One Last Goodbye…

Fred was a nominal Christian but a very ‘God-fearing’ one. Although he wasn’t zealously devout and perhaps not too into God, he, yet made it a point to spend time with Him every day, never failing to read his Bible, even if only a few verses, no matter how busy he was. He never boasted about his relationship with God nor did he preach. All he did was good work and whenever, he saw someone hungry, he gave food; when he saw someone crying, he comforted them to the best of his ability.

Blessed with a prosperous business, he never considered money as something to be hoarded for he believed that if he could spend money on bringing a smile on someone’s face, it was worth a lot more than what that money could have otherwise bought. And this was the sticking point with his wife who always chided him for spending money on others and not buying more property, more gold, etc. But it never bothered him as he always considered Christ’s teachings as paramount. Give, is what Christ said and give, is what he did. Continue reading “One Last Goodbye…”


Vatican City, 28 November 2012 (VIS) – “How do we speak to God in our times? How can we communicate the Gospel to open the way to its salvific truth?” The Holy Father offered an answer to these questions in his catechesis during today’s general audience, held in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

“In Jesus of Nazareth”, the Pope said, “we encounter the face of God, descended from Heaven to immerse Himself in the world of mankind and to teach ‘the art of living’, the road to happiness; to free us from sin and to make us true children of God”.

He continued, “speaking about God means, first and foremost, being clear about what we must bring to the men and women of our time. God has spoken to us, … not an abstract or hypothetical God, but a real God, a God Who exists, Who entered history and remains present in history: the God of Jesus Christ … as a response to the fundamental question of why and how to live. Therefore, speaking about God requires a continual growth in faith, familiarity with Jesus and His Gospel, a profound knowledge of God and strong passion for His plan for salvation, without giving in to the temptations of success. … We must not fear the humility of taking small steps, trusting in the leaven that makes the dough rise slowly and mysteriously. In speaking about God, in the work of evangelisation under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we must return to the simplicity and essential nature of proclamation: the concrete Good News of God Who cares about us, the love of God which Jesus Christ brought close to us, even unto the Cross, and which in the Resurrection opens us to life without end, to eternal life”.

The Pope explained that for St. Paul, communicating the faith did not mean “showing himself, but rather saying openly and publicly what he had seen and heard in his encounter with Christ, and how much his life had been transformed by that encounter. … The Apostle was not satisfied with merely proclaiming the words, but committed his entire existence to the great work of faith. … To speak about God, we must make space for Him, confident that He acts upon our weakness. We must make space for Him without fear, with simplicity and joy, in the profound conviction that the more we place Him – and not ourselves – at the centre of our lives, the more fruitful our communication will be. … This also holds true for Christian communities. They are called to communicate the transforming action of God’s grace, overcoming individualism, closure, selfishness and indifference, bringing the love of God to daily relationships. We must must act to ensure … we always announce Christ, not ourselves”.

“At this point”, the Holy Father continued, we must ask ourselves “how Jesus Christ Himself communicated. Jesus … spoke about His Father (Whom He called ‘Abba’) and about the Kingdom of God, looking with compassion on the discomforts and difficulties of human existence. … From the Gospel we see how Jesus was interested in every human situation He encountered, He immersed Himself in the lives of the men and women of His time, with complete trust in the help of the Father. … In Him, proclamation and life were entwined: Jesus acted and taught, always taking as a starting point His intimate relationship with God the Father. This approach gives fundamental indications to Christians: living in faith and charity is a way of speaking about God in our times, because it demonstrates the credibility of what we say in words through a life lived in Christ. We must take care to grasp the signs of our times, and thereby to identify the potential, the desires and the obstacles we encounter in contemporary culture, in particular the desire for authenticity, the yearning for transcendence, the sensibility for protecting creation. And we must communicate without fear the answer offered by faith in God”.

“Speaking about God, therefore, means enabling others to understand through words and acts that God is not a competitor in our existence but rather its true guarantor, the guarantor of the greatness of the human person. Thus we return to the beginning: speaking about God means communicating, with power and simplicity, through words and the life we lead, that which is essential: the God of Jesus Christ, the God Who showed us a love so great that He took on human flesh, died and rose again for us; the God Who asks us to follow Him and to allow ourselves to be transformed by His immense love in order to renew our lives and our relationships; the God Who gave us the Church, to allow us to journey together and, through the Word and the Sacraments, to renew the entire City of Man so that it might become the City of God”, concluded the Pope.

