CALLED TO COMMUNION - October 1 2021

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Dr. David Anders talks with non-Catholics & fallen-away Catholics. Call 833-288- EWTN (3986)

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Video Transcript
What's stopping you? You, you. From becoming a Catholic. Why can't women become priests? 1833288 EWTN . I don't understand why I have to earn salvation. 183-328-8398 six. What's stopping? Why do I need to confess my sins to a priest? What's stopping you? You, you. This is Call to Communion with Dr. David Anders . On the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network. Well, what do you know we made it to Friday. How about that? Welcome again to Call to Communion right here on EWTN Radio. It's the program for our non Catholic brothers and sisters. Do you have a question that's been bugging you for uh who knows? Maybe even years? We'd like to uh take a crack at answering that question. Anything having to do with the Catholic faith uh especially we would love to know what is keeping you from becoming a Catholic or perhaps returning to the uh Catholic faith of your youth. Here's phone number, eight, three, three, two, eight, eight, EWTN . That's eight, three, three, two, eight, eight, three, nine, eight, six. My personal recommendation uh because it's Friday, call early. Phones tend to be very busy on Friday afternoons. Again, eight, three, three, two, eight, eight, EWTN If . you're listening to us outside of North America, please dial the US country code and then two oh five, two, seven, one, two, nine, eight, five. You can also text letters, EWTN to five, five, zero, zero, zero. Wait for our response and then text us your first name and your brief question, message, and data rates may apply and of course, you can always send us an Email. We'll hit one of those in a moment here. CTC at EWTN dot com. The address, CTC at EWTN dot com. Alright, phones are ringing right now. Matt is uh working on that. Matt Gabinsky, our phone screener uh along with uh Charles Berry, our producer, Jeff Burson on social media. Jeff will uh pass on to us here in the studio. Any questions you might wanna post via Facebook or YouTube because we're streaming there right now. Put your question in the comments box and Jeff will take it from there. I'm Tom Price along with Doctor David Anders Tom, . how are you today? Great. Week weekend plans for you, sir. Um you know, same old, same old. How's that book coming along? You know, we we're getting there. One step at a time. I'm I'm just I'm just I'm not nudging you really. I'm just you know, trying to keep it top mind, that's all. Oh, it's definitely top of mind. You know, this uh I read a book by Von Balthazar one time about Andre Delubach, the Catholic Cardinal and Bishop and I mean uh and uh a Jesuit theologian not bishop. Jesuit theologian who had done so much to renew patristic studies in uh in modern Catholic theology and uh both is our set of Delubach that his best book was the one he never wrote. Oh. But which served as the inspiration for all the other works he was doing, you know, and I was like, man, I relate to that sentiment. bet you can. Here's an Email from uh looks like RJ. RJ says, hi, Tom and Doctor Anders. I have a friend who was a recent convert to Catholicism. He is constantly telling me and other people a part of our Catholic young adults group that he accepts transubstantiation because it's taught by the church. He always adds to this that although he accepts it, he thinks there is a better way to explain what happens in the Eucharist and that the church should consider changing this teaching because it's old and confusing and hard for us to understand. How would you respond to this? Thanks, RJ. Um yeah, there's a word for that. Yes. Yes. There's a word for when people come by and say the dogma of the church that's been defined as you know, essential content of the Catholic tradition that and divinely revealed that I've got a better way. There's a word for that. Does it start with an H? It starts with an H. Okay. Alright. Exact that's that's what's what you call heresy, right? Okay. He's like, hey, we don't need this anymore. We need this new thing that I've got that's better, right? Okay. That's called heresy. Um so, look, the, II honestly, I think the fellow may misunderstand the role and function of dogma and Catholic life. The church teaches us the dogmas themselves do not save us. You're not saved in virtue of believing in the doctrine of transubstantiation. You're saved by union with the Christ who is conveyed to us via transubstantiation. Okay. So, we, the church invites you to participate in the reality of Christ made present in the Holy Eucharist, who will transform you and save you, alright? Uh but uh it's uh it's kind of like you could be the best pharmacist in the world and be able to reproduce that you know, the chemical formula for your antibiotic. Mm hmm. But if you don't actually take the antibiotic, you're not gonna get over your infection and it's not it's not the dogmatic formula as such that Salvific. It's the reality that the formula unpacks that that declares. Now, the dogmas, many of them, declare to us realities that transcend our reason and our sensible experience and none is more uh transcendent in that way than than the doctrine of transubstantiation, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Of course, it's hard to understand. He complained that it was hard to understand. Of course, it's hard to understand. Sure. Of course, it's hard to understand It is what you call a mystery, A mystery. But it's but it's a mystery like all the mysteries of the faith that illumines Uh it illumines. It's you know, it presents Christ to us Tells us that we have to feed upon him, dwell in him, live in him, uh make him our all in all. It draws the church together as the people of god. One of the reasons that we have sacraments is so that we can corporately participate in a visible way uh in this common project of the Catholic faith. Uh it's present to us under sensible signs. Saint Thomas says because we we mount up to the immaterial through the material. Uh it's adapted psychologically