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MyCatholicSource.com Newsletter - September, 2017 [Plain text version (+ images)]

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MyCatholicSource.com Newsletter - September, 2017

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IN THIS ISSUE:

* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of September: Dedicated to the Seven Dolors of Mary / The Sorrowful Mother

* 10 Reflections on Friends / Friendship

* Letter of St. Therese on Suffering

* Liturgical Feasts in September

* 'Catholic Trivia'

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Think Baptism is Merely an External Sign?

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Dear Friend,

Greetings to you and best wishes for a blessed Fall, which starts this month on 9/22. We hope this newsletter finds you and your loved ones doing well.

On our end, we have been busy with the recent release of our 3rd publication (both ebook & paperback versions) and expect to stay busy as we continue working on this project, which we hope will help us to remain online. Please see below for more information.

And lastly, we once again cordially invite all subscribers and their loved ones to participate in our upcoming Ninth Annual Rosary Week to be held from 10/23/17-10/29/17. Participation is FREE & easy and can be done from any appropriate location - simply say a 5 decade Rosary each day that week (or for as many days as you can) for the indicated intentions. If you like, we can send you daily reminders so you won't forget. We hope you will join us in this 'spiritually rewarding' event, especially given that the world is so very much in need of prayer at this time. Please also invite your family, friends, and fellow parishioners to join in! Sign up now at www.MyCatholicSource.com/RosaryWeek . If you have already signed up, we send our warmest thanks.

Best wishes to you for God's blessings,

Your Friends at MyCatholicSource.com

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Prayer of Veneration of the Sorrowful Mother: "O God, in whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of sorrow pierced the most sweet soul of the glorious Mary, Mother and Virgin: grant in thy mercy, that we who call to mind her sorrows with veneration, may obtain the happy effect of thy Passion. Who livest." (Collect)

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MCS News & Notes

* Rosary Week: If you haven't already signed up for our Ninth Annual Rosary Week (to be held from 10/23/17-10/29/17), we urge you to do so now. And, please invite your friends, family & fellow parishioners too! We'd like as many of our fellow Catholics as possible to join together with us in this powerful prayer to our loving, Blessed Mother and we'd love for you to be a part of this effort. We think you'll be glad you did. To sign up for Rosary Week, please visit www.MyCatholicSource.com/RosaryWeek [Note: If you'd like assistance with praying the rosary, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/rosary/how_to_pray_the_rosary.htm . For additional information on the holy rosary, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/holy_rosary.htm ]

* New Book Releases: We are happy to report that since our last newsletter was prepared, we have released books 2 & 3 in the series referenced last month (in both Kindle & paperback formats). Both of these new releases are dedicated to YOU (see image below)...

Book Dedication

We are happy to report that the Kindle version of one of the new titles reached #1 in new releases (see image below)...

#1 New Release on Amazon.com

Years ago, a printout version of this title was originally prepared in response to user requests. We have been selling this printout ever since, and have been happy to note that it has received positive comments (for example, as indicated on our site: "Actual, Unsolicited Comments From Clergy Member Regarding This Printout: "Magnificent", "Brilliant", "Best I've Seen"). Coincidentally/providentially(?), we sold the last printout we had in stock on the very SAME DAY we began working on the Kindle version of this title. The timing of events has been a blessing as it will allow us to push back purchasing a (badly needed) new printer for a while. Now that the printouts are out of stock, we will begin selling ONLY the ebook & paperback versions of this title. Thanks so much for your support over the years!

As for our other newly released title, which is now available in both ebook & paperback formats, it is based on an expanded version of another very popular article on our site concerning the changes in the Church since Vatican II. Here is a quote from the publication...