Memorial of St. Francis Xavier, priest

Collect: O God, who through the preaching of Saint Francis Xavier won many peoples to yourself, grant that the hearts of the faithful may burn with the same zeal for the faith and that Holy Church may everywhere rejoice in an abundance of offspring. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Old Calendar: St. Francis Xavier

St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552) was born in the castle of Xavier in Navarre, Spain. In 1525 he went to Paris where he met St. Ignatius Loyola and with whom he received Holy Orders in Venice in 1537. In 1540 he was sent to evangelize India. He labored in western India, the island of Ceylon, Malacca, Molucca Islands, island of Mindanao (Philippines), and Japan. In 1552 he started on a voyage to China but died on Sancian Island.

Jesse Tree ~ Adam and Eve

St. Francis Xavier
This saint, one of the Church’s most illustrious missionaries, came from a noble Basque family in Spain. He studied at the University of Paris, where he taught philosophy after obtaining his degree of master of arts. Here he met Ignatius of Loyola and was enrolled as one of the first seven Jesuits. They decided to go to the Holy Land, but the war between the Turks and Venice prevented this, so for a time Francis labored at Padua, Bologna, and Rome.

In 1540 Ignatius chose him as the first missionary to the Portuguese East Indies. Francis sailed from Lisbon armed with four papal briefs making him nuncio with full powers and recommending him to the Eastern princes. He landed at Goa in India and began a vast apostolate lasting over ten years. Here he instructed the adults, gathered the children by ringing a bell in the streets, catechized them, and also visited the hospitals and prisons. He then turned to the native Indians, teaching the simple folk by versifying Catholic doctrine and fitting the verses to popular tunes. He then went on to Cape Comorin and began the conversion of the Paravas, some days baptizing so many that at night he could not raise his arm from fatigue. Then to Travencore where he founded forty-five churches in various villages. Then to Malacca in Malaya, and for eighteen months from island to island, preaching, instructing, baptizing.

On his return to Goa he heard of the vast harvest of souls awaiting the laborers in Japan and he set out for this field with several companions, arriving at Kagoshima in 1549. He set himself to learn the language and started to preach and teach with such success that twelve years later his converts were found still retaining their first fervor. In 1551 he returned to Malacca to revisit his converts in India. Now a new goal loomed up before his eyes—pagan China, but he was not to reach it.

Arriving on the island of Sancian at the mouth of the Canton river, he became ill of a fever and would have died abandoned on the burning sands of the shore if a poor man named Alvarez had not taken him to his hut. Here he lingered for two weeks, praying between spells of delirium, and finally died, his eyes fixed with great tenderness on his crucifix. He was buried in a shallow grave and his body covered with quicklime, but when exhumed three months later it was found fresh and incorrupt. It was taken to Goa where it is still enshrined. St. Francis Xavier was proclaimed patron of foreign missions and of all missionary works by Pope St. Pius X.

Excerpted from A Saint A Day by Berchmans Bittle, O.F.M.Cap

Solemnity of Christ the King

Collect: Almighty ever-living God, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of the universe, grant, we pray, that the whole creation, set free from slavery, may render your majesty service and ceaselessly proclaim your praise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Old Calendar: Last Sunday after Pentecost

The Feast of Christ the King was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as an antidote to secularism, a way of life which leaves God out of man’s thinking and living and organizes his life as if God did not exist. The feast is intended to proclaim in a striking and effective manner Christ’s royalty over individuals, families, society, governments, and nations.

Today’s Mass establishes the titles for Christ’s royalty over men: 1) Christ is God, the Creator of the universe and hence wields a supreme power over all things; “All things were created by Him”; 2) Christ is our Redeemer, He purchased us by His precious Blood, and made us His property and possession; 3) Christ is Head of the Church, “holding in all things the primacy”; 4) God bestowed upon Christ the nations of the world as His special possession and dominion.

