Showing posts with label God. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God. Show all posts

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Generosity of God


By Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.

(The Crossroads Initiative) “But that’s not fair!” Most parents have heard this phrase umpteen times. The notion of fairness also known as justice, is built into us. It makes us aware that each of us has certain rights that need to be respected.

But it also means that we each have duties. If others have the right to be paid for their work, those who benefit from that work have the duty to pay them. If others have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we have the duty not to let our pursuit of happiness infringe on their rights.

But we have to widen our perspective a bit. God, the creator of all, is responsible for all the blessings we enjoy. Life in this world was given to each of us as an undeserved, free gift. We have unequal physical talents, features, and abilities, plus diverse spiritual and intellectual gifts as well. They vary a lot from person to person, but what they all have in common is that they come as free gifts from God who didn’t have to create any of us.

This is the necessary background to fully understand a parable that at first shocks our sensibilities. Matthew (20:1-16) records a story of an employer who hires workmen to harvest grapes. He hires members of the crew at various times of the day, so that at the end of the day, some have only worked a few hours while others have worked all day long. There’s grumbling when everyone is paid the same standard day’s wage, regardless of how long they worked. To add insult to injury, those who started last got paid first. “No fair!”

Wait a minute. The master paid those who worked all day exactly what he told them they’d get. He just decided to be generous and pay everybody, even the latecomers, a full day’s wage. Justice does not preclude generosity.

The Pharisees thought that they had always done the will of God and deserved more than the rest, especially the rabble Jesus appeared to favor–including tax collectors and sinners. It roiled them to think that these Johnny-come-lately’s would sit along them in the Kingdom of God.

Truth be told, neither they, nor any of us, are really like the folks who consistently did the will of the Master, working uninterruptedly at the assigned task. Our assigned job is to love the Lord our God with ALL our heart, ALL our soul, and ALL of our strength (Deut 6:4-5) every day of our life. This is only fair since we owe God absolutely everything. But we’ve all unfairly walked off the job at various moments–thumbing our noses at him through our disobedience, pride, and selfishness. Some have gone AWOL longer than others, and some’s sins are more spectacular than others. But the bottom line is that, in terms of strict justice, God does not owe any of us anything except, perhaps, punishment.

But in his extraordinary generosity, the Lord has offered us a deal–if we will accept His beloved Son in faith as Savior and Lord, and through the power of the Spirit seek to do His will, and if we will repent each time we fail, He will give us what we do not deserve–friendship with Him here that opens out to eternal glory hereafter. The first takers for this offer have typically been those most aware of their need for mercy. And this is why the last have usually been first when it comes to the Kingdom of God.

Seems fair to me.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Student reportedly suspended after saying 'Bless you'



By Michael Clark @ WSMV.com

DYER COUNTY, TN - (WMC) – A young girl, who claims she was standing up for her religious beliefs in the classroom, was suspended after breaking a class rule of saying "bless you" after a classmate sneezed. When Dyer County High School senior Kendra Turner said bless you to her classmate, she says her teacher told her that was for church.

"She said that we're not going to have godly speaking in her class and that's when I said we have a constitutional right," said Turner.

Turner says when she defended her actions, she was told to see an administrator. She says she finished the class period in in-school suspension.

Students sent WMC Action News 5's Michael Clark a photo of the teacher's white board that lists 'bless you' and other expressions that are banned as part of class rules.

It sparked discussion with Turner's youth pastor Becky Winegardner last week at church.

"There were several students that were talking about this particular faculty member there that was very demeaning to them in regard to their faith," Pastor Becky Winegardner said.

Turner's parents say the school leaders claim the outburst was a classroom distraction and that she shouted "bless you" across the room.

"This was something that had come up previously in the last few weeks just since the beginning of school and I shared with all of those students what their rights were," added Winegardner.

Turner's family met with school leaders Tuesday. They say the teacher claimed Turner was being disruptive and aggressive. Some classmates showed support Tuesday by wearing hand made bless you shirts.

Turner said she doesn't want trouble for her teacher but says she'll stand up for her faith.

"It's alright to defend God and it's our constitutional right because we have a freedom of religion and freedom of speech," said Turner.

WMC's contacted the Dyer County Schools superintendent to get the district's side of the story, but he has not yet heard back at this time.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Feast of St. John Eudes

From ChurchMilitant.TV:


Today is the feast of St. John Eudes, who once said:

"The most evident mark of God's anger, and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world, is manifest when He permits His people to fall into the hands of a clergy who are more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. They abandon the things of God to devote themselves to the things of the world, and in their saintly calling of holiness, they spend their time in profane and worldly pursuits. When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people and is visiting His most dreadful wrath upon them."


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Monday, August 18, 2014

God will give me two or three more years says Pope Francis


Aboard the papal plane (AFP) - Pope Francis on Monday publicly broached the prospect of his own death for the first time, giving himself "two or three years" but not ruling out retirement before then.

Talking to reporters on a flight back to the Vatican from South Korea, the 77-year-old pontiff, who seemed in good spirits, was asked about his global popularity, which was evident again during his five-day visit.

"I see it as the generosity of the people of God. I try to think of my sins, my mistakes, not to become proud. Because I know it will last only a short time. Two or three years and then I'll be off to the Father's House," he replied light-heartedly.

The Argentine pope said he could handle the popularity "more naturally" these days, though at first it had "scared me a little".

While the pope has not spoken publicly before about when he might meet his maker, a Vatican source said he had previously told those close to him that he thought he only had a few years left.

Pope Francis also mentioned the possibility of retiring from the Papacy, as his predecessor Benedict XVI did last year, if he felt he could no longer adequately perform his duties.

Resigning the papacy was a possibility "even if it does not appeal to some theologians", he told reporters.

He added that 60 years ago it was practically unheard of for Catholic bishops to retire, but nowadays it was common.

"Benedict XVI opened a door," he said.

Francis admitted that he had "some nerve problems", which required treatment.

"Must treat them well, these nerves, give them mate (an Argentine stimulant tea) every day," he joked.

"One of these neuroses, is that I'm too much of a homebody," he added, recalling that the last time he'd taken a holiday outside of his native Argentina was "with the Jesuit community in 1975".

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Traditional Catholics Love God, But Also Fear God

By Father Peter Carota

Most of us, when we are going over the speed limit and see a Highway Patrol, we automatically fear him because he may give us a ticket.  But when it comes to fearing God and His ticket, we just go right on breaking His laws and have, from none, to very very little fear of His punishment.


Progressive, liberal Catholics teach that we should not fear God.   They teach that God is Love.
 Therefore we should not fear Him, but love Him.  All this is true, but only part of what the Bible says.  I have quoted a few of the Biblical passages for you to read and meditate on.  You may disagree with them, but that does not make you right and God wrong.  The Bible is the Word of God.  Your opinion is the word of man.

Jesus says; “And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.”  Matt. 10:28.


This passage form St. Matthew is very strong.  It says it all.  Do not fear man who can only persecute you, hurt you, steal from you, ridicule you, and kill you, here and now.  It is over with here.  No, fear God, who can not only take your life, but also put you in Hell for all eternity.  Jesus is the one who is saying this.  We have better take it very very seriously... (continued)


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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen


“In ancient Rome, there was a potestas patria or the right of the father to dispose of a child. In our modern day, there is the potesta matria or the right of the mother to dispose of a child. In between pagan Rome and pagan today there was, and still is, a group of God-loving people who will protect those who are incapable of independent existence because they sense in their own frailty the mercy of God and, therefore, resolve to extend it to others."

~ Fulton J. Sheen: Bishop Sheen Writes, (January 25, 1975).


h/t to ChurchMilitant.tv

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Traditional Catholics Care That Sexual Sins Offend God And Hurt Us

By Father Peter Carota

220px-Augustine_of_Hippo(Traditional Catholic Priest) Jesus never said; “Love the sinner, hate the sin”, but; “For I have not come to call the just, but sinners”.  Jesus came to call us sinners to repent.  He does not accept sinners so that they can continue to sin.  Sin is a terrible offense against God and offends Him greatly.

“He who saith that he knoweth him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2: 4.

It was St. Augustine who said; “For this reason, the man who lives by God’s standards and not by man’s, must needs be a lover of good, and it follows that he must hate what is evil.  Further, since no one is evil by nature, but anyone who is evil is evil because of a perversion of nature, the man who lives by God’s standards has a duty of perfect hatred towards those who are evil; that is to say, he should not hate the person because of the fault, nor should he love the fault because of the person.  He should hate the fault, but love the man.  And when the fault has been cured there will remain only what he ought to love, nothing that he should hate.”

397px-St_Augustine_of_Hippo 

The whole idea of accepting homosexual lust and the adultery of remarried couples living together goes against calling sinners to repentance.  It is pleasing man and offending God.

Anthony Dedicates his Life to God at Mass_MASTER of the Osservanza 

As a priest who councils hundreds of people, I see the horrible consequences of every sin.  An example is what I heard last week.

A 15 year old boy came to me because he was depressed and had no one to talk to.  He was depressed because his 15 year old girlfriend was going to be put in a foster home.  It all began with sin.

She has been living with her uncle and aunt.  Her aunt, behind the back of her uncle, had allowed her to sneak out to be with this young man.  When the uncle found out about the dishonesty, he started the divorce against the aunt. So the girlfriend has to move to a foster home.

She ended up living with her uncle and aunt because her mother had committed adultery and when her dad found out he committed suicide.  Her mother then hooked up with another man who ended up continuously rape his girlfriend.  He is in prison and her mother is in jail.  So she has no place to live other than a foster home because of sin.

How often you and I have to hear, in the Church and outside the Church, that we have to accept sinners life styles.  How often do we have to hear, as long as it is two consenting adults, sin does not hurt anyone (heterosexual or homosexual).

This 15 year old girl will have another opinion.  If her mother had not had the consensual adulterous affair, her father would not have committed suicide.  If her mother had not had a consensual affair with the next man, the girl would never have been raped over and over.

Holy Family_with Trinity_WIT, Jacob de 

By my estimation, step fathers in second marriages, have a very high rate of sexual abuse of their stepdaughters.  I hear of it over and over.

There is another family in this parish where the first father was put in prison for drugs and robbery.  The next man, the mother moved in with, sexually molested her daughter whom I am trying to help get over it.  That man is also in prison for this sin.  The rate is so so much lower where a biological father sexually molests his daughter.

Fathers and mothers married in the Church are whom make a safe home for their children.

So when it comes to accepting homosexual sex and remarried couples, the Church leaders are forgetting that it offends God greatly and that these sins hurt the individual, those around them and society as a whole.

It is, again, the case of misdirected compassion.  We traditional Catholics love the homosexual, the remarried person, but we hate the sin and the consequences it has caused in the lives of those involved.

Where is the compassion for the men and women and children who have been hurt by the divorce?  Where is the compassion for the girls who have been sexually abused by their step fathers?

There is another young woman in our confirmation classes.  She is for homosexual relations because her sister is in one.  But when I talked to her mother, she told me that her daughter is always being beaten up and her cell phone taken away because of the  jealousy of her female lover.  Where is the compassion for all those who are abused in these unnatural relationships?

