Thursday, May 30, 2013

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

This feast is celebrated in the Latin Church on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday to solemnly commemorate the institution of the Holy Eucharist.

Of Maundy (Holy) Thursday commemorates this great event but this day, however, is in Holy Week, a season of sadness, during which the minds of the faithful are expected to be occupied with thoughts of the Lord's Passion. Moreover, so many other functions took place on this day that the principal event was almost lost sight of. This is mentioned as the chief reason for the introduction of the new feast, in the Bull "Transiturus."

 The instrument in the hand of Divine Providence was St. Juliana of Mont Cornillon, in Belgium. She was born in 1193 at Retines near Liège. Orphaned at an early age, she was educated by the Augustinian nuns of Mont Cornillon. Here she in time made her religious profession and later became superioress. Intrigues of various kinds several times drove her from her convent. She died 5 April, 1258, at the House of the Cistercian nuns at Fosses, and was buried at Villiers.

 Juliana, from her early youth, had a great veneration for the Blessed Sacrament, and always longed for a special feast in its honor. This desire is said to have been increased by a vision of the Church under the appearance of the full moon having one dark spot, which signified the absence of such a solemnity. She made known her ideas to Robert de Thorete, then Bishop of Liège, to the learned Dominican Hugh, later cardinal legate in the Netherlands, and to Jacques Pantaléon, at that time Archdeacon of Liège, afterwards Bishop of Verdun, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and finally Pope Urban IV. Bishop Robert was favorably impressed, and, since bishops as yet had the right of ordering feasts for their dioceses, he called a synod in 1246 and ordered the celebration to be held in the following year, also, that a monk named John should write the Office for the occasion. The decree is preserved in Binterim (Denkwürdigkeiten, V, 1, 276), together with parts of the Office.

 Bishop Robert did not live to see the execution of his order, for he died 16 October, 1246; but the feast was celebrated for the first time by the canons of St. Martin at Liège. Jacques Pantaléon became pope 29 August, 1261. The recluse Eve, with whom Juliana had spent some time, and who was also a fervent adorer of the Holy Eucharist, now urged Henry of Guelders, Bishop of Liège, to request the pope to extend the celebration to the entire world. Urban IV, always an admirer of the feast, published the Bull "Transiturus" (8 September, 1264), in which, after having extolled the love of Our Savior as expressed in the Holy Eucharist, he ordered the annual celebration of Corpus Christi in the Thursday next after Trinity Sunday, at the same time granting many indulgences to the faithful for the attendance at Mass and at the Office. This Office, composed at the request of the pope by the Angelic Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas, is one of the most beautiful in the Roman Breviary and has been admired even by Protestants.

 The death of Pope Urban IV (2 October, 1264), shortly after the publication of the decree, somewhat impeded the spread of the festival. Clement V again took the matter in hand and, at the General Council of Vienne (1311), once more ordered the adoption of the feast. He published a new decree which embodied that of Urban IV. John XXII, successor of Clement V, urged its observance.

 Neither decree speaks of the theophoric procession as a feature of the celebration. This procession, already held in some places, was endowed with indulgences by Popes Martin V and Eugene IV.

 The feast had been accepted in 1306 at Cologne; Worms adopted it in 1315; Strasburg in 1316. In England it was introduced from Belgium between 1320 and 1325. In the United States and some other countries the solemnity is held on the Sunday after Trinity.

 In the Greek Church the feast of Corpus Christi is known in the calendars of the Syrians, Armenians, Copts, Melchites, and the Ruthenians of Galicia, Calabria, and Sicily.

Text adapted from:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Receiving Communion in a non-Catholic Service

Q.  Can Catholics receive communion in a non-Catholic ceremony?

R.     Catholics believe that the Eucharist is a sign of unity.  This is one of the reasons that Protestants can’t ordinarily receive Communion in Catholic churches.  The same holds true in the opposite direction:  For a Catholic to receive Protestant communion would not only give the impression that the Protestant version is valid, but it would also create a false sense of unity.  There is no true unity between us sadly and for us to receive communion in a Protestant church would be lying with our bodies.  Almost as if we would say yes by bobbing our heads up and down in the affirmative but saying no with our words.  We would be giving a mixed message, and a confusing one.  And therefore lend confusion as to what the Catholic Church actually teaches on the matter.

And that, my friend, is the main reason a Catholic Christian shouldn’t receive communion in a non-Catholic church.  The Catholic Church teaches in the True Presence of our Lord in the Eucharist, most other churches do not believe in this change.  For a Catholic to receive communion in a non-Catholic church would be saying to the other Christians of that church that he believes as they do.  The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith.  Everything revolves around this fact, the fact that Jesus Christ is actually present in the consecrated bread and wine.  We would be doing a great disservice to those Christians by going along with their ideology.  We ought to provoke their thinking instead and to wake them up from their complacency by simply not partaking of communion and keeping to the truth.  In fact, we are not in full communion with each other yet and pretending that we are is not helpful for any member of His Church.

God Bless

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mortal Sin

We learned in last week’s leaflet that Jesus instituted a Church with authority (Mat 18:15-18).  Now are we free to ignore this Church, preferring our own particular ideas, our own preferences?  In a strict sense we are free to do as we wish BUT for those of us who are Christians, we are most free when we follow God. 

