Does God want us to be Happy?

Does God Trick Us?

By Victoria Clarizio

I’ve been sharing my story over the past few weeks and today I’m going to take you back to the beginning of my call to discern religious life.

In July of 2007, I attended the Steubenville East Summer Conference for the third time. I was about to enter my senior year of high school and had been growing in my faith. I was earnestly seeking God’s direction for my future. During the Saturday Holy Hour, God began to reveal His will for my life.

As I looked at Jesus in the Eucharist and let Him gaze at me, and let myself be swept up by His love, a peace filled me. I felt an intense love for God and was set on fire with zeal.

“What do you want from me, Lord?”

I can still hear His response ringing in my heart.

“Everything.”

The next morning, as I was waiting for Mass to begin I heard an announcement: “Would any sisters present please come up to the stage before Mass?” Every year at the conference, all the teenagers present are encouraged to be open to a vocation to priesthood or religious life. They ask anyone who feels called to stand up in front of everyone. I had never felt inspired to stand up when this invitation was extended, so when I was reminded of what would be happening I didn’t give it a second thought.

But Saturday night had changed me. God had asked for everything and I was willing to give it.

I closed my eyes again and I saw myself standing up, publicly proclaiming that I feel a tug towards religious life–something I had never felt. Where did that come from? It was not my imagination, not a passing thought. This image was accompanied by a sudden conviction.

“Do you want me to be a nun God?” I sat in stunned silence. “But this will mean giving up marriage and having a family.”

“I asked for everything.”

It is terrifying, that everything should mean this. I thought I could have what I wanted and still give God everything.

“God, please don’t make me do this.”

I knew what God was asking of me, but I pleaded with Him to take the urgency away. I fought what I knew I had to do until communion. As if this moment had been planned for all eternity, we sang “I Surrender.” God gave me the words to say yes to Him.

Just before the final blessing the priest said, “I’m going to invite Sister up here.”

I almost jumped out of my seat before the sister finished speaking. I felt like the Holy Spirit had lit a fire under me. I looked at myself in amazement, that image I saw so clearly playing out in real life. I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. As if standing up in front of my friends, brother and thousands of other teenagers wasn’t enough, the sister asked us to take another step.

“Come up in front of the stage and we’ll pray a special blessing for you.”

I looked around at the other girls walking up with me. Most of them were smiling. I was terrified. The others seemed to take this lightly, as if saying, “I might as well be open to it–you never know.” I was almost angry at them.

“God is making me do this,” I wanted to say.

“We are simply asking you to discern for one year whether God is calling you. Just give Him a year.”

One year. I can do that. Maybe He’s not really calling me.

If you have ever wondered if following God’s will means giving up everything you want or you’re scared to say yes to him, keep following my story to learn how I came to learn that God’s will is the only path to true happiness.

Author Bio: Victoria Clarizio is a Catholic writer and teacher. She blogs at One Pearl about prayer, scripture, Ignatian meditation, and Jesus the Bridegroom. She encountered Christ in a deeper way through praying with scripture during her time discerning with a religious community and hopes to help others do the same. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Fairfield University and is working on a memoir about her spiritual journey. When she’s not writing, Victoria is hanging out with her rambunctious ninth graders(mostly boys!) at the homeschooling co-op where she teaches.  She lives in Connecticut with her parents and is excited to see where God calls her next.

Photo by Matthew Henry: Burst.com

Photo by <a href=”https://burst.shopify.com/@matthew_henry?utm_campaign=photo_credit&amp;utm_content=Free+Happy+Woman+Jumps+On+Trampoline+Photo+%E2%80%94+High+Res+Pictures&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_source=credit”>Matthew Henry</a> from <a href=”https://burst.shopify.com/emotion?utm_campaign=photo_credit&amp;utm_content=Free+Happy+Woman+Jumps+On+Trampoline+Photo+%E2%80%94+High+Res+Pictures&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_source=credit”>Burst</a>

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Catholic Scrupulosity (Fear and guilt in the spiritual life)

By Father Joseph Gill

St. Thomas Aquinas taught that “virtue is in the middle”. Too much of one thing is a problem, just as too little can be a problem. There is a “happy medium” between gluttony and starvation, between workaholism and laziness. We must seek to strike that middle balance between two extremes!

This is also true in our spiritual lives. Not praying is bad, but it would also be bad to pray so much that someone neglects their daily duties. Not caring about sin is problematic – but also problematic is an over-emphasis on sin, with its accompanying fear of damnation and constant feeling of worthlessness.