Madonna and Child_Holy Card How many homosexuals would still be alive if they had never had homosexual sex that gave them AIDS.  Yes we love those who have same sex attraction.  For that reason we want them to stay alive and be healthy.  We do not want them dying or suffering from AIDS.

When will the pope, bishops, priests, religious and lay Catholics understand that compassion is teaching people that sin offends God and hurts them and all of society.

We traditional Catholics love sinners.  We are also repented sinners ourselves.  But we also love God above all things and believe with all our hearts that His laws of love are for our good.  When they are loved and obey, there is peace and blessings.  When they are despised and broken, there is interior turmoil and curses.

We are so fortunate to be traditional Catholics and know God’s laws of Love.  We are also so fortunate to have access to His graces through the Holy Sacraments of Our Catholic Church.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pope Francis: "Our Lady... is not a postmaster, sending messages every day"

Pope: the spirit of curiosity distances one from God

(Vatican Radio) The spirit of curiosity generates confusion and distances a person from the Spirit of wisdom, which brings peace, said Pope Francis in his homily during Thursday morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta.

The Pope began his homily by commenting on the first reading from the Book of Wisdom, which describes “the state of the soul of the spiritual man and woman”, of true Christians, who live “in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. And this wisdom carries them forward with this intelligent, holy, single, manifold and subtle spirit”.

“This is journeying in life with this spirit: the spirit of God, which helps us to judge, to make decisions according to the heart of God. And this spirit gives us peace, always! It is the spirit of peace, the spirit of love, the spirit of fraternity. And holiness is exactly this. That which God asked of Abraham—‘Walk in my presence and be irreproachable’—is this: this peace. To follow the movement of the Spirit of God and of this wisdom. And the man and woman who walk this path, we can say they are wise men and women… because they follow the movement of God’s patience.”

In the Gospel, the Pope underlined, “we find ourselves before another spirit, contrary to the wisdom of God: the spirit of curiosity”.

“And when we want to be the masters of the projects of God, of the future, of things, to know everything, to have everything in hand… the Pharisees asked Jesus, ‘When will the Kingdom of God come?’ Curious! They wanted to know the date, the day… The spirit of curiosity distances us from the Spirit of wisdom because all that interests us is the details, the news, the little stories of the day. Oh, how will this come about? It is the how: it is the spirit of the how! And the spirit of curiosity is not a good spirit. It is the spirit of dispersion, of distancing oneself from God, the spirit of talking too much. And Jesus also tells us something interesting: this spirit of curiosity, which is worldly, leads us to confusion.”

Curiosity, the Pope continued, impels us to want to feel that the Lord is here or rather there, or leads us to say: “But I know a visionary, who receives letters from Our Lady, messages from Our Lady”.
And the Pope commented: “But, look, Our Lady is the Mother of everyone! And she loves all of us. She is not a postmaster, sending messages every day.”

Such responses to these situations, he affirmed, “distance us from the Gospel, from the Holy Spirit, from peace and wisdom, from the glory of God, from the beauty of God.”

“Jesus says that the Kingdom of God does not come in a way that attracts attention: it comes by wisdom.”

“ ‘The Kingdom of God is among you,’ said Jesus, and it is this action of the Holy Spirit, which gives us wisdom and peace. The Kingdom of God does not come in (a state of) confusion, just as God did not speak to the prophet Elijah in the wind, in the storm (but) he spoke in the soft breeze, the breeze of wisdom.”

“Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus would say that she had always to stop herself before the spirit of curiosity," he said. "When she spoke with another sister and this sister was telling a story about the family, about people, sometimes the subject would change, and she would want to know the end of the story. But she felt that this was not the spirit of God, because it was a spirit of dispersion, of curiosity.

“The Kingdom of God is among us: do not seek strange things, do not seek novelties with this worldly curiosity. Let us allow the Spirit to lead us forward in that wisdom, which is like a soft breeze," he said. "This is the Spirit of the Kingdom of God, of which Jesus speaks. So be it.”

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Guess the Saint

By Ann Barnhardt

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Guess the saint:

This saint joined a Crusade to Egypt in the hopes of PROSELYTIZING as many musloids as he could before being killed.  This saint was not killed, but was instead received into the court of a sultan.  Our saint then offered to engage in a trial by fire – literal fire – with the sultan’s musloid “scholars”.  Our saint offered to enter into a fire pit and if he emerged unscathed, the musloid scholars would then have to concede that the CATHOLIC GOD (the word “catholic” means “universal”, so of course God is Catholic, and of course His Church is Catholic) and not the phoney musloid god (our saint, like any intelligent person, knows that the thing called “allah” is a non-existent pagan-Bedouin moon deity concocted by the inventors of the musloid political system, inspired by satan himself) is the One, True God.  Naturally, knowing that their non-existent deity could not duplicate such a miracle, and not wanting to be burned to a crisp, the musloids declined the challenge – BUT the sultan granted our saint permission to PROSELYTIZE and win souls for Christ in his territory WHILE THIS VERY SULTAN WAS FIGHTING CRUSADERS.

Who was this saint who knew that not only was PROSELYTIZING not “solemn nonsense”, but was utterly essential and demanded by Our Lord – a direct corollary to the two Great Commandments, to love God and to love our neighbor?

Yep.  It was St. Francis of Assisi.

Giotto’s fresco depicting St. Francis’ Trial by Fire. The musloids are on the left, slinking away. Apparently this was all a terrible mistake on St. Francis’ part. He should have merely “encountered” the musloids in a spirit of “dialogue” and listened to their lies and then declared that they should all engage in good works and “meet each other there”. Because, you know, there isn’t a “Catholic God”, and the god the musloids believe in is the same as the Triune Godhead, or something. And God Himself being Goodness Itself, and good and evil being whatever the individual “conceives” them as being, “God” is whoever or whatever the individual says He, She or It is. Thank “god” we have Smart Francis today to correct all of the errors of Stupid Francis of Assisi.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Can Demons Cause Disasters and Accidents?

From Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction:

By  

Q. Father Fortea, can demons cause disasters and accidents?

A. If demons had the freedom to cause natural disasters, the whole world would fall into chaos. So the short answer is no – demons cannot cause disasters and accidents at will. Why? Simply because God prevents them from doing so.

Storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other disasters ordinarily happen as a result of natural causes. Nonetheless, the book of Revelation does teach us that God, at the end of time, will allow a freer manifestation of the power of demons (see Rev 13:13-14), even to the point of affecting the physical world. But meanwhile we should not think that disasters or accidents have their cause in demonic action without strong objective evidence. Cases of poltergeist (the presence of a demon in a place evidenced by noises and the movement of objects) are proof that a demon can suspend something in the air or move an object. Since demons hate human beings and want them to suffer, it seems likely that if they were not restrained by God from causing continuous accidents, they would do so.

Once, I was praying for a lady who suffered from a demonic influence. Soon it began to rain, then hail, and the hail became gradually more intense. Then a strong storm wind began to buffet the church. The wind was so loud that I had to stop praying; no one could hear the prayers over the noise. We needed to shout to be heard. The entire church creaked like a wooden boat in the ocean. Suddenly, the roof of the church gave out and lifted off in one of the corners. We prayed that the whole roof would not come off. It was an unforgettable scene: the wind furiously shaking the altar cloths (which did not blow away), the bricks falling on the presbytery from the highest part of the roof, and the thunder roaring without interruption.

Here we have an episode in which it is reasonable to think that there was a relation between the prayer upon that person and what happened afterward. A curious aspect of this event is that the nearest weather station did not detect any abnormal winds, so the insurance company at first refused to pay to repair the damage!

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pope Emeritus Benedict says "God told me" to resign

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Former Pope Benedict has said he resigned after "God told me to" during what he called a "mystical experience", a Catholic news agency reported.

Benedict, whose formal title is now Pope Emeritus, announced his shock resignation on February 11 and on February 28 became the first pontiff to step down in 600 years.

"God told me to do it," the Zenith agency quoted Benedict as saying to a visitor to the convent in the Vatican gardens where he is living out his retirement in near isolation.

According to the agency, Benedict told his visitor, who asked to remain anonymous, that God did not speak to him in a vision but in what the former pope called "a mystical experience".

According to Italian media, Benedict's decision to step down was influenced by the various scandals that blighted his eight-year papacy, including the arrest of his personal butler for leaking private documents alleging corruption in the Vatican.

He was succeeded by Pope Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, who was elected as the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years.

According to the Rome-based Zenith, Benedict told his visitor that the more he observes the way Francis carries out his papal duties, the more he realized the choice was "wanted by God".

Last Sunday, Benedict spent a day at the papal summer retreat at Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, to escape the heat of the capital.

The visit indicated that the 86-year-old ex pope's health was good enough for him to travel. There had been media reports that since his resignation, Benedict's health had deteriorated dramatically.

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Our Catholic Tabloid Frenzy About Fallen Priests


By Father Gordon J MacRae

The scales of Saint Michael the Archangel symbolize the balance of God’s justice with God’s mercy. Can the Church reflect justice with mercy for fallen priests?

(These Stone Walls) A few older posts on These Stone Walls keep showing up in our monthly stats revealing new reader interest. Nine months after I wrote “Father Benedict Groeschel at EWTN: Time for a Moment of Truth,” it still draws lots of readers and new comments. Another post, “Goodbye, Good Priest! Father John Corapi’s Kafkaesque Catch-22,” is two years old this week, but still draws scores of readers searching for news of Fr. Corapi. A reader sent me a well written take on that controversy titled “Father Corapi and Praying for Priests” posted June 6 by Matthew Brower on his blog, Catholic Stand. Part of it caught my attention:
“I am aware of some of the events that transpired when things seemed to fall apart for Fr. Corapi and there is much more that I do not know. During those days it seemed like the Catholic media and blogs were spilling over daily with reports and wild speculation. Some of what was reported was no doubt true but it certainly seemed to me we were witnessing a sort of Catholic tabloid frenzy where the line between fact and irresponsible speculation was blurred. I believe very few do have all the relevant facts.”
Matthew Brower, an attorney in private practice in Montana, is a Notre Dame alumnus who earned his Juris Doctor with honors at Ave Maria School of Law. His post two years after Fr. John Corapi’s fall from grace is not at all a defense of the priest, nor do I defend him here. That wasn’t Mr. Brower’s point and it isn’t mine. He wrote further:
“Most of those I know who looked up to Fr. Corapi as an inspiration and confirming voice have remained close to the Church and seemingly grown in faith, understanding well that it is God alone we worship and not those he has sent to draw us closer to Himself.”
I say “AMEN!” to that, and “Bravo” to Matthew Brower for having the courage to point it out. I have written elsewhere that I became very uncomfortable with the pedestal upon which Father Corapi stood – whether he wanted to stand there or not, I do not know – and from which he fell from grace two years ago with a loud crash. I was troubled by the self-description of so many of his admirers that they were “followers” of Father Corapi. It was a lesson learned. I don’t want followers. I can’t have followers. I don’t recall the specific post, but I remember writing a plea to TSW readers in reaction to this: “Please don’t follow me. Follow Christ!” If ever the day comes that I point only to me and not to Christ, it is that day that I must stop writing.

ANGELIC JUSTICE

There is another of my posts that endures in reader interest, and it shows up in current stats more than any other. It was written nearly three years ago, but it drew over 300 new readers in May. That post is “Angelic Justice: Saint Michael the Archangel and the Scales of Hesed” in which I wrote about the symbolism of St. Michael’s iconic scales.

After that post was published, readers sent me dozens of holy cards with icons of Saint Michael (laminated cards are not allowed), all of which are now on my cell wall. One is on my coffee cup. Some of the nicer icons have since migrated over to my friend, Pornchai’s side of the cell. When I inquired, he said, “Well … umm … He does have wings, you know!”

After posting “Angelic Justice,” a friend sent me a Saint Michael medal. On the back is engraved, “Justice for Fr. Gordon MacRae.” It’s very nice and a privilege to wear, but there is a lot more to the story of Saint Michael. He isn’t just the Patron Saint of Justice. He is the Patron Saint of Mercy as well, and the two cannot be separated for as that post reveals, they are among the highest attributes of God in Judeo-Christian tradition.

Saint Michael’s scales do not signify the meting out of God’s justice, but rather the balancing of God’s justice with mercy. The two aspects of the justice equation symbolized by Saint Michael’s scales cannot be separated, for justice without mercy is little more than vengeance, and vengeance is not ours to have (Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19)... (continued)


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Monday, February 11, 2013

Lightning Strikes St. Peter's Basilica After Pope Benedict XVI Resigns

A sign from God? Lightning strikes the basilica of St.Peter's dome earlier this evening during a storm that struck Rome on the same day Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation - Daily Mail

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

When the State Tries to be Master Over Nature

By Father George Rutler

Connecting with people you'd like to have known is a nice hobby, and I can claim to be just three handshakes from Abraham Lincoln and only five from George Washington. Recently at the opera, I put several people three handshakes from Puccini. Alas, an employee in a sporting goods store near Grand Central was unmoved when I put him four handshakes from Mendelssohn. Just two handshakes from the Alice of Wonderland, I spent many hours in the rooms she knew when her father was dean of the college where I studied and where Lewis Carroll wrote the stories for her. Alice Liddell, later Mrs. Reginald Hargreaves, died in 1934 at the age of 82, shortly after she visited New York to be honored by Columbia University.

In Through the Looking Glass, Humpty Dumpty boasts: “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words means so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that's all.”

When the State tries to be master over nature, behavior becomes disordered. The results of the disastrous legalization of the destruction of unborn children prove that, and now it is happening again in attempts to “redefine” marriage. So far, eleven countries have done it, as well as nine of our own states, along with the nation’s capital. Hundreds of thousands have publicly protested the attempt of France’s Socialist president to play “master.” It should be obvious to all except the dense and the willfully ignorant, that the next step will be to attack the Church through civil penalties for refusing to accept the authority of the State to invert the natural order, of which the State is only a steward.

Pope Benedict XVI has said: “. . . if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation. Likewise, the child has lost the place he had occupied hitherto and the dignity pertaining to him. [Rabbi] Bernheim [the Chief Rabbi of France] shows that now, perforce, from being a subject of right, the child has become an object to which people have a right and which they have a right to obtain. When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied, and ultimately man, too, is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being.”

At the wedding in Cana, Christ's mother said, “Whatever my son says to do, do it.” We are free not to do what he says, and to play Humpty Dumpty with nature, but when the social order has a great fall, all the politicians will not be able to put it back together again.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pope's Article in Financial Times: A Time for Christians to Engage With the World


"The Birth of Christ Challenges us to Reassess our Priorities, Our Values, Our Very Way of Life"

By Pope Benedict XVI

The following is the full text of the article written by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI which appeared in the Financial Times. 

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 20, 2012 (Zenit.org).- "Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God," was the response of Jesus when asked about paying taxes. His questioners, of course, were laying a trap for him. They wanted to force him to take sides in the highly charged political debate about Roman rule in the land of Israel. Yet there was more at stake here: if Jesus really was the long-awaited Messiah, then surely he would oppose the Roman overlords. So the question was calculated to expose him either as a threat to the regime, or as a fraud.

Jesus' answer deftly moves the argument to a higher plane, gently cautioning against both the politicization of religion and the deification of temporal power, along with the relentless pursuit of wealth. His audience needed to be reminded that the Messiah was not Caesar, and Caesar was not God. The kingdom that Jesus came to establish was of an altogether higher order. As he told Pontius Pilate: "My kingship is not of this world."

The Christmas stories in the New Testament are intended to convey a similar message. Jesus was born during a "census of the whole world" ordered by Caesar Augustus, the emperor renowned for bringing the Pax Romana to all the lands under Roman rule. Yet this infant, born in an obscure and far-flung corner of the empire, was to offer the world a far greater peace, truly universal in scope and transcending all limitations of space and time.

Jesus is presented to us as King David’s heir, but the liberation he brought to his people was not about holding hostile armies at bay; it was about conquering sin and death forever.

The birth of Christ challenges us to reassess our priorities, our values, our very way of life. While Christmas is undoubtedly a time of great joy, it is also an occasion for deep reflection, even an examination of conscience. At the end of a year that has meant economic hardship for many, what can we learn from the humility, the poverty, the simplicity of the crib scene?

Christmas can be the time in which we learn to read the Gospel, to get to know Jesus not only as the child in the manger, but as the one in whom we recognize that God made man. It is in the Gospel that Christians find inspiration for their daily lives and their involvement in worldly affairs – be it in the Houses of Parliament or the stock exchange. Christians should not shun the world; they should engage with it. But their involvement in politics and economics should transcend every form of ideology.

