Posts Tagged ‘Roman Catholicism’
Confused by an Angel: The Dilemma of Roma Downey’s New Age Beliefs by Gregory Reid is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Confused by an Angel: The Dilemma of Roma Downey’s New Age Beliefs, click here
By Gregory Reid
Roma Downey first came into our lives and hearts as “Monica,” the angel-in-training in the successful television series Touched by an Angel. A feel-good, moral, and New Age tinged show, many people’s memory of Downey was her angel character saying, in an angelic Irish brough, “God luvs ya!”
Years passed. Suddenly, Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett lit up the media sky with their successful television miniseries, The Bible. Christians—especially those with fond memories of Monica—were thrilled at the presentation of the Bible by what seemed to be the newly evangelical team of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, founder of the Lightworkers media company. The church embraced them—no questions asked. (Note: Even the name of their production company, Lightworkers should have been a strong indication. In the New Age, a lightworker is “any being dedicated to the cultivation of inner presence and the elevation of awareness in self and other selves. This being is called a lightworker and is an evolutionary step toward a state of ‘LightBeing.’”1)
Unfortunately, our longing for affirmation and importance in “the real world” and desire to be accepted and “relevant” in this media-soaked age has created a church that will accept anyone who utters the name “Jesus” as one of us without asking any questions as to what they really believe.
Thus is the case of the meteoric rise and wholesale embracing of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.
After The Bible series came the movie Son of God. It was the most highly promoted Christian event I can remember in forty years. Soon Burnett and Downey were on nearly every Christian television and radio program.
They sound like us. They say the right things. And in some ways, they are more Christ-behaving and giving than many professing Christians.
But they are not of us. Roma Downey is, in fact, a New Age initiate. She is not just a “dabbler.” She hasn’t merely gotten a few unsanctified New Age ideas. She is, in fact, a deeply committed follower of the New Spirituality and its ideas.
5 Reasons Why I Believe Roma Downey is a New Age Initiate
1. A Graduate of a New Age University
In 2010, Roma Downey graduated with a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica in California. USM is a New Age training center. The school’s founder, the late John-Roger, is one of the most well-known New Age teachers over the last thirty years.2 Experiencing an auto accident when he was young, a spirit he identified as the “mystic traveler” began to speak to him, then “through” him. Everything he did and taught was based on that experience. He was a “trance channeler,” and his organization, MSIA or Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, is well known in the New Age world. This is some of what he and his organization teaches:
When a person participates in MSIA and works with the Mystical Traveler, that person is, if anything, “submitting” to himself/herself, to the Christ within, to the God within. And that is really a joyous surrender to love. . . . [T]o be an initiate of the Traveler is to devote yourself to the God within you, to devote yourself to Spirit, to returning to your home, the Soul, from which you originally came before you incarnated onto this earth. It means devoting yourself to working out the karma you’ve accrued while being here and to releasing yourself from that karma through grace and your good works, so that you are free to rise into the heart of God.3
If you feel you aren’t worthy of God, that you’re too small or not as good as God, then stand up. Face God on equal terms, as a co-creator and one who also owns the sun, the moon and the stars.4
This is the teacher—and the foundation of the education—that Roma Downey is proud to have learned under and graduated from. Of her education at USM, Downey claims:
It’s heightened my awareness . . . The skills I learned at USM are so simple and effective . . . It was a beautiful exploration . . .USM is at the cutting edge of transforming people. (*)
There is no way she could have gone through this university without knowing exactly what it stands for. A believer in Jesus Christ and in His Word would have never gone to such a school, and if a person became a born-again believer after attending, she would publicly renounce her participation. Unfortunately, Roma Downey was still finishing her degree in spiritual psychology when she gave her interview about the Bible series.5
What kinds of things was Downey learning in her education at Santa Monica University? Let’s take a look:
Experiencing enhanced spiritual awareness through knowing yourself as a Divine Being having a human experience.
Tools for spiritual evolution.
Working with the patterns associated with each of the eight chakra centers in service to deep healing physically, mentally, emotionally, and within the unconscious, with the focus of further awakening to the Authentic Self.6
From their own curriculum description, we read:
[Spiritual Psychology] empowers them to convert their everyday life experiences into rungs on the ladder of Spiritual Evolution . . . Spiritual Psychology is the study and practice of the art and science of human evolution in consciousness.
Practically, it means learning how to surrender—or let go of— anything that disturbs one’s peace. It also means sacrificing our illusions of separation. Essentially, this “surrendering” and “sacrificing” is work that can and has been called “healing,” which includes healing on the physical, mental, and emotional levels in service to the deeper revelation of who we truly are as Loving, Peaceful, Compassionate, and Joyful beings. We refer to this level of awareness as the Authentic Self. . . . And, by the way, assuming we get through the current challenges, these very same skills will be exactly the same ones that will be highly valued as we transform into a more peaceful highly globalized world.7
2. Involved With Channeler’s CD
Roma Downey recited a rosary prayer for a CD called Practical Praying by John Edward.8 Edward is a psychic medium best known for his TV show in which he has talked to the dead. Downey has been on his show and allowed him to “channel” her “mother.”9
3. Resonates With Famous New Age Gurus
Roma Downey is an avid reader of New Age material by well-known New Age/New Spirituality writers Tony Robbins and Eckhart Tolle, both who are worlds away from any biblical truth. Tolle, for instance, teaches that divinity (i.e., God) is within all human beings. His spirituality resonates with someone like Matthew Fox, author of The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, a book that teaches a christ-consciousness is in all people. Contrary to what a Bible-believing Christian would say, in a women’s magazine article, Downey says:
My kids go to school about a 40-minute drive away. . . . On the way back, I get my own selections—books on tape by Eckhart Tolle, Tony Robbins . . . My husband says I’m so self-realized I’m practically levitating.”10
4. Has Deep Connections with a Major New-Thought Teacher
Roma Downey’s acknowledged mentor is Della Reese, her angel-boss Tess on Touched by an Angel. In addition to co-starring together for eight years on the T.V. show, Della Reese is Downey’s daughter’s godmother11 and also officiated at the 2007 wedding of Downey and Mark Burnett.12 Given the fact that Downey has been so influenced by Della Reese, it’s important to take a few moments to examine Reese’s beliefs.
Reese, a well-known and acclaimed singer and actress for many years, is also the pastor of Understanding Principals for Better Living Church (UpChurch) in southern California. Her own mentor is the late minister Johnnie Colemon,13 founding pastor of the megachurch Christ Unity Center in Chicago and a pioneer of the “new thought” movement, a New Age metaphysical teaching based on “healing meditation and positive thought.”14 On Reese’s church website, she expresses her views on God:
God is everywhere, evenly, equally present! Omnipresence. (There is no spot or situation where God is not!)
God is all the power in the universe! Omnipotence. (God is all there is, there is nothing else!)
God is all the wisdom/intelligence in the universe! Omniscience. (In the beginning, God!)
All humankind is made in the image-likeness of God. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience.15
While these ideas have shreds of scriptural backing, Reese is actually presenting a New Age view of God’s omnipresence and power. In her 2013 book, Metaphysically Speaking, Reese states, in speaking of herself (and all people):
All that God is I am, and all that God has is mine. I am omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. (I am evenly present, all knowing, and all powerful.) I am life, intelligence, love and power. I am the temple, in which God lives. I am that from which all love springs, and I am wisdom, power, strength and substance. I am absolute wholeness and perfection.16
Reese believes that man has all of the attributes of God, making him omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient—like God. On her website, she gives a list of some of the people (and books) she admires and emulates, calling them “Great Spiritual Leaders.” Her list, of which I am naming a few, clearly reveals Reese’s New Age/New Thought spiritual affinities—
A. New Age guru Eric Butterworth—Discover the Power Within You. Researcher and author Ray Yungen discusses Butterworth’s book:
In line with Unity teaching, the book [Discover the Power Within You] expounds on the “Divinity of Man” as perceived through mystical practice. . . . Eric Butterworth teaches that God isn’t “up there.” He exists inside each one of us, and it’s up to us to seek the divine within.17 (emphasis added)
B. Dr. Barbara King—Transform Your Life. The Reverend King is an interfaith New Thought minister whose mentor is also Johnnie Colemon. On King’s website, she greets visitors with the saying Namaskar (i.e., namaste, meaning the god in me greets the god in you).
