Archive for December, 2010

Our Joint Musical Entitled ‘The Log Cabin’

Posted: December 31, 2010 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

Held On 27th Dec 7:30pm

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Samson and Delilah (The Bible Collection) (1996)

Posted: December 30, 2010 by CatholicJules in DVD Review

Actors: Dennis Hopper, Elizabeth Hurley, Eric Thal, Michael Gambon, Diana Rigg
Directors: Nicolas Roeg
Writers: Allan Scott
Producers: Eleonora Andreatta, Gerald Rafshoon, Heinrich Krauss, Lorenzo Minoli, Luca Bernabei
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD, Subtitled, NTSC
Language: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Turner Home Ent
DVD Release Date: September 6, 2005
Run Time: 180 minutes

Product Description

Samson is a simple shepherd with the strength of a titan and the destiny to fight the Philistines and General Tariq. Delilah is a Philistine beauty, torn between her love for the shepherd and loyalty to her people. As told in the Old Testament, Samson’s betrayal by Delilah left him in slavery. But Samson’s epic revenge vanquished his Philistine foes and made him one of the greatest heroes of the Bible. Samson and Delilah is the powerful tale of a deception that brought down an empire… and sealed their names in eternity.
Review :

Visually stunning with lots of liberties taken in the retelling of this famous bible tale.  However the essence of the story is intact.  Some may find certain scenes offensive in that they can be quite brutal while others may find the sex scene between Samson and Delilah distasteful. ( NO it did not border on porn in any way)  I on the other hand applaud them for trying to make this as accurate as possible how else would you be able to see just what a temptress Delilah really was!

I did however have problem with the casting of Dennis Hopper as the fictional Philistine General Tariq, I reckon they spent too much time developing his fictional character as a result and this indeed was not one of his better performances.  Diana Rigg was exceptional as Mara while Eric Thal did a very convincing portrayal of Samson.  Liz Hurley is as usual visually stunning on film.

 

 

Christian, Remember Your Dignity

Posted: December 28, 2010 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope

Dearly beloved, today our Savior is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness.

No one is shut out from this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing. Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no man free from sin, came to free us all. Let the saint rejoice as he sees the palm of victory at hand. Let the sinner be glad as he receives the offer of forgiveness. Let the pagan take courage as he is summoned to life.

In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God’s wisdom, the Son of God took for himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its creator. He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, in that very nature by which he had overthrown mankind.

And so at the birth of our Lord the angels sing in joy: Glory to God in the highest, and they proclaim peace to his people on earth as they see the heavenly Jerusalem being built from all the nations of the world. When the angels on high are so exultant at this marvellous work of God’s goodness, what joy should it not bring to the lowly hearts of men?

Beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit, because in his great love for us he took pity on us, and when we were dead in our sins he brought us to life with Christ, so that in him we might be a new creation. Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, let us renounce the works of the flesh.

Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom.

Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ.

 

December 26, 2010 – Feast of the Holy Family

Posted: December 26, 2010 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

SUNDAY BIBLE REFLECTIONS BY DR. SCOTT HAHN

Saving Family

Readings:
Sirach 3:2-6,12-14
Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
Colossians 3:12-21
Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23
Underlying the wisdom offered in today’s Liturgy is the mystery of the family in God’s divine plan.

The Lord has set father in honor over his children and mother in authority over her sons, we hear in today’s First Reading. As we sing in today’s Psalm, the blessings of the family flow from Zion, the heavenly mother of the royal people of God (see Isaiah 66:7,10-13; Galatians 4:26).

And in the drama of today’s Gospel, we see the nucleus of the new people of God – the Holy Family – facing persecution from those who would seek to destroy the child and His Kingdom.
Moses, called to save God’s first born son, the people of Israel (see Exodus 4:22; Sirach 36:11), was also threatened at birth by a mad and jealous tyrant (see Exodus 1:15-16). And as Moses was saved by his mother and sister (see Exodus 2:1-10; 4:19), in God’s plan Jesus too is rescued by His family.

As once God took the family of Jacob down to Egypt to make them the great nation Israel (see Genesis 46:2-4), God leads the Holy Family to Egypt to prepare the coming of the new Israel of God – the Church (see Galatians 6:16).

At the beginning of the world, God established the family in the “marriage” of Adam and Eve, the two becoming one body (see Genesis 2:22-24). Now in the new creation, Christ is made “one body” with His bride, the Church, as today’s Epistle indicates (see Ephesians 5:21-32).

By this union we are made God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved. And our families are to radiate the perfect love that binds us to Christ in the Church.
As we approach the altar on this feast, let us renew our commitment to our God-given duties as spouses, children and parents. Mindful of the promises of today’s First Reading, let us offer our quiet performance of these duties for the atonement of our sins


From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop
Truth has arisen from the earth, and justice looked down from heaven

Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man. Awake, you who sleep, rise up from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you. I tell you again: for your sake, God became man.

