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Christmas: the Turning Point of History
Most people take for granted that we number the years as we do. This year is 1990 A.D. But behind the number is not only a fact of history; it is the turning point of history. It separates two ages in the annals of the human race: "Before Christ" (B.C.) and "in the year of the Lord" (A.D.), since the birth of Jesus Christ.
Our Right to the Truth
The title of the present article, "Our Right to the Truth," has two basic implications: We have a right to the truth because, without the truth, we cannot be at peace in this life, nor reach our heavenly destiny in the life to come.  But others also have a right to the truth, and this places a heavy obligation on us to share the truth that we possess. I would go so far as to say that the most fundamental duty we have in life is to love others by giving them what others have given to us, namely, a knowledge of the truth.
Conservative or Liberal Catholic
In almost any group of Catholics today, one hears the question frequently asked, "Are you a conservative or liberal Catholic?" Or perhaps it is posed, "Are you charismatic?" Then again the speaker may interrogate his audience about his familiarity with renewals, retreats, liberation theology, centering prayers, Cursillo or any other currently popular movement or practice within the Church. Oftentimes people feel that the answer to such a question involves deep philosophical pondering. Semantics aside, there can be only one answer to these questions. But before that reply is supplied, and its rationale, one need examine the rather bizarre practice of describing our faith in social and political terms and the implications of such nomenclature.
A History of the Church to 1500 A.D.: Altar Girls / Franciscan Spirituality and the 13th Century
For St. Francis the whole world and, with emphasis, the animal world was a reflection of the greatness, the beauty, and the variety of God’s own perfections. Then, his love of God’s goodness. For Francis, God’s goodness was God’s sharing with His creatures what He, as God, possessed from all eternity. He never had to—if no single creature had been made, God would not have deprived anyone of anything they had a right to. The single most important premise in Franciscan spirituality is we have a right to nothing from God. And the word is nothing. And the word is nothing. We can claim nothing from God as though we had a right even to come into existence.
A History of the Church to 1500 A.D.: Life and Significance of St. Catherine of Siena
What I want to do today is to cover as much as we can about the life, writings and significance of St. Catherine of Siena. One reason is because St. Catherine lived in a time when the Church was in, I would say, the gravest crisis of her history because there were more than one claimant to the Papacy and we know, of course, that the strength of the Catholic Church depends, of course, on the Papacy.
A History of the Church: 1517 A.D. to the Present: Protestantism and its Forms
We’re now beginning our second semester in Church History and as you remember what we did was we went up to the beginning of the sixteenth century and we are now starting what is really called Modern History. Modern Church History begins with a rise of Protestantism. What I thought I would do during class today is to choose first to talk about Protestantism, and then within Protestantism the four principle forms of Protestantism, how they differ from each other, and especially how they differ from Catholic Christianity.
A History of the Church: 1517 A.D. to the Present: The Real Meaning of Halloween
Our present lecture is on Halloween. Christian and Catholic Feasts paganized. The birthday of Protestantism is October 31st, 1517, the Vigil of the Feast of All Saints. On that day Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses, as he called them, to the door of the castle of Wittenberg, Germany. Among these theses, Luther denied the Church’s right to give absolution from sins in the Name of Christ. Three years later Luther was condemned by Pope Leo X as a heretic: and before Luther’s death in 1546, something like one-third of Europe was lost to the Catholic Church. And it all began on Halloween, October 31st, 1517. In other words, in the mind of every Protestant, having taught - as I have told so many of you - in six Protestant seminaries including the Lutheran School of Theology for seven years; And I never, for a moment, compromised on Catholicism. You’d think after three days they would throw me out bodily. Oh! I love Protestants. My widowed mother took in boarders, women boarders. And the first two boarders that stayed with us till I was, well, sixteen were two Lutheran girls. I heard about Martin Luther by the age of three. I’m sure they were the only Lutherans in the United States then, Susan and Judith, who abstained from meat on Fridays. My mother told them, "My boy’s asking embarrassing questions. Want to say here, talk to your pastor." No meat on Fridays. Pastor said ok so…I love Protestants. But I sure know the difference - Protestantism is not Catholicism. In the history of the world, therefore, the Vigil of All Saints is the birthday of Protestantism.
