Thursday, March 3, 2016

Extraordinary Miracles of God.


Extraordinary Miracles of God.

Miraculous Transport 

Unusual speed, unlikely vehicles, arriving at destinations without being aware that travel has occurred are all hallmarks of miraculous transport miracles.

Bilocation is a phenomenon associated with a saint being in two places at the same time, whereas miraculous transport involves unusual forms of travel. These miraculous transport cases have been associated with religious figures like saints.

St. Ammon the Great 350

St. Athanasius relates a story of St. Ammon the Great who was traveling with Theodore, a disciple. The two had come across a river that had risen so high that they would have to swim across it.
Separating in order to undress, St. Ammon was feeling uncomfortable with this lack of modesty. But before he had a chance to even think about it, he looked up and found he had been miraculously transported to the other side the river.
When the disciple asked him how he had done this, St. Ammon finally told him it had been a miracle but asked that he not retell this story until after his death.

St. Dominic (Founder of the Dominicans) 1221

In the company of a Cistercian monk, St. Dominic (who received The Holy Rosary in a vision of Mary) and he arrived at a church where St. Dominic had hoped to pray before the altar for the night. But when they had come, the church doors were closed and locked.

There are at least two other instances in the life St. Hyacinth where he is said to have walked on water. Witnessed by over 400 people, St. Hyacinth was going to preach at Wisgrade and had to cross the Vistula.

Three companions were with him and the waters were so rough that the boats refused to go out due to storms and weather. According to reports, St. Hyacinth made the sign of the cross and began to walk as if he were on ‘firm land.’ The multitude on the other side of the bank saw him do this.
A similar story is related of him in Russia later in his life.

Others who Experienced Miraculous Transports

Others who were known to have had Miraculous Transports included St. Seraphin of M ontegranaro, St. Anthony of Padua, Blessed Bentivolgia de Bonis, Pere Lamy, St. Colette, St. Germaine Cousin, St. Martin De Porres, St. John Joseph of the Cross, St. Paul of the Cross, St. Anthony Mary Claret, St. Peter Regalado, St. Peter of Alcantara, Blessed Catherine of Racconigi.

Saints Known to Have Ridden in Unusual Vessels

St. Gerard Majella in 1755 produced an extraordinary miracle of this kind. At the seashore of Naples, a huge ship could be seen in the distance which was about to capsize. Many people were screaming. St. Gerard Majella made the sign of the cross and shouted, “In the name of the Most Holy Trinity, pause!”
Throwing his mantle into the water, he rode it out to the foundering ship and with his own hand stabilized and dragged it back to shore.
Others who also produced Extraordinary Vessels included St. Francis Solano, St. Francis of Paola, St. Raymond of Penaford, Blessed Alvarex of Cordova and Blessed Jane of Signa.
HEALINGS:

