Archive for January, 2011

(Meditation) God Present In The Mustard Seed

Posted: January 29, 2011 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

  It is often said that God is in everything by his essence, presence, and power.  To understand this, we must grasp that someone is said to be in everything which is subject to him by his power, just as the king is said to be in the whole kingdom which is subject to him, without really being there in his presence and essence.  Through his presence, someone is said to be in all realities that are under his gaze, as the king is said to be through his presence in his palace.  But someone is said to be in realities through his essence, which is his substance, as the king is [in his own individuality] in a single, determined place.

  We say that God is everywhere in the world by his power, because everything is subject to him – “If I ascend to the heavens, you are there…if I take the wings of the dawn and dwell in the utmost ends of the sea, there too your hand guide me and your right hand shall hold me fast (Ps 139:8). God is also everywhere by his presence, for “everything in the world is naked and open to his sight” (Heb 4:13).  Finally, God is everywhere by his essence, for its essence is what it most intimate in every reality…Now God created and preserves all things according to the act of being in each reality.  And since the act of being is what is most intimate in each reality, it is manifest that God is in all realities by his essence, through which he creates them.

Saint Thomas Acquinas

 

January 30, 2011 – 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: January 29, 2011 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

The Blessed Path

Readings:
Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13
Psalm 146:6-10
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Matthew 5:1-12

In the readings since Christmas, Jesus has been revealed as the new royal son of David and Son of God. He is sent to lead a new exodus that brings Israel out of captivity to the nations and brings all the nations to God.

As Moses led Israel from Egypt through the sea to give them God’s law on Mount Sinai, Jesus too has passed through the waters in baptism. Now, in today’s Gospel, He goes to the mountain to proclaim a new law – the law of His Kingdom.

The Beatitudes mark the fulfillment of God’s covenant promise to Abraham – that through his descendants all the nations of the world would receive God’s blessings (see Genesis 12:3; 22:18).

Jesus is the son of Abraham (see Matthew 1:1). And through the wisdom He speaks today, He bestows the Father’s blessings upon “the poor in spirit.”

God has chosen to bless the weak and lowly, those foolish and despised in the eyes of the world, Paul says in today’s Epistle. The poor in spirit are those who know that nothing they do can merit God’s mercy and grace. These are the humble remnant in today’s First Reading – taught to seek refuge in the name of the Lord.

The Beatitudes reveal the divine path and purpose for our lives. All our striving should be for these virtues – to be poor in spirit; meek and clean of heart; merciful and makers of peace; seekers of the righteousness that comes from living by the law of Kingdom.

The path the Lord sets before us today is one of trials and persecution. But He promises comfort in our mourning and a great reward.

The Kingdom we have inherited is no earthly territory, but the promised land of heaven. It is Zion where the Lord reigns forever. And, as we sing in today’s Psalm, its blessings are for those whose hope is in the Lord.

 

Emmanuel Praise & Worship Session

Posted: January 25, 2011 by CatholicJules in Upcoming Events

Emmanuel PW Ministry invites you and your family to a Praise & Worship Session, followed by a talk entitled “Here I Am Lord” by Gerard Francisco from Singapore Archdiocesan Catholic Charismatic Renewal (SACCRE).

Church of St Anthony
25 Woodlands Avenue 1
Singapore 739064

Date : 26 Jan 2011
Time : 8pm in St Thomas Aquinas Room

January 23, 2011 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: January 22, 2011 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

History Redeemed

Readings:
Isaiah 8:23-9:3
Psalm 27:1,4,13-14
1 Corinthians 1:10-13,17
Matthew 4:12-23

 

Today’s Liturgy gives us a lesson in ancient Israelite geography and history.

Isaiah’s prophecy in today’s First Reading is quoted by Matthew in today’s Gospel. Both intend to recall the apparent fall of the everlasting kingdom promised to David (see 2 Samuel 7:12-13; Psalm 89; Psalm 132:11-12).

Eight centuries before Christ, that part of the kingdom where the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali lived was attacked by the Assyrians and the tribes were hauled off into captivity (see 2 Kings 15:29; 1 Chronicles 5:26).

It marked the beginning of the kingdom’s end. It finally crumbled in the sixth century B.C., when Jerusalem was seized by Babylon and the remaining tribes were driven into exile (see 2 Kings 24:14).

Isaiah prophesied that Zebulun and Naphtali, the lands first to be degraded, would be the first to see the light of God’s salvation. Jesus today fulfills that prophecy – announcing the restoration of David’s kingdom at precisely the spot where the kingdom began to fall.

His gospel of the Kingdom includes not only the twelve tribes of Israel but all the nations – symbolized by the “Galilee of the Nations.” Calling His first disciples, two fishermen on the Sea of Galilee, He appoints them to be “fishers of men” – gathering people from the ends of the earth.

They are to preach the gospel, Paul says in today’s Epistle, to unite all peoples in the same mind and in the same purpose – in a worldwide kingdom of God.

By their preaching, Isaiah’s promise has been delivered. A world in darkness has seen the light. The yoke of slavery and sin, borne by humanity since time began, has been smashed.

And we are able now, as we sing in today’s Psalm, to dwell in the house of the Lord, to worship Him in the land of the living.

 

The Truth About Mary Through Scripture

Posted: January 21, 2011 by CatholicJules in Videos/Audio


  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; 1St Edition edition (November 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586176064
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586176068
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Product Description

    Foreword by George Weigel

    Never has a Pope, in a book-length interview, dealt so directly with such wide-ranging and controversial issues as Pope Benedict XVI does in Light of the World. Taken from a recent week-long series of interviews with veteran journalist Peter Seewald, this book tackles head-on some of the greatest issues facing the world of our time. Seewald poses such forthright questions to Pope Benedict as:

    What caused the clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church?
    Was there a “cover up”?
    Have you considered resigning?
    Does affirming the goodness of the human body mean a plea for “better sex”?
    Can there be a genuine dialogue with Islam?
    Should the Church rethink Catholic teaching on priestly celibacy, women priests, contraception, and same-sex relationships?
    Holy Communion for divorced-and-remarried Catholics?
    Is there a schism in the Catholic Church?
    Should there be a Third Vatican Council?
    Is there any hope for Christian unity?
    Is Christianity the only truth?
    Can the Pope really speak for Jesus Christ?
    How can the Pope claim to be “infallible”?
    Is there a “dictatorship of relativism” today?