It is this latter state that I wish to discuss today. Having been in pastoral ministry for ten years, I have met many people who struggle with scrupulosity – a spiritual and psychological disorder that is marked by constant guilt about moral or religious issues. A scrupulous person feels like they have sinned grievously, even when objectively they have not. They magnify every small sin and mistakenly believe that even little trivial things are mortally wrong. Often, there is a tragic and obsessive fear of damnation, an overly judgmental God, and an urge to confess more frequently than necessary.

From a psychological standpoint, scrupulosity is closely related to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The obsessions (unwanted, intrusive thoughts) are the overly-guilty feelings that someone gets for even the smallest sin. The compulsions (ritualized actions meant to compensate for the obsessions) involve too-frequent Confession, extreme penances, or a prayer life that is either rigid or done out of fear.

One sign that someone might be suffering with scrupulosity is too-frequent Confession. It is a wonderful gift that we offer Confession daily, but the US Bishops recommend that Catholics confess monthly. Personally I take part in the Sacrament every two weeks, and I know that some people go weekly, particularly if they struggle with serious mortal sin. But if a person has a desire to confess multiple times each week, then one might want to ask if scrupulosity is in-play.

Another sign of scrupulosity is the feeling that they are always in a state of sin and are never pleasing to God. I want to be clear with what is a mortal sin. There are really only three main categories of mortal sins that most genuine Christians commit:

– Deliberately missing Mass on Sundays or Holy Days of Obligation (if you are sick and unable to make Mass, you are exempt from this requirement – please do not confess it if you missed Mass out of sickness!)

– Intentionally and deliberately committing a sexual sin (again, notice that it must be intentional and deliberate – an unwanted sexual thought, even if it lasts for a while, is NOT a mortal sin; it is a temptation. Any unwanted thoughts that we do not intentionally call to mind are NOT sinful). Any deliberate sexual actions outside of the open-to-life marital covenant are mortally sinful (including the deliberate use of pornography).

– Intentionally getting drunk or using illegal drugs.

Yes, there are other mortal sins (murder, grand theft auto), but these are rare. The aforementioned three are the three main ones that practicing Christians frequently confess.

Notice, though, that all three are INTENTIONAL –someone cannot accidentally commit a mortal sin! If there is any doubt as to whether or not the action was intentional, a person may always presume that it is NOT a mortal sin (because the requirements for mortal sin are grave matter, FULL consent, and FULL knowledge).

Why is this important? Because when a person thinks they are constantly in mortal sin, constantly in danger of losing their salvation, and believes that god is perpetually judging them and never pleased with them, then they lose the joy and freedom of their living faith in Jesus Christ! We do not have a faith that is based in fear but one that is based in our confidence in God’s infinite mercy for sinners. Scrupulosity robs the faith of its joy and freedom, which is what Christ came to win for us!

[There are many Catholics, who may not specifically suffer from scrupulosity, but still focus too much on their their sinfulness, have an unhealthy fear or anxiety in the spiritual life, and look to God through the eyes of fear. They still feel guilty and rarely feel good enough. It’s about multiplying prayers, and chaplets, and Rosaries, and good works, so they are “good enough.” It’s about working for God’s love rather than living in a healthy relationship with Him. This is still a dark and pessimistic view of the God who is love and mercy itself. Many have “Catholic guilt” which is often not healthy. Even in this, we need to come to know who God is on a deeper level and His unconditional love for us, whether we are “good” or not.]

So if someone suffers from scruples, what can they do? First, make acts of trust in God’s mercy. Read the book: “Scruples and Sainthood.”

The Diary of St. Faustina can be a great help, as can praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy or reading the book, “I believe in Love” by Fr. Delbee.

Second, perhaps talk to a priest about it – and then follow his advice. Third, for severe cases, it might be helpful to visit a Catholic psychologist who can help develop coping techniques for the severe feelings of guilt. Finally, realize that even some great saints struggled with scruples. For example, St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote, “After I had accidentally trodden upon a cross formed by two pieces of straw, there comes to me a thought that I have sinned … this is probably a scruple and temptation suggested by the enemy.”

