Sunday, August 17, 2014

Why go to Mass?


Ten reasons why there is nothing more important than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass


1.      Take part in the turning point of history. In a mysterious way, the eternal God “makes present” a two-thousand year old event which is the turning-point of human history:  when the greatest evil ever done (killing of God) was turned around by Jesus into the greatest good action—a sacrificial death followed by his resurrection, which saved all men throughout the centuries and gave unsurpassable glory to God. This event is called the Paschal Mystery.
2.        Do the greatest good action.  Put together all our good actions and all the sacrifices of martyrs and saints, and they still pale in comparison with the infinite value of Jesus’ sacrifice made present in the Mass.  “All good works in the world are the works of men. But the Mass is the work of God.” (St. John Mary Vianney)
3.      Receive the most expensive gift.  “If you were told by your dad that in a specific room in the city you can get a billion dollar gift, won’t you drop everything to find the place and pick it up? What if the gift is the Owner himself of the entire universe? Shouldn’t you scramble to receive this gift?” (Fr. H. Raynal) In the Mass we receive far more than a billion times of a billion universes filled with treasures. Since God can’t find something greater to express his love, he gives us the ultimate gift: his body, blood, soul and Divinity--Himself. 
4.      Encounter the amazing beauty of God’s self-giving love.  After a vision of heaven, St. Paul cried: “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love him.” This heavenly Beauty descends to us at Mass, which is “heaven on earth”. Here we have a personal encounter with the Infinitely Beautiful, who communicates his wisdom through words of Scripture. In the Mass, we experience the limitless affections of his self-giving Love: “This is my body which will be given up for you,” granting us the joys that only heaven can give.  
5.      Attain the summit of love and prayer.  God our Maker created us for one purpose:  to love him with all our heart and strength. This is our greatest dignity: to be able to dialogue with the Supreme Being as his intimate friend. In the Mass, we reach the “summit” of our conversation and worship as we join God’s own loving prayer to the God.
6.      Enjoy the most delightful family reunion feast. In any Mass, we experience singing to the Trinity with the biggest and most harmonious chorus: all of Jesus’ angels and all the children of God’s great family, both living and dead, chanting Holy, Holy, Holy! And to their envy, we do something no angel can do: partake of the banquet from paradise, the Bread and the Lamb of God, “containing in itself all delight.” (Rite of Benediction)
7.      Tap into the source of omnipotent help.  The Mass is “summit” but also the “source” of all our strength.  It has greater force than many nuclear bombs! Omnipotence bends down to change bread into God’s body, and, amazingly, feeds us like a slave does. He puts himself at our service, at the service of those in need, the poor, the sick, the suffering souls in purgatory. He sends us with exceedingly powerful grace to solve the greatest problems and to responsibly tackle our personal mission.
8.      Be at the best time to talk to Jesus and ask for gifts.  When we ask for favors, timing is key. There is no better time to ask God for something than the moments when we are at our closest to him. While the appearances of bread are not yet digested (10-15 mins.), Jesus is present in our body as in an altar. So stay on after Mass during that time to thank God, adore him and ask for presents.
9.      Build and expand the greatest project. The Eucharist continues Christ’s work of redemption, and is the way by which he gets new members into his Body, the Church. The last words of Jesus at Mass, uttered through his priest, resound like his last command to us: Go! Go and make disciples of all nations...I will be with you until the end of the world.
10.  Follow Jesus. The secret of Jesus’ joyful and fruitful life is his obedience to God. The Bible gave a one-phrase summary of his life as a child and teenager: “he obeyed his parents”, God’s representatives. He saved all men by being “obedient unto death on the cross.” When we go to Mass, we follow his footsteps and obey his command: “Do this in memory of me.”

How to attend Mass: (1) Prepare your soul through prayer, (2) Wear appropriate clothing to an important event, (3) Listen to what God is telling you through his Word, the Scriptures, (4) Pray using words of the Mass and consciously refer them to God, (5) Offer yourself with Jesus, (6) Receive Jesus worthily in communion, never with mortal sin. Go to confession if needed, (7) Thank God profusely for a few minutes after the Mass.  

This articles forms a one-page leaflet in Word. The one-page leaflet can be found online here

A most rational belief

By Dr. Raul Nidoy

This article is contained in a free one-page leaflet. The leaflet in Word Doc can be downloaded here.

