Thursday, October 31, 2013

unity! pleeeeeeeeease, unity!

Martin Luther has always been a fascination to me. His heart for God caused a revolution. I used to admire him with the utmost respect. But once I saw the fruit of the first division - which is division upon division upon division upon division upon division...and now we have 30,000 denominations, or divisions, I realized that the fruit of the Reformation doesn't necessarily tie to the will of God as seen in the Gospel.

About 8 years ago I met an on-fire Catholic named Sharon. I was married with one child at the time and working with her. I had never met a Catholic who was so excited about her faith or who knew so much of the "why" regarding the Catholic faith, and I had never met a Catholic who was able to explain things to me like she did. She marked me. One statement she said in particular really stayed with me,

"Imagine what Christians could do against Satan if we were in unity."

I couldn't argue with her. I had never thought about unity in the body of Christ before. I had never even noticed the passage in John 17 when Jesus prays in the garden before his death. He prays for unity of believers (Christians) and the unity of the apostles. 

That's when I began to question what Martin Luther did. 

Martin Luther didn't intend to start a new church when he posted his 95 theses on October 31, 1517. The Catholic Church had some very corrupt practices going on. The Church needed to be reformed. When Martin Luther stood up and demanded reform, the Church leaders made sure he wouldn't be successful by excommunicating him and later condemning him as an outlaw. I believe Martin Luther wanted to change the Church, not start his own thing. He later went off course when he started changing the Bible and becoming his own pope.
The Catholic Church wasn't an innocent victim in the Reformation. The abuses in the Church were the root of the problem. But others who also disagreed with the abuses that were going in the Catholic Church instead helped to reform it from within. Great men and women of God  - Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Ávila, John of the Cross, and Francis de Sales - risked their lives to make the Church what God wanted her to be. This is known as the Counter-Reformation. I had never heard of the Counter-Reformation before. I assumed the abuses that Martin Luther stood up against were still commonplace in the Catholic Church today.

But they're not!

I'm not saying that the leaders of Catholic Church is always perfect. They're human, they can't be perfect. But no other church is as in line with the will of God in the area of unity as well as numerous other areas as the Catholic Church. Jesus gave us the Church and promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. 2,000 years later, this promise still stands true.

Jesus prayed for us all to be one - you could say it was his dying wish/prayer. He prayed this so that "the world will know that you sent me and have loved them..." Time after time the world recognizes the relevancy of the Catholic Church. It has been reported recently that the NSA may have been spying on the Vatican. When the anti-christ comes, who do you think will be his first target? The Church who is the most relevant and strongest against him. Join us in our fight against evil.

If you love Jesus and hate the devil, please consider learning more about what the Church teaches and join us. I promise you that you will find that the Catholic Church is not what you thought it was.

Imagine what Christians could do against Satan if we were in unity.

Friday, October 18, 2013

the time zoë almost spilled the blood of Jesus

Did I tell you about the time Zoë almost spilled the precious blood of Jesus? She was about 6 or 7 months old, and I took her up for communion with me - just like every other time. Only she had become really grabby, and I forgot all about this new phase of hers. I held her on my left hip while holding the chalice in my right hand. As I was handing the chalice back to the server, she grabbed the rim of the cup and pulled it towards her. I could see the precious blood within centimeters of splashing out. I was so thankful nothing was spilled!

Oh my goodness! Our Lord Jesus shed his blood for us, and my sweet baby almost knocked it to the ground! What if she had spilled it?! Would they wipe it up with a towel? BUT IT'S JESUS' BLOOD! You can't just wipe it up with a towel, can you? Surely it wouldn't be the first time someone had spilled the Blood of Jesus in the last 2,000 years!

Well, as it turns out, there's protocol for this type of thing. So it's probably happened before. Because we've been receiving the blood of Christ for 2,000 years, and babies have been grabbing and pulling at things for even longer.

So here's a quick answer from Catholic Answers to the question, "What is the correct thing to do when the precious blood is spilled during distribution of the Eucharist?" Then read here to answer the related question, "Can you pour out the precious blood?"

And since a person can receive only the host and not the cup and have received the full "body and blood, soul and divinity of Christ", I'll be passing by the chalice the next time I have Zoë on my hip. It'll relieve a little anxiety for me at least.

If this all sounds crazy foreign to you - the way we think of the bread and the wine as being sacred and truly the Body and Blood of Jesus, read John 6. Read all of it. The entire chapter. A lot of people try to explain away John 6 as just being symbolic. You can read commentary explaining why John 6 doesn't mean what John 6 says. I mean, people do mental backwards somersaults to explain it away. The Bible warns us about men who make the Word of God void, "Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that." (Mark 7:13 NIV) Before you read John 6 ask God to reveal the truth of His Word to you. He will.

As some more icing on the cake, here is a little 7-minute video to illustrate how AMAZING WONDERFUL the Eucharist is and what we believe the Bible says about the Body and Blood of Jesus: