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36 thoughts on “Catholicism

  1. I was not referring to this blog but about another one where you spoke about why you were not anymore catholic. In that blog you spoke about the beauty of the Catholic Church thoughts, philosophy art. etc. But they were not enough to hold on your loyalty. You didn’t agree about the idea of predestination and grace. There are today many reasons that would confirm the possibilities of grace and predestination viewed as the Catholic Church decided to do with and after Saint Augustine. The question it is too intricate to write it in English in a comment. But for me it has been resolved by the adventure of human thoughts and it is in favor of what the Catholic Church has chosen long before there were new intellectual adventures. There is also something very appealing about the Catholic Church that it is easy to mention in this post….The Catholic Church is the only one that speaks the language of Jesus to the devil in case of possession and exorcism. Why did you leave the only institution that did have the language to speak to the devil?

  2. I was not referring to this blog but about another one where you spoke about why you were not anymore catholic. In that blog you spoke about the beauty of the Catholic Church thoughts, philosophy art. etc. But they were not enough to hold on your loyalty. You didn’t agree about the idea of predestination and grace. There are today many reasons that would confirm the possibilities of grace and predestination viewed as the Catholic Church decided to do with and after Saint Augustine. The question it is too intricate to write it in English in a comment. But for me it has been resolved by the adventure of human thoughts and it is in favor of what the Catholic Church has chosen long before there were new intellectual adventures. There is also something very appealing about the Catholic Church that it is easy to mention in this post….The Catholic Church is the only one that speaks the language of Jesus to the devil in case of possession and exorcism. Why did you leave the only institution that did have the language to speak to the devil?

  3. Pope John XXIII – “let us pledge to do together everything that we can, and do separately only the things that are still for us a matter of content and faith.”
    John Paul II said in [his 1995 apostolic letter] “Orientale Lumen”… called on Roman Catholics to affirm whatever is good, true, beautiful, holy, of God, wherever it is…”

  4. I owe to the Jewish Oral law my faith that the Catholic Church considered carefully its dogma and doctrines. For example the perpetual virginity of Mary has been derived by Jewish customs:
    “An important historical document which supports the teaching of Mary’s perpetual virginity is the Protoevangelium of James, which was written probably less than sixty years after the conclusion of Mary’s earthly life (around A.D. 120), when memories of her life were still vivid in the minds of many. … To begin with, the Protoevangelium records that when Mary’s birth was prophesied, her mother, St. Anne, vowed that she would devote the child to the service of the Lord, as Samuel had been by his mother (1 Sam. 1:11). Mary would thus serve the Lord at the Temple, as women had for centuries (1 Sam. 2:22), and as Anna the prophetess did at the time of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:36–37). A life of continual, devoted service to the Lord at the Temple meant that Mary would not be able to live the ordinary life of a child-rearing mother. Rather, she was vowed to a life of perpetual virginity.
    However, due to considerations of ceremonial cleanliness, it was eventually necessary for Mary, a consecrated “virgin of the Lord,” to have a guardian or protector who would respect her vow of virginity. Thus, according to the Protoevangelium, Joseph, an elderly widower who already had children, was chosen to be her spouse. (This would also explain why Joseph was apparently dead by the time of Jesus’ adult ministry, since he does not appear during it in the gospels, and since Mary is entrusted to John, rather than to her husband Joseph, at the crucifixion)”.
    Even when the system is right people will still be sinners and the Catholic Church as all the other Christian Churches is no different, but there is still a guidance of what is appropriate or inappropriate for worshipping. The priests in their private lives and in their words can be unholy men but the worshipping still holds intact because it is dictated above all different preferences and shortcoming and stupidity of single men. And furthermore it has been in its most important aspect grounded on Jewish ground. As the Gospel more than in one place stated not everything about Jesus and his life has been recorded in the Gospel. The Catholic Church being edified by Peter and Paul had some understanding of what was to be venerated. The assumption of Gentiles costumes was never done without considering the reality of Christ. For example if perhaps God chose to leave us the Shroud ( the Catholic church has never held the Shroud has a proof for our belief in the Resurrection that does have to rely only on faith and not on any kind of proof ) has his image on earth, the Catholic church didn’t feel images would contradict the will of God’s revelation in Jesus. With all the obvious contamination of foreign traditions in the Catholic ritual I have never been able to spot a not justifiable contradiction to the Old Testament or Jewish Oral Tradition that could not have been accepted by Paul in his understanding of the scriptures and of his knowledge of Jewish tradition. In any case with all the human ignorance and desire of worldliness of the masses I have never seen a ritual that in its ignorance and superstition would vilify my being and in cases where there was a vilification I found that the Pope didn’t ‘certified’ popular cry of miracles and there have been more denying of miracles than acceptances from the Popes

