Apologetic Tract What does the Catholic Church Stand for?

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What does the Catholic Church Stand for?

The easiest way to answer this question is to say it stands for the truth revealed by God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit both in the Scriptures and in its authentic teachings. What are some of these? (This is not meant to be comprehensive)

The revealed truth as found in the Sacred Scriptures. Not everything written in the Scriptures has the same weight. The revelation of God is greater than the means used by the human author to convey this revelation. This revelation is not subject to human interpretation. In the Book of Genesis, for instance, the revelation is this: a) There is a God; b) God created all things out of nothing and good; c) God created man and woman in his own image and likeness at the height of earthly creation; d) God shared his own divine life with man and woman as his adopted son and daughter; e) man and woman sinned; f) God promised a future Messiah.

Whether this took place in six days or over a period of time does not contradict the revelation. What is true in faith will also be true in science, since truth cannot contradict itself. We must remember that the human author is not a scientist, but a man of faith.

In the Book of John when Jesus said at the Last Supper over the unleavened bread “this is my body,” and over the cup of win “this is my blood,” the bread was transformed into his body and the wine into his blood. This is not subject to interpretation. It is the revealed Word and action of the God-Man, who is the truth (John 6:35-69).

The Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed contain the core, basic truths revealed by God and taught by the Catholic Church.
·       God is one and triune in persons: The I Am Who Am who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is the central and foundational mystery of our faith.
·       Though creation is attributed to the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit are creative with the Father.
·       God the Son became Incarnate by the power of the Holy Spirit. Out of love of the Father and of us he came to save us and reconcile us back to God. True God and True Man, he suffered death on the cross, rose from the dead and is exalted at the right hand of the Father in his glorified body. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
·       God the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life and all gifts, is the sanctifier and anointer, sent by the Father and Son to complete the Paschal Mystery.
·       The Church, founded by Jesus and animated by the Holy Spirit, is one, holy, catholic and apostolic:
a.     The Church is one: The one people of God profess one Lord, one faith,  one baptism, one hope, one Spirit and one worship under the one supreme pontiff (Ephesians 4:4-6).
b.    The Church is holy: Called to holiness in Baptism and Confirmation, strengthened in holiness through the Eucharist, Marriage and Orders, restored in holiness in Reconciliation and Anointing of the sick.
c.     The Church is catholic: Following the mandate of Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20) the Church from the beginning has gone to all nations, cultures, languages and peoples, preaching all that Jesus taught and will do so till the end of time.
d.    The Church is apostolic: The Church is built on the foundation of the apostles (Ephesians 2:20), teaches the “deposit of faith,” given by the Spirit and handed down from the apostles and their successors through the ages (Galatians 1:8-9).
·       As Jesus rose from the dead, one day, at the end of time, there will be the resurrection of our bodies by the power of God, either to eternal glory with God or to eternal alienation from God.

The Ten Commandments are as relevant today as when first given by God. Over the years, the Church has further specified what is contained in each of the Commandments, always summing them up as Jesus did: Love God with your whole heart, mind and strength and love your neighbor as you have been loved by Jesus.
    First Commandment: There is only one uncreated God who is Other.
    Second Commandment: God and all that is God is holy, deserving of reverential respect.
    Third Commandment: Man’s response to God is love and worship in spirit and truth. The Mass is the perfect sacrifice of thanksgiving acceptable and pleasing to God.
    Fourth Commandment: Love of others begins with the love, honor and respect we are to show to those who parent us into existence and nurture us. In extension, we are to honor and respect all those in legitimate authority.
    Fifth Commandment: Love of neighbor is expressed in respecting the sacredness of the lives of others as well as my own life, from conception to natural death as gifts from God.
    Sixth Commandment: Love of others and myself includes mutual respect for each other’s body, using the sexual gift for the purpose for which it is designed, namely in marriage for love leading to union and openness to life.
    Seventh Commandment: Love of others compels me to respect the rights of others to their property and to act justly toward all.
    Eight Commandment: Love of others involves speaking the truth and upholding the right of each person to their good reputation.
    Ninth Commandment: Love of neighbor extends to my thoughts and desires concerning them, not as objects for my satisfaction.
    Tenth Commandment: Love of neighbor extends to my thought and desires concerning their goods.

The seven Sacraments: Baptism, Penance, Eucharist, Confirmation, Anointing of the sick, Marriage and Holy Orders. I cover these in the tract entitled “The Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church.”

The Church honors Mary as the Mother of God, giving her the same recognition that God himself has given her. (“Blessed are you among women.”)
·       The Immaculate Conception: Mary, by God’s grace and in anticipation of Jesus’ gift of salvation, was conceived free from sin in her mother’s womb by the grace of God and remained so throughout her life.
·       Ever Virgin: Mary was a virgin before, during and after the conception and birth of Jesus.
·       The Assumption: Because Mary was sinless by God’s grace and her cooperation, she was taken into heaven body and soul at the time of her transition from this life to the next.
·       Queen of heaven and earth by God’s providence.
·       By God’s design Mary is both the mother of Jesus and our mother. As such she intercedes for us and serves as a role model.
·       We pray to Mary and the saints, asking them to intercede before the throne of God for us, while at the same time we go to God directly.

We believe in heaven, purgatory and hell.
·       Heaven, the “dwelling of God,” where the created angels and saints share in the eternal life of glory of the uncreated God (Revelation 21:3-4).
·       Purgatory is the stage of purification of the saved so that they can be full of love and enabled to share in the full life of God (1 Corinthians 3:12-15. This will not last forever.
·       Hell is the eternal punishment of the devil and those alienated from God by their choices in life (Revelation 20:13-15.) This is eternal.

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