We do not believe in a God who is waiting to strike us down for small sins. He is merciful and wants us to rejoice in the victory He has won! Although we seek to avoid sin, our sins should not fill us with anxiety, scruples, or despair – because Christ’s Precious Blood is more powerful than our sins

Fr. Joseph Gill is a priest of the diocese of Bridgeport, CT. Originally from Maryland, he was ordained in 2013, he has worked in parish ministry and as a high school chaplain. His passions are forming young disciples of Christ and using the media to evangelize. He can be reached at frjosephgill@gmail.com.

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The Devil’s Three Weapons!

By Fr. Joseph Gill

Bishop Caggiano, recently tweeted something that was so profound that it stopped me in my tracks! The core of it is that the devil has three weapons in today’s modern world: deception, division, and distraction.

A penetrating analysis! Our world is filled with these three D’s – and we can see examples of it every day.

Deception – In 2016, 10% of the population of the United States said that they do not believe in God. This is a ten-fold jump from 1944, when only 1% of the population was an officially-declared atheist. (Interestingly, in 2016, the city with the highest percentage of atheists was…San Francisco, with over 20% of its population not believing in God). We live in a world where many people hold erroneous beliefs about human dignity, the right to life, what marriage is, and so many other fundamental topics. Even in our everyday life, we may struggle with deceptions such as “Oh, I don’t really need to pray” or “I’m so worthless, no one could love me.”

So how do we defeat this tactic of the devil? We must live in the truth! There is only one truth and it comes from Jesus Christ, not ourselves, not our culture, and not from the world. St. Josemaria Escriva said, “For the modern apostle, an hour of study is an hour of prayer.”

Of course, studying does not replace prayer, but it is so important. We must know what the Catholic Church teaches and what Christ has revealed about who God is, who we are, and how we are to relate to the world around us. We must have the truth so interwoven into our lives that we “are transformed by the renewal of our minds” (Romans 12:2) and start to see the world with the eyes of Christ. We will also be able to recognize the counterfeits when they arise.

Division – every day it seems like the world is getting more and more shrill, as people live in their online camps and do not know how to have respectful dialogue with people of opposite opinions. This, unfortunately, includes many Christians. Every now and then I wade into the “comments” section of an online article, and immediately I regret it! It seems like many people are content to just shout at each other – and this happens in real life, too, in our own families and neighborhoods.

I believe the answer to division is love. Love always assumes the best about the other. As St. Paul said, love “is never rude, or envious, or self-seeking. It does not rejoice in the wrong but rejoices in the truth.” Love means that even though a person may have a different opinion from ours, we can still recognize the good in them and acknowledge it, treating them with the respect that they deserve as a child of God. Of course, the truest form of love is to help others encounter the truth! Even this must be done in a Christ-like manner.

Distraction – Finally, the Bishop says that the third tactic of the devil in the modern world is distraction. Nielsen released a study in 2018 that claimed that American adults spend over 11 hours per day interacting with media – from TV to radio to internet and everything in-between (and we’re only awake for 16 hours total!). With all that time in the digital world, is it any surprise that we have lost touch with nature, each other, and especially God?

The way to overcome this distraction is disconnecting from the things that do not lead to real encounters with God and one another. Do we really need to check our email one more time? Do we really need to check our social media every couple of minutes to see how many more people liked our post? Will that one extra article really enrich our life as much as a walk through in nature on a Fall day? When is the last time we used our phones to talk to a real, live person instead of texting them? Disconnection leads to real connection – with God, with ourselves, with one another!

Classically, the Church has always seen the world, the flesh, and the devil as the triumvirate of temptation. Bishop Caggiano’s insight, though, is that the devil is now using three strong tactics in the modern world – deception, distraction, and division. But we can overcome these three tactics through truth, love, and real connection with God and one another. How can you set to work on these in your life?

Fr. Joseph Gill is a priest of the diocese of Bridgeport, CT. Originally from Maryland, he was ordained in 2013, he has worked in parish ministry and as a high school chaplain. His passions are forming young disciples of Christ and using media to evangelize. He can be reached at frjosephgill@gmail.com.



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Bad Arguments against the Catholic Church

Welcome to another article on bad anti-Catholic arguments! This particular argument was a real comment we received on one of our social media platforms. It highlights another example of an anti-Catholic (and probably ex-Catholic) critic pouring out their disdain for the Church.

The reason for this article and others like it is to demonstrate how uneducated and misinformed anti-Catholic arguments are by their very nature. In addition, the many mistaken claims will be corrected revealing gaping mistakes and common misconceptions. The following is a man’s comment truncated down to the main points coming from a much longer rant. Our answer will follow.