to our mode of cognition because we come into contact things by our senses but we have to be led from those something higher, something above ourselves. Uh it's uh Christ is presented to us uh really truly in his body and blood uh because our our bodies need also to participate in the redemption which is provided for us in Christ. So, the the doctrine is highly evocative uh without being perfectly intelligible to us. Nevertheless, those who hold it by faith and enter into the practice of a Eucharistic mode of life who engage the church's worship are thereby transformed and so, I would invite your friend to explore the Eucharist as the church says the doctrine is a light to illumine our path and make it secure. Introduces to a to a more than me cognitive participation in Jesus and one that ultimately will lead us to eternal life. Boy, oh boy, what a great question that was and I'm so glad that you were able to uh unpack it so clearly. RJ, thank you so much uh for your Email. If you would like to send us an Email for a future show, the address is CTC at EWTN dot com. CTC at EWTN dot com. As promised, uh the phones are lighting up and uh things are getting quite busy there in the screening room. Looks like we'll be going to Noah in just a moment here in Dallas. Lisa in Oklahoma. Chris is in Spo Washington. So, since we have three lines, that means we have three lines available for you right now at eight, three, three, two, eight, eight, EWTN That's . eight, three, three, two, eight, eight, three, nine, eight, six. Call the communion with Doctor David Andrews here on EWTN. Stay with us. Here's today's quote from Mother Angelica's perpetual calendar, Franciscan virtue is to follow the providence of God. And God's providence goes as far as you go. Now that's the scary thing about it. If you don't go, he won't go. Mother Spiral Bound Perpetual calendar features an inspirational message for each day of the year. It's available from the EWTN Religious Catalog at EWTN RC dot com. That's EWTNRC dot com. Latin mass restrictions. get reaction to the pope's decision, and hear why one bishop plans to keep allowing the extraordinary form. Fight for the unborn whether other states will follow the heartbeat law passed in Texas. President Biden defends Roe versus Wade. Clear, concise, Catholic, EWTN News Nightly. Tonight, nine Eastern on EWTN television and radio. He was a doctor of the church and one of the greatest defenders of Christ's divinity. Matthew Bunson and the doctors of the church. And other nations of Alexandri fought against the Arian heresy that questioned the divinity of Christ. He once condemned the Arians as opposers of Christ who had dug a pit of ungodliness. It was said of him, Athanacious Contramunda, Atenacious against the world, but for Christ. He died in three seventy-three. For more about the doctors of the church, visit Doctors of the Church dot com. It's called the communion with Dr. David Anders here on EWTN on this uh beautiful Friday afternoon. Our phone number 833288 EWTN That's . 833288398 six. We have two lines open right now. Well, believe it or not, it's hard to believe for me anyway uh that we're now in the month of October in the year twenty twenty-one. Uh we usually roll out a book a month, a new book a month every month uh from EWTN's publishing division and we have a brand-new book for you in October. They might be saints on the path to sainthood in America by the miracle hunter, Michael O'Neill. In this great book, he unveils twenty-four of America's greatest blessed and venerables whose causes for canonization are already underway and that would include the founder of the Knights of Columbus, Father Michael McGivney. It would include Big Favorite Around here, Archbishop Folden Sheen, America's first TV evangelist. Uh what about this fellow? Pierre Tucson, he was once a slave and then an entrepreneur devoted to the poor and if I can throw in just one more, Father Patrick Payton, the rosary priest. Lots of great uh subjects for your review in this new book. They might be saints on the path to Sainthood in America. It's available right now at EWTN RC dot com. Buy Catholics shop EWTN RC dot com. If you're ready now, let's go to the phones at 833288 EWTN we begin with Noah in Dallas, listening on the great Guadalupe Radio. Hello, Noah. What's on your mind today? Hello, sir. Um well, I go to a Bible study uh at a Christian school. Uh huh. And uh one of the questions were was, can non-believers do good? And he said, let's backtrack it. Can or what is difficulty biblically good? And make my siblings and I are raised Catholics because my mom is Catholics but my dad is Jewish. So, I'm kinda sensitive to this. So, I was just wondering, Ken, um believers do good. What is biblically good? Yeah. To us. Thank you. I really appreciate the question. So, the answer to your question is yes. Of course, unbelievers can do good. Of course, they can. And the Bible uh does not give one definition of what it is to do good. Uh it rather assumes that we already know what is good in many respects. So, Saint Paul, for example, in the book of Philippians chapter four verse eight, says, final brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. Because you see, things that are noble and right, and pure, and lovely, admirable, and beautiful, are evident to everyone, to everyone. You don't have to be a believer to see, you know the beauty of a sunset or of a tree or the smile of a baby or the kindness of a parent or or you know, mercy to the poor. I mean, these are things that are, you don't have to be a believer to recognize these are good and from a Catholic point of view, goodness is something that god uh wove into creation in the Genesis account of creation. God created the world and said, it is good. It is good. Now, Catholics have thought about that for a long time and and have this basically how they think about it. Anytime something is desirable is attractive to me. Uh I'm attracted or I desire something in it that's good. And the world is good and you know, bananas are good and gorillas are good and automobiles are good and Bible study students are good. Things can be misused and we can turn them to a you