The Social Catholic: Conservative Current Events

RSS

Posts tagged with "religion"

White House Correspondents Dinner: The Hollywood Party

The White House correspondents dinner was actually pretty entertaining at times. However there may be ramifications politically from some of the jokes. The Washington Post wrote an article that was very interesting.


Hollywood and Washington went on a romantic date Saturday night


One of the jokes Jimmy Kimmel made rang very true in a not so funny way he said, “Everything that’s wrong with America is here tonight” and that was true. The drivers of all our political and economic problems were all in the same room Saturday night. Hollywood, liberal leaders and the Democrat 1% had a good laugh at America’s expense tonight. Yes it was funny. Yes Obama got some good jokes in. However the humor aside a lot of the jokes the president and Jimmy Kimmel made shouldn’t have been funny. The joke campaign ad the president had made about himself shouldn’t have been funny. The joke statements were pretty true. Granted I did giggle when they referenced the absurd Sarah McLaughlin anti-animal cruelty campaign. Which seems like it was designed to divert funds from starving children in Africa in order to buy dog beds. I digress…

It’s pretty telling however about the democratic party that it seems Hollywood plays a large role in their platform. It’s unfortunate that the majority of Americans would actually take into account a celebrity’s political views when forming their own opinions about the issues. Celebrities wield a lot of power when they do things publicly because people want to be like them, and they want to emulate them. But hold on a minute! Do you really want to make such important decisions based on what somebody completely removed from the issues thinks? When deciding the fate of issues like abortion, freedom of religion, and immigration don’t you think your decision should come from a deeper place than “Because Kim Kardashian tweeted about it.” It’s a sad state of affairs that our citizens use such shallow means of examining the issues. Read the Constitution, read a history book, or better yet learn what your faith teaches about the issues. Hopefully in the future Hollywood won’t have such a pivotal role in politics.

Why Suffering?: About God, is pain bad or good?

You’ve got a few minutes right? I mean you’re on facebook killing time… walk with me for a while. visit each link before you move on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kmVyiuA6DY

APOSTOLIC LETTER
SALVIFICI DOLORIS
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
JOHN PAUL II
TO THE BISHOPS, TO THE PRIESTS,… See More
TO THE RELIGIOUS FAMILIES
AND TO THE FAITHFUL
OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
ON THE CHRISTIAN MEANING
OF HUMAN SUFFERING

- 1984 (the beggining of his papacy long before his great suffering at the end of his life)

"This is the origin also of the present reflection, precisely in the Year of the Redemption: a meditation on suffering. Human suffering evokes compassion; it also evokes respect, and in its own way it intimidates. For in suffering is contained the greatness of a specific mystery. This special respect for every form of human suffering must be set at the beginning of what will be expressed here later by the deepest need of the heart, and also by the deep imperative of faith. About the theme of suffering these two reasons seem to draw particularly close to each other and to become one: the need of the heart commands us to overcome fear, and the imperative of faith—formulated, for example, in the words of Saint Paul quoted at the beginning—provides the content, in the name of which and by virtue of which we dare to touch what appears in every man so intangible: for man, in his suffering, remains an intangible mystery."

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_11021984_salvifici-doloris_en.html

Fr. Stan Fortuna unpacks Pope John Paul the Great’s beautiful message to us on the meaning of suffering. Why we must suffer, and what is gained by suffering. The link is only to part on out of 10 but I encourage you to watch all 10.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNCTV4gT45U

Fr. Stan raps his holy head off about the human requirement of suffering…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgZbP8nddhU&feature=related

Some people have a pretty Holy response to the endless suffering they see in this world.

Rightous B:

Who they are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TrapvVxlHo… See More

What they do:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DotxtQFTGA

Pain is as close to you as the air you breath. This is the fact of life, but through this pain and suffering God molds us and shapes us into something far greater and far more worthy and blessed than we could ever imagine. There is beauty and benefit in humble, GRACE-full suffering, the virtue and vehicle by which we overcome the various forms of evil that plague our lives and this world. This is why the Faithless, the Hopeless, the LOVE-less, can’t cope with suffering in our world… because they cannot bring themselves to believe in the existence of objective evil (or good). The question is not, “If God is good, why is there suffering in the world?” THE question is…”God is good period. Why can’t I deal with the reality of evil productively by allowing suffering to increase MY OWN virtue, and allowing that suffering to make me a light of Hope along the path toward righteousness for others…?” (Inspired by Pope John Paul II the Great, and Fr. Stan Fortuna’s youtube discourse on suffering)

"Modern rationalism will not tolerate mystery" (Fr. Stan discourse part 2)

Embrace your cross and walk with Christ.

May God’s LOVE bring meaning and blessing in the sufferings in your life, and may God bless you all this week.

Your Brother from a Holy Mother,

Bible Study: Reason, Faith and Science

Bible Verse to Think About This Week: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the LORD and turn away from evil; This will mean health for your flesh and vigor for your bones.”

- Proverbs 3:5-8

The verse above is from the New American Bible translation, however when I was searching for a verse for the week I was reading the Catholic NRSV translation, and although the message of the passage is nearly identical, one word in particular strikes me in the other version. In the first line instead of the word intelligence the Catholic NRSV translation says ‘insight’. In our world today man has become obsessed with hypothesizing and theorizing. We as a species become aware of a small fact and immediately our minds run wild with possibilities. For this reason I thought insight was a much more revealing word for the message of this passage. Insight as apposed to intelligence implies that the occasion for sin is not in what we do know, but in what we think we know. We are being warned in this passage not to rely on what we think we’ve “figured out”. God’s truth and God’s plan transcends even the facts of our physical world. So how could they not also be greater than our inferences upon those facts?


Our world tries to explain away God through science (which is a joke it’s like using a perfectly manicured lawn to prove gardeners don’t exist). We see skeletons of animals millions of years old, and we infer that God didn’t make animals, but evolution did. However this theory has one major flaw, among others. That flaw is that there is no such thing as God didn’t, or God can’t. Everything in the universe was created, planned, designed, and executed by God. No matter how it actually happened one thing is for sure, it happened exactly the way God wanted it to. Just because you think you can explain how a miracle happened doesn’t make it less of a miracle. Science can not and will never be capable of disproving God. This is because God works out side of the limits of time and space. Mark Hart does a very good job of explaining this concept in this video clip please click here and watch it before continuing on.



God’s plan is so much bigger than everything, all together, that has ever been thought through out time. No amount of human reason or logic or scientific inquiry could ever do more for you than abandoning your whole heart to the plan and the will of your creator. Nothing is healthier or more freeing than that simple act of placing your trust in God instead of man. It is the safest bet in the world to always go with God. God created and shaped the rules by which we carry on our very limited intellectual pursuits. Who are we to challenge the mind of God? By all means allow yourself to question your faith, but when you have questions never stop seeking godly answers until you find them in Christ. Not in spite of Christ.


"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the LORD and turn away from evil; This will mean health for your flesh and vigor for your bones."

- Proverbs 3:5-8

Challenge:


Several years ago during my senior year of high school I was strongly in favor of the death penalty. I knew what the church taught on the consistent ethic of life, but I had weighed the issue, and made my own decision about what I thought was right and wrong. When I returned from an amazing religious experience I reevaluated what I believed. I still thought for a very long time that I was right about the death penalty, and although my personal feelings were in favor of it I forced myself to change my mind. Because I recognized that I was the one who must change not the Church, and definitely not God. It became more important for me to be in line with God’s plan than to hold on to my personal insights. Now I don’t tell you this to toot my own horn believe me there are many other aspects of my life that could have used this same approach . The reason I tell you this is because we all have an issue like this. No matter how dedicated we are to the Catholic Church everyone has that one thorn in their side issue that they really want to be right about at all cost (even at the cost of loosing their faith). Maybe for you it is Abortion, or sex before marriage, or homosexual marriage, or female priests… Here is the point and also the challenge. Anything contrary to the will of God is foolishness, “On your own intelligence rely not.” Conform your reason to the will of God. To use your reason to arrive at the truth as you see it is foolish if that truth is contrary to the teachings God gave us. this is because God is the father of reason it’s creator, and it’s perfecter. No matter how much you think you are right…just give in to the concept that in a battle of wits between you and God… God wins every time. God’s plan is so much bigger than your opinions on an issue. This could take time I’m not expecting anybody to make progress in a week, but just let that settle in your mind or your journal perhaps for the year.