Today’s Mass also describes the qualities of Christ’s kingdom. This kingdom is: 1) supreme, extending not only to all people but also to their princes and kings; 2) universal, extending to all nations and to all places; 3) eternal, for “The Lord shall sit a King forever”; 4) spiritual, Christ’s “kingdom is not of this world”. — Rt. Rev. Msgr. Rudolph G. Bandas

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, this feast is celebrated on the last Sunday of October.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Christ the King as Represented in the Liturgy
The liturgy is an album in which every epoch of Church history immortalizes itself. Therein, accordingly, can be found the various pictures of Christ beloved during succeeding centuries. In its pages we see pictures of Jesus suffering and in agony; we see pictures of His Sacred Heart; yet these pictures are not proper to the nature of the liturgy as such; they resemble baroque altars in a gothic church. Classic liturgy knows but one Christ: the King, radiant, majestic, and divine.

With an ever-growing desire, all Advent awaits the “coming King”; in the chants of the breviary we find repeated again and again the two expressions “King” and “is coming.” On Christmas the Church would greet, not the Child of Bethlehem, but the Rex Pacificus — “the King of peace gloriously reigning.” Within a fortnight, there follows a feast which belongs to the greatest of the feasts of the Church year — the Epiphany. As in ancient times oriental monarchs visited their principalities (theophany), so the divine King appears in His city, the Church; from its sacred precincts He casts His glance over all the world….On the final feast of the Christmas cycle, the Presentation in the Temple, holy Church meets her royal Bridegroom with virginal love: “Adorn your bridal chamber, O Sion, and receive Christ your King!” The burden of the Christmas cycle may be summed up in these words: Christ the King establishes His Kingdom of light upon earth!

If we now consider the Easter cycle, the luster of Christ’s royal dignity is indeed somewhat veiled by His sufferings; nevertheless, it is not the suffering Jesus who is present to the eyes of the Church as much as Christ the royal Hero and Warrior who upon the battlefield of Golgotha struggles with the mighty and dies in triumph. Even during Lent and Passiontide the Church acclaims her King. The act of homage on Palm Sunday is intensely stirring; singing psalms in festal procession we accompany our Savior singing: Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe, “Glory, praise and honor be to Thee, Christ, O King!” It is true that on Good Friday the Church meditates upon the Man of Sorrows in agony upon the Cross, but at the same time, and perhaps more so, she beholds Him as King upon a royal throne. The hymn Vexilla Regis, “The royal banners forward go,” is the more perfect expression of the spirit from which the Good Friday liturgy has arisen. Also characteristic is the verse from Psalm 95, Dicite in gentibus quia Dominus regnavit, to which the early Christians always added, a ligno, “Proclaim among the Gentiles: the Lord reigns from upon the tree of the Cross!” During Paschal time the Church is so occupied with her glorified Savior and Conqueror that kingship references become rarer; nevertheless, toward the end of the season we celebrate our King’s triumph after completing the work of redemption, His royal enthronement on Ascension Thursday.

Neither in the time after Pentecost is the picture of Christ as King wholly absent from the liturgy. Corpus Christi is a royal festival: “Christ the King who rules the nations, come, let us adore” (Invit.). In the Greek Church the feast of the Transfiguration is the principal solemnity in honor of Christ’s kingship, Summum Regem gloriae Christum adoremus (Invit.). Finally at the sunset of the ecclesiastical year, the Church awaits with burning desire the return of the King of Majesty.

We will overlook further considerations in favor of a glance at the daily Offices. How often do we not begin Matins with an act of royal homage: “The King of apostles, of martyrs, of confessors, of virgins — come, let us adore” (Invit.). Lauds is often introduced with Dominus regnavit, “The Lord is King”. Christ as King is also a first consideration at the threshold of each day; for morning after morning we renew our oath of fidelity at Prime: “To the King of ages be honor and glory.” Every oration is concluded through our Mediator Christ Jesus “who lives and reigns forever.” Yes, age-old liturgy beholds Christ reigning as King in His basilica (etym.: “the king’s house”), upon the altar as His throne.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

What Every Catholic Needs to Know About Hell

Oct15.2012 Catholic Glasses

Jesus spoke about Hell more than anyone else in the Bible. It is not a Mercy to tell people what they want to hear. Admonish the sinner, is one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy. If they call you names, for telling them the truth. Let them. They do not want to change their minds, to conform to the Mind of Christ, nor the Mind of His Catholic Church. They are comfortable in their Mortal Sins. They don’t want to change. Too many other people in their lives are in the same Mortal Sin. It may mean giving up those friends who commit Mortal Sins, with them.

But, Jesus says, “What does it profit you, if you gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of your soul?”