    Twice before these two men held wide-ranging discussions, which became the best-selling books Salt of the Earth and God and the World. Then, Seewald’s discussion partner was Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Vatican’s chief doctrinal office. Now, Joseph Ratzinger is Pope Benedict XVI, the spiritual leader of the world’s over one billion Catholics. Though Seewald now interviews the Pope himself, the journalist “pulls no punches”, posing some of the thorniest questions any Pope has had to address. Believers and unbelievers will be fascinated to hear Benedict’s thoughtful, straightforward and thought-provoking replies. This is no stern preachment or ponderous theological tract, but a lively, fast-paced, challenging, even entertaining exchange.

    Personal Book Review

    Brilliant! Calling all Catholics….here is y0ur chance to own a piece of history! Never before has such a lengthly interview been conducted with any of our Popes and on such a wide range of topics!

    His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI is truly an amazing, humble servant of God.  Gifted with a brilliant mind that is so far reaching in depth that some might have difficulty resurfacing when engaged in his line of thought.  His answers to most of the thought provoking questions on our Catholic faith as well as those on humanity are perennial while others will last decades to come.

    We are truly blessed to have him as our Holy Father immediately after the Great Pope John Paul II.

    January 16, 2011 – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

    Posted: January 15, 2011 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

    SUNDAY BIBLE REFLECTIONS BY DR. SCOTT HAHN

    Perfect Offering

    Readings:Isaiah 49:3,5-6
    Psalm 40:2,4,7-101
    Corinthians 1:1-3
    John 1:29-34

    Jesus speaks through the prophet Isaiah in today’s First Reading.

    He tells us of the mission given to Him by the Father from the womb: “‘You are My servant,’ He said to Me.”

    Servant and Son, our Lord was sent to lead a new exodus – to raise up the exiled tribes of Israel, to gather and restore them to God. More than that, He was to be a light to the nations, that God’s salvation may reach to the ends of the earth (see Acts 13:46-47).

    Before the first exodus, a lamb was offered in sacrifice and its blood painted on the Israelites’ door posts. The blood of the lamb identified their homes and the Lord “passed over” these in executing judgment on the Egyptians (see Exodus 12:1-23,27).

    In the new exodus, Jesus is the “Lamb of God,” as John beholds Him in the Gospel today (see 1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19). Our Lord sings of this in today’s Psalm. He has come, He says, to offer His body to do the will of God (see Hebrews 10:3-13).

    The sacrifices, oblations, holocausts, and sin-offerings given after the first exodus had no power to take away sins (see Hebrews 10:4). They were meant not to save but to teach (see Galatians 3:24). In offering these sacrifices, the people were to learn self-sacrifice – that they were made for worship, to offer themselves freely to God and to delight in His will.

    Only Jesus could make that perfect offering of himself. And through His sacrifice, He has given us ears open to obedience, made it possible for us to hear the Father’s call to holiness, as Paul says in today’s Epistle.

    He has made us children of God, baptized in the blood of the Lamb (see Revelation 7:14). And we are to join our sacrifice to His, to offer our bodies – our lives – as living sacrifices in the spiritual worship of the Mass (see Romans 12:1).

     


     

    Description

    The TRUTH and LIFE DRAMATIZED AUDIO BIBLE NEW TESTAMENT elegantly blends voices, sound effects and an original music score to create an aural environment that will totally immerse you in the Scriptures. The literal English RSV-CE New Testament is ‘performed’ for you in radio drama style by more than 70 actors including international stars: Neal McDonough as ‘Jesus,’ Julia Ormond as ‘Mary, Mother of God,’ Blair Underwood as ‘Mark,’ Stacy Keach as ‘John,’ Michael York as ‘Luke,’ Brian Cox as ‘The Voice of God,’ Sean Astin as ‘Matthew,’ Kristen Bell as ‘Mary Magdalene, ‘ Malcolm McDowell as ‘Caiaphas,’ and John Rhys-Davies as the Narrator.

    Product Details

    • Audio CD
    • Publisher: Zondervan (November 14, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1591713250
    • ISBN-13: 978-1591713258

     

    **CatholicJules Personal Thoughts**

    This huge undertaking seems to have paid off for all those involved in this project.  In fact the reviews for this product speaks volumes!  I can hardly wait to get my own personal copy! In fact I’ve just placed an order….

    Can you imagine an audio Bible that has a full cast of very talented actors, a powerful music score, realistic sound effects? From what I’ve heard and read it is 23 hours long on 18 CD’s which comes in 3 cross-shaped CD holders.

    Can you see from the label who did the foreword on this? Wow!

    (Apologetics) John Vs Mike – 9

    Posted: January 11, 2011 by CatholicJules in Apologetics

    From the website: http://www.pro-gospel.org, by Mike Gendron. 

