I BELIEVE IN THE ONE HOLY CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH – Do YOU?
What is it, about His Church? Why did Jesus give his sheep these four visible marks of His Church? Is this “Statement of Faith” just words in a prayer to you? – This Nicea Creed, or is it spiritually meaningful, such as an Oath that you are accepting Jesus as Christ , and His Church?
Christ Prayer, for His disciples:THE CHURCH (Jn17)
The Apostle John devotes the entire chapter 17 of his gospel, capturing every word, Jesus prayed. “that they be one as We are One.” (Jn17) Our church prays daily, sacrifices many of her expressions of faith in worship, all in the hope to answer this call to His Lost Sheep. But will you hear Her? Do you hear Her? There she is till the end (final chapter- Book of Apocalypse), “”And the spirit and the bride say: “Come. And he that hear, let him say: Come. And he that thirst, let him come: and he that will, let him take the water of life, freely.” [Apocalypse (Revelation) 22:17]
Jesus said,”I will build MY CHURCH:”
What does this mean? That you can live by your creed, not the Apostle’s?, start your church, and whatever you choose, can this still be One with Christ, as He is with the Father? Certainly NOT. The Lord of Hosts prayed, for his apostles that they remain as One. He prayed for “My Church”(Mt16:18)(“And he said to me: Solomon thy son shall build my house, and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be a father to him.”[1 Paralipomenon (1 Chronicles) 28:6] . The Lord of Glory prayed we may be One. He prayed for you, that you be One. The Apostles, therefore developed a “Creed’ as admonition of His prayer, prayed before his passion of the Cross. Thus, we the Church profess, I Believe: in One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church. This then is His Church’s witness before the World, a visible testament, for His sheep to see and pasture peaceably. Did the Lord abandon us in the fields (of this world) to the wolves, without a trustworthy Shepherd? Of course not! Even IF the shepherd is not the perfect model of Christ, he is still visible to His sheep as “Shepherd.” Sure there are many many wolves saying something else! Where can you find such assurance somewhere else? Tell me! Did the Father NOT hear his only begotten Son’s prayer? Or you think NOT? Like Luther and Smith, who professed Him unfaithful to his own word. A LIAR! Where on this planet is there a visible sign for Christ’s sheep? If NOT this One!, that is One, that is Holy, that is Catholic, that is Apostolic marking time from the beginning throughout the world? One visible sign on a “hill”, that proves its ongoing oneness, holiness, catholicity, and Apostolicity in His word and deeds. Yes, there is Only One True Catholic Church for his sheep to confidently dwell. Where is this safe rule to start your own church, or 49,000 of them? Tell me? The spirit asks you , “ Are you In her pastures, or NOT”?
AS WE ALSO ARE ONE:
“And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one:” [John 17:22]
THE CHURCH IS ONE:
813 The Church is One because of her source: “the highest exemplar and source of this mystery is the unity, in the Trinity of Persons, of one God, the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit.”259 The Church is one because of her founder: for “the Word made flesh, the prince of peace, reconciled all men to God by the cross, . . . restoring the unity of all in one people and one body.”260 The Church is one because of her “soul”: “It is the Holy Spirit, dwelling in those who believe and pervading and ruling over the entire Church, who brings about that wonderful communion of the faithful and joins them together so intimately in Christ that he is the principle of the Church’s unity.”261 Unity is of the essence of the Church: What an astonishing mystery! There is one Father of the universe, one Logos of the universe, and also one Holy Spirit, everywhere one and the same; there is also one virgin become mother, and I should like to call her “Church.”262
“Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.”…. The first and second verse of the St. Athanasius Creed. Doctor of the Church, defender of Catholicity.
THE BRIDE, HIS CHURCH IS HOLY – For He alone is Holy – Jesus the Christ
Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth. (Jn17:17)
823 “The Church . . . is held, as a matter of faith, to be unfailingly holy. This is because Christ, the Son of God, who with the Father and the Spirit is hailed as ‘alone holy,’ loved the Church as his Bride, giving himself up for her so as to sanctify her; he joined her to himself as his body and endowed her with the gift of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God.”[LG39;Eph5:25)289 The Church, then, is “the holy People of God,”(LG12); 290 and her members are called “saints.”(Acts9:13; 1Cor6:1; 16:1)) 291
824 United with Christ, the Church is sanctified by him; through him and with him she becomes sanctifying. “All the activities of the Church are directed, as toward their end, to the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God.”(SC10)292 It is in the Church that “the fullness of the means of salvation” (U R3,5)293 has been deposited. It is in her that “by the grace of God we acquire holiness.”(LG48)294
825 “The Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real though imperfect.”(LG48)295 In her members perfect holiness is something yet to be acquired: “Strengthened by so many and such great means of salvation, all the faithful, whatever their condition or state – though each in his own way – are called by the Lord to that perfection of sanctity by which the Father himself is perfect.”
Many today use the failure, of Men to be Holy as an excuse to be a run away as a lost sheep. But who are you listening to? Before you run away! Have you asked, what Peter the Apostle asked of Christ, “…. Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” [John 6:69] Have you decided to start your very own Church? Did the priest say something NOT to your fancy? Or maybe he told you the Church must not abort, take birth control, submit to your husband, commit adultery, by only a “civil” divorce, or remarry because Jesus said, “Who answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, Made them male and female? And he said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall be in one flesh. (Mt19:4-5) Do you choose your church to your liking or of God’s? The church is not perfect, but imperfect, we want her to be holy perfect pure as the driven snow, but she contains men such as you. But Catholics are not called to choose but to be His sheep in this world, live in our reality of our times. We do not sin by being His sheep, following his Shepherd and being pastured in the church he built, “My church” for me and for you. Are you In or are you Out? Will you enter the narrow gate or must Christ the good shepherd be forced to break your legs for you to remain in His fold? Or maybe Satan, your friend has convinced you, there is a hell but no one but him is in it?
