ABRIDGED CATHOLIC FAITH TENETS
That People are Mostly Ignorant of
1. GOD IS LOVE (1 John 4:16). Love is a Decision. Love is a God-graced Decision based on God-graced Knowledge. Knowledge and Love go together (Philippians 1:9; and CCC 1, 3, 158, 356, 2614, and 2715). One cannot love what one does not know (Logic). We are not talking here about the exaltation of knowledge and Gnosticism. “Without knowledge even zeal is not good” (Proverbs 19:2). There are at least 30 mentions of knowledge of God, of His will, of the Truth, etc…in the Bible. Because God is the Ultimate Good, the more you know about Him and His attributes, the more you will love Him. So, get to know God.
2. GOD KNEW US AND CHOSE US BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD (Jeremiah 1:4; Ephesians 1:3-4); and He called us (Romans 8:30, 1 Thessalonians 5:24, and CCC 2567). Man was created to serve and love God (CCC 358, 1721).
3. GOD GAVE US FREE WILL (Deuteronomy 30:19; Sirach 15:14-20; CCC 1711, and 1730).
4. WE MUST ACCEPT ALL OF GOD’S REVELATIONS. We cannot pick and choose. In not accepting any one revelation, we would be committing the Unpardonable Sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, thus, attributing to Satan what is the work of the Spirit of God. Ref: Matthew 12:31-32 and its footnote in the New American Bible (NAB): http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__PVL.HTM#-31B.
5. GOD GIVES FURTHER UNDERSTANDING TO ONE WHO ACCEPTS THE REVEALED MYSTERY. “To anyone who has, more will be given 5 and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” Ref: Matthew 13:12 and its footnote in the New American Bible (NAB): http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__PVM.HTM#-31R.
6. GOD REVEALS HIMSELF TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM. “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him” (John 14:21).
7. GOD MADE HIS APOTLES PRIESTS, when, at the Last Supper, He said to them, “Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24 & 25). Then, again, He confirmed it when He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (John 20:22-23).
8. THE CHURCH IS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION for those who know that fact. “Salvation is found in the truth,” for those who have knowledge of that fact. Therefore, from among those who have faith, there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church, for those who know that fact (CCC 846).
9. OUR FAITH COMES FROM THE FAITH OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. The Catholic Church believed and so we did: “No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother” – St. Cyprian (d. 258 A.D.) (CCC 119). “But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me” – St. Augustine (354-430) (CCC 119).
10. THE WORD ‘CHURCH’ IN THE BIBLE IS ALWAYS REFERRING TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: St. Ignatius of Antioch (d. 107A.D.) was the first on record to call her the ‘catholic Church.’ He was the disciple of John and lived concurrently with him for a third of a century. He was ordained to the See of Antioch by Peter. So, he was an Apostolic Man. Therefore, Peter and John were Catholic and Jesus was the First Catholic. If anybody does not like the present day Capital ‘C’ in Catholic, as opposed to the small ‘c’ that is in the Creed, let it be known that the rules of grammar demand it, because for one thousand years, there was no other church in existence. The Letters and Gospels were written between 48 and 95 A.D. and compiled into the Canon of the New Testament in 382, 393, and 397 A.D., then, exactly as they are in the Catholic Bible today, at 27 Books. Similarly and simultaneously for the Old Testament Canon, all the 46 Books present in the Septuagint at the time of Jesus are as they are now in the Catholic Bible.
The point is that all these events took place during the first one thousand years, when there was no other church in existence, except, the Catholic Church. Hence, the ‘church’ in the Bible is the Catholic Church!
11. Throughout, there was one church, one Gospel and one Bible, as things are now in the Catholic Church.
The Holy Bible is a divinely inspired document that the Catholic Church was entrusted with.
NO OTHER ENTITY CAN HAVE CLAIM TO IT AND NO ENTITY, INCLUDING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, IS ALLOWED TO DELETE FROM IT OR ADD TO IT BOOKS OR PARTS OF BOOKS OR WORD/S SO AS TO CHOOSE WORDS TO REFLECT DIFFERENT BELIEFS.
12. THE SACRED ORAL WORD (THE GOSPEL) WAS THERE FIRST, BEFORE THE WRITTEN WORD. The Bible was extracted from the Sacred Oral Word that we call Tradition or Sacred Tradition, with a capital ‘T.’ One proof is in history showing that nothing was written between the Ascension (33 A.D.) and the year 48 A.D., the year of the first Letter to have ever been written. This is pursuant of the Lord’s promise to the Apostles: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth” (John 16:12-13). And the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost and taught the Apostles, supernaturally.
13. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ALONE HAS ALL THE TRUTH: “…the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). We have already established that the word ‘church’ in the Bible always refers to the Catholic Church.
14. WE ARE BUILT IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD (Genesis 1:26). When we sin, we are no longer in His likeness, but, we remain in His image.
