Monday, December 30, 2013
Again, even though Snopes says this is "false," there really isn't ANY evidence to disprove the miraculous explanation to this staircase. Yes, they explain some of the technical aspects, but not who this carpenter was and the fact he did it alone and the matter of no visible means of support (the side support they mention does not give vertical support, only horizontal stability). The "honest" assessment from Snopes SHOULD be that it is "inconclusive" to prove one way or the other.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Jesus Christ came to us in a manger and just before He died on the Cross for our sins, He gave us the Mass.
Jesus Christ comes to us still, in every valid Mass.
Jesus Christ will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.
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Wednesday, December 11, 2013
So, what's this documentary all about? Geocentricism. Bob has long been a proponent of geocentrism, which "physically" is a non-science. The universe does not physically revolve around the Earth, however it seems in this new documentary (slated for release in Spring of 2014) the approach does not seem to be quite so much on the literally physical center of the universe - as in everything revolving around our little Earth; rather it appears they are saying that all things in the universe appear to point toward Earth. The Earth is in a rather unique spot in all the universe, the only spot which can sustain life.
My first thought? I'm impressed. Now, I would really like to see the rest of the documentary. What are these scientists saying, in context? What is Bob saying, in context?
Feel free to leave your comments here, I'm sure Bob is watching too. Bob also has a Facebook page for this documentary: https://www.facebook.com/theprinciplemovie and he has a website for it too:
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
One blogger I found is approaching this as a more "in your face" approach to the pagan "CE" notation, his article can be found here: http://brass-and-lead.blogspot.com/2013/06/june-6th-arsh-2013.html
Addendum: I just realized that William (brass-and-lead.blogspot.com) reposted from the following blog by Ann Barnhardt:
December 10, ARSH 2013
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Thursday, December 05, 2013
So, is it harmful to let your children grow up believing there is a Santa Claus? Those who have been following this blog for a number of years know that I do not have a problem with this! Why? Because Santa Claus was a REAL person! No, he was not the commercialized Coca-Cola Santa, or the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Santa, but he was the Catholic Bishop of Myra - and he did give gifts! If we wipe away the commercialism of Santa, the "spirit of giving" or the "Christmas spirit" is the "Spirit of St. Nicholas!" We keep that spirit going in giving gifts.
Then there's the story of the "Kneeling Santa" - which is an interesting spin on this, you can find that here: http://www.catholiccompany.com/emails/111009Kneeling%20Santa.html
Patrick Madrid did his "Right Here, Right Now" podcast on December 4, 2013 on this topic too, give it a listen:
And don't forget! TODAY (Dec. 6th) is the Feast of St. Nicholas! Bring your children home a gift in honor of St. Nicholas!
Sunday, December 01, 2013
As I entered into adulthood in the late 70's and early 80's, I even financially supported their ministry. After hearing about people like Jim Bakker, etc. who squandered money and lived a lavish life-style - the Crouch family seemed to be a breath of fresh air. After my conversion to Catholicism in 1988 I rarely watched them anymore and now with Paul's death I am reading about 13 mansions, private jets and even the cover-up of a sexual assault within the family. I am saddened even more by this.
For Advent we begin the preparation of the season of the Incarnation. During this season we are reminded that Christ not only came in history, but also comes in mystery - at every validly celebrated Mass - and will come again in majesty.
We are reminded that the world will end, and Christ - in majesty - will come to judge the living and the dead. No man knows the hour, or even the day, month or year of this coming - but we know He will come again as He promised. While we do not know the exact timing of His coming, we were told to watch for the signs - and we may be seeing them. We are not to be overly anxious for knowing the day, we should live each day as if it is today. Be prepared, as the 5 wise virgins - and not ill-prepared as the 5 foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). Keep in mind, the 5 foolish virgins were "believers" but were not ready for the time when the Bridegroom came. While they were gone to get more oil, the Bridegroom came and they found themselves locked out of the Wedding Feast.
This week we look forward in HOPE of his coming. The season is in anticipation of both His first and second comings. I recently posted on Faith, Hope and Charity - and that Hope tends to be the weakest of the three, not getting exercised as much. In this week of the liturgical year we are especially reminded to have HOPE and exercise that hope!
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
[Image from Smithsonian.com here]
When we think of Thanksgiving, we usually think of Puritans or Pilgrims and the Indians having a feast in thanksgiving for a good harvest in 1621. But I read a post by Dr. Taylor Marshall about some things on should know about Thanksgiving. Here I outline the 6 facts but you can read his full article here.
l. The actual first American Thanksgiving was celebrated September 8, 1565 in St. Augustine, Florida. It was the Feast of the birth of the Virgin Mary and the Spanish had Mass and a feast with their native American friends.
