Jesus Christ IS The Divine Mercy
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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sacred Tradition - Understanding its importance

Sacred Tradition or Apostolic Trasition
Although many do not understand the importance of Sacred Tradition, we should come to recognize what this term truly refers to as in its relationship to Scripture and the Catholic Faith. As has been explained many times throughout these articles, Sacred Tradition is the correct understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ passed on by the Apostles, but not from any written text, rather as they were taught through verbal instruction and direct discussion with their students (disciples), several of whom later became successors to the Apostles and are referred to as our Apostolic Fathers. From those teachings, the Apostolic Fathers provided further explanation in their own ancient writings. But what then is meant by understanding, one may ask.

In every era throughout history there have been new challenges in morality that confront society. More directly it is each individual on a personal level who faces these challenges and in turn, by popular choices form social morality overall. Many of us may find ourselves inwardly questioning what is the right choice we should follow morally? In so doing we may in good conscience come to the correct determination, but only if our conscience is well formed. When there is uncertainty, do we rely on our own personal opinion based on society's views or do we turn to the Church for further guidance? If we choose to be guided by the teachings of the Church, then we have based our moral decision on the very teachings of Jesus Christ and the properly understood meaning behind them. If we choose to base our moral decisions according to society's standards, we fail to see that morality is not determined by society, but often repressed by it. One path is good conscience and the other becomes a deceived conscience overcome by what we prefer to believe.

It is the commission of the Church as commanded by Jesus Himself to teach, guide and confirm the church body in their faith. The Magisterium in unison with the pope is that body within the Church that must confront new moral issues throughout each era and provide us direction, always referring to Scripture and the understanding of the teachings of the Apostles guided by the Holy Spirit. Sacred Tradition brings forth the answers to these new moral challenges and it is not based on popular opinion or societal convenience, but the true and full teachings of Christ. In all cases, moral and theological, this process of determination through the understanding of Christ's teachings is the essence of Sacred Tradition.

If a moral teaching conflicts with Scripture, it is invalid and should be rejected. Likewise, if a decision of moral virtue must be made by an individual and one choice defies the teachings of the Church, it also should be rejected as opposing the teachings of Jesus Christ. At no time  has the Catholic Church misguided its faithful in the instruction of proper moral virtues. Each resolution of moral responsibility resulting from some new challenge over the ages has in fact been founded upon Scripture through Sacred Tradition. In making personal choices that oppose Church moral teaching we are doing nothing less than choosing social liberties adopted by the majority in opposition to the teachings of Jesus Christ through the authority He bestowed upon His Church. All we need do is look at the popular choices that have formed today's society to see how morality can be silenced by the adoption of liberalism.

We offer this brief explanation to further emphasize the equal importance of Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium, and the guidance that is so critical in understanding the true and complete teachings of Jesus Christ that we may make morally responsible decisions in our daily life. In the next article we will delve more deeply into decisions made from "conscience" and our God given freedom to choose by our conscience accordingly.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church
77 "In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority." Indeed, "the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time."

78 This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, "the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes." "The sayings of the holy Fathers are a witness to the life-giving presence of this Tradition, showing how its riches are poured out in the practice and life of the Church, in her belief and her prayer."

79 The Father's self-communication made through his Word in the Holy Spirit, remains present and active in the Church: "God, who spoke in the past, continues to converse with the Spouse of his beloved Son [the Church]. And the Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospel rings out in the Church - and through her in the world - leads believers to the full truth, and makes the Word of Christ dwell in them in all its richness."

80 "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal." Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own "always, to the close of the age".

. . . two distinct modes of transmission

81 Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit."

Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Second Coming of Christ - A Commentary

Predicting the second coming of Christ (Parousia)

(Matthew Ch24; v36) "But of that day and hour (Parousia - second coming of Christ) no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”

For those who persistently claim they can predict and know when the second coming of Christ will occur, and those who go even further by misleading others into believing they as self proclaimed prophets have the true word and teachings of eternal life, consider the defiance such predictions truly are against the testimony of Jesus Christ. Is anyone more righteous than the Son of God or the Angels in Heaven that he or she may know what the Messiah would not?

Pride is the driving factor that consumes such people into believing they can reach above the limits God declares are beyond us. Like the main root of the mature tree feeds its countless branches, pride feeds countless ways to fashion sin. Such self proclaimed entitlement to this knowledge is just one more branch on that tree. It is using fear to minipulate and control fellowship of those less knowledgable of the written word of God. The fact is, for one who lives a truly Christian life it makes no difference beyond that desire to be with God, when the second coming may occur because for that person the result will always be the same and those who live awaiting the return of the loved one most dear to them will rejoice.
For those who must predict the second coming against the Words of Jesus Christ, know that it will occur during a time when no man or women’s pompous predictions hold any claim and each person’s true nature will be uninhibited.

May the Holy Spirit Guide us.