St. Cardinal Newman and the Development of Doctrine

I highly recommend reading the work ‘The Development of Christian Doctrine’.

Source: St. Cardinal Newman and the Development of Doctrine

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The Great Adventure Bible Timeline Event with Jeff Cavins

On September 28, I had the great honor of attending The Great Adventure Bible in A Day event presented by Jeff Cavins. The event was help in the auditorium at Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA. The event was sold out, and I was able to learn about the Bible with 700 of my closest friends from one of the world’s greatest Bible teachers.

A book can be written about all of the information that was presented, but I will simply say that the event left me with a deeper appreciation for scripture. As a former ordained Protestant minister, I always had a deep appreciation for scripture, in fact it was reading the scriptures and the writings of the church fathers about them that drew me to the Catholic Church. The event was truly lifechanging.

Mr. Cavins said from the outset that walking into a Catholic church can be intimidating for someone who has never been, and likewise the Bible can be intimidating if we try to read it straight through from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible Timeline that Mr. Cavins created breaks it down, in color coded form, the periods of salvation history, and the books that are required reading to understand the story. Under the required reading, are the recommended books that elaborate on the story of salvation history.

The event provided the opportunity to learn the whole story of the Bible in one day. I have been studying scripture and theology for the better part of eight years, and I took so much away from the event that has enhanced my understanding of everything that God has done for us. The great thing about this event is that it was for everyone, one need not be a bible scholar to attend. As I looked at those in attendance I saw teenagers, young adults, middle age, and elderly. Everyone in attendance learned about scripture and what the Catechism calls the four pillars of the creed, sacraments, life in Christ, and prayer. The background of the four is told in scripture and that is why it is important to have a basic understanding of what is going on. As Jeff Cavins said, “A sacraments class with no story is like toast with no butter”.

The event taught a love for scripture and how important it should be in our daily lives. Jeff Cavins made a statement that resonated with me. He stated, “There is nothing like a worn-out Bible that testifies to our relationship with God”. We were implored to shape our day around the sacred page and prayer. That is how we grow in relationship.

Lastly, Jeff discussed how important it is to share our faith. This isn’t something that is only for the priest or deacon, but for every baptized Catholic to do. The world is hurting and people are trying to find meaning in things that will only make the pain worse. He left us with a seven step blueprint to evangelize, and he said it is one that he uses daily. Here are the seven things to tell people:

  1. God loves you and has a plan for your life.
  2. Sin messed up our lives and broke our relationship with God.
  3. Jesus died for our sins.
  4. We must repent of our sin.
  5. Get baptized and receive the Holy Spirit.
  6. Join the Church.
  7. Make disciples.

There is much more that can be said about the event. It is one that I learned much from and was convicted by the Holy Spirit for what I had not done. 97% of Catholics don’t share their faith and that is a number that must change. It changes by understanding the story laid out in scripture, allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us, and spreading the word about the love of Christ. This event is one that I encourage you to attend if you can. There are a couple more left on Oct 19th and 20th at the Museum of the Bible. If you can’t attend, then I recommend checking out The Great Adventure studies available by Ascension Press.

Are Suicide Victims Without The Hope of Heaven?

Suicide impacts everyone. There is a suicide in the United States every twelve minutes, and it is the tenth leading cause of death!

Why one would resort suicide is a matter of debate and there is hardly a cut and dry scenario to pull from. Not to mention: Christians are not immune to it. Recently, an evangelical pastors took his own life. Jarrid Wilson was a mental health advocate and very open with his struggle with depression. His death has brought the subject of suicide and mental health to the forefront, and once again we see the same comments that display a sincere ignorance on the topic.

Are those who die of suicide committed to hell? Are there extenuating circumstances? The Catechism of the Catholic Church addresses these questions in paragraphs 2280-2283.

The Catechism describes suicide as “Gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God” (CCC 281).

In error some stop here to make the point that all who die of suicide were unable to repent of this mortal sin. At this juncture it is necessary to define what makes a sin mortal. For a sin to be mortal the following three criteria must be met: 1) Grave matter, 2) Knowledge that it is wrong, and 3) consent of your free will.

There is no doubt that suicide is something that constitutes a grave matter, but are all who go through with it in the proper frame of mind for all criteria to be met?

The Catechism answers this question with an emphatic “no”! In paragraph 2282 the Catechism reads, “Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.”

The eternal fate of those who commit suicide is something that is not for us to judge. Who is not to say that someone who fulfilled the three criteria didn’t repent a microsecond before the deed was complete? The person who suffers with severe bouts of depression, as the Catechism says, was acting in a diminished capacity when the act was complete.

In short, only God knows. It is his role to be the judge of all of us (I don’t want that job as it would be a hard burden to bear). In paragraph 2283 the Catechism has this to say, “We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives”.

God is a loving Father who knows what we are going through, and only he knows what was going on with the person who died from suicide. He alone knows if they were cognizant of what they were doing. The Church calls us to pray for those who have taken their own lives. What good would praying for victims of suicide if was an automatic sentence to hell? The Church asks us to pray for them because we are a Faith of hope and love, not of fear.

Those who die of suicide are created in the image of God, and he loves them just as he loves you and me. God alone is the judge, and he is the only one qualified to judge the fate of suicide victims. Through his Holy Church, God has made known that there is hope for eternal life, and it is the same hope we all have.

To read the rest of this article that I wrote for Epicpew please go to https://epicpew.com/are-suicide-victims-without-hope-of-heaven/

 

Woman Sitting on Wooden Planks

The Beauty of the Mass with Charles Johnston

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-at4kd-c0c304

In this week’s episode author Charles Johnston drops by to discuss his book titled “The Beauty of the Mass”.  We also discuss his conversion to the Catholic church and how the Eucharist and the liturgy led him tp deeper research and the realization that the church is true.  Charles has a popular blog and his website in www.nowthatimcatholic.com, and his book can be purchased on Amazon https://amzn.to/2leKTr1
We had some technical glitches over the course of this interview so my apologies for the hiccups here and there.

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