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  #11  
Old 10th December 2009, 09:46 PM
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My mother tells me that she miscarried three of my brothers (twins before I was born and a sister after me). So, would it be reasonable for me to pray to them since I would know with certainty that they went to the eternal Heaven?...

I never knew them but I actually did prayed to them a couple of days ago that I was feeling very sick and asked for their intercession if it's true that they existed, that they are my blood brothers but were not permitted to live on this earth as my mother tells me.

Asking for their intercession is a good and useful practice. Even human persons who died very young in the womb can intercede before God for us on earth.

I believe that prenatals who die in the womb, and infants who die without baptism, certainly go to Heaven, because their deaths unite them with Christ dying on the Cross for our salvation, which is the source of the effectiveness of all baptism.

I think that perhaps prenatals to first to an upper level of Purgatory, not to be punished, but to learn about Christ and to receive the development that they were denied on earth. Then they soon go to Heaven to be happy forever. So we can pray for these young souls, and perhaps our prayers benefit them as they learn and develop in Purgatory.
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  #12  
Old 12th April 2010, 01:36 PM
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Dogmatic constitution on the Catholic faith

Pius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the Sacred Council, for an everlasting record.

1. The Son of God, redeemer of the human race, our lord Jesus Christ, promised, when about to return to his heavenly Father, that he would be with this Church militant upon earth all days even to the end of the world [3]. Hence never at any time has he ceased to stand by his beloved bride, assisting her when she teaches, blessing her in her labors and bringing her help when she is in danger.

2. Now this redemptive providence appears very clearly in unnumbered benefits, but most especially is it manifested in the advantages which have been secured for the Christian world by ecumenical councils, among which the Council of Trent requires special mention, celebrated though it was in evil days.

3. Thence came 1. a closer definition and more fruitful exposition of the holy dogmas of religion and 2. the condemnation and repression of errors; thence too, 3. the restoration and vigorous strengthening of ecclesiastical discipline, 4. the advancement of the clergy in zeal for learning and piety, 5. the founding of colleges for the training of the young for the service of religion; and finally 6. the renewal of the moral life of the Christian people by a more accurate instruction of the faithful, and a more frequent reception of the sacraments. What is more, thence also came 7. a closer union of the members with the visible head, and an increased vigor in the whole mystical body of Christ. Thence came 8. the multiplication of religious orders and other organizations of Christian piety; thence too 9. that determined and constant ardor for the spreading of Christ's kingdom abroad in the world, even at the cost of shedding one's blood.
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Old 16th May 2010, 12:28 PM
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4. While we recall with grateful hearts, as is only fitting, these and other outstanding gains, which the divine mercy has bestowed on the Church especially by means of the last ecumenical synod, we cannot subdue the bitter grief that we feel at most serious evils, which have largely arisen either because the authority of the sacred synod was held in contempt by all too many, or because its wise decrees were neglected.

[The Council of Vatican I is referring to the Council of Trent. What is said about Trent can be said about Vatican I and Vatican II. The decrees have been ignored, misinterpreted, or treated as if they had no real authority.]

5. Everybody knows that those heresies, condemned by the fathers of Trent, which rejected the divine magisterium of the Church and allowed religious questions to be a matter for the judgment of each individual, have gradually collapsed into a multiplicity of sects, either at variance or in agreement with one another; and by this means a good many people have had all faith in Christ destroyed.

[This is still the trend today among Catholics, to consider religious questions to be a matter of judgment for each individual. It is as if Catholics have collapsed into a multiplicity of sects, while still claiming to be Catholic.]

6. Indeed even the Holy Bible itself, which they at one time claimed to be the sole source and judge of the Christian faith, is no longer held to be divine, but they begin to assimilate it to the inventions of myth.

[This criticism of Protestants is now true of many Catholics and many Catholic Biblical scholars.]
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Old 22nd May 2010, 11:44 AM
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7. Thereupon there came into being and spread far and wide throughout the world that doctrine of rationalism or naturalism,—utterly opposed to the Christian religion, since this is of supernatural origin,—which spares no effort to bring it about that Christ, who alone is our lord and savior, is shut out from the minds of people and the moral life of nations. Thus they would establish what they call the rule of simple reason or nature. The abandonment and rejection of the Christian religion, and the denial of God and his Christ, has plunged the minds of many into the abyss of pantheism, materialism and atheism, and the consequence is that they strive to destroy rational nature itself, to deny any criterion of what is right and just, and to overthrow the very foundations of human society.

