The catholic Faith is a divine institution founded by Christ under whose authority the church derives its power to teach and interpret the scriptures. Under the headship of the Pope, the Catholic Church exercise jurisdiction over all matters of faith and Christian dogma. This power was explicitly given to the first Pope-Apostle Peter (Matt 16:18-19) whose successors have carried on what that privilege to this day. This basic truth confirms the teaching of the Catholic Church on the infallibility of the pope on matters of Christian doctrine and dogma!
Over the years, several catholic antagonists have challenged the authority of the church on some biblical issues bordering on mysteries and its interpretation. However, it is an irrefutable truth that the right and authority to teach and interpret resonates in and around the infallible authority of the point and his lieutenants represented by the cardinals. The Holy Spirit therefore is the basic sole teacher and interpreter of eternal truths which is made available to those whom Christ have chosen and given the sole, responsible to spread the gospel.
The Christian religion is a religion of faith; therefore, carnal reasoning through the application of ephemeral human wisdom cannot decipher divine theological and ecclesiological truths. It must thus be understood that the universe and Apostolic nature of the catholic faith is a direct implication of the obvious connection between judaisin and Christianity. Christ cavity therefore is a reformed and renewed form of judaison under this present dispensation with Christ as the founder high priest and king. Christ clearly stated that he has not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.
This statement confirms the close resemblance of the sacrifice of the Holy mass celebrated by a priest of the order of medchizeder with that of the high priest of the Jewish religion. A fundamental difference therefore, is that in this new dispensation of the Christian era, the blood of Jesus which is the symbol of man’s salvation and redemption from sin (col.2:13-15) is now the main focus of the daily commemoration of the holy Euchenshe celebrate instead of the blood of animals.
Catholicizing as a religion of faith is a mystery because the redemption of mankind itself is a mystery. A mystery that is a divine and eternal truth that cannot deciphered furthermore, attempt to divorce faith from the mystery surrounding it would be an illusory Endeavour since the Holy Spirit together with our spirits bears united witness on divine truth. These mysteries of the catholic faith are eternal truths that involves round the salvic and redemptive victory of Christ for mankind. They include
- The mystery of Christ’s incarnation
- Mystery of Mary’s immaculate Conception
- Mystery of Mary’s glorious assumption
- Mystery of transubstantiation
- Mystery of the Holy Sacraments
- Mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection
- Mystery of divine revelations
- Mystery of Apostolic Succession
- Mystery of the Holy souls in purgatory
- Mystery of celibacy and divine chastity
The incarnation of Christ is a mystery and represent the beginning of mankind’s redemption from sin and death. (matt 1:18). The taking up of the human nature by God through the power of the Holy Spirit shows the magnitude of the love God has for his children. In reconciling them to himself, the mystery of the Immaculate conception of Mary is a preparation towards a greater role she would play in the salvation of man. She was deliberately shielded from the original sin of our first parents since she would later on bear God a divine being free from sin. This great privilege was acknowledged by her when she accepted the honour of being the mother of Christ (Lk. 1:28-38). Her appreciation went even further when she declared that all generations shall call her blessed (Luke. 1:48).
Mary our lady’s honor assumption to heaven without her body knowing corruption is a great mystery the church holds in very high esteem. This is a very great privilege by God to any being as only Elijah and Enoch were granted that privilege. The mystery of the glorious assumption is recognition of the co-operation of Mary in the redemptive process. Thus God crowned her with the glory and power and elevated her as queen and mother of all the heavenly host. (Revelation 12:1). The Catholic Church recognizes this privilege by setting aside a day in the interval year as day of assumption in honor of our lady.
The sacrament of the Holy Eucharist which is the true body and blood of Jesus Christ is a great mystery and thus, elucidates the power possessed by a catholic priest when the words of consecration are pronounced in the celebration of the sacrifice of the Holy Mass. The mystery of transubstantiation therefore involves the changing of the physical bread and wine into the true body and blood of Christ together with his soul and divinity. The commemoration of this mystery is an injunctions handed down to the church by Christ himself in (Matt. 14:22-25, 1cor. 11:23-26). At the pronouncement of the words “this is my body/blood” by which the priest, these ordinary bread and wine are automatically changed into the body and blood of Christ. This is a mystery that cannot be fathorned by human reasoning and knowledge but represent a special gift, privilege and blessing from God to his children through the Holy Catholic Church.
