The Guardian Angel: Eucharistic Miracle of Skete Egypt 3rd Century

Posted by Donald Hartley - October 30th, 2014

faithPlease remember that our faith is not founded on Eucharistic miracles, but on the proclamation of the Lord Jesus, received with faith through the action of the Holy Spirit. We believe because we have believed in the preaching (see Gal. 3:5; also in Rom 10:17): “Faith depends on hearing and hearing by the word of Christ; and, in turn, preaching depends on the word of Christ.” “Believing is an act of the intellect, which under the influence of the will moved by God through grace, gives its consent to divine truth.” St. Thomas, Summa Theologiae.

Our faith in the Eucharist has as it center Christ. A Christian is not obliged to believe in Eucharistic miracles or any Private Revelations. In principle, however, the believer must not exclude the possibility that God may intervene in the extraordinary way in any given moment, place, event or person. The prudence of the Church is fully justified, since some may think God forgot to tell us something, attributing excessive importance to the miraculous and extraordinary, and easily and excessively believing suggestions or illusions.

Eucharistic Miracles can be useful and fruitful aids to our faith. For example: They help us go beyond the visible and the perceptible and admit the existence of something beyond. Also, they can give us an opportunity, to speak of public Revelation and of its importance to the Church and to Christians.

Eucharistic Miracle of Skete Egypt 3rd Century

Cappadocia Caves_optThe account of this Eucharistic miracle goes back to the first centuries of Christianity and is found in the collection of apothegms of the Fathers of the Desert who lived as hermits in Egypt following the example of St. Anthony the Abbot. A monk was assailed by strong doubts regarding the Real Presence of Jesus in the bread and wine consecrated at Mass.  After the Consecration the Infant Jesus was seen in place of the bread.  Three other monks who were assisting at the Mass witnessed the same vision.

In the sayings and deeds of the Desert Fathers, we find a description of an ancient Eucharistic miracle. Fr. Daniel the Faranite attests: “Our Fr. Arsenius told us of a monk of Skete who was a hard worker but lacked instruction in the Faith. In his ignorance he would say: ‘The Bread we receive is not really the Body of Christ, but a symbol of that Body.’ Two monks heard his statement and, knowing that he was a good and pious monk, decided to speak to him since they attributed his words to ignorance rather than to malice. So they went to him and said: ‘Father, we heard someone saying something contrary to the Faith: that the bread we receive is not really the Body of Christ, but a symbol.’ The Priest said, ‘I am the one who says this!’ They then began to exhort him, ‘you must not believe that, but rather believe what the Catholic Church teaches. We believe that bread is the Body of Christ, and this chalice is the Blood of Christ, really and truly, and not a symbol.’ The accused replied: ‘Unless you can show me evidence, I will not change my mind.’ The other monks told him, ‘this week we will pray to God about this mystery, and we believe that God will show us the truth.’

Saint-Macarius-of-Egypt“At the end of the week, on Sunday, all three went to the church and stood together. The priest was between the two monks on a step. Their eyes were opened when the Bread was placed on the altar in sacrifice in place of the Host, all three of them saw a Child. When the priest reached for the Bread to pick it up and break It, an angel appeared with a sword and pierced the Boy, whose Blood ran into the chalice. When the priest broke the Bread into pieces, the angel cut little pieces from the Child. When the three monks came up for Communion, the priest was offered bleeding Flesh. At this the doubter was overcome with fear and cried out, ‘Lord, I believe that the Bread is Your Body, and that Your Blood is in the chalice!’ Immediately the bloodied Flesh he had in his hand took on the appearances of bread and he communicated, giving thanks to God.”

The above story took place is one of the earliest given of Eucharistic Miracles outside the scripture. Since the time of the earliest Protestant revolutionaries in the 16th century, the above doubts have been solidified in the hearts of the sons and daughters of the rebellion. The following comes from Martin Luther who describes the foundation why he developed a work against “The Mass and the Ordination of Priests,” (Erl. 31, 311 ff.) Luther explains of his famous disputation with the “father of lies” who accosted him “at midnight” and spoke to him with “a deep, powerful voice,” causing “the sweat to break forth” from his brow and his “heart to tremble and beat.” In that celebrated conference, of which he was an unexceptional witness and about which he never entertained the slightest doubt, he says plainly and unmistakably that “the devil spoke against the Mass, and Mary and the Saints” and that, moreover, “Satan gave him the most unqualified approval of his doctrine of justification by faith alone.”

luther-inkwell-4Luther was clearly not a very good enlightened strategist for giving such weight to the leader of the enemy? We read in the scripture that the devil can appear as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), but to Luther, the devil appears as himself.

When the devil speaks against the Mass, that is great call to believe more strongly in the Mass. It may appear as odd to take something the devil puts forth, but we can gain great insight when this happens.

One more case I give as an example. At an exorcism, when a priest was casting out a demon from a woman, a nun was assisting the priest along with a small group. The demon agonized the procedure began to challenge the nun who could read her sins. With this ploy of the demon, Father took the Nun outside and gave the good sister the opportunity to go to Confession. Once completed, the Priest and Nun resumed with the exorcism and when the demon tried the same ploy, he was unable too because the Nun’s soul was clean. Talk about evidence to the truth of Confession!

The powers of darkness does not want you to gravitate towards the light, this is the battle that we face. Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, and it is when we listen to the teaching of the Catholic Church that we truly hear the voice of the Lord (John 18:37).

Eucharist 1I most firmly believe, O Jesus, that in this Holy Sacrament You are present; that here are Your Body and Blood, Your soul and Your divinity. I believe that You, my Savior, true God and true Man, are really here, with all Your treasures; that here You communicate Yourself to us, make us partakers of the fruit of Your Passion, and give us a pledge of eternal life. I believe there cannot be a greater happiness than to receive You worthily, nor a greater misery than to receive You unworthily. All this I most steadfastly believe, because it is what You have taught us by Your Church.

May the Lord Jesus continue to reveal himself in the Eucharist so that people can see Him present in all the Catholic Tabernacles of the world as the Angel of Portugal prayed:

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore you profoundly. I offer you the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which he is offended. And, through the infinite merits of his Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners.

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The Guardian Angel: Eucharistic Miracle of Avignon France 1433

Posted by Donald Hartley - October 26th, 2014

thomas-2-sized-234x300How wonderful that our Loving and Merciful God gives man signs of HIS presence for those that doubt. While we don’t have to believe these witnesses of a private revelation, listen to the words of St. Thomas Aquinas a doctor of the Catholic Church, tells us about about God’s grace, and our intellect and will.

Please remember that our faith is not founded on Eucharistic miracles, but on the proclamation of the Lord Jesus, received with faith through the action of the Holy Spirit. We believe because we have believed in the preaching (see Gal. 3:5; also in Rom 10:17: “Faith depends on hearing and hearing by the word of Christ; and, in turn, preaching depends on the word of Christ.” “Believing is an act of the intellect, which under the influence of the will moved by God through grace, gives its consent to divine truth.” St. Thomas, Summa Theologiae.

Our faith in the Eucharist has as it center Christ. A Christian is not obliged to believe in Eucharistic miracles or any Private Revelations. In principle, however, the believer must not exclude the possibility that God may intervene in the extraordinary way in any given moment, place, event or person. The prudence of the Church is fully justified, since some may think God forgot to tell us something, attributing excessive importance to the miraculous and extraordinary, and easily and excessively believing suggestions or illusions.

Eucharistic Miracles can be useful and fruitful aids to our faith. For example: They help us go beyond the visible and the perceptible and admit the existence of something beyond. Also, they can give us an opportunity, to speak of public Revelation and of its importance to the Church and to Christians.

The Eucharistic Miracle of Avignon France 1433

AvigonOn November 30, 1433, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed for public adoration in a small chapel cared for by a confraternity known as “the Gray Penitents.” Suddenly, Avignon was flooded when the Rodano, the river crossing the city, overflowed. By boat, two members of the confraternity managed to reach the chapel where the Blessed Sacrament had been left for adoration and was now unattended. When they entered the chapel, they saw that the waters were divided to the right and to the left, leaving the altar and the monstrance perfectly dry.

The Eucharistic miracle of Avignon occurred in the Chapel of the Holy Cross, home of the Gray Penitents, whose founding goes back to the time of pious King Louis VIII. This king, in order to celebrate his victory over the Albigensian heretics who denied the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, had organized a solemn act of reparation on September 14, 1226, the liturgical feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

In the official documentation of this event, which is still preserved in the chapel of the Gray Penitents, we read that on November 30, 1433, while the Blessed Sacrament was exposed in the little chapel for public adoration, the city of Avignon was hit by a terrible flood. The Rodano river overflowed after days of heavy rain. In the confusion, Armand and Jehan de Pourzillhac-Fature, the latter being the head of the confraternity at the time, with great effort struggled to reach the chapel by boat in order to save the monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament.

From the gates the two men looked into the chapel toward the altar to see what had happened to the monstrance. They saw that the water, which was almost six feet deep inside the chapel, had parted to the right and to the left of the altar, like two walls, and the altar and the monstrance had remained dry and untouched.

avignon-miracleNews of the miracle spread rapidly, and all the people, together with the authorities, hastened to the place singing hymns of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. Several hundred persons witnessed the miracle. The Confraternity of the Gray Penitents decided that the anniversary of the miracle would be celebrated each year in the chapel on the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle.

Even today every November 30th the brothers gather at the Chapelle des Penitents Gris to celebrate the memory of the miracle. Before Benediction, the brothers sing a sacred chant taken from the Canticle of Moses, which was composed after the parting of the Red Sea. “I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant…At a breath of your anger the waters piled up, the flowing waters stood like a mound, the flood waters congealed in the midst of the sea… In your mercy you led the people you redeemed; in your strength you guided them to your holy dwelling” (Exodus 15:1-18).

This scene is very interesting as it recalls the Lord’s power coming from the bible. The crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:19-22), the crossing of the Jordan River (Joshua 3:14-17), and the anointing of Elisha by Elijah (2 Kings 2:7-8, 13-14) shows that God has shown this sign before.

May the Lord Jesus continue to reveal himself in the Eucharist so that people can see Him present in all the Catholic Tabernacles of the world as the Angel of Portugal prayed:

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore you profoundly. I offer you the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which he is offended. And, through the infinite merits of his Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners.

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The Catholic Defender Salutes Dave Armstrong’s New Book

Posted by Donald Hartley - October 25th, 2014

Dave-Armstrong-225x300EXCERPT FROM MY UPCOMING BOOK, “FOOTSTEPS THAT ECHO FOREVER”
[this is the account of the 3rd full day of my pilgrimage in Israel: three days ago. I wrote this the same night in our lovely rustic chalet near the Sea of Galilee, after "interviewing" my wife Judy and fellow pilgrim Margie Prox Sindelar. They "stole the show" on this day, as you'll see! Shortly, I'll be writing about the next three days, including today. So I'm still workin'! It's a "working holiday," but I love my work as an apologist so much, that I can't distinguish it from pleasure. Can't wait to share this special book with you in November, too. It will be filled with spectacular, very high-resolution photos of the Holy Land, taken by Margie, accounts like this one, and biblical archaeology and exposition. That's why I like it so much (among all my books), as it is shaping up. It's all Bible and discipleship experiences.]

