Catholic Faith: Blog
This Catholic Faith Blog is Maintained by the Catholic Rebuttals Research Team. Here You Will Find Responses to Reader's Questions, Catholic Commentary and Other Resources!
Have you ever thought about the popular phrases we use to communicate a sense of certainty to others? Things like, “What I’m about to tell you, you can take it to the bank." Some others are, “Trust me, what I’m telling you is the truth,” or “Just take my word for it." When we attempt to communicate the seriousness of what we are saying, and we want our listener to receive our thoughts as accurate, we usually pour our emotions into the mix. We give it our all – we swing for the fences.
Jesus Christ was no different. He was very emotional when he spoke. Due to His divinity and His humanity, He knows us better than we know ourselves; therefore, Jesus used emotionally charged body language to communicate the importance of his words. For instance, when He flipped over the money tables at the temple, and said that they were using His Father’s House for a den of thieves. I’m sure He got their attention pretty quickly, after money went crashing to the floor.
Jesus also used specific phrases to capture His audience's attention, but more importantly, to help them realize, the importance of what He was saying. Our contemporary “…take it to the bank;” was most likely predeceased with ‘amen,’ in the Bible. ‘Amen’ is a derivative from the Hebrew verb aman, which means "to strengthen" or "Confirm". The verb form of the word ‘amen,’ can take on different meanings, such as: to take care, to be faithful, reliable or established, or to believe someone or something. In short, it means “so be it,” and it is used more than a hundred times throughout the Old Testament. It is used to end or confirm the prayers of Israel, see (1 Chron 16:36, Neh 8:6). It is used at the end of each of the first four books of Psalms, see (Psalms 41:13, 72:19; 89:52, 106:48).
‘Amen’ has other meanings also; it is used as a proclamation, to assure God is the ultimate ‘Amen,’ and He is the epitome of trustworthiness and faithfulness. ‘Amen’ can be used as an oath, to bind the contract between people, see (Isa 65:16; see also Rev 3:14). Jesus’ alliterative of ‘amen’ in the Gospel of John seems to be an assertion that His words are certainly true.
So, when Jesus uses the term, “Amen, Amen I say to you,” or “Truly, Truly,” (some translations use, “Verily, Verily”) we can be sure what follows these introductions is extremely important and true. Would you not agree?
In the gospel of John, chapter 6:22-59, known as, The Bread of Life Discourse, Jesus uses a double ‘amen,’ as a way to grab his disciple’s attention. Keep in mind, what he is about to say is a crucial teaching of his - there is no negotiation on this command. Pay attention as I lay the details out for you…
The Walk to Emmaus, found in Luke 24:13-35, takes my points even further. Take notice in verses 30 - 35 how their eyes were opened at the breaking of the bread, which Jesus had blessed. Why did their eyes finally open to the truth?
The Holy Eucharist is truly, truly, the real presence of our Savior Jesus the Christ.
May God bless you all.
As Christians, we know that the Bible is the inspired word of God. It has been revealed to us, His Apostles and His Church through His Holy Spirit. Jesus prayed for his followers to be one unified body; and yet, nowadays there are literally thousands of denominations with hundreds of scriptural interpretations. There can only be one truth; alas, many people manipulate scripture to justify their particular thoughts, feelings and ideals.
One particularly large Christian denomination does this by using a tactic called the “Roman Road to Salvation.” The theory here is that one can use the Book of Romans as a quick and easy guide to salvation. Do not get me wrong here; the passages found in Romans are all true. The problem with this is that the Book of Romans is NOT the whole story. We must interpret scripture in the context of the entire Word of God. Furthermore, we must realize that each “reader” of the Bible (you and I) will have a different interpretation - based on our own life experiences, understandings and limitations. This means that we are inclined, by our human-nature, to be subjective while reading the objective Word of God. God alone has the authority of interpretation. He used his Holy Spirit to guide His Church, The Catholic Church, to come to know his objective Word.
Here or the scripture passages from the Book of Romans used in “The Roman Road”:
Begin with Romans 3:3, then Romans 5:12, then Romans 6:23, next Romans 5:8, next Romans 10:9-10 and finally Romans 10:13. Are we to think that entering the Kingdom of Heaven is this simple? Why would God provide us with the rest of the Bible if this were the only scriptures pointing us towards salvation?
Notice how the evangelizer will jump around and going back and forth picking and choosing text, in order to get his or her point across. They do this while avoiding other relevant and important scripture, such as:
Read Romans 2:6, then Romans 8:14-17, Hebrews 6:4-6, 1 Timothy 3:14-15 and Ephesians 4:1-6.
For a complete explanation of the “Roman Road to Salvation,” read Marcus Grodi’s book “What Must I Do to be SAVED?” Marcus Grodi is a Presbyterian convert to the Catholic Church.
Evil creeps into our lives, one little bite at a time...
Take a good hard look at the culture in America, be honest and ask yourself, what do I see? I think more than half of the population, honestly, does not believe in God. A fourth of the population believe in God, but live as though there is none. The final quarter is the most interesting. A large portion of the remaining fourth go to some type of church, but live without any true relationship with the savior. Now, these figures or not scientifically grounded, but I think you get the point.