C. Ernest Holmes—The Science of Mind. The late Ernest Holmes (1887-1960) was “the founder of the Church of Religious Science, and his book The Science of Mind is regarded by many in the occult as a New Age “Bible.”18 According to apologist Dave Hunt, The Science of Mind “teaches that Man controls the course of his life . . . by mental processes which function according to a Universal Law . . . that we are all creating our own day-to-day experiences . . . by the form and procession of our thoughts.19 Author and lecturer, Mike Oppenheimer explains that Holmes “believed what nearly every occultist does: ‘Man, by thinking, can bring into his experience whatsoever he desires.’”20 This is not a biblical concept but is definitely a New Age one, rooted in the idea that man is God.
On Della Reese’s website, she also lists Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein (How to Live), Charles Roth (Mind: The Master Power), Norman Vincent Peale, and Robert H. Schuller.
Reese’s base theology clearly comes from New Spirituality teachers. To her, Jesus should not be considered as the only way to the Father. Rather, He is just a “way-shower,”21 someone who points the way (as opposed to being the Way). As Downey’s spiritual mother and cherished mentor, it is not an exaggeration to say that Della Reese has had a significant influence on Downey’s own metaphysical New Age beliefs.
5. Gives Hearty Endorsement for Book Promoting Spirit Guides and Panentheism
Roma Downey endorsed a New Age book titled Loyalty to Your Soul by Ron and Mary Hulnick (published by the New Age publisher, Hay House). Of the book, Downey stated:
As a USM graduate, I know firsthand the value I received from participating with Ron and Mary in the Master’s degree Program in Spiritual Psychology. I am so grateful to have Loyalty to Your Soul to sweetly remind me of all I have learned. . . . The teachings in this beautiful book have sent me on a journey to the very center of my own being where, wrapped in the safe wings of Love, I feel as though I have come home.22
Downey’s endorsement in the Hulnick’s book is nestled in with prolific New Agers like Barbara Marx Hubbard, Joan Borysenko, and Gay Hendricks (The Corporate Mystic). By the way, Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations With God), the New Ager who said, “Hitler didn’t hurt anyone . . . he didn’t inflict suffering, he ended it,”23 wrote the foreword to Loyalty to Your Soul. Clearly, Downey read the Hulnick’s book and resonates deeply with it to say what she did about it. To get an idea of this “journey” that Downey is on, listen to a few quotes from Loyalty to Your Soul:
Lord, God of all Creation, we ask now that we be cleared, filled, surrounded, and protected with the clear Light of the sacredness of Spirit. We ask for the presence, protection, guidance, and Love of the Divine Beings [spirit guides] who work with each of us.24 (from the “Invocation”—emphasis added)
When people speak of spirituality, they simply mean awareness of the sacred reality of the Divine Essence within and beyond all creation.25
Those familiar with New Age teachings will recognize such statements as being the core essence of the occult (that man is divine) and that there are spirit guides who help us through life. Loyalty to Your Soul is a contemporary version of A Course in Miracles (the New Age “Bible”).
A Need to Warn
While I bear no animosity toward Mark Burnett or Roma Downey and truly love and care about them, I have great concern for their spiritual state. I fear that the likelihood of them finding the true Jesus Christ is greatly hindered by the evangelical leaders and pastors who have surrounded them, adored them, courted them even—without discerning whether they are of the biblical Christian faith. Questions are not being asked to uncover their true beliefs. If these leaders really care about Burnett and Downey, they would seek out the truth about their beliefs and warn them of the dangers of New Age thought. Such forthrightness could potentially help Burnett and Downey come to find a relationship with Him that is based, not on the false premises of the New Age but rather “on the repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).
When the History Channel movie series was first released, I had deep concerns because I knew where Roma Downey stood spiritually. Then when Son of God was going to be released, I saw the overwhelming acceptance and embracing of Downey and her husband.
When a major Christian book retailer started stocking The Story of God and All of Us, a book based on the movie The Bible with Downey and Burnett as authors, I felt I needed to inform the bookstore’s representatives of my concerns. I received a brief e-mail reply in which the representative said, “yes, we are aware of some issues,” but they decided to release it “for the greater good” in spite of the issues. What he ended with completely floored me:
I listened to Roma Downey tell about her involvement in making the miniseries and was impressed by her powerful Christian testimony.
It was as if nothing I had brought to his attention made him think that Roma Downey was anything but someone “with a powerful Christian testimony.”
It became clear to me that people were unwilling to consider these concerns. With all this in mind, would it not be of great importance, considering Downey’s vast influence on Christians, to ask some very crucial questions. Roma Downey says in interviews she loves Jesus, and that has been the basis of the broad acceptance of her and her movies by Christian leaders and pastors.
Here is the simple truth: Either Mark Burnett and Roma Downey know exactly what they are doing and are aware of their role in bringing about synchronicity between Christianity and all faiths, or they do not know the difference between what they believe and what the Bible teaches. If it is the first, then Christians are in real danger in letting them even deeper into their circles of influence. If they do not, then Christians who are accepting them are indeed poor stewards of God’s things and God’s house. What’s more, if those in positions of influence know that Roma Downey represents another belief system foreign to the faith we hold dear and choose to ignore this for the greater good of spreading the good news, then they should be in great fear. For it is their responsibility to care for the flock:
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (Acts 20:29)
Last year at the 2014 National Religious Broadcasters Convention, I had a unique opportunity to personally hand Roma Downey a copy of my friend Warren B. Smith’s testimony book, The Light That Was Dark.26 I do not know if she has read it, but I do believe God, in His mercy, is reaching out and trying to save her and Mark Burnett. I have written this booklet with the understanding that these are people Jesus died to redeem, and He loves them. Scripture tells us:
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
Questions for Roma Downey
I have put together a set of questions that needs to be asked and answered by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey:
Do you believe Jesus is the only way to God?
Do all humans have the “Christ spirit?”
Is every human being divine or containing a divine essence?
Do you believe the Bible to be the infallible Word of God and the final authority of truth?
Knowing that the Bible forbids necromancy, are you sorry you worked with John Edward?
Is what you learned from John-Rogers University compatible with your Christian faith?
Do you now see the error in endorsing New Age books that promote spirit guides and the divinity of man, two concepts clearly rejected in the Bible?
These are reasonable and crucial questions, and it’s the responsibility of Christian pastors and leaders to ask them rather than continue to promote people who by all appearances are following another Jesus and another gospel than the one to which the Scriptures attest.
In January of 2015, Roma Downey was asked to host one of the largest contemporary Christian music events in decades. Over thirty well-known veteran musicians shared the platform with Downey. Some of those performing included Michael W. Smith, Newsboys, Don Moen, Mark Schultz, Sandi Patti, Travis Cottrell (Beth Moore’s worship leader), Chuck Girard and Love Song, Steven Curtis Chapman, Steve Green, Dallas Holm, The Imperials, and Nicole Mullen. A Lighthouse Trails report expressed concerns over the implications of this event:
It is a sad state of affairs when a concert, billed as “the greatest night in the history of contemporary Christian music,” uses a highly New Age- and Catholic-influenced celebrity to help open and close the event, which is basically making a statement to viewers as well as the church at large that Christianity is compatible with all beliefs.27
If we are willing to ignore or accept the clear biblical conflicts, which Downey has presented to us for the greater good, then how much more will we be willing to overlook next time? The evangelical/Protestant church is already on a steady slide to doctrinal dissolution and rejection of the biblical essentials of the faith through the “new Christianity” that has surfaced in countless churches, ministries, and Christian colleges and seminaries. Every compromise is a snowflake in the avalanche we are witnessing.
