Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Evangelizaton

All of the posts under the "Evangelizaton" category.

Who Started Your Church?

It’s an important question to ask, because it is a matter of who you are going to follow. It’s a matter of teaching and tradition. It’s a matter of following Jesus Christ the way that He intended you to.

More than likely, if you are a non-Catholic, you will be able to tell who started your Church. For example, Martin Luther is the head and founder of Lutheranism. Its generally a big part of your faith and your history. This is because its relatively new. But, I ask you, what Church did Jesus Christ Himself found?

Before I answer the question, I want to discuss the importance of following Jesus Christ. I say this because Jesus is the Son of God, Our Lord and Savior. He says many times in the scriptures that we must follow Him. I’ll let Him speak for Himself.

I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes through the Father except through me. John 14:6

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:18-19

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age. Matthew 28-19-20

These are all big events and sayings of Jesus. Jesus is the only way to God the Father. We must go through Him. He founded His Church on St. Peter. Jesus founded a Church, thus we should become members of that Church. Jesus commands us to follow what He has given us and to make everyone a disciple (which implies also joining that Church that he started). It is fairly obvious, that Jesus wants us to join the Church that He created and follow Him, making disciples of everyone. This is why we can’t have 300,000 different denominations claiming to be the “one”. There is only One Bride of Christ.

The Catholic Church is the only Church that can point back to Jesus Christ. The Papacy can be traced back from Pope Francis through St. Peter, the first Pope. This isn’t only a Catholic point of view, but a historical one as well.

It is a critical question to ask yourself, why you are a part of the Church you are part of. It should be because Jesus Christ founded it, and as a disciple of His, you are following Him and His Church. If its because you prefer the preaching or the worship or some other personal reason, then you are being selfish and are not following God. We are to conform ourselves to God, not be satisfied with our state of sin.

Now, you must ask yourself the question: Are you going to follow the Church that Jesus Christ started, or are you going to follow the Church that some guy branched off into?

Buy this as a poster or t-shirt at www.catholictothemax.com

Buy this as a poster or t-shirt at www.catholictothemax.com

This isn’t judgmental. This is about salvation. It would be selfish of me not to share this with you.

Questions? Feel free to comment or email me.

Jeff February 18, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

The Irony of Atheism

Atheism isn’t a smart ideology, but an ignorant one.

Atheism boils down to a belief that there is no God, yet they get angry at others who believe in a God. It bothers them. Why get angry at something that you do not believe exists? I’m sure there are some atheists that don’t give a care in the world to it. I’m not speaking about them. I speak about those who are adamant about it. They brag about it and want to debate you. They obsess over it.

Athesist Debater

I’ve even seen that apparently they are starting to start congregating to have some sort of “mega-church” service. Say what? Do they realize how ironic that is?

We live in a world where it is becoming more and more hostile to be religious and congregate, but to be irreligious and congregate is seen as normal. Oh, the irony.

But, remember, we are still called to Evangelize them. Interestingly enough, they seem to like Pope Francis. Interesting times indeed.

Jeff November 19, 2013 2 Comments Permalink

Proselytism Vs Evangelization

We’ve heard Proselytism is “solemn non-sense”. We have also been told to go out and promote the New Evangelization. We are told we are to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to evangelize our brothers and sisters, both within the Catholic faith and without, but, when we do preach the faith, strongly and firmly, we are told we might offend others and we should choose our words wiser. We can’t be “touting our faith as better”. So, what is going on here? First, I want to explain the difference between Proselytism and Evangelization.

Canyon_of_the_Little_Christians

Let’s define the terms.

Proselytize: to try to persuade people to join a religion, cause, or group.

Evangelize: to try to convert (a group or area) to a different religion (especially Christianity).

What is the difference? Absolutely nothing. Both have the same definition, really. Proselytizing is the same as Evangelizing. I don’t care if proselytizing has “taken on a negative connotation” these days. Instead of trying to appear hip and cool with the rest of the world, we teach the rest of the world what a word actually means, you know, kind of like we are attempting to do with marriage. Marriage has taken on a negative connotation these days, maybe we should forego this word?

Both these words attempt to persuade/convert to a different religion, and in this case, that religion is Catholicism, the religion Jesus Christ started (but don’t tell anyone, it might offend them).

This is something you can trace back from a secular (historical) view. Protestantism started with Martin Luther, formally breaking with the Catholic Church, and starting his own church. From there, others broke from Martin Luther and founded their own church. Kind of get the picture? Proselytism and evangelization are in essence, the same. exact. thing. Both attempt the same, to bring the person to your faith, with the intent they convert.

Really, there is no point to evangelize if the intent is the person stay where they are. Faith requires conversion, even if you are already a part of that faith. We need to continually convert because we are not perfect.

