FATHER AMARO SAUMELL
FATHER KEVIN BATES, SM
CATHOLICVIEW PRIEST STAFF
Father Bill: My daughter grew up in the Catholic faith however now does not believe in God. What is going to happen to her when the rapture comes? Thank you. Concerned Mother – Cherie
You are not alone in your concern. Many parents have seen their children leave behind the faith of their childhood, and many wonder, as you do, what is to become of them. I think I first need to dispel a misunderstanding that many Catholics have about the Second Coming of Jesus. While we definitely believe that Jesus will come again at the end of time, “the rapture” is not part of Catholic theology.
Since many Catholics have read books from the Left Behind series or seen movies or TV shows based on rapture imagery, they probably assume that all Christian churches share that teaching. They don't, but rather than taking it from me, I'm going to refer you to a couple of very good summaries of what the Catholic teaching really is. Please check out the following links: http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac1005.asp http://www.littlerockscripture.org/en/wtbsa_rapture.html
That still leaves open the question as to your daughter's fate when she dies or at the Last Judgment. The honest answer is I don't know. Like all of us, your daughter is in the hands of a loving, merciful God, both now and for all eternity. Our religion is a religion of hope, not doom. That is because we are part of the amazing story of a God who has loved us humans so much that He would enter our world as one of us, so that we could know how much He loves us and how powerful that love is.
As we see in both the Old and New Testaments, God gives His people many chances. One of those chances might well come immediately upon our death, with a final opportunity to choose God's love rather than self-love. That we might be given one last chance would not surprise me in the least.
God loves your daughter, Cherie—even more than you do. While none of us humans can purport to know the mind of God—which means that it is not up to us to know or decide what your daughter's fate will be, we do know that she is in good hands.
Keep loving your daughter, and keep praying for her. - Father Bill
Forgive me, I mean no disrespect to you or your faith. But as Christians, we are taught that idolatry is a sin (1st Commandment). We are taught not to put any person or thing before Him. So how is someone to believe the Catholic faith to be "right" (for lack of a better term right now) when you pray to so many other people who, at one point in time, were merely human beings just like you and me?
I understand the religious importance some may have to your faith (such as all the different saints) as well as the importance some (such as the virgin Mary) have to ALL Christians. But if the Ten Commandments were handed down directly from God Himself and He said to put no others before Him, why do Catholics continue to pray to Mary or to saint so and so for this, or saint so and so for that? Again PLEASE do not take this as disrespect. It was not my intentions. I'm simply a young man trying to find his way. - Nick
Please be assured that I do not take your question as disrespectful in any way. In fact, it is a question that is often asked by those who are not Catholic, and it is a very good question.
Simply put, no Catholic who understands the Christian faith would ever put any human being on an equal footing with God—except, of course, for Jesus Himself. I think that answering your question revolves quite a bit around the phrase “pray to”. Is God the only one a Christian can “pray to”? If one “prays to” a saint, does that automatically imply that one is putting a mere human in the place of God?
Let me suggest that it is very important to make a distinction between prayer and worship. To worship any but God alone is idolatry. We pray to God and we worship God. Essentially, prayer is a form of communication, and praying to a saint implies that we believe there remains an intimate connection between those of us still living on earth and those who see the face of God in heaven, which in turn implies that we believe in the possibility of communicating with them in a spiritual, mystical way.
However, none of this implies that we worship them. Rather, they are our friends. They care about us. They are part of the Church, the Communion of Saints. They are our heroes, and our veneration of them is akin to our earthbound hero worship of those who inspire us. (I think we can agree that “hero worship” is not the same as the worship we give to God.) We pray to them because we not only believe that they care for us, but that they are closer to God than we are, which makes their prayers and their help very valuable. We believe that they can intercede with God on our behalf.
Every Christian who prays the Apostles Creed professes belief in the communion of saints. Catholic veneration of the saints in heaven is a way of putting that belief into practice.
Thanks for your question, Nick. If nothing else, I hope that my answer makes clear that we Catholics worship only God alone. - Father Bill
Is religion a fact or belief? I feel religion is a belief that could be unclear but is followed because of strong faith. Recently I was told that I am a sinful bad Christian because I think religion isn't fact and also because sometimes the bible seems a bit unclear to me. – Savanna
First of all, let me assure you that I don't think you are “a sinful, bad Christian” just because you have some questions about the Bible and the meaning of faith. On the contrary, I'm glad that you took the time to ask your question, rather than just stuffing it away in some corner of your life.
Since I'm kind of a stickler for the meanings of words, I want clarify something before I dive into the heart of your question. The word “religion” refers to a system of beliefs, and there are many systems of belief (religions) in the world. Since that is so, it follows that “religion” is a fact. It is something you can point to and say, “Yes, that system of beliefs is a religion.”
In order to answer it then, I think I have to try to re-word your question; I hope I can come close to what you mean. If I understand it correctly, I think that your question has more to do with “beliefs” and faith itself, so I think it is really something like this: “Are religious beliefs something that we hold onto as an act of faith, even though we don't always completely understand them, or are they facts that can be proven?”
The simple answer is that there are many beliefs within our Christian faith that cannot be proven through the common fact-checking disciplines such as history or science. For example, while historians almost universally accept as historical fact that Jesus Christ really lived, neither history nor science is prepared to state that He was the Son of God or that He rose from the dead. These are matters of faith, and those of us who believe them have good reason to believe that they are indeed true. However, we cannot prove them, other than to use the bible, which contains the testimony of those who witnessed them.
There are many people in our culture who would say that the only truths are those which can be demonstrated as factual by applying the scientific method, and therefore that faith has no place in the life of anyone who is smart and well educated. Some who feel this way come right out and ridicule people of faith.
Unfortunately, people who limit knowledge and truth to “fact” are missing something very important, because knowledge and truth go much more deeply into our humanity than do mere facts. (There is a wonderful line in the musical “The Man of La Mancha” where Don Quixote cries out, “Facts! Facts are the enemy of truth!” This, of course, is not entirely true, but it is good food for thought.)
