Archive for September, 2010

Trapped In Sin? What Can You Do?

Posted: September 25, 2010 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

By Julian Tan @Catholicjules.net

Some people are trapped in sin and may not even realize it!  While others may know they are but choose to continue living in sin, either because of their addiction to the sin/s or because they feel that ultimately they will not be forgiven and so why bother.  Addiction to sin? Yes and not necessarily to drugs or to alcohol abuse.  It can be pornography, gambling, adultery, fornication or even some lifestyle choice which is against the will of God our Father.

Some deny that they are trapped in sin or are even addicted to them. They claim that they can stop at anytime, but choose to repent at a later time. (What do you think happens to them if they meet with an untimely accident and die?) Or Some plead ignorance or even try to justify their actions with secular interpretations.

As for those who stubbornly maintain that they don’t care if they are trapped, well then they should know that the opposite of Love is not Hate but actually INDIFFERENCE!  They too will be dealt with indifference! For what did Jesus teach us to do again? That’s right… Love! Not just our own family or friends but to Love our neighbours as well.  And not just by our standards but by His standards,the way He loves us.  If we are indifferent how then can we love?

For those who lead pretty decent lives and attend Mass regularly, here are a few more questions for you to delve a little deeper so that you can search your soul to see if you might still be ‘trapped’ in one way or another :

Are you able to feel God’s presence in your life?  Do you feel unconditionally loved in your life? Do you feel joy in your heart? Are you a very patient person? Do you make time to read scripture or to deepen you faith through reading Catholic literature? Do you pray, praise and give thanks to God? Do you live a guilt free life? Are you caring and loving towards strangers you meet?

If you answered ‘No’ to at least 6 out of 8 of the questions, then it is likely you could be trapped in Sin. Why? How? Well this is because sin drives us away from God.  It clouds our eyes, closes both our ears and heart to the Word of God.  It distracts us and distorts our view of living a good and fruitful life.  Even if you managed to answer ‘Yes’ to 03 of the questions, you should be asking yourself what are the obstacles that are preventing you from answering ‘Yes’ to most if not all of them?

So what is Sin? According to the Cathechism of the Catholic Church ccc. 1850 Sin is an offense against God: “Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight.” Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become “like gods,” knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus “love of oneself even to contempt of God.” In this proud self- exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.

So what can you do to change your life and be closer to God?

Well for one If you are still reading this, then you have already taken the first step in your journey back to God.  Next you must accept the fact that God truly loves you and wants you to come back to him wholly and holy.  For you cannot have and serve two masters! Accept that the feelings that you cannot be forgiven if any, is a form of self pride. ( Are you questioning God’s ability to forgive?)  Here are the first three steps to take :-

PRAY

But I don’t know how to pray? Well first and foremost you have to know that God loves you despite your strengths or weaknesses.  He already knows everything there is to know about you and so all He wants, is for you to reach out to Him in prayer.

If you are a parent consider this……if your toddler drew you a picture and then showed it to you, would you scold him or say that his/her picture was ugly?  No! In fact to you, it would be a masterpiece!  Or if you are a child, then do you remember how it was when you showed your parents you’re drawing? They loved it! right?

It is the same way with God our Father.  He is aware that you are in your infancy in prayer and are trying very hard to to communicate with Him, hence your attempt is what pleases him whether you err or fumble.   Yes there will be times you may feel that you cannot find the words that truly reflects how you feel, well then you just offer it up too!  Of course you may use some guided prayers as a start to help you out, but nonetheless God wants to hear prayers from our hearts.  With time you will find that it gets easier and easier, and it so heartwarming to be able to pray to Him anytime of the day and as many times in a day.  By the way if you were wondering what I meant by guided prayers, well there are lots of  beautiful prayers written by the Saints before us or by the Faithful.  Almost, if not all of them inspired one way or the other by the Holy Spirit.

A simple prayer to start you off could be “Heavenly Father, I am truly sorry that I have sinned against you and submit myself to you will.  Jesus my Lord and Saviour, I am so very weak and lost, I pray that you send your Holy Spirit to lead me on my journey back to my Father.  Amen.”

Examine Your Conscience And Go For The Sacrament Of Reconciliation

But I am afraid or even uncomfortable about confessing my sins to the Priest, can’t I pray directly to God?

Well first and foremost you must understand that Jesus himself established this Sacrament through his apostles. Matthew 16:19 / Matthew 18:18 although back in those days the way it was done would have been quite different.  Next for you to bear in mind is that Jesus himself is present as you make your confession.  Finally by naming your sins and acknowledging them out loud with a truly repentant heart can and will be a very liberating experience.  Especially when the Priest absolves you of all your sins while you are saying the act of contrition.

Receive Jesus In The Eucharist

When you receive Him in the Holy Eucharist, you receive nourishment and the grace to resist sin.  He abides in you as you abide in him. For more on the Eucharist click here

If you follow and do all these three simple steps you will be back in communion with Him and his Church.  You are on your way to build a stronger, lasting relationship with the Holy Trinity.

“Blessed are those who thirst and hunger for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Matt 5:6

P.S. If you are struggling in any way with this and need prayers, leave your name in the comments section and I will pray for you to come home.  Also I am quite sure that all my Catholic blog readers will gladly do the same for you.

