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crafter
True Blue Farmgirl

2313 Posts

lori
Fort Atkinson Wisconsin
USA
2313 Posts

Posted - Aug 17 2013 :  06:54:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Amen Darlene!! We do have to keep learning, trust in Him- ALWAYS!!! And share His love each and every day!!

Lori

God has promised strength for the day, rest for the labor, light for the way, grace for the trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy and undying love.

We are here to love each other, serve each other and uplift each other.
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7069 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7069 Posts

Posted - Aug 18 2013 :  4:08:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, girls! I just love you all so much! SUCH a blessing for all of us to be sisters in Christ!!!

(If anyone ever has any questions about Catholicism, I'd be happy to answer as best as I can!)

Hugs -

Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1489 Posts

Rae
MN
1489 Posts

Posted - Aug 18 2013 :  6:37:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you cause I have one no one can seem to answer for me. Why do you have prayer at mass after a person has died? I have always been taught and believe that you have had to make the decision to accept Christ before you die, you alone ave to make that choice and once dead it is done.

On another note sure could use prayer for rain, we are too dry. Our second crop quit growing, and pastures are not growing either, not good. Thank you and God bless each of you!

Rae



...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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HemetGardener
True Blue Farmgirl

572 Posts

Terri
Hemet CA
USA
572 Posts

Posted - Aug 18 2013 :  9:30:48 PM  Show Profile  Send HemetGardener a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Rae,
I was raised Catholic and am now a Christian. The Catholic belief is that when you die you go to a holding place called Purgatory and your family and friends can "pray you out" of there to go on to Heaven.

I am with you though that once you accept Jesus's death on the cross for atonement for your sins, you have your ticket to Heaven already.
Terri
# 4720
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7069 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7069 Posts

Posted - Aug 19 2013 :  03:43:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh, Terri!!! Catholics ARE Christians!!! They are the original Christians! The original Church!!! And yes, you have your ticket to Heaven when you are saved... but please read on!!! I wish I could hug you, sister! I'm so sorry you were taught any different! A lot of people think that way. A Christian is a believer in Christ, period!!! I am so thankful that today the Church is making great strides in teaching the Faith. When I reverted to Catholicism, a dear friend gave me the Catholic Catechism to read. It was so awesome, it blew me away!!! I had so deeply misunderstood, I had been so wrong in what I had believed about Catholicism and its teachings!

Having said that, I know that we are all on different paths to the Lord. I respectfully agree that we are going to disagree, and I love each and every one of you, no matter how we see things. I just know that before I returned to the Church, I didn't understand a lot, or had been taught so much that really wasn't true or that was misunderstanding about the Church, so if anyone wants to ask, I'll try to help. No offense ever taken, no offense ever meant, okay? You girls are so awesome!!!

Excellent question, Rae! I actually did a lot of reading up on this, but I am pressed for time this morningÖ I have another eye injection today, so it may be a couple of days before I see well enough again to get on the computer. That being the case, please forgive my brief response.

With this comes two problems for non-Catholic Christians. For one, the Church believes there is Purgatory for all saved souls before they can enter into Heaven. This is a very long discussion, and I do have a lot to say about it, but, again, Iím very pressed for time this morning. There is a lot of misunderstanding about Purgatory, or the purgation process of a soul before entering Heaven. I have actually read a couple of excellent books that discuss this in Biblical terms. The theologian Scott Hahn always makes things as clear as day. He made sure to check things out thoroughly before his conversion to Catholicism. The journey on which the Lord took him is much more fascinating than mine, but it was no less a life-changing experience. I canít remember the authorís name at this moment, but there is another book out there about Maria Simma called,ĒGet Us Out of Here!Ē which documents her personal experiences of praying for the dead.

The other problem for non-Catholics is that there is mention of praying for the dead in the book of Maccabbees, one of the deuterocanonical books of the Bible, which Protestants do not read or consider part of the Bible, so for those who especially say, "the Bible and the Bible alone" if they're not reading the Catholic Bible, they're missing out on a few important concepts. (I personally have serious concerns about "the Bible and the Bible alone." If that were the case, we wouldn't have sermons. Everyone would read the Scriptures and receive the exact same understanding of them. I have attended many different churches in my life, and I am always amazed at how each church can take a completely different stance on any given Scripture. Who's right,then? So, no, it's not the Bible alone - the Bible doesn't even say that. 2 Timothy 3:16-17: "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.") In brief, these books are accepted as canonical books by Catholics because they were part of the Old Testament which Jesus Himself would have studied and preached from. They were accepted as such by all Christian believers until later during the Reformation. Basically, the Protestants only went by the books in the Old Testament that had been written in Hebrew. The deuterocanonical books were written in Greek, which would have been a common language at the time of their writing, similar to the way English is one of the commonly used languages in the world today. We had a huge discussion about this a year or two ago in this strain. If you have time, please try to go back and find it. It explains a lot. If you canít find it, Iíll try to locate it for you after my eye recovers from today.