Oh and FYI it took me over a year, but God made straight my path. I conformed to the consistent ethic of life. I truly believe in my heart that life is precious no matter when where or why it is. God helped me to alter my perceptions. Don’t let the paths of your personal opinions distract you from your journey with God.

God Loves you, and so do I !!

Your Brother from a Holy Mother,

(Source: lifeteen.com)

Bible Study: Isaiah God and a paradox of space time

Scripture Verse for the Week:


"See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted. Even as many were amazed at him— so marred was his look beyond that of man, and his appearance beyond that of mortals— So shall he startle many nations, because of him kings shall stand speechless; For those who have not been told shall see, those who have not heard shall ponder it."

Isaiah 52: 13-15


"Who would believe what we have heard? To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; There was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him. He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, One of those from whom men hide their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem. Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, While we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; But the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all. Though he was harshly treated, he submitted and opened not his mouth; Like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, he was silent and opened not his mouth. Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away, and who would have thought any more of his destiny? When he was cut off from the land of the living, and smitten for the sin of his people,A grave was assigned him among the wicked and a burial place with evildoers, Though he had done no wrong nor spoken any falsehood. (But the LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity.) If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him. Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; Through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear. Therefore I will give him his portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty, Because he surrendered himself to death and was counted among the wicked; And he shall take away the sins of many, and win pardon for their offenses."

Isaiah 53:1-12


I know what you’re thinking, ‘Why didn’t he just write out the whole book?’ I thought about it. I love Isaiah. All the prophets are cool but Isaiah has a special place in my heart, and I’ll tell you why. Right after I tell you a bit about Isaiah :). Isaiah is actually the writings of three separate prophets. First Isaiah is the original prophet his career began around 742 B.C. The other two “Isaiahs” were actually reteaching the original prophets message to a different group of Israelites between 590 and 500 B.C. This passage comes from the 2nd Isaiah who’s contribution to the book was chapters 40-55. Ok so now on to why I like Isaiah so much. Isaiah’s words tell of the coming of Christ over 500 years before his actual birth. Most people are aware of this, but just stop for a second and really think about that. This text was written 500 years before the birth of Christ, and that is a scientific fact. That is what makes Isaiah’s descriptions of the passion so amazing. It’s as if he were watching the passion as an eyewitness. He talks about the Lords stripes from the lash of the cat of nine tails. He talks of how Christ was marred beyond human recognition. Other passages of Isaiah go into further depth of describing how Jesus would die on a cross. It amazes me beyond belief how a man over 500 years before Christ could so accurately describe his life and death. Isaiah is unmistakably inspired by God. Beyond this though I feel that Isaiah gives us a deeper understanding of God and time. In many places Isaiah speaks the words of Christ, and they refer to the Passion in past tense. The Israelites must have thought Isaiah was nuts! They were probably mumbling under their breath to each other. “Why’s this guy talking about the future in past tense? Coocoo…” The meaning of the tense is two fold. Not only does it show us that for God time is past present and future all at once, but it also gives the entire book a deeper meaning for us. Isaiah’s message though spoken 2500 years ago was meant to be passed on until after Christ’s death as proof of the fullness of God’s plan for our salvation. Isaiah literally wrote these words for us to hear now not Israelites 2500 years ago but us today. Isaiah really helps us to bring together the big picture of God’s plan, it helps us to understand a little bit about how God works. Isaiah is a very important stepping stone to understanding salvation history.