Christ to Catholicism - Contents and Introduction
There is no prima facie evidence why a Catholic should know more than his basic obligations to the Church and how to remain a faithful member of the society to which he belongs. On reflection, however, we can see many reasons why a deeper understanding is more than useful, especially in modern times, and in several ways becomes essential for those who profess what the world around them does not believe. Since the Church is a divine institution which the Son of God personally established and during His visible stay on earth revealed as a continuance of the Incarnation, it would be less than ungrateful not to learn all we can about that marvelous reality which Christ "so loved that He delivered Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her and present to Himself the Church in all her glory." If knowledge of any kind ennobles the human mind, and its value is determined by the sublimity of what is known, knowledge of the Church must rank near the acme of created science because it deals with nothing less than God, dwelling in His creatures and uniting them in a Body of which He is the invisible Head.
Christ to Catholicism - Chapter I. The Gospel of the Kingdom
The historical work of Christ during His visible stay on earth has a variety of aspects that range through the whole gamut of God’s revelation of His own nature and perfections, of His infinite love for us even to the death of the cross, and of our duty towards Him in order to return to God. Yet the master idea of Christ’s message is epitomized in the single word that was most frequently on His lips, the Basileia of the evangelists, or the kingdom. All that He taught was somehow identified with the kingdom, from the opening of His public life when He began to preach repentance, "for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," to His dying profession before Pilate that "my kingdom is not of this world, my kingdom is not from here." Christ used that word "Church" only twice to describe the society He was founding. He spoke of His ‘kingdom’ in almost every chapter of the Gospels, so that whatever concept they give us of the Church must be looked for in this notion of the kingdom.
Christ to Catholicism - Chapter II. Apostolic Christianity and the See of Peter
Among the elements of Catholic Christianity most controverted by those who oppose her claim to divinity is the Roman Primacy, which she says may be traced in a direct line from St. Peter to the reigning sovereign pontiff. Up to this point we have seen the evidence in the Gospels that Christ established a hierarchical society with a commission to give the world that revelation He had received from the Father. In order to preserve this society in permanent cohesion and doctrinal integrity, He gave it a juridical structure and vested the Apostle Peter with an authority that was unknown till then in the story of God’s dealings with His people. Quite literally, Peter was made a Vicar of Christ, with power to bind and loose on earth and the assurance that his actions would be ratified in heaven.
Christ to Catholicism - Chapter III. Tradition of the Roman Primacy
Among the criticisms of the Catholic Church in modern times, perhaps the most trenchant was expressed by the German rationalist, Adolph Harnack, in the course of a series of lectures which he gave at the University of Berlin on The Essence of Christianity. "To contend, as Roman Catholicism does, that Christ founded a kingdom and that this kingdom is the Roman Church is to secularize the Gospel. In the early days, Roman Christians shed their blood because they refused to worship Caesar, and rejected religion of the political kind. Today they do not, indeed, actually pray to an earthly ruler, but they have subjected their souls to the despotic orders of the Roman papal king." In order to meet this objection which lies at the root of anti-Catholicism, it is not enough to know that Christ founded a religious society, or that He made Peter its visible head, or even that Peter exercised a special authority over the rising Christian communities. We must see whether the sequence of Christ, Peter and Rome is only a later development and therefore an arrogant pretence, or a historical fact based on authentic evidence and going back to the earliest days of the Church. The end-point of our investigation will be the middle of the fourth century, after the Council of Nicea, by which time the Roman See was admittedly recognized as the final arbiter in Christendom in matters of faith and morals.
Christ to Catholicism - Chapter IV. Recognizing the True Church
There are two basic positions in the medley of world religions outside the Catholic Church. One group of religious bodies professes lineal descent from the society that Jesus Christ established during His stay on earth. These are all the churches of Christendom separated from the unity of Rome. Another and larger group has either no historical dependence on the teaching of Christ, or, as in Mohammedanism, the relation is negligible. And these are the countless Oriental and African cults whose origin is generally pre-Christian and in some cases, like the primitive religion of China, has a traceable ancestry from third millennium B.C. Any reasonable Catholic will ask himself what right he has to claim that his Church, alone of all the religious systems in the world, has the fullness of divine revelation and the guarantee of absolute truth. How does he know?