Okay, so basically, the Church believes that when believers die, we do go to Heaven, its just that our souls, like coal turned into diamond, have to go through a little fire to cleanse us on the way there. Thatís the most simplistic, non-scary way of explaining it. YES, Jesus makes us whole and washes away all our sins, BUT letís face it, we all have flaws that, although we try, we have a tough time with like anger, selfishness, jealousy, etc. These are just examples; Iím sure if we each looked inward, we can find a multitude of shortcomings within us, even though we know we are saved. Well, even though weíve been saved, we are still human and far from perfect. God, however, IS perfect. In His light, everything about us is exposed. You know how people come back from the dead and say they saw their entire lives before them when they were in His presence? Well, there you go. BUT, we cannot enter His perfect Heaven and take our sinful natures right in with us. Thatís not what Heaven is about at all! In His perfection, there is no anger, selfishness, jealousy, etc. Thatís why Jesus and the apostles spent so much time discussing with us the things we need to work on changing within ourselves before we pass on. Those things which cannot be carried into Heaven have to go; if we are unable to work them out of our being before we pass, God has to get rid of them for us so we can be with Him in Heaven forever. That is purgation of our souls. The Church teaches that there is a process for this. Instead of explaining in my own words, I would prefer to refer to the Catholic Catechism, but, as I said, Iím really pressed for time at the moment.

Over the years, the whole concept of Purgatory has gotten a bad wrap. But Scott Hahn puts it this way: we donít know how quick or long it will really take, nor do we know how painful it will be, but this ďrefiningĒ process we go through must happen before we reach our final destiny Ė eternity with God. For those who fear it, rest assured in Godís love and mercy. He never gives us more than we can bear. Yes, Jesus cleanses us; but for most, itís not all worked out before we die. The Catholic Church teaches this is an ongoing process until we finally are perfected to live in Heaven with God in His awesome presence for all eternity. But when we leave this earth, we still have a lot of baggage and we need to be cleansed of any vestiges of the stain of sin before we can be with Him forever. Mother Angelica puts it this way: She says when we get to Heaven and we see how beautiful, loving, magnificent and glorious God truly is, we suddenly fully realize our imperfections; how unclean and unworthy to be in His presence we truly are. Depending upon our knowledge of Him, each person reacts differently to this. Basically, those who are saved want to run to Him, but are so in awe of Him that we stay back and wait patiently for Jesus to finish working His will in us so that we can stand upright in His light and love and be in His presence forever. Believers know Godís Word, and they have intimate knowledge of Jesus (His Word Become Flesh!), so they do not fear His all-consuming light; they love Him so much that they just long to be like Him and with Him, and wait for Jesus to finish His work in them Ė by perfecting them through Godís purifying fire, of which they have no fear whatsoever because they know Him -before they run to Him! To believers, I would say this feels like when weíre little kids who have been playing outside all day Ė we canít help but get dirty as we explore the world around us, so Mom and Dad give us a good bath with a good scrubbing to make us shiny new and presentable again, and that whole bathing process takes a lot longer for some than others. Does that help? In contrast, however, Mother Angelica said that hell is when people reject His light all together; it is a place that people go when they just run from fear or hatred of His light because they do not know Him and realize His light is loving. His light seems more like a terrifying all-consuming fire that will devour them. Those who flee are either in horror of it because of their fear of His light because they donít understand His light, OR they have lived such a life of evil that they know no other way Ė they simply reject it. What it boils down to is that those who go to Hell know Him not; they do not understand His lightÖ they fear it or they hate it, so they turn away, thus condemning themselves.