"All in all, it is quite clear that much has been lost since the Second Vatican Council. It used to be that Catholics were united in belief and worship, they could go anywhere in the world and feel at home at Mass, prelates were orthodox, priests weren't afraid to talk about sin and hell and they didn't experiment with the liturgy, the Blessed Sacrament was treated with great reverence, our Blessed Mother was revered, Catholics obeyed the priests, bishops and the pope, teachers were orthodox, books with imprimaturs were 'safe', most Catholics knew and practiced their faith, lay persons didn't try to usurp priestly duties, dissenters were punished, the sense of sin was clear, people believed in the devil and knew that 'the whole world is under the power of the evil one' (1 Jn. 5:19), priests were available, Mass - a solemn sacrifice - was focused on God and was not an occasion for socializing, self-affirmation, or entertainment, Masses were reverent, not manipulated, and kneeling & genuflection for our Lord was required, parishioners were well-dressed, modest, and had manners, all was orderly and respectful, fear of the Lord was fostered and pleasing God was paramount, Catholics rejected Protestant errors, heresy was anathematized, churches were beautiful, tabernacles were prominent. A Catholic Mass was uplifting and was distinctly different from Protestant services. The Church was not worldly. She was known to be divine and not subject to change to suit the 'majority'." (Vatican II and its Fruits)

Note that both of the new titles referenced above include a related 'companion article' at no additional charge.

We have also added fliers to our site for ALL currently available titles so that you can help to spread the word about these books (see www.MyCatholicSource.com/Media ). Thank you so much for helping to get the word out there!

For more information and to purchase/download these titles, please visit www.MyCatholicSource.com/Media

Thank you for your support! Your purchases help keep us online.

* Note to Optimum/Optonline Customers: We are happy to report that the email blocking issue we were experiencing by your email provider does finally appear to be resolved. Please note that we have been working on this issue for months now since our recent server switch. The IP numbers that were assigned to our new server were blocked by your provider from the start, for no fault of our own. When we contacted your email provider for help, things never progressed, despite their telling us they were working on a resolution. Finally, after nothing changed and we remained unable to contact our subscribers and other visitors for months, and after our emails to this provider seeking a resolution started to get ignored, we were forced to file a complaint with the BBB. We will spare you the details of this (frustrating) exchange with the email provider in response to the complaint, but suffice it to say that the issue does now, finally, SEEM to be resolved (however, we won't know for certain until this newsletter is sent out). We sincerely apologize to subscribers who were affected by this issue and thank you for your understanding over the last several months.

* Have you experienced a problem with our forms? It has come to our attention that the large text input fields on our forms may not appear on some devices running Safari (on our testing devices, these fields DID appear properly in other browsers - i.e. Firefox, IE, and Chrome). In our testing, we traced the issue down to an ad blocker used with Safari (even though the affected fields are NOT ads), and we were able to successfully resolve the issue by whitelisting our site from within the ad blocker. If you experience this issue, please try either whitelisting our site in your ad blocker or try another browser(s). If you have tried the above, yet still experience issues, please let us know [please be sure to provide details about the affected page(s), device type, browser, and operating system]. Thank you.

* Service Interruption / Next Month's Newsletter: Our October 2017 newsletter may arrive a bit earlier - OR later - than usual due to vacations. If possible, we may send it out a bit early (e.g. 9/28, 9/29). Otherwise, the newsletter may arrive a bit late (e.g. 10/3, 10/4). Also, there will be an interruption in many of our services early next month (early October) due to vacations. Services affected may include: lending library, live chat, post / ad / order processing, subscription processing, correspondence, site/blog updates, etc. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. For dates of service interruption, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/notices.htm . Please note that although you may notice delays in the above services, access to the MyCatholicSource.com website itself should NOT be affected.

* Lending Library Donations: We send our thanks for the generous Lending Library donations received lately. We expect to pass on a number of these titles to a local parish. Thanks again for your generosity.

* Feedback: We have received a number of feedback messages lately that do not contain an email address. If you submit feedback and are hoping for a response, please include your valid email address. Thank you.

* During this 'back to school' season, visitors may be interested in the user-submitted article "Attention: Read this if you love your children". It can be found at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/ua/user_article-attention_read_this_if_you_love_your_children.htm

* Service Delays: Due to medical reasons, please continue to expect some sporadic delays in all correspondence & services (including processing of posts) for the foreseeable future. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for any prayers.

* Help keep us online! Donate any amount (from $1+) at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/donate.htm [note that we do NOT sell donor information to third parties and we do NOT contact you about your donation unless it is necessary (e.g. processing problems)]. Thank you for your much needed support!