Obviously our world depends a lot on facts, but when truth is limited to facts that can be proven, we become very poor indeed. Years ago, when I was teaching high school religion classes, I often would ask this question of my students: Is the story of Pinocchio true? (Most of them would be familiar with the Disney version of the story.) Of course they would say, “No. It's a story.” I would respond, “Then there's no truth in it at all?”
By the time we would finish the discussion, many of them would realize that the story, even though not factual, contains profound truths.
Think about it! The world of literature, both classical and popular, is filled with all sorts of stories that are not fact, but are filled with truth. So are the artistic media of our culture, like movies and the stage. The Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, ET, Star Trek and Star Wars—the list could go on and on. These stories often draw on ancient myths found in many cultures, and these myths express truths found deep down in the human experience of life.
J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings, once pointed out that all the great stories and myths of history had human authors, but there is one great story whose author is God himself, and God's story fulfills and surpasses all the others. God's story includes all the great themes that are found in human tales—themes like the struggle between good and evil, the tragic consequences of going over to “the dark side”, the possibility of forgiveness and redemption, the saving intervention of the powers of good, and the eventual triumph of good over evil. The difference is that God's story is not only true, but it actually happened—and is still happening. This is a belief, not a fact that can be proven. But to the believer it is true indeed and very real.
Yes, it takes faith to come to that conclusion. One either believes God's story or one does not. Having faith does not mean that we see everything with perfect clarity, but it does mean that we have accepted the essential truth of God's story.
Thanks again for your question, Savanna. I hope that my answer gives you some food for thought. - Father Bill
FATHER AMARO SAUMELL
"Do Chalices have to be made out of precious metal? - James
Do Chalices have to be made out of a precious metal? I am a ceramic artist and want to make a set for my pastor out of clay. - James
The chalices have to be made of metal. They do not have to be made of a precious metal. They are usually at least plated with a precious metal for beauty and for sanitation. If you go to my web page, www.fatheramaro.com , you will see the General instruction to the Roman Missal and another more recent document called Redemtionis Sacramentum. These two documents give all the requirements for the sacred vessels
Unfortunately, the rules have changed. It used to be that we could use a “non-porous” material. Now, they must be metal. Yes, this was disappointing to me, for my ordination chalice is Waterford Crystal. But we must be obedient, for it is the Holy Spirit who is guiding the successors to the Apostles, the bishops. Obedience is the outward sign of humility. God bless. - Father Amaro
I am a notary public employed by a law firm which pays for my notary commission so that I can notarize clients' signatures on the documents we have prepared for them. As a notary, my responsibility is to attest to the fact that the person(s) signing documents have proven to me by presentation of adequate identification that they are who they say they are. I do not need to know details of the contents of the documents they are signing.
For the first time, I might be asked to notarize Wills, Trusts, etc., created for same-sex couples "married" in a state whose laws allow "marriage" between couples of the same sex. Am I violating or being disloyal to the Catholic Church's teachings on same-sex relationships if I am attesting that the signers of these documents have proven to me that they are who they say they are? I am required to sign the documents in a special "notary clause," and I am not sure that I feel comfortable having my name on documents drawn up between a "married" couple of the same sex. Thank you for whatever advice you can give me on this issue. ____
I have a very good friend, another priest, with whom I have such documents. What are you trying to say about us? Of course I'm just joking. But it proves the point. Don't judge any “couples” that make legal documents. All you are doing is saying that you are witnessing documents. I'm sure that there are many documents that, having read them, you would find some disapproval. You are not making any contracts. You are just attesting to identity. Hope this eases your conscience. God bless. - Father Amaro
I just got a wedding invitation to my daughter's wedding. She is marrying another girl. I know its wrong, but her sister isn't sure about it, what is the best way to handle this situation. I need an answer asap. - Carol
Any participation in a ceremony like this would send a message of tacit approval and support. Most of us have friends that are homosexual. But sexual identity is not identity itself. We support people. We don't support sin. If someone was going to celebrate their first shot of heroin, would you attend? Of course not. But that wouldn't end the bond between mother and daughter. Clearly state that you love her and this will not change. But your love for her doesn't support her actions. The relationship will define itself in truth at that point. God bless. - Father Amaro
My husband is not Catholic. We have been practicing NFP even though he does not agree with it. Would it be wrong for him to get a vasectomy? I am afraid that my beliefs are affecting him negatively and I am concerned as to what NFP is doing to our relationship. - Leanne
Origen did not become a saint. Why? He was so frustrated with sexual impulses that he removed what was bothering him. God created the body to stay in tact... that is, of course, unless something is injuring another part of the body through infection or the like. We always look to what God intended. A vasectomy not only is mutilation of the body. It is also a defiant sign against God and His design. No one who loves God can contradict His will and His design.
Communication is the key. Why does your husband not agree with NFP? Is it that he doesn't agree? Or, maybe it's inconvenient to his impulses. Check out the stats. The divorce rate of those who practice NFP is only about 2%. Why do you think this is? The consensus is that the union between a man and a woman is not reduced to exploitation, impulse, or selfishness. The union is a planned celebration. No one is used or put upon
It takes full consideration of both parties. Real manhood does not act on impulse. Real manhood is considerate. In addition, vasectomies and other forms of birth control can often lead to a false confidence towards infidelity. With all the temptations life already has, why add to them? Last but not least, an intention against children is proof in the annulment process that a true marriage never existed in the first place... only a ceremony.
Think very carefully about this. Whatever we do in life is proof of the type of relationship with God that we have. Does He come first? God bless. - Father Amaro
My 22 year old daughter is gay. I have reminded her of the teachings of our church about being gay and she still lives her life the way she wants. What else am I supposed to do? I have told her that she knows my feelings and I do not accept her lifestyle but she is still my daughter and I love her. She is dating a transgender. A woman that is becoming a man. She has told me that she thinks "he" is the one. What am I supposed to do? If they marry, do I go to the wedding or stay away? My daughter used to be an alter server and helped teach CCD. She knows what the church teaches. I don't want to lose my daughter. - Patricia
Never stop loving your daughter. But we never participate or celebrate sin. As I told another in this very series of questions, would you participate in her first use of heroin? Of course not. But you wouldn't stop loving her. If her friend went into a diabetic shock, would you stand and watch? Of course not.
