Del Génesis al Apocalipsis
The MassFrom Genesis to Revelation
Ever since I wrote my first book and called myself THE PUBLICAN, I have been receiving letters wondering "Why?" The subject matter of this book is the answer. The answer to why I use the name "publican" is the second greatest prayer of the Bible. Before anyone even asks, we shall first solve the mystery of the first greatest prayer. Then, and only then, will our minds be free to look into the theme of this publication.
There will be no index in the hopes that you will not jump ahead to see what the greatest or second greatest prayers are, since only if you follow the step-by-step method will you get the most out of this book. This book will seek out the main theme of the Bible, the bottom line, the main point. Then it will get into the Second Greatest Prayer of the Bible.
Copyright c 1990 JMJ Publishing 1990
All Rights Reserved
Unity Publishing, Inc.
A non-prophet corporation, founded to answer the Last Will and Testament of Christ at the Last Supper, (that we all be one in Truth. John 17); "so that the world may believe" and be converted. (John 17:22)
Let us see what this "Bible" is all about. It is easily the largest selling book in the world; but I would not go so far as to say it is the most read. Almost everyone has read the first few chapters of Genesis. Almost everyone has vowed to read the entire book at one time or another. Most have given up at Chapter One of Genesis.
What is this book all about? Why is there a Bible? Who wrote it? Why? Almost all Christians [no matter what denomination] believe the Bible to be the divinely inspired words of God written through the hands of man.
"All scripture is inspired by God, and useful for teaching, for reproving, for correcting, for instruction in justice; that the man of God may be perfect, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
The evidence in favor of this opinion is overwhelmingthe seventy-two translators of the Septuagint, the archaeological discoveries [books, tablets, cities, etc.], the perfect harmony of prophecies from one age to another, sacramentals from the time of Christ, and miraclesthousands of miracles.
Yes! The Bible is inspired by God but the reader is not. Those who read single passages or jump around from one page to another will "distort the word of God to their own destruction." (2 Peter 3:15-16)
By not taking the Bible in its entirety, man can make isolated passages mean whatever he wants them to mean. This is why Cardinal Ratzinger said that to read parts of the Bible would make you a Protestant, but if you read all the Bible, you would become a Catholic. Christ said, "Heaven and Earth will pass away but my Words will never pass away."
His Words are the Bible [all the Bible], not part of it. To believe in part, and not the rest, is to rip the Word of God apart.
This is why the Church gives three readings in the Sunday worshipone from the Old Testament, one from the Epistles, and one Gospel. Each reading helps us to understand the other. You cannot understand an isolated passage without a complete understanding of the entire Bible and to whom the writer was speaking at the time and why.
The Church teaches that everyone should read the Bible. Logic teaches that even the non-believer should read it. Who can call themselves scientific and objective, and yet, not read the largest selling book in the history of the world?
This was my reasoning when I read it the first time. I was not a Christian. I determined to read it simply because I had not, and my ego would not let me say, "I never read it." I considered myself too scientific to believe in such fairy tales but ---,
I read it from page one to the end. Then again and again, never skipping around. Nothing made sense to me. I knew I had more than just the work of man before me, but I could not put it together. I charted it on a twenty foot long canvas. I graphed it. I dissected it, compared it, turned it inside out.
Through the power of MY OWN MIND AND MY OWN INTELLIGENCE, I came to know absolutely, positively, what it said and means. Boy! How wrong I was!
I became so caught up in my own ego [spiritual pride], I wanted everyone to know me for my knowledge. I began to consume from four to six books on religion each and every week. I became impressed with my knowledge of where Paul wrote, who he wrote to, what language he wrote in. I was interested in what he looked like, how old he was, what the world was like at the time. As a result, WHAT HE WAS TEACHING escaped me.
I tried Bible classes at Catholic Universities, even classes with nothing but priests, but they all had their own ideas of what the Bible taught; and according to the teachers, no one was wrong. It was as though God had a different meaning for everyone on the face of the eartheach person getting his own thing out of it. Since some of these opinions were exactly the opposite of others, I knew this was not Gods plan. HE COULD NOT OPPOSE HIMSELF.
HOW TO READ THE BIBLE
How then should one read the Bible? Should we approach it like Hans Kung, Rudolf Bultmann and Cullen Murphylike a history book full of errors? They analyze passage against passage without the help of the saints or the Church, preferring their own intellectual ability.
In fact, they deliberately avoid the saints, believing it to be unscientific, and go to the historians and scientists instead, who are not guided by the Holy Spirit. Its no wonder they come up with such strange conclusions.
The question is not "Who should read the Bible?" but "How should we read the Bible?" Should we rely on our own prideful intelligence, or on two thousand years of knowledge from thousands and thousands of saints, thousands and thousands of monks, and thousands and thousands of revelations that poured into the Magisterium of the Church, the Teaching Authority of Christ?
It amazed me how Hans Kung could know for certain that the Church is wrong in only one lifetime of study. It amazed me how I could think that I could outsmart the Church in only one lifetime of study. Millions of lifetimes, millions of prayers over thousands of years, have poured into what we call the Doctrine of the Faith. Can it be wrong?
Starting with the assumption that the Church is not wrong, I went on to prove it right on every point of doctrine. There are many points, however, that have not been closed. These things are still open to debate. The Bible is filled with mysteries. It even teaches that these mysteries were not to be known at the time, but would be revealed later.
I have discovered that these mysteries have been unveiled over the years to the saints through private revelation and divine inspiration. Errors that I thought existed in the Scriptures were explained to me, not by theology, but by God, Himself.
Now, when I read the Holy Words of God, I read them with a Bible Dictionary, a Bible Concordance, the Code of Canon Law, the Documents of Vatican II, the "Roman Catechism", the "Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma", Augustines "City of God", Thomasonian Philosophy, "City of God" by Mary Agreda, the "Life of Christ" by Anne Catherine Emmerich, "Readings in Church History" by Colman Barry, and "Imitation of Christ" by Kempis.
DOES THE BIBLE ERR?
It is from these books that I have come to understand that the Bible does not have one single error in it. The Bible does not err. Our understanding of it errs. Was Paul mistaken when he said some would live to see the second coming of Christ? "For this we say to you in the word of the Lord, that we who live, who survive until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep ..." (1 Thess. 4:15)
Was Christ mistaken when He said that this generation would not pass away until all things were accomplished? "Amen I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all things have been accomplished." (Luke 21:32)
Who was wrongChrist or John the Baptist? Christ said that John was Elias, but John said that He was not. "And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elias who was to come." (Matt. 11:13)
But when they asked John, "Art thou Elias?" John said, "I am not." (John 1:21)
Throughout the four Gospels of the New Testament we find the same message given in different ways, or at least with different wording. Does this mean [as many would say] that since the Gospels were written many years after the events, the writers were just relaying the message the best they could? They say that it should not be taken word for word. Example:
"If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For he who would save his life will lose it; but he who loses his life for my sake will find it. For what does it profit a man..." (Matt. 16:24)
But Luke gives this lesson in different words. "And he who does not carry his cross and follow me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, wishing to build a tower, does not sit down first..." (Luke 14:27)
Even in the Old Testament we find what are apparent discrepancies, if we do not seek the help of the saints. Which of these is correct? "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks." (Isaiah 2:4) -or- "Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears." (Joel 3:10)
If you seek the theologians for the answers, you will believe that the Bible is not without error. But if you seek the saints and the private revelation of God, you will find all the answers to these mysteries of Scripture. In the light of the saints, let us look first to the mystery of the Second Coming.
Did Paul believe Christ would come in his own lifetime? No, he did not. Paul had already preached to the Thessalonians. He was only reminding them what he had already told them of the mystery. The mystery is that we are all building up the Body of Christ, the Kingdom of Heaven: the Church Militant, the Church Suffering, the Church Triumphant.
We, who die in Christ [in His Church] before the Second Coming, will already be with Christ in Heaven. Even if we do not die in Christ, we will see Him. For Christ judges all at the moment of death. Christ comes to everyone at the moment of death, even those who have never heard of Him. The Second Coming of Christ [for those who do not live to see the end of the world] is the moment of death.
"Many have died suddenly and without warning; for the Son of Man will come suddenly and when you least expect Him." ("Imitation of Christ" by Kempis)
We, who live to the end, will be gathered up to be with the rest of the Body of Christ in Heaven.
When Christ said that this generation would not pass away until all things would be accomplished, he meant this age. I have learned from many prophets that the history of the world is divided into six ages [or six days], the seventh being the day of resteternal happiness in Heaven.
These six ages are called six generations. The last of these generations is the age of the Church, in which Christ lives with us until the end of time in the Tabernacles of the world. Christ was referring to the last age, the last generation when He said, "this generation".
Paul was not ignorant of this. He, too, knew that the age would last long. Paul knew that many things had to come to pass before the Second Coming; for instance, he knew the Antichrist must come first. He knew the Gospel had to be preached to the whole world first. He knew it would not be in his lifetime, for he predicted his own death. It was because the Thessalonians misunderstood Pauls first letter regarding the Second Coming that he wrote the second letter to the Thessalonians.
Now let us see if John the Baptist was Elias or not. If you just read the two passages above, you would not know if Christ or John was correct. But if you read the entire Bible [if you read Luke 1:15-17], you will find that both Christ and John were correct. An angel of the Lord came to Johns father, Zachary, and announced that John would:
"--- be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mothers womb. And he shall bring back to the Lord their God many of the children of Israel, and he shall himself go before Him IN THE SPIRIT AND THE POWER OF ELIAS." (Luke 1:15-17)
So, from the art of reading the entire Bible and not just parts, and from the use of the saints and prophets for a proper understanding, we find the answer. John had the spirit and the power [the guardian angel] of Elias; therefore, Christ did not err. John, filled with the Holy Spirit, knew he was not the real Elias [who will come in the last days]; so, he did not err.
As for Matt. 16:24 and Luke 14:27, I have learned from Anne Catherine Emmerich that in the three years Christ taught, He preached the same lessons over and over. He taught the same lessons in many different ways. He used many different words. Luke is relaying a speech taught to him by Mary, the Mother of God. Matthew used another entirely different talk that he had heard himself. The lessons are almost the same, but the times and places are different. The words used by the two writers are the exact words of Christ in both cases.
There are two other things to think about when we consider differences in the four Gospels. All four writers learned from Mary. Matthew wrote to the Jewish people in Hebrew from his own experience and knowledge, but then referred all to Her. Mark wrote what he heard from Peter and then did the same. Luke learned from Paul and then from Mary. John, of course, lived with Mary until Her death, but did not write his gospel until asked to do so by the entire Church. This was in his old age and after he wrote Revelation.
That is why very little is written about this great Woman. It was Her request (therefore their command) that She not be mentioned in the Gospels except when necessary to tell the story of Christ. This is why little is in the gospels about Mary.
This is also the reason Luke, who could not write what he wanted to about Mary, took to painting Her story in Icons. The lessons of Mary we find in the five Icons of Luke are staggering.
The next thing we should consider is that the Hebrew language is very limited. Keeping this in mind, consider that Luke, Mark and John wrote in Greek; Matthew in Hebrew; then all was translated into Latin and Greek by Jerome. There are no errors, but the languages have limitations.
Even though the Gospels were written many years later, the writers were inspired to exact detail. We not only know this from the saints of later years, we know it from Christ, Himself.
"But when he, the Spirit of truth has come, he will teach you all the truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he will hear he will speak, and the things that are to come he will declare to you. He will glorify me, because he will receive of what is mine and declare it to you." (John 16:13)
It is from the Holy Spirit speaking through the saints of the Church that I have learned the things that are to come. One thing I have learned is that there will come a day when Christ will ask all the people of His Kingdom to beat their plowshares into swords and go to war to protect the Church. When this war is over, a period of peace will follow in which all weapons of war will be changed into instruments of peace. That is why both Isaiah and Joel are correct.
From theologians I was taught that Christ did not contain the knowledge of the Father when He was man. They derive this false idea from Luke 2:52. But from private revelation I have learned that Christ always contained all the knowledge of the Trinity, even in the womb of Mary. He grew in the experience of having a body, not in the knowledge of it. He always knew all things, but He did not physically experience them. Therefore, He grew in the experience of being human, without ever losing His Divinity for one single moment. His human brain and his divine knowledge were always infused.
So, you can see, in uncovering the mystery of the greatest prayer of the Bible, we must not rely on our own intellect, on theologians [who try to do the same], or on science by itself. Let us instead do what Peter suggested.
"This, then, you must understand first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is made by PRIVATE INTERPRETATION. For not by will of man was prophecy brought at any time; but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:20-21)
HISTORY OF COMMUNICATION
What was the reason for this book? If God wrote it through men, He must have had a good reason. The Book itself is almost entirely a history. It is a history of man and his relation with God, and a history of Gods relation with man. This history of relations can be called a history of communication. Communication with God is called "PRAYER".
So the Bible can be called a history of prayer. It is a history of conversation between God and man. It is a summary of what God expects of man, what He promises in return, and what mans reactions to Gods Word have been. God told man what He wanted, what He would give, what to ask for, and how to ask. In short, God told man how to pray.
When I looked for the meaning of the Bible, I looked for the bottom line. I wasnt interested in the details. I wanted an overview. I wanted the punchline. I found it. I found the main reason for the Book.
The bottom line, the last word, the punchline is the best way to communicate with God, the best prayer, the Greatest Prayer of the Bible.
THE TREE OF LIFE
The greatest prayer unfolds from the very first chapter when God tells Adam not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Adam could eat from all the other trees, even the TREE OF LIFE; but not from the Tree of Knowledge.
