Advice For Men

Advice to men from a guy who learned those lessons the hard way and lost in marriage.  The only thing he leaves out is the importance of the relationship one has with God.  As cavalier and amazing as Mr. Roger's article is - no man is fully a man who does not put God first, even ahead of his mate.  One's mate will appreciate the strength and commitment one has to God.  If a man cannot commit to God, how can a woman trust he will be committed to her?  Anyway, aside from that, the article is great advice to men...

My advice after a divorce following 16 years of marriage, by Gerald Rogers.
Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had
1. Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.
2. Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.
3. Fall in love over and over again.  You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.
4. Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.
5. It’s not your job to change or fix her… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.
6. Take full accountability for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.
7. Never blame your wife if you get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.
8. Allow your woman to just be. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.
9. Be silly… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.
10. Fill her soul everyday… learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen.
11. Be present. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.
12. Be willing to take her sexually, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.
13. Don’t be an idiot…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.
14. Give her space… The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing…. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.)
15. Be vulnerable… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.
16. Be fully transparent. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don’t know i she will like what she finds… Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.
17. Never stop growing together… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.
18. Don’t worry about money. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.
19. Forgive immediately and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.
20. Always choose love. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.
In the end marriage isn’t about happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come. Marriage is life, and it will bring ups and downs. Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experience will bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time.
These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessons I learned too late. But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward. Truth is, I loved being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time.
If you are reading this and find wisdom in my pain, share it those those young husbands whose hearts are still full of hope, and with those couples you may know who may have forgotten how to love. One of those men may be like I was, and in these hard earned lessons perhaps something will awaken in him and he will learn to be the man his lady has been waiting for.
MEN- THIS IS YOUR CHARGE: Commit to being an EPIC LOVER. There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves that from you. Be the type of husband your wife can’t help but brag about.


One more thing for Mr. Rogers,  you stated you plan to marry again - well, you ARE still married in the eyes of God!  "What God has put together, let no man put assunder."  Your role/goal should be to BE that man you failed to be the first time around.  Court your wife again, start off slowly - don't expect that "flame" to be there like it was initially, for somehow you let that "fire" go out.  Build it back up again, start with kindling and later add the bigger logs. 


LIFE In The Womb

Life begins at conception, and this short video - just over 4 minutes long - takes us from conception to birth.  It is absolutely undeniable that once conceived, there is LIFE!
How anyone could watch something like this and still consider abortion as an "alternative" is just beyond comprehension!  

How About Artificial Birth Control?

Most probably don't realize it, but most forms of artificial birth control (ABC) are actually abortifacients.  Why?  Because most do not prevent conception!  Sperm and egg still "get together" and the ABC prevents implantation in the uterine wall either chemically or by "tricking" the body into thinking it is not a fertile time, and thus this newly conceived LIFE is artificially prohibited from its NATURAL process - and it DIES. 

How About Cases of Rape or Incest?

In God's timing, when we are blessed with conception - it is absolutely wrong (evil) to try to overrule what has begun.  God has given to you a LIFE to love and care for!  Regardless of the circumstances of how that LIFE has begun - it is not the child's fault he/she has began their existence.  It is wrong (evil) to kill that child for something they are not guilty of.

An On-line Conversation With a Cafeteria Catholic

Charles’, the Cafeteria Catholic, began:
The Roman Catholic Church is undergoing its greatest reform. Women will become priests. Priests will be allowed to marry. Homosexuals will be married sacramentally. Children will be conceived through artificial insemination. Masturbation will be recognized as a natural and healthy phenomena. It will all come to its greatest culmination under a female Pope. By what great awareness has this fallen upon me? The common sense that comes with being rational and a reasoning human being. The Church in all its greatness was most aware of its fallibility, and incorporated a well-known doctrine into the institution.

Nathan replies:
So now Charles knows the future.
Well, certain things that are defined as doctrine (ie. the Truth as the revealed Word of God) will not and cannot ever change because God does not change.

Here's what the church teaches:

1- Women cannot become priest just like men cannot become mothers and this will never change.

2- Many Roman Catholic priests are married even today. The church generally chooses men who have made a vow of celibacy for the priesthood but that practice can change any day. It is not a doctrine revealed by God.