Yes. You are given “free will” by Jesus; to choose Him or ignore Him. You do get to choose. Bravo. Then don’t belly ache, if you find yourselves in Hell someday; where there is no other choices left to you. Your Wills – will be fixed for all eternity. You chose where you wanted to spend eternity. You have no one else to blame, but yourself.

While there is still time; to choose, choose Jesus. He is Love, and Mercy, but at the same time, He is Divine Justice too. You can say, “I’m sorry. I need Your Help, Jesus, to be good, to make a change and to make a good Confession.” Do not miss these opportunities, God gives you – to repent. We are living in the Time of Mercy, before the Time of Justice arrives.

Read the “Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska.” It is the masterpiece of our times. Jesus told Saint Faustina that soon He will come back, but before He does, He will grant us a Time of Mercy, before He comes as Our Just Judge. While we are still on The Way, let us love and forgive one another, and Confess Our Sins.

Hopefully, we will meet each other in heaven, and glorify God together, in heaven, for all eternity. You and I get to choose. Let’s choose to do good, and avoid evil. Teach goodness to your children by word and a good example.

Read the Catholic Bible Verses in the New Testament given By Jesus for us to read. Hell is real, my friends. Jesus talks about Hell more than anyone else in the New Testament. Start Reading Matthew’s Gospel Chapter 24. Matthew’s Gospel is my favorite Gospel. Get your Catholic Bible blessed by a Catholic Priest or Catholic Deacon. Read your Bible for at least 15 minutes everyday. Or go to daily Mass, and hear the Bible Readings for that day. You will be fed with the Word of God, and also in Holy Communion, the Word Made Flesh – Jesus’ Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity – truly Present as His Daily Present of Himself to you, in daily Holy Communion.

Catholics have The Menu [the Bible] and The Meal [Jesus’ Precious Body & Blood – in HOLY COMMUNION].

Become a Catholic. You will never regret it. You will praise God for that gift, for all Eternity.


October 2, 2012 by Parchment Paradigm



At today’s angelus, which he recited from his study window overlooking St. Peter’s Square after his visit to a Roman parish, the Pope recalled that October is the month of the rosary, and he urged the faithful to “turn frequently to this prayer, which once was the daily prayer of Christian families.”He observed that the rosary “unites, in a wonderful way, simplicity and profoundness, the individual and the community aspects. The rosary is in itself a contemplative prayer, and has great strength for intercession.” “There are many intentions we can entrust to Mary,” the Holy Father went on. “In particular I urge you to recite the rosary for the synod of the bishops of Europe, now taking place in he Vatican. I am trying diligently to participate, and I can see with what great pastoral concern the synod fathers are facing the great challenges of the European continent. What is strongly emerging is the need for a renewed and courageous evangelization, a vast missionary action which takes into account the changed situations in Europe, which is increasingly multi-ethnic and multi-cultural.”The Pope then recited the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square, after which he remarked that “today is Mental Health Day, promoted by the World Health organization.” He also mentioned that Italy today is celebrating the Day of Social Communications, on the theme ‘Mass Media: A Friendly Presence Next to those Seeking the Father.”ANG/ROSARY/… VIS 991011 (26


Holy Land custodian to make historic Indian visit


The Custos of the Holy Land is the Minister Provincial of the Friars Minor living throughout the Middle East.


New Delhi:

The Custos of the Holy land, Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa is visiting India for the first time in its 700 years of its existence.

Incontro con PizzaballaIncontro con Pizzaballa (Photo credit: don Tommaso)

During his six-day visit starting September 24, the Franciscan priest will interact with the Indian bishops, priests, nuns, religious and seminarians.

A day after his arrival in Bangalore, the priest will attend a session with the Religious and priests, Students and staff of the Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram (DVK), Pontifical Athenaeum of Philosophy, Theology and Canon law.

The theme of the meet in DVK, Bangalore is “Holy Land: The Christian Concerns.”

On September 28, Fr. Pizzaballa attends the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) at St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore.

He will address the Catholic hierarchy of India on the concerns of the Indian pilgrimages to Holy Land.

Jerusalem: The Three Roads to the Holy Land      Jerusalem: The Three Roads               to the Holy Land                        (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fr. Jayaseellan Pitchaimuthu, a Franciscan serving in the Holy Tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem and the chaplain of the Indian migrant Community and the pilgrims in the Holy Land, said Indian pilgrims have not fully benefited with the service.

