500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines Theme Song (YouTube Videos) + Lyrics

ABS-CBN Star Music’s We Give Our Yes – Jamie Rivera (Music Video)
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Carlos Magno & Rotoloop – Topic’s We Give Our Yes! (feat. Philippine Madrigal Singers)
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ABS-CBN Star Music’s We Give Our Yes – Jamie Rivera (Lyrics)
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Saints of Today’s 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines
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Jamie Rivera Official’s Jamie Rivera singing We give our yes at the Manila Cathedral
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Manila Cathedral’s February 6, 2021 | Opening of the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines (video starts at 01:44:00)
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Here are the beautiful lyrics of the song in both languages.

English Lyrics (We give our Yes)

We stand before the grand horizon
Five hundred years of faith, grateful today
We bear the gift of mission
Totally yours, we give ourselves
Faithfully yours until the end
To Your mission, Lord: we give our yes

Go where the sun rises above the hills
Share the word and serve those who are in need
Let the Morning Star accompany your way
Spread the fire of mission for the Lord

We stand before the grand horizon
Five hundred years of faith, grateful today
We bear the gift of mission
Totally yours, we give ourselves
Faithfully yours until the end
To Your mission, Lord: we give our yes

We are gifted to give and live our gifts
Mercy, compassion, justice and peace
The sign the world today will come to believe
Is the love we have for one and all

We bear the gift of mission
Mercy, compassion, justice and peace

We stand before the grand horizon
Five hundred years of faith, grateful today
We bear the gift of mission
Totally yours, we give ourselves
Faithfully yours, until the end
To Your mission, Lord: we give our yes!
To Your mission, Lord…
To Your mission, Lord: we give our yes!
We give our yes…

Tagalog Lyrics (Awit ng Misyon)

Limang daang taong biyaya
Salamat Panginoon, sa ‘Yong punla
Misyong kaloob sa aming puso
Aming sarili ay aming handog
Laging tapat, at laging tugon:
“Naririto, handa kami,
Panginoon!”
Kami’y hahayo sa iba’t ibang dako
Hatid ang iyong salita
at paglilingkod.
Inang Maria ang s’yang gabay nami’t lugod
Lalaganap alab ng ‘yong misyon!
Limang daang biyaya
Salamat Panginoon, sa ‘Yong punla.
Misyong kaloob sa aming puso
Aming sarili ay aming handog,
Laging tapat, at laging tugon:
“Naririto, handa kami,
Panginoon!”
Ang kaloob na aming alay sa mundo:
Katarungan, Kabanalan, Kapayapaan.
Sa senyal na ito maniniwala ang mundo:
Pagmamahal namin sa bawa’t tao!
Limang daang taong biyaya
Salamat! Salamat, Panginoon!
Limang daang taong biyaya
Salamat Panginoon, sa ‘yong punla
Misyong kaloob sa aming puso
Aming sarili ay aming handog
Laging tapat, at laging tugon:
“Naririto, handa kami,
Panginoon!”
“Naririto, handa kami,
Panginoon”

If you found this article useful, please help share it and follow my blog! Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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Why do Catholics Worship Images and Statues?

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This is a fair question a friendly non-Catholic would probably ask. But many angry anti-Catholics, who were used to be Catholics but never studied the faith, would ask differently. They would condemn us with statements like: “Catholics are idolaters because they worship images and statues by touching and kissing them, lighting a candle for them, and kneeling before them!” Many of our brethren who will hear such claims would begin to doubt on their faith especially when they hear the prohibitions of such actions in the Book of Exodus.

"You shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth." (20:3-4)

So, why do Catholics Worship Images and Statues? Actually, we don’t! Because in Catholicism there is only one form of worship-the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist. It’s when we worship the Triune God through the sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ the Word of God incarnate. In the worship, we participate and commemorate his life, passion, death, and resurrection. There is no other form of supernatural worship other than the Holy Eucharist.

The evangelist John wrote in his gospel that “true worshipers worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.” (John 4:23) This is done in the Catholic worship when the priest invoke the Holy Trinity many times in the celebration of the Holy Mass especially during epiclesis.

Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray
by sending down your Spirit
upon them like the dewfall,
so that they may become for us
the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Look, we pray, upon the oblation of your Church
and, recognizing the sacrificial Victim
by whose death you willed to reconcile us to yourself,
grant that we, who are nourished
by the Body and Blood of your Son
and filled with his Holy Spirit,
may become one body, one spirit in Christ.
Pre-consecration and Post-consecration prayers

Also, what is prohibited is carving anything and then “bowing down before them or worship them” (verse 20:5). This is something unthinkable for Catholics because we know “there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and though whom we exist.” (1 Corinthians 8:6) We are not polytheists.

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So, when we encounter such attacks, we should not be troubled. We should simply insist, in a friendly way, this one form of worship in Catholicism. Whether they believe it or not, we have done our job letting them know of the truth. Unless we have a lot of time, knowledge, skills, and patience for a debate, which is most of the time not productive, we should avoid falling into their trap. They usually open the conversation with one topic, then if they feel they are losing, they would open new ones such as purgatory, papacy, priesthood, infant baptism, etc. The list is endless.

If you found this article useful, please help share it and follow my blog! Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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The Church Should ‘Walk the Talk’ and Sell Her Wealth for the Poor

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The claim is similar to that of the anointing scene at Bethany when Mary (Martha’s sister) took a pound of costly ointment for pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. But Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’s disciples (he who was to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred dinarii (one year of individual income) and given the money to the poor?” (Matthew 26:9, Mark 14:5, John 12:5)

Indeed, many will say nowadays, especially during this time of pandemic, that the Church should ‘walk the talk’ and sell her wealth and help the poor and those affected by the crisis. I hope those who are demanding this really care about the poor and not because of their hatred against the Church? If they genuinely care about the poor then they are not like Judas who really did not care of the poor but himself (John 12:6). Perhaps they just need some enlightenment.

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We have to let them know that the Catholic Church is helping the poor since 30 A.D when our Lord Jesus Christ started his ministry. The apostles were imitators of Christ and this practice has been handed over from generations to generations. The Catholic Church (Not the Vatican) is currently the largest non-governmental provider of education and medical services in the world*.

Please take some time reading these short articles about the wealth that the Catholic Church does not have.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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Experiencing Mauban: A Rocky Beach near Brgy. Cagsiay II

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Isang maganda, malinis, at hindi matao na public beach sa Mauban, Quezon Province ang puedeng puntahan kapag medyo pigil sa budget. No entrance fee na, malinis at ramdam mo ang nature dahil hindi ito commercialized. Nakakarelax!

Located at Brgy. Cagsiay II, 20-30 mins from Mauban town proper. Please click here to view the place in Google Maps. Not sure kung may particular name itong property/place na ito.

Important notes: Ingat lang at puedeng malakas minsan ang alon depende sa panahon. Take your beach shoes and swimming goggles with you dahil maraming mga bato. This beach has no facilities at all. Do not bring small children with you. Recommended kung panandaliang langoy lang! Most importantly, sa mga maganang kumain, magdala ng pagkain! 🙂

Sharing some photos.

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Many Leave the Catholic Church for These Two Reasons

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This is a Facebook post from Dr. Fernando Casanova, a well-known theologian, and an ex- pastor of a Pentecostal church in Puerto Rico. He did doctorate degrees in Seville, Spain and in Indiana, USA. His studies led him to the Catholic Church. Now he is a staunch Catholic and one of the most famous Catholic Faith Defender for Spanish-Speaking Catholics in the Americas region.

This is my translation in English: There are only two reasons for us to stop being Catholic:

  1. because of Ignorance,
  2. and because anything other than practicing our faith is easy.

This post in Twitter in 2014, earned 2,000 likes and 500 shares in just 11 minutes (when I took below screenshot).

What do you think of this statement?

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How Can the Baptized People Live a Prophetic Life?

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Prophets come in to the scene when there is exploitation, oppression and misuse of power. The main work of the prophet is to speak the truth to the power that abuses. He speaks on behalf of God or God’s spokesperson on behalf of the voiceless suffering people. Those who cannot really speak.

Like the prophets, God the Father was with them. Like the first apostles, the Holy Spirit was with them in their journeys. So, we have to have the God with us in doing our individual missions for the kingdom of Christ.  A Church or a mission does not exist without the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit.

