Celebrate Your Feast Days

As Catholics, we have a lot to celebrate: Baptisms, Confirmations, Anniversaries, Saint Feast days, and of course, the many Holy Days that are attributed to our faith.

Celebratorial Balloons

But, how often do you actually celebrate your Baptismal Day or your Confirmation Day or even the Feast days of your favorite Saints or Confirmation Saint?

We really should get in the habit of making the time to celebrate these days. If you are married, you celebrate your Anniversary, which is a Sacrament. If you are ordained, you celebrate your ordination day, which is a Sacrament. Likewise, we should begin to celebrate the days in which we were Baptized and Confirmed.

Baptism is a day to be celebrated, as it is the day in which you were washed clean of the stain of Original Sin. God marked you as one of His own, one of His children. If you do not know the day you were baptized, you can call the parish that you were baptized at, assuming they have good record keeping. If that doesn’t work, you should be able to contact your diocese as they usually keep track of this as well.

Confirmation should be celebrated as it was the day in which you reaffirmed your baptismal vows and promised before God and those in attendance that you would continue walking the Catholic faith. Similar to above, you can call the parish or the diocese to find out the date.

If you are married, I won’t even bother mentioning why you should celebrate your anniversary, especially if you are a guy. Likewise, if you are ordained, you should celebrate as well.

The Saints are great examples to us, as they have lived a life here on Earth, and have gone before us into Heaven to intercede for us. It is wise to celebrate your confirmation Saint and any other Saints that you admire.

There is much to celebrate in our faith. Enjoy your “feast days” and celebrate your faith. There are many hard days out there, so enjoy these days so that you might one day grow in Holiness and intercede for those here on Earth.

Pray For Others

Prayer is an important aspect of the Catholic faith. It is good to pray the prayers that we already know, that have been handed down to us by the Church, especially as these prayers are free from error and are pleasing to God. One of the best daily devotions we can have is to pray the Rosary. There is much grace that comes from having this devotion.

Prayer: How to do it!

When I first began my journey into the Catholic Church, I had no prior experience to prayer, with the exception of the typical “God, please give me (insert something in) and I’ll be such a good person…” prayer. Though, through some trial and error, I learned that this isn’t exactly the best prayer, as more times than not, I was asking for something from my will and not from God’s.

I quickly learned that we should pray for others. I began praying for myself, my family, and my close friends. Over time, I stopped doing this. The main reason I stopped, was because I started adding more and more people to that list. I could’t keep track.

Recently, I came up with a relatively simple idea. I wrote down everybody that I should pray for. I even came up with a relatively simple format. I made a word document in which it was organized based on different categories. Prayer intentions are my own specific intentions for people, or requests that have been given to me. I offer up each decade of the Rosary for a particular person/group of people. I do something similar for the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I then break down the people I pray for by family, including myself, and all of my family members, as well as my wife’s family. Then all of my friends, co-workers, and all those who are ordained. I have a section for those who have gone before me and pray for the repose of their souls. I then have a miscellaneous group, in which I include the general intercession for my enemies.

I am attaching this word document, for you to download and use. Edit it however you’d like, print it out, and pray for people.

Prayer Intentions.doc

Are Traditionalists The Modern Day Pharisees?

Many who are faithful to the Church and Her Magisterium are mocked by their enemies as being a “pharisee”. Fortunately for the faithful, and unfortunately for the enemy, the term pharisee is being used incorrectly.

What is a Pharisee?

The Concise Catholic Dictionary of 1943 (CCD) states that Pharisees are:

“Those Jews who in our Lord’s time scrupulously observed the Jewish law and refused to have communication with the gentiles; the proud and self-righteous.”

Now, when the term “Pharisee” is thrown around, it is usually used to mock a certain point of view. Its used to mock it, ridicule it and silence it. Nobody wants to be a Pharisee. We know through Scripture that all they did was follow the rules, appear to be Holier Than Thou and had Jesus killed. They aren’t good people.

The people who are called this vile and ugly word, may in fact be devoted to the rules, the doctrine and the teachings of the Church. However, the are far from being smug, “Holier Than Thou” and are usually humble people who recognize that they too are sinners and in need of God’s love and mercy. It is important to keep in mind that there are always some of those who ruin it for everyone else. We are talking about the average traditionalist.

