Pillar of Truth

Thank you for visiting my blog today. This is a place where I will examine my thoughts on Christ, His Church, my Faith, and how to live for Him. God Bless.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Mary, Mary, quite contr(oversial)...

I don’t understand why Protestants have such a problem honoring Mary. Jesus, as a perfect Jew, would have obeyed Jewish Law perfectly. Part of the Law was to honor thy father and mother. If Christians are supposed to be Christ-like and strive to imitate Christ and Christ honored Mary, then shouldn’t we do the same? As Christ was dying on the cross he looked down and: "When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home." John 19:26-27 (KJV). The disciple whom Jesus loved: THAT IS US! Yes, it may have specifically been referring to John, but it is each one of us as well! Jesus gave His own mother as our mother! We are to take her into our homes and honor her as the Law says!
More on this to come…

My little announcement...

Well, I first want to apologize for being scarce. I described part of the problem in a previous post. The other part is I have not been feeling well lately. Dear Mr. Parker and I are expecting to welcome home a little bundle of joy come spring. This pregnancy will not go as smoothly as the last one, so please keep us in your prayers. I have been really run down lately and have had excruciating headaches, but thankfully my nausea isn't as bad as it was with the last one. My goal is to write one blog per week, so hopefully I won't get too bogged down.
God Bless!!
Amelia

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

WOW!!

For some reason my computer has been blocking my access to my blog as well as any other blogger.com blogs. I almost gave up but today thought I'd try it again... I have so many thoughts in my head! I need to get them organized and on here!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

CAF Mystery answered!!

I am soooo glad that CAF is back up and running. Jimmy Akin posted the reason why it was down for so long.

Here is an excerpt from his post:

"A mysterious event occurred three weeks ago that wiped out the forums. Period. They were gone. The nature of this event is not entirely clear, but it appears that it likely was a hacker attack on the server where the forums are hosted.

Also apparently destroyed were most backup copies of the forums. The most recent backup copy of the forums database that escaped destruction was from April, so this was what we used to rebuild. That's why the threads are the ones from five months ago. We don't see any way to restore the missing threads, so people will need to create new ones on those topics if they wish.

Also, the people who registered since the last surviving backup--about 4,000 users--will have to re-register. The registration system is now working so that they can do this."

He also said that they had not budgeted any money in the event of such an attack. So if you have any money to spare please try to donate a little to this great apostolate. They are non-profit and donations are tax deductible.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

CAF Where Are You?!?!


Is it just me or have the Catholic Answers Forums been down for what seems like forever???








Graphic courtesy of antiqueclipart.com.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Quote To Remember

"Anyone who has discovered Christ must lead others to Him. A great joy cannot be kept to oneself. It has to be passed on."

Pope Benedict XVI
World Youth Day 2005

Saints Alive!

This was a response I gave to a lady who had a problem with Catholics "praying" to saints. The quotes are from the King James Version as that is the only version she would use.

Okay, you don’t understand or see any scriptural support for "praying" to "dead" saints? First understand this: after we (Christians) die, we don’t just rot in the ground. We are given everlasting life, are we not? Mark 12:26-27, "And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living…" So, death does not really separate us. We are all a part of the family of God. Just like we ask our friends and family to pray for us, we ask them to pray for us, and why not? They are right there with God. James 5:16 "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." The ones in heaven are so much more righteous than we are – they no longer have the burden of sins on them, like we do. We know that the saints in Heaven hear us, Rev. 5:8 "And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints." We (Catholics) can and do ask others to pray for us, and if you believe in your heart that your grandma or other relatives and friends are in heaven, then you can ask them to pray for you, too. A person doesn’t have to be declared a saint by the Church for them to be one.

In Luke 15:7 it says: "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance."

Romans 8:38-39 says:" For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Eph 6:18 says:"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"

Taken together with all of the other verses that have been quoted, we can draw on logic to see that the saints in heaven are more likely to be praying for us than not praying for us.

First of all, every saved Christian whether they be living or deceased is alive in Christ and are forever members of the body of Christ. Eph 5:25-27 says "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
This Church, the body of Christ, clearly refers to every saved Christian that has and will ever live. This connection is made again in Col 2:19 where reference is made to "holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God."