[The Christian faith is based on faith first, but also on reason. When people reject all that is supernatural, including all Divine Revelation and the supernatural nature of the Church, then reason itself is harmed. For reason points to the existence of God and the reasonableness of the Faith. The end result is not a system that is reasonable, but one that gradually falls away from all that is reasonable and just.]

8. With this impiety spreading in every direction, it has come about, alas, that many even among the children of the Catholic Church have strayed from the path of genuine piety, and as the truth was gradually diluted in them, their Catholic sensibility was weakened. Led away by diverse and strange teachings and confusing nature and grace, human knowledge and divine faith, they are found to distort the genuine sense of the dogmas which Holy mother Church holds and teaches, and to endanger the integrity and genuineness of the faith.

[This problem still occurs today, except that it is not found even among many teachers in the Church.]

9. At the sight of all this, how can the inmost being of the Church not suffer anguish? For just as God wills all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, just as Christ came to save what was lost and to gather into one the children of God who were scattered abroad, so the Church, appointed by God to be mother and mistress of nations, recognizes her obligations to all and is always ready and anxious to raise the fallen, to steady those who stumble, to embrace those who return, and to strengthen the good and urge them on to what is better. Thus she can never cease from witnessing to the truth of God which heals all and from declaring it, for she knows that these words were directed to her: My spirit which is upon you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth from this time forth and for evermore.

[God wills everyone to be saved, and so the Church wills everyone to be saved. But some persons are not willing to be saved; they prefer to remain in their sins. Before the fact of our sinfulness, God wills everyone to be saved. After the fact of our sinfulness, God does not will everyone to be saved, in that He allows us to die unrepentant from actual mortal sin.]

10. And so we, following in the footsteps of our predecessors, in accordance with our supreme apostolic office, have never left off teaching and defending Catholic truth and condemning erroneous doctrines. But now it is our purpose to profess and declare from this chair of Peter before all eyes the saving teaching of Christ, and, by the power given us by God, to reject and condemn the contrary errors. This we shall do with the bishops of the whole world as our co-assessors and fellow-judges, gathered here as they are in the Holy Spirit by our authority in this ecumenical council, and relying on the word of God in Scripture and tradition as we have received it, religiously preserved and authentically expounded by the Catholic Church.

[I wish that there were an Ecumenical Council, to address various doctrinal errors and questions, on a regular basis.]
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  #15  
Old 16th June 2010, 02:35 PM
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Chapter 1
On God the creator of all things


1. The Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church believes and acknowledges that there is one true and living God, creator and lord of heaven and earth, almighty, eternal, immeasurable, incomprehensible, infinite in will, understanding and every perfection.

[The Church is Roman in that the See of Peter is located in Roman, and this See is over all other Sees, so that the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, is over all other Bishops and over all the faithful. God is infinite in His Nature, and so He is infinite and perfect in intellect (understanding), in will, and in all that He is and does.]

2. Since he is one, singular, completely simple and unchangeable spiritual substance, he must be declared to be in reality and in essence, distinct from the world, supremely happy in himself and from himself, and inexpressibly loftier than anything besides himself which either exists or can be imagined.

[God is One in His Nature (i.e. His essence or being -- what He is) and He is absolutely simple and also perfect, He cannot change. For perfection can only change by becoming less than perfect, and God cannot be less than perfect. That which is eternal is unchanging also because the complete Eternity of God means that He is beyond Time. But change implies a numbering of before and after, a type of passing of time. Therefore, God is eternal and unchanging.]

3. This one true God, by his goodness and almighty power, not with the intention of increasing his happiness, nor indeed of obtaining happiness, but in order to manifest his perfection by the good things which he bestows on what he creates, by an absolutely free plan, together from the beginning of time brought into being from nothing the twofold created order, that is the spiritual and the bodily, the angelic and the earthly, and thereafter the human which is, in a way, common to both since it is composed of spirit and body.

[God did not create us in order to increase His own happiness, for He is infinitely happy and He cannot change.]

4. Everything that God has brought into being he protects and governs by his providence, which reaches from one end of the earth to the other and orders all things well. All things are open and laid bare to his eyes, even those which will be brought about by the free activity of creatures.

