The Catholic Defender: Are you listening to God's Annointing?
If you cannot recognize who God sets His anointing on, how can you even hope to hear His voice? It can only come fully within the holy Catholic Church.
It's hard to believe that he is gone, it seems but yesterday that he would announce to the world in 60 languages the love of Christ for the World.
Pope John Paul II would proclaim this in the language of love. The impact that he had for many youth I believe was instrumental in saving a generation.
I was privileged to have been in a crowd to see Pope John Paul II. It was Chicago, Grant Park, 1979, a truly blessed time and place as nearly 2,000,000 people gathered to see him.
He anounced to the mass throngs of people a greeting in the name of Christ in several languages.
I was able to get within 160 yards of where the Pope's platform where he held Mass. What a beautiful event.
This was St.Peter in our midst and I was among those whose his shadow came upon.
This was Jesus true Chief Steward imparting the Gospel. I will never forget Pope John Paul II
Recently, a friend sent me a request to post an article asking, "I'd like to see you do a post on the issue that same website brings up about a crisis in Catholic apologetics".
In virtue of our Baptism and confirmation, all Catholics are called to be "Apologists" in some form beginning with parents.
The family is the most important foundation that children are raised.
The Church is strongest when the family is healthy and children are being taught a clear conscious. Young people must be grounded in the truth. This has been a problem the past 30 or 40 years as the family becomes less stable.
Jesus instructs the Church to be that light on a hill so that all may see it. We are to let our light shine before others. This must first begin with the Priest. The Late Pope John Paul II states, "Pastors are duty-bound to educate the lay faithful in understanding how to put into effect that participation in the threefold office of Christ —as priest prophet and king—which they enjoy in virtue of the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and, for spouses, matrimony (cf. , 23).
Hebrews 13:7 states, Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Hebrews 13:17 continues, "Obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you."
We need to pray for our priests, they are under attack. Hebrews 13:18 follows, "Pray for us, for we are confident that we have a clear conscience, wishing to act rightly in every respect."
To the Priests, St. Peter writes, "So I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock." (Peter 5:1-3)
Jesus gives a specific warning against those who would preach something contrary to the Catholic Church's doctrine, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are a ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them." (Matthew 7:15-17)
Today we are seeing false prophets preaching all kinds of things wanting to challenge the teaching of the Church. From women priestess to gay marriage, from dissent from official teachings of the Church to the cafeteria Catholic. Those who pick and choose what they accept. It's like, "Which 8 of the 10 Commandments to you keep?"
When the Late Pope John Paul II spoke of the "Springtime of Evangelization" it was important to activate the laity to witness to the modern world. This was an important step, but unfortunately, many within the community were not adequately prepared. Many went out into the world with good intentions, but many were not grounded in the gospel.
In 1212 A.D., a disastrous Crusade known as "The Children's Crusade" composed primarily of children numbering nearly 30,000. Some argue that the children were really poor wanderers made into an army. Regardless, the vast majority of these were captured and sold into slavery never to go home again.
The current effort to spread the word of God may not be that drastic, but it is estimated that there are about 20,000,000 fallen away Catholics in the United States. Fallen Catholics as a group is the second largest group in the United States, second only to practicing Catholics. They are everywhere from those who are ultra-Traditionalist, to fundamentalist Protestant.
Pope Benedict XVI also encourages the faithful to utilize the media to promote the gospel. This is a very important step in apologetics. This is the basis for Deepertruth, Catholic Answers, Catholics Come Home, Defenders of the Catholic Faith, and others to "contend for the faith".
Consider Ephesians 2:19-20, "So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones, and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone." Notice that along with the apostles there are prophets. Who are the prophets. Technically, this is anyone who proclaims the word of God. This is done formerly in the Mass as lectors. But this is also those who preach the word of God out on the street, in the homes, at work, to the world.
Ephesians 4:11-14, "And he gave them some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ, so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interest of deceitful scheming." Apologetics is to help and support the leaders for the upbuilding of the Church. This means that the Apologist is to have a firm foundation and grounding of the teaching of the Church. A right conscience.
Consider the contradiction of Pro-life representatives arrested at Notre Dame while pro-Abortion advocates were given the day. President Obama spoke to the Graduating Seniors in direct disobedience to the United States Catholic Bishops.
Something is terribly wrong when you have a "Catholic" representation defending Abortion, arresting Catholics standing up for the life of children.
Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe, the Plaintiff in the 1973 Supreme Court "Roe V Wade" decision that legalized abortion), Dr. Gregory Thompson (Deepertruth), and Ambassador Alan Keyes were among those arrested.
The Apologist must first seek to follow the Lord by being loyal to the Catholic Church. That is the most important role. Anything other than complete obedience to the Teaching Magisterium of the Catholic Church would be a false prophet. There are many of those who preach in the name of the Progressive, the liberals who seek to break the power of the Church.