We render ourselves available to what we can to participate with God's will. Part of God's will is to love each other. Always treat all people with respect. That does not mean that you must approve or participate. Besides, it is not merely the “Church” who teaches these things, but rather the Holy Spirit teaching through the instrument of the Church. Please pray for your daughter. God bless. - Father Amaro
Is it morally wrong for a Catholic woman and man that are married both in a civil court and traditionally to have sexual relations immediately after these non-religious marriage contracts? Both couples plan to wed in the church in the near future. - Ricardo
Is it morally wrong for a judge to perform the Anointing of the Sick, or stand at the Altar and pretend to confect the Eucharist? Why do baptized Catholics think that Marriage is any different than any other Sacred Sacrament? As Catholics, we would never do anything in life that would contradict our witness to Christ or His Church. Civil marriage is mainly for record keeping and taxes. Does that sound sacramental to you? Does that have any hint of holiness or sacredness?
The conjugal union of a Catholic and spouse is one saying to another in a spirit of holiness, “This is my body given up for you.” The “I do's” as a Christian vow are as sacred as the text that the priest says during mass. The reception of Holy Communion, Christ's real presence, is the conjugal union between Christ and his Church. To receive an artificial version in its place would be a great sacrilege and offense to God. Many “plan” on going to heaven too... at a later date. How surprised they will be when they find out that they didn't put God first or include Him in every step of their plans.
Christ's Church is not an extracurricular activity. Either we are Catholic, or we just come to the meetings. This is very serious stuff. God bless. - Fr. Amaro
I have a schizophrenic troubled neighbor. She is a good woman (perhaps polygamist poverty) but her electric has now been cut. She asked to plug into my outlets of my townhome. I thought for phone or small things. She is running her home now off of my home. I want to help her but my electric bill is now double. And its only summer. I'm concerned that winter is coming. I cannot cut her off for she will try to live without heat I fear. I cannot afford the bill although with some sacrifice maybe I could. What would you do? I need your advice. Please. I want to do right. But I'm upset about it. - Barbara
I am grateful to God for your generosity and your care for your schizophrenic neighbor. The Lord will bless you immensely! But it is obvious that she cannot take care of herself and cannot pay the bills. She is unable to be responsible for her life and needs. For people like her that have mental illness issues, this situation needs professional intervention. If you knew someone who was physically ill and was living in a situation where they needed help, I am sure that you would call someone to help out because that is the person you are. There same for someone who is mentally ill, you would call someone to help.
If your neighbor has a family, such as parents or siblings, then I would suggest getting in touch with them to explain your neighbor's situation. And you may have to call a welfare or mental health clinic near you to intervene and find her a place where she find the care she needs. She should not be living alone.
As for your specific question about the electricity sharing, you will have to tell her that you need to cut off the cord since it is costing you more than you can afford. And you must tell her that you will call someone to help her with the electricity needs. Call your local utility company and ask what they can do for this person. And you need to call her family and see what they want to do.
If they don't want to do anything, since people with mental illness usually do not find themselves in supportive families or have a support network to help them, then the next step is to report this woman's needs to your local mental health center and see if they can help. You do not need to keep the electricity line going. You need to call for help in helping someone who cannot help themselves. Your community may have such services available to those suffering from this mental illness, such as community drop-in centers. - CatholicView Priest Staff
Are things such as harnessing Qi energy and/or doing telekinesis demonic? - Aaron
If you can harness such inner energies as Qi (a Buddhist concept that life energy flows through all living things and that this life energy can heal, and even change personal destinies) and telekinesis (the ability to move things by one's inner energy), then you are quite the disciplined soul. These things are not demonic by themselves but can be used by demonic forces for evil and destruction if not guided by the Spirit of God and a Christian spiritual director.
All that is asked by the Lord is your complete faith in Him. Qi and Telekinesis can only be from God if it is used for His greater glory, not for your greater glory. Focus then on your relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. All good things will come from that saving faith. - CatholicView Priest Staff
Because of age, money, and family, we were not able to marry in public so we went to confession and the priest married us so we would not be sinning in living together, but told us we could not tell anyone. Is this okay in God's eyes? - Marge
This blessing and solemnizing of your marriage is highly irregular. I dislike being the bearer of bad news but this marriage blessing within the sacrament of penance may not valid. BUT, and there is always a caveat in regards to sacramental marriage, your priest confessor may have been using a canonical legal move called INTERNAL FORUM. Internal forum means that a priest or diocesan bishop may grant something outside the public eye for a very good pastoral reason, such as your sacramental marriage in the church.
Your priest confessor may have recognized that your marriage could not immediately be sacramentalized through the ordinary and external forum. To make sure that your own ability to receive the sacraments is kept intact, he may have decided to use this internal forum to bless your marriage. Hence, the reason he asked that you tell no one about his blessing of your marriage in the church.
I suggest that you make an appointment with someone in your diocesan marriage tribunal to talk about why your priest confessor decided to bless your marriage within the internal forum. Here is a more detailed and canonical explanation of the difference between external and internal forum for all our readers (taken from Wikipedia): In Roman Catholic canon law, a distinction is made between the internal forum, where an act of governance is made without publicity, and the external forum, where the act is public and verifiable.
Thus the name of the parties in a marriage contracted in the external forum are noted in a public register, but a marriage celebrated secretly is to be noted instead in a special register kept in the secret archive of the diocesan curia.
The distinction between the internal forum and the external forum is recognized in the Code of Canon Law, which states: "Of itself, the power of governance is exercised for the external forum; sometimes, however, it is exercised for the internal forum alone, so that the effects which its exercise is meant to have for the external forum are not recognized there, except insofar as the law establishes it in determined cases."
