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What is a Protestant?

A Protestant is a person who belongs to a church that originated as protesting the Catholic Church.  A person who belongs to any church that is separated from the Catholic, Anglican or Eastern Church.  You might say, “Well, I don’t protest anything.” or “My church doesn’t protest anything.”  You have to go back in history to find out.  If you go back to the Reformation time period, around 1517 AD, this is when the Reformers began their protest against the Catholic Church and the Pope.  It started as an effort to reform the Catholic Church but then this dissent began to grow into protest against the authority of the Catholic Church.  (Yes, both sides had issues and faults.) You might not even be aware of the history of your church.  I encourage you to look into it.  Where did your church start and by whom?  Why?  If it started after the year 1500, then it more than likely is a Protestant Church.  It may have come from another church, which came from another church but this splintering off is not what Jesus wanted.  He wanted unity.  One faith, which means we all agree on the doctrines.

The problem is we don’t all agree.  WE HAVE A UNITY PROBLEM!  You might say, “Well, we agree on the important things, right?”  No, not necessarily.  Look at Baptism, we can’t even agree on the formula of this important sacrament.  Do we dunk, sprinkle, squirt?  What age can be baptized, infant, adult, teenager?  What formula do you use, “In the name of the Father?”  “Or the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit?”  Can we be baptized more than once?  Who determines the correct and truthful answers to these questions, the Pastor of any church, ourselves, the Bible?  What if the answers differ?  Who’s right???? It’s all so murky like a thick fog.

How do we find the truth of what Jesus really taught?

We need an authority who knows the truth to clarify it for us.  We wouldn’t go to our Algebra teacher in high school and say, “Well, I’m going to interpret the chapter in the book on my own and try to solve this equation 2x +6 = 18.”  If we didn’t know what the principles were for solving the equation, we would come up with the wrong answer.  We need a teacher who understands it and can demonstrate it correctly in order to understand the process.  This brings us to the right answer regardless of what numbers you plug into the equation.

The Catholic Church is the teacher and authority of the truth of what Jesus taught.  He was the one who gave the Church the authority until He returns.

Do you need the authority of the Catholic Church?  The simple answer is “Yes”.  Why?  Because if you don’t have it, then you are wandering around in the desert trying to find it.

If you are searching for the pure church, Jesus’ church, then this is the question to ask:

“Who’s your authority?”  Ask your church this.  Ask any church this.

If they say, “the Bible”…wrong answer, because the Bible is not self-attesting.

If they say, “the pastor”…wrong answer, he is a fallible man.

If they say, “the Synod”…wrong answer, this was not instituted by Jesus, but by man.

This only right answer is, “the Catholic Church instituted for us by Jesus Christ as our authority”.

The word {Protest+ant} broken down means: One who protests.  If you belong to a church that has a history of protesting the Catholic Church but you say, “Well, they don’t protest anything now.”  I ask you, by their very existence and separation from the Catholic Church now, aren’t they protesting?  Any separation is a protest.  Any separation is disunity.  Do you want to belong to and profess that?  You are still a sister or brother in Christ but separated from Jesus’ Church, His authority.

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Where is the belief of Bible Alone in the Bible?

There is a common question people ask, “Where is that in the Bible?”  This question implies that everything we are to believe is only contained in the Bible.  This belief is called Sola Scriptura.

Sola Scriptura = the belief that the Bible is the sole source and authority of faith for Christianity.

The belief that the Bible is the sole source of faith for Christianity is NOT found in the Bible and not a biblical belief!  This makes this belief contrary to itself and the Bible.

This belief came from the Reformation in the 1500’s, from the rejection of the Catholic Church by the Reformers like Martin Luther among others.  Before the 1500’s, this belief did not exist.  In order to believe Sola Scriptura, you have to reject the Church Jesus founded, the authority that Jesus bestowed upon Peter and the oral tradition that Jesus told the apostles to pass on.  Rejecting the authority of the Catholic Church but accepting the Bible is also contrary because the Church gave the world the Bible.  If someone rejects the authority of the Church then the Bible is not inspired and becomes merely a book.  You can’t have one without the other, because the Church figured out which books of the Bible were inspired by their authority.  They go together.

