Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 1:
Yes. Historically, it is certain that Christ really lived, really claimed to be God, proved that claim by His supreme command over the laws of nature established by God, taught the Christian religion, and obliged man to accept that religion. Philosophically, Christianity alone gives an adequate solution and explanation of the origin, condition, and purpose of the human race. Religiously, it infinitely surpasses all other forms of religion, and alone completely responds to the innate religious tendencies of man. Theologically, I am a Christian because God has given me the grace to perceive the truth of Christianity, and to embrace it. Morally, I am obliged in strict justice to accept a religion specified and imposed by Almighty God.
Christ was fully aware of the prophecy of Isaiah II., 2, that all nations would be called to His Church. He did intend that His doctrines should be preached to the Jews first, and only afterwards to the Gentiles, and for this reason He told His disciples not to preach it to the Gentiles during the period reserved to the Jews. But in St. Matt. XVIII., 19, Christ Himself tells the Apostles to "Go, teach all nations."
The merits and grace of Christ were applied by God to men of goodwill in anticipation of His death on the Cross. God, in His eternity, is not conditioned by time, and men could benefit by the death of Christ just as they can make use of an inheritance which is absolutely certain to be given to them in due time. The merits of Christ were applied to Jews of goodwill in virtue of their faith in a Redeemer to come. Those who through no fault of their own did not know of a Redeemer to come were saved if they obeyed the natural dictates of their conscience, and repented of their failings. Every single human being has the moral standard that what is apprehended to be morally good must be done, whilst moral evil must be avoided.
The more evil a man is, the more he resents the goodness of others. Every good man is a living condemnation of the conduct of evil men. The Jews could not point to a single sin in Christ, yet they crucified Him. And Christ said, "The servant is not above his master. As they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you." The quickest road to unpopularity is to refuse to do evil with the majority. The world has no hatred of its own, but the enemies of worldliness it hates. The early Jews and Romans hated Christianity, for both peoples feared that it would interfere with their comfort. Today the Catholic Church enjoys this inheritance of antagonism as does no other religion.
Outside the Catholic Church, yes. But in the Catholic Church the exact religion of Christ has come down to us in virtue of Christ's promise to be with His Church all days till the end of the world. This assertion will be justified in a later section.
They have—but not by the Catholic Church. And remember that greater absurdities still have been put forward by pretended human reasoning.
God has never ceased to perform miracles in favor of true Christianity, but it is not necessary that so many should occur today. More frequent miracles were necessary in the early Church to secure its rapid propagation. But the Catholic Church is now firmly established. Read a little history, note all the forces employed against the Church during the centuries, and then tell me whether it is not a standing miracle to find that Church still existing with undiminished vitality and able to claim over 400 million adherents. On this subject of miracles, also, consult Nos. 95-103.
Yes. It has benefited in a thousand different ways. Christianity has elevated men's thoughts to a higher level, directed men's wills to a greater good, and has indirectly affected their well-being even in this world in almost every department of life. If the world is less happy today than in years past, it is because, whilst men still profess to be Christian, they are less willing to behave as Christians and to put their principles into practice. Christianity does not force men to be good in spite of themselves. But if men can be really miserable only by forsaking Christian principles, it shows that Christianity practiced is very likely the one true remedy. Let all men live up to Christian principles, and then if the world is not better, you can blame Christianity.
The growth of misery and distress is not due to the multiplication of Churches. Many professing Christian Churches, of course, do not stand firmly for the true principles of Christ. And even the growth of the Catholic Church cannot influence much those who will not submit to her laws. As the Church grows, so does population, and with population, evil practices. Man is endowed with intelligence, and this gives him an uncanny power of inventing new modes of iniquity which animals could not suspect. Thus we have a rotten Press, the propagation of birth-control, Godless education, and what-not. The mystery is, not that we have so many troubles, but that the distress is not greater than it is. We can account for it only by God's mercy, and by the fact that the Church does make some reparation to Him in the name of mankind. If mankind got all it really deserves, you would have something to write about! Another little matter to remember is that Christianity is not to rid the world of trouble and distress, but to save souls from having to endure these things in the next life. Christianity enables people to bear gladly those sufferings which are permitted by God for their greater sanctification, or as an expiation of their past sins. Also many have been brought to God by suffering who have believed in their self-sufficient health and strength that they could manage quite well without Him. Consider once more the principles given in the replies 13-24.
At least, Christianity is the superior religion in historical foundation, reasonableness, and in loftiness of teaching and destiny.
There is no possibility of that. There is a chance that a man who has not studied the solid evidence for Christianity might become flurried and doubtful in the presence of rival and confident claims. But his doubts would be due to defective information. Again, the fact that a man believes a religion true does not prove it right. It only proves that he thinks it right. He is right who can prove his belief to be solidly grounded. A comparative study of religions proves that Christianity alone has demonstrative evidence of its divine origin. However lofty the doctrines of other religions, they prove to be man-made doctrines, or else they are traced to the influence of primitive or later revelations of God, revelations which legitimately end in the Catholic Church, and not in any other religion.
The more you learn about diverse opinions, the more you will wonder at such diversity. The more you learn about the foundations of Christianity, the more you will wonder that men do not advert to its solidity.
It is absurd and quite unhistorical to maintain the derivation of the divinely revealed worship of the true and Infinite God, given precisely to correct the errors of men, from the humanly invented worship of sun-gods and earth-gods. Also human reason will never invent a more ethical system than that prescribed for all men by the Author of all justice. It is a little bit early to talk of a more ethical system when men cannot even live up to the ethics of present Catholicity. The Catholic Church tells her children to avoid sin as a very plague; to be strictly temperate, chaste, and pure; to practice humility, yet to possess the courage of the Saints in resisting all evil inclinations and overcoming obstacles to their sanctification; to be strictly just and truthful in their relations both with God and their fellow men; to be faithful for life in the duties of marriage; to love and worship God because He is God, and not merely because, and as long as they feel like doing it. Catholic ethics perfect all that is noblest in man, and culminates in that supreme charity which thinks no evil and much less utters it. When men have come to this standard, then it will be time to speak of a more ethical system. But when they do attain it, their intelligence will be so unclouded by the influence of lower passions that they will see clearly that they have attained the full truth. To Catholics, of course, all this is clear by the very gift of faith.