I couldn't figure out where to post a question, and so I'm posting one in a comment.
But first, let me add that I love your blog! I was raised Catholic, and I'm so happy there's something like this, now that I'm in college with so many different flavors of Christianity on campus.
Which brings me to my next question. I'm being pursued, for lack of a better word, by members of a nation-wide Christian collegiate group called Chi Alpha. Pentecostal-based, it holds that "the Bible always wins." In other words, if it is not specifically word-for-word in the Bible somewhere, it isn't true, never was and never will be.
Don't we also believe that? If so, that rules out a lot. My friends don't believe in infant baptism, Transfiguration, Mary as venerated by Catholics, or the saints.
And what about Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and speaking in tongues? A large majority of my friends speak in prayer languages, ones that they don't understand, but God does.
And the sacraments! Oh, my goodness! Where, I'm constantly asked, is the Biblical reference for Anointing of the Sick and Holy Orders? And papal infallibility, while we're at it?
I may have taken religion classes in Catholic school my entire life, but even that is not enough to render me a walking "Catholic for Dummies."
Thanks again for your blog. I've already used your dinner-making analogy to explain why we heretics pray "to" saints.
Did I say something about dinner and the saints? I don't recall....worse..I probably said it last week.
Your questions involves a lot of Church Doctrine and Dogma. I'll try to give you a quick tutorial, but before I do, there is this thing called the "internet" on which you can find things like "The Catechism of the Catholic Church" and you can type in a topic and find out exactly what the Church says about a lot of things. Just so you know.
Here we go!
First of all, we do believe things that you can't find verbatim in the Bible, but everything we believe is derived from the Bible. For example, there is no mention of Purgatory in the Bible, but in Maccabees (a book that your friends tossed out of their Bible because of this passage) there is an admonishment to "Pray for the dead". There is no need to pray for anyone who is in Heaven or Hell. So who are these dead people for which we are asked to pray? Where are they? The Catholic Church teaches that that passage must refer to where these people are. I can't think of another explanation, can you? They don't have to think about it because they booted that whole book right out of their Bible. (Which is astonishing, when you think about it? These are the people are so very interested in the importance of the words God wrote in His book. So interested that they just threw some away!)
The Immaculate Conception falls into this category, too, as does Papal Infallibility.
On we go.
Did you mean to say "Transubstantiation" instead of "Transfiguration"? The Transfiguration is in the New Testament. Transubstantiation is when the Host turns into the Body of Christ. Google that up!
It always makes me sad that the separated Brethren dismiss Mary. I can't imagine if you had a chance to actually meet the Mother of Jesus, Jesus, who you claim to love so much, that you would just ignore her and not pay her any honor. God certainly honored her, but that's not good enough for you? Holy Toledo! That is just rude.
Next! Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This one is tricky. We do believe in that! But they mean something different by that phrase than we do...I think. We believe the the whole Church was baptized in the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. We baptize babies and they receive the Holy Spirit, but then the Sacrament of Confirmation brings more gifts from the Holy Spirit when the child is old enough to pledge himself to the Church himself and become a "soldier of Christ".
There are Catholic Pentecostals who speak in tongues, but the Church as a whole has frankly never been particularly comfortable with it. I think it's because it can be such a slippery slope if you're babbling in some unintelligible ravings. Possessed people do that, too.
On the home stretch!
Here are the Biblical references to Holy Orders: Acts 20:28; Lk 22:19; Jn 20:22; Acts 6:6; Acts 13:3; Acts 14:22; 1 Tim 4:14; 2 Tim 1:6; Tit 1:5
And here are the references to Anointing of the Sick: Mk 6:12-13; Jm 5:14
I do hope this helps and bless you for hanging around with these people and trying to know what you're talking about! Come back anytime and we'll keep up the good work together!
Meanwhile here's a great example of how to use this internet thing. I just did a Google search for "Biblical reference to papal infallibility". I even spelled infallibility wrong in the search! I believe I typed infallibiblity (which is probably just about what your friends think of it). And here you have a wonderful, clear, concise explanation that will clear up a lot.
But do come back anytime. Sometimes, it's much more fun to chat than to Google.