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.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

SATANISM

The new millennium marks for many teens and young adults a renewed interest in spirituality. What type of spirituality? Christian? No. Islamic? No. How about an Eastern spirituality like Taoism? Wrong again. Try Satanism.

by Father Andrew McNair, LC | Source: Catholic.net

That’s right. The occult movement of Satanism ranks number one among teens and young adults as their preferred spirituality.

We could dismiss the ascendancy of Satanism in the United States as a fad of the young; something they will grow out of with time. In others words, it’s nothing to worry about.

In my judgment, that’s the wrong approach to the spiritual and cultural phenomenon of Satanism. People need to understand that Satanic spirituality leaves deep spiritual and psychological scars on its victims. Christians should know how to recognize and combat satanic spirituality. Where do we begin?

Let’s begin by reaffirming a basic truth: Satan exists. His demonic minions exist. Scripture and Tradition depict Satan as the supreme evil leader of the fallen angels who seek to disrupt God’s plan of salvation for humanity.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church points out: “Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy. Scripture and the Church’s Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called ‘Satan’ or the ‘devil.’” The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: “The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing” (No. 391).
St. Peter the Apostle warns us, “Keep sober and alert, because your enemy the devil is on the prowl like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

Yet despite warnings from Scripture and Tradition about the lure of Satanism, teens and young adults see involvement in Satanic occultism as an acceptable cultural and social option. Why?

Satanic occultism wears the deceptive guise of white magic.

White magic employs the use of occult powers to do good. Black magic, on the other hand, uses occult powers to do evil. The entertainment industry cleverly hammers the notion of white magic in inattentive minds.

Take for example, CBS popular TV program, “Ghost Whisperer.” The show tells the story of an attractive young woman that chats with the dead. She uses her occult powers to help the dead finish pending matters with family and friends in this life before helping them cross over to the other side. Viewers can’t help but think this a wonderful way to help others. But is it really?

Another very popular CBS TV program called “Moonlight” throws a positive spin on the occult. In this program, a tall imposing vampire works as a private detective to make amends for past crimes he committed as a vampire. He no longer sucks blood from the necks of the innocent. He now keeps a stock of fresh blood in his fridge to quench his thirst. How consoling.

On the literary front, we find an entire plethora of books, magazines and columns that speak highly of the occult. For the last few years, the No. 1 best-selling novel in the United States and abroad narrates a story about a young boy wizard that uses white magic to duel the most powerful and evil wizard ever known.

Millions of youth, worldwide, look up to this courageous wizard as a perfect role model. Can a sorcerer or warlock be a role model?

The overall message of the white magic argument is clear: Magic is not bad in itself. It depends, like many things, on how you use it. In view of this assertion, white magic wins approval and respectability in the minds of many. Here, we need to make an important moral clarification.

The difference often made between white magic and black magic is woefully erroneous. The goodness or badness of an act of witchcraft or magic is not determined by the purpose of its use. Its moral quality comes from its origin.

The origin of all occult powers is the demonic realm. Consequently, all magic involving the use of occult powers is intrinsically evil. The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes this point abundantly clear:

“All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others — even if this were for the sake of restoring their health — are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons” (No. 2116).

The best defense against the lure of Satanic influence is an intense life of grace. In the words of St. Paul, the Church invites us to “Put on the full armor of God so as to be able to resist the devil’s tactics.”

This will permit us to utter effectively the powerful words of Christ in the hour of temptation, “Get thee behind me, Satan!”

Legionary Father Andrew McNair is a theology professor at Mater Ecclesiae College in Greenville, Rhode Island.

1 comment:

Michael said...

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the word of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication." - Ephesians 6 : 10-18