Her Doctrine and Morals

Trinity Sunday

16 June 2019


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Dear Friends,

Jesus has instructed the Apostles: "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." We understand that it is not enough for us to believe, but we must also observe, that is do all that Jesus has commanded. Saint Bede the Venerable says: "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without good works is dead" (1 John 2. 26).

Lest the Apostles think that the task Jesus has given them might prove too difficult, Jesus assures them: "I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." St. John Chrysostom reminds us that" "He did not say that He would be with these alone, but with all who believe after them; for the Apostles were not to live until the consummation of the world: but He is speaking to all who shall believe, as though to one body." From this, we may understand that there shall not be wanting those who are worthy of being a divine abode and place of habitation, until the end of time. (Rhabanus) Saint Bede the Venerable again says: "When He said: 'Unto the consummation of the world,' He makes use of the finite for the infinite. For He Who remains with His elect in this world, protecting them, the Same will continue with them after the end of the world, rewarding them." Also, St. Jerome says: "He, therefore, Who promises He will be with His Disciples unto the end of the world, reveals to them that He will live forever, and likewise that He will never abandon those who believe in Him."

The Apostles have been commissioned to teach the commandments of Jesus Christ and to baptize all those who believe. The Church continues until the end of time to teach us what we must do, therefore, we are under an obligation to hear what the Church teaches through the Apostles and their successors the bishops and to conform our lives to these commandments, as well as believe and receive Holy Baptism. It is not sufficient to believe just what we find in the Sacred Scriptures, we must also adhere to all the Traditions of the Church as well. We see that the Apostles were not commanded to teach only the Sacred Scriptures, but rather, "all things whatsoever I have commanded you."

Saint Basil the Great says: "Of the beliefs and public doctrines entrusted to the care of the Church, there are some which are based on Scriptural teaching, others which we have received handed down in mystery by the Tradition of the Apostles; and in relation to the true religion they both have the same force. Nor is there anyone will contradict them; no one certainly who has the least acquaintance with the established laws of the Church"

It is our hope that it is very clear that the true Catholic Faith is built upon both Sacred Scripture and Tradition. These are two pillars upon which all the doctrines (teachings) of the Church are based. The Protestants who have rejected Tradition as necessary for belief no longer have the true faith because they have not believed all that Jesus has taught us through the Apostles. Some may argue that the Traditions of the Church are manmade because Jesus did not give us all of these Traditions. Part of the Faith that Jesus has given for us to believe is that He guides and protects (actually lives through) the True Church. The Church is the Mystical Bride of Christ and as His Bride, She is One with Him. The Holy Ghost has entered into the Church and so She has God within Her and is guided and protected by God.

There are traditions of men that the Church finds useful or tolerates for various reasons. These may change or be let go without any danger to the True Faith. These traditions of men are not the Traditions of the Church. For example, the traditions of the agape or love-feast of the early Church were permitted for a time and then we see that Saint Paul reprimands the many cases of abuse that the Corinthians committed in these feasts, and hence this tradition was set aside because it was not from the Church but rather from men. (1 Corinthians 11, 17)

We find the Traditions of the Church in the promulgated rites and ceremonies as well as in the laws and doctrines of the Church. These Traditions cannot change because to change them would be to deny the very teachings of Jesus that they are based upon. The Church makes a point to clearly show us the Traditions that we must adhere to. Among these Traditions, we find the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Pope Saint Pius V went to great pains to purge out the many traditions of men that had entered into the Holy Mass and to codify and guarantee for us all that the Traditions of the Church have given us in this Sacred Ceremony. He has decreed that This Mass is good, true, and valid for all time and may never be forbidden, abrogated or annulled. This we must firmly accept, believe, and do if we are to be faithful to Jesus Christ.

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