    • Maria, are you aware that for the Orthodox Jew the Oral Torah (except for swathes of variant rabbinical commentaries) was revealed by God at Sinai? If you are aware of this, you seem to be agreeing with this view. Perhaps I misunderstood.

      • For me it is not a matter of if the Oral Torah was revealed or not, it is a matter of customs and tradition. If today there is still a tradition of uncleanness for women when they have their menstruation in Jewish orthodox customs I can safely assume that Mary would have been left on the street during those days and she was in need of a protector for when her elderly parents were not there to shelter her when she had to periodically leave the premises of the temple. I would not be able as well to justify the reason for Mary to find an older husband who had already children and who decided to assume the responsibility of her wellbeing and virginity if there was no tradition even today of uncleanness of women in Jewish customs. There are many customs related to the difficult positions of women in Jewish tradition even today and therefore the story as it has been told and the perpetual virginity of Mary is justifiable by the tradition she was born into.

    • maria,

      The only shortcomings I found in your posting to support your thesis that “the perpetual virginity of Mary has been derived by Jewish customs” is that there is no such custom in all of the Jewish scripture or in all of the Jewish oral tradition.

      Let’s be specific.

      You connected Hannah’s dedication of her son Samuel to Temple service with the Christian belief that Mary devoted her magically conceived demi-god son to Temple worship. The biggest problem with your connection is that there is no connection between the two. Hannah was Hannah, and Mary was Mary. The actions of the one are unrelated to the those of the other.

      The second biggest problem with your connection is that, even if we were to baselessly conclude Mary and her dedication of her son to Temple service were somehow foreshadowed by Hannah, this still doesn’t reflect a tradition or custom of virgin birth in the Jewish Bible. In fact, 1 Sam. 1:19-20 explicitly emphasizes that Samuel was specifically not the product of an immaculate conception, but rather “Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the L-rd remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel”.

      The third biggest problem with your connection of Samuel’s ordinary mortal birth with Jesus’ alleged magical siring is that, while Hannah’s dedication of her son resulted in Samuel’s life of illustrious Temple service for which he is remembered by the Jews to this day, Mary’s dedication as recounted by your Greek manifesto was a flop. Mary’s son in the story became a violent, bitter rebel against the Temple and what it stood for according to your own Christian bible (Matt. 21).

      There isn’t any basis for Christian claims about Mary or her virginity in the Jewish Bible, or in the Jewish oral tradition.

  5. Dear Dan,
    I actually didn’t forget one little thing….cannibalism as part of Jewish tradition or better said the true Jewish tradition that should be considered biblical….

    Leviticus 26:29 You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters.
    Deuteronomy 28:54 Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children,
    2 Kings 6:28 Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’
    2 Kings 6:29 So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”
    Jeremiah 19:9 I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh during the stress of the siege imposed on them by the enemies who seek their lives.’
    Lamentations 2:20 “Look, O LORD, and consider: Whom have you ever treated like this? Should women eat their offspring, the children they have cared for? Should priest and prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord?
    Lamentations 4:10 With their own hands compassionate women have cooked their own children, who became their food when my people were destroyed.

    At least my cannibalism is an extreme sophisticated one. I eat the flesh and the blood of my Savior to become one with him….without consuming Him but actually empowering him to become part of me and I part of Him. Nothing is lost of this sacrifice…everything is gain in an eternity…… ever present.

    • Maria,

      None of the passages you’ve extracted in that note are either commandments or permission, when read in their proper context, to engage in cannibalism. But the Ten Commandments rule out murder, rendering human flesh unavailable to the markets butchers, and in any event the dietary rules explicitly communicated in the Bible specify an array of meats that are fit for Jews’ menus, and mankind isn’t on it.

