“The first Christians required courage to overcome and transform a vast, pagan world whose ideas about marriage and sexual morality were not unlike those which prevail in our own culture. Today we need this same, supernatural courage to live and give witness to all the Church believes and teaches about marriage, the family and human sexuality.”—Bishop Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury, England.
A.I.M. ANALYSIS. INKLINGS. METACOMMENTARY.
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“We become Catholics not actually knowing a great deal about the Faith and keep finding ourselves suddenly realizing, ‘Oh, that’s it. That’s why the Church teaches this.’ Acceptance comes first, then practice, then understanding.”—David Mills.
“Priests need to stop people-pleasing. They need to speak the truth in love. If people pack-up and go away, well, so be it. When their lives get broken, they’ll be back. And they’ll be back at a place that truly is a hospital, where people can find true comfort and healing. (...) If God can heal me, God can heal anybody.”—Robin Teresa Beck, 59, former Lesbian, convert to Catholicism.
Friday, November 28, 2014
University of Victoria Catholic Students' Association drops legal action against anti-free speech UVIC Students' Society
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Recall, for a moment, the Benedictine rescue of western civilization. The Order of Saint Benedict preserved and conserved the Catholic story by preserving the Liturgy and conserving truth, thus providing a living resource more than a museum piece to people through the middle ages. While many societies disintegrated politically, the Benedictines, by being faithful to their charism, provided gravity or cohesion by which people could find a moral, legal, theological, psychological, scientific, economic and sociological centre which provided authentic intellectual and spiritual freedom that led to a full rediscovery and development of philosophy (wisdom), art and technology, the engines of a revival we now call the Renaissance.
Society Off Centre
What's the competition?
In the mission to save souls, the Church is in an all out spiritual battle against protestant sects and violent muslim groups such as Boko Haram that claim to offer a viable message to modern man. Eager to flee the tyranny of militant Islam, converts to Christianity must contend with a severe threat of persecution by certain groups and nations of muslims whose god, it seems, is but a caricature of the God Who is Love revealed in Jesus Christ. The sects are growing rapidly, but they do not have any real depth. Rootless, unable to withstand political pressures and suffering the ever shifting sands of individualistic theology and spirituality, the sects are at least doing some good by introducing people to the Gospel, even if it is a truncated version of the Gospel. Sectarian communities are, without a valid Eucharist however, mere imitations of the magnificent Church established by Jesus Christ Himself.
That gravity spoken of a few paragraphs earlier is the Divine Liturgy. In every age, nations have been to a greater or lesser degree civilized by how closely they come to the vision of a virtuous society as proposed by the Church and defined by or configured to the "source and summit" of the Faith, the Holy Eucharist. It is in the Holy Eucharist or Mass that man experiences his ultimate dignity in Christ as he receives the Body and Blood of Christ.
What are the signs and foundations of a just society?
- Respect for the fundamental dignity of the human person. Man is created in the image and likeness of God and redeemed in Christ. Man is endowed with certain inalienable rights: freedom of religion; freedom of conscience formed in the truth; freedom of expression, e.g., the freedom to speak the truth in and out of season.
- Respect for the family. The family is the domestic Church. The family is the heart of any society.
- The rule of law. Just laws protect the dignity of man and the primacy of the family.
For those with the Law written on their hearts, no laws are necessary. The man with a heart formed in the Gospel is a man of charity. He has no need of laws to compel him to civil conduct. By contrast, the lawless man is a man who rejects or ignores the law of love, the love proclaimed by Jesus. For the lawless man, laws contain his propensity to commit acts of treason against God and the dignity of man.
Where is the Holy Spirit to be found?
Answer: everywhere, of course. But where do people learn the way of the Spirit? Where do people learn docility to the Holy Spirit? In the Liturgy, the Mass, of course.
Jesus, the principal Actor in the Liturgy, is the divine centre, the sublime point of reference, the living hub of the Liturgy around Whom turns all life and from Whom pours forth life eternal. He is the Giver of the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life. The Spirit is Christ's Gift to give. The Spirit Who is the Love-Gift to the Son from the Father is the same Gift given by the Son to all people who respond to Jesus' invitation to intimate communion with Him and in Him and through Him to the Father. In this community of Divine Persons and communion of love, the Love of the Father for the Son, we who are God's children receive the Gift that we may live in loving service for others. The perfect citizen, then, is the Catholic Christian who lives according to the whole (kata holos) of revelation, one who invites others into the Church, the society of the loving disciples of Jesus Christ united in the Faith by the Holy Spirit. In this blessed Communion, the Church, all people are united, one in Christ, a harmony of voices in the Symphony of the saints. In this Eucharistic society of the saints there is only charity and, when charity fails, there is Penance (forgiveness of sins) wherein the dissonance of sin is resolved for the good of souls and the entire Body. Penance is the sacrament of mercy. Charity comes in many forms. The Sacrament of Penance is the charity of mercy.
The Catholic Church: harbour of souls.
There is no rivalry in this blessed society of charity and mercy called the Church. Satan, the adversary, who has declared himself a rival of God, still intrudes in the earthly society of charity, but holds no definitive sway over the hearts of the redeemed, for Satan and death are defeated.
Losing the story; losing religion.The Spirit in the Eucharist gives a foretaste of the future Kingdom. From the beginning, the Eucharist was seen as the "medicine of immortality," as the power which frees human beings from the worst enemy—death. The idea of the Eucharist as a source of immortality is already found in John's Gospel (see: John 6:50-51, 54), then in Ignatius of Antioch, for whom the Eucharist is "the medicine of immortality, antidote preventing death and providing everlasting life in Jesus Christ" (Letter to the Ephesians, XX, 2).—The Holy Spirit in the Liturgy, p.110. The Holy Spirit: Lord and Giver of Life. Catechetical Text in Preparation for the Holy Year 2000 prepared by the Theological Historical Commission for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. Crossroad Publishing Company.
Contemporary western society is losing its bearing because people do not take the time to sit with (embrace) the story of civilization. Instead of venerating our elders from whom we could learn this story, those who have lived the Faith with fidelity, we shut them up or away in closets where their wisdom rots in silence. In many lands, our elders must now face the scourge that the Nazis wanted to impose, i.e., euthanasia. So-called progressivists attempt to shout down such a comparison by insisting that Nazi euthanasia was involuntary, whereas the progressives claim their project admits only voluntary participation. Despite all the state regulations where euthanasia is practiced, the innocent are put down like dogs. The great irony is that dogs in animal shelters are treated with more respect than the sick and suffering who are put to death in state hospitals and state sanctioned clinics. States refuse to better fund palliative care that treats the whole person simply because it costs more than dispatching people or permitting them to commit suicide with the assistance of physicians who, playing God, have long abandoned their mission to save lives and do no harm. Euthanasia, to the mind of the penny pinching bureaucrat, is cost effective. People are reduced to two categories: benefit or burden. Sound familiar? The idea that modern euthanasia, and eugenics for that matter, is any different than the practices advocated by the Nazis is mere sophistry.
The blind bleeding the blind.
Instead of taking time to learn the story of civilization, people frantically rush about and become fragmented in their many preoccupations, their quest for security, affluence, independence and self affirmation. Blinded by their desire to see only what they want to see, they cannot possibly see themselves in that foggy bathroom mirror in the morning. Because they are self enamoured, neither will they see the beggar in the street as a person beloved by God.
We moderns tend to use the word 'narrative' a lot. Politicians speak about shaping the narrative. They are really talking about creating propaganda, most often propaganda that attempts to disguise their attempts to reengineer society in ways most people would find injurious to man's dignity and the primacy of the family if they learned the truth of the outcome planned by certain politicians. This shaping or manipulation of the narrative by the secular media, liberal-progressivists and by liberal religionists (modernists) is done most often to manipulate or misshape the populace in order to further an agenda that not only avoids the common good but destroys it. The common good has been severely marginalized by a narrative that promotes individual rights and freedoms beyond what is reasonable and morally acceptable. The elevation of individual rights above responsible citizenship and concern for the common good has led to a complete distortion of human relationships that, in the West at least, have been defined down to include relationships which bear little resemblance to the natural family that grounds every healthy society.
Save the Liturgy; save the world.
The New Evangelization should be nothing less than the restoration of authentic Liturgy and its celebration at the heart of culture. If there is any doubt that the territory being fought over in the culture wars is the Liturgy, one need only review the recent Synod of Bishops. The Synod was largely fought over the question of who can and cannot be admitted to Holy Communion. That is, should people who have divorced and remarried (without benefit of a decree of nullity regarding a former union) be admitted to Holy Communion? Should those living in same-sex unions be admitted to Holy Communion?
