Saints and Fathers

Feast Day of St. Justin Martyr, June 1
 
Download a Free copy of the Apostolic Fathers Timeline
Timeline 2 copy_supersmall.jpg

This amazing Timeline drives home the point of how close these men were to Jesus and the Apostles.

It demonstrates how Catholic the first Christians really were!

 The Apostolic Fathers faced Emperors, heretics and lions but these heroes of the Catholic faith never lost courage. Chains, prisons and blood-soaked arenas did not stop the early Christians from witnessing for Christ and handing on the Apostolic Tradition.
  

ApostolicFathersCover.jpgStrap on your sandals and step back in time to discover the “Apostolic Fathers, Handing on the Faith”

Comprehensive 28-Page Study Guide
Behind the Scenes: The Making of Apostolic Fathers, Handing on the Faith
Bloopers and Outtakes
Conversation with Steve Ray and Fr. Benedict Groeschel

English and Spanish subtitles
Feature running time: 90 minutes, extras 30 minutes

Buy it HERE

{ 9 comments }

I get asked this question a lot and thought others would find my answer helpful. Not that I claim to have discovered this myself but reading and gleaning has brought me to this conclusion.

In Luke 7:19-28, John the Baptist was in prison and sent two of his disciples to Galilee to ask Jesus a question. 

And John, calling to him two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord, saying, Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?’ 

Some say John was doubting. Was Jesus really the one sent from God, the Messiah, or not? 

Had John lost his faith? Of course, we cannot deny that this is a possibility. Of course John was in prison and things had not gone the way he may have hoped. If Jesus was the “sent one” why was he, John, languishing in the Machaerus Fortress? 

Human weakness could possibly be an explanation though John the Baptist does not strike me as one who is going to doubt Jesus as the Messiah considering all that he had witnessed and known.

I think a better explanation might be that John the Baptist had to decrease and Jesus had to increase (John 3:30). What is the best way to get your disciples to leave you and follow the Messiah than to send them to Jesus to ask him if he is the Messiah? 

In other words I don’t think it was doubt that caused John to send his disciples to ask Jesus that question. It was that he wanted to wean them off of himself so that they would realize who Jesus really was and begin to follow him.

Luke continues, 

In that hour [Jesus] cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many that were blind he bestowed sight. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.  And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.” (Luke 7:18-28)

Seeing Jesus’ miracles and their correspondence side-by-side with the prophecies of Isaiah certainly gave the proof to an honest heart and mind. 

John, knowing his disciples had been prepared for the coming Messiah through his own preaching, knew they would recognize and follow him after their journey. He must decrease, Jesus must increase.

This seems to me an adequate and substantial explanation of John the Baptist’s question. I think St. Francis de Sales explained it this way and if anyone knows where the citation is, please let me know.

“The glorious St. John the Baptist did not send his disciples to Jesus our Lord to find out whether or not He was the Messiah. He had three reasons: first, to make Him known to the whole world. Second, he wanted to draw disciples only to his Teacher, to whose school he now sends them to be instructed personally by Him. Third, to detach them from himself and let them see Jesus so that they might come to Him in a manner worthy of Him. Therefore, John sent them to this Divine Majesty.”

{ 0 comments }

I compiled a list of Catechism, Scripture and quotes from the early Church Fathers and even archaeology to assist in understanding the Communion of Saints.

You can download the source material here.

Sample:

Graffiti found in Catacombs of St. Sebastian

Who should carry the most weight—Protestant pastors protesting Catholic theology today or pastors from the early Church who have the words of the Apostles still ringing in their ears?

From earliest times Christians went to the gravesites of saints and asked them to pray for them. This picture shows graffiti from the Catacombs of St. Sebastian in Rome with inscriptions in Hebrew, Greek and Latin imploring the prayers of Peter and Paul. “Petrus and Paulus, pray for us!”  “Peter and Paul, pray for victory.”

 St. Cyril

"Peter and Paul, pray for us"

In 350 A.D., St. Cyril wrote a remarkable and exquisitely detailed description of the Mass, which clearly corresponds with today’s Mass. In it we find this beautiful statement on the family of God which we all belong to, and which even today we pray for in every Mass:

“Upon completion of the spiritual Sacrifice, the bloodless worship, over that propitiatory victim, we call upon God for the common peace of the Churches, for the welfare of the world, for kings, for soldiers and allies, for the sick, for the afflicted, and in summary, we all pray and offer this Sacrifice for all who are in need.

“Then we make mention also of those who have already fallen asleep: first, the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition; next, we make mention also of the holy fathers and bishops who have already fallen asleep, and, to put it simply, of all among us who have already fallen asleep; for we believe that it will be of very great benefit to the souls of those for whom the petition is carried up, while this holy and most solemn Sacrifice is laid out.”           (The Faith of the Early Fathers,’ Vol. 1, William A. Jurgens, [Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1970] p. 363.). 

