Called To Give A Common Witness

I was prompted to write this post after receiving a video via my Facebook Inbox from a Christian woman, not of the Catholic Faith, whom, after finding me on the world wide web, decided that I needed to be rescued from the evil clutches of Rome. The video follows this post, and is actually quite good!

She sent me the usual anti-Catholic rhetoric and suggested several links that would help to set me straight. I lovingly and gently responded by suggesting that she spend some time learning what the Catholic Faith truly teaches and directed her to the website Catholics Come Home.

The fact that this woman sent me this video served as a warm reminder that our call as Christians is a common call, in fact we are all commissioned by our Lord to proclaim the same Good News to the world! The point is that Christian unity is incredibly beautiful because it demonstrates the very love of God which is manifested by a common concern for the eternal salvation of every soul!

In this Year of Evangelization, our Holy Father shared the following reflection concerning Christian unity. On January 25, 2010, the feast of the conversion of St. Paul, Pope Benedict XVI in a homily he gave at vespers in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, appealed to all Christians to give a common witness starting immediately . . .Pope Says Now Is Time For United Testimony.

In a world in which the enemy has craftily led so many away from God by deception, distraction and false hopes of happiness, Christians need more than ever to unite to share the love of Christ with the world!

Pope Benedict reflected on the "fundamental intuition" of the preliminary ecumenical gathering held in Edinburgh, Scotland one hundred years ago: that Christians cannot proclaim the Gospel credibly if they are divided. Within Christianity there are about 34,000 separate groups of which over half of them are independent churches that have no interest in linking with a large denomination. There are over 4,684 Christian groups in the United States teaching their own brand of 'truth'.

Satan and his minions seem to have gained much ground in two major areas, both of which we must immediately begin work to reverse. We must abandon the culture of death in which we now live and acknowledge the sanctity of life! We must also begin to restore Christian unity into the one Body of Christ which God intended us to be!

Our Best Defense!

We proceed on this journey stalked constantly by a vicious and cruel enemy, an enemy who hates us simply because we are created and loved by God! This enemy is cunning, calculating, and constantly scheming to launch attacks against us, which if successful, can result not only in the death of our body, but the eternal death of our soul! The enemy is Satan and his minions.

The good news is that God has provided the ammunition necessary to defend ourselves against these attacks! Without it we are as weak and defenseless as newborn babes! That ammunition is God’s grace!

Now most Christians, including myself will agree that one way to receive God’s grace is by earnestly asking for it in prayer! Now God is capable of all things and no man should presume to understand the mind of God, so we can probably all agree that God can bestow His grace upon anyone He wishes in any manner He deems fit!

From a Catholic perspective, the ammunition or grace of which I speak is the grace which is made available to us in the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ as He gives Himself to us in the Eucharist! However, to receive the fullness of the grace made available to us in the Blessed Sacrament, we must be properly prepared and disposed to do so!

What do we mean by properly disposed and prepared to receive our Lord?

First, we must firmly believe without a doubt in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist! We must then very humbly and thankfully acknowledge the greatness of the One whom we are about to receive into our bodies and souls!

Reflect if you will on this fact: the God who gives Himself to us in the Eucharist is the same God who created the incomprehensible vastness, complexity, and beauty of the entire universe, from the immeasurable magnitude of the cosmos to the awesome design and workings of the sub-atomic world! He is also the One who keeps it all in perfect balance in the palm of His Mighty Hand! This is the God for whom we must be properly prepared to receive, truly present in the communion wafer that is placed on our tongue or in the palm of our hand at Mass!

Our preparation to receive our Lord in the Eucharist begins in the sacrament of Reconciliation. This is how we make clean and presentable the house into which we are inviting our Lord! The grace that is conferred upon us in the sacrament of Reconciliation requires true contrition for our sins! True contrition is demonstrated by a firm resolve to avoid future sin! Although we are absolved of our sins in the sacrament of Reconciliation, our tendency toward sin remains. So, once again, we need God’s grace to continue to fight off future temptation when the enemy has us in his sights!

The next step in receiving our Lord in the Eucharist is to truly desire to receive Him, and welcome Him warmly into our hearts and surrender ourselves totally to Him. In this way we become the instruments through which others will come to know Him! We are reminded of this when we hear the priest speak these words at Mass, “The Mass is ended, now go in peace to love and serve the Lord!”

Receiving Christ in the Eucharist gives us tremendous power against the temptations of sin and is the Source and Summit of our Faith!

Find the Answers

Bishop Fulton Sheen once said, "There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church."

The optimum word here is perceive! Where have these perceptions come from?

In the spirit of Christian love, please take the time to examine what the Catholic Church truly believes and teaches about such topics as Mary and the Saints, Salvation, Scripture and Tradition and more.

Scroll to the bottom of this page and allow the Holy Spirit be your guide as you begin to explore these topics.

Year of Evangelization

This is the most important invitation anyone can receive! The logo to the left is so beautiful! A depiction of our Lord Jesus Christ welcoming all to return home with open arms! Imagine!

The following explanation of the meaning of The Year of Evangelization is taken directly from the F.A.Q. page of the website Year of Evangelization - Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.

Please take some time to peruse the website and share it with others!

Thank you for visiting! May the peace of our Lord be with you always!

So Many Good, Dedicated, and Holy Catholic Priests

There have been, and still are so many good, holy, and dedicated Catholic priests serving God in this world! This thought comes to mind each time the media focuses the world’s attention on something negative concerning Catholic priests. By no means am I trying to lessen the serious nature of such incidents. The point is that the same amount of attention should be given to the far greater number of positive instances of self-sacrificing service given by our Catholic clergy from the Holy Father on down!

I’ll share with you the story of Father Vincent Capodanno, a priest who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions while serving as Chaplain with the Marines in Vietnam.

Fr. Capodanno’s story was written by Father Daniel L. Mode in a book entitled, The Grunt Padre. A DVD of the same title is also available. The video contains powerful and moving accounts by Marines who were ministered to by Fr. Capodanno on the battlefield on the day that he gave his life! If you’re looking for a tearjerker, this is it, and it’s REAL!

The following 6-minute video is part of an interview with Mr. James Capodanno on the 40th anniversary of his brother’s death.