Catholic population and church attendance
I posted this comment on Amy Welborns blog - The American Church
Did anyone else notice that Catholics do not make up a majority in Church attendance anywhere? The highest is 46.3%
The numbers come up a little differently when you ask folks what they "claim" as their religion regardless of attendance. There are places in south Louisiana where the population is certainly over 50% Catholic and likely WELL over 50%.
I have a theory ... will expound later.
See Jimmy Akin on the subject of Catholic population
Take up your cross and follow me
I made the following statements yesterday in a conversation with my wife. "When in a relationship with another person you have to realize that your actions affect them. When looking at a choice of actions you then have to ask yourself 'Which action requires me to sacrifice and which allows me to be selfish'"
In a round about way all I was saying was Luke 9:23
Then he said to all, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
Almost every interaction in life with others requires the choice to be selfish or to sacrifice. For example, at work I have flex hours which means I can show up at some strange hour in the morning and leave at some strange hour sometime in the afternoon or evening. If I wanted to sleep in every morning, I could get to work at 10am and it wouldn't be a problem. However, this snowballs quickly when I realize that I have to miss dinner in order to fit the appropriate amount of work in during the day. Also, our customers get to work between 7 and 8 am. It is in their best interest that I be at work during a time frame conducive to them contacting me. Do I like getting up? Not really. I am still a teenager in there somewhere. I would sleep til noon if I wanted to be utterly selfish about it. Do I like fighting through traffic with the rest of the working world? Not really. Driving to work at 5am or 10am is much better because there is virtually no traffic. Do I like, for all practical purposes, giving up my flex-hours benefit? No but I am thankful I have the option when my family really needs me. The simple sacrifice of being where people expect me, when they expect me makes the lives of all of my co-workers and clients that much easier. The right choice to make is sacrifice even if the sacrifice doesn't seem all that big.
Christ asks us to take the radical step of following Him and that means down the path of His Passion as well. Take up your cross and follow Him, even in the little things.
Catholics Negatively Influencing Family Planning
Still in blogging lite mode ... Catholics Negatively Influencing Family Planning - Witola
Witola said the natural family planning required full participation from both partners and was not ideal, as evidenced by the many children in the district.
"The Catholic Church here has a large following, and because of its influence, people are not using family planning pills," he said.
reading AllAfrica.com. There are lots of Catholics in Africa who BELIEVE
the Church for all of the right reasons. What really gets me is the part I have in bold above ... as if this is a BAD
thing?!?! I doubt I am the only one who has a hard time feeling sorry for folks who see the pitter patter of little feet as a real problem.
The Catholic Church will be rejuvenated by Catholic parents raising large numbers of faithful Catholics, especially in a world whose view is so diametrically opposed as to make it difficult on those parents to do so. I lift a glass to these parents and rejoice in encouraging them to be fruitful and multiply ...
Like Mother Theresa said ... "Saying there are too many children is like saying there are too many flowers"
Apple Announces Switch to Intel Chips
OK, so I had to blog these items
I love stories like thisCouple Celebrates 80th Wedding Anniversary
but not like thisBail condition bars bride from altar
- this is an incredibly strange story.
Renounce your mmbership in SMMMHDH by learning how to Make Your Own Bad Church MusicLord, we just, we just thank you for this food
- a criticism of extemporanous prayer that actually tends to be exactly the same every time it is said.
BTW, I bought a bowling ball yesterday. Today I will go see if I still remember how to bowl.
Finally, it looks like there is a good chance for a significant tornado outbreak today. People in these areas, please heed local warnings.
Now, I want you to notice how on they were with the tornado predictions.
Taking a break from blogging - http://www.earlychurchfathers.com
I am going to be blogging less frequently. The main website that we host is starting to get some traffic and there are some things that need to be done to get it into tip top shape.
Please help us out by visitiing the site and telling everyone you know about it.
Below is a picture of St. Athanasius. Along with St. John Chrysostom, St. Athanasius is a doctor of the Church and one of my favorite saints.
I love any guy called the Father of Orthodoxy.
Anyway, both of these saints are prominently featured on WWW.EARLYCHURCHFATHERS.COM which is the host site that my blog operates on.
I take no shame in plugging the site. I represents a great deal of work from myself and many friends of mine. I collected many of these quotes during my journey back into the Catholic Church and the tireless work of others has added to and brought the site to where it is today. (For kicks, if you want to see what it used to look like click here)
Initially, I wanted a simple chart to refute the many nonsense dates I heard about when Catholic teachings were "invented". I think the main page does a very good job at demonstrating this. The remainder of the site simply collects further evidence to support the claim in subsequent years usually leading up to the end of the patristic age. I think it is useful and an exciting look into the historical teachings of the Church. I hope you enjoy it as well.
Things to vent about - my lunch reading for today
"LOVE" AND "TOLERANCE": TWO WORDS THAT OFTEN CONFLICT WITH AUTHENTIC CATHOLIC TEACHING
For example, the love and tolerance clergy and most of the liturgical rebels of the 1970's spread a false saying which was often seen on colorful church banners that "Jesus Loves You Just the Way You Are." That's not true. Our Lord Jesus Christ is Saviour and Redeemer. He isn't Big Bird or Barney the Dinosaur!!! Although He loves us, He loves us in such a way that He hates our sins and wants us to come out of our current sinful inclination and enter into a life of holiness and humility so that we may enter Eternal Life.Home schooling? Some resources for math ... and summer fun French Catholic woman plans ‘illicit’ ordinationThe Myth of Free Sex and Our Responsibility
both contraception and abortion are requirements of a culture that preaches “free love,” since they are necessary to get away from the realities of the sexual act (it is so powerful that it can produce the fruit of love – a child shared by two people).Two Great Conversion StoriesClinton Catholics lament the loss of city's historic churchesEnd Nears for Latin Mass at Boston ChurchNo Room For Dissent?Catholics split on embryo adoption“Yes, the Church is Alive!” Path to Rome 2005, London, England
I saved the most positive looking article for last because it looks like the rest, save the homeschooling article, might put me in a bad mood ... must ... remember ... "the gates of hell will not prevail"
Ideas: ECF blog, Catholic Evidence Index and Catholic IT group
I have had a couple of ideas in the past that I would like to see come to fruition.
The first idea
is a blog on contemporary issues "from" the Early Church fathers.
For example, when something in the news happens related to abortion, St. John Chrysostom can chime in with the following
Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit? where there are many efforts at abortion? where there is murder before the birth? for even the harlot thou dost not let continue a mere harlot, but makest her a murderess also. You see how drunkenness leads to whoredom, whoredom to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather to a something even worse than murder. For I have no name to give it, since it does not take off the thing born, but prevent its being born. Why then dost thou abuse the gift of God, and fight with His laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter? For with a view to drawing more money by being agreeable and an object of longing to her lovers, even this she is not backward to do, so heaping upon thy head a great pile of fire. For even if the daring deed be hers, yet the causing of it is thine. Hence too come idolatries, since many, with a view to become acceptable, devise incantations, and libations, and love-potions, and countless other plans. Yet still after such great unseemliness, after slaughters, after idolatries, the thing seems to many to belong to things indifferent, aye, and to many that have wives too. Whence the mingle (forutos) of mischief is the greater. For sorceries are applied not to the womb that is prostituted, but to the injured wife, and there are plottings without number, and invocations of devils, and necromancies, and daily wars, and truceless fightings, and home-cherished jealousies.
The writer for each Father needs to know the writings of the author well enough to fill in the blanks with what the Father might further conclude were he alive today.
The second idea
is a web wide apologetics index based on the Catholic Evidence Training Outlines
. Essentially I would like to get a group of lay apologists to research the topics and even write essays where information is thoroughly lacking. For external links, I would want the apologists who have access to the index to RATE and REVIEW the link to determine whether the content is sufficient to handle the question (read through the link I provided to see what I mean by questions ...) ... The index would be public. Everyone could read it. However, I would want to screen those who had access to add and rate things. I wouldn't exactly want folks who are against the Church teaching on contraception rating and reviewing articles supporting that Church teaching. Finally
, I am really starting to see the need for a group of Catholic I.T. professionals that are networked. There are tons of resources that SHOULD be available online which are not. For example, there are numerous ECF writings that are not accessible online. Ideally I would like to have all translations recommended by Jurgens available online (where the copyright would allow such) ... that would make the job of linking to important yet somewhat obscure ECF writings online possible. Also, I personally have access to many of Cardinal Newmans letters at the university library. Those should also be online as I gather they would offer a wealth of wonderous Catholic snippets.
Anyway, if any of you like my ideas or have any desire to take any of them and run with it ... contact me
. I figure it wouldn't hurt to at least get the ideas in to more heads than just mine.
No kissing before you get married
From the how far is too far files:
I hear young people ask the "how far is too far" question a lot yet I never hear any adults given them a straight shooting answer. Here is what I wrote about it on DCF
OK, I am going to sound like a total prude here, but I think this is something that should wait for a very long time, like the wedding. The physical aspect of marraige is the ICING on the cake. I know the temptation to lick the bowl, or swash your finger in the icing is pretty high, but lets get things straight, we all know that waiting to eat the completed cake is preferable to any alternative.
Besides, I think we are treading on thin ground here, as we all know that kissing leads to other things and there is little doubt that it gets you physically aroused. My understnading of 'openness' to life is that once the process has begun, we should give ourselves totally to our spouse. That isn't fully possible until you are married. Don't even take the risk at being in a compromising situation where the area is gray. Besides, you certainly shouldn't be considering how well someone kisses as a factor in choosing a spouse. .
All of it can wait and in my opinon, that is the optimal way to do it. Give yourself TOTALLY to your spouse and only your spouse.
I wrote this over a year ago and after hacking and various other things should have caused it to fall away into the abyss of old forum posts, there it was preserved in its original state. It caused a mild stir ... it is pretty radical after all. Now you have read it too and I still stand by it.
Mild vent on the cost of kids
MSN Money - Raising your quarter-million dollar baby
OK, this may be a perfectly innocent article but what it seems like it is telling me is that I had better watch out because having any more kids is gonna cost me. After all, we can't have that now can we? The bottom line IS, after all, the most important thing in our lives ... right? This is the kind of information people use to justify using birth control for convenience by claiming that their sacrifice would be just too demanding.
Uhhh, yeah ... demanding is an understatement and I wouldn't trade it for all the money in the world.
I also have some problems with their insisting there is no scaling. That isnt what I see on a daily basis. At a minimum, housing and food go down on a per child basis with more. My parents rasied 6 kids in a 1200 sq. ft. home. You don't have to double the size of your home from 1500 to 3000 sq. ft just because you have a second child. The same scaling affects affording private schools because of multi-child discounts. When you have a child, you sacrifice to afford them. Most people think not being able to afford that Lexus is too much of a sacrifice for their kids. I see it all the time with parents who care more about their stuff than their kids. The keeping up with the Joneses mentality at "first birthday" parties is unreal. Some of the best and most lavish parties I have ever been to were for one year olds. Sell the car and give your child another sibling. "The greatest gift you can give your child is another sibling" JP II ... he is right you know?
I have had 1,2 and 3 kids and I know they are not costing me $1200/mo EACH. I would be paying housing, about 70% of food etc even without them. Another thing, their idea of large family is 3 kids ... my idea is 15. When you get above 2, you get economy of scale savings making their cost per go down. For example, we dont buy many new clothes for Gabe and we buy used kids clothes for all of them. Kids are certainly a sacrifice and my comfort level is inconsequential when it comes to affording them. If they come, I have noticed, you adapt and find a way to joyfully afford them. People are wimps to think that children are a problem because they cost money. When you choose parenthood you choose sacrifice, even with one child. I sold my gear and hardly buy things for myself any more. Its WAY worth it.
Some notes on EENS and what Catholics need to say vs. what they can believe
EENS = Extra ecclesia nulla salus = There is no salvation outside the Church
In my experience with discussions on EENS this is what I typically see:
Most people fly off the handle ... Some want to damn everyone to hell and others want to open the door wide to indifferentism. Everyone walks away hurt and worse, confused about what the Church teaches.
The extreme ends of both positions can be dangerous precipices to wander near and most of the various positions that people hold are within the realm of speculation allowed to be held by the Church, which is why we get wide variance in belief and mostly hurt feelings when talking about them.
The best best simplistic formulation I have seen is as follows (note, this is not official teaching
but an agreed upon summary by a group of Catholics debating the matter):
Catholics are required to hold that only members of the Catholic Church will be saved. Catholics are required to hold that a form of membership in the Catholic Church is membership through baptism, whether by by water, blood, or desire. Catholics are required to hold that only God's mercy allows salvation and that no human being can know with infallible certainty whether or not God has extended that mercy to any particular human being unless a particular human being has been properly canonized. Catholics may speculate that baptism by blood or desire can be obtained by those who have no explicit knowledge of the Church, and such individuals may include those who have an utterly distorted knowledge of the Church.
For Catholics we need to understand this. Most Catholics hold a viewpoint that is quite merciful but to say that is the definitive teaching of the Church is going a bit far. The same holds true for those holding to a near Feeneyite position on the matter. There is a key issue that must not be overlooked. It is erroneous for us say that it is not
important to be Catholic and that is where the problems arise in formulations of EENS which try to include more than the teachings of the Church allow. For example, what I PERSONALLY believe about the scope of the invincibly ignorant has no bearing on reality. It is not my opinion on the matter that counts.
As Catholics, we need to explain what the Church teaches in ITS OWN TERMS, leaving in all of the vague qualities that exist in them because within that vagueness is a very uncomfortable hard-line that not many of us really like to talk about but cannot
exclude.... yet. I understand the point of traditionalists who want to hold to a strict teaching on the matter. It would be tragic of us to give people false hope. There is a true Church and we can know which one it is. At a minimum we must implore our friends to diligently seek the truth. Sacred Scripture promises that those who seek will
find. It is vital that urgency never be lost in discussions on EENS. The dogma states clearly that there is no salvation outside the church. We shouldn't spend so much time on what seem like technicalities to wish all of our seperated brethren end up in the Church when the more certain route is active acceptance of the truth of Catholicism and nothing less.
It is also important that it be made clear that the mercy of God is what we are trusting here. We should present the faith, unhindered by our opinions and commit ourselves and our seperated brethren to the mercy of God.
I built a Lego church tonight
It wasn't that I was bored. I built something similar to an arch for my son and I had a vision. It isn't pretty because I only have 1200 blocks so there is a green wall, a yellow wall, a blue wall etc. I will try to take some pictures of it and post it at some point.
Now that I think about it, the diocese of Oakland should have hired me. I could have designed a traditional looking church using "modern" loooking modules that resemble Legos. I am sure it would have been a hit with the modernist crowd and I could have fit in all of those nice structures that those of us who are more traditional tend to like.
How to Save the Church of Rome
After months of reading articles about the declining Church and what we, as Catholics, can do to save it, a dose of humor on the matter ... Fredericksburg.com - Catholics, stay with me and I'll tell you how to grow your church
FRIENDS of the papist persuasion, I'm delighted to present the latest installment of this newspaper's Continuing Lecture Series, "How to Save the Church of Rome." With a heritage of 20 centuries and more than a billion adherents worldwide, Roman Catholicism, it's plain to see, is hanging by a thread. We, your fellow Christians, are happy to ride to the rescue.
Aggressive tones and some ramblings on the electronic scene
Excerpts from Music: ramblings
I don't know when it happened, but sometime in the 90's, electronic music began to be harsh. People wanted buzzing, somewhat violent noises; they wanted their synthesisers to scream, instead of sing. Notes flew in like knives, and the whirl of machinery turned not strong, and not even quite sinister, but razor-sharp; blood was never far, and it might be your own. Voices were not enhanced but distorted and mangled; the faces behind the music were no longer strong or happy, but mean and even bestial; they worked for the expressions of harpies, and sang for chromium-plated blades.
To a degree I have to wonder if this is an overreaction to the feminization of men in our culture. First off, men dominate electronic music. Men, as a whole, tend to like things offering a strong and manly image because it is in their nature to act that image. For decades our generation of men have listened to many giving voice to the lie that men are taught this strong nature. Instead of handing us footballs and G.I. Joe, we are supposed to kick back and EZ-Bake with the girls down the street. Men are not taught maleness. It is a gift from God and it needs to be nurtured, practiced and perfected in the image of Christ. In the disco days and immediately following, you had men who were willing to create songs that were beautiful, but many of them were devoid of the final touch that makes music most appealing to men. The songs were effeminized. Without God and without a strong male culture in electronic music, the experiments of most were doomed to obscurity because it wasn't there yet.
Clearly some men saw the manliness missing from the disco era and they strove to find it. Unfortunately there is a corrupt and false imitation of the manliness that I am talking about, and I think that is what you are seeing in the music you are calling harsh.
The easiest way to accomplish the false image of strong manliness is through simplistic but overtly aggressive rhythm, dirty or even unabashedly ugly sounds and dull yet driving and repetitive compositional structures designed solely to arouse animal angst. It seems the part but it is quite the opposite. The music is offensive to every aspect of the well-formed sense of beauty. It is ugly. It is intellectually shallow. It is disturbingly aggressive, with lyrical content focused on things of a perverse sexual nature and often times including elements of violence either physical or, at a minimum, towards the truth. That is why it bothers you. It offends every element in you that is perfected in Christ and it offends the desires in your heart for the things He has yet to perfect in you. It offends the Truth.
For the Christian, the well formed male artist can manifest this latent desire of men into songs with powerful rhythms, complex melodies and intricate logical composition and combine them with lyrical content promoting strong values like physical sacrifice and perseverance. Men are drawn to those qualities because they imitate Christ. Some of what you listen to embodies that to a degree because, as all are impressed with the natural law in our hearts, even secular artists have access to much of this by default. This typically shows up most clearly in instrumentation as opposed to lyrics, which is why I have trained myself to listen to lyrics last. (not always a good thing) -- Good instrumentation combined with content in conflict with the Truth doesn't give us enough because its focus is all-wrong.
There are many things which people associate with my little corner of music that I detest. Disco has homosexuality and effeminacy, electronica has the smarmy, oiled Euro-trash, and now this horror of evil lurking in every mix I hear. And how can I tell people that I make electronic dance music, when the words conjure visions of dark rooms with flashing lights and the incessant thump-thump-thump of the overwrought four-on-the-floor, punctuated with the sounds of the devil's own drilling machinery? Who in their right mind would want to be part of that? It is a roller-coaster gone insane: it is insane.
Insane it is. I went to a couple of raves before they had really hit this side of the Atlantic. It was fun. All of the people there were about the music. It reinforced my errant view of what it is about for most people. You had radio DJ's like myself and club DJ's and most of them were not "scene" people. They were music people. They suffered from the same naive affliction that I had. Several years later I went to a show in Gainesville Florida. In the past I would spend time in a club and be utterly shocked when people seeming to have a good time divided into warring factions competing in a violent brawl. I tossed those evidences aside as the exception and not the norm. I figured they didn't care for the music like I did. I was looking for God in the music. I was looking for good and that is all I wanted to see. The ones who didn't care for the music were there to notch their next one-night stand. They assumed I was there for the same reason -- and every guy there was a threat to arouse this deep territorial animalist urge boiling within. My problem was that I refused to see evil when it was guiding me by the hand, urging me to take the plunge. My whole world came crashing down because the reality of the "scene" surrounding so much of what I enjoyed became abundantly clear. I saw first hand that it was about promiscuous sex, alcohol, drug abuse and violence. I saw more that night than I cared to see in 100 lifetimes. I was standing in hell and one bow to temptation may have hauled my soul down as a permanent fixture in it. Grace got me through that night with nothing more than a damaged vision of mankind and a bad hangover. My vision of "the scene" that was so intimately tied to "the music" was shattered in a giant heap of reality. Satan was there and I wanted no part of that.
I found it in the headphones: through them I saw a world of intense joy, even in intense sadness; a world in which I could be alive, and could be myself; this is Art, the gift of music, which God made for man. All the facade is stripped away; all the half-truths and compromises gone; and what remains is Reality, and a glimpse of the face of God. Those people who think they see only evil in this genre have not heard or understood the true manifestation of it. The music I love is the good and unpolluted thing, and they have heard only its perversion. And I do not apologise for being attracted to the good. And if any credit is due me at all, it is only for having wanted to follow God. Praise Him, and follow Him too.
Despite my vision of the scene being shattered I knew that I loved the music for all of the right reasons. I preferred instrumentals because they shielded me from the Godless lyrics that accompanied so much of electronic music. I always dreamed that one day there would be a Christian electronic artist. The first one I heard disappointed me to all ends. It was simply samples of the album “Frequencies” by LFO with over-dubbing of mumbled Sacred Scripture and extemporaneous prayer. The musical innovation was LFO. The samples were virtually entire songs. Why would I go for the imitation, even spiced up with the Truth when deep down the music itself was such a blatant rip as to be a total lie? The two were simply not compatible.
I have experienced nearly physical pain at masses with bad music. This means that going to mass at all is a struggle for me, since nearly all of them have bad music; the last mass I attended with good music was a midnight Christmas mass three years ago. I have refrained from communion more than once for the pain and rage in my soul at the musicians who blindly and stupidly wreck the moment for me. God forgive them: for they know not what they do. But this is my weakness: and it is nevertheless objectively not good. It is a bad weakness, for were I a saint, I could make a sacrifice of praise at all times, even when assailed by the typical music of modern masses here in America
I see you joined the club man. Camp tunes do not induce right and reverent worship. God deserves the best. You know that and I know that. It shouldn't be such a secret.
And I praise Him, therefore: I praise Him! To God be all the glory! Soli Deo gloria!
Please make sure to read Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to Artists, 1999 Pope Clement VIII on coffee
Believing it was the drink of the devil, invented by Satan for the Moslem infidels as a substitute for the wine they were forbidden to drink, Catholic priests attacked it and forbade its consumption.This is the calling of the Catholic electronic musician: "It would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it" ... we must baptize it in the name of the Lord.
Since wine in the Western Christian world was sanctified by Christ and used in Holy Communion, coffee must then be of the anti-Christ.
It wasn't until the late 1500's that Pope Clement VIII settled the dispute. He asked that the brew be brought before him. Intrigued by its powerful aroma, he sipped the coffee and found it to be delicious. The Pope blessed it on the spot, saying, "Coffee is so delicious it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it." With the Pope's blessing, imports of coffee to Italy and the Western world came flooding in, paving the way for the first western coffee houses.
Finally caught up on my reading list - here you go
Fr. Al Kimel on Pontifications has been posting some excellent reading on conversion by G. K. Chesterton:“Finding the Catholic Church”“A religion that is right where we are wrong”“If the Church be not Christ it probably is Antichrist”“Paganism was the largest thing in the world and Christianity was larger”The Curt Jester: The Cafeteria is now Open!Christianity is on the rise in Africa
- We knew that and it is the reason why what Americans see as "the Church" has little in common with the reality of the present day Catholic Church. I have a feeling, if any of us were to attend mass in Africa, we would be pleased with the orthodoxy, excited by the vibrant zeal and shamed at how our culture has allowed itself to be infested with the fungus of indifference and secularism. The medicine in our country is Christ. The cure can be seen in Africa.The Curt Jester: A divide"Abortions rising under Bush? Not true," says FactCheck.Org Ratzinger on the Modern Mind
via Insight ScoopEpiscopal Church leaders praise new stem cell research bill
via ut unum sint
Life is busy right now ... some personal notes
This is more about what has been happening over the last few days ...