[God knows all our free will decisions, even those of the future, because He dwells in Eternity, beyond time.]
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Old 26th July 2010, 07:41 PM
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Chapter 2
On Revelation


1. The same Holy mother Church holds and teaches that God, the source and end of all things, can be known with certainty from the consideration of created things, by the natural power of human reason : ever since the creation of the world, his invisible nature has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.

2. It was, however, pleasing to his wisdom and goodness to reveal himself and the eternal laws of his will to the human race by another, and that a supernatural, way. This is how the Apostle puts it : In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son.

3. It is indeed thanks to this divine revelation, that those matters concerning God which are not of themselves beyond the scope of human reason, can, even in the present state of the human race, be known by everyone without difficulty, with firm certitude and with no intermingling of error.

[Reason is able to perceive truths, even without the benefit of Divine Revelation. Among these truths are the truth that God exists, and that God is the Creator of all things. The entire moral law, that is to say, all the dicates of the moral law for each individual, can be perceived by the reason and free will of that individual, even without the benefit of Divine Revelation. However, original sin, personal sins, and the sinfulness of the world in which we live, all make it much more difficult for reason to perceive these truths and to understand them without error. Divine Revelation reveals truths that are beyond the ability of reason to perceive, such as the Trinity, as well as truths that reason, in principle, should be able to perceive on its own, such as moral truths.]
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Old 31st August 2010, 12:44 PM
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4. It is not because of this that one must hold revelation to be absolutely necessary; the reason is that God directed human beings to a supernatural end, that is a sharing in the good things of God that utterly surpasses the understanding of the human mind; indeed eye has not seen, neither has ear heard, nor has it come into our hearts to conceive what things God has prepared for those who love him.

[We are obliged to hold that Divine Revelation is necessary to the plan of God for humanity. We are obliged to hold that Divine Revelation, for those who know that it exists, is essential for salvation, i.e. if anyone knows of DR and chooses to ignore it, he commits an objective mortal sin. DR is necessary for us to understand the higher truths (e.g. the Trinity) which are beyond the ability of reason alone to reach, and also for us to know truths which, in principle, reason may attain -- but which in practice fallen human reason, the reason of sinners, often does not attain. We know these truths more readily and can hold to them more firmly when they are taught by DR, as opposed to reaching these by reason alone.]

5. Now this supernatural revelation, according to the belief of the universal Church, as declared by the sacred Council of Trent, is contained in written books and unwritten traditions, which were received by the apostles from the lips of Christ himself, or came to the apostles by the dictation of the Holy Spirit, and were passed on as it were from hand to hand until they reached us.

[DR consists of Tradition and Scripture. The truths of Tradition are expressed by God in unwritten form, by His deeds in salvation history, by the deeds and example of Christ. But these truths are also expressed by the faithful in written and spoken word, esp. by the Saints, Fathers, and Doctors of the Church.]

6. The complete books of the old and the new Testament with all their parts, as they are listed in the decree of the said Council and as they are found in the old Latin Vulgate edition, are to be received as sacred and canonical.

[This teaching is being denied by many Scripture scholars today. Notice the wording: the 'complete books' 'with all their parts'. Yet scholars today have deleted very many words, phrases, even whole verses from Scripture (or relegated these to footnotes) even though these are found in the Old Latin Vulgate.]
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Old 10th September 2010, 01:32 PM
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7. These books the Church holds to be sacred and canonical not because she subsequently approved them by her authority after they had been composed by unaided human skill, nor simply because they contain revelation without error, but because, being written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and were as such committed to the Church.

[The Bible is sacred and canonical not only because it contains revelation without error, but also because God is the author, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and God gave the Bible to the Church as a gift.]

8. Now since the decree on the interpretation of Holy Scripture, profitably made by the Council of Trent, with the intention of constraining rash speculation, has been wrongly interpreted by some, we renew that decree and declare its meaning to be as follows: that in matters of faith and morals, belonging as they do to the establishing of Christian doctrine, that meaning of Holy Scripture must be held to be the true one, which Holy mother Church held and holds, since it is her right to judge of the true meaning and interpretation of Holy Scripture.

[Some persons misinterpret the teachings of Councils. The Church does not forbid the personal interpretation of Scripture, as some claim, but only requires that interpretations are in agreement with the doctrines of the Magisterium on faith and morals. Unfortunately, many editions of the Bible contain faithless footnotes and annotations implying or stating ideas contrary to the Faith, or undermining the teachings of the Faith.]