3rd day: Monday October 20th

This was to be a truly fabulous day, filled with glorious spiritual experiences. Our first destination was Mt. Tabor: the Mount of Transfiguration. It was a wonderfully sunny morning when we drove up its switchbacks, affording us spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and distant hills. Several churches had been built on the spot: this latest one in the 1920s.

Up near the altar it has two panes of glass on the floor, with older remnants below. One of them is believed to be the very spot where Jesus was transfigured. I looked at it in astonishment and kept thinking (never fully grasping the full reality of it): “JESUS was here! Jesus was HERE!” I sat off to the side, still gazing at it, and thought, “this very spot where I am was where Elijah or Moses stood.”

Mount-Tabor-and-the-church-of-transfigurationIt was my very first encounter with a holy place where I could say with high certainty, “the Lord Jesus, God the Son; the incarnate God was at this very spot.” This is where words begin to fail. Shortly I will cite my wife Judy and fellow pilgrim and “official photographer” Margie Prox Sindelar explaining what they felt, after being encouraged to do so in a sort of “interview” with me after we arrived back at our chalet. I can say that I was overwhelmed; eventually feeling that I would faint as a result of the “electric” spiritual power present in this amazing church. I didn’t, but I came very close, and as soon as I left the church building, that feeling went away. Margie was quite overcome, and explains her experience:

“I was just taking photos and didn’t feel any emotion at first. Then I wanted to pray, and went into the church to do so. I was contemplating the Lord’s transfiguration and I kept being redirected to my transformation. It was kind of like a mantra of ‘Lord, transform me.’ I felt that He was not only showing His glorified body, but also strengthening me and all of us, to help us get through the hard times in our lives, as with the apostles. I felt that we could look to Him and take hope that we’ll be glorified eventually, too. I felt a raw emotion that’s hard to explain, that’s staying with me. It’s a supernatural gift of tears. I’ve been teary for quite a while.”

It was over eight hours later when I reported Margie’s feeling in this section. She continues:

“I never thought that Mt. Tabor would be such a spiritual experience. I never really contemplated it in any depth and struggled with the luminous mysteries in the Rosary. But I was drawn to the mountain and there was some kind of connection, as if I was being called to it. The tears were not like tears that come from this world. It was like they were tears from another world, and it confirmed what I believe. It was a gift to be able to experience. I’m usually in control of my emotions, but this experience was beyond my control.”
Judy had a very similar experience or (more descriptively) encounter with God:

Tabor“I was so drawn to the mountain, too. When I woke up in the morning, I had a real excitement. I was taking pictures and was trying to picture Jesus climbing the mountain with the disciples. When we got into the church and looked down at the actual rock, I wanted to lay prostrate on the ground, and I didn’t care what people thought, if I at least knelt. Then I felt like I was seeing Jesus face to face, as if He was holding my hand and we were looking at each other. I felt a wash of pure joy, and the tears started coming, and it felt like it was beyond my control. They were tears of union with God and a mystical experience. I couldn’t handle being that close to Him. Part of me wanted to stay forever, but I couldn’t take it any more. I had to get up. I couldn’t talk to anyone and I kept wanting to go back and linger with Him more, but I knew that I couldn’t. I realized I was on really holy ground.”

Also notable at this site was the remains of an earlier fourth century church, where the baptismal pool was visible, with a mosaic on the bottom. Next on the docket was the site of the wedding of Cana, where Jesus performed His first miracle. After a particularly extraordinary talk (one of many) by our guide Amer, highlighting Middle Eastern marriage customs, that his family still observe to this day (very similar to Bible times), we went down to the lower floor, which is the remains of the actual house where it took place. Here was now the first site we visited where both Jesus and Mary were present. I walked around in circles in the small area, to be sure that I walked in places where either Jesus or Mary had set foot.

CliftUpon entering Nazareth, first we saw the “precipice” where the townspeople tried to throw Jesus off the cliff. After a delightful walk for a few blocks through Nazareth, we came to the house of the holy family. Amer explained how the entire city at the time of Jesus was only as large as the courtyard we could easily observe from where we stood. One bombshell piece of information I learned from Amer is that Joseph was not a carpenter. He was a stone mason. The other impression has come from a Bible mistranslation. Learn something every day! Maybe there is a solid argument from some Bible scholar in favor of “carpenter” — but Amer seems pretty knowledgeable, and I suspect that he is correct.

You can’t see much of the house: mainly about six steps leading down to a doorway. But what steps! Jesus and His mother walked these steps for thirty years, and also Joseph did for some of that time. Catholics believe that grace can be conveyed by matter (so does any Christian who believes, for example, in sacraments). Imagine the grace stored in these steps, where God the Son, and the highest creature God ever made: the immaculate Mother of God, walked! Later I told Ross that I wished I could lay a sleeping bag on the steps and just stay there for a week, soaking in all that grace.