Christians fight poverty out of a recognition of the supreme dignity of every human being, created in God’s image and destined for eternal life. They work for more equitable sharing of the earth's resources out of a belief that – as stewards of God’s creation – we have a duty to care for the weakest and most vulnerable. Christians oppose greed and exploitation out of a conviction that generosity and selfless love, as taught and lived by Jesus of Nazareth, are the way that leads to fullness of life. The belief in the transcendent destiny of every human being gives urgency to the task of promoting peace and justice for all.

Because these goals are shared by so many, much fruitful co-operation is possible between Christians and others. Yet Christians render to Caesar only what belongs to Caesar, not what belongs to God. Christians have at times throughout history been unable to comply with demands made by Caesar. From the emperor cult of ancient Rome to the totalitarian regimes of the past century, Caesar has tried to take the place of God.
When Christians refuse to bow down before the false gods proposed today, it is not because of an antiquated worldview. Rather, it is because they are free from the constraints of ideology and inspired by such a noble vision of human destiny that they cannot collude with anything that undermines it.

In Italy, many crib scenes feature the ruins of ancient Roman buildings in the background. This shows that the birth of the child Jesus marks the end of the old order, the pagan world, in which Caesar’s claims went virtually unchallenged. Now there is a new king, who relies not on the force of arms, but on the power of love.

He brings hope to all those who, like himself, live on the margins of society. He brings hope to all who are vulnerable to the changing fortunes of a precarious world. From the manger, Christ calls us to live as citizens of his heavenly kingdom, a kingdom that all people of goodwill can help to build here on earth.

The writer is the Bishop of Rome and author of ‘Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives'
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For the original publication of the article, go to: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/099d055e-4937-11e2-9225-00144feab49a.html#axzz2FaKmB3UR

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christ's Meaningless Words


By Michael Voris

Hello everyone and welcome to The Vortex where lies and falsehoods are trapped and exposed. I’m Michael Voris.

Picking up with yesterday’s theme .. the heresy of Protestantism has spawned the destruction of a nation.

The calculus is really very simple .. because Protestantism distorts the truth of Christ .. it will result in the perversion of morality .. which when played out over sufficient time ..will bring about the ruin of a nation.

Now .. case in point .. just one central point. A protestant pastor and I had a brief passing encounter at a radio station a couple of years ago. During our short encounter .. he made reference to my Catholicism and then said .. well what matters is that we all agree on the essentials.

Not having really heard that before .. I asked what he meant. His answer was revelatory indeed because it revealed a mindset of the very snake lying all coiled up under the Protestant table.

Listen to his answer. He said .. well , we shouldn’t waste time fussing over the nonessentials.

“What non-essentials?”, I asked, having never even thought that some points of Catholic doctrine were non-essential .. or even Protestant doctrine for that point. I think Martin Luther and John Calvin would take exception to this descendant of theirs would be referring to parts or some of their teachings as “non-essential”.

His response was nothing less than flat out stupid. He proposed that what Jesus said about divorce and remarriage was a “non-essential”. Imagine this for a moment.

Stop what you’re doing for five seconds and consider the full import here .. five seconds ..

[ five second countdown ]

Did your consideration carry you to the logical conclusions which must follow from his beliefs?

First .. God said a non-essential thing. Second, if he says ONE non-essential thing, how many more did He say? And if He did say more than one, how many MORE? And if he does utter non-essentials, how can we know which ones? Who determines which ones are non-essential? What’s the criteria for determining.

And on a philosophical note – why would the all perfect knowing Being blabber out nonessential things? What would be the point?

This whole stupid line of discussion is the direct result of the Protestant heresy .. and it has VERY REAL effects. It misleads souls in their ability to make moral choices .. moral choices that will determine their eternal destinies.

This farcical notion that some teachings of Almighty God’s are non-essential is the final destination of Protestantism .. because having declared that the Church He personally established is non-essential .. then how could they NOT arrive at the place they have come to now .. that other things He declared are non-essential.

I was in a 3 hour discussion this weekend with a young man who attends a Baptist congregation. When I asked him why he goes there, he said, he likes the way the preacher preaches.

A while later, he willingly offered up something that was decidedly non-Baptist and when I noted that his Baptist preacher wouldn’t agree with that, he said he doesn’t REALLY consider himself a Baptist.

When I asked him what he thought of Calvinism .. he scoffed and said he had bigger problems with Calvinism than he did with Catholicism. So when we got into a deeper discussion .. on a more philosophical level than theological .. but surely with theological consequences .. it became clear he was just making up his own religion.

Now to be fair .. he wasn’t saying that others had to believe his line of reasoning .. but he was giving his line of reasoning equal footing with any other religion .. especially Catholicism since that was the focus of our talk .. some Catholic doctrines.

At the end of the day .. for him .. it boiled down to the simple point that HE has the final say so in interpreting Scripture, teachings, and so forth. Interpretation of the word of God belongs to him and him alone FOR HIM - in short .. theological relativism.

And in the Protestant world .. of course it does. What Protestant can tell another Protestant that his opinion is wrong – based on what? In the Protestant heresy, there is no final arbiter of the truth, no final interpreter and for wimpy Catholics to refuse to talk about this or refuse to accept this horror and even more to challenge it is disgraceful.

It’s beyond disgraceful – it will be a point of shame for them when they stand before the judgment seat of God. God is truth and He desires and commands that truth be preached.

Protestantism is a heresy because .. like all heresies .. it distorts truth ever so subtly and prevents those who fall in its pit from reaching the fullness of the truth.

And that there Catholics who are not only aware of this perversion but attempt to silence by intimidation and insult and invective other Catholics who speak from GENUINE charity for the souls of those infected with heresy is perhaps one of the greatest failings of the past fifty years.

This false ecumenism .. the promotion or tolerance of religious parity has reigned down moral terror on this nation and many other nations.