    The Biblical Rebuke of Purgatory

    God’s Word leaves absolutely no possibility for sin to be purged away by anything other than the blood of Jesus Christ. The beloved apostle John penned these words with irrefutable clarity. He wrote, “The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” and “all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7, 9). John did not say “some” sins or “most” sins, but all sin! This soundly rebukes the need for a sin-purging fire. God’s Word also declares, “All things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22). When Jesus “made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). Those who desire to have their sins purged need to trust a person, not a place. The blood of Christ is the only cleansing agent for sin! Those who come to the cross of Christ must come with empty hands of faith, bringing nothing but their sins.
    Every blood bought believer is instantly present with their Redeemer at the moment of death. To be “absent from the body” is to be “at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:6-8). This good news was affirmed by the Lord Jesus with the promise He gave to the repentant thief at Calvary. He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). This habitual sinner did not need a fire to purge his sins.
    Catholics who believe in Purgatory need to be asked: “Who is in charge of releasing souls from the purging fire?” It cannot be God because of His promise to believers. “Their sins and iniquities I will remember no more” (Heb. 10:17). After conversion, God no longer counts sins against His children (2 Cor. 5:19).
    Purgatory is a travesty on the justice of God and a disgraceful fabrication that robs Christ Jesus of His glory and honor. He alone satisfied divine justice, once and for all, by the perfect and finished sacrifice of Himself. The fatal deception of Purgatory blinds Catholics from the glorious Gospel of grace. It is one of Satan’s many lies which keep his captives from knowing and trusting the sufficiency of Jesus Christ. It is Christ alone that will present us “faultless before the presence of his glory” (Jude 24).

    ——————————————————————————–

    Mike Gendron

    The Biblical Rebuke of Purgatory

    God’s Word leaves absolutely no possibility for sin to be purged away by anything other than the blood of Jesus Christ. The beloved apostle John penned these words with irrefutable clarity. He wrote, “The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” and “all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7,9). John did not say “some” sins or “most” sins, but all sin! This soundly rebukes the need for a sin-purging fire. God’s Word also declares, “All things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22). When Jesus “made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). Those who desire to have their sins purged need to trust a person, not a place. The blood of Christ is the only cleansing agent for sin! Those who come to the cross of Christ must come with empty hands of faith, bringing nothing but their sins.

    John Martignoni

    To make the claim, as he does here, that Purgatory and Jesus’ death on the Cross are completely unrelated is due, quite frankly, to either ignorance or malice.  How is it that anyone ends up in Purgatory?  They are in Purgatory because they have died in a state of grace, but they are not yet free from imperfections.  How is it they are able to be in a state of grace?  By the merits and grace earned for us by Jesus with His death on the Cross.  And what exactly is the burning fire of Purgatory?  It is, in essence, the burning fire of God’s love for us.  And how is it that we are able to be purified by God’s love?  By the merits and grace earned for us by Jesus with His death on the Cross.  In other words, the purging of imperfections that souls experience in Purgatory is as a result of the merits and grace earned for us by Jesus with His death on the Cross.  It is by the blood of Christ that souls in Purgatory are perfected.  There is no other means of perfection available to us.

    The thing is, Mr. Gendron is perfectly aware that this is Catholic belief.  We know this because of what he himself stated earlier in this very same article.  Did not Mr. Gendron complain that Catholic priests “extract” untold riches from poor frightened and fearful Catholics by telling them they need to offer Masses for the souls of their loved ones in order to get them out of Purgatory?  What is the Mass?  It is, according to Catholic belief – which Mr. Gendron well knows – the re-presentation before God of Jesus’ death on the Cross.  So, in one part of his article, Gendron complains that Purgatory is used by the Church to gain riches from people by saying Masses for those in Purgatory, and in another part of his article he says that Catholics believe that those in Purgatory are purged of their imperfections by something other than the blood of Christ!

    Now, Mr. Gendron obviously does not agree that the Mass is a re-presentation of Jesus’ death on the Cross, but he has to admit that it is Catholic teaching that the Mass is the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and that the Mass is all about the Body and Blood of Jesus.  Therefore, if Masses are being offered for those in Purgatory, then it means that any sins and inclination to sin and punishment due to sin that are purged in Purgatory are purged by the blood of Christ.  So, to represent the Catholic Faith as teaching that the purgations of Purgatory have absolutely nothing to do with the blood of Christ, after what he said earlier about Masses being said for those in Purgatory, seems to me to be a deliberate misrepresentation of Catholic teaching.  So, once again, Mr. Gendron, I adjure you to retract these falsehoods.  You claim to be a Christian, well, let us see your faith by your works.

    Mike Gendron

    Every blood bought believer is instantly present with their Redeemer at the moment of death. To be “absent from the body” is to be “at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:6-8). This good news was affirmed by the Lord Jesus with the promise He gave to the repentant thief at Calvary. He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). This habitual sinner did not need a fire to purge his sins.

    John Martignoni
    Gendron claims: “Every blood-bought believer is instantly present with their Redeemer at the moment of their death.” Where in Scripture does it say this?  Oh, I know, he quotes 2 Cor 5:6-8 to “prove” his assertion, but those verses do nothing of the sort.  He actually splits up the main segment of the verses he quotes in order to make it say something it doesn’t actually say.  The verse he quotes from above is 2 Cor 5:8, which states, “We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”  It does not say, as Gendron tries to make it say, “to be absent from the body [is to be instantly at home] with the Lord.” There is nothing in this verse, when properly quoted, that rules out the existence of Purgatory.  Paul is not saying it’s either Heaven or Earth with no in-between, he’s saying he prefers Heaven to Earth, and that is the extent of what he said. 

    Regarding the repentant thief at Calvary being told that he would be with Jesus “today” in Paradise, well, exactly what does that mean?  There is only one day in Paradise, and that day is “today.” How do you count time outside of time?  “Today” is forever in Paradise. Plus, 3 days after Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus tells Mary not to touch Him because He has “not yet ascended to the Father.”  Which seems to contradict Gendron’s private, fallible intepretation of what Jesus said to the good thief.  After all, if Jesus, 3 days after His crucifixion, had not yet ascended to the Father, then how could the good thief have been with Jesus “today” in Paradise, when “today” was 3 days ago and Jesus apparently has not made it there yet?

    Plus, Gendron again seems to be ignorant that Catholic teaching does not say everyone has to go to Purgatory before they enter Paradise.  If the temporal punishment due to sin has been remitted in this lifetime, and one has been freed of their attachment to sin, then when they die they go straight to Heaven.  Is it possible that being crucified might suffice to requite the temporal punishment due to sin?  Which means that if the Good Thief did indeed go straight to Heaven, it does absolutely nothing to disprove Catholic teaching on Purgatory.

