Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Abuse of Grace

June 11, 2014

To say that the grace message has been abused is an understatement at best. Though the original intent was to show God’s willingness to forgive our sins, it has instead parlayed into a teaching which eliminates our responsibility to live Godly lives.

My spirit grieves as I witness those who, though they profess Catholicism/Christianity, render the Lord to an eunuch status. They’re comfortable in their efforts as they adjust His Word to adapt to society’s norms as well as their own wishes and desires. Gone is the fear of God or the concept of holiness as they readily describe themselves as “a work in progress.”

As humans, all of us are subject to temptation and frailties. It is also true that none of us have yet arrived at the pinnacle of God’s knowledge. However, we do have an obligation, once we accept Jesus as Savior, to pursue that which pleases Him. We’re told in Romans 6:1-2 “What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it?”

Simply put, the gift of grace does not permit us to live in purposeful opposition to the Lord or His Word. A decision to persevere in compromise is deception and bears its own spiritual consequences.

The Route To Eternal Life

May 9, 2014

A popular teaching of today, which is generally referred to as Universalism, purports that a relationship with our Savior is not a prerequisite for eternal life as all will be welcomed into heaven by a merciful God.

The Lord states in John 6:40 “This is indeed the will of my Father that all who see the Son and believe in Him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”

Quite simply, eternal life does not exist apart from Jesus Christ. He is not just “one of the ways to God”, nor should He be relegated to a place in the line of the “great masters.” Our Savior is Lord…period. The issue is whether you believe Him or opt not to.

The Necessity For Evangelization

April 16, 2014

I live in Bronx County, and almost every morning as I race to catch the subway at the East 233rd Street Station, I see the Jehovah Witnesses both near the outside entry and the turnstile as they proselytize to the masses. To them, Jesus has been relegated to a divine spirit creature, still they are successful in their efforts to win souls and enlarge their flock.

As Catholics, we need to become passionate about the Lord and speak His truth to the individuals whom we encounter. In doing so, it would be required that we become familiar with God’s Word. To hand out artifacts is a nice gesture, but knowledge of the Bible is a necessity particularly when those from various cults, in their own endeavor for converts, present a maligned interpretation in what appears to be a definitive manner. Each day we lose people to false concepts of Jesus, yet we burrow ourselves in comfort and rationalize that priests and preachers have been called for that assignment. In essence, we have ceased to bear fruit for God’s Kingdom.

Immediately before His Ascension into Heaven, Jesus, in Mark 16:15, instructed His disciples “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.” The Catholic Church has always accepted this challenge and since 2012, the New Evangelization has been a primary focus. Though the methods vary, His message has not wavered.

Our Eternal State

March 4, 2014

When a person dies, or the anniversary of their death is commemorated in the newspaper and social media, it is commonplace to hear or see various phrases “rest in peace…happy anniversary in heaven…watch over us…” and so forth. The assumption is made that the decedent is in heaven and while we miss them, he or she is now in a better place.

Contrary to popular belief, heaven is not an automatic destination for the departed nor does our Catholicism alone provide a ticket for immediate entry. Instead, the one mandate that holds true for each one of us is whether we have confessed Jesus as Lord and live our lives according to His purpose.

Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:3: “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born from above.” He went on to say in verses 16 and 17 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”

Despite God’s directive, I’ve heard individuals say “Well, I don’t believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven…I’m a good person…there were other prophets in addition to Jesus and they also spoke the truth…God is too loving to condemn me to hell…hell doesn’t even exist…well, i’ll get it right with God when I’m old.”

I read a story a number of years ago where a group of teenagers walked into a church during an evening service. An altar call was given and when one of the young men stepped forward to give his life to Christ, his friend loudly whispered “Sissy!” The young man returned to his seat and as the minister approached him, he said “You keep praying for me and I’ll think about it.” At that point, he and the other teens began to laugh as they exited the church. Not long afterwards, a car attempted to go over the railroad crossing and was destroyed by an oncoming train. Each occupant of the car was killed all of whom were the young boys that had left the church minutes earlier.

A few weeks ago, my husband went to a wake for a family member. He knew that the decedent had lived apart from God and it troubled him to hear the minister laughingly announce that she and all creation would be welcomed into heaven by a loving God…no matter what. My husband remarked to me “Unless she accepted the Lord as Savior before she died, the prayers and accolades are for naught.”

As Catholics, we need to realize that adherence to our traditions without a personal relationship with Christ means nothing. The Lord created each one of us to enjoy eternal life and fellowship with Him. However, the choice to accept His gift rests completely on us.

In Defense Of Catholicism – Part II

February 14, 2014

This is a continuation of yesterday’s topic.

Anti-Catholicism remains prevalent today. I’ve had numerous instances where individuals, once they knew that Jesus was Lord of my life, would excitedly ask “What church do you attend?” And upon my reply “I’m Catholic.” I would hear the one-word tone of dismay “Oh.”

I was a new Christian when a friend shared an article which castigated the Catholic Church for its adherence to certain traditions. As I read it, she remarked that the Episcopalians, to which her husband once belonged, were guilty of the same offense. When I asked why the article only included Catholicism, I was chastised for not having “…an open mind.”

A number of Christian shops, and some that are situated within non-denominational fellowships contain books that liken the Catholic Church to the whore of Babylon and other atrocities. There is also a publishing company that equates Catholicism to a cult and excoriates the Church in its popular comic strip tract. Moreover, it is not uncommon to hear attacks against our Faith in the public square by preachers and other members of the community.