The Pharisees are the enemy in the Gospels. Every time they are mentioned, it is to prove a lesson to them. The Pharisees externally appeared to be “saints” but interiorly were wretched, unrepentant sinners. They cared more about their place of power, as opposed to their place in the Kingdom of God.

Traditionalists, from my experience, are not in any way Pharisees. They hold true to the Dogmas, Doctrines, and teachings of the Church. If the Pharisees did this, then this is the only area in which there is overlap between Pharisees and Traditionalists. Where they differ, is that the Traditionalist recognizes that he is a sinner. The Traditionalist tries his hardest to live his life as Christ and the Church has asked of him. Granted, he may be stern in what he believes, but that is only because the teachings of Jesus are not negotiable. What Jesus has taught goes and what the Church teaches in congruence with her spouse, is also the law of the land.

Pharisees in Scripture

Jesus mentions the Pharisees in Scripture numerous times. Often it is to drive a point home. God does not want you lukewarm, that is, following his law when those around you are looking, and ignoring it when no one is around. He doesn’t want you to follow it out of pride either. The error of the Pharisees is that they think that because they are following the law, that they are saved and because you are not following the law, you are not saved.

Jesus points out that no, those who are not following the law, but repent are more likely to be saved than those who pretend to follow the law, but are unrepentant.

“But what think you? A certain man had two sons; and coming to the first, he said: Son, go work today in my vineyard. And he answering, said: I will not. But afterwards, being moved with repentance, he went. And coming to the other, he said in like manner. And he answering, said: I go, Sir; and he went not. Which of the two did the father’s will? They say to him: The first. Jesus saith to them: Amen I say to you, that the publicans and the harlots shall go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of justice, and you did not believe him. But the publicans and the harlots believed him: but you, seeing it, did not even afterwards repent, that you might believe him.” Matthew 21:28-32 Douay-Rheims

Jesus also condemns the false traditions as well and that its not what is on the outside, but what is on the inside. These traditions were created by the Pharisees before them. The Traditions of the Church are given by her authority.

After he had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you. Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have done, without overlooking the others. Woe to you Pharisees! You love the seat of honor in synagogues and greetings in marketplaces. Woe to you! You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.” Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply, “Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.” And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them. Woe to you! You build the memorials of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building. Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute’ in order that this generation might be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who died between the altar and the temple building. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood! Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.” When he left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say. Luke 11:37-54 NAB

Jesus makes it very clear though, that we are to follow the “rules” and Traditions that He has given us numerous times as well (c.f. Matthew 19:16-30 and John 13:31-35).

It is clear that when Jesus talks about the Pharisees, that we must be repentant of our sins and we must follow whatever Commandments that He has given to us. That means that anywhere in Scripture in which Jesus tells us to do something, we are to do it. Because He is God, we know that that is the Truth. There is nothing wrong with following the teachings, doctrines and traditions of the Catholic faith. There is nothing wrong with asking others to do it and making sure that our priests and religious follow them as well, as long as it is done in love. The problem is when we follow only the rules to appear better than those around us. If it is out of general love for God, then it is perfectly acceptable to ensure that our brethren follow the traditions.

Not All Pharisees Hated Jesus

You read that correctly, not all of the Pharisees were bad and wanted Jesus to be killed. As a matter of fact, we read that after Jesus had cured the man born blind and sent him to the temple to wash his eyes, that there was disagreement between the Pharisees. We read:

Some therefore of the Pharisees said: This man is not of God, who keepeth not the sabbath. But others said: How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. John 9:16 Douay-Rheims

Jesus cured the blind man on the sabbath, and some of the Pharisees (the bad ones at least) felt that Jesus’ curing of this man violated the sabbath. Meanwhile, other Pharisees (the good ones) believed that if you are doing something that is good on the sabbath, than you can not be sinning. There was a definite division among the Pharisees. This demonstrates that not all were bad and that more than likely, a percentage of the Pharisees thought that Jesus was God and followed His teachings. We also know of the Pharisee Nicodemus. We read:

And there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night, and said to him: Rabbi, we know that thou art come a teacher from God; for no man can do these signs which thou dost, unless God be with him. John 3:1-2 Douay-Rheims

It is an important distinction to highlight the good Pharisees. The Pharisees were generally bad, but to allow the good Pharisees to be lumped in with the bad is uncharitable to those who did follow Jesus (assuming they later converted). It also weakens the analogy that traditionalists are all “bad” as this is what the comparison is used for.