The greatest obstacle to the liberal-progressive (LP) agenda is the Church strong in her identity. There is no need for liberal-progressivists to attack the mainline protestant communities. They capitulated to the LP agenda decades ago. Liberal progressivists and their allies in various protestant communities removed opposition to the progressivist agenda by undermining the very identity of those groups. The LPs have sought to inject themselves into the Catholic Church, and where they have gained a toehold they have wreaked havoc among the faithful, resulting in: a loss of the sense of the sacred; acceptance of the militant gay agenda; acceptance of artificial contraception; etc. The LPs, however, have not been able to shout down the voice of the Catholic Church. Solidly orthodox bishops and laity well formed in the Faith have reshaped the conversation,... and have suffered because of it.
The LPs know they must destroy the Liturgy and empty the Church of her focus and foundation in order to undermine opposition to their agenda. Where that has been achieved, in Canada, for instance, opposition to the LP agenda has been nearly silenced or rendered impotent. We in Canada are still suffering the consequences of the actions of Catholics who once identified more as members of the Federal Liberal Party under Trudeau—Pierre Elliot, that is—who conditioned in the Church an identity crisis not unlike that experienced in the USA among Catholics who have chosen the agenda of the Democratic Party over the binding authority of the Church.
The Liturgy has been a pawn in the hands of liberal religionists for some time now. The liberal religionists know that if they can win the liturgical war all other obstacles to their agenda will simply melt away. That is why the Liturgy must be defended. The integrity of the Liturgy is the first and last obstacle which prevents the devil from enveloping the earthly sanctuary of the Lord. If we get the Liturgy wrong, we get everything about the Faith wrong. If the Faith is wrong, civilization is lost. The truth of the Liturgy, the repository of the word of God and the tabernacle of the Real Presence of Jesus among His people, must be defended and communicated without compromise.
The strategy of Satan and his minions has been very effective in culling the Catholic herd of many citizens:
- Empty the Gospel (and Holy Scripture) of meaning to empty souls of meaning and dignity and empty culture of its true centre in Christ;
- Destroy man's sense of dignity in Christ to destroy opposition to "alternative" views of man, and thereby destroy care for the common good;
- Destroy the priesthood to destroy the authority to guide souls in healthy ways;
- Destroy the Liturgy to destroy man's identity in Christ which then allows others to replace man's authentic dignity with an evil design that permits every kind of sin: fornication; marginalization of the poor; destruction of marriage and the family; etc.
- Destroy man's dignity, destroy the family and destroy the Liturgy and culture and civility are destroyed.
The strategy of the Church to win souls for Christ should be as it always has been:
Preservation, not reservation, of the true nature of the Liturgy. The Liturgy is the repository of the Gospel, the wellspring from which the Church in her mission to claim souls for Christ and his heavenly Kingdom draws on the very life of her Master Who offers Himself freely for the salvation of all, the love of all people, a love that commands obedience to God Who is love. There is no true love without sacrifice. Without obedience to the truth found only in Jesus Christ, man is adrift on an ocean of distractions constantly approached by false prophets peddling false promises.
Preserving the story, conserving the Truth, serving the poor.
- By preservation is meant a reassertion of continuity with Tradition. In that sense, we can also speak of conservation. The Ordinary Form does not lack continuity with Tradition, though its celebration these days, generally speaking, leaves much to be desired. What is required is a celebration in keeping with the Catholic ethos concerning worship, which necessarily includes: reverence in the Presence of God; dignified action(s) to invite appreciation for order that reflects the order of redeemed Creation; detail and nuance to communicate orthodox theology (truth/dogma); beautiful ritual (and music) to emulate the beauty of God and His creation to give hope to those starved of beauty, truth and goodness.
In the wasteland created by liberal-progressivists and their religious counterparts, the Church must bring the water of authentic liturgy to parched souls thirsty for the Gospel undefiled, souls hungry for the true Bread of Heaven.
- The poor deserve beauty as much as anyone. By 'poor' is meant both the materially and spiritually impoverished. Modern man (progressives, liberals, socialists) pits the need to create and offer beautiful liturgy (art, architecture, music) against social justice where no dichotomy need exist. Deprived of the truth of beauty, goodness evaporates like water on hot pavement. Mankind, without the full story of his suffering and redemption, becomes imprisoned in the fruitless quest for an identity apart from God and the need for approval. Without knowledge of his dignity, man is reduced to a caricature of himself. He is one more animal among others fighting for survival. Rivalry, conquest, domination of the weak, self loathing—man without the Gospel becomes another satan.
Monday, November 24, 2014
Catholics say: narrow gate. St. Matthew 7:13-14
Liberal Religionists and Liberal Protestants say: abortion is wrong sometimes.