3- Men with homosexual tendencies can be married sacramentally even today but can only marry women. The opposite is true for women as well because that's how God designed the male and female counterparts. They are complimentary of each other, no such complimentarity exists between two men or two women.

4- Children are already conceived through artificial insemination but that doesn't make it right. For example, 3 to 10 times more children die from the rejection of the embryo by the lab techs then there are successful artificial inseminations. These children deserve to live but died because the parents were willing to allow the deaths of so many for the life of the one.

5- Wasting ones seed (ie masturbation) has always been seen as wrong even from Biblical times (Gen 38:9-10).

Ones "common sense" can be terribly misguided especially when ones conscience is ill-informed.
To have a good conscience is to have it align with church doctrine because we KNOW that Church doctrines are always true sincethe church is the pillar and foundation of the truth (1 Tim 3:15).

Charles answered:
I'm afraid that I cannot go there or would ever wish to. I have children watching and listening to me, especially a gay son. I teach that God is a most loving God and far more understanding than the Catholic Church teaches at the moment. But with patience and perseverance reason will win out. Those who think, keep hope alive, and education shall lead the way.
Having blind faith, is no excuse, for not thinking.

Here a lurker (a third-party) chimes in:
What many Catholics and most non Catholics fail to understand is that the Catholic Church welcomes homosexuals or divorced into the church. They ask no more from homosexuals than they do from single Catholics. The urge to have sex with someone is not wrong but doing so outside of marriage is the wrong part. I struggle with the logic of some of the Catholic teachings but I understand them.

Nathan replies:
Very well put [lurker]. Thanks for the clarification.

Charles then said:
The two of you are not aware that my wife's first husband tried to kill her, while high on cocaine. It was at my advice that she extricate herself from the threat of being assaulted and perhaps killed the next time. Did she know when she was a bride that 5 years later under the influence of cocaine that her sacramental partner, blessed by God, would try to kill her? No. But, isn't it reasonable to recognize that if a person tries to kill you, that perhaps they don't love you, and that in fact, staying married to that man, is not sanctioned by God? Something to contemplate.

Nathan answers:
A statement from the USCCB states this in regards to spousal abuse:

Finally, we emphasize that no person is expected to stay in an abusive marriage. Some abused women believe that church teaching on the permanence of marriage requires them to stay in an abusive relationship. They may hesitate to seek a separation or divorce. They may fear that they cannot re-marry in the Church. Violence and abuse, not divorce, break up a marriage. We encourage abused persons who have divorced to investigate the possibility of seeking an annulment. An annulment, which determines that the marriage bond is not valid, can frequently open the door to healing.
The document can be found here:

I hope this helps.

Charles answers:
Thank you Nathan. I did not know that such a socially aware document existed. I do commend our American Bishops for their pastoral understanding in this area.

Finally, Nathan replies:
You’re welcome. I’m glad I could help.

God Bless

facebook (Share Catholic) Meme

 Considering how just how much animosity I've encountered from an old friend, an Orthodox layman, and several Protestants lately, not to mention the Liberal media, I found this meme so very appropriate for today.

Dr. Savage on Freedom of Speech and Churchmen

First of all, to the regular readers here - allow me to apologize in advance for my methodology in this response article.  I am responding to Dr. Savage in the same method he uses on his radio show.  To Dr. Savage, no disrespect is intended, this is an attempt to get your attention by using your own style of "attack."

Secondly, in most cases I tend to agree with Dr. Savage!  I even agree with his sentiment on the issue I'm about to discuss - but, since he (in my humble opinion) has unjustifiably attacked the Catholic Church, as a Catholic apologist I must speak out.

Yesterday, August 22, 2013, I was listening to Dr. Savage on the radio and the subject of the involvement of the Catholic Church in supporting amnesty came up.  Now, on the point of amnesty, I agree with Dr. Savage!  The Church should not be publicly supporting those who have willfully broken the laws of the United States.  That being said, is it really "the Church" taking this stand, or a few rouge bishops and/or priests?  I would like to see Dr. Savage's documentation on this.

