The Papists

Apologetics and Evengelization
  • March 7, 2014 1:49 am
    layingdownamess:  Hey, guys. Have any of you heard the whole 'Jesus was born in July and Christmas is actually a pagan holiday' thing? If yes, can you explain it to me? Please & thank you!

    There is some debate as to what time Christ was actually born.  While virtually all scholars agree that he existed,* we are not sure about when he was born.  Many scholars argue that given that the nativity accounts claim that shepherds were grazing their flock, a December birth is unlikely, and therefore, a summer birth makes more sense.  Others respond by noting that winters in that part of the world are mild, and that it might have been possible. 

    Christmas Day is also the date of several pagan holidays (probably because of its proximity to the winter solstice,) leading some to claim that Christmas is actually a pagan holiday, and that Christians who celebrate Christmas are actually celebrating the pagan gods.  This is of course silly.  My friends celebrate my birthday on March 4th.  There are hundreds of people who celebrate birthdays on March 4th, but we are not all the same person just because we share a birthday. 

    In the end, does it really matter when Jesus was born?  No, it doesn’t.  All that matters is that He was born, He died for our sins, and because of that, we love Him by obeying Him and His Church because that is what will bring us to heaven, that is union with God.

    Does that help?  God bless!

    Niko

    *Wikipedia

  • January 11, 2014 3:09 am
    Anonymous:  I use to be a very faithful Catholic, I even thought about a vocation to priesthood for a long time. The sad truth is I've fallen in college... And I am not happy. I feel fake and artificial and when I close my eyes I dream of the love I felt from the Father before I ran away from the church. I'm in a sexual D/s relationship with a wonderful girl... But I don't know if I can tell her about my struggles...how can a man come back from something like this...I long for my home, my church

    You fell away from the faith in college.  Guess what, your normal.  More people than not will change in some way in college, and often times, we’re not happy about those changes.  We feel like we’ve fallen.  What defines us, is how we get back up.

    Look at St. Augustine.  He didn’t just fall in college.  He went on rager that lasted around two decades.  He was not exactly a model Christian.  And then, he changed.  He met people who really introduced him to the faith again, he left his former ways, and went on to be one of the most revered saints in history.  And there are a ton of other saints like him.  Moses the black was a murder and adulterer, and he became a saint.  So, God really doesn’t look at how far we fall, he looks at the efforts we take to pick ourselves back up, and really, He does most of the work, we just have to give Him the space to do it. 

    There’s a story called the prodigal son, (Luke 15) but really, it should be called the story of the running Father.  Because the son, when he realized that what he was doing wasn’t working, he prepared a long speech to tell his father, begging him to just take him in as a servant.  But, while the son was still a while off, the Father saw him and ran up to meet him.  The Father immediately called him his son, and prepared a feast for him.  The son didn’t even get a chance to say his speech.  Point is, turn to God, and give Him the space to work.  You want to come back home to the Church, just do it!  Find a priest who you trust, could be at your college or nearby, or back home.  Wherever.  Ask him to talk.  Hang out with a friend who’s faith you admire.  That’s how we give God the space to work.  We surround ourselves with people who God is working through.  Does that make sense?  And always know, that you are truly loved by God, and nothing you do can ever change that.  God bless!

    Your brother in Christ,

    Niko

  • December 28, 2013 9:30 pm
    Anonymous:  If I made a mistake when I am praying, am I required to pray the prayer again?

    No, just recollect your thoughts and continue.  Sometime starting over may help you distance yourself from the mistake, but starting over is not required.  What’s required is that you attempt to maintain a prayerful attitude, speak honestly and reverently, and hopefully, your prayer will move you to a sense of peace and calm in the Lord.  That is the goal, when we pray, we ought to rest in the Lord.  I hope this helps!  God bless!

    -Niko

  • December 11, 2013 2:57 pm
    Anonymous:  Do you have any information on the current demographics of the Church, i.e. which country has the most Catholics, which ethnic group has the most Catholics, etc?

    Wikipedia actually has pretty good statistics on that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_by_country

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Roman_Catholics_by_nationality

    I don’t know of any statistics on worldwide ethnic groups and Catholicism but I hope this info on nationality helps!

    -Niko

  • December 4, 2013 9:04 am
    Anonymous:  Is it okay to wear sandals during the Mass? I know shorts are inappropriate, I was just wondering if sandals are. I'm a male.

