Rejoice always,pray without ceasing,give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Who is Jesus Christ
This is the greatest mystery and revealed truth that has ever graced mankind. Jesus was not just a man but True God and True Man.
This means He, while on earth, hungered, thirsted, slept, laughed, wept, bled, and died but also as He is God He prophesied, healed, performed great miracles, and resurrected from the dead! He is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity which means He has always existed even before time and space. He also founded a Church one of which no matter what happens throughout the ages His Church would never fail.
This Church we know today has the Holy Roman Catholic Church. We may know this primarily by way of historical fact.
His Coming Foretold
Historically, ever since Jesus proclaimed He would build His Church on Peter (the Catholic Church's first Pope) we have a succession of Popes ranging 2,000 years ago until today. This is what it means when Catholics use the word Apostolic, meaning that the teachings of Jesus have been continually held until this very day. Our Lord Jesus is the Head of this Church and reigns over all creation since He was given all power and authority from His (and our Father) in Heaven.
Let me explain. In the beginning, the infancy of the world gave rise to sin as our first parents, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God and took part in the knowledge of Good and Evil attempting to make themselves like God. Deceived as it were by Satan, God not only cursed the devil but also prophesied that redemption and salvation would come along with Satan's destruction.
Throughout the ages, God's will has moved many men and women to accomplish great achievements in expanding His domain and adding souls to holy instruction for the coming of the messiah.
However, the messiah would not come until scores of years would pass. But on the night when a young hand-maiden named Mary was visited by Gabriel the Archangel, great and wondrous news was revealed to her who was withheld from Original sin.
The Archangel Gabriel, who eternally stands in the Presence of God both hailed and informed Mary that she would bear the Son of the Living God and that she should call Him Jesus (which in Hebrew means 'God Saves')!
Being overshadowed by the Holy Ghost, Mary became a living tabernacle that held the Body and Blood of Jesus! The long await promise had finally come and He was yet to be born. Mary, being with Child, was wed to a carpenter named Joseph – a righteous and loving man, it was his task to love, guide, and protect this holy family.
A Risen Founder When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, it was herald by splendid circumstances as a myriad of Heavenly Angels sang out gloriously in the sky while shepherds watched in rapture. And by way of a bright and shining star, three great wise kings where able to pin point the very location of the prophesied birth of the King. But not all were pleased to know a 'King' was to be born, especially King Herod who ruled in the domain which Christ was born.
So wickedly, he sent his army to go an kill all babies up to two years old in an effort to wipe out the supposed threat to his rule as king.
But because of the heavenly assistance of the angels, St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and husband of Mary, was able to guide them safely into Egypt and did not return back to Jerusalem and neighboring countries until Herod's death.
The life of Jesus Our Lord Jesus grew from childhood to manhood and age thirty, He began His mission for salvation. In His mission, He called twelve men to follow Him to become not only avid worshipers but Priests who were given the power to cast out demons, heal the sick, forgive sins in Christ's name, baptize, and preside over the Mass for the consumption of Christ's Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist. But not all of the Twelve Disciples were good and trustworthy.
For one named Judas in allowing himself to fall from faith and trust in Our Lord betrayed Him to be crucified. In Satan's obvious hand in Christ's gruesome Passion and Death, Satan unknowingly was used by God to fulfill Christ's Mission for the redemption of the world by sacrificing Jesus on the Cross! At the moment of Christ's death, all of mankind was then redeemed.
But does that mean the same as 'saved'? No, actually it does not. Redemption and salvation mean two different things. In Christ's death we were redeemed in the sense that we now have been elevated to a greater opportunity for salvation.
A spiritual barrier that once barricaded souls into paradise was rent in two as did the veil in the Temple of Jerusalem.
In other words, because of His death and His Glorious resurrection we may supernatural hope in Him that we too may obtain resurrection if we but follow His commandments. Salvation comes only after we, as St. Paul said, die to ourselves and allow Christ to live in us.
As a Roman Catholic, it is my duty to seek out ways to die to myself so that I may have God live in my heart. In following Christ, I must obey His commandments, but how can I know what they are? All we need do is read the words of Our Lord in holy scripture to find out! What did Jesus say to His priests that concerns the average lay person?
Word of God  And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: 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: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. - Matthew 28:18-20
And again, Our Lord said,
 And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, 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 We then, who are lay and religious alike, are to observe and believe what has been Apostolicly taught down through the ages! In other words, to know Jesus is to know His Church!
This is why it is important to study your Catholic faith because the more we know of Holy Mother Church and what she propagates for our salvation the more we understand Jesus Christ. This is how I came to know Him.
How Jesus change my life? I come from a background that was laden with troubles and sorrow. In the beginning, I was first introduced to Christ through the Catholic Church and I remember even today being impressed with the stories of the saints and angels.
But my days on innocent wonder for my faith and family life would soon come crashing down when my parents had divorced for horrendous reasons and my father for a time left the faith and practiced witchcraft. My brother and I were exposed to much of this witchcraft even to the point of my father bringing us into his satanic incantations.
It was during this time my brother and I saw much of what Satan had to offer and a great deal of what we have seen and learned does side on the fantastic side. We saw how powerful evil is and the false sense of control it gives you. I personally have seen loved ones from my youth cursed and destroyed because of the evil my father practiced. And sadly, my brother for a time was drawn into its seductive devices.
I alone remained in the faith of Christ but wearied because I was still very young with no actual spiritual guidance to maintain holiness. So, as I grew, I faulted in many ways, in sex, drugs, alcohol, and out of curiosity practicing Divination, which is to say, witchcraft that could help tell the future. Surprised and moved by the 'spirits' accuracy in revealing hidden things, I gathered up courage to continue to participate in this evil.
It was not until my father got very ill and almost lost his life due to his sicknesses and surgeries did he come to his senses and return to the Church. Elated, I followed my father into the faith and slowly returned to practicing Catholicism and leaving behind witchcraft. But it was not yet so for my brother. Though we were then as we are today like best friends, we were separated by a terrible chasm. He was a devout pagan and I was a novice in Catholicism.
My college years gave way into relapse of sin as drugs, women, and alcohol awaited me as though it were a set trap to once again take me from God. I even joined a junior-Freemasonry fraternity that upheld pagan teachings of Numerology in which if practiced you could find God-hood on the “Golden-Quest”.
This of course was not an actual Freemason fraternity but it was founded by Freemasonry and often was used to recruit unsuspecting youth to join its Satanic ranks. There was even a ceremony that took place called, Initiation, where pledges (novices in the fraternity) would become full-fledged Active members.
From Hell to Heaven
It was not until a couple of years participating in this ceremony and slowly but surely taking time to rekindle my Catholic roots did I notice that it was pagan and warred against the faith I was baptized in.
In this ceremony, pledges, like in Freemasonry, were blind folded and walked around a massive circle around a fire only to stop in front of podiums maned by one of the Active members of distinguished and elected authority.
They each represented pagan symbols which included, a skull for death, brackish water for the bitterness of life on this earth, a “Radiant Triangle” symbol which was swiftly imprinted onto your chest over your heart, and words of “wisdom” from a type of worshipful master to us the neophytes who were in darkness but were seeking the light.
Also in this ceremony, we broke bread and drank wine that we collectively feasted on in honor of one another and our patron Goddess Athena Nike (the Goddess of Victory).
It was during this ceremony as an Active did I notice all of this and shrank inwardly in horror to fully see what I have allowed myself to become.
Though, even to this day, I have friends in that Fraternity, I have since removed myself completely from its ranks and requested with much haste to be stricken from the record among the fraternity's membership list.
But through these pagan years, I was introduced to my wife.
Catholic Faith Though she was not Catholic, I was deeply in love with her. Misguided in our love, we squandered the gift of preservation of the sexual gift that is made sanctified in Holy Matrimony. It was not long after I slowly faded from participation with that fraternity did my, then girlfriend, choose to study the Catholic faith together.
She was not sure if she was going to convert and I did not want to push her. Nevertheless, we sat with a Catholic Priest every Thursday evening for a solid year learning (and in my case, relearning) Roman Catholicism.
In the end, it was her choice to convert to Catholicism and to my joy, we were confirmed together since I did not get a chance to get confirmed when I was a boy due to my parents' divorce.
And in 2011, we got married by the same Catholic Priest that sat with us and guided us to Christ through the Church. Since then, God has given us two beautiful children who were are raising with every intention to serve God in His Church.
My father and brother no longer practice witchcraft and even work to actively spread the Kingdom of Christ in their own way.
You see, I know Jesus, not just through holy scripture, or in the Sacred Sacrifice of the Mass, but also through my pains, my doubts, my sufferings, my wanderings, in deaths of loved ones, and births of new loved ones.
The Power of Jesus Name
I know Christ through the truth of the Church as it is the Pillar and Ground of Truth that I was able to come to the knowledge to because I was gifted with the graces of faith so that I might know more about Him who sheltered me through all my troubles.
It is because of Jesus that I now no longer fear death nor persecution nor any tragedy nor any demon because I have seen their power and it wanes in a pathetic display of vulgarity compared to the mightiness of Christ and all the power of Heaven itself with all the angels and saints!
I was born in darkness and was redeemed by the Blood of Him who died on the Cross and God willing I will be saved if I am given the necessary graces to follow His commandments.
This is why I am comforted by the truth that Jesus did not just come to set us free from the slavery and tyranny of Satan as a whole but individually and by name. Jesus knows me by name, saw me with His eternal sight, saw me sin and turn from Him even to the point of worshiping at the feet of demons.
Why did Jesus have to die?
But He STILL chose to die for me because He wanted ME. This is why I both mourn and joyfully pray. I mourn because of my sins that I would offend love itself and I glory in Him because He has given me a path to follow that will ensure salvation if I remain steadfast regardless of the pain I will surely face. I know Jesus very well.
I adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament and receive Him with great caution in the Mass. I hear His voice in the absolution of my sins in the Sacrament of Penance and I pray to hear it one last time on my death bed in the Sacrament of the Last Rites.
And I pray that anyone that reads this may also know that Jesus knows you by name, He knows all your fears, faults, and brokenness. But He still loves you, personally. He wants nothing more than for you to come home in the Church He built by the word of His mouth and the obedience of men.
God bless you and your family with the Sacred Blood of Him who reigns on high.