With unabashed joy, I will readily attest to the fact that I love the Catholic Church. It is not perfect but I must say that in my 60 years I have yet to find one that is. Still, it has never wavered from its foundational truth nor has it altered the Word of God to fit societal standards. It is comprised of those who fervently seek Him and acknowledge Him as Lord.

In Defense Of Catholicism

February 13, 2014

My initial exposure to anti-Catholicism occurred 30 years ago which was shortly after I accepted Jesus as Lord of my life. At the suggestion of a friend, I visited her small non-denominational church in Nassau County – the congregants professed love but one of the members, when he heard I was Catholic, readily informed me that I was involved with the devil’s doctrine. To prove his point, it was during my next visit that, with the permission of the pastor, the testimony he gave to the church solely focused on his release from demonic Catholicism. And so the attacks continued – not just there but in several other venues.

To be Catholic is not a disease. Contrary to the belief of those outside the Church, we are not the anti-Christ. We are also not the personification of evil, nor do we claim to have all the answers. We hold to the Word of God as true and we know that a personal relationship with Him is vital if we wish to inherit the Kingdom and reign with Him for eternity. The tenets of our Faith uphold morality and life to a Catholic, in all forms, is sanctified. Indeed, we are a people who sincerely love our Lord and worship Him as Savior.

God – My Deliverer

February 6, 2014

Before I became a Christian and in the early days of my commitment to Christ, I was under the impression that those who followed God were designed to live a life that was devoid of any type of troublesome challenge. I quickly discovered that my thoughts on the subject were erroneous at best as tribulation presented itself in various forms soon thereafter. In one particular and yet significant instance, I was sued by an individual for $30 million dollars. My human instinct took over and I initially panicked. And yet in the midst of that turmoil, I heard the Lord say “Did I not lead My people out of Egypt?” At that moment, I choose to rest in Him as I knew that He had already settled the issue on my behalf. My ability to forgive also played a factor for two months later, I encountered the plaintiff near my work place. As he began to explain his reasons for the suit, I simply replied that I had forgiven him for his actions which truly I had. God’s peace flooded my being and one year later, the matter was dismissed.

Psalm 138:7 states”Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out Your hand and Your right hand delivers me.” Despite the circumstances that I’ve encountered, I have seen the truth of that scripture manifest itself repeatedly and without fail. Without question, He is my deliverer.

To Know His Voice

January 31, 2014

To walk in the destiny which God intended for us to have, it is imperative that we come to know His voice on an intimate basis and not those which continually vie for our attention.  It seems that there will always be an influx of individuals who love to declare “The Lord told me you’re to do this.” when in fact that is not the case.  Unfortunately, some will heed to the deception and set out on something which was never of God.

Many years ago, I knew a woman who appeared to have a word from God, for me, on a 24-7 basis.  The Lord, however, knew my heart and as I sought Him for His direction, He revealed to me that the voice and words from this person were not His own.  He said in John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice.  I know them and they follow Me.”  I will continue to praise Him for that daily.  


January 12, 2014

The world’s diminished moral structure has readily embraced ungodliness as a treasure to be strived for. Unfortunately there are also those within the church who despite their vocal affiliation with The Lord, have pushed holiness aside like an antiquated relic. And yet, the Bible is replete with numerous references to holiness and how God expects us to live. In 1 Thessalonians 4:7, we are told “For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness.” We are further instructed in 1 Peter 1:15-16 “Instead, as He who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct for it is written “You shall be holy for I am holy.”

The emphasis on holiness has been largely relegated to a casual mention in our churches and other places of worship. We condone that which The Lord has called unclean as we do not wish to offend or to be ostracized. We speak against certain sins yet we continually vote politicians into office who blatantly put laws into effect that contradict the Word of God.

In 1 Corinthians 6:9, St. Paul warned the church “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived…” Our tendency towards deception is again addressed in Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived. God is not mocked for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit.”

In response to those passages, though a few will agree, I’ve heard many say “Well, God knows my heart…” “I’m a work in progress.” “God is a God of love. He won’t condemn me.” “I’m a good person which is all God really wants.” “There is no hell and even if it did exist, God is too good to send people there.” There is no conviction but rather a perpetuation of excuses. Yet Jesus Himself said in Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me you evil doers.’

God is calling us into a life which glorifies Him. When we choose to adapt ourselves to holiness, He will direct us every step of the way.

The Parable Of The Talents

November 25, 2013

Beginning in Matthew 25:14, The Lord speaks of the man, whom before he embarked on his journey, entrusted property to his slaves and gave them talents, each according to their ability. Upon the man’s return, he settled his accounts and was pleased when two of the slaves informed him how they had invested the talents. The third servant admitted that his own fear prompted him to bury his talent in the ground. For that, he was exiled from the household while the other two slaves were blessed with more for their efforts.

In the last number of years, this story has reminded me of those who squander their lives and do absolutely nothing with the gifts and talents bestowed on them by God. Each one of us was created with a specific purpose that has been designed to impact the world and to bless those around us. Indeed, it is His desire that we walk in that for which we have been called and it is He alone who can bring it to pass…to prepare the opportunity…provide the necessary funds…and open doors that no one can close. Indeed, to follow God’s express will and not that suggested by another, will surely bring about the words “Well done My good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21).