"The Catholic Church Invites You"
James V. Linden, S.J.
Imprimatur - Bernard J. Topel, D.D., Bishop of Spokane
December 22, 1958
1. CHRIST ESTABLISHED BUT ONE CHURCH
2. CHRIST PRAYED THAT HIS CHURCH WOULD
3. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS REMAINED ONE
4. IS ONE CHURCH AS GOOD AS ANOTHER?
5. YOU MUST SAVE YOUR SOUL IN THE ONE TRUE
6. CHRIST CALLED THE JEWS THEN AS THE
CATHOLIC CHURCH CALLS THEM NOW
7. MODERN JEWS WHO HAVE ANSWERED CHRIST'S
8. LUTHERANS ARE INVITED TO RETURN TO THE
ONE, TRUE CHURCH
9. ANGLICANS AND EPISCOPALIANS ARE INVITED
TO RETURN TO THE ONE, TRUE CHURCH
WHY YOU ARE INVITED TO BECOME A CATHOLIC
The man who believes Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the man who knows
Jesus Christ founded a Church must seek that Church. Now the Catholic
Church maintains it is the Church Christ founded. It traces its
existence straight back to the moment when Jesus Christ said to Peter:
"And I say to thee: thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build My
Church ..." (Matt. 16:18). It now asks you to examine it closely, to
weigh the evidence that it offers to support the claim that it is the
one Church Christ founded. It begs you to do this; it prays that you
will do this.
If you do so, it guarantees that you will be doing the will of God. You
will enjoy the security that should be yours because you are upon the
true path to the salvation of your immortal soul. United with Christ in
His Church, with Christ Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, you
will reap the reward of seeking Christ and taste that peace that
surpasses all understanding.
I do not ask of you any more than this---read this little book. If,
after reading it, your conscience tells you that you must continue to
profess Christianity or Judaism as you have done in the past, you must
do so, for each one of us must follow his conscience. There is no one,
however, who would wish to turn a deaf ear to the yearning in the heart
of Christ "that they may all be one, as Thou, Father in Me, and I in
Thee" (John 17:21); that there may be one flock and one Shepherd.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO TO SAVE YOUR SOUL
I am going to try to answer the question, "Why is religion so
make so much fuss about it? Since there are so many Christian
churches, why cannot I choose the one that appeals to me best? Isn't
that I worship God in the one of my choice? The simple answer to all
these questions is that religion is so important because it concerns
the salvation of souls, and because it does, it is not a matter of
anyone merely choosing a religion that suits his fancy; it is a grave
matter of embracing that religion that is the true religion, the
religion that Christ Himself established on earth and which He
commanded all men to join.
To save one's soul, that is the reason why religion speaks to us in
such thunderous terms. In a sense there is no use talking about
anything, unless in terms of the salvation of one's soul, one's destiny
before Almighty God. "Seek first," says Christ, "the kingdom of God and
His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33).
Man is composed of body and soul. The body dies, but the soul lives on
eternally. The real goal of this life, then, is life eternal, the
possession of God for all eternity. When we miss that goal, when
instead of gaining God we lose God, we have suffered the greatest loss
man can suffer; we have lost our soul. That is why Christ warns us in
these words: "For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole
world and suffer the loss of his soul?" (Mark 8:36). Or what exchange
shall a man give for his soul?
Jesus Christ came not only to redeem man from his sins, but also to
show man the way back to God, to teach man the things he ought to
believe and he ought to do in order to be saved. In doing so He does
not merely invite man to follow Him and accept His teaching; He
commands man to do so. "Go ye into the whole world," He tells His
Apostles, "and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth
and is Baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be
condemned" (Mark 16:15-16).
The Christian religion, then, places an obligation upon men to accept
it, whether they like it or not. It is a terrible mistake to think that
I am free to take it or reject it, that I am free to believe this
doctrine that suits my fancy and reject that which does not suit my
fancy. I am not free to make up my own religion. I must accept my
religion from Christ. The Church itself is not free to make up its own
religion. It, too, must accept it from Christ.
did not ask the Jews to accept Him;
He commanded them. "I am the Lord thy God," He said. "Thou shalt not
have strange gods before Me" (Exod. 20:1-2). And when Christ came, the
promised Messiah, He spoke in the same unmistakable terms. "I and the
Father are one," He declared. "All power is given to Me in Heaven and
in earth. Going therefore teach ye all nations; Baptizing them in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching
them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matt.
It rests, therefore, upon the conscience of every man who
hears the Gospel of Christ to find out as far as he can what Church
faithfully teaches the things Christ commanded His Apostles to teach,
and to join that Church. The Catholic Church claims to be that Church.
It is the Church Christ
Himself founded. It teaches all those things Christ commanded it to
teach. It is the true Church of Christ.
VIEW THE FULL IMAGE