      Nonetheless, your own fixation with cannibalism, which you call “extremely sophisticated”, is brow raising. You don’t have to agree with the Jews or their Bible to be one interesting lady! Do tell us more about cannibalism and the other amazing truths about your Christian faith that you believe will be familiar to Jewish readers here.

          • Dan, your reference to Maria’s comment:

            – Check her last paragraph, Bog, “At least my cannibalism is an extreme sophisticated one.”

            The reason I didn’t see this bit was because it was not in her latest comment but her previous one. Maria said (on the Catholic Eucharist):

            “At least my cannibalism is an extreme sophisticated one. I eat the flesh and the blood of my Savior to become one with him….without consuming Him but actually empowering him to become part of me and I part of Him. Nothing is lost of this sacrifice…everything is gain in an eternity…… ever present.”

            Dan, As you might know, I was once a Catholic, and so believed that the Catholic idea of transubstantion (the bread and the wine become the actual flesh and blood of the crucified and risen Christ) – as well as other doctrines such as confession to a priest – was commanded by God.

            It seems that you are falling into the part/whole fallacy, that is, taking the part for the whole. What I mean is that some priests were (and others probably still are) abusing minors, but most weren’t, and never will.

            Your reaction is like that of atheists (Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, for example) who reject Christianity (the whole) because of the abuses of the inquisition and the crusades, and the abusive treatment of Jews.

            So, for those who believe the Bible, the question of the “sophistication” of the catholic “sacrifice” (of the Mass) should be assessed on its biblical warrant, and not on whether some priests are child molesters or whatever.

            You might, and Maria will, go further than the Biblical warrant by including the Oral Law (you) and the Catholic Magisterium (Maria).

          • Dear Dan,,
            I have accepted in my previous comment as a possible rightful opinion your statement on the sacrament of Communion being an act of cannibalism and I only added that it is still the best example of cannibalism given to me by the Bible since it is a more sophisticated point of view on the subject. Remember that one of the true face of evil is it’s being ‘unsophisticated’, have you heard the idea that evil is banal? Meaning far from being ‘sophisticated’. To my act of inclusiveness you are answering with what is called a logical straw man fallacy, transferring my attribute of ‘sophistication’ of a sacramental belief to the faults of priests. I am going to accept this conclusion also not for its logical fallacy but for the simple fact that it is on everybody mind and it is right that it is expressed since it is an abomination of my church. But I have also to add that every time the Catholic Church has been weaken from internal and external factors and mistakes, irrational and malevolent forces have been also unleashed against other religions such as Judaism. It doesn’t help to be in our separate territory. There have been legends about a pope in the XIX centuries that allegedly had a vision, never confirmed, that predicted evil was going to vehemently attack the church in the following century, the XX century. Well a part from legendary anecdotes all the ‘ism’ of the XX century didn’t help. At the end of the XX century these cases of molestations are worse of all the other menaces put together, because it is exclusively internal.
            I don’t want to give any space to any bad websites or point of views, that doesn’t deserve any consideration, that connects episode of Catholic priests molestation with Jewish rabbi molestation, but I would like to report as an example a milder answer given to the report of Jewish rabbi’ children molestation (without reporting the website where I found it that is wrong and unworthy):

            “Lucky says:
            January 19, 2010 at 8:45 am
            Can you imagine the kind of publicity this j [sic] rabbi would have been given, if he was a Catholic priest? Poor little victimized Jewish children, who probably have learned not to rat out the rabbi, who is supposedly holier/higher than God.”

            We live in a small very small world. Someone else mistakes effects us even if partially. And it is a terrible shame what it has happened to the Catholic Church but evil it works at multiple levels. It doesn’t stop for sure in the territories of the Catholic Church. We are supposed to go beyond our own denomination or specific territory and try not to let evil conquered more space among the good work of good people. The only way to do it is not unleashing more malice that already is sliming among us and to be as Christ was: unsettling but compassionate and most of all not manipulating the truth for our own interest in any way.

            • Maria,

              With all due respect, the only sophistication I see on the part of the RCC is how sophisticated was and continues to be the cover up.

              As far as I am concerned both those priests, and rabbis will end up in hell and should be sitting in jail instead of being let to continue.