Bible Study: Sola Scriptura & The Interpretation of Scripture

Bible Verse for the Week:


"From there Elisha went up to Bethel. While he was on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him. "Go up, baldhead," they shouted, "go up, baldhead!"The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the children to pieces."


-

2 Kings 2: 23-24

42 children torn to pieces by 2 she-bears!!! What the HECK!! This is probably one of the oddest stories in the Bible. It can be very difficult at times to understand why a story like this belongs in the bible. This brings up an age old struggle in our Church, and our world. That struggle is the struggle of proper interpretation of scriputre. Many denominations and even some atheists believe they have the correct and meaningful interpretation, but all of these interpretations are called into question for the same reason. The unguided mind when looking into scripture will naturally read into the scriptures the messages that they wish to hear, instead of reading out of the scriptures the message God is trying to speak to us. Entire denominations have been started and continue to be started because of the misinterpretation of even as much as a single line of scripture for example:


"These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents (with their hands), and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." - Mark 16: 17-18



A group of Pentecostal Christians off and on for the past century have created their own meaning for this scripture passage. They are called snake handlers or snake dancers . These people choose to tempt serpents in order to prove that they are faith filled people. There are many things wrong with this line of thought but let’s just leave it at God commanded us not to test him. The point is that the man who founded this denominational branch read Mark 16 with the idea in his head of finding a way to prove that him and others in his parish were holy, and that is not the proper way to approach reading scripture. We all do this when we read scripture because we don’t want to be challenged by God to change our lives . However that is exactly what every word of scripture is meant to do, change us . So now we are forced to ask the question, what are we to do? If everyone does this with scripture how are we to find the interpretation God intended? Protestant denominations believe in a concept known as Sola scriptura, ( Latin ablative, “by scripture alone”) is the assertion that the Bible as God’s written word is self-authenticating, clear (perspicuous) to the rational reader, its own interpreter (“Scripture interprets Scripture”), and sufficient of itself to be the final authority of Christian doctrine. In other words all one needs to be a Christian is to read the bible and believe what you read. This concept is flawed in a number of ways, but probably the most obvious is that for the first 400 years of Christian history there was no such thing as the bible because the Church had not collected the various writings, and placed them in the cannon yet. So by this definition of Christianity none of the Martyrs of the Roman persecution could have been Christian because they had no Christian Doctrine. However, we all know this was not in fact the case. Christianity was preserved from antiquity in Tradition. The same Christian Tradition that guides the Church today in the proper interpretation of the word of God. The Catholic Church has guarded this Sacred Tradition, and together with Holy Scripture we receive our Catholic Faith.


So now back to that really weird 2 Kings verse. Any ideas about what it means? Well I’ll let you in on a little secret. You may know this if you read the footnotes, but this is a story that the Israelites used to tell in order to convey an enhanced sense of dignity and respect for the Prophet Elisha, and God whom he served. You can imagine a mother telling her young children to be careful to offer respect to their elders, and holy men or they might be attacked and torn to pieces by she-bears. Elisha probably ran into tons of terrified and well behaved children in his time. Now that would be a lot more odd than this story. Imagine if everywhere you went children just stood silently at attention. This story most likely did not happen, but was meant to display the power the prophet had from God.


"From there Elisha went up to Bethel. While he was on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him. "Go up, baldhead," they shouted, "go up, baldhead!"The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the children to pieces."


- 2 Kings 2: 23-24


Challenge:


Okay, I gave you a weird one now it’s your turn. This challenge is going to be a little more of a game really than the normal spiritual challenge I give you. I want you all to search through your bibles and find the weirdest story you can. I’ll pick the weirdest story I get and make it the verse for next week. Also there will be a prize for the winner. Ready? GO!! Happy Bible sleuthing!!!



make custom gifts at Zazzle

Catholic and Orthodox Bishops Pray for LIFE

During this year’s March for Life an unprecedented event took place. Catholic and Orthodox bishops bridged the Millennium wide riff between them and joined in prayer together in support of the pro-life event at the nation’s capitol. Some might be tempted to over look this monumental step by the two oldest expressions of the Christian faith. That would be a mistake. Joint prayer between the two is a rare occurrence. The most notable time in recent history that Orthodox and Catholic bishops were seen praying together was the funeral service for pope John Paul the Great. Below is a video of the monumental joint prayer at this year’s March for Life.