So death does not separate from Jesus. We are part of his body now and will be so after we die. The saints and angels in heaven apparently rejoice whenever a sinner repents. They apparently have a desire to see this happen. They must be anticipating and must be aware when a sinner repents in order to have joy in response to the event. We, as Christians on earth, are to pray at all times in the Spirit. In heaven the "and to the spirits of just men made perfect," [Hebrew 12:23] are fully in the Spirit and in Jesus. Not only that, but scripture tells us that we will be like angels [Matt 22:30]. Moreover, we have guardian angels that are interested in our welfare [Matt 18:10].If we can entertain angels and be unaware [Heb 13:2], and if angels rejoice when we repent, and if men are like angels in heaven, then it is reasonable to believe that the saints are praying for us. Moreover it is difficult to imagine that they aren't praying for us. After all, they carry our prayers to the altar in golden bowls just as the angel then takes the prayers of the saints and offers them "upon the altar" to God in Rev 8:3-4.

The connections between heavenly saints and angels is simply too strong to ignore. Angels are messengers. Heavenly saints surely share some of this activity as evidenced in Revelation, and they clearly rejoice when a sinner repents. Moreover, 1 Cor 12:24-26 hammers home the meaning of unity in the body in a way that has a real bearing on your question. It says, "For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it." Believe me, the saints in heaven are all pulling for us and cheering us on as we run the race. This is just another beautiful part of what it means to be a member of the body of Christ where not even death will separate us, and where we all care for one another. We love and pray for our brothers in this life and beyond and they pray for us. We are one body.


From scripturecatholic.com:
Heb. 12:1 - we are surrounded by a great glory cloud (shekinah) of witnesses, our family in heaven. We are not separated. The "cloud of witnesses" (nephos marturon) refers to a great amphitheatre with the arena for the runners (us on earth), and many tiers of seats occupied by the saints (in heaven) rising up like a cloud. The "martures" are not mere spectators ("theatai"), but testifiers (witnesses) who testify from their own experience to God’s promises and cheer us on in our race to heaven. They are no less than our family in heaven.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Why I am not Protestant

Why I am not protestant (just a few reasons):

1) They have no authority on Earth [Matthew 16:18-19-which refers back to Isaiah 22:22; 1 Timothy 3:15; "Peter, who is called 'the rock on which the church should be built,' who also obtained 'the keys of the kingdom of heaven...'" Tertullian, On the Prescription Against the Heretics, 22 (c. A.D. 200); "And Peter, on whom the Church of Christ is built, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail..." Origen, Commentary on John, 5:3 (A.D. 232); "'...thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church' ... It is on him that he builds the Church, and to him that he entrusts the sheep to feed. And although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, thus establishing by his own authority the source and hallmark of the (Church's) oneness...If a man does not fast to this oneness of Peter, does he still imagine that he still holds the faith. If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church?" Cyprian, De Unitate Ecclesiae (Primacy text), 4 (A.D. 251).]

2) They do not have the Eucharist [John 6:53-58 and 66-67; 1 Corinthians 11:27; "They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again." Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to Smyrnaeans, 7,1 (c. A.D. 110); "For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh." Justin Martyr, First Apology, 66 (c. A.D. 110-165).]

3) They changed their stance on Birth Control [Genesis 38:8-10; Romans 1:25; "To have coitus other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature." Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor of Children 2:10:95:3 (A.D. 191); "[Christian women with male concubines], on account of their prominent ancestry and great property, the so-called faithful want no children from slaves or lowborn commoners, [so] they use drugs of sterility or bind themselves tightly in order to expel a fetus which has already been engendered." Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 9:12 (A.D. 225).]

