02 December, 2010

False teaching and discerning the Body of our Lord

So many people do not question what is told to them by these false teachers that have no fear of God and have not even begun to have knowledge of God's desires for the faith of man. They just do not care because they are not afraid of what the consequences are for their lies. They are either Calvinists who believe that they can sin and that the sin has no effect on their souls or their eternal destination or they are atheists pretending to be men of God. Some are delusional or are consumed by pride and are desperately trying to justify their disobedience to our Lord.

Not everyone has a Berean spirit where they verify what is told to them. Most times they trust the person who tells them the lies instead of verifying them from their source which for Catholics is the Catechism. They do not realize that there is nothing in the Bible that can be contradicted by the Catechism. They must be in perfect harmony and by the guidance of the Paraclete they are perfectly aligned with each other. If it is not in the Catechism it is not taught by the Church. One would think that this fact would discourage people from bearing false witness against the Church since the lie can be revealed so easily with very little research. But, the ravening wolves that teach these things depend on the trust of the lemmings that follow them that keep them in darkness and the bondage of their misguided trust.

What happens is that it creates people that have developed a hatred for the caricature of the Catholic Church that has been created by these ravening wolves. The truth is that if the Catholic Church actually taught what they think it does there would be no Catholics. We would be the first to condemn it and depart. Even those who have been exposed to outstanding theological training at some of the best schools available can be deceived. I accepted so many things that I thought was the teaching of the Church which is not and never was.

My whole life I was a seeker of the first century faith of the disciples and the first followers of Christ who had to face so much persecution for their beliefs. I studied the New Testament for insight as to why they left the familial relationship with God under the Old Covenant for the teaching of Christ and the New Covenant and a new familial relationship with God which is a perfected one from the old in Christ. Certainly even those who had just observed the feeding of the 5000 could not continue to follow Him after His colloquy at Capernaum because they feared the loss of the familial relationship that they were promised and enjoyed as obedient Jews. It is significant that the discourse at Capernaum occurred just a year before the reality of Jesus' teaching would be realized from the cross on Golgotha. Both occurred at Passover and Jesus was slain at the same time as the lambs were being slain for Passover in the Temple fulfilling the prophecy of being the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice that only God could fulfill. To the disciples there was finally a full understanding of what Jesus was saying at Capernaum which was impossible to be understood with reason but only through the surrender to the Spirit through the humbling of seeing their rabbi slain. They understood the sacrifice in view of the Passover and saw the parallels.

The timing was one as I just mentioned where on the first day of Passover Jesus said that He would not drink of the cup of consummation but stopped the Passover celebration short of completion in the Upper Room after the cup of blessing and then they sang the Great Hillel and went to the Garden of Gethsemane at the base of the Mount of Olives. While in great agony, there Jesus prayed to the Father to take the cup of consummation from Him that He would receive on the cross. He prayed His prayer of surrender saying to His Father, "let them be one as you and I are one". He was arrested and the disciples except St. John and His female followers went into hiding. Only St. John of the twelve was witness to the consummation of what had begun the night before and he recorded the events in his Gospel. We know that Jesus cried "I thirst" and that a sponge was dipped into sour wine and brought to His lips with a hyssop branch. This was the cup of consummation that Jesus said He would not drink of until His kingdom come and that it would be shared with them in the kingdom He established by His sacrifice. It is significant that it was a hyssop branch which was the same that the blood of the Paschal Lamb was spread on the doorposts to protect the first born of Israel. Just as this act gave them life so too does the blood of Christ from the cross for humanity past, present and future. It is a timeless promise to humanity fulfilled by a perfect man and a perfect act of atonement. Jesus then said, It is consummated ending the Passover and beginning the redemptive work through Him. He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Imagine the impact when the disciples heard from St. John, the blessed mother and the other ladies present. They knew what they must do as well as what Christ had provided for them from the cross which is eternal life but for this life just like the Israelites they were required to eat the Lamb but not one of their own choosing which was a perfect male lamb but the Lamb of God. It could not be a substitute or a facsimile as that would not have saved the first born sons of Israel but the actual flesh of the Lamb as they had done. Now all of the teaching over the last year came into focus and was understood from Capernaum to the cross. Jesus Words came into real meaning and dwelled in their spirit when He said to them, he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood will abide in me and I in him. (John 6:56) He even said to gnaw on His flesh. These were not the words of metaphor but the plainest of teaching that was no longer the hard teaching of Synagogue in Capernaum but opened their eyes just clearly as St. Paul's eyes were opened after his experience on the road to Damascus. The followers of our Lord thereafter have hungered for His flesh and His Blood and realized that there is no substitute for this great feast He has provided of His truly real and substantial, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity that our Lord died to give us.