Anti-Catholic comment: “Catholics are going to Hell. The Bible is absolutely clear that we are saved by faith. No amount of “good works” (including giving to the poor, attending church services, praying to Mary or the saints, rosary beads, candles, confession, the sacraments, and numerous other rituals demanded by the Roman Catholic authorities) will satisfy the wrath of God against sinners. These will not save you poor Catholics. Furthermore, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it teaches that eternal life is attained by faith, baptism, and keeping the commandments.

Here are some of the Bible verses that show faith alone is the only Christian doctrine and disprove what your demonic Catholic Church believes: Rom. 3:28-30; Rom. 4:3-5 (Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness); Rom. 5:1, Rom. 11:6, Gal. 2:16, and others). We are saved by faith alone and not faith and works.

This demonic Catholic religion arrogantly added 7 books to the Bible at the Council of Trent 1500 YEARS LATER which were NEVER considered Scripture and often contradict the Bible. Repent or you will not be saved.”

The Catholic response: Thank for your comment. You stated that, “No amount of good works can save us, and then you listed what you perceive to be good works including: giving to the poor, attending church services, praying to Mary and the saints, rosary beads, candles, confession, baptism, and more.”

Giving to the poor? You do not believe that giving to the poor is necessary? This is ironic since Jesus Himself specifically stated that it was. The Bible clearly teaches that giving to the poor is necessary for salvation as part of faith, and that you will not attain heaven without it.

Look at Matthew 25:31-46 which depicts Judgement Day and specifically shows people who are saved and not saved. What was the criteria? Good works: feeding the poor, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned, and so on. Likewise, the people who did not perform these good works ended up in hell. Jesus said to them,

“Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.”

So you see, both Jesus and the Bible contradict your position and show that good works and living out your faith is necessary for salvation. It is also why the Bible states elsewhere that we will be judged by our works, and not faith alone: “The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were all judged, each one according to his works (Rev. 20:14).

Here is what we agree on: Jesus is the only way to heaven, and salvation cannot be earned. No amount of good works can earn salvation, yet they are necessary to accompany faith. In short: We are saved by faith in Christ and by being obedient to Him and His commandments. Faith and obedience.

While we believe good works are necessary to live out your faith and show your love for Jesus, the Catholic Church does not believe that one can earn your salvation through works. That is not the purpose of good works. Nobody can earn their salvation. Yet, as Scripture teaches, good works are necessary.

You MUST follow the commandments: Similar to what we just said, you stated multiple times that we do not need to follow the commandments. Yet again, that is the exact opposite of what the Bible actually teaches, proving the Catholic religion to be right again. Listen to what the Bible says:

1 John 2:3-4 – Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Mt. 19:16-17 – Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But *if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”*

You quote Romans out of context several times, but more importantly, the book of Romans never once uses the words “faith alone” but only faith apart from works of the law (Rom. 3:28) which included the Old Testament rituals and ceremonies, like circumcision. Many Jews thought they were saved merely by circumcision or certain rituals, or just be being Jewish. The Bible teaches that these works can’t save us, but yet, works done in Christ’s grace and in faith are necessary. We will be judged by our faith and works.

Romans 2 states: “In accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each one according to his works,* eternal life to those who by *patient perseverance in doing good* seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who *works what is good,* to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

Sacraments: You said that neither baptism nor the other sacraments will save us. Yet, Jesus Himself instituted the sacraments which we must therefore obey. The sacraments themselves do not save, but Jesus saves us through them. You stated Baptism doesn’t save us, and yet again, the bible teaches the exact opposite.

1 Peter 3:17-21 says that “Baptism saves you.” Read that again. Baptism saves you!” Again, it is not that Baptism apart from Christ saves anyone, but Jesus working through Baptism to bring us new life (Rom. 6:1-11). Mk 16:16 also states, “He who believes and is baptized, will be saved.” And there are other verses too.

The Eucharist is another Sacrament that Christ works through, and as it says in Jn. 6:51-56, if we do not receive the Eucharist or receive the body and blood of Christ, we have no salvation. His words. Not ours. Confession, which you mentioned, may be found in Jn. 20:21-23. I made a short video on this. Anointing of the Sick: James 5:16.

Candles and the Rosary: Candles? Where did that come from? No Catholic believes that candles save them or are meritorious in any way.