These two trees seemed to me to be the secret of the whole Bible. I investigated like any good scientist or detective. I looked for patterns, similarities, clues. One thing for sure, God is always logical. Whatever I found would have to be logical.
The tree God did not want them to eat from produced a unique change in Adam and Eve. Prior to eating of this tree they were both naked, but did not know it. After eating the fruit of knowledge, they knew. A child, when born, has no knowledge of sin. He can walk around without clothes and feel no guilt. In fact, there is no sin. After growing older, the child develops modesty [a feeling of guilt]. This feeling of guilt [or modesty] is called original sin. The original sin of man wasTO KNOW.
This knowledge was mans undoing. Knowledge always brings with it responsibility. This responsibility is called the LAW. Without the knowledge, there is no law. A child, who dies before it reaches the age of knowing, is not bound under the law. This is what Christ meant when He said that unless we become as little children we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The law is designed to keep us from knowing [experiencing] sin. God does not know sin except negatively. God knows sin like a doctor knows cancer. A doctor can know cancer without having it. But man can know sin by experience. The LAW was designed to keep us like children, so that we do not know sin by experience.
Once we know, we [on our own] cannot unknow. That presents a problem to God. He made a rule that no one could eat of the TREE OF LIFE, if they had this knowing.
What is this TREE OF LIFE? After Adam and Eve sinned, God cast them out of the garden. He put an angel at the gate of the garden with a flaming sword to guard the TREE. The exact words are important.
"Behold Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil; now, therefore, lest perhaps he put forth his hand and take also of the TREE OF LIFE, and eat, AND LIVE FOREVER.
"And the Lord God sent him out of the paradise of pleasure to till the earth from which he was taken. And he cast out Adam; and placed before the paradise of pleasure CHERUBIMS, and the flaming sword, turning every way, TO KEEP THE WAY OF THE TREE OF LIFE." (Genesis 3:22-24)
I pondered over these words for years. I wrote them down and watched for them as I read the rest of the Bible: words like "LIVE FOREVER", "CHERUBIMS", "FLAMING SWORD", "THE WAY".
God did not say that the angels would stop the way, but that they would KEEP the way. This WAY seemed important to me. What was it? This WAY produced LIFE FOREVER. I wanted life forever, so I had to know the way. That is why we all look to the stars; why we wonder about death, the other side of death; why some look forward to death and others fear it. The way to live forever? Let us look for the keys.
In Pauls letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 10:11), he states that ALL THE BIBLE is written as a type for our correction, as examples of the future, as symbols of things to come. To find these TYPES, EXAMPLES, SYMBOLS, we must watch for them. What example [symbol] was it when Cain and Abel offered sacrifices to God from the first fruits of their labors? Does God need lambs and fruits? Does God eat these things?
No! In fact, in Psalm 49, He flatly states that He has no need of them. If God does not need these offerings, why does He approve of such things? And approve He does. Abels offering was acceptable to God. Why? What does God want with these stupid ceremonies of altars and lambs? God, who needs nothing, could not need lambs. But let us go on with the Mystery.
Next we find some strange man out of nowhere named Melchisedech, who is called King of Salem, which means KING OF PEACE. This city of Salem would later become Jeru-salem. ("Jeru" means "God will offer the Sacrifice.")
"Melchisedech gave Abram BREAD AND WINE, for he was the priest of the most high God, and blessed him and said, Blessed be Abram by the most high God, who created heaven and earth." (Genesis 14:18-19)
What a strange thing! He gave bread and wine BECAUSE he was the priest of the most high God. Who made him priest, and what does bread and wine have to do with being a priest?
Paul in Hebrews 7:3 conveys that Melchisedech had neither father nor mother. He was without genealogy, and had no beginning nor end of life. But he was like to the Son of God. Even the angels had a beginning; so, was this man Christ? Was Melchisedech God? Well, anyway, he is definitely important, and there is something important about this bread and wine.
In the very next chapter, Abram is promised a son, even though he is one hundred years old and his wife is ninety. God makes a PERPETUAL COVENANT with him. Abram and all the male members of his tribe are circumcised.
Now, I know circumcision is a healthy thing, but you have to admit, this is a very strange sign for a covenant. Why circumcision? Why not a funny haircut or a yellow ribbon or something less crazy?
Anyway, as you would have it, a son is born to Abram called Isaac. Then, before Abram can even enjoy this new son, God calls him. He tells Abram to KILL HIS SON as a sacrifice. Can you imagine what went through Abrams head? God promises him a son in his old age. This son is to be the father of many nations, and suddenly --- he is to die.
Well, Abram is the father of obedience. He took his son, without any hesitation, even had the son carry the wood for his own altar.
On the way his sone asked Abram, "Where is the lamb for the sacrifice?" Abram did not know it at the time but God inspired him to answer, "God, Himself will supply the lamb for the Sacrifice."
He built the altar, tied him on it, and started to kill him. An angel stopped him. Abram offered a RAM IN HIS SONS PLACE. He did not offer a Lamb but a Ram and that is not the same thing. Years later this place would be called Jerusalem because the Jews knew that someday God, Himself, would come and offer the final lamb in the city of peace for the final sacrifice. Jeru - the place of the sacrifice.
Are you looking for the types, the examples, the symbols?
From here on the Bible is filled with thousands of lines of genealogies proving that the children of Isaac produced David and then Christ. But first, we have Joseph being sold into captivity in Egypt, and as a result, all of Abrams nation become slaves for four hundred years. After the four hundred years, God sends Moses into Egypt to free His people. Using the STAFF AND VOICE of Moses brother, God causes all kinds of plagues to attack the Egyptians. Why was the brother the voice? Then we come to the final plague. God kills all the first born sons including the Pharaos son. 400 years? Anothers voice? Anothers staff? First born?
In order for the sons of Abram to be saved, God has them kill unblemished male lambs and put the blood on the doors of the houses.
"And the BLOOD shall be unto you for a SIGN."
Then God tells them to eat the lamb with UNLEAVENED BREAD. Are you still looking for the symbolic meanings of things to come? (1 Cor. 10:11) The blood of the lambs saves the sons of Adam, and Moses takes them across the sea into the desert. The people become frightened because they have no food and no trust in God.
"And the Lord said to Moses, Behold I will rain BREAD FROM HEAVEN for you." (Exodus 6:4)
This bread was small, white balls which the people named "Manna" which means "What is it?" And Moses put some of it in a Tabernacle. (Exodus 16:34) God gave them the Ten Commandments, the laws of justice and of judges. Moses offered a lamb on an altar and took half of the BLOOD and sprinkled it on the people as he said,
"This is the BLOOD OF THE COVENANT which the Lord has made with you concerning all these words." (Exodus 24:8)
Now we have: blood of circumcision, blood of lambs on doors for protection, blood of lambs for a covenant of the words of the law, manna, etc. It is still all kind of strange for a God that doesnt need anything.
Then God directs Moses to build a place for God to DWELL AMONG MAN. This place is called a TABERNACLE, and is to be built like an Ark. God instructs him in the exact details of how to build this thing: its size, its wood, the gold, the decorations, even the artist who is to do the work. He tells him to put TWO CHERUBIMS of beaten gold on the two sides of the oracle [The oracle was a hole in the top].
There are those same Cherubim angels again, the angels that guarded the way to the TREE OF LIFE. In Ezechiel 10 and 11 we also find these Cherubim angels, always WITH GOD.
With great detail God maps out all the things He wants to be with this TABERNACLE, called the Ark. He details the tables, the altars, the lamps, the bowls, the priests, the vestments, the consecration of the priests, the sacrifices of the lambs, the bread and wine.
He instructs Moses to have a lamp ALWAYS BURNING BEFORE THE ARK, and to have the priests ELEVATE the lamb and the bread and wine before the Lord. He calls it a sacrifice of perpetual offering. (Exodus 29:42) He promises to DWELL IN THE MIDST OF HIS PEOPLE (Exodus 29:45). From the hole in the top of this tabernacle, God spoke to Moses. Fire and smoke came out from this hole between the two cherub angels.
THE GREAT CURTAIN
Then Moses had a great curtain made to separate the place of the Ark from the rest of the tent. This curtain was over fifty feet tall. Only the priests were allowed to enter behind the curtain. This was the place of GOD WITH HIS PEOPLE. After all was built and the prescribed ceremonies performed, the glory of the Lord filled the room behind the curtain. (Exodus 40:32) Remember this curtain. We will find it again in Solomans Temple and at the death of Christ.
ATONEMENT OF SIN
The Lord instructed Moses on sin offerings. If anyone sin, EVEN THROUGH IGNORANCE OF THE LAWS, lambs were to be offered for the sin (Leviticus 4:2). Blood was poured on the altar and in front of the altar. EVEN IF ALL THE MULTITUDE SIN THROUGH IGNORANCE, and afterwards shall understand their sin, they shall offer for their sin a calf, and shall bring it to the door of the tabernacle and offer it up. On and on God explains the sacrifices for SINS OF IGNORANCE. But sins committed without ignorance faced the wrath of the law mostly death.
Very important to God was that NO ONE, who was defiled in any way, whether through sin or bodily, WAS TO EAT of the flesh of the SACRIFICE, which is offered to the Lord (Leviticus 7:20). The blood was poured on the altar because,
"the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you, that you may make atonement with it upon the altar for your souls, and the blood may be for an expiation of the soul". (Leviticus 7:11)
God set down the laws and the sacrifices for their sins, and He led them through the desert, protected them from enemies, fed them with the manna from Heaven, and guided them to the promised land. But the people began to MURMUR AGAINST THE MANNA. They were tired of this food from Heaven. God sent a plague upon them for murmuring against the manna; many died. (Numbers 11:6) Then they MURMURED AGAINST MOSES, saying they were more holy than he; so, why should he be their leader? God punished them with leprosy. (Numbers 12:10) Then they MURMURED AGAINST THE PRIESTHOOD, saying they too should be priests. God opened the earth and cast them alive into Hell. (Numbers 16:33)
Remember that these are signs of the future, signs to look for in our day. Again they MURMURED AGAINST THE MANNA from Heaven, and God sent serpents among them, which bit and killed many. (Numbers 21:6)
Paul explains that all of this is a type [a parable] for our instruction and correction. (1 Cor. 10:11) What are we learning from all of this that can be applied to our time?
God taught Moses how to pass on the rights of priesthood and leadership. He appointed Josue to succeed Moses with the ceremony of THE LAYING ON OF HANDS. (Numbers 27:18) Is this still done today in the Christian era? Do we still have a line of priests and the sacrifices that they perform? Do we still have only one leader today with the authority of Moses? Do we still have priests ordained with the laying on of hands? Or is everyone a priest as the Jews wanted in Numbers 16:33?
Let us go back to this Ark or Tabernacle which contained something of the presence of God. What tremendous power it had! When the Philistines took the Ark from Gods people and placed it before their god, Dagon, the stone god fell down and broke into many pieces. (1 Kings 5:3) For seven months plagues attacked the Philistines until they gave back the Ark. If anyone touched the Ark, WHO WAS NOT A PRIEST, he died. Even if he was a king, he could not touch the Ark. (2 Kings 6:6) Wars were won with the power of this Ark. This Ark was not God. It was only a thing. Why, then, did It have such power? Why did God give a thing such power, even honor? A thing?
Solomon then built a church for this Ark. Over the Ark he built two GIANT CHERUBIM ANGELS twenty feet tall and twenty feet from wing to wing that touched in the center of the church. There are those same Cherubs again, the same ones that guarded the TREE OF LIFE!
When the Ark was placed in the Temple, into the main oracle of the Temple, behind the great curtain, into the Holy of Holies, under the wings of the two great angels, there was a great solemnity. (2 Par. 5:7) Solomon prayed and offered the sacrifice of the lambs. FIRE CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN AND CONSUMED THE LAMBS. The majesty of the Lord filled the house. So great was the presence of God in the house, even the priests could not enter for the first few days. In 2 Mech 2:11 we learn from Jeremias that,
"because the sin offering was not eaten, it was consumed."
A strange thing about the day the Ark was put into the Temple for the first time is that there was no longer anything in the Ark except the two stone tables of the law (2 Par. 5:10 and 3 Kings 8:9). The reason this is strange is that we know that a vessel of manna was put in from Exodus 16:34. What happened to the vessel of manna? The Ark was in a tent in the City of David, called Zion, and was carried out from there to the Temple. (3 Kings 8:1) Before that, it was in the house of Obededom (2 Kings 6:10) because David was afraid of the Ark. Could the vessel of manna have stayed behind in the house of Obededom? This becomes important later.
Two hundred years later the King of Babylon destroyed the Temple of Solomon. (4 Kings 25) The King of Babylon is said to be in the service of God to punish the people for their sins. (Jeremias 27:6) Before the king destroyed the Temple, Jeremias took the Ark out and hid it in a cave at around 600 BC (2 Mach. 2:4). Jeremias said the Ark would never be seen again until God gathered together his people. It has never been seen again.
The Temple was rebuilt again, but not by the Jews. It was rebuilt by King Cyrus of Persia [a type of Antichrist] from 538 BC to 515 BC. It was profaned by Antiochus IV in 167 BC [another type of Antichrist].
In 19 BC Herod the Great [another type of Antichrist] rebuilt the Temple again and completed the work in 65 AD, just before its final destruction in 70 AD. At the time of Christ it was under construction. Today the Mosque of Omar, or the Dome of the Rock, stands in the exact spot of the Temple. The Temple Christ entered was not built by Jews, but by a type of Antichrist, a Roman, Herod the Great.
Emperor Justin, the Apostate [another type of Antichrist] would again try to rebuild the Temple, but even St. Athanasius knew he could not because he was not the real Antichrist. Sure enough, fire came out of the ground every time his builders moved a stone and killed all the workers. St. Athanasius knew that only the real and final Antichrist will ever build the Temple again.
