45 days till CHRISTmas,
and 20 days till the beginning of the ADVENT season
“HO, HO , HO-ly God, We Praise Thy Name!”
Humor of the Day:
“Pray” is a four-letter word you can say anywhere
– except in public schools.
From the Apostles Creed, (continued):
“… I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY
CATHOLIC CHURCH …”
Today is some pretty heavy stuff! Grab a soda or cup of coffee, and read slowly to absorb the material presented.
The Church began with the beginnings of the human race. God wants to save people not only as individuals, but as members the whole of society. Though the Church biblically goes back to the call of Abraham, the father of all the faithful, the Church actually came into existence only with Jesus’ Incarnation. Here we can find three stages in the Church’s establishment.
Christ began building the ‘Mystical’ Body, the Church, when by preaching He made known His precepts to the world. Christ completed the Church when He died on the Cross. And Christ proclaimed the Church when He sent the Holy Spirit onto the apostles on Pentecost Sunday. Having founded the Church; Christ made sure she would endure until the end of time.
What we profess in the Nicene Creed: “We believe in one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church,” have become known the ‘four marks’ that identify the true Church of Christ: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.
Strictly speaking, only those who fully accept all the Church declares as revealed truth are members of the Catholic Church. Other Christian bodies that share in these elements of sanctification and truth, that exist in their divinely intended fullness, subsist in the Roman Catholic Church. Christian bodies drawing closer to the unity of the Catholic Church, share in the supernatural riches of the Catholic Church.
Christ instituted the Church to make her holy. Having founded the Church to sanctify her members, Christ provided teachings of faith and morals: the Sacrifice of the Mass and the sacraments, especially the Eucharist; the directives of ecclesiastical authority; and especially His indwelling Holy Spirit.
The word “Catholic” means “universal”. As a title for the Church, it was first used by St. Ignatius of Antioch in 107 A.D.
The Church is apostolic on several grounds: her origin, doctrine, authority, and episcopal succession. She starts with Christ’s call ordaining the apostles to the priesthood at the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. The Church is also apostolic because the doctrine she has taught over the centuries has remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles.
She is apostolic because the pope’s and bishops’ authority to lead by teaching, governing, and sanctifying comes from being direct successors of St. Peter and the first apostles. And, the Church is finally apostolic because this succession is actually rooted in episcopal ordination. When Christ ordained the apostles, He enabled them to confer the same powers they had received from Him. And the bishops ordained by the apostles could transmit their episcopal powers – in an unending line – to their successors until the end of time.
Information from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #9:
The Virgin Mary, humble servant of the Lord, was open to His every word and call. She was embraced by Francis with indescribable love and declared the protectress and advocate of his family. The Secular Franciscans should express their ardent love for her by imitating her complete self-giving and by praying earnestly and confidently.