9. In consequence, it is not permissible for anyone to interpret Holy Scripture in a sense contrary to this, or indeed against the unanimous consent of the fathers.

[The unanimous consent of the fathers is a reference to one type of expression of Sacred Tradition. So Scripture should never be interpreted contrary to the teachings of Tradition or Magisterium.]
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Old 13th September 2010, 01:01 PM
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Chapter 3
On faith


1. Since human beings are totally dependent on God as their Creator and Lord, and created reason is completely subject to uncreated truth, we are obliged to yield to God, the revealer, full submission of intellect and will by faith.

[The truths that are given to us by God are as eternal as God is, for God is Truth. Therefore, we are morally obligated to submit to the truths of Divine Revelation with the full assent of faith, in heart and mind.]

2. This faith, which is the beginning of human salvation, the Catholic Church professes to be a supernatural virtue, by means of which, with the grace of God inspiring and assisting us, we believe to be true what He has revealed, not because we perceive its intrinsic truth by the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of God himself, who makes the revelation and can neither deceive nor be deceived.

[If you only believe what seems true to your natural reason, you have no faith at all. Faith trusts in the authority of Divine Revelation, thereby trusting in God, so as to accept both the truths that are understood by reason, and those truths beyond the reach of reason alone. Faith is only the beginning of salvation; Faith alone cannot bring us to salvation.]

3. Faith, declares the Apostle, is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

[Hebrews 11]
{11:1} Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not apparent.

4. Nevertheless, in order that the submission of our faith should be in accordance with reason, it was God's will that there should be linked to the internal assistance of the Holy Spirit external indications of his revelation, that is to say divine acts, and first and foremost miracles and prophecies, which clearly demonstrating as they do the omnipotence and infinite knowledge of God, are the most certain signs of revelation and are suited to the understanding of all.

[God graciously gives us, not only truth, but many helps to accept truth and to live by truth.]
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Old 17th December 2010, 10:58 PM
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5. Hence Moses and the prophets, and especially Christ our Lord himself, worked many absolutely clear miracles and delivered prophecies; while of the Apostles we read: And they went forth and preached every, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it [18]. Again it is written: We have the prophetic word made more sure; you will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place [19].

[The miracles of Christ and of the Saints support the teachings. The good deeds of loving service to our neighbor that we all do support the teachings of Christ. Not only miracles, but all good works, are proof that the teachings are true.]

6. Now, although the assent of faith is by no means a blind movement of the mind, yet no one can accept the gospel preaching in the way that is necessary for achieving salvation without the inspiration and illumination of the Holy Spirit, who gives to all facility in accepting and believing the truth [20].

[Faith in God and in the teachings of Christ through His Church is not blind faith; neither does Christ ask blind obedience. And yet our faith is not merely the agreement of our own reasoning with the teachings of the Church. They lack faith who only believe the teachings that agree with their own thinking. Reason is needed to understand (though not completely) the teachings of the Faith.]

7. And so faith in itself, even though it may not work through charity, is a gift of God, and its operation is a work belonging to the order of salvation, in that a person yields true obedience to God himself when he accepts and collaborates with his grace which he could have rejected.

[The virtue of charity and the virtue of faith are distinct virtues. They often work together, but they are separate virtues. Th work of faith in believing and adhering to the Word of God is of grace and of salvation. It is not sufficient of itself, without love and hope, but neither is faith merely an aspect of love.]

8. Wherefore, by divine and Catholic faith all those things are to be believed which are contained in the word of God as found in Scripture and tradition, and which are proposed by the Church as matters to be believed as divinely revealed, whether by her solemn judgment or in her ordinary and universal magisterium.

[The full assent of faith (sacred assent) is required of all infallible teachings of the Magisterium. The solemn judgment of the Magisterium is expressed in papal infallibility and in the solemn decrees of Ecumenical Councils. The ordinary and Universal Magisterium is expressed by the Pope and the Bishops dispersed through the world, when they teach in agreement one position on a matter of faith or morals definitively to be held.]

9. Since, then, without faith it is impossible to please God [21] and reach the fellowship of his sons and daughters, it follows that no one can ever achieve justification without it, neither can anyone attain eternal life unless he or she perseveres in it to the end.

[Love, faith, and hope are found in all who have the state of grace; whoever perseveres in this state of grace to the end is saved. Whoever does not persevere but instead falls into actual mortal sin, and fails to repent, is not saved.]
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