Monday, June 30, 2008
Thankfully, some others came. This month I have had close to 400 unique visitors, which is somewhat shocking. I am thankful that many share our Roman Catholic Faith and our dedication to the "culture of life".
Special thanks to super-Catholic Leticia over at Causa Nostrae Laetitiae for announcing my arrival and Tina for introducing me to blogging. Additional thanks to other Catholic bloggers who felt my blog was worthy of a link: Return of the Cradle Catholic ; The 3 Mass’keteers ; Gloria Tibi, Domine and all others.
Also, specific "shout outs" to my loyal readers in North Carolina, Maryland, New York, New Jersey and Calgary.
Going forward, I will do my best to provide quality posts worthy of your time and the Faith we share.
Many thanks, God Bless!
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I will talk at length about the primacy of Rome in future posts, but thought it would be a good starting point to mention how the groundwork of the Papacy was established in the Old Testament. This is a fact even many good Catholics are unaware of. I was unaware of this myself until a few years ago.
In Isaiah 22, God appoints Eliakim as prime minister to King Hezekiah (of the House of David) after the current prime minister, Sheba, dies. (This passage can also be used to prove Apostolic succession, but we will stick to the topic of the Papacy for this post). The prime minister back then was the second in command and had all the King’s authority to rule the kingdom in the King's absence until his return.
ISAIAH 22:20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah:
ISAIAH 22:21 And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.
ISAIAH 22:22 And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.
ISAIAH 22:23 And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house.
Keys were a clear symbol of authority for the Hebrew people, as now it has become the same clear symbol for Catholics. The images mentioned in this scripture clearly elude to the Papacy. The robe of authority, will be called father (Papa, Pope), keys, throne to his Father’s house (Chair of Peter, ex cathedra).
Christ (The True King of the House of David), knowing the groundwork He laid centuries before to His people in Isaiah 22, then fulfilled the scripture by establishing a "prime minister", the Papacy, with all His power and authority to rule His Kingdom in His absence until He returns at the Second Coming:
MATTHEW 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
MATTHEW 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
MATTHEW 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
MATTHEW 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
It is impossible to believe that these New Testament passages are not to be defined by the Old Testament scripture and story. They are too similar to be independent of each other. Look at just one of the passages side by side:
Old Testament: "...so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open."
New Testament: "whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
St. Matthew, who wrote for Jewish-Christians, knew his Old Testament scripture well and made the obvious connection.
A second worthy point in viewing the Papacy through the Old Testament is that when God changed a person's name in the Old Testament it marked an elevation of responsibility for that person. In Genesis 17:5, God changed Abram's name to Abraham as he became the father of Israel's tribes. Christ changing Simon's name to Peter was very significant to show Peter was given the office of the Papacy at that precise moment. Many Protestants try to confuse and lessen this event by mentioning Peter's name in Matthew's gospel was recorded as "Petros" (written in Greek), meaning "pebble". This is clearly explained by the name's ending had to be aligned with the masculine form "os" of the Greek language. Ending all arguments on this diversion, was the fact that there was only one word for "rock" in Aramaic, "Kepha", the language Jesus spoke at the time he gave the Papacy to Peter.
It was Christ's absolute intent to institute the Papacy and give the office all of His authority to rule His kingdom on earth until His Second Coming! As shown, the proof of this intent dates back centuries before an impulsive, apostle fisherman spoke from his heart the God-inspired answer that defined our God, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
"Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
St. Peter, Holder of the Keys to the Kingdom, Pray for Us!
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Dr. Alveda King, "Planned Parenthood, Stop Using and Lying to My Family"
Atlanta, GA – Dr. Alveda King, Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., today decried Planned Parenthood’s use of her uncle’s image and words on its website.
“Planned Parenthood is no stranger to deception. I know firsthand because prior to my abortion, a Planned Parenthood doctor told me that my baby was just a ‘blob of tissue,’” said Dr. King. “Now, Planned Parenthood lies by trying to imply that my uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., would somehow endorse the organization today. He most certainly would not.”
“Uncle Martin accepted an award from Planned Parenthood in 1966 when abortion was illegal in every state and before Planned Parenthood started publicly advocating for it,” continued Dr. King. “In Planned Parenthood’s own citation for Uncle Martin’s prize, not only is no mention of abortion made, it states that ‘human life and progress are indeed indivisible.’ In 1966, neither the general public nor my uncle was aware of the true agenda of Planned Parenthood, an agenda of death that has become painfully obvious as the years have unfolded.”
“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ‘The Negro cannot win if he is willing to sacrifice the future of his children for personal comfort and safety,’ and, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’” added Dr. King. “There is no way he would want his name or image associated today with Planned Parenthood, the group most responsible for denying civil rights to the over 45 million American babies killed by abortion, one-third of them African-American. There is no way my uncle would condone the violence of abortion, violence that Planned Parenthood has always tried to mask, which brings painful deaths to babies and can result in torn wombs, serious infections, and emotional devastation for their mothers. Let me be clear, Planned Parenthood must stop using and lying to my family and the entire community of humanity.”
