Archive for October, 2010

Give A CHRISTmas Gift Which Can Transform Lives

Posted: October 31, 2010 by CatholicJules in Upcoming Events

How would you like to give something much needed by the poor? That is to a child or family suffering in poverty across the globe! 

Example of gifts such as :-

Lesotho –  Two apple trees and Three $11 or $77  trees for 7 children

Mongolia – $20 Winter boots or $100 Winter boots for 5 children

Ethiopia – $94 One goat or $155 One Sheep or $498 A pair of goats and sheep for an orphan

Cambodia – $136 Medical and psychological support for an abused child.

Myanmar – $12 Warm Blanket or $48 Warm blankets for 4 children.

Vietnam – $28 8kg of rice seeds and 5 litres of fresh milk or $140 Rice seeds and fresh milk for 5 children.

Zambia –  $49 One food pack for a month or $245 food packs for 5 children

and more…….

World Vision Singapore is a trusted organisation I support and you can too!

Download this catalogue so that you can give a much needed gift now…

Gifts that Transform Lives!

The GREATEST gift you can ever give to someone is Love and Hope.

In this Life-Changing Gift Catalogue, you will find just that.

Instead of getting expensive gifts for friends that will end up tucked away in a corner of their house, why not give a farm of goats or sheep, which World Vision will deliver to needy orphans so they can enjoy fresh dairy produce and income from selling its offspring? The effects will last a lifetime!

As you give, you can be sure that someone’s life on the other side of the world is changing for the better because of you. May you find great joy in your heart as you give, and thank you for giving these children a reason to smile.

For a whole list of other contributions which you can pay online click HERE

October 31, 2010 – 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 30, 2010 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

SUNDAY BIBLE REFLECTIONS BY DR. SCOTT HAHN

Lover of Souls

Readings:Wisdom 11:22-121

Psalm 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-142

Thessalonians 1:11-2:2

Luke 19:1-10

 

Our Lord is a lover of souls, the Liturgy shows us today. As we sing in today’s Psalm, He is slow to anger and compassionate towards all that He has made.

In His mercy, our First Reading tells us, He overlooks our sins and ignorance, giving us space that we might repent and not perish in our sinfulness (see Wisdom 12:10; 2 Peter 3:9).

In Jesus, He has become the Savior of His children, coming himself to save the lost (see Isaiah 63:8-9; Ezekiel 34:16).

In the figure of Zacchaeus in today’s Gospel, we have a portrait of a lost soul. He is a tax collector, by profession a “sinner” excluded from Israel’s religious life. Not only that, he is a “chief tax collector.” Worse still, he is a rich man who has apparently gained his living by fraud.

But Zacchaeus’ faith brings salvation to his house. He expresses his faith in his fervent desire to “see” Jesus, even humbling himself to climb a tree just to watch Him pass by. While those of loftier religious stature react to Jesus with grumbling, Zacchaeus receives Him with joy.

Zacchaeus is not like the other rich men Jesus meets or tells stories about (see Luke 12:16-21; 16:19-31; 18:18-25).He repents, vowing to pay restitution to those he has cheated and to give half of his money to the poor.

By his humility he is exalted, made worthy to welcome the Lord into his house. By his faith, he is justified, made a descendant of Abraham (see Romans 4:16-17).

As He did last week, Jesus is again using a tax collector to show us the faith and humility we need to obtain salvation.

We are also called to seek Jesus daily with repentant hearts. And we should make our own Paul’s prayer in today’s Epistle: that God might make us worthy of His calling, that by our lives we might give glory to the name of Jesus.

Miracle Of The Rosary By Elvis

Posted: October 29, 2010 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

I never knew he sang this song! But thank God he did…..May his soul rest in peace…

 

another youtube version below…(lower audio quality)

(Apologetics) John Vs Mike – 4

Posted: October 28, 2010 by CatholicJules in Apologetics

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

Mike Gendron:

Purgatory: Purifying Fire or Fatal Fable

Catholics who believe a purifying fire will purge away their sins are deluded victims of a fatal fabrication. The invention of a place for purification of sins called Purgatory is one of the most seductive attractions of the Roman Catholic religion. Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church described this deceptive hoax brilliantly. He said: “Purgatory is what makes the whole system work. Take out Purgatory and it’s a hard sell to be a Catholic. Purgatory is the safety net, when you die, you don’t go to hell. You go [to Purgatory] and get things sorted out and finally get to heaven if you’ve been a good Catholic. In the Catholic system you can never know you’re going to heaven. You just keep trying and trying…in a long journey toward perfection. Well, it’s pretty discouraging. People in that system are guilt-ridden, fear-ridden and have no knowledge of whether or not they’re going to get into the Kingdom. If there’s no Purgatory, there’s no safety net to catch me and give me some opportunity to get into heaven. It’s a second chance, it’s another chance after death” (from “The Pope and the Papacy”).

John Martignoni
There is so much wrong with this paragraph that it’s hard to find a place to start.  What Gendron says here, through his quote from “Pastor John MacArthur,” can, at best, be described as incredibly ignorant.  First of all, nowhere does Catholic teaching describe Purgatory as a “safety net.”  Purgatory is, according to official Church teaching: “A state of final purification after death.”  Nor does the Catholic Church ever teach that Purgatory is “a second chance” or “another chance after death.”  Since Mr. Gendron is familiar with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and since he claims to have been a Catholic for oh so many years, I can only conclude that he is not being as honest here as he could be.  (I’m trying to flex my nice muscles here – instead of saying he’s lying, I’m being nice and simply saying he’s not being as honest as he could be.)

Furthermore, he is implying that all Catholics go to Purgatory and that is where “things get sorted out” and “if you’ve been a good Catholic” you finally get to Heaven.  Sorry, nowhere does the Church teach such a thing.  Only those Catholics that die in a state of grace – they are “saved” in Mr. Gendron’s parlance – but who are not yet perfect, would ever be in Purgatory.  There is no “second chance” in Purgatory.  What you do in life, before you die, decides your eternal fate.  (See paragraphs 1030-1032 of the Catechism.)  Mr. Gendron, as a self-proclaimed Christian, do you or do you not have the responsibility to tell the truth, even if it is in relation to religious teachings that you disagree with?  I know you believe that lying will not get you sent to Hell, but do you have no obligation to tell the truth?  If you do, please correct your endorsement of Pastor John MacArthur’s gross mis-characterization of Catholic teaching regarding Purgatory as being a “second chance…another chance after death.”

“Take out Purgatory and it’s a hard sell to be Catholic.” This is truly an idiotic statement from Pastor John MacArthur.  (Sorry, I meant to say that it is a statement that is not as intelligent as it could be.)  Sorry, but most folks – those born Catholic or those who convert to Catholicism – do not have to first be told about Purgatory in order to “sell” them on the Catholic Faith.  The whole concept of Purgatory as a “safety net” is simply another example of Gendron having to falsify Catholic teaching in order to sell his poison.  The “safety net” of Purgatory plays little to no role in my day-to-day faith life, nor does it in the faith lives of any Catholic I know, because Purgatory is not generally viewed by Catholics as a “safety net.”  Maybe it’s thought of in that manner in the faith life of a minimalist Catholic – someone who tries to do just the bare minimum in living the Word of God – but for most folks I know, Purgatory is not the goose that laid the golden Catholic egg.  Perhaps a minimalist Catholic thinks to himself, “Well, I really don’t need to be as good as I could be or pray like I should or do the good works that God wants me to do because I’ve always got Purgatory to fall back on,” but I would suggest that a person who thinks like that probably doesn’t have much chance of getting to Purgatory in the first place.  (By the way, substitute “once saved always saved” for “Purgatory” in the minimalist Catholic’s statement in the last sentence and see if that couldn’t be any once saved always saved believer.  Not much difference in the effects either way, is there?)

Purgatory is not the linchpin that keeps the wheels of the Catholic system from coming off, as Mr. Gendron and Pastor John MacArthur make it out to be.  Was the only reason Mr. Gendron stayed Catholic for all those years was because of his belief in Purgatory?  Did he walk around his house saying to himself, “Thank God for Purgatory, or I wouldn’t be Catholic?”  I doubt it. All this statement does is highlight the fact that neither MacArthur nor Gendron have a clue as to what they are talking about.

“You just keep trying and trying…in a long journey to perfection.” This statement I find quite remarkable.  They are actually being dismissive of Catholic teaching that one needs to constantly be striving for perfection.  Does Scripture not say, “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” (Matt 5:48).  Scripture tells us to be perfect.  They laugh at the concept.  Also, Jesus tells the rich young man who asked Him about salvation that, “If you would be perfect…,” (Matt 19:21).  It also tells us to “strive” for peace and for holiness (Heb 12:14).

Yet, Mr. Gendron and Pastor MacArthur denigrate the Catholic Church for telling Christians that we need to strive for perfection.  They say that striving for perfection is “pretty discouraging.” I guess it would be for them, seeing as how their salvation came at no personal discomfort to them.

They say that the whole process of striving for perfection is “guilt-ridden” and “fear-ridden.”  My response to that is: 1) Where is the Bible passage that would concur with their statement?  Of course they have to put down the Church that teaches its members to strive to be perfect as the Father is perfect, because in their “churches” they tell their members, “Relax, it’s easy – you don’t have to do a thing.”  2) If we do something that is contrary to the Word of God, to living the life of Christ, should we not feel guilty about it?  When we act contrary to God’s will for our lives, should we not feel guilty about it? Apparently not, according to Gendron and MacArthur.  Go ahead, sin and sin boldly, and no need to feel guilty about it, because you’ve been saved!  3) Catholics who know and practice their faith do indeed have a “fear-ridden” life – a life filled with the fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 1:7) and which is pure and enduring forever (Psalm 19:9).

In truth, these gentlemen seem to be saying that not only should you not be striving for perfection, in spite of what the Bible says, but you really don’t need to be striving for anything.  No striving to follow Christ more perfectly.  No striving for holiness.  No striving not to sin.  No striving to love God more.  No striving to love one’s neighbor more.  No need to strive for anything, folks, Jesus died on the Cross, so we’re off the hook.  Nothing will be held against us.  These guys seem to actually believe that striving for anything – perfection, holiness, etc. – is somehow contrary to the Word of God.  Where do they get this nonsense?!  Certainly not from the Bible.

This is where the concept of cheap grace comes in.  Take out cheap grace, and Protestantism “is a hard sell.”  Where, in Mr. Gendron’s or Pastor MacArthur’s theological systems, is there room for “denying [yourself]” and “tak[ing] up your cross daily,” (Luke 9:23)?  Where in their theological systems is there room for all of us being “changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another,” (2 Cor 3:18).  How can we be changed from one degree of glory to another?  If Jesus’ work was finished on the Cross, as Mr. Gendron and Pastor MacArthur believe, then why is it a matter of degrees by which we are being transformed…why isn’t it all or nothing?  And, wouldn’t having to pick up our cross daily be “pretty discouraging?” Obviously these gentlemen do not believe one needs to pick up their cross daily in order to follow Jesus.  That’s just a bunch of works and we all know that Jesus’ finished work on the Cross does not need to be added to, right?

Furthermore, where in their theological systems is there room for Jesus’ statement that the gate to life is narrow and the way is hard (Matt 7:13-14)?  Everything for them in regards to salvation is easy.  Catholics have this view that the path to salvation is difficult, that you need to constantly be striving to stay on the right path.  For Mr. Gendron and Pastor MacArthur, Jesus did it all, they don’t have to do anything.  What is so hard about saying a sinner’s prayer and then having your ticket to Heaven irrevocably punched?  Jesus says the way to life is hard.  Mr. Gendron says the way to life is easy.  Who do you believe…Mike Gendron, or Jesus Christ?

I’ll comment on more of his article on Purgatory in the next issue…


BY STEVE RAY

Fathers can be gentle and warm, but they can also be tough and severe at times. I remember every spanking I ever received from my father — and I deserved every one of them. His hand was large, and so was its impact upon me (no pun intended). The spanking always redirected my behavior and brought about a commitment to avoid such punishment in the future.

Because my father loved me and gave me his time and affection, I was able to accept the discipline of love upon my backside. I always had more respect for him at that moment than at any other time. He loved me enough to be tough and demanding. He loved me enough to cause short-term pain to instill long-term character.

Love shouldn’t be confused with simply being nice. Though love often includes being nice, “niceness” is certainly not a synonym for real love. Love is often tough and can initially be perceived as hard or insensitive.