Since we know that for believers to be dead to the world is to be alive in Christ, we who are left behind pray for those who have passed on. Since we really do not know what will happen to them when they face or go through that ďtrial by fire,Ē so to speak, we pray for them. We ask God in His infinite power and mercy to forgive them, help them endure the purgation (especially if we know that they were unbelievers), and to welcome to their true home with Him for all eternity. Now you may say, well, if they donít accept Him while they are alive on earth, then they are doomed for all eternity. I think thatís a bit harsh. I think that God knows what we endure here on life and that it breaks His heart to see all the things that brought us to the decisions, mistakes, and sins we commit here on earth. I believe, as the Catholic Church does, that God is love and merciful beyond any human measure, and that He gives us every chance to come to His light. Even as we stand before Him, I am so assured of His love for us and of His mercy that He still gives us the opportunity to repent and be forgiven. The Church teaches we really donít know what transpires between us and Him when we get there, all we can do is trust in His love. So, Catholics pray for the dead. I donít know the nature of a personís relationship with God. And I sure donít want anyone to misunderstand or fear His light when they stand in His presence. I donít want anyone to recoil or turn away. By praying for those who die, we affirm to God that we rely on His love and mercy for all things, especially for our souls, and we ask for them to be enlightened, showered with His love and grace, and welcomed into His loving arms for all eternity. ďFor the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole worldÖĒ The prayer known as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy is one of the most beautiful prayers I know.

Now, as far as Scriptures, I really have to run right now - I am so late! - I just didnít want to leave this unanswered and leave you hanging! If you would like to read up on this a bit more and see some of the applicable the Scriptures, here are a few links that may help you in the meantime:

http://www.catholic.com/tracts/purgatory

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm

http://www.americancatholic.org/messenger/nov2000/wiseman.asp

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04653a.htm

http://www.fisheaters.com/prayingforthedead.html

http://catholicism.about.com/od/prayersforthedead/Prayers_for_the_Faithful_Departed.htm

http://www.catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/praying-to-dead-folks

Gotta go! I'll be back as soon as I can! Love you, girls! God bless you!

Hugs -

Nini



Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!


Edited by - Ninibini on Aug 19 2013 10:50:11 AM
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britchickny
True Blue Farmgirl

988 Posts

Angie
Avon NY
988 Posts

Posted - Aug 19 2013 :  10:31:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nini, thank-you for taking the time to really put the words to paper and share this. Very, very helpful and I'm ashamed to say that I have been misinformed and have judged based on that misinformation. I am looking forward to reading some of the links.
In the mean time I pray for healing in your eye(s?)
And for a fresh anointing upon you.
Hugs.
Angie.

ANGIE
"Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance" JUDE 1:2

http://www.pinkroomponderings.blogspot.com/

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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1489 Posts

Rae
MN
1489 Posts

Posted - Aug 19 2013 :  11:10:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Prayers you are feeling better soon. Thank you for the information, I don't agree 100% but at least understand where it comes from.
Rae



...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31


Edited by - Old Spirit on Aug 19 2013 11:12:07 AM
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7069 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7069 Posts

Posted - Aug 19 2013 :  11:27:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for your prayers, Angie! It's just my left eye... Had a stroke a couple of years ago, and it left me with partial vision. Crazy blood pressure. Drive me nuts. ANYHOW, now I go for Avastin injections every month. It's a long story, and unpleasant treatment, but it really does work, so I'm thankful for it. :) Hopefully one day I won't need them anymore. :) Today's injection went surprisingly well, too, which is awesome!!!

And no need to be ashamed, Angie, really! No apologies necessary! I was SO there, too, myself at one time. My brother actually crucified me for my beliefs about Mary. I return nothing but love, though, because I was there... I know how he feels... I know how a lot of people feel. And I know how hard it is to accept something so different than what you were ever taught or what ever was explained to you. If I hadn't looked into it for myself, and if my friend hadn't given me the Catechism book, I may never have understood. I prayed a lot - A LOT - A LOT - A LOT LOT LOT - and the Lord really did lead me to answers for every question I had. He's so awesome! And I read a whole lot, too. It's just important to me, that's all. :)