    All of which is to say that Gendron’s Scripture citations here do not prove his point, rather they prove that his private, fallible interpretation of any and all Scripture verses should be held as being highly suspect.

    One last point to make on this.  Earlier in this article, when trying to argue that 1 Cor 3:15 – “If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, but only as through fire” – does not teach anything about purging of one’s sins, Mr. Gendron nonetheless admits that there is a purging of a man’s “spurious works,” as through fire, before he gets into Heaven.  His exact words were: “Clearly, the context of this verse is the testing of a man’s works by fire. The works that survive are the ones done for the glory of Christ and are called gold, silver and precious stones (Eph. 2:10). All the other superfluous works are burned in fire and are called wood, hay and stubble. It is not man’s sins that are being purged, it is man’s spurious works that are being burned and destroyed.
    So, in one part of his article, Gendron admits that there can be a purging, as through fire, that a man goes through before he enters Heaven, yet in another part of your article he claims that there can be no such purging because a man is “instantly present with their Redeemer at the moment of death.” Could you please explain, Mr. Gendron, that contradiction?  By the way, Mr. Gendron, where does this purging you claim takes place, at least in one part of your article, actually take place?
    Apparently Mr. Gendron believes that a man having his spurious works “burned and destroyed” in fire does not run contrary to his claim that a person is “instantly present with their Redeemer at the moment of death,” but a man having his sins or his punishment due to sin “burned and destroyed” in fire, does.  Seems we’ve found yet another inconsistency in his argumentation.  Why does having your spurious works burned in fire not slow you down on your way to being with Jesus, but having your sins or punishment due to sin burned in fire does slow you down on your way to Jesus?  After all, in both cases a man is being purged “as through fire,” so what’s the timing difference between the two, Mr. Gendron?
    Mike Gendron

    Catholics who believe in Purgatory need to be asked: “Who is in charge of releasing souls from the purging fire?” It cannot be God because of His promise to believers. “Their sins and iniquities I will remember no more” (Heb. 10:17). After conversion, God no longer counts sins against His children (2 Cor. 5:19).

    John Martignoni

    Here we get a little of Gendron’s once saved always saved theology which leads him, as it does many others, into taking absolutely ridiculous positions based upon their private, fallible interpretations of Scripture.  A soul is released from Purgatory once they have been purged of their imperfections.  Hebrews 12:22-23, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…and to the spirits of just men made perfect.”  How were the spirits of the just in Heaven “made” perfect?  Hmmm.

    To answer Gendron’s question, God is “in charge” of releasing souls from Purgatory.  God is “in charge” of all things. But let’s look at Gendron’s logic, or lack thereof.  Let’s go, for the moment, with Gendron’s private, fallible interpretation of Heb 10:17 and 2 Cor 5:19.  When does someone get released from Purgatory?  When all their sins and imperfections are gone.  Or, to say it another way, when their sins have been “remembered no more.”  So, why does Gendron think God cannot be in charge of releasing a soul from Purgatory after they’ve been cleansed of all imperfections…after their sins have been remembered no more?

    Now, regarding the Scripture verses he is twisting, let’s take a look at them.  Heb 10:17 does indeed tell us that God will “remember their sins and their misdeeds no more.”  But does that mean, as Mr. Gendron apparently contends, that after you’re “saved” God will just give you a free pass on sin whether you confess your sins and repent of them or not?  That is a ridiculous thing to contend.  1 John 1:9, which Mr. Gendron cited a few paragraphs earlier, states that God will indeed forgive our sins “if” we confess them.  And Jesus states several times in the Gospels the need for repentance of sin.  So, even if someone is “saved” according to Mr. Gendron’s theological system, in order to have their sins forgiven, the Bible tells us they still have to confess those sins and repent of their sins.

    So, my question for you, Mr. Gendron, is this: If someone is saved, and they commit a venial sin after being saved, and they do not repent or confess that sin, do you contend that if they died immediately after committing that sin, they would not need to be cleansed of that sin before entering Heaven?  Does God “remember their sins and their deeds no more” even if they do not repent and confess their sins, as you seem to be contending?  Or, does God remember their sins up until the point they repent and confess their sins and their sins are purged?

    In addition to Gendron’s scriptural consistency problems with how and when God forgives sin, let’s look just a few verses down from Heb 10:17.  Heb 10:29 states, “How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace.” Who is the man described here?  He is a man who was sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ.  Is that someone, according to Gendron’s theological system who has been saved?  You bet it is.  I don’t know how he could say otherwise.  Yet, what happens to this man who has been saved, whose sins, according to Gendron’s private, fallible interpretation will no longer be held against him, when he then spurns the Son of God and profanes the blood of the covenant and outraged the Spirit of grace?  Are none of those sins held against him?  According to Gendron, they are not.  According to Scripture, this man receives a “fearful prospect of judgment” (Heb 10:27).  Once saved always saved?  I don’t think so!  Once again Gendron’s private, fallible interpretations of Scripture get him into scriptural hot water.

    Mike Gendron

    Purgatory is a travesty on the justice of God and a disgraceful fabrication that robs Christ Jesus of His glory and honor. He alone satisfied divine justice, once and for all, by the perfect and finished sacrifice of Himself. The fatal deception of Purgatory blinds Catholics from the glorious Gospel of grace. It is one of Satan’s many lies which keep his captives from knowing and trusting the sufficiency of Jesus Christ. It is Christ alone that will present us “faultless before the presence of his glory” (Jude 24).

    John Martignoni

    The only travesty of justice here is Gendron’s spreading of misconceptions, half-truths, and outright lies about Catholic teaching on Purgatory.  There is nothing in the Catholic teaching of Purgatory that “robs Jesus Christ of His glory and honor.” The Catholic teaching on Purgatory is perfectly consistent with Sacred Scripture and does nothing but glorify Jesus Christ through Whom and with Whom and in Whom we are saved.  I am Catholic and I believe in Purgatory and I believe in the “glorious Gospel of grace.”  And I believe, as do all Catholics, that it is indeed Christ alone that will present us “faultless before the presence of His glory.”  Mike Gendron’s claims to the contrary are without merit.