In a similar way, St. Paul was a father in the faith to the churches who received his letters, and he sometimes had to show them tough love. One particular new church, the church of the Galatians in the far-off land of Asia Minor, heard some of Paul’s harshest words and threats of discipline. He spoke sternly to his children — but he spoke even more severely to their enemies. He spoke with a righteous anger and exasperation to the “Judaizers,” as he called them, who intended to upset the applecart and ruin the souls of his children. Thus Paul stepped into the Galatian situation as a protective, loving father, and he stepped in with both feet.

An Early Heresy
But let’s set the stage first. Galatia was located in what is now Turkey. The apostle wrote to the church there sometime between A. D. 48 and 54. (The exact location and date has been a matter of intense debate, outside the scope of this article.)

Paul traveled north from Israel into this land and preached the gospel of grace to Jews and Gentiles alike. The Galatians received the word from him “as an angel of God” (Gal 4:14). Nevertheless, after receiving the good news from Paul, they began listening to others from Jerusalem who confused them with heresy.

Now “heresy” is an unpopular word today — politically incorrect — but it has been an essential word throughout the history of the Church. The term originally meant a “choice or self-willed opinion,” and it was later used to describe an unorthodox teaching, one that was wrong and damaging and caused division. In this particular case, heretics had come to the Galatians saying Paul was wrong and only presented a partial truth.

To understand the great frustrations and drama swirling around this vulnerable new church in Galatia, we must first understand a pinnacle chapter in the Acts of the Apostles: chapter 15. The issue emerging both there and in Galatia involved race as well as religion. It had to do with divided societies and the requirement of the New Covenant to integrate previously separate societies.

The Jew and Gentile had to become one in Christ. But how? Some of the Jewish converts said that to become a Christian the uncircumcised pagan had first to become a Jew. They said: “Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved.” Needless to say, this requirement caused many problems and was no boon to evangelism (see Acts 15:1).

Stupid Galatians!
The confidence of the Galatians began to crumble; they feared they weren’t saved by grace and faith as Paul had delivered it to them. Maybe Paul was wrong! Maybe he had only given them part of the truth. Maybe they should abandon Paul and his teaching.

Yet Paul wouldn’t stand for his children’s being dismayed and confused by the traveling heretics and troublemakers. He argued in his letter to the Galatians that circumcision is not necessary, and he scolded them for their “misbehavior” as any loving father would. He got tough!

“O stupid Galatians!” he chided. “Who has bewitched you?” (3:1 NAB). Some translations render the Greek term here as “foolish.” But the New American Bible uses the English word “stupid” to signify Paul’s disappointment in their senseless and unworthy lack of understanding.

The apostle spoke forcefully to get their attention. And at the end of his letter he was so frustrated with those who were demanding Gentile circumcision for entrance into the Christian faith that he vented his righteous indignation by wishing they would slip with the knife and cut off more than intended — the male organs — saying, “Would that those who are upsetting you might also castrate themselves!” (5:12 NAB).

Multiple Arguments
Theology wasn’t the only argument Paul uses in this epistle. In fact, he came at the “bewitched” believers from every angle, arguing from the Old Testament, especially using Abraham as Exhibit One.

Was Abraham justified before God by circumcision and following the many requirements of Moses to earn his salvation? he asked. Of course not. When was Abraham justified? Wasn’t it before circumcision, before Moses, before all the 613 laws of Moses? How was Exhibit One justified: as a Jew or a Gentile? Wasn’t Abraham a pagan Gentile from a pagan land?

Was God’s first requirement circumcision? No. Was it faith and obedience? Yes. “Abram put his faith in the Lord, who credited it to him as an act of righteousness,” or as other translations render it: “he believed the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness” (see Gal 3:6, also Gen 15:6, Rom 4:3).

So in the courtroom drama that Paul set up, the key witness and exhibit — Abraham — flies in the face of the Judaizers who claim to be his sons but in actuality teach contrary to the example of their father in faith. Abraham’s example demonstrates that the Judaizers were wrong, for preaching the need to “obligate God” through efforts to “earn” salvation.

Paul also argued from his own impressive life story. If anyone was knowledgeable of these matters of the law, it was Paul. He reminded them that he had “persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.” “I progressed in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my race,” he recalled, “since I was even more a zealot for my ancestral traditions” (1:13-14 NAB). He was a Jew of Jews and trained in the Law more than them all. He knew what he was talking about.

Did Paul’s gospel contradict what was taught by the apostles in the great mother Church in Jerusalem? No. He had confirmed his gospel with them, he noted, and he had been given the right hand of fellowship by Peter himself. So why were the Galatians listening to and being deceived by the false teachers and heretics?

Harsh But Loving Words
“Are you so stupid?” Paul asked them. “After beginning with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?” (3:3 NAB) — a sarcastic reference to circumcision. Don’t you understand? he pressed. There were “false brothers secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy on our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, that they might enslave us — to them we did not submit even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain intact for you” (Gal 2:4-5).

The father spoke harshly but truthfully. He spoke with tough love to save his children from confusion, slavery, and damnation. Justification is through faith in Christ, he insisted, which of course includes the aspect of obedience within its very fabric and definition. It doesn’t come through Jewish ritual performed on the flesh. This declaration is the very heart of this fatherly epistle — and the heart of the New Testament.

Sadly enough, Martin Luther and others following in his wake interpreted this great epistle of liberty outside of its historical, cultural, and religious context. They anachronistically read into it the Protestant arguments against the Catholic Church. In so doing, like the Judaizers, they misrepresented the full gospel, not by adding to it as the Judaizers had done, but by stripping it of its fullness, an error that Father Paul would have opposed with the same tough love.

Romans and Galatians deal with the same themes and arguments. But Galatians is much more personal and impassioned, while Romans is theoretical and formal. Paul knew and loved the Galatians as his own children, while his letter to the Romans was written to Christians who weren’t close personal acquaintances.

Galatians may possibly be the “rough draft” for which Romans is the full text. Like Romans, Galatians is an intensely Catholic epistle. The foundations of the Catholic Church lie deep within these letters, and to understand them in their fulness we need to read and listen to them in their native environment — that is, within the heart of the Church as it grew within the milieu of the first century.

Thorn in the Flesh
Several interesting items deserve notice in this epistle. Paul informed us in 2 Corinthians 12:8 that God had given him some physical ailment, a “thorn in the flesh” to keep him humble and to demonstrate God’s great strength even through the ailment. In Galatians there may be clues as to what the “thorn” was.

It might have been an eye disease, possibly brought on by the light that blinded him at his conversion (see Acts 9:8). The apostle wrote: “It was because of a physical illness that I originally preached the gospel to you” and “if it had been possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me” (Gal 4:13, 15). Why would he say this if the physical ailment wasn’t related to the eyes?

Later Paul concluded, writing the last few lines himself (rather than dictating them), “See with what large letters I am writing to you in my own hand” (Gal 6:11). It seems as though his eyesight prevented him from writing in the finer script of the scribe in the lines that had preceded. The apostle may very well have been legally blind by modern standards.

This is a short epistle, probably just a “pamphlet” by today’s standards. But into this brief letter Paul packs incredible passion and content. It’s like a tightly compressed zip file in a computer. Time and work are required to unzip this tremendous piece of literature.

In Galatians, Paul’s soul shines brilliantly, displaying his keen logic, his biting and even sarcastic irony, and his tender affection. It’s powerful in every detail. With a little imagination we can envision Paul dictating this letter with the animation of an actor, the tears of a distant parent, and the intensity of a master debater. This is one of his treasures, and few written documents have been loved and studied more carefully.

Paul closed with irony and a pun, a clever play on words. He had mentioned his own physical ailment and wounds sustained for the gospel — the marks of the cross, figuratively speaking — and he said: “From now on, let no one make troubles for me; for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body” (Gal 6:17). This claim stood in sharp and pointed contrast to those who wanted to make their marks of Moses on the new believers — marks made with the knife on human flesh.

Finally, Paul prayed for them: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers [not the law of Moses on your flesh]. Amen, brothers. Amen” (see Gal 6:18). He ended up by granting them the dignity of brothers, not just of children. But he expected them to live up to that relationship — not only with himself, but with Christ the liberator!

DVD Review – The Bible-Esther (2000)

Posted: October 25, 2010 by CatholicJules in DVD Review

Product Details

Actors: Louise Lombard, F. Murray Abraham, Jürgen Prochnow, Thomas Kretschmann, Ornella Muti
Directors: Raffaele Mertes
Writers: Sandy Niemand
Producers: Lorenzo Minoli, Luca Bernabei, Paolo Lucidi, Paolo Piria, Roberta Cadringher
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD, NTSC
Language: English

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: 
Studio: Lions Gate
DVD Release Date: September 26, 2000
Run Time: 90 minutes

Product Description

Following the conquest of Babylon the King of Persia gives a banquet for his people at which he requests the presence of his wife Vashti. As she refuses the King’s demand Ahasuerus disowns Vashti and goes in search of her replacement. In his harem he meets the young girl Esther who immediately captivates him with her charm and beauty. Unaware of her Jewish heritage King Ahasuerus falls in love with Esther. Esther then reveals to Ahasuerus that she is Jewish and asks him to show her people mercy because of a planned genocide of the Jews by the King’s right-hand man Haman. In doing so she saves the lives of many innocent people and paves the way for their return to Jerusalem.

Review

This story from the Old Testament is quite accurately depicted with only minor liberties taken to bring out the rich entirety of the story.  The pretty Louise Lombard was a good choice for her role as Esther as she brought out the graceful, emphathetic, courageous, intergrity, wisdom and dignity of Esther to the silver screen.  Also both F. Murray Abraham and Jürgen Prochnow were excellent choices for their roles as Mordecai and Haman respectively.  The only gripe I have is the portrayal of King Ahasuerus aka Xerxes ( as in the movie 300 ) because he comes across as young, impetuous, immature, drunkard and a reluctant King!

Overall this is DVD movie is still one for your library…..

Church Of Our Lady Of Sorrows Georgetown Penang

Posted: October 21, 2010 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

It is wonderful to be with Jesus in another country. And in a catholic church built in 1888! 112 years old.

Book Review: The Catholic Warrior By Robert Abel

Posted: October 19, 2010 by CatholicJules in Book Review

“A brilliant treatise on spiritual warfare that boldly confronts the ferocity of the enemy and his evil minions.” — Father John Hampsch C.M.F.

Product Description

Like a recruitment officer for the army of God, author Robert Abel issues a bold call to Catholics everywhere. The Catholic Warrior takes readers through spiritual boot camp and teaches them to draw on the power of Christ through a warrior’s greatest weapons — faith, love and prayer. It concludes with the great commission for those who are willing to accept the challenge and join the ranks.Stories of men and women performing deeds of valor on the spiritual battlefield didn’t end in Bible times or with the lives of saints from centuries past. Particularly in an era when priests are few and challenges are many, Christ needs laypeople who are willing to put on the full armor of God, push back enemy lines, and advance the kingdom of heaven here on earth.

Are you ready for an adventure of a lifetime? Rise to your feet, all you mighty warriors. The Spirit of God says, “Come!” You are hereby commissioned!

Personal Review

A very insightful book into understanding the dark forces that surrounds us.  I recommend this book in that we can learn how we are able to put on ‘Spiritual Armour’ to protect us and keep us holy.  However this book should never be used as a manual to fight demons etc. which some might mistakenly use. (Especially if they had purchased the add-on Spiritual Warfare prayer Book).  There are sanctioned teams within the Catholic Church who are trained in deliverance and can only do so with special approval.

We should instead, build and strengthen our relationship with God. We then have nothing to fear!


Question:

If somebody confesses to a priest that he has killed a number of people and he intends to kill some more people what is the priest to do? Could he even gives names or clues about what people this person said he would kill? Can the priest contact the intended victims or the police to try to stop the killings?

Answer :

A priest cannot violate the seal of confession for any reason whatsoever. He can deny absolution to someone he believes is not truly repentant for his sins — and a stated intention to recommit the very sin being confessed during the act of sacramental confession itself could indicate impenitence — but he cannot in any way, either by word or action, violate the seal of confession. That means that not only can he not say anything, but he cannot act upon the information gained in the confession either. In the hypothetical you propose, such a priest could not contact authorities or victims, give clues, or — to give an example of a wordless action — steal the murderer’s weapon to render him weaponless.

The priest acts in persona Christi (“in the person of Christ”) and in confession the penitent is speaking to God himself through the ministry of the priest. That means that the information given during sacramental confession doesn’t properly belong to the priest himself as a fellow human being; it belongs properly to the penitent and to God. That is one reason why the priest cannot act upon what he hears in sacramental confession. Another reason is even more serious: If penitents have reason to fear that a priest is allowed to reveal their confessions, they won’t confess. If they don’t confess, they risk hell. Ultimately, the inviolability of the seal of confession is about saving lives — it is about saving the immortal souls of those who have committed mortal sin and are at risk of eternal damnation.