know, bad use but things in themselves are good because god made them. Is that make sense to you? Yes, sir. Alright. Thank you so much, Noah. Thanks, thanks for your call, Noah. Appreciate it. Call us back another time and that opens up a line for you right now and uh excuse me, eight, three, three, two, eight, eight, EWTN that's . eight, three, three, two, eight, eight, three, nine, eight, six. Call the communion with Doctor David Anders on this Friday afternoon here on EWTN Radio. Let's go to Lisa Now. Lisa is in Oklahoma. Listening on YouTube. Hey, Lisa. What's on your mind today? Um hi. I was watching EWCN's Reformation Series with my husband who's not Catholic. Uh huh. And he's very offended by the term Protestant. And I was wondering how that term originally got started. Like did the Catholic Church call Protestant? Protestants or did Protestants coin that term for themselves? Yes, thank you. I appreciate it. The the term came originally in 1529 from the second diet of Spire which was an imperial meeting uh caused by called in the Holy Roman Empire to try to get Catholics and Protestants to unite politically against the threat of Turkish invasion and in the context of the meeting, they also discussed the religious question in Germany in the empire wanted to reverse the results of the first diet of Spire that had suspended the edict of worms that had made Luther's works illegal in Germany and the Protestant representatives at the diet said, we protest. and they they issued AA protest station in the so the identification of the protesting parties at the second diet of Spire stuck and became ended up being applied that term ended up being applied to the whole movement that would follow Luther and others like Calvin's Wingley Cranmer, and the like. Uh now, uh uh as somebody who grew up Protestant, I did, I grew up Protestant. I did as a child and and deeply conversant with the history of my tradition. I personally would not have at that time of my life felt that was an insulting term, I fully embraced it because see, I believed what Luther and Calvin told me and the Protestant leaders all asserted that the pope was the antichrist and that the Catholic Church was the horror of Babylon and the worst thing, you know, on planet Earth and needed to be opposed and extropated if possible, militarily and politically as well as theologically and so, we were very comfortable with the idea of protesting against what we thought were abuses and the irreverences and the sacrileges of Catholicism. And so that polymical and virulent language was something that was very characteristic of the reformers themselves. I mean, Luther used uh rather strong language, not even suitable for public airwaves to be honest with you. Hm. To describe things like the sacrifice of the mass. Very, very harsh language about it. Um and so uh you know, it was a it was a difficult time to be alive. And I, for one, glad I know uh that I don't live in the sixteenth century because uh you know, everybody was calling everybody else the antichrist. Yeah. It was not a happy time but uh yeah, II don't think they thought of this as an insulting term. I think it was fully embraced as like capturing their basic identity which is it. Descriptive. It was a script. We were, they were rejecting uh the central claims of the Catholic Church and its position and Christian life and they were very comfortable protesting against that. And there it is. Appreciate uh your call, Lisa. Thanks for listening to us in Oklahoma. Call to communion with Doctor David Andrews here on EWTN We . have a couple of lines open for you right now at 833288 EWTN That's . 833288398 six. Chris is listing in Spokane, Washington on SiriusXM channel one thirty. Hello, Chris. What's on your mind today? Yeah, good afternoon, Tom and Doctor Anders . Uh first, the blessings to both of you. Thank you. all that you do uh for our Catholic Church and for the faith here in the United States. Um so I asked my question, Doctor Anders can , you work hard to use like two and three syllable words? Cuz that's 2¢ brainers sometimes. don't have a gift of your knowledge. I mean, you could speak with dolphins and we can't but anyway, besides that, you're an amazing person. Uh no, thank you, I think. Yes, no, I mean, you guys weren't. Our two separates can't possibly have those giant words but nonetheless, faith and work, Doctor Hanton. So, the process that we know, faith versus work. Uh James versus, you know, Paul's epistles. So, the question is really, why do the Protestants lean so hard on the epistles when the example was already set in the life of our lord. As you always reference, the cup of cool water, a secret sheep and go. You know, the what you've done for the least of our breath. You know, he per day, you he he healed, he ministered, all those gifts of charity. So, why is, why is this even an issue with regards to the epistles possibly trumping our Lord's example. Yes, thank you. I appreciate the question. The reason why is because the founder of Protestantism, Martin Luther, developed an innovative way of reading the Bible and of interpreting sacred scripture And in reflecting on the book of Romans and the book of Galatians, Luther singled out or or sort of emphasized Paul's teaching that a man is justified and not by works of the law but by faith. And when Luther read that phrase, you're not justified by works of the law. He imagined and this is not I think what Paul meant but it's what Luther meant. Luther thought well, works of the law must mean any kind of morality. must mean any sort of ethical behavior and the conclusion that Luther drew wrongly, I believe, was that our ethical behavior has absolutely no makes no contribution whatsoever at all to our union with god. and in a commentary on the Book of Galatians, Luther said this quite starkly. He said, god never smiled on a man for his charity or virtues. And he said many things similar for many years. and this uh this idea that our ethical behavior contributes absolutely nothing to our union with God. Was uh enshrined in dogmatic formula in the fourth article of the Augsburg Confession. Which taught that a person is justified IE made right