Honorable Dogma

The fallacy of dogma is that one who doesn’t understand it may think someone who does understand it just “blindly follows” the teaching.

If one has truly read it, understood it, was taught it correctly, is mature about it and still dismisses it then each person has that right. Please, add your leaf to the tree of knowledge in an honorable way.

What you don’t have a right to is ignorantly claiming that someone is a blind sheep. Can you read minds? Do you somehow want to control how others think? What’s your true agenda?

Read, read, read.. And read more.. Then we can discuss what we’ve read together in an honorable way..

Apostolic Succession

To date, no gnostic document or writing has been found that predates Christianity. Therefore, the Gnosticism that developed around or near the second century is a diffusion of the breakdown, distortion and confusion of the sacred teachings.

Irenaeus recognized this breakdown of teaching in 202 AD! He was one of the first to recognize the need to recognize authority in teaching the sacred scriptures. And the only way to guarantee this was to refer back to the successors of the Apostles.

"But for the searching and right understanding of the Scriptures there is need of a good life and a pure soul, and for Christian virtue to guide the mind to grasp, so far as human nature can, the truth concerning God the Word. One cannot possibly understand the teaching of the saints unless one has a pure mind and is trying to imitate their life. Anyone who wants to look at sunlight naturally wipes his eye clear first, in order to make, at any rate, some approximation to the purity of that on which he looks; and a person wishing to see a city or country goes to the place in order to do so.

Similarly, anyone who wishes to understand the mind of the sacred writers must first cleanse his own life, and approach the saints by copying their deeds. Thus united to them in the fellowship of life, he will both understand the things revealed to them by God and, thenceforth escaping the peril that threatens sinners in the judgment, will receive that which is laid up for the saints in the kingdom of heaven.” [~ conclusion to The Incarnation of the Word, Chapter 9, (9:57)].

~ St Athanasius

infinitepaschal said: Hello Fr. Angel, Recently I've been reading The Catholic Catechism, especially on the Holy Eucharist. I'm hung up on #460. I arrived there after reading John 1:14 in regards to what "the flesh" actually means when Jesus talks about the flesh and blood in John 6. This was done after I heard a Calvinist view that the flesh is "The Word" which gives us "spirit and life." The CCC #460 when I read it have me a jolt.. Especially in the use of the word God and how humans are gods. Can u help? Peace!

fatherangel:

Hello,

Here is the quote:

460 The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”:78 ”For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.”79 ”For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.”80 ”The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”81

Hello,

I am going crazy, because I have looked at this question somewhere on my blog, but I have been looking for an hour and cannot find what I wrote in the 5,000 plus posts that I have put up. Arrrggh!

Oh well, the Lord had you write me so that I could answer this question all over again, so I think it is an important question and an important answer. 

In the Catholic Church, as well as the Eastern Orthodox Churches, entering God’s life and taking on the image of Christ in glory, is not something that begins to happen in heaven. Already, on earth, the Christian who grows in holiness is absorbed already into a heavenly, godly, divine life and becomes “divine” in a certain sense. This is called “theosis.”

In the Catholicism of the Latin Church, this new life of being god-like is called “divinization.” But the term that Jesus “makes men gods” has to be understood carefully, and not in the Mormon sense that someday you will be a God in your own universe. Rather, “becoming gods” for the Catholic means being transformed and elevated in our spirits by the supernatural life first given in baptism.

Becoming Christian, and being joined to Christ, is not just a change, for a Catholic. It is not just like joining a club. It is like getting that weird spider bite that made Peter Parker into Spider-Man. It is like that dose of radiation that helps Dr. Bruce Banner turn into the Incredible Hulk. The Bible says that after baptism, a person is never the same, but raised up and elevated to the dignity of a son or daughter of God, a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Supernaturalization, or divinization of the human soul is not superficial and worldly. It is more sublime and radical than if an ant were transformed into a human being. By this transformation into heavenly glory already here on earth, the soul is marked indelibly with the holiness of Christ so that when the Father sees us, He sees Christ in us.

Human flesh of itself is not worthy or capable of holiness and the supernatural life of the holy Trinity. God must enter the soul and completely infuse a radical change (grace) in the core and inner being of a person. This is what theosis or divinization is about. Divinization means you are capable of union with God, as if you become an angel of light. You may not feel this way, but this is what you are as a baptized Christian.

You are not literally being turned into a god, because only God is God, but you are being changed into a supernatural being whose inner life is heavenly and spiritual. You are “god-like”, with a life not of this world:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).

Divinization or theosis is helped by entering into the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church. When Christians celebrate the sacramental life, they are joined to God when God takes their flesh, their human life and nature. They are crucified when their Savior is crucified in the liturgy of the passion of Christ. And when the Savior rises and is exalted in the liturgy, His faithful rise with Him and take their place before the throne of God, for through the Mass, Jesus pulls us into heaven.

Dying and entering the life of heaven is the final crown of divinization, because we finally embrace and walk into the Light that on earth we could only grasp by way of anticipation in the liturgy.

I know this sounds very heady and theological. I don’t know if it makes sense. But that is what #460 of the Catechism is saying. Yes, we become “gods” not in the literal sense of being equal to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, but in the spiritual sense of being absorbed by God into His supernatural life and becoming creatures of glory and light, while still here on earth. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel

Thank you Fr. Angel — Your answer gave me a great foundation on how to read this!