     

    7 Secrets of the Eucharist

    Posted: January 9, 2011 by CatholicJules in Book Review

    Book Description

    Pope John Paul II referred to the Holy Eucharist as the greatest treasure of the Church, and yet even many devoted Catholics have a very limited understanding of this powerful sacrament. This book will change all that. The reader will come away with a completely new awareness that the Eucharist is not just about receiving Communion; it’s about transforming your daily life.Deeply based on the Scriptures, the writings of the Saints, and the teachings of our two most recent Popes, this profound and remarkably readable book will introduce you to some of the hidden truths of the Eucharist truths that have always been embraced by theologians, saints, and mystics, but have rarely been passed on to the average person in a meaningful way. In 7 Secrets of the Eucharist, these truths are finally made accessible to all, as author Vinny Flynn shows how each reception of Holy Communion can be a life-changing experience.No matter how much or how little you already know about the Eucharist, the secrets revealed here will bring you to a new, personal Emmaus experience, again and again. Perfect for personal devotion, catechesis, study groups, book clubs, and theological studies, 7 Secrets of the Eucharist will rekindle the Eucharistic amazement called for by Pope John Paul II.

    Book Details
  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: MercySong / Ignatius Press (December 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884479316
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884479311
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Personal Book Review

    This is a book I recommend that every catholic should own.  After reading this very quick and easy to read book I find myself not only more truly committed and in union with Christ after receiving the Eucharist.  But I have experienced an overpowering grace of love and joy!

    January 9, 2011 – Baptism of the Lord

    Posted: January 8, 2011 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

    Anointed Ones

    Readings:Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
    Psalm 29:1-4, 9-10
    Acts 10:34-38
    Matthew 3:13-17

    Jesus presents himself for John’s baptism in today’s Gospel, not because He is a sinner, but to fulfill the word of God proclaimed by His prophets. He must be baptized to reveal that He is the Christ (“anointed one”) – the Spirit-endowed Servant promised by Isaiah in today’s First Reading.

    His baptism marks the start of a new world, a new creation. As Isaiah prophesied, the Spirit descends upon Jesus like a dove – as the Spirit hovered over the face of the deep in the beginning (see Genesis 1:2).

    As it was in the beginning, at the Jordan also the majestic voice of the Lord thunders above the waters. The Father opens the heavens and declares Jesus to be His “beloved son.”

    God had long prepared the Israelites for His coming, as Peter preaches in today’s Second Reading. Jesus was anticipated in the “beloved son” given to Abraham (see Genesis 22:2,12,26), and in the calling of Israel as His “first-born son” (see Exodus 4:22-23). Jesus is the divine son begotten by God, the everlasting heir promised to King David (see Psalm 2:7; 2 Samuel 7:14).

    He is “a covenant of the people [Israel]” and “a light to the nations,” Isaiah says. By the new covenant made in His blood (see 1 Corinthians 11:25), God has gathered the lost sheep of Israel together with whoever fears Him in every nation.

    Christ has become the source from which God pours out his Spirit on Israelites and Gentiles alike (see Acts 10:45). In Baptism, all are anointed with that same Spirit, made beloved sons and daughters of God. Indeed, we are Christians – literally “anointed ones.”

    We are the “sons of God” in today’s Psalm – called to give glory to His name in His temple. Let us pray that we remain faithful to our calling as His children, that our Father might call us what he calls His Son – “my beloved. . . in whom I am well pleased.”

     

    Virtual Tour Of The Sistine Chapel

    Posted: January 5, 2011 by CatholicJules in Holy Pictures, Memory Book

    Click On The Picture To Begin The Tour

    Some Nice Catholic Art

    Posted: January 3, 2011 by CatholicJules in Holy Pictures

    Mary And Baby Jesus


    Holy Alliance Against Sin

    January 2, 2011 – Feast of Epiphany

    Posted: January 1, 2011 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

    SUNDAY BIBLE REFLECTIONS BY DR. SCOTT HAHN

    A King to Behold

    Readings:
    Isaiah 60:1-6
    Psalm 72:-12,7-8, 10-13
    Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6
    Matthew 2:1-12

    An “epiphany” is an appearance. In today’s readings, with their rising stars, splendorous lights and mysteries revealed, the face of the child born on Christmas day appears.
    Herod, in today’s Gospel, asks the chief priests and scribes where the Messiah is to be born. The answer Matthew puts on their lips says much more, combining two strands of Old Testament promise – one revealing the Messiah to be from the line of David (see 2 Samuel 2:5), the other predicting “a ruler of Israel” who will “shepherd his flock” and whose “greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth” (see Micah 5:1-3).
    Those promises of Israel’s king ruling the nations resound also in today’s Psalm. The psalm celebrates David’s son, Solomon. His kingdom, we sing, will stretch “to the ends of the earth,” and the world’s kings will pay Him homage. That’s the scene too in today’s First Reading, as nations stream from the East, bearing “gold and frankincense” for Israel’s king.

    The Magi’s pilgrimage in today’s Gospel marks the fulfillment of God’s promises. The Magi, probably Persian astrologers, are following the star that Balaam predicted would rise along with the ruler’s staff over the house of Jacob (see Numbers 24:17).
    Laden with gold and spices, their journey evokes those made to Solomon by the Queen of Sheba and the “kings of the earth” (see 1 Kings 10:2,25; 2 Chronicles 9:24). Interestingly, the only other places where frankincense and myrrh are mentioned together are in songs about Solomon (see Song of Songs 3:6, 4:6,14).

    One greater than Solomon is here (see Luke 11:31). He has come to reveal that all peoples are “co-heirs” of the royal family of Israel, as today’s Epistle teaches.
    His manifestation forces us to choose: Will we follow the signs that lead to Him as the wise Magi did? Or will we be like those priests and the scribes who let God’s words of promise become dead letters on an ancient page?