Catholics say: all human life is sacred and therefore abortion is always wrong.
Non-religious say: sex is just a game between consenting adults.
Catholics say: sex is holy and therefore belongs within the marriage of one man and one woman according to God's design.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Are you a Catholic extremist?
What, exactly, is a Catholic extremist?
- are baptized and confirmed in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, the Faith of the Catholic Church,
- are in an intimate loving communion with Jesus Christ in His Church,
- love God and love your neighbour,
- love your enemies and forgive and pray for those who persecute you,
- believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and only through Him is salvation,
- believe that many elements of sanctification and of truth are also found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church (the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements,") and you believe that Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church(,) and that all these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity(,) and assert in charity that the Catholic Church is the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ on Saint Peter (CCC819) and that she, the Catholic Church, alone possesses the fullness of the Faith,
- keep the commandments of Jesus, are loyal to the Magisterium and believe and profess all that the Catholic Church teaches (and teach your children to believe and do the same by your word and example),
- pray for the conversion of all people to Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church,
- foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life (in your family),
- are prepared to defend the Faith and suffer and die for the Faith,
- attend daily Mass,
- believe in the Real Presence,
- believe that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the one and same Sacrifice of Calvary,
- keep the fast before receiving Holy Communion,
- observe meatless Fridays and other days of fasting and abstinence,
- receive Holy Communion on the tongue while kneeling because you are receiving the Lord of the universe, the Saviour sent to redeem us, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world,
- believe that ad orientem worship is the proper orientation of the Liturgy because the priest and people should face in the same direction, i.e., in the direction of the Second Coming of the Lord,
- believe the Mass should be beautiful and celebrated reverently because, hey, Jesus is the principal actor in the Divine Liturgy,
- attend Mass every Sunday (with your spouse and children) and Holy Days of obligation because you so love the Lord and His Church,
- attend Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament because Jesus wants us to be with Him in His beautiful, vulnerable and glorious Presence,
- pray constantly every day because you desire to be closer to Him and draw on His wisdom,
- prayerfully read the Bible daily (lectio divina) because God speaks His word to us in Holy Scripture,
- enlist the help of the Saints in heaven to pray for and with you to God because they, with us and the souls in Purgatory, constitute the Communion of Saints,
- make the Sign of the Cross in public, e.g., pray Grace at lunch, pass by a Catholic church, etc., because the Sign is the sign of our salvation in Christ and a defence against evil,
- wear a crucifix outside your shirt because you glory in the Cross of Christ and the sacramental reminds you to take up your cross daily,
- pray the Rosary, e.g., one set of the Mysteries per day because you love Mary, the Mother of God,
- pray the Angelus at noon complete with genuflection,
- believe that churches should look like Catholic churches (e.g., cruciform) and should be beautiful in every respect (stained glass windows, beautiful statuary, etc.),
- promote communion railings in every parish church,
- know how to venerate an icon,
- participate in Eucharistic and Marian processions,
- love Gregorian chant and the sacred polyphony of Palestrina,
- acknowledge that Latin is the language of the Roman Rite and know from memory the prayers of the Mass in Latin,
- attend the Mass in Latin (Ordinary Form and/or Extraordinary Form), or attend the Divine Liturgy of any of the languages of the other sister-churches (rites) in communion with Rome, e.g., Ukrainian Greek Catholic, Melkite, Maronite, Chaldean, etc.,
- believe that all human life is sacred from the moment of conception to natural death,
- attend pro-life rallies and support pro-life ministries,
- believe that marriage (Holy Matrimony) is the lifetime covenant between one man and one woman,
- believe that every act of sexual intercourse in marriage should be open to the conception of a new life (Humanæ Vitæ!),
- practice the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy,
- contribute to the financial needs of the Church,
- are a good steward of the gifts God gives you,
- a good steward of the earth and the many blessings of God's creation,
- volunteer as a reader, choir member, sacristan, altar server or as a member of the parish council,
- vote pro-life,
- with the Church acknowledge the existence of angels and seek their assistance,
- ask the help and protection of your guardian angel,
- keep holy water in your home and bless yourself (and your children) with it,
- acknowledge the devil is real and you ask the help of Saint Michael to intercede for the Church and to defend her and you in the great spiritual battle for souls,
Pope St. John Paul II (the Great)See also: http://catholicsacristan.blogspot.ca/2014/07/who-are-you-calling-fanatic.html
Blessed (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta
St. Damian of Molokai
St. Maximilian Kolbe
St. Joan of Arc
St. Mary McKillop
St. Josephine Bakhita
Friday, November 21, 2014
Most internet detectives know that the Book of Abraham (BoA), claimed by Mormons to be the inspired word of God, is nothing of the sort. The scroll from which Joseph Smith derived the BoA, indeed an ancient relic, was a funerary document and has nothing to do with the patriarch Abraham. Mormonism's founder Joseph Smith claims he translated it from the scroll which he purchased from a travelling salesman.