Christ to Catholicism - Chapter V. Definition of the Catholic Church
Up to this point, our study of the Catholic Church has been primarily historical and apologetic. We examined the Church from the early beginnings in the Gospel, through the apostolic age and the centuries of persecution, with special emphasis on the Roman primacy as the most important visible bond that unites modern Catholicism with the society that Christ established. We also determined that of all the religious bodies in the world, only the Catholic Church has the right to profess divine authority for her actions because, like her Founder, she confirms the profession by working miracles of power and wisdom which no other body can claim. From now on our treatment will be dogmatic, drawing on the Church's teaching about her own nature and prerogatives, and thus gaining a deeper insight into that mysterious reality which of all human institutions is the most loved when its character is properly known, and the most hated when perverted and misunderstood.
Christ to Catholicism - Chapter VI. The Church as a Visible Body
Before entering on a dogmatic examination of the Mystical Body, it is well to recall that the Church has given us the analytical principle by which the mysteries of faith can be understood, however dimly, by the aid of divine grace. In treating of the relation of faith and reason, the Vatican Council stated that although divine mysteries can never be comprehended by reason alone, nevertheless, when enlightened by faith, "reason attains some, and that a very fruitful understanding of mysteries, from the analogy of those things which it naturally knows." Accordingly, though revealed truths like the Trinity, the Incarnation and the Mystical Body are beyond the capacity of the human mind to apprehend directly until the beatific vision, still by means of comparisons and similarities with known things in nature, we can penetrate ever more deeply into the mysteries of faith.
Christ to Catholicism - Chapter VII. The Church as the Body of Christ
As described in St. Paul and the tradition of the Fathers, the Church is not only a Body, with visible head and members and a juridical structure, it is also the Body of Christ. He bears a relation to the Body which is so intimate that Augustine often equates the two and, as in the phrase "Christ preaches Christ," practically identifies the Lord with the Society that shares His name. Our penetration into the mystery will follow the same analogy, comparing the Church to a human Body and Jesus Christ in the role of its Founder who brought it into existence, its invisible Head who gives it life and sanctification, its constant support by His divine Spirit and its loving Savior by His cross and eternal redemption. Reflection on these affinities underlay the Gospel of St. John and the Pauline Epistles, and occasioned the most sublime insights of the great mystics. Under different similitudes, the alliance of Christ with the Church, as Bridegroom with His Spouse and the Vine with the Branches, is the inspiration of the Christian liturgy and the material for constant prayer.
Christ to Catholicism - Chapter VIII. The Church as the Mystical Body of Christ
The historical origins of the adjective "Mystical" to describe the Church as the Body of Christ may be traced to the first Apostles Peter and Paul. In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle of the Gentiles urges them to "preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit," and to the Philippians he describes the Christian community as "a fellowship in the Spirit." St. Peter is somewhat more explicit when he calls the Church "a spiritual home." Gradually the concept of the Church as a spiritual society became so common that practically all the Fathers favored the name and went a step beyond the Pauline phrase by combining two ideas that were found separated in the Scriptures, namely, Body and Spirit. Clement of Alexandria in the early third century spoke of "the spiritual Body which is the holy Church," and Tertullian clearly distinguished between "the spiritual Body of Christ" and the Church, and the "carnal body of Christ" as a human being.
Christ to Catholicism - Chapter IX. Papal Infallibility
When papal infallibility was defined by the Vatican Council in 1870, the non-Catholic world reacted with spontaneous hostility. With rare exception, the secular press denounced the definition as "a scheme of spiritual, social and coercive despotism," which made the pope "temporal ruler of the world, and authorizes him to supplant, by force, every form of civil government." By this act, "Romanism declares war against intelligence; as three hundred years ago it commanded the earth to stand still in its course among the stars, with the same authority and the same impotence it today commands the human race to stand still in its greater career of advancement and hope. It is a sad end for one of the mightiest institutions of history; but henceforth the Papacy goes its own way of decay aside from the great movements of the world." While these sentiments are now modified, at least in their tone of ridicule and fear of papal aggression, the substratum of repugnance towards the Church's infallibility has not radically changed. Those outside the Church properly recognize it as "the great divide" which separates Catholicism from other Christian bodies. Catholics see it as the guarantee of the Church's fidelity to the teachings of her Founder.
