Brothers and Sisters in Christ
As a Catholic, I have always understood that all Christians are initiated as members of the Body of Christ through our Baptism. We are all adopted sons and daughters of God. I also know that many non- Catholic Christians will not grant us the same privilege that they seem to enjoy as members of this brother and sisterhood. I'm not talking about mainstream Protestantism, although I'm sure many would blanch at the idea. How do Protestant Christians understand the Body of Christ among themselves? Who is privy to this membership? Is it a revelation or an idea that a certain denomination holds that will grant them exclusive membership to this club? I'm not trying to bash non- Catholics, but I am trying to understand where they're coming from.
Hopefully, I can get a response from one of the more enlightened non- Catholics (or former non- Catholics) on this forum.
After Communion, our parish recites (among others), certain prayers before the announcements are read, and one of them is the Prayer of Saint Gertrude the Great. The prayer reads as follows:
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son Jesus Christ in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
I have no problem with the prayer itself, but there is also the promise of "1,000 souls freed from Purgatory" each time this prayer is recited. This alone has always bugged me, so I decided to do a little investigative work myself. I came across a few interesting discoveries...
1). The prayer (and presumably the indulgences) were "recommended and approved by M. Cardinal Pahiarca, Lisbon, Portugal March 4, 1936." Problem is, Cardinal Pahiarca never existed. Manuel Gonsalves Cerejeria was the Cardinal of Lisbon from 1929- 1971.
2). In a papal publication entitled Acta Sanctae Sedis (Acts of the Holy See) published in the 19th century, Pope Leo XIII specifically condemns this notion:www.olrl.org/pray/apocryphal.shtml
3). In one of her visions, St, Gertrude wrote that she witnessed a "vast multitude of souls" released to heaven after she recited the aforementioned prayer. A "vast multitude" does not necessarily equal 1,000. There is no specific mention of 1,000 souls in any of her writings.
Again, I have no problem with the prayer itself. I do feel it's my duty, however, to bring these issues forward and expose them. If any of you feel that I'm the one in error here, I would appreciate your input.
Catholics, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses
What do these 3 groups have in common? Not much, as far as I can tell. But boy, If I had a dollar for every time I hear..
"Catholics, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses think this..."
"Catholics, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses do that..."
"Catholics, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses believe this..."
This unholy trinity, as far as Evangelical Protestants are concerned, are the worst plague on Christianity since the Witnesses arrived on the scene 99 years ago. I know that they (EP's, that is), believe that these three groups believe salvation is exclusive only to them. Other than that, I see no reason to lump these groups together. Are there any other reasons, other than the one I mentioned?
I could probably noodle this one out on my own, but I'm tired after a long day at work. Besides, I like hearing the ideas from you guys.
The Pacwa - Martin Debates
Where can I purchase (or listen to) the original un- edited version?
The 1987 debate between Fr. Mitch Pacwa and Walter Martin was six hours long, alloting 1 hour on each of the following topics:
1). Was Peter the First Pope?
John Ankerberg was the "moderator" and his website (Ankerberg Ministries) is the only place I can find that sells the DVD. I have no intention of sending my money to John Ankerberg and his anti- Catholic ministries and anyway, he only sells the edited version of the debate which is cut from six hours to just under two. EWTN ran the entire six hour debate years back, but I don't see it offered on their website. You can also watch the edited version on YouTube.
If anyone knows where I could purchase this, please post it on this thread. Thanks.
Dave Hunt: R.I.P.
Just heard about his passing.
Speak no ill of the dead; may God receive him in glory.
Divine Mercy Sunday
I'm almost ashamed to say this is one devotion I simply can't get into.
I first became familiar with Sister Faustina and her revelations about 25 years ago. I think my problem with this devotion is the way it was presented to me, perhaps a little too overzealous. Let me say, I have no doubts regarding these revelations, but it seems that many that I know would rather pray the Divine Mercy chaplet over the Rosary, perhaps because it's shorter. Maybe in time, my heart will be opened to it. Keep me in your prayers.
On Scapulars and Confraternities
I will be receiving my White Scapular of the Most Blessed Trinity in the mail soon. Upon further investigation, however, I have learned that before I may don this particular scapular, I must be "invested" in the Confraternity of the Most Blessed Trinity (the Trinitarian Order), which involves writing to the Vicar General of the Trinitarians in Chicago, Ill. I was hoping it would be simpler than that, but apparently the Trinitarians don't do "online investing" (ha!). Anyhoo, does anyone here belong to a Catholic Confraternity? Can they turn down my request for whatever reason, and how long does it take? I would like this to happen before the Feast of the Holy Trinity (May 26) this year.
"Personhood Amendment" Passes!
A major victory for the pro- life movement occurred today in the state of North Dakota, where the House of Representatives voted 57 to 35 to pass the Personhood Amendment, which grants legal personhood rights to embryos from the moment of fertilization. The Senate already passed the same measure last month.
It's in the hands of the voters now, who will be able to accept or reject it in the November 2014 ballot. If it passes, it will amend North Dakota's constitution to state that "the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected."
In a statement earlier today, Keith Mason, spokesperson for the pro- life advocacy group Personhood USA said, "The North Dakota legislature has taken historic strides to protect every human being in the state, paving the way for human rights nationwide."
This event coincides with the case of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia infanticidal butcher who may receive the death penalty for killing 7 babies outside the womb and whose disregard for human life resulted in a woman's death through carelessness.
Abortion is no longer seen as an issue of "my body, my choice" like it was 40 years ago. It has raised its ugly head and is there for all to see, and many more people are repulsed by what they have been defending all these years.
By nature, all evil is self destructive. We have seen it throughout the past 100 years of history with Communism, Nazi-ism, and other dictatorships around the world. Evil can never reign for long. I believe we as a nation are finally waking up and recognizing evil when we see it, and are finding it increasingly difficult to justify murder, regardless of the stage of human life.
I hope and I pray that I'm right.
"May They Be One." (Jn. 17:22)
"Praise Be Jesus Christ!"
Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I has announced he will attend the inaugural Mass of Pope Francis on March 19.
The appearance by the Ecumenical Patriarch, the "first among equals" of all the world's Orthodox leaders, is an unprecedented gesture. The Patriarch of Constantinople has not attended a papal instillation since 1054, when Constantinople split from Rome.
Has Anyone Here Studied the Enneagram?
I first became familiar with the Enneagram about 25 years ago when I was just out of High School. The Enneagram is a circular diagram on which 9 personality types are represented at 9 equidistant points. Lines connect various points to each other. The lines signify the integration points and disintegration points for each type. To discover your number, you have to realize what you seek to avoid, what your basic compulsion is, etc...
I found it useful in my younger days as a tool of self discovery, and there are many religious (usually Jesuit priests), who have employed this method as an instrument of spiritual growth. There are many books written on the Enneagram. If you have heard of it, what was your favorite and who was the author? I think I've read just about all of them.