A sacrament, which is an outward sign of inward grace by which graces given to the soul represents an institution whose merits and privileges, depends on faith. They are mysteries and can only be expounded by a personal resolve of spiritual expression by the power of the Holy spirit the sacrament which were ordained by Christ himself are avennes of strength, renewal reconciliation and indulgence from God. Baptism which is a sign of our Christian brotherhood and repentance and forgiveness is very cardinal to any believer (Matt. 3:6, 28:19, Act 2:38, Rm. 6:3-4). Jesus also spoke to Nicodemus “unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit he cannot see the kingdom of God”. The sacrament of confirmation administered by a Bishop or his delegate empowers Christians with the Holy Spirit to become fearless, bold and to have a rich understanding of the precepts of theological truth (Jn. 14:26, 1cor. 2:10, Act 9:31).
Reconciliation as a sacrament re-created a new individual it thus stands out as a means of amending man’s human frailties and limitations. The catholic faith recognizes this huge grace from God to his people through this sacrament which is a mystery yet another mystery in the salvic victory of God for Mankind Christ instituted this sacrament in (Jn. 20:22-23). Anointing of the sick bestows on the recipient the forgiveness of his sins and healing from the ailment. (James 5:14, Mk. 6:13). The recognition of this sacramental mystery by the church further gives credence to the power and authority of the catholic faith to interpret biblical injunctions. The sacrament of Holy matrimony represents the nature of God’s love for humanity. The mystery behind this sacrament is in the bond binding the recipients together which can never be broken save for death. The sacrament epitomizes the rich blessings of sacramental marriage as ordained and instituted by God. (Gen. 2:18, Heb. 13:4, Matt. 19:4).
The holy Catholic Church teaching on life after death have often confounded critics. The dogma on purgatory has a deeper theological explanations that can only be interpreted by an institution versed in Biblical truths and divine wisdom. This divine mystery has biblical explanations in 1 cor. 3:13-15, 1peter 1:7 and Mark 9:49. The holy catholic faith therefore through the power of the Holy spirit has provided divine explanation to these biblical passages as an eternal theological truths. Mass offerings and prayers for the dead is also of biblical organ as can be seen in 2 Macchabees 12:46. It reads “it is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins”
One other mystery abound in the Catholic Church Is the mystery of divine revelation. Revelations and truths are constantly being shown to pious saint and Christians devotees. These revelations are in form of prayers, novenas, holy sites and sacramental’s. These revelations are recognized by the church through the point as sources and avenues for Man’s continued renewal salvation graces and indulgences. The miraculous testimonies from the clergy and lay faithful regarding these divine revelations are mysteries many who do not understand the power and workings of the Holy spirit as the as a personality that reveals the truth the things of God and teachings of Christ (jn. 14:26, Jn. 16:14, 1 cor. 2:10-13). Thus, the natural man cannot understand the spiritual revelations and the divinity of God (1 cor. 2:14).
The process of beatification and canonization of saints are divine mysteries peculiar only to the catholic faith. The church recognized the righteous life led by Holy lay faithful by confirming status as being worthy to merit eternal bliss with God in Heaven. This singular honor is bestowed on individuals after proven miracles at their grave sights or at the granting of a favor ate the request of their intercession. Sainthood therefore marks the catholic faith as the only anointed authority for interpretation and teaching of theological and ecclesiastical truth. This privilege is further proven by the commemoration of all saints day on the 1st of November in every liturgical year. The mystery in this practice is not only in the biblical revelations of this mystery to Jn., Rev.7:9-14 but also in the significance of the rites of beatification and canonization. The church less a long list of saints that she recognizes as pillars and intercessions of the Christian faith and their prayers and merits have continued to elevate the church and her ministers in the propagation of Christianity. In recent times, the catholic church has recognized some pious individuals as worthy of being saints and have begun the process of canonization. These individuals include the later Pope John Paul II and later Mother Theresa of Calcuta. Nigeria’s father Michael Tansi was beatified in 1998. The mystery and power expressed by the invocation of the saints by catholic devotees are very rich sources of blessing, graces and indulgence that edifies the spirit being of the church’s lay faithful and clergy.
The practice of celibacy by the catholic clergy is as divine as it is symbolic. Celibacy therefore marks the clergy as a priest-in the order of Melchizedek (Heb 6:20), worthy of commemorating and enacting the sacrifice of the cross of Calvary through the celebration of the Holy mass. St. Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians enjoined Christian faithful to abstain from marriage if they can in order serve God decently. (1 cor. 7:7-9). The church recognizes and appreciates this biblical injunction as germane to a worthy Christian life through the institution of the sacrament of Holy orders. Celibacy is viewed by many as a mystery considering the weaknesses and limitations of the flesh! However, the grace of God abound in the Holy Apostolic and Universal church that has been carried for several centuries through the Mandate, power and privilege of the Apostolic succession represented by the Pontiff have continued to make this divine mystery of celibacy one cardial attribute of the catholic faith. Celibacy therefore is not just a chosen vocation to exhibit piety rather; it is a divine state of spiritual calling upon which its recipient are graciously endowed with the virtues of chastity that makes their prayers and intercession meritorious of God’s answer celibacy therefore are operating under a special kind of grace that shields them from the encumbrances of human frailty faults and limitations.
The catholic church is not just a religious sect or an organized ministry of Pentecostal faithfuls, it is an institution a creation of God incarnate with the chief means of mankind’s salvation as represented by the divine institutions of the Holy sacraments. The Holy sacraments represent avenues for man’s continued unions with God creating a shield for its recipients to escape eternal damnation. The sacraments of Baptism, confirmation and Holy orders are extremely important and divinely symbolic in that they give to its recipient an eternal identity “character” when received worthily. The catechism of Christian doctrine describes a character as a mark or seal on the soul which cannot be effaced therefore the sacrament conferring it may not be repeated? The seal on the soul conferred on a catholic faithful upon the reception of any of these sacraments is mystery too divine to comprehend. An everlasting identical set such a faithful apart as one of God’s chosen children. These three sacraments cannot be secured more than once in a person’s life time since a character has been established upon its first reception by that individual. The understanding of this mystery regarding the conferment of a character by a sacrament upon an individual can only be understood.
Catholic Traditions and Jewish Practices
Though the application of faith which is a cardinal virtue that cannot be divorced from the mystery and teachings of the catholic faith further more, the blessings and indulgences received from these sacraments prepares the Christian faithful for a religious life under the guidance of the Holy spirit who shields the faithful from the limitation of the human nature.
Catholic traditions are Apostolic practice handed down to the church under the chief instrumentality of the pontification these traditions are divine ways of worship characterized by rites and rituals commemorates the sacrifice of Christ for Mankind’s redemption which is celebrated by a priest in the sacrifice of Holy mass. These traditions have become mysteries to many considering the similarities it has with that of the Jewish religion Judaism.
The use of incense is a Jewish practice as a form of prayer and preparation for the altar. The deep religious significance of these practice is in the solemn and purifying effect of a burnt incense whose aroma and symbolic as they are used for enorcism after being blessed. These incense can also be used as a sacramental for prayers and meditations by the day faithful lighted candle are symbols of light, life and holiness. Thus, its use at mass portrays the altar and the sacrifice on it as holy. Christ as the light of the world is recognized at the altar and holy tabernacle as being ever present through the use of lighted candles. The Holy water is a purifying sacramental used by Elijah to heal the land of barrenness it is also a symbol of exocision with very deep spiritual implication to the lay faithful that use them other objects of prayers known to the church as sacramentals include the crucifix scapular rosary and holy pictures. The spiritual symbolism behind these practices are eternal truths that have confounded the wisest of the carnally minded. As St Paul wrote in 2 Thesalonians 2;15 “therefore, brethren stand fast, and hold the tradition which you have been taught whether by word or our epistle”. These traditions are apostolic traditions and they represent an excellent and appropriate theological interpretation of true worship in the presence dispensation of the Christian era.
