Thursday, November 28, 2013
The Catholic Defender: Being Heralded Throughout the World
I see the Catholic Church being very essential for preserving the established Faith of the New Testament.
There is no question that St. Paul thought so when reading his letters.
Consider his conversion experience. St. Luke tells the story that reshaped the world:
Acts 9:3-6 says, "On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me'? He said, 'Who are you, sir'? the reply came, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do".
What was Saul told to do? Acts 9:10-19 tells the story: "There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, 'Ananias'. He answered, 'Here I am, Lord'. The Lord said to him, 'Get up and go to the street called Straight and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is there praying, and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, that he may regain his sight'. But Ananias replied, 'Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man, what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison all who call upon your name'. But the Lord said to him, 'Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles, kings, and Israelites, and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name'. So Ananias went and entered the house; laying his hands on him, he said, 'Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit'. Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized, and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength".
"First, I give thanks to you my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is heralded throughout the world. God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in proclaiming the gospel of his Son, that I remember you constantly, always asking in my prayers that somehow by God's will I may at last find my way clear to come to you".
A great question might be asked how does Christ voice through his Church remain perfect despite the fact that we many times do not fully live up to our teachings? The Prophet Zephaniah says that The Church would do no wrong, speak no lies, no deceit is to be found, the flocks would be protected (Zephaniah 2:3, 3:12-13).
It is the offices Christ established in the Church that gives it the foundation. Jesus commissioned the Church to go to all the nations teaching them his commands.
He administers his grace through his Church. It is the Holy Spirit that keeps the voice straight and free from falsehoods. Being faithful to the Church, we are taking "refuge in the name of the Lord".
By listening to the Church, we are listening to the voice of the Lord, "Thus saith the Lord"!
Consider Malachi 1:11, "For from the rising of the sun, even to it's setting, my name is great among the nations".
The Catholic Church is sent by Christ to go to all the nations administering God's grace through the Sacraments "everywhere they bring sacrifice to my name, and a pure offering"!
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