February 27, 2014
An unfortunate teaching that is rampant amongst the churches, is the fallacy that the Lord’s miracles, such as healing, ended upon the death of the apostles. To say that would render the Bible to just another historical narrative.
God’s Word is replete with promises that pertain to our healing whether it is physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. In Exodus 15:26, He told the Israelites “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord, and do what is right in His sight and give heed to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will not bring upon you any of the diseases that I brought upon the Egyptians for I am the Lord who heals you.” In Jeremiah 30:17, He said “For I will restore health to you and your wounds I will heal…” We are assured in Isaiah 53:5 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our inequities, upon Him was the punishment that made us whole, and by His bruises we are healed.” This is repeated in 1 Peter 2:24 “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.”
Admittedly, I tend to become annoyed when I hear individuals claim “Well, Jesus doesn’t heal everyone…. It’s not His will…” If those statements were true, then all four Books of the Gospel would have reflected the Lord’s refusal to heal those who approached Him. Thankfully, that did not occur. Failure to trust in God, however, is a deterrence for in Mark 6:5, it is recorded that “And He could do no deed of power there, except that He laid hands on a few sick people and cured them. And He was amazed at their unbelief.”
In 2006, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. Though he went through the process recommended by his doctor, we stood fast on various healing scriptures and believed that the Lord would fulfill that which He had promised in His Word. He was soon declared cancer free and eight years later, we continue to praise God for the manifestation of His power.
February 21, 2014
Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruits (Proverbs 18:21).
Our words are powerful and can alter the very course of our destiny. We can use them to either pronounce God’s promises or to wreak havoc in our lives. Spiritual laws are set into motion by the words that we choose. In James 3:10 we are told “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.”
For many years, my verbal dialogue was filled with standard phrases “…that just killed me…I thought I would die…he/she makes me sick…” And on and on it went. I thank God to this day that a sister in Christ informed me that I would possess exactly that which I confessed whether it was good, bad, or indifferent. Jesus exemplified this in Mark 11:23. when He said to His disciples “Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you.”
With those verses I realized that I would have to change my vocabulary as well as friends whom I had allowed to speak into my life. It was futile to have a Godly confession and then agree with those whose choice of phrases ran contrary to His Word and thus His plan for my life. It was a process but one that was well worth the effort.
February 21, 2014
With little exception, the majority of individuals who attend Mass, also partake of Communion. For many of us, it is a joyful and sacred celebration to feast at the Lord’s table. We eat His bread and drink His cup as we proclaim His death until He comes again. Sadly, I’ve also had occasion to witness those that while they engage in this Sacrament, do so in a purely ritualistic approach without thought to His sacrifice or the knowledge that they are required to first examine themselves.
I will never hesitate to use myself as a personal example since for many years I lived apart from God and had nil familiarity with His Word. And yet during that period I did not refrain from Communion. I bore an attitude of impudence as I considered that to be my right as a Catholic regardless of my spiritual condition. Yet according to 1 Corinthians 11:27-31 “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the Body and Blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the Bread and drink the Cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying. If we discerned ourselves, we would not be under judgment;” Though I consistently approached His table in an ambience of carelessness and sin, I am so grateful that it was His mercy which allowed me to grasp the impact of those verses before the call of judgment.
The next time that we are invited to the Supper of the Lamb, it is imperative that we…as Catholics…as Christians…heed the Lord’s Word and examine ourselves. Communion is His gift but to continue to participate in an unworthy manner can bring damnation to our souls.
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.
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.
February 6, 2014
It is our Savior’s desire that all who have professed Him as Lord will apply His Word to every facet of their lives. And we have His assurance that if He spoke of it in His Word, then He alone will bring it to pass. Isaiah 55:11 is clear “So shall my Word be that goes forth from My mouth. It will not return to me void but will accomplish the purpose for which I sent it.” That same Word should be foremost in our thoughts when a challenge arises. Rather than say “I just don’t know what the Lord is going to do”, we should instead meditate on His promises and stand ready to both proclaim and receive them. He said in Jeremiah 1:12 “Then The Lord said to me ‘You have seen well for I am watching over My Word to perform it.'” It’s an assertion on which we can rest this very day and everyday thereafter.
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.
February 3, 2014
When I accepted Jesus as my Savior in March 1984, I carried a multitude of baggage inclusive of sexual immorality. From a theological standpoint, I knew The Lord loved me and had died on the cross for my sins. Ultimately, however, I came to realize that it was necessary to know Him on an intimate basis in order to change the course of my life which was headed towards disaster.
Through the years, I have encountered some Christians whom with emphasis informed me that their own lives were free from temptation and that they embraced a Godly existence on an instantaneous basis upon recitation of the sinner’s prayer. To those particular individuals, I commend them all for their strength. My own process was gradual and it took awhile to grapple with the fact that He had made me in His image according to His likeness (Genesis 1:26), and that according to 2 Corinthians 5:10 “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” In 1 Corinthians 10:13, He assured me that during periods of temptation “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful and He will not let you be tested beyond your strength but with the testing, He will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” Eventually I purposed to see myself as God envisioned me and take Him at His Word. In doing so, I reached the place where to please my Savior became of primary importance. And at that point I knew, with every fibre of my being, that I was the new creature in Christ whom The Lord had fashioned and designed.
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 26, 2014
As Catholics/Christians, our relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, is and should be the key element in our lives and the core of our existence. He is our Master, our Savior, our Lord. Clearly He died in order that we may live. However, to effectively sustain that relationship it is vital that we allow the Holy Spirit entrance into our day to day existence.
In John 15:26, Jesus, during the Last Supper, assured His disciples that “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, He will testify on My behalf.” In the following chapter, John 16:13, Jesus went on to say “When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own but will speak whatever He hears, and He will declare to you the things that are to come.”
As evidenced in these two verses, the Holy Spirit is the revealer of truth. Neither He or the Son operate independent from each other or apart from our Heavenly Father. Saint Paul stated clearly in 1 Corinthians 12:3 ” Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Let Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.”
When we yield ourselves to The Lord, and pray to the Father in Jesus’ name, it is the Holy Spirit who responds and will disclose what our Savior wants us to know.