Within the internal forum a distinction is made between the sacramental internal forum and the non-sacramental internal forum, according as matters are decided in the sacrament of Penance, and thus additionally protected by the seal of confession, or outside of the sacrament.
Sometimes power of governance is given for the sacramental forum only: in each diocese a priest is to be appointed who has the faculty, which he cannot delegate to others, of "absolving in the sacramental forum outsiders within the diocese and members of the diocese even outside the territory of the diocese from undeclared latae sententiae censures not reserved to the Apostolic See".
In the Roman Curia, the Apostolic Penitentiary has jurisdiction for matters of the internal forum, both sacramental and non-sacramental, but in some instances its decisions hold also in the external forum, as when, unless it states otherwise, a dispensation that it grants in the non-sacramental internal forum from an occult impediment to marriage, is sufficient even if the occult impediment later becomes public.
The term "internal forum" is sometimes used in connection with the controversial so-called "internal forum solution" claimed to justify reception of Holy Communion by someone who is convinced that a former marriage was invalid, but who cannot prove this externally so as to obtain an annulment. This is not a canonical solution. - CatholicView Priest Staff
Why is polygamy no longer practiced? In the days of Solomon and David, God let them have hundreds of wives and promised more as a reward. It can't be totally wrong, but why was it stopped? Not that people should have that many wives but more than one seems to be alright. I would just like to know the reason this came about-the one wife at a time limitation. - Janice
Janice: By the time of Jesus, polygamy was only practiced by the non-Jewish peoples around them and by those who were rich enough to afford several wives and accompanying children. Polygamy by the time of Jesus was already being fazed out as polygamy did not fit into what Jesus understood the original intent of marriage, that is, the union between one man and one woman for the procreation of children and the union of love between two souls.
divine mandated definition of marriage is immediately seen in Genesis, Chapter 2, Verse 24: That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body. Notice that God's intent was for monogamy, not polygamy.
In time, humankind picked up things contrary to the original intent of God's plan for one man and one woman, and such people such as David and Solomon were only following the cultural acceptance of polygamy that was around them, and God had to work with what He had. But polygamy was not God's original plan (nor was divorce for that matter). Jesus made certain that his followers did not practice polygamy. When he talked about marriage, He made sure that His followers understood God's original intent for marriage and family: one man, one woman, one relationship, one family, one home. Please read Matthew Chapter 19 for a very clear explanation of Jesus' teaching on marriage and His expectation of His followers concerning marriage. Also, in Revelation, Chapter 21, the Church (the body of all true believers in Jesus) is described as the bride waiting for her husband, Jesus Christ.
Jesus' spouse is the Church, all of us who believe. Not many churches, but the one Church. We could go on, but basically, Jesus got rid of polygamy as a practice for Christians. As a side and as a matter of justice, why is it that polygamy is always for a man? Why not a woman with multiple husbands? The inequality of polygamy is clearly against God's plan for us all.
In polygamy, the woman is seen as possession, not as a full human being created in the image of God Himself. In Christianity, men and women are called to live life to the full, maintaining their dignity, and forming their destinies equally. And marriage, between one man and one woman, is one of the ways of human souls moving together to heaven by building their destines together . - CatholicView Priest Staff
I know abortion in any case is wrong, but a friend said death is a right too and that he wouldn't want to live with a crippling disease. I didn't know how to explain our views to him. Please help. - Jessica
I have a right to life, but I do not have the right to self-destruction since it is against God's Will for me and those around me. Self-destruction comes in many forms, but it is our right, duty, and expectation to preserve what was given to us by God. That's why God gave is this commandment: Do not kill (Exodus 20:13). Even though one may be racked by a crippling disease, one does not have the right to kill oneself simply because of the disease. Nature will takes its course when it comes to disease. That is God's way. Hope this helps. - CatholicView Priest Staff
I am a 37 year old female who is recently separated. I have a priest friend who is of the same age who often asks me to go to the movies or dinner very often. Sometimes several times during the week. I usually decline, but sometimes I do agree to meet. Is this acceptable or normal behavior for a priest, and does the Catholic Church have any guidelines in regards to priests dating women even if it is just as friends? - Janice
Priests are allowed to have friends and to have good times with friends. But what you describe may be crossing the line of propriety. Your priest friend is committed to the church in a bond that is akin to marriage. He must always be aware of what his actions may seem to those who see him. Let's put it this way, what would you think of your friend's husband if he was going out with a woman friend for movies and dinner once a week, or as you put it, several times a week Wouldn't you question such behaviour?
same here. The diocese (and the bishop) of your parish has strict guidelines in regards to "special friendships." These "special relationships" are not to be encouraged or engaged in. It is time to say to your priest friend that you will no longer see him alone. This is not good for him nor for you, especially after your painful marital separation. - CatholicView Priest Staff
CatholicView Staff: Did Jesus' Atonement cover Homo Erectus and other early man, or was it just salvation for us Homo Sapiens? -Thanks. Brian
Salvation is only extended for human beings as we know them today, the Homo Sapiens. We leave it up to science to tell us how human beings came to being. But our faith and scriptures tell us when human beings came into existence, when God breathed into the first human beings, the first homo sapiens, his Spirit. In Genesis Chapter 2, Verse 7, the scriptures tell us exactly when the first human beings were made: "..the Lord God formed man....and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being."
Before that, any "human ancestors" were not human, not created in the image of God, and were considered animals. There was a first human couple, and we called them Adam and Eve. They truly existed. See this interesting thing about genetics and how we all have the common genes of Eve, the mother of all human beings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_Eve)
They were the first Homo Sapiens, created by God to have a free will, the ability to make a choice between good and evil, had a knowledge of God's presence and Being, had the ability to create and devise their own destinies, and had the ability to better themselves for all time. Before Adam and Eve, all our human ancestors did not enjoy or have the qualities that make a human being
Once those first human beings had the ability to make ethical decisions that affected themselves and those around them, then salvation became necessary. For Adam and Eve, they made a decision against God's plan and therefore set humankind in a self-destructive path that deemed it necessary for God to send a Savior.