Since so many of these religions offer competing and contradicting views of God .. truth .. morality .. how can they all be worthy of consideration? How can they all be viewed as equal or equally worthy?

They can’t. You cannot have one religion saying the words of Our Lord on the question of divorce and remarriage are non-essential and another saying they must be understood literally and lived by.

You can’t have one religion saying murdering children in the womb is a viable alternative .. however perhaps regrettable, while another says it is an unspeakable crime.

Likewise with so-called same-sex marriage .. In Vitro Fertilization .. contraception.

Yet we have Catholics .. CATHOLICS howling whenever these discrepancies and contradictions are pointed out.

They have drunk the koolaid of the religious relativism because they have a misplaced sense of compassion .. they are driven by their feelings and have switched off their intellects.

They have as horrible a sense and understanding of GOD Himself as the Protestant heresy that they have no problems with.

While this is understandable .. owing to the fact that the catechesis huge numbers of Catholics have received and still get pumped into them from clergy and religious has been essentially Protestant at its core .. that alone is not enough to let lukewarm Catholics off the hook.

They have eyes. They have ears. They can see parishes being closed down by the thousands .. vocations at a point of crisis .. family members leaving the faith in hordes.

And these objective realities demand an honest .. an intellectually honest evaluation.

Any Catholic who steps back and takes a level-headed honest look at where the Church is right now .. must conclude that the Protestant heresy has infected the Church to a tremendous degree .. much like Arianism did in the fourth century .. and a massive falling away from the faith has resulted.

This heresy must be fought against and the wimpy response of “don’t hurt people’s feelings” has to be taken on defeated as well. The Church on earth isn’t called the Church Militant for nothing.

GOD Love you,

I’m Michael Voris

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Strange Thing Jesus Said to a Paralyzed Man – Another Insight from Pope Benedict’s New Book

By Msgr. Charles Pope

The Gospel from Monday the second week of Advent is the gospel of the paralyzed man who is lowered through the roof. It is presented to us in Advent because, among the many prophecies about the Messiah, would be that the lame would walk. But the Gospel also helps us to focus on Jesus’ central mission for us, and it is very provocatively expressed in this Gospel.

The Gospel passage contains a rather peculiar and somewhat awkward moment. Jesus looks at a paralyzed man and says to him,  As for you, your sins are forgiven (Lk 5:20). What a strange thing to say to a paralyzed man.

The Pharisees and scribes of course are all worked up for other reasons, but their reason is not ours, we know that Jesus has the authority to forgive sins. Let us stay focused on the strange thing to say to a paralyzed man, your sins are forgiven you.

One of us modern folk might be tempted to tap Jesus on the shoulder and say, “Ah excuse me, Lord, this man is paralyzed, his problem is paralysis, that’s what he needs healing for.”

Of course Jesus is not blind or unintelligent, knows this. But looking at a paralyzed man he does not see the paralysis as his most serious problem. The man has a far more serious problem, his sin.

Now most of us, who live in the world, have the world’s priorities, and we do not think like this. The Lord sees something more serious than paralysis, and we think, “What can be more serious than paralysis?!”But not as man sees, does God see. For God, the most serious problem we have is our sin. But again, we don’t think like this, and even being told we should think like this, we still don’t think like this.

For most of us, influenced by the flesh, are far more devastated by the loss of our physical health, or the loss of money, or the loss of a job, or some large worldly asset, than we are by the fact that we have sin. Threaten our physical health and well-being, or one of our larger physical assets, and we’re on our knees begging God for help. Yet most human beings have far less concern for their spiritual well-being. More often than not we are not nearly so devastated by sin that can deprive us of eternal life, as we are devastated by the loss of our health or some worldly thing.

Even many of us who have some sense of the spiritual life struggle with this obtuseness, and misplaced sense of priorities. Even in our so-called spiritual life, our prayers are often dominated by concerns that God will fix our health, improve or finances, get us a job, etc. It is not wrong to pray for these things, and we should. But honestly how often do we pray to be freed of our sins, do we really and earnestly pray to grow in holiness and to be prepared to see God face-to-face? Sometimes it almost sounds as if we are asking God to make this world more comfortable and we’ll just stay here forever. This attitude is an affront to the truer Gifts God is offering.

And so it is that Jesus, looking at a paralyzed man, says to him, your sins are forgiven. In so doing he addresses the man’s most serious problem first. Only secondarily does he speak to the man’s paralysis, which he almost seems to have overlooked in comparison to the issue of sin.

We have much to learn hear about how God sees, and what really are the most crucial issues in our life.

Joseph and Mary were told to call the child “Jesus,” for he would save his people from their sins. Of this fact Pope Benedict speaks in his latest book, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives:

Joseph is entrusted with a further task: “Mary will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).… On the one hand, a lofty theological task is assigned to the child, for only God can forgive sins. So this child is immediately associated with God, directly linked with God’s holy and saving power. On the other hand, though, this definition of the Messiah’s mission could appear disappointing. The prevailing expectations of salvation were primarily focused upon Israel’s concrete sufferings–on the reestablishment of the kingdom of David, on Israel’s freedom and independence, and naturally that included material prosperity for this largely impoverished people. The promise of forgiveness of sins seems both too little and too much: too much, because it trespasses upon God’s exclusive sphere; too little, because there seems to be no thought of Israel’s concrete suffering or its true need for salvation.

Pope Benedict then cites this same story of the paralytic and says,
 
Jesus responded [to the presence of the paralyzed man] in a way that was quite contrary to the expectation of the bearers and the sick man himself, saying: “My son, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5). This was the last thing anyone was expecting this was the last thing they were concerned about.

The Pope concludes:
 
Man is a relational being. And if his first, fundamental relationship is disturbed–his relationship with God–then nothing else can be truly in order. This is where the priority lies in Jesus’ message and ministry: before all else he wants to point man toward the essence of his malady.