The Rosary itself is a meditation on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus where we reflect on Him and try to imitate His virtues. It’s a prayer, and prayer does aid in salvation. Likewise, meditating on Jesus is good. But why do Catholics pray to Mary in the Rosary? A good question, and I have answered it in a YouTube video I made which can be found here.

Thank you for reading. I hope you have found these short answers helpful. Feel free to check out my YouTube Channel for many more questions and many more answers, or perhaps, some of our other blog articles that answer anti-Catholic objections.

Feel free to let us know your thoughts below. God bless.

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Answering a Mormon on the Trinity

On one of my popular Mormon videos, there is a lot of discussion, and that is putting it mildly. There are over 6000 comments of discussion to be precise. One thing I have realized is that Mormons reject the Trinity, which is the central doctrine of Christianity. However, I have never met a Mormon who understands the doctrine of the Trinity, or the divinity of Christ, or gets the beliefs correct.

Mormons believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate beings and three separate gods (lds.org) whereas Christians believe God is one being in three distinct (not separate) persons.

In speaking with a Mormon recently, I mentioned that the Book of Mormon calls Jesus the one eternal God several times. Naturally, I asked this Mormon if Jesus is God and another God.

Below is his answer brief answer before pontificating on why the Trinity is wrong and why Christianity is wrong. He offered questions and challenges that I took upon myself to answer. This article then will help everyone to understand a bit more the nature of the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus.

Mormon: Yes, Jesus is another God and one with God. On the other hand, the Trinity and Nicene creeds make absolutely no sense when applied to the Scriptures. In both the Bible and in the Book of Mormon, this is proven by events that occurred and by things that Christ Himself said. For example,

  1. In the Garden of Gethsemane, was Christ praying to himself?
  2. How can the Father be greater than the Son if they are one frequency wise?
  3. Why doesn’t Christ know when his Second Coming is if they are one and the same? Jesus specifically stated that only the Father knows.
  4. How could Christ receive the Holy Ghost on earth if he already had the Holy Ghost?
  5. If the Father and the Son are one and the same frequency wise how can they have two different wills? Christ continually said that he came to do his Father’s will and not his own. If the Father and the Son share a body, as some say, how could the Father be in heaven while the Son is on earth?
  6. If you know the history of Christianity as you claim to, you should know that the Trinity and Nicene Creeds were invented by a political vote. Congregations were arguing and the emperor told them to come up with something they agree upon. All the congregations wanted credit so they mixed everything up. Then, the emperor adopted this false sense of Christianity. That’s why we are so different to other Christian denominations. While your doctrines are built upon a political vote of man, the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the original lost truth restored.

My Response:  

I simply asked if Jesus was God, and you offered a whole long diatribe of an unrelated answer. However, you affirmed that Jesus is God and another God, and that’s all I needed to know. So, Mormons believe in multiple gods! That’s a huge problem.

For the record and from experience of discussing the Trinity with you in the past, you have many misunderstandings and misconceptions regarding the Trinity. You have presented many strawmen arguments regarding it. Thus, it is no surprise then you attack it.

However, you have some good questions, and I will answer them now.

Answer to # 1:

In Gethsemane, was Christ praying to himself? No Christ was not praying to Himself. He prayed to the Father in heaven. This is possible because while the Father and Son are one in being, they are distinct in person making them able to be in relation together.

Answer to #2-4:

How can the Father be greater than the Son if they are one frequency wise?_The Father is “greater” than the Son because Jesus emptied Himself of His glory and “took the form of a slave” (as it says in Philippians, chapter 2). He became a lowly man like us.

So, while Jesus is God, He became man and took on human flesh (Jn. 1:14). While Christ walked on earth, Jesus was  fully human a man, thinking and acting as a man (in other words living his human nature out) in order to teach us men how to follow God and how to achieve salvation.

Thus, in His human nature, and living as a mere human, the Father was greater than He was. This is also why Jesus would say things like “Only the Father knows the day or hour…etc.” Jesus in His human nature with a finite brain did not know these things. Human minds are only finite and Jesus was limited in His human person.

However, from all eternity, Jesus is and has been God. The Bible specifically states that Jesus is the Word, the wisdom, and the power of God (Jn. 1:1; Cor. 1:24). So, from eternity Jesus has been the power of God and the wisdom of God. The Power and wisdom of God are eternal, infinite, and one with Himself.

