Thursday, September 17, 2009

Million Dollar Deal

If I set a sealed envelope before you and told you that it was filled with a million dollars (no strings attached) that would all be yours if you simply opened the envelope and accepted the money, what do you think you and most other people would do?

You would open the envelope!  It is almost inconceivable that someone wouldn't at least open the envelope to verify whether or not it actually contained the promised million.

Similarly, the Catholic Church offers an envelope to all Christians that contains the following items.  For the life of me, I can't figure out why some people simply leave the envelope closed and just walk away.

The envelope contains:

1.  The fullness of the truth
2.  Certainty in the truth
3.  The continuity of a faith that stretches back to the apostles (most Protestant denominations are less than two hundred years old)
4.  A profoundly rich liturgical tradition
5.  The complete Bible (with no books removed) [Early Church Fathers]
6.  The correct, infallible interpretation of the Bible (what good is an inerrant Bible if we have no way to know if we are interpreting it correctly?)
7.  Certainty that the Bible is correct in its compilation of inspired texts (no books wrongly left out or included) [note: famous Protestant apologist R.C. Sproul says the Bible is a "fallible collection of infallible books" (emphasis mine).]
8.  Jesus's Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Most Holy Eucharist [Early Church Fathers More Early Church Fathers on the Mass]
9.  A moral assurance of salvation
10.  The profound gift of Jesus's ministerial priesthood, through which Jesus ministers to His mystical body, the Church, by consecrating the Eucharist, ordaining new bishops and priests to pass on the faith, forgiving sins, etc. [Article] [Early Church Fathers]
11.  The wondrous gift of Baptism [Tract] [Early Church Fathers]
12.  The power of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation [Early Church Fathers]
13.  The cleansing power of Christ's blood and the chance to hear Jesus himself tell you that he absolves you of your sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation [Tract] [Early Church Fathers]
14.  The healing power of the Anointing of the Sick, through which sins and physical ailments are healed [Tract]
15.  The mystery of Marriage, by which God joins a man and wife together into one flesh, modeled on Jesus's relationship with the Church, to the ends of unity and procreation [Early Church Fathers]
16.  The Communion of Saints, including our Christian brothers and sisters in heaven and our spiritual mother, Mary, to whom we can petitions for intercessory prayer [Tract]
17.  A rich historical tradition that has contributed in countless ways to the development of humanity for the last two thousand years [Video]
18. A strong, constant voice that has never once caved in to social pressures to changes its doctrinal or moral teachings (no Protestant denomination can make this claim) [ex. Artificial Contraception, Divorce and Remarriage, More on Divorce and Remarriage]
19.  The protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit through the gift of infallibility in the leadership of the Church so that error is never taught as truth [Tract]
20.  An unbroken apostolic succession of bishops united with the pope guaranteeing the constancy of faith and worship for two thousand years. [Early Church Fathers][Early Church Fathers on the Successors of Peter]
21.  Countless documented and verified (tested by scientists) miracles that support the Catholic teachings regarding the Eucharist, Mary [more on Mary], the saints [see also the incorrupt bodies of many saints], and the other sacraments.

This envelope contains spiritual "goods" infinitely more valuable than a million dollars.  All you have to do is accept.

Will you walk away from the unspeakably wonderful treasures Jesus has given to you through His Church without even taking a look?

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