              • Dan
                Your “As far as I am concerned both those priests, and rabbis will end up in hell and should be sitting in jail instead of being let to continue.”

                WILL end up in hell? Surely that should be MIGHT not WILL, because as it says,

                “you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

                (Ephesians 2:1-10)

    • Check out the food laws in Leviticus, and read Acts 15: 20-21. The new Gentile followers of Christ were told to abstain from blood and attend the synagogues so they could learn what Moses wrote (the Torah). Regarding the perpetual virginity of Mary, I believe that teaching originated with the Vestal Virgins. Romans superimposed their pagan beliefs on Christianity around the third century AD.

      • Dear Sheryl
        What you believe is and has been in the long run at the end of your belief 🙂 in Christ and the Church of Christ, historically speaking if we consider the lost sheep of all the different cults that called themselves Christians. But it is ok….history has reserved more challenges that your personal propensity to consider paganism as part of the Church of Christ, built on the ground where Peter and Paul decided to die and where there are still in view catacombs with the first paintings of Mary as the mother of God, older than all your personal assumptions of paganism and idolatries and so on. Thinking that the first Christians who dwelled in that catacombs were trying to escape terrible deaths because they were refusing paganism but of course someone long the line, as you do, would have thought that their painting and adoration of the Mother of God would have been considered pagan…go figure  By the way without an humble consideration of who knows what better it is easy to go astray and merely personal assumptions didn’t save Adam and Eve from arrogant choices. For people who want to follow literally the words of God in the Bible it is strange that you are refusing to consider literally the most important words of the Gospel: “ This is my body and this is my blood”. But of course it is easier to believe what we want to believe that doesn’t require a true act of faith from our part…isn’t true?

        • Hi Maria. You impress me as a very devout Christian and an all-around good person. My intent is not to offend you. The church–Protestants and Catholics alike–have been influenced by the pagan cultures around them. Take Easter, for example. If you look up the word “Easter” in the Oxford dictionary, you will find that Easter is another name for Eostre, the goddess of spring. We even celebrate Christ’s Resurrection on “her” day. As for the bunnies and eggs, you can find them in Egypt next to images of Isis, a fertility goddess.

          Some churches are replacing the name “Easter” with “Resurrection Day.” Also, why not celebrate the Resurrection of Christ after Passover?

          I never gave much thought to these things until someone pointed out that the phrase “God’s Appointed Times” is in the Bible. In fact, the phrase is found throughout the Bible.

          Here’s the rub. We are not to worship God as the pagans worship their gods. “Do not inquire about their [pagan] gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way.” [Deuteronomy 12: 30 ESV]

          If we [the church] did things God’s way instead of adhering to the “doctrines of men,” we would have true intimacy with God, which would result in revival. .

          • Thank you for your kindness and consideration but as they say ‘rightness is in the eyes of the beholder “ 🙂 In French, Italian, Spanish the term does have complete adherence to the Jewish term and the Aramaic term for Passover. In fact Passover could be translated Pâque juive, Pasqua ebraica and for the Spanish the same.. Now the fact that the English language is not so alighted with the original usage of the word it is a pity. But we are far from considering this a complete compromising factor of the religion meaning of it. Words are very very important but so are our intentions that connects us to the words. If you are celebrating the Resurrection of Christ even if you are using erroneous language doesn’t mean that the Resurrection of Christ is not celebrated by people who feel this in their heart to be such. There are almost no religion that have not been influenced by external ideas even if it was only to resist to the contamination there were influences. Under the anthropological point of view only few tribes in the Amazon or darkest forest of Africa in their religious practices were considered not contaminated. But even so they shared somehow some common principles as tribal as they were. Therefore I would not consider Easter to be in any way only because was influenced by persistent rituals as not Christian. It is all in the intention and in the heart of who believes the more or less purity of the faith.

  6. I have written many words on the sands. Too many words have been wrong and sinful as many actions. I am confessing this on this blog that is not mine. I am a guest of a kind Jewish Christian writer. I don’t own the space where my words are written. As I don’t own my life I don’t feel I rightfully completely own any space or anything on this earth without considering my own shortcoming. God in His merciful grace has shown me his presence forgiving me even if it is very difficult to forgive myself. I have been also forgiven by his Catholic priests on this earth. I owe to the Catholic Church the understanding that there is supposed to be a sacrament of confession that is beyond our own direct communication with God.