with God. Simply in virtue of faith alone. When that person believes themselves to be justified. So namely it's very self-referential idea. Like, if I believe myself to be saved, then, I am saved and that faith, god imputes to the believer as righteousness. So, in virtue of believing I'm saved, this is the Augsburg confession. Mm hmm. In virtue of believing that I'm saved, god in fact, accounts me righteous, imputes, you know, credits me with righteousness, not in virtue of my moral behavior or my obedience or my charity or virtues but simply in virtue me believing myself to be saved, right? That's the Lutheran position, the Augsburg Confession. Now, um but Jesus was a problem for Luther. Because that's not what Jesus says at all, right? It's not what Paul says either. Right. In point of fact, in Romans two verse thirteen, Paul says, it's not hearing. It's rather obeying the law. It's by obeying the law that we will be declared righteous. So, they they don't even do Paul right but it's really a problem when you get to Jesus because Jesus never says anything about faith alone and almost never talks about grace. Very rarely does he talk about grace. Um uh but he talks a lot about ethical behavior. And he talks a lot about the need to to live ethical lives. Lives of charity and self sacrifice, humility, mercy, and so forth. And specifically teaches that we'll be judged on that basis. So what what do you do with Jesus if you believe in the doctrine of faith alone? Well what Luther suggested was well Jesus is doing this to frighten you. He he said that that any kind, anytime you come across an admonition in the Bible, uh that one of the reasons that the admonition is there is to scare you so that you will turn to god for grace. Hmm. And Luther said they were, he suggested there were three uses of the law. Now, this is idiosyncratic to live. Yeah. Yeah. He's one use would be to restrain the ungodly in the civil sphere like you have a law that says don't murder Luther's opinion that that helps keep ordering civil society. The other use of second use of the law is this um this code to turn to god for grace and the third use of the law for Luther was after having been justified by faith alone. It could be a guide to the Christian life. Um but this this way of reading the Bible basically neutered the teaching of Jesus because it relegated it to a kind of parlor trick. You know, a kind of a form of psychological manipulation. Jesus is not saying what he really thinks but is merely sort of behaving in a way to induce behavior kind of a psychological change. Well, that actually meaning what he says in any way and uh and Luther called this law and gospel. All the admonitions in the Bible he read is law, all the promises of grace and forgiveness he read his gospel and and his and his view, the real promise of the gospel, the message of Christianity. He's his promise of free grace in Christ apart from works. Um now, it's a very convoluted hermeneutic and it it's a it's a you know, it's a subtle theory and text of scripture don't suggest this on their own. Mm hmm. You have to come at it through Luther's idiosyncratic reading of Saint Paul. So, that's that's where the the the controversy emerges from comes out of Luther's writings and his own personal religious experience of of anguish and and guilt and kind of a you know, sort of neurotic fear uh of scrupulosity in his attempt to find a gracious god who wouldn't hold him accountable for his moral failings which Luther thought were many. No, right. Hey, Chris. Thank you so much for your call. Here's a quick question uh as we're going to break here from James uh watching us on YouTube today. Please explain what the pelican, the the bird, the pelican, has to do with Jesus in early Christianity. Yes, Pelicans will mutilate their own breast and feed their young on their blood. Wow. So, the uh well, at least, that's the story. I've never seen anyone can do this but that's the story. So, the pelican emerges in Christian iconography as a symbol of Christ's self sacrifice since we in fact uh eat his flesh and drink his blood. Pretty fascinating stuff there. Fascinating stuff. It really really is. So, there you go. Uh James, thank you so much uh for your question. Glad that you're watching us on YouTube this afternoon. We're gonna get to uh a couple of more YouTube questions if we can today from Melbourne, Australia. We'll get to that one. Also, one from Chris and uh we've got lots more coming up straight ahead here on this edition of Call to Communion on EWTN . Right after the break, we'll be talking with uh Randy and Grand Rapids, Colorado. Also, Tricia in Hanover, Michigan. Keith in Mexico Beach, Florida, and in Massachusetts. Lots more straight ahead on the Friday afternoon edition of Call to Communion with Doctor David Anders Do . stay with us. Cheerleaders. In any language, it means the same. Live truth, live Catholic EWTN . Saint Augustine gives us tremendous insight as to why we should pray. He says this, why God should ask us to pray when he knows what we need even before we ask him? May perplex us if we do not realize that our Lord and God does not want to know what we want. For as God, he cannot fail to already know it. But rather he us to exercise our desire through our prayers so that we may be able to receive what he is preparing to give us. Dear family, let us pray together. Mother Angelica's prayer for the United States. Lord god, I ask in all humility that you bless this country as unworthy as we are. Protect it from every evil. Protect it from the enemy. Protect it lord that it may accomplish thy will and keep thy commandments. I ask lord with a pleading heart to look down upon us in our unworthiness. Give this country a renewal of devotion to you, to your law and to your commandments, Lord. Let us be once more a country under you, Lord. May we once more say, in god we trust. Guide us, and protect this country from every evil and every harm. Amen. Is being a peacemaker important to you? That will be our topic Monday on Take two with Jerry and Debbie. On most of these EWTN stations. Now back to Call to Communion. Well, you know what I'm gonna ask. What's stopping you