Mother Cabrini’s First Miracle

Francesca_Cabrini
March 14, 1921
Yawning openly on this gray afternoon, a young nurse makes a last round of her newborn charges in New York City’s Columbus Hospital Extension on 163rd Street. In the final moments of an unusually busy shift, the weary nurse’s thoughts are already far from babies as she bends over the whimpering Smith infant at whose midday birth she assisted two hours earlier.
Instantly wide awake, Mae Redmond gasps, “Oh God! Oh God!” for infant Smith’s face is like charred wood, cheeks and lips blackened and burnt. Pus exudes from both tiny nostrils. Worst, where eyes should be are only two grotesque edemic swellings.
Horrified, Mae must struggle not to pass out as her mind grasps for how this can be. No one has handled the newborn after his normal delivery since she herself weighed and measured him and put in the eye drops prescribed by law.
The drops! Suddenly her panic lunges in a definite direction. She staggers across the nursery and picks up the bottle of 1-percent silver-nitrate solution used in the newborn’s eyes. What she reads on the label makes her shriek hysterically again and again, “Doctor! Oh God! Get a doctor!”
Into infant Peter Smith’s eyes the rushed nurse has deftly dropped, carefully pulling back each lid to get it all in, not 1-percent silver-ni­trate solution, but 50-percent silver-nitrate solution. Even 5-percent to 25-percent solution is used only on unwanted human tissue — tumors, for instance — because it eats away flesh as effectively as electric cauter­izing tools. Fifty-percent solution will gradually bore a hole in a solid piece of wood. And it has already been at work on the soft human tissue of infant Peter’s eyes for two hours.
Dr. John G. Grimley is the first physician to hear the nurse’s shrill cries. Looking at the badly burnt face and the bottle label, the suddenly ashen-faced doctor can only shake his head helplessly. A few minutes later he is reporting to an anguished Mother Teresa Bacigalupo, Supe­rior of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart who own and run Co­lumbus Hospital, that the nurse has accidentally destroyed a newborn’s sight.
Desperately, the deadly bottle in hand, Mae meanwhile runs to find Dr. Paul W. Casson. But Casson cannot help the baby either. In fact the second doctor to see the infant will later recall that the sight of the tiny charred face and the 50-percent label knocks him speechless and breathless — at a loss for what to do. It is obvious to his experienced eye that the deadly solution has penetrated every layer of facial skin. And by now in those eye sockets there can be nothing left to treat. All Casson can do is put in a call that Dr. Michael J. Horan, who delivered Margaret Smith of a “perfect son” less than three hours ago, should re­turn immediately to the hospital.
As he is telephoning, Mother Bacigalupo scurries anxiously into the nursery, interrupting him to plead he do something to save the baby’s sight. Casson can only explain no human remedy can restore destroyed tissue. “Nothing short of a miracle,” he ends, “can help this kid.”
Her whole body bowed with sorrow, the nun says resolutely in Italian-accented English, “Then we will pray.”
“God! Do!” the doctor urges, his face as stricken as her own. When Dr. Horan arrives, Casson meets him in the hall and tries to break it gently, saying only that “a slightly stronger solution of silver nitrate” has been used for the Smith infant’s eyes.
Dr. Horan exclaims at once, “Anything stronger than 1-percent solu­tion and that’s a blind baby.” A minute later as he bends over the crib, the eyes which are now beginning to exude pus like the nose are so swol­len he cannot open them. Three doctors have already seen the baby, and except for ordering cold compresses to reduce inflammation, they can do nothing for him. Horan sends for an eye specialist and waits, a nervous wreck, Casson notes. The eye specialist Dr. Kearney’s expertise merely confirms the other men’s medical knowledge of the properties of nitrate. As if the situation cannot be worse, Horan bears the additional burden of knowing Mrs. Smith’s first baby, a girl, lived only five days. How to tell her and her husband that if their second baby lives, he will be totally blind? He will also be terribly disfigured, since, when a burn goes through all the layers of skin, the body cannot repair itself with new skin, but only with scar tissue.
That afternoon and evening as the spiritual daughters of Frances Cabrini, foundress of the hospital and their religious order, go off duty, they gather one by one in the chapel. All the long night they remain there begging Mother Cabrini, dead only three years, to obtain from the bountiful heart of Jesus the healing of the Smiths’ whimpering infant. Mae is with them, praying her heart out too.
At nine o’clock the next morning, when Kearney and Horan arrive at the nursery, to their astonishment they find baby Peter’s eyelids much less swollen and pussy. Gently the eye specialist opens the eyelids, his stomach tightening as he prepares to see the ravages on the delicate eye tissue of the deadly acid.
Instead, looking back at him with the vague, slightly unfocused gaze of the one-day-old are two perfect eyes.
Kearney and Horan are staggered, as are Casson and Grimley when they arrive. Mae, who shudders to recall how she held back the ba-by’s eyelids to make sure the drops went in, can only sob with delirious gratitude.
Amid the smiles and backslappings someone points out something else inexplicable: the horribly charred skin is healing to smooth infant satin, instead of blistering and contracting.
But no smiles are so broad as the nuns’. They knew Mother Cabrini’s sanctity personally. Now that she has proven it they exult. Her prayers have obtained this “impossible” cure from the Lord.
Then another tragedy looms. Almost immediately after the miracle, the baby comes down with pneumonia. His jubilant doctors plunge back into fear once more, for infant Peter’s temperature, in this pre-antibiotic era, is so high at 107, it appears he will die. This time the summoned Mother Bacigalupo practically laughs at the anxious doctors as she says, “Mother Cabrini did not restore his vision for him to die of pneumonia.” But again the Sisters spend the night in prayer. By morning, another miracle: fever down, pneumonia gone.
In 1938 Mother Cabrini is beatified by the Catholic Church, Sev­eral miracles are cited as signs from God in favor of this step, one being the healing of Peter Smith. Seventeen years old, he attends the cer­emonies in St. Peter’s, Rome, where onlookers notice his striking and expressive eyes that need no glasses and his smooth-skinned face. Only those who know to look carefully for them make out the two tiny scars where deadly nitrate solution once burned a furrow down his cheeks.
All the way to his death in 2002, Fr. Peter Smith will love to talk about Mother Cabrini, whose prayers to God when he was an infant, as he put it, “show the age of miracles has not passed.”