Christ to Catholicism - Chapter X. No Salvation Outside of the Church
Shortly before his conversion to the Catholic Faith, Cardinal Newman wrote to a friend who was concerned about his rumored change of allegiance from Anglicanism to the Church of Rome. His sentiments offer a graphic insight into the subjective and human side of the doctrine, Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. "As far as I know myself, Newman told his correspondent, "my one paramount reason for contemplating a change is my deep, unvarying conviction that our Church is in schism, and that my salvation depends upon my joining the Church of Rome. I may use argumenta ad hominem to this person or that; but I am not conscious of resentment, or disgust, at anything that has happened to me. I have no visions of hope, no schemes of action, in any other sphere more suited to me. I have no existing sympathies with Roman Catholics; I hardly ever, even abroad, was at one of their services; I know none of them, I do not like what I hear of them." And two months later, on the eve of his reception he asked himself "the simple question: Can I be saved in the English Church? Am I in safety, were I to die tonight."
Christ to Catholicism - Chapter XI. The Ecumenical Movement
The term "ecumenical" has a variety of meanings. Its etymology comes from the Greek, oikoumene, which means "the inhabited world." St. Matthew used the term to describe the prophetic promise of Christ, that "this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world, for a witness to all nations." Later on the same word was used to designate the universality of the Church, as in the Martyrdom of Polycarp (156-157), where the writer says that before his death, Polycarp had prayed "for the Catholic Church throughout the world." A century later, it became the technical term for a general council of the Church. Thus, according to St. Athanasius (295-373), "the word of the Lord uttered by the ecumenical synod of Nicea abides forever." Non-Catholic writers on the subject of religious unity have appropriated the term and invested it with connotations that are quite alien to Christian tradition. They either speak of an "ecumenical reformation (that) asserts the unity of the Church in the midst of the disunity of the churches," or more accurately, "the Ecumenical Movement is a movement toward one universal Christian Church throughout the whole inhabited world." For our purpose, we shall understand the ecumenical movement in the latter sense, as a revolutionary change in religious attitude among non-Catholic Christian bodies throughout the world, that for the first time since the Reformation are seriously trying to solve the problem of their disunity.
Christ to Catholicism - Chapter XII. Principles of Church and State in Historical Perspective
The question of Church and State and the problems to which their relation has given rise, are as old as Christianity. In a true sense there was no problem of Church and State before the advent of Christ when, for all practical purposes, the public authority was regarded equally competent in the field of religion as in the secular domain. With the coming of the Catholic Church, however, an essential change was introduced by her Founder, who transferred to her the sphere of religion and the whole moral direction of mankind independent of the power of the State. Our immediate purpose is to see the development of this mutual relation between two disparate societies, one derived from nature and created by the social instincts of the human race, the other based on the supernatural order and founded by the Incarnate Son of God. As we go through the history of their relationship, the issues of Church and State will be seen to fall into two categories, those which are immutable because flowing from the natural law or determined by divine revelation, and others that are adaptable to different times and ages and even in the same period may vary according to different circumstances.
Christ to Catholicism - Chapter XIII. Cooperation of Church and State in the United States
The end-point of our study of the Church is her relation to the State in our own country, viewed in the light of the principles already seen and now examined in reference to the United States. There is more than speculative value in this closing analysis. As must be clear to anyone who recognizes the Church's divine authorization, the rights she has received from her Founder need to have external, juridical freedom for their salutary exercise. What precisely is her freedom in America, what is the legal status of organized religion, including the Catholic? Not to understand his position before the government will inhibit a Catholic in a dozen ways, where familiarity with the law and its interpretation can help him to profit maximally from the liberty he enjoys under the American Constitution.