    Men made in the image of God have established legal systems and laws to deal with our earthly transgressions. God has made for us a system of absolution of our transgression for our sins much more generous that any of our system on earth. The sacrament of confession is a gift to us. If I believe in this sacrament, I humbly search outside of me the intercession. I would never be sure I were forgiven for what I am not able to forgive myself if there was no sacrament involved in this act of contrition. The heavier the sins the more difficult becomes the direct communication with God. “ I believe in the forgiveness of sins” is given to me as a sacrament.

    The Judge promises me this absolution in a sacramental way. If we are legalists, judges, lawyers on this earth we understand the value of an established system of absolution. God in the Catholic Church has given us all the possible means to be able to forgive ourselves that is the most difficult part of my absolution.

    ” Penance is a sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ in which forgiveness of sins committed after baptism is granted through the priest’s absolution to those who with true sorrow confess their sins and promise to satisfy for the same. It is called a “sacrament” not simply a function or ceremony, because it is an outward sign instituted by Christ to impart grace to the soul. As an outward sign it comprises the actions of the penitent in presenting himself to the priest and accusing himself of his sins, and the actions of the priest in pronouncing absolution and imposing satisfaction. This whole procedure is usually called, from one of its parts, “confession”, and it is said to take place in the “tribunal of penance”, because it is a judicial process in which the penitent is at once the accuser, the person accused, and the witness, while the priest pronounces judgment and sentence. The grace conferred is deliverance from the guilt of sin and, in the case of mortal sin, from its eternal punishment; hence also reconciliation with God, justification. Finally, the confession is made not in the secrecy of the penitent’s heart nor to a layman as friend and advocate, nor to a representative of human authority, but to a duly ordained priest with requisite jurisdiction and with the “power of the keys”, i.e., the power to forgive sins which Christ granted to His Church. “

  7. Dr. Pastor writes that ” An imperfect setting does not affect the intrinsic worth of the jewel, nor does the golden coin lose its value when it passes through impure hands. In so far as the priest is a public officer of a holy Church, a blameless life is expected from him, both because he is by his office the model of virtue to whom the laity look up, and because his life, when virtuous, inspires in onlookers respect for the society of which he is an ornament. But the treasures of the Church, her Divine character, her holiness, Divine revelation, the grace of God, spiritual authority, it is well known, are not dependent on the moral character of the agents and officers of the Church. The foremost of her priests cannot diminish by an iota the intrinsic value of the spiritual treasures confided to him.” Jesus foretold, as one of its severest trials, the presence in His Church not only of false brethren, but of rulers who would offend, by various forms of selfishness, both the children of the household and “those who are without”. Similarly, Ho compared His beloved spouse, the Church, to a threshing floor, on which fall both chaff and grain until the time of separation.

  8. The eighth of December, for me yesterday it was the day of the Immaculate Conception. For centuries perhaps more then one thousand years since the Syria Church had a feast dedticated to the sinless Mary. The fathers of the church had been discussing if Mary was born tainted with the original sin (from the beginning). It was called the “Immaculate Conception” for the first time as a dogma by Pope Pius IX, December 8, 1854. Now when I asked Catholics from countries such as Central America or South America and Europe today if they know about the Immaculate Conception and what it means, they very often can’t explain it or haven’t heard about it. And today the mass media very often misinterpret the meaning of Immaculate conception considering it connected to giving birth without sexual contact. When I realize the misunderstanding today or the complete ignorance from Catholics and non Catholics alike about this dogma made ex Cathedra, something done very rarely in the history of the Catholic Church, it becomes even more startling that a young peasant when there was no internet or public mass media and lacking personal education could correctly refer to this new dogma only four years later in Lourdes. The lady that had appeared to her called Herself the Immaculate Conception. Why is it important for Catholics the figure of Mary? It is important because it testified the continuity of the Divine presence of God among us. She is the wife of the Holy Spirit since Her Son was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. She is present in the Bible from the beginning of Genesis. There is something more to her in God’s plan than we are able to grasp. Also, her humility and silence is startling in the Gospel and she is presence in a way that is so subdued to her Son’s life. There was an incredible close relationship between the Mother and the Son. Yes every mom has the same claim for her son but there is something more to their relationship. He is upset when He has to disappoint her in a way that only can happen in relationship that are close to the essential. He calls her Woman to distance Himself from the love He feels for her. He does what she asks when she asks for the miracle of the wine. It is at a wedding. There is something so incredible lucid in this miracle. It is linked to an exclusive feminine perspective not present in a God vision of the world before Mary came to be in History in the Gospel. It is a miracle linked to celebration of life in an earthly way. Not a miracle linked to our infirmity or our suffering but to a wedding. Jesus accepted his mother’s input even if he resisted it at the beginning. The Catholic Church in her acceptance of Mary as an extraordinary advocate has incarnated the Old Testament idea of God and the symbolism of the wedding and the Spouse. A wonderful doctrine for a wonderful lively view of God and Paradise.

