“This is how all will know you for my disciples: your love for one another” (John 13:35).
My uncle Jim was a man of peace.
He taught me that if I get lost to either climb the tallest tree on the tallest hill and look around, or follow water because water always flows to a greater source.
If I look at my situation from a higher vantage point I may see where I want to be and map out a way to get there (this works because Jesus the Christ loved us first. He loved us so much that He offered up His life on a tree on a hill –the Tree of Life).
If I follow the water I may come across landmarks I recognize –pastures, towns, or houses- and find people to help me get home (this works because the Christ offers us living water and tells us to follow Him, for He is the Good Shepherd who leads the lost sheep home).
So let us together now pray and go to a higher vantage point where we can see the living and present Christ, who has remained with us, and map out a way to follow Him through the forest…
Now that we have climbed to our higher place, what do we see? We see that our enemy is not the political left or the right or the middle –the enemy is never people, for people are made in the image and likeness of God- the enemy is Satan.
Why does Satan oppose people? To increase his playtime on Earth (Satan already knows his destiny is hell -so what does he have to lose?). When does his playtime end? When the full number of Gentiles has come into the Church and then all Israel is saved (Rom.11:25-26) –and then Jesus Christ returns for His one Church and Satan’s playtime is basically over.
So what does Satan do to increase his playtime on Earth? Satan slows down the filling of the Church. How does he do this? By attacking the reproductive potency and spiritual quality of, specifically, male humans. He does this primarily by attacking human sexuality and the sacraments and priesthood of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church: because these are the three things that most directly increase the filling of Jesus’ Church.
Jesus’ Church is also known as Jesus’ Bride –the Bride of Christ- and the Body of Christ of whom Christ is the head. She is the new Eve as the mother of His new creation, for She is the Church Jesus founded when He walked upon the Earth and called 12 men from out of their comfort zones to follow Him. In the bedlam that must have ensued after the fiasco with Judas, and after Jesus was tortured, crucified, died, resurrected, and ascended, Peter, the leader Christ had appointed for His Church, made the decision that another disciple must be chosen to fill the place of Judas, and another disciple was chosen. Immediately after the filling of that number Pentecost occurred and the Good News of the testimony of Jesus Christ began to be spread to all the nations: thus Jesus’ plan for Apostolic Succession and Tradition became evident. The Book of the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistles, record the workings of the beginning days of His Church -His one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church- what an incredible love story!
His one, holy, catholic and apostolic Bride is the one and only Church Jesus instituted: His Church is His Bride. She is His new creation, and willingly participates with Him in His desire to save the world by conceiving, birthing and growing Christians. She lives on eternally for His glory with Him, in Him, through Him, and He in Her: They are the ultimate married couple, to Them He created marriages on earth to point, thus Christ and His Bride are the only married couple in heaven.
Heaven is a continual conjugal act -with Him released and fulfilled in Her and Her in ecstasy of Him in Her. In the Holy Spirit Jesus gave to Her, the Bride of Christ first heard His word and words, said them, repeated them, taught them, wrote them, compiled them, and continues to suffer and is martyred because of them. The Truth is the incarnate Word of God -Jesus the Christ- and is made manifest alive and present today only through the words and works of His Bride: His Church, who is the living temple of God as the eternal city of God.
God is everything that is not created: in God creation lives and moves and has its being. If God suddenly failed to be, all of creation would instantly fail to be as well. There would be no life or movement because there is no substance, no being, without God. In and of themselves humans have no capacity to create life or give life or sustain life because God is life. Acknowledging God only as the initial Creator would mean that creation would have perished at the end of each created thing’s life cycle, or when its life-force died. But since the creation of the world until now life has been sustained: which means that the living breath that caused creation first to be is still present and accounting for our continuation and health. Therefore, the God who walked on Earth and healed the sick and reconciled the dead to life two-thousand years ago is still with us today, or all of creation would have perished when His Son went back to heaven to be glorified.
With that understanding in mind, it becomes evident that God did not create human beings to be worshipped or served as gods, but rather to be worshippers and servers of God. But because of the fall of mankind there are two, and only two, beings of which each human ultimately chooses one to worship and serve: the being of God, or the opposing being of God’s creature Satan. There is no third human being created by God to be worshipped and served.