* Please invite your friends to visit MyCatholicSource.com. For our "easy to use" invite-a-friend page, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/fdb/invite_a_friend.htm . Please invite some friends today! Your support helps keep us going!

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* Please see our Notices page at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/notices.htm for dates of anticipated service delays through October 2017.

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* Reminder: To help ensure delivery of your newsletter, please put our e-mail address in your 'trusted senders' list - or use other applicable options your e-mail provider may offer to let them know that our e-mail is wanted. Thank you.

* Please visit our Notices page for timely news and other important information regarding MyCatholicSource.com - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/notices.htm

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The Month of September: Dedicated to the Seven Dolors of Mary / The Sorrowful Mother

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"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother" (Jn. 19:25)

"Nor was Mary less than was befitting the Mother of Christ. When the apostles fled, she stood before the Cross and with reverent gaze beheld her Son's wounds, for she waited not for her Child's death, but the world's salvation." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, 396 A.D.)

"As the sun surpasses all the stars in luster, so the sorrows of Mary surpass all the tortures of the martyrs." (St. Basil)

"Oh! In what floods of tears, in what an abyss of sorrow is she whelmed, that Virgin Mother, as mourning she beholds her Son taken down from the blood-stained tree and laid in her arms!" (Liturgical Year)

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Related Resources...

* Devotion to the Seven Sorrows - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/the_Blessed_Virgin/popular_marian_devotions.htm

* Mary / The Passion & Death of Jesus Reflections - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/qt/mary_our_mother_reflections_passion_and_death_of_Jesus.htm

* Scapulars (Incl. Black Scapular of the Seven Dolours of Mary) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/the_Blessed_Virgin/scapulars.htm

* Marian Prayers - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pr/prayers_and_hymns_Marian.htm

* Marian Facts - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/the_Blessed_Virgin/facts.htm

* Blessed Virgin Mary Reflections - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/qt/mary_our_mother_reflections.htm

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Papal Writings) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pd/classic_encyclicals_by_category.htm

* Marian Scriptural References - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/the_Blessed_Virgin/marian_scriptural_references.htm

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-Blessed_Virgin_Mary.htm

* Mary, Our Mother Section - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/mary_our_mother.htm

Looking For Something Else? Try Our Various Indexes For 15,000+ Entries - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/help.htm

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"And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed." (Lk. 2:34-35)

"[W]hat anguish unutterable must have filled the soul of this Mother, when raising up her eyes, she sees the mangled Body of her Son, stretched upon the cross, with His face all covered with blood, and His head wreathed with a crown of thorns!" (Gueranger)

"In martyrs, the intensity of their love mitigated their sufferings, but with Mary it was different; the more she loved, the more she suffered, and the greater was her martyrdom." {Richard of St. Victor}

"In the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus is in an agony; in the judgment-hall, where He is scourged, crowned with thorns, condemned to death, not there do we find Mary. But she knew beforehand all these agonies; she knew and saw them. When she professed herself the handmaid of the Lord for the mother's office, and when, at the foot of the altar, she offered up her whole self with her Child Jesus - then and thereafter she took her part in the laborious expiation made by her Son for the sins of the world. It is certain, therefore, that she suffered in the very depths of her soul with His most bitter sufferings and with His torments. Moreover, it was before the eyes of Mary that was to be finished the Divine Sacrifice for which she had borne and brought up the Victim. As we contemplate Him in the last and most piteous of those Mysteries, there stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother, who, in a miracle of charity, so that she might receive us as her sons, offered generously to Divine Justice her own Son, and died in her heart with Him, stabbed with the sword of sorrow." (Pope Leo XIII, "Iucunda Semper Expectatione", 1894 A.D.)

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Martyrs: "Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy glories. Amen." (Raccolta)

Virgo dolorosíssima, ora pro nobis. [Latin for: Virgin most sorrowful, pray for us.]