The Miracle of Fulton J. Sheen

God has friends in places little connected with Him in the public mind.Would you believe an American proposed for official sainthood whose prime time television show brought him an emmy — for talking about God yet?
TV star Fulton John Sheen’s heroic virtue was recognized with the title Venerable in June 2012. You know well by now that it is God’s approval through a miracle that permits a beatification. In this Cause miracles seem in good supply. So beatification could come soon. When it does Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen may have the distinction of ending up with not just one shrine but two.
Not only a widely read author, the native of El Paso, Illinois, was famous for Life Is Worth Living, his television show seen by millions when there were only three networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS) in the United States and the whole country seemed to park itself before “the tube” nightly. Although one of television’s biggest stars, full of personal charisma, with a sense of the dramatic that could make viewers weep, as well as wit and a sense of comedy that evoked bubbles of laughter, Sheen was also revered among those, like Apostoli, who looked past the show for his spiritual attributes: primarily his deep love of Christ exemplified, among other ways, by his unfailingly spending an hour a day — he called it a Holy Hour — in prayer before the eucharistic Christ. Apostoli says that when he saw Sheen, he wanted to be like him — not the celebrity aspect but “the man of God.”
It was Billy Graham — no slouch himself at communicating Christ — who said, “Sheen was the greatest communicator of the twentieth century.” Looking at Sheen’s background, this is surprising. When he started his educational path to the priesthood, the successful business-man’s son’s potential for scholarship, not for communicating to huge groups of ordinary people, was what drew attention. Sent to be educated at some of the world’s foremost schools, the University of Louvain in Belgium, the Sorbonne in Paris, and the Angelicum in Rome, he was the first American at Louvain to win the prestigious Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy.
He came back to America and, after three years in his home diocese, began to teach theology and philosophy at Washington DC’s Catholic University as an educationally sophisticated intellectual of proven brilliance. Yet he would become known for the ability — often by coining witty and pithy sayings — “to explain spirituality and the Catholic faith in ways that everyone could understand.” And he did it first on radio — so it wasn’t his striking good looks that had people hang­ing on his words. That was as early as 1930, when he began a Sunday-night broadcast called The Catholic Hour. Sponsored by the Church, for twenty years he taught Catholicism that way. From 1951 he “starred” on television.
On TV he taught Life and why it is worth living — a subject which led to God through every topic imaginable. In that anti-Catholic era, 1951 to 1957, there he was before millions, mostly non-Catholics, in full — some would say exaggerated — Catholic regalia: black cleri­cal garb, a large crucifix on his chest, and a big magenta cape flowing behind him. In down-to-earth, humorous talks about life’s basics, aimed at people of every faith or none, his soft-sell approach won friends for Christ and the Church, his converts too many to detail.
Twenty-four years after his death and burial at St. Patrick’s Ca­thedral as a bishop of New York, his Cause was opened in September 2003 by the Peoria Diocese.
Already in the summer of 2006, when the Cause for this Servant of God was only open three years, there were two cures of a magnitude to potentially qualify as official miracles — and definitely, in any case, worth sending to Rome. Following ceremonies in Peoria and in Pitts­burgh, for each of the healings respectively, the Cause’s Rome-based postulator, AndrĂ©a Ambrosi, present at both, hand carried them to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
The first healing recipient was Therese Kearney of Champaign, Illi­nois, then in her early seventies. During a surgery in 1999, Mrs. Kearney suffered a tear in her pulmonary artery. Told his wife would probably not make it, Frank Kearney, a long-time admirer of the media star priest, sought Sheen’s prayer intercession. (Sheen at this time had been dead twenty years.) His wife lived, and this was considered something be­yond what medicine could have done. The couple died in 2006, seven years later, he in February and she, at age 79, in September. But the healing had already survived the diocesan-level vetting. Details of her cure — over five hundred pages of medical data and testimonies by the witnesses, who included the doctors involved, a nurse, a priest, and fam­ily members — had been assembled under Msgr. Richard Soseman, as delegate of the bishop of Peoria. Packed and sealed in a witnessed cer­emony, just five days after Therese Kearney’s death, the records were officially turned over to the postulator for transport to Rome.
Postulator Ambrosi made a second stop for similar ceremonies in Pittsburgh. There he picked up a thousand pages of meticulous testi­mony and medical records on the cure of a seriously ill infant boy whose family belong to the Ukrainian Diocese of St. Josaphat in Parma, Ohio. The Catholic Ukrainian diocese is small and without either the person­nel or financial resources to conduct the necessary investigation of a cure. The Pittsburgh diocese took over for them. While details of the infant’s cure were withheld, Fr. Ambrosi said only that the baby was “gravely ill” when his parents sought Archbishop Sheen’s prayer inter­cession. Vice-postulator Fr. Andrew Apostoli has said the infant had three life-threatening conditions, one of which was the worst form of sepsis. The fact of this being a cure from God, not from medical means, was supported by the main doctors involved in the case. “All of them,” Ambrosi concluded, “recognized that a force superior to their medical science intervened for his [the infant’s] recovery.”
About four years later, in 2010, another infant is also said to have received a miracle, this one in Peoria. The facts actually made public, with the cooperation of the family, when Sheen was named Venerable in 2012 show the devotion Sheen can inspire.
Bonnie Engstrom and her family live in a small central-Illinois town not that far from El Paso, Illinois, the little town where Sheen was born. Bonnie had a special feeling for then Servant of God Sheen, she ex­plains, precisely because he was “born in this small insignificant town, El Paso, followed God’s will in his life, and became a great instrument of the Lord.” To Bonnie, this showed “it doesn’t matter where you’re from.” She and her husband, Travis, agreed that the child of her current pregnancy would be James Fulton, the middle name honoring Sheen. Throughout this pregnancy, as she went about her daily chores as wife and mother, Bonnie also sought the prayer support of the dead TV-star evangelist.
But during James Fulton’s birth at the family home that Septem­ber (2010), Fulton Sheen did not actually seem to be proving much of a friend: a previously undetected knot in the umbilical cord became so tight during delivery that the baby was born blue, without pulse or breath. Mother and the stillborn baby were rushed by ambulance to St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.
Engstrom remembers chanting Fulton Sheen’s name over and over as a team of doctors and nurses worked on the baby. It seemed fruit­less, and the ER group prepared to pronounce the Engstrom infant dead when suddenly his heart began to beat.
Today, apparently no worse for his harrowing birth because he is developing normally, James — along with his mother — is now a kind of star himself since mother and child are playing a role in their heavenly friend’s ascent to official sainthood. On the other hand, the small-town tyke is also, to his family’s joy, just like his older siblings.
As for Bonnie Engstrom, she finds her faith affirmed that God does work miracles. “Every milestone [in development] he has crossed was a milestone we thought he wouldn’t achieve,” she says with a kind of awe. The miracle of her stillborn baby’s not only returning to life but being undamaged has touched her in other ways too. One is that the mother of what today is considered a large family appreciates her vocation “a lot more.” She says when she sees her children do something, such as James, who should be dead, shaking toys at her, trying to be cute, she is able “to appreciate all those little moments more.”
Time will tell which of the cures being studied in Rome, this one, the two others, or one yet to come, proves the beatification miracle. There are other cures not chosen for Rome, apparently. Vice-postulator Fr. Andrew Apostoli notes that an extraordinary number of cases where people report the archbishop’s intercession involve infants.
Thinking about these and the elderly woman’s or the Ohio infant’s cures, if neither of the latter becomes the beatification miracle, two physician-proclaimed miracles that took place in our time and maybe not that far away from where you live may just fade away. Will the day ever come, for instance, in this new climate in which miracle recipients often have to be or choose to be protected, when you and I learn the details that caused more than one doctor to credit something beyond what medical skill can do for saving the seriously ill Ohio baby? Even James’s survival — in spite of being in the news — could one day soon be remembered by those close to him alone. Only one thing is sure: each of these events is an example of the miracles most of us will never be aware of and yet, as miracle “middleman” Zbig Chojnowski puts it, are going on all around us.


