Archive for October, 2011

Witches are Real by Fr Dwight Longenecker

Posted: October 31, 2011 by CatholicJules in Great Catholic Articles

They don’t fly on broomsticks or have green skin, ( although come to think of it one witch I knew did have a sick green-ness about the gills, but I think that’s because he was a drunk) but they do cast spells and put curses on people and they do worship Satan, and don’t be deceived by the ‘white magic’ lark. There’s no such thing. All magic is black magic because of the philosophy behind it: those involved in witchcraft seek power, and anybody who seeks power for it’s own sake is bad.

Think of all the wicked people who justify their quest for power by saying it is for a good cause. Almost all evil in the world is caused by people who think they’re doing it for a good cause. Not just Darth Vader. Think of the Nazis who really believed the concentration camps were necessary in order to bring about a master race…see what I mean?

So witches, wicca, witchcraft–all that stuff. Yes, it’s real.

Furthermore, if you invite diabolical powers into your life. Don’t be surprised if they show up, and don’t be surprised if, once you’ve opened Pandora’s box you can’t get the lid back on. Remember in all the fun that the purpose of Hallowe’en is to scare the spooks away–not invite them in. Dressing up as monsters has the same purpose as putting gargoyles on cathedrals–you’re supposed to be scarier than the devil in order to give him the creeps and send him running. So when you carve a jack o’lantern make him scary as you can, but say a prayer as you put him out that he might keep away the real monsters of the night, and if you dress as a ghoul or a ghost or a witch or a warlock remember that you are doing so to creep them out and say a prayer of deliverance from all the dark forces of the world.

And if you come across anyone who takes witchcraft seriously tell them politely that if they summon the devil he will probably come, and that messing with the occult is the spiritual equivalent of an eight year old kid taking a five gallon can of gas into a fireworks warehouse then playing with matches.

(Fr Dwight Longenecker)

The Promotion Of Peace

Posted: October 31, 2011 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

From the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world of the Second Vatican Council

Peace is not the mere absence of war or the simple maintenance of a balance of power between forces, nor can it be imposed at the dictate of absolute power. It is called, rightly and properly, a work of justice.

It is the product of order, the order implanted in human society by its divine founder, to be realized in practice as men hunger and thirst for ever more perfect justice.

The common good of the human race is subject to the eternal law as its primary principle, but its requirements in practice keep changing with the passage of time. The result is that peace is never established finally and for ever; the building up of peace has to go on all the time. Again, the human will is weak and wounded by sin; the search for peace therefore demands from each individual constant control of the passions, and from legitimate authority untiring vigilance.

Even this is not enough. Peace here on earth cannot be maintained unless the good of the human person is safeguarded, and men are willing to trust each other and share their riches of spirit and talent. If peace is to be established it is absolutely necessary to have a firm determination to respect other persons and peoples and their dignity, and to be zealous in the practice of brotherhood. Peace is therefore the fruit also of love; love goes beyond what justice can achieve. Peace on earth, born of love for one’s neighbor, is the sign and the effect of the peace of Christ that flows from God the Father. In his own person the incarnate Son, the Prince of Peace, reconciled all men to God through his death on the cross. In his human nature he destroyed hatred and restored unity to all mankind in one people and one body. Raised on high by the resurrection, he sent the Spirit of love into the hearts of men.

All Christians are thus urgently summoned to live the truth in love, and to join all true peacemakers in prayer and work for peace. Moved by the same spirit, we cannot but praise those who renounce violence in defense of rights, and have recourse to means of defense otherwise available to the less powerful as well, provided that this can be done without injury to the rights and obligations of others or of the community.

October 30th, 2011 – 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 28, 2011 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

Calling the Fathers

Readings:
Malachi 1:14-2:2, 8-10
Psalm 131:1-3
1 Thessalonians 2:7-9, 13
Matthew 23:1-12


 Though they were Moses’ successors, the Pharisees and scribes exalted themselves, made their mastery of the law a badge of social privilege. Worse, they had lorded the law over the people (see Matthew 20:25). Like the priests Malachi condemns in today’s First Reading, they caused many to falter and be closed off from God.

In a word, Israel’s leaders failed to be good spiritual fathers of God’s people. Moses was a humble father-figure, preaching the law but also practicing it – interceding and begging God’s mercy and forgiveness of the people’s sins (see Exodus 32:9-14; Psalm 90).

And Jesus reminds us today that all fatherhood – in the family or in the people of God – comes from the our Father in heaven (see Ephesians 3:15).

He doesn’t mean we’re to literally call no man “father.” He himself referred to Israel’s founding fathers (see John 7:42); the apostles taught about natural fatherhood (see Hebrews 12:7-11), and described themselves as spiritual fathers (see 1 Corinthians 4:14-16)

The fatherhood of the apostles and their successors, the Church’s priests and bishops, is a spiritual paternity given to raise us as God’s children. Our fathers give us new life in baptism, and feed us the spiritual milk of the gospel and the Eucharist (see 1 Peter 2:2-3). That’s why Paul, in today’s Epistle, can also compare himself to a nursing mother.

God’s fatherhood likewise transcends all human notions of fatherhood and motherhood. Perhaps that’s why the Psalm chosen for today includes one of the rare biblical images of God’s maternal care (see Isaiah 66:13).

His only Son has shown us the Father (see John 14:9) coming to gather His children as a hen gathers her young (see Matthew 23:37). We’re all brothers and sisters, our Lord tells us today. And all of us – even our spiritual fathers – are to trust in Him, humbly, like children on our mothers’ laps.

CD – His Love Remains By Collin Raye

Posted: October 27, 2011 by CatholicJules in Videos/Audio

Play Sample Tracks :>

I can hardly wait to get my hands on this CD! Who doesn’t love Collin Raye?

At age 23, Collin Raye converted to Catholicism, searching and believing that “there had to be more” than what he experienced in other churches. Collin became an American country music superstar, selling more than 7 million records, while charting 15 #1 hits in the 1990’s. His new release, His Love Remains, captures for the first time the source of his rock solid personal inner strength which carried him “through it all” during many trials of personal suffering, including the loss of his precious granddaughter Haley, who died from a rare neurological disease.

Collin hits the mark with many classic hymns including Ave Maria, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent, I am the Bread of Life, How Great Thou Art, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee, Amazing Grace, Here I Am, Lord, and O Lord I am Not Worthy (duet with Marie Bellet). Two new Raye songs sure to inspire, Undefeated, and I Get What I Need also grace this inspiring production. 15 hymns total.

Track Listing:

1. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
2. Give Me Jesus
3. How Great Thou Art
4. Ave Maria
5. How Beautiful duet with Andrea Thomas
6. Undefeated
7. Here I am, Lord
8. I Get What I Need
9. O Lord, I am Not Worthy duet with Marie Bellet
10. Were You There?
11. I Am the Bread of Life
12. Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent
13. Love Remains
14. Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee
15. Amazing Grace

                                                  ….

While In Adoration….

Posted: October 26, 2011 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

17 Oct

It is only by listening and living my Word, can your coarse hands reap the choicest grapes.

26 Oct

Those who abandon their cross, feel not the weight of my love nor it’s depth.

Bible Emergency Numbers

Posted: October 26, 2011 by CatholicJules in Memory Book, Photos

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How Do I Evangelize?

Posted: October 26, 2011 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

BELIEVE
Encourage all Catholics to experience conversion to a deeper holiness and a greater love of God.
SHARE
Welcome and invite others to learn about and share in the Catholic Faith and encounter Jesus Christ in the sacraments.
TRANSFORM
Change society
with the power
of the Gospel

There are 3 Main Goals of Evangelization

GOAL I:
To bring about in all Catholics such an enthusiasm for their faith that, in living their faith in Jesus, they freely share it with others.

GOAL II:
To invite all people in the World, whatever their social or cultural background, to hear the message of salvation in Jesus Christ so they may come to join us in the fullness of the Catholic Faith.

GOAL III:
To foster Gospel values in our society, promoting the dignity of the human person, the importance of the family, and the common good of our society so that our nation may continue to be transformed by the saving power of Jesus Christ.

The Reluctance of Catholics to Evangelize
“Me? Evangelize? I’m Catholic!”

Something of this sort goes through the minds of most Catholics when they hear the word “evangelization.” Evangelizing is something Protestants do. Catholics are more private and do not wear their religion on their sleeves. Many Catholics even have a hard time saying right out loud that they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Catholics have not learned that it is their tradition to express their faith openly.