It was another “powerhouse” spot. I felt something very difficult to describe, but Margie and wife Judy magnificently succeeded in putting into words what they felt, after I helped to “draw it out of them” several hours later back at the chalet. Margie said, later that day:

Dave A 2“When I saw the steps that led to the house of the holy family, I thought, ‘here’s my savior, going up and down steps, being held by his mother, and then as a toddler and as a teenager and adult, and these were the steps that He physically walked on.’ In addition to it being believed in faith only, it becomes more of a physical reality, and it affects our senses to the very depths of our soul.” Judy added, from the wonderful perspective that women have, that I admire so much:

“I’ve always wanted to emulate Mary, so when I got to the house of the holy family, I felt such a connection with her that I hadn’t had before: the motherly connection; the tenderness that she would have had with Jesus. I had such a feeling of compassion; a longing to be like her: everything she has; everything she is. I could see her preparing meals, rocking Jesus to sleep, playing with Him on the floor, and the compassion and tenderness that she showed towards Him, which I want.”

Walking across the courtyard, we went into the Church of the Annunciation. Down in the basement is Mary’s house, where the angel Gabriel appeared to her, asking if she would be willing to bear the Son of God: using the words of the Hail Mary prayer. This is where it all began: the process and eventuality of the incarnation literally starts in this place and at that time in history. The “no” of Eve was undone by the glorious “yes” of Mary the Blessed Virgin.

Dave a 3How can one describe what it is like to be there!? There is an arch where it is believed that Mary stood when the angel appeared (in the place a few feet away now represented with a pillar). I wanted to stay there forever! The ladies once again had the ability (with some coaxing) to put into words what I am finding very difficult to express. But when I heard what they said about it, it was very much in line with my experience, too. First, Margie:

“You hear these gospel readings and hear the stories ever since you were a child, and believe it, but to see the actual spot and be there in person, everything seems more real. You believe in faith and with grace, but it affects our senses, and it becomes more human. They went through what we go through. I’m not a person that likes to show emotions in front of others or cry in front of other people. I feel so vulnerable, being that close to God. You can’t humanly handle it. God has to humble Himself in the Eucharist because we couldn’t handle it if He did more than that. I feel that I’ve already been transformed after only three days on the pilgrimage. I was heartbroken when we had to leave Mary’s house.”

Judy added: “When we went to Mary’s house, I could see the whole thing playing out before my eyes, as though it was me. That was what was so awesome about it.” We were walking around the lower area of the church, dazed and in awe, and then I wanted to pray the Hail Mary together, in the very place where the angel Gabriel first uttered the words to Mary. We started doing that, directly across from and above the house of Mary. Judy only made it through four or five words before breaking down, so I continued on.

Dave A 1I felt myself rapidly getting weaker, too. If it weren’t for the strong male instinct of suppressing overt emotions, especially in public, and the overwhelming social pressure on men to be “strong,” I could have easily melted into a puddle of goo, myself. Judy describes her feeling: “When Dave and I did the Hail Mary, I felt like I was hit by something so powerful, that I couldn’t even get the words out.”

Women, being the finer creatures of God, allow themselves to experience any given emotion as it arrives. Men have complained since time immemorial that women are “too emotional.” To which I reply: “hey, it’s a lot better to be too emotional as opposed to not being emotional at all, or to constantly suppressing emotions.”

When it comes to powerful spiritual experiences such as these, it’s clear that women’s more common reaction of breaking down (if we should even call it that) is superior and more “normal.” We men are the ones who lose out as a result. But the pilgrimage, as I write these words, is still young. We have two weeks to go, and Jerusalem awaits us in five days. I suspect that I do have similarly powerful encounters with God ahead of me. Perhaps the extraordinary experiences on pilgrimages to the Holy Land have a cumulative effect, increasingly overpowering the pilgrim as he or she goes along. We’ll see! It’s all a “spiritual adventure” for me.

Dave a 4That’s what this volume is meant to convey: what it’s like to be here. In six days I’ll be worshiping at Mass in the location where Jesus died on the cross and where He was laid in the tomb, to rise again in three days. History and liturgy will be combined in a way that can occur nowhere else on earth. Whatever happens to me there, and to my spirit, of one thing I’m already absolutely certain: it will be like nothing I have ever experienced before. And I know that because of what I have already encountered: this very day alone.

This is the a preview from Dave Armstrong for his book in the making, “”FOOTSTEPS THAT ECHO FOREVER” and I am honored to share this writing here coming from Dave. We pray that the remainder of this pilgrimage continues to be the blessing that it has been for all the members.

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The Catholic Defender: Roaming Romans Live In Israel

Posted by Donald Hartley - October 25th, 2014

Israel 4Deepertruth’s Ross and Margie are presently in Israel with Catholic Apologist, convert, and author, Dave Armstrong. They are going to be live tomorrow (10/25/2014) on Deepertruth 1:00 Central time from Jerusalem. The past several days they have been visiting some of the major places where Jesus walked and performed the miracles we read about in the bible.

This picture, Ross and team had the opportunity to touch the very foundation where Jesus performed His first public miracle, the changing of water into wine at Cana. John Chapter 2 tells the story: ” On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” (And) Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him. After this, he and his mother, (his) brothers, and his disciples went down to Capernaum and stayed there only a few days.”

Israel 2This is reportedly the tree that Zacchaeus, a tax collector, had climbed a tree to get a better look at Jesus as He was walking through the area. “He came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” * And Jesus said to him, “Today salvationc has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”

Walking the steps of Jesus makes the scriptures come alive.

Pilgrims come from all over the world to be enriched by seeing these sights preserved so that people can follow the foot steps of Jesus.

IsraelThousands of people were following Jesus, this picture marks the place when Jesus feed 4,000 people: “Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?” “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.” He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children. After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.”

This feeding of the 4,000 is very Eucharistic, it is preparing the Apostles for the meaning of what Jesus would give the bread of life discourse.