We watched the documentary Word Wars
last night. I like to play Scrabble. I am nowhere near in the class of people who are generally members of the National SCRABBLE® Association
and last night I found out why I will never be super great at SCRABBLE®. I am OK with that ...
Work has been super busy although things are calming down and there is a three day weekend coming up so plan to see more of the things I want to mention on my blog in the next few days. Here are some items I plan to blog on soon.
1. The Cost of Kids
2. EENS: our opinions vs. what the Church teaches ... and why those outside the Church need to know ONLY what the Church teaches and not our opinions.
3. I want to respond to a music post from Nothing in Particular
4. Blogging around blogging around dah daaahh Blogging around Blogging around dah daaaahh ... Another "must reads" post
6. ECF blog idea
Michael, you will get a kick out of this -- I was driving to work yesterday and at a red light I reached back behind my seat looking for some change and managed to find a CD. It was 808 State - Don Solaris. It has been in my CD player ever since and will likely stay there for several more days.
Why liberal Catholics think authority is repressive
Why liberal Catholics think authority is "repressive" - Philip Blosser
Once again, why must the Church seem opposed to "open debate," "balance," and "free thinking"? Simple: because Church teaching condemns what is opposed to its teaching--including homosexuality, contraception, abortion, as well as the dissent and confusion promoted by the liberal editorial bias of Reese in a publication ostensibly representing a religious order of the Church. Since the Church stands for something (orthodoxy and orthopraxy), it can't help opposing something (whatever is opposed to orthodoxy and orthopraxy).
Would it make sense for Orthodox Judaism to promote Buddhism? Would it make sense for the Unitarian Universalist Association to promite belief in the divinity of Christ? Would it make sense for the Japanese Shinto religion to promote the Muslim belief in the Prophet Mohammed? Of course not. Neither does it make sense to expect the Catholic Church to promote views inimical to her own traditional doctrines. Granted, what self-styled liberal Catholics want is to promote a revisionist re-interpretation of what "Catholicism" means. But of course they should hardly be surprised, then, when the Church resists their efforts to denature her teaching.
I will touch on this later. I think there are a few other things that must be mentioned, first and foremost that many liberal Catholics do not believe the Church is a divine institution. It would be hard to dissent from the teachings of Christ if you really believed they were said teachings.
Nazism and Margaret Sanger from Salvation is from the Jews
The end of a sub section of the book I am currently reading ends with the following statement as a conclusion:
Associating the holocost with a Christian ethic is exactly backwards. The extermination of the Jews by the Third Reich did not flow out of Christianity, but out of a philosophy directly opposed to Christianity and all that it stands for, one introduced by Darwimism and epitomized in our country by Planned Parenthood and Margaret Sanger. The holocost owed nothing to the principles of "Christianity"; it owed everything to the principles of Margaret Sanger and "Planned Parenthood".
There is strong evidence to support this assertion.
Now that you are interested, why don't you purchase the book and read it? Salvation is from the Jews
by Roy Schoeman
News roundup: Catching Up with Full Circle
Lots of things I failed to blog about in recent days ... here they are, in no particular orderNew cathedral in Oakland, California
I have decided to reserve judgment for the total package but first impressions are not moving me ...
You know, sometimes I just want a statue of the BVM that looks like, well an actual woman, or of the loaves and fish that look like ... *gasp* .. loaves and fish. I am sick of having to stare at an abstract object for 3 hours to finally realize that it is supposed to represent Christ being the Light of all peoples. When I walk up to the cathedral in Baton Rouge, there are some abstract forms but there are stained glass windows that do not require so much thought to "get". They go together. I am sure I can think of better things to do with my contemplative time than try and figure out what some designer was getting at when he came up with a bishops hat looking cathedral. Yeah yeah ... OK after all this time, I get it. Now give me a crucifx will ya and not some abstract form that is supposed to make me think about thinking about what all of that sacrifice stuff means.
I would like to see what they do INSIDE the church. (Nevermind .... see Curt Jester post at the end of this section) My educated facilities lead me to think it will be more "deep" blob art and less detailed, realistic looking art designed to really make me feel like I am part of something truly special. Less dentist office. More Heaven.
Curt Jester has more pictures and a funny skewer of it in Not a parodyThe Curt Jester: You might be in a faith community if ...LEFTIST TO LEFT: I'm Leaving You
via JIMMY AKIN.ORGMost Catholics say church should support birth control
) - IN TEXAS that is. AP Wire : 05/23/2005 : Atheists say it's time to 'push back' fundamentalism
"We don't hate Christians," said David Fitzgerald, 40, an insurance broker and member of San Francisco Atheists. "People in this country are free to believe in whatever they want."
Nonetheless, during the Saturday night movie, the crowd booed and hissed when a photo of Pat Robertson was displayed on the screen.
Don't you just love the secular high virtue of tolerance?Legionaries of Christ press release
: There will be no reopening of accusations against the founder ... via ut unum sint
... confimed by LA TimesPriest claim set to shock Catholic Church
Actually, there is nothing new under the sun. This article tells us what we already knew. There are sinners in the church.According to this article
, Pope John Paul feared Bush was antichrist. From Insight Scoop
Check out this rockin photo ... Newsflash: Bush haters have lost it.
My own struggles with the people in the pew next to me
One of the last and strongest oppositions that I maintained against the Catholic Church had to do with the fruits of people that I saw all my life that called themsleves Catholic. I knew that the Catholic Church taught a high standard of morals but it did not seem that it translated very well into changed lives. Consider the following example from our Engaged Encounter weekend, which we attended prior to our marriage as Episcopalians:
(from the previous blog entry) there was a time when all of the couples sat in the round and a couple of questions were asked. The questions were about cohabitation and sex before marriage. The responses included
"I'll call you a liar if you say that you are not sleeping together before you get married"
"After all, you wouldn't buy a car without a test drive, I don't see why getting married is any different"
"We would be living together but my future father-in-law threatened to kill me if that happened"
"The everyday difficulties of life require us to live in sin"
and the gem of the evening.
"We are all sinning and know it but we know Jesus is going to forgive us anyway so what is the point"
Add to this my wife knowing a Catholic girl in college that maintained that "Mary would be at her wedding and that it didn't matter whether or not Jesus showed up" and intending on getting a divorce because "love doesn't last but about 7-10 years anyway" and we had seen a wide array of bad examples in our own lives. To add further damage to the matter we had numerous pro-choice Catholic politicians both in Louisiana and around the nation. The case for bad Catholics was overwhelming.
Three things changed my mind:First, meeting and reading about solid Catholics:
At first this was limited mostly to online since the majority of my contact with Catholics willing to talk about their faith was through message boards, blogs and web sites dedicated to defending the faith. There I met folks who were intelligent, lived their faith and who presented logical arguments in favor of the Catholic position rather than wilting under the fire of Bible zingers. I was so excited to see this. It let me know that solid Catholics existed. Also, I couldn't discount the lives of the saints and fantastic modern examples of pious Catholic living. How could I not see at a minimum Mother Theresa and Pope John Paul II?Second, reading a solid biblical defense of sinners being in the Church: On Sinners in the Church
Some select quotes
The parable of the wheat and weeds (cf. Matt. 13:24–30, 36–43) and wheat and chaff (cf. Matt. 3:12; Luke 3:17)Third, a dynamic unique to Catholicism:
Matthew 7:21–23 implies that there are many counterfeit believers
‘Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able’" (Luke 13:23–24).
Jesus himself rebukes six of the seven churches of Asia he addresses. Most scholars think that the book of Revelation was written no later than A.D. 100. Yet look at all the serious problems we already observe in these apostolic churches even before the last apostle (John) died
The Church then, as now, was riddled with problems: hypocrisy, lukewarmness, heterodoxy, fornication, idolatry
The dynamic I am referring to is best described by pointing out the WAY dispute is handled in the Church. If Catholics disagree with the Church, schism is simply not an option. Christ prayed, "that they may all be one" (John 17:20-23). Catholics understand and believe this very strongly. There are ways to handle dispute in the Church and it might take hundreds of years for a matter to be settled. Both the faithful and the dissident know this history. Meanwhile, I have to sit next to someone who disagrees with me, even on things I know have been settled for centuries. In the Catholic Church you have VOTF, Catholics for a Free Choice, The Rainbow Sash movement and a host of other groups that disagree with fundamental teachings in the Catholic Church. They typically remain in the Church despite their gross disagreements with Rome. Protestantism, on the other hand, contains a heritage of schism. "Here I stand" is the battle cry for one group of members in a church who have decided that a doctrine held by others in the church is unacceptable. When the matter reaches a certain boiling point, a new church is formed and doctrinally like-minded folks group together while leaving the remnants holding to the less favorable doctrine behind. The result is that the people in the pew next to you hold very similar doctrinal beliefs and tend to have similar standards of morality. It makes it appear as if where you went to church contained a minimum standard of folks that should call themselves Christian. Reality, paints a different picture, even in Protestantism. If you were to combine all Protestants, from the morally liberal all the way to the most pious of puritans, you would have something quite similar to what I see at mass every Sunday.
As I mentioned earlier, in the Catholic Church, I might be sitting next to a rainbow sasher. What that reminds me most is that I TOO am a sinner and that pride is my weakest link. Who am I, a lowly sinner, to judge one who is there presumably seeking the Truth. The Catholic Church is for the sick, the dying, the grossly sinful and the Holy too. Jesus came for ALL of them and while I may not like sitting next to a bored teenager defiantly clad in tight Abercrombie and Fitch clothes, there she is and Sunday after Sunday she hears Sacred Scripture and she participates in the Holy Sacrifice of the mass. Every day, that grace calls you to decision. My prayer should be that each day we all (my self included) accept that grace and follow Him, and never turn away from the Lord, our strength.