from becoming a Catholic? Hey, let's talk about it. Here on EWTN's Call to Communion with Doctor David Anders As . promised, let's uh get back to the phones here. We're gonna talk with uh Randy. Randy is in Grand Grand Rapids, Colorado and uh Randy is listening on SiriusXM channel one thirty. Hello, Randy. What's on your mind today? Hello, gentlemen. How are you today? Very well. How are you, Randy? Well, I consider privilege to talk to the voters. Francis, I'm an thankful for your ministry. Thank you so much. What's up today, Randy? Well, I've uh seen how we've been through this socially mandated break. I'm finding it rather hard to get back in the swing of things and I'm trying to figure out to find out what you two gentlemen would think was a good start in getting back on track. Yeah, thanks. I really appreciate the question. So, your call is a little bit garbled. So, if people didn't hear, I'm gonna repeat you the question. Right. Randy said. Yeah. You know, having been away from mass for a while especially in current uh uh public health concerns and so forth. What's a good way of sort of getting back into the swing of things? Well, uh you know, the the sacramental practice, I think is is the uh obviously of Place to start and if you can make it back to mass on a weekly basis and regular confession uh once a month, once a week. Uh obviously, that's kind of um uh sort of basic spiritual checkup, health kind of thing. II that alone however, I don't think is enough to have a robust spiritual life. I think it's also necessary to make sure you pray daily um that you have time on a daily basis for meditation on the word of god and uh and uh lives of the same with those, you know, Catholic literature and so forth that you find particularly or personally edifying uh in my own life, I usually wake up some place between four or 5 o'clock in the morning and first hour or so of my day is given over to reading uh various things. I could read scripture, read the saints, read Catholics theology but II do something to kinda get my head in the game. Mm hmm. And I'm a I'm a bookish kind of fellow. So, that's a important part of my spirituality. Uh you know, I know many other people that begin their day with the rosary the very least morning offering as always. Oh, yeah. You know, fantastic prayer. It doesn't matter Um it's it's less important, you know, how many words you use or how many pages you cover or how many how many decades you get through. What's more important is the disposition with which you do it. Uh the the love, the faith, hope, and charity that you bring to it. Mm hmm. Um and that the the habit, the practice of the thing is the important part. Um you know, the um uh you you get more out of the mass, the more you bring to the mass. Yes. Right you know. Yes. And and I the same thing with with confession I think. Uh you know the only requirement for coming to confession is contrition. You know that's an awareness of and a hatred of your sins. And um uh you know I think most of us are pretty keenly aware of them. Oh yeah. You know so that's a it's a pretty low bar. Yeah. For uh for confession. So, that'd be what I have to say. You know, what uh Randy, there's a lot of people uh who are walking in your shoes right now. So, I think that was a great call uh to come in from today and uh we do appreciate that. Call to communion here on EWTN We're . going now to uh Tricia. Tricia is in Hanover, Michigan. Hey there. Uh Tricia listening on uh avenue Maria Radio. Tricia what's on your mind today? Hello, can you hear me? Yes, go right ahead. Okay. Um so, I was like on speaker phone before. I'm actually from Ann Arbor and I realized it was hard to hear. Okay. But um so my question is, in the recent movie on Fatima, um at featured one of the characters was uh a skeptic and he brought up something about oh, historical evidence that crucifixions were done with um are basically saying, well, Jesus would have had nails in his wrist and his ankles. So, why do uh Catholics say they get the stigmata in their hands and their feet and we just didn't realize or didn't couldn't tell us that quick was resolved in which case it seemed a little weird to bring it up and leave it hanging. So, that's what I was wondering about if you did. Yes, thank you so much. I appreciate it. So, the first person on record to have experienced the stigmato was Francis of Assisi. Um now, you know, obviously, god didn't tell me why he treated Francis the way he did. So, we're left to our own speculations about the thing. Okay. But I believe that of all the people in human history, probably no one dedicated his life more intentionally to the perfect following of Christ's example. The the literal carrying out of Jesus's every admonition. Then Saint Francis of Assisi. Now, you know, Francis was not a great Latinist and had access to the gospels in Italian, the vernacular of his day. Um and uh maybe it was not the best biblical scholar with respect to the rest of the texts but the text of the gospels that he had, if there was a command of Christ, he was gonna it. No. And he was gonna do it exactly as stated. So, when he read, you know, take take no money in your belt. Just take, you know, a one pair of sandals and a tunic and a staff, that's what Francis would do. You know, to give to the poor, Francis gave to the poor. You name it, Francis did it. And he lived such a perfect conformity to Christ. Uh you know, when we look at his spirituality, if you try to turn it into a routine or a formula, you think, well, it just, that's just religious life you know, vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, you know, wear a habit, help the poor. Yeah, we've seen that and I don't think it goes to capture the depth of the man, Francis. When people were attracted to him, uh you read his biography and you think, well, this is kind of astonishing but what, you know, why did so many people wanna be with him? His, he had a absolutely magnetic personality. Infused with the spirit of grace and if you've ever been around a person like that, II have been privileged to. You can be around two or three people in a religious habit. They all outwardly seem to live the