SUMMARY OF SYMBOLS
All right, what do we have so far? We have the Bible as a history of communication with God, the TREE OF LIFE, knowledge of sin is a block to the Tree of Life, Cherubim angels, flaming swords, THE WAY, the sacrifice of lambs, bread and wine, Melchisedech, who gave the bread and wine because he was THE priest of the Most High God, ( not a priest of the Most High) who had no beginning or end of life, like the Son of God. We have Isaac offered as a sacrifice on an altar, but a ram given instead. We have a covenant of blood [circumcision], and the blood of unblemished lambs as a sign. We have the eating of the lamb with unleavened bread. Then we have the MANNA from Heaven and the sins against the manna. We have the Tabernacle [or Ark] with the Cherubim angels, tables, altars, lamps, bowls, priests, vestments, and a lamp always lit before it. We have the consecration of priests, the elevation of the lamb and unleavened bread as a perpetual oblation. We have the great curtain, lambs to be offered for sins of ignorance, and laws that no one defiled in any way is to eat of the sacrifice. We have the blood as a sacrifice for sins. There is the laying on of hands for priesthood, punishment for assuming priesthood or leadership. Then there is the lost manna and the temples built and destroyed by unholy men.
All of this is supposed to tell us something, for it is a type of something to come, written for our instruction and correction. Before we come to any false conclusions, we must first go to the prophets, for they are the spokesmen of God to man, just as priests are the spokesmen of man to God.
PROPHECY OF NEW CHURCH
Amongst the prophets we shall go first to Isaias, who tells us God will DIVORCE His people and sell them for their iniquities. (Isaias 50 and Jeremias 33:21) The Jews broke the covenant of God, and so God will make a NEW COVENANT. (Ezechiel 34) He prophesies a new and EVERLASTING COVENANT, and a NEW SANCTUARY AND TABERNACLE. (Ezechiel 37) He is to take a NEW PEOPLE who were not His people before. (Osee 2:24) He teaches Zacharias that He will raise up Christ, who will not visit what is forsaken, nor seek what is scattered, nor heal what is broken. He tells him that what is dead, let it die, and what is cut off, let it be cut off. (Zacharias 11)
God prophesies through Isaias that He will give eunuchs (VIRGINS) a new name, a new place, a new and everlasting name. He predicts that strangers will worship God in a NEW HOUSE, and an altar of SACRIFICE that will be pleasing to God, a HOUSE OF PRAYER, and NEW PRIESTS for ALL THE NATIONS. (Isaias 56) He predicts the birth of Christ and the call of the Gentiles to be His people instead of the Jews (Isaias 66), and a NEW JERUSALEM with a NEW PEOPLE. (Isaias 65)
In fact, God [Christ] completely does away with the old ways, "--- because the rebellious Israel had played the harlot, I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce." (Jeremias 3:8)
He morns the fact that He had even given them more lenient laws at the time of Moses because of their hard hearts, but they still disobeyed the law.
"Therefore I also gave them statutes that were not good, and judgments, in which they shall not live." (Ezechiel 20:25)
He prophesied: the coming of Christ and His death (Isaias 53), that CHRIST WOULD BE IN HIS TABERNACLE (Psalms 14:42-60), that Christ would be a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech (Psalms 109), and that there would be a NEW COVENANT (Jeremias 31:31) that would LAST FOREVER. (Jeremias 31:36 - Ezechiel 16:61)
This tabernacle and sacrifice would not be in one place but ALL OVER THE WORLD.
"For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and IN EVERY PLACE THERE IS A SACRIFICE, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation; for my name is great among the Gentiles." (Malachias 1:11)
And there will be new priests because He made void the covenant of the Levi priests. (Malachias 2:8) It will be the last Church on earth.
"Great shall be the glory of this LAST HOUSE of God with humility." (Sophonias 1:8-9)
And SILENCE shall be in His holy Temple (Habacue 2:20) for the Lord of Hosts WILL BE THERE. (Zacharias 2:11)
SUMMARY OF PROPHETS
Let us now summarize the prophets. Christ is to come. He is to establish a new covenant, not like the first covenant. He will have TABERNACLES and HE WILL DWELL IN THEM, and they will LAST FOREVER. He will have new priests and virgins. His Church will be amongst the Gentiles, not the Jews, and it will be all over the world. His sacrifice will be everywhere and continual. It will be like the old covenant in some wayssome old, some new.
LAMB OF GOD
Now we come to the New Testament of the Bible. Right off the bat we have a new mystery. John the Baptist prepares the way for Christ by saying, "God is able out of these stones to raise up children to Abraham." (Matt. 3:9) Then when John sees Christ he yells out,
"Behold, THE LAMB OF GOD, who takes away the sins of the world." (John 1:29)
Lamb of God? Why would John call Christ a lamb, let alone a Lamb of God? Lambs were for eating or sacrifice. What does that have to do with Christ? Abram said to his son, "God, Himself, will provide the lamb for the Sacrifice." The Jews waited for God's lamb to end this prophesy. With John saying that a mere human was that lamb, the Jews must have been scandalised.
He was born in Bethlehem [which means "house of bread"] and laid in a manger [which is an eating trough]. He is totally obedient to the old law and is circumcised on the eighth day. Thirty-two days later He was offered up to the Father by Simeon outside the Temple.
He lived in obedience to His parents for thirty years. He gathered His disciples and began performing hundreds of miracles. He taught a new law of repentance and forgiveness, doing away with the justice part of the law. He did not do away with the law itself, but only with the punishment by human hands. The law of sin, the commandments of the law, He made more strict. Instead of punishment, He taught forgiveness.
KINGDOM OF GOD
The Jews did not recognize Christ because they looked for an earthly king, and it was a kingdom Christ came to establish. John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ by announcing,
"Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." (Matt. 3:2)
Christ started His preaching in Capharnaum by saying the same words. "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." (Matt. 4:17)
In Matt. 8:11-12 Christ predicts many will come into the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, but the former children of the Kingdom [the Jews] will be cast out. He commissioned twelve Apostles and told them to preach the message, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." (Matt. 10:7) In speaking of John the Baptist, Christ says,
"Amen I say to you, among those born of women, there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he. But from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven has been enduring violent assault, and the violent have been seizing it by force." (Matt. 11:11-12)
We could take this to mean "Heaven in the sky", but we know from Christs conversation with Nicodemus in John 3:13 that no one from earth had ever entered Heaven. The gates of Heaven were still closed and would be until His death on the Cross.
"And no one has ascended into Heaven except him who has descended from heaven; the Son of Man who is in Heaven." (John 3:13)
If He only meant "Heaven in the Sky", how could Heaven be assaulted? Im sure even the twelve Apostles did not understand. Christ said not all would understand.
"To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given." (Matt. 13:11)
He began to speak in parables about the Kingdom of Heaven because, "seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, neither do they understand." (Matt. 13:13)
He goes on to say, the Kingdom of Heaven is like...good seeds and weeds growing together. (Matt. 13:24-30) The Kingdom of Heaven is like...the growing of a mustard seed. (Matt. 13:31-35)
So that there will be no mistake what He means, Christ explains that the Kingdom of Heaven is ON EARTH.
"The field is the world; the good seed, the sons of the Kingdom; the weeds, the sons of the wicked one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil." (Matt. 13:38)
To further prove that the Kingdom is on the earth as well as in the sky, Christ predicts that,
"The Son of Man will send forth his angels, and they will gather out of His Kingdom all scandals and those who work iniquity." (Matt. 13:44-46)
He lets them know that nothing is more important than entering the Kingdom. In "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a net cast into the sea", He explains that in the Kingdom will be the good and the bad. (Matt 13:47-49) In Matt 13:52 He teaches that the Kingdom will be new but draw from the old.
Regarding something new, He predicts there will be virgins in His Kingdom. (Matt. 19:12) In Chapter 20 of Matthew, He explains that no one is first or last in the Kingdom of Heaven, and many are called but few chosen. His Kingdom is like a great PEARL, worth more than all earthly treasure to belong. (Matt. 13:44-46)
Even after He died and rose from the dead, He preached the Kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3) They still didnt understand and asked when the Kingdom would come. (Acts 1:6) Christ had told them that the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth was not to be a kingdom like Davids, but a spiritual Kingdom. (Luke 17:21) His new Kingdom would be a kingdom of grace and the Holy Spirit. The old kingdom was a covenant God made with circumcision. The new Kingdom would have a new covenant. The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth is the Church. It is united by the Greatest Prayer in the Bible.
Everywhere Christ went, thousands gathered to hear Him speak or to have the sick cured. He cured them all. He cast out devils. He gathered around Him the poor, the sinners, the outcasts, but the priests and the lawyers of the law He reprimanded as hypocrites.
One day in the first year of His teaching he went up a mountain and thousands followed. The Apostles told Him to send them home because there was no food. Instead He fed them all on five loaves of bread and two fishes. Twelve baskets of food were left over.
Again, a second time, He fed four thousand on seven loaves and a few fishes. Seven baskets were left over. Now the people began to realize this man had great power. They would never have to worry about sickness or food again. He was curing all and feeding them besides. More and more began to follow Him, and on the next day they pursued Him to the other side of the sea looking for more free food. But Christ saw what was in their hearts and rebuked them.
"Amen, amen, I say to you, you seek me, not because you have seen signs, but because you have eaten of the loaves and have been filled. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for that which endures onto LIFE EVERLASTING, which the Son of Man will give you. For upon Him, the Father, God Himself, has set his seal." (John 6:26-27)
Food that gives LIFE EVERLASTING? That sounds familiar. Isnt that what the TREE OF LIFE gave in its fruit?
Anyway, the crowds liked the idea, and they asked how they could labor for this food that gave everlasting life. Christ told them that all they had to do was believe in Him. But still wanting Him to give them some food, they asked for a sign.
"Our fathers ate the manna in the desert, even as it is written. Bread from Heaven He gave them to eat." (John 6:30-31)
But Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you. Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the TRUE BREAD FROM HEAVEN. For the bread of God is that which comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world." (John 6:32-33)
Now they really wanted this bread.
"Lord, give us always this bread."
But Jesus said to them,
"I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE. He who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst." (John 6:35)
The Jews began to MURMUR [sound familiar]. They began to murmur amongst themselves about Him saying that He was the Bread of Heaven, but instead of explaining Himself, He made it harder to understand.
"Amen, amen, I say to you, he who believes in me has life everlasting, I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE. Your fathers ate the manna in the desert, and have died. This is the BREAD THAT COMES DOWN FROM HEAVEN, so that if anyone eat of it he will not die. I AM THE LIVING BREAD that has come down from heaven. If anyone eat of this bread, he shall LIVE FOREVER, and the bread that I will give is MY FLESH for the life of the world." (John 6:47-52)
Bread from Heaven, His flesh, not die, life of the world? These things were not easy to understand, and the people were hungry for real food. They began to MURMUR with each other about His strange sayings. But Christ did not compromise with them at all. [Amen, amen, means it will be written in stone.]
"Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and DRINK HIS BLOOD, you shall not have life in you. He who EATS MY FLESH AND DRINKS MY BLOOD HAS LIFE EVERLASTING, and I will raise him up on the last day. For MY FLESH IS FOOD INDEED, AND MY BLOOD IS DRINK INDEED, HE WHO EATS MY FLESH, AND DRINKS MY BLOOD, ABIDES IN ME AND I IN HIM. As the living Father has sent me, and as I live because of the Father, so he who eats me, he also shall live because of me. This is the bread that has come down from heaven, not as your fathers ate the manna and died. He who eats this bread SHALL LIVE FOREVER." (John 6:54-59)
Now, all the people had enough of this silliness and began to leave him, but he still would not soften His words for them or explain Himself except to say, "Does this scandalize you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascending where he was before? IT IS THE SPIRIT THAT GIVES LIFE; THE FLESH PROFITS NOTHING. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life." (John 6:62-64)
He was trying to say that His Spirit could give real life to anything, but they did not understand. Finally they all left him except the Twelve Apostles. They would have made Him King, but they could not accept this saying of His to eat his flesh and drink his blood. Christ did not try to stop them. He let them go. (It should be noted that the only passage in all the New Testament that is 666 is John 6:66 where the crowds left because of the hard sayings about eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood.)
He turned to the Twelve Apostles and said, "Do you also wish to go away?"
Now, they did not understand His words, but Peter spoke up for them.
"Lord! To whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life, and we have come to believe and to know that you are the Christ, the Son of God."
The Twelve followed Him for three years, never understanding those words, "--- eat My Flesh and drink My Blood". Christ continued to gather crowds and then to lose them with these same words. He gathered more with His miracles and then lost them with His hard sayings. But the Apostles stayed with Him, even though they didnt understand Him.
THIS IS MY BODY
Then one day, after being with them for three and one half years, He told them to prepare for the day of the UNLEAVENED BREAD on which the Passover had to be sacrificed. There was a special house that He wanted to eat the Passover meal with them, and He sent Peter and John to the house to prepare the meal. (Luke 22:7-13) Could this be the house of Obededom?
On the night of the Passover, He washed their feet, so that they might be clean all over. (John 13) He told them of His coming suffering, of His betrayal, of Peters denials. He explained for the first time that He was God, and that He and the Father were the same God. (John 14:9) He told them of the coming Holy Spirit. He prayed for the UNITY OF THE NEW KINGDOM. (John 17)
After the Passover meal was completed, He took bread, gave thanks to the Father, broke the bread, gave it to the Twelve, and said,
"THIS IS MY BODY, which is being given for you; do this in remembrance of me. Then He took a cup of wine and said, THIS IS THE CUP OF THE NEW COVENANT IN MY BLOOD, which shall be shed for you."