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10 Reflections on Friends / Friendship

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1. "A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure." (Sirach 6:14)

2. "For a friend is, properly speaking, one to whom we wish good" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

3. "You are my friends if you do what I command you." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Jn. 15:14)

4. "Since true friendship is based on virtue, whatever there is contrary to virtue in a friend is an obstacle to friendship, and whatever in him is virtuous is an incentive to friendship" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

5. "True friendship rejoices when it has to suffer for a beloved friend." (St. Maximilian Kolbe)

6. "The Philosopher proves this from five things that are proper to friendship. For in the first place, every friend wishes his friend to be and to live; secondly, he desires good things for him; thirdly, he does good things to him; fourthly, he takes pleasure in his company; fifthly, he is of one mind with him, rejoicing and sorrowing in almost the same things." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

7. "He who is unfaithful to God cannot be truly a friend to man." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church)

8. "[A]ll friendship is safeguarded and increased by the practice and consideration of friendly deeds." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

9. "With three things I am delighted, for they are pleasing to the LORD and to men: Harmony among brethren, friendship among neighbors, and the mutual love of husband and wife." (Sirach 25:1)

10. "For what else is friendship which has its name from no other source than love, and is nowhere faithful but in Christ, in whom alone it can be eternal and happy?" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

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For more reflections, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/qt/reflections_categorized.htm

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Letter of St. Therese on Suffering

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The following is from a letter of St. Therese of Lisieux to her sister Celine.

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Jesus offers you the cross, a very heavy cross, and you are afraid of not being able to carry it without giving way. Why? Our Beloved Himself fell three times on the way to Calvary, and why should we not imitate our Spouse? What a favour from Jesus, and how He must love us to send us so great a sorrow! Eternity itself will not be long enough to bless Him for it. He heaps his favours upon us as upon the greatest Saints. What, then, are His loving designs for our souls? That is a secret which will only be revealed to us in our Heavenly Home, on the day when "the Lord shall wipe away all our tears." Now we have nothing more to hope for on earth - "the cool evenings are passed" - for us suffering alone remains! Ours is an enviable lot, and the Seraphim in Heaven are jealous of our happiness. The other day I came across this striking passage: "To be resigned and to be united to the will of God are not the same; there is the same difference between them as that which exists between union and unity; in union there are still two, in unity there is but one." Yes, let us be one with God even in this life; and for this we should be more than resigned, we should embrace the Cross with joy.

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For more on suffering, try here: http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/catholic_life/cathlife_suffering.htm

For more reflections, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/qt/reflections_categorized.htm

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Liturgical Feasts in September

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for September as they appear at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/saints/feasts.htm

Note: (T) = Traditional, (N) = New (Novus Ordo)

Reminder: Feasts may be superseded / transferred / etc.

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September 1 - St. Giles (T)

September 1 - Twelve Holy Brothers (T)

September 2 - St. Stephen, king of Hungary (T)

September 3 - St. Pius X, pope (T)

September 3 - St. Gregory the Great, pope (N)

September 5 - St. Laurence Justinian (T)

September 7 - St. Cloud (T)

September 8 - Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

September 8 - St. Adrian (T)

September 8 - The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N)

September 9 - St. Gorgonius (T)

September 9 - St. Peter Claver (T)

September 9 - St. Peter Claver (N)

September 10 - St. Nicholas of Tolentino (T)

September 11 - Sts. Protus & Hyacinth (T)

September 12 - The Most Holy Name of Mary (T)

September 12 - The Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N)

September 13 - St. John Chrysostom (N)

September 14 - Exaltation of the Holy Cross (T)

September 14 - The Exaltation of the Holy Cross (N)

September 15 - Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

September 15 - St. Nicomedes (T)

September 15 - Our Lady of Sorrows (N)

September 16 - Sts. Cornelius (pope) & Cyprian (T)

September 16 - Sts. Euphemia, Lucy & Geminianus (T)

September 16 - Sts. Cornelius (pope) & Cyprian (N)

September 17 - Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi (T)

September 17 - St. Robert Bellarmine (N)

September 18 - St. Joseph of Cupertino (T)

September 19 - St. Januarius & others (T)

September 19 - St. Januarius (N)

September 20 - St. Eustace & others (T)

September 20 - Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang & companions (N)

September 21 - St. Matthew, apostle & evangelist (T)

September 21 - St. Matthew, apostle & evangelist (N)