Animals do not need salvation because they are always doing God's Will for them and therefore cannot sin since they do not have free will but are ruled by their instinct. Human beings, on the contrary, are free and must live within a divine ethical set of rules to live in peace and justice with all around them
Sadly, sin is that destructive force that we need to be saved from. God made a perfect world, but since we were created in God's image, which means we have free and creative will like God, we messed it up and tore God's creation apart by our evil decisions. God always respects our free will and will rarely intervene. That's why Jesus came, for it was God's intervention to stop our self-destructive path and head for peace and joy that will be fully realized in heaven. - Interesting Question. Hope this helps. - CatholicView Priest Staff
Father: I have been told that I am an empath. How do I learn to tap into my spiritual gift? - Deborah
An empath is someone who can actually read a person's emotions and thoughts. An empath is not someone who can read the future or someone who would be considered a psychic. Your gift is a burdensome one since you will feel and even understand what another person is feeling. Jesus had this gift and used it much. One of my favorite stories about Jesus using his empathic gifts was in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 6, Verse 8, when he was dealing with doubters about his healing power: But he realized their thoughts and intentions, and said to the man with the withered hand, "Come up and stand before us." He cured the man in front of all of them knowing that they would still condemn Him for healing on the Sabbath.
There is also a similar verse in Matthew 12:25 in which the gospel states, "But he knew what they were thinking." In this gospel telling, Jesus was surprised that the people were saying He was healing people not by God but by the devil. Most people are empaths to some degree. We have all heard people say to us at one time or another, "What's wrong?" I didn't have to say anything, but people could pick up that something was not right with my emotional and spiritual self.
I don't know if you would fit the description of an empath, but people must feel that you are able to help them clarify their emotions. That is a beautiful and healing gift. Just keep doing it. The more you help people in understanding their emotions, the more you will be able to understand how to use your gift for the healing of so many people. May the Spirit of God guide you and inspire you! - CatholicView Priest Staff
CatholicView: I have a multi-part question. 1. How many different liturgical rites make up the Catholic Church? 2. Why is the Filoque omitted in the Profession of Faith in Eastern Rite Catholic Churches? I attended a Byzantine Rite Catholic Divine Liturgy not long ago, and at the recitation of the Profession of Faith, the Filoque was omitted. Aren't all Catholics supposed to use the same Profession of Faith? - Humberto
The Roman Catholic Church is headed by the Bishop of Rome as its universal pastor. Within the Catholic Church, there are many rites, or ways of worshipping God, complete with specific customs and even theology. The Roman rite is the largest of the rites of the Catholic Church, but there are many. The Western Rite, of which the Roman rite is the largest in this section, is used by churches that grew from the Church of Rome.
The Eastern Rite is largely organized according to national churches and apostolic churches (churches actually founded by one of the twelve apostles) that grew independently of the church in Rome. There are many rites in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. In this link, you can see for yourself all the recognized rites of the Roman Catholic Church: http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/catholic_rites_and_churches.htm
In regards to the Profession of Faith, called the Creed (I believe in one God, the Father Almighty....), the Creed was written in two parts, one in 325 A.D, simply called the Nicene Creed (and promulgated by the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.) and then, later, the clarification of 381 A.D., that is called the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed, promulgated by the Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople (381 A.D
All the different rites and churches (Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and other apostolic churches) agreed to the wording of this Creed and agreed on this statement of belief to be used in all liturgical settings. The Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed is what we use today at our Masses and liturgical functions. The "Filioque" statement of the Creed refers to this statement: "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, WHO PROCEEDS FROM THE FATHER AND THE SON." Filioque is Latin for "and the Son."
And here is the theological rub: does the Holy Spirit "proceed" ONLY from the Father, or does the Holy Spirit "proceed" from both the Father AND the Son, or does the Spirit of God proceed from the Father THROUGH the Son. The 381 A.D. creed state simply, "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who PROCEEDS FROM THE FATHER."
No mention of "AND THE SON (Filioque)." So, when did this addition come from and why the Eastern Rites (and the Orthodox) do not use this addition, "AND THE SON." To the Western Rite Churches, it was obvious that the Spirit comes from the Father and the Son, for Jesus had said that He would send the Holy Spirit, as shown in John 16:7 -- But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send Him to you." Notice that Jesus did not say that the Father would send the Holy Spirit, as manifested on Pentecost in the upper room, He said that He himself would send the Spirit. The Western Church added the words, AND OF THE SON (Filioque), to the Creed as a way to teach that Jesus is divine as well as human, and as an argument against the Arian heresy that was present in Spain during the fourth and fifth century (simply put, the Arian heresy did not recognize the divinity of Jesus
The Eastern Churches protested stating that the church in Spain could not add anything to the agreed upon Creed without calling another Ecumenical Council. Here is what is written about this conflict, copied from the article, FILIOQUE, in the Wikipedia web site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filioque
Although the Eastern Fathers were aware that in the West the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son was taught, they did not generally regard it as heretical: "a whole series of Western writers, including popes who are venerated as saints by the Eastern church, confess the procession of the Holy Spirit also from the Son; and it is even more striking that there is virtually no disagreement with this theory."
The phrase Filioque first appears as an anti-Arian interpolation in the Creed at the Third Council of Toledo (589), at which Visigothic Spain renounced Arianism, accepting Catholic Christianity. The addition was confirmed by subsequent local councils in Toledo and soon spread throughout the West, not only in Spain, but also in the kingdom of the Franks, who had adopted the Catholic faith in 496, and in England, where the Council of Hatfield imposed it in 680 as a response to Monothelitism. However, it was not adopted in Rome.