     We do not typically engage in “God Talk.” How embarrassing to discuss God and salvation as though they were normal subjects of conversation like football, food, or the movies! The fear seems to be that people will call us naive or think we are trying to impose our morality or our religion on them. To many Catholics, evangelization is in poor taste. Some of this reticence is rooted in Catholic history in parts of the World. Today, the Church plays a vibrant role in our life and is, for the most part, well-known and respected. But it was not always that way. The Church came to ‘US’ as an “immigrant,” and frictions between the Church and society persisted. Some Catholics were persecuted. Catholics were in the society but not entirely of it. As a result, most Catholics did not share their faith with others. They did not believe that it was important to do so, and they felt ill-equipped whenever push came to shove and they had to discuss their faith even with those who shared the same beliefs. Catholics were generous and contributed to many just causes, as they do today, but most Catholics were tight-fisted when it came to sharing their faith.

     What is more, by and large, Catholics kept to themselves. Protestant children were okay to play with, as long as our parents knew their parents. Still, they were different, living in the shadows around our bright Catholic world. Catholics hugged their special faith like a life jacket, afraid they themselves would sink if they tried to share it with others.

  A deep international affection for Pope John XXIII, and the figurative window opened by the Second Vatican Council laid the groundwork for greater encounters between the Church and society. Today, Catholics have taken a place among the best-educated and most prosperous citizens of this country. Most of the barriers to full Catholic participation in life in most parts of the World have fallen away. But our reluctance to share our faith with others has not.

     These days, despite this reluctance, there is a growing number of Catholics who realize their faith is not a treasure to be jealously guarded lest someone snatch it away. Rather, they are looking for concrete ways to share a treasure which only grows richer the more people partake of its truth, love, and grace. Catholic evangelizers take the most precious gift they have in their hands and offer it to other people. They let their light shine.

~~~

Conversion Within the Individual
To bring about in all Catholics such an enthusiasm for their faith that, in living their faith in Jesus, they freely share it with others.

Go and Make Disciples concerns the ongoing conversion and reform of the individual Catholic: To bring about in all Catholics such an enthusiasm for their faith that, in living their faith in Jesus, they freely share it with others.

The enthusiastic embrace of Catholicism is the way to grow in intimate love of Jesus Christ, to be personally converted to him, and to follow him as faithful disciples. All authentic evangelization, in fact, everything we do as Christians, flows from this personal relationship with Jesus, which is a response of a person in faith to the kerygma, the proclamation of Christ’s saving love. Everything flows from this personal turning to Jesus and the decision to pattern one’s life on him. It follows that the first objective is to foster an experience of conversion and renewal in the heart of every believer.

Catholics must to continue to hear the Good News at ever-deeper levels. The call to holiness, given to every Catholic through Baptism, consecrates each one to God and to the service of the kingdom.

The strategy is to so deepen the sense of Scripture and sacrament that Catholics will pray more fully, and, with a greater understanding of Christ’s call, live as disciples at home, at work, and in today’s many cultural settings. It seeks a greater openness to physical, mental, and cultural diversity among Catholics.

It entails the following objectives:

  • To foster an experience of conversion and renewal in the heart of every believer, leading to a more active living of Catholic life.
  • To foster an experience of conversion and renewal in every parish.
  • To foster an appreciation of God’s Word in the lives of all Catholics.
  • To make the evangelizing dimension of the Sunday Eucharist more explicit.
  • To foster an appreciation of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist and all of the Sacraments, the sacred signs of our Catholic life.
  • To foster a greater appreciation of the power of God’s Word in our worship.
  • To foster an even deeper sense of prayer among our Catholic people.
  • To foster a renewed understanding of faith among Catholics.
  • To foster a sense of discipleship among Catholic adults and children.
  • To foster active and personal religious experience through participation in small-group and other communal experiences in which the Good News is shared, experienced, and applied to daily life.
  • To foster a sense of the domestic Church within households in which families, individuals and groups reside.
  • To promote and develop a spirituality for the workplace.
  • To foster greater appreciation of cultural and ethnic spirituality.

 Clearly, unless we continue to be evangelized ourselves, with renewed enthusiasm for our faith and our Church, we cannot evangelize others. Priority must be given to continued and renewed faith formation in faith as the basis of our deepening personal relationship with Jesus.

Conversion to the Church Community

To invite all people in the World, whatever their social or cultural background, to hear the message of salvation in Jesus Christ so they may come to join us in the fullness of the Catholic faith.

Catholic evangelization never considers Jesus apart from the Church. Pope Paul VI insists that there is a “profound link between Christ, the Church, and evangelization.” (On Evangelization in Modern World, #16). Catholics believe they embrace the fullness of the Incarnation when they embrace Jesus in the most intimate communion with His body, the Church. Goal Two offers the following challenge to Catholics across the country: To invite all people in the World, whatever their social or cultural background, to hear the message of salvation in Jesus Christ so that they man come to join us in the fullness of the Catholic faith.

Only a Church renewed in spirit can pursue so grand a purpose. The Church is an evangelizer, but she begins by being evangelized herself. There is a great need to work at becoming more welcoming, less anonymous, more active in seeking new members and reconciling old ones. Welcome, acceptance, the invitation to conversion and renewal, reconciliation and peace, beginning with worship, must characterize the whole tenor of the parishes.

This means that we are to invite effectively every person to come to know the Good News of Jesus proclaimed by the Catholic Church. It means not only that people are invited but also that an essential welcoming spirit is present in Catholic homes and in all our Catholic institutions.

The strategy behind this goal is to create a more welcoming attitude toward others in our parishes so that people feel at home, to create an attitude of sharing faith and develop greater skills to do this, and to undertake activities to invite others to know the Catholic people better.

It entails the following objectives:

  • To make every Catholic institution, especially our parishes, more welcoming.
  • To help every Catholic feel comfortable about sharing his or her faith and inviting people to discover Christ in our Catholic family of believers.
  • To develop within families and households the capacity to share the Gospel.
  • To equip and empower our active Catholic members to exercise their baptismal call to evangelize.
  • To use special times in parish and family life to invite people to faith.
  • To cultivate an active core of the baptized to serve as ministers of evangelization in their parishes, dioceses, neighborhoods, workplaces and homes.
  • To effectively invite people to our Church.
  • To design programs of outreach for those who have ceased being active in the Church.
  • To design programs that reach out in particular ways to those who do not participate in a church community or who seek the fullness of faith.
  • To foster the cultural diversity of the Church.
  • To deepen ecumenical involvement.

Conversion of Society

To foster gospel values in our society, promoting the dignity of the human person, the importance of the family, and the common good of our society, so that our nation may continue to be transformed by the saving power of Jesus Christ.

This addresses evangelization’s impact on culture and society: To foster Gospel values in our society, promoting the dignity of the human person, the importance of the family, and the common good of our society, so that our nation may continue to be transformed by the saving power of Jesus Christ.

Catholics must affirm what is good in their culture, not unduly emphasizing the negative. Today, the Church stands among the most ardent defenders of immigrants, refugees, the elderly, the unborn, and the poor and the marginalized in general. Evangelization aims to build on this foundation to bring about the Kingdom of God on earth.

Catholic evangelization is a counter-cultural activity that confronts disrespect for life, injustices, prejudices, divisions, loss of the sense of the transcendent, and many other ills in modern times. Nevertheless, the evangelization of culture remains a fundamental goal.

This goal follows upon the other two: The appreciation of our faith and its spread should lead to the transformation of our society. The pursuit of this goal, however, must accompany the pursuit of the other two because evangelization is not possible without powerful signs of justice and peace, as the Gospel shapes the framework of our lives.

This goal means supporting those cultural elements in our land that reflect Catholic values and challenging those that reject it. Catholics, who today are involved in every level of modern life in their country , have to address their society as a system and also in particular situations. This goal requires the strategy of strengthening our everyday involvement with those in need, of reflecting on the workplace and media, and of encouraging Catholic involvement in areas of public policy as a way of having greater impact on society’s values.

This entails the following objectives:

  • To involve parishes and local service groups in the needs of their neighborhood.
  • To foster the importance of the family.
  • To develop groups to explore issues of the workplace and lay spirituality.
  • To encourage Catholic witness in the arts and in the intellectual community.
  • To involve every Catholic, on different levels, in areas of public policy.
  • To involve the Catholic Church, on every level, in the media.
  • To involve Catholics, at every level, in questions of economic systems.

 

Adapted From The US Bishops Notes For Evangelisation