Sunday, November 16, 2014


Nothing is impossible with God. He can appear in whatever form and no man has the right at all to limit God on what He wills and what He wants to with His creations. God gave us 73 books Bible and sacred traditions but man limits all to just 66-book Bible and anything that is not in the book is not true but man-made. 

The Catholic Church Fathers put together the 73-book Bible as inspired by the Holy Spirit for all mankind to use. Jesus said many things which cannot be contained in the Bible for they were numerous and those were not in the book were to be handed down still to mankind in the form of tradition. John 21:25 "But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written."(John 20:30) These sacred traditions became the very foundation of the early Christianity until the Bible were put together centuries later. 

The Apostles began teaching and apostolating gentiles and Jews alike who believed and then baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 28:16-20 "And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And seeing him they adored: but some doubted. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." 

All power: See here the warrant and commission of the apostles and their successors, the bishops and pastors of Christ's church. He received from his Father all power in heaven and in earth: and in virtue of this power, he sends them (even as his Father sent him, John 20. 21) to teach and disciple, not one, but all nations; and instruct them in all truths: and that he may assist them effectually in the execution of this commission, he promises to be with them, not for three or four hundred years only, but all days, even to the consummation of the world. How then could the Catholic Church ever go astray; having always with her pastors, as is here promised, Christ himself, who is the way, the truth, and the life. John 14.

These were works. Besides having been saved from the original sin of Adam and Eve, Jesus Christ knows man will still commit sin, continued with a commandment to his apostles to baptize and continue to remind his people of his words for man is not free of concupiscence - the desire and the tendency to commit sin. With concupiscence man still can be lost. 

The grace of God and the death of Jesus on the cross are not a blanket assurance of salvation and cannot save man alone for sin and grace cannot co-exist in man. Man can chose between the grace of God and his sin. When man chose to sin, he actually chose to turn his back on Jesus and rejects his gift of salvation just like the Pharisees and Jews who turned their backs on the "Author of Life" Acts 3:15"But the author of life you killed, whom God hath raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses." Anyone kills Jesus each time he commits sin. He turns his back on Jesus and rejects His gift of grace.

Remember, each time Jesus cures a man or forgive his sin, he would always say "your faith has saved you but go and and sin no more." Jesus has repeated these words "go and sin no more" several times. John 8:11 "Who said: No man, Lord. And Jesus said: Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more."

The Apostate Martin Luther

But in the 16th century a man named Martin Luther started to think differently. He thought he was better than the Apostles and the Church Father who put the Bible (73 books altogether). In his own thinking and rationality, he decided on his own free will to rebel and revised the Bible on what are to be included and what are to be excluded. 

God gifted man with free will, Martin Luther and man abused it at will.  And so Martin Luther apostatized from Catholicism on his own free will besides having been excommunicated by the Church Authority. By his own act of disobedience to the holy father, the Pope, he actually and in reality turned his back from Jesus and from the very church that Jesus founded himself - the Catholic Church. This act in-turn signaled the advent of Protestantism which created many more fragmented protestant churches. Many more followed Martin Luther's footsteps and likewise protested among themselves as well. They all started to think on their own and disagree with each others that resulted into what is now over 40,000 different churches and denominations. They were not in unison against the Catholic Church but they were also in disagreement with each other. Luke 11:18 "And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because you say, that through Beelzebub I cast out devils."(Mark 3:26). Not only they protested against Catholicism, they are also still protesting among themselves as manifested in their own disagreements. 

What happened in the Tower of Babel is happening still inside Protestantism for their is no satisfaction among the many pastors. On the other hand, the Catholic Church based in Rome still remained to this day, the one and the same 2,000-year old Catholic Church ever guarding and teaching the same original oral and written traditions that were handed by the Apostles to the early Church Fathers until the bible was put together for all the faithfuls to read and study. Just as Jesus promised "even the gates of hell will not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18), the Church Fathers were all spiritually guided by the Holy Spirit who continuously inspires His church to this day. John 15:26 "But when the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me. If anyone says otherwise that the Catholic Church of today is not the same One True Universal and Apostolic church that Jesus founded with St. Peter is a liar. 

As the man thinketh, the devil plays around with him in his mind - the favorite playground of the devil.

Man is no longer satisfied with the words of Jesus Christ just as it happened from the time of Adam and Eve when Eve was not satisfied of what God has given them. Eve's concupiscence  holds true with many men down the ages up until today and will be so until the end of man. 

Man started to interpret Jesus' teachings into many ways. Others don't believe in Jesus anymore as the Only Begotten Son of the Father of the Blessed Trinity but relegated him simply to just a man like anyone else. They changed many things in the bible that were taught by Jesus thru His Apostles according to their own thinking and interpretation. 

Jesus instructed his Apostles to go back to Galilee. This means to go back to basic or to go back to where Christianity and to go back to Jesus' teachings if anyone is having a problem with what to believe or who to follow. But man continue to decide on his own free will and his ways became what he thought was the right way. Man now says "if it is not in the bible it is not true - Sola Scriptura." It became the "My Way" and not the "Jesus Way". Many chose the "My Way" instead of the "Jesus' Way." 

According to Jesus, if there is no humility there will be no unity. There will be no unity among men until they become in unison with Jesus Christ' teachings not man's teachings which are more of interpretations which differ a lot from Jesus' own teachings. 

God created man but there are people who says there is no God. God gave us Jesus Christ, His only Begotten Son to save mankind from damnation in hell yet there are people who limited Jesus as just a mere man. 

Classic example of man's own way of thinking: 
The Graven Images
Graven Image According to Protestant's Bible

What is a graven image?

Question: "What is a graven image?"

he phrase “graven image” comes from the King James 
Version and is first found in Exodus 20:4 in the second of the 
Ten Commandments of the protestant Bible. The Hebrew word 
translated “graven image” means literally  “an idol.” A graven image 
is an image carved out of stone, wood, or metal. It could be a statue 
of a person or animal, or a relief carving in a wall or pole. It is 
differentiated from a molten image, which is melted metal poured 
into a cast. Abstract Asherah poles, carved wooden Ba’als covered in 
gold leaf, and etchings of gods accompanying Egyptian hieroglyphics 
are all graven images. The Catholic Church has the "graven image" as 
part of the First Commandments.

Read more: Graven Image

Exodus 20:4 "Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth."

A graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing: All such images, or likenesses, are forbidden by this commandment, as are made to be adored and served; according to that which immediately follows, thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them. That is, all such as are designed for idols or image-gods, or are worshiped with divine honor. But otherwise images, pictures, or representations, even in the house of God, and in the very sanctuary so far from being forbidden, are expressly authorized by the word of God. 

Exodus 25:15 "And they shall be always in the rings, neither shall they at any time be drawn out of them."

Exodus 38:7 "And he drew them through the rings that stood out in the sides of the altar. And the altar itself was not solid, but hollow, of boards, and empty within. "

Numbers 21:8 "And the Lord said to him: Make brazen serpent, and set it up for a sign: whosoever being struck shall look on it, shall live."

1 Chronicle 28:18-19 "And for the altar of incense, he gave the purest gold: and to make the likeness of the chariot of the cherubims spreading their wings, and covering the ark of the covenant of the Lord. All these things, said he, came to me written by the hand of the Lord that I might understand all the works of the pattern."

2 Chronicles 3:10 "He made also in the house of the holy of holies two cherubims of image work: and he overlaid them with gold."

Only images of strange gods were prohibited as appears not only from the words in Exodus 20:4-5 and Deuteronomy 5:7 but also from the cherubim (Exodus 25:18-19) and the brazen serpent 

(Numbers 21:8-9) which God ordered to be made and from the mural decorations of the Jewish synagogues in the early Christian period as excavations abundantly attest. 