MULTIPLICATION MIRACLES:
Multiplication of Food in Lives of the Saints

     Although the multiplication of food in the Gospels is well known, it is a lesser known mystery that many Catholic saints were able to produce similar miracles. 

It was not only in the New Testament, but the Old, wherein food was multiplied by God to sustain His chosen ones.
The Prophet Elias, when directed to stay and live with a a widow and her son who were near out of food, not only healed her son of a sickness which would have been unto death, but the little food they had multiplied for months until the draught passed, sparing the Prophet Elias and the family, as well.

St. Isidore the Farmer 1130

St. Isidore was born and raised a poor boy and developed compassion for not only humankind but for creatures.
A report was made that one day while bringing a sack of corn from the fields to be ground, he noticed a large migration of birds which were obviously starving and hungry. In the presence of many witnesses, he poured out half of the sack of corn for the birds while shocked onlookers observed the bag continuing to refill itself.
When the bag arrived at the farm to be ground, witnesses said that it produced twice the flour of a usual bag of corn.

St. Benedict 543

St. Benedict was known for his charity to the poor and always gave from the store of food saved for the monks to the poor people who came to their doors.
When asked what the monks would do if they ran out, which they had come close to on occasion, St. Benedict made reply, “Divine Providence intends to supply the needs not only of the monks but also of the guests and the many poor who daily knock at the door of the monastery.”
Only five loaves of bread remained, St. Benedict’s generosity had exhausted their supplies, but the saint continued to insist that the community have faith in the providence of God.
It is written that he spoke to the monks, “Why are you saddened at the lack of a little bread? Why do you not rather put greater trust in God? He treats us according to the measure of our faith. Today your faith is small and bread scarce. But console yourself; tomorrow you shall have in abundance.”
Two hundred sacks of flour appeared on the doorsteps of the monastery the following morning. After the monks searched and searched the countryside and the town for whom it could have come from, they realized that no one had given it. They remembered the words of St. Benedict and realized God had provided it Himself.
Several sacks were kept as relics of this miracle, but were later burned in a fire.

Others Known to have Multiplied Food

Others who were also known to have Multiplied Food included St. Dominic, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Francis of Rome, St. Colette, St. Gerard Majella, St. Francis of Paola, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Mary Magdalene De’Pazzi, St. Rose of Lima, St. Francis Regis, St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, St. Andrew Hubert Fournet, St. Zita, St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo, St. John Bosco, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, St. Philip Benizi, Bl;essed Alvarez of Cordova, St. John Cantius, St. Paul of the Cross, Blessed John Liccio, St. Rita of Cascia and Blessed Peter of Tiferno.

(Note By Blogger: The contents of this particular series is NOT intended to convince ANYONE to become a Catholic it is ONLY meant to show a few of the more extreme miracles that are among the things that God has done through out the centuries and even in the modern era, that being said I believe that God wants to enable us ALL to bring Heaven to Earth which is why Yeshua taught us to pray "Our Father Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be THY name THY Kingdom come THY will be done, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN , give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for the kingdom, the power and the glory are YOURS now and forever, amen. (Or you could have said for THINE is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever amen.  Either option IS valid).