1759 map of the Holy Land and 12 tribes, showi...1759 map of the Holy Land and 12 tribes, showing Dor as part of Manasseh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He said the Indian tour operators, local agents, and guides have not shown enough interest and commitment to make the pilgrimage a faith-renewing experience for many.

In responding to such needs, issues and concerns of the Pilgrims in the Holy land Indian Chaplaincy of the Holy Land is inviting the customs of the Holy Land.

He said Fr. Pizzaballa will suggest certain guidelines and suggestions, how to organize pilgrimages to Holy land.

He is here also to encourage Franciscans and other priests to enter the minister of the Holy land pilgrimages in the future.

The Custos of the Holy Land is the Minister Provincial of the Friars Minor living throughout the Middle East.

He has jurisdiction over the territories of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt (in part), Cyprus and Rhodes and numerous houses or Commissariats in various parts of the world.

The main task of the Custos, in addition to animating the life of the friars, is to coordinate and direct the reception of pilgrims who come to the Holy Land for pilgrimage and pray at the shrines of our Redemption.

This task was bestowed by the Holy See over 600 years ago. The term used at those times to designate this task was “custody” of the holy places, from which derived the terms still in use “Custody” and “Custos.”

The most important role of the Custos, therefore, is to receive pilgrims at the Holy Shrines, offer them spaces of prayer and make available hostels for those who cannot afford expensive hotels.

The Custos ensures that friars are available to receive and talk with pilgrims at the holy places. His jurisdiction includes all the Catholic Christian sanctuaries.





The Holy Guardian Angles

Old Calendar: The Holy Guardian Angels

Each person on earth has a guardian angel who watches over him and helps him to attain his salvation. Angelical guardianship begins at the moment of birth; prior to this, the child is protected by the mother’s guardian angel. This protection continues throughout our whole life and ceases only when our probation on earth ends, namely, at the moment of death. Our guardian angel accompanies our soul to purgatory or heaven, and becomes our coheir in the heavenly kingdom.

Guardian Angels
Angels are servants and messengers from God. “Angel” in Greek means messenger. In unseen ways the angels help us on our earthly pilgrimage by assisting us in work and study, helping us in temptation and protecting us from physical danger.

The idea that each soul has assigned to it a personal guardian angel has been long accepted by the Church and is a truth of our faith. From the Gospel of today’s liturgy we read: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father” (Matthew 18:10). The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “the existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls ‘angels’ is a truth of faith (328).” From our birth until our death, man is surrounded by the protection and intercession of angels, particularly our guardian angel: “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life (336).” The Church thanks God for our helpers, the angels, particularly on this feast day and September 29 which is the feast of Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael, archangels. Today’s feast appeared in Spain during the sixteenth century. It was extended to the universal Church and made obligatory in 1670.

Be alert in your every action as one should be who is accompanied by angels in all your ways, for that mission has been enjoined upon them. In whatever lodging, in whatever nook or corner you may find yourself, cherish a reverence for your guardian angel. In his presence do not dare to do anything you would not do in mine. Or do you doubt his presence because you do not see him? Would it really help if you did hear him, or touch him, or smell him? Remember, there are realities whose existence has not been proven by mere sight.

Brethren, we will love God’s angels with a most affectionate love; for they will be our heavenly co-heirs some day, these spirits who now are sent by the Father to be our protectors and our guides. With such bodyguards, what are we to fear? They can neither be subdued nor deceived; nor is there any possibility at all that they should go astray who are to guard us in all our ways. They are trustworthy, they are intelligent, they are strong — why, then, do we tremble? We need only to follow them, remain close to them, and we will dwell in the protection of the Most High God. So as often as you sense the approach of any grave temptation or some crushing sorrow hangs over you, invoke your protector, your leader, your helper in every situation. Call out to him and say: Lord, save us, we are perishing. —St. Bernard


Vatican City, 18 September 2012 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed the following prelates as Synod Fathers for the forthcoming Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, due to take place from 7 to 28 October on the theme: “The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”.

– Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals.

– Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany.

– Cardinal Vinko Puljic, archbishop of Vrhbosna-Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

– Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania and president of SECAM/SCEAM (Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar).

– Cardinal Christoph Schonborn O.P., archbishop of Vienna, Austria.

– Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia.

– Cardinal Josip Bozanic, archbishop of Zagreb, Croatia.

– Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary and president of CCEE (Council of European Episcopal Conferences).