There is question therefore not of a separate commandment which forbids the worship of all images but of an application of the precept forbidding the worship of strange gods. The prohibition of image worship, already discussed, does not contemplate the case of an image of God, most probably forbidden in the Book of the Covenant. Deuteronomy 4:16 insists, however that he did not appear in material form lest the people should be led to make an image out of him and misapprehend his spiritual nature. The prohibition of idols is found in the Book of the Covenant. It appears here in an amplified form most probably as a later addition to the Decalogue to illustrate and safeguard the first commandment. The Latin division of the commandments is thus the more reasonable one and the more likely to be original.
Exodus 25:18-19 - Make two cherubim of beaten gold.
Numbers 21:8-9 - Moses made bronze serpent and put on a pole.
1 Kings 6:23-29 - Temple had engraved cherubim, trees and flowers
1 Kings 7:25-45 - Temple had bronze oxen, lions and pomegranates.

Non-Catholic churches in particular have the erroneous idea that Catholics are "worshipers of idols". This very hazy and prejudiced notions have persisted then and even now in our current more civilized society. This is plain narrow-mindedness and bigotry or machinations due to the unwavering hatred of the Papacy and Catholicism in whole.

No matter how the Catholics explained their accusations are false yet they refuse to listen, but insist on their own bigotry for whatever purpose or reason these non-Catholics have.

What really is the Catholic Doctrine - the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church with regard to images? Who does the Catholics worship?

The Catholic Ten Commandments

Exodus 20

I am the LORD your God, 
who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 
out of the house of bondage."

You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself a graven image,
or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above,
or that is in the earth beneath,
or that is in the water under the earth;
you shall not bow down to them or serve them;
for I the LORD your God am a jealous God,
visiting the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children to the third and the fourth
generation of those who hate me,
but showing steadfast love to thousands of those
who love me and keep my commandments.

God never said "you shall not make for yourself an image of Me or any of the angels or Saints that is in heaven above......... you shall not bow down to our images...." . God is very specific, "You shall have no other gods before me" which means exactly 'other gods' beside God himself.

More on the Ten Commandments: Catechism of the Catholic Church

Catholics adore no one but God. Absolute and supreme worship is paid to Him alone

The Catholic Church honors and venerates the Saints and Angels with a relative and inferior homage. They are friends of God and as such,  they are having the power of interceding for us and yet the Catholic Church never held or maintained that even the most exalted Saint is to be adored and glorified, for adoration and glorification is man's duty to our Supreme God - for man's purpose of life is to know, to love, to serve Him and to be in His Kingdom of Heaven afterlife.

For many centuries, the Catholic Church has maintained honoring and venerating all the friends of God in heaven. The Catholic Church has never taught nor permitted that they shall be adored.

A statue or a picture is, as it were, a portrait of the Redeemer or of a holy servant of God. The images or pictures bring before our mind vivid idea of the one whom they represent. If the image be of our Lord Jesus Christ, of course He is entitled to supreme worship and adoration being God - His image is not God but to be honored merely with reverence never with adoration or worship.  If the statue or picture represents a Saint, Catholics honors the Saint who is in heaven but not as if the Saint is right in front. Again, Saints are not God so they are never adored or worshiped. But non-Catholics insist Catholics do.

Do Catholics worship Mary?

As for the Blessed Virgin, the most exalted and holiest of creatures is venerated (not worshiped or adored) and honored thru her pictures or images as a means for directing them to her who is in heaven with God.

Therefore Catholics do not and never will adore or worship images any more than they adore or worship Saints as non-Catholics insist. Catholics only adore and worship God and no one else. They show reverential respect to images of God or His Saints and that includes the figure of the life-giving Sacred Cross which are found in all Catholic Churches and in houses.  Catholics who look at them are ardently lifted up to the memory and love the originals. 