Now, to the point which motivated this response.  Dr. Savage related that the Church's involvement in this subject was "against the law."  He compared this to the "separation of church and state," and this is where the "buffoonery" comes into play.  Normally, Dr. Savage speaks quite intelligently on such matters, but in this case he is simply wrong.  The United States Constitution makes absolutely NO reference to ANY church's RIGHT to FREE SPEECH!  The ONLY mention of "church and state" in the Constitution protects the churches, NOT the state!  The "establishment clause," as it is known by, is found in the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Note, it speaks to CONGRESS, and NOT to any church/religion!  The "free exercise thereof" includes the "freedom of speech" (in the same sentence!) of any churchman, whether from the pulpit or in a public forum, to speak out on ANY matter, even political/state matters!  In fact, if the Catholic Church would actually take a united stand in supporting certain politicians - half the "schmucks" (to use another part of Dr. Savage's vocabulary) in elected office would never have made it there and we wouldn't be in the mess we're in today!

So, while I politically disagree with anyone promoting amnesty among illegal aliens, I respect the RIGHT of anyone to SPEAK FREELY on these subjects.  Personally, I would prefer that priests stick to the Gospel and/or Epistle of the day when they preach their sermons - unless what they are preaching can be related to the readings of the day - they should refrain from such topics.  But again, there is no "law" in the Church or the Constitution or the Amendments to the Constitution which prohibits a priest (or other churchman) from preaching on ANY subject they would so desire (unless, of course, they are preaching against defined Church doctrine, but that will get them in hot water elsewhere).  The point is, a bishop or priest is quite free to speak out on matters of politics and such speaking is NOT a violation of the "establishment clause."  I was quite disappointed to hear Dr. Savage ignorantly using this argumentation typically invoked by liberals who feel threatened by any religious person speaking out in a public forum against what they believe.

As I said up front, I actually agree with Dr. Savage's position on this matter!  Amnesty for illegal aliens should NOT be considered by US lawmakers precisely because these aliens are US lawbreakers!  On this matter, I would agree with those who take the position of allowing the illegals to legitimize themselves, but not ahead of those who have been "doing it right."  If those who are in our country illegally wish to gain citizenship and/or other legal means of being in the United States, then they must get in line BEHIND those who have been OBEYING our laws.

So, while I agree that amnesty is a bad idea - I do not believe it is against the rights of ANYONE to speak out to support their own views on such matters.  We should not ignorantly, or even in bigoted fashion, attempt to dissuade individuals or even churches from THEIR exercise of freedom of speech.  Right or wrong, it is their right to speak out.  I hope this message reaches Dr. Savage, and I hope he publicly retracts his ignorant statement regarding the alleged separation of church and state matter here.

#separationofchurchandstate, @ASavageNation, #SavageNation, @SavageNation

What ARE the bishops asking?  Find out by clicking here.

What's In A Meme?

We see "memes" all over the place now, but what does "meme" really mean?  Well, originally it was a genetic term coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 book, The Selfish Gene.   In genetics it means that one thing imitates another, but is slightly different.  It originates through a repeated mutation.  So, with the advent of Internet Memes, what we have seen is typically a picture with a slogan, and it gets slightly altered and then propagated throughout the Internet, sometimes "virally" (another biological comparison).

My favorite Catholic Meme for today is this one:

This is, of course, a "mutation" of the Dos Equis beer commercial.


Authority of the Church Outside the Bible?

James Swan
A few months ago I was involved in a discussion at Green Baggins (GB) and one of the persons watching there happened to be James Swan.  He commented a couple times there, but unbeknown to me, he also posted to his blog, Beggars All.  I don't frequent his blog much anymore, but happened to be looking there and found an article he entitled "Sola Windsora" wherein his chief question/challenge to me is whether or not I could demonstrate the authority of the Catholic Church without using Scripture.  Here are his words:
My question to you is probably too simple compared to all the other interactions you're having at Green Baggins. I'd like to know, other than using the Bible, how do you establish that this other authority is also infallible? Or is it simply the case that you believe the Scriptures, correctly interpreted, establish the other authority?  Above you appealed to Matthew 16 and 18 (" relatively few circumstances, perpetual infallibility. This comes from Jesus Christ as recorded in Scripture in Matthew 16 and 18"). In other words, when all is said done, is your primary way of establishing this other authority simply an appeal to Scripture alone?
The challenge seems a bit silly to me (and I did answer this on the GB blog).  Why would I want to or even need to provide such evidence when it is already found in Scripture?   For an adherent of sola scriptura to ask me to provide him with a non-scriptural reference also seems quite ludicrous.  If he's true to his credo, why would he accept anything outside the testimony of Scripture regarding infallible authority?