The faithful in heaven and on earth are united in the Mystical Body of Christ through the Person of Jesus. This is the meaning of the Communion of Saints.

{ 56 comments }

The Pain of Stolen Honey – In Preparation for “John the Baptist & Our Lord Baptism”

March 5, 2016

A painful price is paid when one reaches his hand into a swarm of bees to swipe some of their honey. Stingers fly and welts flare. I raised hives of bees as a boy and once I was stung 35 times in one day. Wild honey is not collected from wild bees without burning pain [...]

Read the full article →

Discovering the Place of Paul’s Shipwreck on Island of Malta

February 16, 2016

I am doing a show on EWTN’s Son Rise Morning Show on Tuesday about the shipwreck of St. Paul. So I am reposting this blog from our trip to Malta late last year. One of my favorite things is to discover the events and places of the Bible and to share them with others. The [...]

Read the full article →

Another Chart of the Apostles after the New Testament

February 13, 2016

I posted a chart a few weeks ago but this one surfaces and since everyone seemed very interested in the previous post, I thought you’d appreciate this one as well. Thanks to the ChurchPop.com websitesite.

Read the full article →

What Happened to the Apostles after the New Testament?

February 2, 2016

 

Read the full article →

“Was St. Paul a Catholic?” – Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live

January 26, 2016

Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live of Friday, January 23, 2016. Click here to listen on-line; for podcast or more listening options click here. 1.  Opened with a discussion of St. Paul life before conversion, his life and radical ministry and the facts and issues surrounding his martyrdom. 2.  In 1 Corinthians St. Paul [...]

Read the full article →

Mother Teresa to be Canonized! Confirmed Today! Join us for the event in ROME!

December 18, 2015

Today Pope Francis confirmed the second miracle and cleared Mother Teresa for canonization. We have plans all ready to go! For more information, contact Suzanne at sparran@ctscentral.com or by calling 800-727-1999, ext. 121.

Read the full article →

Brief Overviews of Paul’s Life – from the Place He Was Beheaded – Free Timeline

October 27, 2015

Since we visited these sites today, I thought I would share these two videos: 1) Short Biography of St. Paul from the Place he was Martyred; 2) a Tour of the Sites of St. Paul’s Last Days. Enjoy! A while ago I gave a short biography of St. Paul at Tre Fontone where St. Paul [...]

Read the full article →

Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live from Malta: “Who was St. Paul?”

October 7, 2015

It was great doing the Catholic Answers Live show on St. Paul from the Island of Malta. Here are the questions I answered in a very lively hour. To listen on-line listen here. To download the Podcast click here. **************************************** 1. What are you doing on the Island of Malta and tell us of St. [...]

Read the full article →

Canonization of Mother Teresa! Don’t Miss This – Join Us in Rome Next Year

September 12, 2015

It is happening! Join us for the canonization of Mother Teresa in Rome for a full Rome and Assisi pilgrimage.  We are the first to jump on this event – with hotels, flights, guides, buses and everything else reserved. For more info and to get your name on the list contact Suzanne at sparran@ctscentral.net or [...]

Read the full article →

Join us in Rome for Mother Teresa’s Canonization

September 9, 2015

   We have acquired information that the canonization of Mother Teresa will take place next year. If you’re interested in joining us for the canonization and a full pilgrimage to Rome andAssisi,  SEC, please contact Suzanne at​ sparran@ctscentral.net or 1-800-727-1999, ext.121. 

Read the full article →

Cut off His Head! John the Baptist

August 30, 2015

Beheading of John the Baptist August 29 Why was John so special? He was the last of the Old Testament prophets and the first of the New. He was the first to proclaim the news that Jesus was the Messiah, the Lamb of God. He was 100% from the lineage of Aaron the High Priest. [...]

Read the full article →

The Eucharist and the Fathers of the Church: Article by Steve Ray

August 19, 2015

The Eucharist and the Fathers of the Church, by Steve Ray The word “Eucharist” was used early in the Church to describe the Body and Blood of Christ under the forms of bread and wine. Eucharist comes from the Greek word for “thanks” (eucharistia), describing Christ’s actions: “And when he had given thanks, he broke [...]

Read the full article →

Fiesta of St. James! Celebrating his Feast Day at his Bones in Santiago (which means “St. James”); Walking the El Camino

July 25, 2015

What a mass of people! The Spanish people know how to celebrate and coming to Santiago de Compostela on the feast day of their primary saint, St. James the Greater, is quite an experience! By the way, this is the St. James who was called by Jesus on the shores of Galilee.  We started with [...]

Read the full article →