I'll never forget the time I was participating in an RCIA Leadership Conference when about half way through it, the organizers brought in a woman to speak. She was dressed like a deacon and she spoke specific against Pope John Paul II and for the homosexual movement. I was so upset over this, I'll not forget it. This is why they did not want any cameras because they wanted no physical record of this. I filled out what I thought about it and the organizers were not to happy with my analysis of their convention.
Revelation 21: 5-5 states, "The one who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' Then he said, 'Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.' He said to me, 'They are accomplished. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water. The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son."
Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said that it is not a matter of being successful, it is a matter of being faithful. Let us hold fast to the Apostolic Tradition following the teaching of the Church clearly with a faithful heart and sound mind.
They are calling him John Paul the Great, and it is pretty tough to argue. Now, he is one step closer to sainthood.
What a model of holiness this man was. What a reflection of Jesus.
This humble servant of God was the third longest serving Pope in the storied history of the Catholic Church (Saint Peter, Pius IX) which may have been hard to imagine when he followed John Paul I who served a mere 34 days.
What most of us will remember from this giant of a man is his gentle spirit, his undying devotion, his boundless fear and his constant admonition echoing the words of Jesus; "Be not afraid" In the end, we remember the man who emulated his Lord by patient suffering.
What John Paul II personified was a walking, talking refutation of Catholic haters who would paint the Pope as arrogant, sinful and worldly.
Billy Graham once called John Paul II the "moralist man on earth" and, if anything, it was an understatement. JP II exemplified everything it is to be a true Christian- goodness, purity, courage, forgiveness and humility. The world became a poorer place when he left us in April of 2005.
On May 1st (The feast of the Divine Mercy), John Paul II will was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI.
A documented miraculous cure of a French nun stands as Heaven's confirmation that this blessed servant of God stands in the Father's presence serving. We are so happy for you, Pope John Paul the Great and cannot wait to call you saint as you take your place in that great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1).
Exactly the same is true of his predecessor, John Paul II, who brought the message of Christ to more people than any other man in human history. The living example of gregarious love and patient suffering. John Paul II was a living saint. Billy Graham once called him the moralist man on earth and I will be so bold as to say that never in protestant history has there been produced a man or woman who can stand next to him. That is not an attack, it is simply a fact.
John Paul II had the 3rd longest pontificate in history behind only Pius IX at #2 and the Rock upon which the church was built- Peter.
I thought surely his predesessor, (whose name he took) was the shortest at 33 days. Yet, believe it or not, that doesn't even put him in the top 10 (He is #11). The shortest reign was Urban VII, who reigned for 13 days. John Paul I is an open question, then . We cannot call him a good pope nor a bad pope.
What about Paul VI? No Pope did more to try and heal religious divisions. John the XXIII, his predecessor, was a modern day prophet on issues of sexual sin, abortion and contraception. Pius XII, the man before him, was called the singular voice against Hitler's madness, saving some 860,000 Jews from the Holocaust.
So, it goes. One must go all the way all the way back to 1534 and the end of the reign of Clement VII to find a Pope who can be plausibly called bad. That is 478 of a scandal free papacy. An broken line of 45 Popes who cannot be plausibly accused of any scandal since the last bad Pope. An unbroken line of 113 Popes before the first bad one (Stephen VII). At least the first 33 of those Popes were martyrs for Christ. That is every Pope from Peter to Pope Saint Sylvester I who died in 335 AD.
The Bible tells us that the crowds came out and people pressed that they might get close enough to Him that His shadow might fall on them.
No, Peter- the first Pope. (Acts 5:15)
Were these first century Christians worshiping Peter? Today's anti-Catholics would say so, if a similar situation were to arise today.
In fact, it has...and they do.
French nun Marie Simon-Pierre was miracuously cured of Parkinson's disease through the intercession of the late Pope John Paul II. This was the documented miracle that resulted in His beatification on May 1st of this year (the feast of the Divine Mercy).
Though this miracle was the most undeniable, it certainly wasn't the only.
In fact, thousands of miracle testimonies are pouring in, attributed to the intercession of this devout and holy man. This is just one.
The Book of Acts tells us that many signs and wonders were performed by the hands of the Apostles and none dared join them and they were held in high honor. (5:12-13)
Miracles performed by the Apostles hands? None dared join Them? They were held in high honor? The protestants would have you believe that Salvation is a personal matter. Just me and Jesus. That is bunk. The Bible teaches no such thing.
God has always worked His will through human beings and has used miracles to point the finger at who spoke for Him
The hand of God points to John Paul II.
He was a man of astounding Holiness and accomplishment whose constant admonition Be not afraid echoed the very words of Christ.
John Paul II brought the message of Christ to more people than any other single person in history.
His message of love and unity should be enough to believe and understand that this was Christ's chosen Vicar. However, if that is not enough, the miracles clinch it.