The one thing that used to drive me ga-ga nuts crazy about Catholicism is that whenever I asked questions, people either couldn't answer them or they didn't seem to care to take the time to share about them. Truth of the matter is, there is just so much to discuss, that it even becomes overwhelming for the Catholics who do know. And there are so many reasons why we believe what we believe. You start with Jesus to Peter and the Apostles and the Didache and then on to those who learned at the feet of the Apostles which include the Fathers of the Church, and all of the explanations and all of the Biblical interpretation and all of the traditions with their profound meanings and all the history...That's a whole lot of information over the past 2013 years to try to nicely package in a ten minute conversation! It's hard to wrap your mind around it. And then some sweet innocent person, who already thinks you're cuckoo and who is so misinformed about your Faith and who has most likely already formed their opinion, asks a question that he would unknowingly and seemingly reasonably think only takes a minute or two to answer. Suddenly you're feeling like a deer caught in the headlights! The last thing you want to do is go into an eight hour dissertation and overwhelm anyone (including yourself) when all they wanted was a quick answer to a simple question. And you know a simple answer definitely won't cut it. So now you've got to figure out how to pull it all together for them... It's hard, believe me. Because there simply IS no such thing as an easy answer!! LOL! Being fully aware of that fact, I just think it's really important that all brother and sisters in Christ maintain open hearts and minds, really study what they believe and keep an loving door of welcome open. We need to be united not divided. We don't have to agree about everything, but we need to stay strong against the devourer, it's as simple as that. In the meantime, I really think there are amazing things in store for God's people, don't you!? We just need to remember what Jesus said: A house divided against itself cannot stand. We NEED each other to withstand evil!

Hugs -

Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!


Edited by - Ninibini on Aug 19 2013 11:32:26 AM
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britchickny
True Blue Farmgirl

988 Posts

Angie
Avon NY
988 Posts

Posted - Aug 19 2013 :  11:59:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And don't you think Nini, that when someone asks us about our faith, oh, we want to be ready with all the answers don't we! It really comes down to, knowing who we are (children of God) knowing the path to follow (His path) loving all (His children) and being a light in the darkness. The "isms" are the least important aren't they?
Discussion and questions are good. They make us think about our faith, they make us ask questions and truly take the time to understand not only our path, but that of other's.


ANGIE
"Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance" JUDE 1:2

http://www.pinkroomponderings.blogspot.com/

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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7069 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7069 Posts

Posted - Aug 19 2013 :  12:06:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
SO true! We don't have all the answers... But a hearty discourse sure does help us seek and find! :)

You ROCK, Angie!

Hugs -

Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7069 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7069 Posts

Posted - Aug 20 2013 :  10:00:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rae - I'm so sorry, I didn't see your response yesterday! We don't have to agree on everything! What we do have to agree is, just like St. Thomas the Apostle said, that He is our Lord and our God." After that, Jesus does all the rest! :) Thanks so much for taking the time to try to understand. I really appreciate that! Hugs - Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1489 Posts

Rae
MN
1489 Posts

Posted - Aug 20 2013 :  1:36:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I know, isn't it great we can disagree on little stuff as long as we have the big picture in sight.
Not saying it isn't so just not what I learned, read & believe. so for me....

Rae





...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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britchickny
True Blue Farmgirl

988 Posts

Angie
Avon NY
988 Posts

Posted - Aug 20 2013 :  1:42:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
ha-ha! yes! when we listen in love and share in love and think and question. TOGETHER. No hidden agenda. No judging.
I know our heavenly father is smiling right now.
(I know I am)

ANGIE
"Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance" JUDE 1:2

http://www.pinkroomponderings.blogspot.com/

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HemetGardener
True Blue Farmgirl

572 Posts

Terri
Hemet CA
USA
572 Posts

Posted - Aug 20 2013 :  1:44:05 PM  Show Profile  Send HemetGardener a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Nini,
I am sorry you may have misunderstood me. I loved being a Catholic but it is so important to confess your sins to God and let the blood of Jesus wash you clean. I was never taught that in the Catholic church. They always said you have to confess to a priest and he forgives your sins. Also I never owned a bible until I was 24 when I started going to bible studies and learned about the one way to God, accepting Jesus death on the cross as the last sacrifice for sin.
Terri
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1489 Posts

Rae
MN
1489 Posts

Posted - Aug 20 2013 :  2:48:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Terri my husband was never encouraged to read the Bible, just told what to believe because. In fact he did not own one either. That is why I ask here as he doesn't really know the answers.

Rae



...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7069 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7069 Posts

Posted - Aug 21 2013 :  11:00:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, girls!

