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Cradle Catholic with a lot of questions; such as, why am I just figuring this stuff out now?

May 31, 2011

The Different Types of Holy Water

In fact there are three types of holy water, which vary by common use. First there is blessed water. Essentially, this is ordinary water that is made holy by a priest’s blessing. This type of water is used in the font at church entrances.  Catholics dip their fingers in the holy water and make the sign of the cross when entering the church as a reminder of the sacrament of baptism. The next type of holy water is known as the “water of consecration” or “Gregorian water.” Gregorian water is strictly used in the consecration of a church. It is composed of water, wine, salt and ashes. Finally there is baptismal water, which sometimes contains oil of catechumens and holy chrism. It is also considered acceptable to use blessed water as an alternative for baptismal holy water.

References: Why Do Catholics Do That? By Kevin Orlin Johnson

May 27, 2011

Why do Catholics Confess Their Sins?

The confession of sins is part of the sacrament of reconciliation, which is one of the seven Catholic sacraments. As far as sacraments go, there are pretty clear roots to it within the New Testament. According to John 20:21-23, Jesus addresses his apostles saying, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained. “ In another story within the gospel of John, Jesus grants forgiveness to a woman guilty of adultery.  Modern-day priests act on the behalf Christ, granting forgiveness of sin.
The concept of sin is a major focus of the Old and New Testaments.  We are told that sin alienates us from God and from one another. All sin leads to death, but fortunately not all sin is deadly. Moreover, there are different types of sin, varying in degree of severity. Mortal sins can destroy our relationship with God while venial sins will simply damage this relationship. Sacramental penance is not as frequently practiced as it once was, but many that practice this sacrament find that it can help in the healing process. After listening to a person’s confession of sins, the priest will suggest an appropriate penance. He may also offer advice concerning the how to improve one’s spiritual life as well as how to avoid similar future sins.
References: The Everything Guide to Catholicism by Richard Gribble

May 24, 2011

When was the Old Testament written?

Most scholars agree that the Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew Bible, was written between 1200 and 100 BC. The compilation process alone is thought to have lasted a period spanning approximately 500 years, from 400 BC to 90 AD.
References: The Everything Guide to Catholicism by Richard Gribble

May 3, 2011

What are Accepted Miracles for Sainthood?

Given the recent beatification of Pope John Paul II, it seems timely to talk about the Catholic Church’s thoughts on “accepted miracles” regarding beatification and sainthood. The miracle ascribed to the late Pope is the sudden cure of a French nun’s neurological disorder after she prayed to his memory. Miracles ascribed to saints and blessed individuals have varied significantly over the ages. Most traditional miracles tend to involve unexpected, immediate and totally complete healing that cannot be explained by modern science – such as in the case of the French nun. There are other miracles that are accepted, but far less common. This includes incorruptibility, odor of sanctity, signs of stigmata, bilocation and levitation.
Incorruptibility – This refers to cases where, despite a complete lack of embalming or preservation, the body does not decay following death.
The odor of sanctity – Following death a sweet smell of roses exudes from the body. Again, only non-embalmed bodied qualify.
Signs of stigmata – One or more of the five wounds resembling those that Christ suffered during the crucifixion are visible on a person while they are alive.
Bilocation – While alive, the person is proved to be in two places at once.
Levitation - Cases where there is evidence that a person is able to suspend in the air, defying the laws of gravity.
References: Saints for Dummies by Rev. John Trigilio and Kenneth Brighenti