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I’ll Give You One Good Reason

I’ve been asked, “Why are you Catholic?” but then they think they know the answer by saying, “Oh, you’re Catholic because you were born into it.”  Well, the answer is yes and no.  Yes, I was lucky enough to be born into it but that’s not the reason I’m Catholic.

I’m Catholic because it’s true!  If you are looking for the truth in faith, this is it!  Why?

  • Because Jesus founded only the Catholic Church, not all the other denominations.
  • Because the Catholic Church is 2000 years old.
  • Because it’s the only place I can find the true Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
  • Because it’s the Church that gave the world the Bible.
  • Because it has all the Sacraments instituted by Christ.
  • Because it’s the only leadership that can trace it’s authority to Christ and the Apostles.
  • Because it’s the only true “universal” Church on earth with a solid, unified doctrine and teaching.
  • Teachings on abortion, euthanasia, contraception, marriage and homosexuality are based on natural law.

No other church on earth can claim these truths.

“But it doesn’t matter what church you belong to, right?  Aren’t they all the same?”  No, they aren’t.  Did Jesus start an invisible church?  The authority is only for the apostles and their successors.  There is one, holy, Catholic (universal) and apostolic church.  Jesus started a visible church that is found all over the world.  We are all called to be in agreement in our faith.  This does not give authority for anyone else to start their own church or interpret scripture.    See Eph. 4:3-6

Where in the Bible does it say that we can have personal interpretation of scripture?  It doesn’t.  Jesus gave the Catholic Church teaching authority on faith and morality and to interpret scripture, therefore we have an obligation to follow church teaching.

Think of it this way, how do you interpret these six words?  “I never said you stole money?”  Depending on which word you put the accent on, it takes on different meaning.

  • I never said you stole money–Someone else said it.
  • I never said you stole money–I don’t appreciate the accusation.
  • I never said you stole money–I thought it but didn’t say it.
  • I never said you stole money–I said someone else did.
  • I never said you stole money–I said you borrowed it.
  • I never said you stole money–I said you stole my car.

If these six little words can be interpreted into six different meanings, then think of all the words in the Bible that can take on different meanings.  We need the authority of the Catholic Church to help us to interpret the Bible correctly.  Even pastors outside of the Catholic Church can only give their fallible opinion of the meaning of scripture.

It all boils down to this, the Catholic Church and all of her teachings are the truth.  You might say, “But truth is subjective, you have your truth and I have mine.”

No.  Truth is fact, truth is truth and truth never changes.  It’s not your truth or my truth.  It’s Jesus’ truth!  It’s historical.  It’s documented very well.  It’s witnessed by hundreds and thousands.  People who crucified Jesus saw him alive in the flesh after His resurrection.  I’m sure that had to be shocking!  To see someone you killed walking around for 40 days with the nail marks and lance hole in His side.  And if you say, He never was dead.  Then think of this, the executioners were crucified themselves if they let even one person live.  They had to be sure every one of them was very, very, dead so you didn’t become one of them.  That’s why the soldier thrust the lance into Jesus’ side.  To be sure He was dead.  Jesus would not have survived the torture and crucifixion he was subjected to anyway.  He likely died from traumatic and hypovolemic shock and suffered horrible pain from the torture being centered on His cranial nerves, wrist nerves, leg nerves and deep wounds all over His body from the scourging and crown of thorns (this was a cap, not a wreath).  Who could have survived this? Check this webpage out for more information on the medical evaluation of Jesus’ crucifixion and torture.  Please read the Conclusion, it’s so important.

After you read this article, it’s hard not to see just how much Jesus endured because He loves us.  He loves each one of us.  He saw each of us at the foot of the cross and loved us that much that He would rather bear that suffering pain than lose even one of us to sin.  No one else loves us that much!

I’ll give you many reasons why I’m Catholic.  It’s the truth and the only Church Jesus founded but the most important reason I’m Catholic is because Jesus suffered so much just so that I would not be lost to sin.  He did that just for you too.  He would have done all of that for only one of us.  He values each of us that much!  He did it for His Church, the Catholic Church, so that we would have the source of salvation and we could be with Him in Heaven.  But we have to choose Him and follow His Church.

There is nothing on earth like the Catholic Church and it’s a miracle in itself, in Him, with Him, and through Him.  That’s why I’m Catholic!

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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/

For other topics click here.

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St. Valentine

There was actually a St. Valentine, a bishop, who lived in the first century.  He was martyred in the year 269.  His feast day is February 14th in honor of the day he was martyred, which is now celebrated as Valentine’s Day.  He is the patron saint of love, young people, engaged couples, bee keepers, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, and travelers.

“One common story about St. Valentine is that in one point of his life, as the former Bishop of Terni, Narnia and Amelia, he was on house arrest with Judge Asterius. While discussing religion and faith with the Judge, Valentine pledged the validity of Jesus. The judge immediately put Valentine and his faith to the test.  St. Valentine was presented with the judge’s blind daughter and told to restore her sight. If he succeeded, the judge vowed to do anything for Valentine. Placing his hands onto her eyes, Valentine restored the child’s vision.  Judge Asterius was humbled and obeyed Valentine’s requests. Asterius broke all the idols around his house, fasted for three days and became baptized, along with his family and entire 44 member household. The now faithful judge then freed all of his Christian inmates…On the day of his execution, he left the girl a note signed, “Your Valentine.”      —http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=159

St. Valentine was a real person and martyred for his faith.  The emperor wanted his army to consist of single men but St. Valentine married many couples against the emperor’s commands.  This may be part of why his was martyred.  St. Valentine believed in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony as a lifelong Covenant between a man, woman and God.  He died for this sacrament and covenant.

