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Archive for February, 2012

One of the Catholic Church’s misunderstood teachings is the doctrine of “No Salvation outside the Church.” The controversy stems from a misunderstanding of what the Church really means by this.

Let’s define what “outside the church” means. The statement does not just mean being a member of the Catholic Church. To be outside the church means to fully understand the one true body of Christ’s Church, the fullness of His teaching and to then reject that. “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Lk. 10:16). So to reject Christ body the Church, the gospel must be preached to you first. There are many who have never heard or really understood the fullness of the truth in the gospel that Christ intended to assure our salvation. So you can’t reject something you don’t fully understand or have never heard.

“All salvation comes from Christ who died for all of us that we may have the possibility of salvation”. Acts 4:12. God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but He Himself is not bound by His sacraments. His saving grace can work outside the sacraments to save even those that have never heard or understood the fullness of the truth in the gospel.

When speaking of salvation, Jesus showed us the way. The first step is of course is to accept and believe in Jesus. Next we have to obey Him. Consider these verses:

– He who believes and is baptized will be saved. (Mk 16:16)
– Unless you repent you will all likewise perish. (Lk 13:3)
– He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (Jn 6:54)

These 3 sacraments of Baptism, Confession, and Eucharist are administered through the Catholic Church and help us towards our salvation. What about members of other Christian churches who believe in Christ and have only been baptized? They too are in a way, though imperfect, part of the body of Christ and His one Catholic Church. So because they have not completely rejected Christ, are ignorant of the fullness of truth, have the possibility of salvation. Baptism and unity with the Catholic Church provide the only assurance of salvation, but not the only means.

God does not condemn those who are innocently ignorant of the truth about his offer of salvation. Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will guided by their own conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation. (CCC 847) So the Church insists many times over that those who
through no fault of their own do not find the Church, but keep the moral law with the help of grace, can be saved:

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What if I told you there was this treasure of a book that contained all the teachings and doctrines of the Catholic Church and where they are referenced in scripture. There is and it is called the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Catechism just means to echo. That is exactly what this treasure does. It echoes the true teaching of Jesus Christ.

The first Christians
Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. This scripture verse contains 4 parts of what it means to be Christian. Teaching, Communal Life, The breaking of the bread and Prayers. The Catechism is broken down into these 4 parts. The common thread of the Trinity, Christ, His paschal mystery, Man and the Church are all key themes that run throughout.

In 1986 Pope John Paul II created a commission of Bishops and Theologians to prepare a draft of the Catechism which would contain the teachings that Christ left us with His church. Each draft was sent out around the world to all the church leaders for input and editing. Those changes were sent back to the commission for further editing. This occurred 9 times. Each time the draft was sent around the world for input and back again. It took over 6 years.

Nearly 2/3 of the document comes straight from the Bible scriptures as well as some writings from the early church leaders. The other 1/3 is the Churches response. You can look up any topic in the index and find what the church teaches and all the references in scripture to the teaching.

When it was finished it was sent out to the entire Church around the world to unite and renew the whole life of the Church. It is offered to all the faithful who wish to deepen their knowledge of the unfathomable riches of salvation Jn 8:32 You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

The Catechism helps to fill the desires of Christ by uniting the Catholic Churches teaching.
Jn 10:16 – there shall be one fold and one shepherd
Eph 4:3-6- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God &Father
Rom 16:17- avoid those who create dissensions
1 Cor 1:10 – I urge that there he no divisions among you
Phil 2:2 – be of same mind, united in heart, thinking one thing
Rom 15:5- God grant you to think in harmony w/ one another
Jn 17:17-23 – I pray that they may be one, as we are one

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Some would say that faith is a personal thing.   True, faith is very personal.  I would suggest that it is that plus so much more.  Faith is meant to be alive; meant to be lived.  To keep it alive we must feed, or nurture, our faith through prayer, the sacraments, as well as spending time learning about the Church’s teachings.  Living it is accomplished by daily choosing to live a faith filled life of good deeds, kindness, and forgiveness to one another.  Faith is a journey that contains all these elements and more. As the journey is different for each one of us, the destination, encountering God, is the same.

Question, if faith was meant to only be a personal thing, where would we be if Jesus had kept everything to himself?  The truth is Jesus is a perfect example of what it means to have faith. He said “Anyone who has faith will do what I have been doing” (John 14:12). Christ cautioned us not to hide our faith under a bushel basket (Matthew 5:5) rather spread the faith.  Each Sunday, at the end of mass, we are called to go out and share that faith lovingly with one another; especially to those who lack or have never been given a faith. By us living and sharing our faith we may be the only encounter with Christ that someone has in their lives. Given that faith is alive, it goes without saying that it gets tested, even challenged, at times.  Some would say that and one faith is not better than another.  Instead of saying which faith is the better or best, maybe it would be wise to say whichever faith more closely resembles the truth is better than the others. Thankfully, Catholicism is historically based on a solid foundation of truth which is protected by the Holy Spirit

I am always looking for ways to live and deepen my faith. What are some ways or thoughts that you have?

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Starting a new blog

Just starting up a new place to post information about the beauty of the Catholic Faith.

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