Strong reasons for the three rational foundations of the truth of Catholic Christian belief: (1) God is real; (2) Jesus is the real God who became man; (3) Jesus built one Church, the Catholic Church.

1.     God is real.
  • Humans, the world and its evolution have such an intricate, beautiful design which can only be caused by an Intelligent Designer, and not by mindless matter nor by chance.
  • Nothing can cause its own existence. In the chain of causes and effects which we see in the world, if there is no First Uncaused Cause, then the second causes and their effects could not exist.The big bang implies a Big Banger.
  • We know of objective moral facts of right and wrong (e.g. do not steal my things) which obliges humans in all cultures. Its power to oblige can’t come from men obliged by the moral law. It comes from a Lawgiver.
  • If there is no God, life is ultimately meaningless. Only God satisfies the deepest longings of the human heart for infinity and eternity.
  • To bet on God is your only chance of winning eternal happiness, and to bet against him is your only chance of losing. (Note:  Most points are from Peter Kreeft’s Extremely Brief Arguments for the Existence of God.)
 2.     Jesus is the real God who became man.
  • Many reliable eyewitness accounts, eminent contemporary Roman historians and archaeological findings attest that Jesus really existed and was worshipped as God.
  • Jesus did things only God can do. He stopped a storm in one instant, raised 3 dead persons back to life, multiplied 5 loaves of bread to feed 5000 and turned 500 liters of water to top quality wine.
  • Jesus claimed he was God. He said, “I and the Father are one”. He forgave sins and claimed eternity, omnipresence, and power over all the angels. Since he was not a lunatic or a liar, he should be telling the truth.
  • Jesus was confirmed dead by the best killers of ancient history, the Roman soldiers, and was seen to have resurrected by more than 500 persons.
  • Thousands of people in the early years of Christianity, including former sceptics and enemies, gave their lives to testify to the truth that Jesus resurrected and is God. Hundreds of thousands continue to do so throughout history. One estimate says that in the 20th century alone, there were 45.5 million martyrs! (A. Socci)
 3.     Jesus built one Church, the Catholic Church.
  • The Bible and the early Christians testify that Jesus built his Church on Simon, whom he renamed Rock (Petros), and gave him “the keys of the kingdom (Mt 16:18-19).  Jesus told him alone to “feed my sheep” (Jn 21:15-17).  History shows that the Popes are St. Peter's successors.
  • The Bible is a Catholic book.  It was Pope Damasus’ Council of Rome in 382 AD which drew up the official list of the books of the Bible. All Christians trust the Catholic Church when they read the Bible.
  • The Bible refutes the “Bible alone” principle. St. Paul says “hold to traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thes 2:15).  The Bible also tells of a Council’s authority where Peter declared what “we believe” (Acts 15) and that the “the Church –not the Bible—is the pillar and the bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15).
  • The true Church is universal, evangelizing in all parts of the world with more than 1.2 billion members today. Compare this with the 2nd biggest Christian group, the Easter Orthodox Churches with only 230M (1/5 of its size) mainly found in Eastern Europe. Southern Baptists have 16.3M (1/73).
  • The Catholic Church is the greatest charitable and educational institution and the longest lasting institution. Modern secular historians of science, economics, university education, human rights, international law, hospitals and Western art are showing that Catholic priests, scientists and thinkers were behind the foundation and great achievements in these areas.

If you consider the truth that God built the Church and speaks through it (“He who hears you –the Church—hears me,” said Jesus), it is logical to learn more about Jesus’ plan and his loving invitation to enjoy God’s life. 

You are invited to read the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church online for a modern synthesis of Jesus’ infinite wisdom for us.
=========
The free one-page leaflet containing the article can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Why Catholic Christianity is a most rational choice

By Dr. Raul Nidoy

This article is contained in a free one-page leaflet. The leaflet in Word Doc can be downloaded here.

Top reasons for the three rational foundations of the truth of Catholic Christian belief: (1) God is real; (2) Jesus is the real God who became man; (3) Jesus built one Church, the Catholic Church.