Now the words that He had spoken three and one half years earlier came back to them. But the new sacrifice had only begun that night, for it would be a continual sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ from that moment until 3:00 in the afternoon the following day. For as soon as the bread and wine were taken, Christ rose up and went out to the Garden on the Mount of Olives.
The mercy of Christ did sweet violence on the justice of the Father in the Garden of Olives. In His prayers He won the final conversion of the Jews in the last days. His mercy won major victories over His justice. (Padre Pio)
As He prayed and thought of the suffering that He was about to endure and of the sins that would continue throughout the history of the world in spite of His suffering, blood began to pour down His face. In the stillness of the night could be heard the sound of hundreds of gentle, innocent, helpless lambs bleating in quiet fear of the coming Passover.
Arrested and tried, He was tied to a pillar to be scourged. As the strokes of the whips echoed through the stone walls of Pilates palace grounds, the bleating of the Paschal lambs could be heard, which were being washed in the pool near the sheep-gate to the east.
After the first purification of the lambs, their jaws were muzzled and they were carried by their owners along the clean road to the Temple. They were then driven around toward the western side, where they were subjected to another ceremonial washing. The helpless bleating of the lambs went in unison with the Saviors sighs. He was being washed in the blood of our sins as the lambs were being washed with water for the Old Law of Sacrifice.
They marched the lambs towards the place of slaughter as Christ carried His Cross to Mt. Calvary. As He climbed and stumbled up the hill, the steady march of hundreds of lambs wound their way through corridors of the Temple.
They raised Him upon the Cross, and the screams of the lambs could be heard in the distance. As His blood flowed to the ground, the echo of the Jews words sounded in His inner ear,
"His blood be upon us and upon our children."
They did not know that as the Passover went on and as they were killing the symbolic Paschal lambs, they were also killing the real LAMB OF GOD. While they were sacrificing the lambs that had been washed, purified, and blessed in the stone temple, the Lamb of God hung on His Altar. They had, with great care, provided against contracting outward legal impiety themselves, while not minding their souls wickedness, which had blinded them to the real God amongst them.
THE CURTAIN TORN IN TWO
From the Cross He offered His Sacrifice. "Father forgive them", and then looking up to Heaven, "Father, into Your hands I commend My Spirit." He bowed His head and died.
At that moment the earth quaked and the GREAT CURTAIN of the Temple was torn in two FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM, as though two giant hands grabbed it in the center and rent it in two.
Caiphas, the high priest, had torn his garments as a sign that he was finished with Christ, and now the Father tore the great curtain as a sign He was finished with the Old Law.
The covenant of the Old Law was finished.
The New Covenant of Christs Sacrifice had begun.
The Gates of Heaven were opened.
The Lamb of God started His Sacrifice at the breaking of bread the night before when He said, "This is my body and this is the blood of the New Covenant, which is being shed for many unto the forgiveness of sins." (Matt. 26:28) As a ram was substituted for Abrahams son, Isaac, now Christ replaced the lambs of the old law with the Son of God. The old law of sacrifice was only symbolic of the new.
The gates of Heaven were closed because of Adams sin. No one could eat of the TREE OF LIFE and live forever, but now, with the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, access was opened to the fruit of the TREE OF LIFE --- CHRIST, HIMSELF. The tree is the CHURCH [THE KINGDOM]. The fruit is CHRIST.
After three days, on the first day of the week [Sunday], Christ came forth from the dead. That very day, He was seen by two disciples walking from Jerusalem, but they did not recognize Him. He talked to them of many things along the road, but they still did not recognize Him. They invited Him into the home where they were staying, and still did not know Him.
Then, at the table, He took bread and blessed it and broke it and gave it to them, and instantly THEIR EYES WERE OPENED, and they recognized Christ. At that moment He vanished from their sight. They ran to the Apostles and told them how they had recognized Christ in the BREAKING OF THE BREAD. (Luke 24:35) What kind of power this bread, to open the minds in understanding of the Lamb of God? Let us go on,
"--- they continued steadfastly in the teaching of the apostles and in the COMMUNION OF THE BREAKING OF THE BREAD and in prayers." (Acts 2:42)
"And continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and BREAKING BREAD IN THEIR HOUSES." (Acts 2:46)
What is this all about? Communion of the breaking of the bread, daily with one accord? Communion means togetherness. Were they, who were together with the breaking of the bread, the only ones to be saved?
WARNING OF PAUL
Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, said that all those lambs were a type. A type of what? Lets see what else he taught the Corinthians.
"Neither let us commit fornication, even as some of them committed fornication, and there fell in one day twenty-three thousand (Numbers 25:1-9). Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents (Numbers 21:5). Neither murmur, as some of them murmured, and perished at the hands of the destroyer (Numbers 14:2). Now, all these things happened to them as A TYPE, AND THEY WERE WRITTEN FOR OUR CORRECTION, UPON WHOM THE FINAL AGE OF THE WORLD HAS COME. Therefore let him, who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall. (1 Cor. 10:8-12)
Gods anger flared up in Numbers 25 because Israelites ate of the sacrifices of the lambs after having committed sins with Moabite women. He was even more angered because they invited the Moabite women to eat of the Lords Sacrifice. He ordered them all killed and 23,000 died. This is a type, an example, written for our correction. What do we learn?
In Numbers 21 the Israelites said they were disgusted with the wretched food, meaning the MANNA. In punishment the Lord sent serpents and killed many Jews. What do we learn from this example for our age, written for our correction, so that we do not do the same?
In Numbers 14 we learn that the Israelites wanted to get rid of Moses and Aaron as the leaders. They wanted to appoint their own leaders and form a new community. As a punishment NOT ONE ENTERED INTO THE PROMISED LAND. "Here in the desert shall your dead bodies fall." How does this relate to our own times, for as I have already stated, this is the last generation of the world, THE FINAL AGE, the age of Gods Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, the Church.
"May no temptation take hold of you but such as man is equal to [what man can resist]. God is faithful and will not permit you to be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also give you a way out that you may be able to bear it." (1 Cor. 10:13)
Why is Paul warning them about sin and temptation? What is he referring to? Is it the same sins the Israelites committed against the MANNA and the PRIESTHOOD and their UNITY? Let us go on and see.
"Therefore, beloved, flee from the worship of idols. I am speaking as to men of sense. Judge for yourselves what I say.
THE CUP OF BLESSING THAT WE BLESS, IS IT NOT THE SHARING OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST?
AND THE BREAD THAT WE BREAK, IS IT NOT THE PARTAKING OF THE BODY OF THE LORD?
BECAUSE THE BREAD IS ONE,
WE THOUGH MANY, ARE ONE BODY,
ALL OF US WHO PARTAKE OF
THE ONE BREAD."
(1 Corinthians 10:14-17)
ONE BODY IN CHRIST
Now we understand why Paul called the new Church the Body of Christ in 1 Cor. 12:27 "Now you are the body of Christ, member for member." The main requirement for membership in this new Church was the sharing of the BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST. In so doing, Christs Blood flowed through all the members of His MYSTICAL BODY, THE CHURCH.
"We, though many, are one body."
We, who eat His Flesh and drink His Blood. But is this bread and wine really the actual body and blood of Christ? Would it not be easier to say that it is symbolic of His Body and Blood? It would be easier, but that would make Christ a liar, for He said,
"He who eats MY FLESH and drinks MY BLOOD has life everlasting and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:53)
But how can that be? How can simple bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ?
"It is the SPIRIT THAT GIVES LIFE. The flesh profits nothing." (John 6:64)
If the spirit can give life to a small egg the size of a pinhead in a womans womb; if God can appear in a burning bush, a pillar of fire or a dove, and then become a Man, is it so hard to believe He can also become, at His command, a piece of bread? Can we become cells in the Body of Christ with His blood flowing from one to the other of us? Can we have such perfect UNITY as to be one body?
Perhaps when Christ did it at the last supper it was real, but all the rest of the times it is symbolic only. Paul does not agree with that hypothesis.
"For I MYSELF HAVE RECEIVED FROM THE LORD WHAT I ALSO DELIVERED TO YOU, that the Lord Jesus, on the night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks broke, and said, THIS IS MY BODY which shall be given up for you; do this in remembrance of me.
In like manner also the cup, after He had supped, saying, THIS CUP IS THE NEW COVENANT IN MY BLOOD. DO THIS as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.
For as often as YOU SHALL EAT THIS BREAD AND DRINK THE CUP, you proclaim the death of the Lord, UNTIL HE COMES. (1 Cor. 11:23-26)
Christ is not only saying through Paul that this sacrifice will last until the end of the world [until He comes], but He is commanding that we do it continually [as often as you shall eat]. Paul, who did not know Christ when He lived on earth, asserts that He received and could deliver this power [to change the bread to Christs Body] from Christ, Himself.
"Therefore WHOEVER EATS THIS BREAD OR DRINKS THE CUP OF THE LORD UNWORTHILY, WILL BE GUILTY OF THE BODY AND THE BLOOD OF THE LORD." (1 Cor. 11:27)
Now we can see the relationship between the lambs of the Old Law and the Body and Blood of the New Way. For as no one could eat the Pascal Lamb who was unclean in any way, whether in sin or in body; so too, no one can eat of the real Body of Christ who is in the state of sin.
"But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the cup; for he who eats and drinks UNWORTHILY, WITHOUT DISTINGUISHING the Body, eats and drinks JUDGMENT to himself." (1 Cor. 11:28-29)
"Without distinguishing the Body" means that if we eat of the Body without believing that it is really the actual Body of Christ, we will be condemning ourselves into Hell. In fact, Paul warns the Corinthians not to think of it as an earthly food.
"If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together unto judgment." (1 Cor. 11:34)
So we see from Pauls words and from the symbols of the Old Law that there are three ways to sin against the Body of Christ: to receive in the state of sin; to not believe it to be His real Body; and to think of it as a food.
ALL OF HEBREWS
In First Corinthians Paul is addressing the Christians, whom he had already taught before. His letter was to remind them of his teachings. But his letter to the Hebrews is not to the Christians. He is now addressing the Jews. The entire letter to the Hebrews is about the NEW SACRIFICE. Paul tries to explain how the old law was simply a "shadow of the good things to come", and not an exact image of the objects. He explains how Christ is the High Priest by the order of Melchisedech; how their worship was a mere copy of the things heavenly, and how God foretold the coming of the NEW COVENANT.
"Now, in saying a new covenant, He has made obsolete the former one, and that which is obsolete and has grown old is near its end." (Heb. 8:13)
In Hebrews Paul explains how the veil, the ark, the manna, the rod of Aaron, and the sanctuary were types of the new; how the new tabernacle is one made in heaven; how we have been sanctified through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once and for all. Paul explains why we must accept the New Sacrifice.
"A man making void the Law of Moses dies without any mercy on the word of two or three witnesses; how much worse punishments do you think he deserves who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the BLOOD OF THE COVENANT through which he was sanctified, and has INSULTED THE SPIRIT OF GRACE?" (Hebrews 10:29)
In other words, if a Jew lost his life for violating the law, what worse punishment must there be for those who speak, or even think, badly of the NEW COVENANT, the Body and Blood of Christ? Paul also teaches the Jews in this passage that it is the Body and Blood of Christ that sanctifies and gives grace to the soul.
Paul concludes his lessons to the Hebrews with a warning. He mocks them for their sacrifices, and shows them that there is one MAIN DIFFERENCE between the Jews of the Old Law and the Christians of the New Covenant.
"WE HAVE AN ALTAR, FROM WHICH THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO EAT who serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the Holies by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp; and so Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people BY HIS BLOOD, suffered outside the gate. Let us therefore go forth to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach, for here we have NO PERMANENT CITY, but we seek for the city that is to come." (Hebrews 13:10-14)
GREATEST PRAYER OF THE BIBLE
Our study started out looking for the greatest prayer of the Bible. What then is the greatest prayer? Is it the Lords Prayer? No, it is not the Lords Prayer because that is a prayer we say, ourselves. But the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ is a prayer that the Lord does, HIMSELF. It is HIS OWN OFFERING TO HIMSELF FOR OUR SINS, for our salvation, for our graces. There is nothing that we, ourselves, can do to pay back to God for one single sin, because any sin against God is an infinite sin. An infinite sin must be paid with an infinite sacrifice and by an infinite person. Only God can pay back to God anything done against God.
The greatest prayer of the Bible is a prayer that Christ does all by Himself through the hands of His priests. He renews the Sacrifice of Calvary every time He comes down to this earth and becomes that little piece of bread. He renews the offering of His Blood for the sins of mankind every time the wine is transformed into His Blood.
Where do we find this sacrifice today? Where are these tabernacles with a light always burning before them? Where are these priests who were ordained by the perpetual laying on of hands? Where are these new leaders who replaced Moses and Josue? Where are these priests vestments, altars, candles, cups, plates, etc.? Where are these churches that are called "a house of prayer"? Where are these churches Paul speaks about where women wear veils? Where do we find this Body and Blood of Christ that we might LIVE FOREVER? Where is this NEW KINGDOM that will LAST FOREVER, containing the CONTINUAL SACRIFICE that makes us LIVE FOREVER?
The early Church called itself "THE WAY", as you can find in Acts 9:2. Later they were mocked as "CHRISTIANS". The Christians, themselves, did not use that name until many years later. Soon there were many sects who called themselves "Christians". All these sects [who were not part of THE WAY] were condemned with anathemas by the Apostles. Before the death of the last Apostle, THE WAY became known as the UNIVERSAL or CATHOLIC Church.
In 107 A.D. St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote to the Church in Smyrna these words:
"Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be, even as where Jesus is, there is the CATHOLIC CHURCH."