Yet, the controversy of adding the FILIOQUE statement to the Creed grew and was part of a host of issues (such as Papal Primacy) that caused the split between West and East in 1054 A.D. with both the Patriarch of Constantinople (the successor of Saint Andrew) and the Bishop of Rome (the successor of Saint Peter) excommunicating each other in the Western and Eastern schism. To this day, the issue of the Filioque Statement has not yet been resolved despite decades of dialog to heal the rift between the Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Churches.
So, in regards to the Eastern Catholic Churches using the Creed without the FILIOQUE statement in the Creed, they continue to use the Creed as passed down to us from the Second Ecumenical Council (381 A.D.). This was agreed by the Bishop of Rome as a condition of unification of the Eastern Catholic Churches that desired to be united with Rome. The Eastern Catholic Churches have their own liturgical rites and their own canon law.
Yet, we are united by accepting the Bishop of Rome as our universal pastor. One day, I pray that Roman and Orthodox Churches will be united in faith and love. As Saint Paul writes in Ephesians 4:5 -- Striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all and through all and in all. - CatholicView Priest Staff
CatholicView Priest Staff:
Please do not think our question is crazy. It is important to us. Does God love our little Yorkie? We are taught that God loves all His creation, so would He not love our little dog? We love our little guy very much, just as we love one another in our human family very much. To us, our Yorkie is a member of the family and we all really love him a lot. He is spoiled rotten, but his love for us is unconditional. He lets us know he loves us.
The big question is: when we die, and if we are worthy and go to Heaven, will we I be reunited with our little dog? He is so sweet, and brings us all such happiness. We all, the wife and our grown adult children, see God's handiwork in this little creature. Our little guy makes it clear to us that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Do you feel that God intended for us to have this little Yorkie boy? - Hunter
God loves all life since all life comes from Him. God loves your dog, the Yorkie. He gave the dog to you as your pet, as your emotional support, and as your companion in your journey through life. Your little dog has a soul, and when your dog dies, your dog's soul returns to the Creator God who made him for you. Of course, the human soul is different from a dog's soul, yet nonetheless, it is a soul with the energy of life flowing through it to animate the body.
know that all life comes from God and will return to God. Your dog's destiny is heaven. My destiny, through my free will and through my freely accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, is heaven too. But your dog CANNOT make a free will decision or make a faith declaration. Only humans can. So, your dog is definitely going to be with God (he has no choice...lucky dog).
As for us, my destiny is in my hands. I chose whether I am going to heaven or not. That is what makes us different form the animals. I am reminded of the verse in the Book of Jonah (the Old Testament), 4:11, that amuses me since it shows that God loves animals and will take care of them: And should I not be concerned over Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot distinguish their right hand from their left, NOT TO MENTION THE MANY CATTLE? God loves cattle too!
Yes, your little Yorkie is a special gift from God to you! And his place in God's heart is forever. So, praise and thank God for your little dog! Now, it's up to you to get to heaven! As a side note, the Old Testament has a wonderful account of a talking donkey. Now imagine that! I guess God really loves donkeys! Enjoy reading Numbers 22:28-33! As a matter of fact, read the whole context: Numbers 22:22-35. The moral of the story: don't mess with the animals because God loves them, and uses them as His messengers of love! - CatholicView Priest Staff
I would like to know once and for all: is masturbation a mortal sin? Is it even a sin at all? I have been having much trouble quitting and I have had 2 priests tell me at confession that it was nothing to worry about and that it is not mentioned in the Bible. These doubts have served as enablers and I hope to truly not be committing mortal sin. I still confess it, however. Would I be able to receive communion having committed an unconfessed "solitary sin?" I am an unmarried 21 year old. Thank you. - John
CatholicView has published an article on this subject. Please see this link below. Masturbation is considered a sin. Let's be clear and blunt: masturbation is ALWAYS a sinful act, contrary to God’s ideal law concerning how human beings should live as Christians. There is no excuse or deceiving one’s self in thinking that masturbation is acceptable under certain circumstances or that it is not sinful because “everyone does it."
Nor can we excuse masturbation as morally acceptable within the sacred bonds of marriage even if one partner cannot fully express their love for one another in physical intimacy for the “release of sexual tension.
”Sexual expression must always be fulfilled within the bonds of marriage and with its two goals (ends) always in sight: unitive (completing and fulfilling the love bond between a man and a woman in the sacrament of marriage) and procreative (open to life, open to the creative processes of having children). LINK to complete article: Catholic view on masturbation - Hope this helps. - CatholicView Priest Staff
I am truly sorry to hear that you are having such sad thoughts of suicide and what those thoughts imply. Sometimes life can be so overwhelming that our vision and judgment becomes cloudy and we cannot see the precious beauty that surrounds us. When we are tired and discouraged, we might even think we are an impediment to others simply because we are so beat up and worn down by all the hardships just living places upon us. As precious as it is, there will be stones placed in our pathways that we must overcome.
You ask, "If you commit suicide, will you go to Hell? In the past, the church had thought that suicide was the decision of a free act of the will and that people who killed themselves were acting with their full mental capacity and would be sentenced to Hell for eternity. With the strides made in medical knowledge, the church now knows that most people who commit suicide do so after a long and torturous mental, physical, and emotional pain that cannot be appreciated by most people. This pain clouds the decision making process of a human being and disables the mind from making a free act of the will. To be able to overcome the built-in instinct for survival is a sign that the person is in mental distress that does not allow free will to function.
Sin happens ONLY by a free act of the will. Depending on the particular situation, the Church does not see suicide as an automatic ticket to hell. Notice that I said in my answer to you that “most” people who commit suicide do so outside of their complete free will and therefore are not culpable of sin.
BUT, and this is big, there are those who commit suicide fully aware of what they are doing, fully aware of their options, making fully aware plans (pre-meditated action), and fully aware of their situation and commit suicide will have to ANSWER TO GOD for their actions. Usually, though, suicide is an act of a person not able to make a free will decision, and in this case, God, Who is a loving God, judges them accordingly.