Thus, Jesus so is one in nature with the Father and cannot be separated from Him. This is why Jesus always claimed to be one with the Father in a special way even claiming to be God. (Jn. 1:1; Jn. 5:18-19; Jn. 8:58; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:8) People even worshipped Jesus and He accepted it, which would have been blasphemy if He was not God (Jn. 20:28, Jn. 9:38; Mt. 28:9; Lk. 24:52).

Answer to #5:

If the Father and the Son are one and the same frequency wise how can they have two different wills? Christ kept saying he was here to do his Father’s will and not his own. Good questions. The answer is similar to the last in that Jesus is a divine person who took on a human nature. This is important. This means that while He is eternally divine, When He took on human flesh. He was also fully human. Thus, He had two wills – a divine will and a human will. Therefore, when speaking about accomplishing the Father’s will, He was referring to His human nature and speaking from His human side which He was operating in.

If the Father and the Son share a body as some say how could the Father be in heaven while the Son is on earth? I’m not sure where you heard that. I have never encountered that in Christian thought. In Christianity, God is a spirit (Jn. 4:24) and therefore does not have a body. Jesus alone possesses a body because He took on a human nature for our sake in order to die for us. The Father and the Son do not share a body. They are intimately united but do not share a body.

#6. History and the Trinity: Yes, I do claim to know history well as I have my degree in church history. Therefore, I know full well that what you claim about Nicaea is false. Conversely, you have given a whole host of false and problematic assertions.

First, you said multiple times, “the Nicene Creeds.” There was only one creed, not multiple. That tells me how little you know about this.

Second, the “Christian denominations” would not exist for another 1,300 years, and so for you to assert that they were invented when arguing over the Trinity shows a complete lack of historical knowledge. Even at an elementary level. There were not arguing congregations. That’s not even close to the truth.

Third, the doctrine of the Trinity was not invented by a popular vote. That is a myth. How could something that already exists be invented?

Christians have always believed in the Trinity and in the divinity of Christ (which was being attacked at Nicaea). The Catholic Church just upheld what had always been believed by Christians since the time of Christ. Christians believed in the Trinity and the equality of the Father and the Son long before Nicaea in 325A.D.

Thus, your assertion that congregations were “arguing” about this is grossly incorrect. It was one man who argued this. He was a heretic and priest, named Arius. Arius was who was the first person to claim that Jesus was created and was not eternal. In addition, Arius only a few followers in the beginning. You could count them on one hand.

So, it was not this big war of different congregations raging against each other before Nicaea. The purpose of the Council of Nicaea was to deal with Arius’ heresy and address his attacks and reaffirm what the Catholic Church had always believed.

This can be demonstrated by quoting from just two people (of many) who believed this and were writing 100 years before Nicaea. Again, how can something be invented that already existed?

These quotes prove that the Trinity was not something “invented” at Nicaea but something Christians had believed before that. You will notice they (and every early Christian) confirm what I have already stated.

Gregory the Miracle Worker (265 A.D.): Perfect Trinity in glory, and eternity and sovereignty, neither divided or estranged.  Wherefore there is nothing either created or subservient in the Trinity, nor anything caused to be brought about as if formerly it did not exist, and afterwards introduced … Wherefore neither was the Son lacking to the Father, nor the Spirit to the Son, but without variation and without charge, its the same Trinity forever.

Tetullian (213 A.D.): “We have already said that God fashioned the whole universe by His word, His wisdom, and His power. We hold that this which was begotten by God and which was begotten in that utterance, because of the unity of substance, is called God and Son of God. For God is Spirit. Even when a ray is shot forth from the sun, it is not separated from its substance, … but it is extended as light comes forth from light.  …  So also, that which proceeds from God is God and the Son of God. Both are one. Likewise, Jesus is Spirit from Spirit, and God from God, and … at the same time the mystery of the oikononia is safeguarded, for the unity is distributed in a Trinity.”

So, as you see, the Catholic Church did not invent anything new at all but merely upheld what had always been believed since the beginning of Christianity. This is easily provable based on the early Christian writings out there. This means that the Mormon understanding of the Godhead is the one that is new, invented, and incorrect.

**Thanks for reading. If you are interested in my YouTube videos on Mormonism or in learning more about Mormons, see resources below.

Resources

10 Things Mormons Won’t Tell You – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR4kEsiGDwA&lc=UgxWVXopDoMRMpLyIBZ4AaABAg

Are Mormons Christian? – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzzyGuSBBws

For a deeper understanding of the Divinity of Christ from the Bible – http://www.catholicbryan.org/blog/the-divinity-of-jesus-from-the-bible/

Inside Mormonism, by Isaiah Bennett – https://www.amazon.com/Inside-Mormonism-Isaiah-Bennett/dp/1888992069

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The Catholic Church and Transgender (What the Church said)

The Catholic Church came under a lot of fire this past week because it released a document on the topic of transgender written to Catholic schools. (To watch the video on this topic instead, just click here).