However, the Creed of Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Churches all use the word "catholic". Are all these 2600 different Christian religions part of THE WAY, THE BODY OF CHRIST? Or can we eliminate some of them simply because they do not meet the requirements for membership in THE WAY?
THE EARLY CHURCH
Bishop Saint Ignatius of Antioch wrote to the Ephesians as he was on his way to the beasts in the arena during Emperor Tajans persecution of the Christians in 110 A.D. His dying words to his flock were to stay united to the bishop who would replace him.
"I am at once taking this opportunity to exhort you to live in harmony with the mind of God. Surely, Jesus Christ, our inseparable life, for His part IS THE MIND OF THE FATHER, just as the bishops, though appointed throughout the vast wide earth, represent for their part the MIND OF JESUS CHRIST.
Hence it is proper for you to act in agreement with the MIND OF THE BISHOP...I count you happy who are as closely knit to him as the Church is to Jesus Christ, and as Jesus Christ is to the Father. As a result, the symphony of UNITY is perfect.
LET NO ONE DECEIVE HIMSELF, UNLESS A MAN IS WITHIN THE SANCTUARY, THE CHURCH, HE HAS TO GO WITHOUT THE BREAD OF GOD."
In other words, you must belong to the unity of the Church under the Bishop in order to have LIFE FOREVER in the fruit of the BREAD OF GOD. Can we then say that unless we are members of the body of believers who eat of the Body of Christ, we are not members of Christs new WAY? The answer is "yes".
St. Justin wanted Emperor Antoninus Pius to understand the Church, for the Emperor was killing Christians as fast as he could. Justin wanted the Emperor to know exactly what THE WAY was all about. In his letter to Emperor Antoninus he explained that the center of the new WAY religion was the sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ. So as not to be misunderstood by the Emperor, he explained the ceremony in total detail.
"Then, bread and a chalice containing wine mixed with water are presented to the one presiding over the brethren. He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of all, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and he recites lengthy prayers of thanksgiving to God in the name of those to whom he granted such favors.
At the end of these prayers and thanksgiving, all present express their approval by saying Amen. This Hebrew word, Amen, means So be it. And when he who presides has celebrated the Eucharist, they whom we call deacons permit each one present to partake of the Eucharistic bread and wine and water; and they carry it also to the absentees.
We call this food the Eucharist, of which ONLY HE CAN PARTAKE who has acknowledged the TRUTH OF OUR TEACHINGS, who has been cleansed by BAPTISM for the remission of sins and for his regeneration, and who REGULATES HIS LIFE UPON THE PRINCIPLES LAID DOWN BY CHRIST.
Not as ordinary bread or as ordinary drink do we partake of them, but just as, through the word of God, our Savior Jesus Christ became Incarnate and took upon Himself flesh and blood for our salvation, so, we have been taught, the food which has been made the Eucharist by the prayer of His Word, and which nourishes our flesh and blood by assimilation, is both THE FLESH AND BLOOD OF THAT JESUS WHO WAS MADE FLESH.
The Apostles in their memoirs, which are called Gospels, have handed down what Jesus ordered them to do; that He took bread and after giving thanks, said, Do this in remembrance of Me, this is My Body. In like manner, He took also the chalice, gave thanks, and said, This is My Blood, and TO THEM ONLY did He give it."
ONE THING ONLY
We have learned that the earliest Christian Church taught and believed that the UNITY of the CHURCH comes from one thing only, and that is the COMMUNION of the sharing of the real BODY OF CHRIST in the bread and wine. This sharing of the Body of Christ is what makes us a Kingdom. It is what makes us MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST.
I believe we have demonstrated that the ENTIRE BIBLE from Genesis and the TREE OF LIFE to the last chapter of APOCALYPSE and the TREE OF LIFE (22:19) is about one thing, and one thing only, and that is the Sacrifice of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, Himself. This prayer of the Son of God, or the Word of God, to the Father is the greatest prayer in the Bible. This Sacrifice is what the whole Bible was written for. It is our WAY to the TREE OF LIFE and our only WAY to LIFE EVERLASTING.
Daniel says that it is a CONTINUAL SACRIFICE (Daniel 8:11), and that it is this continual sacrifice that the Antichrist will try to do away with. In fact, we will know the Antichrist by his denial of the MASS. "Mass" means "Sacrifice". The sacrifice of the lambs no longer exists and has not existed since 70 A.D. The only CONTINUAL SACRIFICE in the world for the last two thousand years is the MASS. Daniel calls it continual, and so it is, for as the sun rises over the horizon around this earth, every minute of everyday the Body and Blood of Christ is being offered up to the Father for the sins of the world. Hundreds of thousands of times per day, everyday, the offering is lifted up to the Father to honor the Father with the Sacrifice of Praise, to bring countless graces to the Church and to all the world, to give relief to the souls in Purgatory, to make restitution for sins, and to give grace to the Church.
Christ said to pray always continually. However, even when "I" do not, the Church does it for me as it continually offers up the most perfect prayer of all, the Body of Christ.
Padre Pio said that,
"the world will last longer without the sun than without the Mass", because only the Mass appeases the wrath of God for our sins.
EVERY SINGLE MASS
Even if a priest offers the sacrifice of the Mass all by himself in the privacy of his own room, all Heaven rejoices, the souls in Purgatory are relieved of suffering, the entire Communion of Saints, the Church, receives graces, the wrath of God is appeased, and the just are justified. Even if the priest is all alone, HE IS NOT ALONE. The angels are there with him, the saints are there, the holy innocents are there, the cherubims are there, Christ and Mary are there.
When a priest does not say a Mass, even if it is not his fault, all the world loses these gifts, the souls in Purgatory lose relief from suffering, the Church loses its storehouse of graces for indulgences, sinners lose the grace of forgiveness, and the Mercy of God becomes Justice.
WHAT WILL GOD SAY?
What will God say about a priest who deliberately fails to say a Mass everyday? What shall we say then of this prayer of God to God? Is it important for us to be there? Since it is a prayer that Christ does Himself at the hands of the priest, how important is it for us to go and how often?
Christ tells an interesting parable about a marriage feast in Matthew 22.
"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a marriage feast ... Tell those who are invited, Behold I have prepared my dinner ... But they made light of it, and went off, one to his farm, and another to his business ... when the King heard of it, he was angry."
What shall we say to Him when we die? I think the first thing Christ will say when we see Him, is:
"Where were you when I offered my Sacrifice to the Father for your sins?"
What shall we say?
"I havent got the time. --- It is too early in the morning. --- I dont get anything out of it. --- I dont like the priest. --- Once that priest was very mean to me. --- I can pray to God at home. --- I go on Sunday. That is enough for me."
Is that what we will say? What do you think God will say? When you die you will see Christ face to face. The accuser will be there. You will see your entire life go before your eyes like a motion picture. What will you say if you have made light of His Sacrifice? I think Christ will say:
"I offered My Sacrifice for the sins of the world. I came down to the earth into the tabernacle of My Mother in order to die on a cross to create My Continual Sacrifice. I came down to the earth each and everyday into that little piece of bread to make the perfect prayer for you. I stayed locked away in all those tabernacles all over the world for you to come to Me. Where were you?"
What will you say? Will you say to Him, as I have heard so often,
"I did not get anything out of it."?????
HOUSE OF PRAYER
What about you, who go to the Sacrifice every Sunday, or even everyday, but do not do it with the proper reverence and respect? What about you who go to communion with sin on your soul?
Regarding a man who came to the wedding feast without a wedding garment [Sanctifying grace on the soul], Christ told His angels:
"Bind his hands and feet and cast him forth into the darkness outside, where there will be the weeping, and the gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen." (Matt. 22:13-14)
What about you little old ladies, who go to the Sacrifice so punctually every morning preparing for your death, but chit-chat with all your friends so much that others cannot pray and properly prepare themselves for the union with Christ? Do you think God will be pleased? The saints say that one single unnecessary word spoken in Church when others are trying to pray will equal seven years in Purgatory. And the Bible is not silent about these things.
"But I tell you, that of EVERY IDLE WORD men speak, they shall give account on the day of judgment. For by thy words thou wilt be justified, and by thy words thou wilt be condemned." (Matt. 12:36-37)
"My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations." (Mark 11:17)
"The Lord is in His Holy Temple; let all the earth KEEP SILENCE before Him." (Habacuc 2:20)
INSIDE THE CHURCH
Inside the church is a tabernacle. Inside the tabernacle is the real live presence of the Lamb of God, the Word made Man, the Man made into a Sacrifice. You ought, therefore, enter the church with fear and reverence. The God in that tabernacle is the only one that can put you in Hell forever and ever. He is the only one to be feared.
How then shall we show fear and reverence? Should we do like the Jews, who showed all the outward signs of reverence but inside there was nothing? What is inside the soul is what really counts. Does that mean what is outside does not matter? No, it does not mean that. Christ said that we should clean the inside, while not leaving undone the outward signs of the law. What then are these outward signs?
"As I live, says the Lord, to me EVERY KNEE SHALL BEND, and every tongue shall give praise to God." (Romans 14:11)
"For every knee shall be bowed to me." (Isaias 45:24)
"Come let us adore and fall down; and weep before the Lord that made us." (Psalms 94:6)
This is not just a suggestion, it is a warning. All through the Bible we find the saints immediately kneeling down to the angels, but the angels always warned them not to do so, for that sign of reverence was reserved to God alone. What then shall we say about churches that do not even have kneelers or do not even kneel during the consecration of the Body and Blood of Christ?
Paul said that when in church a woman should wear a veil over her head in the presence of God. Many think the reason for this is humility, and that is a good reason. A womans pride is her looks. Even if she is very humble, her very humility makes her even more beautiful to men. She knows this subconsciously and her humility gives her pride. For this reason, they say, Paul demanded that that false pride be covered.
The man, however, does not get pride from acts of humility, for his pride is not in his looks but in his confidence. A man, even a very good looking man, who does not have self-confidence is not attractive to women. All he has to do to show true humility is leave his confidence outside the church.
Even the old ladies, who no longer worry about distracting men, have the same problem of interior attitude through appearance. They spend more time on their hair than in prayer. If they spent as much time decorating their soul as their body, they would go straight to Heaven.
This is a good argument but this is not the true reason for veils. In Scripture, what is veiled is what is sacred. A woman is the tabernacle of creation. God and woman work together to create something in the image and likeness of God that can never die. Only woman can create with God. Only woman, not even angels, can give to God a living soul. Only woman shares creative power with God. Only woman shares in the creative suffering that Christ suffered. Woman is sacred to God, and therefore, could never be a servant as man is. Woman is sacred and therefore must be treated as sacred. She must be dressed holy, and honored, and respected, and waited on, just as anything holy.
There is no law regarding veils in church and there never has been, but there is no law against it either. Why then do so many choose to disregard the warning of Paul in 1 Cor. 11? Theologians have pointed out one reason a woman should wear a veil in churchhumility, even though it is not a law, and I have pointed out another, but these are not the best reasons.
Why should I care about veils? Are these outward signs important? Ecclesiastics 19:27 and 26:12 indicate that they are. The reason I think veils are important is the children. The criteria of how we act and how we dress should be the children. Let me explain it this way.
"It were better for him if a millstone were hung about his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than he should cause one of these little ones to sin." (Luke 17:2)
If by our example we cause a child NOT TO BELIEVE that God is really present in that Tabernacle, that the little white host is really God, that when the priest offers it up to the Father, that it is for the salvation of the world, that when we receive it, we have God inside us, that His blood flows through our veins and our heart, and if our ACTIONS cause a child NOT to believe this, we will answer to God.
(1 Cor. 8:10; 10:22-30)
It is by OUR EXAMPLE that children come to know, to have faith in the hardest thing to believe in the world. It is by OUR EXAMPLE that they will continue to go to the marriage supper of the Lamb. If a stranger walked into your church, would he immediately know God was present in that Tabernacle by your example?
The priest washes his hands in Holy Water and prays before he dares to touch the Body of Christ. Saint Francis of Assisi would not even become a priest because he did not feel he was worthy to take the Body of Christ in his hands. Anne Catherine Emmerich wanted constantly to hold the finger and thumb of her priest before she died because they were the two fingers that touched and consecrated her God.
Whatever reverence we can pay to God ABOVE AND BEYOND THE LAW, we should. I tell you without any hesitation that in the past two thousand years there have been more chastisements for IRREVERENCE AT THE ALTAR of God than for any other reason.
Think about it! Are your actions different in the church from what they are outside the church?
Can we teach children that God is that bread when we attend Mass without preparation, without making an offering of His Sacrifice, without silent contemplation of our sins, without reverence for the great mystery, without frequent confession?
How can we teach our children to go to confession often, when we do not go. This is not an essay about confession; however, one short thing should be said. Confessionals are empty on Saturday nights not because peoples consciences are clear and they are without sin. They are empty because their consciences convict them.
If they had a clear conscience as they say, they would not find it hard to go to confession every week or at least every month. Blessed Margaret Castello [the unwanted child and the patron saint of abortion] went to confession everyday. Padre Pio went every week.
The reason people do not go is that their conscience convicts them of sin sin they refuse to confess. In most cases that sin is birth-control. If they really believed it was not a sin, they would have no problem going to the sacrament of forgiveness. Oh, how much grace is lost! Confession gives great graces even to a soul that has no serious sin. Why then do people stay away? A guilty conscience.
Even if they are right, that their conscience is clear; they are sinning. For the conscience can make something that is not a sin become a sin (1 Cor. 8:7); but it cannot make a sin not a sin. (1 Tim. 4:2; 1 Cor. 4:4) Here again is our example to the children.
WHERE ARE YOU?