As Christians we are to follow God as Jesus taught us.  We put our trust in His message and teachings.  As a famous 20th century philosopher once said: “To trust Him means, of course, trying to do all that He says.  There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice.”  (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

Jesus advised us to listen to His Church when He told us to bring our disagreements to it in Mat 18.  Specifically, He told the apostles to tell it to the Church and if they will not listen to the Church then we are to treat them as though they are lost.  Jesus said: “tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

And so we see that Jesus’ advice in determining the truth is to go to His Church.  On matters of faith and morals we also know that whatever the Church proclaims to be true is infallibly known to be true since Jesus said that whatever the Church binds on earth will be bound in heaven.  Since nothing untrue can be bound in heaven means that whatever the Church binds on earth must also be true.

Now, if you are aware of a Church teaching defined as true and binding but reject it anyway then you are freely going against the advice of Jesus as well as rejecting the authority of His Church.  If all these conditions are met, that is first, that you are aware of the binding authority of His Church and secondly freely reject it, which is a very grave matter, then you are rejecting the rightful authority given to His Church by God Himself.   You are perpetrating a mortal sin.

Are you aware that the Church Jesus founded teaches in the necessity of keeping the Sabbath day Holy by going to Mass on Sunday?  If you are aware of this and freely neglect to go without good reason then you are committing a mortal sin.

Are you aware that the Church Jesus founded teaches on the grave matter of artificial contraception usage to be against the moral law?  If you are aware of this teaching of the Church and yet freely use artificial contraception anyway then you are committing a mortal sin.

Are you aware that the Church Jesus founded teaches that human life is sacred and to be protected?  If you were aware of this and also aware of the extreme abortion views of one political candidate while the only other candidate opposing him clearly had a better life-affirming stand but voted for the one with the extreme abortion proponent anyway then you committed a mortal sin.

Please, examine your conscience before receiving our Lord in the Eucharist.  Are you guilty of mortal sin?  If you are then I urge you to go to confession before receiving the Eucharist since you would be “guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.” (1 Cor 1:27)

God Bless

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Why is Believing Correct Doctrine so Important?

Simply put, because Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, no one goes to the Father except by Him (John 14:6). That in knowing the truth we are made free of sin (John 8:32 ff ).  A doctrinal truth is a truth revealed to us by God through Jesus or the apostles.

John 14:6 tells us that the only way to go to the Father who is in heaven is by the truth.  Therefore through the truth is the only way to heaven.  If we accept false doctrines we are in real danger of turning away from the faith (1 Tim 4:1).  That’s why Paul reminds Timothy and Titus many times to confront those who teach falsely (1 Tim 4:16, 2 Tim 4:2, Tit 1:9).

But in this day and age, where do WE go to have the truth?  When one says that the bread and wine that are blessed are mere symbols of His flesh and Blood and another believes that the bread and wine are actually His Flesh and Blood, Soul and Divinity…who do we believe?  Who has the final say in determining the truth?  The final arbiter and defender of the truth decides what is true.  The final arbiter and defender of the truth is where the buck stops.  What is the defender and upholder of the truth? Scripture plainly tells us that the final authority that we are to go to settle the matter is the Church (Matt 18:15-17) with the guidance of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13) and that is how the first followers of our Lord Jesus Christ understood the matter and settled major disputes between themselves.  We know this with certainty because we see the first application of this teaching at the council of Jerusalem as found in the book of Acts (Acts 15:2) who’s decision, guided by the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28), was binding for all Christians (Acts 16:4).


The trick now is to determine which Christian Church out of the thousands of Christian churches out there today, which one has been in existence from day one to settle these disputes.  This church is the one Church that Jesus tells us that we are to go to determine the truth with assurance since He promised that the gates of Hell would never prevail against His church (Matt 16:19).  She therefore must be in existence throughout history from its inception to today.  Which Christian church out there claims to be 2,000 years old with evidence to back its claim?  Only the Catholic Church can make that claim.

God Bless

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Anti-Catholic on Christmas

Roger said:
Do you agree with the conclusion of the writer in the Catholic paper that I brought earlier?

I reply:
Yes, I agree with the history and also agree with the author on the limits historical documents can show us about the choice of Dec 25 as the day of celebration of Christ's birth.

You see, I have no problem when one shares his opinion based on facts when they are presented as such. You Roger present your OPINIONS, admittedly base on facts, but as facts themselves. That, sir, is a deceiving way of convincing others. Is deception the way of the Lord?

Here's what I mean. In the article you posted you highlighted what you thought proved your point but you don't seem to realize that the author, who you believe to be an expert in the art of textual criticism and in the analysis of historical documents, couched his OPINION in such a way as to make clear that it was indeed just his opinion. You do the opposite, you couch your OPINION as though it was a fact. Here’s an Example:

The well-known solar feast, however, of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date.

{Strong claim but not decisive or concrete}

It is known history that the pagans used to worship their sun god, Baal and his son, Tammuz on December 25th. It is also known history that - in order to entice the pagans to join the Church - the Church agreed to accept December 25th as a special day of worship, too. Now, where is logic applied so far here? (emphasis mine)

{See the differance? You pronounce it as fact when even the expert doesn't claim it.)


Here's another example:

The present writer is inclined to think that, be the origin of the feast in East or West, and though the abundance of analogous midwinter festivals may indefinitely have helped the choice of the December date...(emphasis mine)

{Here again we see a possibility that his statement is his opinion and not fact}

but you say:

Finally you agree that December 25th was adopted by the Church as a way to attract pagans to join and stay with the new Church. Of course, this is considered to be a known historical fact.

See the differance? Whether you realize it or not you are using deceiving tactics to make your point. God does not use deceiving tactics to give us His message but Satan does. Whose tactics do you wish to use? God's or Satan's?

Food for thought.

And by the way…  We call that special celebration of God being born in the flesh as Christmas, ie Christ's Mass. The name should at least show you that we are not commemorating Tammuz or Baal but Christ.  Not idol worship but true worship of God.

 God Bless