(Apologetics) John Vs Mike – 2

Posted: September 24, 2010 by CatholicJules in Apologetics

From the website: http://www.pro-gospel.org, by Mike Gendron

False Teachers Distort the Person of Christ
Jesus Christ is God’s perfect man and man’s perfect God. He is the perfect High Priest who offered Himself – the perfect sacrifice – once for the sins of His people. This  one sin offering has perfected for all time those who are sanctified (Heb. 10:14). For this reason there are no more offerings for sin (Heb. 10:18). The believer’s eternal sin debt was paid in full and their redemption was secured when God raised Jesus Christ from the dead (Rom. 4:25). Would there be false teachers who would deny this and steal away the honor and glory of our Savior?

Yes, Paul even warned us that some would come preaching another Jesus. They will offer a counterfeit Jesus “whom we [the apostles] have not preached” (2 Cor. 11:4). Many of these false teachers are Roman Catholics who preach a “Jesus” who does not save sinners completely and forever. They say Catholics must do their part by expiating and making satisfaction for their own sins through penance (CCC, 1459). In this way they attain their own salvation through good works (CCC, 1477). The Catholic Jesus offers conditional life, not eternal life (CCC, 1035). This counterfeit Christ is said to return physically to Catholic altars over 200,000 times each day to be a sin offering for the living and the dead (CCC, 1367).

Catholics must be warned of the consequences for not knowing and believing the true Jesus. This was made clear by Jesus when He said: “unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). Whenever religion rejects God’s authority, it creates “another Jesus” which always leads to “another gospel.” Why? Because whenever the sufficiency of Christ is denied, another gospel must be concocted to instruct people what they must do to be saved.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Mike Gendron:

False Teachers Distort the Person of Christ
Jesus Christ is God’s perfect man and man’s perfect God. He is the perfect High Priest who offered Himself – the perfect sacrifice – once for the sins of His people. This  one sin offering has perfected for all time those who are sanctified (Heb. 10:14). For this reason there are no more offerings for sin (Heb. 10:18). The believer’s eternal sin debt was paid in full and their redemption was secured when God raised Jesus Christ from the dead (Rom. 4:25). Would there be false teachers who would deny this and steal away the honor and glory of our Savior?

John Martignoni

Jesus did indeed offer Himself once for the sins of his people…on the Cross.  Catholic teaching does not say differently.  Mr. Gendron only need look in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), which he is apparently familiar with, for this Catholic teaching.  CCC #1544 would be a good place for him to start.  We also believe there are no more offerings necessary for sin.  Unlike the Old Testament sin offerings which had to be repeated over and over again, because they did not take away sin, the offering of Jesus on the Cross is once for all – for all time and for all people and for all sins.  We do not need to spill the blood of anyone or anything else for the forgiveness of sins.  He could look at CCC #617, 1330, 1362-1372, 1851, and 2100, among others, to verify this Catholic teaching.

However, Mr. Gendron is trying, again, to make the Bible say something that it does not say.  Mr. Gendron’s very fallible interpretation of these verses from Hebrews would rule out any possibility of Jesus’ once for all sacrifice being re-presented, or participated in, here on Earth, or continually presented in Heaven.  But, that’s where his fallible interpretation runs into some scriptural difficulties.

Let’s look at Hebrews 5:14, “Since then we have a great high priest Who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God…” So, we see that Jesus is our high priest. What does the Bible tell us is the function of the high priest? Heb 5:1, “For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.”

Jesus is our high priest, and a high priest’s duty is to offer sacrifice for sin.  How long is Jesus to be a high priest? Heb 5:6, “Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” So, Jesus is our high priest forever, and the duty of the high priest is to offer sacrifice. So, if Jesus is going to be our high priest forever, then He needs some sacrifice to offer on our behalf forever, as it says in Heb 8:3, “…hence it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer.”

What does Jesus offer? Heb 9:12, “He entered once for all into the Holy Place taking not the blood of goats and calves, but His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.”  By reading Hebrews chapters 4 through 10, in context rather than plucking out a verse here or there as Mr. Gendron does, it becomes very apparent that the Old Covenant offerings of animals were merely a prelude to the pure offering (Malachi 1:11) of the New Covenant – Jesus Christ Himself. The offering of the high priests of old in the earthly Holy of Holies, was merely a dress rehearsal for the offering of the eternal high priest in the true Holy of Holies in Heaven.

Heb 9:24, “For Christ has entered, not into a sanctuary made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.” Jesus has entered Heaven and for now and all time presents His once for all offering to the Father on our behalf. He is not, however, continually re-sacrificed, “for then He would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world” (Heb 9:26), rather He eternally presents His once for all sacrifice.

Every time a sinner turns to the Father for forgiveness, Christ, on our behalf, in effect says to the Father, “See, Father…see what I did for John. For Jim. For Mike. For Sharon. For Megan. For Julia. For Bob.” He eternally offers His sacrifice on our behalf.

Mike Gendron:

Yes, Paul even warned us that some would come preaching another Jesus. They will offer a counterfeit Jesus “whom we [the apostles] have not preached” (2 Cor. 11:4). Many of these false teachers are Roman Catholics who preach a “Jesus” who does not save sinners completely and forever. They say Catholics must do their part by expiating and making satisfaction for their own sins through penance (CCC, 1459). In this way they attain their own salvation through good works (CCC, 1477). The Catholic Jesus offers conditional life, not eternal life (CCC, 1035). This counterfeit Christ is said to return physically to Catholic altars over 200,000 times each day to be a sin offering for the living and the dead (CCC, 1367).

