Bread of Life

BREAD OF LIFE
 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. (john 6: 50)
The miracle of God’s physical presence to us at every Mass is the truest testament to Christ’s love for us and His desire for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him. Jesus Christ celebrated the first Mass with His disciples at the Last Supper, the night before He died. He commanded His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). The celebration of the Mass then became the main form of worship in the early Church, as a reenactment of the Last Supper, as Christ had commanded. Each and every Mass since commemorates Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross through the Holy Eucharist. Because the Mass “re-presents” (makes present) the sacrifice on Calvary, Catholics all around the world join together to be made present in Christ’s timeless sacrifice for our sins. There is something fascinating about continuing to celebrate the same Mass—instituted by Christ and practiced by the early Church—with the whole community of Catholics around the world…and in heaven.

THE REAL PRESENCE

Why does the Catholic Church believe Christ is really present in the Eucharist?
The Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence is the belief that Jesus Christ is literally, not symbolically, present in the Holy Eucharist—body, blood, soul and divinity. Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist because Jesus tells us this is true in the Bible:

“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them,

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” - John 6:48-56
Furthermore, the early Church Fathers either imply or directly state that the bread and wine offered in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper is really the body and blood of Jesus Christ. In other words, the doctrine of the Real Presence that Catholics believe today was believed by the earliest Christians 2,000 years ago!

This miracle of God’s physical presence to us at every Mass is the truest testament to Christ’s love for us and His desire for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A VOICE FROM HELL


I am now in hell. Yesterday, I was just like you are now – eating, drinking, laughing, watching TV, enjoying my family, etc. Then, I got in my car to go to work, and a drunk driver hit me broadside, going 70 mph in a 30 mph zone. I never even saw him coming. It all happened so fast. One minute I was alive listening to music on my car radio, and the next minute I was dead, floating over my wrecked car, looking at my lifeless, bloody body. It took me a while to realize that I was dead, and that I was looking at myself from above.

Then, all of a sudden, I was pulled through a really dark tunnel, where really nasty people were making fun of me and tearing at my flesh. I tried to fight them off, but there must have been a thousand of them. The more I fought, the more they laughed at me, and the nastier they got.

As I was sliding down this tunnel against my will, I caught a glimpse of what must have been heaven. It was beautiful beyond belief, with plants that seemed to be alive, with beautiful music that I had never heard on earth, and many different colors that did not exist on earth. I heard a voice inside my head, which I surmise was Jesus, telling me that I had forfeited heaven and being with Him for all eternity. Why? Because He said, while I was still alive, I did not fully commit my life to Him and His teachings. I always knew that Jesus was real, but I never seemed to make that life-changing commitment to follow Him.

I kept hearing Jesus repeat my sins to me – pornography, bad language, dirty jokes, greed, envy, lust, drinking, and gluttony. And there was that abortion I had my girlfriend get back in 1988. Jesus told me that He had sent me unlimited grace every day of my life, but that I had always rejected it in favor of sin. And since my lifestyle rejected His living water, that allowed satan to take over my life, and eventually my death. I told Jesus in my mind that I really didn’t know what He expected of me, but He said that that was no excuse, since He had written it all down for me in the Bible, had given me the sacraments in His church to strengthen me, and had sent His Mom and Her saints and angels down to earth many times to help me. He said that I preferred to play computer games, read the newspaper, and watch football over doing the will of God. He told me that since I truly preferred the temporary things of the earth, rather than everlasting heavenly things, that I got my wish to not go to heaven upon death. And the really sad thing is that He told me that all I had to do was to make one sincere confession to be forgiven for everything.

Now, I am surrounded by millions of snakes and worms, unrelenting fire, loud noises and screams, a horrible stench, and terrible looking demons who torture me day and night. And I cannot move any part of my body on my own. Knowing what I threw away is the most depressing part, along with the fact than I am NEVER getting out of this place. If only I had listened to the Church’s teachings instead of “thinking for myself”. It never entered my mind while I was still alive that I could be wrong about anything, especially about salvation. I always considered it a strong virtue to “think for myself”, and it was always a weak vice to listen to anyone, especially some old-fogey church, telling me what to believe.

Now, I would gladly give up every penny I ever made to be sent back to earth for 5 minutes, but that will never happen. I, along with millions of other humans, were victims of satan’s great deception, which fooled me into believing that I would never die, that self-pride was a good thing, that the sexual pleasures of earth were more important than obeying His commandments, that the real goal of life was the pursuit of wealth and to be surrounded by beautiful possessions, and that there would always be time to repent of my sins before dying. I really wish someone would have told me about Matthew 25:31-46 and what I was held accountable for during life. But no one ever did. And I never seemed to find the time to open the Bible and read what it said. That was as stupid as never reading my college textbooks in preparation for the final exam.

