Home Forums All Things Catholic Personal Encounter with Christ

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    On another board the question came up about Catholics and personal encounters with Christ. Below was my reply, as Catholics proclaim Christ, and the Christ who was preached by the Apostles and the Early Church rather than the new Reformed Christs in all the various forms preached by the various Protestant Sects. Cognisent that there is one who visits this site, who will disagree that the Christ as he defines Him is the same Christ preached for two thousand years by the only Church that can show a historical link to Christ, I would ask for civil comments on this by members of this board.

    There are common misconceptions about Catholics not having a personal encounter with Christ. It is unfortunate that some Catholics have rejected living encounters with Christ and His Church having recently “discovered” Protestant practices. Rather than seeing what remains of Catholic belief within these Protestant teachings, they reject Catholic teaching and try to impose novel Protestant ideas in place of Catholic teachings and practice. This does in no way should deny or effect that each day the Church and each individual must be reforming himself in order to conform to Christ Jesus.

    The theology and spirituality of the Catholic Church, and therefore it’s members, (as the body of Christ) is Chritocentric. He is the source of all the graces that come to us, His Passion, Death and indeed His Rising from the Dead, (a true death and true resurrection) are indeed the basis, along with His Divine Nature of all the graces that are dispensed by our Lady, and the point of the intersession of the Saints. Without our Lord they would simply be examples of good people, but have no ability to function on our behalf nor would any of us be united in the Faith.

    As far as personal encounter. For near two thousand years, Catholics have personally encountered Christ Jesus through His Church, in the Eucharist, in daily prayer, both in a corporate and individual manner. By following the moral and dogmatic teachings that He imposed and the authority of that He gave the Church and it’s human leaders we live daily in Christ.

    Some fifteen hundred years after the Church was founded, we see the advent of those who in the name of reform stripped away what they did not agree with many while saying they wanted to return to the primitive church, others stating that it was only the Bible, and only those books they determined where inspired that was the authority in their lives, (Or rather their interpretation, sometimes from their own translation or just one acceptable translation that supported their interpretation) was the source of a personal encounter with the new Christ that they defined as being authentic. They rejected the Christ who had been preached for fifteen hundred years for this new streamlined Christ, denuded of anything they found repugnant, and changed the message that had formerly been taught. They made the personal encounter with Christ that they determined was the only authentic encounter with Christ as the only way to heaven.

    All in all it is not that Catholics do not have, or even discourage personal encounters with Christ, but that as Catholics we encounter Christ in our daily lives in the manner that the Church has for two thousand years, rather than in the manner that individuals who rejected the way the Church has lived and experienced Jesus, and the entire Body of Christ, embodied in Christ reigning in glory in Heaven and His mystical body, Militant, Suffering and Glorified.


    You summed that up very well!

    Perhaps there was too much emphasis placed on specific rituals rather than really knowing Jesus in the Church. I think this still lingers today in those that were around before Vatican II.


    Your point is valid, however I think exposure to the entire ritual life of the Church, would be a better choice. Most people just show up for Sunday Mass. When they do so it is just the Sunday Mass as it is offered at their own Church. I however feel that the experience of Christ in His Church is more personal to me because I have gone beyond the simple Sunday Mass obligation. (Now there is nothing wrong with people who go to Mass on Sunday to fulfil the obligation to worship God, and say their daily prayers and keep it at that.)

    By the entire ritual life of the Church, I would include processions, novenas, The Breviary (Now called the Liturgy of the Hours) For myself I prefer the old Breviary, which had the entire cycle of all 150 psalms prayed over a weeks time. The LOTH or new Breviary spreads them out over a months time. But I would not stop there.

    While I don’t really like the New Rites as reformed after Vatican II, I do attend them because they are Catholic Rites, and are a valid form of worship due to God. But I would also suggest that Catholics attend Mass in at least one of the many different Rites of the Mass that are offered in communion with the Pope. Say the Ukranian, Ethiopian or Syrian Rites. I live near a Coptic Catholic Church which preserves a rite of the Mass that comes from Egypt. The liturtical language is the same language spoken by the Pharos, and in fact one of the ways that scholars know how the ancient Egyptians pronounced what is written in hyroglypics is because the Coptic Orthodox and Catholics preserved the ancient language. (But I digress) Attending the Liturgies of the Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with the Pope gives one another perspective on the entire relationship with Christ that we as the Body of Christ has. Through opening our spiritual life to all that is availible to us, we can see that no matter how much we feel we have learned about and incorporated Christ Jesus and our Lady into our lives, there is still so much more He offers to us, and so many valid ways of embracing Him. By exposing ourselves to the entire ritual life of the Church we can better see that the rite is of secondary importance, but what it conveys is the life giving grace that Christ wishes to share with us.