The Vatican did not teach anything new but presented what people have believed forever, that a boy is a boy, and a girl is a girl; male is male, and female is female. Sex and gender cannot be changed and is not fluid.

Even though the tone of the letter was very loving, gentle, and respectful, and said that people who identify as transgender should be treated kindly and lovingly, fundamentalist activists came out of the woodwork to attack the Catholic Church right on cue. Some priests even suggested that this document would promote bigotry against the lgbt community. Sorry Fr. James Martin, it’s just not true! The document even opened the possibility for friendly dialogue.

Some people today, usually the younger generation, believe that you can choose your sex or gender based on how you feel and identify. You may be born a male or female, they say, but a person might not identify with that in their mind. Thus, if they are born male, they could in theory actually be a female. Of course, this isn’t true, and it leads to a whole host of problems and confusion.

For example, there was a man who thought he was really a woman in a man’s body, so he had a sex change to reflect that. However, after becoming a “woman,” he still was not happy and changed back to become a man. Later on, he became a woman yet again, making it the 3rd sex change.

Another man is famously known for went in for 167 sex change surgeries. That is not transgender, that is confusion. Nobody said anything to this poor man? Nobody related that the problem is not his identification, it’s a mind issue? Were the doctors just filling their pockets with his money? Did they even care about him as a person and helping the real problem?

We have people today changing in a wide variety of ways and even inventing pronouns to describe the different genders being invented. Today, we can identifying as almost anything. We have men who think they are six-year-olds because their minds are lying to them and telling them that they are six. One man had a sex surgery to become a girl, to look like a little girl, and to reflect how he felt. This is a grown man, and it is extremely sad.

The truth is that a person cannot change their sex or their age. It’s biologically impossible. If I claim to be 10-years-old, that does not make me 10, even if I believe it. If I believe I am a lizard, I should probably get some help. Yet, today you have people identifying as cats, dogs, and reptiles, aliens and all sorts of scary things. One man went for surgery to become a reptile, receiving scales to reflect the “reality” his mind was telling him.

The fact that some of our society lies to these people under the guise of “tolerance” and “being nice” does not help anyone, and in fact, we are hurting them and stunting them by encouraging these illusions.

The Catholic Church actually cares for people who believe themselves to be transgender (or whatever other disassociation, psychological, or other issues people are facing) and desires to help them. But it seems that other activists, the political activists and gay activists don’t care for these people at all, telling us that everything is OK, including but not limited to, thinking you are another sex, another animal, or another age. This is damaging. It’s confusing, and it’s not helping anyone. It certainly is not helping the problem or getting to its route.

Another thing that caused the fundamentalist activists to lash out against the Catholic Church is that the document mentioned the importance of family and that family was one man and one woman. In addition, children need both a mother and a father. That is what family is in God’s eyes. The Bible states that God made human beings “male and female.” God made sex. He made gender. That’s how it is, and it is what science has told us forever.

The document also spoke of the complementarity of the spouses, gifts and qualities that men and women each bring – some that only men can bring and some that only women are able to give. A child needs both a mother and father for the most healthy relationship and growth. Two wonderful men could never take the place of a woman or a mommy. Two women (even if one is more masculine) could never replace a father or a daddy. Children need both masculine and feminine genius. That is the way God created it to be.

There have been children of homosexual parents who have spoken out against homosexual marriage because they have been the product of two moms or two dads or different scenarios. They have grown up lamenting the lack of a father or mother in their life. Out from Under, for example, is the story of Dawn Stefanowicz who was the product of a homosexual parent, and she tells her story.

So the Catholic Church was not slamming transgender people as all the news stories have stated, and even some fake Catholic organizations. The Church was not making fun of people who believe themselves to be trans in any way. It just reaffirmed everything that humanity has always believed and known since the beginning of time. God is the author of life and the author of sex and marriage. He made marriage between one man and one woman, and a child needs both a mother and a father to be a completely whole and healthy individual. God did not make gender fluid, and yet at the same time, the document clearly states we must love and respect our brothers and sisters who struggle with this and not bully or the way God intended.

