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After more than 25 years being away from the Church, may I suggest the following in addition to that in the article:
1. - I came back to the Church because non-Catholic Faiths do not have the Body and Blood of Jesus in Holy Communion. (Yes, I looked at some non-Catholic Churches.)
2. - I watched EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network), and you can also find this on the internet as well as cable tv.
(Based upon their recommendations, I also purchased a Catholic Bible and the CCC.)
3. - When I was searching, I also read the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” to find out exactly what the Church teaches and to see if I could adhere to and support these teachings. (You’d be surprised what you forgot or were never taught.)
If the CCC is too much reading for you, I recommend the “Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church” - which refers back to the CCC.
4. - In preparing for confession since it had been so long, I used two separate guides for a good confession (you may find some on the internet).
I sat at my desk and typed out each sin that I could remember, and actually read the list in Confession, so I would not forget anything. (I spent more than an hour doing this.)
After confession, I immediately shredded the paper.
Although I started attending Mass a month earlier, I consider as the date I returned to the Church Feb. 20, 2010 when I went to Confession and then could receive Holy Communion.
I hope this helps others.
Also, see: “What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE” on the net for more info on teachings of the Church and proof of authenticity of the CCC. (There are many misunderstandings in the public on the true teachings of the Church).
With all respect I ask why is it acceptable in the church to pray to saints when the commandment states
“thou shalt have no gods before me”? Are we not in violation of this when we pray to
Someone or something other than God?
Onnie, we ask the saints in Heaven to pray for us and intercede for us because they are closer to God by virtue of being in Heaven with Him. No different than asking a friend to pray for you.
The efficacy of our prayer doesn’t depend on who is doing the praying, but Whom we are praying to. Souls in heaven are not to be thought of as giving us an advantage in God’s favours over someone who “merely” prays directly to God. God doesn’t play favourites like this, using saints to get us an advantage in prayer. These are Satan’s tricks to divert us from a direct and personal relationship with God through our prayers. We are supposed to co-operate with God and each other in loving support, not compete for totally unnecessary and unloving advantage for God’s favour. His grace is available to, and sufficient for, all.
p.s. I meant my comment above to support Onnie.
Cy- it’s obvious since you call asking the saints to pray for you “Satan’s tricks” that you are just signing on to be a gadfly.
There is no difference between asking a saint to pray for you and asking a friend to pray for you. You don’t feel like you ‘use’ your friends when you ask for prayers do you? It is possible to have it all…a close personal relationship with God and the prayers of the elect interceding for us. We pray directly to God as well! :-)
If the saints are “closer to God”, because they are in Heaven with Him, then how close is the Holy Spirit to us, who are supposed to have Him living inside of our hearts? We, the Body of Christ, as believers in Him, are “temples” of the Holy Spirit, right? Is that not “close”?
You are absolutely correct that the Holy Spirit is close to us.
That said, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” James 5:16.
Since Rev 21:27 points out that “nothing unclean will enter heaven”, it would seem reasonable to consider the saints in heaven to be more righteous than any of us on earth.
Contemplating the lives of the saints is a little like thinking over how to relate to God, to ourselves, and to others by considering questions of theology such as have been raised here. God gave us brains to think, of course, for purposes of survival and to realize what a great gift life is, giving us the opportunity to know, love, and worship Him. Sometimes when we feel small inside, it feels good to think about saints who inspire us or whom we admire, and to call on them for help in our life’s struggles to be better persons seems perfectly fine to me. To ask them to pray for us is to seek strengthening in our mission to be the best people we can be, including in serving God well and meeting our life’s challenges and responsibilities as well as possible also. We can do that only by mentally concentrating on them in a manner we call prayer; in no other way are they accessible to us. This is not the same as worshipping them. We worship the Holy Trinity: God the Father, Our Lord Jesus Christ His Son, and the Holy Spirit, whom we call to enter our hearts, to dwell within us, and to fill us with love. When we feel the Holy Spirit within us, it is natural to feel inspired to communicate with love to God above, to Our Lord, to Mary with love and devotion, and to all the saints and to pray for those who have passed before us. It is simple and all makes sense when you let the Holy Spirit dwell within. Until then, thank God for the Holy Roman Catholic Church for preserving the teachings of Our Lord and helping us learn what we must in order to be in communion with the Holy Trinity and all the saints in heaven.