    It depends.  What’s the character of the parish where you go to mass?  Is it generally expected that people come to mass dressed to the nines, or is it more relaxed?  The general rule of thumb is not to draw attention to yourself, so would wearing sandals do that?  If so, then maybe its best to leave them at home.  If not, then it’s not really a big deal.

    I would generally caution against flip-flops, mostly because those can make a lot of noise when one is walking up to receive communion and that’s annoying.

    But really, I wouldn’t sweat the wardrobe too much.  So long as you have a love for the Lord in your heart, and that’s what you focus on at mass, that’s what’s important.

    -Niko

  • November 30, 2013 9:39 pm
    Anonymous:  My husband and I were both raised Protestant and baptized as children. When we married, neither of us was religious so we had a civil ceremony at the justice of the peace, and not a church wedding. I have been attending Mass at a Catholic church for a while and am considering starting RCIA and joining the church next year. If I do, will we need to have our marriage convalidated to make it valid?

    If you are both baptized, you both are attached to the Church’s economy of grace, (albeit imperfectly, unless and until both of you finish RCIA and come into full communion with the Catholic Church,) therefore, presuming that there are no other mitigating circumstances, your marriage is sacramental.  The Canon is clear on this, a valid marriage cannot exist between two baptized people without it being necessarily sacramental. 

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P3V.HTM

    Thus, it does not seem that you would have to get your marriage convalidated or take any other steps.  The only thing that changes once you fully enter the Catholic Church, is that you have a right and obligation to provide a Christian education in accordance with the teachings of the Church to any children you two have.  Does this help?

    God bless!

  • November 9, 2013 5:20 pm
    Anonymous:  The Church doesn't approve the messages given to Maria Divine Mercy. What if I saw a flyer regarding the messages she is "receiving" at Church?

    Bring it up to the attention of your pastor for him to take care of.  If, on the other hand, the pastor is supporting it, this might be something to bring up to the attention of the diocese.  Here’s some info on Maria Divine Mercy. 

    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/9-things-you-need-to-know-about-maria-divine-mercy

  • May 18, 2013 10:40 am
    Anonymous:  When do you capitalize 'catholic'?

    Why, at the beginning of course. I’m just kidding, I know what you mean.  The word “catholic” can be used in two ways.  The first is lowercase, and the second is uppercase.

    1.  catholic means universal, comprehensive, or all-encompassing.  It comes from the Greek word, katholikos, which comes from the phrase kath’ holou, meaning “about” (kata) “the whole” (holos).

    2.  Catholic refers to the Catholic Church and its members.  It comes from the idea that the Catholic Church is the universal Church.  When used in this case, it is capitalized.

    Does this answer your question?  God bless!

    - Niko

  • May 4, 2013 11:13 pm
    christopher-of-linde:  I'm an Anglican currently investigating conversion to the Church, largely based on my devotion to the Blessed Virgin. As part of that devotion, I've been reading True Devotion to Mary by St Louis de Montfort. When he speaks of the "predestinate", does he mean the same thing, say, a Calvinist would mean by that term?

    Not having read St. Louis de Montfort I can’t know for sure what he meant.  As Catholics however, we have a slightly different idea of predestination than the average Calvinist.  The Catholic believes that God “predestines” everyone to heaven and so gives every man and woman “sufficient” grace that they may choose to follow His will and thus earn eternal life.  (Note, this does not mean that He gives everyone an equal amount of grace, some may get more than others, but everyone gets enough to be able to choose to follow His will.)  This does not mean everyone goes to heaven though, for even with God’s gift of grace, some choose to reject God, and so they do not enter into paradise. 

    So, the Catholic believes that despite man’s predestination to heaven, his life choices may condemn him to hell, which is very different from certain Calvinists who may believe that some are assuredly bound for heaven and others for hell, and their life choices are a reflection of where they are going. 

    Does this answer your question?  God bless!

    -Niko

  • April 6, 2013 2:52 pm
    Anonymous:  why is the church so outspoken against gay marriage when the government can't force them to allow it and the church can't force the government to disallow it?

    Because, the Church believes in truth.  Because gay marriage is impossible, just like a square circle is impossible, the government’s claim that it is, is a lie.  It is the Church’s duty to oppose governments which lie to their people, and to preserve the truth.

    Also, it’s not true that civil acceptance of gay marriage will not force it on the Church.  Already, the Church has been forced to close orphanages and other organizations because they refused to allow gay couples to adopt.  So, in some ways, it is forced on the Church.