    • Maria, your “She is the wife of the Holy Spirit since Her Son was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

      Are you sure you want to give Mary the divine status of making her the wife of the Holy Spirit, which boils down to the wife of God. Where in Catholic teaching is she referred to as the wife of the Holy Spirit? The Bible, of course, says the exact opposite. Are you aware that the Koran says that God had sex with Mary, his wife and gave birth to a son.

      Many Jews, as well, equate these Catholic beliefs with Christianity, and, therefore, with paganism. The Catholic church’s view of tradition, though, has much in common with the principles of the Oral Torah, much of which – the Kabbalah, for instance – has been influenced by the Babylonian culture during the 70-year Jewish exile to that country.

      I have to say that for me, to refer to humble Mary who was a sinner like you and me – if not, why does she refer in the Magnificat to the baby in her womb as her redeemer? – as the Spouse of God, is at best, not in line with biblical thought.

  9. First of all I would like to thank you for allowing me to write these preposterous things on your blog. I am refraining after this last entry to write on your blog because all the rest of what I believe in it is in all your other blogs and it is not exclusively connected to my Catholic view of Christianity.
    You would be completely right if we were not speaking about a Living God. A Living God would not stop manifesting Himself in any way He feels like and the Catholic Church better for me responds to this quite nice aspect of our God. Of course we are going to make mistakes and we are going to obstructe His ways with our ways but at the end what is true is going to be manifested even if against our own will:
    “The proper understanding of Mary’s relationship with Jesus in God’s plan of redemption, and her relationship with the Holy Spirit in God’s “plan of applied redemption” (i.e., in the distribution of grace merited by Christ), will help both Catholics and non-Catholics alike to see that we do not pray to Mary to Jesus, but through Mary to Jesus, and through him to the Father. And in light of what was said above about Mary being the Holy Spirit’s “living human instrument,” we realize that when we pray through Mary to Jesus, in a true sense we are praying through the Holy Spirit (and Mary) to Jesus. […] Kolbe offers us a profound insight here as to why God ordains that the Holy Spirit operates through the Blessed Virgin, by using the analogy of the Incarnation in the work of redemption God could have ordained that our redemption be effected without his Son becoming incarnate and dying on the Cross. But because all our knowledge comes through the senses, God was better able to reveal to us the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity and his merciful love for us through the Incarnation — by the fact that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). In an analogous manner, God is better able to reveal to us the Third Person of the Trinity, God-who-is-Love, and to reveal how this Person distributes the graces merited by Christ, through a concrete, sensible sign — a human person; and that person is the Blessed Virgin Mary.

  10. Mary was truly a blessed woman by God to give birth to the Messiah; but it stops there. We are not to pray to Mary, or hold her in regard on the same level, or even similar to, Jesus Christ. She’s a special woman and should be remembered as such. But, like I said, it stops there. Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us to worship Mary or make idols out of her. In fact, to get down to the nitty gritty, we’re not even supposed to make graven images of Jesus Christ! The Bible tells us not to make ‘any’ graven images. That’s all I have to say about this.