How can we teach children that God is in that Tabernacle when we do not visit Him? The God of the Universe sits in that Tabernacle day after day, night after night. His heart longs for someone to visit Him, to talk to Him, to love Him, or just to go and sit with Him. His heart longs for His children. What then do we say? What example do we set for our children?
"I dont need to go to Church...I can pray at home ... God is everywhere."
One day we will be all alone with Christ even if we do not go and visit Him in the loneliness of His prison. Then what will we say?
"I did not have time for daily Mass?"
"You could have visited me after work."
"I had little time even for my family."
"Why didnt you bring them to me?"
"Lord, I always believed in you. I always loved you."
"Loved me? Where were you? Where were you when I poured out my Precious Blood everyday to clean your sins? Where were you when I waited day and night to hear your footsteps coming to visit me? Where were you when I offered you my love and my forgiveness?"
THE HANDS OF THE PRIEST
A priest receives his power in his hands. He gets this power from the bishop. The bishop gets it from the laying on of hands from the Apostles, to the first bishops, from the first bishops to the next, from them to the next, all the way down to our age. This direct line of bishops is called Apostolic Succession. Without this Apostolic Succession there is no power. With this power in the hands of the priest, he becomes another Christ.
If we, the people, understood the priesthood, we would always kiss the hands of the priest, we would always ask his blessing, we would always reverence him as we would Christ.
It does not matter if he is a good priest or not. The power in his hands are not conditional on the state of his soul. Even if he is an unbeliever, he has the power of Christ in his hands. Even if he is a child molester or a homosexual, he has the power. Even if he does not believe in what he is doing, even if he is an atheist, a communist, a mason, if he says, "This is My Body", it still becomes the real physical body of Christ. Why? Because the power is the power of Christ, not the power of the priest. It is Christ who offers the sacrifice at the hands of the priest, not the priest, himself.
This power is the power to forgive sins, cast out devils, baptize souls into the Kingdom, marry souls in Christ, anoint the sick, consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ. As a bishop he can bring down the Holy Spirit and ordain new priests. He can cast out souls from the Kingdom of Heaven. As Pope, he can interpret the Scriptures, make new laws, make void old laws, and govern the entire Militant Kingdom of Heaven.
A priest, who makes it to heaven, will be higher than the angels. A priest, who does not, will be in the deepest pits of Hell. The reverence we give to a priest is given to Christ. That may seem hard at times, when you think of some priest you do not like, but if you went into the office of the President of the United States, you would give him his due, even if you did not like him personally.
It is the office of the president we honor, not the man. It is the office of the king we honor, not the man. We honor the priest because of the priesthood of Christ. His soul will be judged the same as ours, only more severely.
The only time we have the right to speak publicly against a priest is if his actions or words threaten the salvation of the souls in his care. Even then, we do not have the right to dishonor the power in his hands. I would even kiss the hands of Judas Iscariot.
When there is a bad priest, it is all the more reason to honor God in that Sacrifice. Christ is the one suffering at the hands of a bad priest, not you. Christ is the one dishonored at his hands, not you. We should increase our devotion in direct proportion to the irreverence we see.
The greatest sin man can commit is a sacrilege, or a sin against a Sacrament. The greatest Sacrament is the Mass. I go to confession every month. I should go every day. If your soul is in the state of sin, do not go to the altar and receive the Body of Christ, for that is the worst sin that you can commit. It is like taking the Body of Christ and putting it inside a coffin full of bones and maggots.
"Blessed are they who wash their robes that they may have the right to the TREE OF LIFE." (Apoc. 22:14)
COME TO ME
The following words are the actual feelings of Christ as He waits for us in His Sacrament. Given to Sister Josefa Menendez in 1923.
"Poor pitiable sinners, do not turn away from Me ... Day and night I am on the watch for you in the tabernacle. I will not reproach you ... I will not cast your sins in your face ... But I will wash them in My Blood and in My Wounds. No need to be afraid ... COME TO ME ... If you knew how dearly I love you.
And you, dear souls, why this coldness and indifference on your part? Do I not know that family care, household concerns, and the requirements of your position in life, make continual calls upon you? But cannot you spare a few minutes in which to come and prove your affection and your gratitude? Do not allow yourselves to be involved in useless and incessant cares, but SPARE A FEW MOMENTS TO VISIT AND RECEIVE THE PRISONER OF LOVE.
And how often should I wait for this or that other soul to visit Me in the Blessed Sacrament and receive Me into his heart? How many nights should I spend longing for his coming? But he would let business or carelessness or anxiety for his health get the better of him ... and he would not come!" ("The Way of Divine Love", Page 246, TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS, INC.)
IF I WERE A PRIEST
If I had a job that would not let me go everyday to the Lords Sacrifice, I would quit. If I were a priest, I would beg people to come. If I were a pastor, I would arrange my Masses so that everyone could go everyday [early morning and late evening for the workers]. If I were a bishop, I would make sure that each group of four or five churches in each geographical area had an evening Mass for working people. If I were a priest, every time I did not have a Mass to offer, I would offer one in a home, a hospital, a school, the street, anywhere that I could share the Body of Christ and sanctify the Communion of Saints. If this were so, then everyone could answer the call of God to come to His Sacrifice. And when He calls out,
"Come to me all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will refresh you."
God help anyone who refuses to go; who refuses to believe; who prevents others from going, believing; who speaks out against the Continual Sacrifice; who teaches others not to believe; or who [by bad example] hinders children from believing.
All the Bible can be summed up in one thing:
The world continues because of the Mass.
The Church exists because of the Mass.
We are members of the Church only because we share in the one Body at the Mass.
We can only get to Heaven through the Mass.
We are justified by the Mass.
The wrath of God is appeased by the Mass.
The Antichrist will be recognized by his outlawing the Mass.
If you perform miracles so as to move mountains but do not love the Mass, you are as nothing in the eyes of God.
"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and work miracles in thy name?
And then I will declare to them, I never knew you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity!" (Matt. 7:22-23)
Miracles do not produce grace, the Mass does.
Grace! Amazing Grace!
Grace is the money of the soul.
Grace determines our place in Heaven.
It is said that every time we look at the Body of Christ when the
priest elevates it, our place in Heaven is raised forever. If all the people in the world prayed twenty four hours a day,
three hundred and sixty-five days a year, it would not equal one Mass. If all the people in the history of the world prayed twenty-four
hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year from Adam to the end of the world,
it would not equal one Mass. Why?
It is said that every time we look at the Body of Christ when the priest elevates it, our place in Heaven is raised forever.
If all the people in the world prayed twenty four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year, it would not equal one Mass.
If all the people in the history of the world prayed twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year from Adam to the end of the world, it would not equal one Mass. Why?
When we pray, we pray;
but when the priest says, "This is My Body",
Christ comes down on the altar.
When the priest holds the Body and Blood of Christ up and says, "Through Him, with Him, in Him, all glory and honor are Yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever",
all the universe rejoices, Heaven rejoices, Purgatory rejoices, the Church rejoices, the earth rejoices, the Father is appeased, grace pours into Christs Kingdom, souls are released from Purgatory, sinners are converted and the devils tremble.
It is the prayer of the Son to the Father, the prayer of God to God, the ultimate prayer, the greatest prayer in the world,
the prayer of God, Himself.
THE OLD LATIN MASS
Many of you may never have attended "The Old Latin Mass". When you think about it, you think of a language you would not understand and wonder why it was ever said that way. But the old Mass of your fathers was more than a "Latin" Mass, it was different in many ways.
For me the New Mass was a tremendous shock. I had left the Church for ten years. I had grown up with the old way, and when I returned, everything was different. I suppose the difference was more shocking to me because it didnt come gradually with explanations from the priests as it did with those who were in the Church at the time of the changes.
For you who never attended the old Mass, it was called the "Mass of the Council of Trent" or the Tridentine Mass. It was said in Latin, and everyone had missals that translated it into English. Unless you knew the Mass by heart, you read along in English with your missal. The parts of the Mass the people say today were said in Latin by the altar boys. The people said their part in English silently. The altar boy said the Latin. Usually he had no idea what he was saying. I know. I was one of those altar boys. It all sounds kind of dumb, but it wasnt.
In those days the consecration of the Holy Eucharist was a very solemn event. The altar boy rang bells to tell the people that the great event was about to happen. Everyone became very still. You could hear a pin drop. The priest bent over the host very slowly and said the miraculous words in the unknown language. Then very slowly and with the utmost respect, he lifted up the Body of Christ for all to see.
It only lasted a few seconds and then the Host was hidden again behind the priest, who kept his back to you. Everyone knew [in that brief moment] that they were looking at God. They knew they were just as privileged as Moses, himself, who spoke to God face to face.
The offering up of the Body and Blood of Christ to the Father was even more important, for that was the reason for the whole thing. The offering was the Sacrifice of Calvery, the raising up of the infant Jesus by Simeon, the raising up of Christ on the Cross, the continuation of the sacrifice of the lambs in the old law, the new covenant with His people, the new sacrifice for the sins of mankind. No one moved a hair on their heads.
When it was time for communion, not everyone came forward. We all knew that no one could go who was not in the state of grace. No one dared go to communion in a state of sin, since we knew that was the worst of all sins, a sacrilege. That was placing the body of Christ in a "whited sepulcher, which outwardly appears to men beautiful, but within is full of dead mens bones and of all uncleanness."
If you didnt go to communion, however, you didnt have to worry about your reputation. You had to fast from midnight on. You were not even allowed coffee or cigarettes. Those who did not go to communion just pretended they forgot and had eaten something. It was not easy, anyway, especially at the twelve oclock Mass.
There was no question about God being in that Church. Is was obvious, even to a two year old child. When we entered the church, we knelt down and made the sign of the cross with Holy Water. The women put on their veils or hats. Everyone became very quiet. They came to pray, not to socialize. No one talked in church. If they did, the priest would reprimand them publicly. It was truly a house of prayer. I came to know that the little piece of bread was really God, not by the lessons from the nuns and priests, but from the example of the people in church.
Every week holy women would decorate the altar with flowers and clean the floors and walls, always with total respect for the presence of God in their midst. No matter how many times they passed the altar, they would kneel down and bow. The priest of our parish could be found in church praying by himself at all hours of the day. Whenever you could not find him, you knew he was in the church. The nuns would also go into the church for a visit with God whenever they had a free moment.
THE GATE OF HEAVEN
The Churches were built and decorated to give us an idea of what we knew but could not see, namely that when the High Priest, Christ, through the hands and words of the priest said, "This is My Body", Christ came down from Heaven and all Heaven followed to worship, honor, adore their God. What we could not see is that Heaven open to Earth. (St. Ambrose) "Let all mortal flesh be silent, standing there in fear and trembling; for the King of kings, the Lord of lords, Christ our God is about to be sacrificed and to be given as food to the faithful." (Liturgy of St. James) We knew that all the prayers and good works of all the people of the Earth from Adam to the end of the World do not equal one Mass, because the Mass is the work of God, not the work of man. The Mass is the Prayer and the Sacrifice of God, Himself. (Curede Ars). We knew that not even the angels were as privileged as we were, because they could not receive the Body and Blood of Christ. We were made present once again at the same Sacrifice which occurred at Calvary. We knew that if we could see what happens in the spiritual world in songs, and praise of God, we would die of joy and happiness. The Graces flowing out from that one Mass to the whole Church on Earth and in Purgatory we could never even imagine.
Anyway, thats the way it was. Then it changed. Im not privy to the reasons for the modern Mass; but I will offer my opinion. After it changed; however, it seems everything else changed with it. Attitudes changed. Respect for the Body and Blood of Christ left the Church. Belief changed. At one time everyone knew that in the tabernacle was the real presence of Christ. Now, many either wonder about it, or out and out do not believe anymore. Even amongst the priests, the belief is all but gone in many areas. Talking in church is as common and accepted as talking at the breakfast table. But at least we wash our hands before eating breakfast.
Many of the churches have taken out all the kneelers. Many of the younger people do not know what a communion rail is and have never seen one. There is no sin anymore because no one believes sin is sin.
The Latin Mass was never meant to be Universal. When St. Gregory the Great wrote it, it was for Rome only. However, everyone wanted to copy it and it became almost universal in time with only minor changes for the different districts. Essentially though, it was the Mass of St. Peter, with only minor changes made by St. Gregory, and then by the Popes prior to the Council of Trent. Pope Pius V then made other minor changes and declared it almost universal amongst the Latin Rite. I travel all over the world. In the old days no matter where you went, you could count on the Mass being almost the same everywhere. If one reads the "Sacramentary" of 1974, it is still meant to be universal with only minor changes allowed the local bishops.
That is not the way it is now. Within ten miles of where I live you can go to one church and there are no kneelers at all. In another church everyone stands for the consecration. In another they kneel for the consecration but stand for the elevation. Down the road the whole thing is different. Some churches hold hands during the Lords prayer, and if you dont want to, they become insulted. The poor parishioners never know what to do or not to do.
People are told that they have to receive communion in the hand or not receive at all in some churches, and in one church I know the Hosts are placed in a basket on a table and the people come and take them out themselves. I wonder what the angels think, let alone the Father?
What Pope Pius V wanted in his "Quo Primum" and what John Paul II wants in the new "Sacramentary" is universality. That must return.
ORTHODOX AND PROTESTANT INPUT
When Vatican II set in motion the possibility for changes in the Mass, it did so because of its love for our separated brethren. Orthodox and Protestant representatives were invited in to the Council. The Kingdom of God made a major decision. It decided to compromise on every single issue of separation that it could. The only thing the Church cannot do is compromise on Doctrine. Faith cannot change. But Church laws can change and they did.