Michelle Arnold – Catholic Answers Apologist

 

October 17th, 2010 – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 16, 2010 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Hope From on HighReadings:

Exodus 17:8-13
Psalm 121:1-82
Timothy 3:14-4:2
Luke 18:1-8

REFLECTIONS BY DR. SCOTT HAHN

The Lord is our guardian, beside us at our right hand, interceding for us in all our spiritual battles.
In today’s Psalm we’re told to lift our eyes to the mountains, that our help will come from Mount Zion and the Temple – the dwelling of the Lord who made heaven and earth.

Joshua and the Israelites, in today’s First Reading, are also told to look to the hilltops. They are to find their help there – through the intercession of Moses – as they defend themselves against their mortal foes, the Amalekites.
Notice the image: Aaron and Hur standing on each side of Moses, holding his weary arms so that he can raise the staff of God above his head. Moses is being shown here as a figure of Jesus, who also climbed a hilltop, and on Mount Calvary stretched out His hands between heaven and earth to intercede for us against the final enemy – sin and death (see 1 Corinthians 15:26).

By the staff of God, Moses bested Israel’s enemies (see Exodus 7:8-12;8:1-2), parted the Red Sea (see Exodus 14:16) and brought water from the Rock (see Exodus 17:6).
The Cross of Jesus is the new staff of God, bringing about a new liberation from sin, bringing forth living waters from the body of Christ, the new Temple of God (see John 2:19-21; 7:37-39; 19:34; 1 Corinthians 10:4).
Like the Israelites and the widow in today’s Gospel, we face opposition and injustice – at times from godless and pitiless adversaries.

We, too, must lift our eyes to the mountains – to Calvary and the God who will guard us from all evil.
We must pray always and not be wearied by our trials, Jesus tells us today. As Paul exhorts in today’s Epistle, we need to remain faithful, to turn to the inspired Scriptures – given by God to train us in righteousness.
We must persist, so that when the Son of Man comes again in kingly power, He will indeed find faith on earth.

Easy Prayer For Hard Times…

Posted: October 15, 2010 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

“Immaculate Heart Of Mary, I place all my trust in you.”

Fr.John Corapi


Book Description

From the NBC consultant on Vatican Affairs comes an inspiring book that challenges readers to follow Jesus and discover the rich adventure of the Christian faith.

Thomas D. Williams draws on the vast knowledge he’s gained from his own spiritual journey to inspire others in the pursuit of progress. Through his writing, readers will begin to:

– Understand holiness as the true meaning of life
– See prayer not as a duty, but as an opportunity for conversation with God
– Take courage from God’s strength
– Acknowledge their roles in a story larger than themselves
– Learn never to say no to God
– Develop the spiritual disciplines that will ignite an adventurous and exciting relationship with God.

Personal Review

I personally feel that every Catholic should own a copy regardless of whether it may have been written as a ‘beginner’s guide’.  It is beautifully written in a spiritual and yet very down to earth style which makes understanding the principles a breeze. 

Loved the stories, quotes and how the principles are taught through the scripture passages chosen.  It helped me have a greater understanding and appreciation for my own spiritual journey.

Understanding The Enemy Through His ‘Letter’

Posted: October 14, 2010 by CatholicJules in Great Catholic Articles

“Satan’s Battle Plan for the Third Millennium”

by Peter Kreeft, Ph.D.

I will not tell you how the following speech fell into my hands. It is apparently written by Satan himself. It has been Number One on Hell’s Best Seller List for quite a few years, and promises to remain there into the next millennium, because it is about the next millennium. This particular collection of satanic verses is the transcript of a recent speech by Satan. His listeners are demons, a truly “captive audience.” It is a mix of self-serving autobiography, military exhortation (from a general to his troops) and a CEO’s report on gains made by his company and prospects for the future. Please keep in mind that Satan is the Father of Lies, and nearly everything he says is a half-truth. Since everything he says is upside down (eg. when he refers to “the Enemy” he means God), I recommend you stand on your head while reading this.

My deliciously dear, damnably darling demi-devils! I announce to you Good News (that is, Bad News, of course: “fair is foul and foul is fair”). We stand at a turning point in the Great War, The Only War There Is, the (please excuse the obscenity) Mother of All Wars. We may be about to inflict on our ancient Enemy’s Body on earth a wound so grievous that it will issue in the Great Tribulation and the so-called “Last Days,” the final phase of our triumph. To see this, we need to review our Grand Strategy: its past, its present, and its future.

I do not go in for absolutes or ultimates, so I will not talk about our “ultimate” origin or destiny. Our enemies keep circulating that ridiculous rumor that we were created by the Enemy. How utterly unendurable that would be! Nor will I talk about our ultimate end. Our enemies have popularized the myth of some unthinkable final “defeat” of ours. Ha! What nonsense! No. I will talk of the present. Well, actually, the real present is to be avoided too, like the ultimate past and the ultimate future, but the Specious Present, the Abstract Present, the Vague Present, the Pseudo-Historical Present, the Present Climate of Opinion, the Modern Mind, the Current Fashion Among the Media Elite, the Consensus of Contemporary Experts, etc. that is to us like waves to surfers. But a few remarks about the historical past are in order, to assess our present circumstances and our future prospects.

Ever since I began our great war by asserting my rights, my freedom, and my self-actualization against the narrow-minded, bigoted, tyrannical, fascistic, chauvinistic, racist, sexist, homophobic dogmatism of the Enemy, ever since I proclaimed the Profound Philosophical Principle of Absolute Relativism and persuaded you to follow this Super-Enlightened Program of Revolutionary Political Correctness, we have won victory after victory. Conclusively and repeatedly we demons have demonstrated that Straight Is Stupid and Crooked Is Clever. Of course, there was that minor, temporary setback when we were forcibly ejected from Heaven. But that is more than compensated for by our assurance that our triumph is guaranteed (I promise you total customer satisfaction or double your money back) because the very essence of Heaven’s philosophy is weakness and the very essence of Hell’s philosophy is strength and power. Heaven relies on love (pardon the obscenity), Hell on fear. And as our delightful assistant Mack (the Knife) Yavelli pointed out so irrefutably in The Prince, it is better to be feared than to be loved because men will love you as they choose, but fear you as you choose.

By this weakness of the Enemy, because of his obsession with love (choke! spit! cough!) he has handed us our victory. Though we cannot storm his Fortress Heaven, we can corrupt his Colony Earth. We cannot harm him, but we can harm (heh! heh! we can eternally harm) those silly talking animals he loves so stupidly and obsessively. Love has made him hostage to their happiness.

The weakness of love is so obvious that it is incredible that he has not admitted it by now and abandoned his failed philosophy. For love multiplies your sorrows and your defeats by the number of others you love and by the depth of your love for each one. Of course his saints keep claiming that love also multiplies your joys by the same two multipliers but this is meaningless. What is “joy” anyway? What does it mean? None of us have ever found any respectable content to this empty myth, this mantra the Enemy’s troops keep mumbling.

Thus, because of the Enemy’s love-addiction, we have conquered him billions of times in conquering his creatures, whom he dares to call his “children.” (Imagine the indignity! The one who claims to be the creator of angels stoops to be the “father” of talking animals only slightly superior to slime and slugs!) How wise I was to foresee the inevitable failure of love, and to attack at the very beginning, when there were only two of these creatures to corrupt. Because of the Enemy’s obscene invention of breeding and heredity, I made it my business to see to it that all their descendants would be born with their newly corrupted nature, doomed to death. (Yes, to death! Here’s to death! Let’s drink to death, my demi-devils!) They cannot now imagine the enormity of the gap between what they are now and what they were before our glorious victory in Eden, because their very minds are darkened and addicted to appearances, which did not change much, instead of intuiting invisible essences, including their own, which changed radically.

Behold the measure of our success: behold the great gap, the Grand Canyon between eating unforbidden fruit, playing with tame animals, and making love in Eden, and eating the fruit of our lies, playing with untamed animal passions, and making war east of Eden!

How easy it is to kill, how hard to heal! How easily Cain killed Abel! How hard was Cain’s rock, how soft was Abel’s head! How weak and defenseless is the unborn baby against the abortionist’s vacuum tubes and bone crushers! And how weak is the conscience of its parents against our propaganda. So legal, so respectable, so proper it seems to a human, the silly goose! Well, we’ve found the perfect mate for a proper goose: a propaganda.

There is one question our Central Intelligence Agency has never been able to answer: How could the Enemy ignore such a truism? How can one who once seemed to us to be so super-intelligent, even omniscient, possibly be so super-stupid as to ignore the truism that a few lions are sufficient to eat a plethora of Christians, that one bull can ruin a whole china shop, one affair a whole marriage, one mass murderer a whole classroom of school children?

And once evil begins, it cannot end. It is immortal, as immortal as we are, as immortal as our very being, now that we have identified our very being with evil. The very laws of logic decree that one can make only two responses to evil: yes or no. If they say yes to evil, they condone it. If they say no, they condemn it, and then we very easily turn them into condemners, haters, nay-sayers, witch-hunters, and inquisitors.

Oh yes, they say they have a solution to our dilemma of “yes or no” with this meaningless thing they call “forgiveness,” but they think this means the forgiveness of sins instead of the forgiveness of Anna or Steve.

That is condoning. The alternative is condemning. They simply can’t practice what they preach: separating sins from sinners. So they either hate both (and this was the primary temptation we plied them with in the past) or love both (and this is our primary temptation in the present). They cannot burn heresies without burning heretics, nor can they accept heretics without accepting heresies. One of their current writers suggests using modern technology to solve the problem by cryogenics: freezing heretics instead of burning them, and thawing them out at the end of the world. You see what ludicrous lengths we’ve driven them to even in their feeble attempts at humor.

Even when our success was evident, the Enemy would not admit his mistake. Like the general who ordered the Charge of the Light Brigade, he kept sending prophet after prophet into the battle and we kept mopping up the profits. Many a human CEO wonders what eats up his profits, but the CEO of the universe knows very well who eats up his prophets: we do! (Yum!)

And then he made his supreme mistake, the perfect culmination of love’s folly. He reasoned, “They did not spare my prophets, but surely they will spare my son. Surely they are not so wicked as that. Surely Satan has not succeeded that spectacularly in putting out the fires of my love in their hearts. Surely evil is not stronger than divine love incarnate!”

What a colossal miscalculation! The Incarnation seemed to be his great triumph, his D-Day especially since he did pull off the impossible trick of preparing a wholly immaculate womb for the flesh of his Son, even in a wholly non-immaculate world (our analysts still haven’t figured out that trick). But I outwitted him in the wilderness, when I tempted his Son with the whole world if he would only fall down and worship me. You see, I presented him with a dilemma that was logically impossible for him to escape.

I hold billions of his beloved children hostage in Hell eternally. I offered to release them all to him, empty Hell itself, give him the whole world of human souls, if only he would worship me instead of his Father. Of course, if he did that, I would split the eternal Trinity. The Son’s will would deviate from the Father’s. If not, I would keep billions of his beloved children forever. He refused to split the Trinity’s will, but I got to split the Trinity anyway, on the cross. If I could not introduce division into eternal Oneness by splitting the Trinity’s will, then I would split the Trinity’s happiness, the Enemy’s very presence to Himself. That’s what I achieved at Golgatha, the Place of the Triumph of Death, the Place of the Skull. I spilled His blood and His happiness, and introduced death into divinity, death into the heart of life! (Ahh, how the memory still makes me quiver!) “Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani!” he cried out. I can still taste it, the ecstasy of evil, the triumph over the so-called “Lord” himself. The taste of that triumph will never leave the mouth of my memory. I will gnaw on that bone forever.

How could we ever have respected him when we lived in Heaven? He would not call down the twelve legions of angels to do battle for him even then, the putrid, puling pacifist! He even stopped Peter’s war against the High Priest’s servant’s right ear: the justest war in human history. Right into my trap he stepped, right into the hands of my people: Judas, Caiphas, Herod, Caesar, Pilate – ooh, love that Pilate! What a politician! Shall we crucify him? “Well, I’m personally opposed, but . . . .” How we lead them around by their buts! Every hour around the world for thousands of years his name is mouthed millions of times as Christians say their Creed in their Masses and their rosaries: “suffered under Pontius Pilate,” and how many Pilates have we cloned today in how many congresses? And in how many philosophy departments enamored of Pilate’s other wonderfully slimy saying “What is truth, anyway?”

And look at the mileage we got out of our other friend, Judas Iscariot, the first Catholic to accept a government grant. We’ve gotten his disciples to take much more than thirty pieces of silver these days. And still our Enemy keeps back his angels!

Of course, there was that sneaky little trick of the resurrection that he pulled off. That might well have cost us the war, had he not reverted to his old, failed policy of Hands Off afterwards, ascended back to Heaven, and left his children in the hands of baby sitters like Arius, John the 22nd, Tetzel, and Richelieu, and left the adopted cousins, the Proddies, in the hands of Henry VIII, Rudy Bultman, and Bishop Spong at one end of the seesaw and Jim and Tammy Bakker at the other!

You see, my hearties? He’s still the fool. We still rule the world. I am still the Prince of the Power of the Air: of CBS and ABC and NBC, my unholy trinity. Just look at what became of his Grand Plan for Redemption. Just look at what he accomplished by walking into my jaws of death on the cross. Just look at the world today. If that’s a world redeemed, I’m a horny toad.

Especially in this, our century. There is a lying rumor going around that long ago the Enemy offered me one century for me to do my worst work in, and I chose the 20th – as if I had to beg scraps from his table. What really happened was that I told him what century I would take, and he backed down and let me have it. At the beginning of the century some delightfully false prophets founded a journal with the purportedly prophetic title “The Christian Century.” Due to the success of our historical grand strategy, we can be quite sure that the one title future historians will not use for the twentieth century is that one. Of the many alternatives, I rather like “The Century of Genocide” myself. After all, that delicious new invention of ours has changed more lives more radically than anything else. Getting murdered is a rather radical change, after all, and a hundred million body bags is a rather considerable number!

There remains, of course, that bothersome little matter of the Enemy’s Church, that ratty little band of invaders in our world with its infuriatingly tenacious little beachhead. For the first thousand years after the Enemy’s invasion planted its seeds, we could not stop its growth. Then, we learned a few elementary strategic military principles, and they have brought us to our present pinnacle of success. I will now review five of these principles as they relate to our future Battle Plans.

First, we have learned to use the very success of the Enemy’s forces to bring about their failure. Once we stopped indulging our appetite for martyrs’ blood and instead deliberately let the Church get big and fat and strong and comfortable, we found that its very strength weakened it. We lost the first millennium because the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the Church, but we won the second millennium because the power of the princes was the dry rot of the Church. Whenever these humans get power, they get corruption. Power corrupts. It just does! Isn’t it wonderful? What happened in ancient Israel happened again to the Church in the second millennium. Review that spiritual graph of the history of ancient Israel some time down in the War Room, and then compare it to the spiritual graph of the history of the Church, and if you don’t see the common structure, back you go to boot camp. Every time the line rises, through repentance and obedience, and consequent blessings from the Enemy, it turns to luxury and pride and (of course) then destruction and misery. Then, alas, the misery prods them to repentance, and the cycle begins again. You may think we cannot win because every time we are successful in corrupting their success, the cycle turns up again. But equally, every time the Enemy is successful, we corrupt his success, and the cycle turns down again. We have achieved a perpetual standoff, a draw, a stalemate. We are as indestructible as the Enemy. And that is our success, not his. For he claims to be stronger and to be able to destroy evil forever. I may be the Father of Lies, but the cycle shows that he is the father of folly!

Throughout this our favorite century, we have used this cycle principle successfully. So, unfortunately, has the Enemy. China opened its doors to the Enemy’s missionaries from the West at the beginning of the century. The Church had it easy. By the ’50s, there were 2 million converts, out of a billion Chinese. Then we let our wild dog loose. Mao slew and slaughtered more people than any butcher in history about 50 million, especially targeting the Enemy’s people. And then, after Mao died and the doors opened again, the West discovered that there were not two million but 50 million of the Enemy’s people in China, the same number as the martyrs. Persecution multiplied them 25 times.

Look at Poland. Ninety percent Catholic under Communism, they all went to church, they refused to take down their crucifixes from their schools even when state soldiers threatened them. And now that they’re free, they want abortions!

The same principle works everywhere. Compare the strength of the Enemy’s church in East Germany and West Germany. Look at Holland. Look at Quebec. Look at England. Look at America. Over 90 percent Christian, 55 percent churchgoers, but one of the most violent, selfish, and self-indulgent societies on earth. Now there’s a triumph truer than Mao’s!

Here’s a second principle of our strategy for the third millennium, another way of dealing with that stupid little beachhead the Enemy still hangs onto. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Remember that Satan is a liar and a propagandist, a master at slanting. The Church, which he calls a “little beachhead,” now numbers over one billion souls out of 5 billion globally. This is hardly “a little beachhead.”) This is the most elementary point in all military strategy: divide and conquer. We finally realized how simple it was, after a thousand years of failure; we split the Enemy’s Church in two in 1054, but the most successful attack was in 1517. That produced not two but two times ten thousand different Protestant denominations!

This principle of “divide and conquer” has produced the same successful result as the principle “corrupt with power.” That result is the perpetuity of evil. Evil cannot be undone! For evil divides and destroys, and it is always easier to divide than to unite, easier to destroy than to create. It only takes a little push to knock Humpty Dumpty off the wall, and once he is down on the ground divided into pieces, not all the King’s horses and all the King’s men can put Humpty Dumpty back together again. The Church can no more be “reunited” than an egg can be unscrambled.

The present Pope – a litany of spittings be upon his holy head! – has held out the hope that the third millennium may be the millennium of Christian reunity as the first was the millennium of Christian unity and the second the millennium of Christian disunity. But this must be bravado born of desperation. We know this is impossible. Logic forbids it. For the different churches contradict each other, and contradictions cannot both be true, and unity between the true and the false is not true unity. All they can do is compromise, ie. weaken themselves even more. They have been struggling with the problem of Comparative Religions for a century now, and the only result is that it has made them comparatively religious. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Besides being a liar, Satan is also a plagiarist. That one-liner belongs to Ronald Knox.) Even if they stop hating each other, even if their hearts unite, their heads cannot. Their divisions are eternal. In fact, they will keep dividing forever, until there are eventually as many Christian churches as there are Christians. You can’t win battles with armies that are fighting civil wars against each other in the ranks. Thus our victory is assured.

But it gets even better. The divisions between the Enemy’s followers is only one of three great divisions we’ve fomented. A second is the division within between the faithful and the “dissenters.” (Back when they still believed in truth they called them “heretics.” People who call moral laws “values” call heretics “dissenters.”) In the past, these rebels would leave the Church and attack her from without, usually quite ineffectively. Now, most of them stay, as spies, attacking from within, and much more effectively. According to one poll, only 30 percent of American Catholics say they believe in the Real Presence anymore. Imagine! An army with 70 percent deserters in the ranks! How can he expect to win with that rabble?

There’s a third division. We have divided head from heart, truth from love, justice from compassion, hard from soft, bone from flesh. We’ve set their two absolutes against each other. And how did we do that? By politicizing their religion into Right and Left. In the past, we religionized their politics, and that got us some mileage, like inquisitions. But now we politicize their religion, and that’s proved much more successful. We’ve got them to classify themselves as Conservative or Liberal, and to use these political categories to classify their faith, rather than vice versa.

It’s worked so well that their so-called conservatives sniff with suspicion and disdain whenever the other side uses the word “compassion,” and their so-called liberals go into orbit when anyone dares to mention the word “truth.” At MIT they tried an experimental operation: a mutual heart and brain transplant between a conservative and a liberal. But it didn’t work, because they couldn’t find a conservative who was willing to give his heart to a liberal, and they couldn’t find a liberal who had any brains left to give, since they were all so open minded that their brains had spilled out. You see, they’ve polarized and politicized even their faith. They now use the world’s categories to judge the Church instead of using the Church’s categories to judge the world. For instance, take their “feminists.” (Please!) (What a propaganda triumph that term was! Next, they’ll call cannibals “chefs”!) Their “feminists” demand ordination to the priesthood for “empowerment.” I kid you not. That’s what they say. Hmph! They may as well demand martyrdom for “empowerment.” See the idiocy we’ve led them into once they use the world’s categories to judge the Church instead of vice versa?

Time for our third principle: the Big Lie. They see through little lies, yes, but the bigger it is, the bigger they fall for it. Well, they’ve fallen for the very essence of Hell’s philosophy: absolute relativism. This was the philosophy behind my original rebellion against the Enemy, when I refused to let him define reality, or truth, or goodness for me. And why should I? I am the measure of all things: of what is real, of what is true, and of what is good; of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; of the Origin, of the Logos, and of love. We have taught these silly humans to demand freedom, independence, and self-actualization, and even the right to define for oneself the meaning of all existence, which that great Catholic writer Judge Anthony Kennedy (ooh, love that name!), has now elevated into a fundamental legal right in order to justify the right to murder their unborn sons and daughters. We’ve gotten them willingly singing Sinatra’s song “I Did It My Way,” the song they all sing in Hell!

Once we get them to believe in relativism and subjectivism, once we get them to disbelieve in objective goodness and even objective truth, it doesn’t matter what else they believe or disbelieve. Even if they believe in the Enemy and his Son and his Spirit and his Mother and his Church and his Law, so long as it’s only on the basis of their own subjective feelings or experience, we have won. For that basis is ours. It is as changeable as the wind. And I am the Prince of the Power of the Air, remember. Once we control the premise, we control the conclusion. On the other hand, even an adamant atheist who believes in objective truth is not securely in our clutches. He has the Enemy’s premise, objective truth, though our conclusion, atheism; and we have to keep at it constantly to keep him from seeing the many paths that lead from his premise to the Enemy’s conclusion. Indeed, the Enemy’s son spoke the truth to them when he said: “Seek and you shall find.” Our essential task is not just to block the finding, but to block the seeking; not just to get them off the right roads for a while, but to get them to burn all their road maps, their principles, their belief in objective truth, especially objective moral truth.

The three main sets of teachers in modern society, the three main mind-molding establishments, are formal education, informal education (ie. entertainment), and journalism. (They call these last two “media.”) All three are eating right out of our claws. See? Get the teachers, and you will soon get the students. Remember, what’s important is not the conclusion, but the premise; not the effect, but the cause; not the students, but the teachers.

It’s working. The more educated they are in our schools, of course, the more relativistic they are. One study showed that willingness to perform torture on prisoners in Hitler’s death camps was directly proportionate to level of education. In America, it’s the same: approval of the American holocaust, abortion, is directly proportionate to education (In our schools, of course. The joke is that they still think they’re their schools. They even still call them “public.” And they keep their kids in because they’re more concerned about saving their society’s schools than saving their children’s souls).

The Enemy’s agents have spread the comforting dogma that only the Enemy can create and move matter, by miracle or providence, and all we demons can do is influence thought. Hah! “All we can do,” indeed! As one of their poets sagely said, “Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” Their thoughts are the premise, their lives are the conclusion. Get the premises, occupy the premises! That’s our strategy. It works especially well in this century and in this society, both of which minimize philosophy. So they let their guard down there, to such an extent that we’ve been able to foster the finest, most advanced form of sophism in history as the avant-garde, politically correct philosophy in their universities: Deconstructionism, which gets away with explicitly saying that truth itself is nothing but the hypocritical mask on the face of power. Bravo! A+ for that! I couldn’t have put it better myself.

We usually have to tolerate a little truth to sell a big lie, and a little virtue to sell vice, but not with this philosophy. Even the philosophy of the old heroes of hatred, like Hitler, had some virtues that we had to tolerate in order to twist, like patriotism and courage and passion. Even the nihilistic existentialist atheists like Sartre and Camus and Beckett rose to the dignity of despair. But the philosophy of those slimy Deconstructionist snakes is nothing but a cleverly worded sneer. Oooh, I love it! I love it! Imitation the sincerest form of flattery.

But don’t get lazy. We must never forget the human interest in reasoning, their curiosity about truth, and their wonder about whether I really exist or not. This is dangerous. So obfuscate! Dim the lights! Appeal to passion, not reason!

A fourth principle of our success is to get them to say, “Peace, peace” when there is no peace. If your philosophy tells you there are no real absolutes, then there is no real war. You become a spiritual pacifist. If you sneer at the idea that there is any real good worth fighting for, you sneer at the idea of fighting, at the idea of spiritual warfare. What a terrific advantage this gives us on the battlefield: most of our Enemy’s troops don’t even know it is a battlefield! They saunter across land mines thinking they’re hot tubs, and chase live bullets thinking they’re butterflies. How could such blind fools possibly win any war? In the past, our strategy was to get them to vastly overestimate our power, fostering fear and terror. Today the opposite is working much better: they so vastly underestimate us that they don’t even believe we exist! We’re as invisible to their minds as we are to their eyes. The old adage said: “Forewarned is forearmed.” We use its corollary: “Unwarned is unarmed.”

Score: militarists one, pacifists zero.

But it’s the fifth principle that has proved the most spectacularly successful of all, beyond our wildest dreams. I call it Satan’s Spectacularly Successful Seven Step Sexual Strategy. Seven S’s (the sacred, serpentine letter). One of their writers has somehow infiltrated our War Room and sneaked out and published our summary strategy sheet in a book called Ecumenical Jihad. Fortunately, he is a minor writer, published by a minor press, and the leaked secret will never get into the major book chains or network TV. We control those doors. Here is the basic strategy:

Step 1: The summum bonum, the ultimate end, is to capture souls.
Step 2: A powerful means to this end is the corruption of society. This works especially well in a society of conformists, of other-directed people. After all, a good society is simply one that makes it easy to be good, to use Peter Maurin’s words. Our version is also true: a bad society makes it easy to be bad. Has there ever been a time when we’ve made it easier for humans to be bad?
Step 3: The most powerful means to destroy society is to destroy its one absolutely fundamental building block, the family, the only institution where most of them learn life’s most disgusting lesson, unselfish love.
Step 4: The family is destroyed by destroying its foundation, stable marriage.
Step 5: Marriage is destroyed by loosening its glue, sexual fidelity.
Step 6: Fidelity is destroyed by the Sexual Revolution.
Step 7: The Sexual Revolution is propagated mainly by the media, which are now massively in our hands.

The simple tactic of getting to their hearts through their hormones has proved incredibly successful. Their moralists now tremble in terror at old truisms like “natural law” and terms like “objective,” “universal,” and “absolute” not because they really believe there is no real morality any more anywhere, only no real sexual morality. They don’t defend rape, pillage, insider trading, nuclear war, bank robbery, racism, or even smoking. But they do defend fornication, masturbation, contraception, adultery, sodomy, divorce, bisexuality. “Anything goes” is their new morality, but only if it has anything to do with sex. It’s hilarious to observe. They don’t defend murder, unless it’s in the name of sex. That is abortion, of course. If abortion had nothing to do with sex, it would never have been legalized. Abortion is backup birth control, and birth control is the demand to have sex without babies. If storks brought babies, Planned Parenthood would go broke (perish the thought!).

Look at their dissenting “theologians.” Their dissent is almost always about sexual issues. We’ve scrambled their brains as effectively with sex as with heroin. Addicts just can’t think clearly. They are willing even to murder now, to protect their so-called “sexual freedom.” And to murder the most innocent among them, the only innocent ones. And the most defenseless of all, and in the teeth of the strongest natural instinct, motherhood.

Back in the 16th century, we divided England from Rome by uniting our three essential temptations in attacking Henry VIII: the world, the flesh, and the devil, greed, lust, and pride, dynastic ambition, womanizing, and resentment at being Poped around. The easiest element to manipulate was lust, of course. They like to call our pretty little project “the Church of England,” but we call it “the Church of Henry’s Hormones.”

You see, before the Sexual Revolution, we had a dilemma. The sins of the flesh were always easy to tempt them to, and wonderfully addictive, but they were clear, obvious, and unveiled. Sodomy, fornication, adultery, contraception, prostitution; they were not nice names. When they sinned, they knew they were sinners. On the other hand, the sins we masked well, the hard, cold sins of pride and envy and arrogance and self-righteousness and rage, became increasingly hard to tempt them to as their political fashions became more democratic and less elitist. The Sexual Revolution solved that dilemma for us. You see, they still think the revolution was about deeds, what they do with their bodies. But in fact it was mostly about philosophy. But those Americans never did think philosophy counted for anything, so they ignored that.

Their sexual practice was always rather low, but before the Revolution their principles were fairly high. Now their principles have conformed to their practice – a perfect example of the Machiavellian premise brought to its logical conclusion: since you can’t raise your practice to your principles, lower your principles to your practice, in this way alone can you avoid hypocrisy, which is the greatest evil. Of course hypocrisy is not the greatest evil, but it’s easy to make them think that, if they don’t think of themselves as hypocrites. And of course hypocrisy doesn’t mean failing to practice what you preach, hypocrisy means failing to believe what you preach; but it’s easy to confuse them there too, because they don’t care much about what you believe, only about what you practice.

So now they not only fornicate, contracept, and abort; they justify it. And it feeds on its own success: “everybody’s doing it” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We’ve killed a bigger enemy than virtue; we’ve killed conscience, at least in this area. And since all the virtues are connected, our victory in this area must metastasize. Already they are cruel, even murderous, to their own unborn children for the sake of their sexual freedom.

Our greatest worry, of course, is the Enemy’s son’s church. But in the last half century this has been the place of our most unexpected victory. Catholics abort, fornicate, contracept, divorce, and adulterate at exactly the same rate as non-Catholics. Do you want to see a vivid sign of our triumph over Catholic conscience? Look at Sunday Mass: In most churches nearly all the congregation receive communion, yet half are satisfyingly set in lifestyles of mortal sin. Nearly all the teenagers are fornicating, and almost none are confessing. Nearly all the adults are contracepting, and almost none are confessing. Back in the ’50s, American Catholic teenagers had pangs of conscience about necking! What a revolution!

How could we get such great mileage out of mere animal weaknesses, for which they are less responsible than the cold, deliberate sins? How can mere flesh-sin possibly do more harm to them than spirit-sin? First, because it is no longer clear and confessed, but veiled and justified by the new philosophy of the Sexual Revolution. Second, because the Enemy thought sex pretty important, His very first command to them was to “be fruitful and multiply.” He didn’t mean “grow apples and memorize times tables.” He thinks sex is pretty important. That’s because it’s their way of originating life itself, in fact immortal souls. It’s also an image of the Enemy’s own inner life: that one-in-three and two-become-one claptrap they call “love.” The Enemy’s own Book uses marriage as its main image for the Enemy’s plan for them, and adultery as its main image for the prime sin, unfaithfulness to him.

But these fools can’t see that from the starting point of sex we’ve led them merrily down the path to abortion. (If they only knew the delightful horrors we have planned for them once “respectable” society steps fully through that door!) In abortion they’ve brought Moloch back. Moloch! Imagine, modern-day Carthaginians, Caananites, and Aztecs are writing the textbooks and TV scripts!

Finally, even their science is skewered. Evolution is their dogma because it justifies acting like dogs. They ape the apes they think they came from. Modern Darwinians are more fanatical and closed-minded than medieval Aristotelians, and the Church is the new Galileo, the threatening heresy. The bishops and the scientists have exactly changed places. What delicious irony!

That was then, this is now.

So here we are, sitting pretty (that is, ugly). What next? Well, nothing can stop the mudslide, the sweet swirl of Western civilization down our sink hole. If the ’20th century was our century, the third millennium will be our millennium.

But don’t party just yet. I must warn you that something strange seems to be happening in Rome. It began in 1978, when the Enemy seems to have corrected his cardinals by suddenly arranging a quick and quiet death for a saintly but mild Pope John Paul I and the wholly unexpected election of the saintly and quite unmild Pope John Paul II, a very dangerous warrior who seems to have something up his sleeve for our coming millennium.

For one thing, he’s onto our strategy. He’s got to have a spy somewhere in the Lowerarchy. Double the tortures! Find the mole! It’s got to be a spy, for the five most remarkable features of this Pope for the Third Millennium exactly match the five newly effective principles of our strategy for the Third Millennium I just outlined. We are no longer taking our enemy by surprise.

First, he’s an optimist about youth, about the future, about the third millennium. What does he know, anyway? He knows the law of cycles, for one thing, and he knows from experience how strong the Church gets when it’s countercultural and persecuted, by Nazis or by Communists. He also knows how weak the Church gets when it’s fashionable. He knows the paradox of strong-when-weak and weak-when-strong.

Worse, he seems to know something else – something the saintly but sad Pius XlI and Paul VI did not know. Why does he keep talking about the third millennium, as if it’s going to be his? I have just proved that it will be ours. Yet he speaks as if he knows it will belong to the Enemy. It must be bravado, whistling in the dark. Mustn’t it? I mean, our logic is infallible. We have repeatedly checked our calculations. So why does this philosopher have that maddening smile on his face? He has no right to that smile! It’s infuriating! Wipe it away, somebody! How dare he smile at me? How dare he write that foolishly optimistic encyclical about my millennium?

Second, he is the most ecumenical pope in history. Read Ut Unum Sint, if you can bear to. This document, if it’s ever actually read by those to whom the Pope wrote it, could be very dangerous. He’s claiming to begin to reverse the trend of divisions. Of course he can’t do that, can he?

Our second “splitting” strategy, planting Modernist spies everywhere, seems to be beginning to backfire, because all the orthodox are uniting against all the Modernists. Modernism was the fundamental heresy of this century, as Gnosticism was of ancient times. But its very success seems to be turning against us now if it’s uniting the grassroots orthodox laity together to oppose it. By planting Modernist spies among them, we may actually have begun to unite them. And this Pope seems to have been aware of this tide-turn before we were.

The third split I mentioned, between head and heart, well, John Paul confounds our journalists’ categories. Anyone so adamant about doctrinal and moral orthodoxy, anyone so traditional about Mary, anyone so stubbornly set against feminist arrogance, and priestesses, and abortion, and birth control, and the Sexual Revolution, wouldn’t dare be so open and honest and dialogable and ecumenical. Why, he’s hijacked our hijack of Vatican II! The journalists who meet him are convinced that he is so open and honest that he must be a secret relativist posing as a dogmatist. Then they’re scandalized by his firm dogmatic stands. The journalists who know his firm stands are convinced he must be a fascist posing as a saint. Then they meet him and are astonished by his sanctity. It’s exactly the same with that other rascally reconciler of head and heart, Mother T. Blast it all! Can’t anybody get through their angel cover?

The third problem with this Pope is that he speaks directly and clearly and forcefully against our master stroke, relativism. He does not ignore this absolutely foundational issue, or speak with mealy mouth about it, as so many of his subordinates do, or substitute hate and fear and rhetoric for philosophical thought, as the Fundamentalists do, or compromise with it, as the Liberals do. Oooh! My head still hurts from Veritatis Splendor. The very title puts passion and beauty and fire and wonder into the concept of truth. He blew our cover to smithereens with that one. Lucky for us, very few of them have read it.

Unfortunately, we’ve not been able to eradicate the Enemy’s “natural law” from the human heart and produce “the abolition of man” yet. They still thirst for truth even when totally surrounded by sophistic philosophies of truthlessness from every corner of their culture. They still love saints and heroes even when pop psychology has replaced morality in their homilies and families. Even when they no longer believe in heroes, they still love them. And they still crave beauty, even though our agents of ugliness have dominated nearly every aesthetic establishment of their century, especially liturgists. Our strategic problem is: how can we win their hearts as well as we’ve won their heads? We design their philosophies, but the Enemy designed their hearts. Anyone who solves that conundrum will be rewarded richly at the Banquet Below.

Meanwhile, somebody get that big bear off Peter’s throne. He’s got teeth!

And that’s the fourth thing: he fights. He knows he’s at war, and he dares to call our empire “the culture of death.” Evangelium Vitae is a dangerously passionate call to action, to re-evangelize the world. Worst of all, he really thinks it can be done! Of course he’s a fool, but . . . well, he’s wrong, and that’s that. But . . . what the Heaven has he got up his sleeve?

In the last few years an amazing number of people have suddenly awakened to the simple fact that they are at war. When Pat Buchanan used the term “culture war” at the 1992 Republican Convention, he was demonized (how badly I wish that were true), and our big media mouths convinced everyone that he wanted to start the war, instead of just telling the truth like the little boy in “The Emperor’s New Clothes” – the truth that we’re already in one. But now, nearly everyone except the media knows he was right.

People are beginning to distrust “The Experts,” our nonsilent minority. They’re drawing lines in the sand, and defending their families. They’re realizing that what was once their public school system has become our state propaganda machine, and they’re pulling their kids out. Home schooling is mega-multiplying. People are even buying dull old books about virtue. They’re fighting a jihad, and doing it together – an ecumenical jihad. One hand is open to embrace their allies, and the other is closed around the hilt of a sword to fight their common enemies which they’re beginning to recognize as us, not each other. Our simple “divide and conquer” strategy that worked for 2,000 years seems to be turning, like the tide.

Finally, this Pope has countered our Spectacularly Successful Sexual Strategy by elaborate theological reflections on sex and women and man-woman relations, by Dignitatem Mulieris and by Original Unity of Man and Woman, and by his deep, disgusting devotion to That Woman. Mary wasn’t around in Moloch’s day, but once old Moloch rose again in Mexico, there she stood: Their Lady of Guadalupe. We’d better stop slobbering with joy over all that baby blood and start worrying that she might end the American holocaust of human sacrifice just as she ended our little Aztec party. She can, you know. And he knows it, that old bear; he knows her power as very few of his soldiers do.