same mode of life. Uh but one of them seems to just shine. There's a there's a love and a charity and and something transcendent and holy and other worldly about this individual that just blows you away and I think that that was Francis. Just to the ultimate degree. Yeah. And so people just flocked to him and and couldn't wait to give away their property and their lives. Uh to follow this man who seemed to follow Christ so perfectly. And so uh it's not necessary. But seems entirely fitting. That uh he would be graced with this this imprint in his body of his perfect conformity to Jesus and why was it given? Not to make him holy, he was holy. He was holy as he could be, right? Uh but it kind of I-1 way of looking at it would be the sort of a divine mark of approval. You know, that yeah, this guy really is conformed to Christ most perfectly and his way of life is is uh is endorsed if you will by heaven. Mm hmm. And if in the iconography of the day, Christ is represented on the cross is crucified in a certain manner and one of the purposes of the stigmata is to signify. It seems to me imminently appropriate that he would bear in his body the image of Christ that was familiar to his contemporaries. It it is not so much that you know, god, I mean, I'm sure I'm sure god knows what the Roman crucifixion practice was. You know, the point is not a perfect sort of biological reproduction of Christ's uh on the cross as the as what it represents both to Francis and to his uh posterity and to his contemporaries. Tricia, thank you so much uh for your call and if I could follow up David with with what you're saying, you know, um obviously, well, here at EWTN , our priests that we that we encounter every day. These are Franciscans. Yeah. These guys are and of course, the life of Saint Francis is a big deal around here. It's a big deal around here. And on day, uh the church, the Franciscans for sure, uh celebrate what is called the transitus and you know what that is, David. This is uh the the end of the earthly life of Saint Francis and the beginning of his uh his life in the next world. Yes, yes. So, we're gonna be carrying that on EWTN Radio uh and television at 6 PM Eastern, Sunday night. Join us for Vespers and Benediction and uh we'll also be uh honor the transitus of Saint Francis. So, again, that's a 6 PM Eastern uh right here on EWTN Radio and Television on Sunday. So, do uh join us for that. Back to the phones right now here on Call to Communion with Doctor David Andrews. Here is Keith now in Mexico Beach, Florida. Listening on iHeartRadio. Hey, Keith, what's on your mind today? Hey, gentlemen. What an honor to talk to the two of you. Um I got kind of a longer two-part question so I'll just get to it. Um I have uh dear friend who a uh uh baptist pastor and we have pretty in-depth discussions and we're talking about the Virgin Mary and how they insist he had brothers and sisters and III went into it saying how well brothers can mean cousins. It can mean lots of things. I reference Abraham and Lot. Mm hmm. And then I said and in the book of Matthew, he said, Mary, the mother of Joseph, and then the reference mother of the sons of Zebedee and not the virgin Mary. I'm talking mentioned mother Mary, the mother of James and Joseph, then in John, Mary, the wife of Clopus, who if you then go to Yoshibius, uh church father, he said or um I'm sorry, the wife of Clopus and then you can go to UCBS and he says, he's Saint Joseph's brother and I said and at that, Jesus gave his mother to John. That would have been an insult back in the day and he said, well, we think that by then, Jesus's actual brothers had not believed in and so he turned his back on them and I was like, so just make stuff up to justify your reasoning with, okay, I had a snarky response, not a, not an a good one. So, I was looking for something with that and then, my other part of my question was, the Virgin Mary was truly the only person standing at that foot of the cross who truly, truly knew that that was the son of god being killed. So, not only did she know that her son was being crucified, but she was watching the son of god be murdered. How come we don't focus on that more? And I'd appreciate your uh input. Yeah, thanks. I appreciate the question. Although, I'll have to differ with you on one thing and that is that uh Saint Matthew's gospel tells us that the centurion who stood by Christ at his death saw how he died and said, surely this man was the son of god. Hm. True. So, one of the Roman Centurions present also came to that conclusion and of course, uh Saint Dismas on the cross next to Jesus. Yup. Said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom and so II think there for others as well that uh if they didn't out believing they they died. When Jesus died and when they died confessing uh his Messiahship and his lordship, right? Um now, in terms of speaking about the Blessed Virgin Mary and a perpetual virginity, uh II personally don't think that you can beginning with the Bible alone, that you could have absolute certainty that this was divinely revealed. I think from sacred scripture, we can see how it's deeply consonant with the picture of Mary presented in the Bible but the fold of Mary's perpetual virginity is something that has been handed down by sacred tradition uh enhancing, elaborating uh the picture that we have of her in sacred scripture. And it's uh and it's entirely fitting given her divine maternity and her vocation to be the mother of god as well as the mother of all those that believe in Christ. So, let's make that theological case a little bit more robust. Uh the the when Mary is uh experiences the annunciation. like Zechariah who is doubtful about what's gonna happen um in the birth of John the Baptist. Mary believes the word of the angel but is puzzled by the mechanism because she doesn't you mean she's in she's betrayed to be married. She knows when babies come from. Mm hmm. But when he says you're gonna have this child, she says, well, how's that gonna be? And because fathers of the church say, well, what how do we explain her mystification other than a valve perpetual virginity because uh like she knows where babies come