"So does all this boil down to saying the Church thinks Catholics are going to heaven and non-Catholics aren’t? Or does it really mean the Church is now saying that everybody is saved?"

Again, both of these are the wrong questions, which is to say they are nonsense questions. The Church makes no comments on infernal population statistics. Rather, the Church teaches that because validly baptized non-Catholics are real members of the Body of Christ, they share in the life of the Blessed Trinity and therefore share with Catholics the hope of salvation.

Source: InsideCatholic.Com

Tags: salvation

"REBLOG IF YOU ARE A TUMBLR CATHOLIC!"

— I want find all the Tumblr catholic blogs on Tumblr so I can follow! (via 1sistersr4ever)

(via fleur-of-lys)

Invention of Inventions

Protestants (reformers) claim that the the Catholic Church “makes up” doctrines. For example, when Pope Pius IX in 1854 officially defined the immaculate conception, they both misunderstood the history of the dogma and what prompted the Pope to make a formal statement about it.

In fact, the reason why formal statements are made is because either there is a controversy that needs to be cleared up or if the faithful can be helped by drawing lines to already-existing beliefs. The immaculate conception was officially defined because the Vatican was deluged with requests for more information regarding the teaching.

~ catholic.com

CotSL (#47)

"At the Last Supper, on the night He was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of His Body and Blood. This He did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice on the cross through the ages until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us"

  • The Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy
  • No. 47

Marriage

To give myself to another completely, irrevocably, and unconditionally, in the most spiritual sense of the terms.. Where I sacrifice my life, all that I am, to be with another person.. Formed in the likeness and image of God.. Our beliefs must be reconciled. We must, under no false pretense, engage in the fullness of reciprocity without it.. I would feel in my soul an emptiness that cannot be filled..

Tags: catholic

The hearts of those trying to understand the Marian tradition

I think that many protestants come to believe that Catholics somehow worship Mary. Many people new to the Catholic teaching quickly hear words like “second Eve” or “partner in salvation” and get freaked out. They may not fully understand the depth of this teaching and can quickly presume that Mary is as much of a God as Jesus is. We know by the terminology given to us that “adoration” and “veneration” are completely different and that “adoration” is a word reserved for God alone.

I think a lot of Catholic venues that reach out to people and try to guide them to the faith gloss over these teachings as to not scare anyone away. Yes, based on a complete review of Genesis, a complete understanding of the role of Eve in original sin, and the role of Mary being a virgin who begot Jesus Christ, one can begin to unravel the parallels… But this is something that is not intuitively available to the common gospel reader…

The native language we have in America, English, does a very poor job of helping readers natively find their way to these conclusions when reading the bible. It takes a myriad of catholic doctrine and an appreciation for discernment and wisdom to arrive at the same conclusions on your own. It’s tough, but it can certainly be done..

The Marian tradition is an invaluable reference for learners to find an expression of this dogma. However, one can easily be put-off by the Catholic church if these expressions are not accurately and concisely explained. These teachings are often very foreign and contain in them an unraveled mystery that a learner may not yet be ready to grasp. One must wonder if these revelations are revealed to soon, if one may be put astray, or on the other hand, so abstractly defined, as to only be available for a select minority of discerning individuals.

Granted, I believe that these teachings should be available to all.. My only concern is that there may be, if I may posit, a “scholar wall.” This implies that one must be at a certain educational level, have a good teacher, or some other utility like the internet to fully grasp the ideas of the Marian tradition. I mainly worry that many get scared away by these hard church teachings.. And those that try to grasp it will find it extremely difficult..

With the outpouring of many false teachings and information, biblical scripture being twisted and contorted, subjective interpretation running rampant.. I offer up a prayer for continuity and for the love of truth to find itself in the hearts of those trying to understand the Marian tradition.

"…reducing him or her interiorly to a mere "object for me," should mark the beginning of shame."

— Theology of the Body

Tags: catholic

"You must give up the life you had planned, in order to have the life that is waiting for you."

— Joseph Campbell (via moborjeezy)

Reality of our Choices

What if we were walking along the beach and found arbitrary lines that have been drawn in the sand? On each side there is a choice. We then find ourselves standing on the side we think is moral, right or wrong.

I find no fault in being on any side of this line, for the “sides” truly do not exist. I find fault in the person who drew the arbitrary line as if we had an option to begin with.

Arbitrary lines are drawn every day in the world we live in. Each line drawn is an effort to ruin relationships, make us feel shame, and distract us from the truth.

Isn’t the truth that at the end of the day the ocean will come and wash the line away anyway? We will find ourself standing in the face of this reality, with this truth and with each other.

Instead of standing against one another let us direct our attention toward the ocean and walk with each other. And let us be in awe at the depth, vastness, beauty and power that has been next to us and has been walking with us the entire time.

Mary, Our Lady, Pray for us

An innocent little girl, from a seemingly dumpy little town, a seemingly insignificantly person.. What good could come from Nazareth?

Yes, Mary.. Evil hated her.. Yet, she is the one who crushed the head of the Serpent. Our Lady.. The mother of God.

We ask that you pray for us sinners. Now and at the hour of our death.

The Ancient and the Epic

The 2 most epic and ancient questions are these: “Where were we before we were born?” and “What happens to us when we die?”

All possible life questions of “who, what, where, when, how and why” can only be answered as a corollary to them.

Tags: ancient epic god