There is a saying; “How does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
A process so slow, so steady that it goes undetected. This process is exactly how the evil one is destroying America. What use to be honorable, respectful, and good, is now in many people’s eyes: despicable, disgraceful, and without repair. Whether you believe in God or not, His Truth is True, and it will never change - regardless of what our society does or fails to do.
Which do you rather: to live your life as though there is no God and after death you face the Truth? Or, to live your life as though there is a God and discover there is no God. Whether you believe or not does not change the fact, God is.
How can we be certain that Jesus Christ started the RCC?
The Catholic Church claims to be the church Jesus started, which begs the question, is this true? If you are a Christian then you must take this question seriously. Jesus Christ prayed specifically for his followers, that they be one, unified Church. So if unity is important to Christ, then it must be a priority to us, his brethren. So, for me, I want to be sure I am a member of the church that was founded by the Son of God. One way to be sure is to study Christian history and the early believers in the first few centuries. There are countless books and on line resources to help with this important quests.
Take this subject seriously, your life eternal depends on it. here is a small example to get you started: Jesus, Founder and President
Jesus started the biggest organization in the world, without a cell phone or a car... how?
With all of the power and glory Jesus had (and still has); he appointed twelve sinful, common, weak men to go out and spread his teachings. He did not choose men of fame or fortune. He did not choose men with connections or stroke. Instead, he chose among the average and transformed them into the extraordinary.
When I sit back and think about the massive organization that is The Catholic Church, I am awe struck. How did one simple man with one simple message start such a thriving organization? How did twelve commoners spread this message without the tools the like of the internet, telephones, a printing press... without automobiles? The feat is simply incomprehensible. However, this Apostolic Catholic Church is still thriving today. Put simply, the message of love, started with Jesus was organized into a church, was handed down to Peter and spread to millions through apostolic succession, written tradition and oral tradition. We pray for Pope Francis as he carries on the tradition that is the Church in which Jesus began and still spreads.
See more about this: Jesus, Founder & President
Suffering in this way gives me greater hope, that from my illness comes my joy, knowing that I suffer with Christ, or rather He suffers with me. For through His strength I can do all things, and through His death I may be pain-free with Him in heaven.
Suffering with any illness, be it mental, physical, emotional or even spiritual is consequential to original sin. That's right, due to one man's disobedience, sin and death entered this world. This is not to say that any other man (except Jesus) could have resisted the very temptation Adam fell victim to. No one is exempt from it, we all suffer and fall victim one way or another.
I personally suffer with bone, joint and muscle pain caused by a disease known as Ankylosing Spondylitis. It’s a chronic, progressive and inflammatory disease which is incurable. I know first-hand what it means to suffer with pain, fatigue, sleepless nights and a laundry list of other symptoms.
Through my Catholic faith and faith in Jesus Christ, I am a man of God. I encountered this faith long before I was diagnosed, but all the while, I was feeling the effects of my illness. Throughout the years prior to my diagnosis, I prayed for healing; but it was never received. Rather, it all became much worse. By 2005 I became fully disabled. At this time, I was at the peak of my career. My two children were enrolled in Catholic schools and we had just purchased our dream home. Through this process, my faith has undoubtedly been tested. With God’s grace, I never turned my back on the Lord; I was actually drawn closer to Him. God never promised us a rose garden, but what He did promise us was that we would be tested. We will all be called to take up our cross and follow Him. We will be persecuted for His sake. He also promised, for the one who would endure this cross to the end, shall be saved.
Believe me when I say, I understand how hard it is to be in chronic pain and suffering. Consistent pain will bring you to a low place. In illness, man experiences his powerlessness, his weakness, his limitations and even a glimpse of death. Illness can lead us to anxiety, self-absorption, sometimes despair and an attitude of putting the blame others - especially on God. In contrast, illness and suffering can also nudge a person into mature spiritual thought, helping him to realize what is most important in this life, which is why we search out God.
It is certainly true in my case, that the pain and suffering I experience has brought me into a deeper relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As Paul writes in Romans 5:4, “But we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."
Take courage and unite your sufferings with Christ on His cross. Your sufferings joined with Jesus’s is made valuable; valuable not only for you, but for those you love and Christ's Church (Colossians 1:24). Suffering in this way gives me greater hope, that from this illness comes my joy, knowing that I suffer with Christ, or rather He suffers with me, since through His strength I can do all things and through His death I may be pain-free in heaven.
For me watching the DNC is a waste of time. There are just to many lies, half-truths and spin. If people would do a little home work and read what other people are saying about the claims of these politicians, things might be different.
I often notice that we humans tend to treat second-level friends better than we treat our spouses or family members. This misconduct repeats itself over and over again; it becomes a vicious cycle. Sooner or later someone will break and then you, your family or your spouse feels abandoned. Today’s society is a 'give me mine' culture. People have a deep need, a desire, for a 'missing something.' Often times, we believe that this 'missing something' can be found in recognition or popularity. We could not be more wrong.
This uneasiness, this deep desire for a 'missing something' in our lives is truly a desire for love. God is the single source of love. Only He can satisfy this emptiness that we are all born with. Recognition and popularity can never compare to the Father's love. Wait, it's not enough to receive God's love; we are called to share in His love. How so? By loving others, especially those closest to us, we participate in God's divine love.
Go and participate in God's love,
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