Christ is the greatest of all prophets because it is in him that everything in the Old Testament was fulfilled. He is the voice of the oppressed and relieved the suffering of many. Saint Paul urges us to become imitators of Christ (1 Cor 11:1, 1 Cor 4:16, Eph 5:1). As Christ saved us from slavery of sin and death, we have to be Christ for others especially the voiceless. We have to redeem others from physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual slavery. We need to be prophets in our days to those who are lonely, persecuted, and all those suffering caused by nature and those caused by the greed of some people.

In our own ways we can help and at the same time proclaim the Gospel to others. If we can only offer a little, then give a little, but if much is given then also much is expected from us. Where do we draw the line when talking about the right amount to spend for a cause is between us and God. We have to pray so we become more prudent with our decisions. God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7). God loves those who joyfully give some of their time, effort, skills, and money to others especially to the oppressed. By our love and service, we shall know that we are Christians.

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:3

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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The Three Types of Faith

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The three types or levels of faith are infantile faith, critical faith, and adult faith. Infantile faith is the faith we inherit from our parents. We learned to pray and worship God because our parents taught us to do so. You enter the critical level when you start asking questions about your faith and you are now asking for a reasonable answers. Your faith becomes adult when you fully understand your faith in general and you will be able to explain your faith to others.

For the practicing Catholic eyes, each person is entitled and can work for his salvation regardless of the level of faith he has. For example, an elderly prayerful laywoman who loves the sacraments and does pious practices, has same chance of salvation as the Pope in Rome or any well-known theologian.

I, personally, can say I am in between critical faith and adult faith. Definitely not infantile faith. How about you?

Let us serve Christ in all circumstances!

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An OFW Story: Arriving in Manila Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic

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[IF YOU HAVE READ THIS FEW DAYS AGO, I HAVE ADDED SOME UPDATES]

As an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), I am one of the numerous individuals affected by the current global crisis. Being far from my family has always been a challenge for me ever since I started working in Singapore. Before the pandemic, I was easily able to travel to and from PH. There was less stress and homesickness then. This obviously is no longer the case now that the global count of cases are going up by more than a hundred thousand per day.

As the situation worsened, my stress and anxiety worsened as well. Plus, I had this insomnia (for many years now) that was making me even more unhealthy. I felt heavy every single day due to lack of sleep and I was easily bothered by things or people around me. I barely even had the time to pray, and when I did pray, I was easily get distracted. I could still perform my work OK but I felt exhausted (physically and mentally) by the end of the day. Then I would be depressed at night not because of my insomnia but because of the fact that I will not be able to go home like before. Even posted this one on my page. 🙂

At first, my wife and I decided that I would stay in Singapore because of our financial needs. I promised to her I would try my very best to be well. Unfortunately, my situation in Singapore had become very unfavorable. Also, my pregnant wife (the delivery went well in mid June!) and my kids badly need me at home during these very difficult times. So, we had to proceed with plan B which was to take all the risks and go home.

After six canceled flights, I was blessed to secure a seat with the help of the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Singapore. I paid SGD390 (around PHP14,000) for a one-way flight with baggage allowance and a simple meal. This used to be the price I was paying for two return flights. Missing the extra-low fares already!

I thought of recording my travel experience as an OFW to give my fellow OFWs an idea of how are things now especially in the Philippines.

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What to expect when travelling from Singapore to Manila amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?

Before anything else, my sincere thanks to the Philippine government authorities especially the front-liners who received us and took care of us from the time we landed at NAIA! Salamat talaga ng marami sa inyong mga sakripisyo especially para sa aming mga OFWs! Baka maglalaan ako ng isa pang post para lang magpasalamat sa inyong lahat.

  • Plane Ticket Bookings

    There is high probability that pre-booked flight bookings, regardless of the airlines, will be canceled. This is because our airports in the Philippines are ready to accept only a limited number of incoming travelers per day. I found this unreasonable until I saw the situation with my own eyes. So, I suggest you get in touch with the Philippine Embassy in Singapore and follow their Facebook page to monitor the next special flight. It’s the surest way to get a flight!

  • Before the Flight

    Prepare the following:

    1. Masks (surgical masks for some airlines),

    2. Hand spray/sanitizer (<100ml),

    3. Internet connection. Manila airport provides free internet but in case you are not able to connect, it’s always good to have a backup like internet roaming or even better if you have a Philippine SIM with data. Internet is extremely necessary as part of the Red Cross Swab Test procedures.