Israel 1This scene is taken from Caesarea Philippi where Jesus changed Simon Son of Bar-Jona to Kepa (Peter): “Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.”

This is the promise Jesus fulfills at His Ascension into heaven. This is the promise of the office of the Papacy.

Israel 3This is one of my favorite scripture. St. John tells the story: “After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tibe’ri-as; and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathan’a-el of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zeb’edee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing. Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off. When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.”

There is so much that Ross and Margie are seeing that they will be able to share with tomorrow (10/25/2014)  along with Dave Armstrong who will talk about his book. Please plan to join us for the Roaming Romans live from Israel report.

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The Catholic Defender: The Moral Concerns Of Vaccines

Posted by Donald Hartley - October 24th, 2014

landon 1Tonight on Deepertruth: Guest Natalie Renee Steffen will talk about her son, Landon, after receiving several vaccine shots. Showtime begins at 8:00 Eastern, 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, and 5:00 Pacific. Archive follows immediately after the live show. You can hear the from from here

The following is taken from VACtruth.com, Augustine Ursino, Oct 2, 2014: “After her first hep B shot, Skylar immediately began to suffer from colic. Up until age one, she would cry every night at the same time for about an hour and a half before she went to sleep. She had horrible night terrors from age 2-4 years before these finally ceased.

When Natalie had Skylar, she had no idea vaccine injuries were prevalent and never thought to question this link. Skylar’s pediatrician said this behavior was normal and led her to believe this is what normal babies go through.

Natalie gave birth to her second child, Landen, in 2009, four years later. He was also given the hepatitis B vaccine within 12 hours of life and started receiving the vaccines on schedule. Landen was born perfectly healthy. Once he started receiving the vaccinations on schedule, he suffered from the toxins. His reactions were much more severe. He was reaching the typical milestones until he was given the MMR, Varicella and flu shots at his 14 month pediatric visit, and by 18 months old, he lost everything and was later diagnosed with autism.

In Natalie’s words, this is what happened to her son after he received those shots at 14 months old:

Landen-630x315Landon lost all his speech (he can parrot now here and there)
He stems by running back-and-forth
He flaps, raising his arms and screaming
He chews on everything including wood and walls
He is still not potty trained and is now 5 years old
He went through a stage where he would smear his feces all over himself and the walls
He is relearning to eat with utensils
He is constantly plugging his ears
He had horrific tantrums for 2 years, but now instead of tantrum meltdowns, when his surroundings are too loud, he goes into a laughing state in which he drops onto the ground and laughs uncontrollably
He hums when he is eating
He has an extremely high level of pain tolerance (50 percent of the time, he walks on his tippy toes)
He is constantly jumping or moving very quickly
He can walk through the house repeatedly without looking while touching the same objects
He breaks and eats his toys instead of playing with them
He flips all his toys and furniture upside down (we had to move all the furniture out of his bedroom except his bed)
He always wants to eat and can eat as much as my husband
He has no sense of fear or what is dangerous
He will take off running without looking at any moment

All of these symptoms hit Landen at 18 months of age after receiving the MMR, Varicella, and flu shots. He had received a total of 32 shots before he was diagnosed with autism by age three, and that was when Natalie finally figured out that the vaccines were the source of her children’s ill health.”

Paul VIThe Vatican has given guidelines for Catholics when dealing with vaccines especially those identified using unborn baby remains. You can read that here.

Pope Paul VI: To Doctors and Nurses

“27. Likewise we hold in the highest esteem those doctors and members of the nursing profession who, in the exercise of their calling, endeavor to fulfill the demands of their Christian vocation before any merely human interest. Let them therefore continue constant in their resolution always to support those lines of action which accord with faith and with right reason. And let them strive to win agreement and support for these policies among their professional colleagues. Moreover, they should regard it as an essential part of their skill to make themselves fully proficient in this difficult field of medical knowledge. For then, when married couples ask for their advice, they may be in a position to give them right counsel and to point them in the proper direction. Married couples have a right to expect this much from them.”  Humanae Vitae  You can read here.

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The Catholic Defender: 607 A.D. Bishop of Rome Retains Pope Title

Posted by Donald Hartley - October 23rd, 2014

Constantine's_conversionBrothers and sisters: I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  Ephesians 3:14-21

This 607 A.D. date is a loaded question because this one has teeth to it.

The Emperor Phocas did in fact give the decree that restates the Roman See as “the See of Blessed Peter the Apostle” as head of all the Churches.

Our friends, the Christian Assemblies International would want you to think that this decree ushers in this anti-Christ figure that would have the whole world follow after the dragon.

Jesus Commanded the Church to go to all the Nations and to preach the Gospel.

keysThat is a universal presence! The Lord established an office beginning with St. Peter that would lead the Church throughout history until the Lord returns.

The importance of the Pope in Rome is based on the keys of heaven and the power to bind and loose naming Peter as the “Rock” upon the Church. Pope Francis today is the 266th successor of Peter. Compare that to the CAI who were founded in 1973. Before that, members had been part of other previous groups they left.

The title “Pope” was dominant in the East and was common for the bishops and senior priests from the beginning. The word pope is derives from the Greek πάππας meaning “Father”.

In the West, the title was designated only to the bishops but as time went on, it was an honorary title given to the Bishop of Rome exclusively. That made it easy to designate the See of Peter as the head.

This issue brings up a major objection that anti-Catholics make because of the title “father”. They site Matthew 23:9 quoting Jesus, “and call no man your Father upon the earth; for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”

Using this platform, they tie this in with this universal anti-Christ figure. Does this objection hold up when investigated with scrutiny? No it does not.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe first point I raise is that Jesus in Matthew 23:8 states, “Do not be called rabbi (teacher)”, and verse 10 says, “Do not be called Master.” So in context, Jesus is talking about titles teacher, Father, and master. What gets most anti-Catholics is their own traditions of calling their leaders titles that designates teacher.