Conclusion

Every group has its members who are not good and give a bad name for the rest of them. Just like there were bad Pharisees, there will also be bad Traditionalists. The important distinction is to see how the Traditionalist lives his life as a Catholic to determine if he is like a Pharisee or not. The Pharisees aren’t only those who followed the law to a t, but those who exteriorly followed the law to a t when people were around to witness it. This is a clear sense of pride. But, when they weren’t around they were corrupt and interiorly were diseased and unclean. To lump those on the “ultra-conservative” or “ultra-traditional” side as pharisees, is an assumption and a judgment that you know better what is going on interiorly in their hearts, which Jesus warns against (c.f. Luke 6:37).

Most of the people I know may follow the law to a t, but it is out of love for God and love for others in helping them get to Heaven. If they are actually living out their faith, both when people are around and aren’t, then to call them a Pharisee is an error and an uncharitable error that only goes to create divisions within the Church. I don’t see how that helps anything.

You Can’t Always Be Joyful

This is a follow-up to the Fallacy of Always Being Joyful. If you haven’t read it yet, I invite you to do so.

After spending much time in prayer and contemplation, I realized that there is, unfortunately, far more things to point out in regards to this fallacy of a Catholic always needing “joy” in order to be Catholic. Hopefully, this will be the last post, but, if the hierarchy continues to expound upon this fallacy, I will have to write more.

The idea that sorrow is somehow unholy, non-Catholic, and even bad is unheard of when you look at all of Christendom. There is no guarantee that once you become Catholic and are practicing the faith (though, if you aren’t practicing the faith then you aren’t Catholic) that you will become so full of joy as the world understands it.

Really, we are all dying, we are all sinners and are all deserving of eternal damnation. That isn’t a very joyous outlook on life is it? But, alas, it is true. It isn’t grim, it isn’t negative, but it is truth. Jesus warns us numerous times throughout the Gospel that the path to Heaven is narrow and few will enter, yet, the attitude of the day is that, if you are a Catholic, you will get an automatic pass, and this is from Church officials (though, if you aren’t Catholic that’s fine too!)

The sense of joy that we Catholics do receive, is that we recognize that we are at least on the right path and are following God as best as we are discerning. This isn’t a guarantee of salvation, but we at least recognize that in following God and His Church, we are at least on the right path, even if we are failing along the way. Ultimately though, when we have properly discerned what God is asking of us, we will experience the true sense of joy, that we as creations of God, are following what the Creator has Willed for us.

What interests me, is that the church (small c) has bought into the lie that the culture has been peddling that we have to be happy, in fact, we can’t be sad at all. If we are sad, then there is something wrong. We must be depressed, and there is a pill to cure that. No longer are we required to do penance, because its painful, inconvenient, and annoying. After all, if it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it, right?

There used to be for the first 1900 years of Catholicism, a sense that sorrow was good, especially when that sorrow was for atonement for our past sins. We should be sorrowful for the times that we have spat in the face of God, turned our back on Him, and gone about seeking our own pleasures. We do it quite often, more than we even consciously realize.

After all, the Church used to be so praiseworthy of sorrow, that even Our Mother Mary has a title of Our Lady of Sorrows!

Don't Cry Mary, You Should Be Joyful!
Don’t Cry Mary, You Should Be Joyful!

Every single Saint was sorrowful at some point in his or her life. To assume otherwise is naive. Look at St. Augustine in his Confessions. Many times he mentions that the thought of some of the sins of his life bring tears to his eyes. It would be wrong to assume that these are tears of joy, as to be joyful for ones sins would warrant unholiness as the sinner would be proud of his sin. This doesn’t work as we must be repentant of our sin from the time we have committed it, until the time that we are no longer on this Earth. This is why the argument “even though I’m sad that I did x, I’m glad I did it because otherwise I wouldn’t be where I’m at today” is a argument rooted in error. Be sorrowful for the action, and be sorrowful that you didn’t follow the Will of God to get to the point you are at today. God never Wills sin, but allows it in his permissive will.