Christ to Catholicism - Chapter XIV. Catholic Estimate of Church and State in America
One final and practical consideration on Church and State relations in America still has to be made. If the attitude of the civil government towards religious bodies was generally cooperative and sometimes concessive to an extreme, what is the attitude of the Catholic Church toward the principles of American government? Is it critical or neutral, favorable or merely tolerant? Certainly the answer will be complex and calls for a variety of distinctions. Yet some estimate of the Church's appraisal becomes indispensable to meet the current rise of secularism which affects (and threatens) the juridical status of Catholic interests like education in the United States.
Canon Law as Doctrine
In my judgment, the most significant feature of the New Code of Canon Law is its clear, extensive and strong doctrinal content. Relative to consecrated life, the New Code leaves no doubt what a life consecrated by vows in the practice of the evangelical counsels is all about. The Code identifies this life unambiguously and builds the canons or laws firmly on this doctrinal foundation---in a way and to a degree that was never so plain in the history of the Catholic Church."
The Church: Prefigurement and Revelation
As we have been doing we will have a master theme: in this case, the Church. And we will look at our subject first from the vantage point of the Old Testament and then from the New. We begin first of all by noting that as sacred scripture views the redemption no one is finally delivered from sin and reaches Heaven alone. Perhaps the single most significant fact, in the context of which we are speaking, is to tell ourselves Christianity is not a solitary religion. The Messiah foretold in the Old Law and Jesus Christ who instituted the New Law, is our redeemer. Even though it is I, the individual who please God will be saved, but no one will be saved alone.
The Growth of Catholic Doctrine
The Church, we believe, is the living Body of Christ. We therefore believe she grows, not only in numbers or in influence, but also in her own being. Objectivity, therefore, what God revealed to the human race is an unchangeable constant. The mystery of the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation of the Son of God, the seven sacraments He instituted, the Real Presence of Christ on earth in the Holy Eucharist, the moral obligations of the Sermon on the Mount—all of these are irreversible truths. Saying this, however, does not mean that the Church's understanding of Christian revelation does not grow. Nor does it mean that her grasp of the deposit of faith does not become more clear, more precise, more certain and more intelligible with the passage of time.
How Infallible is the Teaching Church?
The standard lexicons of the English language correctly define infallibility as exemption from fallacy or error of judgment and they also correctly say, under the word "Infallible": "In Roman Catholic doctrine, incapable of error in matters of faith and morals." My purpose in the present study is to look at four aspects of our subject in the form of four questions: 1. What is infallibility? 2. Why must the Church founded by Christ be infallible? 3. Who within the Church is infallible? 4. How infallible is the teaching Church?
The Doctrinal Message of Fatima
To understand the basic doctrinal message of Fatima, we confine ourselves to the six Marian apparitions formally approved by the Church.…What are the principle doctrines of faith contained in these communications? It is necessary to identify them as revealed truths before we can intelligently speak of the mission of Fatima.…Why, then, have such revelations as those recorded in the lives of the great mystics, or as reported at Fatima? Their purpose is to recall what had already been revealed up to apostolic times and to reaffirm what needs to be believed and put into practice in times like ours. Surely ours is a period of trial, and some would say it is the most critical age in the history of Christianity.
Retreat on the Credo - Our Need of Faith
I would like to call this a retreat of faith. The longer I live in the priesthood and the more souls I come into contact with the more certain I become that what most people mostly need to grow in holiness in the modern world is a deep abiding faith. Rather than rely on my own wisdom and insight, let me quote in sequence from the addresses of our Holy Father to three groups of people - to bishops, to priests, and to religious. In every case and on every feasible occasion the Vicar of Christ tells his audiences that what persons in every state of life should mainly look to, seek to preserve and grow in is their faith. Provided the faith is sound everything else is secure. Trials and suffering are the lot of every human being in this valley of tears, but the very crosses we bear or the pains we endure take on meaning and become valuable assets to heaven on one condition: that those who endure have the faith. With faith everything makes sense, without faith everything in life is nonsense.