Catholics believe that worship is due to God alone. Catholics do, however, venerate Mary. In other words, we honor our Blessed Mother with great reverence and devotion because she is the Mother of God. 
Mary is the model of perfect love and obedience to Christ. God preserved Mary from sin, and she conceived our Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit, bringing Christ into our world. Catholics can’t help but honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is full of grace, the Mother of God and our Mother, for her “yes” to God that made the Incarnation possible. And without the Incarnation, we would not have salvation.

Mary is the most beautiful model of total submission to the will of God. Catholics do not view Mary as equal to Christ, but rather venerate Mary because of her relationship to Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “Mary’s role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it” (CCC 964).

As Catholics, we pray that we can respond to God’s call to holiness for our lives in the way that Mary did. Mother Theresa prayed to emulate Mary’s devotion to Christ: “Mary, Mother of Jesus, give me your heart so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate, 
so full of love and humility that I may be able to receive Jesus in the Bread of Life, 
love Him as You loved Him, and serve Him as You served Him….”

Misunderstood Practice

This Catholic practice has been highly misunderstood and had been used against the church.

Due honor and veneration are accorded not because images or pictures are divine or has power in them that entitle them to be worshiped or anything can be asked of them or that any trust may be put in them because the honor or worship to them is referred to those whom they represent.

Kissing or Kneeling

Kissing or kneeling before images Catholics adore Christ and honor the Saints.

The ill-advised reformation and restoration movements have carried this belief and practice of the Catholics too far to the opposite direction which resulted to heresy and rebellion earlier in the history of religion. When Protestantism arose, though heresy and rebellion gradually died down in the early years of Christianity,  the zealous reformers develop wild hatred toward anything which reminded them of the faith they have abandoned and turned their backs on Catholicism in full.

However, in later times, in some Protestant denominations, there is a visible return to the use of carven altars, glowing windows, and even pictures, statues and crosses. This is a testimony that the human man feels the need of such outward helps for the furthering of their religious beliefs and devotions.

Excesses are Possible

Yet excesses and abuses were not limited and in some ways possible excessive devotion have found its way in the midst, perhaps some of them can be on account of some miraculous power which is claimed of it though may lead to considerable neglect of the most essentials. But again, for as long as a devotion is directed to the glory of God, it maybe safely said nothing is wrong in them. 

If the practice of devotion be it excessive or not and if it increases one's faith in God the more, for instance resulting to a high degree of worship or adoration of Him, then excesses in some ways are positive. For whatever one does one receives equivalent rewards.

Extreme Beliefs

On the other hand, in modern times and in many instances, die-hard converts from Catholicism to Protestantism and in particular the Born Again Christians have resorted and deliberately destroyed images of the Blessed Mother first and foremost. 

Here is A Classic example (click):

Pastors or ministers both in words and in deeds express that images and statues are meaningless to their faith.

In Exodus 25 and 26 God gave instructions to the Hebrews on how to build His temple of worship. They were instructed to build the tabernacle in such a manner. Winged creatures such angles and cherubs were to be built as well. Yet Catholics are accused just the same of idolatry.

Do Catholics worship images? Are Catholics really idol worshipers? (link)

Whenever I am asked about the subject of graven images or pictures, I would always close the conversation that soldiers who are away in distant lands, separated from their families and love ones, have in their wallets or in their bedsides, inside their barracks pictures of their love ones. These soldiers in their lonely times would look at the pictures of their family and love ones they left behind. They would kiss them, look at them with love and at times would talk to them or kiss the pictures as if they are in front of them, yet physically the pictures are not their love ones. The soldiers are simply trying to vividly remind themselves and the pictures aid them to focus their mind and heart to avoid distractions while trying to remember their love ones back home.

Is the use of the pictures and images helpful for the attaining of fervor in prayer and increasing devotion towards God? Undoubtedly.  Images are aids to devotion, helping us to focus our attention on our prayers, to avoid distractions, to increase the fervor of our adoration of God and our veneration of the Saints. 

Some references were taken from CatholicsComeHome.Org

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