Friday, June 27, 2008
Our mailboxes are flooded everyday with donation requests. Some of these mailings are very worthwhile causes; some are not. Some relieve suffering; some advance political ideologies.
If someone asked me what is, in my opinion, the best charity to give my hard-earned money to, I would not need a moment to think of my answer. It is an organization that usually does not have sophisticated fundraising vehicles behind it and the patrons that would freely give to it probably never consider initiating a check its way.
It is your local seminary. It is absolutely the best charity to support for the following reason:
Most of the best charities work towards cures for dreaded diseases. These are very worthwhile causes if their research is in line with the teaching of the Magisterium. But there is a more permanent view that can be considered when donating.
Former, Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey Sr., my favorite all-time Democratic, when pressed about his overwhelming commitment to the pro-life cause as a foremost issue would rebut with all the sincerity and diplomacy of a great statesman, “What good is a tax credit to a child who never had the chance to be born?”
Casey’s statement laser-beamed the issue and provided overriding logic. It stopped all the debate cold.
In the spirit of this great Governor’s statement, I ask, “What good is a cure for a horrible disease that will add 20 years to a person’s life if that person is damned for eternity?” Great priest save eternal souls, and there are not enough great priests to meet the demand of this task in the darkness of today’s culture.
The devil once yelled at parish priest St. Jean Vianney over one-hundred years ago, “You robbed me of 80,000 souls!” How many of those 80, 000 souls TODAY would trade the cure Vianney gave their immortal soul for an equivalent temporal cure of their illness one-hundred years ago?
Please write checks to your local seminary. Even small checks when you can. Think of it as financially supporting eternity.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
This is such a beautiful and powerful one with such real world application to bat lead off:
"Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering and the lonely right there where you are -- in your own homes and in your own families, in your workplaces and in your schools. ... You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have the eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society -- completely forgotten, completely left alone."~ Blessed Mother Teresa
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen gave words of wisdom in one of his lectures on conquering addiction. He said, paraphrasing, to overcome any addiction, you must "force it" out of your psyche by replacing it with something just as consuming. Such words of wisdom and no psychiatrist payment needed.
This woman sacrificing for her children meant more to her than the pleasure that a dessert would bring. Her love for her children conquered her temptation to eat.
In this Sheen counseling lies the reason why so many diets fail. The dieter starts with the best intentions in the first of the month, but the uncontrollable craving to eat remains and is allowed to run freely within his psyche and still possess him. Nothing has forced this addiction out. It is lurking and waiting to conquer again.
One of my heroes of this world, Msgr. James McDonald - now rector of Long Island’s seminary- once spoke in a homily addressing the addiction of alcohol. He passionately and in a booming voice told the congregation, "Don’t tell me you can’t put down that drink when Christ thirsted for you on the cross!" Msgr. McDonald was coming at the same angle as Archbishop Sheen. Your love of Christ and gratitude of his suffering can push out that addiction.
My grandfather was a very good man but an alcoholic. He never harmed anyone but was his own worse enemy with his drinking problem. When my siblings and I were very small children, my father told my grandfather we could not ride in his car, spend time with him, because of my father’s obvious concerns. As the story goes after this difficult conversation, my grandfather quit cold turkey. Not one more drop. His love for his grandchildren was more consuming than his drinking problem. The last few years of his life were spent sober, and this is how he went home to God.
We are all imperfect people, with shortcomings and addictions. How much progress would we make towards Divine Grace if those parents with addictions (alcoholism, smoking, drugs, sex, anger-management, gambling, over-eating, shopping) offered their pain in denying their addiction up to God with the specific intention that Christ will protect their children in the future from acquiring the same addiction? How could the loving heart of Christ not accept an offering so beautiful, noble and selfless? How could we not eventually succeed in conquering our addictions through this act of love?
Sunday, June 22, 2008
These lies follows the lies of John Cornwell’s book, Hitler’s Pope. Surprisingly, Noel is a respected Catholic historian, but sooner or later most well-noted historians become impressed with themselves and arrogantly believe they have the lone insight that legions of historians have missed.
In this latest attempt of revisionist history, Noel's opinion contradicts both truth and the documented history on the Holy Father’s efforts to save lives during the second World War:
Pinchas Lapide (Israeli consul in Milan and Holocaust survivor) declared in 1967 that Pius XII "was instrumental in saving at least 700,000, but probably as many as 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands."
Albert Einstein quoted in Time magazine (12/23/1940): "Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. …The Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. . . . I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel great affection and admiration …and am forced thus to confess that what I once despised, I now praise unreservedly."
The New York Times editorial (12/25/1942) stated: "The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas... He is about the only ruler left on the Continent of Europe who dares to raise his voice at all."
In 1958, Golda Meir sent her condolences on Pius XII’s death: "We share in the grief of humanity. …When fearful martyrdom came to our people, the voice of the Pope was raised for its victims. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out about great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict. We mourn a great servant of peace."
The Chief Rabbi of Rome, Emilio Zolli, stated: "Volumes could be written on the multiform works of Pius XII, and the countless priests, religious and laity who stood with him throughout the world during the war." "No hero," he said, "in all of history was more militant, more fought against, none more heroic, than Pius XII in pursuing the works of true charity . . . and thus on behalf of all the suffering children of God." Zolli converted to Catholicism afterwards and took Pius XII’s name in reverence to him.
Rabbi Isaac Herzog, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, wrote in a letter (1945) to the future John XXIII: "The people of Israel…will never forget what His Holiness and his illustrious delegates, inspired by the eternal principles of religion, which form the foundation of true civilization, are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history, which is living proof of Divine Providence in this world."
The London Times (10/1/1942), explicitly praises Pius XII for his condemnation of the Nazis. "A study of the words which Pope Pius XII has addressed since his accession…leaves no room for doubt. He condemns the worship of force and its concrete manifestations in the suppression of national liberties and in the persecution of the Jewish race."
Moshe Sharett, Israel's second Prime Minister, spoke at a personal meeting with Pius XII: "I told [Pius XII] that my first duty was to thank him, and through him the Catholic Church, on behalf of the Jewish public for all they had done in the various countries to rescue Jews…We are deeply grateful to the Catholic Church."
Dr. Raffael Cantoni, future President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, stated: "…six million of my co-religionists have been murdered by the Nazis, but there could have been many more victims had it not been for the efficacious intervention of Pius XII."
From the Catholic League’s Web site:
"In Rome, 155 convents and monasteries sheltered some 5,000 Jews throughout the German occupation. No less than 3,000 Jews found refuge at one time at the Pope's summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, and thus, through Pius' personal intervention, escaped deportation to German death camps. Sixty Jews lived for nine months at the Jesuit Gregorian University, and many were sheltered in the cellar of the Pontifical Bible Institute. Pope Pius himself granted sanctuary within the walls of the Vatican in Rome to hundreds of homeless Jews."
Pius XII is currently under consideration for sainthood. I will leave that final decision to Rome, where it should stay. When I hear Pius XII detractors trying to prevent the progress of his Cause because of the complete lies that he turned a blind eye to the Jewish people’s suffering during the war, my blood boils and the truth must be told and defended.
For more information on these quotes, the Catholic League has two great articles by Sister Margherita Marchione and Rabbi David Dalin.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
In 2004, President Bush carried 78% of the evangelical vote based on appealing to, and aligning himself with, evangelical values. It is believed that 1 out of every 4 adults in America are evangelicals. The master strategy of Rove was if he could motivate this concentration all to vote, President Bush in theory needed only 1.23 (based on the result of 78%) people out of the remaining 3 people in America to vote for him to have a majority and the Presidency. So this translated into just over 1/3 of the remaining adults in America.
Now this 1/3 requirement is an accurate number if the rest of the American adults turned out to vote in similar patterns to the evangelicals. But we must consider, the evangelicals are the ones digging their cars out of January snow banks at 4AM in the morning to collect signatures for their candidates in Iowa. They are very motivated politically, and fiercely-reliable voters, while the majority of the other 3 out of 4 American adults are mostly moderate, at best, in their political activity.
So with this consideration, in my estimation, Bush would have then had only needed about 25-30% of the remaining adult voters to gain the Presidency. This is what Karl Rove knew, but sadly John McCain might figure out come post-November.
McCain is trading voters whom would come through a blizzard to vote if they believed in you, for hopefully an equal population of the center (by not stressing social conservative values) whom might not make it to a voting booth on Super Tuesday because of cable programming.
USA Today reports that Barack Obama is going hard after evangelicals, his campaign is smart enough to figure out this formula, and he is up to 25% support among them. John McCain is only at 57% of these voters that should have been his for the taking. With this 57%, McCain will now need close to half of the remaining 3 of out 4 voters to gain the Presidency.
McCain is thinking evangelicals have no other option to vote for. 43% of them right now are not in total agreement with McCain's arrogance. My fear is that these voters don't see McCain as someone who will support their faith, do not realize there are Supreme Court nominations hanging in the balance, and they will leave their "shovels in the garage".