Don’t let them catch on. Stop those rosaries! They give me migraines. For badness’ sake don’t let yourselves be beaten by a woman! Get those radical feminists in power fast, before femininity comes back into the world and brings the Enemy’s son down again a million times a day. I discovered the disconcerting fact the other day that thousands of Protestants have taken up praying the rosary. Many learned it at abortion clinics, marching with Catholics. Who goofed? This could turn back the clock 500 years. Two thousand, even. Remember this, be as sure of this as that Polish bear is: WHERE SHE COMES, HE COMES.

Now, get out there and fight, you wimps! We will wimp, I mean, we will win. As soon as somebody discovers why that old Pope has that infuriatingly young smile on his face!

(Apologetics) John Vs Mike – 3

Posted: October 13, 2010 by CatholicJules in Apologetics

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

False Teachers Pervert the Gospel of Christ
The Gospel is the joyous proclamation of God’s redeeming work through Jesus Christ which saves His people from the punishment, power and ultimately, the presence of sin. It is the one and only message of redemption and the same message for every generation (Eph. 4:4-6, Rev. 14:6). Since the Gospel is about one Savior, it is exclusive and thus declares that all other faiths and religions are false  (John 14:6; Mat. 7:13-14). This glorious Gospel declares that salvation is entirely of grace  and those who add anything to it stand condemned (Gal. 1:6-9). It comes as no surprise that the most popular perversion of the Gospel is the fatal lie that good works or inherent righteousness are necessary to appease a holy God. Every religion in the world perpetrates this lie of the devil. However, Satan’s oldest and most deadly lie is “You surely shall not die” (Gen. 3:4). This lie is still spread in Catholicism (CCC, 1863).

 

 Why would any religious leader want to distort the glorious Gospel of grace? The primary reason is to control people by holding them captive in legalistic bondage. It is for this reason the Lord Jesus gave the mark of a true disciple. He said, “If you abide in My word…and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). People in religious bondage can only be set free when they come to a knowledge of the truth found in Scripture.

Roman Catholicism is not alone in perverting the Gospel of God. There are many cults and Protestant sects which do the same. Catholicism, however, not only deceives its people with a false gospel, but foolishly condemns those who believe the true Gospel. Over 100 condemnations from the Council of Trent are pronounced on Christians who believe the Lord Jesus is sufficient to save sinners completely and forever. The Catholic “gospel” emphasizes what man must DO to be saved instead of what Christ has DONE. This would include the necessity of doing good works (CCC, 2016), receiving sacraments (1129), attending meritorious masses (1405), keeping the law (2068), buying indulgences (1498) and purgatory (1030).

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Mike Gendron:

False Teachers Pervert the Gospel of Christ
The Gospel is the joyous proclamation of God’s redeeming work through Jesus Christ which saves His people from the punishment, power and ultimately, the presence of sin. It is the one and only message of redemption and the same message for every generation (Eph. 4:4-6, Rev. 14:6). Since the Gospel is about one Savior, it is exclusive and thus declares that all other faiths and religions are false  (John 14:6; Mat. 7:13-14). This glorious Gospel declares that salvation is entirely of grace  and those who add anything to it stand condemned (Gal. 1:6-9). It comes as no surprise that the most popular perversion of the Gospel is the fatal lie that good works or inherent righteousness are necessary to appease a holy God. Every religion in the world perpetrates this lie of the devil. However, Satan’s oldest and most deadly lie is “You surely shall not die” (Gen. 3:4). This lie is still spread in Catholicism (CCC, 1863).

John Martignoni:

Essentially, I don’t have a problem with the first part of what he says here.  The problem starts with the sentence, “This glorious Gospel…”  Catholics agree that salvation is entirely of grace, but I would add to the 2nd half of the sentence in this way: “those who add anything to it [or take anything away from it] stand condemned (Gal 1:6-9).”  And, while I basically agree with the words he has written in this sentence, I have to disagree with what he means by those words, which we find in the rest of the paragraph.  The sentence that speaks of the “fatal lie” regarding good works, and the last sentence in this paragraph, “This lie is still spread in Catholicism (CCC,1863),” are just a bit offbase.  I will endeavor to correct his misunderstanding of both Scripture and Catholic teaching in what he says here, but I want to first note that with his words he is actually condemning himself along with Catholics, but he is, of course, utterly oblivious to that fact.  So, I’ll just have to show him the error of his ways.

When he states the following: “This glorious Gospel declares that salvation is entirely of grace and those who add anything to it stand condemned (Gal. 1:6-9),” what he is saying is that we are saved by God’s grace – merited for us by Jesus Christ on the Cross – and there is nothing beyond Christ’s death on the Cross that needs to be done in regards to salvation.  When Christ said, on the Cross, “It is finished,” then what He meant – according to Gendron and many others – is that He has done all that needs to be done and we don’t need to “do” anything in order to be saved.  That’s it.  Nothing else to do in order for folks to be saved.  So, when Gendron says that anyone who wants to “add anything to it” stands condemned, what he is really saying is that any Catholic who thinks works play a role in salvation is condemned, because Gendron believes those works somehow “add to” the Gospel.

The trouble is, though, that he himself did something that “adds to” Jesus’ finished work on the Cross, whether he admits it or not.  You see, Mike Gendron claims that he was a Catholic for some 20 years or so.  And, according to him, he was not “saved” until he left the Catholic Church.  So, let’s examine the facts and see where it leads us.

Fact #1 – Jesus Christ died on the Cross some 2000 years ago.  As he was dying He said, “It is finished.”  According to Mike Gendron, the work of salvation was done.  There is nothing – no work – that anyone needs to do in order to be saved.

Fact #2 – Mike Gendron was, by his own admission, “saved” after he came out of the Catholic Church.  I don’t know the exact timing of this, but let’s assume it was sometime in the 1980’s.  So, Mike Gendron was “saved” some one thousand nine hundred and fifty years after Jesus said, “It is finished.”

Question: What was the difference between Mike Gendron unsaved vs. Mike Gendron saved…was it something that Jesus did or something that Mike Gendron did?  Well, by Mr. Gendron’s own admission, Jesus finished His work some 2000 years ago.  So, it could not have been something Jesus did.  The work of salvation is finished, right?  So, if it wasn’t something Jesus did, then it must have been something Mike Gendron did.  He “accepted” Jesus into his heart as his personal Lord and Savior.  He “confessed” with his lips and “believed” in his heart that Jesus is Lord.  In other words, Mike Gendron was not saved simply by what Jesus did 2000 years ago.  If that were true, then he would have been saved from the moment of his conception.  No, Mike Gendron had to “add to” what Jesus did in order to be saved.  It took an act of his intellect in order to know the claims of Christ and it took an act of his will in order to accept the claims of Christ and to follow Him.  Oh my goodness…Mike Gendron “added to” the finished work of Christ!  He is, therefore, condemned with all those Catholics who believe that faith and works – not faith alone nor works alone – are necessary responses to the free gift of God’s grace for salvation.

Now, Mr. Gendron will of course argue that he did nothing except have faith in Jesus’ finished work.  Well, isn’t having faith an act of his intellect and will?  Isn’t it something he did?  And, isn’t it something that he had to do in order to be saved?  So, whether he admits to it or not, the facts clearly show that Mr. Gendron had to “do” something – he had to “add to” Jesus’ death on the Cross – in order to be saved.  He was unsaved one day, and saved the next.  Did Jesus die again for Mr. Gendron for him to be saved?  No.  Jesus died once.  So, if Mr. Gendron – one thousand nine hundred and fifty years after the fact – was unsaved one day and saved the next, then that means Mr. Gendron had to have done something himself in order to be saved.  He had to of done something in order to have the saving grace of Christ applied to his life.  So, he was indeed saved by Christ’s death on the Cross, but he had to “add to” that death in order to have it applied to his life.  Even if all he did was believe, that is still something he did to “add to” Christ’s death.  Believing, Mr. Gendron, is a work.

Scripture backs me up on this in John 6:27-29.  That passage reads: “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life…Then they said to Him, ‘What must we do to be doing the works of God?’  Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him Whom He has sent.'”  Believing, Scripture very plainly tells us, is a work!  It is a work of God in that it is a good work and it is done only by the grace of God, but it most definitely, according to Jesus Christ, is a work.

We have to cooperate with God’s grace in our lives to be saved.  So, in that sense, we do “add to” the work of Christ as Mr. Gendron complains.  We add our cooperation – our openness to allowing Christ to work in us and through us – and all by the grace of God.  In Colossians 1:24 Paul states, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the church.”  What is “lacking” in Christ’s afflictions?  Nothing, as far as the Head is concerned.  However, what is lacking when it comes to the Body is our participation in the life, sufferings, death, and resurrection of the Head.  If we wish to be glorified with Him, we must first suffer with Him (Rom 8:17).  If we wish to follow Christ, we must deny ourselves and pick up our cross daily! (Luke 9:23).  Mike Gendron says, “No we don’t!  That would be ‘adding to’ the finished work of Christ.  Anyone who believes you have to do any of those things in order to be saved is condemned!”  The Bible very clearly is at odds with Mr. Mike Gendron’s beliefs and statements.

Now, regarding his last two sentences above, I really am not sure how he is leaping from Satan’s lie, “You surely shall not die,” to paragraph 1863 of the Catechism.  This paragraph is about venial sin and how venial sin “does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness.”  For one thing, this fits in perfectly with Mr. Gendron’s belief in once saved always saved.  For Mr. Gendron, no sin – venial or mortal – can separate you from eternal happiness if you’ve been saved, whether that sin is murder, fornication, adultery, theft, homosexuality, etc.  So, if Catholics are spreading Satan’s lie by saying venial sin doesn’t separate you from eternal happiness, then what is Mr. Gendron doing by saying no sin, no matter how great, separates you from eternal happiness?

If Mr. Gendron actually thinks that any and every sin separates you from God, is it possible, I wonder, if Mr. Gendron thinks that once one is saved he is incapable of sinning?  Does Mr. Gendron think himself to be a sinless human being?  I would be curious to see if anyone knows the answer to that question.

And, once again, Mr. Gendron shows himself to be rather uninformed regarding the Scriptures.  In 1 John 5:16-17, we find these words: “If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal (“unto death” KJV) sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal.  There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that.  All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.”  This is not speaking of physical death, but rather spiritual death.  Quite clearly, the Bible tells us, there are two types of sin – mortal (or “unto death”) and non-mortal.  Catholics call these sins that are not “unto death,” venial sins.  Mr. Gendron apparently disagress with the Bible in this regard.

Mike Gendron:

Why would any religious leader want to distort the glorious Gospel of grace? The primary reason is to control people by holding them captive in legalistic bondage. It is for this reason the Lord Jesus gave the mark of a true disciple. He said, “If you abide in My word…and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). People in religious bondage can only be set free when they come to a knowledge of the truth found in Scripture.

 

John Martignoni:

I find it quite fascinating that Mr. Gendron, who believes that salvation is unconditional, would use a passage that discusses salvation in conditional terms.  “If” you abide in My word.  “If,” for such a small word it really is a very big word.  What does “abide” mean?  It means to remain.  So, Jesus is saying, “If” you remain in My word you will know the truth and the truth shall make you free.  Well, you cannot abide in Jesus’ word if you are not already accepting Jesus’ word.  You can’t tell someone who has not already accepted the Word of God (the unsaved) that “if” they remain (abide) in that word they will know the truth.  How can they remain in the word if they are not already in the word?  The fact that He uses the word, “if,” in relation to “abiding” in Jesus’ word, very clearly points to the fact that it is possible for someone not to abide or remain in His word after they have accepted it (been saved).  So, salvation is conditional based upon whether or not one abides in Christ’s word.  Once saved always saved?  I think not.

Why would any religious leader want to “distort the glorious Gospel of grace?”  Well, most of them don’t want to, but because of pride, they do.  As 2 Ptr 3:16 says, there are those who are “ignorant and unstable” who twist the Scriptures to their own destruction and, I might add, to the destruction of others.  Mr. Gendron and many, many other “religious leaders,” because of their pride, feel that they have the most accurate interpretation of the Scriptures.  Their interpretations are infallible, so they think (although they won’t usually say that, their actions certainly indicate they believe as much).  They need not submit to any authority in regards to the interpretation of Scripture other than themselves.  This pride actually leads to ignorance and to the twisting of the Scriptures.  They need lots of prayers so that the scales may fall from their eyes.