We need a faith that has everything Jesus wants us to have.  Think of it like a three legged stool = Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the teaching authority of the Magisterium (Pope and Bishops) of the Catholic Church.   No leg rules above the other, but without one of these, it collapses.  Jesus wants us to have all three so we can have the fullness of faith in Him.  Don’t settle for less when you could have so much more.

Where is Bible Alone or Sola Scriptura in the Bible?   IT’S NOT THERE.

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Help! My Mind Wanders While Praying

The rosary is a meditative prayer and it is very common to have a wandering mind while praying the rosary or any other prayer.  In the rosary, prayers are said while meditating on the mysteries of the life of Jesus.  A prayer can become so commonplace that our minds wander or we forget what we just said.  Sometimes a person’s mind wanders on other things while praying and meditating.  This can be very frustrating because you want to stay on track with the lessons the meditation has to teach us.  You can start the prayers with good intentions and do well through the first part of prayers but then your mind wanders to:

  • What should I make for supper?
  • Wish I could lose weight.
  • The heartbreak of a family member who left the Church.
  • Daily struggles
  • Family struggles
  • Miscellaneous thoughts

As your mind wanders, you begin to think that you are doing something wrong or get frustrated and try to get your mind to stay on task.  This is where you should see where your mind is wanting to go.  As long as it is not entertaining thoughts that would lead you away from God, pay attention to where it wanders.  Maybe God is trying to help you resolve a problem in your life, or maybe God is trying to lead you to something He wants you to do or something He wants you to pay attention to.  This can be very helpful in your life.  Listening is part of the conversation with God.  We can say a lot of prayers but if we don’t listen to Him, we won’t hear what His will is for us.

The other side of wandering thoughts is important.  When your thoughts wander, offer them up to God as a prayer for that intention.  Yes! What you thought was a hindrance is actually a prayer!  It’s asking God for help with that intention.  He hears you.  Doesn’t matter what it is, offer it up as a prayer.  Put your wandering thoughts to good use. Offer them up as prayer.

Wandering thoughts during prayer can be something that God wants you to hear from Him, a prayer offered up to Him, or God helping you to resolve a problem in your life.  Sometimes we need to be still and listen to where God wants us to be.  Keep praying!

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The Apostasy That Wasn’t

Two persons of another faith came to my door and they told me that my church, the Catholic Church, had fallen into apostasy (teaching error) after the last Apostle died and the true church had died after that.  Their claim surely was a surprise to me because I knew the truth.  I asked them how they knew that and they said it was historical.  (This sounded like fake news to me.)  I said, “Well, I have a list of 266 popes in succession in the house.  Would you like to see it?  They suddenly declined.  I continued to tell them how the Catholic Church had continued unbroken since 33 A.D. and Jesus said, “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”  Matt 16:18.  Jesus is saying the church will not fall into apostasy because it will be protected from error.  Now this poses a problem, if Jesus is telling the truth, then the Church did not fall into apostasy but if Jesus lied then it would’ve fallen into apostasy.  Are they calling Jesus a liar?

According to Matthew 18: 15-18, Jesus gave us a command stating, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you . . . If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  He wouldn’t have said this to the apostles if He wanted the Church to bind heresy on earth.

Christ was directing the faithful to obey the Church that he established and that we can be confident about doing so because the true Church to which Jesus was leading us would never steer us away from God or into error. The question is: To what Church is he referring?

Well, what if we lived in the year 1900 AD?  Which church would He be directing us to?  At that time, the United Methodist Church would not exist.  If we lived in the year 1800, the Mormon Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Salvation Army would not exist.  If we lived in the year 1600, the Baptist Church would not exist.  If we lived in the year 1400, the Lutheran Church, Anglican, Calvinist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and many other Protestant churches would not exist.  Let’s go back even further to the year 33 AD.  Which church would Jesus be directing us to?  The only church that existed for the full 2000 years of Christian history is the Catholic Church.  If Jesus directed us to a church that didn’t exist, he would have led us to error.

If the true church did not exist on this earth for 2000 years, then Jesus misguided millions into obeying churches with errors, with thousands of different interpretations of His Word, with no apostolic authority and churches that He didn’t even start.  Jesus wouldn’t have led us astray or lied to us.  He put into place the truth through the Early Church Fathers, a history of 2000 years, but most importantly, the Catholic Church WITHOUT apostasy.  This is how we know what is true because Jesus tells us and wouldn’t lead us astray and all we have to do is look at the ACTUAL history.

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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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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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