Where do we find Jesus today here on earth?
"About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they're just one thing," said St. Joan of Arc.
The Catholic Church in the Philippines suffered so much recently with the passage of the Reproductive Health Law, the attacks of the Freethinkers and of anti-Catholic writers, the loss of lives and the devastation of her churches due to calamities.
Less known, but a cause of great concern, is the suffering of the Church due to the inroads of Evangelicals. For a period of 10 years from 1990 to 2000, they have grown by 408% (from only 423K in 1990 to 2.1M in 2000!), while the Catholic population grew by only 23% compared to the total population growth of 26%.
Thanks to Pope Francis there is renewed interest in the Catholic Church, and he has summoned us to evangelize -- with splendid enthusiasm, joy and zeal.
For this, you might find helpful a one-page article below (or here (Dropbox) or here (Scribd) to support his call for a New Evangelization. It contains the reasons of the great recent converts to the Catholic Church: Scott Hahn, Peter Kreeft, Steve Ray, Jim Akin, Tim Staples, Marcus Grodi, etc on how they found the real Jesus in his one true Church.
Download the one-page leaflet here (Dropbox) or here (Scribd).
Ten Reasons the Catholic Church is the One True Church of Jesus
while other Christian groups derive their elements of truth from her fullness
A one-page leaflet to support Pope Francis’ call for a New Evangelization that “all may come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4) and to support Jesus’ prayer that “all may be one” (Jn 17:21)
1. 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. Thus, Luther felt “compelled to concede” that his Protestant Bible was “received” from the Catholic Church. All Christians today trust the authority of the Catholic Church that what they read is the true Word of God and not a false text.
2. The Bible refutes the “Bible alone” principle. Bible says that the “Word of the Lord” is “spoken” (Jer 25:3), not just written. St. Paul urged us to “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 settled a doctrinal dispute and declared what “we believe” (Acts 15).
The Bible teaches that not the Bible or the Protestant interpreters of the 16th century and of the present, but “the Church is the pillar and the bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). It also warns against “twisted” interpretations of Scriptures (2 Pt 3:16). While the Church has one teaching, there are now 43,000 evangelical groups with 2.3 added daily. Their views on the Trinity, on gays, etc. contradict each other. Since truth (e.g. Jesus is God) cannot be falsehood at the same time, real falsehoods are sadly being taught among these groups.
3. Jesus built his Church on a man he named Rock. Jesus said “On this rock, I will build my Church and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” (Mt 16:18-19). Jesus changed the name of Simon to Petros, Greek for Rock. He gave Petros or Peter, “the keys of the kingdom”, which the Jews knew to be the power of a prime minister of the King and chief teacher (Is 22:21). Jesus told him alone to “feed my sheep” (Jn 21:15-17). The Bible shows him leading the Church.
The early Christians referred to Peter’s Roman Church as “presiding” (Ignatius, 1st -2nd c.), “of superior origin” and standard of “true Faith” (Irenaeus, 2nd c.), “Chair of Peter”, “the principal” (Cyprian, 2nd-3rd c.), and “the primacy” (Augustine, 4th-5th c.). While the Catholic Church can give evidence of its unbroken link to Jesus and Peter, other Christian groups began their existence with their founders like Luther (1517), J. Smith (1830), and F. Manalo (1914).
4. Jesus and the Church are one. It is not true the Catholic Church left the true Faith, since the Church is the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27), and he is inseparable from his body. He promised that “I am with you always” (Mt 28:20), evil “shall not prevail” against his Church (Mt 16:18), and his Spirit “will guide you into all the truth” (Jn 16:13). He told his Church: “He who hears you hears me” (Lk 10:16).
5. The Bible says we are saved “not by faith alone”. The Bible used Luther’s phrase “by faith alone” only once: “a man is justified by works and not by faith alone” (Jas 2:24). The Bible also says that “what counts is faith working through love” (Gal 5:6). While Catholics and Protestants agree that Jesus alone saves us, Luther in the 16th century inserted without basis the word “alone” in his German translation of Rom 3:28 (“a man is justified by faith”) in order to support his personal interpretation that a Christian is incapable of cooperating with God in his salvation.
6. The Bible and the early Christians believe in purgatory. As shown in their tombstones, the early Christians followed the Bible: “Pray for the dead that they may be loosed from sins” (2 Mc 12:46), for “nothing unclean can enter heaven” (Rev 21:27). It does not make sense to pray for the dead if they only go, as evangelicals say, either to heaven (with faith in Christ) or to hell (without faith). The Bible also spoke about forgiveness in the age to come (Mt 12:32) and those judged by God are “saved but as through fire” (1 Cor 3:13-15).
7. The Bible and the early Christians believe in the Catholic sacraments. Jesus gave the Apostles the power to “forgive sins” (Jn 20:23). Peter taught that “Baptism now saves you” (1 Pt 3:21) and thus is not a mere inciter of faith. The Bible speaks about “anointing the sick with oil” (Jas 5:14-15), laying of hands (Acts 8:17; 2 Tim 1:6), and marriage in the Lord (1 Cor 7:39). Jesus repeatedly said that “he who eats my flesh has eternal life”. This is no figure of speech, for he did not give in when “many of his disciples” left due to this “hard saying” (Jn 6:48-68), and St. Paul taught that he who eats the bread unworthily is “guilty of profaning the Lord’s body” (1 Cor 11:28). Ignatius of Antioch said “the Eucharist is the flesh of the Redeemer,” Irenaeus “we receive the bread as our Redeemer”, and Cyprian “Christ is our bread”.
8. The Catholic Church is salt and light. 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, acting as salt and light as Christ foretold (Mt 5:13-14; Woods 2005). In his Church, Christ works his miracles: Eucharistic bread turning into blood; appearances of Mary; heroic saints; cures and sacred images that are scientifically unexplained; saints with stigmata, powers of healing, bilocation and prophecy, and incorruptible dead bodies.
9. The Catholic Church is catholic. Jesus “desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4), thus his real Church is universal, evangelizing in all parts of the world with more than 1,200,000,000 members today. Compare this with the 2nd biggest Christian group, the Easter Orthodox Churches with 230M (1/5 of its size) mainly found in Eastern Europe; the Anglicans 85M (1/16); Southern Baptists 16.3M (1/73), Mormons 14.7M (1/81) and Iglesia ni Cristo 6M (1/200).
10. Jesus and the Bible glorify his mother. Catholics do not worship Mary, but follow Jesus’ ways. He obeyed the fourth commandment: Honor your father and mother. Honor in Hebrew is kaboda, which means to glorify. The Bible calls Mary “Mother of my Lord” (Lord = God) and says all generations will call her blessed (Lk 1:43.48). It shows that she is the New Ark of the Covenant, the woman clothed with the sun, crowned in heaven with twelve stars (Rev 11:19-12:1). To honor his mother, Jesus’ last message to us on the cross is: Behold, your mother (Jn 19:27).
These one-page leaflets have started going viral around the world. One leaflet was posted in the website of the Archdiocese of Westminster in London ("The Mother Church of England") and in the Corpus Christi Parish in Canada. Irish priest, Fr. Conor Donelly, has posted some in Kenya and Fr. Jose Mandia has published some in O Clarim in Macau, and has translated one to Chinese. To get the full collection, please visit this page of this blog: One Page Leaflets for New Evangelization Starting to Go Viral!