4) They try to interpret the Bible for themselves [2 Peter 1:20-21 and 3:16-17; "True knowledge is [that which consists in] the doctrine of the apostles, and the ancient constitution of the Church throughout all the world, and the distinctive manifestation of the body of Christ according to the successions of the bishops, by which they have handed down that Church which exists in every place, and has come even unto us, being guarded and preserved without any forging of Scriptures, by a very complete system of doctrine, and neither receiving addition nor [suffering] curtailment [in the truths which she believes]; and [it consists in] reading [the word of God] without falsification, and a lawful and diligent exposition in harmony with the Scriptures, both without danger and without blasphemy; and [above all, it consists in] the pre-eminent gift of love, which is more precious than knowledge, more glorious than prophecy, and which excels all the other gifts [of God]." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4,33:8 (inter A.D. 180-199); "For those are slothful who, having it in their power to provide themselves with proper proofs for the divine Scriptures from the Scriptures themselves, select only what contributes to their own pleasures. And those have a craving for glory who voluntarily evade, by arguments of a diverse sort, the things delivered by the blessed apostles and teachers, which are wedded to inspired words; opposing the divine tradition by human teachings, in order to establish the heresy." Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 7:16 (post A.D. 202).]

5) They "shop" for a church until they find one that "fits them" [Deuteronomy 12:8; Judges 17:6 and 21:5;"An heretical congregation is an adulteress woman: for the Catholic hath never from the beginning left the couch and the chamber of her spouse, nor gone after other and strange lovers. Ye have painted a divorced form in new colours; ye have withdrawn your couch from the old wedlock' ye have left the body of a mother, the wife of one husband, decking yourselves out with new arts of pleasing, new allurements of corruption." Pacian, Epistle 3(ante A.D. 392); "You think that you make a very acute remark when you affirm the name Catholic to mean universal, not in respect to the communion as embracing the whole world, but in respect to the observance of all Divine precepts and of all the sacraments, as if we (even accepting the position that the Church is called Catholic because it honestly holds the whole truth, of which fragments here and there are found in some heresies) rested upon the testimony of this word's signification, and not upon the promises of God, and so many indisputable testimonies of the truth itself, our demonstration of the existence of the Church of God in all nations." Augustine, To Vincent the Rogatist, 93:7,23 (A.D. 403).]

6) Jesus gave power to the apostles - protestants do not descend from apostles [Matthew 10:1; John 20:22-23; "And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus saith the Scripture a certain place, 'I will appoint their bishops in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.'... Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry...For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties." Pope Clement, Epistle to Corinthians, 42, 44 (A.D. 98); "Hegesippus in the five books of Memoirs which have come down to us has left a most complete record of his own views. In them he states that on a journey to Rome he met a great many bishops, and that he received the same doctrine from all. It is fitting to hear what he says after making some remarks about the epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. His words are as follows: 'And the church of Corinth continued in the true faith until Primus was bishop in Corinth. I conversed with them on my way to Rome, and abode with the Corinthians many days, during which we were mutually refreshed in the true doctrine. And when I had come to Rome I remained a there until Anicetus, whose deacon was Eleutherus. And Anicetus was succeeded by Soter, and he by Eleutherus. In every succession, and in every city that is held which is preached by the law and the prophets and the Lord.'" Hegesippus, Memoirs, fragment in Eusebius Ecclesiatical History, 4:22 (A.D. 180); "It is my purpose to write an account of the successions of the holy apostles, as well as of the times which have elapsed from the days of our Saviour to our own; and to relate the many important events which are said to have occurred in the history of the Church; and to mention those who have governed and presided over the Church in the most prominent parishes, and those who in each generation have proclaimed the divine word either orally or in writing... When Nero was in the eighth year of his reign, Annianus succeeded Mark the evangelist in the administration of the parish of Alexandria...Linus ...was Peter's successor in the episcopate of the church there...Clement also, who was appointed third bishop of the church at Rome." Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History,1:1,2:24, (A.D. 325).]

When I was in my early high school years we had a discussion in our Sunday school class about the upcoming Southern Baptist Convention. I don't remember the exact topic, but I do clearly remember the teacher saying that if the SBC decided on something that our church didn't like, that our church would just break off and be independent of the SBC. It was that easy. I guess that really got my attention. Just break away whenever you encounter something you don't like. Form your own group according to your own standards of what a church should look like. Yeah. Right. Let's all just interpret for ourselves.

There is no protestant church that has a valid Eucharist, validly appointed bishops, the sacraments, and honors Mary appropriately.

My stool stands firmly on three legs: the Holy Bible, Holy Tradition, and the Magesterium. I got tired of trying to keep my balance on just one leg, so I stopped protesting.

A little of my faith journey...