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
"One night, a nursing co-worker was taking a Down syndrome baby who was aborted alive to our Soiled Utility Room because his parents did not want to hold him, and she did not have time to hold him. I could not bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone in a Soiled Utility Room, so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived. He was between 21 and 22 weeks old, weighed about 1/2 pound, and was about 10 inches long. He was too weak to move very much, expending any energy he had trying to breathe. Toward the end he was so quiet that I could not tell if he was still alive. I held him up to the light to see through his chest wall whether his heart was still beating. After he was pronounced dead, we folded his little arms across his chest, wrapped him in a tiny shroud, and carried him to the hospital morgue where all of our dead patients are taken."
This just nurse was so horrified about these occurrences that she became an activist, serving as an initiator on the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) that was signed by President Bush in 2002, protecting any baby who somehow makes it through an abortion and is born.
Prior to this law becoming national, Ms. Stanek's law crossed paths with then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama as the bill was brought up for a vote in the Illinois Legislature. Obama supplied the ONLY VOTE AGAINST this humane legislation saying:
"...whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a - child, a nine-month-old - child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place."
So let me say a little more bluntly what Obama said: "We will allow these living babies, born, breathing on their own and existing separately from their mothers, to suffer and die, so that we will always be able to kill babies as well in their mother's womb on demand."
John McCain should hammer Obama with commercials all day long on this issue because I believe, even though misguided on many issues, Americans would not be able to tolerate a person with this extreme, horrible view. Knowing this view quickly takes the bloom off the rose that is Barack Obama.
"It is our firm belief that the fears some entertain concerning the Moslems are not to be realized, but that Moslemism, instead, will eventually be converted to Christianity ... through a summoning of the Moslems to a veneration of the Mother of God.
...The Koran, which is the bible of the Moslems, has many passages concerning the Blessed Virgin. First, the Koran believes in her Immaculate Conception and in her Virgin Birth. The third chapter of the Koran places the history of Mary's family in a genealogy that goes back through Abraham, Noah, and Adam. When one compares the Koran's description of the birth of Mary with the apocryphal Gospel of the birth of Mary, one is tempted to believe that Mohammed very much depended upon the latter.
...The Koran has also verses on the Annunciation, Visitation, and nativity. Angels are pictured as accompanying the Blessed Mother and saying, "O Mary, God has chosen you and purified you, and elected you above all the women of the earth."
...The only possible serious rival to her in [the Moslem] creed would be Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed himself. However, after the death of Fatima, Mohammed wrote: "Thou shalt be the most blessed of all the women in Paradise, after Mary." In a variant of the text, Fatima is made to say, "I surpass all the women, except Mary."
This brings us ... to why the Blessed Mother, in this twentieth century... should have revealed herself in the insignificant little village of Fatima, so that to all future generations she would be known as "Our Lady of Fatima."
Nothing ever happens out of heaven except with a finesse of all details. I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as "Our Lady of Fatima" as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her Divine Son, too.
Evidence to support these views is found in the historical fact that the Moslems occupied Portugal for centuries. At the time when they were finally driven out, the last Moslem chief had a beautiful daughter by the name of Fatima. A catholic boy fell in love with her, and for him she not only stayed behind when the Moslems left, but even embraced the Catholic faith. The young husband was so much in love with her that he changed the name of the town where he lived to Fatima. Thus, the very place where Our Lady appeared in 1917 bears a historical connection to Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed.
...Moslems attended the Catholic services in honor of Our Lady; they allowed religious processions and even prayers before their mosques...
...[As the Moslem devotion to the Virgin Mary grows,] Our Blessed Lady will carry the Moslems the rest of the way to her Divine Son. As those who lose devotion to her lose belief in the Divinity of Christ, so those who intensify devotion to her gradually acquire that belief."
For people who think the thought of a mass, Marian conversion is unprobable, you should direct them to what is left of the Berlin Wall.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Anyway, I eagerly await these encounters. As we started our conversation, I respectfully asked them if they could tell me the only miracle in the history of the world that was pre-announced in regard to the exact day, place and time it would take place? They looked completely puzzled at me and each other. I broke a smile and said, "Our Lady of Fatima. The Blessed Mother appeared to three shepherd children in Portugal and told them a significant miracle would happen at noon, on October 13, 1917, as a sign she was really appearing." I tried to plant the seed, you never know. I am hoping they will ring my doorbell one day and ask me if know the redemption and salvation that the Roman Catholic Church offers.
I believe the story of Fatima is the most tangible, concrete proof of the existence of God, and the legitimacy of the Roman Catholic Church, that can be presented to non-believers. You are not quoting proofs from St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine that require intellectual aptitude to understand, you are citing a historical event that they can be easily understood and researched by non-believers. In addition, the Blessed Mother is always the best gateway to her Son.
The newspapers in Portugal mocked this prediction for many weeks prior, but none-the-less sent reporters and photographers to cover the event.
Most of the press sent to cover the event had strong ties to the Freemason government who had extreme hostility towards the Catholic Church and had it in their best interest to expose this as a complete hoax. Here is their actual coverage, printed in newspapers the day after, of the event:
- "Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws — the sun 'danced' according to the typical expression of the people." ― Avelino de Almeida writing for O Século, Portugal's top newspaper.
- "The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceeding fast and whirling movement, at times appearing to be loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly radiating heat." ― Dr. Domingos Pinto Coelho, reporting for the newspaper Ordem.
- "…The silver sun, enveloped in the same gauzy grey light, was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds… The light turned a beautiful blue, as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral, and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands… people wept and prayed with uncovered heads, in the presence of a miracle they had awaited. The seconds seemed like hours, so vivid were they." ― O' Dia newspaper, Lisbon, Portugal.
October 13, 1917, was a conclusive day for the Roman Catholic Faith and for our dear Blessed Mother! It is hard to argue about a validity of a miracle when it was pre-announced, viewed by 70,000 people and begrudgingly validated by multiple, anti-cleric newspapers. I mean c'mon....it's all there in black and white!
Monday, June 16, 2008
"A few years ago there died a man who belonged to this parish. Upon entering the church in the morning to pray before setting out for the fields, he left his work tools at the door and then became wholly lost in the presence of God while praying before the sacrament. A neighbor who worked close to him, and thus used to see him in the fields, worried at his unusual absence. On his way home he found the missing man’s tools outside the church, then entered the church to see if the missing man was ill inside. He did find him in the church. The man had been praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament all day. His friend in disbelief that he had missed his whole day asked him, “What have you been doing here all day?” The missing man replied, “I have been looking deeply into the good God’s face and He has been looking deeply into mine.”
Cure of Ars, Pray for Us!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Specifically to this thought, St. Joseph is always viewed as the quintessential protector and provider in his role to the Holy Family. The fact that this view is widely accepted and requires no reflection does St. Joseph the same disservice.
He holds lilies in his hands to show you how easy it was for him to be pure and a carpenter’s saw to show you how easy it was for him to provide for his family. We never truly realize the difficulties he undertook to end up with these reverent symbols.
For instance, three times (Nazareth, Bethlehem and Egypt) he had to completely uproot his business and risk the means of his livelihood to move for the protection/benefit of his family. He must have felt exhausted each time and that all of his hard work to build a master artisan's reputation within these towns was completely erased as he lead his family out of each town.
I likewise envision that a stranger coming into a close-knit town was not immediately, nor freely, trusted to the point of being supplied work. In the beginning, he must have taken any job offered, remedial in task or beneath his skill level, to feed the Blessed Mother and his Child (sound familiar dads?). It is hard to envision St. Joseph pleading for any available work, saying that he would do anything for food or payment, or... begging for lodging as well...
How many doors do you think St. Joseph knocked on before he settled on lodging his expecting wife with animals? How many doors do you think you would have knock on before this concession? Thirty... Fifty... One Hundred?
I often wonder that in the quiet moments following Christ’s birth, when the Blessed Mother was resting from her labor and the child was sleeping in her arms, did St. Joseph, standing vigilant guard, look at his loved ones co-mingled with the dirty beasts and feel as if he had failed to live up to his role as a provider?
These thoughts do not even consider that these difficulties and frustrations must have been amplified many times over considering he knew the importance of whom he was providing for.
But throughout all his struggles and discouragements his Faith never wavered and he knew God had a master plan for his life; that God relied on him meeting his responsibilities.
If one reflects, the master plan of St. Joseph's life was to give all his efforts to serve as protector of the helpless Christ child so that Jesus would be ready to sacrifice himself with great suffering when the time was right. It is really such a chilling irony that his role was to protect his child so that his child could eventually suffer, but take out St. Joseph's protection a bigger master plan could have be in peril. Herod would have found the child in the "Slaughtering of the Holy Innocents" if not for St. Joseph's action. It was St. Joseph who would act on a dream, saving the Christ child's life so that he could eventually redeem the world.
We can take great insight from understanding this father's master plan. As fathers, our primary goals and efforts in life lie in helping our children achieve God's plans for their lives and help them attain holiness/heaven. Everything else is just a distraction and will not matter a century from now.
So to all you fathers: When the bills are many and the energy is fleeting; when the money is dwindling and the pressures are mounting; when there is a family member who is suffering and you cannot help, pray to the great St. Joseph. Start by heartfully mentioning to him that you are approaching him as one struggling father to another. He, through his experiences, will empathetically feel your hurt and raise your prayers up on your behalf to an Indebted Child that he once protected.
Happy Father's Day!
Saint Joseph was a just man, a tireless worker, the upright guardian of those entrusted to his care. May he always guard, protect and enlighten families. - Pope John Paul II
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
1) St. Anthony was not Italian. He was Portuguese, born in Lisbon (1195), and was given the baptismal name of Ferdinand.