    The Word Took Our Nature From Mary

    Posted: January 1, 2011 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

    From a letter by Saint Athanasius, bishop

    The Apostle tells us: The Word took to himself the sons of Abraham, and so had to be like his brothers in all things. He had then to take a body like ours. This explains the fact of Mary’s presence: she is to provide him with a body of his own, to be offered for our sake. Scripture records her giving birth, and says: She wrapped him in swaddling clothes. Her breasts, which fed him, were called blessed. Sacrifice was offered because the child was her firstborn. Gabriel used careful and prudent language when he announced his birth. He did not speak of “what will be born in you” to avoid the impression that a body would be introduced into her womb from outside; he spoke of “what will be born from you” so that we might know by faith that her child originated within her and from her.

    By taking our nature and offering it in sacrifice, the Word was to destroy it completely and then invest it with his own nature, and so prompt the Apostle to say: This corruptible body must put on incorruption; this mortal body must put on immortality. This was not done in outward show only, as some have imagined. This is not so. Our Savior truly became man, and from this has followed the salvation of man as a whole. Our salvation is in no way fictitious, nor does it apply only to the body. The salvation of the whole man, that is, of soul and body, has really been achieved in the Word himself.

    What was born of Mary was therefore human by nature, in accordance with the inspired Scriptures, and the body of the Lord was a true body: It was a true body because it was the same as ours. Mary, you see, is our sister, for we are all born from Adam.

    The words of Saint John: the Word was made flesh, bear the same meaning, as we may see from a similar turn of phrase in Saint Paul: Christ was made a curse for our sake. Man’s body has acquired something great through its communion and union with the Word. From being mortal it has been made immortal; though it was a living body it has become a spiritual one; though it was made from the earth it has passed through the gates of heaven.

    Even when the Word takes a body from Mary, the Trinity remains a Trinity, with neither increase nor decrease. It is for ever perfect. In the Trinity we acknowledge one Godhead, and thus one God, the Father of the Word, is proclaimed in the Church.

    (Apologetics) John Vs Mike – 8

    Posted: January 1, 2011 by CatholicJules in Apologetics

    From the website: http://www.pro-gospel.org, by Mike Gendron.

    Biblical Support for Purgatory
    There is absolutely none! In fact, neither the word nor the concept of sin-purifying fire is found in Scripture. The Vatican was confronted with this in the 16th century when the Reformers protested its practice of buying and selling of God’s grace through indulgences. Backed into a corner, the  Council of Trent added the apocryphal books to its canon of Scripture. Rome now declares there is scriptural support for purgatory in the apocryphal book of Second Maccabees. The council ignored the fact that the Jewish scribes never recognized the apocryphal books as inspired or part of the Hebrew Scriptures. They were never included because of their many historical, theological and geographical errors. Since God is not the author of error, He obviously did not inspire the writers of the Apocrypha. This is why the Apocrypha was never included in the original canon of 66 books.

    The apocryphal verses Rome uses to defend its doctrine of Purgatory refer to Jewish soldiers who died wearing pagan amulets around their necks. Judas Maccabees “sent twelve thousand drachmas of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead…Judas hoped that these men who died fighting for the cause of God and religion, might find mercy: either because they might be excused from mortal sin by ignorance; or might have repented of their sin, at least at their death. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins” (2 Maccabees 12:43-46). Rome argues that since Judas Maccabees prayed for the dead, there must be hope for those who die in sin. This of course, goes directly against God’s Word which declares, “It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Heb. 9:22). Rome’s attempt to give credence to Purgatory by using this ungodly practice of the Jews, who had a history of disobeying God, is pathetic.

    In another attempt to find support for Purgatory, many Catholics point to this verse: “If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Cor. 3:15). Clearly, the context of this verse is the testing of a man’s works by fire. The works that survive are the ones done for the glory of Christ and are called gold, silver and precious stones (Eph. 2:10). All the other superfluous works are burned in fire and are called wood, hay and stubble. It is not man’s sins that are being purged, it is man’s spurious works that are being burned and destroyed.

    ———————————————————————————————————–

    Mike Gendron:

    Biblical Support for Purgatory
    There is absolutely none! In fact, neither the word nor the concept of sin-purifying fire is found in Scripture. The Vatican was confronted with this in the 16th century when the Reformers protested its practice of buying and selling of God’s grace through indulgences. Backed into a corner, the  Council of Trent added the apocryphal books to its canon of Scripture. Rome now declares there is scriptural support for purgatory in the apocryphal book of Second Maccabees. The council ignored the fact that the Jewish scribes never recognized the apocryphal books as inspired or part of the Hebrew Scriptures. They were never included because of their many historical, theological and geographical errors. Since God is not the author of error, He obviously did not inspire the writers of the Apocrypha. This is why the Apocrypha was never included in the original canon of 66 books.

    John Martignoni:

    First, he states that there is “absolutely” no biblical support for Purgatory, but then in the next two paragraphs he goes on to give a couple of biblical passages that support Purgatory.  How can he say there is no biblical support for Purgatory when he himself cites biblical passages that Catholics believe support the teaching on Purgatory?  Would it not be more honest to say that there are a number of biblical passages that Catholics cite in support of the teaching on Purgatory, but that his biased fallible interpretation of those passages disagrees with the Catholic interpretation of those passages?  That is the more accurate and honest way to describe the situation.

    We’ll look at some of those passages below, including the ones cited by Mr. Gendron, and see if there is indeed “absolutely” no biblical support for Purgatory whatsoever.  But, before we get to that, let’s look at Gendron’s claim that Rome “added” the “apocryphal books” (the deuterocanon – Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, 1st & 2nd Maccabees) to the Bible at the Council of Trent, in order to be able to claim biblical support for Purgatory (2nd Macc 12:42-45).  Gendron claimed: “This is why the Apocrypha was never included in the original canon of 66 books.” His revisionist view of history is that the Catholic Church added those 7 books of the Old Testament to the Catholic bible only after Martin Luther confronted Rome with its lack of biblical evidence for indulgences (Purgatory).  Well, let’s look at the historical documents and see if that is indeed the case.