Even Jesus Christ Himself was sorrowful. Let us not forget the 2nd set of mysteries of the Holy Rosary, the Sorrowful mysteries. This includes the mysteries of Jesus Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, His flogging at the Pillar, the crowning of thorns, the carrying of the cross and alas, the moment of His Crucifixion and Death. If you forgot what this looked like, let alone what it might have felt like, here is a helpful reminder.

Jesus Crucified

This is not a joyful moment. This is a sorrowful moment. There is a time for joy, and a time for sorrow. Accept that joy and sorrow go hand in hand. After all, how can you appreciate the joyful moments if you have no sorrowful ones? How can you appreciate happiness, if you’ve never once gone through sadness?

 

What Does It Mean to “Live the Gospel”?

There appears to be much confusion as to what the Gospel is today. Many Catholics and Christians alike will say that we need to go out and “Live the Gospel”. The thing is, there is no record throughout Catholicism or even in Protestantism about “living the Gospel” until the last hundred years or so.

From what I have noticed, the phrase “Live the Gospel” is a very vague phrase that can be used depending on what the individual person wants to convey with their own interpretation. However, in general, it appears that there are several components to what they want to do by “living the Gospel”. It generally includes helping the poor, giving people what they want (not what they need), being nice to people and affirming them in their sin, not correcting anyone if they are incorrect, and in general just being a “good person”. There is no emphasis on helping people realize their sin and repenting of it, not being a good Catholic, proper worship and reverence and obedience to Christ and His Church and the like.

It is important to understand what proper definitions of words are so that we use them correctly. The Concise Catholic Dictionary of 1943 has several definitions of what the Gospel is:

1. Literally “good news”. A recording of the life and works of Jesus written by an evangelist. 2. Collectively, the writings of the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, contained in Sacred Scripture. 3. The reading of an extract from Sacred Scripture, taken from the gospel narrative, which takes place in the ceremonies of the Mass just before the Offertory. There is a second Gospel right after the final blessing of the Mass which is of the feast day or vigils, days of special commemoration, and days in Lent when a feast is celebrated, but usually this second gospel is the first fourteen verses of the Gospel of St. John, first chapter.

If you are to actually look into what the Gospel is, you would understand that the phrase “Live the Gospel” makes logically no sense. After all, the Gospel is literally the “Good News” as noted above. So what is the Good News you ask?

The Good News in its simplicity is that we are all horrendous sinners, worthy of the eternal damnation and punishment of Hell. We are unworthy of the rewards of Heaven. Jesus Christ, being the Son of God, came to forgive all of us so that we may have (a chance of) eternal life. He came so that we may be baptized and washed clean of original sin. He came so that we may repent of our sin and through Him, reconcile ourselves with God. Jesus died on the cross, taking up all of our sin, becoming the sacrificial lamb, so that we can attain Heaven. He died and rose again from the dead to show that when we die, we too will rise again in our glorified bodies to show-off to Satan, that even though he introduced death into the world, that Jesus Christ has conquered death, so that we may have everlasting life.

When you understand properly what the Gospel is, you realize that “living the Gospel” is a modernist heresy introduced to cause confusion among the faithful. “Living the Gospel” as is used today is about reducing Jesus Christ, who came for all the reasons mentioned above, to just a mere man who was a “nice guy” who did “nice things” for “some people”. That is not what He did.

Everything Christ did was for the glory of His Father who art in Heaven. To reduce Jesus to this “nice guy” is an insult to the Holy Trinity.

If we are to truly “live the Gospel” as is properly understood, we are to live the commandments as Jesus taught us, following Him, His bride the Church and making disciples of all nations. This is what living the Gospel is all about. Sharing this Good News, so that others may have the chance at eternal and everlasting life. To withhold this from others, is selfishness.

Worldwide Adoration for Family Synod

I would like to draw attention for a moment to a page on Facebook.

As you may know, in October, Pope Francis and his 8 “super” Cardinals will be meeting in a Synod for the Family. There have been numerous news sources reporting what some of these 8 Cardinals have been saying. So far, it doesn’t look too good, especially out of Germany.

We should have Adoration for a good (read: Catholic) outcome to this synod. If you could follow the link below and like the page on Facebook, that would be great. There will be more posting within this group the closer it gets to the Synod.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Worldwide-Adoration-for-Family-Synod/666098776782916

Clarification on Encouraged Worship in the Mass

There seems to be much confusion today in what is the proper way for Catholics to worship in the Mass. In order to help alleviate this confusion, I wanted to look at the Religious Education Conference out of Los Angeles, California.