There is no exception that God makes for the trials of this life. He gave us life and wants us to live it until He decides to take it back. We have life because God gives us life. If God didn't want us alive, we wouldn't be alive. So, the fact that you are living and breathing means that God WANTS YOU alive and WANTS YOU on earth for a reason. No exceptions. You cannot give up on a life that you had no part of creating. God placed this gift in your hands for safekeeping. You cannot do away with it because you cannot handle its upkeep.
Yes, there are ups and downs as well as the good and the bad times that accompany living. But there is no escape from your personal responsibility to protect your life. It is to be lived, through whatever comes your way. This will make you stronger for having faced the miseries head-on.
Always know that God is a God of compassion and understanding and sees the whole context of your life. He knows all your pains and sufferings and He wants to comfort you and share that pain. Invite the Lord to help your carry this heavy burden by praying. Feel confident when you pray, because God is right there beside you with His mighty love.
I want you to go speak with a priest as soon as possible. Please. Explain everything to him for he is there to help you, to pray with you, and help you go forward. Please do not delay. Will you find a quiet place and open your heart to the Lord? I will pray for you, and ask that He will fill your heart with hope, that He will give you His peace, that you will continue with your faith in Him. You are so loved, Janie. - CatholicView Priest Staff
My 20 year old son has gone to college and came back after the first year saying he no longer believes in God and has "researched" the fact there is no God. How do I reach him and what can I say?
Always remember that you have given your son your example of faith during his formative years. This is a background that is strong and will be a reminder forever of your faith, a faith you have taught him to honor and depend on for himself. Rely on this. This may just be a time in his life when he is beginning to doubt some things as he stands on the threshold of manhood and wants to decide all things for himself.
But the upbringing you gave your son through your teaching, attending mass, and your prayers, etc. will always be with him. He just cannot see it at this time in his life.
Continue to be an example. Ask other family members to also pray that God will touch your son's heart and make Himself known through the Holy Spirit. We will pray for you. - CatholicView Staff
I am a Catholic with OCD. Is it a sin to pick up a package off my front porch dressed in a long t-shirt that covers most of my bottom with full panties on? I pulled the shirt down as far as I could. This is not a joke, but something I've been obsessing about. - Sheryll
I am sorry that you suffer with OCD. Do not be concerned about picking up your package dressed the way you were. As long as you did not intend to be indecent but only wanted to get your mail, this is not a sin. Sin would be if you purposely exposed yourself to others. Since this was not your intent, there is no sin involved. In the future, please make sure to cover yourself properly before going outdoors. This way you will avoid worrying that someone may get the wrong impression. Please go in peace knowing that all is well. God bless. - CatholicView Staff
Can my husband and I attend our son's wedding at a Greek orthodox church if he refuses to have a Roman Catholic priest co-officiate? - Maria
Yes, you can attend your son's wedding. If you do not attend, this could cause a split in the family that may cause you and your son great unhappiness at a future time. Set a peaceful example. By attending you are also extending love not only to your son but his bride who is to become part of your family. Your absence will be seen as a rejection of not only your son but his bride as well.
Attend the wedding. Welcome your new daughter-in-law. Be a Christian example. Your son has a strong Catholic Christian background that you laid down for him. Let him see this and maybe one day he will return to the fold. Pray about it and let God intervene and take care of all things. - CatholicView Staff
I was born, raised and married in the Catholic church as was my husband. We have been married for 40 years. Neither of us are practicing Catholics. Would the Church allow me back? To tell the truth I would not know what to do during mass. I have not been to church in over 35 years. - Barbara
I am so happy that you want to come back to your Church home. Know that the Lord is well pleased with your decision. The Church does not turn anyone away who wants to return in good faith.
Please make an appointment to see a priest at a nearby church. He may ask you to attend R.C.I.A. which is the Rite of Christian Initiation because this program will help you to renew all you will need to fully participate at Church mass. At some point you will asked to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) so you can receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion (Holy Eucharist). The priest will discuss all this when you see him. Welcome back, Barbara! May God bless you during this special and important time. Know that even now the Lord is smiling down on you. - CatholicView Staff
My Catholic boyfriend and I have been dating for a year. We were told this past Sunday by a priest that if we weren't ready for marriage we shouldn't date. I want to marry him right now but being in college doesn't allow for that...is this a sin to still date? - Mora
There is nothing wrong in dating providing you are careful to avoid sexual sin. We are told to avoid the occasion of sin. I think this is what your priest was trying to explain. If you feel that you cannot avoiding sinning, then you should take your priest's advice and get married. - CatholicView Staff
I have seen a miracle of Jesus moving in a picture I have on my wall for 20 years. This has been happening for about one month now. Do I tell anyone or show it to anyone? What does it mean? - Rosemarie
What an interesting question concerning Jesus moving within your picture! However, CatholicView is not a forum for dreams or supernatural happenings such as yours. Is it a continuous thing that happens or just sometime? I suggest that you bring your picture and show it to one of your parish priests. Perhaps he may be able to see what you are seeing and be able to offer suggestions on what you should do. - CatholicView Staff
CatholicView Staff: I believe in miracles, but according to all my doctors, I can't have children. As a Catholic, marriage is a union open to the gift of children, can mine even be a marriage, if I get married? -Krisztina
I am so sorry to hear that your doctors say you cannot have children. Do know there is no sin in marrying since you are open to having children as long as you tell the person you are marrying what the doctors said about your situation. Your marriage would be valid. But always depend on the Lord. He is the final word on whether you can conceive or not. May the Lord bless you with happiness. - CatholicView Staff
I am a divorced Catholic now engaged, and my son is 6 years old and is attending Catholic School. Can I go in communion line to be blessed? - Roxann
I am sorry you are unable to take communion at this time. The good news is absolutely you can get in the communion line to be blessed.
But let's address the fact that you are engaged to be married. Will you be marrying in the Church? If you are, you must secure your annulment papers before you get married in the Church as you are still married in the eyes of the Catholic Church. If there is sexual intimacy between you and your fiancé, you are committing adultery as well. Why not get all this taken care of as soon as possible so you can be fully established as part of our Church family?
