Monday, August 23, 2010
Seriously, why is that such a s-t-r-r-r-r-e-t-c-h for some Christians??? Anyone? Buehler??
Sunday, August 22, 2010
"I come to gather nations of every language; they shall come and see My glory." —Isaiah 66:18
Years ago in the fire and brimstone era of the Church, we got the idea that hardly anyone went to heaven. Most people hoped to just slip into the back door of purgatory. Nowadays, we get the idea that everyone goes to heaven. Some people even say there is no hell, or if there is, no one's there but Judas, Hitler, and Jack the Ripper.
What does Jesus say? In answer to the question about whether few would be saved, Jesus replied: "Try to come in through the narrow door. Many, I tell you, will try to enter and be unable" (Lk 13:24). Jesus also said: "The invited are many, the elect are few" (Mt 22:14).
It seems unbiblical and presumptuous to think that almost everyone accepts Jesus as Lord and goes to heaven. On the other hand, it is not part of our heavenly Father's plan that even one person be lost (Mt 18:14), for He wants all to be saved (1 Tm 2:4). If God had His way, all would be saved and go to heaven.
Therefore, we should be confident but not presumptuous about our eternal life with Jesus. "Be solicitous to make your call and election permanent, brothers; surely those who do so will never be lost. On the contrary, your entry into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for" (2 Pt 1:10-11).
Prayer: Jesus, Savior, have mercy on me!
Promise: "Make straight the paths you walk on, that your halting limbs may not be dislocated but healed." —Heb 12:13
Praise: Praise You, risen Jesus. You came to seek and save the lost (Lk 19:10). You are our Salvation (Ps 27:1). Alleluia!
Presentation Ministries, Fr. Al Lauer
Friday, August 13, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church.
If he refuses to listen even to the Church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector."
I have only one question for my Protestant/Evangelical friends:
"To *which church* are we to take our brother?"
If you say "Go to the 'elders' of your church," what if they are not in agreement w/ the 'elders' at my church? Or the elders at my friend's church? Then what? Truth is at stake here ... and so are souls. Think about it. Ponder this.
There is only "One Church" and it's been around since 33 A.D. It's not been "planted" only 2 years ago, 2 weeks ago, or 2 days ago by "John Doe or Joe Blow Bible Christian" down the street. It had better be the Church Jesus built that we go to, the One "planted" by Christ, w/ His anointed and appointed Vicar, the Pope, its head, (on earth) and the Magisterium, i.e. authority under that vicar of Christ, that is guided by the one, HOLY SPIRIT, who cannot deceive or be deceived. If it's not that Church to which we go, we're all pretty much on shaky ground, and or 'thin ice' as the saying goes, because if we can just go to "any church" who has "elders," what about the ones that only have one pastor and no elders? What about the new 'Emerging' church nonsense, being widely thrown about Christendom these days, that says, "You don't even *need* to go to a church?" Then what?!? Are we to go to a church where only partial truth is taught, but not the Fullness of Truth?
Yes, we all need to seriously consider Pilate's age-old question: "What is Truth?" And mine, "Where is Truth?"
It can't be the 'bible alone' as the 'sole authority' (according to Pastor So & So,) because every church "planted" and pastored by "John Doe/Joe Blow Bible Christian" is built on *his own* self-interpretation of the bible, and guided by his own opinion(s). That cannot mean, at all times, that he is necessarily always 'led' by the Holy Spirit. Why? Because the Holy Spirit will not and cannot lead anyone astray and He cannot be 'reduced' down to a man's or woman's 'whim.' Man on the other hand, can and does, lead many astray! Like sheep we wander and wander, scattered all about, everyone going 'his own way' getting itching ears delightfully tickled, but then what? What about when a serious sin is committed by someone against another? Where do we go to settle a theological or faith based dispute? Many really do go astray 'out in the fray' and find themselves on the road to perdition (headed straight to hell) when it could have been so easily avoided, and settled by the 'authority' Jesus gave His Church.
