by Fredi D’Alessio
Christ Jesus founded only one holy, catholic and apostolic church. That very same church was referred to early on as the Catholic Church. The New Testament of the Bible originated from within the Catholic Church.
There are many non-Catholics who hate the Catholic Church for what they erroneously believe the Church teaches – not for what the Church actually teaches. There are many others who just do not understand the teachings of the Church or who just cannot accept those teachings. Then there are those whose Catholic Faith did not rest on Jesus, the Founder of the Church. So in times of adversity, either for themselves personally, their loved ones, or for the Church, their faith crumbled because it lacked a solid foundation.
Attacks against the Catholic Church perpetuate the Passion of Christ Jesus – the insults and effronteries, the spitting and blaspheming, the scourging and crowning with thorns, the carrying of the Cross and stripping of his garments, the pounding of nails into his Sacred Flesh and the ignominy of the crucifixion. But Christ’s death on the Cross was not the end. Christ Jesus lives and reigns victoriously with his body, blood, soul and divinity in Heaven. His same body, blood, soul and divinity is present – not symbolically, but substantially – in the Holy Eucharist, which He consecrates through his ordained priests in every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Satan wants nothing more than to destroy the Catholic Church because he knows that She is the one true Church of Christ Jesus. The Anti-Christ is at war with the Holy Spirit Who breathes life into the Church and sustains Her through all Her torments and confrontations.
When Jesus ascended into Heaven He did not leave his disciples orphaned – He sent them the Spirit of Truth to be with them always. The Holy Spirit has guided the Catholic Church from that day on and will continue to do so until the end of time. Orphans? None! Runaways? Numerous! Offshoots of runaways? Ceaseless! We can run away from the truth, but we cannot change it. We can run away from our Heavenly Father, but He leaves the Gate of Heaven – his Holy Catholic Church – open for all to enter or reenter. Such is the goodness of the Lord.
Here is some simple advice that every Christian should heed:
Once you have put your faith in Christ Jesus as true God, true man, Son of God incarnate, and in the fact that He did found a Church, there are four marks of the Church which you must look for. The Church must necessarily possess these marks because they are clear signs or characteristics that point to the Church which Jesus established. The four essential marks of the Church are that it be one, holy, universal and apostolic.
If you believe that the church of which you are a member is the one, holy, universal and apostolic church, then continue to study and grow in your faith and live it to the fullest.
If you do not believe, or if you are unsure, that the church of which you are a member is the one, holy, universal and apostolic church then you should dedicate yourself to learning everything about the Catholic Faith. There is no other source from which you will learn the fullness of Christian Truth except directly from the Catholic Church.
Excerpts from The Spirit of Catholicism by Karl Adam:
It is our belief that we have in the bishop of Rome the Peter upon whom Christ at Caesarea Philippi established His Church. In the light of this faith our Lord’s words to Peter: ‘Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ become at once promise and fulfillment. Has not history taught us, and are we not seeing every day, that it was, and is, and will be this one rock which supports the Church of Christ, and with that Church a living faith in the Incarnation of the Son of God? There is a sacred and profound significance in the fact that Simon’s appointment to be the rock of the Church was preceded by his confession: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God’. For faith in Christ, the Church and Peter: these three things belong together. Where there is no Peter, where men have broken faith with him, there the fellowship of the faith perishes.
And where Peter is, there of a truth the gates of hell rage against the fellowship of the faith. There Marcion comes, and Arius, and the renaissance and rationalism, and the gospel of worldly culture. But still we abide in the Upper Room, gathered round our Lord and Master. Where Peter is, there is Christ. For us Catholics, faith in the Son of God, loyalty to the Church, communion with Peter: these things stand in an intimate and necessary connection. And therefore since we desire not to abandon Christ, we do not abandon Peter. And therefore is it our quiet but confident hope, a hope set in our souls by our Lord at Caesarea Philippi, that it cannot be otherwise, that it must be so again, that all who seek Christ shall likewise again find Peter”.