More Praise & Worship music





Christian Unity In Diversity: The Common Creed Of Christians


Creed

Jesus’ only explicit command was this:  “A new command I give you: Love one another … By this all men will know that you are [Christians], if you love one another” (John 13:34-5).  Jesus prayed to His Father “that all [Christians] may be one… so that the world may believe that You have sent me … May [Christians] be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent me and have loved them even as You have loved me.”  (John 17:21,23)

The Common Creed of Christianity:

The Vast Common Faith of (Eastern and Western) Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and (Western) Conservative/ Evangelical Protestant Christianity (and ‘Messianic Judaism’ [1]) Which is the Basis for Christian Unity in Our Diversity “So That The World May Believe”

(To be read before we discuss our differences, to keep our lesser differences grounded in the context of our greater common faith so our differences are not falsely exaggerated)

the One God, Creator of the Universe, who is Love, exists as aTrinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; the Incarnation (enfleshment) of God the Son in Jesus Christ through Mary’s Virgin Birth, making Jesus fully God and fully man, able to make Atonement for the sins of all humanity, which He did by dying on the Cross and rising from the dead so that humanity can be forgiven and saved (and find human fulfillment) through Him; we acquire this forgiveness from sin and salvation unto eternal life through, drawn and empowered by God’s Grace, our turning away from sin (anti-love), accepting what Jesus has done for us and coming into loving, saving relationship with Him (and His Father and Holy Spirit) through belief and baptism, as He taught (Mark 16:16), which makes us members of the one Body of Christ the Church; Jesus’ literal Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven; Jesus’ future return in glory and judgement and the bodily resurrection of all the dead; the tenets of traditional Christian morality (described in the 10 Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, among other passages of Scripture) as how to be loving and so how to please the God who is Love; the inspiration and inerrancy [2] of the Holy Scriptures which testify to all these things. 
This above “common creed” encapsulates the core of the Gift of Truth God gave to the world for its salvation, it encapsulates the essential or fundamental Christian teaching of all the Ecumenical (worldwide) and other major Councils of the Undivided Early Christian Church, Councils which the Catholic Church (in its Western and Eastern Rites or ‘Sister Churches’) and the Eastern Orthodox Churches consider to have established the irrevocable norms of Christian faith in the early centuries of Christianity, and it also encapsulates all the details of the early 20th Century “Fundamentals” tract series which began the Protestant Fundamentalist movement as well as the details usually included in the many conservative and Evangelical Protestant creedal “statements of faith” (the early 20th Century Protestant Fundamentalist and Evangelical movements were “doctrinally conservative,” orthodox responses to the huge “doctrinally liberal” or unorthodox trend within the earlier Protestant “mainline” churches).  Those Protestant “mainline” denominations and congregations which are going increasingly “doctrinally liberal” or unorthodox may or may not still preserve with certainty all of these ancient fundamental beliefs of orthodox Christianity (orthodoxy means “right teaching,” as opposed to unorthodox or heretical teaching).  The above common Christian beliefs are the wonderful, life-changing, saving truths of Christianity which “turned the world upside down” in barbaric times and transformed the ancient world with God’s Love, truths which still make Catholic, Orthodox, and Conservative/ Evangelical Protestant Christians (and ‘Messianic Jews’brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus and most certainly instruments of God’s salvation in the world (despite our misunderstandings and disagreements over some of our different secondary doctrines, differences which each side sees in the light of the above common fundamentals we are already agreed on).
This “Common Creed” is intended as something that ideally should be read and understood as our vast common core of agreement before we ever engage in dialogue with Christians outside of our own group about our differences in belief, to help ensure that the differences do not get exaggerated in our minds to the point that they seem irreconcilable or even heretical.  Anything a different kind of Christian than you (from the above list) believes, they believe in a way that they understand is compatible with this  huge fundamental core of traditional Christian faith each side holds in common.  It is the purpose of loving dialogue to on the basis of this vast common faith listen to each other and come to discover just how some of the things which seemed so different and which may have divided us in the past are in fact compatible with our vast common faith, such that we can at least “agree to disagree” on some secondary matters without any concern that those who disagree are “heretics” or “unsaved.”  Better yet, through such loving dialogue, really listening to each other and engaging each other as loving Christian brothers and sisters who happen to disagree,  we may be able to together come to new, more subtly nuanced or precise formulations on currently disputed points, definitions which perhaps incorporate the strengths of both perspectives and perhaps eliminate weaknesses of each.  This is in fact what happened in the early Ecumenical Councils in which the different Sister Churches “pooled their resources,” shared their different insights with each other until they came up with new and better definitions (like “Jesus is fully God and fully man,” incorporating together the insights of the Antiochian School on the true humanity of  Jesus and those of the Alexandrian School on the true Divinity of Jesus).

The “Doctrinally Liberal” Streams of the Protestant “Mainline” Denominations Which Do Not (Or Do Not with Certainty) Hold All of the above “Common Creed” Still Have Basis for Dialogue but Lack the Extremely Profound Basis of Unity of the above Churches

