St. Joan of Arc, etc.
  35. The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
  36. False, God will NEVER forget us.
  37. A priest explaining the Gospel is called the Homily.
  38. False, a sexual thought or feeling is not a sin, it’s how you act on that thought or feeling that could be a sin.
  39. When we believe in something not scientifically proven is called Faith.
  40. A decade of the Rosary is made up of 11 beads, or 10 small Hail Mary beads and 1 larger Our Father bead.
  41. The larger Rosary bead is for the Our Father prayer.
  42. Jesus was Jewish as he grew up.  When He came into His ministry, He instituted the Catholic Church.
  43. The little voice in our heads telling us right from wrong is called our conscience.
  44. The priest sets the bread and wine on the ALTAR  and says prayers to make it become the Body and Blood of Jesus.
  45. False, We NEVER pretend at Mass when we say the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus.
  46. False, a person NEVER has the right to take his/her own life because we are only stewards of this life and God is the creator and owner of our lives.
  47. False, a Catholic can NOT scatter their ashes because their body contains the Body and Blood of Jesus and therefore needs to be reverently buried.
  48. The Pope lives in Rome at the Vatican.
  49. The Cardinals elect the Pope.
  50. White smoke comes out of the chimney of the Vatican when a Pope is elected.
  51. The smoky stuff that the priests use on special occasions is called incense.
  52. False, an evil action is NEVER permitted even if the result is good.
  53. The angel Gabriel was the one who told Mary she would give birth to Jesus.
  54. Dropping to one knee before getting into a pew is called genuflecting.
  55. No, we DO NOT genuflect in a non-Catholic church.
  56. We do not genuflect because there is no Tabernacle and therefore Jesus is not present in the Eucharist.
  57. Jesus’ friend that died was called Lazarus.
  58. Mary, Jesus’ mother, made Him perform His first miracle.
  59. The Wedding at Cana was the place Jesus performed His first miracle.
  60. Hail Mary, full of GRACE.
  61. The gold container where the Body of Christ is kept is called the Tabernacle.
  62. Mary’s mother is called St. Ann.
  63. Mary’s father is called St. Joachim.
  64. False, God is not capable of doing something evil because He is all good.
  65. False, It is NOT possible for God to not love us.  God loves not matter what.
  66. False, Catholics believe that the Pope is infallible only when he is teaching about faith and doctrine.
  67. False, the Pope does sin and he even goes to Confession.
  68. True, Catholics believe the Bible is the Word of God.
  69. False, Catholics DO NOT WORSHIP STATUES.  The statues are holy reminders of our family of saints in heaven.  They are kind of like pictures of family in your wallet.  We don’t worship the picture, it’s just a reminder of them.
  70. True, once you are baptized Catholic, you are always Catholic, even if you do not attend Catholic Church, you are still Catholic.  You would be able to come back to the Church by going to Confession, if you have received that Sacrament for the first time.

How did you do?  This is a taste of what Catholics believe.  Did you find anything in the quiz that surprised you?  You don’t have to but if you would like, please let me know what your scores were.  You can click on the Contact Page or you can leave a reply below in the box.   I hope this quiz helps you to know the truth of what Catholics believe and I hope it spurs you to learn more about the beautiful faith called the Catholic Church.  Thank you for taking the quiz.

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Have You Been Away from the Church?

Has it been months, years or decades since you have been to the Catholic Church?  Why did you leave?

  • If you just neglected to attend Church, you can come back once you go to Confession.  That’s all it takes.
  • If you have sinned and don’t think Jesus can forgive you, no matter what you have done, all you have to do is go to Confession and ask for His mercy and forgiveness.  He will forgive your sins even if you find it hard to forgive yourself.  Go to Confession/Reconciliation.  Be reunited with Jesus.
  • If you disagree with something that the Church teaches, go to the RCIA classes through the Church or just ask a priest at any Catholic Church.  They can explain it easily and make you feel more comfortable to go forward.
  • If you are just bored with Mass, then I encourage you to research the true meaning of the Mass.  Usually the real reason for boredom of the Mass is a misunderstanding of it.
  • If you have a difficulty with your relationship with God or Jesus, know that He longs for you.  Look to God as your Father and understand His role in your life as loving you more than anyone else.  Look at the Crucifix to learn how much He loves you that He would offer His only Son for you.  Learn more about the Eucharist.  This will help with understanding love.
  • If you got married outside of the Church or if you are in need of an annulment, then I urge you to go to the Church and inquire about the annulment process or the process for getting your marriage blessed so that you are in communion with the Church.
  • If you are missing one of your sacraments, go to the nearest Catholic Church and get signed up for RCIA classes.  These will help you complete the process.  You would get all sacraments together usually, after the classes are completed.  This is an easy process.
  • If someone hurt or offended you in the Church, I apologize to you for the hurt they have caused.  Please don’t hold their actions against the Church.  The Catholic Church is the “hospital for sinners” and sometimes people don’t understand how their actions can hurt others.  Please find it in your heart to forgive them and come back to the Church.
  • Whatever the reason for being away from the Catholic Church, there is help within the Church to resolve the difficulty.   You will find forgiveness and mercy in the Church.

