Tuesday, March 24, 2020

image001With many churches and religious events closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Christian Outreach Office has opened The Upper Room—a website rich in resources for Catholics and anyone hungering for spiritual nourishment.

In The Upper Room you will find podcasts, live webinars on a wide range of spiritual themes, daily E-Spirations, links to live-streamed Masses, a virtual parish mission, and much more.

The Upper Room is also a gateway to the deep library of videos of speakers from Franciscan University of Steubenville’s popular adult and youth conferences.

John Beaulieu, director of Evangelization for Franciscan’s conferences, says, “This page exists for you to come, pray with your brothers and sisters in Christ, and receive more of the grace and power of the Holy Spirit so you won’t just survive, but thrive during these challenging days.”

Visit The Upper Room at www.steubenvilleconferences.com/theupperroom/.

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Steve Wood was a Protestant pastor before converting to Catholicism and starting Dads.org. He has published an excellent book “Grace & Justification: An Evangelicals Guide to Catholics Beliefs.”

Steve’s latest newsletter summarizes some of his book and gives good insights — especially in this 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Revolt. This would be a good thing to share with your Evangelical friends or those who may have left the Church.

Here is his newsletter article: “Two Words that Unlock the Catholic Understanding of Justification”

Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 6.33.38 PMThe Protestant understanding of justification is a legal one. God is viewed as a merciful judge before whom the sinner stands guilty. The judge declares the sinner, “Not guilty.” Although there’s no inward change in the person, the great gift of no more condemnation is received by faith.

While Catholics don’t deny that there’s a forensic nature to justification, they believe that there’s a more profound change that occurs in justification than just going from guilty to not guilty.

In the Catholic understanding of justification, God is primarily viewed as a father. The sinful person is forgiven and restored to the family fellowship as a child of the Heavenly Father, just like the prodigal son in Luke 15.

This restoration as a son of God is called adoption, which is the central truth in Catholic beliefs on justification. Divine adoption is the inconceivably merciful and gracious acceptance of those justified into the divine family and a sharing of kinship with God the Father.

The Council of Trent gave a summary of justification as follows:
“The justification of the sinner [is] a translation from that state in which man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace and of the adoption of the sons of God through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Savior.”

Similarly, section 1996 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on justification, highlights becoming a child of God as a key aspect of justification:
“Our justification is by the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God.”

Protestants believe in adoption, but as separate and subsequent to justification. Catholics believe adoption is the core of justification and a central concept of faith….”

 For the whole article like HERE. To see or buy his book, click HERE.

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