We are a catholic blog. What does that mean exactly; to be catholic? It means that this blog is universally Christian and we are part of the one, holy, apostolic and catholic church which was founded by Christ and continues to be His Body present here in Earth. For many people in this world, the word catholic will immediately turn our thoughts toward Rome, specifically perhaps the Vatican, and the Pope– the head of the Roman Catholic Church. This of course depends largely on what part of the world you reside, because if you are part of the Eastern Orthodox Church than surely the word catholic would turn your thoughts toward your own church, in mutual schism from the Roman church because of the contested authority of the Bishop of Rome. And if you are an Anglican of the more catholic variety, you will undoubtably be drawn to think of the divisions within the Body of Christ as you strive to earn communion with the Roman church and indeed someday the entire catholic church as a whole. When we speak of catholicity on this blog we speak of the single, universal, holy and apostolic church that was founded by Christ and is articulated in the words of the Nicene Creed:
I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible: And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God, Begotten, not made, Being of one substance with the Father, By whom all things were made; Who for us men, and for our salvation came down from heaven, And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, And was made man, And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead: Whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord and giver of life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets. And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the Resurrection of the dead, And the life of the world to come. Amen.
This blog upholds the Nicene and Apostle’s creeds and affirms the Four Marks of the Catholic Church which are oneness, holiness, universality (catholicity), and unbroken apostolic succession. Furthermore, we affirm our belief in the Incarnation of our Lord as fully man and fully God, the Word made flesh, and present here on earth. We strive to articulate the presence of Christ here on earth within the context of the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith. We affirm the central value of the Eucharist, which is the True Presence of Christ– body, blood, soul and divinity– which occurs as a daily miracle here on Earth at the hands of Priests with the sacred words of Consecration. We affirm the importance of liturgy as both of a sign of the catholicity of the Church (having a universal prayer and breath that rises before the Lord) and as the Body of Christ coming together for nourishment, both spiritual and temporal, by hearing the Word of God and consuming the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe all of these things to be fundamental to the one, holy, apostolic and catholic Church as founded by Jesus. We affirm that it is possible to be in schism and heretical against the True Church, that is to say; to not be catholic. It is, therefore, prudent that at all times we faithfully regard the Deposit of Faith, the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of our church leaders. We pray for salvation for apostates, schismatics and heretics and hope for their true confession and communion with the Catholic Church before the day of their final judgement before the Lord Our God.
From an intellectual standpoint, we uphold the branch theory as articulated in the throws of the Oxford movement within the Anglican church. We look forward to the coming of the day when the superficial wounds which have been placed upon the Body of Christ here on earth are healed and the Catholic Church is indeed united as it was established by Christ. We fault human sin and specifically the pride of man for the current divided state of the Catholic Church. Principally, we take issue with the assertion of the Primacy of the Bishop of Rome among all other Bishops of the Catholic Church. We affirm that from this more grievous doctrine, the Roman church has fallen out of communion with the inherent establishment of the universal church as one Body of Christ. Through the unilateral actions of the Popes through-out the ages (and more often than not in the realm of the temporal), divisions have risen throughout the Catholic Church. We believe that such a heretical teaching within the Roman church is the sole source of division among all of the catholic churches that compose the entire Body of Christ. And we look forward to the day when the Roman church can overcome this unfounded doctrine and seek communion with the catholic church once and for all.
We affirm the Communion of Saints and the special position of Mary among those who have been chosen to serve the Lord. Mary is the Mother of God (theokokos) and the woman chosen specifically by God to birth the Logos in the form of flesh as a child. We affirm that this special relationship is confirmed by Christ Himself in the Gospels during the Wedding at Cana and at the foot of the Cross. We affirm the importance of praying for the dead, and look forward to the day of resurrection when the bodies of the chosen who have gone before us will be glorified once again in the name of our Lord.
The Merton Prayer
My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen.