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"Blessed are you" was not a normal way to address someone in Scripture. Jesus used it to address a certain individual only once, and that was Peter (in Matthew 16:17). By doing so, Jesus drew attention to what he was about to say to Peter in front of the other disciples, and by it, gave it a semblance of being the most important statement he would ever make to him. Meantime, Mary is the only other person in the NT to be addressed this way as Elizabeth said to her: "Blessed are you among women." (Luke 1:42) So then, Mary is addressed in this way when it's publicly announced that she'll be a mother -- to Christ, and Peter is addressed in this way when it's publicly announced that he'll be a father -- of the Church of Christ.

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"Poimaine” is the Greek word used for “tend,” and it means to rule or govern. So then, in John 21:16, Jesus tells Peter to rule and govern his disciples when He says: "Tend my sheep." As you know, a shepherd tends to sheep, and in John 10:16, Jesus says: "There will be one flock, one shepherd." Peter was a bishop, and bishops, according to the Bible, "oversee," or govern, as John 21 indicates. Meantime, bishops will always be a part of God's Church, or if you wish, "flock" (s...ee Acts 1:20), and this reality is further evidenced by looking to the beginnings of God's Church when we read Clement's first letter to the Corinthians: "Our apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife for the office of bishop. For this reason, therefore... if they should die, other approved men should succeed to their ministry" (Letter to the Corinthians 42:4–5, 44:1–3 [A.D. 80]). Interestingly, Clement was a shepherd himself; the third successor of Peter, having followed Anacletus and Linus. In conclusion, let's reflect on one last verse from Acts: "Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God." (20:28)

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It's obvious that when Jesus died on the cross at Calvary his sacrifice was finished, but not until it's understood that this sacrifice began by him giving his body and his blood as bread and wine, as he did at the Last Supper, is it possible to see how that, and his death, are the very same sacrifice.

When Jesus offered his body and his blood as bread and wine at the Last Supper, he did so separately, and because a body can not survive without blood, by separating the bread ...

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“There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”

-Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

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Catholic Christians are not in opposition to Scripture by calling priests “father,” and if ever charged with such, realize you're in good company. Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament, and was also one of the Church's most prominent evangelists, never stopped at calling any man on earth father, and to be blunt, he even called himself one: “For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the go...

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When Jesus commanded: “Do this in remembrance of me,” (Luke 22:19) he meant a lot more from it than just for his disciples to merely remember the Last Supper by simply eating and drinking some bread and wine, and by examining the Bible and the original Greek understanding of the very technical word for remembrance, it can be clear that when Jesus commanded: “Do this in remembrance of me,” he radically meant for all of his disciples “until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26) to li...

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By the grace of God, the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of Christ has received a new vicar of Christ; Pope Francis. I ask you to please include him in your prayers as he enters this new ministry of “shepherding the flock,” (John 10:16) and I also thank you, and pray that God blesses you... Amen.

With a thought that just maybe you found this page out of curiosity “of all things Catholic” given the the election of a new pope for the universal Church, the following ar...e re-posts about the papacy. Or perhaps, you're new to Come Follow Me and have never read these, and are visiting this page under the same motivation, or maybe you were just too busy in the past and missed these altogether. But no matter your reason, my reason for re-posting them is so that the Truth can continue to resonate.

This first re-posting explains how popes speak and act in authority of Jesus.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Come-Follow-Me/401508269916286#!/photo.php?fbid=437757626291350&set=pb.401508269916286.-2207520000.1363224681&type=3&theater

This second re-posting explains how there can only be one true church that Jesus founded, and by tracing back the succession of men that have been appointed to represent it here on earth, you'll discover that there's one unbroken line of unity that begins with Peter 2,000 years ago and extends all the way to Pope Francis today.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=430583417008771&set=pb.401508269916286.-2207520000.1363224681&type=3&theater#!/photo.php?fbid=430583417008771&set=pb.401508269916286.-2207520000.1363225314&type=3&theater

This third re-posting covers how Peter truly was the “rock” that Jesus founded his one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church on, and that Peter, as well as all of his successors speak and act in authority of Jesus.
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This final re-posting is very insightful as to exactly why Jesus specifically used a “rock” to build his church.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=430583417008771&set=pb.401508269916286.-2207520000.1363224681&type=3&theater#!/photo.php?fbid=414851038582009&set=pb.401508269916286.-2207520000.1363225319&type=3&theater

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Transubstantiation is a big misunderstanding that requires a big post, and the quickest way to begin explaining it is by jumping right in with all that's needed to get started; the objection: According to many non-Catholic Christians, Transubstantiation is “nothing more than a human invention of the Church from the Middle Ages, and not a single one of the early Christians ever believed Jesus to be speaking literally when he said: This is my body... This is my blood.” (Matthe...

