When I was still at the Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod (2002 or 2003?) I wrote a small tract entitled “Did someone attack your Church or ridicule your faith lately?” and distributed it within a zipped file called “theway.zip.”. I put it in a website called “The Way” (http://theway.nossumus.net) and was downloaded several times by people who had email addresses connected to some IT company. I had the same tract shown to some friends hoping to get a feedback. One, a former ADD, thought that the bible passages cited were very well chosen. Another, a former INK-Manalista, thought that it was good enough to be published. When I moved to the parish setting in 2004, I still had the tract with me. Since I did not know how people in my new assignment would take the way I “criticize” other Christian “religions”, I had the tract posted on the parish bulletin board. I even asked someone to translate the document into readable Tagalog since I found it difficult to translate my own work using written Filipino (which is different from spoken Filipino). Then I forgot about it, until now.
I was going through the forums I have been going to in the past and found one where I still found a link to the above mentioned tract. Following the link, I discovered that the zipped file is still there and can still be downloaded. The zipped file actually contains three documents: theway.pdf, theway.doc and devil_lie.htm. The first two are the different document formats for the tract, the latter is a short article entitled “The Devil’s Lie” where I sound like a pre-Vatican II apologist. Below is an excerpt of “Did someone attack your Church or ridicule your faith lately?”
Was your Church attacked…
- because it promotes devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints?
- because it asks you to pray for the poor souls in purgatory?
- because it has images and icons of the saints and the Lord and His Blessed Mother?
- because its ministers sprinkle water during Baptism instead of immersion?
Was your faith ridiculed…
- because you belong to a church that is called Roman Catholic?
- because you profess belief in the Holy Trinity?
- because you hold on to the Tradition of the Apostles and the Church Fathers?
- because you call the Pope in Rome “Holy Father”?
- because you pray the Rosary or novenas and make visits to the Blessed Sacrament?
- because you nourish it by going to the Sunday Mass and by receiving Holy Communion?
- because you go to Confession?
If so, then you are a follower of the WAY…
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. (Acts 9:1-2)
…and you belong to that Church whose faith St. Paul describes as being “proclaimed (KATanggeletai) in the whole universe (en HOLO to kosmo)” (Rom. 1:8)
If your Church has been attacked and your faith ridiculed, then don’t fret nor should you be saddened. You join the ranks of those who, like St. Stephen, have suffered for their faith.
And as they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. And Saul was consenting to his death. (Acts 7:59-8:1)
You belong to the Church…
- that was born in weakness on the Cross (Jn. 19:30.34) and inaugurated with power on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4ff);
- whose visible head is the successor of St. Peter, whose authority to bind and to loose (Mt. 16:19) has been passed down from generation to generation by an unbroken succession through the laying on of the hands (2 Tim. 1:6);
- that is composed – not only of those who are still on earth – but also by those who have gone ahead to win the crown of salvation (cf. Wis. 3:1-3) and those who are still being purified from their sins in Purgatory (cf. 2 Macc. 12:45);
- that seriously taking the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ, cultivates a warm devotion to His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary (Jn. 19:26-27), and emphasizes the salvific instrumentality of that humanity in the seven sacraments;
- that jealously guards the memory that the apostles had of the Lord, and dispenses it generously in Word and sacrament for the salvation of mankind;
- still tainted by sinful members now while in this vale of tears, but who will be the spotless virgin she was meant to be (Eph. 5:25-27) when she joins the Lamb in marriage as the new Jerusalem from heaven (Rev. 21:9-10)
- who is destined to be the mother of all nations (Ps. 87)
- whose ancient faith has been confirmed by the witness of the blood of the apostles and martyrs, founded as it is on the Rock, upon which the Gates of Hell cannot prevail (Mt. 16:18);
- whose faith in the Risen Lord found doctrinal basis on the Jewish Scriptures and proclaimed through “spoken words and writing” (2 Thess. 2:15). It was within her womb that the New Testament Scriptures were conceived and later brought forth into the light.
I’ll try to update the material and see how it will look like in Filipino. Perhaps later on, I’ll be putting the updated version on the web for those who wish to download it.
Update: July 9, 2006
The tract “Has anyone attacked your Church or ridiculed your faith lately?” is now set up at http://theway.albertesmeralda.com (If the link gives you a 404, try this one.). This is a slightly modified version of the old one. I’ve added a few lines here and there; no major revisions were made. I have also attached a zipped file of the article in two formats, PDF and WebExe. For those who do not know what WebExe is, it is a webpage that is bundled with a browser and has an *.exe file extension. Once you’ve downloaded the zipped file and have extracted its contents, just double-click on thewaymod.exe. You may have these files printed and distributed. It will be a great help.
The webpage that appears at http://theway.albertesmeralda.com will be modified like an old fashioned webpage. Links will be added and revisions will be made. The updates will be reflected in a fresh zipped file to be posted at intervals..
Originally posted 2006-07-06 21:03:33. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
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