What happens when the average Christian or church-goer goes to see a Downey movie and thinks, “I wonder what else Roma has done?” And then he finds himself getting Downey’s CD done with necromancer John Edward or reading Eckhart Tolle or Tony Robbins or heading to Della Reese’s UpChurch website and slowly becoming seduced by another Jesus? This will be the “fruit” of Roma Downey’s influence on millions of people, both Christian and non-Christian. Where are the warnings by Christian leaders and pastors about dangerous seductions coming into the church and compromising truth?
The New Age that Roma Downey promotes exalts man to an equality in holiness, virtue, and essence with God. If indeed the New Age is right and man really is divine, then the sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the Cross would not have been necessary. And in fact, if man truly is divine, then Jesus dying for the sins of the world would be of no effect and would be in vain for He would have died for those who were just as holy and good as He was.
Let us pray for Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, that their eyes would be opened and that they would come to repentance, turning away from the New Age “gospel” and to Jesus Christ wholly. Let us remember that we too were once in darkness and ignorant of the true Savior, and He redeemed us from a dark pit. Let us also do all we can to hold our leadership’s feet to the fire to ensure they do not promote those things which weaken and even destroy the testimony of God in the world today.
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard (Colossians 1:21-23)
To order copies of Confused by an Angel: The Dilemma of Roma Downey’s New Age Beliefs, click here
4. John Morton, D.S.S., MSIA Spiritual Director, “Your Ultimate Safe Harbour” (New Day Herald, http://www.msia.org/newdayherald/archives/10543-your-ultimate-safe-harbor.
6. USM Brochure, www.universityofsantamonica.edu/PDFs/USM_Brochure.pdf.
10. First for Women magazine, 03/31/14, pp. 44-45.
15. UpChurch website: http://www.upchurch.org/index.php?page=teachings.
16. Della Reese, Metaphysically Speaking (Lett Reese International Publishing, 2013, Kindle Edition), location 109.
17. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2nd ed.), pp. 102-104.
18. Warren B. Smith, A “Wonderful” Deception (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press), p. 43.
19. Dave Hunt, Seduction of Christianity (Eugene, OR: Harvest House), p. 21.
20. Mike Oppenheimer, “The Secret Behind the Secret” (http://www.letusreason.org/Popteac38.htm, citing Ernest Holmes in The Science of Mind (Peerless Communications, 2011 Kindle Edition, which is the 1926 Complete Unedited Edition), Kindle location 1243.
22. Her endorsement of the book is inside the front cover of the book.
23. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: an uncommon dialogue, Book 2 (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads, 1997), p. 56.
24. Hulnick Ph.D., H. Ronald; Mary R. Hulnick Ph.D., Loyalty to Your Soul (Hay House. Kindle Edition, from the Invocation).
25. Ibid., p. 8.
26. Warren B. Smith, The Light That Was Dark (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press): This book chronicles the life of Warren B. Smith when he was heavily involved with the New Age. Smith describes the role that A Course in Miracles played in his and his wife’s lives. In essence, what Roma Downey is endorsing and promoting is the spirituality of A Course in Miracles, the quintessential New Age “bible.”
To order copies of Confused by an Angel: The Dilemma of Roma Downey’s New Age Beliefs, click here
We cannot fully comprehend the meaning of the Eucharist without understanding the term transubstantiation. Catholic author Joan Carroll Cruz provides the following definition:
The word officially approved by the Council of Trent to express the changing of the entire substance of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. After the Consecration only the appearances, or “accidents” (color, taste, smell, quantity, etc.) of bread and wine remain.1
During the act of consecration (performed by a priest), the bread (wafer) and wine miraculously are transformed into the actual presence of Jesus Christ. While the bread and wine may appear to be still bread and wine following the consecration, a mystical process has occurred, it is believed. Thus, Jesus is supposed to be physically present on the altar and physically eaten when the recipient ingests the consecrated wafer.
The January/February 2000 issue of Envoy Magazine (a bimonthly journal of Catholic apologetics and evangelization) further confirms what I am saying. The purpose for publishing this magazine “is to present the truths of the Catholic Faith in a fresh, contemporary style, featuring today’s top Catholic writers, full color-graphics, and an upbeat innovative format.”2
Located on the front cover of this issue is an illustration that shows the hands of a Catholic priest holding up a consecrated wafer, the sky and clouds in the background. The title on the magazine cover reads: “This Looks Like Bread, Tastes Like Bread, and Feels Like Bread. Is this GOD?” The “O” (which is actually the consecrated wafer) is the conspicuous object on the cover. One article in this issue is written by David Armstrong, who states:
[L]et’s take a look at the actual nature of what occurs in the miracle of transubstantiation. Accidental change occurs when non-essential outward properties (accidents) are changed in some fashion. For example, water can take on the properties of solidity as ice, and of vapor as steam…. In our every day natural experience, a change of substance is always accompanied by a corresponding change of accidents, or outward properties. One example would be the metabolizing of food, which literally changes to become part of our bodies as a result of digestion.
But the Eucharist is a supernatural transformation, in which substantial change occurs without accidental change. Thus, the outward properties of bread and wine continue after consecration, but their essence and substance are replaced by the substance of the true and actual Body and Blood of Christ.3
It is important to mention that Armstrong is a convert to Catholicism. He confides that at one time, he did not understand the importance of transubstantiation. However, Armstrong now asks: “How could I … have had such an insufficient understanding of the Holy Eucharist: the central focus of Christian worship?”4
Like many others who have converted to Catholicism, Armstrong was enlightened to the significance of the Eucharist by studying the Church Fathers. He writes:
The evidence for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, among the Church Fathers, is the most compelling of any historic Christian doctrine which Protestants now dispute.5
Now Armstrong is convinced that the consecrated wafer and wine is God and that it is the true and actual body and blood of Christ. He concludes:
This is what requires faith, and what causes many to stumble, because it is a miracle of a very sophisticated nature, one that doesn’t lend itself to empirical or scientific “proof.” But, in a sense, it is no more difficult to believe than the changing of water to ice, in which the outward properties change, while the substance (molecular structure) doesn’t. The Eucharist merely involves the opposite scenario: the substance changes while the outward properties don’t.6
The Power of the Priest
According to Catholic documents, Catholic priests have the power to manifest the presence of Jesus on an altar. At the moment of Consecration, the miraculous process known as transubstantiation supposedly occurs. As Joan Carroll Cruz states in her book Eucharistic Miracles:
The wafer of unleavened bread which becomes the Body and Blood of Christ at the moment of Consecration in the Mass. (One large Host for the priest and many small Hosts for the congregation are consecrated at Mass). The word derives from the Latin hostia, or “victim” since in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Jesus Christ offers Himself to God the Father as the victim and propitiation for our sins. (Thus each Mass is the renewal of the one Sacrifice of Calvary).7
To support this view, Catholics claim that transubstantiation was taught by Jesus at the Last Supper. Further, it is also believed it was at this time that Jesus anointed His disciples with this power to transform bread and wine into the actual presence of Christ. In turn, the Catholic Church teaches that this power was then transferred down through the centuries to a select chosen priesthood by apostolic succession and priestly ordination.
David Pearson, another contributing author for Envoy Magazine, explains this scenario in his article “Do Catholics Worship Cookies?” He writes:
[T]he first communicants received the First Communion from the Great High Priest himself. The unblemished Lamb of God, about to be sacrificed for their sins and those of the whole world for all time, fed his twelve Apostles—our first band of bishops—His very body and blood, under the appearance of bread and wine, from His own hand.
That’s what happens today in every Mass. Jesus, God’s perfect Passover lamb, uses the graces of apostolic succession and priestly ordination (the “laying on of hands” in the early Church) to feed every generation on His flesh and blood until He returns in glory.8
Pearson quotes former Protestant, now Catholic Scott Hahn saying, “When Jesus comes again at the end of time, He will not have a single drop more glory than He has right now upon the altars and in the tabernacles of our churches.” Hahn adds:
Today, even though we are thousands of miles from that little hill in Israel, we are there with Jesus in the upper room, and we are there with Jesus in heaven, whenever we go to Mass.9
Scott Hahn on the Power of Priests
Scott Hahn is not only a convert to Catholicism but is also a zealous promoter of the Eucharist. Both he and his wife Kimberly have testified that the Eucharist played a major role in their conversion to the Catholic Church. Hahn, a theology professor at a Catholic University in Steubenville, Ohio, and author of a number of books, also writes a regular column called “Scripture Matters” for Envoy Magazine. In an article titled “The Paternal Order of Priests,” he enthusiastically reminds Catholic priests of the power they have been endowed with. He writes:
As priests of the New Covenant, you are conformed to Christ in a unique and powerful way. Christian tradition speaks of ordination in the most astonishing terms. It is a commonplace of Catholic speech to say that the priest is alter Christus, another Christ. The Catechism tells us further that the priest acts “in the person of Christ” and like Christ, he is a “living image of God the Father.” Through the ministry of ordained priests, the presence of Jesus Christ “is made visible in the community of believers.”10
Elevating the priesthood to a level of godhood, Hahn exalts ordinary sinful men, by saying:
Theologians refer to the ontological change—a change in the man’s very being—that occurs with the sacrament of Holy Orders. Ordination “confers an indelible spiritual character” that is permanent and imprinted … forever.”11
Then comparing this supernatural transformation attributed to priesthood with the transformation that occurs during the consecration of the Host, Hahn states:
The great Cappadocian Father Gregory of Nyssa compared this sacramental change to the transubstantiation that occurs in the Eucharist. “The bread,” he explains, “is at first common bread. But when the sacramental action consecrates it, it is called the Body of Christ … The same power of the word makes the priest worthy of veneration and honor. The new blessing separates him from common, ordinary life. Yesterday he was one of the crowd, one of the people. Now, suddenly he has become a guide, a leader, a teacher of righteousness, an instructor of hidden mysteries. And this he does without any change in body and form. But while he appears to be the man he was before, his invisible soul has really been transformed to a higher condition by some invisible power and grace.”12
Vatican spokesman and Catholic priest Tom Forest says that true evangelization is not complete in a Christian’s life until he or she becomes Catholic. He points out the importance of the sacraments. Catholic sources state that the sacrament of the Eucharist is the most important sacrament. For example, in Eucharistic Miracles, Joan Carroll Cruz, writes:
[The Eucharist is] the Sacrament in which, under the appearances of bread and wine, the Body and Blood of Christ are truly, really and substantially present as the grace-producing food of our souls. More specifically, the consecrated Host and the consecrated “wine,” that is, the Precious Blood.13
Or according to the Catholic Catechism, we read:
The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For the blessed Eucharist is contained in the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”14
Further, to make it absolutely clear the Eucharist is at the heart and core of what it means to be a Catholic, the Catechism further notes:
In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: “Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking.15
According to Catholic teachings, the Eucharist represents Christ as a sacrifice for sins and that during the “sacrifice of the Mass,” Christ is daily being sacrificed for our sins. The Catholic Catechism states:
The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: “The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.” And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner.16
It should be apparent then that the Eucharistic Jesus present on every Catholic altar is of paramount importance to Catholicism and the Catholic faith. Truly the Eucharistic Jesus is the Jesus of Catholicism. However, this Eucharistic Christ is NOT the Jesus Christ of the Bible.
1. Joan Carroll Cruz, Eucharistic Miracles (Rockford, IL: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1987), p. xiii, Imprimatur, Philip M. Hannan, Archbishop of New Orleans, April 25, 1986, p. xxii.
2. Envoy Magazine, “What is Envoy’s Mission?” (http://www.envoymagazine.com/guidelines.html, accessed 09/2007).
3. David Armstrong, “Is This God?” (Envoy Magazine, January/February 2000, http://www.envoymagazine.com/backissues/4.1/god.htm, accessed 09/2007).
7. Joan Carroll Cruz, Eucharistic Miracles, op. cit., p. xxi.
8. David Pearson, “Do Catholics Worship Cookies?” (Envoy, Volume 7.2, 2003), p. 14.
10. Scott Hahn, “The Paternal Order of Priests: An Open Letter to Our Catholic Clergy, In a Time of Crisis” (insert in Envoy, Volume 7.2, 2003) in insert.
13. Joan Carroll Cruz, Eucharistic Miracles, op. cit., p. xxi.
14. Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York, NY: Doubleday, First Image Books edition, Second Edition, April 1995), para. 1324, pp. 368-369.
15. Ibid., para. 1327, p. 369.
16. Ibid., para. 1367, p. 381.
My Journey Out of Catholicism by David Dombrowski
Rick Warren: Protestants, Catholics Must Unite to Defend Life, Sex, Marriage – ‘We’re on the Same Team’
LTRP Note: This article is posted for research and informational purposes and not as an endorsement for the content.
By Michael Chapman
By CNS News
Evangelical pastor Rick Warren, who leads the eighth largest church in America, Saddleback Church, and is the author of the hugely popular book The Purpose Driven Life, said that Protestants and Catholics must form a “unity of missions” to defend the sanctity of life, sex, and the family, stressing that, “If you love Jesus, we’re on the same team.”
“We have far more in common than what divides us,” said Pastor Warren in an interview with Catholic News Service. “When you talk about Pentecostals, charismatics, evangelicals, fundamentalists, Catholics, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, on and on, they would all say we believe in the Trinity.”
“We believe in the Bible,” he continued. “We believe in the resurrection; we believe in salvation through Jesus Christ. These are the big issues.”
Warren, along with leaders of other faiths and denominations, attended a conference at the Vatican in November – the “Complementarity of Man and Woman” — to discuss and defend the family and marriage as being between one man and one woman, and related topics. He made his comments in the video in December. Click here to continue reading.
* Please refer to the “Road to Rome” Booklet Tracts for information related to this issue. These booklets can also be read on our blog by just typing in the title into the blog search engine.
LTRP Note: In view of the many occurrences where evangelical leaders are publicly giving a pass to Roman Catholicism, in particular the recent concert with over 30 major Christian musicians who shared the platform with Roman Catholic movie actress and producer Roma Downey—who admits to praying to Mary (see article), this new Booklet by Roger Oakland is essential in understanding the role that the Mary of the Catholic Church plays in end-time deception.
The Catholic Mary & Her Eucharistic Christ” by Roger Oakland is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 16 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of The Catholic Mary & Her Eucharistic Christ, click here
As we read through both the Old and New Testament, one thing becomes very apparent—Christianity is all about Jesus Christ and in believing in Him alone for salvation. The Scriptures testify of the true Jesus, who made this clear:
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. (John 5: 39-40)
The entire Bible leads us to, testifies of, and focuses on, the one and only Savior of the world.
Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. (John 1:45)
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)
Adding to God’s Word or perverting His Word has devastating results. To do so, or follow those who do, is very dangerous. In the very last chapter of the Bible, we read this somber warning:
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life. (Revelation 22: 18-19)
According to the Bible, if you follow a false christ based on unscriptural sources, you will end up separated from the true Christ and spend eternity in hell.
The Catholic Mary Points to the Eucharistic Christ
An article in Zenit (the primary Catholic news sources) on April 17, 2003 reported that Pope John Paul II had called for Catholics to refocus on the Eucharist and Eucharistic adoration from an encyclical that he had written called “Ecclesia de Eucharistia.” On the very same day, Zenit sent out another news item that was equally important. The title for this article was “Mary Has a Place in Latest Encyclical: Pope Describes Her as a ‘Woman of the Eucharist.’”1
The article began the following way:
The last chapter of John Paul II’s encyclical “Ecclesia de Eucharistia” is dedicated to the Virgin Mary—a surprise in a document dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament.2
Then this interesting statement from the pope’s 14th encyclical: “If the Church and the Eucharist* are inseparably united, the same ought to be said of Mary and the Eucharist.”3 Laying a foundation for the Catholic Church that is not found anywhere in Scripture, Zenit quoted the pope:
The relationship between the Virgin Mary and the Eucharist is explained by referring to the “Eucharistic faith” that Mary already practiced “even before the institution of the Eucharist, by the very fact that she offered her virginal womb for the Incarnation of God’s Word.”4
The article concluded with another weighty statement made by the pope:
Mary is present with the Church and as the Mother of the Church, at each of our celebrations of the Eucharist. . . . Mary Most Holy, in whom the Eucharistic mystery shows itself more than in anyone else, as mystery of light.5
Think about the implications of this statement! According to the Catholic Church, when the ordained priest consecrates the wafer during Mass, not only does “Jesus” appear, but the mother of “Jesus” also shows up. Of course, this contradicts the Bible’s affirmation that only God is omnipresent.
It can be documented that a woman claiming to be the mother of Jesus has been appearing in numerous places all over the world for some time.6 Those who follow the apparitions are very aware of the Mary-Eucharist connection that cannot be ignored.
Peace through Eucharistic Devotion
Throughout the world, the apparition of Mary is emphasizing the importance of the Eucharist. With the increasing number of Marian apparitions, there has been a corresponding increase in Eucharistic adoration.7 This is no surprise to the millions who are devoted to the “Blessed Mother.” Those who follow her messages are aware of an interesting prediction made by Catholic Saint John Bosco in 1862:
[T]here will be chaos in the Church. Tranquility will not return until the Pope succeeds in anchoring the boat of Peter between the twin pillars of Eucharistic devotion and devotion to Our Lady.8
Many believe this prophecy is near fulfillment. For instance, in more recent years, the apparition has encouraged the formation of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration groups. These groups number in the thousands around the world.9 Their sole purpose is to worship, adore, and pray to the Jesus of the Eucharist around the clock, perpetually.
Eucharistic and Marian Era
Of course, Marian apparitions have always stressed the great importance of the Eucharist. In particular, the “Queen of Heaven” has repeatedly stated that the Eucharist, once consecrated by a priest, becomes the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus, and is therefore worthy of worship and adoration. For example, “Mary” focused much attention on her Son’s true presence in the Eucharist in the now famous apparitions to Catherine Laboure at Rue du Bac, Paris in 1830.
Marian theologians consistently agree that the revelations in Paris in 1830 to Catherine Laboure, officially began an era of Mary. That this apparition had a Eucharistic theme is consistent with the increasing number of apparitions that have appeared in the nineteenth, twentieth, and now, twenty-first centuries. In fact, nearly every popular apparition today stresses the importance of the Eucharist. “Mary” emphatically encourages all believers to receive the Blessed Sacrament as often as possible in order to receive the needed graces for salvation. She also stresses the important role that the Eucharistic Jesus will have in the last days.
In conjunction with these messages, many Eucharistic “miracles” have been reported. These miracles include bleeding and pulsating Communion Hosts (wafers), Hosts that do not decompose, Hosts that speak, and Hosts that transform into the image of a man—presumably Jesus. Tests at several apparition sites confirm that the blood emanating from miraculous Hosts is authentic. These miracles are presented as proof by the apparition that Christ is truly present under the appearance of the consecrated Communion wafer.
Our Lady of Fatima Emphasizes the Eucharist
Those who espouse the Marian apparitions are united in their belief that the apparitions have, over the centuries, increasingly pointed to the central importance of the Eucharist. For instance, Thomas W. Petrisko dedicates his book Mother of the Secret to exploring this interesting link between key Marian apparitions and Eucharistic prominence. Below is his summary of the Fatima apparitions:
The Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 to three shepherd children are most remembered for the incredible signs and secrets given there. Yet it must be said that Heaven truly marked the events with a significant thrust to focus the attention of the faithful on the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. . . . In 1916, one year before the Virgin Mary’s first apparition . . . the children received an apparition of an angel holding a chalice in his left hand. A Host was suspended above the chalice and some drops of blood from the Host fell into the chalice. Leaving the chalice suspended in the air, the angel knelt down beside the children and told them to repeat three times the following prayer: “O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit . . . I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for [sins].”10
The Eucharist Holds Center Stage in Medjugorje
There is undeniably a strong devotion to the Eucharist at the Fatima apparition site. However, the Queen of Heaven’s Eucharistic emphasis at Medjugorje is arguably greater. Our Lady of Medjugorje has time after time told visionaries to worship and adore Jesus in the Eucharist and to frequently partake in Holy Communion. Medjugorje visionary Vicka Ivankovic tells us what the “Blessed Mother” explained to her about Christ’s true presence in the Eucharist:
The Blessed Mother says that during each Mass, Jesus comes in person, in tangible form. We can take Jesus, in physical form, into our body . . . This is our way to accept Jesus into our heart. Jesus comes alive to us through the Eucharist.11
Those who have visited Medjugorje or examined Our Lady’s messages are convinced that the apparition teaches that the Eucharist is the source and summit of Catholic life. For instance, the late Father Joseph A. Pelletier., a noted theologian, wrote in his book, The Queen of Peace Visits Medjugorje, that the central theme of the Medjugorje apparitions is primarily Eucharistic:
As more and more information has come forth, it has become increasingly clear that the Eucharist holds center stage in Medjugorje and that from the very start Our Lady spoke to the six seers about the Eucharist and its importance with more frequency than was suspected. This helps to understand why the parish has placed so much emphasis on the Mass and public adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.12
Our Lady of Medjugorje Leads to the Eucharist
Father Rene Laurentin in his book, Is the Virgin Mary Appearing at Medjugorje?, would concur with Pelletier about Medjugorje and the Eucharist. Laurentin writes:
Our Lady of Medjugorje leads to Christ. When she was asked which prayer is the best, she answered: “It is the Mass, and you will never be able to exhaust its greatness. That is why you should be there humbly and prepared.” At Medjugorje the Virgin leads to the Eucharist. The Rosary and the apparition flow into the Mass. Mary has sometimes appeared showing Christ, in his childhood (the first apparition and Christmas 1983) or in his passion. In showing us Christ she continues to say, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)13
The following messages from Our Lady of Medjugorje resonate with the Eucharistic vision of the Catholic Church:
[D]ear children, I am grateful to you in a special way for being here. Unceasingly adore the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I am always present when the faithful are adoring. (March 15, 1984)14
Dear Children! Today I invite you to fall in love with the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Adore Him, little children, in your Parishes and in this way you will be united with the entire world. (September 25, 1995)15
Garabandal Emphasizes the Eucharist
Messages given by the apparition of Mary who appeared in Garabandal, Spain echo those given at Medjugorje:
Many sacrifices must be made. Much penance must be done. We must pay many visits to the Blessed Sacrament, but first of all we must be good. If we do not do this, punishment awaits us.16
In his book, Mother of the Secret, Petrisko writes the following regarding the importance of the Eucharist at Garabandal, Spain:
While the alleged supernatural character and prophetic element of the apparitions at Garabandal are noted, its message is interpreted by many experts as being predominantly Eucharistic. This opinion is enhanced by the fact that the visionaries were photographed receiving upon their tongues invisible and then visible communion Hosts from an angel.17
Ted and Maureen Flynn, in their book, The Thunder of Justice, agree that Garabandal has a predominately Eucharistic theme:
Another remarkable event of Garabandal emphasized the importance of the Eucharist. An angel appeared bearing a golden chalice. The angel asked the children to think of the One whom they were going to receive. He taught them to recite the Confiteor, after which he gave them Holy Communion. He also taught them to say the Anima Christi in thanksgiving. These direct interventions occurred regularly whenever the priest from the neighboring village of Cosio was unable to come to Garabandal. 18
Everywhere Mary Emphasizes the Eucharist
Apparitions from the four corners of the globe express this common and central theme: The Eucharist has the power to transform the world; the Eucharist should be worshipped; Eucharistic adoration will bring peace and unity. Messages originating from such diverse places as Amsterdam, Holland; Akita, Japan; Rome, Italy; Naju, Korea; Bayside, New York; and Budapest, Hungary all convey this common idea. What follows are samplings of the numerous messages from apparitions emphasizing the great importance of the Eucharist:
[O]ur Lady has been appearing in private to Marisa Rossi in Rome. In June 1993 she asked . . . that Her messages … about the Eucharist be made public. Our Lady says: “I am THE MOTHER OF THE EUCHARIST” and she wants to spread a renewed and strong devotion, all over the world, for this great Sacrament.19
During Consecration I suddenly saw a light coming from the chalice . . .
When I went to Holy Communion and returned to my place, the Sacred Host began to move on my tongue and I heard the voice of the Lady say, “You have now met the Lord.”20
You must firmly believe that Jesus is truly present in the Host as Man and God! You must believe that you really meet Him, and, more than that, unite with Him in the Eucharist.21
My Son will always be there in the Eucharist. A duly ordained and consecrated hand of a legal representative, your priest, will always be able to bring to you My Son’s Body and Blood in the Eucharist. . . . He comes to you physically and spiritually.22
Do you say well the prayer of the Handmaids of the Eucharist? Then let us pray it together: . . . “Oh Jesus, really present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I offer my body and soul to become one with Your Sacred Heart [w]hich is transubstantiated and sacrificed on altars of the world and giving praise to the Father, pleading for the coming of His Kingdom.23
[I]n these days you will hear of many Eucharistic Phenomena taking place. You will be renewed in your total reverence for my Divine Son in the Blessed Sacrament, and soon the time will come when the Tabernacle is returned to its rightful and proper place in the church.24
I have manifested the images of the Holy Eucharist in various ways so that all my children may understand the importance of the Holy Eucharist. Hurriedly become blazing flames of love, reparation and adoration toward the Lord Who is in the Blessed Sacrament.25
Interestingly enough, in the last example just given, the Mary apparition discloses that she is responsible for making these signs and wonders happen (rather than there being a natural rendering of the host itself). In other words, unusual miracles are performed by this apparition to make it appear that the host is truly the flesh and blood of Jesus.
The Eucharistic Reign of Jesus
The apparition of Mary explains that the culmination of her apparitions will usher in the Eucharistic Reign of Jesus. To Father Gobbi, the head of the Marian Movement of Priests, she proclaims that the Eucharistic Jesus will soon transform humanity!
Today I ask all to throw open the doors to Jesus Christ who is coming. I am the Mother of the Second Advent and the door which is being opened on the new era. This new era will coincide with the greatest triumph of the Eucharistic Reign of Jesus. For this, I invite you, in this extraordinary year, to make flourish everywhere the cult of adoration, of reparation and of love for the Most Holy Eucharist. . . . Let the Eucharist become the center of your prayer, of your life.26
In fact, the coming of the glorious reign of Christ will coincide with the greatest splendor of his Eucharistic reign among you. The Eucharistic Jesus will release all his power of love, which will transform souls, the Church and all humanity.27
The glorious reign of Christ will coincide with the triumph of the Eucharistic reign of Christ. . . . Jesus will be made manifest above all in the mystery of his Eucharistic presence.28
Marian experts agree that the triumph of Mary’s immaculate heart, prophesied at Fatima, will be directly linked to perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Father Martin Lucia, writing in the journal, Immaculata, explains that all the Marian apparitions will victoriously culminate in the Eucharistic reign of Jesus:
The message of all the Marian apparitions, both past and present, is that the triumph of the Immaculate** Heart of Mary will culminate in the Eucharistic reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Eucharistic Reign will come through perpetual adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.29
Not surprisingly, Pope John Paul II himself alluded to this consummation of apparitions in his encyclical, Mother of the Redeemer:
The piety of the Christian people has always very rightly sensed a profound link between devotion to the Blessed Virgin and worship of the Eucharist: This is a fact that can be seen in the liturgy of both the West and the East, in the traditions of the religious families, in the modern movements of spirituality, including those for youth, and in the pastoral practice of the Marian shrines. Mary guides the faithful to the Eucharist.30
Of course, the humble Mary of the Bible never once referred to the Eucharist. Nor did she ever instruct Christ’s followers to worship the Eucharist. However, this survey of messages given by the “Mother of the Eucharist” around the world, shows that the apparition that claims to be Mary consistently directs followers to concentrate on Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist. And as if to corroborate “Mary’s” messages, at many of these apparition sites, Eucharistic miracles such as bleeding Communion Hosts have occurred.
For example, in Betania, Venezuela, the location of a popular Marian apparition, a bleeding Communion Host was analyzed chemically. The analyzed sample was found to be human blood. Here is a summary of the Betania Eucharistic miracle as recorded in the book, Cenacle Formation Manual and Prayer Book. This book is distributed by the Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy, and chronicles many Eucharistic miracles:
All the miracles listed occurred several hundred years ago. But the miracle that occurred during Mass in Betania, Venezuela took place on the feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1991. A Consecrated Host, truly the flesh of Our Lord, began to bleed. A subsequent medical team concluded that the material extruded from the Host was blood of human origin. The local bishop declared it a sign of transubstantiation saying, “God is trying to manifest to us that our faith in the consecrated Host is authentic.”
Many other extraordinary events have occurred in Betania, including numerous alleged apparitions of the Blessed Mother witnessed by several thousand people, multiple physical and spiritual healings, and a mystic named Maria Esperanza who has the gifts of stigmata, bilocation, and levitation during prayer. The bishop himself has witnessed the phenomena and wrote in a pastoral letter that after careful study, he has declared the apparitions authentic and of supernatural character.31
Many more examples could be cited. For instance, in Stich, Germany, a bleeding Host that stained the altar cloth was chemically analyzed at the Polyclinical Institute of the University of Zurich. No one at the institute was made aware of the source of the stains. The stains were analyzed by four different methods of chemical identification and in each case the findings were the same—the stains were human blood.32
Apparitions of Jesus Confirm the Eucharistic Christ
If “Mary’s” apparitions don’t convince the skeptic, and if miracles aren’t enough to persuade the cynic, there is an even stronger validation offered to make any questions or examination with Scripture look sinful at best, or more strongly put, blasphemous. Apparitions of “Jesus” himself are appearing. Yes, apparitions of Jesus have also been reported worldwide, albeit at a much lower frequency, and they too give attention to the “true” presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Listen to this one description that took place in Alberta, Canada:
[A]fter Communion, I could see the Host in the monstrance and then it was quickly covered over. Jesus said: “My dear people, today you celebrate My institution of My Blessed Sacrament by My Presence coming into the bread and wine at the Mass. Believe, My faithful, that I am truly present in the consecrated bread and wine. You have witnessed many miracles of My Real Blood coming forth from the Host as evidence to those unbelievers. I tell you, at every Mass you witness My miracle in the Transubstantiation when the bread and wine are made into My Body and Blood. Take advantage of this time to adore Me in exposition of My Host, for a time is coming when this privilege will be taken away. I recommend to all of you to encourage your priests to have Perpetual Adoration of My Host.”33
Many of the miracles have been proven to be Real Blood by the scientists. Even in the face of reality and technical proof, there are still many who do not believe in My Real Presence. This denial of My Presence is the worst of insults and a disrespect for My Gift of the Eucharist. This is why those same people, who reject My Presence, do not feel it necessary to confess their sins. Those, who teach against My Real Presence, and put down these miracles, are the real blasphemers. . . .Those, who do not love My Blessed Sacrament, are the lukewarm that I will vomit from My mouth.34
Why the Eucharist?