3. The Pilgrims left England because they thought the Church of England was too Catholic. Being strict Calvinists, who did not celebrate Christmas, did not dance, play music in church or sing hymns.
4. Squanto was a baptized Catholic.
5. The same injustices that caused the Pilgrims to leave England were the same ones that caused the martyrdom of many Catholic saints in England.
6. "Thanksgiving" in Greek is eucharista--Which is the center of the Catholic Mass.
More information on Thanksgiving and its Catholic roots by Dr. Taylor Marshall:
Squanto was Catholic
The Catholic Origins of Thanksgiving
Our view of Thanksgiving became a Puritan American myth long ago, but it is still a time for all of us to remember Our Lord and all He has blessed us with during the year.
Advent starts Sunday! We await the joyful coming of the Lord (at Christmas and His Second Coming).
Where has the year gone? God Bless.
But in the third Sunday of Advent the Church changes gears so-to-speak. Instead of looking at our lack of perfection, or our failures the Church points to the fact that the battle is already won so as to re-invigorate our hope of salvation. Jesus defeated death and therefore we are to “Be strong and fear not!” (Is 35:4) as the first reading says. The Gospel reading of that day tells us to rejoice because we are clothed with the garments of salvation as procured by Jesus and proclaimed by John who came “to testify to the light, so that all might believe through Him.”
In the last Sunday before Christmas, the fourth Sunday of Advent, the Church show us that we are to be assured of the imminent coming of our Lord by giving us a sign, that a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel (which means ‘God with us’). This coming of the Son of God is found in the incarnation narrative, where He was conceived in her womb and bore a son that she was to name Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father (Luke 1:31-32). God is indeed ‘with us’. The Lord God has come, and the Lord God will come again.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I saw this today at a Muslim blog, so the bad witness to Muslims continues to this day. Shame on the Roman Catholic Church!
The Muslim quotes Surah 5:116-118.
I left a comment:
Well, first off, what Ken "thinks" when he "looks" at something is truly irrelevant when he states, "Well it looks like worship to me. It is wrong; and it has been a bad witness to Muslims for centuries." Ken gives an accurate, be it partial, accounting of latria and hyper-dulia. For the reader who may not know, "latria" is the honor reserved for and given only to God, Almighty; "dulia" is honor given to the Saints who have been officially recognized as such and "hyper-dulia" is an elevated honor given to the Blessed Virgin Mary above the rest of the Saints. So, while he is "right" in so far as this goes, he is wrong in his prejudicial judgment of Catholic motive and intention.
Now, just because "Ken" sees this ignorant comment on a Muslim blog, Catholicism is wrong and to be shamed? In reality, Ken, the practice of Pope Benedict XVI is completely in line with Scripture in Luke 1:42 and Luke 1:48. The Blessed Virgin IS honored above all women and every generation, including this one of Pope Benedict XVI, calls her "Blessed." The "shame" is upon those who do NOT honor her with the hyper-dulia she deserves and was prophecied she would receive.
So, what does the Qur'an say in this reference to Surah 5:116?
And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'" He will say, "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.It does not say "Father, Son and Mother," though one can see where Ken concludes this from the Muslim misunderstanding - but again, just because a Muslim believes wrongly does not make the Catholic practice of giving the Blessed Virgin her due honor, wrong. Actually, what is written here in the Qur'an is correct! Anyone who would make the Blessed Virgin out to be a deity along side of God is, indeed, wrong in doing so. Now, the equivocation of Jesus to Mary here, again, it is wrong of anyone to do this - demonstrates the Muslim denial of the divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I repeat, because they get this wrong does not mean Catholics need to stop giving due honor (hyper-dulia) to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
As for Surah 6:101:
[He is] Originator of the heavens and the earth. How could He have a son when He does not have a companion and He created all things? And He is, of all things, Knowing.Again, clearly Islam does not understand the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity and in their ignorance they attack what they do not know - it is common for men to fear what they do not know, but to one who has faith, they have confidence in God who surpasses all human understanding.
And Surah 5:72-75:
72 - They have certainly disbelieved who say, " Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who associates others with Allah - Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.Yes, on this Ken and I would agree - Islam does not have the faith necessary to accept the dogma and mystery of the Blessed Trinity - but again, because they do not understand does not mean Catholics need to change their practices! Ken's argumentation here is a complete non sequitur. For clarity, since the Qur'an was quoted, God (or "Allah") is not the "third of three," for God is ONE in being, yet THREE in persons. NO ONE can know EXACTLY how this mystery works - but we BELIEVE it because Scripture implies it and THE Church which Jesus Christ Himself built has dogmatically defined the nature of the Blessed Trinity.
73 - They have certainly disbelieved who say, " Allah is the third of three." And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.
74 - So will they not repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
75 - The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded.
Monday, November 18, 2013
This article stems from an on-going discussion on the Catholic Debate Forum (CDF), I encourage your comments either here on the blog or in CDF.
What is a Myth?
Full Definition of MYTH2a : a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone; especially : one embodying the ideals and institutions of a society or segment of society <seduced by the American myth of individualism — Orde Coombs>
b : an unfounded or false notion3: a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existencehttp://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/myth4: the whole body of myths
TraditionTradition has it that Moses wrote the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, sometime after the exodus from Egypt. Secular history from Moses forward can pretty much vouch for the "history" found in the Bible, but prior to Moses putting the Torah to writing, it was an oral tradition among "God's Chosen People." Outside of Moses' writings we have very little "proof" to base these stories on, therefore they can rightly be referred to as "myths." Again I must stress, just because it is a "myth" does not mean it is not true!
The Myth of Noah's ArkSo, did Noah's Ark float approximately 4600 years ago (as Bible literalists believe), or was this only possible tens of thousands if not millions of years ago? Keeping in mind, the Torah was strictly an oral tradition prior to Moses - so "time" is not so much the important factor here - but the underlying or ultimate truth of God's Word is. So, just because scientists (not even all of whom are in 100% agreement here, many supporting the "Young Earth" view too) have logical arguments for how old things are and how long ago any such flood(s) may have taken place doesn't mean the Biblical stories from Moses are false.
Who Borrowed from Whom?Some would argue that Moses "borrowed" from other myths going around, like the Epic of Gilgamesh where in "Tablet 11" we find a story remarkably similar to the Noah's Ark story (see link below).
In WRITING, the Epic of Gilgamesh predates Moses' writing of the Torah - but one must keep in mind, the story of the Torah is strictly related to the "Chosen People of God," those who would become to be known as the Children of Israel. The problem in stating the Epic of Gilgamesh must have come first ignores the fact that the Children of Israel were without a written language when the stories of Gilgamesh were first recorded. It is just as logical to argue that the Sumarians "borrowed" from the Children of Israel to write their myths of Gilgamesh. Just because the skeptic (be he Agnostic, Atheist or otherwise) would more easily accept the Sumarian story predates the stories from the Torah doesn't mean they are right. Even if a majority of researchers believed this to be so, logically speaking it is just as possible for the minority to be correct. Truth doesn't play the odds, truth just is.
Old Earth v. Young EarthIn this debate we find some who will argue that the alleged 6000 year old Earth is not possible. When asked about seashells found on mountain tops, one answer is "plate tectonics" caused this. The argument being that at one point the tall mountains were at the bottom of the sea, where seashells were deposited and through plate tectonics (continental plates colliding with each other) that which was once at the bottom of the sea is "lifted up" into the high mountains. What this doesn't explain is how we find relatively YOUNG fossils along side those OLDER ones we would expect to find due to the theory of plate tectonics.
We must also consider 2Peter 3:8 as well where we are told that for the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. Keep in mind for the Apostle Peter, 1000 years would seem as huge to him as a billion years would seem to a modern scientist. In a sense, St. Peter is lending an explanation for just how Scripture, written a couple thousand years before him, can be applied to science, which would be a couple thousand years after him.
So, could it be a relatively young Earth? Well, it could be - but if it is a relatively old Earth, we're alright with that too. The important factor is not the literal amount of time - but that the scriptural stories are true.
From A Creationist PerspectiveConsider this possibility... God created Adam as a man, not as a fetus or a child, but a mature man. In the same manner, God could have created a "mature Earth" that while it may have only been 6000-7000 years ago, "maturity" was created along with it so that this Earth would have things like dinosaurs, fossils, etc. and organic materials from ancient "pre-historic" days so that the modern age would have things like coal and oil. Others would argue (see "Arguments for a Young Earth" link below) that it is impossible to have something like oil kept under pressure for more than 10,000 years as under such pressure the porousness of the rocks would absorb any such oil deposits.