I grew up Southern Baptist. My mother and her parents were Methodist. I don't think that I understood as a child that there were differences in "denominations" and I think I was quite a bit older when I heard someone describe themselves as a Protestant. I do remember spending the night with a friend and going to a church with her were there were people speaking in tongues, I thought that was odd. And I had heard my parents talk about some churches in the next county that did a lot of snake handling. I knew this boy in my class who had to go stand in the hallway during the pledge, but I don't think I ever realized he wasn't there for all the holiday parties either. But it wasn't really until I was in high school that I really started observing the differences in different churches.

One realization came my ninth grade year when the boy behind me (the same boy who had to leave the room in my grade school class) started telling me that Hell did not exist, I think this was the first time I realized that he wasn't a Christian.
Then sometime later that year or the next year I was in Sunday school at my Southern Baptist church. Our teacher was talking about sin. She had even made a posterboard listing and illustrating various sins. The typical Southern Baptist things were on there, drinking, rock music, dancing, and ouija boards. However, I was just shocked when I looked down the list and toward the bottom was listed "being Catholic." "How can that be?" I thought. "Catholics are Christians, just like we are!" After this I think I slowly began to lose faith in what my church was teaching. During my tenth grade year, we read My Antonia in English Lit. We came to a part in the book where Antonia's family was praying for (I think it was) her father who had just died. My teacher took this opportunity to explain that Antonia's family were Catholic and she gave a little explanation of purgatory and praying for departed souls.
When I was sixteen my parents divorced. My dad lived with my grandparents for a while. It was during this time that I really began to see my grandfather's true nature. He was the Southern Free Will Baptist patriarch of the family and had a very bad opinion of anyone who didn't follow those same beliefs. He boasted of telling "door-knockers" that they were going to Hell and slamming the door in their faces. In our "football is life, everything else is just details" area, he refused to watch Notre Dame (even if they were playing us) because, "Those Catholics pray to Mary!" and of course were going to hell.
Between my junior and senior year in high school I decided to go to summer school and get some classes out of the way. My best friend that summer was Catholic. I spent the night with her, help her babysit during a big Catholic wedding of friends of her parents, and listened to her tell stories of Catholic school.

All of these things fascinated me. I began to wonder what Catholicism was all about. My church's and grandfather's views of Catholics failed to plant a seed of anti-Catholicism in me, instead they planted the seed of curiosity. I began to develop a profound respect for Catholics, even though I had no idea what most of their beliefs were. When I graduated high school I vowed to find out about those beliefs.

I started spending a lot of my time at the local library, where I found the book Why Do Catholics Do That? by Kevin Orlin Johnson which I devoured. When I got to college, oddly enough, the girl who had the dorm before I did must have been a Catholic because I kept getting these Catholic catalogues, I think they were Leaflet Missal catalogues. How I poured over those! I wanted all the books they had listed! I decided to search the University library especially for one of the books, Surprised by Truth by Patrick Madrid. Unfortunately, they didn't have it, but they did have interlibrary loan, of which I decided to take full advantage.

After this my roommate, who was a preacher's kid, gave me the book Roman Catholicism by Loraine Boettner to try to dissuade me of the truth of my findings. My boyfriend told me he would never set foot inside a Catholic church. I started going to RCIA classes on campus, my boyfriend even met me after a class one night, but, true to his word, he stayed out on the sidewalk. Unfortunately, I decided to drop out of the RCIA classes. I went to an Episcopal church for a while, my mom even went with me a couple of times. I thought I was happy, but something just wasn't right. I left the Episcopal church.

A while later I decided to try the Catholic church again. I started RCIA classes at the Cathedral and loved them. They used a course called "Come and See" which used Scripture readings following the liturgical year along with related Catholic Updates. I loved it! I was Baptized, Confirmed, and received my first Holy Communion on Easter Vigil 1999. I became a CCD teacher. Two years later I was honored to sponsor my dear husband in his journey home to the Catholic Church.

I would absolutely love it if my family would come home. I pray that they will begin to earnestly study the Faith as I did. I cherish my relationship with Christ and the Church that He founded on Peter, the Rock. I'm proud to proclaim the Faith of the Apostles.

Thanks for listening.
Amelia
~Tiber Swim Team '99~

Jesus Christ, You are my God!