For those of you who have never heard of this conference, it is considered one of the biggest Catholic conferences in all of America. I feel an obligation to show you what is “encouraged” worship, compared to “discouraged” worship.


Encouraged


Discouraged


Encouraged


Discouraged


Encouraged


Discouraged

The Two Best Catholic Devotions

It is becoming more and more obvious to me, that Catholics have it very lucky. We have many devotionals, prayers, etc, that we can use to help us to attain a relationship with God and allow us to tap into His mercy and His life-saving grace. To me, if you were to choose two, and only two of these, the choices would be obvious. The Rosary and the Holy Scriptures.

The Rosary was given to us by Our Holy Mother herself. She even promised that those who have a devotion to her Rosary and pray it daily would receive 15 Graces for doing such. The best (in my opinion) grace is the ability to spot heresy. Heresy is rampant in today’s world, but being able to see it and call it out for what it is is a tremendous blessing and grace in and of itself. The Rosary in its entirety is 15 Decades long. There is nothing wrong with praying only 5 decades a day, but if you can work yourself up to 15, that is great and graces will pour down upon you.

The Bible is the word of God. When you read the Scriptures, especially the Gospels, you will know Jesus Christ. You will know His teachings and the way He thinks. You will also learn why Holy Mother Church does what she does. I would suggest reading for 15 minutes a day if you can (if you read for 30 minutes you can get a plenary indulgence). St. Jerome once wisely said “ignorance of scripture, is ignorance of Christ”. This is very wise words of wisdom.

If you do not know what Jesus has said in the Scriptures, then you will not know what His teachings are. A good Catholic bible would be Douay-Rheims, a RSVCE, or even a New American Bible. Do not use the King James Version or any Protestant bible. The KJV and all Protestant bibles have books removed from them, so they are not complete. They will also intentionally translate verses incorrectly in order to fit their point of view as well as their beliefs.

Your Catholic faith will grow tremendously by doing these two devotions, praying the Rosary and reading Scripture daily.

7 Reasons Why I’m Thankful For Pope Francis

One year ago, the papal conclave came to a close as white smoke was signaled from the chimney’s of the Vatican. Habemus Papem! We have a Pope! They announced Jorge Bergoglio (in Latin of course) from Argentina. Initially, I was stunned. I was actually a little nervous as some of the things going on in South America with the Church aren’t the greatest, but I wrote about my initial reactions last year.

Since it is Pope Francis’ one year anniversary, I thought I would compose a list of reasons why I am thankful for Pope Francis. I know I am sometimes critical of Pope Francis (and I am not the worst), but I love our Catholic faith deeply, and am not happy when I see the secularists and modernists of the media and enemies of the faith make our Church look bad. We all have our faults and I am working on mine.

But, without further ado, here is my list!

Perpetual Confession Chapels1. I Go To Confession More Often

Pope Francis mentioned the need for us to go to confession more often. I have made it a habit to attempt to go to confession as often as I need to. At an absolute minimum, I am going once every two weeks, similar to Pope Francis. At an absolute maximum, I go twice a week. Prior to Pope Francis’ election and during Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate, I was probably going somewhere between once every two weeks to once every two months.

The graces I have seen come from this are great. I am in the state of grace far more often and am able to be in communion with God, that is, I can tell when I’m synchronized with Him. It allows me to discern God’s will more easily. It isn’t always obvious, but it helps. It helps me to avoid sin as I examine my conscience regularly and avoid particular sins that I see that I struggle with more. I also realize that I sin far more often than I thought. I urge you to go to confession more often as well.

 

When We Idolize Priests: Father Corapi2. I Am Praying On A Daily Basis

I’ve always been fond of the Rosary. It’s a beautiful meditation on the Life of Christ through the eyes of His Mother, and our Mother Mary. Mary also promised 15 Graces for having a devotion to the Rosary and to pray it daily. I now pray the Rosary daily, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and I pray throughout the day as I feel called.