1.     God is real.
  • Humans and the world have such an intricate, beautiful design which can only be caused by an Intelligent Designer, and not by mindless matter nor by chance.
  • Nothing can cause its own existence. In the chain of causes and effects which we see in the world, if there is no First Uncaused Cause, then the second causes and their effects could not exist.
  • We know of objective moral facts of right and wrong (e.g. help the drowning; do not steal my things) which obliges humans in all cultures. Its power to oblige can’t come from men obliged by the moral law. It comes from a Lawgiver.
  • If there is no God, life is ultimately meaningless. Only God satisfies the deepest longings of the human heart for infinity and eternity.
  • To bet on God is your only chance of winning eternal happiness, and to bet against him is your only chance of losing. (Note:  Most points are from Peter Kreeft’s Extremely Brief Arguments for the Existence of God.)
 2.     Jesus is the real God who became man.
  • Many reliable eyewitness accounts, eminent contemporary Roman historians and archaeological findings attest that Jesus really existed and was worshipped as God.
  • Jesus did things only God can do. He stopped a storm in one instant, raised 3 dead persons back to life, multiplied 5 loaves of bread to feed 5000 and turned 500 liters of water to top quality wine.
  • Jesus claimed he was God. He said, “I and the Father are one”. He forgave sins and claimed eternity, omnipresence, and power over all the angels. Since he was not a lunatic or a liar, he should be telling the truth.
  • Jesus was confirmed dead by the best killers of ancient history, the Roman soldiers, and was seen to have resurrected by more than 500 persons.
  • Thousands of people in the early years of Christianity, including former sceptics and enemies, gave their lives to testify to the truth that Jesus resurrected and is God. Hundreds of thousands continue to do so throughout history. One estimate says that in the 20th century alone, there were 45.5 million martyrs! (A. Socci)
 3.     Jesus built one Church, the Catholic Church.
  • The Bible and the early Christians testify that Jesus built his Church on Simon, whom he renamed Rock (Peter), and gave him “the keys of the kingdom (Mt 16:18-19).  Jesus told him alone to “feed my sheep” (Jn 21:15-17).  History shows that the Popes are his successors.
  • The Bible is a Catholic book.  It was Pope Damasus’ Council of Rome in 382 AD which drew up the official list of the books of the Bible. All Christians trust the Catholic Church when they read the Bible.
  • The Bible refutes the “Bible alone” principle. St. Paul says “hold to traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thes 2:15).  The Bible also tells of a Council’s authority where Peter declared what “we believe” (Acts 15) and that the “the Church –not the Bible—is the pillar and the bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15).
  • The true Church is universal, evangelizing in all parts of the world with more than 1.2 billion members today. Compare this with the 2nd biggest Christian group, the Easter Orthodox Churches with only 230M (1/5 of its size) mainly found in Eastern Europe; Southern Baptists 16.3M (1/73).
  • The Catholic Church is the greatest charitable and educational institution in the world and the longest lasting institution. Modern secular historians of science, economics, university education, human rights, international law, hospitals and Western art are showing that Catholic priests, scientists and thinkers were behind the foundation and great achievements in these areas.
If you consider the truth that God built the Church and speaks through it (“He who hears you –the Church—hears me,” said Jesus), it is logical to learn more about Jesus’ plan and how you can be aligned with it.   

Read the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church online for a a modern synthesis of God’s infinitely loving wisdom for us.

=========
The free one-page leaflet containing the article can be downloaded here.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Without the resurrection, the Christian faith itself would be dead

"The Christian faith stands or falls with the truth of the testimony that Christ is risen from the dead.

If this were taken away...the Christian faith itself would be dead. Jesus would then remain purely human, and his authority would extend only so far as his message is of interest to us.

He would no longer be a criterion; the only criterion left would be our own judgment in selecting from his heritage what strikes us as helpful...

Only if Jesus is risen has anything really new occurred that changes the world and the situation of mankind. Then he becomes the criterion on which we can rely. For then God has truly revealed himself." (Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth)

How can we find God's revelation today, the criterion on which we can rely?

Jesus' revelation was transmitted throughout the centuries through the Church he built on Peter, the Rock.

Thus, it is imperative that we listen to Peter's successors and the teachings of the Catholic Church, for then we will be listening to the God's own revelation.

---------------------

See free leaflet Ten Reasons the Catholic Church is the One True Church of Jesus.