The "translation" of the scroll Smith produced is merely the invention of a man who, by his very actions, is guilty of hucksterism. Joseph Smith misrepresented his translation skills and convinced his followers to believe he had in his possession a bona fide testament of the biblical patriarch Abraham. Some claim the scrolls which we have access to now are only a few of the scrolls to which Joseph Smith had access, and therefore any criticism should take into consideration that not everything is known about the sources to which Smith had access. Such an assertion, however, is completely without foundation. Given the historical record established by Smith himself (the BoA was published in three instalments in 1842 in a local newspaper, The Times & Seasons, in Nauvoo, IL), any attempt to lessen Smith's culpability for misrepresenting himself and the work he cobbled together from various biblical sources which he then embellished is merely another attempt to obfuscate and detract from Joseph Smith's act of fraud. (Several sources note the strong resemblance between Smith's work and the construction and content of Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress.)
Smith's Book of Abraham contained in The Pearl of Great Price is, as is the entire Book of Mormon, a clever plagiarism and reassembly of extant biblical sources combined with his own inventions. The translation of the Book of Mormon from the Golden Plates allegedly revealed to him by an angel, which were then taken back by the angel Moroni (Lucifer? other fallen angel?) once Smith had completed his work, is said to have been achieved in sixty consecutive days by Smith who had a seeing stone placed in a hat used to cover his face and aid his translation of the Golden Plates. Was there something more than a stone concealed under Smith's hat? Notes, perhaps?
It's one thing to teach the truth but act against it. It is quite another to teach lies and falsehoods and then think that one's actions will be anything but a lie. In the first case, one is a hypocrite. In the second instant one is both a liar and a hypocrite, a fraud who purposefully leads others astray.
The current LDS leadership is attempting to empty the conversation of any need for accountability by shifting critics' focus on their collective act of soul searching while consigning their errors to the fine print or a footnote. That residual error becomes the lie quietly buried with other teachings masquerading as christian doctrine, e.g., the bizarre Mormon trinity (i.e., God the Father was once a human being who then became God; Jesus is the brother of Satan) versus orthodox teaching on the Trinity (see Nicene Creed, A.D. 381). The LDS PR stunt, true to its founder's antics, fails to emphasize there are fundamental problems with LDS doctrines.
The LDS on LSD?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormon Church is formally known, has quietly posted 12 essays on its website over the last year on contentious topics such as the ban on blacks in the priesthood, which was lifted in 1978, and accounts of how Smith translated the Book of Mormon, the church’s sacred scripture.
Elder Steven E. Snow, the church historian and a member of its senior leadership, said in an interview, “There is so much out there on the Internet that we felt we owed our members a safe place where they could go to get reliable, faith-promoting information that was true about some of these more difficult aspects of our history. (In other words, ignore the facts and listen to our spun version.)
“We need to be truthful (in our own way...), and we need to understand our history,” Elder Snow said. “I believe our history is full of stories of faith and devotion and sacrifice, but these people weren’t perfect.” (Again—'Hey, we're nice folk. Don't focus on what we believe; just trust us.')
The essay on “plural marriage” in the early days of the Mormon movement in Ohio and Illinois says polygamy was commanded by God, revealed to Smith and accepted by him and his followers only very reluctantly. Abraham and other Old Testament patriarchs had multiple wives, and Smith preached that his church was the “restoration” of the early, true Christian church. ('Hey, everybody's doing it! It must be good.' By contrast, the Church, i.e., the Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ on St. Peter, has remained faithful to the teaching of Jesus Christ. That is, God's plan concerning marriage. So then, who are the apostates?)
Most of Smith’s wives were between the ages of 20 and 40, the essay says, but he married Helen Mar Kimball, a daughter of two close friends, “several months before her 15th birthday.” A footnote says that according to “careful estimates,” Smith had 30 to 40 wives. (The Mormon religion—originally a sex cult?)
The biggest bombshell for some in the essays is that Smith married women who were already married, some to men who were Smith’s friends and followers. (Um... adultery?)