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The Holy Eucharist

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“May our faith supply what our senses fail to grasp.”

Many people go to Mass, sit back and think “Okay God – this better be good or I’m not coming back.” It’s great if the music and homily are good. They definitely add to the beauty and reverence of the Mass. But remember – only at Mass can you receive Jesus in the Eucharist.

The top two reasons that people leave the Catholic Church are the preaching and music. These, of course, are important, but even if they are quite awful, offer it up, pray for your priest, and go to Mass.

If you’re looking for a personal relationship with Jesus, you can’t get any more personal than when you take the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. It is not just a symbol. If you leave the Catholic Church, you leave the Eucharist. This is a big deal, and this is why we want you back if you have left, or if you’ve stopped going, or only go every once in a while.

Think about it. At a Catholic Mass, what is front and center? It’s not the ambo, where the readings are read and the homily is preached. The ambo is off to the side. It is the altar that is front and center. Nothing this side of Heaven is more beautiful than what goes on at a Catholic Mass. Heaven is opened up, and the altar is surrounded by adoring angels during the consecration. We go to Mass to worship God, not to be entertained.

I love how the priests and deacons walk in and kiss the altar at the beginning and ending of every Mass. Really notice this next time – and know that despite good or bad homilies and good or bad music, Christ is truly present, no matter what. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic faith. Jesus is there – body, blood, soul and divinity in the consecrated host. Thank God for the beautiful gift of the Mass that Jesus left for us 2000 years ago. Please go, and keep going back. ❤

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Are you saved?

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Are you saved?

Have you ever been asked this question? Has anyone ever told you that Catholics think they can work their way into Heaven, or that we are not saved unless we say out loud that we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior? That, if we do this, our salvation is absolutely assured and we can know with certainty that we are going straight to Heaven, regardless of anything we may do ornot do in the future?

The Catholic Church does not now, nor has it ever, taught a doctrine of salvation by works – that we can “work” our way into Heaven. And, the Bible does not teach that we are saved by “faith alone.” The only place in all of Scripture where the phrase “Faith Alone” appears, is in James 2:24, where it says that we are not justified (or saved) by faith alone.

If works have nothing to do with our salvation, then how come every passage in the New Testament that talks about judgment says we will be judged by our works, not by whether or not we have faith alone? (See Rom 2, Matthew 15 and 16, 1 Ptr 1, Rev 20 and 22, 2 Cor 5, and many, many more verses). Scripture is crystal-clear that once saved does not mean always saved.

If we are saved by faith alone, why does 1 Cor 13:13 say that love is greater than faith? Should it not be the other way around?

As Catholics we believe that we are saved by God’s grace alone. We can do nothing, apart from God’s grace, to receive the free gift of salvation. We also believe, however, that we have to respond to God’s grace. Protestants believe that, too. However, many Protestants believe that the only response necessary is an act of faith; whereas, Catholics believe a response of “faith and works” is necessary, or, as the Bible puts it in Galatians 5:6, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love.” (Just as the Church teaches.)

St. Paul said he needed to work out his salvation with “fear and trembling.” If anyone professed their faith in Jesus it was Paul. If he felt so assured of his salvation because of his faith alone in Jesus, why then would he be trembling, and have to “work out” his salvation?

If you think about it, even the devil believes in God. Belief is not enough. St. James tells us, “So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (James 2:17)

So, the next time someone asks you if you are saved, the Catholic should reply:

As the Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5–8), but I’m also being saved (1 Cor. 1:8, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be saved (Rom. 5:9–10, 1 Cor. 3:12–15). Like the apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2, 2 Tim. 2:11–13).”