Church: Mystical Body of Christ

Church: Mystical Body of Christ

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There is a deep inner spiritual connection between Jesus and the Catholic Church, so much so that it is referred to as the mystical body of Christ. “The Church is both visible and spiritual, a hierarchical society and the Mystical Body of Christ. She is one, yet formed of two components, human and divine. That is her mystery, which only faith can accept. The Church in this world is the sacrament of salvation, the sign and the instrument of the communion of God and men” (CCC: 779-780). read more

The Establishment of the Church While He Was on Earth

The Establishment of the Church While He Was on Earth

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Jesus personally established the Catholic Church while He was on earth, a fact which many Christians fail to understand. “The Church is in history, but at the same time she transcends it. It is only ‘with the eyes of faith’ that one can see her in her visible reality and at the same time in her spiritual reality as bearer of divine life” (CCC: 770). read more

The Bible: The Book of Wisdom

The Bible: The Book of Wisdom

A book which – ironically – Protestants do not use. This book was originally written in Greek by an unknown Jewish author. The book makes use of traditional Jewish material, as well as ideas borrowed from Greek philosophy, in order to teach that God rewards those who are faithful to him.

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1. Introduction to the Wisdom Books

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Good Works and Sin, Part 1

 Good Works and Sin, Part 1

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How good works are beneficial to our salvation. “Take the case, my brothers, of someone who has never done a single good act but claims that he has faith. Will that faith save him? If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to life on, and one of you says to them, ‘I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty,’ without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that? Faith is like that: if good works do not go with it, it is quite dead” (James 2:14-17). read more

Bible: Book of Sirach & Ben Sira

Bible: Book of Sirach & Ben Sira

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A book with many different names, and containing lots of important information. The book includes traditional Jewish wisdom material and makes a defense of Judaism by showing that God has given true wisdom to his people. Many subjects of a religious, moral, and practical nature are presented, sometimes at length and sometimes in short proverbial sayings.

The importance of Virtue and Salvation, Part 2

The importance of Virtue and Salvation, Part 2

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The value and importance of virtue in our lives and salvation. “It is not easy for man, wounded by sin, to maintain moral balance. Christ’s gift of salvation offers us the grace necessary to persevere in the pursuit of the virtues. Everyone should always ask for this grace of light and strength, frequent the sacraments, cooperate with the Holy Spirit, and follow his calls to love what is good and shun evil” (CCC: 1811). read more

The Purpose of the Church

The Purpose of the Church

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The purpose of the Catholic Church can be found in Our Lord’s specific mission while He was on earth, and that’s the eternal salvation of man. “Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation” (cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:36, 6:40ff; CCC: 161). “Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, who refuse either to enter it or to remain in it” (LG 14; CCC: 846). read more

Bible: The Book of Hebrews

Bible: The Book of Hebrews

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A significant and highly-debated New Testament work. The Letter to the Hebrews was written to a group of Christians who, faced with increasing opposition, were in danger of abandoning the Christian faith. The writer encourages them in their faith primarily by showing that Jesus Christ the true and final revelation of God. In doing this he emphasizes three truths: 1) Jesus is the eternal Son of God, who learned true obedience to the Father through the suffering that he endured. As the Son of God, Jesus is superior to the prophets of the Old Testament, to the angels, and to Moses himself. 2) Jesus has been declared by God to be an eternal priest, superior to the priests of the Old Testament. 3) Through Jesus the believer is save from sin, fear, and death; and Jesus, as High Priest, provides the true salvation, which was only foreshadowed by the rituals and animal sacrifices of the Hebrew religion. read more

The Cardinal Virtues, Part 3

The Cardinal Virtues, Part 3

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The four cardinal virtues are discussed. “Four virtues play a pivotal role and accordingly are called ‘cardinal’; all the others are grouped around them. They are: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. ‘If anyone loves righteousness, (Wisdom’s) labors are virtues; for she teaches temperance and prudence, justice, and courage (Wis 8:7). These virtues are praised under other names in many passages of Scripture” (CCC: 1805). read more