The Orthodox Patriarchs pointed out that the early Christians prayed the Mass in their own languages. The language of the Mass became Latin because Latin was the language spoken by the people. The Protestants did not like the statues, the icons and all the rituals. They even objected to our doctrine, "No salvation outside the Church." The doctrine, however, cannot change; Vatican II simply decided not to stress it. In other words, not to talk about it a great deal. Forced to put it into writing, Vatican II and later Cardinal Ratzinger carefully worded the Doctrine so as not to offend the separated Christians. Not one word of the Doctrine changed; but the wording became more loving. However, the emphasis on reconciliation led many Catholics to believe that the doctrine had changed. As Pope Pius XII explains "Unam Sanctam", those outside the Visible Church can be ordered into it in a way sufficient for salvation, however, to what extent we do not know. Sts. Ambrose, Augustine, and Thomas said the same thing. St. Thomas says that one may be saved extrasacramentally by baptism of desire. However, the likelihood of this possibility is another thing, especially in countries like America, where knowledge and opportunity to know the truth are not hampered by anything but tradition and prejudice.
Many Cardinals, Bishops, priests and laymen refused to go along with the changes in the Mass and the emphasis. In fact, a schism began to unfold. A schism is a "willful separation from the unity of the Church".
The strange thing about this schism [known as the Society of St. Pius X and founded by Archbishop Lefebvre] is that the people who are separating are those who are holding on to tradition, or so they say. What makes them look so inviting to Conservative Catholics is that many of those still inside the unity of the faith are not faithful.
In 1054 A.D. the eastern Catholics separated from the unity of the faith for the same reasons. They said that the Church was no longer Orthodox and therefore they did not have to obey. One of their reasons was the change to Latin. Now we have a new group who say the Church is no longer Orthodox because they have changed away from Latin. Who is orthodox?
This separation is understandable. Inside the Church priests are making orgies out of the New Mass, whereas those who have left are holding beautiful, solemn Sacrifices. Much of the holiness inside has gone; the holiness outside is very noticeable. (See note 1) Inside the Church priests are talking about the "New Sexuality" or the "Agape" celebration. Outside the Church priests and nuns are talking "virginity". Inside priests and nuns are throwing away collars and habits. Outside they still look like priests and nuns. Vocations on the inside have fallen to an all time low. Outside vocations are booming. Many of those, who would not change, have been excommunicated. They have become known as "Traditionalists".
Traditionalist newspapers and magazines are on the increase. Traditionalist churches, schools and seminaries are opening everywhere. Catholic schools have become so bad that lay-Catholic parents are opening their own schools with orthodox books. Home education has become the fastest growing industry in the United States. Many parents talk of protecting their childrens faith by keeping them away from priests and nuns. Inside the unity of the Catholic Church the big problem is HERESY. (Note 1 This holiness is only externally apparent. Information from insiders of the Traditionalist groups, and there are a great many different groups now, show priests leaving the priesthood and getting married, and a complete lack of charity to anyone who tries to leave. In some cases even life threatening messages to those who re-enter the Body of Christ.)
HERESY IN THE BODY OF CHRIST
Heresy has a very specific meaning. It is anyone who, after receiving baptism, while remaining nominally a Catholic, denies or doubts ANY OF THE TRUTHS THAT MUST BE BELIEVED WITH DIVINE AND CATHOLIC FAITH. Among the priests and nuns in my area, 70% have some truth of faith they do not believe in: Purgatory, Birth Control, Celibacy, even Hell. One Mother Superior told me no one ever went to Hell in all of history.
Why? People like Karl Rahner, Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx (Dominican), Hans Kung, Tad Goosy, Anthony Willhelm, Kohlberg, and Monika Hellwig have infiltrated the seminaries and the Catholic School Systems. These people do not believe in the Catholic Church or in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Monika is now director of The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, a branch of The National Catholic Education Association. "Christ Among Us" (2,000,000 copies), "Understanding Catholicism", and "Six Stages of Moral Development" are books that spread throughout the Church destroying true faith, and corrupting the seminaries and schools to the point that real Catholics opted for home schooling or overseas seminaries like Opus Dei, Legionaries of Christ, and Daughters of Charity. Nuns, priests, and bishops have been brain-washed by these anti-Catholics. Words like "the community" replace the "Body of Christ"; and "Experiences" replace "the Word of God". They have become community centered instead of Christ centered. Any of the above mentioned people who think I have wronged them, can have my apologies by simply taking the oath St. Gregory VII forced on Berengarius.
WHATS A CATHOLIC TO DO?
So, what do we orthodox Catholics do now? Where do we go? Do we go outside the Church with the Schismatics or stay inside with the Heretics?
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and his St. Pius X Society say that to remain a Catholic we must hold tight to tradition. They say to be a Catholic is to hold on to the Mass of the Council of Trent. They cite many great arguments: by their fruits you will know them, [50% less priests worldwide, 90% less conversions, 30% less attendance at Mass]. They cite "Quo Primum" [the "will stand perpetually" statement of Pope Pius V], pro multis [for many] and pro omnibus [for all], Canon IX, Session XXII of the Council of Trent, etc. All very good arguments.
I am not ignorant of the problems and the history. Pius V could have written Et Elenitan (forever) instead of Et Perpetute, but he did not. In fact he opened a Synod of Bishops right after his declaration to seek possible further changes to the Liturgy.
Nor am I ignorant of the theory of Father Gerald Murray, but I also know that Pope Paul VI suspended Archbishop Lefebvre for ordaining 13 men in defiance of the Holy See. John Paul II attempted to reconcile, and Cardinal Ratzinger and Lefebvre signed an agreement in 1988, only to have him change his mind the very next day. He consecrated four bishops one month later without approval from the Holy Father. Many attempts since have been made towards unity.
It happens that I knew Patricia Morley personally (God rest her soul) and have been on her radio program. I also know Jerry Rienie, who will probably take over the program. I know all the reasons people look to the Society with a longing for the reverence of the old Mass, and I go as often as I can to the legal Tridentine or Byzantine Liturgies.
So, what do we orthodox Catholics do? We obey. Even though Traditionalists seem to be very holy and traditional, they fall short on the most important point of tradition in the Church. That tradition is OBEDIENCE.
St. Thomas Aquinas: "Objection 3 Whether obedience belongs to religious perfection?
Reply to Objection 3 --- they are nevertheless bound to obey the Sovereign pontiff, not only in matters affecting all in common, but also in those which pertain specially to religious discipline."
St. John of the Cross: "Never consider your superior as less than if he were God, no matter who the superior is, because to you he stands in the place of God."
St. Pascal Baylon: " Obedience comes first; devotion must take second place."
St. Teresa of Avila: "I believe that since Satan sees there is no road that leads more quickly to the highest perfection than this of obedience, he suggests many difficulties under the color of some good, and makes it distasteful; let people look well into it and they will see plainly that I am telling the truth. Wherein lies the highest perfection? It is clear that it does not lie in interior delights, not in great raptures, not in visions, not in the spirit of prophecy, but in the conformity of our will to the will of God, so that there shall be nothing we know He wills that we do not will ourselves with our whole will, and accept the bitter as joyfully as the sweet, knowing it to be His Majestys will."
What is Gods will? "Whatever you loose on earth, I will loose in Heaven."
NOT A MATTER OF FAITH
I dont know why the Church has made all these changes. I dont like many of them. But I am not going to help my Church by leaving it. Im not going to put a condition on my obedience. Yes, it was easier to be obedient when I agreed with everything they did in Rome. Yes, its harder to be obedient now. But OBEDIENCE IS OBEDIENCE. The only time I have a right [even an obligation] to not be obedient to my superiors in the Church is when it is a matter of Faith. Fidelity to faith is stronger than the law of Obedience (St. Augustine). The New Order Mass is not a matter of Fidelity to doctrine. When the Mass changed, Padre Pio wrote to the Holy Father offering his support in the changes and turned his altar around just before his death September 23, 1968.
TRADITIONALISTS HAVE GONE TOO FAR
When someone like Monsignor Marceau preaches that if there is no Tridentine Mass available, the Sunday obligation to attend Mass ceases, the Traditionalists have gone too far. When Archbishop Lefebvre refused to admit that the New Mass is a legitimate Mass, he went too far.
None of the early Church Liturgies were Tridentine or even close.
They had different Liturgies in Jerusalem, Alexandria, Rome, Persia, and Edessa. The Liturgy of James the Apostle (Jerusalem) has a different Canon than the Liturgy of Mark, Clement, Chrysostom, Basil, and the two of Peter.
The truth is that many of the Traditionalist Masses are illegal.
Oh! Yes, they are licit, and it is the real Body of Christ. Even in the Greek Orthodox and Old Roman Catholic Churches the consecration is real because, unlike Protestants, they have Apostolic Succession. But those saying and those attending these Masses by choice are committing Sins of disobedience against the Pope, the doctrine of the Church, and the first councils of the Church, especially of Nice.
(De fide) Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma - Ott Page 278
"Only that Eucharist is regarded as valid and legal, that is consummated under the Bishop or by one authorized by him."
WHERE IS THE TRUE CHURCH?
Who then is in the true Church of Christ: the Catholics under the Pope of Rome, the Traditionalists under the Pius X Society, the Traditionalists, who are freelancing away from their bishops and who have left the Pius X Society because they were too liberal, or the Orthodox, who claim to be more traditional than the Pope?
There are two points here that I would like to make regarding which one of these groups is the true Church of Christ: one is the dying statement of St. Ignatius, who was taught by St. John, the Apostle. In his letter to the Philadelphians he pleads,
"I exhort you to have but one Eucharist, for there is one flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ; and His blood which was shed for us is one; one loaf also is broken to all the communicants, and one up is distributed among them all; there is but one altar for the whole Church, and one bishop, --- and one faith, and one baptism; and one Church which the holy apostles established from one end of the earth to the other --- For the word is not mine, but Gods, give heed to the bishop --- Do nothing without the bishop; keep your bodies as the temples of God; love unity; avoid divisions; be the followers of Jesus Christ, even as He is of His Father." [To the Smyrnaeans he wrote:] "Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is administered either by the bishop. or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude of the people also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid. --- He who honors the bishop has been honored by God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, does in reality serve the devil."
I think we have made the point from St. Ignatius that independent priests going around giving the so-called Traditional Mass without a bishops permission are sinning and those attending these Masses are sinning. That does not mean that the Mass is illicit, only illegal.
Now let us look at those groups who have a bishop. St. Irenaeus, pupil of Polycarp, writes: "For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolic tradition has been preserved continuously by those faithful men who exist everywhere." Then listing the popes down to his day, he goes on to say, "Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question?"
It appears to me, although maybe I am too stupid to understand, that if there is a dispute between bishops regarding anything of importance, the Bishop of Rome is the final law of the Church. That being the case, all other arguments regarding other Popes or Trent or Tradition or whatever, are void.
WHAT ABOUT ST. ATHANASIUS?
Some have made the absolutely false argument that Athanasius went against the entire Church and then was found to be correct. This would not only make St. Irenaeus wrong, but in fact, this is not the truth. Let us take a look at St. Athanasius. If you read Chapter 13 of Theodorets Ecclesiastical History you will see that Pope Liberius of Rome defended Athanasius against Emperor Constantius, and in fact, was jailed because of it. Of the six exiles of Athanasius, three were spent in the arms of the Pope of Rome. Athanasius was not standing up for the truth against the will of the Church, he was standing up for the Church and the Council of Nice against the will of the Emperor Constantius.
(Constantius confiscated 80% of the Church buildings and gave them to Arian Bishops, but only the buildings went with the Arians, not the people. Most of the people stayed with Athanasius, and therefore with Rome. The big mistake most historians make is thinking that most of the Christian world became Arian. The fact that the Emperor forced Arianism on the people is no different than Catholics living in Communist Russia where only the Orthodox Churches were legal.)
Athanasius constantly defended the Council. This same Council states, that if a priest leaves his own bishop and goes out on his own, let him be excommunicated -ipso facto; and if a bishop leaves his geographical territory, he has no authority whatsoever. Many traditional priests throughout the world are roving around without a bishop.
AT LEAST THREE BISHOPS TO ORDAIN A BISHOP
And in Canon 4 of the Council of Nice, it states: "It is by all means proper that a bishop should be appointed by all the bishops in the province; but should this be difficult, either on account of urgent necessity or because of distance, three at least should meet together, and the suffrages of the absent [bishops] also being given and communicated in writing, then the ordination should take place. But in every province the ratification of what is done should be left to the Metropolitan. [Rome]"
Now I ask, "Do you know any bishop who would go against the Council of Nice and ordain a bishop all by himself, without at least three bishops doing the ordination?" Yes, this has happened in the past. It happened with the Bishop of the New World in Mexico, when three bishops were sent to Mexico to ordain him, and two of them died on the way, but after he was ordained by the one bishop it was ratified by the Pope of Rome and by Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Cannon 13 of the Council of Antioch (341 AD), accepted as Ecumenical by the Council of Constantinople, states no bishop shall presume to --- ordain persons --- without the written invitation of the metropolitan. In the case of Msgr. Lefebvre, who is of the Latin Rite, this means the Bishop of Rome.
Canon 13 of Chalcedon: "Strange and unknown clergymen without letters commendatory from their own Bishop, are absolutely prohibited from officiating in another city."
And in the present Code of Canon Law (Canon 378) "In order for a person to be a suitable candidate for the episcopacy it is required that: 2. The definitive judgment concerning the suitability of the person to be promoted belongs to the Apostolic See [Rome]."