There is a reason you see a lot of little old ladies scooting around the parish every day, serving with every last ounce of life they have in them. They used to be that defiant young girl.
Society of St. Pius I and the Pontificator swims the Tiber
Two important things happened yesterday that I didn't have time to blog about. I still don't have much time right now but you HAVE to read them. Fr. Al Kimel, A.K.A "Pontificator" swims the Tiber
Second ... a large number of bloggers have really picked up with this movement. I must admit that I too am strongly considering joining The Society of St. Pius I
“To be any more Trad, you’d have to be Jewish”
I have two little boys and they are fascinated by elevators and car washes. That puts me in the not so unique position of trying to find videos of odd things. Seriously, would you expect a video showing these things? Well, the Internet being the fantastic thing that it is, has both (elevator (WM)
, car wash (Real)
The purpose of this post is to point out the dangers that face us on the Internet. Every once in a while a seemingly innocent web search hurls you headlong into the reality of sin in this world. You get less than one guess as to what type of videos come up with the search "car wash video" on Google. Fortunately they were labeled such that their content was obvious so I didn't unsuspectingly happen upon something I didn't want to see. I certainly don't want my kids happening upon that.
Feedburner neatness and some reads for this afternoon
Mother is rebuffed on rice Communion wafer
This is a matter of refusal to even try and understand the theology behind the matter. Several months ago when this was really heavy in the news, I did a brief search on NewAdvent for information about "Why wheat" ...
Here is the gist of what I came up with ...
The following was supposedly said by Ignatius of Antioch - "I am the wheat of Christ, and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of God." - Compare this to John 6 and the graphic language used to refer to the Eucharist. This similar quote is found in Irenaeus and Ignatius, Eusebius (referring to Irenaeus). Would the early Christians have seen this as analogous to the Eucharist itself?
Now, also consider the following from the first CE article
The valid material of the Eucharistic host is unadulterated wheat reduced to flour, diluted with natural water, and baked with fire.
Compare this to Matt 3:12 and consider it along with what I mentioned above.
Matt 3:12 - "His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Also consider baptism and its relation to the natural water used in the process of making the hosts.
The choice of wheat is far deeper than "Cause thats what Jesus used." The whole process is steeped in Sacred Scripture and Tradition. I think there are obvious parallels to our own sanctification that are at play here. In the first example, I see the idea of us being presented like the Eucharist to God and in the second I see the way that the bread is made to be the parallel to how the wheat and chaff will be treated with the unquenching fire.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much depth in the choice of wheat by Our Lord. The easier and correct solution is not to try and change the teachings of Jesus. She should allow her daughter to receive the Precious Blood, even if it doesn't fit her ideal. Despite much popular outcry in her favor, I have a hard time sympathizing with this woman and her plight because it seems more to me that she desires to change a 2000 year teaching rather than opt for a simple and valid solution. I know if I am hungry and someone offers me something I am deathly allergic to and a trans-fat laced medium fries from McDonalds, I would have to opt to receive the fries. It doesn't matter that I think they are not good for people at any age. In the state of intense hunger, they are a gift that maintains life. In that vein, I think it is a tragedy that her own desire to change things overrides the spiritual gift she is denying her daughter.
SourcesThe Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans CHAPTER IV Catholic Encyclopedia on hostsCatholic Encyclopedia on Altar breads Its in the Summa
<<First <Back | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | Next> Last>>
Sirach 38:1-15 - Doctors, medicines GOOD
1: Honor the physician with the honor due him, according to your need of him, for the Lord created him;
2: for healing comes from the Most High, and he will receive a gift from the king.
3: The skill of the physician lifts up his head, and in the presence of great men he is admired.
4: The Lord created medicines from the earth, and a sensible man will not despise them.
5: Was not water made sweet with a tree in order that his power might be known?
6: And he gave skill to men that he might be glorified in his marvelous works.
7: By them he heals and takes away pain;
8: the pharmacist makes of them a compound. His works will never be finished; and from him health is upon the face of the earth.
9: My son, when you are sick do not be negligent, but pray to the Lord, and he will heal you.
10: Give up your faults and direct your hands aright, and cleanse your heart from all sin.
11: Offer a sweet-smelling sacrifice, and a memorial portion of fine flour, and pour oil on your offering, as much as you can afford.
12: And give the physician his place, for the Lord created him; let him not leave you, for there is need of him.
13: There is a time when success lies in the hands of physicians,
14: for they too will pray to the Lord that he should grant them success in diagnosis and in healing, for the sake of preserving life.
15: He who sins before his Maker, may he fall into the care of a physician.