Many in the crowd for the March for life were very moved by the experience, but some seemed to not understand the magnitude of what was happening on the stage. As I sat there enthralled camera phone rolling I was disappointed to see a man walking threw the crowd shouting, “T-shirts for sale! $5 get your march for Life T-shirts!” while everyone was silently praying.

The March went on to feature the usual hour of senators and representatives sharing their enthusiasm and doing just a little bit of campaigning. However following the long speeches and a lot of standing around the crowd took to the streets marching through the National Mall it was a site to behold as you can see below







Clergy and politicians alike walked the streets of DC in support of human rights. However there was a bit of pushback by many local pro-life supporters who did not attend this years March for Life because the event was held midweek. Many professionals in the area were unable to leave work to attend the event. I spoke to a couple executives from local companies that wished the organizers of the March for Life would change the date of the event for next year.


There is a strong desire among many supporters for the event to be held during the Spring or Fall when weather conditions could attract a much larger crowd. The organizers chose the dead of winter for the March for Life to show the resolve of the pro-life movement, but a much stronger message could be sent by many more people attending. We will have to wait and see if the event is rescheduled next year. Until then let’s all join the catholic and Orthodox bishops and work toward fostering greater unity so that we might stand strong together against the unjust killing of the pre-born.

(Source: youtube.com)

Apr 7

<h1>Bible Study: The Board and the Spec</h1>

Scripture verse for the week…

"Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you."
Luke 6:37,38


How often do we judge our neighbor? Judgments have become an everyday thing for us. “He’s a creeper”, “She’s a know it all”, “He’s a liar”…. etc… In this chapter of Luke Jesus tells us that the measure by which we measure will be used to measure us. That simply means that God will treat you as you treated him. Don’t forget that God is in all of us. We are Christ’s living body or as St. Therese would say we are little Christs called to live like Christ because Christ dwells within each of us. So when we judge our neighbor… we judge Christ. When we condemn our neighbor we are condemning Christ. When we pigeon hole our brothers and sisters into a category that we think they belong in or dwell in negativity towards a person we not only do this to Christ as well, but we rob them of their dignity as a human person. Christ called us to Love like he loved, and he loved you so much that he died on a cross for you, and for each and every human person. Picture the weirdest, ugliest, most sinful, or most “screwed up” person you can. Get a real good mental image of this person. Ok got it? Now would you willingly give up your life for that person? Would you even give up drinking, or watching TV, or sarcasm for that person? Would I? Would any of us? It’s easy for us to say yes to these questions and feel good about ourselves, but would we really follow through or are these just words? I think the truth is that more often than not we would rather love ourselves and have our way than truly love our brothers and sisters. However, every moment… of every day…EVERY person deserves to retain the fullness of their dignity as a human person, their dignity as the beloved of Christ. Our job is not one of condemnation, or judgment, as Dane Cook would say, “I’m not the Lord. I can’t do that.” God called us to Love and forgive. He loved and forgave every person who had a hand in his death (“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” -Luke 23:34) how petty are you and I then, that we can not forgive each other for the smallest thing, or love each other in spite of our flaws? Those two things, Love and forgiveness, just might change somebody’s life forever. In fact they just might save somebody’s life. God promised that if we give (and giving means sacrificing and dying to self) he will pour his overflowing gifts upon us. But, when we steal that dignity from our neighbor we measure them with a small cup. God will measure his gifts to us with that same cup.

I don’t know about you, but I want the biggest cup I can have of things like; Mercy, Love, Justice, Peace, Grace, Salvation and Eternal Life…etc… I’m talking bigger than the 100 ounce Mountain Dew cups Travis, Nick and I bought at the fair. But again let’s go back, what am I measuring my forgiveness and Love with?

