I was recently asked this question by a blogger: Can you trace the Roman Catholic Church back to Jesus and the New Testament. Show me the Chapter and the Verse. My answer is an unequivocal YES.
The New Testament is the living witness to the Mystical Body of Christ, His Bride, the Church from it’s beginnings. The Early Church Fathers are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th century witnesses to the growing church. The New Testament is complete. The living witness, the New Testament, has within it’s pages, letters left by the Apostles to individual churches as well as to the Church at large. Continue reading
Jesus takes with him Peter, James and John up to the Garden of Gethsemane on the night He was betrayed.
During the scene Jesus goes off to pray and prostrates himself before the Father. These same 3 Apostles also accompanied Jesus to Mount Tabor and witnessed the Glory of the Lord and those of Moses and Elijah as well. And it is these 3 that are with him right now in the Garden.
I’ve come across a Protestant Apologist, a person who claims to be a Calvinist and one of the things we discussed was Divine Election. He claimed he was one of the Elect. He claimed several times over a course of a few months that he has total assurance of going to heaven because he is one of the Elect.
Tradition has it that the Apostle John, when released from the Island of Patmos, settled in Ephesus with Mary, the Mother of God. St. John being the beloved Apostle also had disciples of his own, such as Polycarp and Ignatius of Antioch; both Early Church Fathers. Here we can deduce that the Apostles trained competent men to succeed them, laying on of hands to confer their own Apostolic Authority upon them.
St. John wrote the Gospel attributed to him as well as the 3 Epistles of John and Revelation. Tradition also has it that he was the last of the Apostles to die. Jewish Christians and converts must have hung on every word of his. I believe that the Apostle John had his Apostolic Authority challenged by Nicolaus.
We get the first clue of this in St. Johns Book of Revelation. In the first chapter John is commanded to write what he sees to the 7 Churches. In the second chapter, a heretical group of Christians are mentioned by name: the Nicolaitans. The Early Church Fathers, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Epiphanius, and Theodoret, claim that the deacon Nicolaus was the author of this heresy Continue reading
The Last Supper
And The Two Types of Bread
Most Christians are familiar with the dispute over whether Jesus was talking metaphorically or literally during the Bread of Life Discourse.
If Jesus was talking metaphorically then the eucharist is just symbolic. If Jesus was talking literally, then the Holy Eucharist becomes, in some mysterious way, His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
St. John gives us something that is often overlooked at the Last Supper by the other Gospel writers. He tells us that Judas received bread from the very hand of Jesus while in the Upper Room. This bread is not the Eucharistic bread that Jesus gives to the 11 other Apostles. Continue reading
Coptic – Desert Fathers:
“This is what Abba Daniel, the Pharanite, said, ‘Our Father Abba Arsenius told us of an inhabitant of Scetis, of notable life and of simple faith; through his naivete he was deceived and said, ‘The bread which we receive is not really the body of Christ, but a symbol.’ Two old men having learnt that he had uttered this saying, knowing that he was outstanding in his way of life, knew that he had not spoken through malice, but through simplicity. So they came to find him and said, ‘Father, we have heard a proposition contrary to the faith on the part of someone who says that the bread which we received is not really the body of Christ, but a symbol.’ The old man said, ‘It is I who have said that.’ Then the old men exhorted him saying, ‘Do not hold this position, Father, but hold one in conformity with that which the catholic Church has given us. Continue reading
The Jews have always understood The Law, or the Torah, as a Gift from God, given to his chosen people. Israel enters into a covenanted relationship with God, and God reveals many of the rules for governing a just society and for establishing appropriate worship.
The history of their fidelity to God and the Law is a testament to the Jewish Nation as a whole. Continue reading
This Valley of Tears
I’ve asked myself over and over again: “What would compel me to support going back to the Middle East and Iraq with our Military Forces? It wouldn’t be because of oil or to keep oil at a reasonable price. It wouldn’t be because I want to stop the Islamists from taking over and installing a caliphate to try to subjugate the entire world for Islam. There is only one reason we should go back there and that is to stop the slaughter of the innocent Christians in the Middle East. Continue reading