Confirmation is the Christian rite in which the Holy Spirit is conferred or renewed to those already baptized. Confirmation began as a unique rite around the 4th century, involving the laying on of hands or anointing with oil.
Today’s Catholic Church usually confirms believers just after the age of seven. But adults who are converting to Catholicism and have successfully completed the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults are baptized and confirmed during the Easter Vigil by either a bishop or a priest.
If the converting adult has already been baptized through a recognized Christian denomination, they’re confirmed without having to be baptized again. For Catholics it’s not possible to be baptized twice because, as Deacon Ed puts it, baptism imparts and “indelible mark on the soul.”¹
Lutheran, Anglican and other Protestant confirmations are similar, usually not allowing a person to receive Holy Communion until after their confirmation. Within all Churches the confirmed become full members of their Church.
There is also a Jewish understanding of Confirmation. Details for the peculiarities among Christian denominations and the Jewish faith can be found at
- Will You Go To HELL If You Don’t Get Baptized? (frantzmichel.com)
- Robert Bork: From Atheism to Christian Faith by Austin Ruse (facebookapostles.org)
- 1/13/2013 Descend, Holy Spirit (richbrownforewords.wordpress.com)
- Confirmation is not “Baptism of Believers” for Catholics (womenintheology.org)
- Dutch Catholics Getting “De-Baptized” To Protest Church’s Homophobia (queerty.com)
- Dutch Catholics Getting ‘De-Baptized’ To Protest Anti-Gay Pope (towleroad.com)
- ‘De-baptism’ Is the Latest Dutch Trend (newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com)
- RCIA – First Steps in the Catholic Church (newevangelizers.com)
Contemporary Catholics believe that the Catholic faith follows the authentic teachings of Christ as given to the apostles and recorded in scripture, these teachings being preserved, present and developed through a legitimate and holy apostolic tradition.
Catholics comprise the single largest body of religious believers on the planet, and about half of all Christians.
The Latin and Eastern Catholic Churches together form the “Catholic Church”, or “Roman Catholic Church”, the world’s largest single religious body and the largest Christian church, comprising over half of all Christians (1.1 billion Christians of 2.1 billion) and nearly one-sixth of the world’s population.¹
- Catholic (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Islamists Kill Scores at Nigerian Roman Catholic Church (nationalreview.com)
- Joe Biden’s Religion: Catholicism or Leftism? (trinityspeaks.wordpress.com)
- 5 YouTube Videos that Turn Heads TOWARDS Catholicism (ignitumtoday.com)
- Catholicism: A Catholic View of Halloween (gingerjar2.wordpress.com)
- Catholicism fast becoming the dominant US religion new poll shows — As Protestant numbers decline, Catholics now come center stage (irishcentral.com)
- Life on a prayer for Jimmy Savile (thecommentator.com)
- How the vice-presidential debate emphasized ‘single-issue’ Catholicism – Articles (religionnews.com)
- 50 years after Vatican II began (coffeeringstheology.wordpress.com)
- Catholicism and Sex Shops: The Struggle for Poland’s Soul (frstephensmuts.wordpress.com)
The term “Catholic” (Greek: katholikos = universal) was initially applied to the Christian Church by St. Ignatius of Antioch (c. 100 CE) in a letter to the Church at Smyrna:
Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be, even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church.
The term became widely used to denote both clergy and lay members of the Christian Church. In the 4th-century CE St. Pacianus writes
Christian is my name; Catholic is my surname.
Today it refers to any member of the Roman Catholic Church. However, the following shows some of the complications around this term.
The Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, and some Methodists believe that their churches are “Catholic” in the sense that they are in continuity with the original universal church founded by the Apostles. However, each church defines the scope of the “Catholic Church” differently. For instance, the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox churches each maintain that their own denomination is identical with the original universal church, from which all other denominations broke away.¹
Some materialistic psychologists and sociologists view this in terms of a kind of individual and cultural relativity. In other words, all the churches are both right and wrong in that their supremacist claims give adherents a sense of personal meaning and social belonging (each person and group according to their unique profiles). But all the churches are essentially wrong because God and the afterlife don’t exist. And even if God did exist, such a being wouldn’t favor one path over others.
Others believe that God surely does exist, and God’s truth doesn’t stoop to psychological or postmodern style theories. So one Church is right and all the others are wrong.
A third way of looking at the problem sees some spiritual truth in each Church but also cultural biases. These spiritual truths are not necessarily the same, conceptually or experientially. For instance, a Catholic entering an Orthodox church might intellectually balk at theological differences over, say, the filioque.² They may also feel a spiritual presence, but the numinosity might not be of the same quality as experienced within the Catholic Church (and vice versa, with the Orthodox believer entering into a Catholic church). In this way of understanding, one path is right for one type of person, while another path is right for another type of person. Accordingly, one path to salvation is not necessarily better than another. Just as a frog likes a pond, a bird likes the air.