Later in this passage Jesus tells us to remove the board from our own eye before we worry about the spec in our neighbors. There is no room in the body of Christ for casting dispersions. We are all in need of the saving power of Christ’s love and forgiveness. The personal problems we have with others are actually just failed opportunities to share that Love and forgivness on our part.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” Luke 6:37,38

We Pray… Lord God, as summer slowly comes to a close, and the school year creeps up upon us, let us prepare our hearts and our minds to measure our neighbor with a God sized cup. Help us to see the dignity and beauty in every human being as well as your very Life, which is your Grace, dwelling within them. Guide our hearts and minds from judgment and condemnation into forgiveness and love. We pray through the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel that you drive away the evil that desires our hearts, and causes us to dwell in negativity. Saint Michael, Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and all evil spirits who prowl the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

Challenge… This week challenge yourself to recognize one person you may have injured through judgment or condemnation. Don’t pick somebody that you already feel like you have wounded. Try to recognize for the first time how your actions may have robbed somebody of their dignity, and once you have a person in mind dedicate at least 5 minutes to praying for this person, and for the strength and faith to bring Love and forgiveness into your relationship with them.

May God Bless you all this week, and may the remainder of your summer vacations be filled with relaxation and enjoyment!

Your Brother from a Holy Mother,

Apr 6

Bible Study: Even the Devil Believes in God

Verse of the week:
"as it is written: ‘There is no one just, not one,there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God.All have gone astray; all alike are worthless; there is not one who does good, (there is not) even one.Their throats are open graves; they deceive with their tongues; the venom of asps is on their lips;their mouths are full of bitter cursing.Their feet are quick to shed blood;ruin and misery are in their ways,and the way of peace they know not.There is no fear of God before their eyes’.” -Romans 3:10-18

I was only going to take a portion of that verse, but the whole quote is so good.  It’s a pretty humbling statement, and it is meant for all of us.  I was going to take this time to mention something about “The Golden Compass” a movie coming out this week, but in looking for a bible verse to shed light on the subject I found this.  What St. Paul is trying to tell us here is that we are all sinners.  From the most radical Traditionalist to the most liberal “atheist” we have one thing in common, and that is our sinfulness.  Paul spends 7 chapters in the book of Romans telling us that humanity is completely lost to evil, but saved through Christ Jesus.  That humility is an important thing to hold on to.  You would do well to keep it close.  In the eye’s of Christ we are all sinners redeemed by his blood.  We’re all in the same boat.  

Speaking of boats I’ve got a little beef with a certain compass, “The Golden Compass” to be exact.  I would recommend that nobody go to see this movie.  I pointed out last week that we should vote with our dollar on movies with morals such as Bella.  This movie is the exact opposite.  Based on a best selling novel championing “atheist” ideals this story is quite literally the anti-Narnia.  Like Narnia by C.S. Lewis this story line depicts a small girl, and a wardrobe, and sentient animal creatures, but there is one very important distinction between the two.  In Narnia the lion Azlan takes on a Christ like role, and models the Sacrifice, and resurrection of our Lord.  However  “The Golden  Compass” is an open challenge to faith, and most especially to the Catholic Church.  The evil antagonist entity in this movie is called the Magisterium.  Sound familiar?  It should that is the name of the ruling body of our Church.  The most horrid thing about this story line remains in the book, but has been removed for the movie do solely to marketing research.  In the book the children kill God, and this is depicted as salvation for humanity. 

If you want to find proof of St. Paul’s point in our Bible verse this week look no further than “Atheism” as expressed in this abhorrent movie.  This is exactly what all of us would be like without the salvation of Christ.  “Atheism” can be tempting championing free will above all other things, but what makes our free will so special is our ability to restrain our selves from our desires.  If you use your free will to always do what you desire then you have really just given up your free will.  When we choose God’s plan over our own desires we are truly freed from the enslavement of our sinful human instincts, and desires.  Only through God can we see that what our media, our culture, and our atheist neighbors call freedom is truly the worst kind of mindless slavery. 