“Her have I loved, and have sought her out from my youth, and have desired to take her for my spouse, and I became a lover of her beauty.” [Wisdom 8:2]
I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world; as I also am not of the world. I pray not that thou should take them out of the world, but that thou should keep them from evil. (Jn17:14-15)
Mission – a requirement of the Church’s catholicity
#834 – Particular Churches are fully catholic through their communion with one of them, the Church of Rome “which presides in charity.”315 “For with this church, by reason of its pre-eminence, the whole Church, that is the faithful everywhere, must necessarily be in accord.”316 Indeed, “from the incarnate Word’s descent to us, all Christian churches everywhere have held and hold the great Church that is here ( at Rome) to be their only basis and foundation since, according to the Savior’s promise, the gates of hell have never prevailed against her.”317
# 849 The missionary mandate. “Having been divinely sent to the nations that she might be ‘the universal sacrament of salvation,’ the Church, in obedience to the command of her founder and because it is demanded by her own essential universality, strives to preach the Gospel to all men”:339 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and Lo, I am with you always, until the close of the age.”340
838 – “The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter.”322 Those “who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.”323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound “that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord’s Eucharist.”324
Yes, the wolves deny what Mother Church teaches you. Oh they believe in God’s word, but twist the meaning. But Katholike (greek first used by Aristotle) Reason dictates that a Catholic (Katholike) represents what Aristotle defined his word to mean, “the ALL” “whole world”. Yet Wolves, “ All others, as many as have come, are thieves and robbers: and the sheep heard them not.” [John 10:8], do not share in this world’s mission. It is, that simple! All the Gentiles are invited to the wedding feast, and his ministers by their office are appointed, sent to invite you. But if you choose to invite yourself, scripture warns thus, “And the king went in to see the guests: and he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment “And he saith to him: Friend, how came thou in hither not having a wedding garment? But he was silent.” [Matthew 22:11-12] So have you made up your own wedding invitation, and dressed in your style? If so, do you intend to jump the King’s gate?
I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou hast given me out of the world. Thine they were, and to me thou gave them; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known, that all things which thou hast given me, are from thee: Because the words which thou gave me, I have given to them; and they have received them, and have known in very deed that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me: because they are thine: (Jn17:6-9)
I believe in – The Apostolic’ mission:
# 857.The Church is apostolic because she is founded on the apostles, in three ways:
– she was and remains built on “the foundation of the Apostles,”362 the witnesses chosen and sent on mission by Christ himself;363
– with the help of the Spirit dwelling in her, the Church keeps and hands on the teaching,364 the “good deposit,” the salutary words she has heard from the apostles;365
– she continues to be taught, sanctified, and guided by the apostles until Christ’s return, through their successors in pastoral office: the college of bishops, “assisted by priests, in union with the successor of Peter, the Church’s supreme pastor
858 Jesus is the Father’s Emissary. From the beginning of his ministry, he “called to him those whom he desired; . . . . And he appointed twelve, whom also he named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach.”368 From then on, they would also be his “emissaries” (Greek apostoloi). In them, Christ continues his own mission: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” (Jn20:21)369 The apostles’ ministry is the continuation of his mission; Jesus said to the Twelve: “he who receives you receives me.”(Mt10:40, Lk10:16);370
CCC#859. Jesus unites them to the mission he received from the Father. As “the Son can do nothing of his own accord,” but receives everything from the Father who sent him, so those whom Jesus sends can do nothing apart from him,(Jn5:19)371 from whom they received both the mandate for their mission and the power to carry it out. Christ’s apostles knew that they were called by God as “ministers of a new covenant,” “servants of God,” “ambassadors for Christ,” “servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”(2Cor3:6; 6:4; 1Cor4:1)372
CCC#860. In the office of the apostles there is one aspect that cannot be transmitted: to be the chosen witnesses of the Lord’s Resurrection and so the foundation stones of the Church. But their office also has a permanent aspect. Christ promised to remain with them always. The divine mission entrusted by Jesus to them “will continue to the end of time, since the Gospel they handed on is the lasting source of all life for the Church. Therefore, . . . the apostles took care to appoint successors.”(LG20) Acts1 373
So, here we the Church profess to the world, what it means to believe in Apostolic. The Church is fulfilling the Father’s mission as anointed by His son. Our Church was appointed by God, the Father, by the Son, and by the Spirit asks, Who Sent you? Who Called you?
“No one can have God as his father who does not have the Church as his mother.” St Augustine, Doctor of the Church.
SUMMARY : OF OUR FOUR MARKS:
CCC812. Only faith can recognize that the Church possesses these properties from her divine source. But their historical manifestations are signs that also speak clearly to human reason. As the First Vatican Council noted, the “Church herself, with her marvelous propagation, eminent holiness, and inexhaustible fruitfulness in everything good, her catholic unity and invincible stability, is a great and perpetual motive of credibility and an irrefutable witness of her divine mission.”258
#846. “Outside the Church there is NO salvation”
How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336See recent posting on Cityof God.Blog. For the words of the Fathers and through the ages, on CCC846