2) He was given the title "Malleus Hereticorum", the "Hammer of Heretics", because of his ability to preach the gospel with zeal and defend the faith against all of the contemporary heretics. One day, after preaching to a group of heretics in Remini, Italy, and realizing his words were not landing, he led them to the shore. Turning to the river he shouted, "From the moment in which you proved yourselves to be unworthy of the Word of the Lord, look, I turn to the fish, to further confound your disbelief". Legend has it that hoards of fish came to the edge of the water, lifted their heads out of the water and to listened to him attentively, stunning and embarrassing the heretics.
3) While preaching in France one year on Holy Thursday, the saint remembered he had to sing a lesson at the Divine Office back at his monastery. To handle this dilema he bi-located (appearing two places at once - a gift some saints have while living). He sang with the friars at the monastery in Italy and continued to preached his sermon in France simultaneously.
4) More than six hundred years before the Immaculate Conception became Catholic dogma by Pius IX, St. Anthony recognized it by saying, "The Glorious Virgin did not have a stain in her birth because she was sanctified in her mother's womb and safeguarded there by angels."
5) He was the second fastest canonization in history, declared a saint only 352 days (under one year) after his death by Pope Gregory IX. (The fastest canonization in Church history was St. Peter of Verona; 337 days after being martyred.)
6) In 1263, when his body was exhumed, his tongue was found to be perfectly in tact and not decomposed - also known as incorrupt. Upon seeing this, St. Bonaventure prayed aloud: "O blessed tongue, you have always praised the Lord and led others to praise him! Now we can clearly see how great indeed have been your merits before God!"
St. Anthony, Hammer of Heretics, Pray For Us.
"He, Who is the beginning and the end, the ruler of the angels, made Himself obedient to human creatures. The creator of the heavens obeys a carpenter; the God of eternal glory listens to a poor virgin. Has anyone ever witnessed anything comparable to this? Let the philosopher no longer disdain from listening to the common laborer; the wise, to the simple; the educated, to the illiterate; a child of a prince, to a peasant." - St. Anthony of Padua
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The strain of Rev. Robinson’s (who has been openly gay) ordination as bishop in 2003, and this recent marriage has been causing great strain on the 77 million-member Anglican Communion. Their members are trying to reconcile the tolerance of their church leaders on this matter versus the scriptural condemnation of Bishop Robinson’s lifestyle.
In my opinion, the very foundation of these sects that have broken away from the Roman Catholic Church to set up their own religion with their own rules, are - by definition - a membership of people who would break away from a religion to set up their own rules. Schism Breeds Schism. The Anglican Communion is about to be splintered again.
With the anchor of the steadfast and completely consistent teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, I believe that hoards of Protestants will come back home to the Rome over the next few decades. Their own private sects will deteriorate to such point that their consensus ‘doctrine’ will become distorted enough to directly contrast against their singular, clear rule of law, the Bible. They will not be able to reconcile this distortion in the hearts, nor psyche, nor with their God. The Roman Catholic Church will be their safe harbor providing them with timeless authority, stability and security that will let them practice their Christian religion consistently in accordance with their beliefs for the rest of their lives.
Post Note: After writing this I came across an article from our friends at the National Catholic Register. The National Catholic Register has reported that "discussions at the Vatican on devising a possible structure for Traditional Anglican Communion to come into communion with Rome are understood to be nearing completion." The membership of this church consists of 400,000 people.
Monday, June 9, 2008
From starting off with very worthwhile talk shows touching the important issues of the day, Oprah has now deteriorated in lockstep with the current topics of her talk show. For example, on June 9th, she is interviewing a transsexual pregnant man. This topic is nothing shocking in recent Oprah scheduling of topics.
What makes her so dangerous, other than her recent efforts to deteriorate our culture with her immoral show topics, is the intimate relationship of trust that she has established with her viewers across America. Oprah has a unique talent of being one of the richest women in America, but she is never perceived in any other way than a commoner among us, a best friend. Lucille Ball also had this talent. With this talent, and trust, America’s defense shields are lowered when she speaks and her views are more freely accepted.
For instance, our ‘best friend’ launched the possible Presidency of Barac Obama, one of the most extreme liberal candidates that we ever had run for the office of President. The National Journal rated Obama as the most liberal Senator on Capitol Hill in 2007, with a rating of 95.5 (as a point of comparison H.R. Clinton scored an 82.8). Obama never met a fetus he liked. Without Oprah’s endorsement, it is my opinion, Obama would not have come from obscurity to become the Democratic nominee. Obama will be very indebted to her and will always take her calls.
In another area of concern, a few years back, she had Kirstie Alley (former star of the sitcom Cheers) appear on her show twice, I believe, in one season. Kirstie Alley’s career at the time was as dead as Julius Caesar. What could possibly warrant having her on twice, I thought to myself? More incredibly, in March of this year, Oprah signed this washed-up actress to a production contract for a potential of a daytime talk show. What could be the rationale of this?
The puzzle pieces started falling in line when Tom Cruise had his couch episode on her show. Then the Travolta’s sat on her talk couch, with Kelly Preston announcing to the world "Scientology ROCKS!" Fresh Prince Will Smith is also always at hand as a close friend, and Lisa Marie Presley sings on her show to the dismay of the all the neighborhood dogs…
Then it clicked. It is my opinion that Oprah is a Scientologist, whether formalized or otherwise. All the people mentioned above, her closest of friends, are all Scientologists. But guilt by association never holds up in court so we will move a little closer to a smoking gun. On a taping of her show, Oprah was caught wearing a shirt with a large cross printed on it, with a small "X" in the center. This is the symbol of Scientology.
A few months back, she started a viewer-participation program on her show, similar to a Book-of-the-Month-Club. This "club" involved New Age spirituality webinars with the undertones of Scientology. 500,000 people showed up for the course. A half a million souls led astray.
Eckhart Tolle, the author of the New Age book A New Earth, co-piloted this venture. Here are a few of his quotes from the past years:
"All religions are equally false and equally true, depending on how you use them," and "Man made God in his own image" suggesting that we internally define what we think God is (this also overlaps into Moral Relativism, but that is another blog). Not considering the fact that He, Himself, has defined Himself to us though the Old Testament, incarnation, gospels, crucifixion and resurrection, Tolle’s thought is completely in error because he is saying that the creation defines the Creator. This is completely impossible since the Creator pre-dated his creation and a totally absurd thought. How many of the 500,000 Oprah-supplied souls do you think bought this lunacy? Maybe more than half?
Currently, Oprah is also promoting the teaching of New Age writer Marianne Williamson who is giving a course on "miracles" at Oprah.com. She is on record saying, "There is no sin," and a "slain Christ has no meaning." If you look at these quotes carefully, the first quote damns all those who believe it. The second quote prevents all those poor souls that were damn from the first quote from ever finding their salvation. These quotes are so well orchestrated to permanently trap souls with never a way out, they must have originated from a diabolic source. This is Oprah’s gospel and it is spreading it through all her media channels into our welcoming homes.
Oprah’s has had many titles in her life: talk show host, actress, publisher, author and production company mogul. One that you should add to the list is "Misguider of Souls". For all these poor, longing souls looking for some peace and searching for an eternal truth this ‘best friend’ is definitely the most dangerous woman in America, possibly the most dangerous woman in all eternity for them.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
[On how to approach parenthood:]
"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action. "
"Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."
"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. "
"In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love. "
"There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in - that we do it to God, to Christ, and that's why we try to do it as beautifully as possible."
"The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it."
"Many people mistake our work for our vocation. Our vocation is the love of Jesus."
[On the challenge of persevering as a Catholic parent]
"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. "
"I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness."
[And at the end of the day when everyone is sleeping we must connect with God….]
"We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls."
…ending with a prayer…
"Sweetest Lord, make me appreciative of the dignity of my high vocation, and its many responsibilities. Never permit me to disgrace it by giving way to coldness, unkindness, or impatience."
…and seeing the humor]
" I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Yaweh was a very stern God who would strike down your enemies down and let you wander 40 years in the desert if you made a mistake. The kind God in the New Testament - - who was the same exact God -- was a loving Father, and through his Son told us to love our enemies. He was a God who allowed what was most dear to Him to be sacraficed for our mistakes.
I once had a college professor try to offer an explanation. He said that in the Old Testament we were in our infancy stage with God and he treated us as such, like toddlers. Don’t touch the outlet, don’t go in the street, you will be severely punished and have to sit on the couch if you do what you are thinking. He said by the time the New Testament came along, we had grown up and our relationship with God advanced lovingly to where our parent became more of a trusted friend and confidant.
This made somewhat sense to me, but once again the words of St. Jean Vianney brought me closer to what was the true answer. He directed me to the exact beginning of the New Testament for the time when God’s temperament changed.
He said God’s anger was "hanging over our heads like a sword ready to strike us down, [but] as soon as the Holy Virgin appeared upon this earth, his anger was appeased." He saw the level of perfection that his creation could achieve, a creature than would never disobey, betray or disappoint Him; there the Virgin Mother stood in front of Him. Once again, His anger was "appeased." His temperament was changed.
Vianney tells of the special relationship that the Trinity has with this perfect human creation:
God views the Blessed Mother as the masterpiece of his creation that He made with his own hands. He takes great pride in her because it is His work done to absolute perfection.
