Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Catholicism to Become Minority Religion in Brazil

In Latin America's largest country the Catholic majority may come to an end as early as this year according to a Wall Street Journal article.

While Pope Francis has visited Latin America more than any other previous pope, the Catholic Church is losing ground to Pentecostals. You can read the article for yourself here:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-the-catholic-church-is-losing-latin-america-11641914388

Clearly, these Catholics do not know their Catholic Faith - or they could never leave it! There is no Real Presence in Pentecostal worship services! As John 6:53-56 clearly and repeatedly teaches us, "unless you eat the Flesh and drink the Blood of Son of Man, you have no life in you."

You not only don't get this from the Pentecostals - you cannot get it from them! Even if they believed in this (which they don't) they have no authority to consecrate the Eucharist to become His Body and Blood. 

Catholics, COME HOME - before it's too late! Let's talk, shall we?

AMDG,

Scott<<<





Sunday, January 09, 2022

First Sunday After Epiphany - The Holy Family

 First off - Merry Christmas! Yet another reminder that Christmastide lasts until Candlemas, February 2nd.

While it is still Christmastide, we have entered into the ordinal (counting) season of the weeks following Epiphany. 


According to the Extraordinary Rite - we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. The readings for today are as follows:

INTROIT Upon a high throne I saw a man sitting, whom a multitude of angels adore singing together: behold Him the name of whose empire is to eternity (Is. 6). Sing joyfully to God, all the earth: serve the Lord with gladness (Ps. 99:2). Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT Attend, O Lord, we beseech Thee, of Thy heavenly mercy, to the desires of Thy suppliant people; and grant that they may both perceive what they ought to do, and may have strength to fulfill the same. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE (Rom. 12:1-5). Brethren, I beseech you by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be reformed in the newness of your mind: that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God. For I say, by the grace that is given me, to all that are among you, not to be more wise than it behooveth to be wise, but to be wise unto sobriety: and according as God hath divided to every one the measure of faith. For as in one body we have many members, but all the members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another in Christ Jesus our Lord.

ASPIRATION Grant, O Jesus, that by mortification, humility, and contrition, I may offer my body and my soul as a living, holy, and pleasing sacrifice to Thee, and that I may never defile them by impurities.


GOSPEL
 (Lk. 2:42-52). And when Jesus was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast, and having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not. And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day's journey, and sought him among their kinsfolks and acquaintance. And not finding him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers. And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did ye not know that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth; and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wis­dom, and age, and grace with God and men.

WE LEARN Piety, for Jesus shows His love, honor, and respect for His Father in Heaven. Obedience, for Jesus shows true obedience to His earthly parents after they find Him in the Temple - He was subject to them (Lk. 2:51).

IN THE ORDINARY RITE (Novus Ordo) The celebration today is the Baptism of Jesus.

Saturday, January 08, 2022

Saints of the Day - January 8

 Well, there are actually many Saints for January 8th, I will select a couple:

 St. Patiens, Bishop of Metz

Saint Patiens is said to have been a disciple of Saint John the Evangelist, and to have been sent by him into Gaul. He settled at Metz, where he became the fourth Bishop. (Baring-Gould, 2014). Others put his feast day on November 12.

St. Apollinaris the Apologist

Of course, an apologist has to be on the list of the Saints I would select for today! 

He was a second-century bishop of Heirapolis, Phrygia. Held in high regard by other early saints including Saint Jerome and the historian Theodoret. Noted for writing a defense of the faith to Emperor Marcus Aurelius that reminded the Emperor of a miraculous victory that resulted from the prayers of Christian soldiers, and of his promise of protection for Christians. Worked and wrote against all the major heresies of his time, refuting them by logically destroying the heresy‘s philosophical roots. A prolific writer, though most of his work has been lost over the centuries. (Saint Apollinaris the Apologist, 2021).



References

 Baring-Gould, S. (2014). Saint Patiens, Bishop. Lives of the Saints, 1897 <https://catholicsaints.info/baring-goulds-lives-of-the-saints-saint-patiens-bishop/>

Saint Apollinaris the Apologist (2021). CatholicSaints.Info. <https://catholicsaints.info/saint-apollinaris-the-apologist/>

Friday, January 07, 2022

Merry Little Christmas


Epiphany Season!

January 6th begins Epiphany and we are now into the first ordinal (counting) season of the liturgical year. I like to point out this time is NOT "ordinary" - it is "ordinal." Regardless of the missalette calling it "ordinary" the connotation is nothing special, when it is still a special season!
 
Epiphany is also known as "Little Christmas." So, have yourself a merry Little Christmas now! (sorry, couldn't resist!)

It Is Still Christmastide!

Even though we are into Epiphany, there is an overlap here! Christmastide lasts all the way to Candlemas, which is February 2nd - so Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

12th Day of Christmas

 

Today is the Twelfth Day of Christmas! It is the eve of Epiphany - and tomorrow starts the Epiphany Season - BUT - keep in mind, IT'S STILL CHRISTMASTIDE! Christmastide lasts through February 2nd!

The Twelfth Day we recall the 12 points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed.
  1. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 
  2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 
  3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary. 
  4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. 
  5. He descended into hell. On the third day, he rose again. 
  6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 
  7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 
  8. I believe in the Holy Ghost, 
  9. the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, 
  10. the forgiveness of sins, 
  11. the resurrection of the body, 
  12. and life everlasting.

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

The Eleventh Day of Christmas

 

The Twelve Days of Christmas are drawing to a close - but Christmastide still has nearly a month to go!

Monday, January 03, 2022

Sunday, January 02, 2022

Ninth Day of Christmas -

 And on the Ninth Day of Christmas, per the song, the gift is nine ladies dancing.



Tradition has at least a couple meanings here. First example, it has to do with the nine fruits of the Holy Ghost. The fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Collins, 2021).

A second tradition is the nine ladies dancing represents the nine choirs of angels (CatholicsKnowTheAnswer, n.d.):


I tried to give full credit to this image, but it appears that page on Facebook, while you can still get to the images for now (Catholics Know the Answer, n.d.) the page itself is not accessible. 

Saints of the Day - January 2nd

The Saints for today are Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzus, Bishops and Doctors of the Church (Vatican News, 2017). These two were lifelong friends in the early 4th century and fought against the Arian Heresy.


References

Catholics Know The Answer, (n.d.). On the Ninth Day of Christmashttp://36qy.2.vu/1 

Collins, A. (2021). The surprising meaning behind "The 12 Days of Christmas" lyrics. Crosswalk. https://www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/christmas-and-advent/the-twelve-days-of-christmas.html

Vatican News, (2017). Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzus, Bishops and Doctors of the Church. Vatican Newshttps://www.vaticannews.va/en/saints/01/02/sts--basil-the-great-and--gregory-nazianzus--bishops-and-doctors.html 

Saturday, January 01, 2022

Eighth Day of Christmas - Circumcision of Our Lord

 On the Eighth Day of Christmas

Merry Christmas! 

The song goes "Eight maids a-milking." A traditional view [allegedly debunked by Snopes (Mikkelson, 2000)] is that this relates to the Eight Beatitudes. Mikkelson makes a fairly convincing argument, but not absolutely so. There is still room to accept that Catholics, under persecution from King Henry VIII's Church of England, had to hide the fact they were using the song to help remember key Catholic tenets. Most notably, the 7 Sacraments (for the 7th Day) are not the same for Anglicans and Catholics, other than that, the other tenets do not differ - still - if Catholics were using this song as a tool of remembrance, and were caught doing so, it could have meant imprisonment or even death. Regardless, Snopes is not our ultimate authority and even if the tradition is ancient or not, today we can use this as a reminder of the Eight Beatitudes.

Circumcision of Our Lord -  January 1 - Within the Octave of Christmas

Bellini - Circumcision

Circumcision was part of the ancient Law, starting with Abraham. Jesus fulfilled the old Law, but when He was only 8 days old, that fulfillment had not yet taken place. The Holy Family, still under the old Law complied and brought Jesus to the Temple to fulfill this part of the Law. 

The various Christian denominations that observe the feast emphasize different aspects of the events surrounding Jesus' circumcision. In 1969 the (modern) Catholic Church changed the name of the observance to the "Solemnity of Mary," a name that reflects their emphasis on Mary's role as mother of the Savior (Traditionalists still hold to the traditional lectionary). Orthodox Christians continue to observe the day as the "Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord." Episcopalians call the festival the "Feast of the Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ." They emphasize the significance of Jesus' name, given to Mary by Gabriel - the angel of the Annunciation - which means literally "God saves" or "God helps." Lutherans compromise by calling the festival the "Feast of the Circumcision and the Name of Jesus." (Feast of the Circumcision, n.d.).

References

Feast of the Circumcision. (n.d.) Encyclopedia of Christmas and New Year\'s Celebrations, 2nd ed.. (2003). Retrieved January 1 2022 from https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Feast+of+the+Circumcision

Mikkelson, D. (2000). The Twelve Days of Christmas: Was the song 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' created as a secret code by persecuted Catholics? Snopes. https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/twelve-days-christmas/