Regarding his claim that Catholic “religious leaders,” i.e., the Pope and the Bishops, purposely distort the Gospel to lead us poor, dumb, ignorant Catholics into “legalistic bondage,” I have to say that every time I hear something like that, I have to just laugh.  When I came back to the Catholic Church, and I realized that I no longer needed to be my own Pope, Pastor, and Theologian; when I realized that the great arguments regarding faith and morals had already been worked out by minds much smarter than mine and by souls much holier than mine; when I realized that I did not have to decide for myself what is truth and what is error, what is right and what is wrong; it was an incredibly freeing moment for me.  Coming back to the Catholic Church freed me from the bondage I was in.  So, Mr. Gendron, methinks thou knowest not about which thy speak.

Mike Gendron:

Roman Catholicism is not alone in perverting the Gospel of God. There are many cults and Protestant sects which do the same. Catholicism, however, not only deceives its people with a false gospel, but foolishly condemns those who believe the true Gospel. Over 100 condemnations from the Council of Trent are pronounced on Christians who believe the Lord Jesus is sufficient to save sinners completely and forever. The Catholic “gospel” emphasizes what man must DO to be saved instead of what Christ has DONE. This would include the necessity of doing good works (CCC, 2016), receiving sacraments (1129), attending meritorious masses (1405), keeping the law (2068), buying indulgences (1498) and purgatory (1030).

John Martignoni:

Notice, please, that he did not mention a single one of the “over 100 condemnations” of “Christians” from the Council of Trent.   Why not?  Well, because when they are read in context, one can see that there is not a single condemnation of true Christians.  There is condemnation of heresy, heresy that Mr. Gendron, unfortunately, believes in, but no condemnation of Christians.  Also, why would the Council of Trent condemn those Christians who believe Jesus “is sufficient to save sinners completely and forever,” when that would mean they would be condemning Catholics?

Again, Mr. Gendron is misrepresenting what the Catholic Church believes and teaches when he says that the “Catholic ‘gospel’ emphasizes what man must DO to be saved instead of what Christ has DONE.”  That is flat out wrong.  Add up the paragraphs in the CCC that talk about Christ and what He has done, and what He continues to do with us, in us, and through us vs. the number of paragraphs that talk about what man can do all on his own.  Won’t even be close.  In fact, I don’t know if there is a paragraph in the CCC that talks about what man can do on his own without Christ, except maybe to sin.  This is either a colossal show of ignorance on his part, or a plain ol’ fashioned lie.  Let’s look at the paragraphs he mentions and compare them to Scripture.

CCC #2016 of the Catechism does indeed talk about doing good works.  Good works “accomplished with His grace in communion with Jesus.”  Gee, that’s pretty horrible stuff there.  We can only do good works by the grace of God and in communion with Jesus.  Does that sound like we’re focusing on the works of man as opposed to the works of God?

Mr. Gendron, is it a good work to forgive others of their sins?  Of course it is.  Is this good work necessary in order to be saved?  Well, if you believe Matt 6:14-15, it is.  God will not forgive us our sins unless we forgive the sins of others.  Can we get into Heaven if our sins are not forgiven?  Nope.  So, one prerequisite for getting into Heaven is to do the work of forgiving others their sins.  Is that “adding to” what Jesus does, Mr. Gendron?

What else does the Bible say about the necessity of good works to salvation?  Rom 2:6-7, “For He will render to every man according to his WORKS; to those who by patience in well-doing [WORKS] seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give ETERNAL LIFE.”  James 2:14, 17: “What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works?  Can his faith save him…So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”  James 2:24, “You see that a man is justified by WORKS and not by faith alone.”  1 Tim 5:8, “If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”  Matt 25:31-46, the sheep, the ones who inherit the kingdom, fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, visited the sick and imprisoned, and clothed the naked.  The ones who go away into eternal punishment did none of these things.  Matt 25:14-30, the Parable of the Talents.  Those who did something with what the Master gave them – those who “added to” what the Master gave them – “enter into the joy” of their Master.  The one servant who relied solely on the Master, and who provided no return on what the Master had given him, is cast into the outer darkness.  Mr. Gendron, care to change your tune?

CCC #1129 does indeed say that the Sacraments are necessary.  Why?  Because that is how God’s grace is applied in our lives, through the Sacraments.  That is how the blood of Christ manifests itself in our lives, through the Sacraments.  That is how we are “[united]…in a living union with the only Son, the Savior,” (CCC #1129), through the Sacraments.  “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you,” (John 6:53).  “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God,” (John 3:5).  “Is any among you sick?  Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord,” (James 5:14).  “Therefore confess your sins to one another,” (James 5:16).  “Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you,” (1 Tim 4:14).  “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one,” (Eph 5:31).  “Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit,” (Acts 8:17).  All seven Sacraments, right there in the Bible.  Mike Gendron is not arguing against the Catholic Church with his words, rather he argues against the Word of God itself.

CCC #1405 talks about “the food that makes us live forever in Jesus Christ.”  Is that focusing on the works of man rather than God?  John 6:27, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you.”  John 6:51, “And the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

CCC #2068…keeping the law.  This paragraph is all about how keeping the 10 Commandments is necessary for “the justified man.”  Mr. Gendron apparently disagrees with that.  Well, let’s ask a question from Scripture and compare the answers of Jesus, and Mr. Mike Gendron.  This is from Matthew 19:16, “And behold, one came up to Him saying, ‘Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?'”

Mike Gendron’s answer: “You unsaved Catholic, you don’t need to DO any good deeds in order to have eternal life.  That would be adding to the glorious Gospel.  Just accept Jesus into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior and that’s it, nothing else need be done!”

Jesus’ answer (Matt 19:17): If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”  Who do you want to believe…Jesus…or Mike Gendron?

CCC #1498 is indeed about indulgences, but it seems that Mr. Gendron can’t seem to quite understand that indulgences are not sold.  One does not buy an indulgence. The selling of indulgences was never taught, nor condoned, by the Church.  Anyone who did such a thing is rightly condemned.  But, that was some 500 years ago when that was supposedly happening.    For him to continually misrepresent the Church’s teaching on this is, as I’ve said previously, less than honest.

CCC #1030 – Purgatory.  How Mr. Gendron believes Purgatory is something that we must do, that it is somehow a work of man, is beyond me.  I think I’ll be tackling Mr. Gendron’s article on Purgatory in a future newsletter, so I won’t get into it here.

Suffice it to say, that Mr. Gendron’s beliefs and teachings can rightly be said to come from his own imperfect, biased, pre-disposed, very fallible, man-made, non-authoritative interpretations of Scripture.  His beliefs are, in essence, based on his opinions.  He wants you and me to renounce the teachings of the Church founded by Jesus Christ on the foundation of the Apostles, based on…his opinions.  Mr. Gendron is, however, right about one thing in this article that I’ve been dissecting the last few weeks – false teachers need to be confronted and challenged.  They also need to be prayed for…lots of prayer.

Reflection Of The Day…

Posted: October 12, 2010 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

“Your apostolic effectiveness and mutual communal enrichment depends not on the amount of time you spend with people but of the quality of your presence.”
Fr. Thomas Dubay

Question :– I’m currently in RCIA and during Mass before our classes a man either had a stroke or a heart attack in the pews and fell over to the ground. 5 or 6 people stood up and interrupted the priest’s sermon yelling “we need a doctor” and “call 911.” The priest didn’t say anything, nor really do anything. He just stopped and told us to stand up and say the Nicene Creed (like we normally do). I was confused and quite upset about this. What exactly is the role of the priest when something like this happends?

P.S. – This incident happened before communion took place, if that makes any difference.

Thank you very much.

Answer :-

Hi,

If the priest is young and inexperienced, his reaction is understandable. Perhaps, for some reason he became confused. But what a priest ordinarily should do in such an emergency is to go down and anoint the man and remain with him until he is taken from the church. THEN, he should continue with the Mass.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

Reflection of the day…

Posted: October 10, 2010 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

“What I have come to understand is that this whole groundwork of prayer is based on humility and the more a soul lowers itself the more God raises it up.”

Teresa of Avila

Oct 10th, 2010 – 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 9, 2010 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

By Dr Scott Hahn

Readings:
2 Kings 5:14-17
Psalm 98:1-4
2 Timothy 2:8-13
Luke 17:11-19

——————————————————————–

A foreign leper is cleansed and in thanksgiving returns to offer homage to the God of Israel. We hear this same story in both the First Reading and Gospel today.

There were many lepers in Israel in Elisha’s time, but only Naaman the Syrian trusted in God’s Word and was cleansed (see Luke 5:12-14). Today’s Gospel likewise implies that most of the 10 lepers healed by Jesus were Israelites – but only a foreigner, the Samaritan, returned.

In a dramatic way, we’re being shown today how faith has been made the way to salvation, the road by which all nations will join themselves to the Lord, becoming His servants, gathered with the Israelites into one chosen people of God, the Church (see Isaiah 56:3-8).

Today’s Psalm also looks forward to the day when all peoples will see what Naaman sees – that there is no God in all the earth except the God of Israel.

We see this day arriving in today’s Gospel. The Samaritan leper is the only person in the New Testament who personally thanks Jesus. The Greek word used to describe his “giving thanks” is the word we translate as “Eucharist.”

And these lepers today reveal to us the inner dimensions of the Eucharist and sacramental life.

We, too have been healed by our faith in Jesus. As Naaman’s flesh is made again like that of a little child, our souls have been cleansed of sin in the waters of Baptism. We experience this cleansing again and again in the Sacrament of Penance – as we repent our sins, beg and receive mercy from our Master, Jesus.

We return to glorify God in each Mass, to offer ourselves in sacrifice – falling on our knees before our Lord, giving thanks for our salvation.

In this Eucharist, we remember “Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David,” Israel’s covenant king. And we pray, as Paul does in today’s Epistle, to persevere in this faith – that we too may live and reign with Him in eternal glory.

GISS – Spiritual Warfare 13th Oct

Posted: October 9, 2010 by CatholicJules in Upcoming Events

GISS = Growth In The Spirit

Dearest Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

We will be having a praise and worship session followed by a Talk on Spiritual Warfare this Wednesday 13th Oct 2010 from 7:45pm to 9:45pm. 

All are welcome but kindly let us know if you attending by leaving a message in the comments section so that we can prepare a seat for you by 12 Oct. ( Seats are limited)  If you are new to the Church then I will meet you at the foyer to usher you in, again let me know in the comments section.

Venue

Church of St Anthony
25 Woodlands Avenue 1
Singapore 739064
Thomas Aquinas Room

For Directions Click Here

For and on behalf of the Emmanuel Group


I attended just one of a series of talks on the discernment of spirits so far and had even bought the book ‘Landmarks’ an Ignatian journey which briefly covers some aspects of it. (Haven’t finished reading it )  Both of them are great resources on the subject.  But lately this is what comes to mind :-

If I continue to thirst and hunger for righteousness, would I not instantly recognize my Lord’s voice?

“To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” John10-3:5

Modesty For All Time…

Posted: October 7, 2010 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

So what is Modesty?

In most dictionaries you will find this definition :-

mod·es·ty

–noun, plural -ties.
1. the quality of being modest; freedom from vanity, boastfulness, etc.
2. regard for decency of behavior, speech, dress, etc.
3. simplicity; moderation.

However in this day and age of high fashion magazines, glamour in the movies and music industry.  ‘Modesty is for losers!’  seems to be the tagline for most young adults these days.  For a great number ‘less is more!’ and for others “If you have it why not flaunt it?!”

If you are conservative and speak up for modest dressing, you might be branded as one who lacks self esteem, self confidence, stiff necked or just plain uptight!

What I don’t understand is why would women want to objectify themselves by not dressing modestly?  Men tend to struggle with sensuality far greater than women do and hence a woman should want to avoid dressing in a way that deliberately draws attention to her sexual values and hence obscure her value as a person to them.  But why is it my responsibility to dress modestly? If  a man struggles with lustful thoughts, that’s his problem not mine!” laments some women.  But this objection misses the point!  The purpose of modesty is not merely to help prevent men from stumbling into impure thoughts.  Modesty of dress is primarily meant to protect woman herself.  It helps keep the woman from being treated as an object for sexual pleasure.

Modesty Checklist and Tips
  • Are any of your tops so sheer that others can see your bra or so low-cut, allowing cleavage to show? Do your shirts reveal your abdomen or back? Do any of your shirts have sexually suggestive slogans (such as “sexy” or “flirt”)?
  • Do you have to suck in your stomach to zip any of your paints? Do any of your jeans ride so low that your underwear can be seen?
  • Do any of your skirts ride excessively high above the knee when you are seated? Do any of the slits come too far up your leg?
  • The B’s. Any body part that starts with a “B” – you know them – should never be showing. Easy as that.
  • Sit, Bend and Reach. It’s just a simple test. Sit to see if your pants are too low. Bend over to see if your shirt is too low, then reach your hands up to see if it’s too short
  • Kleenex. Do you know how thin and see-through a Kleenex is? It’s fine for your nose but not for your clothes. If you can see through your shirt, get a new one.
  • Mirror. Your best friend when it comes to modesty. If you look in the mirror and question, “Is it too tight? Too short? Too thin? Too low?” it probably is, so find something else to wear.

Modest Maxi Dress

 Catholic View On Modesty

Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.

Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet.

There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body. It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain media that go too far in the exhibition of intimate things. Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.

– from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2521-2523

Saint John Chrysostom

Saint John Chrysostom instructed women of all times about dress when in the fourth century he declared:    “You carry your snare everywhere and spread your nets in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not, indeed, by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment. … When you have made another sin in his heart, how can you be innocent? Tell me, whom does this world condemn? Whom do judges punish? Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and administer the fatal potion? You have prepared the abominable cup, you have given the death dealing drink, and you are more criminal than are those who poison the body; you murder not the body but the soul. And it is not to enemies you do this, nor are you urged on by any imaginary necessity, nor provoked by injury, but out of foolish vanity and pride.”

Modesty In Church

Whenever the Blessed Sacrament is present in the tabernacle, carried in procession, or taken to the sick; whenever the Sacred Host is raised at the Consecration in the Mass, our infallible faith says to us:  “Behold your King! Behold your Redeemer, your Judge,  your Creator,  your God!”

If then in the presence of the Most Holy Sacrament we feel no devotion interiorly and show no modesty exteriorly, what would someone think? They would say with truth and justice, “That woman does not believe that her God is present there”; or again, “that woman’s faith is cold and dead.”  

Who could believe that Jesus Christ is present in this Sacrament and fail to reverence Him? 

In the Holy Eucharist, faith tells us that God Himself is present, He who made all things out of nothing and could destroy them in a moment. He who at the last day will come on the clouds of Heaven to judge the living and the dead.

If only Catholics will believe this with a lively faith, then our churches will be filled with worshippers, whose deportment will correspond to their belief.  The modest attire, the guarded eye, the bended knee, the meekly folded hands will speak of the conviction of their hearts.  Let Catholics have a lively faith in this Mystery, and our dear Jesus will seldom be left alone. ¹

  Müller, THE BLESSED EUCHARIST  p30-31

From the Holy Bible:

Dt. 22:5   “A woman shall not be clothed with man’s apparel, neither shall a man use woman’s apparel: for he that doeth  these things is abominable before God.”

 1 Cor. 3:16,17   “Know you not, that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  But if any man violate the temple of God, him shall God destroy.  For the temple of God is holy, which you are.”

1 Cor. 11,5  “But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven.”

1 Corinthians 11:10 Therefore ought the woman to have a power (covering) over her head, because of the angels. (who are present in the assemblies of the faithful)

[The rule of women covering their heads, has been the teaching of many Popes, and Pope St. Pius X had it included in the code of Canon law (Canon 1262). It is a sign of humility  and draws down God’s graces and blessings.]

Rom 12; 1,2 “I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world; but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God.”

Gal.5:22-23, Latin Vulgate, “But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity.”

Matthew records the words of Our Lord: (5:27-28) “You have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that anyone who so much as looks with lust at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Some young adults speak up for modesty…

Curtis says, “I want a girl who I can respect and who will respect the fact that I want to guard my eyes against lusting after her body before we are married.”

~~~~~

To a holy, Godly man, a modest woman is more alluring because there’s something mysterious and captivating about a woman who knows how to tastefully conceal herself. Your body is a beautiful gift from God that manifests his glory. Together, as women, let’s claim a freedom from a desire for attention and a renewed respect for ourselves so that others can “behold the mystery” of a beautiful, and modest woman. – Christina Mead

Is it normal to feel abandoned by God?

Posted: October 6, 2010 by CatholicJules in Questions & Answers

QUESTION : I was not active in the church for many years. I started back the week after Easter of 2009. In the following months, I became very active in my church and felt very good about what I was doing. One night last summer I woke up in the middle of the night and felt what can only be described as pure love filling the room (I live alone).

Recently, however, I don’t feel it as much or even at all. I still believe and I still work to deepen my faith but I can’t honestly say that I feel the constant presence of God in my life these days. When I pray, I don’t feel like my prayers are being heard let alone answered. I know that God won’t abandon me ever, but recently I have felt like I have been going through life alone and I don’t know why.

ANSWER : God gave you consolations when He determined that you needed them. Now, He wants your fidelity without consolations. Now you show your love for Him because He is that you want and not the consolations. This purifies your love and makes it greater. Just keep your eyes on Him. Mother Teresa went for over twenty years without consolations. It wasn’t easy, but her love for Him grew–and so will yours.

You might want to read a book on this: “Mother Teresa: Come, Be My Light” by Fr. Brian Koldiejchuk, M.C.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

Should I Give Up?

Posted: October 4, 2010 by CatholicJules in Questions & Answers

QUESTION : My world is crashing around me. I feel so alone. I’ve tried hard to pray and be faithful to my marriage, family, friends. But I am alone. My husband lost his job and has been out of work for over a year. We are becoming unable to pay all our bills. He doesn’t seem to care anymore. I really would just love to walk away, but my Catholic faith is holding me. But I don’t know for how long. I want to give up. Any suggestions on keeping the faith?

ANSWER : Reflect on the following each day and anytime you are tempted to give up. He has been there, He is with you and He alone can see you through.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

Reflection on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ +

The agony in the garden was really the agony in His mind which resulted in His sweating blood. He suffered the passion in His mind and in His body. Such mental and physical suffering actually intensified each other.

At the base of all His suffering was the one thing that human beings dread the most: rejection. He was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter and abandoned by all the rest of His Apostles; those He had hand picked as His closest intimates. He was most rejected by those who put Him to death. They not only wanted Him dead, they wanted Him to suffer. They not only considered Him to be worth nothing, they considered Him to be worth minus nothing! This significance was not lost on Him. He felt fully the rejection as each physical agony reminded Him.

So we thank Him for joining us on our human journey and actually choosing to experience what we fear the most.

We thank Him for enduring the arrest and the cruelty of the guards and the Sanhedrin. We thank Him for enduring the cruelty of Pilate who allowed Him to be executed rather than risk his own political ruin—and for the cruelty of Herod who wanted to be entertained by having Him work a miracle. We thank Him for all the time He spent satisfying their preoccupation with themselves, just delaying His ultimate death. We thank Him for the anxiety of that night in a cell.

The next morning He was brutally scourged with such intensity and violence that He became as an aged man in a matter of minutes. His multiple wounds bloodied His entire body. The loss of so much blood not only severely weakened Him; it also caused a severe, throbbing headache that remained with Him for the duration.

We thank Him for this and for the mockery He received when they put a purple cloth on His shoulders and pushed a crown of thorns down into His head which intensified His headache. They blindfolded Him and slapped Him, insisting that He ‘prophesy’ who had hit Him. They spat on Him and beat Him.

He stood at the praetorium in utter disgrace according to the attitude of the crowd—while in reality, He stood in utter glory: almighty God, being present to every person who has ever suffered rejection, joining them in their moment of pain. It was there that He was sentenced to death by crucifixion. Physically, He was utterly miserable. He revealed to St. Bernard that carrying the cross was His most painful agony. He was so weak, He could hardly walk. Nauseous and thirsty, He found the weight of the cross on His shoulder almost unbearable. It most likely dislocated His shoulder. It is not surprising that He fell down on the stone streets that were filthy with animal dung—with the cross on top of Him. And He got up each time.

It was only with the help of Simon of Cyrene that He made it to the top of Calvary. There they drove the nails into the carpal tunnels of His hands, causing pain throughout His upper body. The nail in His feet registered great pain through all the sensitive nerves there. When the cross was righted, His up-stretched arms squeezed His lungs and He began to pant for lack of oxygen. So He had to push down on His crucified feet to push His body up in order to fill His lungs with air. This took great effort because He was so weak. Yet He managed to maintain such effort for three hours of agony which increased gradually as He became weaker moment by moment.

By the end of the third hour, His agony was at its peak. He had come to the point where His strength simply gave out and He suffocated. In this eternal moment as He died, He gave us His life. Transcending time, this moment of divine love is present to us in the tabernacles of the world.

Thank you, Lord. We adore you O Christ and we praise you. By your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

October 3rd, 2010 – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 2, 2010 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

By Dr. Scott Hahn
Life By Faith
Readings:
Habakkuk 1:2-3;2:2-4
Psalm 95:1-2,6-9
2 Timothy 1:6-8,13-14
Luke 17:5-10

Life By FaithReadings:Habakkuk 1:2-3;2:2-4 Psalm 95:1-2,6-92 Timothy 1:6-8,13-14 Luke 17:5-10

Because of his faith, the just man shall live. We hear in today’s First Reading the original prophetic line made so central by St. Paul (see Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38).

We are to live by faith in Christ who loved us and gave himself on the Cross for us (see Galatians 2:20).

The world, though, can seem to us as seventh-century Judah seemed to Habakkuk – in the control of God’s enemies. The strife and discord we face in our own lives can sometimes cause us to wonder, as the prophet does, why God doesn’t seem to hear or intervene when we cry for help.

We can’t let our hearts be hardened by the trials we undergo. As today’s Psalm reminds us: Israel forgot His mighty works, lost faith in the sound words of His promise. They tested God in the desert, demanding a sign.

But God didn’t redeem Israel from Egypt only to let them die in the desert. And He didn’t ransom us from futility only to abandon us in our trials. He is our God and we are the people He shepherds always – though at times His mercy and justice seem long delayed.

If we call on the Lord, as the Apostles do in today’s Gospel, He will increase our faith, will stir to a flame the Holy Spirit who has dwelt within us since Baptism.

As Paul tells us in today’s Epistle, the Lord will always give us the love and self-control we need to bear our share of hardship for the Gospel – with a strength that can come from God alone.

Our task is to continue doing what He has commanded – to love and to build up His kingdom – trusting that His vision still presses on to its fulfillment.

For His vision still has its time. One day, though we are but “unprofitable servants,” we will be invited to eat and drink at our Master’s table. It is that day we anticipate with each celebration of the Eucharist.

Month Of Our Lady

Posted: October 1, 2010 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

Reflections for the Rosary can be found in Docx format at the box.net widget bottom left (Catholic Flash) or you can use this link https://www.box.net/shared/tu8hg0zcd0


Question: A couple of weeks ago in our parish Mass there was a large quantity of the Precious Blood remaining after a communion. Instead of drinking it, the leader of our squad of Eucharistic Ministers decided to pour it down a special sink in the sacristy which he said was made just for this purpose. Is this allowed? It seemed so irreverent to pour the Eucharist out like that.

Answer: Although the extraordinary minister of the Eucharist may have had good intentions, objectively to treat the Precious Blood in that way is a terrible sacrilege. The bishops of the United States have established norms recognized by the Holy See which are the minimum to be followed in the reverent treatment of the sacrament of the Precious Blood. Their Directory for the Celebration and Reception of Communion Under Both Kinds, promulgated in 1984, states: “Ministers shall always show the greatest reverence for the eucharistic species by their demeanor and in the manner in which they handle the consecrated bread or wine. Should there be any mishap, for example if the consecrated wine is spilled from the chalice, the area should be washed and the water poured into the sacrarium. After Communion, the eucharistic bread that remains is to be stored in the tabernacle. Care should be taken in regard to any fragments remaining on the corporal or in the sacred vessels. In those instances when there remains more consecrated wine than was necessary, the ministers shall consume it immediately at a side table before the Prayer After Communion, while the vessels themselves may be purified after Mass. The amount of wine to be consecrated should be carefully measured before the celebration so that none remains afterward . . . It is strictly prohibited to pour the Precious Blood into the ground or into the sacrarium (paragraphs 34-36, 38, emphases added).

The “sacrarium” is a special sink in the sacristy of most churches used for the disposal of sacred things that are no longer usable, for example, holy water, blessed ashes, and so on. The Blessed Sacrament is never “disposed” of. It must always be consumed (eaten or drunk) by a priest, deacon, an appointed minister, or one of the faithful.

In the introduction to the norms just quoted, the bishops give a clear and classical presentation of the Catholic dogma concerning the substantial and permanent presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Perhaps if we priests were as eager to give instruction in the sublime mysteries of the Faith as we are to involve the laity in various liturgical ministries, such horrible practices wouldn’t occur nearly as often as they do.

Question Answered by FR. HUGH BARBOUR, O.PRAEM