The Son takes pleasure in the heart of Mary, from which He drew his mortal blood (the Blessed Mother provided the mortal makeup to Christ). He used this blood He received from her to "ransom" it for us so that we might be reconciled to the Father.
And The Holy Spirit considers the Blessed Mother His temple, a place of His dwelling, because He conceived with in her.
These beautiful insights from St. Jean Vianney really reinforces why we venerate the Blessed Mother, and why she will never be refuse any request she makes on our behalf in the presence of God.
So the next time you are watching The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston and see Yaweh striking down Israel’s enemies in the Red Sea, venerate Our Blessed Mother. Because of her we were not next.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
This news piece had a teacher in Sichuan, China, reacting to a natural disaster:
“A secondary school teacher has set himself dramatically against the tales of heroism arising from the Sichuan earthquake by describing how he callously abandoned his pupils to their fate.
In an act of moral foolhardiness, Fan Meizhong set out on a blog his guiding principle: in matters of life and death, it's every man for himself.”
This story drew stark contrast for me remembering the story of the famous Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Galveston, TX, reacting to their natural disaster:
(Please note all the children mentioned were orphans; that these nuns took in when they had no one and as you will see, cared for them as their own.)
“By nightfall, 150 mile an hour [hurricane] winds howled and the sisters took desperate measures.
They had cut the clothesline down and each sister had about six or eight children tied to her side like mountain climbers. In this way, they had hoped to hold on to the children and lead them to safety.
Their efforts were to no avail. Eventually, the girls dormitory collapsed, dumping 93 children and 10 sisters into the raging waters. Only three boys, who clung to a tree, survived. When the bodies of the others were discovered, many were still tied together.
One of the [surviving] boys remembered a sister tightly holding two small children in her arms, promising not to let go... Two of the sisters [bodies]were found together across the bay on the mainland. One of them was tightly holding two small children in her arms. Even in death she had kept her promise not to let go.”
So the next time someone breaks out a joke about ruler-toting nuns, asked them if they know all the uses for a clothesline.
May these nuns rest in God's mercy, and may God bless all the nuns whose lives center around serving Christ by bringing his love to others.
Monday, June 2, 2008
On July 12, 1986, New York City police officer, Steven McDonald was shot three times by a fifteen-year-old boy during, what seem to be, a routine stop in Manhattan's Central Park.
One bullet shattered his spine and left Officer McDonald paralyzed from the neck down. It is generally accepted that Steven McDonald is the most seriously injured New York City policeman who ever has survived his injuries in the history of the city's police force.
Det. McDonald has publicly, and in his heart, offered this teenager his personal forgiveness for this cruel act and now spends his time speaking to groups of people advocating a pressing need our society has; a need to embrace forgiveness.
Since this life-altering day, Steven McDonald, residing in Malverne, NY, has become somewhat of a celebrity in the Metro New York area. Here is his uplifting, beautiful story told first-hand and definitely worth your time to read: http://thelife.com/lifestories/endviolence.html
My local news station recently did a special report on Steven McDonald, who leads an annual pilgrimage of disabled children to Lourdes every year.
I was very taken back with Det. McDonald's humility and kindness during the special. He lives his Faith under extremely difficult conditions. During this show he said (paraphrasing), "I am not one to quote scripture (his humility), but when Christ raised Lazarus it was told of Lazarus’ death-causing illness: "This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it." In essence conveying that his immense suffering since this horrible event was all to glorify his God.
To see this man who can not move from the neck down, and is always accompanying by breathing apparatus, verbally frame his suffering in line with the message of Christ's Gospel has truly elevated Det. McDonald to a witness for his Faith.
More admirably, Det. McDonald, from his life in an isolated wheelchair, has been a strong public voice AGAINST embryonic stem cell research, once again serving as a true witness for his Catholic Faith. More importantly, he provided a juxtaposition and neutralized the celebrity appeal of Christopher Reeves who called for bold advancements in this "culture of death" research. Through this, Det. McDonald filled a very critical, and very vital, public void. He, through the moral authority of his wheelchair, said that a solution of destroying some members of the human family to benefit others is morally wrong, and therefore not the answer.
A blog posting does not have sufficient space to write about this great man's inspirational life. But I wanted to convey that the television special on McDonald evoked an emotional response in me when I saw this witness for our Faith.
As Christ told us the Kingdom of God is at hand! With this, I also believe that there are saints "walking" in our midst. I would never dare speak for the Vatican who has the final decision on such matters, nor would I want not to give Det. McDonald his due, but the possibility lends itself to the title of this post.
"Before I was shot I had not been very committed to my faith. The shooting changed that. I feel close to heaven today in a way I never knew before, and it makes me very happy. I know it may be hard to understand, but I would rather be like this and feel the way I do, than go on living like I was before." - S. McDonald