There are many more Eucharistic messages and reported miracles. But the question we must ask is why? Why does the apparition of Mary encourage the faithful to worship and adore the consecrated Host? Her many messages on the Eucharist have spurred the formation of multiplied thousands of Eucharistic prayer groups and perpetual Eucharistic adoration groups throughout the world. Was this her goal? Obviously yes! But might she have a much greater goal in mind?
In my book, Another Jesus: the Eucharist Christ and the New Evangelization, I show how the apparitions of Mary contradict the Scriptures and offer a false gospel. She, or more accurately it, is not the Mary of the Bible, but rather a satanic counterfeit. Therefore, would a demon endeavor to lead the world to worship and trust the true Jesus of the Bible? Or is it more likely that these impostors would direct the people of the world to worship “another Jesus” or a false christ?
Attention to the Eucharistic Christ is being focused upon, not only by popes of the Catholic Church but also from apparitions claiming to be the mother of Jesus. Could their vision of a global move toward the Eucharistic Jesus really occur?
(See appendix below endnotes. To order copies of The Catholic Mary & Her Eucharistic Christ, click here. )
* The Catholic Church’s doctrine of the Eucharist is based on the concept of transubstantiation, a belief that the Catholic priest has the power to turn a wafer of bread into the actual body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus.
** The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception teaches that Mary was, from the moment of conception, free of any original sin (i.e., that Mary was a sinless woman). This doctrine, of course, contradicts the Bible where it says, “all have sinned” and Mary’s own words when she said, “my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden” (Luke 1:47-48); nor does the Bible depict Mary as a sinless woman, who, if such were the case, would have no need of a Savior.
1. “Mary Has a Place in Latest Encyclical” (Zenit, April 17, 2003, http://www.zenit.org/article-7085?l=english).
6. Jim Tetlow, Messages from Heaven (Fairport, NY: Eternal Productions, 2002, available through Lighthouse Trails).
7. Eucharistic Adoration is the worship and prayer offered by Catholics and others to Jesus in the Eucharist, when kneeling in front of the displayed consecrated Communion Host.
8. “Prophecies of Interest: St. John Bosco” (The American Inquisition, http://web.archive.org/web/20070330163805/http://americaninquisition.blogspot.com/2006/02/prophecies-of-interest-st-john-bosco.html).
9. The Real Presence Association: Churches and Chapels that have Eucharistic Adoration, http://www.therealpresence.org/chap_fr.htm. This web site lists over 7,000 adoration sites in the US alone.
10. Thomas W. Petrisko, Mother of the Secret (Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing, 1997), p. 113.
11. Ibid., pp. 185, 186.
12. Fr. Joseph A. Pelletier, The Queen of Peace Visits Medjugorje (Worchester, MA: Assumption Publications, 1985), p. 205.
13. Rene Laurentin, Is the Virgin Mary Appearing at Medjugorje? (Frederick, MD: Word Among Us Press; First English language edition edition—June 1984), p. 120.
14. Richard J. Beyer, Medjugorje Day By Day (Notre Dame, IN, Ave Maria Press, July 18th meditation, Message from Our Lady of Medjugorje given on March 15, 1984, http://medjugorje.org/msg84.htm).
15. “Our Lady of Medjugorje” (http://medjugorje.org/msg95.htm, Message from Our Lady of Medjugorje, Sept. 25, 1995).
16. “Garabandal – Pines Will Enlighten The World” (http://www.circleofprayer.com/garabandal-messages.html, Message from Our Lady of Garabandal given on October 18, 1961. Error in original quote).
17. Thomas W. Petrisko, Mother of the Secret, op. cit., p. 157.
18. Ted and Maureen Flynn, The Thunder of Justice (Sterling, VA: MaxKol Communications, Inc., 1993), p. 164.
19. “Our Lady is Appearing in Rome,” “Messages of the Mother of the Eucharist” (http://web.archive.org/web/20040727010135/http://members.aol.com/Linden59/EucharisticMiracles.html); Messages to the visionary Marisa Rossi.
20. Josef Kunzli, editor, The Messages of the Lady of All Nations (Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing, 1996), p. 110, message given on May 31, 1967.
21. Peter Heintz, A Guide to Apparitions (Sacramento, CA: Gabriel Press, 1995), p. 219, message from Our Lady to visionary Sister Dolores of Budapest, Hungary.
22. “Consecrated Hands,” Our Lady of the Roses, Directives from Heaven (taken from These Last Days, Lowell, MI, #228, http://www.tldm.org/directives/d228.htm), messages from Our Lady of the Roses to Veronica Lueken, November 23, 1974.
23. Teiji Yasuda, O.S.V., English version by John M. Haffert, Akita: The Tears and Message of Mary (Asbury, NJ: 101 Foundation, 1989), pp. 194-195, message from Our Lady of Akita, Japan to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa, July 6, 1973.
24. “Apparitions of Jesus and Mary” (Message given by Our Lady to Cyndi Cain, USA, Sept. 8, 1994, http://web.archive.org/web/20000823193220/http://web.frontier.net/Apparitions/Cain.msgs94.html).
25. “The Story of Naju” (http://www.circleofprayer.com/julia-kim.html), messages from of Our Lady to Julia Kim, Naju, Korea, June 27, 1993.
26. Fr. Don Stefano Gobbi, To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons (St. Francis ME: The National Headquarters of the Marian Movement of Priests in the United States of America, 1998), p. 676, message given to Father Gobbi, February 26, 1991, Brazil.
27. Ibid., p. 640, message given to Father Gobbi, April 12, 1990, Italy.
28. Paul A. Mihalik, The Virgin Mary, Fr. Gobbi and the Year 2000 (Santa Barbara, CA: 1998), p. 29, message to Father Gobbi, given on November 21, 1993, Australia.
29. Father Martin Lucia “Fire From Heaven”(Immaculata, http://www.friendsofchristjesus.com/quotesontheeucharist.htm).
30. Pope John Paul II, “Mother of the Redeemer” (Origins, Volume 16, Washington, DC, March 25, 1987), p. 762.
31. Bryan and Susan Thatcher; Seraphim Michalenko, M.I.C., Cenacle Formation Manual and Prayer Book (Stockbridge, MA: The Association of Marian Helpers, 1999), p. 81.
32. “Betania—I come to reconcile them” (http://web.archive.org/web/20070714101152/http://members.aol.com/bjw1106/marian9.htm).
33. John Leary, Prepare for the Great Tribulation and the Era of Peace (Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing, 1997, Volume VII), pp. 57, 58, message from “Jesus” to John Leary.
34. Ibid., Volume XI, p. 8.
Appendix: The Ultimate Sacrifice
By Roger Oakland
The Catholic Jesus is the Eucharistic Jesus. The Marian apparition’s Jesus is also the Eucharistic Jesus. However, the Eucharistic Jesus is not found in the Bible.
John chapter 1 states that Jesus is the Creator of all things (John 1:1-3). He is eternal (Revelation 1:8). He is sinless. (I John 3:5). He is immutable—unchanging (Hebrews 13:8). In Colossians chapter 1, we read that Jesus, the One who made everything, is the One who redeemed us from our sins (Colossians 1:13-18).
Isn’t it reasonable to ask: how could Jesus, the eternal Creator, be dependent on a Catholic priest to manifest His presence? Nowhere in the Bible does it state that Jesus can be placed and confined in a container made with human hands. Nor is a priest needed to invoke His presence.
Further, the fact that the Eucharistic Jesus is re-sacrificed at each Mass demonstrates another major conflict with the Bible. Once again, in the Book of Hebrews, this is illustrated:
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. (Hebrews 9:15-17)
In other words, for the New Testament to be in effect, Jesus had to die “once for all” (Hebrews 10:10), which was the ultimate sacrifice and proof of His divine perfection. To propose a re-enactment of the one offering once made is to denigrate the very will and purpose of the Father and the majesty, power, and absolute perfection of Jesus Christ the Lord. And as Hebrews 10: 11-12 explains, the contrast of the two offerings (man’s versus God’s) is man’s offering can “never take away sins” and God “offered one sacrifice for sins for ever.”
The Catholic Church makes Jesus’ sacrifice like the repeated sacrifices of bulls and goats of the Old Testament that could never take away sins (Hebrews 10:4). Jesus has “obtained eternal redemption.” “It is finished” (John 19:30), as Jesus said. The upper room is vacated. The cross is bare. And the tomb is empty. Jesus has been resurrected. Hallelujah! He now dwells in the hearts of those who have trusted and believed on Him. Truly, this is reason for rejoicing!
Jesus said, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). The apostle Paul tells us that Christ dwells in every believer’s heart (Ephesians 3:17). Christians are the temple of God—the Spirit of God dwells in us (I Corinthians 3:16). If ingesting consecrated bread was the true way to receive Christ, it would only bring His presence for a short time. Only while the bread remained in the digestive tract would Christ be in us. The rest of the time He would be absent. Yet, the biblical Jesus tells us, “Abide in Me, and I in you” (John 15:4), and “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
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By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
ISTANBUL, Turkey – In a move that drew some concerns from onlookers worldwide, the Roman Catholic pontiff known as Francis visited Turkey’s Blue Mosque on Saturday, expressing reverence during a moment of prayer observed by the nation’s grand mufti, who led him on a tour of the Islamic facility.
According to reports, Francis took off his shoes, folded his hands and bowed his head, standing silently next to Rahmi Yaran, who serves as the nation’s highest Islamic leader as grand mufti. The two faced Mecca as Yaran prayed with his palms raised.
The Vatican described the gesture as a “moment of silent adoration” during the Roman Catholic leader’s visit to the 17th century Sultan Ahmet mosque. Other descriptions of the visit state that it is meant to show “mutual respect” for each other’s religion. Francis’ predecessor Benedict XVI also visited the facility during his tenure.
“May Allah accept it,” Yaran said following the time of prayer. Click here to continue reading.
By L. Putnam
“Pay attention” is the watchword of this book. And “pay attention” is what I would like to challenge the reader to do. Pay attention and awaken to who Ford once was. Pay attention and awaken to who Ford now is. In addition, pay attention to “the hours of our lives, ” and to the “ones who pay attention.” Finally, pay attention to the poets, authors, priests, and contemplatives Ford champions.
Pay Attention to Who Ford Once Was
Many of you, as did I, recall Billy Graham’s familiar radio program “The Hour of Decision.” As a child part of our Sunday afternoon ritual consisted of listening to Billy. I can still hear the ending of the program, “That’s all the address you need, ‘Billy Graham, Minneapolis, Minnesota.'” I can further remember that, now and then, rather than Billy preaching, a young evangelist named Leighton Ford ably proclaimed the gospel in Billy’s place.
Pay Attention to Who Ford Now Is
So imagine my complete shock, when reviewing the Ruth Haley Barton book Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership I read Leighton Ford’s foreword which he was writing, from a Roman Catholic oratory garden, while seated beside a pagan labyrinth.
How did Ford get to such a place as an oratory? Ford tells us, in this book, in his own words. Ford begins, “My work has largely focused on evangelism- ‘making friends for God.’ … But a shift has taken place.” “But now,” Ford relates, “is a time to pay more attention to my own heart, to deepen my own friendship with God, and to walk with others who want to do the same.” Ford also shares, “The deepest longing I have is to come home to my own heart …” (p.10-11)
Ford goes on, “If the first part of my own journey involved longing, the second has encompassed mainly looking –coming to important parts of my soul, bring my real self before the real God, and discovering prayer, as Simone Weil put it, as ‘absolute attention.'” (p.12) To achieve these goals Ford writes, “It has meant exploring other ways: silence, stillness, art and poetry, reading Scripture not by going through great chunks but by meditating on smaller portions, listening carefully to God and my own heart, having a trusted spiritual companion as a friend on the journey.” (p.14)
Pay Attention to the Benedictine Hours
Ford introduces us to “The Benedictine Hours” and to Benedict who became, according to Ford, “a shepherd of souls.” This soul shepherd became “St. Benedict” to whom Catholics now pray and worship. Consider this “Novena to St. Benedict” which begins “Glorious St. Benedict, sublime model of virtue, pure vessel of God’s grace! Behold me humbly kneeling at your feet. I implore you in your loving kindness to pray for me before the throne of God. … I therefore invoke your powerful intercession, confident in the hope that you will hear my prayer and obtain for me the special grace and favor I earnestly implore (name it). …” (p.20) https://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/novena/benedict.htm
Pay Attention to David Steindl-Rast’s Connection to The Benedictine Hours
Ford tells us that his first experience of the hours came at a retreat at the lovely monastery–Mepkin Abbey in the low country of South Carolina. But, it wasn’t just from Mepkin that Ford learned about the hours. It was from a book– The Music of Silence: A Sacred Journey through the Hours of the Day by David Steindl-Rast and Sharon Lebell. Click here to read this entire book review.
LTRP Note: Posted for informational and research purposes. Interesting to note that the announcement was made during an “interreligious Vatican conference on traditional family values,” in which Rick Warren participated. Question to think about: Did Rick Warren play a role in getting the Pope to the US, and will Rick Warren play a role in the Pope’s visit to the US. in 2015? Perhaps the Pope will make a stop at Saddleback. After all, as we reported earlier this year, a delegation of Catholic bishops visited Rick Warren and Saddleback to gain some “wisdom” on how to accelerate the Catholic New Evangelization program using Purpose Driven methods.
By Kathy Matheson
“Pope confirms Philly trip for families conference”
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Organizers of the World Meeting of Families for months were coy when asked if Pope Francis would come to Philadelphia for the massive Roman Catholic-sponsored gathering.
It turns out that when the pontiff finally confirmed his attendance Monday, organizers already had gotten inside information from an unimpeachable source: Francis told Gov. Tom Corbett during a Vatican meeting in March that he would make the journey, his first papal visit to the United States.
“The Holy Father answered our invitation by whispering three words in Tom’s ear: ‘I will come,'” said Susan Corbett, Pennsylvania’s first lady.
Protocol kept them from saying anything publicly until now, she said at a news conference hours after the pope’s statement.
Still, the timing of Francis’ announcement — made during an interreligious Vatican conference on traditional family values — came as a bit of a surprise and set cellphones abuzz in Philadelphia around 3:30 a.m. EST. Organizers had not expected official word until later next year. Click here to continue reading.