15. CONVERSION IS A DAILY, LIFELONG PROCESS (2 Corinthians 4:16; Philippians 1:6; CCC 1435; 1436; 1439; 1490; 1888; and 2784). Never fail to remember that! “To live is to change and to be perfect is to have changed often” (Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman). Conversion is renewal (CCC 1989). Time of conversion: NOW! (2 Corinthians 6:2; CCC 1041). There might be no other opportunity available later on.
16. END OF THE WORLD AND TIME OF OUR PERSONAL PARTICULAR JUDGMENT OCCURS AT OUR DEATH. “Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment…” (Hebrews 9:27; CCC 1021-2; 1051).
17. AT THE ONSET OF CONVERSION, WE MUST PROGRESS TO STRONG FAITH ASAP that we may not remain in the bracket of weak faith and fall back into apostasy. This requires and entails acquiring more knowledge of God, His precepts and His will for each one of us. Studying Scriptures daily, praying and referring to the Catechism of the Catholic Church are the constants. So are any combination of the following, as the day dictates: Conversion is accomplished in daily life by: a) gestures of reconciliation; b) concern for the poor; c) the exercise and defense of justice and right; d) by the admission of faults to one’s brethren; e) fraternal correction; f) revision of life; g) examination of conscience; h) spiritual direction; i) acceptance of suffering; and, j) endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness. Taking up one’s cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance (CCC 1435).
Thereafter, perseverance is the required mode of operation throughout life (Hebrews 7:11-12).
18. We have 3 main prompts working in us: THE PROMPTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, who has been given us as a first installment (Romans 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14; CCC 851); THOSE OF THE FLESH; our selfish desires (Matthew 26:41); and, THOSE OF THE DEVIL (John 13:2; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9). The Christian life is a matter of learning to distinguish between these three types of prompts, discarding the other two and following the prompts of the Holy Spirit, our Teacher (CCC 2766). “Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation” (CCC 851).
19. IF WE FAIL TO MEET THE SERIOUS NEEDS OF THE POOR AND THE LITTLE ONES WHO ARE HIS BRETHREN, AND WE DIE UNREPENTANT, WE GO TO HELL. “…He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Matthew 25:45-46; CCC 1033).
20. A WORD OF CAUTION: For those who claim that the Catholic Church was corrupt early on, let it be known that Jesus Christ Himself gave her the promise that she will never die (Matthew 16:18). These are unfounded allegations based on the disjointed actions of ignorant/insincere Catholics, whom popes had difficulty in controlling due to geographical disparity and lengthy, time consuming communication channels. Of course, reform was needed, but, from within and not by leaving and protesting from outside. Reform then took place and is ongoing!
The fact of the matter is that the Catholic Church is Holy (as the Creed states), composed of sinners, and this includes the clergy. When we pray for the deceased who are in Purgatory (2 Maccabees 12:46), we realize we are praying for some popes, bishops, priests, monks and nuns, who are sure to be there. Some were false brothers and the ravenous wolves that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7:15. And some are the injected savage wolves and the men from our own group who “will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them,” which Paul spoke of in his dramatic farewell speech in Asia Minor in Acts 20:29-30.
All of these had no effect on the Deposit of Faith throughout history; we know that from the structure of the Catholic Church and the Apostolic Succession she possessed and abided by as per the directions and guidance of the Holy Spirit, initially and thereafter. Thus, the Deposit of Faith “remained intact for you” (Galatians 2:5).
AN IMPORTANT AXIOM: We do not join the Church because the choir is good, or because the pastor preaches well, or because the service is neat and orderly and well coordinated, or because there is fellowship, or because the church is nearby and is heated and air conditioned. We do want all these things, but, they are hardly the criteria for joining the Church.
We do join the Church because she has the whole Truth, including, most importantly, the Real Presence of the Lord: Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. The whole Truth is the only consideration. Nothing else matters. Never mind if, for example, we are given the cold shoulder or we are left out from some activity, or our ego is not being soothed. One can always find a way out, or, in irreconcilable situations, look for another Catholic church nearby to fit into. The important thing is to be in the Church that Jesus Christ founded, which the forces of the netherworld can never prevail against (Matthew 16:18); in which the Deposit of Faith can be found in its entirety.
Here’s the link to the whole DEPOSIT OF FAITH: http://www.vatican.va/archive/index.htm.
The Deposit of Faith is the only consideration (refer to #12 above)! It was guarded zealously through 2,000 years of uninterrupted Apostolic Succession by the Laying on of Hands of the Apostles/bishops, just as Paul described in Galatians 2:5, where he was speaking of the false brothers: “…to them we did not submit even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain intact for you.”
The Laying on of Hands: Numbers 27:18-23; Deuteronomy 34:9; 2 Timothy 1:6; Hebrews 6:1-2.