Onnie you should understand that sometimes Catholics pray directly to God. Sometimes we ask a saint to pray with us and for us. The most important prayer for a Catholic is the Mass where we pray directly to God. Since Jesus told us that whenever two or more are gathered in my name He is there. If a Catholic is praying alone he/she may ask a saint to pray for them if they so chose. Then you have two gathered and Jesus will be there. Also Amen Terah.
Well said Maryanne I have to agree with you totally!
Sometimes I am struck in awe in God’s Glory in what I learn thru these blogs, NCR, and EWTN! The body of Christ! It’s big!
From the Vatican II council document Gaudium et spes para. 22: “the son of God, has in a certain way united himself with each man”;
para. 36 “..believers, no matter what their religion, have always recognized the voice and the revelation of God…”
John Paul II taught universal salvation that encompasses all humanity.
• All men are united with the God of infinite majesty called the “Church of the living God” as seen at the Prayer of Assisi Meeting 1986….
• In the end, the ‘believers’ of all religions turn to God
• The Son of God united Himself with every man through His Incarnation…
• the redeeming death of Christ was the (supernatural) birth of man, regardless of whether the man knows it or accepts it or not…
Due to John Paul II’s teachings in Redemptor Hominis, every man from the moment of his existence has intact the image and likeness of God. Therefore, why pray to the saints and for that matter why do we need the Church since there are many paths to God, all are united and all are saved?
When Jesus said that we come to the Father through Him, I understand that rejection of Him as saviour is to reject God, disallowing entry to heaven; this is the path to salvation, to accept Jesus Christ as our saviour, not Muhammed or Buddha or the legalities and prescriptions of the Talmud. Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. Can someone show me how I might be wrong.
Cy Winter, Are you saying you do not accept the changes and the innovations of the Council of Vatican II?
Cy Winter - You are not wrong.
<Therefore, why pray to the saints and for that matter why do we need the Church since there are many paths to God, all are united and all are saved?>
Joe it says in Timothy, “First of all I urge that prayers, petitions and intercessions be made for all.”
It goes both ways we intercede for others and they intercede for us
We need the church because Jesus told us to that we are to settle disputes through the church.
Which church, Phill?
The church with the best historical case for being Christ’s Church, namely
the Roman Catholic Church with all of the eastern rites in union with her. The Church with almost 2,000 years of historical documents and writings that address a lot of the issues still vexing us today.
Jesus is not a God of confusion there is a steadfast long lasting ever enduring Church anchored with the Petrine Primacy.
Phill, I’m not in opposition to you. I’m trying to provoke some thinking. The changes of Vatican II are not in agreement with your conscience that is formed with the immutable teachings of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church necessary for salvation.
In fact, no where in the Vatican II documents does it state one needs to return to Mass nor confess their sins as the pleadings of this column. Conversion prayers are no longer acceptable with “the changes”. I don’t understand the intentions of the editors.
In fact, no where in the Vatican II documents does it state one needs to return to Mass nor confess their sins as the pleadings of this column. Conversion prayers are no longer acceptable with “the changes”. I don’t understand the intentions of the editors.
Why does it need to be stated again at Vatican II if it was stated previously?
Vatican II did not make any dogmatic changes. There is a consistency in our belief from Jesus, the Apostles, Apostolic Fathers, Early Church Fathers, the 21 convened Councils. Our understanding of some aspects have been clarified but not changed, meaning this was Truth and now its not Truth.
You mentioned that the teachings of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church being necessary for salvation, which is true if one properly understands that statement.
Jesus founded his Church and gave Peter full authority to act on Jesus’ behalf along with the rest of the Apostles. St. Ignatius of Antioch (110 AD) was the first to use the word “Catholic” in describing the Church. It is still true today as the Catholic Church is able, without disruption, provide the list of all popes going back to Peter.
Because the Catholic Church is the one that Jesus’ founded and salvation comes ONLY through Jesus, then it is proper and true that salvation comes only through the Catholic Church.
Not every faith community has the FULLNESS of belief but the ones they do have is what they have in common with salvation by Jesus, hence the Catholic Church.
Vatican II was not called to address any doctrinal crisis in the Church, therefore it was not necessary to repeat what the Church has consistently taught from the beginning.
Vatican II wanted the true evangelization to be spread and better understood in the modern world. But there were no doctrines that were changed. Therefore, going to Mass, confession of sin, etc. are still necessary, not because of the Church, rather because that is what Jesus commanded.
RayG, you stated: “Not every faith community has the FULLNESS of belief but the ones they do have is what they have in common with salvation by Jesus, hence the Catholic Church.”
Are you stating that non- Catholics can be saved?
Where is that teaching? How were their sins absolved?
RayG – I was away from the Church for awhile and when I went back in for a visit I was shocked to see the Masonic lines and settings that I never noticed before. There is very little resemblance of the Catholic Faith as a result of the changes based on Vatican II.
The changes are dramatic in the Liturgy, the rites of the Sacraments, the architecture of the churches as well as the Sacred Art inside them. Traditional altars, pulpits, communion rails, statues and paintings have been destroyed and the modern Music is despicable
Yes, non-Catholics can be saved, along with non-Christians BECAUSE Jesus desires all to be saved. It does not mean that all will be saved but that all have the opportunity to be saved. Jesus’ death and resurrection acomplished the redemption of the human race.
If by no fault of their own they have not heard about Jesus but live their lives faithfully according to the natural law that God places in each person’s heart, they have the opportunity to be saved BECAUSE of Jesus.
We have the obligation to spead the “Good News” to everyone. If we don’t, then we have to answer to God why we did not do our part. Not everyone is called to be a missionary in foreign countries but we are called to evangelize in our lives first to our children and families.
Where is this documented? All one has to do is to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It gives what we believe and the references from Scripture, Tradition, Church documents, etc. You can look up those references as well as the Compendium that provides even more documentation. Much of this is online so the cost of research is minimal.
There have been much about Vatican II that was well intentioned but poorly implemented, ie. the church architecture and such. However, that did not change what the Catholic Church believes. In fact, the book that caused much confusion, Enviroment and Art in Catholic Worship, has been rejected by the USCCB and replaced with an approved, “Built of Living Stones” that corrected many abuses as been noted.
Environment and Art in Catholic Worship does not have the force of law in and of itself. It was never approved by the USCCB. As a matter of fact, the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy appointed a task group to revisit Environment and Art in Catholic Worship and formally rejected it. The revised document, entitled Built on Living Stones, was approved by the full body of Bishops at the November 2000 meeting.
Again, no doctines were changed.
It is apparent that some who are posting have a limited exposure to what the Catholic Church actually teaches and I am glad to address misconceptions.
The porous pastoral language of the 16 documents of Vatican II gave room for pluralistic views. The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is no longer exclusive and one can choose their own path and be saved.
You sight no specific immutable teachings on your position, RayG, because your position has been condemned by Holy Mother the Church. It is by the admission of the hierarchy that “Gaudium et Spes”, for instance, is a “counter-syllabus” meaning that the new theology of the council influenced dogmatic teachings to take on alien ideas Supremely and formerly condemned by Pontiffs.
Why did you over look some of the dogmatic changes I posted?
MORTALIUM ANIMOS - ON RELIGIOUS UNITY
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XI JANUARY 6, 1928
9. These pan-Christians who turn their minds to uniting the churches seem, indeed, to pursue the noblest of ideas in promoting charity among all Christians: nevertheless how does it happen that this charity tends to injure faith?........
10. So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it,….
RayG – some more revolutionary dogmatic re-visions
• Signing doctrinal agreements with Protestant heresies causing many points of the Catholic Faith to be either denied or set aside
• Allowing Cardinals of the Roman Curia and Bishops Conferences to publicly declare themselves favorable to the use of contraceptives in particular cases.