To directly answer Swan's question/challenge I will say "it is simply the case that (I) believe the Scripture, correctly interpreted, establish(es) the other authority."  Does this make my "primary way of establishing this other authority simply an appeal to Scripture alone?"  Clever, well, sort of.  The fact that I only need to appeal to Scripture does not make me an adherent to Scripture alone, though I appreciate the attempt at word-play.

Speaking of word-play, I have to wonder why he entitles his article "Sola Windsora" - when clearly he's asking me to provide an authoritative source - but I have never stated *I* am that source!  I am pleased to provide references and sources for why I believe what I believe and I've never stood upon my own authority.  Maybe I should be flattered?  Regardless, the label is a bit misdirected.

I believe Swan is truly stuck here.  He either cannot or just does not respond to my challenge regarding Matthew 16:18-19 and Matthew 18:18.  That challenge is "Can error be bound or loosed in Heaven?"   Both of these passages have our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ telling a man and a group of men, respectively, that whatsoever they shall bind or loose on Earth is also bound or loosed in Heaven.  So, unless Swan (or anyone else) believes error could be bound or loosed in Heaven, then we have an explicit example of Scripture, quoting Jesus Christ, giving infallible authority to a man first and then to a group of men.

A comment Swan makes, which I'm beginning to believe is "All the interactions at Green Baggins become really... a waste of time."    Well, based upon the fact that none of them dealt specifically with my response article and coupled with the fact that in the several times I've gone back to see if there is anything of substance going on there what one mostly sees is a lot of what appears to be "in-fighting" amongst themselves and branches of their fellowship, I have to agree with Swan on that one.

As Swan is concluding he points to an article by another blogger, who goes by the name of "TurretinFan" (TF) that he too wrote an article referencing me and my participation on Green Baggins!  It sure would be nice if when someone is addressing me directly in an article, that they at least let me know said article(s) exist!  Well, since I'm at this, let me respond to TF too: 
Over at GreenBaggins, Scott tried to make an argument for an infallible rule of faith other than the Bible.  He wrote: "The fact is that Matthew 16:18-19 and Matthew 18:18 teach that man and/or those men can bind or loose, not just sin, but whatsoever they choose."  Let's consider this argument piece by piece:
"that man and/or those men"Peter and the other apostles are gone.  Francis, like his predecessor Benedict XVI, is not an apostle of Jesus Christ, he did not personally receive revelation from Jesus as they did, It is a leap to say that the apostles could do X, therefore someone who is not an apostle can do X.
What TF has done here is admit men were given infallible authority!  He just doesn't allow for that authority to be handed down to the successors of the Apostles.
"bind and loose"Of course, "bind and loose" doesn't sound anything like "define dogma."  It sounds more like freeing people from their sins or leaving people in condemnation for their sins. 
Addressed in a moment...  it is not merely sin here - but "whatsoever" they chose to bind or loose.  The point remains, if it is bound in Heaven, then it must be infallible - unless TF is willing to say error can be bound or loosed in Heaven.
"not just sin"That sounds like Scott is saying, "sin and more."  But Rome's teaching of infallibility is that Rome is infallible only in her doctrinal and moral definitions, not in her exercise of discipline.  So, if it is "sin and more" and implies infallibility, then Scott has proved a point that is stronger than what Rome can adopt.  After all, a Roman bishop exonerated Pelagius (and then later condemned), a Roman bishop condemned Athanasius (and then later exonerated), and let's not even get into the trial of Galileo. 
The charism of infallibility does not mean that every act, even judgment, made by a pope is infallible.  What is really being said here though is that while the Church is not limited to only doctrines and morals, she does not make infallible pronouncements regarding disciplines.  If a given pope or ecumenical council were ever to bind us to a specific discipline - it would be so bound. 
"whatsoever they choose"
In Roman Catholic theology, the definition of dogma is (officially) not arbitrary.  For example, CCC 86 states:
  • “Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication, and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith.” 
Of course, I acknowledge that in practice the power is arbitrarily exercised (contrary to CCC 86), but this is just an internal inconsistency.
Likewise, to be precise the text does not mention choice, it just states that what is bound on earth will be bound in heaven and what is loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven.
- TurretinFan
The point is not one of arbitrariness - yes, the word "whatsoever" is used - but that simply means that anything which they have bound on Earth is also bound in Heaven.  It seems TF's problem here is not with the Catholic Church, but with Scripture.

