Are You Aware?
The Truth of the Catholic Faith
|Are you aware that you are so loved that God himself took on our human nature to become one of us in everything except sin and showed us the way to himself through God the Son Jesus Christ? (We are loved by God who through his Son died for our sin, rose from the dead to give us everlasting life: John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:9-10; Galatians 2:20. Jesus is True God and True man: John 1:1, 10:38, 12:45, 20:28; Colossians 2-9; Philippianss2:5-11). Your sin is but a drop in the ocean of God's love and mercy. No sin is too great for our God to forgive. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness"
(1 John 1:9).
Are you aware that God did not leave us on our own but he gave us his one Church with his own teaching authority to guide us in truth. Yes, a Church that would never fall to the powers of hell that Jesus himself built upon Peter the rock and the first pope which would have successors to lead it? "You are Peter the rock (kepha in Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke) and upon this rock (kepha) I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18-19, 18:17-18; Luke 10:16; John 16:12; Ephesians 2:20; Acts 1:20, 1:25-26; 1 Timothy 3:1-8, 5:17, 4:14).
Are you aware that the Church (the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church) is the Pillar and Foundation of the Truth (1 Timothy 3:15)? If the Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth does that sound like all that you need is the Bible alone? No, what about the Traditions we are to keep a tight hold onto along with Scripture (2 Thessalonians 2:15). Also, can the one Church of Jesus be split into 28,000 competing denominations? No, because there is "One Lord, One faith, One baptism, One God & Father of us all" Ephesians 4:3-6; 1 Corinthians 1:10. Jesus Prayed that we may be ONE (John 17:17-23).
Why choose the Catholic church? Because it is the only historical Christian
church that has been around for almost 2000 years and can trace itself back to the apostles. In fact, the early first, second, third century
Christians were Catholic and held to Catholic beliefs such as the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Today's pope John Paul II can trace himself in an unbroken line of succession to St. Peter the apostle and 1st pope himself! Orthodox
Christians broke away from the Catholic church in the year 1054. The first Protestant church broke away from the Catholic Church in the year 1517 with Martin Luther (a Catholic monk) who started the Lutheran Church. The split has continued till this day with 28,000 plus denominations. I myself shall remain in the church that Jesus Christ founded, the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church established in the year 33 A.D.
--Baptism is where one is born again of water and Spirit, receives Justifying grace (made right before God) & Sanctifying grace (empowered by God to do good and grow in a holy life devoted to him). We become adopted children of God, members of his Church and have original (the sin we inherit from our parents Adam and Eve) & personal sins washed clean from our souls by the free gift of God's grace. John 3:5; Romans 5:18-19; Colossians 2:11-12; Titus 3:5; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Romans 6:4; 1 Peter 3:21.
--Confirmation is where you become a mature member of the Church and accept the faith personally. You also receive a deeper outpouring of the Holy Spirit and of the seven gifts which you received at Baptism. The seven gifts are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. You are empowered to share your faith with all and you are sealed with the Holy Spirit. Acts 19:5-6, 8:14-17; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13; Hebrews 6:2.
--Confession is where Jesus gives us the sacrament of Reconciliation to forgive us our sins committed after Baptism. Yes, Jesus wants us to receive his forgiveness and grace to stay away from sin through his priest in Confession. Jesus empowered his apostles to forgive sins in his name, "Jesus breathed on them and said, receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven" (John 20:21-22). The priest forgives us in the Person of Christ or Persona Christi (2 Corinthians 2:10). This is why the Church says we need to confess our sins to a priest because Jesus has given his priest the power to forgive in his name.
--Holy Eucharist is where by the power of the Holy Spirit bread and wine are substantially changed into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our risen Lord Jesus Christ. Bread and wine no longer remain after the words of consecration at Holy Mass, only Jesus remains totally and equally present under both forms of the consecrated bread and wine. Here our Lord makes us one with himself and each other who shares in this Holy Communion. The simple act of receiving is to say, "yes Lord I believe it is you that I am receiving and believe all that your Catholic Church believes. Here our Lord nourishes us with his own Body and Blood and gives us the grace to follow him day in and day out. Here our Lord waits for us in the Tabernacle to spend time with him in adoration.
