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The Deposit of Faith is handed on in the Catholic Church from age to age. Some other Christians teach some of the truths which the Church proclaims - but the Church has no need to go to other Christians to learn what she should teach. Her teachings stem from Christ and the Apostles. Yet individual Catholics can learn from the virtuous example of charity, patience, etc. given by other individual Christians.
If someone searches the whole earth, wondering where he can find the true version of the Catholic Faith, not a distorted, diluted or truncated version, he can look at Rome. What is taught by the Pope and the other Catholic Bishops is truly the 'deposit of Faith' handed on by Christ and His Apostles.
Our Father in Heaven denies to no-one the opportunity to know Christ, and to receive the gift of Heaven. Whether in earthly life, or at the moment of death, each person in our village hears the truth; but many say: 'To join the Church would be inconvenient', or 'To serve God will cause me trouble', or 'Life is too short to make sacrifices'. They forget the purpose of life - and our destination, which will be, eventually, Heaven or Hell.
A disobedient man will one day learn the truth. Thousands of souls who persist in mortal sin fall into Hell, at death; yet even people guilty of lesser sins must suffer after death, if they are not fully purified and ready for Heaven. For example: Bishops, priests and theologians who have failed to teach the Faith in its fullness or who have led others astray by their support of heretical ideas.
Far fewer persons would commit adultery - or any mortal sin - if they really believed the truths proclaimed by Christ through His Church, that He lavishes rewards in Heaven upon the Saints in Heaven, but that people who commit mortal sin and die unrepentant fall into Hell, and experience the loss of God, with all the damned.
The Church has for centuries inspired, employed, or admired painters, who keep before the eyes of the faithful, in graphic form, those truths of the Faith on which we should act, if we are to be saved by the grace of Christ. We can be helped by images of Heaven or Hell, even if angels or demons, for example, are portrayed in semi-human form, or in ways stemming from a particular culture.
Christ is God-made-man. He came down from Heaven, at a particular place, and at a particular time in human history, to teach us the truth about human life and its purpose, and to show us the Way to Heaven.
A person's life can be seen as balanced if he believes all the truths of the Catholic Faith and tries to practice them; yet if he jettisons too much of the truth, he endangers his own soul, and might even fall away into the darkness. The boxes, here on the scales, represent our doctrines.
There are times in our lives when we feel all alone, in pain and turmoil, as if far out to sea, longing for help, whilst people on the shore believe that we are enjoying ourselves. Yet there is one Friend Who always knows the truth, and is willing to help us.
Part of the purpose of marriage is for spouses to help one another to become holy. This cannot be done if one who is hurt turns away. It is important to speak the truth with love to one another rather than to grow silent and resentful.
The Lord showed me the heights of Heaven, and the depths of Space. He said that if we were to search for a million miles in each direction away from the Earth we would find no more truth about Him and salvation than we already know. The truth is that the Son of God became man, died and rose to life, for us. His Way is the only Way to Heaven.
The truth which we have learned from Christ and His Apostles is still true, is still taught by the Catholic Church, which Christ founded, and is still meant to be told to everyone in the world who is willing to listen: that God loves us so much He has come down from Heaven, and that Jesus, God-made-man, is the only Saviour.
Some conversions take a long time. Before a lasting conversion, a person needs to go on a 'journey' to the very centre of his soul and mind. By Divine grace, he can discover his own true will. Is his will fixed on achieving pleasure, above all, or power, or physical fitness, or truth or fame? He can discover his own motives, and change them, after providential times of rest and reflection.
Children today like to hear a dramatic story; yet we should help them to see that there is no more dramatic story than that of God becoming a little baby. When He grew up, people who knew Him could witness to His goodness and truthfulness. Then when He was killed by His enemies, and came to life again, He provided the evidence that He was trustworthy. He had really come down from Heaven to save us.
Whoever searches for an answer to life's questions can do no better than to listen to Jesus. He is the only one of Whom it can be said: He healed everyone, He killed no-one, and He rose from the dead, proving that He has the power to take His followers up to Heaven. Everyone looking clearly at the truth will appreciate that good news, which is worth having.
It is the Lord's wish that the Last Judgement picture be used on a sanctuary wall, as a reminder of the truths we ought to know: that each of us, by our freely-made choices, is walking towards either Heaven - by the grace of Christ - or towards Hell, which is the loss of God.
It is part of Christ's plan that this 'Last Judgement' picture serve as an image in a sanctuary, and as a restatement of truth, an illustration of the Catechism, a teaching aid, and a proof of my own understanding of the Gospel: that each of us is making our way to Heaven or Hell, through our freely made choices as we accept or reject the graces Christ won for us on the Cross.
Jesus died on the Cross for the sake of the millions who could benefit from His conquest of sin and death. He would have died to save just one person; but the truth needs proclaiming today, that each one who ignores Christ, disobeys His laws and live in selfishness until death will find himself far from Christ, in Hell.
It is possible in the world to follow the inspiration of God; yet those who are transformed by Baptism are full of Divine Life of the Blessed Trinity. Only God can see who loves and serves Him and is on the Way to Heaven; but, outside the Church, it is difficult to live as a Saint among sinners if a person is ignorant of what God's Will really is, and does not have the ordinary channels of grace given unfailingly through the Church. All the more reason why we should spread the good news about Christ: the Way, the truth and the life, Who promises Heaven to forgiven sinners.
All who are sent as missionaries, to share the Faith with other people, should listen to the Church, that is, to the Holy Father and the other Bishops who hand on the truth - that Christ is the only Saviour, and that Baptism is the gateway to Divine Life. No other Gospel should be preached.
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