Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Sacred Scripture

All of the posts under the "Sacred Scripture" category.

Stained Glass, High Altars, and Scripture: Why We Should Avoid Simplicity In Our Churches

There is a common misunderstanding that exists today in which many believe that Jesus was simple. Many arguments proceed from this belief, such as how our worship should be simpler, or our churches should be bare to better coincide with how simple Jesus was. But, the reality is, Jesus would not approve of this belief. This belief comes from a misunderstanding of who Jesus is, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, and poor catechesis with a lack of comprehension from the Scriptures.

Jesus in the Scriptures

Stained Glass

When it comes to wanting to have a simpler liturgy when it comes to Mass or just general worship, many people use Jesus’ words to the Pharisees as a defense for their position. The truth of the matter is the Pharisees created their own rules outside of the rules that God had laid out for His people. Jesus was never wanting to remove God’s rules:

“Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till Heaven and Earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17-18

We need to remember that not all has been fulfilled. But I know what you are thinking. Didn’t Jesus die for our sins, come back from the dead, and ascend into Heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father? Yes. But Jesus also told us that He would Come Again. Jesus has yet to come again, thus not all has been fulfilled.

As a Jew, Jesus would have obeyed the laws of the Old Testament. We know that He was a teacher in the temple, and thus He would have known and followed these laws, as those who did not were forbidden to teach. We observe that the laws of God were obeyed, but the laws of the Pharisees were not. The Pharisees laws were created by them, in order that they may be seen as holier than thou, that is, these laws were unattainable by even the most devout of Jews, and the Pharisees gave the outward appearance of being holy while having an inward disposition of being wicked and corrupt. Thus, Jesus rested and prayed on the Sabbath, but did not necessarily wash before meals.

To further show that Jesus was not simple, we know from Scripture that Jesus was not simply dressed, but finely dressed. When Jesus was crucified we must remember these key passages from the Gospels:

“And after they had crucified him, they divided his garments, casting lots; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: ‘They divided my garments among them; and upon my vesture they cast lots’.” Matthew 27:35

“And crucifying him, they divided his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.” Mark 15:24

“The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified him, took his garments, (and they made four parts, to every soldier a part,) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said then one to another: Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the scripture might be fulfilled, saying: They have parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture they have cast lots. And the soldiers indeed did these things.” John 19:23-24

When the Roman soldiers would crucify their prisoners, they would generally cut apart the clothing of the victim and share it equally among themselves. However, when it came to Jesus’ clothing, they did not cut it, but rather, “rolled the dice” to see who would win it. Most clothing was made of multiple pieces of material, and thus they would rip it apart and just use the scraps for mending or what not. However, with Jesus’ clothing they did not, which means that this was not just “scraps put together” but fine material, expensive material. Why would Jesus, if He was simple, wear expensive clothing? Because He is God and He is our King.

Jesus Christ, Fully God and Fully King

Traditional High Altar

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is a separate person but has the same nature of God. He is fully God, as much so as God the Father and God the Holy Ghost. Three individuals, but one God. Now, a question must be asked: is the Trinity simply explained? The short answer is no. It is a mystery of faith that we can only briefly scrape with our limited intellect. Thus, if we as humans have difficulty understanding who Jesus Christ is in relation to the Trinity, how can we even say that He is simple? Jesus Christ proceeds from the Father, and through His love with the Father, the Holy Spirit proceeds through Them. But they all existed at the same time. We can say sincerely, that God is not simple, but He gives us enough information to allow our intellect to engage in this mystery.

Not only is Jesus Christ our God, but He is also our King. Jesus says so Himself:

“Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.” John 18:37

Our Churches are adorn with beautiful images of our faith, along with gold because our King deserves our best. Before you say that Jesus did not want these nice things, remember, the three kings came to the Nativity with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, all lavish and expensive gifts. Before Jesus’ death, the sorrowful woman anoints Jesus’ feet with perfume that is worth 300 days’ wages. When the woman was admonished by Judas, Jesus rebuked him saying that she had done a good thing.

We must also keep in mind the sacrifices and gifts Cain and Abel gave to God in Genesis 4. Abel, being filled with love for God, gave his absolute best to God. Of his crop, he gave his top ten percent and burned it. Cain on the other hand, was not filled with love for God, and figured he only needed to be simple. So Cain gave his bottom ten percent and burned it. God was pleased with Abel and made it known that Abel had found favor with Him. Cain was upset and killed his brother because Abel was favored.