I just went back and skimmed through the GB responses - and while I was not made aware of the two articles posted, which I have responded to above, most, if not all, of what was in those articles was also in the comments at GB.

Did Mary Die (Part 2)

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is drawing to an end now for 2013, and I was just browsing by Beggars All and saw the latest article (as of the publication of this article) from James Swan, who is rehashing an older discussion from at least nearly two years ago.  Here's a link to Swan's latest article:

And here are the comments so far there, including my own:

Nick said...The text of Munificenttisimus doesn't give any indication that Mary did not die. The text does however make comments to the effect that She did die:
Either way though, your overall argument doesn't hold water because the Dormition is secondary to the dogma of the Assumption itself. Even Protestants claim there are such things as non-essential aspects to dogmas.
If you want real confusion, consider the fact Protestants cannot agree on whether Jesus died for everyone or not. Svendsen denied the L in TULIP while White affirms it.
5:20 PM, August 15, 2013
Conhecereis a Verdade said...This dogmatic definition, completely devoid of biblical, patristic and historical support, is extremely curious because Pius XII could define with all certainty that Mary ascended into heaven in body and soul, but can not tell if he really died or not. Hence the obvious ambiguity of the words "having completed the course of her earthly life."
Indeed, an outstanding example of the double discourse typical of the popes.
9:10 PM, August 15, 2013
TomiPad said...Often Roman Catholics, under the premise that only infallible statements count, their church has never contradicted itself. Rome defines what a contradiction is and infallibly defines herself as possessing assured infallibility in accordance with her infallibly defined criteria. 
10:23 PM, August 15, 2013
Scott said...
As even this article from Swan points out, there is no definition of death in MD. The closest we come to that is that it DOES define "having completed the course of her earthly life." But again, MD does not seek to define whether she died or not, but that she was taken into Heaven, body and soul, and that IS defined, and infallibly so. Whether or not she died is PURELY a distraction to the TRUE subject at hand in MD.
My initial response to Swan's article from 2011 is here:
11:08 PM, August 15, 2013 (actual Arizona Time of posting)
In short, what I said to Swan today is a reiteration of what was said nearly two years ago.  Why the continued attempt to distract?  
Now, if Swan wants to discuss or debate "Did Mary Die?" - that's fine!  But attempting to use THAT discussion to derail the infallible definition of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is, simply, not THAT discussion.

A couple more comments, as of 11am, August 16, 2013 (Arizona time)...
 Blogger Stephen Galanis said...
Firstly, Nick, "doesn't give any indication that Mary did not die" is the argument from ignorance. And you've backed up your view by citing... the infallible magisteirum? No. By citing Taylor Marshall. And he's not infallible. That's his interpretation of the magisterium. Thank you for that demonstration of real-world Catholic authority. You do see the irony of how you responded? You claim an epistemological advantage of Protestants, but if Catholics have to defend the perspicuity of the magisterium, then logically, it has already failed to be perspicuous.
Scott, you're right, there's no definition of death in MD. And you'll have to admit there is some level of confusion about whether Mary died or not. It may be a distraction, but Rome ought to settle the debate if it can. And if Rome wants to make historical claims about the assumption of Mary - and it is an historical claim - surely it knows whether or not she died? How on earth can one begin to defend "Mary definitely was assumed into heaven, but whether it was before or after her death we don't know"? Because whatever source you imagine supports the assumption (there would have been eyewitnesses - family at her deathbed, that sort of thing), that source would also contain the datum of whether Mary had died or not prior to her assumption. It's remarkable that Rome, and you, claim to know one but not the other. And what of those Catholics who died before the assumption was made a required belief? It wasn't necessary for salvation before 1950, so that just looks like Rome dictating terms to God.
6:23 AM, August 16, 2013