I suggest you have a talk to your parish priest right away. Arrange for the annulment and the Sacrament of Confession. Hope this helps. - CatholicView Staff
After me uncle's death, and before a nun that I know died then I had a vision of the Blessed Mother holding a white crown and Jesus holding a red. What should I do? - Carter
CatholicView does not interpret dreams or visions. You might ask your parish priest to help you with this. However, yours is a beautiful vision that may offer you the peace and tranquility that you seek after losing your beloved uncle. Hope this helps a bit. - CatholicView Staff
Hi. I am a fairly new Catholic; maybe only a year or two, and I'm only the only one in my family. I pray the rosary twice a day: in the morning and at night. Is it wrong to wear the rosary as a necklace? I wear it wherever I go and I recently began to question if other Catholics do as well. Thank you :).
Certainly you may wear the rosary as long as you are aware that it is NOT to be a fashion statement.
Your motives are pure and God knows this. If others use it solely for a fashion necklace without giving thought to its true meaning, then this would be wrong because they would be wearing a sacred object without recognizing its true and sacred meaning. - May the Lord bless you always. - CatholicView Staff
I am 70 yrs old. How do I get back to being a good Catholic after being divorced by my wife in 2000? I was young and my girlfriend was pregnant. I am remarried to a non-Catholic. And I have also committed adultery. - David
I am pleased that you want to come back to your Church family. There are some things that you must address to a priest in your area who can help you sort all details out so that you may be able to enjoy the sacraments once more.
Was your first marriage celebrated in a Catholic Church or done civilly? And were you able to get an annulment from that first marriage? You might need to update these details with the priest. Being married to a non-Catholic is not a major problem because you and your present wife can have the union blessed. And importantly, you will want to get forgiveness for committing adultery.
Please make an appointment to see your parish priest. These are huddles and must be addressed. They can be sorted out so that you will be in good standing once more in the Catholic Church. May the Lord give you strength and courage to come back home again. God bless you. - CatholicView Staff
CatholicView Staff: Why do you confess your sins, when Jesus died for all of them already?" - Douglas
Thank you for your question. Yes, it is true that Jesus died for all our sins. However, we must accept His gift of salvation through faith and obedience. He waits patiently for you to accept Him in that faith. When one gets baptized and professes belief in Jesus Christ, all sin is wiped away. You become brand new.
BUT, earthly man has a sinful nature, spurred on by Satan who runs rampart on this earth. We fall into sin and when we do, we must ask the Lord to forgive us so that we are made clean again as when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior for we want to be back in God's grace again. We are blessed because Jesus will forgive us over and over as long as we come to Him with a true repentant attitude, with a sincere promise to avoid sin(s) in the future.
Yes, the gift of salvation is ours and we accept it with faith, but we must keep that faith new by being obedient. When we break His rules, we must reinstate ourselves by amending our lives and following the path set before us as Christians. Thank you for your question. May the Lord bless you. - CatholicView Staff
I pray a Rosary for conversion of all sinners each day. I want to pray another Rosary each day for myself, but I feel guilty not adding at least another person to pray for with the second Rosary. Is it proper to pray a Rosary just for oneself when things are difficult? - Cecilia
Prayer is a wonderful connection to our Lord. And thank you for praying for all sinners that they might accept Jesus Christ as Savior. However, God also wants to hear from you. He yearns to share your worries as well as your victories, joys, and all the difficult things that you want to pray to Him about. This is not wrong. Pray to the Lord about the things you need or when life become worrisome. God wants to share all things with each of us.
May the Lord bless you for caring about those who have not yet come to the Him. God bless you. - CatholicView Staff
I have MS and I take an oral med and I take herbal stuff too. How should I fast and how long do I fast? I can handle the oral medicine without food. - Thomas
Thank you for your question. I am sorry to hear that you are suffering with Ms. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic condition that affects the central nervous system (CNS): the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. If eating regular meals are a must because of your condition, you are not obligated to fast. Please follow your doctors orders and if he advises you not to fast, you must follow his advice.
One is not required to fast when ill. God sees your heart and knows your struggles with MS. God already knows how much you love Him. Please take care of your health and do not worry. May the Lord bless and keep you in His hands. - CatholicView Staff
How does one trust Jesus again and have faith in Him and His word when all has fallen apart? When I've trusted in Him all along but no good has came of it. I still want to believe in Him. I want to trust in His word like before but I don't know how to. Amanda
If we take our eyes off Jesus and look only at our circumstances, we will be overwhelmed. We will sink. We must let circumstances be what they are and keep recognizing Jesus to be there always for us. He does not promise to take away this earthly pain, He promises to encourage you, strengthen you and if it is HIS WILL, to make all things better.
Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled." Whatever the problem or circumstance, do not worry, don't be disturbed. Don't give up! Instead, talk to Jesus, and He will give you peace of mind. He will strengthen you and hold you close. He will, in time, wipe all your tears away. Trust Him always. Wherever we find ourselves, whatever difficulties we face, He stays right beside us all the time.
Remember He is Almighty. As a human being, you have limitations but our Lord has not for He is all powerful. Please do not forget this.
Paul, in Philippians 4:6-7 writes," Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your heart and mind as you live in Christ Jesus".
We inhabit a world of imperfections and trials. God does not promise us heaven on earth. He asks us to bring all our cares and put them into His capable hands and He will help us. Whatever the outcome might be, He will give the strength and courage needed to bear all hardships as He reminds us that earth is only a way-station, a temporary place to get ready for our eternal home. Know that each burden that becomes heavy provides an opportunity for us to depend upon Him and see the greatness of His loving mercy.
If we surrender everything to the Lord by relinquishing our hold, we can rest in His goodness, confident He will intervene for us. Though our troubles weigh heavily on us, we must depend on Him, our advocator, Who has promised to share all burdens if we bring them to Him in prayer. May the Lord bless you always. - CatholicView Staff
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