– Cardinal Agostino Vallini, His Holiness’ vicar general for the diocese of Rome.

– Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, Spain.

– Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, France.

– Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India and secretary general of FABC (Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences).

– Patriarch Francesco Moraglia of Venice, Italy.

– Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria.

– Archbishop Hector Ruben Aguer of La Plata, Argentina.

– Archbishop Antonio Arregui Yarza of Guayaquil, Ecuador, president of the Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference.

– Archbishop John Atcherley Dew of Wellington, New Zealand, president of FCBCO (Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania).

– Archbishop Jose Octavio Ruiz Arenas, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.

– Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez of Los Angeles, U.S.A.

– Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Tlalnepantla, president of CELAM (Latin American Episcopal Council).

– Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, England.

– Archbishop Ricardo Antonio Tobon Restrepo of Medellin, Colombia.

– Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle of Manila, Philippines.

– Archbishop Filippo Santoro of Taranto, Italy.

– Bishop Javier Echevarria Rodriguez, prelate of the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei.

– Bishop Dominique Rey of Frejus-Toulon, France.

– Bishop Menghisteab Tesfamariam M.C.C.J., eparch of Asmara, Eritrea.

– Bishop Benedito Beni dos Santos of Lorena, Brazil.

– Bishop Santiago Jaime Silva Retamales, auxiliary of Valparaiso, Chile and secretary general of CELAM.

– Bishop Luigi Negri of San Marino-Montefeltro, Italy.

– Bishop Alberto Francisco Sanguinetti Montero of Canelones, Uruguay.

– Bishop Enrico Dal Covolo S.D.B., rector of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

– Fr. Julian Carron, president of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation.

– Fr. Renato Salvatore M.I., superior general of the Clerks Regular Ministers to the Sick (Camillians).

– Fr. Heinrich Walter, superior general of the Schoenstatt Fathers.

– Fr. Jose Panthaplamthottiyil C.M.I., prior general of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate.

Eight reasons why we need apologetics


by Matt Slick

There are several reasons why we need apologetics.

The first and most obvious is because we are commanded to defend the faith:  1 Peter 3:15 says, “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”

Second, we need apologetics because it helps Christians know their faith. This is something that is sadly lacking among believers.  Most don’t know much about their faith, let alone be able to describe the Trinity, the two natures of Christ, His physical resurrection, or even to tell the difference between justification and sanctification.  Apologetics helps to define and defend what the truth of the gospel is.

Third, apologetics is an attempt to keep people out of hell.  God takes sin very seriously, and He will punish those who have rebelled against Him and are not covered in the blood of Christ.  As Christians, we should be motivated to present the truth of salvation in Jesus.  We should not sit idly by and ignore the dilemma of the unbeliever.  We need to tell them that sin is real because God is real, and that breaking God’s law has a consequence.  Since we have all sinned, we cannot keep God’s law perfectly.  Also, we cannot undo the offense to an infinitely holy God because we are not infinite or holy; the only thing left for us is to fall under the judgment of God.  But God has provided a way for us to escape that judgment.  That is why God became man in Jesus.  He claimed to be God, (John 8:24,58; compare with Exodus 3:14).  Jesus bore our sins in His body on the cross, (1 Pet. 2:24).  By trusting in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, we will be spared from the rightful judgment of God upon the sinner.  Salvation is not found in Buddhism, Islam, relativism, or in one’s self: It is only found in Jesus.  We need to not only defend God’s word and truth, but also present the gospel to all people so they can escape the judgment to come.

Fourth, we need apologetics to counter the bad image that Christianity has received in the media and in culture.  Televangelists and their scandals—both sexually and monetarily—are a disgrace to Christianity. The Catholic church hasn’t helped with its scandals involving priests.  On top of that, the media is very biased against Christianity, and you will see negative opinions of Christianity promoted everywhere.

Fifth, we need apologetics because there is a constant threat of apostasy in the visible Christian church.  Such is the case with the Metropolitan Community Church denomination, which openly advocates the support of homosexuality in violation of scripture (Rom. 1:18-32).  Also, as of 2002, the Evangelical Lutheran Church is in risk of apostasy by entertaining the idea of accepting homosexual relationships into church.  “The United Church of Christ set up a $500,000 scholarship fund for gay and lesbian seminarians Friday and urged wider acceptance of homosexuals by other denominations.” (United Church Makes Gay Scholarship, CLEVELAND, June 16, 2000, AP Online via COMTEX).  Or “The supreme court of the United Methodist Church was asked Thursday to reconsider the denomination’s ban on gay clergy.” (Church court of United Methodists asked to decide on gay clergy ban, NASHVILLE, Tennessee, Oct. 25, 2001, AP WorldStream via COMTEX).  Such examples are demonstrations of the incredible need for defending biblical truth within those churches that claim to be Christian.