September 22 - St. Maurice & others (T)

September 22 - St. Thomas of Villanova (T)

September 23 - St. Linus, pope (T)

September 23 - St. Thecla (T)

September 23 - St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) (N)

September 24 - Our Lady of Ransom (T)

September 26 - Sts. Cyprian & Justina (T)

September 26 - Sts. John de Brebeuf, Isaac Jogues & companions (T)

September 26 - Sts. Cosmas & Damian (N)

September 27 - Sts. Cosmas & Damian (T)

September 27 - St. Vincent de Paul (N)

September 28 - St. Wenceslaus (T)

September 28 - St. Lawrence Ruiz & companions (N)

September 28 - St. Wenceslaus (N)

September 29 - Dedication of the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel (T)

September 29 - Sts. Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, archangels (N)

September 30 - St. Jerome (T)

September 30 - St. Jerome (N)

Please Note: Above may exclude moveable feasts. For moveable feasts, try here: http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/latin_mass_and_tradition/traditional_liturgical_calendar.htm . For other feasts, try the MCS Daily Digest each day at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/mcs_daily_digest.asp

Also...

9/20/17 - Ember Wednesday (T)

9/22/17 - Ember Friday (T)

9/23/17 - Ember Saturday (T)

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'Catholic Trivia'

1. What has been called "the earliest surviving catechetical text"?

2. What is the term for someone who enters a second marriage after the first spouse dies?

3. What does justification mean, both in its active and passive sense?

4. What has been called "the greatest method of praying", "the scourge of the devil", "a treasure of graces", and "the most powerful weapon" by popes and saints?

5. What do the words "God is holy" mean?

6. What is the name of the Catalogue of Errors on Grace and Sin, circa 435-442?

7. Complete the passage... "Walk with wise men and ___, but the companion of fools ___." (Prov. 13:20)

8. What is meant by saying confession ought to be short?

9. He who condones the wicked and he who condemns the just are what to the Lord?

10. What does St. Thomas Aquinas say that perfect married life means?

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Answers:

1. The Didache has been called "the earliest surviving catechetical text". It dates from approximately 70 A.D.

2. Someone who enters a second marriage after the first spouse dies is called a digmatist.

3. "In its active sense, Justification is the act of God declaring and making a person just; in its passive sense, it is the change in a soul which passes from the state of sin to that of sanctifying grace or justice." (Catholic Dictionary)

4. The holy rosary been called "the greatest method of praying", "the scourge of the devil", "a treasure of graces", and "the most powerful [spiritual] weapon" by popes and saints.

5. "They [the words 'God is holy'] mean that God loves and wills only what is good, and hates what is evil." (Catechism of St. John Neumann)

6. The Catalogue of Errors on Grace and Sin, circa 435-442, is called Indiculus.

7. "Walk with wise men and you will become wise, but the companion of fools will fare badly." (Prov. 13:20)

8. "That the confession ought to be short, means that we should say nothing that is useless for the purpose of confession." (Catechism of St. Pius X)

9. "He who condones the wicked, he who condemns the just, are both an abomination to the LORD." (Prov. 17:15)

10. "Perfect married life means the complete dedication of the parents for the benefit of their children." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

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For more information concerning the topics above, try our General A-Z Index at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/help.htm

Like trivia? You might enjoy our crossword puzzles located at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/catholic_activities/catholic_fun_crossword_puzzles.htm

You might also be interested in the Q & A and historical information which may be found each day on the MCS Daily Digest at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/mcs_daily_digest.asp

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Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Think Baptism is Merely an External Sign?

It is good for Catholics to be able to defend their faith against attacks (or even simple questions) from those outside the Church. We therefore hope you may find the following "apologetics brief" helpful.

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Note: Text below is taken from http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/nc/non_catholics__baptism.htm  

The following may be used as discussion points when discoursing with those outside the Church (or even among Catholics).

Topic: Do You Think Baptism is Merely an External Sign? [Note: Topic is directed at certain Protestants]

Consider:

* If Baptism is merely a sign and does not itself cause regeneration, why does Christ require it as a condition of salvation ["Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit" (Jn. 3:5)]?