I do not wish to simply write off the huge “doctrinally liberal” portion of historical or “mainline” Protestant Christianity, especially since many self-described “liberal” Christians are not actually unorthodox or heretical but simply not as certain about the Christian fundamentals as they should be.  Many “liberals” have genuine saving Christian faith in Jesus and personal loving relationship with Him; many are genuinely in touch with the above orthodox Christian Mysteries with their proven historic power to transform lives and societies for the better, despite the modern confusion of many others within their churches mostly thanks to certain unfortunate 16th to 18th Century ideas of the Protestant Reformation and Enlightenment eras.  Nevertheless, the lack of absolute certainty about all the above traditional, essential, fundamental tenets of spiritually powerful, historically world-changing, orthodox Christianity even at the highest denominational level means the “liberal” mainline Protestant churches lack the solid major foundation towards re-building Christian unity which the Catholic, Orthodox, and Conservative/ Evangelical Protestant churches possess, and thus my books and materials which promote the rebuilding of Christian unity in diversity as in the Undivided Early Church are addressed primarily to these churches which are currently formally separated but which are already most profoundly united in the above common saving Christian faith (whereas Protestant “liberals” have no consistency even amongst themselves, as to which bits of historic and powerful Christianity they will accept or reject).  It is my hope that as the Catholic, Orthodox, and doctrinally conservative Protestant/ Evangelical Christian churches which are confident about the above traditional Christian orthodoxy gradually unite in ever more beautiful loving expressions of Christian unity in diversity modeled after the Undivided Early Church (even while our formal divisions remain), that the “doctrinally liberal” Protestant churches which question, doubt, or outright deny fundamental aspects of traditional Christian faith will become ‘jealous’ and will consider once again embracing traditional Christian orthodoxy with certainty in order to be part of this beautiful and enriching communion Jesus intended for His Body the Church (and I hope that the many more-or-less “nominal” or “in-name-only” members of all fundamentally orthodox Christian churches, members who have been unduly influenced by the greater culture’s secularist ideas and lifestyles, will similarly become motivated to reallypractice their church’s orthodox Christian faith).

Reversing Satan’s Victory Against the Church’s Unity

(adapted from the Forward to So That The World May Believe)
Jesus prayed “that all [Christians] may be one. . .so that the world may believe(John 17:21)
In His prayer in John 17:21-23Our Lord Jesus linked the world’s belief in Him tothe unity of Christians, and indeed, the most phenomenal Christian missionary successes ever occurred in the First Millennium of the Undivided Early Church, wherein the brutal ancient pagan world was “turned upside down” and whole societies were transformed by the Love of Jesus Christ, the portions of the ancient cultures which embraced Jesus becoming the different butmutually enriching ‘Sister Churches’ which together made up theone Universal Church of Jesus Christ which thus collectively called itself the Catholic ChurchCatholic being Greek for Universal(this early Catholic/ Universal Church initially was made up of members of the Jewish, Syrian, Egyptian, Roman and Greek cultures) .
The greatest monument to Satan’s greatest victory against the Christian Church is the very notion, still rampant among today’s divided Christian Churches, that other Christians’ differences in theology (the study of what God has revealed, not Divine Revelation itself) and differences in practice are “automatically” inferior or wrong, even when those other Christians still share the Undivided Early Universal (Catholic) Church’s clearly articulated fundamentals of faith in just what God has revealed in the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ, the fully Divine yet also fully human Second Person of the Holy Trinity who is Love, who lives in our hearts, and in the Written Word of God, the Bible.  The vicious wound Satan has inflicted upon the Christian Church today is seen in a Christian Church which is profusely divided mostly over the kinds of things which did not divide, but mutually enrichedthe Undivided Early Church’s Universal (Catholic) Communion of different orthodox Christian ‘Sister Churches.’ Today Christians typically cannot even see that the very few actually substantialmisunderstandings and disagreements between most of today’s divided churches are relatively small, since most of the different sides see their distinct lesser doctrinesin the light of their vast common, saving Christian faith – that essential, fundamental faith of the Undivided Early Church (listed above), which gives us an exceptionally strong basis for real, loving dialogue towards eventually finding mutually agreed-on resolutions to our current disputes, and towards the long-term reunification Jesus wishes for His Body the Church “so that the world may believe.”
Ask yourself these questions: Do I usually assume other Christian churches/ denominations/ movements/ groups than mine are inferior or wrong wherever they differ from mine, usually without bothering to find out if they affirm the sametraditional essentials of saving Christian faith that I do, and usually without bothering to really try to understand their different secondary doctrines and practices and just how those other Christians see their differences as consistentwith the same fundamentals of Christian faith that I hold?  Do I ever consider that other Christian churches than mine might better preserve at least certain aspects or characteristics of the Undivided Early Church than mine does, such that we canlearn from and enrich each other as did the Undivided Early Church’s different Sister Churches?  Do I actively seek and pray for the loving Christian unity Jesus prayed for “so that the world may believe”?  If the answer is “yes” to the first question and “no” to the last two, as is very common, then your attitude is part of Satan’s victory in keeping the Body of Christ divided and thus much less effective than it should be against the Kingdom of Darkness Jesus Christ our Head came to conquer with His Love.
This website hopes, by God’s Grace, to be the antidote to such attitudes.  This website (particularly in its 3-Volume ‘textbook’ on Ecumenism entitled So That The World May Believe)  offers real hope for the long-term resolution of the current misunderstandings and disputes between the various Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant (and even “Messianic Jewish”) churches which already share a vast treasure of the Undivided Early Church’s saving Christian faith and which already resemble the Undivided Early Church’s different but united ‘Sister Churches,’ as will be easily seen once the habits of uncharitable and divisive thinking Satan has successfully sown in the Church are finally abandoned.  This website and the free books herein contain many prayerful conclusions of my scholarly research of the history of God’s People from Adam, lovingly made by the God who is Love, to Jesus Christ the “New Adam,” to His Body the Church since, from the Undivided First Millennium through to the Protestant Reformation and on to today’s Ecumenical Movement (and Vatican Council II’sexceptional but largely unknown contributions to it).  Particularly in the three-volume book So That The World May Believe I offer many suggestions of how to best understand that long family history of God’s People from Adam to today, and I offer several practical suggestions towards re-instituting the lost unity in diversity of the Undivided Early Church “so that the world may believe.”
If some readers afterwards still disagree with my suggestions of just how the Christian unity Jesus prayed for might one day actually be accomplished, I will have succeeded in my main purpose if they at least have been motivated to pray for the unity Jesus prayed for and motivated to lovingly dialogue with other Christians than “their group.”  I will have succeeded in my main purpose if readers are motivated to think about unity in diversity like the Undivided Early Church lived it, motivated to regularly think aboutre-establishing unity and motivated to talk about it with their Christian brothers and sisters in different churches, different denominations, different movements and other different groups, “so that the world may believe” according to Jesus’ prayer for us.  The loving brotherly attitudes towards each other on the basis of our vast common faithare more important than immediate agreement as to just how we should proceed towards practically reuniting the Church, because full reunification will certainly take very many years however it proceeds, but living Jesus’ command to “love one another” so that the world may know we are really Christians (John 13:34-35) is something that we can start doing NOW, so that RIGHT NOW we can really start to display Jesus’ Love in the world through our unity in loveas Christians, His Body.  We must first master unity in love even while our formal divisions remain, before any serious attempt at formal reunification can begin, “so that the world may believe” as Jesus prayed.