Oh, Terri! I was only addressing your indication that you left Catholicism for a Christian church, that's all. I thought you were saying that as a Catholic you were not a Christian - perhaps I misunderstood, and if so, I am sorry! But Catholics are definitely Christians - a lot of people do not realize that. I just didn't want you to feel you weren't Christian when you were a practicing Catholic, that's all. You've been a Christian right along! :)

Again, although some of this is directed to address Terri and Rae's insights, I feel some of you may have questions, because I sure did, so I'm going to go a little bit more in depth than necessary. Please disregard if you're not interested. No offense taken. :) And Terri, of course, I'm sure having been a Catholic all those years, you know most of this already, so please bear with me!

The Catholic Church DOES teach that God and God alone forgives sins! "Only God forgives sins. Since he is the Son of God, Jesus says himself, 'The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins' and exercises this divine power: 'Your sins are forgiven,' Further, by virtue of his divine authority he gives us this power to men to exercise in his hame." (CCC 1441) The Catechism also specifically states that the priest "is not the master of God's forgiveness, but it's servant." (CCC 1466). Please allow me to explain.

The Didache, which for all intents and purposes was the first Christian "handbook," if you will, states: "Confess your sins in church, and do not go up to your prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of life. . . . On the Lord's Day gather together, break bread, and give thanks, after confessing your transgressions so that your sacrifice may be pure" (Didache 4:14, 14:1 [A.D. 70] The early Church also knew the importance of reconciliation, because Jesus' ministry was all about reconciliation to God AND man. In Matthew 5:23-26 He tells us: "23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny."

To a member of the early church, the return to sin after receiving the sacrament of baptism was unthinkable, so confession was a one-time thing, done before all the people when the person was baptized. As time went on, however, the Church had to deal with the problem of post-baptismal sin. Eventually the Church recognized the difficulty of such an open exposure of the soul to the body of Church members, so they changed the means of reconciliation to be a more private, personal encounter between parishioner and priest. Again, this was not because the Church believes God will not forgive us directly! God always forgives those who repent! Think of it more as the priest is acting as His ambassador on God's behalf. The love, forgiveness and guidance we receive from the priest not only gives us an intense sense of freedom and relief, but we know we don't have to carry it around anymore. Further, it helps us to free us from the mind games of Satan; he can no longer use our against us to make us feel unworthy, unloved, unforgiven and unsaved. God's grace is effected through this sacrament. The priest says to us:

"God, The Father of mercies,
Through the death and resurrection of His Son
Has reconciled the world to Himself
And sent the Holy Spirit among us
For the forgiveness of sins;
Through the ministry of the Church
May God give you pardon and peace,
And I absolve you from your sins
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

Now some might think: "Well, how in the world can a priest or anyone else forgive our sins? These people aren't God!!!" Ah! Well, it all goes back to the resurrection, when Jesus appeared to the apostles in the upper room. He breathed on them and gave them the power to forgive sins. John 20: 19-23 tells us:

"19 Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. 20 And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. 23 Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained."

Honest to Pete, I had myself had read that passage so many times over the years, but it had never really sunk in! Jesus gave the disciples the power to forgive sin and commissioned them to do so! So I ask you: Is the priest really being sinful, or is he lovingly performing the task which Jesus commands?

The Catholic Church only really requires that we go Confession once a year (but are encouraged to go as often as possible because it's good for our souls), unless, of course, we commit a mortal sin, which is something done that is of grave matter, done with full knowledge of the sinner, and with deliberate consent of the sinner. At that point, we need to get in for the sacrament of penance and reconciliation as immediately as possible. Most sins are venial, which are anything else we do that do not fit within those guidelines. Those sins we confess in an "open confession" at Mass, which most other churches do. This is what Catholics say in Mass:

"I confess to you, Almighty God,
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;
therefore, I ask blessed Mary ever-virgin,
and all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God."

Therefore, Catholics confess our sins to God and God alone, sometimes through the aid of a priest, and ask for the prayers of others - those alive here on earth (be it other church members, the priests, friends, familyÖ), and those alive in Heaven with God (Because the sinner dying on the cross admitted he was a sinner and deserved his punishment, then petitioned the Lord to remember him when He came into His kingdom, "And Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise."; Luke 23:43; "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." I Corinthians 15:22). And we know that the saints pray to God because of Revelation 5:8 which says, "And when he had opened the book, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints:"). And truthfully, we do see this type of "open confession" in many different denominations, so I don't feel this should pose any problem for anyone.