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“Once saved, always saved” is primarily an Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christian concept that means by making Jesus “personal Lord and Savior” salvation then comes by merely believing in Jesus, and because Jesus paid the price for that salvation by dying on the cross, our salvation is assured.

“Once saved, always saved” is also a radical opposition to Scripture and amounts to nothing more than a false hope that should be rejected. But even so, many still adhere to it, and...

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We can read in the Bible to “pray constantly” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18) and that Jesus would “pray all night,” (Luke 6:12) and sometimes even pray the “same words repeatedly,” (Matthew 26:44) but no one thinks twice. Yet when Catholic Christians apply what they read in the Bible and begin to emulate Jesus by praying as much and as often as he did by praying the Rosary, they're outstandingly charged with “vain repetition.”

The disapproval some fellow believers have for Catholi...

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Some sins are graver than others and the Church identifies the difference in severity by categorizing sin as either mortal or venial.

Mortal sin is a deliberate disobedience to the Law of God and a serious grave matter that separates us from God's grace (see Romans 11:21-23). Realize, it is we that separate ourselves by sinning, and not the other way around. Mortal sin is seen a complete departure from the path toward God. Meanwhile, venial sin does not have as far-reaching ...

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Ash Wednesday is a day of repentance, and the first day of Lent; which ushers in forty days of prayer and fasting in preparation to Easter. On this special day, blessed ashes are used by a priest to make a visible sign of the cross on the foreheads of the faithful, and each time the the priest marks a forehead, he also says a short prayer: “You are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19) The ashes symbolize repentance, and altogether, this ceremony reminds the fai...thful of the shortness of life and also evokes serious thoughts of eternity.

Recognizing the Wednesday that introduces the forty days before Easter by repenting and acts of self-denial during these same forty days has been a Church tradition since the fourth century; although the use of ashes was not made customary to this celebration until the seventh century. The determination of forty days lies in the examples given to us by both Moses and Jesus, (Exodus 34:28 Matthew 4:2) and it was not until the Middle Ages that the forty day period came to be known as “Lent;” a German word which simply means “springtime.”

On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, all Catholic Christians between the ages of 18 and 59 are to fast by limiting themselves to only one full meal. Additionally, all Catholics 14 years of age and older also abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all of the Fridays during Lent. Finally, Catholics also add private acts of charity and make other sacrifices in addition to fasting during Lent, and all of these sacrifices – public or private – serve as forms of penance.

Jesus advocates fasting, (Matthew 6:16) Paul extols it, (2 Corinthians 6:4-5) and overall, the Church sees that by us giving up a little food in preparation to the celebration of Jesus giving up his life for us, his sacrifice, death, and resurrection can remain present on our minds during these forty days of prayer and repentance.

In conclusion, Ash Wednesday is a day of repentance and the first day of Lent; which is the beginning to forty days of prayer and penance observed by fasting, private acts of charity, and other sacrifices as a way to prepare the heart, soul, and mind for Easter.

My friend, “there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10) May you be blessed with the grace needed to make this Lent one which strengthens your faith in Jesus, and by your sacrifices and charity, may you also become closer to God, amen.

*For an understanding why Catholic Christians mark themselves at all, see this post: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Come-Follow-Me/401508269916286#!/photo.php?fbid=445220392211740&set=a.404103929656720.90201.401508269916286&type=1&theater

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"My friend, may no adversity paralyze you. Be afraid neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, his name will continue to resound throughout the world.”

-Pope Benedict XVI

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Some fellow Christians avoid drinking alcohol – which is fine – but some of these same Christians also tell others to do the same because they believe it's sinful. This is not fine, because nowhere in the Bible does God forbid alcohol.

Meanwhile, fellow Christians that believe alcohol is sinful very often arrive at that conclusion by misinterpreting Proverbs 20:1: “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” So with that in mind,...

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Know the Faith. Live the Faith. Explain the Faith...

Some Protestants relish the opportunity to “save” Catholic Christians from their “idolatrous” and “pagan” ways, and in anticipation to taking another out of the “grips of Rome,” they sometimes approach Catholics with what they think is a solid contradiction to what we believe about the Holy Eucharist by quoting from the Bible: “Jesus also says he's a gate. (John 10:9) It's only a metaphor; just like when Jesus says “this is... my body” (Matthew 26:26) and “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35) Jesus is no more bread than he is a gate. How do you explain yourself”?