* If Baptism is just a sign, why does Scripture say that persons are saved through water (see 1 Pt. 3:20-21)?

* If Baptism is a mere sign, why does St. Paul say that baptism washes away sin (cf. Acts 22:16)?

* If Baptism is just a sign, why does St. Paul say that persons are saved through baptism (see Ti. 3:5)?

--> Did You Know...? The Catholic Church does not teach that the water in baptism has any intrinsic power, but rather that God uses the water to effect what is signified by the water (that is, a cleansing). "If, therefore, there is any grace in the water, it is not from the nature of water but from the Spirit's presence there." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church, c. 375 A.D.)

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"If any one saith that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary to salvation; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"[T]he sacrament of Baptism holds the first place in the order of necessity" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Baptism in Greek means dipping in Latin; it is called dipping because man is thereby changed for the better by the spirit of grace, and become something far different from what he was... Just as the outer body is cleansed by water, so by its mysterious effects the soul is secretly purified through the Holy Spirit." (St. Isidore, Doctor of the Church)

"This is truly a spiritual birth, and therefore it is not of blood nor of the will of man nor of the will of the flesh, but of God. This is called adoption. For we were something before we became sons of God, and we received a benefit by which we became what we were not." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 412 A.D.)

"The universal and absolute necessity of Baptism our Savior has declared in these words: Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"At the moment that the soul receives holy baptism, original sin is taken away from her, and grace is infused into her, and that inclination to sin, which remains from the original corruption...is indeed a source of weakness, but the soul can keep the bridle on it if she choose." (St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church)

"For from Baptism we receive the Spirit of Christ. At that same moment in which the priests invoke the Spirit, heaven opens, and He descends and rests upon the waters; and those who are baptized are clothed in Him. For the Spirit is absent from all those who are born of the flesh, until they come to the water of re-birth; and then they receive the Holy Spirit." (St. Aphraates, c. 336-345 A.D.)

"Should anyone desire a striking figure and image (of the efficacy of Baptism) let him consider the history of Naaman the Syrian leper, of whom the Scriptures inform us that when he had washed seven times in the waters of the Jordan he was so cleansed from his leprosy that his flesh became like the flesh of a child. The remission of all sin, original and actual, is therefore the peculiar effect of Baptism. That this was the object of its institution by our Lord and Savior is clearly stated by the Prince of the Apostles, to say nothing of other testimonies, when he says: Do penance and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"If anyone denies that infants newly born from their mothers' wombs are to be baptized, even though they be born of baptized parents, or says they are baptized indeed for the remission of sins, but that they derive nothing of original sin from Adam, which must be expiated by the laver of regeneration for the attainment of life everlasting, whence it follows, that in them the form of baptism for the remission of sins is understood to be not true, but false: let him be anathema. For what the Apostle has said: 'By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned' [Rom. 5:12], is not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it. For by reason of this rule of faith from a tradition of the apostles even infants, who could not as yet commit any sins of themselves, are for this reason truly baptized for the remission of sins, so that in them there may be washed away by regeneration, what they have contracted by generation.. 'For unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God' [John 3:5]." (Council of Trent, 1546 A.D.)

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For more apologetics resources, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/non-catholics.htm

For more on baptism, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-baptism.htm

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In Closing...

"Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (St. James, Jms. 1:2-4)

"Here learn the science of the saints: All is to be found in the Passion of Jesus." (St. Paul of the Cross)

"The silence is again broken: Jesus speaks His third word, and it is to His Mother; but He does not call her by that dear name, for it would redouble her pain: 'Woman!' He says, 'behold thy son!' Then looking upon John, He says to him: 'Son! Behold thy Mother!' What an exchange was here for Mary! But oh! What a blessing it brought upon John, and through him to all mankind: The Mother of God was made our Mother!...[L]et us, today, gratefully receive this last testament of our Jesus, who, having by His Incarnation made us the adopted children of His heavenly Father, now, in His dying moments, makes us children of His own blessed Mother." (Gueranger)

"And here Jesus teaches us how to die, for if He would have His Mother with Him in the hour of His great surrender, then how shall we dare to miss saying daily: 'Pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.'?" (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

Memorare: Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

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