Although some of you have accepted the Sacred Scripture that came through the traditions of His Church, you have nevertheless ripped apart and rewritten the word of God that was given to Her by the Holy Spirit that the Son of God gave to Her, even though, regardless of whether you have loved Her Sacred Scriptures or hated Him, you can know about Jesus only what God has revealed to Her. This is due to the providence of the Creator God.
To begin with, Martin Luther was a Catholic priest who was born more than one-thousand and five-hundred years after Jesus walked on the Earth. If a person correctly believes that the word of God is inspired by God but then goes on in the faulty tradition of Luther and allows human imagination to interpret the word of God differently than how the Bride of Christ interprets the Holy Bible God gave to Her, that person has thus separated Sacred Scripture from the sovereign God, who is Truth, and has reduced God’s Holy Bible to an object made by human hands for purposes relative to human pleasure. Whenever we worship and serve anything other than the Creator, we must be worshipping and serving the created as an idol, a false god, a lie: and thus in our idolatry we are worshiping and serving Satan, the father of lies.
Secondly, due to the prophetic and revelatory nature of Sacred Scripture, if a person chooses to allow the Bible to mean whatever is relative to the pleasures of that individual person, regardless of the Bible’s intended meanings witnessed to by the authoritative tradition of God’s Church, that person has participated with Satan to reduce the dignity of human being by forming both Sacred Scripture as well as human imagination into idols. In forming the Bible into a false truth, the Truth of the prophetic and revelatory nature of Sacred Scripture is suppressed, and the absolute sovereignty of God in the compilation of Sacred Scripture is denied.
Therefore, it becomes apparent that anyone who follows Luther into relativism must also believe that Jesus’ second coming occurred within the apparent private revelation He gave about Himself and His Bride to Luther. If Luther did not follow Christ (and he did not), he followed Satan. As aforementioned, the choice is either the Creator or the created; God or Satan: there are no other options from which one chooses whom to worship and serve.
Luther began to play into Satan’s hands the moment Luther suppressed the truth about God by denying the sovereignty of Jesus as God, which leads to a denial of the sovereignty of His Bride. The reverse is also true. The suppression of the truth of the sovereignty of His one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church automatically implies a suppression of the truth of the sovereignty of Jesus as God. When Luther denied the power of Jesus to institute God’s Church, which includes God’s Sacramental economy of salvation instituted through Jesus’ Church, Luther, by default, offered up his life to Satan.
Everyone knows the truth about God -His divine nature and eternal power- by seeing what He has made. Jesus’ divine nature and eternal power is sovereign: it is absolute. The end result of the denial of Jesus’ divine nature is a theology based on works. A theology based on works is defaulted to anytime an individual chooses to worship and serve the created, instead of the Creator whose grace instituted His Bride complete with the seven sacraments He gave to Her. And the end result of the denial of Jesus’ eternal power is a suppression of the truth of the power of God to raise Himself from the dead -it is a denial of the resurrection. The final result of the denial of God’s eternal power is cessasionism, a form of atheism. Cessasionism is the denial of the eternal power of the one true living God who continues to manifest Himself, even today, through signs, wonders and miracles.
What does the suppression of Truth look like?
The answer is exceedingly clear both in history and in Sacred Scripture as the prophetic voice Who inspired Sacred Scripture is heard again in the history of our own age -the age between the first coming and the second coming of the Christ Jesus:
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against the irreligious and perverse spirit of men who, in this perversity of theirs, hinder the truth. In fact, whatever can be known about God is clear to them; He Himself made it so. Since the creation of the world, invisible realities, God’s eternal power and divinity, have become visible, recognized through the things He has made. Therefore these men are inexcusable.
They certainly had knowledge of God, yet they did not glorify Him as God or give Him thanks; they stultified themselves through speculating to no purpose, and their senseless hearts were darkened. They claimed to be wise, but turned into fools instead; they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images representing mortal man, birds, beasts, and snakes.
In consequence, God delivered them up in their lusts to unclean practices; they engaged in the mutual degradation of their bodies, these men who exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator -blessed be He forever, amen!
God therefore delivered them up to disgraceful passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and the men gave up natural intercourse with women and burned with lust for one another. Men did shameful things with men, and thus received in their own persons the penalty for their perversity. They did not see fit to acknowledge God, so God delivered them up to their own depraved sense to do what is unseemly.
They are filled with every kind of wickedness: maliciousness, greed, ill will, envy, murder, bickering, deceit, craftiness. They are gossips and slanderers, they hate God, are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wrongdoing and rebellious toward their parents.