Retreat on the Credo - The Faith of Martyrdom
Part one, Christ foretold to His followers that they would be opposed: the servant will not be greater or different than the Master. Second, He predicted that the opposition would come from the outside but also from the inside. Third, He promised the Holy Spirit to those who in their loyalty to Him would be opposed. Finally, He gave the reason for the opposition. He would permit His followers down the centuries to experience all kinds of enmity. Why? In order thus to witness to His Name.
Retreat on the Credo - Faith in God the Father
The opening article of the Apostles’ Creed proclaims the first and primary mystery of our faith. It is not only placed first, it is first. Unless this first article is true nothing else is believable. "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth." My purpose here will be to do two things: first, briefly explain what we mean by the mystery of faith expressed in each article, then at greater length, or at least with greater personal importance, comment on how this truth of faith is to be lived out in our own lives; because the Apostles’ Creed is not only to be believed, it is also and with emphasis to be lived.
Retreat on the Credo - Faith in Jesus Christ
In the second article of the Creed we say, "I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord." If in the first article of the Creed we found seven truths, in this one we find four. There are four mysteries locked up in this second article of the Apostles’ Creed. They are Jesus, and Christ, and the Only Son of God, and our Lord.
Retreat on the Credo - Faith in the Virgin Birth of Jesus
We are on the subject of faith as specifically the third article of the Apostles’ Creed. Preceding the third article, we've already affirmed, "I believe in Jesus Christ," and now "Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary." Immediately we see there are two mysteries of faith professed in this article. First, that the Son of God, Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became Man through the operation of the Holy Spirit. And second, that He was born of the Virgin Mary.
Retreat on the Credo - Faith in the Passion of Christ
"I believe in Jesus Christ…Who suffered under Pontius Pilate, died and was buried." We divide this article into four parts, namely, the Passion of Christ under Pontius Pilate, Christ's crucifixion, His death, and His burial.
Retreat on the Credo - Faith in Christ’s Descent into Hell and His Resurrection
This a profession of our faith in what Christ did after He was crucified and it contains two statements of revealed fact, namely, He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead.
Retreat on the Credo - Faith in Christ’s Presence in Heaven
The second, third, fourth and fifth articles of the Creed profess our faith in Christ’s earthly visible presence. The sixth proclaims our faith in Christ's presence beyond this world in heaven. "He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty." We consequently believe in two distinct mysteries: the ascension which took place in time and Christ's continued presence at the right hand of His Father which began in time but is destined never to end.
Retreat on the Credo - Faith in Christ’s Judgment on the Last Day
What do we call this judgment? We call this the general judgment or again the final or the social judgment or the total judgment. Each of these names, honored by the Church, has its own special meaning. It is to be the general judgment because the whole human race is to be judged and not as happens when each one of us dies, when we receive a particular judgment. This is the universal judgment. It is to be the final judgment because there will be no other of anyone after that. It is to be a social judgment because the whole society of mankind from Adam to the last person to be born will be judged and judged together as a body; it will be public in the extreme. And it is to be a total judgment not only of our moral conduct but of all the accumulative blessings or injuries that have resulted from each person's good or evil deeds. You see, God judges not only on what we do but on the consequences of our actions.
Retreat on the Credo - Faith in the Holy Spirit
By Whom is the fruit or grace of the divine redemption communicated to us? By the Holy Spirit. Where is this grace communicated to us? The grace of the Holy Spirit is communicated to us in the Catholic Church of which the Holy Spirit is the Soul and to which Christ had for that very purpose promised to send the Holy Spirit. The implications of this answer are far-reaching. If it is true, and faith tells us it is, that once the human race was redeemed and the graces the world needs to be saved were merited, Christ then entrusted, gave all the grace which the human race will need until the end of time to the Catholic Church. Are we then saying then that everybody needs the Catholic Church? That's exactly what we are saying. Are we further saying that anyone who is saved is saved only because of the Catholic Church? Exactly.