Yes, God sees things rather differently than we do. There is much to consider the fact that Jesus says paralyzed man your sins are forgiven you.



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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fr. George Rutler: A Wider Kind of Insanity

By Father George Rutler

When people “rush” Christmas, they pay an oblique tribute to the Advent mysteries, because they want something to celebrate, and in the darkening days of the year they know that celebration has something to do with light. If only they paid attention to what Christ shows about those mysteries of death, judgment, heaven and hell, they’d have a much better celebration. “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be filled” (John 15:11).

The second mystery of Advent is God’s judgment: His design for the world and how we fit into His plan. We shall be accountable to Him in the “particular judgment” when we die, for what we have done with the gift of life He has given us. This will not be like facing a judge in court. It will be like facing one’s spouse after a long separation and reaching out. There can only be an embrace if there is love. St. John Chrysostom said that in the moment of judgment, Christ will ask only: “How much did you love?” If the temporal world was created out of eternity by God’s love, we can fit into that eternity only if love is the passport.

The essence of divine justice, then, consists in how one reciprocates the love that gives life. “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully” (Proverbs 28:5). That is easier said than done, for how can the Lord’s justice be understood in part, let alone “fully”? And yet, the answer is clear. The Lord’s justice, which is the way He designs the world and all its motions and our participation in it, is beautiful, true, and good, and while we may not easily define beauty, truth and goodness, we know their result: joy.

Insanity is the inability to make right judgment. There is more insanity than we realize. The local police once gave me a special code number to call if I saw anyone in our neighborhood behaving strangely, and I told them that if I obliged them, their telephone would be ringing off the hook. But there is a wider kind of insanity, and it is life lived contrary to God’s will. It is the source of sadness, and nothing is more insane than to be sad while being alive.

There are many reasons for sorrow in “this valley of tears,” but such sorrow is not despair. The cynic may say that the light at the end of the tunnel is an approaching train, but the saints know that the light is Christ Himself. As the judge who is righteous and true, He says, “These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

GOD BUILDS HIS KINGDOM EVEN IN THE VICISSITUDES OF HISTORY

Vatican City, 25 November 2012 (VIS) - At midday today, following his concelebration of the Eucharist with the new cardinals, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to recite the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. The Pope began by recalling that the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, which closes the liturgical year, "summarises the mystery of Jesus, 'first born from the dead and the ruler of all the powers of the earth'".

"The entire mission of Jesus and the content of His message consists in proclaiming the Kingdom of God and establishing it among men through signs and wonders", the Pope said. "But, as Vatican Council II observes, 'the Kingdom is first manifested in the very person of Christ', a kingdom He founded through His death on the cross and resurrection, by which He is revealed as the eternal Lord, Messiah and Priest. This Kingdom of Christ has been entrusted to the Church, which is the 'seed' and 'beginning' and has the task of proclaiming it and spreading it among all the nations with the power of the Holy Spirit. At the end of the determined time the Lord will hand over the Kingdom to God the Father and present to Him all those who have lived according to the commandment of love. ... We are all called to extend the salvific work of God, converting to the Gospel and committing ourselves to serving the King Who came not to be served but to serve and give testimony to the truth".

Benedict XVI then invited those present to pray for the six new cardinals, created yesterday, so that "the Holy Spirit may strengthen them in faith and in charity and fill them with His gifts in order that they live their new responsibility as a further commitment to Christ and His Kingdom".

"May the Virgin help all of us to live this present time awaiting the Lord’s return, imploring God, 'Thy Kingdom come', and fulfilling those works of light that bring us ever closer to heaven, aware that, through the troubling vicissitudes of history, God continues to build His Kingdom of love", the Pope concluded.

Following the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI mentioned the fact that Maria Troncatti was beatified yesterday in Macas, Ecuador. The new blessed was a religious of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and born in Val Camonica, Italy; she served as a nurse during the World War I, after which she went to Ecuador where she "dedicated herself fully to the service of the people of the forest, evangelisation and human development".

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pope Benedict: God can make a rich man use his wealth for good


By Junno Arocho

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 15, 2012 (Zenit.org).- In his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Benedict XVI reflected on the wealthy in light of the Gospel of the rich man. The Holy Father said that while it is difficult for a rich man to enter into heaven, it is not impossible. In fact, the Pope said, "God can conquer the heart of a person who has many possessions and move him to solidarity and sharing with the needy, with the poor, to enter into the logic of the gift."

The Pope said that while the rich man in the Gospel faithfully observed the commandments, he had not yet discovered "true happiness." The Holy Father also highlighted that, as many wealthy people do, the rich man "thinks that he might be able to 'buy' eternal life in some way, perhaps by observing some special commandment."

Jesus, Pope Benedict XVI continued, while admiring the rich man's desire, also understood his weakness was the attachment to riches, therefore, inviting him to give everything to the poor. Contemplating on the St. Clements reflection of the Gospel, the Pope said that the rich aren't condemned but must only learn to use their wealth and obtain life.

"The Church’s history is full of examples of rich people who used their possessions in an evangelical way, achieving sanctity. We need only think of St. Francis, St. Elizabeth or St. Charles Borromeo," he said.

After the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father called attention to the beatification of Frederick Bachstein and 13 Brothers of the Order of the Friars Minor, saying that "they remind us that believing in Christ also means suffering with him and for him."

The Holy Father concluded his address invoking God's blessing on the faithful, saying that he hoped during this Year of Faith the faith may "have the courage to ask the Lord what more can we do, especially for the poor, the lonely, the sick and the suffering, so as to be witnesses and heirs to the eternal life God promises."

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