As you celebrate this holiday, remember that this is a holy feast day for a saint who gave his life for love and marriage and faith.

(By the way, our calendar has many religious holidays that have become commonplace.  These are Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, All Saint’s Day (Halloween), Christmas, among many other saint feast days.)

 

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Why is the Catholic Church against birth control?

What’s the big deal if people use condoms or artificial birth control?  Shouldn’t it be up to me to decide what I use?

For a more thorough explanation, please check out the Humanae Vitae by Pope Paul VI from July 25, 1968.

When a couple has sex, it’s purpose is for bonding and children.  Pleasure is an added bonus but not the purpose.  We know that women have eggs and men have sperm but those cells are alive.  These cells should never be disrespected.  Men carry and give as a gift to his bride, billions of live sperm.  It says in the Bible that men shall not spill their seed for this reason.  Marriage is the proper place to come into the marital embrace because this is the safe and secure and healthiest place to bear children.

Artificial Birth Control comes in two different forms: barrier or chemical.  The barrier forms like condoms or diaphragm put a barrier between the couple.  “I love you but I want a barrier between us.”  This is not a loving thing to say but people say it with their bodies all the time.  It does not accept the man’s gift of his total self to his partner.  It is rejecting his very self.  It also rejects the very essence of the woman’s fertility.

Chemical birth control, such as the morning after pill, the “pill”, the implant, ring, pills used by abortion clinics for abortions, or whatever contains the chemical hormones, is very damaging to the couple and to the woman’s body.  It is also an abortifacient that causes the fertilized egg, man and woman’s live cells coming together, to pass through the woman without attaching to the uterine wall.  She has an abortion without knowing it.  This is a baby!  These chemicals don’t cause the prevention of ovulation anymore because the doses are lower now but they prevent pregnancy by causing abortions.  She could possibly have an abortion this way every month; twelve per year.  This says to the partner, “I love you but I don’t want a part of you to carry on and I only want you as a sexual object for my pleasure.”  This is also not a loving thing for a relationship.  It also has many side-effects that can harm the woman’s body or even kill her.  Take the time to read the side-effect list of some of these products.  Some doctors even push these chemicals on us as women.  I even overheard a patient wanting the doctor to take out the Norplant in her arm but the doctor refused and sent her away crying in remorse.

You might say then, the Catholic Church just wants us to use the Rhythm Method or have lots of kids, right?  No, the Catholic Church does not use the Rhythm Method.  That method is from back in the 1930’s, not effective and not scientific.  The Catholic Church recommends Natural Family Planning.  This is a scientific method that is natural and doesn’t interfere with the couple’s bodies.  It lets the couple decide when they want to conceive or when they don’t.  It is based on the woman’s fertility signs she has monthly.  Many studies have been done and the efficacy rate is over 99%.  The divorce rate of couples using NFP is about 3% instead of the national divorce rate of 50-60%.  When you respect life in your sex life with your committed marital partner, then you have a loving embrace that allows for love to bloom and if you choose to have children, then it allows for that too, when you are ready.  You can find more information about Natural Family Planning at your local Catholic Church, regardless of your religion/faith.

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What’s our main job as a spouse?

Have you ever thought about it?  Most people would think…”to love my spouse forever, right?”  Well, kind of.

We will only be married to our spouse until one dies.  We will not have marriages in heaven.  So we will not be married forever but we will want to see our loved one in heaven.  This brings me to my point.  Our main job and responsibility for our spouse is to get THEM to heaven.  That’s a tall order!

It’s hard enough to get ourselves to heaven but now we have to try to get our spouse there too???  Yes.  God wants us to try to get everyone to heaven, as He craves for all of us to say yes to Him and be holy enough to get to heaven.  When we say “I do”, we are taking on the responsibility of getting our spouse to heaven too.  But what’s nice is that their responsibility is to get YOU to heaven too.  (Is that a taller order?)

This is true love in the eyes of God.  You sacrifice yourself in every way to try to get your spouse to heaven and they do the same for us.  That’s what marriage is all about.  This is the LOVE that God wants for us in our marriages.  That’s why it’s a lifetime commitment and not a commitment that we end just because it’s not convenient or doesn’t measure up to our expectations.  Marriage is between you, your spouse, AND GOD.  When you don’t have God in the middle of your marriage, your marriage doesn’t have a solid foundation upon the covenant of God.  God formed marriage between a man and woman to produce children and have bonding.  Through this union, children are produced who will be taught to love God and each spouse will love each other enough that they will get each other into heaven to be with God.  Isn’t that the ultimate gift we can give our spouse, to give them an eternity with God in heaven?  I do this for you because I love you that much.