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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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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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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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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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Do We Become Angels After Death?

All of the angels were created in the beginning when God created the world.  They are purely spirit, without a body and are immortal so they never experience death.

Humans are made of flesh and soul and are mortal so we experience death.  Our souls are immortal but not the same substance as angels.

When someone dies, they will become a saint in heaven (provided they are free from sin), not an angel.  Many, during grief of the death of a loved one, may say that that loved one is a guardian angel now or an angel in heaven, but this is not true.  Although we need to be sensitive of the grief of the loved ones left behind, we also need to help others understand, after the grief, that people become saints not angels.

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Angels and Saints before Heaven

 

When we die, we don’t become an angel, we become a saint!

We can still pray to our loved ones and ask for their intercessory prayers for us.  There is nothing wrong with doing that. We would’ve asked them to pray for us when they were on earth.  They are saints in heaven and saints can offer prayers for us to God’s throne.  That’s a loving thing for them to do for us.  I have asked for my grandparents and godparents to pray for me.  Think of all the people you have known that died…they could be praying for you.  That could be quite an army of saints!  Picture them with armloads of prayers laid at the foot of God, all for you.

A good article for you to check out on this subject is http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2014/03/humans-never-become-angels.html

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Judgment after death or end of world?

(Note: CCC stands for Catechism of the Catholic Church and includes a paragraph reference number)

Do we get judged after our death or at the end of the world?  Actually, both.  There are two different kinds of judgment; Particular Judgment and General Judgment.  There are three possible results of that judgment: Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell.  Purgatory is a temporary place for us to get purified before we enter Heaven.

Particular Judgment happens immediately after our death.  This happened to the good thief and was taken to paradise that day, so he is not waiting until the end of the world to be judged.

“Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.”The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation?And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.”Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.  He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”  Luke 23:39-43

The General Judgment will be at the end of time, when Jesus comes the second time.  The resurrection of all the dead, “of both the just and the unjust.” (Acts 24:15) will precede the Last Judgment.  Then Christ will come “in his glory, and all the angels with him….Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left….And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”  Matthew 25:31,32,46  (CCC 1038)

(Heaven) “Those who die in God’s grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ….By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints….and other faithful who died after receiving Christ’s holy Baptism….already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment–and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven–have been, are and will be in heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels.  Since the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature.”  (CCC1023)  So those who are baptized in Christ, since Jesus’ death, people can go to heaven if they are not in mortal sin and if they need purification, then they spend time in Purgatory first.

(Purgatory)  All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. (CCC 1030)  But nothing unclean will enter it (heaven).  Rev 21:27  Purgatory is temporary and the person is guaranteed to enter Heaven after purification.

(Hell)  We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love Him.  (CCC 1033)  The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity.  Immediately after death the souls of those that die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.”  The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs. (CCC1035)  God predestines no one to hell; for this, willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end….the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance.”  (CCC1037)  “The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,” but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2Peter 3:9

There is hope for us all.  “For it is now, in this life, that we are offered the choice between life and death, and it is only by the road of conversion that we can enter the Kingdom, from which one is excluded by grave sin. In converting to Christ through penance and faith, the sinner passes from death to life and “does not come into judgment.”  (CCC1470) We must accept God’s grace of conversion.  If not, “then will the culpable (those guilty of) unbelief that counted the offer of God’s grace as nothing be condemned.  By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one’s works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the (Holy) Spirit of love”.  (CCC678-679)  Our hope is in accepting God’s grace, conversion and penance.

 

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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.

https://wn.com/defend_the_catholic_faith_vanguards_of_truth