Blogger Scott said...
Dr. Marshall doesn't have to be infallible! We're not even discussing a topic under the charism of infallibility! I do find it a bit amusing to see Protestants continue to distract this way though - who do you think you're fooling?
As for your comment to me, whether or not she actually died is not important! What is important is that she "completed her course of her earthly life" and was "assumed, body and soul into Heaven." There is no real "need" for Rome to settle whether or not she experienced physical death - her course of this life was complete, period.
As I said (on the CathApol blog) if you want to discuss or debate whether she actually died, fine - that's another discussion. We can discuss this all you want, but when you get down to it, it's just musings of folks on the Internet positing opinions (ancient and/or new) regarding this.
MY POINT is that if we're "Remembering the Assumption of Mary" (as Swan entitled his article) then let us do that! Why the distraction?
We could discuss further, as you brought up, that prior to the 1950 defining of this dogma not all faithful Catholics held to the dogma - and I concur with that. The point, as you recognized, is that after the definition was promulgated no faithful Catholic can deny it. It becomes a recognition of the authority Jesus Christ empowered His Church with and denial of that authority becomes a denial of Christ - and THAT is more relevant than whether or not one "accepts" the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
1:50 PM, August 16, 2013

Communion of Saints

In today’s second reading we find that there is a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us.  Reading Hebrews 11, the previous chapter of today’s reading, tells us that these witnesses are the Old Testament saints.


These ‘dead’ saints who are alive in Christ are aware of what’s happening to us.  Here are few verses to show this awareness of those in heaven of what is happening here on Earth.


Heb 12:1          “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”


Mt 17:3            Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.


(If Jesus didn’t want any contact between saints on earth and saints in heaven, why did our Lord make a special point of appearing to Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration in the company of Moses and Elijah, two ‘dead’ saints? (Patrick Madrid))


Rev 6:9-10       When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?


Luke 15:10       …There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.


We have just learned that the ‘dead saints’ are indeed aware of earthly doings, but can they do anything about it?  Are there intercessory prayers effective?  Of course there are.  Prayers of the righteous availeth much (Jas 5:16).  Who are more righteous than those who have been made perfect (Mat 5:48) and in heaven?


I feel I must make clear that Jesus alone is our mediator, John Henry Cardinal Newman pointed out:

The Catholic Church allows no…Saint, not even the Blessed Virgin herself, to come between the soul and its Creator…The devotions then to angels and saints as little interfered with the incommunicable glory of the Eternal, as the love which we bear our friends and relations, our tender human sympathies, are inconsistent with that supreme homage of the heart to the Unseen.  (Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua, p.284-285)


We can therefore see that asking saints to pray for us (whether they are ‘living’ or ‘dead’) is acceptable, approved by God, and avails much. 


The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Of the Marian holidays (holy days), the Feast of the Assumption is considered the most important.  It is also a holy day of obligation for Catholics - so faithful Catholics must find time to be at Mass this day.  Check with your local parish/diocese for options here.  The feast day is August 15th, which falls on Thursday this year.  

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is also defined dogma in the Catholic Church.  No faithful Catholic can deny this event.  The definition is found in MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS (MD), and while that whole document is good, technically the only "infallible" part is the sentence which contains the definition of the Assumption, and that is:
by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: 
that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

As you can see, in the definition - there is no mention of whether or not she died - only that she "completed the course of her earthly life."  Thus you will find faithful Catholics who disagree on this particular point.  In 2011 I wrote another article on this topic: Did Mary Die?

This is also an opportunity, yet another, for me to get on my soapbox about calling this particular season "Ordinary Time."  There are SO MANY very EXTRA-ordinary feasts during this season, to refer to it as "ordinary" - by our modern use of the word, seems to downplay these HUGE feast days!  The traditional reference to this season comes from the same root word - but makes it more clear - and that reference is "Ordinal Time" and "ordinal" means "counting."  Along the same note, there are TWO "ordinal" seasons in the liturgical calendar where we "count days."  The first ordinal season is the season after Epiphany which counts the Sundays after Epiphany up until the beginning of Lent.  The second ordinal season is the season after Pentecost, where we count the Sundays from Pentecost to the end of the liturgical year which starts anew at Advent.  In the modern lectionary these two seasons are combined - which, in my opinion, minimizes the importance of these season all the more.  

Miracle Priest Prayer

On August 4, 2013, the feast day of St. John Vianney, did HE make an appearance to help save a 19 year old who was trapped inside her vehicle?  Trapped for over an hour, the report is, as her vital signs were beginning to fail she asked for someone to pray with her - and mysteriously a priest appeared and prayed with her!  He is described as having a thick accent and a police artist rendering of the priest has some striking resemblance to St. John Vianney, the Cure' of Ars (see below):

Fire chief Reed said: “We’re all local people from four different towns. We’ve only got one Catholic church out of three towns and it wasn’t their priest. I think it’s a miracle. I would say whether it was an angel that was sent to us in the form of a priest or a priest that became our angel, I don’t know. Either way, I’m good with it.”
Katie Lentz’s mom, Carla Churchill Lentz, said emergency workers have told her there is no way her daughter should have lived inside such a mangled car. Of the priest, she said, “I do believe he certainly could have been an angel dressed in priest’s attire because the Bible tells us there are angels among us.”
New York Daily News reports it this way:

A 19-year-old woman was miraculously saved from a wrecked car on a Missouri highway — after a mystery priest suddenly appeared to pray with the victim and bless the rescue operation.
But once the woman was cut free, the holy man vanished from the cornfield-lined roadway.
“As a first responder, you don’t know what you’re going to run into,” New London Fire Chief Raymond Reed told KHQA-TV. “In this particular case, it is my feeling that it was nothing more than sheer faith and nothing short of a miracle.”

Firefighters had been struggling for nearly an hour to get the teen, Katie Lentz, out of her crumpled Mercedes-Benz after a drunken driver crossed the middle line of the two-lane highway and struck her head-on about 9 a.m. Sunday, officials told the news station.

The smoke-eaters desperately tried to reach Lentz — who was pinned between her seat and the steering wheel — but the heavy steel of the car kept dulling the blades of their cutting tools, Reed said.

“It was a very well-built car,” Reed said. “And when you compact materials like that one, they become even stronger because you’re cutting through multiple things instead of one layer.”
Medical workers had just warned the crew that Lentz’s condition was failing fast, when the teen asked if everyone nearby would pray out loud with her.
Suddenly, a man clad in black with a white collar appeared at the scene.

“He came up and approached the patient, and offered a prayer,” Reed said. “It was a Catholic priest who had anointing oil with him. A sense of calmness came over her, and it did us as well.”
Reed said he couldn’t make out everything that was said between the injured woman and the priest.

“But myself and another firefighter, we very plainly heard that we should remain calm, that our tools would now work and that we would get her out of that vehicle,” he said.
As soon as the blessing was given firefighters with the Hannibal Fire Department arrived with fresh tools, which were able to extricate Lentz from the mangled car.

The injured teen was air lifted from the scene and taken to Blessing Hospital, where condition was later upgraded to serious after undergoing several surgeries.
“Both of her legs are very damaged,” Lentz’s friend, Amanda Wiseman, told KHQA—TV. “Her wrist is broken, several broken ribs, so she’s had a lot of broken bones to deal with.”
Once Lentz was safely aboard the helicopter, the fatigued emergency workers turned to thank the priest — but the man had vanished from the scene.

Not a single bystander or civilian vehicle was on the Center, Mo., thoroughfare, a quarter-mile of which had been closed for first responders to work after the wreck.

“Where did this guy come from?” asked another Lentz pal, Travis Wiseman. “We’re looking for the priest and so far, no one has seen him. Whether it was a priest as an angel or an actual angel, he was an angel to all those and to Katie.”

Police later arrested Aaron Smith, 26, who was booked on a string of charges that include DWI, assault and failure to drive on the right half of the roadway.
The injured teen’s mother told the news station that her daughter has always turned to prayer when facing possible defeat.
“All along the way, her foremost request is for people to pray and to pray out loud,” she said. “We would like nothing more than to carry that message forward for her."

