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Monday, July 09, 2007

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MMajor Fan

This certainly is pithy! "Protestants are concerned about how to get you to heaven," he said. "Catholics are more concerned about getting heaven into you."

While there's always a pitfall with generalizing, I have to agree with the spirit of Dr. Beckwith's observation. Rather than view it as a slam, Protestants should understand that this is a valuable insight for them into Catholicism. The primary evidence of this is the undiminished desire by Catholics to celebrate and participate in the sacrifice of the Lamb for thousands of years... where heaven is brought into the heart as the sacrifice of Mass is celebrated. This is different from offering up praise and worship at a service. When Catholics celebrate Mass they walk the bloodless Calvary each time and celebrate together with Jesus Christ. Together with the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, the sacrament of Eucharist repeat the very actions that the Apostles and disciples initiated in the newly born parishes after they had to say good bye to the bodily Christ, who had been in very their midst. Having Jesus Christ alive and preaching and teaching was like having heaven "into you" because he alone could speak first hand of the Kingdom of Heaven. Remember, when the Apostles and disciples were with Jesus, they could confess their sins and shortcomings at any time to him, and they ate with him (in fact, even fishing and providing for him.) For a while, those who believed had heaven right with them. When Jesus said to do this "in memory of me," they did... they faithfully replicated the life they had with Jesus Christ into the liturgy. This is the Catholic world, one that has been faithfully handed down for 2000 years by the people who walked with him, and often died for him. So in one great sentence, rather than being divisive, Dr Beckwith placed a powerful light of insight directly on the Catholic motivation.

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