Saturday, December 7, 2013 A.D. 1 Comment
This is the December 2013 issue of New Evangelists Monthly. With this announcement, participating Catholic bloggers link their best stories from last month right here at NewEvangelists.org. Revisit anytime to see up-to-the-minute posts in this dynamic format!
Contributor links are accepted beginning at noon (ET). Most contributions are received in a day or two. To see this new issue of New Evangelists Monthly, click below:
All faithful Catholic bloggers are invited to link 1 post from the last month
(ref: more info). Suggestion: include your entry's TITLE as part of "Name:" in the link form.
Are you a first time contributor or need help? See the detailed step-by-step walk-thru.]
Friday, December 6, 2013 A.D. Leave a Comment
This week: Welcome to Advent 2013! Support stores who do not sanitize Christ from Christmas. The context of every Church teaching. The love story of one preemie. 2 miracles in 1 birth. A look at Pope Francis’ statements. Some videos on the power of the traditional Mass.
Welcome to Advent! ‘Tis the season… of what?
This year, will we be rewarding stores who take Christ out of Christmas?
Christopher Stefanick has a many wonderful videos on the faith. Here, he talks about the context of every Church teaching:
Ben Miller’s son was born premature. This video is the love story between baby Ward and his mom and dad.
A woman’s swelling below her ribs is not the happy circumstance of a pregnancy, she has blocked that with IUD contraception. It is instead a cancerous tumor which would be removed in 12 weeks (this is the UK). Prior to her surgery, a new scan shows: miracle #1 – she is now 7 weeks pregnant and miracle #2 – pregnancy hormones had caused the tumor to disappear. The story is here.
Interestingly, the mom seems to have no idea how such a thing could happen. The story ends by her naming her newborn Superman.
As we can all see, our Holy Father speaks from his heart. Language issues, mistranslations, poor reporting and especially – the agenda driven mainstream media aside… he shakes things up. Pope Francis forces us to look freshly at the Gospel message, ourselves and our path.
His background and experiences differs from ours here in the US and can make some of his comments — well, inapplicable. For example, when he earlier spoke of the Church focusing too much on abortion and homosexuality – it was a “head scratcher” for faithful Catholic Americans. These topics are rarely raised in homilies (much to our disappointment). Last week the same sort of problem pops up in Evangelii Gaudium where Pope Francis speaks of the dangers of unhampered, absolutely autonomous markets. We simply don’t know where anything close to that exists. Not that it should, just that it doesn’t.
The Acton Institute focuses on social justice in economic issues. Fr. Robert Sirico comments:
This is a powerful promotional type video for the traditional Mass.
Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 A.D. 4 Comments
Have you ever been asked if you are saved? Maybe you have even asked this question of others.
The question says a lot about the inquirer – all good. They are a Christian who knows Jesus Christ and accepts Him as their Lord and Savior. They summon the courage to ask this question, one which in today’s world can easily get them labeled as a “religious kook.” They do that because they care about the eternal salvation of others (i.e. love their neighbor) and want to share the Good News of faith with them that they too may be transformed. May God bless them and make the mustard seeds they sow fruitful!
We learn from Holy Scripture and are taught by the Church of the new covenant in Christ, offered through His merits alone: by His passion and death for us on the cross. Only through His most Precious Blood are we redeemed of our sins. All are redeemed but all are not saved (the heresy of universalism). Salvation is gained by uniting ourselves with Christ.
Our evangelizing friend’s beliefs are true in many important ways, but in asking this question we know that they are wrong in at least one very, very important area: the moment of salvation. Those such as our friend believe in a non-biblical doctrine commonly described as “once saved, always saved” (OSAS). They believe that salvation offered by Christ may be accepted and irreversibly gained through a one-time act. This act is accomplished by a sinner’s prayer when the penitent sincerely accepts Jesus Christ as his or her personal Lord and Savior. The wording varies, but one example is:
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Your Name. Amen.
These are wonderful prayers. Praying thus sincerely one-time, with all of your mind, will and heart, does not lock-in salvation – unless perhaps you die immediately afterward. You are on the right track if you live the sinner’s prayer every day.
OSAS is a product of the Protestant revolution, developing well after the initial schisms (1,500 years after Christ). For the most part, it is a modern invention of the last hundred years or so (almost 2,000 years after Christ). It is a dangerous heresy. It takes final judgment away from Christ and makes salvation an act of man (however sincere). Dying in a state of grace (i.e. in friendship with God), of which we know not the hour (Mark 13:32) is no longer imperative. Our on-going conversion to full unity with Christ (working out our salvation with fear and trembling; Philippians 2:12) is no longer a concern.
There is no irreversible moment of salvation until Christ, the most merciful and just judge, meets us upon our death. Then and only then will the wheat be separated from the chaf (Matthew 3:12), with the sheep then set on his right and goats on his left (Matthew 25:31-45; some calling-out “Lord, Lord” – Matthew 7:21-23).
How do we respond as faithful Catholics to this question? In truth… “I am already saved (Romans 8:24, Ephesians 2:5-8), but I’m also being saved (1 Corinthians 1:18, 2 Corinthians 2:15, Philippians 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be saved (Romans 5:9-10,1 Corinthians 3:12-15). Like the apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Romans 5:2, 2 Timothy 2:11-13).”
Catholic Answers has two excellent articles for your further reading:
Thursday, November 28, 2013 A.D. 1 Comment
Father, all of Creation rightly owes you thanks and praise. Your justice, love and mercy abound. We thank you this day for all that you have given us:
For the Passion and Death of your Divine Son, we thank you Father, through the Cross, He redeemed the world.
For the Church, we thank you Father, it is our beacon for salvation.
For the martyrs and saints who give testimony to your Son, we thank you Father, their witness to your Son is our inheritance.
For our loved ones and friends who have died and gone before us, we thank you Father, their love abides with us forever.
For loving spouses, we thank you Father, together we seek you.
For the gift of children, we thank you Father, they are your precious gifts to us and to the world.
For the gift of our families, loved ones and good friends, we thank you Father, Through them we see the reflection of your Son.
For jobs, our homes and all that we have, we thank you Father, give us only that which we need, as we seek Your Kingdom.
For the bounty we are about to eat, we thank you through Christ Our Lord.
I hope that you and your family had a blessed, happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 A.D.
Guest contributor: Ed Trego Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter Sunday, is a time of the year that means a lot to me. To contemplate the Passion of our Lord, the pain he suffered, the death he endured, and finally, his glorious resurrection is, along with Christmas, one of the primary highlights […]
Friday, November 22, 2013 A.D.
This week: Some middle school football players understand what true charity is all about. A US late term abortion capital (Albuquerque, NM) sadly chose death this week; a video shows what they embrace. An interesting new film for the upcoming Easter season: Heaven is for Real. Near death experiences, FWIW. Fr. Barron looks at Reza […]
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 A.D.
Why are most of us not ready for heaven if we were to die right now? Scripture tells us: The treasure and wealth of the nations will be brought there, but nothing unclean will enter it (Revelation 21:26-27a). So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48). “Be holy because I [am] […]
Friday, November 15, 2013 A.D.
Lesson 29 310Q. Is it enough to belong to God’s Church in order to be saved? A. It is not enough to belong to the Church in order to be saved, but we must also keep the Commandments of God and of the Church. We call some commandments the Commandments of God and others the […]