    4. Food and water. Food will be provided but you might get hungry while on queue (trust me!). It took us 6 hours from the time we landed at NAIA up to the time we got in to our quarantine hotel.

    5. Hygiene Kit (soap, toothbrush, tissue, etc). If you get lucky and will be assigned an elegant accommodation, you will not need these. I was not lucky so I had to spend my own money for these items.

    6. Power Bank

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  • At Changi Airport

    The airport is almost a ghost town. You might even see groups of people in full PPE suit queuing for their flights. Maybe their destination country has special protocols for incoming travelers or maybe they are medical professionals.

    Although the airport is not crowded, still you need to arrive early and follow the social distancing protocols in place. The airline and the airport staff will avoid any unimportant contact with you or your properties so expect nobody to help you with carrying or lifting your luggage. Mask on all the time!

    At Singapore immigration, nothing has changed. Unlike in the Philippines, the auto-gates are still an efficient option for long term pass holders. So, you may scan and go straight to your boarding gate.

  • On the Plane

    Not sure with other flights but the one I had had no social distancing observed. The Airbus 320 was full so expect and pray hard that nobody has the virus in your flight. You are only to remove your masks when taking your meal.

    You won’t see the faces of the cabin crews so refer to their name tags so you can address them appropriately.

    Besides the arrival card, you will need to fill out an OWWA form and BOC form. Please have a pen ready because there is a lot of manual writing to do along the way. Having your own pen minimizes the transmission of the virus.

  • Prior to Disembarkation

    The Bureau of Quarantine will come in and brief the arriving passengers about the protocols in the airport. They will have you fill out a declaration form that you are well and have not been in contact with a person with the virus. While the form is being collected another BOQ personnel will do a thermal scan perhaps to isolate those who high temperatures.

    When the airport is ready, the passengers will be requested to leave the aircraft one row at a time allowing 30 seconds between rows. Masks on, observe social distancing!

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  • Swab Testing

    The Philippine Red Cross and the Philippine Coast Guard teams are managing the swab tests. The procedure is easy and they are very kind to answer your questions. Please be patient and wait for your turn. The queue can be long like in my case. Note, please have your Philhealth number ready. I did not have time to ask what happened to those who did not have Philhealth numbers but I heard some tourists and non-OFWs had to pay for the swab.

    Prior to swabbing, you will be asked to scan a QR code with your phone which takes you to a Red Cross website where you need to provide your personal details. This is why you need to have a good internet connection so you could access the site, fill out the form that includes uploading a photo of your passport. Once submitted, take a screenshot of the QR code generated for you. The code will be used for verification before the actual swab test. Upon verification, the staff will provide you some 5 or 6 bar codes. One of which, will be stuck on your passport to cross check your records later. The other bar codes will be handed over to the swab test booth personnel and you will be asked to show your passport.

    The swabbing experience is not good but bearable for adults. I cannot imagine my toddlers undergoing the same thing I did. This is one thing to take note for those travelling with babies or young children. After the swab, you will be led to the immigration counters. There is nothing new except the social distancing measures but expect a long queue as usual.

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  • After the Immigration

    Land-based OFWs are to approach OWWA. Short orientation will be done and food (in my case, food was given) will be provided. They will then do further verification with your Red Cross QR code before assigning the accommodation. You will then ride on an OWWA provided transport to the pre-assigned facility. You cannot pre-plan or choose your own accommodation or mode of transport to the quarantine facility.

  • On the Way to Quarantine

    Social distancing on the bus will be strictly observed. OWWA will ask you to fill out forms so make sure your pen is still with you. If you get lucky, you will be in the quarantine facility in no time. In my case, it was almost midnight and there was no traffic so we were able to get to Cubao in just few minutes. Even though the travel time was OK, we had to wait inside the bus for more than 30 minutes until all OFWs were ready to leave the airport.

  • At the Quarantine Facility

    You will be asked to observe social distancing even in the hotel check in area. In our case, the check-in process was done individually which involved temperature screening and filling out a form (again!) at the hotel front desk. Please do not expect you will be sent to a 5-star accommodation, only a few of those hotels are approved by the government as qualified quarantine facility and most probably other OFWs are already staying in them.