There is also an example of two kings. One king threw a party and invited the entire kingdom. When the guests arrived, the king took them around his castle and showcased all of his beloved art and ornaments. He shared with them his home and shared everything that he had with them. The ballroom was a magnificent spectacle that would give even the Disney castles some jealousy.

But there was a second king who also threw a party and invited the entire kingdom. However, when the guests arrived, he brought them into a ballroom with bare walls, no decorum, no art, no music, no anything. It was rather drab, or simple. However, because there was nothing else, the king said to his people, “I want you to spend the entire ball looking at me. You are not to dance with one another as that would take the focus off of me.” Now, this is rather a selfish attitude and certainly not the attitude one would expect from a king who is inviting people into his home.

The first king is like Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church, who has beautiful churches laced with golden ornaments and beautiful art, not so that you can’t focus on Him, but rather, you can reflect upon the beauty captured in all of this and meditate on the different aspects of Our Lord’s life. This is why most Catholic churches of the pre-conciliar time are beautiful works of art. The second king is like Jesus Christ in Protestantism. A selfish king who wishes to be the only person on display. This is why most protestant and Catholic churches of the post-conciliar time are drab and plain.

Jesus Christ deserves our absolute best when it comes to liturgy, worship, and even our churches. Our King’s kingdom is not of this world, but rather of Heaven. Jesus Christ Our King deserves the cream of the crop, not just the leftovers of the fruits of our labor. We should not be afraid to house our King in a beautiful church where one is left awestruck because it does not take anything away from Our God, but rather, emphasizes that much more how important and great He is.

Jeff October 23, 2015 1 Comment Permalink

The Hail Mary is a Scriptural Prayer

Many Protestants and Catholics falsely believe the Hail Mary is a prayer written by men. On the contrary, it is a prayer which has it’s roots in Sacred Scripture. In order to demonstrate this, let’s compare the Hail Mary with it’s biblical counterparts.

Mary Annunciation

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women…”

And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Luke 1:28 Douay Rheims

“…Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”

And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. Luke 1:42 Douay Rheims

Holy Mary, Mother of God

And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Luke 1:43 Douay Rheims

Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

The majority of the prayer is taken from the Bible. While the second half is not taken verbatim from the Bible, it represents core theology that must be recognized by anyone who identifies as Christian. Mary was immaculately conceived. Thus, we can call her holy due to her sinless nature. God is three persons in one, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. She is the Mother of God because Jesus is the Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity.

Since Mary is in Heaven, she can intercede for us by presenting our prayer requests to Jesus. We read in John 2:3-5, Mary informs Jesus that the wedding hosts have run out of wine. Jesus, at His mother’s request, transforms water into wine, and not just any wine, but wine that was far superior than what they had been drinking.

Cana-01

Likewise, in John 19:26-27 we read how Jesus gives Mary to the entire world as mother of all. Thus, Mary is our mother. We are baptized into Jesus Christ, and through this baptism into His body, Mary is our mother. And like any good mother who loves her children, she prays unceasingly for her children to abandon their sin, and return to the Lord, her Lord, her Son.

We ask Mary to pray for us now, because we go through temptations, trials and tribulations on a daily basis. When we are dying in our last hour, we are bombarded by Satan and his minions because he knows this time is crucial. If he can get us to fall during this last hour, he will have our soul with him in Hell for all eternity. We beg Mary to ask God to pour forth His graces upon us. that we may not fall into the trap the enemy has set, so that we may instead be granted access to our inheritance in Heaven. For those of us fortunate to know when the hour of our death is near, we would be wise to have a priest near to hear our confession before we die.

The Hail Mary is a prayer which Satan hates as Mary is the remedy to the sin which Eve brought into the world. Mary, by giving her Magnificat, brought forth Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. c.f. Genesis 3:15.

Develop a habit of praying the Hail Mary whenever temptation occurs. Run to your mother when trouble is near. Pray the Rosary daily as Mary has given 15 promises to those who faithfully recite it. And remember; Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.

Jeff April 14, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

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.

Jeff March 21, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

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.

Jeff March 18, 2014 1 Comment Permalink

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