My prayer life has always been…difficult, I’ve blogged about it a few times, in my search, to help others who may also be struggling. Prayer is an important factor of our faith, as that is our time to speak to God and for Him to speak to us. If we aren’t talking to God, well, how do we know we are following His Will? Pray daily, carve out time. If you haven’t done your prayers, don’t go to bed. Prayers are greater than sleep.

denzinger3. I Spend More Time Learning My Faith

Pope Francis can be confusing at times. The media will run with this as if he’s changing teaching. When the media runs with a headline, I have to go and look up what Pope Francis really said, and then find related Scripture, Catecheses, Doctrine, etc to refute what is going on.

In another sense, I am now forced to learn my faith, so that I can defend it easier, quicker and in turn, live it out. You can’t teach something you don’t know. If you don’t know physics, you can’t teach it to someone. Whatever it is you don’t know about the faith, you are unable to teach.

When we know our faith, we can evangelize people, which leads to…

St-Paul-preaching4. I Evangelize On A Regular Basis

As Jesus Christ told us we are to “go and make disciples of all nations…” (cf Matthew 28:19). That means that when the opportunity presents itself, we must profess the Truth and defend it when it is attacked (which is quite often). If we do not defend the faith, who will?

Evangelization can take many forms, lending out books/cds, blogging, discussions with friends, family or coworkers, social media, the list goes on and on. The important thing though, is to share your Catholic faith. Be a good witness, and challenge those around you to investigate the Catholic Church with an open heart and an open mind. It is critical to bring people to the fullness of Truth. Being silent can lead the individual away from Christ. Share what you know.

5. I’m More Involved At My Parish

I’ve taught Religious Education before, but I am doing it again this year. I’m teaching 10th graders who are preparing for Confirmation in 11th grade (I’ve talked about that before though). I’m also leading a Marriage Ministry with my wife. I won’t list everything I’m doing, but I have been doing a lot more at my parish.

Chair of St. Peter6. I Have a Deeper Appreciation for the Papal Office

Seeing how much the media has twisted Pope Francis to fit into their own image, and in the same hand twisted Pope Benedict XVI into a “mean old man”, I have a deeper appreciation for the Papacy. I’ve spent more time reading into the history of the Papacy, starting all the way from Pope St. Peter to now Pope Francis. I’ve even gained an appreciation for the pre-Vatican 2 Popes.

These Popes were such a blessing to the Church, but we have forgotten about them. I highly encourage you to take a look at some of their encyclicals. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but we spend most of our time talking about Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now Francis. While they have contributed much to our faith, the full deposit of our faith as well as many pre-Conciliar Popes have given us much too. You can even read many old Papal documents at http://www.papalencyclicals.net/. Read them!

7. I’m Inspired To Blog More

In the last year, I have had a grand total of 92 posts (including this one). Since beginning this blog I have published 184 times. I have literally done half of my blogging in this last year alone. There is so much going on in the Church today, as well as the world, that I feel called to comment on it. It’s a fun experience.

I hope that you benefit from reading my blog, and I hope that it inspires you to live out your Catholic faith more fully and to share that faith with those around you.

The Necessity of Baptism

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?” Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above. The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:1-8

Jesus is very clear in John 3:5 (the emboldened verse) about the necessity of the Sacrament of Baptism, in order to enter into Heaven. He doesn’t speak in parables, or in ambiguous wording, but in clear, concise and understandable language that leaves no room for error. Truth is not kind to error.

We need baptism because we are born with original sin, thanks to our first parents Adam and Eve. Original sin is what cuts us off from the state of grace that we need to be in. Baptism cleanses us from original sin, and removes it, we are born anew. Without this we have nothing.

The Church recognizes 3 types of Baptism.

  • Baptism by water and spirit, that is the baptism that we pour water over the head of the individual to be baptized and baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. That’s what makes a valid baptism. Not following this marks an invalid baptism, read, not baptized.
  • Baptism by blood, is when you are not baptized but are martyred for the Catholic faith. You must have full remission of sins in order for this baptism to take effect.
  • Baptism by desire, is when you are not baptized, are wanting to receive the sacrament, but die before receiving the sacrament. As the Catechism states: For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.” CCC 1259

As a convert, I can attest that receiving the Sacrament of Baptism marks a change in the person. I have less fears and have a stronger sense that God is with me. I have the mark and branding of God, so I am claimed by God as one of His own. Prior to receiving the Sacrament, the fear of Satan was very strong.

Jesus is very clear that we need baptism in order to enter into Heaven. These are Jesus’ words not mine. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to comment below, or email me.