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  • During the Quarantine Stay

    Pray, pray, and pray that everything will be OK!

    You are to stay at your room all the time. An OWWA staff (Houseparent) will check on you to make sure you are OK. Food and water will be provided three times a day. Please do not expect a sumptuous 4-course meal at a quarantine facility. 🙂 If you encounter any problem during your stay or if you are unwell, please let the roving nurse / houseparent know.

    It will take around three days for the result of your swab test. It’s a waiting game! Make sure you have a good internet connection so you can monitor the result and so you can receive emails from Red Cross or OWWA. These pages will be very useful for your monitoring:

    The second link worked for me. They promised to give a result within 72 hours and I got mine shortly before the 72 hours would lapse (see image). Few hours after that Red Cross sent me an email with an attached certificate in PDF format (not shown here). The certificate is a proof that you tested negative of COVID-19 and that you can now leave the quarantine.

    Unfortunately the wait did not stop here. Only those who have “sundo” can exit the quarantine facility. OFWs who do not have their own transport to their provinces will have to wait for our generous OWWA (Thanks God for OWWA!). They will arrange the transport to PITEX (Bus terminal in Pasay near Coastal Mall) for those going home via land or to NAIA for those who need to fly to Visayas and Mindanao. OWWA will again shoulder the expenses.

    So although I received my negative result on the third day, I was able to arrange transport for myself only on the fifth day. I had the option to stay longer at the hotel but there was no certainty as to when OWWA (and DOTR, I think!) could send us home due to the volume of OFWs like us in the same situation which is understandable.

  • After Manila Quarantine

    Please get in touch with your LGUs. Some, depending on their quarantine status, require an acceptance letter. Check also with the OWWA representative or houseparent in the quarantine facility you are in if there is a need to get an actual certificate from PITEX even if you have “sundo”. In my case, I was told there was no need for it and that the certificate from Red Cross was sufficient.

    Another OFW, husband of my best friend also arrived in Manila, was asked to go to PITX before going home because for some reasons he did not receive an email from the Philippine Red Cross even though he already got the negative results via https://redcross.com.ph/verify.

    Note that before checkout, for those with “sundo”, you will be asked to fill out at least two forms and an affidavit. Don’t forget to thank the Lord for everything! Thank the hotel staff, the OWWA officials, and all who worked hard for your stay. 🙂

  • On my Way to the Province

    On my way from Manila (by land), authorities in uniforms can be spotted in many areas especially along EDSA. I noticed them stopping some random vehicles perhaps to make sure there was no overcrowding inside or if the passengers were wearing masks to minimize the transmission of the virus.

    The LGUs are as strict as the national government. At two checkpoints in Quezon Province I had to open the car window for a temperature check. Some of the local towns have zero cases so checkpoints are everywhere to filter only incoming residents / visitors who do not have the symptoms of the virus.

  • At Home Quarantine

    A daily record of your temperature and health condition

    Before you even plan to go home, you (or your family) should have already informed the barangay. I remember few weeks back, there need to be an acceptance letter issued by the barangay for you to be allowed to go back home. Since the quarantine status has loosen a bit, the letter was not necessary for me.

    In my place, a 14-day home quarantine is required for all incoming residents regardless of whether you tested negative or not. The local government is very careful in letting even their own residents especially those coming from the coronavirus hot spots like Manila and Cebu.

    I’m with my family but not quite! I can see them but cannot hug them or kiss them or have a meal with them yet. So far everything is good, no virus symptoms whatsoever. Counting the days when I can finally and truly be with them.

My “balik-pilipinas” story ends here! Please share this post to all those who might benefit from this article. Thank you.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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Steve Ray on Being “Born Again”

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Empower Philippines was live last Saturday 6th of June with Steve Ray as their guest. Steve was a protestant by birth who converted to Catholicism after thorough study about the Bible and the Church. He is a writer of many books including “Upon this Rock” and “The Papacy: What the Pope Does and Why It Matters”. He also is a frequent guest of many EWTN and Relevant Radio programs.