What does the bible say the Apostles did on this subject?

St. Paul writes, “Even if you should have countless guides to Christ, yet you do not have many fathers, for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel (1 Corinthians 4:15).

That is a very important scripture passage that is quite an obstacle for the anti-Catholic to maneuver around. St. Paul also wrote, “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named… (Ephesians 3:14)

St. Stephen referred to those who persecuted him as his brothers and Father’s (Acts 7:2) and St. John refers to “Fathers” as those knowing Jesus from the beginning, the leadership (1 John 2:14).

Jesus referred to Abraham as “Father” Abraham. Abraham’s original name (Abram) means “Father”, Abraham means “Father” of many nations. The question you might want to ask is , “What did Jesus mean with Matthew 23:9″?

What Jesus was addressing here was the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Jesus at this time really lowers the boom on the Pharisees calling them hypocrites, blind guides, blind fools, and whitewashed tombs. They did acts in public for all to see, wore titles of honor to demonstrate how important they were.

gregorywithdoveIn comparison to God in heaven by contrast, this would be an insult. Jesus saw them as hollow shells without substance.

When talking about the office of “Pope”, this is a common objection and one used to target Catholics.

The Papacy is the most enduring office in the world, nations have come and gone yet the Church remains.

We see the Popes in ancient times spreading Christianity and resolving disputes. They work also to resolve differences to maintain unity, to foster charitable works and the defense of human rights.

Pope Boniface III (607), ruled the Church from 19 February to his death in 607.

His reign was short lived but it was an important time in Church history. Other factions wanted to claim leadership and Pope Boniface defended the See of Rome. Having the Emperors decree helped secure this foundation.

pope-boniface-iii-quote-he-who-does-a-deed-by-the-hand-of-another-is-tOne of the major contributions of Pope Boniface III was to ensure that the election of the next Pope was not ever a matter during the life of the living Pope.

He wanted to ensure free and fair elections. So this included no discussing any appointments for successors under pain of excommunication. That is serious business!

Pope Boniface was ardent about this, he even made it clear that no steps were to be taken for a papal successor until after three days after a pope’s burial.

Only after three days after the funeral could the next pope be considered.

The decree by the Emperor Phocas recognizing the Bishop of Rome ended the Patriarch Cyiacus’s of Constantinople challenge for the title “Universal Bishop”.

Today the Pope’s office is not only challenged by a single See such as Constantinople (Istanbul), but every non-Catholic who follows their own interpretation of the Bible and authority.

That is a major reason why today their are over 40,000 denominations.

vatican 1The Catholic Faith was founded by Jesus Christ personally and the authority has been handed down from one generation to another.

St. Peter was the first Pope crucified at Vatican Hill in 67 A.D. Pope Francis I is the 266th successor in an unbroken line of apostolic Succession.

All the great Councils of the Church reflect that Apostolic Tradition, that Apostolic witness, the “Deposit of Faith” that was entrusted to the Church by Our Lord Himself.

Jesus is the Master Builder, the Church is his body.

1 Corinthians 1:10 commands us, “I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and purpose”.

JesusSHJesus prayed it best, “I pray not only for them (Apostles), but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe you sent me” (John 17:20-21).

This next verse is so important, “And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”

We have received from Jesus His glory.

We are His body, we are one in the Lord.

Let us defend the Faith, to contend for the faith with a pure heart. We must love those who are in error and be patient.

Father, we beg Your blessing for the Right to Life, the Unborn, the weak, the sick and the old; all who are finding themselves being targets of the vicious culture of death; that our Lord Jesus bless and protect all who stand up for the Christian dignity of persons. That God enlighten those who are traveling down death’s highway by their involvement, in any way, with either the contemporary death culture, selfism, relativeism, or any of the new age errors of our times, that God envelop our culture with His Divine protection and help us both individually and as a nation to true enlightenment, conversion and repentance of our selves and our culture. Help us to turn from our national sin of abortion, and return to, and once again become a Christian nation, on the narrow road, that is, the path to becoming a nation and culture, under God. Amen.

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The Guardian Angel: Eucharistic Miracle of MONCADA SPAIN, 1392

Posted by Donald Hartley - October 16th, 2014

indifferentOur culture has been bombarded with relativism and indifferentism in education, media, government, and even in many ways in the churches. For the past fifty years there has been poor catechisis and as a result the people have bought into the lies of relativism and indifferentism, because it feels good, yet the deception causes many to be paralyzed in their walk as members of the mystical body of Christ. Why evangelize if it doesn’t make any difference what church someone belongs to, and if a person can decide what is truth for themselves personally. They are told to follow their conscience, while not telling them, that to follow your conscience, it must be a properly formed conscience, and that is not likely to happen if people are not helped to know and understand the truth as taught by the only entity (church) the Catholic Church who was given the Paraclete to keep the people in the truth. Some of the Truth that is taught by the Bride of Christ seem to be tough to the ignorant, because they have not been taught, they do not see the love that Christ brings us to help us come to him, and this love gives us peace only in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, not in the culture and its deceptions that are brought forward by Satan. Listen to the words in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 as follows:

[1] I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: [2] Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. [3] For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: [4] And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. [5] But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober.