And yet a fourth way of seeing the issue is to say that one path is, in fact, closer to ultimate truth than the others but still contains cultural bias and is, therefore, imperfect.
This last way seems to be the way of the Catholic Church in the 21st century. Catholics are taught that other religions may contain elements of truth, but the Catholic Church is the best expression of God’s mysterious being, creation and plan of salvation—even if the Catholic Church’s articulation of belief remains imperfect by virtue of our human limitations.
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Deva is a Pali and Sankrit term denoting a ‘heavenly being’ or ‘shining one.’
In Hinduism the devas may refer to
- The absolute (Brahman) in the form of a personal god
- Mortal beings inhabiting a realm higher than the human sphere
- A name attached to human beings who have realized God and attained enlightenment
Regarding the third instance, whether or not individuals actually attain perfection or merely become subsumed by the power of a deva is a point of debate sparked by the traditional Catholic view of discernment along with C. G. Jung‘s archetypal psychology. Catholic mystics would probably see anyone claiming to be perfect as a victim of a Satanic influence, whereas C. G. Jung would likely frame the issue in terms of the ego over-identifying with an archetyapl power.
In the New Age movement the word deva is adapted to refer to nature spirits, spiritual forces behind visible creation, or spiritual forces behind a species—i.e. a group soul.
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Ethics is a branch of knowledge and philosophical inquiry concerned with moral ideals, choices and the good or bad actions which may or may not follow from those choices.
Ethics may focus on personal, social and spiritual issues, separately but often in relation to one another.
Within world religions, ethical decrees might seem fixed within a given faith tradition. But various schools of interpretation usually coexist, usually with some degree of tension—e.g. the Protestant acceptance of female and in some instances homosexual ministers vs. the Catholic rule of an exclusively male priesthood and homosexual acts being specified in the catechism as “intrinsically disordered.”¹
- Kant of Ga.: Bentham Mill: Normative ethics – Britannica.com (humeofga.wordpress.com)
- The Universal vs. the Particular (aleksandreia.com)
- My Take: What the Bible really says about homosexuality (religion.blogs.cnn.com)
- CFP: Conference on Metaphysics and Ethics, East and West (warpweftandway.wordpress.com)
- Emotions and Ethics: A Foucauldian framework for becoming an ethical educator (2012) (foucaultnews.wordpress.com)
Elohim is a modern and ancient Hebrew word that denotes god or gods, making it grammatically singular or plural.
According to Catholic teaching, the fact that Elohim has a plural form doesn’t mean that it points to polytheistic understanding of God. It occurs over 2,500 times in the Old Testament.
The term Elohim is also used by Raelians to depict apparently all-wise, loving aliens whom adherents believe created mankind.
- אלוהים (Elohim) (eliezer40.com)
- He Says Concerning Himself “I am the Son of Elohim” (guapotg.wordpress.com)
- God, Elohim (hoagiestyle.wordpress.com)
- Fatimah is the daughter of Mohammed who, among certain Shi’ite Muslim groups, has become an object of veneration, arguably with some similarities to the cult of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) in Catholicism.
- In Portugal Fatima is a town with a shrine of the BVM where it’s believed that Mary appeared to three young children in 1917, a claim apparently supported by countless miracle stories.
In secular usage “faith” [Latin fidere = trust] refers to believing in something or someone. “I have faith in the system” the man or woman on the street might say when asked about societal problems.
In a non-denominational, spiritual sense it refers to believing in a loving, supernatural power or God and that things will eventually work out. That is, it’s a view of optimism.
In the general religious sense, faith in part refers to believing in a fixed set of teachings.
The Hebrew term for faith (emunah) originally meant trust in God but in the Middle Ages it came to mean believing that God exists and that the Jewish dogmas were correct.
In Hinduism faith generally means a belief that things will eventually work out and that justice will be served – for the good and the bad – as a result of the law of karma.
In Christianity, faith generally refers to the belief and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior—a perfectly loving and good, omnipotent, omniscient eternal Being belonging to the Holy Trinity.
In Catholicism faith is understood as both an objective truth and a subjective virtue. The Catholic Encyclopedia says:
Objectively, it [faith] stands for the sum of truths revealed by God in Scripture and tradition and which the Church…presents to us in a brief form in her creeds, subjectively, faith stands for the habit or virtue by which we assent to those truths.¹
- Faith and Action (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Galatians 3:9&14 (gracegalatians.wordpress.com)
- Fear or Faith ??? (footsoldiers4christ.wordpress.com)
- What Is A Vigorous Faith In God? (samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com)
- Accomplished by Faith… (webmasteryates.wordpress.com)
- You might be a hypocrite if…you turn Jesus’ message of faith and love into one of fear and hate. (god-still-speaks.com)
- Faith (briancoatney.com)
The term guardian angel refers to the Catholic belief that we are guided from birth to death by an angel, assigned by God to each particular individual.