Our next article will go into greater detail on this topic, and our final article will discuss “inter sex” people or hermaphrodites and how that differs from the transgender movement.

Thank you for reading and God bless you.

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Why Abortion is Always Wrong! (Part 3)

Pro choice arguments and pro life answers!

In this series, we are offering pro life answers to pro choice arguments in order to demonstrate that there is no good reason for abortion. These responses are meant to be loving and respectful but to show why abortion is always wrong.

Pro choice argument #3:

A woman has the right to do whatever she wants with her own body.

This is a terribly illogical argument, but people continue to repeat it over and over again. If you hear it enough, it begins to sounds true. However, nobody has the right to do whatever they want with their own body, male or female.

For example, a person could kill themselves by committing suicide, but it is morally and ethically wrong to end your own life. Likewise, you could choose to use your body to punch someone in the face for no reason. Going further with your body, you may even choose to kill them because you do not like them.

However, you do not have the right to kill someone because you do not like them. Theoretically you could do it, (you have free will), but it is wrong, and you will go to jail.

The drug Thalidomide was once upon a time administered to women to help them with nausea during pregnancy until they found out that it gave birth defects and produced new born children without arms or legs.

For obvious reasons, it was pulled from the shelf. The point being made here is that just because someone is a woman does not give her the right to use this medication and maim a child for life. That is completely illogical reasoning. Sex has nothing to do with it when it comes to hurting or killing someone else.

Could the lady in the picture below crush the skull of the baby if she chooses? Does she suddenly develop this right because she is a woman? Of course not. But that is what abortion does, as described in our first article.

The bottom line is this:

Nobody has the right to kill an innocent life. Not a man. Not a woman. No one. Murder is not a right! This is why abortion is always wrong!

With that being said, sometimes women are faced with difficult choices, a lack of options, or are just afraid. They may not know where to turn, fear what people will say, or may not have a safe refuge. Furthermore, they may know nothing about raising a child (which makes one wonder why they are engaging in sex, of which, a child is the natural outcome).

Some are even forced to have an abortion against their will. I just read the story of a woman in college who was forced to have an abortion. Forced! Of course, this wrecked her. So let us also remember the women too. We do not know their circumstances or struggles, but we can work for the good of the woman too.

Here is the point. We need to stress that while abortion is always wrong, women are in need of help too, and we should help them in any way we can.

On this note, Planned Parenthood does not help women after birth. You do not see them offering diapers, food, shelter, places to live, or anything else like this that women in need might actually need.

Contrast this with countless pro-life agencies that do adoption, give women free diapers, free carriages, free food, money, shelter, a house to live in, and many other things to support their needs. So, for people to say pro-lifers only care about the baby is untrue.

There are even organizations that help women who have had an abortion (or numerous) to come to peace and healing, all with love and all without judgement… as the way it should be.

Thank God for these organizations who are there for the women. Let us help women and protect the innocent children. Let’s do both!

Resources Below!

Hurting after an abortion? Looking for completely non-judgmental women who understand? Check out Rachel’s Vineyard where many woman have found healing, hope, and newness of life. In addition, here are just some of the many, many organizations that help women in need!

This is #3 of 15. If you missed the first arguments, click here. Or, if you wish to watch the YouTube video (part 1) giving the first 5 arguments, click here.

Please support our non-profit: www.patreon.com/catholictruth

#1. “Persuasive Pro-Life.” https://goo.gl/PESWgw by Trent Horn (The BEST book and author on pro-life issues)

#2. DVD: “The Silent Scream” – By an ex-abortion doctor shows the killing of a baby in abortion through an ultrasound – https://www.amazon.com/Silent-Scream-DVD-Eight-Languages/dp/B000E10ELU/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=the+silent+scream&qid=1559671707&s=gateway&sr=8-6

#3. “Unplanned! The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey Across the Life Line” https://goo.gl/wsjTx5

#4. DVD: “Making the Case for Life,” by Trent Horn – https://goo.gl/4mWCxo

#5. “Blessed are the Barren: The Social Policy of Planned Parenthood” – https://goo.gl/uaWhby

#6. Killer Angel: A Short Biography of Planned Parenthood’s Founder, Margaret Sanger – https://goo.gl/jgcTor

#7. “Three Approaches to Abortion,” by Peter Kreeft – https://www.aquinasandmore.com/cathol…

#8. “Explaining Tough Moral Questions” – https://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Apol… _Help us make more solidly Catholic videos!

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