The question was asked, “Who is the Father of Jesus?” The answer is simple. The Father of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is God the Father, the First Person of the Holy Trinity. Christ, the Eternal Word and Second Person of the Trinity, is the only-begotten Son of the Almighty Father and the Incarnate Son of the Virgin Mary. Christ has two natures, one divine, one human.
The Heart of God the Father in Christianity is indicated by 27 specific references in Sacred Scripture (Bartolo-Abela, 2012), with 26 of these references being in the Old Testament whereas one of the references in in the New Testament (Bovenmars, 1991). Many of these references exist in all three major sources of Scripture as shown below: namely, the Septuagint (LXX), the Masoretic text and the Latin Vulgate. A few of the references could be considered doubtful because of their presence in only one of the aforementioned sources. The 27 references in Scripture which speak about the Heart of the Father are:
- Gn 6:6-7 (Vulgate, LXX);
- Gn 8:21 (Masoretic);
- Jb 7:17 (Vulgate, Masoretic);
- Jb 9:4 (Vulgate, Masoretic);
- Jb 10:11-13 (Vulgate, Masoretic);
- Ps 32:11 (Vulgate) / 33:11 (LXX, Masoretic);
- Ps 77:70-72 (Vulgate, Masoretic) / 78:70-72 (LXX);
- Is 63:4 (Vulgate, Masoretic);
- Jer 3:14-15 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
- Jer 7:30-31 (Vulgate, LXX);
- Jer 19:5 (LXX);
- Jer 23:20 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
- Jer 30:24 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
- Jer 32:35 (Vulgate);
- Jer 32:41 (Vulgate, Masoretic) / 39:41 (LXX);
- Jer 44:21 (Vulgate) / 51:21 (LXX);
- Lam 3:33 (LXX);
- Ez 28:2 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
- Hos 11:8-9 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
- 1 Chr 17:19 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
- 2 Chr 7:16 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
- 1 Kgs 2:35 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
- 1 Kgs 13:14 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
- 2 Kgs 7:21 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
- 3 Kgs 9:3 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
- 4 Kgs 10:30 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
- Acts 13:22 (Vulgate).
- Bartolo-Abela, M. (2012). The Icon of the Divine Heart of God the Father: Apologia and Canon.
- Bovenmars, J. G. (1991). Biblical spirituality of the heart.
The question has been asked, “What is a Christian’s divine inheritance?” The answer in a nutshell is, “To live forever in the bosom of the Most Holy Trinity.” That is what Christ gave us with His Passion, death, and Resurrection. Happiness, peace, joy, and love unparalleled for eternity. Something utterly inconceivable to many human persons and that was intended for us from the beginning.
The question has been asked, “Did Christ inherit the divinity of God?” The answer is a definitive “no.” Christ did not inherit divinity. He is, was, and will always be divine by origin, by nature, like God the Father Himself and this from before creation and the beginning of time (viz. Jn 1:1).
Christ is both God and Man. He did not become God by inheritance, by progressive deification, by grace as was intended by the Heavenly Father for humankind – created beings. He is God because He has always been God, begotten not created: in the beginning there was the Holy Trinity – God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – and silence. No one else; nothing else. To claim, therefore, that Jesus Christ somehow ‘inherited’ His divinity is to proclaim an outright heresy.
The question was asked, “According to Catholicism, is Islam a religion or a sect?” The answer is that Islam is a religion. It is by no means a sect – to claim this is to go directly against the mind of the Church. It is a slur that emanates from prejudice and hatred, not from true knowledge which is wisdom or from a genuine Christian spirit.
Islam is one of the three monotheistic religions in which the worship of the One, Indivisible God prevails, together with Christianity and Judaism. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the God of Jesus Christ (His only-begotten and divine Son), Mary and Joseph – is also the God of Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael. To claim otherwise is a lie, no matter from where that claim may originate. Yes, God the Creator is Allah and Allah is God the Creator. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the culture of the Maltese people where the God of Christianity – the God of Catholicism, to be precise – is referred to as Alla in the Maltese language.
Muslims worship the same God as Christians and Jews do – even though some, in all three religions, may take intense issue with this fact. Profound misunderstandings and misconceptions abound these days about Islam, especially among more than a few American Catholics, ‘professional’ or otherwise. Thus, for the sake of the truth which must always prevail, let us see what the Church says about Islam.
The teachings of the Catholic Church about Islam
“The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place among whom are the Muslims: these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day” – Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (1964).
“Then [we refer] to the adorers of God according to the conception of monotheism, the Muslim religion especially, deserving of our admiration for all that is true and good in their worship of God” – Ecclesiam Suam (1964).
“The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions. She has a high regard for the manner of life and conduct, the precepts and doctrines which, although differing in many ways from her own teaching, nevertheless often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men. Yet she proclaims and is in duty bound to proclaim without fail, Christ who is ‘the way, the truth and the life’ (Jn 1:6). In Him, in whom God reconciled all things to Himself (cf. 2 Co 5:18-19), men find the fullness of their religious life. The Church, therefore, urges her sons to enter with prudence and charity into discussion and collaboration with members of other religions. Let Christians, while witnessing to their own faith and way of life, acknowledge, preserve and encourage the spiritual and moral truths found among non-Christians, also their social life and culture.
“The Church has also a high regard for the Muslims. They worship God, who is one, living and subsistent, merciful and almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth (Cf. St. Gregory VII, Letter III, 21 to Anazir [Al-Nasir], King of Mauretania PL, 148.451A.), who has spoken to men. They strive to submit themselves without reserve to the hidden decrees of God, just as Abraham submitted himself to God’s plan, to whose faith Muslims eagerly link their own. Although not acknowledging Him as God, they venerate Jesus as a prophet, His Virgin Mother they also honor, and even at times devoutly invoke. Further, they await the day of judgment and the reward of God following the resurrection of the dead. For this reason they highly esteem an upright life and worship God, especially by way of prayer, alms-deeds and fasting. (more…)
The Mystical Body of Christ – the Church
A lot of questions, contentions and assertions, often contradictory, have arisen lately about the matter of who is, or is not, part of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. Some have been correct. However, by far, the larger part of the contentions and assertions have all been either just partially correct or flat-out wrong. Some have been fueled by inadequate knowledge; others have been fueled by partisan denominational agendas. Misunderstandings and misrepresentations abound. Let us look, therefore, at who and what constitutes the Church.
The Church is made up of three parts: the (1) Church Triumphant, which consists of all those persons who are now in Heaven, enjoying the Divine Family in a direct manner. The (2) Church Suffering, which consists of all those souls who are still being purified in Purgatory, but who have now attained the assurance of reaching Heaven once their purification has ended. And (3) the Church Militant, the visible Church that consists of all those people on earth who are part of the Body of Christ.
How does one become part of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church?
Entrance into the Body of Christ is through baptism of which there are three kinds: (1) the baptism of water, (2) the baptism of blood, and (3) the baptism of desire. Any person who receives any one of the above kinds of baptism is Christian, hence part of the Mystical Body of Christ (Paul VI, 1964. Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church). This is the official teaching of the universal Church, the fullness of which resides in the Catholic Church. (more…)
The question was asked, “What it God’s will for only Satan and demons to be in Hell?” The answer is, it was never God’s will that anyone be in Hell (angel or human) or that Hell even be made to exist in the very first instance. Hell resulted from the fall of the most beautiful angel to ever have been created, Lucifer, and the cohort of angels that decided to rebel together with him.
The question was asked, “What was the first word said by Adam?” The answer is, Adam’s first words after having been created from the dirt of the ground were: “I love You, my Father.”
The question was asked, “What is the will of God for mankind?” The answer is, that each and every individual on the face of this earth returns to live in the Divine Heart of God the Father – that Heart from which, with such love, the individual was created in the first instance. The Almighty Father wants all His children to return to Him. Only when that occurs will the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary be complete.
In today’s general audience, Pope Francis said, “Calling God by the name ‘Father’ is not something that can be taken for granted. We are tempted to use the highest titles, which are respectful of his transcendence. But calling him ‘Father’ puts us in His confidence, like a child talking to his dad, knowing that he is loved and cared for by him.” The Pope added, “God is a Father in His own way: good, helpless before man’s free will, only able to conjugate the verb ‘to love’ . . . God is a father who does not apply human justice and is ready to forgive and embrace his long lost son . . . We are never alone. We can be distant, hostile, we can even declare ourselves ‘without God.’ But the Gospel of Jesus Christ reveals that God cannot be without us: He will never be a God ‘without man’.”
That every single human person on the face of this earth returns to live, out of their own free will, in the bosom, the Divine Heart of God the Father.
The inalienable rights given by God the Almighty Father to man are the following:
- The right to live;
- The right to own private property for the shelter of oneself and one’s family, within the context of the universal destination of goods, in accordance with natural law;
- The right to work for sustenance and integral growth, and own the fruits of one’s work;
- The right to just remuneration for work done;
- The right to rest;
- The right to worship, both individually and collectively, without encumbrances.
The violators of the inalienable rights given by God to man are several. Thus it has been throughout most of the history of humankind, in some ways or others, despite man and woman both having been created in the image of the only divine God, in order to attain to His likeness through deification in via. None, however, have become as brazen and insidiously perverse – legally so – in their subtle and not-so-subtle violations, and confluences of violations, of the said rights of human persons as the materially over-developed nations of the first world; the most spiritually under-developed nations of the entire world.
Spiritually impoverished to the extent that even the poorest of the materially poor nations remain aghast at their level of unawareness, if not outright denial, of these tangible realities, the violator-nations remain encapsulated in an over-saturated and impenetrable darkness through their individual, collective, systemically insatiable and intransigent lust for money and power. A lust that no amount of money or power will ever be able to satiate, because it arises from the intersection of the individual and the collective heart of man – a heart that has become possessed by nothing other than the veritable evil of the Evil One himself under the illusion of good.
What integral development of humankind? Every one of the aforementioned human rights – rights given to man by God Himself – you have violated them and continue violating them without fear or remorse.
Light appearing as darkness and darkness appearing as light, you kill; violator-nations of the first world. You kill human persons and that has become your specialty; your expertise, your main export. You advocate and legislate for the manslaughter, if not the murder, of your children; those children who form part of you, whether you like it or not, and who would form and sustain your future as nations. Children, the blood of whom is, at this very moment, crying out for justice at the altar of the infinite God Who allowed you to become nations in the first instance and granted you unparalleled beneficence from the goodness of His Divine Heart. What kind of monsters are you, violator-nations?
You kill both your men and women and their families; those men and women who are an intrinsic part of the fabric of your life as nations, some of whom have laid down their very lives so that you may remain alive as nation-states. You kill by stealing, directly or indirectly, in multiple and increasingly creative ways the fruits, livelihoods, shelters, and health of your own people; those people who, in themselves – in their very hearts, minds, bodies and souls – comprise you as nations, but whom you regard as nothing more than objects to be used then discarded. They are the people without whom you would not even exist. You also kill the human identities of your people by not letting them be.
You kill by living like an ever-more-obese leech off the backs of your own people, turning the vast majority into de facto slaves of your materialist elitism in a similar, albeit not analogous, manner to the Pharaoh, Thutmoses III, and the slave-Children of Israel, despite your having legislated away slavery as illegal. And to make sure you kill off any and all chances they may ever have of hope, liberation, and freedom, you do your very level best, in a variety of procedural and not-so-procedural ways, to kill the people’s right to rest and be consoled by God, in order to keep fattening your idol selves as violator-nations of the inalienable rights of humankind. Unable to bear the intrinsic and extrinsic realities of all of the above, you kill your elderly by commission and omission; the people who provide you with the grapevines of wisdom, because you are incapable of listening any more to the latter due to the individual, collective, and systemic guilt that eats away at you inside whenever you hear them and torments your nation-souls.
The blood of your people, violator-nations of the first world, is on your hands. How are you ever going to face God and your judgment, violator-nations of the inalienable rights of your own people and individual and collective enablers of such nations, given both what you have done and keep on doing without compunction?