• Radically changing the diplomacy of the Holy See: instead of defending the rights of the Catholic Faith, the Apostolic Nuncios calls for “religious liberty” for all religions which denies the one True Faith
• Abolishing the Index of Forbidden Books
I’m not sure who you represent but obviously you are a troll of the “Jack Chick” variety or from other group that hates the Church that is looking to cause discord on a Catholic Website.
Your statements are either distortions of what was said or outright falsehoods.
I will pray for you.
RayG I was hoping that you would at least try to substantiate what you believe to be true, but you did not even try. You merely generalized because you do not know what the Catholic Church teaches nor what the post conciliar church teaches. RayG, I’ve been studying what the Catholic Church teaches for a long time. I am a Catholic. I’ve witnessed a lot of ‘changes’ and I’ve personally seen families ravished by the changes. Every family without exception has been harmed by modernism Pontiffs warned us about and condemned. I’ve seen the attendance, the number of churches, priests and religious dwindle. The destruction continues. It’s a major implosion.
Have you read this book, “Animus Delendi-I Desire to Destroy” by Atila Sinke Guimarâes. The author is Catholic. Another good book is “Tumultuous Times” by Fathers Dominic and Francisco Radecki, also Catholic priests. Look up the books by Fr. Johannes Dörmann. I have part 1 the wrote of the “Prayer Meeting of Religions In Assisi” and would have liked to get part 2 until I saw the price. These are valuable reading materials.
Thank you for your references and I now realize why you answered as you have. It is apparent you are an adherent to the Society of St. Pius X group which does not recognize the Holy Spirit’s role in protecting the church from teaching heresy.
There are no “freelancers” when it comes to being a Catholic. You must accept the Vicar of Christ, currently Pope Benedict XVI, as the legitimate successor of Peter or you are not in full communion with the Catholic faith. There is a lot of misunderstanding of what Vatican II said and did not say coming from SSPX and the Concillium (very liberal)crowd. Both ends of the spectrum have elements of the truth but a distorted understanding of that Truth.
I do not suspect your sincerity nor your good intentions but I do have problems with your sources since they are at odds with authentic Catholic teachings.
Please study the CCC for what the Catholic Church actually believes. The Catholic Church did not end at the start of Vatican II.
BTW: Fr. Feeney from the 1940’s was a popular Catholic priest from Boston who falsely taught that one had to be a member of the Catholic Church in order to be saved. He was censured by the Vatican (Pope Pius XII) and this was prior to Vatican II.
Joe, to believe that Vatican II was in error would indicate that the Scriptural mandate that the church is the pillar and foundation of truth is not valid. I don’t accept that.
Abolishing the Index of Forbidden books is a discipline not a doctrine.
ChrisKABA - You wrote, “Since Rev 21:27 points out that “nothing unclean will enter heaven”, it would seem reasonable to consider the saints in heaven to be more righteous than any of us on earth.”
Questions for you:
1) What makes us “righteous”? Remember that Abraham was declared “righteous” by God, in Hebrews Chapter 11.
2) How would your conclusion of “it would seem reasonable to consider…” square with the verse in Scripture that indicates that God’s ways are not our ways?
I ask because I know someone that HATES (and I mean HATES) the parable of the Prodigal Son, because in that family, he was the dutiful son and his wife, in her family, was the dutiful daughter, each among prodigal & selfish siblings.
Both do not understand how the prodigal child in Jesus’ story was given a party and restored to his father’s good graces, while the dutiful son got nary a thank you from his papa. So both do not understand God’s ways. Right? It’s not how we may handle it.
Phill, you stated: ” to believe that Vatican II was in error would indicate that the Scriptural mandate that the church is the pillar and foundation of truth is not valid. I don’t accept that.”
Phill, WHY don’t you accept that?
Make no mistake Holy Mother the Church is alive and well, Phill.
Vatican II has many contradictions to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. For instance, Lumen Gentium para 16 states atheists could attain salvation. Can you connect the dots to Holy Mother the Church and her infallible/unchanging Deposit of Faith to this revolutionary position?