It is this reality and daily reminder through the Mass and continuing sacrifice from the rising sun to another that we join Him as we offer this sacrifice to the Father for all time. This is what gave the followers of Christ through those first three centuries of intense persecution the fortitude to endure. This is the same source of strength that gave the martyrs the the desire to be honored to be among those who were martyred before them. It is said that St. Ignatius cried out joyfully when the beasts consumed him and St. Peter begged to be crucified upside down so not to lessen the unique suffering that His Lord had endured.

Reflecting on these things makes the eisegesis that some will do of St. Paul's teaching that we MUST discern the Body and the Blood of our Lord and the condemnation he speaks of as ridiculous. He surely was not speaking of the "Body" represented by the invisible Church as reason for condemnation but by receiving the Body, the living flesh of our Lord unworthily as a non-believer in His miracle and His great feast for eternal life. One does not receive condemnation for not discerning the invisible Church which is only known to God. God would not allow us to be taught that which is impossible for us to discern but instead teaches us through the ultimate test of faith which is to accept His unambiguous teaching to eat His truly real and substantial Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity which is only discerned in the spirit of one abiding in Him and He in us. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph


  1. I attended a Catholic High School growing up, being immersed in catholic doctrine in High school- I gained a better understanding for it and also a respect for it. I understood the point and how it fit in with the doctrine of the church-

    What I objected though- as I took history classes and read other sources- is the corrupted Roman Catholic Church. The writings of the early fathers are very influental- however- the writings of the church fathers many times contradict each other.

    The Roman Catholic Church murdered hundreds of people in the 17th century (the protestants did as well, but not to the same extent as the Catholics).

    The reason there was a reformation was because of the Corrupted Christian Church - which was the Roman Catholic Church. Martin Luther did not want to split from the church, he wanted the church to be cleansed of its sin. But the Church at that time was not willing to do such a thing. Not until the counter reformation, the Council of Trent and the Jesuit movement - the church was very corrupt. You can see its corruptiveness today with many of these abuse cases.

    You can see the corruption of the Catholic Church in contrast to the teachings of the Apostolic Church and the early church Fathers in many writings-

    ie- Epiphanius, from Epis. ad Joann. Hierosolym - said- It is a horrid abomination to see in Christian temples a painted image either of Christ or any saint"

    Have you been to a Roman Catholic Church without images of Christ, Mary, the saints etc

    Although Calvin is only a man with his faults and fallacies- He made a very good point [on trying to stop the corruption of the Catholic church] when he said "We on the contrary, maintain,both that the church may exist without any apparent form, and moreover, that the form is not ascertained by that external splendor which they foolishly admire, but by the very differrent mark, namely, by the pure preaching of the word of God and the due [and proper] administration of the Sacraments.

    Sola fide
    Sola scriptura
    Solus Christus

  2. Yes, the writings of some of the Church fathers did contradict each other as some of the fathers turned out to be heretics like the heretic Arius.

    I think that if you study history you will find that in the 17th century the Protestants murdered more Catholics than Catholics did Protestants. Men are sinners and sin is present among all.

    The reason for the Reformation had more to do with the rebels desire for a syncretic faith of Christianity and Secular Humanism. They wanted a God that served man instead of the orthodox God that man is called to serve. It had almost nothing to do with any corruption but a lust for power among the rebels.

    Most people do not have a problem with Christian art as you seem to have.Most people think that these images are a good way to teach and are certainly pleasing to God according to Scriptures.

    Calvin was one of the most evil of the rebels and was known as the butcher of Geneva. His was a quest for power and he went after that quest without mercy on his opponents.He was wrong in most everything he taught as one might expect from a Secular Humanist lawyer that thought himself a theologian. God bless!

    Fr. Joseph