And absolutely, I confess to the Lord the minute I realize I have sinned! If I carry it with me or can't seem to shake it, however, I head right to the priest in the confessional, because I do not want Satan to play with my mind over it. And we all know he can really mess with our minds. The priest's absolution gives me great peace. And it also opens a way of reconciliation between me and God, as well as me and those against whom I have committed any offense. And I always want to repair any harm I do, whether to God or to man. This sacrament really helps me to do so, and as you can now see, it is Biblical. The priest always counsels and encourages in the most loving way. The prayers I am given, when offered up to Him in love, are a form of honoring God for His love and forgiveness, and confirming my faith in Him for all things, especially for my salvation and the salvation of the world. The acts I perform are a way of making amends to Him and to any whom I have offended. It really is just that simple. Personally, I like going to confession, because I can tell the priest anything and he is bound by his sacred vows never to divulge what I say, which makes it such a safe place. Plus, the priest always has a loving counsel and reassurance that God loves me, just as a good, loving father should. He helps me to kick the dust off my shoes, so to speak, and move on. :)

As far as the Bible insights, I think that may be a total misunderstanding because we Catholics don't carry our Bibles into Mass with us like many do in other churches. But when Catholics attend Mass regularly, as they should, they read, hear and are taught the entire Bible over a three year period! There are three Scripture passages read during every Mass: One from the Old Testament, one from the Psalms, and one from the Holy Gospel. And on Sundays, there is an additional reading from the New Testament. It is through these readings that the entire Bible is taught over a three-year period. At the end of the three year period, the readings begin all over again. In his homily, the priest usually reflects on key points from the Scriptures read, explaining them and teaching how they can be applied in our own lives. I know that Scripture is read in most Christian church services, but I can honestly say, I have never had more Scripture read or taught to me in one service as is done in the Mass. I think sometimes we Catholics tend to forget about this, because, as I said, we usually donít have a Bible open and in hand during Mass. True, we aren't usually handed Bibles, either, but the Scriptures are right there in the Missile the Church provides. Any time I've attended any other church, I've had to supply and bring my own Bible (And I sure have plenty of them - Catholic and non-Catholic alike!). Itís the same at Catholic Church. Sure, I can bring and read my own Bible, OR the daily Scripture readings are always available in the Missile. I don't think it even occurs to most Catholics to bring their Bibles with them, BECAUSE the Scriptures are always provided. It has been that way as long as I can remember.

The whole "not having a Bible in hand" thing stems from back in history when most people didn't read and books were so expensive that only the wealthy had them. The Scriptures were taught and read to people by the priests at that time. That is also why there are so many statues and pictures in ChurchesÖ they help people understand the Scriptures and remember the stories. They are touch points. Originally they were meant for those who did not have the means of reading a Bible. Today I love that when little kids come to Mass, especially, they have all the scenes to look at and understand. Catholics do not worship idols - that is ridiculous; the icons we see are reminders of the depth and love of Christ and His followers, and they all point directly to Him, because He is the center of our worship. He is the center of the Mass. Always has been, always will be. Please don't ever let anyone tell you any different. :)

Thanks so much for the opportunity to explain, girls. I know how confusing it can be. It's just important to me that you know the truth. I can't always explain it as well as I need to, I'm sure. And I know we will not always agree about things; that's okay! Perhaps some of my explanations will help you and maybe even encourage you to investigate a little bit more. At the very least, I hope you will understand that I am a Christian, that I love the Lord with all my heart, mind and soul, and that you don't have to worry because I'm saved! Praise His Holy Name! :)

Hugs and blessings to all of you today and always Ė

Nini




Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1489 Posts

Rae
MN
1489 Posts

Posted - Aug 21 2013 :  6:19:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nini you really are knowledgeable! By the way my church is actually quite similar to the Catholic Church. I am able to follow along pretty good, when I visit, as many things said are the same. We have compared notes & sermons are on the same wave length, the biggest difference is in some of the sacraments and rituals. This change I have noticed in the last 5 years, just thought I would share that

Still could use some rain prayers, never thought I would say that but am asking. Also for SIL that we just recently found out does not believe, or maybe fighting it right now. Anyway thank you.