One sees in them men without conscience, without loyalty, without affection, without pity. They know God’s just decree that all who do such things deserve death; yet they not only do them but approve them in others” (Rom. 1:18-32).
In the first millennium after Pentecost Satan mostly attacked the doctrines around Christ –His identity and nature, and the identity and nature of His mother Mary- and rest assured that Holy Mother Church defended Them through councils, sufferings and martyrdom. But in this second millennium Satan is mostly attacking the identity and nature of the Bride of Christ. He has done this primarily through the attack on the sovereignty of God: the attack on His absolute Truth.
Since Martin Luther’s fall to the temptation of relative truth there has been a division in the Body of Christ (for there was no Lutheranism before Luther; no Protestantism before the protest of Luther. The division between Eastern and Western Church has a separate history and different issues, and is not intended to be addressed here).
The interesting thing is that initially it was not a division, but a separation. To follow relative truth was considered a heresy (and still is), but because you want to marry into the Bride, and some of the Bride’s individuals want to marry some of you, you have asked that your baptisms be seen as equal to the Bride’s: even though initially you separated from the Body of Christ and therefore have no more divine authority to grant a baptism than the State has to grant a sacramental marriage.
Now here is the good news:
In the holy wisdom of the Church, She has chosen to use the keys to the kingdom of heaven that Jesus gave Her –the keys that bind or loosen forgiveness of sin (Matt. 16:13-20) -and has chosen to forgive you your guilt as offspring of Her heretical priest Luther: and thus the indulgence you requested was granted.
But: that indulgence you have been granted –to enter the Body of Christ through your baptisms- meant that protesters no longer form a separation from the Bride of Christ, but instead now form a division within Her body by some of Her members not confirming the full deposit of faith Jesus gave to Her.
The problem: As long as there is a division within the Body of Christ, Satan is succeeding in slowing down the filling of His Church and thus the return of the incarnate Lord God, Jesus Christ, is delayed.
The solution: If you are loving at all, then please see, and understand that His one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church has done Her part and welcomes you home. Now it’s your turn to be grateful to Him –He who is alive and present- and confirm the full deposit of faith He gave to you through Her in your baptisms. Your baptisms have placed you in Christ: thus you are capable of confirming His full deposit of faith, for God does not divide His own house. Therefore it is up to your free will to either approach His Bride for further education so that you may understand what it is that He has given you to believe, so as to then confirm the full deposit of faith He has graciously given to you. Or you can choose to follow your idolatrous ways and worship and serve Satan.
Doing this will resist the devil and fill Jesus’ Church: You each reside in a parish who submits to the authority of the Apostolic See of Peter (currently Pope Francis). Find out which parish (please be patient with this -forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us- some parishes have forgotten that a parish is more than the people that go in and out of the church building on Sundays. A parish is also a territory of square miles or city blocks already determined by the bishops: your address is in a parish). Talk to the priest (you may have to make an appointment), and sign up for the RCIA class to begin to learn the truth about His one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church that your Trinitarian baptisms have welcomed you into at your request.
The Mass is a prayer: the prayer of prayers. It is mostly straight from Sacred Scripture. Through the Mass “My lover speaks, he says to me, ‘Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!’” (Song of Songs 2:10).
In order to save our country, let alone the world, we first must take the plank out of our own eye -and see.
P.S. Don’t be fooled by Catholics who wear a dour or expressionless face. That is from stoicism, which was present when Jesus walked on the earth. Some family lines more than others have passed on the tendencies of stoic expression. If you tend to wear your joy on your sleeve, like I do, rest assured that those stoics will in heaven sing on the top of their lungs and dance naked before the Lord just like king David and I and you do!!
P.S.S. If you want a Scripture verse reference for everything Sacramental, then this one’s for you (and me)! Hard cover, paperback or ebook, 355 pages of solid meat (no spiritual milk here!), exhaustively researched, very reasonably priced, and hot off the press. Straight from the heart of Rome –and just for you.
Fr. Devin Roza, “Fulfilled In Christ: The Sacraments” (2015), Steubenville OH: Emmaus Academic.
P.S.S.S. Welcome Home!!! If you’d like, take a big breath and sing along with my favorite song- “Gloria!!”
God is only good. He loves us mercilessly, beyond reason: for His mercy endures forever!