You may have noticed and been curious why I keep putting “atheist” in quotes.  The reason is that a true atheist does not exist.  Every human being is imprinted with a desire for God if you want some proof of that read the first third of the Summa Theologica.  The whole first third outlines the relationship between God and Man.  In a nut shell when we were created God imprinted on us, out of his great love, the desire to seek him, and to know him.  For this reason every nation every tribe of humans on the planet has some form of religious expression.  Every one is seeking God.  The truth about an “atheist” is that he is angry at God, angry at his lot in life or angry that he must follow morals to be a good person.  These people lash out against God, but to lash out at God, one must first believe in him.  There is another word for these people that is more fitting that word is agnostic, meaning that they believe the truth about God to be unknown, or unknowable.  Nobody believes in nothing.  I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes, “Even the Devil believes in God.” 


Challenge:
Every one who didn’t go see Bella yet really should, and read the reviews for both Bella and The Golden Compass @ Lifeteen.com.  But most importantly don’t go see The Golden Compass, and incourage your friends and family not to as well.

God Bless!!

Your Brother in the Holy Mother, 

Apr 6

Bible Study: Roe vs. Wade Abortion Pro-Life

Hello everyone!!

Today is a day of Fasting for the many who have fallen victim to legalized abortion.  1/3 of your generation is missing.  Friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, class mates, team mates… all gone.  Since 1973 there has been no greater cause of death (by an extremely wide margin) than abortion.  Most studies stopped counting in 1998, but there have been well over 40 million abortions since 1973, probably closer to 50 million, and that number is for the United States alone. 

Scripture Verse of the Week:
"We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all."
                                                                        1 Thessalonians 5:14

       This is the 5th day a week of prayer called for by the pontifical council.  This week of prayer is to be centered around church unity.  The scripture above is the verse which we are called to focus on today by our Pope.  We are called to cheer, support, and to admonish when necessary, those who find themselves outside of Unity with the Church.  The Church is quite literally the Body of Christ.  We take Christ into our bodies through the Eucharist and become ‘little Christs’ for the world.  St. Theresa of Lisieux  calls us to be like Christ in the little things.  She calls this the “little way”.  What St. Theresa means by the “little way” is that in order to be Christ for the world we must be Christ in our Ordinary lives in all the little things we do throughout the day.  Christ comes to meet us in our ordinary every day lives the question is; Are we ready to accept him there??? 
       It is in being Christ in the little ways, that we can show Christ to our separated brothers and sisters.  Christians who do not follow the Teaching Authority of the Chair of Peter (the Pope[Papa, Papem, Pontif, the biggest cheese that isn’t God]) are still Christian they are still our brothers and sisters, however they have what the Church refers to as partial truth.  This means that they do not recognize the fullness of all that Jesus has left us.  We are called by Christ to draw our brothers and sisters into the fullness of sacramental Christian living.  The way in which we are called to do this is again through good cheer to the faint of heart, support and love for those who grow weak, and to admonish when necessary those who stray from the fullness of Christianity.  This last part is tricky.  I’m calling in some support from my good friend Webster.  Admonishment:  
1 a: to indicate duties or obligations to b: to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner 2: to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement to.  So what does that mean for us?  This means that when a person is wrong we are obligated to express warning and disapproval, or to inform them of proper duties or obligations.  However… it is absolutely important to do this out of a spirit of Christian Charity (LOVE), and an obligation to take seriously and deal with gently. 
        These things are all done best along the “little way”.  Bring Christ in to all the little things in your life, and you will naturally be supportive and cheerful, and when admonishment is necessary it will flow naturally from the great Love that Christ has grown within you. 
It is also worth pointing out that admonishment is impossible without personal knowledge and understanding of the ways in which Christ chooses to dispense his grace in our lives.  So spend time with the Eucharist, and spend time with your Catechism. 

Challenge:
This challenge is three fold #1 Spend an hour with the Eucharist this week. #2 Spend an hour reading the Catechism this week. #3 Be cheerful and supportive :). 

God Bless you all this week!!

Your Brother from a Holy Mother,