Satan disguised himself as an angel of light many times during my earthly sojourn, and I was totally taken in by him - the beauty, the glamour, the glitz, the power, the sex, the money, the feel-good mentality, being entertained all the time, etc. I also believed everything the secular media ever said, instead of meditating on His Word to find out The Truth for myself. His bait of sexual gratification seemed wonderful at the time, but it had lots of poison in it, which I know about now, when it is too late.

So now that you know my story, what will you do with your life? Like me, you may not have tomorrow to decide. Will you follow me to hell, or will you follow Jesus to heaven? The choice is yours, and only yours, to make, today.

Sirach 15:15-17: If you will, you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice. He has placed before you fire and water: stretch out your hand for whichever you wish. Before a man are life and death, and whichever he chooses will be given to him.

Matthew 7:13-23: "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. "Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'

Matthew 25:31-46: "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the King will say to those at his right hand, `Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?' And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' Then he will say to those at his left hand, `Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?' Then he will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.' And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

John 15:4-7: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17 - John the Baptist said the Lord will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire. This unquenchable fire is the state of eternal separation from God, which the Church has called "hell" for 2,000 years. Some Protestant communities no longer acknowledge the reality of hell.

Matthew 25:41 - Jesus says, "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."

Matthew 25:46 - Jesus says, "they will go away into eternal punishment" which is in reference to this eternal fire.

Mark 9:47-48 - Jesus refers to hell as where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. It lasts forever.

2 Thessalonians 1:6-9 - the angels will come with flaming fire and the disobedient will suffer punishment of eternal destruction. It is important to note that "destruction" does not mean "annihilation," as some Protestant denominations teach. It means eternal exclusion from the presence of God.

Jude 6-7 - the rebelling angels, and Sodom and Gomorrah, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Revelation 14:11 - the worshipers of the beast suffer and the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever.

Revelation 20:10 - they're tormented in the lake of fire and brimstone day and night forever and ever.

Isaiah 33:14 - "Who of us can dwell in the everlasting fire?" This is a reference to hell which is forever.

Isaiah 66:24 - their worm shall not die and their fire shall not be quenched. We cannot fathom the pain of this eternal separation from God.

Jeremiah 15:14 - in my anger a fire is kindled which shall burn forever. Hell is the proper compliment to the eternal bliss of heaven.

Judith 16:17 - in the day of judgment the Lord will take vengeance on the wicked and they shall weep in pain forever. Hell is a place that sinners have prepared for themselves by rejecting God, who desires all people to be saved in His Son Jesus Christ. God sends no one to hell.

Tortoise said...

A holy priest was exorcizing a demoniac, and he asked the demon what pains he was suffering in Hell. "An eternal fire," he answered, "an eternal malediction, an eternal rage, and a frightful despair at being never able to gaze upon Him who created me."

"What would you do to have the happiness of seeing God?" "To see Him but for one moment, I should willingly consent to endure my torments for 10,000 years. But vain desires! I shall suffer forever and never see Him!"

On a like occasion, the exorcist inquired of the demon what was his greatest pain in Hell. He replied with an accent of indescribable despair: "Always, always! Never; never!"

Taken from Hell plus How to Avoid Hell by Fr. FX Schouppe, S.J. and Thomas A. Nelson. (TAN Books & Publishers, Inc., 1989)

daveg4g said...

Q:“ Jehovah's Witnesses visited my home last week and the conversation revolved around the Catholic doctrine of hell. As a cradle Catholic, I thought I was prepared for their arguments, but I wasn't. They stumped me when the topic was hell. Where is hell mentioned in the Bible? ”

”A: Jesus talked about hell more often than he talked about heaven. Here are some verses.

The children of the kingdom will be driven out into the darkness where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth (Matthew 8:12).

Depart from me, you accursed, into that eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).

These will pay the penalty of eternal ruin, separated from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power (2 Thessalonians1:9).

God did not spare the angels who fell into sin; he thrust them down to hell, chained them there in the abyss, to await their sentence in torment (2 Peter 2:4).

The smoke of the fire that torments them will rise forever and ever, and there will be no relief day or night for those who worship the beast or its image or accept the mark of its name.(Revelation 14:11).

Scooter said...

You may want to read the Protestant evandelical article on hell at the following http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/03/08/doing-away-with-hell-part-one/

Michael said...

You may want to read the Protestant evandelical article on hell...

What happened to evangelical convictions about hell?

The first issue is a changed view of God. The biblical vision of God has been rejected by the culture as too restrictive of human freedom and offensive to human sensibilities. God’s love has been redefined so that it is no longer holy. God’s sovereignty has been reconceived so that human autonomy is undisturbed.

In recent years, even God’s omniscience has been redefined to mean that God perfectly knows all that He can perfectly know, but He cannot possibly know a future based on free human decisions.