Retreat on the Credo - Faith in the Holy Catholic Church and the Communion of Saints
The Holy Catholic Church. There is some value, I think, in noting that we believe in the Church. Now the Church is not only or mainly an object of historical knowledge or reasoned analysis. She is that, but the Church is also and mainly an object of faith. In other words the Church is a revealed mystery. We can know just so much about the Church nationally or naturally or rationally but her inner core or essence remains a revealed mystery. The value of this fact I think it particularly important today. While it may be difficult, to say the least, to understand why certain things have happened and are going on in the Church, like the widespread convulsion in nominally Catholic circles, we must trust on faith that God knows what He is doing and what He is permitting and that in His own way and time He will draw great good even out of the manifest evils that plague today's Church on so many sides.
Retreat on the Credo - Faith in the Forgiveness of Sins
The article itself is plain enough: "I believe in the forgiveness of sin." But note carefully this is an article of our Catholic faith. We might well ask, "Does not everyone who has any faith in God believe in the forgiveness of sins?" Yes, of course. The very notion of an unforgiving God would be blasphemy. And so we find in every religion in history, from the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians through the Hindus, Buddists and Muslims, without exception they believe in a merciful deity, in a god or even in gods who need to be propitiated sometimes in strange ways, but who are willing to forgive provided the people repent of their sins.
Retreat on the Credo - Faith in the Resurrection of the Body
The eleventh article of the Apostles’ Creed is a declaration of our faith in what will take place on the last day; and so we say, "I believe in the resurrection of the body." As we take a closer scrutiny at this mystery it may be useful to note that we are hearing say more than that we shall live on beyond the grave. Our souls are spiritual by nature and therefore cannot naturally die. The only way the human soul could go out of existence would be for God to annihilate it, that is reduce it to the nothingness from which it came. And we know that God will never annihilate the human spirit.
Retreat on the Credo - Faith in Everlasting Life
It is most appropriate that the Apostles’ Creed which begins with God should also end with God, for we come from God and we were made for Him; that's what our destiny is all about. Our final act of faith declares, "I believe in life everlasting." How do we know there is a life everlasting after death? Why is it called life everlasting? Will everyone reach everlasting life? Are we all to be equally happy in the life to come? How is God the essential joy of heaven? How will creatures add to our heavenly happiness?
Retreat on the Credo - The Joy of Believing
No one has spoken more eloquently or more often on the subject of joy than St. John the evangelist; the most dramatic quotations from the Savior on His wanting us to have joy are given us by John. John's teaching therefore on joy should be seen in relationship to his teaching on faith, and the clearest expression of the relationship between faith and joy is in the first four verses of the first letter of John that appropriately the Church quotes in the first reading in the Mass for his feast. It comes in four parts.
Retreat on the Credo - The Faith of Simeon
The Infancy narratives of the gospels give us four of the most beautiful canticles of our faith. There is the Benedictus of Zachary at the birth of John the Baptist; there is the Magnificat of our Lady at the Visitation; there is the Gloria in Excelsi Deo of the angels in Bethlehem; and finally the Nunc Dimittis of the aged Simeon at Christ's presentation in the temple at Jerusalem. Comparatively speaking the Nunc Dimittis is a short hymn. It is recited or sung in the Divine Office at Compline in preparation for our night's rest, which we should remind ourselves is the nightly preparation for death. God made sure we would normally go to sleep every night to remind us every day come a day when we close our eyes for the last time and open them on eternity.
Retreat on the Credo - Resolutions
A resolution is a firm act of the will to do God's will in the future. It is a firm act of the will to do God's will in the future. I then set myself, implied in making a firm act of the will, to do what I believe will be at least pleasing to God, and at the end of a retreat what will be more pleasing to God. I think it bears a little emphasis to point out that our acts of the will are not only to chose to do good and avoid evil; that's obligation; to that every human being is bound. We also are to make acts of the will to do things that are better and more pleasing to God and not only avoid evil and not commit sin.
Retreat on the Credo - Simple Faith
After the angels had told the shepherds of the good news of great joy and further told them that they would find this Messiah, the Lord, lying in a manger, they took the angels at their word. They were simple people. Simple people don't speculate. Once they trust you they take your word. So they went and they found not surprisingly just what they had been told. What a strange sign the angels gave the shepherds: a Child born in a stable and lying in an animal's trough. That's the way God came into the world.

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Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association
PO Box 1237
LaCrosse, WI 54602
Phone: 608-782-0011
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