jesus-christ-divine-shepherdThis is happening in our times, before our eyes, and we must be on our knees for our Shepherds, that Jesus will keep them strong and in the truth, because they are human, and Satan works hard to pick one off now and then to scatter the sheep. Yes there are scandals happening in the church before our eyes today. As we are told in Scripture, our enemy is not flesh and blood, but the powers and principalities, the wickedness in high places, Satan is attacking on so many fronts. Know that each of you have been born for this moment in time. The Church TRIUMPHANT in Heaven is there to aid us, so pray to Mary and the Saints and Angels in Heaven to intercede to God for us. Let us increase those numbers in heaven praying for us by praying for the Church SUFFERING in Purgatory, who are also our allies. Then have the understanding to seek Wisdom, James 1:5-7, and know your enemy and put on your armor, Ephesians 6:10-20, and prepare your families to face the enemy who roams the world seeking the ruin of souls. Each of you were born for this moment in time, know your faith and know God as a result, love HIM and deny yourself and pick up your cross, and then be part of HIS church MILITANT on earth serving as his hands and feet to evangelize and carry the Absolute Truth from the one True Church to the world around you. We have the greatest General to lead us, Mary, learn from her on how to give all we have to her Son, and battle for souls HE puts into your path, trying to bring them to HIM for eternity as a gift for HIM. A priest once said the following, and it is right on target:

“No intelligent, reasoning man or woman, can hold indifferentism! It does make a difference what you believe! The doctrines you hold! The church you belong to! For quite obviously, it would seem to me, in God-given intelligence and reasoning, God demands of each and every one, that you belong to the one true church. That church which is teaching those doctrines which Christ gave to HIS Apostles. The Doctrines which they and their Successors are to teach to all nations, to all times. To that church you MUST belong. The One, True, Church of Christ! And it alone. One church is not as good as another!”

THANK YOU, followed by the Eucharistic Miracle***

TOPSHOTS-VATICAN-RELIGION-POPE-CANONISATIONA special thank you to each person that made this event to Glorify Jesus and Honor Mary special with their love, prayers, presence, and gifts, you have touched lives beyond those present on those two wonderful days. On a quick review of the Marian Conference at Ozark on the 3 & 4 of October, I don’t think that we have done anything more important in our lives. People had the opportunity to go to Mass each day, there was Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet, beautiful songs, wonderful presenters and many others working in the background to bring souls to Jesus for eternity, those that were consecrated, and those seeking consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, opportunities to venerate Mary and other Saint’s Relics, those that brought resources and sacramental to bless the homes and lives of those present, great food, and brothers and sisters that showed their love for each other and those they had just met. Doesn’t that sound like a piece of heaven on earth, and you helped to make that happen.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. Yet it is all these small things that each of you were a part of and weaved together by God to make this such a joy. Yet great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one. Such a moment happened at the Marian Conference at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Ozark, MO on October 3 & 4, 2014.

PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID, BUT, THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL. Yet because of the beauty of those days, I believe that they will remember the things done, and said, and how you made them feel. Thank you for that, and I thank God for each of you. In HIS service through Mary, GregoryMary

The Eucharist really is Jesus!

pio 2“It would be easier for the earth to exist without the sun than without the holy sacrifice of the Mass.“ St. Padre Pio

“God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar.” St. Maximilian Kolbe

“We should never again use the expression, ‘When Jesus was on earth’ or thin of Him as being only in heaven, Jesus is still on earth.” Father John Hardon

“Every Holy Hour we make so pleases the Heart of Jesus that it will be recorded in Heaven and retold for all eternity. It opens up the floodgates of God’s merciful Love upon the world. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is the best time you will spend on earth. It will make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in Heaven.”  Mother Theresa

“Give me the grace to long for Your Holy Sacraments, and especially to rejoice in the presence of Your body, sweet Savior Christ, in the Holy Sacrament of the altar.”  St. Thomas More

Eucharistic Miracle of MONCADA SPAIN, 1392

Eucharist 1In the Eucharistic miracle of Moncada, Baby Jesus appeared in the Sacred Host to dissipate the doubts of a priest uncertain about the validity of his priestly ordination. At the end of the 14th century, in fact, the French cardinals elected an antipope hoping that he would transfer the Holy See back to Avignon. This event created great confusion among the clergy, to the point that many priests started doubting whether they had been validly ordained. Fr. Odorico Raynaldi described the fact in his Anales Eclesiasticos. It is also narrated in other numerous documents kept in the archives of the city of Moncada.

The election of Pope Urban VI (April 18, 1378) had been strongly opposed by the French cardinals, who hoped that a French Pope would transfer the Holy See back to Avignon. After many events, on September 20, 1378, they elected the antipope Clement VII. The schismatics immediately tried to seize Rome, but their attempts failed. Therefore, they retreated to Avignon where Clement VII continued to act as the legitimate pontiff. During this period of great uncertainties, Fr. Mosén Jaime Carrós, a priest in Moncada, was living in the anguish that his ordination was invalid, since a bishop appointed by the antipope Clement VII had ordained him. Every time he celebrated Mass he greatly feared he was deceiving the faithful by distributing unconsecrated hosts. He was also terrified that none of the other sacraments he was performing were valid. The priest ardently prayed for the Lord to give him some sign of confirmation.

He received an answer on Christmas Day, 1392. That day, the aristocratic woman Angela Alpicat attended Mass with her five year old daughter, Inés (the future St. Inés de Moncada). At the end of Mass, the little girl refused to leave the church, imploring her mother to let her remain there to play with the beautiful child the pastor had held in his arms during Mass.