The traditions of the catholic church is closely knitted with the divine and prophetic revelations landed down to her that through the merits and piety of her devout saints one of these divine and pious practice is the devotion of thecatholic faithful to the blessed virgin Mary through the recitation of the Holy rosary. This Holy practice by catholic devoted are avenues for acquisition of grace, indulgence and blessings.
The mystic power in this prayer is immense and profound as it represents in its entirely the sacrificial passion of Christ for the redemption of mankind. This indeed is a mystery too profound to be comprehended by the carnal mind. Pope Paul V ascerted “the rosary is a treasure of grace” St Louis mere de Montfort wrote “the rosary is the most powerful weapon to touch the Heart of Jesus, our Redeemer, who so loves his mother?. Pope John Paul approved the addition of another five decades (mystery of light) to the rosary bringing the mysteries to twenty.
The mystery of the rosary is a special gift from God through our lady to the Holy catholic church as one of the chief means of man’s salvation. Any attempt to trivialize or vallify the practice of devotion to our lady through the rosary by catholic faithful would amount to weresy and Apostasy. Such profanations are blasphemous and ungodly and must be expected for especially by those who are ignorant of theological truths that carry with it divine and prophetic significance and symbolism.
Pontifical succession and the rites and procedures involved is a mystery of profound is a mystery of profound spiritual significance the catholic pontificate is not just a politico-religions office rather it is a divine responsibility bestowed on the individual occupying that office. He is known as the vicar of Christ on Earth shepherding all Christian faithful and bringing them to the salvic and redemptive grace and sacrifice of God through his only begotten son Jesus Christ. The mystery of the procedures leading to the selection of a new pontiff resonates sound the conclave of cardinals whose primary responsibilities are to assist the pope in the function of his pontificate duties and also to elect a new pope in the demise of an incumbent. This sacred tradition that has existed for centuries continues to be a mystery to Mary even to catholic day faithful. Whatever be the case, the sacredness of this holy ritual of rites and procedures are divine injunctions handed down to the church by Christ and whose merits and symbolism cannot be questioned or be brought under something by any form of human or carnal judgment this sacred mystery of pontifical succession, is further given evidence by the infallibility of the Pope on matters of faith, doctrine and dogma. This is evident by the supremacy of papal doctrinal interpretations. Throughout the history of catholism no pope has ever over turned, over ruled or questioned the merits or significance of a dogma or a proclamation of his predecessor. Instead, additions have been made to an existing order, rite or proclamation by successive pontiffs. This clearly explains the infallibility of the pope which is a cardinal attribute of the catholic pontificate.
The Catholic Church as a sacred and divine institution operates under mystic and divine laws. The common law therefore spells out the procedures and practices of the catholic institution on all matters of life and worship ranging from ecumersion, doctrinal interpretations religions worship ordination, acculturations and social political, issues of the contemporary time. The Vatican which represent the sent of the catholic faith has become a fundamental institution on matters selecting to Christian history women and civil rights and political economy and it has also became a beacon for the elimidation and interpretation of Christian precepts enging from liturgy to feasts and celebration. Although many outside the catholic fold find it hard to accept the mystery and supremacy of the catholic church. They however, seek knowledge and information regarding Christian feasts such as Easter, Christmas, Passover and lent. These symbols of Christian faith can only have full meaning and significance when all the rites and followed which expresses its deeper spirituals wealth for the Christian faithful. The mystic powers of this celebration are of catholic origin and no set denomination or religion association can fathom this spiritual feasts.
Finally, it is pertinent to assert with every sense of modesty that the catholic church is a mystery.It is a divine mystery replete with sound doctrinal knowledge, power, authority and wisdom to decipher religious truths explained though the Christian religion and brought to mankind via the institution of the Holy Catholic Church. These fundamental mysteries expressed in this piece of writing are irrefutable diving truths which serves and redemptive promise Christ Jesus won for mankind on the cross of calvary as kindly explain by st Paul in col.3:13-15. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us which was contrary to us and took them out of the way nailing it to his cross. And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly triumphing over them in it”. This is a fundamental basis of the Christian faith. Only an institution of divine origin can decipher this divine mystery of redemption and this institution is and remains the Holy Catholic Church.