Sixth, another reason we need apologetics is because of the many false teachings out there.  Mormonism teaches that God used to be a man on another world, that he brought one of his goddess wives with him to this world, that they produce spirit offspring that are born into human babies, and that you have the potential of becoming a god of your own world.  The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that there is no Trinity, that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, that there is no hell, and that only 144,000 people will go to heaven.  Atheism denies God’s existence, openly attacks Christianity and is gaining ground in public life and schools.  Islam teaches that Jesus was not God in flesh, that Jesus did not rise from the dead, and that He did not atone for our sins.  It teaches that salvation is partly based on one’s works and partly based on Allah’s grace.  It teaches that the Holy Spirit is the angel Gabriel (Surah 2:97; 16:102); that Jinn are unseen beings created (51:56) from fire (15:27; 55:15); and that Muhammed was greater than Jesus. Even within the Christian church there are false teachings.  We can see that from both within the Christian church and outside of it, false teachings are bombarding believers (and nonbelievers) all over the world.

Seventh, the rise of immorality in America is a threat not only to society but also to Christianity.  This is a serious issue because an immoral society cannot last long.  The Barna Research group statistics show that 64% of adults and 83% of teenagers said moral truth depends on the situation that you are in.  19% of the adult population believes that “the whole idea of sin is outdated.”  51% believe that “if a person is generally good, or does enough good, he will earn a place in Heaven.”

When a society’s morals fail, the society fails. Just look at history and think of Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece or present day Enron, Watergate, and White House interns. Immorality seeps down into all areas of our culture. Consider this:  In the New York Times, online, of May 12, 2002, in the article “With Games of Havoc, Men Will Be Boys,” the author, Warren St. John, interviews some players of what he says is a very popular video game.  One young man says, “What I like to do is get in the car and drive around and do drive-by shootings.  You can haul someone out of their car and beat on them and steal their money and their car.  It’s kind of amusing that you have that ability.” ….  A publicist from Long Island says the game’s allure comes down to “just going on killing sprees.”   Not all video games are violent, but the fact that it is so popular and that the youth are being trained up by them is very disturbing.

I am not advocating a theocratic socio-political rule administered by stern Christians wearing black-and-white outfits and tall hats.   But these kinds of social trends are disturbing, and they reflect a moral decline in America, where what is good is called evil and what is evil is called good.   God tells us in Phil. 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.  We cannot ignore God’s word without a consequence.

The eighth reason we need apologetics is because schools are not friendly to Christianity.  My own experience in non-Christian schools was a strong awakening to the unprovoked hostility that exists in school, where the philosophy teachers, history teacher, and even the art teacher all took shots at Christianity.  Don Feder in the Conservative Chronicle, in his article of Sept. 22, 1993, titled “Fighting Censorship, PAW Does it Its Way,” said that in some junior high libraries, book titles included The Joy of Gay Sex and How to Make Love to a Single Woman. There is an impressions series for grades one to six which promote the New Age and the occult; a controversial drug education program called Quest, which tells students that they alone can decide whether or not it’s OK to use drugs; as well as texts that direct students to fantasize about suicide, attack religion and undermine family authority.   Following is an email I received that represents the hostility of secular schools.

“Our daughter had acquired an atheist’s heart since leaving home and attending college. It seems that the books in college breed atheists because they are full of the philosophy of anti-God thinking.  She has been in college for four years now, and one of the last times we had a chance to talk to her, she said that she doesn’t think about sin, or heaven, or hell anymore because, according to her, they do not exist. She said that when she was young and asked the Lord to come into her heart, she did not know what she was doing because children do what they are told.”

The fact is that Christianity is under attack in the world, and we need to fight the good fight of the faith without shrinking back.  We need apologetics to give rational, intelligent, and relevant explanations of Christian viability to the critics and the prejudiced who would seek to undermine the teachings of our Lord Jesus.

If there was ever a time that apologetics is needed, it is now.