Miracle, coincidence - or Godincidence?  You decide!  Feel free to add your comments here too.

Be Prepared

We are to be ready for those times that we will be in a position to defend the Truth.  Here is an exchange I recently had online.  His words in italics, mine in bold as well as interspersed within his response.  It all started when my friend posted  the picture you see at the top of this leaflet with the caption:  Homosexuality is unnatural?  Not according to nature.”   I commented that the underlying premise was false.  That is, just because you see a certain behavior in nature doesn’t mean that the behavior is morally ok to engage in.  For example we find that sometimes lions kill rival's lioncubs.  He answers back this way…

Oh[ Nathan]! Loving another consenting adult who happens to be of the same sex is not morally wrong. What IS though is rape, murder, pedophilia, incest, child porn, human trafficking and other very criminal stuff, punishable by law. Homosexuality is NOT punishable by law. It is natural. So saying that it is morally wrong is promoting homophobic slurs and prejudice. It incites criminal activity against another person who is minding his own business, living his life in a most normal way... loving another person... body and mind, as long as it is with consent.

A 60-year-old man dating a 20-year-old woman... is it morally wrong? NO. Do I find it repulsive? Yes to some extent. Does it mean they shouldn't have the same rights as any other "normal" couple to get married, have/adopt children and have the exact same rights and privileges as any other married couple.  ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!

This should also be applied to any same-sex couple wanting to marry and have/adopt children. No one should lose their jobs for their sexual orientation. No one should be banned from living anywhere for that either. No one should be discriminated for it in any way as long as it is with consenting adults.

Here’s my underlined answer interspersed within his original post.  His words in italics:

Oh [Nathan]! Loving another consenting adult who happens to be of the same sex is not morally wrong.

Loving another is never wrong whether he is of the same sex as you ro not.  But the behavior between two lovers of the same sex is always wrong and you simply saying the contrary doesn’t make it true.

What IS [morally wrong] though is rape, murder, pedophilia, incest, child porn, human trafficking and other very criminal stuff, punishable by law. Homosexuality is NOT punishable by law. It is natural.

Whether some things are lawful does not determine what is moral. For example, is it morally ok to have extra marital affairs? Adultery is not punishable by law so by your standard it is morally ok. The laws of man can be moral laws but only when they are in line with natural law.

So saying that it is morally wrong is promoting homophobic slurs and prejudice. It incites criminal activity against another person who is minding his own business, living his life in a most normal way... loving another person... body and mind, as long as it is with consent.

Just because I don’t agree with the lifestyle and me saying so does not mean that I’m inciting criminal activity. One cannot logically go from me disagreeing with something to automatically mean that I’m inciting criminal activity. If that were the case then the government could prosecute me for disagreeing with anyone else on any given issue.  That means that even defense attorneys could be prosecuted for inciting criminal activity because they are defending those who acted against the law. There is no logic in your statement, one does not follow the other.

If there is nothing wrong as long as it is with consent then what is wrong with a father and daughter being intimate with each other? Even if they are of legal age and both consent, is it still morally ok? By your standard it would be.

A 60-year-old man dating a 20-year-old woman... is it morally wrong? NO. Do I find it repulsive? Yes to some extent. Does it mean they shouldn't have the same rights as any other "normal" couple to get married, have/adopt children and have the exact same rights and privileges as any other married couple. ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!

Why are you bringing up all these different things? We were talking about the false premise that because you see a certain behavior in nature then it must be morally ok. And now you bring up the subject of marriage? For the record, I agree with the point you made in the above paragraph.

This should also be applied to any same-sex couple wanting to marry and have/adopt children. No one should lose their jobs for their sexual orientation. No one should be banned from living anywhere for that either. No one should be discriminated for it in any way as long as it is with consenting adults.

I agree that no one should be unjustly discriminated against. Why are you talking about marriage anyway? The subject was that just because you see a certain behavior in the animal world doesn't mean that it is ok to do.

To come back to my original point.   Just because you see a certain behavior in the animal world does NOT mean that the behavior is morally acceptable.

 God Bless

Feast of the Assumption

 The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - another example of "not-so-ordinary" days! These are COUNTING days - and...