    I think too many leaders in the Church today want to put away the liturgical history of the Church and move away from the rites developed to bring us closer to Christ, rather than use them to their fullest, to incorporate us to Him. One example is the Te Lucis, A hymn of the old Breviary. I used to love it, as an ancient hymn, It is sung at Compline, the hour prayed in monastic settings before retiring for the night. “As daylight fades, before we end our day, We beseech Thee Creator of our world to show us your clemency, and grant us a peaceful night.” A wonderful prayer, but when the Rector of a Traditional Latin Rite Seminary explained the history of the Hymn, and that it was composed at a time when you went to bed not knowing if some Goth was going to swoop down on your town and lop your head off with an axe, the hymn took on more importance. When the rector explained further that the hymn today tells us of our prayer to remain free from the influences of the devil when in the darkness of night, he can take full advantage of our lonliness and fears, it became more than just a hymn, but rather a personal prayer to each of us listening to the lecture.


    I don’t know if this has anything to do with the topic,but back in 1966 my father was dieing from Parkenson and one evening shortly before he died he was in has bed(he couldnt get out of bed anymore)at home and my Mom was in the other room and she heard him talking to someone and she asked him who he was talking to he pointed towards the ceiling and said Jesus is there and talking to me and my Dad said to him “I’m coming to see you” and within a week he passed away.
    Also there has been many times when people was going through a severe surgery and sometimes they were near death and they would refer to seeing a bright light.
    P.S He was not a Catholic


    Pope Pius XII explained the Catholic position on Extra Ecclesia, or outside of the Church in a manner similar to this.

    Our Lord established one Church, that is the Church founded on Peter, it is the means He gave us to get to heaven. Anyone who is baptized is a member of that Church, as there is generally only one baptism*, not a Catholic Baptism and an Orthodox Baptism and another Protestant Baptism. All that is needed is potable water, the words I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. (The thee and Ghost can be spirit and you, the language is not important) and the intention to do what the Church does, or at the very least the intention to preform an act that is sacred to Christians. So even a pagan can baptize someone if they use the proper form, and the person requests it.

    Many have fallen away from the Church after baptism, some even moments after by assenting to heretical teachings of non-Catholic Churches. That does not mean they where not baptized. Those people fall into two groups, Vincibly Ignorant, and Invincibly Ignorant. Someone who is invincibly ignorant is someone who has been trained or taught such hatred for the Catholic Church, or has false information for the Teachings and history of the Church that they are unable to open their hearts and minds to the teachings of the Church. God will judge them based on what they knew and understood, He will continue to try to reveal Himself and the Fullness of the Truth to them, and we as Catholics should try to be an example of the Truth to them bu practicing our Faith with the love and Joy that comes from the Graces we have had made availible to us in the Sacraments and the spiritual life with Christ. We cannot as some do condemn anyone to hell or even proclaim them to be in hell for not following the teachings of the Church because we cannot judge them only God can.

    For those who have never heard of the Teachings of the Church, ie pagans in Africa, Buddhists in Asia, God will Judge them according to His will, while we should try to spread the news of Christ as He commanded us to go unto the entire world, we need not obsess over judging those who never had the chance to hear the truth. The Church speculates, but does not pronounce that probably God will judge them using Natural Theology, or the common understanding of what is moral and immoral that all men being created by God understand, or possibly He enlightens them to the Truths of Himself and lets them choose between Him and rejecting Him. We do not know as He has not revealed that to us.

    It is only those who understand the Faith and reject God that will be rejected by Him. As we cannot see the state of someones soul we can’t judge them.

    * The two other forms of baptism that the Church holds are Baptism of Blood, and Baptism of Desire. If someone has not been baptized and is Killed for his belief in the Faith, as sometimes happened in the Early Church, he is considered baptized. If someone dies (non-martyrs) without the opportunity of being baptized but desired to be that is baptism of desire. An example of this would be the nephew of a woman I know. Her sister and brother became Protestant, and did not baptize their son. As an adult, at the age of 19 he started taking instruction in the Catholic Faith. His baptism was scheduled for Holy Saturday a few years ago. While attending a function for work he was killed, not having been baptized but his intention was to be baptized, so he we can assume had the baptism of desire.

    As far as the graces that any Non-Catholic person recieves. they recieve them from the superabundant graces that God gives mankind through the Church, as His means of dispensing grace. “Overflow” as it where, not through the merits of Non-Catholic practices or Churches.

    Summing it up, God wills all to be saved, and will do all He can to provide the graces needed for salvation. If one knows better, one should act better, if one is ignorant of the truth God will judge us based on what we knew. Otherwise Hell would be full, the Mentally Retarded who are so severly disabled that they could not follow the precepts of the Evangelicals, would all go to hell, little children who had not made the “Decision for Christ” would join them there, and very few would share eternity with Him.


    Within the last 8 months, I’ve had two more dreams with Jesus in them. I wish I could get them every day because they make me feel good.


    [quote:1sscq12r]Within the last 8 months, I’ve had two more dreams with Jesus in them. I wish I could get them every day because they make me feel good.[/quote:1sscq12r]

    [color=blue:1sscq12r]I always thought wouldn’t it be nice if one had a recorder in ones brain and when you woke up you could put dream on a CD? They say dreams are at ones deepest sleep time usually around 5am or 6am or just before you wake up. [/color:1sscq12r]


    I wish I was an artist so I could draw them out.

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