RayG, you stated: “..your sources since they are at odds with authentic Catholic teachings…”
Have you read them? They are written by Catholics. Be specific. How do they not connect with Sacred Tradition?
RayG, I am not a member of the “recognize and resist” SSPXers. It is not a Catholic principle to recognize an authority and then to resist that authority in order to become one’s own pope.
I believe in the Total Deposit of Faith without exception.
RayG. You stated: “The Catholic Church did not end at the start of Vatican II.”
I’ve listed above some revolutionary changes caused by the porous pastoral language of the Council of Vatican II. These modern changes were Supremely condemned (see “Syllabus of Errors”). Here are more revolutionary ideas implemented:
• welcoming those who oppose Catholicism without intention to convert them with open arms as if they were well-intentioned and had the same aims as the One True Church instituted by Christ. I’m speaking specifically of the Jews, Muslims, heretics, protestants, Buddhists, Hindus…….
• Visiting protestant churches and associations, synagogues and mosques and praising these false religions in their own places.
• Allowing Bishops’ Conferences to approve that Communion be given to divorced and re-married Catholics.
• THIS IS A REALLY BIG ONE! Abandoning the fight against Communism by forbidding the mentioN of its name in the Vatican II documents.
Ra’y G, Well where is this infallible church that is the pillar of truth exist? Don’t just tell me where it does not exits where does it exist?
Ray G., I don’t see where in Lumen Gentium it said that atheists can attain salvation. Let us remember that St. Paul said that “the Lord had mercy on me in my ignorance and unbelief.”
Lumen Gentium #16
Gaudium et Spes #22
“REDEMPTORIS MISSIO” #10. The universality of salvation means that it is granted not only to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the Church.
RayG, - Is this the church you desire people to return to?
CWN - December 05, 2012
“Faculty and staff at 23 leading Catholic colleges and universities overwhelmingly supported President Barack Obama, according to a study of federal election donations conducted by CampusReform.org.
The staff of the website, which is “designed to provide conservative activists with the resources, networking capabilities, and skills they need to revolutionize the struggle against leftist bias and abuse on college campuses,” found that 748 faculty and staff donated $449,229 to President Obama’s campaign, while 78 donated $70,304 to Mitt Romney’s campaign.
Support for President Obama was particularly strong at Georgetown University (288 donors), the University of Notre Dame (89 donors), Boston College (84 donors), and Fordham University (66 donors).”
@Joe: Any idea of universal salvation is false doctrine straight from the pit of Hell and runs contrary to the gospel. You need to decide whom is being honored? Is it church legalism or the gospel of Jesus the Christ?
Your comments about how 23 leading Catholic colleges…being overwhelmingly for Obama is correct and appalling. However it does not mean that Catholic teachings were changed, it only means that they are not faithful to authentic Catholic teachings.
The Catholic Church has not changed her teachings on the evil of contraception.
As far as your quoting,”“REDEMPTORIS MISSIO” #10. please note the word “not”. The statement means that you need not necessarily need to officially be a Catholic to be saved. There are ELEMENTS of truth that other faiths have but they do not possess the fullness of Truth that Jesus entrusted to Peter and his successors by the power of the Holy Spirit to remain faithful to his teachings. Remember natural law is what God places in all persons hearts. They are able, in a limited way, to follow how God commands us to live.
You are misconstruing much of the documentation as a result of your selective study of the Catholic faith. The authors you are using may be Catholic but it does not mean that they are teaching authentic Catholic doctrines. They have
You also are confused about doctrine and discipline when it comes to those things that the Church can change, ie Abolishing the Index of Forbidden Books.
Catholic teachings have not changed as far as the requirements for communion. The annulment process determines if there was a SACRAMENTAL marriage or not. If the Marriage tribunal determines there was a sacramental marriage, the person is not free to remarry and if they do then they must refrain from receiving communion.
It is clear that you are not interested in learning about what the Catholic Church ACTUALLY teaches but want to ‘stir up the pot’ so to speak. You have not read the CCC nor been properly catechized on the faith.
