Posts tagged Christianity
Posts tagged Christianity
For questions such as these, we must consider both scripture and Church teaching.
In John 4:16 Christ says,
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
And this has been reiterated throughout tradition so that we know that it is only through Christ that one is saved. Furthermore, because Christ chose the Church to be the method through which salvation occurs, we know that it is only through the Church that one is saved. This doctrine rendered in Latin is extra Ecclesiam nulla salus or “Outside the Church there is no salvation.”
Does this mean that those outside the visible structure of the Church are damned? No. For we recognize that Christ through the Church draws to Himself even those who are not visible members of His Church. Those outside the visible Church, who demonstrate great virtue, and seek the good may be saved. It is eminently clear that there is no contradiction here, for we recognize that all good comes from the grace of God through the Church, and so those who do good, are clearly receiving that grace, though they themselves may not be conscious of it.
This is why it is important for all Christians to pray for the salvation of the whole world, knowing that it is they, the Church, who bear the responsibility of being chosen by God as conduits for the sanctification of the Earth. It is our prayers and our works of mercy which may aid God in leading others to the truth.
In parting, one last anecdote from scripture is particularly relevant here. In Acts 17:22-31, Paul goes to Athens and speaks upon the Areopagus (“Mars Hill” a large rocky hill, which seemed to function as a multi-purpose place for court cases as well as being a place of worship.) In this speech, considered one of the greatest sermons of Paul recorded in scripture, Paul tells the gathered masses that the “unknown God” they built a temple to there was actually the one true God. There are many things worth noting about this speech, but the one most relevant here, is that these people who worshipped what they did not know, were worshipping, imperfectly, but still worshipping. Thus, the many who do not know God, yet still honor and hunger for the truth, are in fact giving imperfect worship to Christ.
Therefore, for those who know God, they must evangelize to others and seek to win souls for Christ through the gifts God has given them. Those who do not know God, are called to seek the truth, for God is the truth, and in seeking it, they will find Him, and as Christ tells us, all who seek, will find. I hope this answers your question.
1. There are three conceptual categories of existence. Things that necessarily exist, things that have possible existence, or things that cannot exist.
2. These categories are necessarily distinct. No one thing can belong to more than one category. To say otherwise is to contradict oneself.
3. Therefore, one cannot say that things with necessary existence do not exist, for that would be confounding the first category with either the second or third.
4. Therefore, there has to be at least one entity which can be said to have necessary existence, and it necessarily exists.
5. This is known to all to be God.
This is the “n” of “Nazarean”, tagged on the walls of christian houses in Mosul (Iraq), before they were forced to exile and their cathedral was burned. There’s a genocide going on there, right now.
Where wasn’t God throughout the early years of humanity? Look at any civilization, any culture, even the ones we know virtually nothing about, and you’ll see they all had some idea some image of God. Were they perfectly refined ideas of God as the “I am who am,” who’s essence is existence, manifested in triune unity? No, of course not, but neither did they know that light could be observed as both a wave and a particle, yet observe light they did, and just as they observed light without understanding it, so too do we see that they observed religious practices towards God, though not always with understanding.
The fact that for almost the entire history of mankind, man has had some image of God speaks to God’s movement in the world, for where else could the idea of God have come from, but God Himself? And the unanimous testimony in distant lands throughout the ages of God’s presence in the world can only be seen as the concurrence of thousands of independent experiments, and in each one, we find the null hypothesis, that God exists, has never been rejected.
Thus, the question to ask is not “Where was God throughout the early years of humanity?” But “Where was atheism?” If atheism is supposed to be the natural state of humanity and theism is merely some fabrication, then why should we find theism in all cultures, and atheism in virtually none? It does not make sense. Therefore, Beloved, rejoice in the knowledge we who are born in Christ through baptism are blessed to have, that the God that walked the vast oceans of eternity before the formation of the Earth, worshiped in some form by all peoples, is the same God that walked on the waters of the sea of Galilee as Jesus the Christ.
In Amor Christi,
These are the 60+ high school and college age young men who spent 4 days at Mount St. Mary’s seminary to discern, alongside the seminarians of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, God’s will in their life.
Pray that these young men may have the courage to answer the call, whatever God is calling them to in their life.
"Please do not make judgments based on stereotypes, media images and comments taken out of context. Rather, get to know us first as fellow human beings. I myself am willing to meet personally with any of you not only to dialogue, but simply so that we can get to know each other. It is the personal encounter that changes the vision of the other and softens the heart. In the end, love is the answer, and this can happen even between people with such deep disagreements. That may sound fanciful and far-fetched, but it is true, it is possible. I know it is possible, I know this from personal experience. When we come together seeking to understand the other with good will, miracles can happen."
Well, I don’t know specifically where that photo was taken. However, there are many hungry people all over the world. Almost 850 million people worldwide do not have enough to eat. Here are some more facts about hunger.
Luckily there are a lot of aid organizations who are trying to help. Catholic Relief Services is one of the best, and there are many ways to get involved with them. Another great way to get involved in the fight against hunger is to volunteer your time at a local soup kitchen or food pantry (and obviously donate what goods you can to them.) I recommend one run by the St. Vincent DePaul society, if you have one local. They’ve operated for hundreds of years and are great at what they do.
And of course, as you said, we can, and should, always pray for an end to hunger.
Archbishop Retes indicated that liberation theology is irrelevant at a recent news conference in Rome… Liberation theology is, however, still prominent on the campuses of many Catholic universities throughout the U.S.
The important quote is:
“True liberation is showing the merciful face of God the Father, the tenderness of God among us,”
Several people have asked me to share my discernment story so far, so I wanted to share the essay I wrote for my application to seminary. So, here it is, below the fold: