From the beginning, God had a plan. He knew when he created Adam and Eve that they would fall from His grace. He knew that salvation would require sacrifice. And so He had a plan, one that began with a woman.
While there are differences within the multitude of Christian faiths, all believe in the same one-true God. Faith and acceptance is their common ground. Protestant Churches were the result of Reformation. Reformation was the result of Martin Luther, an ordained German Catholic Priest. He found certain teachings and practices of the Church during his time to be corrupt. Martin Luther was not seeking to establish a new Christian sect, but to reform the Catholic Church. His teachings are the biggest separation between Catholics and Protestants down through the ages. Luther taught that salvation, and the reward of eternal life, are not earned by good deeds but are free gifts of God’s graces. Catholics believe that good deeds matter in God’s plan of salvation. Martin Luther believed that there is only source of God’s divine word; and it is contained in the Bible. He taught that all belief, all doctrine must be contained within Holy Scripture and nowhere else. Catholics believe in this same Holy Scripture; but also have oral traditions and other teachings to expand their faith. None are in opposition to sacred scripture. These traditions and teachings expand our understanding of God’s works.
It is this fundamental difference that allows Catholics to embraces beliefs that are not explicitly found within the pages of the Bible. The Communion of Saints, the acceptance of Purgatory, the sacrament of confession and reconciliation are examples of these fundamental differences.
Mary’s immaculate conception is another major difference. While both Protestant and Catholic teachings accept Mary as the mother of God, therefore free of sin, Catholics believe she was conceived without original sin, while Protestants believe she was cleansed of her sins by the grace of God. Protestants do not believe in original sin, Catholics do. Protestants do not believe any human is capable of being immaculate – that is pure – while Catholics believe Mary was just such a person from the moment of conception to the moment of death. Her Immaculate Existence was part of God’s plan. One thing both Protestants and Catholics agree upon; Jesus died for the forgiveness of sin. And before He could make that sacrifice, He needed to come down from heaven and become man. This was accomplished through Mary.
Today is the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics. We will attend mass as a family. It is with humility that we honor our Blessed Mother Mary. For she is inspiration to trust and accept the will of God.
Fresh Rosemary Chicken Thighs
3 tablespoons Fresh Rosemary
2 teaspoons Lemon Zest
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
8 boneless Chicken Thighs
Cooking Spray as needed
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Pluck rosemary needles from sprigs. Chop and place in a small bowl. Zest lemon into the bowl, mix together. Season with salt and pepper, set aside.
Lay chicken thighs out on a cutting board. Rub rosemary mixture over the chicken, press into the meat. Arrange thighs in a baking dish. Spray with cooking spray to promote browning.
Bake in the heated oven until thighs are no longer pink in the center and juices run clear, about 25 minutes.
Serve with your favorite sides such as Vegetable Rice Pilaf and Green Beans. Enjoy!