from. Yeah. And somebody says, you know, lady about to get married, you're gonna have a baby. Most people would go, okay, I know how that works, right? But she says, I don't know how this works. I don't know how this works but but be it be it done to me according to thy word. So, she's she surrenders to the divine plan but it's a bit mystified. Mm. And so the angels as well, the holy spirit is gonna overshadow and overpower you and the child born of you is gonna be the son of god. Oh, okay. That, no problem. Be it done to me according to thy word and her her her willing surrender to divine providence which entails embracing great suffering. A sword will pierce your soul too. Uh is a model of perfect Christian discipleship because that's what all of us are called to do. Say to the lord, not my will but thine be done. Be it done to me according to thy word. Uh then, the dignity of the one to whom she gives birth, the son of god and god himself, Mary is truly the mother of god and we say that casually kinda rolls off the tongue, you know, but it's it we stop and think about what a sublime thing we're saying that this one creature unique in all of time and space and history is the soul creature to have the dignity of being the mother of god, the god man, unbelievable, unbelievable, and uh therefore, the Book of Revelation. draws a parallel between the the woman uh our first mother who fell and uh this mother of all those who believe in Christ who is victorious over that ancient serpent, the devil. That's the language of the Book of Revelation chapter twelve. and so, in being uh the mother of Christ, the mother of the god man, she's also the mother of the church because we're all in Christ and the sacred scripture describes her that way and this coordinates nicely with Jesus's mention uh illusion to her as woman. Mm hmm. Right? Both in John two and John chapter nineteen. So, we have a picture now of the Blessed Virgin Mary uh on Earth and in heaven, the mother of the god, man, the mother of who belong to Jesus. The um the uh the one who gives herself entirely to the divine plan, surrenders to divine providence and we know that that uh that that discipleship is most perfectly realized in perpetual virginity. Jesus himself teaches us Matthew chapter nineteen when he says, uh in us better, some people have even made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. And Saint Paul, of course, teaches, it's better to be celibate and continent if you have that gift. Christ himself was So it's it's most fitting that the mother of our redeemer would participate in that more perfect form of consecration while simultaneously being a mother. So, she is a model for all Christians whether religious or or in the married state. Uh this perfect form of holiness. Now, like I said, that's that those arguments don't amount to a proof so much as an argument for the fittingness of the thing. Now, it's not gonna be intelligible to your baptist friend who doesn't believe that there are states of life Distinct from another in the in their mode, you know, according to greater level, a lesser degrees of perfection. Even though that is explicitly the teaching of scripture, he doesn't actually believe that. So, he might not be persuaded by it and he certainly doesn't recognize the witness of sacred tradition which is also divine revelation. So, for that reason, when dialoguing with the Baptist, my personal opinion is rather than getting hung up on, well, it's not, it's not minutia, it's important uh but the uh dogma that are derivative on more central dogmas. I put it that way. I like to go straight to the authority question in dialoguing with Baptists and uh and put the question to them as to as to whether or not Christ gave us a rule of faith. Whether Jesus himself provided a means to transmit the the Christian faith authoritatively down to the generations. Just put the questions straight to them. Mm hmm. And their gut response is that Christ gave us the Bible but of course he never said so. Right. In Christ's provision for handing on the Christian faith was in fact oral tradition and the teaching authority of the church and that's evident in the text themselves. And so before you can start quoting from the Bible to me, we first have to establish that the Bible is the word of God. And you have the Bible as a product of sacred tradition. So you better not throw sacred tradition out the window. Because if you do, you gotta throw the Bible out along with it. Mm hmm. Keith, thank you so much uh for your call. We're gonna try to get to as many questions as we can today. Uh if we answer your question, please call us back on Monday. Robert is watching us right now on YouTube in Melbourne, Australia. Robert says and I love the way he phrases this. It it's a little bit different. Does the Catholic church distance itself from political influence? yes or no? Of course. Yes and no. Yeah. Right? Yes and no. So, uh the founder of the Catholic Church is a guy named Jesus. And let's say, he wasn't um he didn't alter his teaching in response to political influence. Mm hmm. But it would be hard to say that he distanced himself from it because political influence put him to death. Yeah. I'd say he was pretty proximate to political influence and political influence rolled over and crushed his body and he put him in the path of political influence as the vehicle of his victory over sin and death. By allowing himself to suffer the death of martyrdom, he actually conquered the powers and principalities of this world, rose from the dead. and and fully inaugurated the the kingdom of god which is present in mystery in the church and dwells within us, right? And so, truth of Christ's kingdom. He says, I'm a king. Yes, but not of this world and the kingdom of god doesn't come with your observation doesn't come with, you know, political conquest or the victory of my party or my policy agenda. For the kingdom of god is within you and if you want to participate in the kingdom, you have to do things like hunger and thirst for righteousness and be poor in spirit and pure in heart and a peacemaker and all those other uh beatitudes from Matthew chapter five. That's the way to participate in Christ's kingdom. Those things are not uh uh directly uh uh uh influenced by uh uh by politics or by the powers of the sage but Ca can be Uh can be. Bishops and popes can be. Sometimes they they bend and sway and move in response to political pressure. Other times, they're martyred. Yeah. Like Christ. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for uh watching us in uh Australia. Robert, appreciate uh your question. Here is Anne in Massachusetts listing on YouTube as well and what's on your mind today? Hi, thank you for taking my call. Um it's it's a very very basic question. I'm in company of young adults who have fallen away from the church. I'm Catholics They . most of them were raised Catholics Some . sometimes they weren't but they state that um the purpose of religion was to control the masses or for the rulers to control the masses. And that's why religion came to be. And that's what they use for not going to church or believing in Catholicism anymore. Um and I was just wondering, I'm not very good at um stating or I state what my belief is. Uh huh. And it doesn't seem to um obviously, I know they just don't wanna go to church anymore but um Yeah. Or. I think I can help you, man. Yeah, thank you so much. So, you're you're right that the real the real issue here is that I don't wanna go to church. The real issue is not this argument which is really just a justification. Mm hmm. It's not a reason, it's a justification. Now, as a justification, it's pretty lousy. It's pretty lo reason. Yeah. Right? Uh because it's it's grotesquely historically ignorant. Now, you know, the origins of the Judeo Christian tradition, Jews and Christians. Obviously, in the Old Testament, really in the prophetic tradition of the Old Testament and if there was one thing that characterized the prophets, it was that they made themselves obnoxious to political power. And they were sometimes, you know, thrown in wells and zone in half, and persecuted, and tortured, and put to death, and whatnot. I remember there's a passage in second Chronicles chapter eighteen. The king of Israel answered Josh. There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord. But I hate him. Because he never prophesies anything good about me. But he always says bad. Right? And that was characteristic of I hate that guy. He never says anything to build up my regime or my political party. He's always just telling me I'm doing wrong. So I don't wanna talk to him. You know. Yeah. That was characteristic of the prophets. John the Baptist. He's the greatest of the Old Testament prophets of course. Uh stood up and said Herod. It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife And of course it cost John the Baptist his head. He was decapitated. He was murdered for standing up to tyrannical, political power. Uh Jesus didn't so much denounce the government as refused to make his movement in any way, shape, form, or fashion, political. He was invited to on multiple occasions and finally, when confronted by the power of Rome, Jesus said, my kingdom is not of this world. Mm hmm. Right? you know, I think about Ambrose, the bishop of Milan, who stood up to the Roman Emperor and made him do pennants, alright? For having, for having torched Thessalonica, I think it was. Um and uh, or I think about Pope Gregory the seventh, who uh, who humiliated the Holy Roman Empire, Emperor, who who came to the pope and did public penance for his sins, right? I mean, think about Thomas Beckett, who was murdered uh, in England in the twelfth century, thirteenth century for standing up, to the tyranny of, of uh, King Henry the second, over there in England. Uh, I mean, we could go down the centuries and come up with instance after instance of of of the church and not only of Christianity. I can think of other religious traditions as well. Yeah. We're prophets and holy men and women have stood up and spoken the truth to power and suffered pay the ultimate penalty penalty uh in defense of the doctrines of human dignity and the rights of conscience and uh the life of grace and so forth. So, I think the charge is just grossly, historically ignorant and uh um and if you know, if the purpose of religion is to control people, um well, I it it does a pretty lousy job. You know, to be honest with you. I mean, and but the principles that our religious faith teaches are things like uh love your neighbor as yourself and do good to the poor and and and you know, seek to implement a just regime and so forth and resist political tyranny and uh you know, the popes used to cry out against Transatlantic slavery and say this is an abomination and you can't do it and uh you know and uh the kings of Europe said um you think very much Mr. Pope for your opinion but uh you know, that's um privately we're opposed to slavery but publicly, we find it very profitable. So, we're going to keep on going and. Yeah. Today, the pope stand up and say, please stop slaughtering your children. Do not abort them, you know, and political uh people say, well, you know, privately, we may be opposed to abortion but publicly, it seems very profitable. So, we're gonna keep on doing it. It pleases our constituency. So, you can go away mister Pope and keep your opinions to yourself unless they happen to alied with our political agenda and then you're allowed to talk. William, Shakespeare, new under the sun. Something new under the sun. Alright. Well, thank you so much uh for your call and I am so sorry. We could not get to Roy in Denver, Vivian in Seattle, or Blake in Omaha, Nebraska. As you can hear, the music's coming up. We gotta get out of here but uh David, I hope that you have a wonderful weekend with your family. Don't work too hard now. Thanks, Tom. Alright and don't forget that we do this program Monday through Friday here on EWTN Radio live at 2 PM Eastern with an encore at eleven PM Eastern and that would be 8 PM uh Pacific Time. Don't forget, you can check out the podcast 24/7 at EWTN Radio dot net. On behalf of our fantastic team, I'm Tom Price along with Doctor David Anders You . have a great weekend too. We'll see you on
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