Can The Myth of Noah's Ark Be Verified?Well, not yet! And of course, once it were to be verified then we could no longer refer to it as a myth, but rather a fact. Do we have evidence of an artifact that just might be Noah's Ark? Well, many believe such evidence does indeed exist! According to Gen. 8:4 - the Ark came to rest on the mountains Ararat. (The Douay-Rheims says "mountains of Armenia" and Mt. Ararat is in Turkey near the borders of Iran and Armenia).
Frozen and Preserved or Dry and Petrified?In the pictures below you can see "something" which, in the first, has been broken in half and part of it lies higher up in the glacier than the other part. This photographic evidence I first saw many years ago.
The following video alleges Noah's Ark found in the glacial ice of Mt. Ararat:
Recently, however, I came across this second set of photos - which are not in the glacial part of Mt. Ararat, in fact are found about 4300 ft. above sea level. In this second set of photos we find "something" which is not in the glacier at all, but has the shape and size of a huge boat/ship! In Photo "B" we see "something" which resembles huge apparently man-made "ribs" which could very well be the ribs of the hull of a huge ship! Not only that, the dimensions of the artifact found below correspond precisely to the dimensions found in Gen. 6:15.
So, is this evidence enough to "convince" the skeptic? Probably not - but it IS evidence which supports the "myth" of Noah's Ark. This article is not intended to be the end-all or an exhaustive accounting, but moreso a starting point. Keep looking, keep searching for our Lord and the mysteries of Sacred Scripture. Seek honestly and objectively and I truly believe you will find Him.
Young Fossils on Mountain Tops:
Arguments for Young Earth:
Epic of Gilgamesh Tablet Eleven:
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Saturday, November 02, 2013
On Sat, Nov 2, 2013 at 7:22 AM, Peter S. wrote:
ps: Is blasting the pope even up for debate within Catholic circles?!
ps: As far as I can tell, Pope Francis seems to follow the "What would Jesus do?" brand of theology, which I support.
Accendat in nobis Dominus ignem sui amoris, et flammam aeternae caritatis. Amen.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
“From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me.”
(1 Tim 4:8)
Paul seems to be certain of his final destiny in this passage but is he claiming that once one becomes Christian that heaven is a guarantee upon our deaths?
The context of this passage tells us that Paul was writing this letter on the eve of his announced execution. The study notes from the Ignatius Study Bile explains this passage thussly:
“The reward of everlasting righteousness (Gal 5:5) that awaits the saints, who have persevered in the grace of God (James 1:12; 1 Pet 5:4). The image alludes to the garland or victory wreath used to crown winning athletes in the ancient Olympics (1 Cor 9:25). Paul’s confidence that such a reward awaits him rests on his sense of accomplishment, since after 30 years of ministry, toil and suffering, he has remained firm in the faith without straying from the course set for him by Christ (2 Tim 4:7; Acts 20:24).”
Does this mean though that even though we have persevered up to now that we are guaranteed heaven? If we died today possibly, if we have no unforgivien mortal sin on our souls at the time of death but how do we know that we will persevere until the end since we are not imminently clear that we are on the threshold of death at the moment? Earlier in his ministry Paul himself wasn’t so sure of his final destiny because he didn’t presume to know the future while the race was still in progress. He said: “If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16) or even more clearly, also early on in his ministry. He says: “I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.” ( 1 Cor 4:4)
No, it is quite clear that our final destiny, our salvation is not necessarily assured once we’ve truly accepted Jesus into our hearts as our Lord and Savior. There are many Scripture passages describing this reality. Jesus Himself said that even those who call on Jesus as their Lord shall not necessarily enter the kingdom of heaven (Mat 7:21).
Don’t be discouraged because we have a just and loving God. He does indeed promise us eternal salvation if we persevere and that no trial shall be too great to bear with Him at our side for our trust in Him lightens our burden. Jesus explains: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Mat 11:29-30).
Lay your burdens at the cross and pick up your own and do it daily (Luke 9:23) knowing that whatever burdens may come He will give you whatever strength you need once you put your confidence in Him (Sir 52:23,26).
Saturday, October 26, 2013
First off, thank you for the question, I am answering here in a new post instead of in the one you asked in, since that one is two and a half years old at this point. Your comment is linked above and I have linked this article back in the original spot of your comment.