You would have suffered eternal death, had he not been born in time. Never would you have been freed from sinful flesh, had he not taken on himself the likeness of sinful flesh. You would have suffered everlasting unhappiness, had it not been for this mercy. You would never have returned to life, had he not shared your death. You would have been lost if he had not hastened to your aid. You would have perished, had he not come.

Let us then joyfully celebrate the coming of our salvation and redemption. Let us celebrate the festive day on which he who is the great and eternal day came from the great and endless day of eternity into our own short day of time.

He has become our justice, our sanctification, our redemption, so that, as it is written: Let him who glories glory in the Lord.

Truth, then, has arisen from the earth: Christ who said, I am the Truth, was born of a virgin. And justice looked down from heaven: because believing in this new-born child, man is justified not by himself but by God.

Truth has arisen from the earth: because the Word was made flesh. And justice looked down from heaven: because every good gift and every perfect gift and every perfect gift is from above.

Truth has arisen from the earth: flesh from Mary. And justice looked down from heaven: for man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.

Justified by faith, let us be at peace with God: for justice and peace have embraced one another. Through out Lord Jesus Christ: for Truth has arisen from the earth. Through whom we have access to that grace in which we stand, and our boast is in our hope of God’s glory. He does not say: “of our glory,” but of God’s glory: for justice has not proceeded form us but has looked down from heaven. Therefore he who glories, let him glory, not in himself, but in the Lord.

For this reason, when our Lord was born of the Virgin, the message of the angelic voices was: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.

For how could there be peace on earth unless Truth has arisen from the earth, that is, unless Christ, were born of our flesh? And he is our peace who made the two into one: that we might be men of good will, sweetly linked by the bond of unity.

Let us then rejoice in this grace, so that our glorying may bear witness to our good conscience by which we glory, not in ourselves, but in the Lord. That is why Scripture says: He is my glory, the one who lifts up my head. For what greater grace could God have made to dawn on us than to make his only Son become the son of man, so that a son of man might in his turn become the son of God?

Ask if this were merited; ask for its reason, for its justification, and see whether you will find any other answer but sheer grace.

Nazareth, A Model

Posted: December 24, 2010 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

From an address by Pope Paul VI
(Nazareth, January 5, 1964)
Nazareth, a model

Nazareth is a kind of school where we may begin to discover what Christ’s life was like and even to understand his Gospel. Here we can observe and ponder the simple appeal of the way God’s Son came to be known, profound yet full of hidden meaning. And gradually we may even learn to imitate him.

Here we can learn to realize who Christ really is. And here we can sense and take account of the conditions and circumstances that surrounded and affected his life on earth: the places, the tenor of the times, the culture, the language, religious customs, in brief everything which Jesus used to make himself known to the world. Here everything speaks to us, everything has meaning. Here we can
learn the importance of spiritual discipline for all who wish to follow Christ and to live by the teachings of his Gospel.

How I would like to return to my childhood and attend the simple yet profound school that is Nazareth! How wonderful to be close to Mary, learning again the lesson of the true meaning of life, learning again God’s truths. But here we are only on pilgrimage. Time presses and I must set aside my desire to stay and carry on my education in the Gospel, for that education is never finished. But I cannot leave without recalling, briefly and in passing, some thoughts I take with me from Nazareth.

First, we learn from its silence. If only we could once again appreciate its great value. We need this wonderful state of mind, beset as we are by the cacophony of strident protests and conflicting claims so characteristic of these turbulent times. The silence of Nazareth should teach us how to meditate in peace and quiet, to reflect on the deeply spiritual, and to be open to the voice of God’s inner wisdom and the counsel of his true teachers. Nazareth can teach us the value of study and preparation, of meditation, of a well- ordered personal spiritual life, and of silent prayer that is known only to God.

Second, we learn about family life. May Nazareth serve as a model of what the family should be. May it show us the family’s holy and enduring character and exemplifying its basic function in society: a community of love and sharing, beautiful for the problems it poses and the rewards it brings; in sum, the perfect setting for rearing children – and for this there is no substitute.

Finally, in Nazareth, the home of a craftsman’s son, we learn about work and the discipline it entails. I would especially like to recognize its value – demanding yet redeeming – and to give it proper respect. I would remind everyone that work has its own dignity. On the other hand, it is not an end in itself. Its value and free character, however, derive not only from its place in the economic system, as they say, but rather from the purpose it serves.

In closing, may I express my deep regard for people everywhere who work for a living. To them I would point out their great model,
Christ their brother, our Lord and God, who is their prophet in every cause that promotes their well being.

Some Q & A(s)

Posted: December 23, 2010 by CatholicJules in Questions & Answers

Answers By Fr. Hugh Barbour, O.Praem

Q. In a previous answer, you said it’s permissible to confess sins already confessed and absolved, as long as it’s not done out of scrupulosity. I admit that it might be good to recall past sins in order to grow in gratitude for God’s forgiveness, but how is it appropriate to confess them again?

A. In 1304, Pope Benedict XI, in the constitution Inter Cunctas Sollicitudines taught: “Even though it is not necessary to do so, we judge it spiritually helpful to confess the same sins over again on account of the contrition, which is a great part of this sacrament.” The “matter” of the sacrament of penance is contrition for sin, the sin is only the necessary motive for the sorrow. Thus any confession which increases contrition, as well as our purpose of amendment, is helpful to the fruitful reception of the sacrament. As we grow in the love of God, reflecting on our past sins, even though they are forgiven, strengthens our resolve to avoid sin, it deepens our sorrow for our sins, and it can make our reception of the sacrament more effective in rooting out the remaining sources of sin in us.

 

Q. When I hear that the devil can tempt us, I am frightened. Is he able to get inside of us and make us sin? Can he force us to give in to his temptations?

A. The only way that the devil can tempt us is, in principle, the way in which other human beings can tempt us. He can approach us only from the “outside,” through our senses and sense imagination and memory. The devil cannot force our spiritual will or our immaterial intellect. He can only work on the aspects of our soul which are completely dependent on physical sensation. The difference with the devil is that, being by nature an angel (although a fallen one) he is able to “see” into our imagination and memory, even though we may not be expressing their contents by words or actions. This gives him a slight advantage, more ammunition, to use against us. However, he never is able to be sure we have really given in, because he can only guess whether we have given full consent or completely understand, or have reflected sufficiently that what we have done or want to do is sinful. This is because he cannot see our intellect or will. This can only be seen by God. This is why the earliest teachers on Christian prayer and spiritual discipline, the Fathers of the Desert, emphasize how important control of our imagination is in fighting the devil. By constant prayer, by short aspirations prayed inwardly or out loud as we go about our daily work, short prayers like “My Jesus, Mercy” or “Mary, Help,” by thinking about the life of Our Lord, Our Lady, and the Saints, by avoiding useless words and images on TV and radio, we can clean up our imagination, and give the devil less to work on. We will recognize temptations more easily, and reject them more successfully, if we have a purer inner life. The best example of this is Our Lord and Our Lady. When the devil tempted Christ, he was not sure He was the Son of God and Messiah. This means that Our Lord had so complete a control of His imagination that nothing entered there which he did not want to, so the devil was perplexed at a man with an imagination and memory so pure and holy, so he was forced to come out into the open and ask. (What a humiliation for him, and a lesson for us!) In World War II, there were posters with sinking ships over the caption “somebody talked.” If we can quiet our imagination by prayer and silence, we can avoid many an attack of the evil one. Lets remember the words of St. Peter: “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings. The God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory through Christ will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little” (1 Peter 5:8-10).

 

Q. A nun recently told me its possible that we have more than one life on earth, through reincarnation. I showed her paragraph 1013 in the Catechism, which says there is no such thing as reincarnation. She shrugged and said that teaching is “non-infallible” and were free to hold other opinions. Is reincarnation compatible with the Catholic Faith?

A. The problem with reincarnation isnt’ that a soul could be reunited with a body after death. After all, Christians believe in exactly that: the resurrection of the dead, in which our souls will be reunited with our bodies.
The problem is that reincarnation entails the notion that the body is not an essential aspect of the human person, but only a shell, or an instrument of the spiritual soul. The Church solemnly defined at the Council of Vienna in 1312 that the human soul is not only a spirit, but is per se and essentially the form of a body. The council taught that the contrary view was heretical. The Catechism (CCC #365) quotes this definition of the fifteenth ecumenical council. Our Catholic Faith presents death as a tragic consequence of sin, not as a natural passage from one state to another. Christ’s death triumphs over the death brought about by sin by rising from the dead in His own identical body. So too our future resurrection will be the same body which we now are, materially reconstituted by the ministry of angels and reunited with the soul by the miraculous power of Christ. Resurrection in the same body means the re-uniting of body and soul (CCC #997), not the taking on of a new body not previously our own. Reincarnation has a tantalizing attraction for many since it satisfies their curiosity about themselves without coming to grips with the permanent, everlasting nature of our bodily individuality. Christianity believes so strongly that the body is an essential part of our makeup and happiness, that even God, to redeem us had to take on flesh, die, and rise again, and feed us with His own Body. The Fathers say “Christ did not redeem what He did not assume.” The Incarnation and Resurrection are the Catholic responses to the error of reincarnation. Archbishop Christoph Scho‘nborn of Vienna (the main architect of the Catechism) has written a book on reincarnation, available from Ignatius Press of San Francisco.