What are the essentials of the Christian faith?

December 30, 2009

Originally posted 12/30/2009.

The anti-Catholic{1} online ministry Got Questions recently posted an answer to the question, “What are the essentials of the Christian faith?”{2} I answer that, if you firmly believe in the articles of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381, you have the grace and honor of being a Christian:
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The Scriptures Say Jesus the Messiah Is True God

December 12, 2009

Originally posted 12/12/2009.

Included below is some prophecy and fulfillment in the only-begotten Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ Who suffered on the Cross for our salvation.

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Ancient Use of Unleavened Bread

December 11, 2009

Originally posted 12/11/2009.

Catholic use of unleavened bread is an 11th-century Judaizing innovation

The Eastern Orthodox Church rejects the legitimacy of unleavened bread,{1} but the Catholic Church does not attack the legitimacy of leavened bread. Latin Catholics follow the institution of our Lord, Who did not transgress the Law [Mt 5:17] and thus used unleavened bread at the Last Supper [Mt 26:17; Mk 14:12; Lk 22:7]. Archbishop St. John Chrysostom the Great says that Christ celebrated the Last Supper with unleavened bread [PG 58:754]. Such use is fitting because it conforms to the sincerity of the faithful [1 Cor 5:7] and the fact that the body of Christ was not conceived with any corruption. There are plenty of witnesses to the use of unleavened bread well before the schism of Patriarch Michael I Cerularios of Constantinople. They include Alcuin of York [PL 100:289], Bl. Archbishop Rabanus Maurus of Mainz in the early 800s [PL 107:318,324], and Origen of Alexandria [PG 13:988CD989ABC]. Several more are included in Cardinal Hergenröther’s magnum opus on Photios, vol. 3, p. 787. Moreover, in the first century Philo the Jew testifies that Christians in Alexandria used unleavened bread in the Liturgy [On the Contemplative Life p. 19 sec. X]. Other possible witnesses include Archbishop St. Gregory I the Theologian of Constantinople [PG 35:397A] and Pope St. Leo I the Great of Rome [Sermon 63:7].

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Please Pray for the Repose of the Soul of Uncle Mart

December 11, 2009

Originally posted 12/11/2009.

My uncle Mart (Martin Thomas Huysman III) died yesterday. Right at the time he died, my mom, who was hundreds of miles away, felt a wave of intense sadness. I was praying for Uncle Mart especially because he has so many grandkids, but now the all-merciful God has taken him into the next life. I pray that he and his wife, my aunt Meg, straightaway join my grandparents Martin and Virginia in eternal bliss.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Heavenly Father, accept my prayer for all those in Purgatory for whom I should pray because of ties of family, gratitude, justice, or charity. Have mercy on my relatives, friends, and benefactors as well as those who hold positions of authority, both civil and religious. Admit them all to Your eternal happiness in Heaven. Eternal rest grand unto them, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us sinners.

In Memory of Grandma Huysman

December 11, 2009

Originally posted 12/1/2009.

My paternal grandmother, Virginia Rose Britton Huysman (4/17/1918-11/24/2009), passed away last week about 20 minutes before I was scheduled to visit her. I and many others said, “Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”

I thank any readers of this blog who had the heart to pray for my grandma when I posted the news about her stroke last week. I prayed fervently for her, and so did her friends (including a couple dozen Rosarians) and family who came to honor her memory. By all accounts she was a living saint. There is no doubt that she is now in Heaven. I invoke her daily in my prayers. She bore seven boys and raised them in the Church, and was a righteous widow who lived a life of prayer. Grandma Ginny, who made friends quickly and easily, was in charge of everything; she was a strong leader whose wisdom won the respect of many.

My saintly grandma had a great devotion to the Rosary; she prayed it daily to honor the Blessed Mary, Ever-Virgin Mother of God. I inherited one set of her Rosary Beads. She showed her great love to me, in one way, by giving me some of the relics of my grandpa: the quilt she made with patches from his clothes.

She now reposes in blessedness with my grandpa, Martin Cyril Thomas Huysman II (7/7/1917-11/23/2001), and they enjoy the things which no eye has seen and no ear has heard. May we one day join her and my grandpa in eternal bliss. Amen.

The Church Fathers on the Magi As Kings

December 10, 2009

Originally posted 12/10/2009.

None of the Church Fathers call the Magi kings

Update 10/2/2016: Can anyone help with translations of Hugo Kehrer†, Die Heiligen drei Könige in Literatur und Kunst (Leipzig: Verlag von E. A. Seamann, 1908) <https://ia902606.us.archive.org/35/items/dieheiligendrei00kehrgoog/dieheiligendrei00kehrgoog.pdf>?

Update 10/22/2016, feast of Pope St. John Paul II: Stay tuned for updates based on Lapide, Maldonado (https://ia802609.us.archive.org/12/items/acommentarygospe01malduoft/acommentarygospe01malduoft.pdf), Baronius, etc.

When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of King Herod, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying: Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East, and are come to adore Him. And King Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Judah. For so it is written by the prophet: And thou Bethlehem the land of Judah art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come forth the Captain that shall rule My people Israel. Then Herod, privately calling the wise men learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them; and sending them into Bethlehem, said: Go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found Him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore Him. Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the East, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was. And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary His mother, and falling down they adored Him: and opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country. And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and His mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy Him. Who arose, and took the child and His mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod: That it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called My Son. Then Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry: and sending killed all the menchildren that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.

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St. Gregory the Theologian & Filioque

December 10, 2009

Originally posted 11/30/2009.

Culled from various sections of my upcoming paper on the Cappadocian Fathers and Filioque:

In Oration 29:2{26} (the Third Theological Oration) on the Son, St. Gregory the Theologian (†390) says, “The Father is the Begetter and the Emitter … The Son is the Begotten, and the Holy Spirit is the Emission …”{27} In the same section, he suggests confining the discussion to “the Unbegotten and the Begotten and That which proceeds from the Father, as somewhere God the Word Himself says.” Does this imply that the Son has no role in the ontological procession of the Holy Spirit? Fr. Jugie gives a negative answer, explaining that St. Gregory does not rule out the idea that the Son has it from the Father that He is also προβολεύς.{28} The fairness of the scholar’s explanation becomes apparent when we compare St. Gregory’s statement from this oration with comments he makes elsewhere.

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