Yes, I have extensively studied the documents of Vatican II, Catholic theology, Church history, Canon Law, Old and New Testament, Morality and Ethics, the writings of the early Church Fathers, etc. I am quite familiar with the faith. The more I learn about it, the more beauty I see in her teachings. This is a life long process on our journey towards the Lord. I just don’t care for those who want to destroy it.
Yours in Christ,
Raymond, you stated: “The Catholic Church has not changed her teachings on the evil of contraception.”
Grievously you’ve overlooked, at the expense of our youth and all society, what is taught in the U S Bishops Schools. Only 10% of the teachers follow the teachings on birth controlling in parochial schools. Are you familiar with the sexualized catechetics in these schools?
Catholic teachings have not changed as far as the requirements for communion.” Vatican II teaches that non-catholics can receive communion. That’s a dramatic change, Raymond. Did you over look this?
As for re-marriages. Annulments are past out like candy. Rarely is an annulment denied. This fact is alarming. The Facts I’ve stated are to stop the destruction. To confront evil works is a work of mercy. In regards to the forbidden list: none have a right to print error or are pornographic materials taught to parochial school youth OK with you.
Just cause some do not teach what they should does not mean that the Catholic Church has changed her stand on: contraception, non-Catholics receiving communion (those who do are not being faithful to what the Church teaches.
To be sure there are questionable courses being taught but that does not mean the Church has changed her teachings. The United States does have the highest annulment rate but one must look at whether or not it was a sacramental marriage or not. I believe much of this is due, in no small part, the authentic faith NOT being properly taught, as you have demonstrated but that has been addressed and been corrected by such documents as the CCC.
You really must READ authentic teachings before going off on some tangent.
On another point, you need to get a grip on reality instead of the hatred that you harbor towards Catholics. You loose all credibility when you claim to be a long time Catholic and you don’t know that there aren’t any “Bishop’s Schools” and your contradicting yourself by claiming to believe all the Catholic Church teaches yet rejecting the pope and bishops in union with him and to rely on obscure priests with dubious beliefs in contraction with the Catholic Church.
If you want to know something about the faith, then stop relying on the usual anti-catholic rantings and come home to the Catholic faith.
Who is going to explain this?
Despite ‘war on Catholics,’ faculty and staff at Catholic universities gave overwhelmingly to Obama - By Levi Fox, on Dec 03, 2012
“About ninety percent of faculty and administrators from America’s top Catholic universities who contributed to presidential campaigns in 2012 gave to President Obama, a Campus Reform investigation has revealed.
The strong support for President Obama from Catholic schools came despite Democrats’ controversial health care legislation which could force employers to provide contraception for employees even though it is explicitly forbidden under Catholic doctrine…. “http://www.campusreform.org/blog/?ID=4529
No one wants to return to a church that supports abortion rights.
Joe, you still haven’t dealt with St. Paul’s statement that the Lord had mercy on me in my ignorance and unbelief. Certainly Vatican II had that statement in mind when it wrote Lumen Gentium. You still have to deal with that Scripture and you haven’t. I am not saying that everyone is saved but that there is the possibility for a few do not believe through no fault of their own. Have a Blessed Christmas.
Phil, Holy Mother the Church does not deceive nor is deceived. All excathedra, infallible Magisterial Teachings are for our protection and do not evolve or change in subsequent generations.
If one willfully lives in ignorance and Unbelief, they are destined for a dismal eternal life. It’s gonna be awful hot! OR many years of pain and suffering. God knows the heart; He knows who is willfully nice or willfully deceived in order to justify a sin(s).
Lumen Gentium had in mind a one-world order church and the need to destroy belief in the infallible Spirit given to the Vicar of Christ.
You can’t isolate scriptures in the Bible to justify a belief. Only the Chair of Peter can put Genesis to Revelation all together and conclude matters of faith and morals without contradictions. I once believed in reincarnation because of some scripture readings. Protestants are famous for justifying their churches by pulling pages out of the bible and focusing on particular ones favorable to their human interpretation. Even conciliarists/People of God shop around for the presbyters that think as they do.
Phil, Have a holy, joyful, Merry Christmas!!
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