    From the “Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol I,” edited by Jurgens, we see the “Decree of Damasus” (Pope St. Damasus I) from the Council of Rome, in 382 A.D. (1200 years before the Council of Trent supposedly added the deuterocanon to the Catholic bible).  In the Decree of Damasus, the 7 books of the Old Testament that Gendron claimed were not “added” until the Council of Trent, are listed as part of the canon (note: Baruch was initially included as part of Jeremias, as Baruch was Jeremiah’s scribe).  Hmmm.  And, if Gendron had bothered to look, he would have found, without too much trouble, that the Latin Vulgate – the official bible of the Catholic Church – which was translated by St. Jerome in the late 4th century, included those 7 books as part of its canon.  And, the Bible Martin Luther used while still a Catholic priest, had those 7 books in it as part of the canon.  And, Martin Luther admitted to throwing out those books from the bible as part of his rebellion against the Church.  So, Gendron’s claim that, “This is why the Apocrypha was never included in the original canon of 66 books,” is absolutely false.  And he is absolutely wrong in his claim that the Council of Trent added those books to the Bible.  I call on him to correct this falsehood on his website.  But, he won’t, because he doesn’t seem to be interested in the truth, he is only interested in making the Catholic Church look bad, and if it means having to not be as honest as he could be, well, so be it….

    Furthermore, he states that the “Jewish scribes never recognized the apocryphal books as inspired or part of the Hebrew Scriptures.”  This, again, is a false claim.  How does he explain, for example, the Septuagint – the Greek language version of the Old Testament – which was put together by “Jewish scribes” and which contains the deuterocanonical books, and from which two-thirds of the Old Testament quotes in the New Testament come?  Plus, the Septuagint was indeed accepted by most of the Jews of the Diaspora (outside of Israel) as their Scriptures.  Besides, the fact that the deuterocanon was not accepted by “Jewish scribes,” according to Mr. Gendron, is not a very good argument for a Christian to make.  After all, the “Jewish scribes” did not accept any of the books of the New Testament as part of their Scripture either.  Does Mr. Gendron, to be consistent in his reasoning, then reject the New Testament books?

    So, since 2 Maccabees was indeed part of the “original canon” of 73 books of the bible, we can indeed claim that it provides biblical support for the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory. After all, if there is only Heaven or Hell, then it is completely useless to pray for the dead.  Prayer is not needed for those in Heaven.  Prayer does nothing for those in Hell. Prayers for the dead imply that there is a place, or state of being, other than Heaven or Hell.

    Mike Gendron:

    The apocryphal verses Rome uses to defend its doctrine of Purgatory refer to Jewish soldiers who died wearing pagan amulets around their necks. Judas Maccabees “sent twelve thousand drachmas of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead…Judas hoped that these men who died fighting for the cause of God and religion, might find mercy: either because they might be excused from mortal sin by ignorance; or might have repented of their sin, at least at their death. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins” (2 Maccabees 12:43-46). Rome argues that since Judas Maccabees prayed for the dead, there must be hope for those who die in sin. This of course, goes directly against God’s Word which declares, “It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Heb. 9:22). Rome’s attempt to give credence to Purgatory by using this ungodly practice of the Jews, who had a history of disobeying God, is pathetic.

    John Martignoni:

    This is a perfect example of either Mike Gendron’s complete and total ignorance of Catholic teaching on Purgatory or his deliberate and willful distortion of Catholic teaching on Purgatory.  Do you see what he says in this paragraph that betrays him?  He uses Heb 9:22 to try and say the practice of praying for the dead is contrary to Scripture.  But, what exactly is it in Heb 9:22 that actually contradicts the doctrine of Purgatory or the practice of praying for the dead?  Answer: NOTHING!  Hebrews 9:22 states that after death, comes judgment.  Catholics believe and teach that.  When a person dies, they receive their particular judgment – either they are headed to Heaven or to Hell.  Purgatory has absolutely nothing to do with judgment, however.  Purgatory has to do with the final purification of a soul AFTER it has already been judged as being just.  So, Heb 9:22 in no way, shape, or form contradicts the doctrine of Purgatory.  Mike Gendron’s use of this verse to deny Purgatory is ignorant at best, malicious at worst.

    Let’s re-visit the doctrine of Purgatory as taught by the Catholic Church: 1) “All who die in God’s grace [the just] and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.”  (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1030.)  2) Purgatory (Lat., “purgare”, to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.  (Catholic Encyclopedia, article on Purgatory, http://www.newadvent.org.)  In other words, Purgatory has nothing to do with judgment, it pertains to a final purification of a just soul after it has received judgment.

    Mike Gendron has read the Catechism and he has read the article on Purgatory found in the Catholic Encyclopedia, yet he still apparently does not “get it.”  Or, rather, he “gets it,” but accurately portraying Catholic teaching on Purgatory does not suit his purposes, so he chooses not to do it.

    And, addressing 2 Maccabees 12 again, we see that it does, with its teaching on prayer for the dead, in fact provide biblical support for the doctrine of Purgatory.

    Mike Gendron:

    In another attempt to find support for Purgatory, many Catholics point to this verse: “If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Cor. 3:15). Clearly, the context of this verse is the testing of a man’s works by fire. The works that survive are the ones done for the glory of Christ and are called gold, silver and precious stones (Eph. 2:10). All the other superfluous works are burned in fire and are called wood, hay and stubble. It is not man’s sins that are being purged, it is man’s spurious works that are being burned and destroyed.

    John Martignoni:

    First of all, let’s note that Mike Gendron is apparently making an infallible pronouncement on what the passage from 1 Cor 3:10-15 means.  A fallible man making an infallible pronouncement.  Sorry, Mike, but not only do you not have the authority to make an infallible pronouncement as to what any particular passage of Scripture means, but your interpretation is: 1) fairly ridiculous upon examination; and, 2) doesn’t actually respond to the Catholic argument regarding this verse.