The First Step to the “Complete Unity” (John 17:23) Jesus Desires for His Church Is in Fundamentally Orthodox Christians (Eastern & Western Catholic; Eastern Orthodox; Western Conservative/Evangelical Protestant; ‘Messianic Jews’) Seeking and Mastering Unity in Visible Love for Each Other on the Basis of Their Vast Common Faith Even While the Formal Divisions over Unresolved Lesser Issues Remain

To aid this first goal of loving each other for the love of our Lord and for the love of the world He loves, in the 21st Ecumenical Council (Vatican II)the Catholic Church has officially declared at its highest level of authority (cited fully in Volume III Chapter 3) that
“[non-Catholic] Christians are indeed in some real way joined to us [Catholic Christians] in the Holy Spirit,” “and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers” because “it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in baptism [see Mark 16:16] are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.”
So, as indicated in Volume III Chapter 3despite some Catholics unfortunately still having to “catch up” with their Church on this point, the huge Catholic Church now officially models the loving ecumenical attitude all churches need in order for Jesus’ prayer for Christian unity to ever be granted, that even though “our” Church denomination (whichever it is) believes that “other” churches which do not agree with some of our secondary doctrines and practices are missing something, those “other churches”
have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation,” [other Christian churches than “ours” indeed have] “access to the communion of salvation.”
And therefore harshly critical and unloving attitudes towards other Christians with whom we already share so much are not appropriate Christian attitudes, and indeed, they are attitudes which cripple the effectiveness of the one Body of Christ the Church in the world by masking the love of Jesus in us.
As we continue to seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit of love, Catholic Christians (Eastern and Western) and non-Catholic Christians (Eastern Orthodox and Western Protestant/Evangelical Christians united in the same vast common and fundamental Christian beliefs, including ‘Messianic Jews’) will gradually get better and better at truly loving and ecumenical attitudes towards each other, attitudes which will greatly aid the Christian mission to the world which will then more easily see Christian love “for one another” long before we even get close to the formal structural Church reunification which we must take to be part of Jesus’ prayer for our “complete unity” (John 17:23).  We must first strive to master the unity in visible love for each other even while we remain formally divided into separate churches and church communions, which must be the first step before we ever even attempt full formal Church reunification (as different ‘Sister Churches’ in one Universal Christian Communion, following the Undivided Early Church model described in detail in So That The World May Believe Volumes I and III).  The closer we fundamentally orthodox Christians, whether Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant/Evangelical (or‘Messianic Jewish’), get to first unity in visible love and later to full formal reunification, the world will more and more take notice of the sublime beauty of the Christian Church as we come closer together as one loving worldwide Christian family like Jesus prayed for, devoid of the hatred, ignorance and judgments of the past.  Not only will the unbelieving world take notice of our beauty; those “doctrinally liberal” or unorthodox Christians (liberal Protestants and those ofthe “Lesser” Eastern Churches), upon seeing those Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant/Evangelical churches which are already united in the above vast common fundamentals of traditional, orthodox Christian faith, start to really “love one another as [Christ] has loved [them]” (John 13:34) and display all the more supernaturally-life-changing power and Christian beauty in the world, the deficiencies of their unorthodoxy will become all the more apparent to them and ideally they will become jealous of the beautiful unity of the orthodox Christian churches, and seek to become more orthodox themselves so they may join this wonderful communion in Christ’s love, adopted into the Loving Family of the Trinitarian God who is Love.  Large numbers of liberal Protestant Christians are not so much unorthodox as they are lacking in the certainty they should have about the fundamentals of orthodox Christian faith, so these will be the most likely to adopt Christian orthodoxy when the gradually reunifying orthodox churches lose their hatred and bigotry over lesser-order differences, stop fighting and start loving each other so as to better display to all the beauty of orthodox Christianity.
Something similar happened in the 4th Century.  There were large groups of “Semi-Arian” Christians, temporarily even the majority of Christians, who were uncertainwhether to believe either
1) the orthodox position of Jesus’ full Divinity, “one in being with the Father,” defined, clarified and proclaimed by the 325 AD 1st Ecumenical Council at Nicea (as a function of the Church being the living Body of Christ) and championed by Alexandrian Catholic Patriarch Saint Athanasius (who was exiled 5 times by Arian Christian rulers for his orthodoxy though sheltered by the Roman Catholic Patriarch, the Pope) or