Eucharist 2On December 26, Lady Angela went to Mass again, and when the priest lifted the Host, the little girl saw the child in the hands of the priest. At the end of Mass, Lady Angela referred her daughter’s visions to the priest, who immediately examined her. Little Inés answered all the priest’s questions without any difficulties.

The priest, though, wanted to test her further and invited her to attend Mass on the following day. At that time, he took two hosts, but he consecrated only one of them. Then, taking the consecrated Host, the priest asked the little girl what she could see in his hands. She answered, “I see Baby Jesus.” Then he lifted the unconsecrated host and asked the same question. “I see a white little disc,” Inés answered. The priest was overwhelmed with joy, and the whole congregation exulted in seeing the validity of their pastor’s ordination confirmed.

Although an antipope had ordained the bishop who ordained Moncada’s pastor Fr. Carrós, God had remained faithful to the apostolic succession determined by the imposition of the bishop’s hands.

Inés the little five year old girl that saw Jesus, later, lived her whole life as a hermit and penitent in the cave known as El Rodeno, which is a pilgrim site still today*** she became a Saint.

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The Catholic Defender: My Assessment To Last Nights Debate

Posted by Donald Hartley - October 1st, 2014

Benko 1Last nights debate was very lively and one that was difficult to moderate to stay neutral. John Pistis I thought made a strong attempt to give his credentials. He was clear that he was a former Catholic who became “born again” and today is working on his “doctorate” in religion.

Despite what he was claiming as his credentials, I found his arguments were not really biblically based, but more based from a personal interpretation. John Benko continually effectively hammered the arguments of John Pistis.

John Pistess argued that the word “Transubstantiation” was a word developed after the eleventh century.

This is a point that John Benko readily accepted, but John went straight to the scripture to refute what John Pistis’s obvious conclusion that the doctrine of Transubstantiation was invented at that time. John referred to John 6 and the bread of life discourse and related to how Jesus was superseding the Old Testament sacrifice.

That Jesus himself became the sacrifice and the Eucharist is a literal teaching of Jesus. John Pistis reaffirmed his position that this was all symbolic.

John Benko responded that St. Paul clearly reaffirms Jesus teaching citing 1 Corinthians 10 and 11 where St Paul addresses the issue (1 Corinthians 10:14-22 and 11:22-32).

thisismybodyJohn Pistis asked John Benko where in the New Testament did the Apostles worship Jesus in the Eucharist.

John Benko responded strongly that St. Paul was addressing Jesus was in fact worshiped through the breaking of bread coming from the above text.

This was an issue of contention as both held to their view.

(As moderator I could not respond to John Pistis point, but along with John Benko’s strong point from the bible, I will also add Luke 24:30 where Jesus was literally recognized by his disciples through the breaking of bread. I will further add that the breaking of bread was central in the worship of the community by the early Church (Acts 2:42).

“They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers.”

From this text, the community of believers were devoted to the breaking of bread. To be devoted, this literally means “to dedicate by a solemn act”. The example, “Christians are by their baptism devoted to God” points to the very worship they offer to God.

jesus-break-breadMore on the word “devoted” which is important to consider. Devoted means, “to give over (as to a cause, use, or end) wholly or purposefully, to center the attention or activities of oneself to the “breaking of the bread”.

John Benko placed his argument that St. Paul’s teaching on the Eucharist is a participation on the body and blood of Christ. The best line of the night is when John Benko responded to John Pistis assertion that the word “Transubstantiation” was given in the eleventh century, John Benko remarked that this debate was on the doctrine of Transubstantiation, not just the wording.

John Benko cited other names applied to other doctrines not found in the bible that are commonly accepted such as the “Trinity”.

Another point that John Pistis challenged John Benko concerned infants eating the Passover Lamb.  John Pistis wanted to respond to John Benko who stated that Jesus said that all had to eat the Lamb.

Moses 1.John Benko basically dismissed the question because it had no relevance to the Eucharist and Transubstantiation.  

Children to young to participate with the Passover Meal John Benko felt that had nothing to do with Transubstantiation. Babies were  saved by the participation of their parents.  This is how the babies were saved.

John Benko responded that the scripture says they have to eat the lamb. That was the order of the Lord. The only restrictions were that no foreigner may eat of it (the Passover lamb) if they wanted to partake of the lamb all the males in his household have to be circumcised. No uncircumcised male could eat of it. This included slaves, a temporary resident, or a hired worker.

The Torah law found in Exodus does not speak to the question of children, but according to Rabbinical Jewish Law, girls 12 and under were not required to eat of the Passover Lamb.

Boys 13 and under were not required to eat of the Passover Lamb, younger children could participate with the eating of the Lamb, but that was not required.

John Pistis wanting to challenge John Benko for infants not eating of the Lamb is not a valid question.

This debate was certainly one of John Benko’s best performances. The contrast was stark, John Benko presented facts pertaining to the topic. John Pistis offered opinions but really didn’t establish a foundation behind what his opinions were based. He had an hour and a half to make his case and he failed to do so.

keysJohn Pistis asked the question, who is most important, the Apostles or those who followed them? His intent was to support his position of Sola Scriptura. What he ends up doing is making assertions based from his own perspective of what he thinks the scriptures teach.

By doing so, John Pistis then believes he can adequately refute the teachings of St. Ignatius and Polycarp who both were actual follows of Jesus through St. John the Apostle. So you have a choice here to consider. We can trust in the writings of St. Ingnatius and and Polycarp, or we can trust in John Pistis. The water is always purist the closest to the source we find it. The farther away from the source the more polluted the water becomes. I’ll trust the 2,000 year teaching coming from the Apostles handed down through the Catholic Faith.

You can hear the debate here

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