    • It is said in the Old Testament that the law, words of God one day would have been written on the heart of men. For me as Catholic the words of God are still written on the heart of men and specifically given by the Holy Spirit as the New Covenant to the hearts of the descendants of specifically one man: “
      Matthew 2:6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”

      • If it has been decided that images are not contrary to the word of God written on men’s heart and this is how it is until the end of the word:
        “In ecclesiastical heraldry, papal coats of arms (those of individual popes) and those of the Holy See and Vatican City State include an image of crossed keys to represent the metaphorical keys of the office of Saint Peter, the keys of heaven, or the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, that, according to Christian belief, Jesus gave to Saint Peter, empowering him to take binding actions.[1] In the Gospel of Matthew 16:19, Jesus says to Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” The keys of heaven or keys of Saint Peter are seen as a symbol of papal authority: “Behold he [Peter] received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, the power of binding and loosing is committed to him, the care of the whole Church and its government is given to him [cura ei totius Ecclesiae et principatus committitur (Epist., lib. V, ep. xx, in P.L., LXXVII, 745)]”.[2]”
        The law written on the heart of Peter’s descendents allows having images of God and his servants. Who is in charge of your opinion about anything you say after the birth and the death of Christ?

        Also there are so many examples of how the veneration of the image of God is part of the growth of a spiritual understanding of the angels on earth as with Saint Theresa:
        “O Jesus, who in Thy bitter Passion didst become “the most abject of men, a man of sorrows,” I venerate Thy Sacred Face whereon there once did shine the beauty and sweetness of the Godhead; but now it has become for me as if it were the face of a leper! Nevertheless, under those disfigured features, I recognize Thy infinite Love and I am consumed with the desire to love Thee and make Thee loved by all men.
        The tears which well up abundantly in Thy sacred eyes appear to me as so many precious pearls that I love to gather up, in order to purchase the souls of poor sinners by means of their infinite value. O Jesus, whose adorable face ravishes my heart, I implore Thee to fix deep within me Thy divine image and to set me on fire with Thy Love, that I may be found worthy to come to the contemplation of Thy glorious Face in Heaven. Amen.

        • In Matthew 16:18-19 Peter is given the keys to understanding the Kingdom of heaven and the authority to teach about it.
          I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 a And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven:

          In 19b we the read
          “and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

          In the above Jesus is addressing Peter alone. In Matthew 18:18-20, however, Jesus is not only addressing Peter, and not even only his Apostles, but all his disciples.

          Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

          Now, it is obvious that in “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven,” Jesus is not giving authority to all his followers/disciples within his hearing that they have authority to forgive sins. So what can it mean? A cogent interpretation is that a disciple who has fed on the meat of the Word and is faithful will be able to 1. ascertain whether God has forgiven the sins of other Christian and thus reassure them , or 2. Admonish them to repent for unless they do they will punished by God.

          I have no problem with Peter being given the keys to understanding and the authority to correct believers when he thinks they need it. But remember Paul, when he corrected Peter. Tee hee.

          As for the leap from Peter the Apostle to the “Apostolic succession” and on to the veneration of images, I don’t buy it.

          You seem to be equating the “image of God” and the “Sacred face.”

          Is St Theresa looking at a painting?

        • You don’t buy it. Good 🙂 It was not meant to be bought the succession of Peter, even thought it was bought many times. But even the worst of the Popes has never negated anything important in the principle of the message and also never affirmed anything in dogma that was not meant to glorify God. This is something to ponder about in consideration of all the mess that has been given to us to these days by sheep scattered around by false prophets. Few days ago I went to a conference in a laic and not at all traditional highly considered learning institution. In following their topic some historians and curators of important historical museum and societies had to consider that in catholic countries the policies of selective negative use of major euthanasia and eugenics legal policies was contained because the catholic authorities disagreed. The papacy does have a succession traceable and historically longer than any kingdom today present on earth. Do you think that the queen of England is better as the head of the Christian Church? and where are the Lutheran and the Calvinist coming from? Jesus Christ was not a man…He was the Son of God and therefore He, as God incarnate, has a human divine nature through His incarnation in His Mother body (the only human body that gave Him his human nature).The popes are simply men and vicars of the human stature on earth of Christ. In a very prosaic way popes “ exist to assist the individual Catholic to escape the gates of hell” and I think they are still doing a good job in trying to assure the principles of a good earthly conduct and devotions. Ultimately

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