2) the heretical position of the Arian Christians, who denied the full Divinity of Jesus, and who claimed the Council had no authority to settle the dispute since the Bible on its own did not contradict the Arian heresy (with its sophisticated and thorough use of Scripture) as the Council’s newly clarified  traditional interpretation of the Bible did.
These uncertain Christians had often adopted a compromise “middle position” between the two and thus were called “Semi-Arians” by those who were firmly orthodox.  The uncertain or in-between majority of  “Semi-Arians” were eventually converted to orthodox Christianity, particularly through the ministry of Alexandrian Patriarch Saint Athanasius (who also first put together the New Testament Canon as we know it in 367 AD) and the later ministry of the “Cappodocian Fathers” (Saints Basil the Great, Gregory of Nanzianzen, and Gregory of Nyssa), who were able to articulate and explain and demonstrate the beauty of the orthodox position.  Today’s“mainline” Protestant denominations (including the one I was raised in) haveplenty of modern-day Arians who deny Jesus is God and even more modern-day “Semi-Arians” who are unsure if Jesus is God (the Catholic and Orthodox Churches do not have this problem, though as all churches in our highly secularized society they do suffer from “nominalism,” having many more or less “in name only” members).  We must remember the victory of the Early Church over both paganism and over the Arian heresy (both of which have been revived in our day).  Showing unorthodox, uncertain, or nominal Christians, and the whole unbelieving world, the beauty of essential Christian orthodoxy through our Christian “love for one another” because of it should become our goal as Christians, “so that the world may believe” (John 17:21).
© 2009 Peter William John Baptiste, SFO
[1] This is a significant and important movement of Jewish Christianity, Jews who accept Jesus as Israel’s promised Messiah, which combines the Jewish and Protestant Christian traditions, including all the common Christian fundamentals, in an attempt to restore the lost Jewish cultural expression of Christianity which was practiced by all the first Christians, who were Jews.  Within the Catholic Church there is a similarAssociation of Hebrew Catholics.  Although the original “Jewish Rite” of Christianity died out after the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the Jews by the Pagan Romans, it was not at all (as many Gentile Christian readers mistakenly assume) ended earlier by the Acts 15 Council of Jerusalem which simply stated thatGentiles did not need tobecome Jews in order to be Christians.  Acts 16:1-5 and Acts 21:17-26 prove that Jewish Christians remained culturally Jewish Christians after theActs 15 Council just as Gentile Christians started developing their own distinct legitimate cultural expressions of Christianity (which became the Roman, Greek, Syrian, and Egyptian Gentile Christian culturally-based ‘Sister’ Churches which togetherwith the Jerusalem Church were known as the “Pentarchy” of Early Church Patriarchates or Provinces which together (at the Early Ecumenical Councils) clearly articulated and established the common fundamentals of traditional orthodox Christianity amid the turmoil of the early Christian controversies with heretics.  Much more on the place of the Jewish Rite Christianity which is being newly re-established in our time will be found in various books published on this website (notably in The Bible’s ‘Big Picture’ and So That The World May Believe Volume I: Rediscovering the Early Church’s Unity in Diversity).
[2] Liberal Protestant Christianity questioned whether the Bible was wholly inspired by God and incapable of error (or inerrant), as traditionally affirmed, on the basis of some seeming contradictions between the Bible and science or history.  Some late 19th Century Catholic “modernist” scholars took up these Liberal Protestant objections to the Bible’s inerrancy and so Biblical inerrancy was soundly reaffirmed for all Catholic Christians by Pope Leo XIII in 1893.  A helpful ancient Christian principle is that Scripture is without error in all it intentionally affirms.  Some critics of the Bible accuse the Bible of makingerrors in science.  Though Scripture may occasionally incidentally use “scientific” terms common to the period in which it was written which were necessary for the original readers’ comprehension, in such cases the Scripture, a religious text, no moreintends to affirm a scientific truth than a newspaper which declares what time the sunrise will be intends to affirm that the sun moves around the Earth and is therefore said to “rise.”  The pre-Copernican terms of sunrise and sunset remain in common usage because they usefully describe the appearance of things relative to our Earth-bound position, even though they do not describe the now well-known scientific reality that the Earth moves around the sun and the sun is technically not “rising” at all.  Making use of common terms is not an error.  Other seeming problems with the Bible’s inerrancy disappear once one recognizes the literary form or genre a particular Bible passage was written in, and in many instances, later historical or archeological finds have proven the Bible historically accurate in places where critics had previously accused the Bible of being historically inaccurate.