When we've left the One Shepherd Jesus placed in His Church, to go off on our own path, to those more 'fun' and seemingly more friendly fellowships, what we are doing is nothing less than 'dissing' our Beloved Savior! He and His Church are One. The Church is not ONLY a 'spiritual body' of believers, but is also a physical entity, a governing Holy Institution, located at this point in time and as for centuries existing in Rome. It is the Church of Christ that is 'seen' by all!
2nd Peter 1:16-21
16We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."a]">[a] 18We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
19And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.Not every "John Doe/Joe Blow Bible Christian" is 'carried along by the Holy Spirit' or there'd not be the chaos in Christendom we see today, with the plethora of thousands of denominations and sects, all teaching different things/doctrines, hardly agreeing on two 'basics' of True Christian Doctrine! Try discussing 'baptism' and see how far you get and how many 'definitions' are bantered about in 'this or that church.' You will be stunned! And if you're desiring and seeking 'true' Truth, you'll hopefully be alarmed and stunned enough to 'find' it where it is.
That's the way God planned it - or if you prefer, "planted" it.
Friday, August 06, 2010
I went there this morning, about 2 hours ago, and read the *Guest post* by Jeremy Heuslein, I was moved to comment. Why? Because I thoroughly understand his struggles, his extensive search for Truth as I was a "young" Christian years ago! :) These "journeys" are all so similar, no matter how varied the people or circumstances or age. No matter how late we 'arrive at the Door.' I'd heard much of the same in my early years, (and believed the same answer) to the question he'd asked of his parents, "Are Catholics saved?"
When the time comes to 'humble oneself' and bend the knee, to really hear, really listen, receive and accept the grace to understand the Truth about some 'thing' or some 'one' or in this case, the Church...well, that's where the 'rubber meets the road.' The pivot point came for me, only 5.5 years ago after a weekend w/ my nose in 3 books. One Sat. One Sun. and one Monday in Dec. 2004. It took a long time to wrestle this little 'know it all' (Moi) to the ground, but the Hound of Heaven did, and He accomplished His mission! Although I was not nearly as young! Wisdom does come w/ age it seems. Happily, there's no turning to the left/right/or back for me/us, either...for like Saint Peter said, "Where would we go?"
Having been to Rome as an 18 yr. old, then at 52, walking into those same ancient basilicas and churches and ruins, where Christians so long ago had walked,stood,knelt,prayed,bled,died that were 'drenched' and dripping w/ a history, Truth confronted me profoundly. It was a 'history' I never knew, or more correctly never cared to acknowledge. It was a history too far out of reach and one I just never wanted to 'seek to much after' for fear of knowing and acknowledging I might not 'know it all'...after all. Shorten that to: "Pride." But so strong was/is the "pull" of an 'ever ancient, ever new' Church. At 18 I knew and could palpably feel something was different in those old buildings, so majestic and huge, but yet an intimate and warm Presence filled them, too, but simply couldn't then grasp what 'it' was. I just knew that our little Methodist clapboard church in our little town across the Atlantic back in Nebraska was a "long way" (not just geographically) from what these magnificent structures actually "held" within those thick stone, marble, granite walls, that echoed with ancient voices that were still speaking the same thing. [A side note: In fact, after some research, in my early 20's, I found our Methodist church to be actually quite far from what its founder, John Wesley, had preached and believed as well. And today, in 2010, there'd be NO WAY he'd recognize the church he founded!! Something's very wrong w/ that picture!] But there in 2007, in those Roman churches, and those in Assisi, the masses being celebrated in those side chapels were *STILL* 'speaking the same Truth that had not changed one iota over centuries and centuries ~ nothing was altered in the dogma/doctrine. That must have been what I was 'feeling' and thinking in 1973, but I say that now with 20/20 hindsight. I think I 'knew something' wasn't quite 'right' or didn't 'add up' or 'make sense' back then (at 18) but couldn't articulate it. It must have whetted my appetite for Truth, though and penetrated me, enough, to bring me "back" 26 years later (to the "Nub") when I thought I was 'out in front' w/ the rest of the 'Jesus People' flock! I thought I was 'finding it all out' and expressing it, living it in a "new" way, that was like the 'early Church' but yet, I didn't really 'have a clue' having 'chucked' any possibility of the CC being of any importance. At 52, being a practicing Catholic, what a difference going to Rome was!!! Deepest comfort and stability and the solidarity w/ 'ancient Christians' and newbies like myself was at times almost overwhelming! I burst into tears seeing Pope Benedict XVI...he wasn't the "Anti-Christ" I'd heard and read about in some "Christian" books, but he was our, (my) Papa! And I was overcome w/ joy!