John Martignoni

Catholics do not offer a counterfeit Jesus, but Mr. Gendron does indeed offer a counterfeit Catholic Faith.  Catholics say we must do our own part, because that is exactly what the Bible says.  We must do “the will of God,” (Matt 7:21).  We must forgive others of their sins (Matt 6:14-15).  We must work the works that God has prepared for us beforehand (Eph 2:10).  We must labor for the food that endures to eternal life (John 6:27).  We must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man (John 6:51-58).  We must be doers of the Word and not hearers only (James 1:22; Rom 2:13).  We must care for our family (1 Tim 5:8).  We must produce good fruit (John 15:1-6).  We must keep the Commandments (Matt 19:16-17).  We must love our brother (1 John 4:20-21).  We must have a faith that works through love (Gal 5:6).  And much more.

I find it less than honest that Mr. Gendron mentions particular quotes from paragraphs of the Catechism without giving any context for those quotes, and does his best to twist the meanings of those quotes.  For example, he is using CCC #1459 to imply that Catholics believe we, in essence, save ourselves from sin.  He fails to mention, however, that #1459 is not talking about expiating our sins and making satisfaction of our sins for the forgiveness of our sins, but rather after we have been absolved of sin (forgiven), we expiate and make satisfaction to help heal the wound to our own spiritual health that we have caused ourselves through our sin.  The sentence Mr. Gendron quotes from begins with: “Raised up from sin, the sinner must still…”  Which means that his sins have already been forgiven and now he must do penance for those sins.  Just as if a little boy broke the neighbor’s window with his basebal.  He would not be able to pay for fixing the window after he had received forgiveness for breaking it – his father would have to do that.  But, the little boy would then be required by his father, as a matter of justice, to do something to “make satisfaction” for the broken window.  The little boy’s efforts would not be sufficient in and of themselves to make satisfaction, but when joined to his father’s efforts, they would help satisfy the requirements of justice.   He also fails to give the context of the paragraph as a whole, as we see in CCC #1460 the words which completely contradict the argument Gendron is trying to make: “The satisfaction that we make for our sins, however, is not so much ours as though it were not done through Jesus Christ.  We who can do nothing ourselves, as if just by ourselves, can do all things with the cooperation of ‘him who strengthens us.’  Thus man has nothing of which to boast, but all our boasting is in Christ.”  But, Gendron conveniently ignores that context in order to distort the teachings of the Church in these matters.  Again, I find that less than honest.

He also states the following: “The Catholic Jesus offers conditional life, not eternal life (CCC, 1035).” Sorry, but I don’t see anything in #1035 that mentions anything about “conditional life.”  Paragraph #1035 is about the chief punishment of Hell being eternal separation from God.  So, I have no clue what he’s talking about with that one.

Mike Gendron:

Catholics must be warned of the consequences for not knowing and believing the true Jesus. This was made clear by Jesus when He said: “unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). Whenever religion rejects God’s authority, it creates “another Jesus” which always leads to “another gospel.” Why? Because whenever the sufficiency of Christ is denied, another gospel must be concocted to instruct people what they must do to be saved.

John Martignoni

It’s rather unfortunate that he would claim Catholics believe that Jesus’ death on the cross is somehow insufficient.  #617 of the Catechism, which I referenced earlier, states: “The Council of Trent emphasizes the unique character of Christ’s sacrifice as ‘the source of eternal salvation’ [Heb 5:9] and teaches that ‘his most holy Passion on the wood of the cross merited justification for us.'”  And that is one of just many paragraphs in the Catechism that talk about how we are saved through the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Where does Mr. Gendron find something in the Catechism that states Christ’s death was insufficient?  He doesn’t, so he has to, through selective reading and his predisposition to bias, come up with “Catholic teaching” that really is not Catholic teaching.   He does as so many others do, he decides for himself, based on his fallible interpretations of Scripture and his counterfeiting of the Catholic Faith, that Catholic teaching is contrary to Scripture.  The problem is, when Scripture is interpreted properly, and when the Catholic Faith is understood as Catholics understand it – rather than as those who stand outside and throw rocks understand it – there is no conflict anywhere between the Bible and the Catholic Faith…none!

Catholics do indeed need to be warned, but they need to be warned about false teachers – wolves in sheep’s clothing – like Mr. Mike Gendron.

And let’s talk for a moment about authority.  By what authority does Mr. Gendron teach what he teaches?  Is he mentioned in the Bible?  Can he trace his ordination through the laying on of hands that he received all the way back to the Apostles so that he may claim Apostolic authority?  Has he even been ordained and had hands laid upon him?  How is it that he talks about rejecting God’s authority when he himself has no authority to be claiming the things he claims nor to be teaching the things he teaches?  I adhere to the authority of the Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself.  Is Mr. Gendron under any such authority to a church, a pastor, or…who?  Doesn’t seem to be.  So yes, I reject something, but it is not God’s authority that I reject, rather I reject Mr. Gendron’s claim to the authority (whatever it may be) to pronounce judgment upon Catholics and Catholic teaching.  I reject his claim to the authority to infallibly interpret the Bible for me and one billion plus other Catholics and seek to force us to swallow his fallible, man-centered interpretations of Scripture.  It is Mr. Gendron who rejects all authority other than himself, including God’s, not Catholics who do so.  I call upon him to name the authority that he operates under?  Dare he claim that he has been visited by the Holy Spirit and given authority by that very same Spirit?  Dare he claim the Bible gives him the authority to teach and preach as he does?  If so, how so?  Again, where is his name in Scripture that I may believe?  Does the Bible say that just anyone can pick up a Bible and start preaching and teaching based on his own personal, fallible interpretation of the Bible?  No, it does not.

Regarding John 8:24, I do believe Jesus “is He.”  Who is Mr. Gendron to decide if my belief is true or not?  Who is Mr. Gendron to pronounce that I am or am not saved?  By what authority, Mr. Gendron, do you do these things?

To close, one question for Mr. Gendron: Please give me your interpretation of Malachi 1:11.  What is the “perfect offering” that is being offered in all the nations from the rising of the sun to its setting?  I thought Jesus’ death and resurrection made null and void the requirement for any “offerings?”

Finally, last week I asked the question: How is it we know the difference between the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error?  Is it by reading the Bible?  Mr. Gendron’s theology forces him to say, “Yes.”  However, the Bible, in 1 John 4:6, says it is by listening to the leaders of the Church.  Hmmm…

Cross Of The Renewal

Posted: September 23, 2010 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

Special thanks and love goes out to Raymund.  Through the goodness of his heart, he got this special cross for all the participants who completed the LISS program including the facilitators.

So if anyone who sees a member wearing it, kindly approach us if you need any spiritual guidance or help with increasing your faith or just to learn more about our faith.  I am planning to get bigger one….. because I have a rather large frame and this one might not stand out enough *grins*

This symbol depicts the outpouring of blood and water from the side of Jesus crucified which is symbolic of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (1 John 5: 6-8). The words “Veni Creator Spiritus”, expresses the fervent prayer of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal for the continued outpouring of the Holy Spirit – – – a New Pentecost.

The Cross of the Renewal has been adopted as the International Symbol of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

My LISS Commissioning Experience

Posted: September 22, 2010 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

In summary there is a Eucharistic Celebration together with a short ceremony whereby the participants are sent to be the “Salt” and “Light” to the world.  However the experience I want to share is what led up to it…….

The day before I made a trip to the Adoration room where the Blessed Sacrament resides, to spend a little time with Jesus in prayer and reflection.  I was pouring my heart out to him, praising and thanking God for all that he has done for my family, friends, His church and me.  Then it dawned on me after a while  that I should just be still in His presence to listen.   It was only then I was prompted to read up on and understand the Beatitudes. Matt 5-1:12

After reading up and finally understanding the Beatitudes, I was taken aback.  Was Jesus prompting me to share this with the rest? After all it makes perfect sense that if we are called to serve him then we should learn, understand and apply what he taught us from the Mount. Also another surprise caught me off guard! (This tells you that I had never been a regular scripture reader) because just after the Beatitudes this follows, Matt 5-13:16 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.  It was time to head back to the Adoration room once again today.

This time round, after a period of prayer, I was prompted to switch off the lights and just reflect on him.  I don’t know why I felt this way since I was alone with my Saviour,  but fear just crept up on me and I started to feel a little afraid.   Then this passage came to mind “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”  Followed by another passage  “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  I opened my eyes and gazed upon the Blessed Sacrament which had a a small stand alone light source.  Again I wondered if this was another message for me to pass on?  So I thanked and Jesus and prayed that if he wanted me to share this his flock at the LISS commissioning then he would guide me and prompt me strongly later so that I might know His Will.

During and after the Eucharistic Celebration, I was wondering if I would even have the opportunity to share the messages should Jesus want me to.  Then as Raymund (The LISS Leader) was saying his last few words, encouraging the participants to stay back and have a meal together, I had the burning desire to share what I was ‘told’ and so I mouthed my desire to say a few words to Raymund.  Fortunately he understood, and opened a short session for anyone who wanted to testify or share which I and a few others did.  I just hope I did my Lord and Saviour justice in passing his message on, because I was a little nervous and not sure if I had fumbled. Lord have mercy if I did….

All Glory and Honour are Yours Almighty Father.

Amen.

Some Great Catholic Iphone Apps

Posted: September 22, 2010 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

Here are some of my Favourites…

IRosary

iRosaryVersion 2.5

IRosary is an innovative new Rosary for the iPhone and iPod Touch which displays a fully-animated set of Rosary beads that flows across your hand as you move it with your finger, like a standard Rosary.

For those new to the Rosary, there is no easier way to learn this perfect prayer which engages the body, mind, and soul, while meditating on the life of Jesus Christ. Those who pray the Rosary regularly will appreciate how closely iRosary resembles a traditional Catholic Rosary.

Unique Features

  • Pull the beads with your finger to advance to the next prayer.
  • 2 complete sets of images from famous Christian paintings.
  • 270 chain, bead, and cross combinations let you create a Rosary just for you.
  • The text is easy to read and can be resized by spreading with 2 fingers.
  • iRosary suggests the correct Mystery based on the liturgical period.
  • Pray with your eyes closed thanks to an easy interface and pleasing sound cues.

Other Features

  1. Move the beads to the left or the right, making it easy to hold iRosary in EITHER HAND
  2. Always REMEMBERS your place and automatically resumes when you return
  3. A bead highlight and a decade bead number help TRACK your progress
  4. Uses the STANDARD set of prayers listed on the Vatican website
  5. The SAME number of beads as a standard Rosary, with between-bead prayers that fold out as you arrive to them
  6. Beads can be pushed back to return to a PREVIOUS prayer
  7. The LUMINOUS mysteries can be turned on or off
  8. Includes the CHAPLET of Divine Mercy and the Loreto LITANIES
  9. A DYNAMIC interface which extensively uses Apple’s Core Animation to provide a rich user experience

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Find iPieta (Catholic Teaching, Calendar, and Prayer) on AppStoreHQ.

IPIETA

Version 3.2


This is a great Catholic Resource App!

New in Version 3.2:

  • Navigation Features: Right (and Left) Swipes for Custom Gestures are extended to scroll to the next (or previous) chapter if already at the bottom (or top) of the webview. A Single Tap in the Webview toggles the view size to show or cover the tab bar. Single Tap feature is only for iPad and iPhone 3GS and above; it can be disabled in Settings > General.
  • Veritas Tab: Abandonment to Divine Providence and The Cloud of Unknowing have been added to the Veritas > Spiritual. The listing of Popes can now be accessed in Veritas > Papal. The duplicate text for St. Jean Marie Vianney and the Council of Trent has been cleaned up; the Raccolta now correctly displays sections 122-130.
  • Calendar Tab: Solemnities that fall on Sunday in the Novus Ordo now display the correct readings; some minor fixes.
  • Prayer Tab: Added: Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary after Mass; the Transfige (St. Bonaventure); and the latin versions of the Anima Christ and the Litany of the Precious Blood.
  • Text: Font choices increased to 10. Color choices decreased to 12; however more color choices (about 70) are accessible by enabling “More Colors” in Settings > General. Font size now includes 13. Margins added to text on the iPad.
  • Searching: The very first and the very last search result can now properly access the whole chapter.
  • Optional Audio: Added Mark Ch. 12-14; Luke Ch. 1-7 (See http://www.ipieta.com for directions)
  • Other: Labels in table cells containing audio buttons are correctly formatted to better show table indexes.

Bible:

Catholic Bibles in the public domain with excellent English-Latin correspondence: Douay-RheimsLatin Vulgate.

Scripture can read as English, Latin, or in English-Latin. The latter mode can displayed either as side-by-side or verse-by-verse. Chapters are easily accessed with the indexed tables. The entire chapter is displayed.

The Douay-Rheims is the only public-domain English Catholic Bible we are aware of. It is an excellent and truly Catholic translation, although some people may not prefer the “old English’ style. We are hopeful that the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (for the NAB version) and the National Council of Churches (for the RSV-CE version) will delight in the extensive corpus of doctrine which we make available for a minimum fee ($3) and will grant us permission to incorporate these translations.

Calendar:

Either the Ordinary (or Novus OrdoCalendar or the Extraordinary (or Traditional or TridentineCalendar can be displayed. Toggle between calendars by shaking the device. The default calendar type can be set to Novus Ordo or to Tridentine or to “Last Type”. The latter setting remembers which calendar was used last and applies that setting.

The Novus Ordo Calendar can be displayed in table format for Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Malta, New Zealand, Scotland, the United States, or Wales. (The default can be set in the “Settings” Tab.)

Calendar Colors and Fonts:

  • BOLD UPPER-CASE: Solemnity (Class I)
  • Bold: Feast (Class II)
  • Regular: Memorial (Class III)
  • Italics: Optional Memorial (Class IV)
  • Red Color: Martyr, Mass of Holy Spirit, etc.
  • Blue Color: Liturgical “white” (e.g., non-martyr)
  • Green / Gold / Violet date / weekday backgrounds colors to distinguish the liturgical season
    • The Traditional Calendar has three shades of violet to distinguish Septuagessima, Lent, and Passiontide

Tapping the row for a given day will display that day’s Gospel or first reading. Touching the “Other” button (or doing the appropriate swipe) will display the other reading(s) for the day.

Calendar defaults (Settings Tab) include: Default Text (Gospel or 1st Reading), Number of Months to Show (2-12), Calendar Type (Novus Ordo, Tridentine, or Last Type), and National Calendar (for Novus Ordo only).

Prayers:

Prayers displayed using Indexed Tables. Rapidly navigate to hundreds of prayers. Sections are:

  • Sacred Heart
  • Passion of our Lord
  • Holy Mass
  • Eucharistic
  • Holy Spirit
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary
  • Total Consecration to Jesus in Mary
  • Our Lady of Sorrows
  • Basic Marian Prayers
  • Marian Devotions
  • St. Joseph
  • Basic Prayers
  • Blessings
  • Angel Prayers
  • Saint Prayers
  • Prayers to St. Jude
  • Prayers to St. Anthony of Padua
  • Examination of Conscience

FREE and OPTIONAL AUDIO is available for many prayers.

Substantial prayers include:

  • An older (public domain) version of the Little Office of our Lady
  • 33-day preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus in Mary
  • Ordo for the Traditional Mass
  • Novena to the Holy Spirit
  • St. Alphonsus Stations of the Cross
  • The St Bridget 1-Year and 12-Year Prayers.

Veritas / Search:

  • Search
    • The entire Veritas section as well as the Douay-Rheims Bible is indexed for searching.
    • Search is the first row in the Veritas table.
  • Saint “Cliff Notes” (incomplete)
    • An on-going feature; succint overviews of the lives of the Saints; written by the iPieta Team
  • Baltimore Catechisms #1, #2, and #3
  • Catechism of Christian Doctrine (Promulgated by Pope St. Pius X)
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IMissal

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DVD – The Song Of Bernadette (1943)

Posted: September 21, 2010 by CatholicJules in DVD Review

Product Details

Actors: Jennifer Jones, Charles Bickford, William Eythe, Vincent Price, Lee J. Cobb
Directors: Henry King
Writers: Franz Werfel, George Seaton
Producers: William Perlberg
Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, DVD, Full Screen, NTSC
Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD Release Date: June 3, 2003
Run Time: 156 minutes

The story of a peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous, a poverty-stricken, pure hearted adolescent, who saw a vision, of a “Beautiful Lady” near her home town of Lourdes in 1858. The wondrous news spreads rapidly throughout France, leaving in its wake a variety of consequences: adoration, suspicion and greed among the people of Lourdes skepticism from the town doctor (Lee J. Cobb) charges of insanity from the town prosecutor (Vincent Price) threats of physical punishment, then support and guidance from the Dean of Lourdes (Charles Bickford), who finally becomes convinced that the miracle has, indeed, taken place. Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Actress and Best Score, this true story is both first-rate filmmaking and an inspiring tribute to faith, courage and the human spirit.

Review : 

I first watched it when I purchased the LD format more than 10 years ago and I still love this movie after watching it for numerous times!  Not all religious movies are able to achieve the Spirituality which will touch both believers and non-believers alike, but this is definitely one of them.  This is largely due to the powerful performance of the beautiful Jennifer Jones and the rest of the stellar cast.   Saint Bernadette’s unwavering faith, her humility and serenity in suffering is astoundingly captured in this film through Jennifer Jones portrayal and a very well written script.

I like this bit from a well written review I read online…

Ridiculed, scorned and threatened by the ecclesiastical and political establishments, Bernadette must hold on to her integrity in order to survive. The realistic plotting and manipulations of the petty local politicians (led by Vincent Price) is worth the price of the DVD alone. Charles Bickford (nominated for best supporting actor) portrays the skeptical local priest who believes that he knows what is best for Bernadette in the end.

Gladys Cooper (nominated for best supporting actress) is the vitriolic nun who despises and persecutes the poorly educated, sickly and simple minded Bernadette. The shattering emotional climax where the nun realizes the enormity of her sin is a master class in acting.

This remains the most realistic religious film of the Studio era. Its hard hitting depictions of the poverty of Bernadette’s family, of the blindness of the Church and of a town’s small-mindedness is balanced by its literal depiction of the validity of Bernadette’s visions.


PORNOGRAPHY AND VIOLENCE
IN THE COMMUNICATIONS MEDIA:

A PASTORAL RESPONSE

INTRODUCTION

1. There has been a worldwide revolution in the perception of moral values in recent years, involving profound changes in the way people think and act. The communications media have played and continue to play a major role in this process of individual and social change as they introduce and reflect new attitudes and life-styles.1

2. Some of this change has been for the better. Today, as Pope John Paul II recently noted, “The first positive note is the full awareness among large numbers of men and women of their own dignity and of that of every human being… At the same time, in a world divided and beset by every type of conflict, the conviction is growing of a radical interdependence and consequently of the need for a solidarity which will take up interdependence and transfer it to the moral plane”.2 The communications media have contributed much to these changes.

3. Many changes, however, have been for the worse. Along with old abuses, new violations of human dignity and rights and of Christian values and ideals have occurred. Here, too, the media bear part of the responsibility.

4. The communications media are involved because, as the Second Vatican Council stated, if it is true that “they bring valuable assistance to the human race”, it is equally certain “that individuals can use these means (of communication) in a manner contrary to the commandments of the Creator and can convert them into instruments of evil”.3

5. Among the alarming developments of these years has been the widespread increase of pornography and wanton violence in the media. Books and magazines, recordings, the cinema, the theatre, television, videocassettes, advertising displays and even telecommunications frequently offer a representation of violent behaviour or of permissiveness in sexual activity that reaches the point of being openly pornographic and morally offensive.

6. As reflections of the dark side of a human nature marred by sin, pornography and the exaltation of violence are age-old realities of the human condition. In the past quarter century, however, they have taken on new dimensions and have become serious social problems. At a time of widespread and unfortunate confusion about moral norms, the communications media have made pornography and violence accessible to a vastly expanded audience, including young people and even children, and a problem which at one time was confined mainly to wealthy countries has now begun, via the communications media, to corrupt moral values in developing nations.

7. Thus, the communications media which can be such effective instruments of unity and understanding can also sometimes be the vehicles of a deformed outlook on life, on the family, on religion and on morality – an outlook that does not respect the true dignity and destiny of the human person.4 In particular, parents in many areas of the world have expressed understandable concern about the films, videocassettes and television programs their children can see, about the records their children can hear and about the publications their children can read. They rightly do not want to see the moral ideals inculcated in the home undermined by objectionable materials all too easily accessible in all too many places – often through the communications media.

8. We wish here to describe the more serious effects of pornography and violence on individuals and society, to indicate some of the principal causes of the problem as it exists today and to point to remedial steps which need to be taken by professional communicators, by parents, by educators, by youth, by the general public, by public authorities and by churches, religious bodies and groups in the private sector.