    1) Ridiculous interpretation: According to Gendron, “It is not man’s sins that are being purged, it is man’s spurious works that are being burned and destroyed.”  What does “spurious” mean?  It means false, or bogus.  Well, what else could we call a spurious or false or bogus work?  I think the word “sin” would fit most appropriately, don’t you?  After all, I think we could all agree that a “spurious” work is definitely not a good work, right?  So, if it’s not a good work, then it must be a bad work – it must be a morally bad work.  Why else is it being burned up and why else does man “suffer” because of it?

    Does man suffer for morally good works?  No.  Does he suffer for morally neutral works?  No.  Does he suffer for morally bad works?  Indeed he does.  What is another name for a morally bad work?  Sin.  So, Gendron’s classification of these works as being “spurious” works vs. being sins, is a distinction without a difference.  It’s a distraction from the fact that he has no real answer to this passage, so he makes up “spurious” distinctions.  Can Gendron give us some examples of these “spurious” works that are “burned in fire?”

    Plus, isn’t Gendron himself essentially admitting that this “burning in fire” of man’s spurious works is purifying man from his “spurious” works?  What else would you call the process described here if not a purification?  What is going on in Purgatory?  Purification.  Which leads to my second point…

    2) Not answering the Catholic argument: So, Mr. Gendron, exactly where is it that man’s work is “burned in fire” and they suffer loss, yet are still saved?  Where exactly does this purification take place?  Heaven?  No, no purification is necessary once you reach Heaven.  Hell?  No, no purification is possible once you enter Hell.  Where then is this purification of man taking place, Mr. Gendron?

    Furthermore, if Gendron’s once saved always saved sola fide theology is true, then where exactly does what is happening in 1 Cor 3:10-15, fit into that theology?  He admits that this purification is taking place, but he doesn’t tell us why it is taking place.  Why does there need to be this purification at all?  Isn’t the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross enough?  What is this purification by fire of a man’s “spurious” works all about?  I mean, if a man has accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior, thus entering the rank of the “saved,” and he’s going to Heaven no matter what, then why does he have to later be purified of his spurious works?  I’m really confused…

    Okay, now let’s look at some of the “Catholic” verses of Scripture that support the Church’s teaching on Purgatory:

    2 Sam 12:13-18, “David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’  And Nathan said to David, ‘the Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.  Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child that is born to you shall die.’  And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became sick…On the seventh day the child died.”  Principle #1 – there is punishment for sin even after one has received forgiveness. See also Numbers 20:12 (Moses and Aaron being denied entrance into the Promised Land); Gen 3:16-19 (woman has increased pain in childbirth; man eats by the sweat of his brow)

    Rev 21:27, “But nothing unclean shall enter it…”  The New Jerusalem – Heaven.  Principle #2 – nothing unclean, nothing with the stain of sin, will enter Heaven.  Mt 5:48, “You, therefore, must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  That’s because of Principle #2 – nothing unclean will get into Heaven.

    Heb 12:22-23, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living god, the heavenly Jerusalem…and to the spirits of just men made perfect.”  The spirits of just men, made perfect.  Principle #3 – there is a way, a process, through which the spirits of the “just” are “made perfect”.

    1 Cor 3:13-15, “…each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day [judgment day] will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.  If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.  If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”  Where is this place that a man, after he dies, suffers loss, as through fire, but is still saved.  Hell – once you’re in Hell, you don’t get out.  Heaven – you don’t suffer loss in Heaven.  Hmmm…must be somewhere else.  Principle #4 – there is a place other than Heaven or Hell.

    Mt 12:32, “And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”  Implies forgiveness in the age to come.  Where can you go to be forgiven in the age to come?  Heaven?  You don’t need forgiveness.  Hell?  There is no forgivenss.

    Mt 18:32-35, “Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!  I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’  And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt.  So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”  Where can you go, that is like jail, until you have paid your debt?  Heaven?  Hell?

    Rev 20:13-14, “And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them…[Hades? We know Hades isn’t Hell because of the next verse]…Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.”  The lake of fire is Hell.  So, Hades is some place besides Heaven and Hell.  Again, Principle #4 – there is a place besides Heaven and Hell.

    So, let’s summarize these four principles: There is punishment for sin even after one has received forgiveness.  We have to be perfect as the Father is perfect, because nothing unclean will enter Heaven.  There is some way, or process, by which the spirits of the just are made perfect.  There is a place besides Heaven or Hell where you can suffer loss, yet be saved, but only as through fire; and where you can be forgiven of sins from a previous age; and where you will not get out until you have paid your entire debt.  Hmmm.

    Principle #5 – there are several Scripture passages that simply make no sense in a Heaven and Hell only theology.  For instance, James 5:20, “Let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”  Cover a multitude of sins?   1 Ptr 4:8, “Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.”  There it is again.  Something that we do, that covers a multitude of sins.  Wait a minute.  If Jesus did all there is to do in terms of payment for sin, then how can we do something that covers a multitude of sins?  Unless…unless, there is a penalty for sin, even after we have been forgiven, as we saw with King David, and if we cooperate with Jesus in our redemption, we can “cover” the penalty for our sins by bringing sinners back to the truth and by loving others.

    Col 1:24, “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the Church…”  How can Paul suffer for our sake?  And, how in the world can he complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions?  Is there something lacking in Christ’s afflictions?  Like the previous two verses, this verse makes no sense in a Heaven and Hell only theological system.

    Finally, Heb 12:14, “Strive for peace with all men and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”  We have to be holy in order to see the Lord (be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect), and if we are not perfectly holy at the moment we die – and most people will admit that they are not perfectly holy at the present moment – then there must be some way that those who are in a state of grace (saved), but not yet perfected, can be perfected.  As Catholics, we call that process of being perfected after death – Purgatory.