These are the things that I think most Born Again Christians do not realize as what I have learned from the video:

  1. On “Bible Alone” and on being “Born Again“(’22). Steve said that if we were 33 years old and we were there when Jesus died and rose again, we would never have read about the term “born again” because the Gospel of John was written only 77 years later. Even if it were written earlier, only the apostles would know about it because there was no printing presses and bookstores and we would have never read about it. How then would we have known how to get saved and be born again if we didn’t have the book?
  2. “Bible” or “Tradition” (’24). The Catholic Church added the Bible to the Church. When Jesus ascended to heaven he never asked his followers to read his book because there was no book. Instead, Jesus left behind 12 men, one of them carrying the keys of the Kingdom. The Bible is a product of the Sacred Tradition produced by the teachings and practices of the first Christians.
  3. The brightest Protestants become Catholics (’29). The best and the brightest of the Protestants are becoming Catholics. It’s the Catholics who don’t know their faith, the ignorant Catholics, who are leaving the Catholic Church because of moral or sexual issues. Many of them, the least trained, the most uneducated Catholics, are leaving to become Protestants because they’re easily enticed away. How can they leave the Church before they know? How can they leave before really studying everything about the Catholic Church?
  4. Catholics are born again the Bible way! (’36). Steve tells a story of a conversation he had with a Baptist pastor. Pastor: Are you born again? Steve: Yes, I am born again the Bible way! Pastor: What do you mean? Steve: First tell me what you mean by born again, and I’ll tell you what I meant. Pastor: You become born again when you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and savior and asking him to come in to your heart. Steve: These verses are not in the Bible. It is a Baptist tradition and not a Bible teaching. Being born again means to be born of water and spirit (which refers to Baptism).
  5. On being born of water and spirit (’39). Every time the Lord creates, water and spirit are involved. The Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2). God sent forth a dove (Spirit) from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground (Genesis 8:8, Peter 3:20-21). In the Exodus event, the spirit of God as fire-cloud protected the Israelites who were crossing the waters of the red sea (1 Cor 10:1-4, Isaiah 63:10-14). Jesus is the fulfillment of all this because when he himself got baptized in the river, the Spirit of God descended over him. This new creation through baptism is what Jesus meant about being born again. In fact, after he spoke to Nichodemus (John 3:3), Jesus and his disciples went down to the Jordan river to baptize. “Jesus saved us by the washing of regeneration and and renewal in the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). Something that Prophet Ezekiel already foretold (Ezekiel 36:25-17).
  6. “Born Again” used by Catholics before the Bible (’48). The word “born again” is always understood and used by Catholics referring to baptism even before the first Bible was made (around 380 A.D.) St. Irenaeus in 180 AD, who received the teachings of St. Polycarp, who received the teachings of St. John the Apostles, who received the teachings of Jesus, wrote: “He came to save all through means of Himself — all, I say, who through Him are born again to God — infants, and children, and boys, and youths, and old men.” (Against Heresies Book II, Chapter 22)
  7. Believing is enough, or may be not! (’55). Protestants usually use Acts 16:31 to support their teaching that believing in the Lord is enough to be saved. But the Bible never says believing “is enough”. In the contrary, it is by works that a man is justified, and not by faith only (James 2:24). Believing is only enough in emergency situations. A non-Christian, if dying and has one minute to live, it is enough to profess that he believes in Jesus and he will be saved. But in normal situations when we have years to live, we have to believe and follow Christ’s teachings.
  8. The opposite of “to believe” is not “to disbelieve” (’58). If you have an hour, days, months, or years to live, then we must study what really “to believe” means. The shortcut to this is to know from the scriptures what is the opposite of believing. Jesus makes it clear for us that the opposite of belief is not disbelief but disobedience. “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” (John 3:36)
  9. The Sodomites have greater chance than those who only believe and not repent (’61). The believing crowd was following Jesus because of the miracles he performed but the crowd never repent and follow what he teaches. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes… But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” (Matthew 11:20-24)
  10. On Infant Baptism (’70). Christian practices are drawn from the Jewish traditions. If the Jewish people like Jesus and John the Baptist were circumcised on the eighth day, then why should we condemn infant baptism? It was the faith of Jesus’s and John’s parents that brought them in to the covenant people of God. Same thing in Baptism which is “circumcision without human hands” in Christianity. “In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.” (Colosians 2:11-12)
  11. “I became Catholic because of the Bible.” (’81). Last but not the least, from the mouth of a former Baptist Born Again Protestant himself. He said, “I became Catholic because of the Bible.”