Similar ideas are found in the ancient world. In Plato’s Apology of Socrates, Socrates speaks of some kind of otherworldly agency that tells him what not to do but never what to do.
The Old Testament also speaks of angels that intercede for mankind, the most famous example being that of Moses leading the people through the wilderness. Here God tells Moses that an angel will lead him. And many Muslims believe that they are guided by two angels.
In Shamanistic and Amerindian belief, the guardian and guide may be in the form of an animal spirit.
Today, the belief in guardian angels is quite widespread and does not pertain to any single religious group or denomination.
Historically speaking, it’s long been believed that dark or evil angels can confuse people and compel them to sin, even to suicide. No doubt as a product of mankind’s sexist history, women, especially, were thought to be driven to the point of madness by evil spirits posing as loving presences.
Contemporary psychiatry generally downplays or ignores the possibility that evil spirits could influence a person’s behavior. Psychiatry does recognize the phenomenon of “magical thinking” but usually within the interpretive framework of a cognitive error or mental illness.
Many exhibiting so-called magical thinking probably do make all sorts of interpretive errors. But the issue here is the underlying cause. The medical psychiatrist looks to inherited, (apparently) abnormal predispositions and adverse environmental conditions which may, indeed, be present. However, psychiatry tends to overlook the possibility that these contributing factors could be part of a much larger dynamic, a dynamic that might involve evil spiritual influences.
- Angel Talk (theaceofswords.wordpress.com)
- Guardian angels (kitabikida.wordpress.com)
- How to ask Your Angel (theaceofswords.wordpress.com)
- Fools Rush In (davidscommonplacebook.wordpress.com)
- Lost & Found (logisticallychallenged.wordpress.com)
- Puppy Pile of Angels (mightyinspiration.wordpress.com)
- Elgar’s Guardian Angel – London Concert Choir sing Dream of Gerontius (classicalmusic.southbankcentre.co.uk)
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The Holy Rosary is a Catholic devotion usually prayed on a circle of beads, with a short row of five beads and crucifix attached at the bottom.
One prays the rosary to the Blessed Virgin Mary, not only to venerate her and glorify the Lord, but also to implore the saint to pray to God on one’s behalf. This request for intercession can be for oneself, others, the whole world, and for all souls who ever existed and will exist.
A distinction can be made between the instrument itself (the loop of beads), and the type of prayer performed with them. For instance, Catholics often pray a special prayer called the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, apparently given to St. Faustina, using rosary beads.
Before 2002, the full rosary consisted of 15 decades (ten beads per decade). A Hail Mary Prayer is said on each bead, with two extra prayers at the end of each decade. The first prayer is The Our Father, which is repeated on each large bead dividing the decades.
Each decade celebrates a holy “mystery.” A mystery is a particular event in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The first group of mysteries involves the Joyful Mysteries (5 decades), dealing with the events leading to Jesus’ birth and growth to maturity.
The next group of mysteries are the Sorrowful Mysteries (5 decades), focussing on the period from Jesus’ arrest to crucifixion.
The third group is the Glorious Mysteries (5 decades), dealing with Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, as well as Mary’s assumption into heaven.
To these three mysteries, Pope John-Paul II added the Luminous Mysteries in October 2002. So the former group of three mysteries (Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious) officially became four.
No one really knows for sure how the Holy Rosary came into existence. Some believe that it was adapted from earlier Muslim prayer beads, introduced through the Crusades.Others believe that the Catholic rosary existed prior to the Crusades.
Catholic tradition, itself, says the Holy Rosary originated with St. Dominic (1170-1221 CE).
Not a few non-Catholics liken different goddesses to the Virgin Mary, and in a similar way, not a few people say that different types of prayer beads found around the world – such as Tibetan and Islamic forms – are equivalent to the Holy Rosary.
But this claim seems superficial because world religions are so different from one another.
- New Rosary Commemorates the Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks; Precious Keepsake Symbolizes a Sign of Hope for all in the Face of Global Terrorism (prweb.com)
- Why are there 59 beads that make up a rosary (wiki.answers.com)
- Our Lady of the Rosary (sevenoaksordinariate.wordpress.com)
- Rosary (cutoutandkeep.net)
- How to Use Advent to Establish the Family Rosary… (cantuar.blogspot.com)
- Hail Mary Prayer (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- October: Month of the Holy Rosary (catholichomeeducationnetwork.wordpress.com)
- Ave Maria! Rosary Part 1 (growingapologist.wordpress.com)
- How do people respect the rosary (wiki.answers.com)