So as we delve into history, (we all need to eventually, because "history doesn't lie") like Jeremy, I too 'had to know' the Truth about what I'd just read in those books about this 'antiquated, dusty, stodgy, traditional, old-fashioned, religious institution, so mysterious, such an enigma that I'd "joined" in 1980, mostly b/c Rich was Catholic, but then had to 'leave' after a couple of years, (b/c suddenly, after reading a few 'anti-Catholic tracts by Keith Green) I 'knew it all' and I simply could not remain in a 'man-made' "stained glass tomb" of a church!'
Then along come God, with his STUNNING sense of humor and 26 years later, I was suddenly forced (due to my husband's longing for Truth, not misguided tracts) to 'taste and see and acknowledge' how GOOD it [that stodgy old place] really is!! No other fellowship I'd been involved in had stood over 2 millenia, and I was now, gently but firmly "forced" to see how wrong I was about that old, musty, what I'd dubbed as a proud, smug little "Christian a "stained glass Tomb" of a Church. Lord Jesus,how sorry I am now, for being such a 'hard nut' to crack! Thanks for 'putting the hammer' to me!!
You might ask, "why am I sending this?" Well, believe me, I'm not sending it to "convert" anyone, to argue or pick a fight. I am sending it because we all are created to know and 'love the Truth.' And since the Truth is an Eternal Person, with no limits, there's always more about Him to learn, right? Even about what we think we 'already know!' or rather to be more specific, 'especially' about what we already 'think' we know! I believe it's best to go to the 'Source' to learn about anything, or anyone (or at least to those 'closest' to that thing/person, if possible) than to believe 'hearsay' and misconceptions and misinformation, no matter how intelligently spoken, or how well-intentioned they may be who speak. Truth is Truth.
In the end, there's always the "NUB" we have to whittle down to isn't there? To finally see 'what's what.' To know and understand, finally, (never exhaustively) what has been so cloudy and hazy, before the Light of Truth shone on the path and made 'clear as day' what was so scary and mysteriously nebulous. To now see with eyes of faith how 'mistaken' I was (about the CC) has truly 'set me free!'
An excellently written, thought provoking (I love to think and ponder!) post, by a young man who's searched, who's gone "out to the deep" and has pulled, and keeps pulling up a FULL and overflowing net! The "catch" really never ends - once you're at The Source.
Jeremy's post, "The Hidden Option"
As Jeremy writes: "...what I do need is Truth, a place of rest where I can receive instruction from authority and follow Jesus and live in the Spirit with grounding."
I can only completely concur!
There's always more - in the "Land of More!" -- a good book by Leona Choy, another who returned to The Source at almost 80 years of age! Never too late!!
In the PEACE of CHRIST,
Nothing is far from God. -- St. Monica - mother of St. Augustine
Thursday, August 05, 2010
a video on You Tube, by a 'ex-Catholic' that I came across a few days ago.
It is the obligation of every practicing, orthodox and faithful Catholic to
evangelize all peoples, even 'Catholics' and 'ex-Catholics' who have wandered
from the Truth.
RECONNECT to the TRUTH,
for only the Truth will
SET YOU FREE!