Personally, I always try to explain this or any other Catholic doctrine that is misunderstood by others with charity and respect. Secondly, I begin by explaining how Catholic Christians realize that John 10:9 is a Bible verse taken from a parable while both Matthew 26:26 and John 6:35 are not at all parables, but indeed actual events and teachings of Christ. Next, I explain how Jesus in Matthew 26:26 (and every other account of the Last Supper in the Bible) takes bread into his hands and says: “this is my body,” but never does he take a gate into his hands and say the same thing. After that, I explain why Catholics don't believe Jesus was speaking metaphorically by pointing to John 6:55, and how Jesus says: “My flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” Next, I refer back again to Matthew 26:26 to show that Jesus is calling bread, which is “food indeed,” his body. And finally, I conclude that Jesus is like a gate because we have to go through him to get to heaven, (John 14:6) but Jesus is not like bread, but very truly indeed bread, and because he says so, and then I plant a seed there by asking: “Why don't you also believe what Jesus says?”

My friend, know the Faith. Live the Faith. Explain the Faith.

God bless you... Amen.

*Matthew 26:26 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/…

*John 6:35-58 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/…

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IT'S TRUE: In the past, the Catholic Church kept Bibles chained inside churches.

IT'S FALSE: The Catholic Church did this to keep the faithful from reading it.

IT'S EXPLAINED: Prior to the invention of the printing press, producing a copy of the Bible took a very long time and also cost a lot of money. For these same reasons, libraries and universities also chained books. As you may be aware, the Catholic Church teaches that people are sinners, and unfortunately, theft is a ...common sin. If Bibles were left unsecured, then chances are they would be stolen and then sold to the wealthy, and therefore, be only available to a few rather than the many.

IT'S RIDICULOUS: If a chained Bible truly kept the faithful from reading it, then do banks today keep pens chained too because they don't want anyone to use them, or because they want everyone to use them?

IT'S CONCLUDED: The Catholic Church does not deny that she once chained Bibles inside churches... But what's forgotten is that libraries and universities also chained books, and just like the Church, this was not a means to keep people from reading, but from stealing.

IT'S OVER: The first Bibles were all produced by Catholics, and prior to the invention of the printing press, Bibles were both preserved and copied by monks in monasteries. The inventor of the printing press, Gutenberg, was a Catholic, and he was first to print the Bible. Finally, it's a matter of historical fact: without the Catholic Church, there is no Bible: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Come-Follow-Me/401508269916286#!/photo.php?fbid=423135584420221&set=pb.401508269916286.-2207520000.1359339970&type=3&theater

IT'S A PRAYER: May you keep believing and never stop spreading the Truth my friend. God bless you, amen.

*In the past, the Church has also burned Bibles. For an explanation why, see this post: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Come-Follow-Me/401508269916286#!/photo.php?fbid=448631405203972&set=a.404103929656720.90201.401508269916286&type=1&theater

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IT'S TRUE: In the past, the Catholic Church burned Bibles.

IT'S FALSE: The Catholic Church did this to keep the faithful from reading it.

IT'S EXPLAINED: The Catholic Church made replacement Bibles available and the translations burned – Wycliffe's and Tyndale's – were so poor that even most Protestant churches today don't even use them. By burning these poorly translated Bibles, the Church was merely demonstrating her high regard for truth by rooting out error.

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IT'S RIDICULOUS: If the Catholic Church truly wanted to keep the faithful from reading the Bible, then why has she almost exclusively led initiatives in the past to conquer illiteracy?

IT'S CONCLUDED: The Catholic Church does not deny that she once burned Bibles... But what's forgotten is that she made replacement Bibles available and the copies that she burned were so poorly translated that even most Protestant churches today don't even use them.

IT'S OVER: The first Bibles were all produced by Catholics, and prior to the invention of the printing press, Bibles were both preserved and copied by monks in monasteries. The inventor of the printing press, Gutenberg, was a Catholic, and he was first to print the Bible. Finally, it's a matter of historical fact: without the Catholic Church there is no Bible: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Come-Follow-Me/401508269916286#!/photo.php?fbid=423135584420221&set=pb.401508269916286.-2207520000.1359339970&type=3&theater

IT'S A PRAYER: May you keep believing and never stop spreading the Truth my friend. God bless you, amen.

*In the past, the Church has also chained Bibles. For an explanation why, see this post: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Come-Follow-Me/401508269916286#!/photo.php?fbid=449311578469288&set=a.404103929656720.90201.401508269916286&type=1&theater

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