Yes, Jesus commanded us to "Eat his Body and to Drink his Blood" John 6:35-71). Yes, Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper (Matthew 26:26). As with the Apostles the Church continues to celebrate this at Holy Mass. Here the once and for all sacrifice of Christ at Calvary is made present for us to encounter and unite ourselves with Jesus' perfect sacrifice to the Father through the Holy Spirit. But before we receive one should examine themselves to make sure they are in the State of Grace or God's friendship not guilty of mortal sin or sins that lead to death (James 1:14-15; 1 John 5:16-17)
If you are not sure you should then first go to confession (1 Corinthians 10:16, 11:23-29). Why would you want to put the Lord into a sinful body? Confess your sins first and then come to the Lords table. In Exodus 12:8, 46 "the Paschal lamb had to be eaten. In John 1:29 "Jesus is called the Lamb of God" so we too must eat as Jesus has commanded us.
--Anointing of the sick is where we are given the grace of healing. (Mark 6:12-13 and John 5:14).
--Holy Orders is where those who are called are ordained to a special ministry of the ordained priesthood of Christ. Yes, we are all part of a royal priesthood by virtue of our baptism, but some are called to a special order of the ordained priesthood. (1 Peter 2:9-10; Acts 20:28; Luke 22:19; John 20:22; Acts 6:6, 13:3, 14:22; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6; Titus 1:5).
--Matrimony is where Jesus takes two, a man and woman and joins them together in one flesh in the eyes of God. (Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7-12, Ephesians 5:22-32; 1 Thess 4:4).
Yes our Lord and God Jesus Christ has blessed us with all this and more.
We are to offer prayer, petitions for all (1 Timothy 2:1-7) through Jesus our One mediator. We are to love one another with mutual affection, this does not stop at death for those who are in heaven fulfill this in ways we cannot imagine. Our statues and images are not grave idols because one would have to worship the statue or image which we Catholics do not do. They are mere reminders of those who have gone before us in Christ. They are like a family picture of a deceased loved one, do you worship your loved ones? Nor do we worship our statues! God even commanded images to be made (Exodus 20:4-5; Numbers 21:8-9; 1 Kings 6:23-29, 7:25-45).
He established one Church to guide us and teach us his ways. His Church is like a mother to us. You may not even have God in your life, I would like to invite you into a relationship with him that can and will be nourished by him through his Church. You may be a Catholic who is not practicing their faith, may I urge you to start by learning your faith, loving your faith and living your faith. Don't believe that this doesn't matter to you because it does and will have eternal effects depending the way you chose. Jesus said that "if you deny me then I will deny you", will you deny him?
You may already be a Christian of another denomination. May I encourage you to investigate the Catholic church yourself to see what it really believes, you may be surprised what you find out. Go to the source or as they say "the horses mouth" to learn the facts of these truths. Yes we have more in common than you may think. But the Fullness of the Truth is in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church whom Jesus Himself founded and protects throughout all time. Don't you think it is time to encounter the whole truth today?
Here are some phone numbers to call if you have any questions you need answered about the Catholic faith. Call Catholics United for the Faith at 1-800-my faith (693-2484).
Also, try calling Catholic Answers at 1-619-387-7200 or visit their website at www.catholic.com
Or call Marco if you are in the Cleveland area and are interested in coming to one of our Emmaus Roundtable meetings where we come together to learn the fullness of the truth that is in the Catholic Church as stated by Holy Scripture and plain old history. We meet once a month. For more information on The Emmaus Roundtable and upcoming meetings call Marco at 1-381-0819. Leave a message if I am not home. God Bless you and thank you for taking the time to read this message.
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