Monday, March 31, 2008

Erie Catholic Bishop Donald W. Trautman will not attend the Mercyhurst
College graduation in protest over Sen. Hillary Clinton’s visit to campus

This is the second Bishop I've heard of speaking out against Catholic Universities that allow Pro-Death Presidential Candidates to hold rallies on campus. The first was Archbishop Gomez of the archdiocese of San Antonio. You can read that story below.

It's about time that our Bishops start to take a harder stance on Pro-Death "Catholic" politicians and I for one applaud these two.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Greetings all! Something struck me from today's reading...Acts 2:42-47

They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal
life,to the breaking of bread and to the prayers. Awe came upon everyone,and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common;they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes.They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart,praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

How many of us out there would be willing to give up everything for the Lord? I don't mean this in the figurative sense either. The early Church much like the Apostles when they were called dropped everything to follow Jesus. If Jesus called you today would you give up your big screen TV? Your SUV? Your three bedroom, two car garage house?

The Church today is not asking us to give up everything, but we must be willing to step out of our comfort zones. If this means tithing a bit more we must be prepared to do it. If this means talking to someone about the Lord we must be prepared to do it.

Ask the Lord today what he wants of you and don't be afraid of the answer you get.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

In my last posting I talked about the differences between how Evangelical Protestants and Catholics look at baptism. I also gave some of the biblical support for the Catholic position of baptism being necessary for salvation as opposed to it just being an ordinance, but having no real effect. The necessity of water baptism at times will be challenged by Evangelicals by giving examples such as the "Good Thief" who was never baptised but was told by Jesus "Today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). The following is from a Catholic Answers article on the Necessity of Baptism that address this argument.

Christians have also always realized that the necessity of water baptism is
a normative rather than an absolute necessity. There are exceptions to water
baptism: It is possible to be saved through "baptism of blood," martyrdom for
Christ, or through "baptism of desire", that is, an explicit or even implicit
desire for baptism. Thus the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Those who
die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing
of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and
strive to fulfill his will, are saved even if they have not been baptized" (CCC
1281; the salvation of unbaptized infants is also possible under this system;
cf. CCC 1260–1, 1283).
CCC - Catechism of the Catholic Church
Now I'd like to share the historical Christian view of baptism by quoting some of the early Church Father's views on baptism being necessary for salvation.

"‘I have heard, sir,’ said I [to the Shepherd], ‘from some teacher,
that there is no other repentance except that which took place when we went down into the water and obtained the remission of our former sins.’ He said to me,
‘You have heard rightly, for so it is’" (The Shepherd 4:3:1–2 [A.D. 80]).
-- Hermas

"As many as are persuaded and believe that what we [Christians] teach
and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly . . . are brought
by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we
were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the
universe, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then
receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, ‘Except you be born again,
you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [John 3:3]" (First Apology 61
[A.D. 151]). -- Justin Martyr

"Happy is our sacrament of water, in that, by washing away the sins of
our early blindness, we are set free and admitted into eternal life. . . . [But]
a viper of the [Gnostic] Cainite heresy, lately conversant in this quarter, has
carried away a great number with her most venomous doctrine, making it her first
aim to destroy baptism—which is quite in accordance with nature, for vipers and
asps . . . themselves generally do live in arid and waterless places. But we,
little fishes after the example of our [Great] Fish, Jesus Christ, are born in
water, nor have we safety in any other way than by permanently abiding in water.
So that most monstrous creature, who had no right to teach even sound doctrine,
knew full well how to kill the little fishes—by taking them away from the
water!" (Baptism 1 [A.D. 203]). -- Tertullian

"Without baptism, salvation is attainable by none" (ibid., 12).

"It is not possible to receive forgiveness of sins without baptism"
(Exhortation to the Martyrs 30 [A.D. 235]). -- Origen

These are just a few of the writings of some of the Early Church Father's who all believed in the necessity of baptism. Now some people will say not all the Father's were in agreement on this issues but I would challenge them to prove it.

So my brothers and sisters I hope this small introduction into baptism will challenge you to dive deeper into your faith. As well as give you a bit of ammunition when faced with questions about the Catholic view on baptism.

Peace and God Bless...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The first reading for today is from Acts 2:36-41 and it continues to focus on Peter's address to the people of Israel after Pentecost.

“What are we to do, my brothers?”Peter said to them,“Repent and be baptized,
every one of you,in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins;
and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.For the promise is made to you
and to your children and to all those far off,whomever the Lord our God will

Now this particular Bible verse is a point of contention between Catholics and Protestants. Looking at the commentary from an NIV Life Applications Bible, it has the following to say about this verse:

If you want to follow Christ, you must "repent and be baptized." To repent means
to turn from sin, changing direction of your life and selfishness and rebellion
against God's law. At the same time, you must turn to Christ, depending on him
for forgiveness, mercy, guidance, and purpose. We cannot save ourselves - only
God can save us. Baptism identifies us with Christ and with the community of
believers. It is a condition of discipleship and a sign of faith.

Now, if we look at the commentary from the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible(ICSB), we see the following:

The call for conversion is a call for Baptism, the sacrament that takes away
sin and confers the Spirit (22:16; Jn 3:5; Tit 3:5). Here and elsewhere Peter
insists that Baptism is the sacrament that brings us salvation (2:40; 1 Pet

So the NIV says that Baptism is a "sign of faith" while the ICSB says "Baptism is the sacrament that brings us salvation". So, who's correct? Jesus very clearly falls into the Catholic camp especially when you look at verses such as Jn 3:5 where he tells Nicodemus:

Truly, truly, I say to you unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he
cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Now Jesus didn't tell Nicodemus all you have to do is profess that I am your personal Lord and Savior. Some will say that Jesus was speaking of being born of woman and amniotic fluid, but that just doesn't make sense given the context of what we are talking about here.

I will continue further on this topic in the days to come...till then

Peace and God Bless

Monday, March 24, 2008

Greetings! With the season of Easter now upon us I want to reflex on a few things and see if they hit a cord with anyone. From today's Gospel reading:

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the
chief priests all that had happened.The chief priests assembled with the elders
and took counsel;then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,telling
them, “You are to say,‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were
asleep.’And if this gets to the ears of the governor,we will satisfy him and
keep you out of trouble.”The soldiers took the money and did as they were
instructed.And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present

We deal with a lot of the same things today in our culture. Why don't people want to believe in the Resurrection? Is it because if they truly believed it would cause them to have to make a radical change in their lives? Is it because they are so deep in sin that they feel that no one, not even God can help them? We all know people like this, weather it's the atheist who believes that God doesn't exist or the cafeteria Catholic who says "oh I don't have to believe everything the Church teaches". The Resurrection means that everything Jesus said is true, he is true man and true God. This means that everything that Jesus has passed down through the apostles and his Church is true and must be followed.

I think it's the "must be followed" part that gets most of us...

Peace and God Bless...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

When Saint Paul went to Athens in Acts of the Apostles chapter seventeen, he spoke to the Greeks from the great Areopagus. It is my hope that this blog will become the great Digital Areopagus of the web from which I can proclaim the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ to all those that will listen.

So this is the first in what I hope will be a regularly update blog on Catholic Apologetics and the view of the world from the eyes of the Catholic Church. I hope to be able to update it with things that people will not only find interesting but will also help them to grow or begin a walk with Christ and his Church.

Peace and God Bless