"FOR ALL" OR "FOR MANY"
Now let us look at the words, "for many" or "for all". In the Maronite Rite there are 22 Anaphoras, (the most ancient in the Church), and in one of these Anaphoras it states, "for all men", and has always stated it this way for a thousand years. In one of the ancient Coptic Rites, instead of "This is My Body", it states, "This is the Body". Should we say that these two formulas have resulted in the bread not becoming the Body of Christ for the last thousand years?
Can you say that Christ did not die for all, and therefore "for all" is not theologically correct? Of course not. (2 Corinthians 5:15) "And Christ died for all." (1 Timothy 2:6) "Who gave himself a redemption for all ---" (1 John 2:2) "not only for our sins but for those of the whole world."
But does this make the "transubstantiation" invalid? No! The last Doctor of the Church, Alphonsus Maria Liguori, (History of Heresies), states that the words, "This is my body" and "This is the chalice of My blood" are all that are necessary for a valid Consecration. So said also: St. Thomas (Summa Theologica - Part III, Q 78, A.3 and Q 60, A.8) and the Council of Florence. Even a Masonic priest, who does not even believe in the true presence of Christ, will produce transubstantiation by these words.
LATIN OR VERNACULAR
Pope St. Damasus was the first to change the Mass to the Latin and to order the Bible into Latin because it was the language of the people. However, there have been traditionally five Rites and twenty-five sub-rites subject to the Pope that have not used the Latin. In fact, the Rumanian have always used the vernacular.
In 865 Sts. Cyril and Methodius wrote a Cyrillic Mass for the people of the Slavic countries that they converted. Popes Nicholas I and Adrian II crowned this Mass with the words, "Let those be cast forth from the fold who condemn this use of the vernacular."
However, in 873 Pope John VIII forbade the Mass. Then in 874 Pope John VIII approved the Slavonic Mass. Then Pope Stephon VI condemned the Mass. Pope Alexander II, 200 years later, decreed in his full authority and "in perpetuity" that the Mass could never again be recited in Slavonic, but only in Latin or Greek. Then Pope and Saint Gregory VII prohibited the use of the Slavonic "under any circumstances". Then Pope Saint Leo XIII reinstated the Slavonic Mass. Then Pope St. Pius X canonized the legitimacy of the Slavonic Mass.
Now, this is my question. Which of these Popes were in violation of the tradition of the Church? Which of these Popes violated "in perpetuity"? It seems that Pope St. Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X are in violation of "in perpetuity".
"In perpetuity" is merely a legalistic and canonical expression meaning that whatever is bound by it will remain static and unchanged unless and until changed.
Let us consider two Papal Bulls: "Quo Primum" by Pope St. Pius V and "Novus Ordo Missae" by Pope Paul VI. Both begin and end in the exact same words. They are identical in the canonical formula, that is: Superscription, salutation, signature, and Bullae.
Regarding ex-cathedra, it must be noted that we must subject ourselves to the Pope in matters of liturgical discipline just as we do in matters of faith. Obedience to the Pope is obedience to Jesus Christ, and without it, there is no merit in the sight of God. Obedience has nothing to do with an ex-cathedra document. We must be obedient in all, except sin, to all in authority.
St. Robert Bellarimine states: "The Pope, when determining anything in a doubtful manner, whether by himself or with his own particular Council, whether it is possible for him to err or not, is to be obeyed by all the faithful."
I would like to know why no one complained when Pope John XXIII ordered the name of St. Joseph be included in the Canon, despite the fact that Pius VII and Leo XIII had refused to do the same thing.
Actually Pope Paul VI, in his Bull of April 3, 1969, only added three new Canons to the Mass of St. Pius V (and he did call them Canons). He did not have the idea to take away anything but only to add, and he did not abolish the old Latin rite. In abrogating the authority of all previous Popes in this regard, including that of Pope St. Pius V, he made the Novus Ordo licit. Three years later an "Instruction" of the Vatican provided for the continued celebration of the Tridentine Mass only under certain conditions.
Even St. Pius V permitted alternate Roman rites, such as the Ambrosian, Mozarabic, Dominican, Carmelite, Carthusian, Lyons, etc. In the new Sacramentary of the Novus Ordo you will find that all priests are still granted the privilege of offering this new rite completely in its Latin formula, which is printed in the back of the book.
POPES POWER OF LITURGICAL DISCIPLINE
Padre Pio offered the New Mass on Pope Paul VI, on a table, facing the congregation. Why? Because "it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff" (Unam Sanctam, 1302, Pope Boniface VIII). "He who obeys the whole law, yet offends in one point, is guilty in all." (James 2:10) In "Cum muta sint" Pope Saint Leo XIII, 1882, states that one is sinning who appeals to past or future popes in order to justify being disobedient to the authority of the present Pope, "since the Church is One, her Head is One, her Government is One."
THE WORK FOR UNITY
The major reason for these changes was to bring back the separated Protestants and Orthodox to the faith. After a complete generation, there has not been one success. I believe success with the Protestants will take many more years because their separation is on matters of major Dogma, which cannot change. But amongst the Greek Orthodox there is very little Doctrinal differences anymore.
I believe we must now make a major change in direction and work towards unity with the Orthodox Churches. In order to do this, there are some changes I think we should make. These suggestions are based on twelve years of working for unity between the Orthodox and the Catholic. It is based on talking to Patriarchs, and Bishops of the East.
Firstwe must return to the new Holy of Holies. We must make the Altar a holy place again. In the Greek Orthodox Church the old "Great Curtain" is still there. They have a "Great Wall". This wall separates the people from the altar and the Tabernacle. No one [except the priest and servers] are allowed behind the wall.
The Orthodox Churches could understand us when we at least had a communion rail, because that separated the people from the holy ground. But without the communion rail there is no holy ground. My favorite Church is the Russian Greek Catholic Church. It is in Communion with Rome. Its Masses are beautiful. During the consecration, a curtain is drawn over the priest to show that at that moment a great mystery will take place. After the Mass, everyone kisses an Icon of the Madonna and Child; and then they kiss the hands of the priestthe hands that brought Christ into the world.
The next thing we can do to aid in this reunion is return to "Extraordinary Ministers". An extraordinary minister is just that: extraordinary. He is meant to help the priest in emergency situationsin extraordinary situations. He is not meant to assist at every Mass of the week. The Greek Orthodox priests I have talked to are very offended by this, since it violates the Second Commandment. It treats God commonly.
Another thing they are very offended by is communion in the hand. Greek Orthodox people cannot touch the Body or the Blood of Christ even with their lips. They are given Communion in a spoon. The bread is dipped into the wine and placed on a spoon. The spoon is placed by the priest into the mouth. There is a great deal of respect and dignity to this procedure. No one receives standing. They could never accept our new methods.
No one, not even a relative, can touch the wife of a Greek Orthodox husband. I was thinking about this one day as I watched a very beautiful sixteen-year-old girl in the pew in front of me. She had on a veil. She was praying very devoutly. She did not lift her eyes to anyone in the Church. A young man dressed in tight pants and a short-sleeved shirt saw her and sat next to her. He did not kneel during the entire Mass. He constantly tried to get her attention but he could not. From two feet away he just stared at her. When time came for the Lords Prayer, everyone reached out to hold hands. She did her best to not hold his hand, but he would not let her refuse. When the prayer was over he squeezed her hand. She left the church right after communion.
Holding hands is not a sign of unity. Faith is a sign of unity. Holding hands is one way the Charismatics are trying to force their beliefs down our throats. I am a single man. I do not need some woman holding my hand when I am trying to concentrate on the Majesty of God. This is not love. It is sensualism. It is carnal. To make matters worse, after they hold each others hands, they take the Body of Christ in their hands.
The Greek Orthodox have a proper respect for women. (At least by tradition if not by fact.) They know that God made woman more perfect than man. She is smarter, lives longer, has more patience, suffers pain better and longer. She is more civilized, and more beautiful. She is, in fact, Gods perfect creation with Mary at the peak of it all. For this reason, God made man the servant of the woman. As her superior in authority, he is her servant in action. As he takes care of her, she civilizes the world. As he takes care of her, she teaches the world love and Christ. However, because of her superiority, especially in looks, she must never be in the front of man. Whenever the woman takes the role of the man, she becomes like him, and civilized society will be finished.
BEAUTY AND DIGNITY
The next point in working towards unity is the churches. The Oriental and Greek Orthodox churches make our new churches look sick. When we are all one united Kingdom again, people will flock to these Oriental and Orthodox churches because of their beauty and dignity. The American Catholic Churches will be empty. Why? Because for two thousand years all builders of our church buildings knew one major fact. When we offer the Sacrifice of Christ on the altar, all of the Heavenly Host come down around that altar and give praise and honor to Our Lord. The angels come down, the Apostles and Saints come down, Mary comes down. We cannot see this, so we try to imitate it by making the altar, statues, paintings, vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows, and light effects look as much like what we cannot see as possible.
It is time we realized that we failed with the Protestants and start working on the Orthodox. We can start with the altar rail. I was in (what is claimed to be) the oldest Christian Church in the world. It was in a small town outside of Damascus. Maybe it was built by Saint Jude. It has a stone wall (with three openings) between the altar and the people. Behind the stone wall the priest consecrated the Body and Blood of Christ. I do not suggest that we have the wall; but I do suggest that we separate the altar in some way from the common (public) parts of the church. The old churches and the priest with the people faced east towards the Second Coming; at least we should all, including the priest, face God. St. Ambrose would not even let the Emperor of the World on any part of the elevated steps of the altar. Why then do we treat God so commonly?
THE CHURCHS INDEFECTIBILITY
Even though I would like to see these changes, I will not disobey my bishop or my priest. If he wants me to stand for communion, I will stand, although there are things that even my bishop cannot make me do if they are contrary to the Sacramentary. Christ did not leave me a Tridentine Mass, He left me a Kingdomthe Church, "the Institution of Salvation, founded by Christ, until the end of the world. (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma) The Indefectibility of the Church has been contested in the past by every heresy: the Montanists promising a new Church of the Holy Spirit; the Orthodox reformers, who maintained that under the Papacy the Church had degenerated from the teachings of Christ; the Jansenists, who accused the Church of obscuring individual truths of Faith; the Modernists, who hold to new development of doctrine; the Liberals, who preach pluralism and simply ignore the doctrines of the Church; and. the Traditionalists, who hold that not even the Pope, himself, can change the traditions of the Church.
If the Church is not Indefectible then Christ and the Bible are lying. (Is. 9:7; Dn. 2:44; Dn. 7:14; Ps. 88:37; Luke 1:32; etc.) The gates of Hell shall not prevail (Mt. 16:18) means just that. The Church must exist until the end times.
WE CONSERVATIVES NEED YOUR HELP
What saddens me the most is when the Holy Father needs the help of conservative Catholics, (those who understand and who love the Mass), they leave the Church. They leave him to the wolves, the heretics, the modernists. When Christ needed them the most, they left Him. These people in the Traditional movements are so much like me, that I want them fighting with me, but inside the Church not outside.
My salvation does not depend on standing or kneeling for communion. It depends on being in the Body of Christ. I believe the dignity of the Mass, the communion rail, and the icons will return to the Church. When they do, I will still be a Catholic. Will You?
As I said earlier in this writing, I dont know why the Church made these changes; but, as a Catholic, my study is not to see IF the Church is correct, but to see WHY the Church is correct. I still dont know why they made these changes, but I would like to offer you my own guess as to why. From my own book, "The Ark of Apocalypse", I would like to quote myself:
"I am only speculating, not for the sake of sensation or to show how smart I am, but only to say, WHAT IF? My what if is very, very scary. Pope John XXIII read the Secret Message of Fatima in 1960. He called Vatican Council II into session on October 11, 1962. He asked Protestant leaders to attend the sessions in order to advise in all those things we Catholics could do to make it easier for our Separated Brethren to come back to the faith, without our giving up any essential truths.
"This we did, to the very great depression of all us orthodox Catholics. The results have been that even less Protestants have come back to the faith than before the Council.
"Nevertheless, WHAT IF the secret letter of Fatima stated that all those separated brethren would die in a coming chastisement if they did not return to the faith? What if Pope John XXIII, who loves all of them, as I do, wanted to do whatever he could to get them back before it was too late?
"WHAT IF the Second Vatican Council was their LAST GREAT HOPE? If that were true, would not all of us conservatives feel very small when we face Our Lord someday, if we opposed the LAST GREAT HOPE of our separated brethren?"
So, please, my fellow conservatives, my fellow traditionalists, dont leave the Church. Stay with me and fight. Maybe all these changes were allowed by God to test the elect, maybe to expose the unfaithful. I dont know! But I do know one thing for sure,
THE CHURCH DID NOT MAKE THESE CHANGES
WITHOUT GODS APPROVAL.
If I were to say that Vatican II was not inspired by the Holy Spirit and free from error, I would also be forced to admit the possibility exists for Trent and all the other Councils to err. That is not possible. The ways of God are not always known, but we do know one thingHe will not leave His Church.
There is a great story of Saint Bernard, who was asked by his bishop to go to a certain parish and help a certain priest. The priest was notoriously bad. He embezzled funds from the parish. He had a mistress and was an alcoholic. Saint Bernard tried to help the priest by setting an example, but it did not work. He tried talking to him, shaming him, screaming at him. Nothing worked. He finally gave up, packed his bags to leave, and made one last visit to the tabernacle.
"Im sorry, Lord. I failed, and now Im leaving."
He turned and walked down the long aisle. Then from the altar he heard a voice, the voice of Christ in the Tabernacle.
Well, no matter how many corrupt priests there are, Im staying.
No matter how many changes there are, Im staying.
No matter how many leave the Kingdom of God on Earth, Im Staying.
For outside the Kingdom there is no Christ.
Without Christ, there is no salvation.
See the Rosary for the Second Greatest Prayer in the Bible