Rae



...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7069 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7069 Posts

Posted - Aug 21 2013 :  7:35:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
LOL! Believe me, Rae - I thoroughly investigated and studied loooong before I reverted. I'm no expert by any stretch, but I sure wanted to be sure I could explain myself to my loved ones and anyone else who questions my beliefs. ;)

I think I have an inkling as to what church you belong. Cool! ;)

I will pray for rain for you... My garden is totally confused by this crazy weather and starting to die already. Thankfully we've got a nice forecast of thunderstorms for tomorrow. Maybe God will blow some back your way! ;)

I will pray for your SIL, too... That's so hard. Don't worry, God won't give up on her! She's His precious child! Will you pray for my sister and foster daughter and foster son, too? They have each been believers at some point in their lives, but life experiences have left them either questioning God's existence at all, or just plain denying Him all together. It's so heartbreaking when people you love just don't "see" or believe. Let's pray God opens their hearts, minds and souls in Christ Jesus; that they come to know and love Him profoundly; and that they live their lives for His glory! :)

Hugs -

Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7069 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7069 Posts

Posted - Aug 27 2013 :  08:37:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi girls!

I am just wondering - do you use a concordance? If so, which one do you use?

Thanks!

Hugs -

Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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darlenelovesart
True Blue Farmgirl

5530 Posts

darlene
Loleta California
USA
5530 Posts

Posted - Aug 27 2013 :  2:09:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for all your information Nini, I learn alot through you.
You take care and I am glad your eye treatment went well.
My prayers continue for you and I hope you are getting some needed rain Rae, and I will pray for rain in moderation for you all.
blessings
darlene

I have learned that to have a good friend is the purest of all God's gifts, for it is a love that has no exchange of payment.
by Frances Farmer

Just follow God unquestioningly.
Because you love Him so, for if you trust His judgment there is nothing you need to know.

I trust in you Jesus...
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1489 Posts

Rae
MN
1489 Posts

Posted - Aug 27 2013 :  4:21:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The rain prayers are still needed. We did get 3 1/4 inches last night but still need more. Temps past week in upper 90's!! This is MN not supposed to be that hot.

May you all have many blessings from our wonderful God!!

Rae



...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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levisgrammy
True Blue Farmgirl

6880 Posts

Denise Thompson
NJ
USA
6880 Posts

Posted - Aug 27 2013 :  7:28:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Nini! I do use a concordance. The one of choice for us is Strong's Exhaustive.

Denise
Farmgirl Sister #43

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."
Psalm 119:105

http://www.ladybugsandlilacs.blogspot.com/
http://www.torisgram.etsy.com
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7069 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7069 Posts

Posted - Aug 27 2013 :  8:56:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Darlene! Things are going pretty well, thankfully! I so want these injections to be over, but I'm thankful that they are an option, because they do help tremendously! :) God is good! God is GOOD!

Rae, I will definitely continue to pray for you to receive more rain. That is some seriously hot weather you're getting out there! I'll be praying you get relief, soon! You poor thing!

Thanks, Denise! I am familiar with Strong's, but do not have it - I had completely forgotten about that one! Thank you! I need to find a really good one. I have one that is "okay," and then, of course, there are concordances at the ends of a couple of my study Bibles, but they're insufficient. I'd like my son to have a good one to refer to for homeschool and private study, and I'd like to have a solid one for private study as well. I am so glad you said "Strong's!" I am definitely going to check that out tomorrow!

Have a blessed day, girls!

Hugs -

Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7069 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7069 Posts

Posted - Sep 03 2013 :  6:10:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey there, girls!

Farmgirl Judy aka wildflower17 just shot me an email because she's concerned that people may have not seen the post about the Farmgirl day of prayer...

If you haven't had a chance to see it yet, please check it out; and if you can join in, please post so -she knows you're with us! http://www.maryjanesfarm.org/snitz/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=64317

This is a special event for ALL farmgirls, so please spread the word to ALL your farmgirl friends! :)

Thanks so much!

Hugs -

Nini

Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!


Edited by - Ninibini on Sep 03 2013 6:22:44 PM
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levisgrammy
True Blue Farmgirl

6880 Posts

Denise Thompson
NJ
USA
6880 Posts

Posted - Sep 05 2013 :  11:32:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nini,
I was just going to post about that as I got an email from her too! Come on girls let's commit to praying with and for one another as well as the requests over on that thread! We can make a difference.

Denise
Farmgirl Sister #43

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."
Psalm 119:105

http://www.ladybugsandlilacs.blogspot.com/
http://www.torisgram.etsy.com
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