This is a wonderfully uplifting video I wanted to share with my Catholic readers! http://evangelical-catholicism.blogspot.com/2006/08/why-am-i-catholic-video-now-available.html

Amelia

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Bible vs. The Bible?

Thus far I have not given many clues as to what my faith is. I was hoping for some response to my previous post before I did so, and I was going to try to remain "religiously anonymous" for a bit longer. However, I have been reading another blogger's posts today that have been calling out to me to take a stand. These posts have been very critical and misleading about my faith and the latest one has in it what I can only see as an outright lie about my faith. I feel so sorry for this person. She is misleading so many people. She has said that she averages about 1100 hits a day on her site, so many people are reading her posts and I'm sure a lot of people trust her to be giving them the full truth.

This is her latest post: http://myblessedhome.blogspot.com/2006/08/my-answers-to-catholic-reader.html. In it she states:

"Yes, let's do take a look at the Douay Rheims Catholic Bible... I looked up Exodus 20, and sure enough, the first commandment does not say that a Catholic cannot have any other gods, however the Christian commandment from a Christian Bible says not to have any other gods besides the one true God. This commandment needed to be removed from the Catholic Bible, because even though Catholics may not specifically call Mary a "god," they give Godly attributes to her, and treat her as a god. "(emphasis mine)

What really irritated me here is that this is completely untrue. (Note: to this lady the only "Christian" Bible is the King James version)

Look for yourself at what the Douay Rheims Bible says: http://www.latinvulgate.com/verse.aspx?t=0&b=2&c=20. You can see that the Douay Rheims Bible is translated more closely to the Latin Vulgate than even the KJV bible is. Here are all three versions:
Exodus 20
3Thou shalt not have strange gods before me. (D-R)
non habebis deos alienos coram me (LV)
Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (KJV)
(emphasis mine)

The Douay Rheims is more in line with what the Latin Vulgate says. What's even more, my Catholic New American Bible (a newer Bible written in modern English) says in Exodus 20:3 "You shall not have other gods besides me." This lady's problem seems to be in that the Douay Rheims says "strange gods" whereas her version says "other gods." Well, the NAB (which most American Catholics use) uses the exact same word as hers, so I guess that her point is null.
Next she says this:

"Now, take a look at the Catholic second commandment. It mentions nothing of it being wrong to bow down to graven images, yet the Christian Bible's second commandment says straight out that you are not to bow to graven images."

Let's see those three versions on this verse:
Exodus 20
5Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me: (D-R)
non adorabis ea neque coles ego sum Dominus Deus tuus fortis zelotes visitans iniquitatem patrum in filiis in tertiam et quartam generationem eorum qui oderunt me (LV)
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (KJV)
(emphasis mine)

Again she seems to take issue with the specific word that is used for worshiping grave images. However, as you can see, the Douay Rheims is more in line with the Latin Vulgate on this point also. No matter, let’s look at the Catholic Bible most American Catholics use (the NAB) and see what it says in Exodus 20:5, "you shall not bow down before them or worship them." Hmm, again we see that her point is moot.

Next she tries to prove that Catholics put Mary on a pedestal by "changing" Genesis 3:15:

I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel. (D-R)
inimicitias ponam inter te et mulierem et semen tuum et semen illius ipsa conteret caput tuum et tu insidiaberis calcaneo eius (LV)
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (KJV)
(emphasis mine)

Although the Latin is a little harder in this verse you can see that the word her/she is "tuum" by the phrase "et semen tuum et semen" ~ "thy seed and her seed," There again it seems that the Douay Rheims is in agreement with the ancient Latin Vulgate.

This lady claims that the Douay Rheims was changed in this instance "to show Mary as the Savior, instead of Jesus Christ." This is completely untrue! Catholics have never believed that Mary is the Savior! In fact the NAB doesn't agree with either of these versions. It says, "He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel."

These are just a few of the misrepresentations of the Catholic faith that this woman has shown on her blog. I have invited her to e-mail me with any questions, but apparently she has decided she knows enough by reading her own very anti-Catholic sources.

I truly feel sorry for this woman, and am praying for her now. She is leading so many good-hearted people into a bog. I pray that one day she will see that she was mistaken, and I pray that all who read her blog won't be fooled the way she has been. Candy, you are in my prayers.