I say, go forth and proselytize while you evangelize. And if the New Evangelization leaves out proselytizing, the actual intent of bringing said person into the Catholic faith, then count me out. I’ll stick with the Old Evangelization.

Jeff November 5, 2013 3 Comments Permalink

Rediscover Catholic Celebration in Review

I had the privilege of going to the Rediscover Catholic Celebration event hosted by the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis on October 12. I want to share with you some of what I felt were the highlights.

Rediscover Logo

The day started off with Mass and it was a really good Mass. There was a little bit of everything, a little bit of English, a little bit of Spanish and a bit of Latin believe it or not. It was really good to hear the St. Thomas University Schola sing Gregorian Chant. I would’ve preferred a bit more Latin throughout the entire Mass but that’s just me.

Jeff Cavins was the Emcee for the day, making sure that everything stayed on schedule. He provided some good humor in between the events and made some good comments throughout the day. I would have liked to have heard him give a talk, but, I’m sure there will be other times.

Up first was Matthew Kelly, the key-note speaker. Matthew Kelly is the author of the book Rediscover Catholicism, which I reviewed earlier. The Archdiocese has been hitting the “Rediscover: Faith” series very hard in which Matthew Kelly has been very instrumental in getting off the ground.

Matthew Kelly’s talk was very exciting and inspirational. He made some valid points (in bold) along with my comments (not bold).

  • You don’t have to tolerate good things. Today, so often we are told that we need to be more “tolerant of others”, usually in cases in which they are practicing something immoral. This goes hand in hand with the entire homosexual movement in their fight to redefine marriage. If it was so good, why would we need to be “tolerant”?
  • God’s in the business of transformation. When we accept God into our lives, our entire lives are changed. We are transformed. We are no longer who we once were. This especially happens in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confession. In Baptism, our sins are completely forgiven, we are washed clean of original sin and we are born anew. In Confession, we take all of our sins, we confess them with a contrite heart and God in his infinite love and mercy, forgives them. We reestablish that grace with God.
  • Everybody needs game changers. Game changers are those ideas that are different, that are going to make a huge difference. We need to come up with more good ideas to try to share our faith with both our fallen-away brothers and sisters in the faith, and our brothers and sisters outside of the faith.
  • Spend time every day with the Bible, and start with the Gospels. We won’t know Jesus if we don’t read the Bible, especially the Gospels as the Gospels are primarily what Jesus taught and spoke. How do you get to know somebody? By spending time with them and getting to know them. We can accomplish this through reading sacred scripture. On top of that, you gain a plenary indulgence for spending 30 minutes reading the Bible.
  • Pray for our enemies. Jesus taught us that we should pray for our enemies. How come we don’t? Never have we offered Masses for Osama Bin Laden. He was our enemy, yet we never prayed for him. We should pray for our enemies, because that is what Jesus has called us to do.

Matthew Kelly received a standing ovation after his talk was over.

During the day, Archbishop Nienstedt even consecrated the entire Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I mentioned that in greater detail here.

Father Robert Barron received a standing ovation when he was announced to give his talk. He commented “Wow, a standing ovation before I even give my talk, I wonder what I’ll get when I’m finished? A sitting ovation?” Father Barron gave a talk giving seven ways we can be practical at evangelizing. Luckily, I wrote them all down and similarly as above, I will give the seven suggestions in bold, with my comments not bold.

  1. Lead with the beautiful – Its difficult to argue around truth and goodness when our culture has completely made everything relative. What we can do though, is lead with the beautiful to goodness and truth.
  2. Don’t dumb down the faith – Since the Second Vatican Council, we have seen the faith dumbed down to the point where it is barely even recognizably Catholic. This isn’t the fault of the Council, but the fault of those who have implemented what the Council or the documents had said.
  3. Preach with ‘ardor‘ – Ardor is another word for fire. When we preach, we need to have that fire, that passion in us. We can’t just preach the Word of God with a lukewarm attitude, this won’t bring anybody into the Church. But having passion and excitement will draw in people.
  4. Tell the Great Story – The Great Story is everything from Creation all the way until Jesus Christ, crucified and resurrected from the dead and of course, everything in between. Many people have no clue what the story is of the Bible (I am a perfect example, I had no clue who Jesus was growing up and after I learned who He was, I had to become a disciple).
  5. Emphasize the Augustinian anthropology – St. Augustine said “Lord, you have made us for yourself, therefore our hearts are restless until it rests in Thee.” We need to emphasize that God created us in order for us to worship Him and that no matter what, we will not be happy if we are not accomplishing this.
  6. Stress the Iranaeus Doctrine – The Iranaeus Doctrine is that God does not need us. Harsh? Sure. But, this is good for us, because we know that God will not bribe us in order to get us to follow Him. We have to do this out of our own free will. Love after all, must be freely given.
  7. Spend a  lot of time with old media – A lot of times we want to go dive right in and start hitting the social media, the blogs and everything in between and start sharing the faith. But what we really need to do is spend time reading books, watching videos, listening to talks and everything in between. We have to know the faith before we can teach the faith.

Father Barron received a well deserved second standing ovation for his very good talk.

All in all, the event was very, very good. It was nice to feel in the majority, after all, there were about 5,500 practicing Catholics at this event. Again, this is only the highlights, there were two other speakers, Bishop Daniel Flores and George Weigel were also there, as well as many other events going on. I’m looking forward to next years Rediscover: Catholic Celebration and can’t wait to see who is in the lineup. I have not received a phone call yet, but, who knows, right?

Jeff October 22, 2013 1 Comment Permalink

Another Pope Francis Interview – Am I Wrong?

Pope Francis has done, yet another interview with the press, in which he says some good things and says some…bad things.

First, I direct your attention to the interview, which is posted in its entirety here.

Pope Francis

I’m only going to comment on three things that I completely disagree and I find to be completely unacceptable for any Pope to say. But first, some disclaimers.

I don’t want to hear you say anything along the lines of “But he’s the Vicar of Christ, you shouldn’t disagree with him!” This is one of the most annoying arguments for disagreement. Just because he is the Pope, this does not elevate him from public criticism. If he is wrong, he is wrong. It just means he is a Vicar of Christ who is wrong. This is not being proclaimed as Dogma or Doctrine, so it is just personal opinion.

I will completely be honest, maybe I am immature in my faith and do not completely understand what he is getting at, so, if that is the case, please charitably respond in the comments and prove me wrong. After all, if I am wrong, the mature thing is to correct me, and help me understand where the Pope is coming from. It is also the Christian thing to do.

1. Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?
“Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good.”

Your Holiness, you wrote that in your letter to me. The conscience is autonomous, you said, and everyone must obey his conscience. I think that’s one of the most courageous steps taken by a Pope.
“And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”

This to me seems to be moral relativism. Moral relativism in its simplicity is stating that if you believe something is good, than it must be good and if you believe something is bad, than it must be bad. How then, can the Pope promote something like this if we believe that Jesus Christ is the summit and source of all that is Good and True? You think robbing a bank is good? Go ahead and do it! Abortion isn’t evil? Than you say so!

2. Jesus in his preaching said that agape, love for others, is the only way to love God. Correct me if I’m wrong.
“You’re not wrong. The Son of God became incarnate in the souls of men to instill the feeling of brotherhood. All are brothers and all children of God. Abba, as he called the Father. I will show you the way, he said. Follow me and you will find the Father and you will all be his children and he will take delight in you. Agape, the love of each one of us for the other, from the closest to the furthest, is in fact the only way that Jesus has given us to find the way of salvation and of the Beatitudes.”

My confusion with regards to *why* he became incarnate is where I’m confused with what Pope Francis is saying. I thought Jesus came so that man can be saved? That is Jesus took on human flesh so that He could be offered as a perfect sacrifice, for the redemption of mankind and the forgiveness of our sins, hence why we don’t need the paschal lamb because Jesus IS The Paschal Lamb. This seems to me that it is a direct contradiction to what even the Church teaches us. Jesus came so that we may have eternal life and we are to follow Him so that we can partake in that eternal life.

3. Pope Francis told me: “The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other, and the problem is they don’t even look for them any more. They have been crushed by the present. You tell me: can you live crushed under the weight of the present? Without a memory of the past and without the desire to look ahead to the future by building something, a future, a family? Can you go on like this? This, to me, is the most urgent problem that the Church is facing.”

I’m unsure how these are “evils”. I’ve read this interview on several site and another one referenced this paragraph as “problems with the Church”. To me, these are not problems. These are issues, yes, but not the two serious problems.

My thought would be the lack of priests we have in the Church to administer the Sacraments and the fleeing of the young from the Church after they have received Confirmation. 85% of those confirmed leave the Catholic Church within 5 years. How can a Church thrive when it posts losses like this? If a business lost 85% of its customers each year, they’d be…out of business. Granted Christ told us that Hell would not prevail against the Church, but this is still a major issue that needs addressing.

I do want to point out that I agree with Pope Francis on proper evangelization. We need to take people where they are at, explain the faith to them in ways they understand, without forcing it upon them. We may not get to see their conversion, but we may be an instrument for their conversion. We are planting the mustard seeds. I would like to come back to this in another post.

I’d like to end with this. I in all humility, may be wrong. These are my own personal thoughts and observations. If I am wrong, please tell me why. I would love to be able to say “oh, I get it now, this is awesome!” But I need your help!

Jeff October 1, 2013 4 Comments Permalink

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