Please come back to the Church.  We miss you and we love you but even more important…Jesus misses you in the Eucharist.  Come home.

Please check out this website and learn how to come into or come back to the Catholic Church.  http://www.catholicscomehome.org/

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Bible Alone? Or is There More?

Bible Alone as the sole authority for faith is called Sola Scriptura.  This came from the Protestant doctrine during the Reformation revolt in the 1500’s AD.

The Bible does not teach Sola Scriptura or Bible Alone.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the Bible is the sole authority of the faith.  Jesus, the Apostles, and the early church never taught Bible alone and never practiced it.  The Bible wasn’t even written when Jesus was on earth.  That  wasn’t until about 400 years later.  Bible Alone wasn’t even taught until the Reformation in the 1500’s.

The whole truth is that Sola Scriptura is a false doctrine.  Sola Scriptura creates the sole interpreter of the Bible as the Bible itself, causing an interpretation based on human opinion and multiple errors.

I was at a Lutheran Church awhile back for an occasion.  The pastor stated that “we don’t need the Catholic Church to interpret scripture.  We can do it ourselves.”  This is a serious error.  We can’t pick and choose what scripture says, we need God to make the decision of the truth and Jesus gave the authority of interpreting the Scriptures to His Church…the Catholic Church.  He did this by giving the “keys of the kingdom” to St. Peter.

Now that we know that the Sola Scriptura is not a true doctrine worthy of belief, let’s look at the Biblical truth and importance of Apostolic Tradition instead.  Apostolic Tradition will lead us to the true meaning of Scripture because without it, the meaning will become distorted and full of errors.  This is why there are so many churches who can have the same scripture on Sunday but can preach something so different.  They are interpreting it on their own.

We need Jesus’ authority and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to interpret Holy Scripture so we don’t get it wrong.  If we follow the true interpretation of the Scriptures from the Catholic Church, we will get so much more out of the Scripture.  It opens up new doors that we never knew were there.  One example is John chapter 6.  If you read it with the eyes outside of the Catholic Church, you will see Jesus speaking of a symbol but if you read it with the eyes of Catholic interpretation, you will see the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  You may say, yes but every church has their own ideas about what it means.  I say to you that truth has only one interpretation.

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What is a Novena?

A novena (no-vee-na) is a devotion that you can do for an intention.  You say a particular prayer every day for nine days in a row to Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit , the Virgin Mary or a saint.  When your nine days are done, then you say another nine days of the prayer in thanksgiving regardless of the outcome.  This has been a very effective form of prayer when someone is really in need of something.  There are some good apps in the Google play store you can download on your phone if you put in the search bar “novena”.

This form of prayer shows persistence and obedience in your prayer life.  I have also found one novena prayer to the Infant Jesus of Prague that you say for either nine hours (once per hour) or nine days.  This is not vain repetition of prayer, this is asking for the intercession of the saints or going to Jesus or God for help.

What kind of prayers should you say a novena for?  Well, you can’t make anyone fall in love with you or have selfish intentions.  You have to have good intentions and God’s will in mind when you pray.  Ask yourself, “What would God want?”  Praying for sinners to turn to Jesus is always a good choice.  Another one is, “God, please give that person or myself the graces that others refuse.”  Saying a novena to a saint or the Holy Trinity, for their intercession is always a good idea.  The saints are always there for us, to intercede for us on our behalf.  There is strength in prayers in numbers.

I have been saying a novena for the last five days and already I have received part of my prayer.  It also helps if you can get others to say the novena with you.  I have two others saying the novena everyday for the same intention.  My novena has produced a deeply moving answer for me in reply.  I couldn’t have asked for a better reply.  I was praying to St. Joseph, Patron of the Church.  He always answers your prayer because he is the earthly father of Jesus and He would listen to him.  Blessed be St. Joseph!  Thank you St. Joseph!

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Can’t Get to Mass?

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