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

Read also:

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Jesus Words “I Will Build My Church” Fulfilled in the Catholic Church

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In a previous post, I mentioned there that everything that Jesus did during his ministry was for our salvation. Jesus never did anything unnecessary and one of the most important things he did was the founding of one singular Church (Matthew 16:18). His Church is essential to our salvation because she is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15). Let us see if this Church is really the Catholic Church.

In English grammar, the word will is a modal. According to the British Council, we use modals to show if we believe something is certain or possible. We also use them to talk about ability, ask permission, and make requests and offers. Will is used to talk about what is going to happen in the future, especially things that you are certain about or things that are planned (Cambridge dictionary). And as per Collins dictionary, we use will in order to make statements about official arrangements in the future.

So, when Jesus said he will build his church, he was very serious about it. He was certain that Peter can lead his church as he planned. He was officially arranging a construction of his church upon Peter! Here is the full text of the story in Matthew 16:13-19:

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (“petrus”) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Many of the people claim to know Jesus Christ but only Peter-through God’s revelation-really knew who he was. Nowadays, many churches claim to know Jesus Christ but only the Catholic Church-through the Holy Spirit’s guidance-knows him best.

The Catholic Church by definition is the society of all baptized persons united in the one true faith under the authority of the Pope, the successor of Saint Peter. The Catholic Church is the only Church that God built in fulfillment to Jesus’s promise “I will build my Church”. Here are some reasons why:

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  1. The Catholic Church’s first leader after Jesus is Peter. For me this is not debatable because the Holy Bible and the world history can prove this fact. There is an unbroken link between our current leader, Pope Francis, and Peter.
  2. The Catholic Church is the only bride of Christ. The letters of Saint Paul and the book of Revelation puts the Church as the bride of Christ (Eph 5:23, 2 Cor 11:2, Rev 19:7, 21:2, 21:9, 22:17). There is no mention of a plural brides of Christ. That only bride in no doubt is the Catholic Church. It is nonsensical for other churches to claim that theirs is the bride of Christ, even worse, that theirs is another bride of Christ.
  3. The Catholic Church is the only Church who continues the full mission of Jesus. Jesus started his mission of salvation and his mystical body (the Church) continues his mission. Through the Catholic Church; Jesus continues to forgive sin through the Confession, cast out demons though the Exorcism ministry, baptizes through the Sacrament of Baptism, heals and cures the sick through the Church’s charitable institutions, appoints priests to minister his flocks, etc.
  4. The Catholic Church is the only Church who enjoys the binding and loosing authority. This is obvious because the other churches do not have Peter. Jesus delegated his authority to Peter, then that authority was delegated to the next popes. It is the same authority that our current supreme pontiff possesses. If Peter can exercise his authority to settle the issues about circumcision of non-Jews in Jerusalem, Pope Francis can also exercise his authority to make death penalty inadmissible.
  5. The Catholic Church has the surest way to heaven. The Sacraments are a big deal for our souls. The sacraments sanctify our souls so that we become ready for when the Lord comes or if we die prematurely. Without the sacraments we will have unhealthy souls. We all know that only those who washed their robes (Revelation 22:14) enter the gates. That means we should have healthy souls without any stain of sin upon entering the gates of heaven.
  6. The Catholic Church’s doctrine of Purgatory. Since nobody can enter with unwashed robes, the Catholic Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory as final purification of the elect based on the Sacred Tradition of the Church and reference to certain texts of Scripture that speaks of a cleansing fire (CCC 1031, 1 Cor 3:15; 1 Pet 1:7), which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.
  7. The Catholic Church is a visible Church with marks. Many non-Catholic churches claim that a real church should be an unseen group of saved people studying the Bible privately and that a visible Church with a hierarchy is not necessary. The Catholic Church is a visible Church with a hierarchy following Jesus’s examples. He, the master, chose twelve apostles and other disciples to proclaim the gospel to all nations. One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic are the marks of the Church not because she earned them by herself but because her founder, Jesus, is one, holy, universal, and an apostle (meaning “sent”) by God.

The Catholic Church, being the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15) is necessary for our salvation. Let us then make efforts and pray that Jesus’s Gospel be made known to the whole world. “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim 2:3-4)

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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