EFFECTS OF PORNOGRAPHY AND VIOLENCE

9. Ordinary experience confirmed by studies conducted around the world has recognized the evil effects of pornography and violence in the media.5 Pornography in the media is understood as a violation, through the use of audiovisual techniques, of the right to privacy of the human body in its male or female nature, a violation which reduces the human person and human body to an anonymous object of misuse for the purpose of gratifying concupiscence; violence in the media may be understood – especially in this context – as a presentation designed to appeal to base human instincts of actions contrary to the dignity of the person and depicting intense physical force exercised in a deeply offensive and often passionate manner. Specialists may disagree among themselves about how and to what degree particular individuals and groups are affected by these phenomena, but the broad outlines of the problem are stark, clear and frightening.

10. While no one can consider himself or herself immune to the corrupting effects of pornography and violence or safe from injury at the hands of those acting under their influence, the young and the immature are especially vulnerable and the most likely to be victimized. Pornography and sadistic violence debase sexuality, corrode human relationships, exploit individuals – especially women and young people, undermine marriage and family life, foster anti-social behaviour and weaken the moral fibre of society itself.

11. Thus, one of the clear effects of pornography is sin. Willing participation in the production or dissemination of these noxious products can only be judged a serious moral evil. Likewise, production and dissemination of these materials could not continue if there were not a market for them, so those who use such materials not only do moral harm to themselves but contribute to the continuation of a nefarious trade.

12. Frequent exposure to violence in the media can be confusing to children, who may not be able to distinguish readily between fantasy and reality. At a later stage, violence in the media can condition impressionable persons, especially those who are young, to regard this as normal and acceptable behaviour, suitable for imitation.

13. It has even been said that there can be a psychological link between pornography and sadistic violence, and some pornography is itself overtly violent in theme and content. Those who view or read such material run the risk of carrying over such attitudes and behaviour into their own relationships and can come to lack reverence and respect for others as precious children of God and as brothers and sisters in the same human family. Such a link between pornography and sadistic violence has particular implications for those suffering from certain forms of mental illness.

14. Even so called “soft core” pornography can have a progressively desensitizing effect, gradually rendering individuals morally numb and personally insensitive to the rights and dignity of others. Exposure to pornography can also be – like exposure to narcotics – habit-forming and can lead individuals to seek increasingly “hard core” and perverse material. The likelihood of anti-social behaviour can grow as this process continues.

15. Pornography can foster unhealthy preoccupations in fantasy and behaviour. It can interfere with personal moral growth and the development of healthy and mature relationships, especially in marriage and family life, where mutual trust and openness and personal moral integrity in thought and in action are so important.

16. Indeed, pornography can militate against the family character of true human sexual expression. The more sexual activity is considered as a continuing frenzied search for personal gratification rather than as an expression of enduring love in marriage, the more pornography can be considered as a factor contributing to the undermining of wholesome family life.

17. In the worst cases, pornography can act as an inciting or reinforcing agent, a kind of accomplice, in the behaviour of dangerous sex offenders – child molesters, rapists and killers.

18. A fundamental message of pornography and violence is disdain, the consideration of others as objects rather than as persons. Thus, pornography and violence can eat away at tenderness and compassion and can foster insensitivity and even brutality.

CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM

19. A fundamental reason for the spread of pornography and violence in the media would seem to be a pervasive moral permissiveness, rooted in the search for personal gratification at any cost. Associated with this is a kind of despairing moral emptiness, which makes sense pleasure the only happiness human beings can attain.

20. A number of more immediate causes also contribute to the escalation of pornography and violence in the media. Among them are these:

  • the profit motive: Pornography is a lucrative industry. Some segments of the communications industry have tragically succumbed to the temptation of exploiting human weakness, including the weakness of young and impressionable minds, in order to make money from productions of pornography and violence. In some societies, the pornography industry is so lucrative that it has been linked to organized crime.
  • bad libertarian arguments: Freedom of expression is said by some to require the toleration of pornography, even at the cost of the moral welfare of the young and of the right of all members of society to privacy and to an atmosphere of public decency. Some even falsely say that the best way to combat pornography is to legalize it. Faulty libertarian arguments are sometimes espoused by small groups who do not represent the moral values of the majority and who fail to recognize that every right carries with it a corresponding responsibility. The right to freedom of expression does not exist in a vacuum. Public responsibility for promoting the welfare of the young, for fostering respect for women and for the protection of privacy and public decency indicates that liberty cannot be equated with license.
  • the lack of carefully prepared laws or the ineffective enforcement of laws which already exist to protect the common good, especially the morals of the young.
  • confusion and apathy on the part of many persons, including members of the religious community, who erroneously consider themselves either as unaffected by pornography or violence in the media or as powerless to contribute to a solution to the problem.

RESPONSES TO THE PROBLEM

21. The spread of pornography and violence in the communications media does injury to individuals and society and creates an urgent problem requiring realistic responses from many persons and groups. The legitimate rights to free expression and free exchange of information must be respected, but so must the rights of individuals, families and society itself to privacy, public decency and the protection of basic values.

22. We shall speak here of seven sectors with obligations in this matter: professional communicators, parents, educators, youth, the general public, public authorities, and the Church and religious groups.

23. PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATORS. It would be unfair to suggest that all communications media and all communicators are involved in this noxious trafficking. Many communicators retain high personal and professional standards and seek to fulfill their responsibilities with a strong commitment to moral norms and the common good. Their efforts – especially the efforts of those who seek to provide wholesome family entertainment – deserve recognition and encouragement. We urge these communicators to join in formulating and applying ethical codes for the communications media and for advertising which respect the common good and promote sound human development. Such codes are particularly necessary for television, which makes it possible for images to enter directly into the home where children may often be alone and unsupervised. Effective self-control is always the best control, and self-regulation by the media can be the first and best line of defense against those who would corrupt the media and society itself by seeking to profit from pornography and violence. We also urge communicators to help make better known through the media the steps which can be taken to stem the tide of pornography and the exaltation of violence in society.

24. PARENTS. Parents must re-double their efforts to provide for the sound moral formation of children and youth. This includes inculcation of healthy attitudes toward human sexuality based on respect for the dignity of every person as a child of God, on the virtue of chastity and on the practice of self-discipline. A well-ordered family life in which the parents are obviously faithful and committed to each other and to their children provides the best school for the formation of sound moral values. Today, too, children and young people must be taught how to be discriminating, informed consumers of media. Parents, in particular, influence their children through the example they give in this matter; parental passivity or self-indulgence in regard to media teach false and damaging lessons to the young. Of particular importance to young people is the example their parents give of true love and tenderness in marriage and of readiness to discuss matters of concern to their children in a loving and gentle manner. It must not be forgotten that, in matters of human formation, “more is obtained by reasoned explanation than by prohibition”.6

25. EDUCATORS. The chief collaborators with parents in the moral formation of young people must be educators. Schools and other educational programs should support and inculcate the social and ethical values that promote the unity and health of families and of society itself. Of particular value are programs in media education to develop in young people a critical attitude and properly formed skills of discernment in using television, radio and other media, so that they might know how to resist manipulation and how to avoid merely passive listening and viewing habits. It is also important that schools emphasize the need for respect for the human person, the value of family life and the importance of personal moral integrity.

26. YOUTH. Young people themselves can help to stem the tide of pornography and violence in the media by responding positively to the initiatives of their parents and educators and by taking responsibility for their own moral decisions in the choice of entertainment.

27. THE PUBLIC. The general public also needs to make its voice heard. Individually and collectively, concerned citizens – including young people – should make their views known to producers, commercial interests and public authorities. There is an urgent need for continuing dialogue between communicators and representatives of the public so that those involved in the communications media may learn more about the real needs and interests of those whom they serve.

28. PUBLIC AUTHORITIES. Legislators, administrators, law enforcement officials and jurists should recognize and respond to the problem of pornography and violence in the media. Sound laws must be enacted where they are lacking, weak laws must be strengthened, and existing laws must be enforced. Because the production and distribution of pornographic material has international implications, action should also be taken on the regional, continental and world levels to control this insidious traffic. Those who have already taken such initiatives deserve support and encouragement in their efforts.7 Law and the agents of law have as their most sacred duty the protection of the common good, particularly as it pertains to youth and the most vulnerable members of the community. We have already noted some of the harmful effects of pornography and violence, and we can conclude that the common good has indeed been harmed and continues to be harmed where such materials are produced, exhibited and distributed without responsible restriction or regulation. Public authorities must feel obliged to take prompt action to deal with this problem where it already exists and to prevent it from arising in places where it may not yet have become an urgent matter.

29. THE CHURCH AND RELIGIOUS GROUPS. For the Church, the first responsibility is the constant, clear teaching of the faith and, therefore, of objective moral truth, including the truth about sexual morality. In an era of permissiveness and moral confusion, this requires that the Church be a prophetic voice and, often, a sign of contradiction. The so-called “ethic” of immediate personal gratification is fundamentally opposed to integral human growth and fulfillment. Education for family life and indeed for responsible life in society requires formation in chastity and self-discipline. By contrast, pornography and wanton violence can blind individuals to the divine image in the human person, can weaken marriage and family life and can do serious harm to individuals and to society itself. Wherever possible, the Church must join with other churches, denominations and religious groups in teaching and fostering this message. It must also make the best possible use of its own institutions and personnel to give education and formation concerning the media of social communications and their proper role in individual and social life. Special attention should be given to assisting parents in their efforts.  Thus, media education belongs in Catholic schools and other educational programs, in seminaries,8 in formation programs of religious and secular institutes, in the continuing formation of priests and in parish programs for youth and adults. Priests and Religious in pastoral and educational work should themselves be discrimating consumers of media who give good example in what they read and view.

30. Finally, a merely censorious attitude on the part of the Church toward the media is neither sufficient nor appropriate. Instead, the Church should be engaged in continued conversation with responsibile communicators to encourage them in their work and to provide assistance where it is needed or requested. Catholic communicators and their professional organizations – with their special insights and experience – can play a key role in these continuing conversations.

31. As they conscientiously evaluate productions and publications in accordance with clear and consistent moral principles, Catholic critics and communications organizations can offer valuable assistance both to communications professionals and to families. In fact, the guidelines on the communications media present in existing Church documents, including recent reflections by many bishops on the problems of pornography and violence, deserve extended study and systematic application.

32. This document is intended to address the widely expressed concerns of families and of the shepherds of the Church and to invite even more general reflection of an ethical and practical nature on the problem of pornography and violence in the communications media and to encourage all to follow the injunction of St. Paul: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom 12, 21).

Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

 
Vatican City, May 7, 1989

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Some Interesting Reads

Listen to some confessions here