Secondly, what we believe is that Scripture has laid out the "mechanism" by which God purifies. We see it as "necessary" because it is truth - and we must put forth the truth of God. Nathan recently posted an article here with scriptural references for Purgatory (click here). For the Church to withhold truth simply because it doesn't fit with Protestant theology would not be honest nor beneficial to the sincere believer who is seeking the fullness of truth, which, of course, we believe can only be found in the Catholic Church. The fact that virtually all of Protestantism either ignores or flat out denies this truth is quite telling, would you not agree?
Again, I urge you to read Nathan's article and if you have further comments or questions, feel free to post here under this article (which will not be moderated until 4 weeks after posting).
Friday, October 25, 2013
Experts from the Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology at the Medical University of Vienna analyzed the water in 21 holy springs in Austria and in 18 fonts in Vienna at various times during the year, the Daily Mail reported.
They found that 86 percent of water samples from holy sources contain fecal matter, and every milliliter of holy water contained up to 62 million bacteria, none of it safe to drink.
Not surprisingly, the busier the church, the more bacteria it had in its font from people’s hands.
In addition to E. coli bacteria and enterococci, the holy springs contained Campylobacter, which can cause inflammatory diarrhea, the Mail reported. Nitrates from agriculture also made the water unsafe for drinking.
“We need to warn people against drinking from these sources,” said Alexander Kirschner, a microbiologist at the Medical University of Vienna.
He recommends changing the holy water often and adding salt to the fonts to reduce the chance of bacteria thriving, the Mail reported.
Wow! Time to talk to our priests about how often the Holy Water is changed! I know for a fact that at the chapel where I assisted the sacristine, only enough Holy Water was put out for each day's Mass. What was left would evaporate before the next day so each day was "fresh" Holy Water. Maybe this is a European cultural problem? Note, the study was from the University of Vienna, and may not apply globally.
I cannot speak beyond my own experiences at the moment - have any of you been a sacristine or assisted? What was the practice at your parish? I also know for a fact that salt is used during the initial blessing of Holy Water too, maybe those sampled did not use enough salt during that consecration?
As Christians we are also called to do acts of charity, giving to the poor, spending time with the lonely, etc. So if one is living their Faith, then Charity grows naturally from that Faith. So, this is why we see these two portrayed as more mature adults. Hope is still a child because she is not put to the test except, typically speaking, in times of great need - and for most of us, we don't see such times very often.
When we find ourselves on our deathbed, Faith and Charity may only take us so far - but Hope is what we're going to need the most in that hour when Satan attacks us and tries to bring us into the sin of despair. In reality this is the "unforgiveable sin" for when one is in despair at that final hour they have given up on Faith and Charity - so THAT is where Satan will focus his attacks! Despair is not only the loss of Hope, but also a loss of Faith.
What is the difference between St. Peter and Judas Iscariot? Both were Apostles, and both betrayed our Lord, yet one is exalted while the other shamed and condemned. The difference is Judas went into despair, he did not believe Jesus would forgive him of his betrayal and went off and hanged himself. St. Peter, on the other hand, after flatly denying our Lord was forgiven and Peter accepted His Grace! The contrast between these two is stark - but their similarities are startling as well.
The point is Hope needs to be strengthened and matured so that we are more able to endure the attacks of Satan who would like nothing more than to get us to fall into despair, like Judas, and he "wins" another soul away from eternal salvation. Having Hope gives us the ability to persevere through the darkness which can just about be guaranteed that each of us will go through. So long as we have Hope, we can persevere - and those who persevere to the Last Day shall see eternal salvation (Matthew 10:22) see also: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11711a.htm.
1 Peter 3:15
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
(2 Tim 3:14-17)
Thirdly, This passage doesn’t teach formal sufficiency, which excludes a binding, authoritative role for Tradition and Church. Protestants extrapolate onto the text what isn’t there. If we look at the overall context of this passage, in 2 Timothy alone, Paul makes reference to oral Tradition three times (1:13-14, 2:2, and 3:14). And to use an analogy, let’s examine a very similar passage:
Ephesians 4:11-15 (RSV) - And His gifts were that some should be Apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the equipment of the saints, for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are able to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ.
So if all Tradition and Church elements are excluded in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, then, by analogy, Scripture itself would logically have to be excluded in Ephesians 4:11-15! It is far more reasonable to recognize that the absence of one or more elements in one passage does not mean they are nonexistent. Hence, the Church, Tradition, and Scripture together are equally necessary and important for teaching. And of course this is the Catholic view.
As you can see, advocates of the Protestant principle of Sola Scriptura (the “Bible only” theory) have a problem on their hands here.