Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Taking Up *Causes* Can Be Dangerous to Your Spiritual Health


We live in a word with many wrongs that need to be righted.  That is another way of saying, we are fallen human beings living in a fallen world.  Many people will devote a large part of their lives, or even their entire lives, in working for a cause,

An amazing example of someone who gave his life for a cause was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King lived in a world in which people of color were treated, at best, as second class citizens.  They were denied simple human rights, such as housing, voting, education, etc. that white people took for granted.  Dr. King knew he was going to more than likely have to die for his cause, but he was still willing to do so in order to stop the oppression and hate that he witnessed and experienced as a black man in America.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Meditation For the Day: God Draws Us With Love


There was an excellent meditation in today's Magnificat magazine which explained, in clear and simple language, God's way of salvation, gradually bringing those trapped by sin to repentance and acceptance of Divine love and mercy.  It was from a Jewish convert named Ronda Chervin, Below is a screen shot of this meditation.  

DAY BY DAY
Do Not Be Afraid
Christ gives himself to his people gradually. He knows that they have the rebellious divided spirit of adolescents—full of longing for genuine love, yet plagued with disappointment, despair, and doubt. He treats them somewhat like an older and experienced man might win the confidence of a wild young girl. Slowly Christ gathers them to himself by the magnetic attraction of his grace. He wins them by deeds of love, healing them of their miseries, curing their lepers, exorcising their demons. Only when he sees that they are ready does he begin to reveal more intimate mysteries of his love, such as his desire to become one body with his followers and the eventual unity they will achieve with him in eternity.
He knows that many of their ways are unloving, but instead of reproaching them directly, he begins by telling them parables, letting them discover for themselves how far short their own lives are from the new ideal.
Gradually his disciples begin to respond to Christ’s self-giving.
Ronda Chervin
Ronda Chervin is a convert from Judaism, professor of philosophy and theology, and author of over fifty books.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Father Z and the Catholic Blogosphere Proudly Proclaim Their Righteousness


The Catholic blogsophere, as I have previously written, does not like Father James Martin.  They write scathing posts against him because he refuses to condemn homosexuals.

Father John Zuhlsdorf has written against Father Martin for several years, and has recently ramped up his condemnation because of a statement by Father Martin that "pretty much everyone's lifestyle is sinful."  Father Martin made this statement in an interview with the New York Times, which you can read HERE.  The "offensive" statement, in context, reads:
In [Father Martin's book, “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the L.G.B.T. Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity.”], he calls on church leaders to show respect by using terms like “gay” and “L.G.B.T.,” instead of phrases like “afflicted with same-sex attraction.” He also argues that to expect a sinless lifestyle from gay Catholics, but not from any other group, is a form of “unjust discrimination” and that gay people should not be fired for marrying a same-sex spouse.

“Pretty much everyone’s lifestyle is sinful,” Father Martin said. “Unless the Blessed Mother shows up in the communion line, there is no one sinless in our church.”
This was a bridge too far [pun intended] for Father Z.  In a post entitled, "More of Fr James Martin’s whining", Father Z linked to a tweet by Prof. Chad Pecknold, which Father Z feels "pretty much sums it up about this Jesuit".  Here is a screenshot of Pecknold's tweet:



Saturday, June 17, 2017

Father James Martin Has It Right


Those of us who are the recipients of God's amazing love, mercy and forgiveness have been given an important mission: to spread that same love, mercy and forgiveness to others. God didn't bring His Grace into our lives so that we can keep it for ourselves and among our own little community. Whatever we have received from Our Lord must be passed on to others, especially to those "most in need", or that Divine Love which saved us from our sins will actually destroy us in the end.

St. Paul told us that unless we love, nothing we do has any worth.   St. Thérèse of Lisieux, a great saint and doctor of the Church, in searching for the purpose of her life, stated, "At last I have found my vocation. In the heart of the Church, I will be Love!" St. Teresa of Calcutta told us, "Love each other as God loves each one of you, with an intense and particular love. Be kind to each other: It is better to commit faults with gentleness than to work miracles with unkindness."  St. John of the Cross said, "In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone."

Almost everyone who calls himself Christian will agree that we are commanded to love one another. The problem is that we don't all agree on what this actually means. Some people feel that love means standing in judgment of others, showing them their sins (as we see it), and demanding that they change and become like us.  But is this the way Jesus Christ approached people?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What The Hell Is Wrong With The Catholic Blogosphere?


As I have written in earlier posts, I have come to the point of pretty much ignoring the Catholic blogosphere. This is despite the fact that many Catholic bloggers don't identify themselves only as Catholic. They call themselves the most loyal of Catholics. In fact, many of them believe they are the only real Catholics left. All of those "other people" occupying the seats in the Church are fake and don't know the first thing about what it means to be a REAL Catholic. In the eyes of many Catholic bloggers, all of those "other people" are great sinners headed to hell.

Catholic bloggers always seem to be on the attack.  It is difficult to find positive posts from Catholic bloggers.  Every so often a positive post pops us, but there is almost always a message in there implying how on track and one with God the blogger is and how off track and headed to hell the rest of the world is.  

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Without This, Nothing Else Matters


As I wrote a couple of days ago, I am re-reading the autobiography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. It is a magnificent book by a great saint and doctor of the Church. One recurring theme in the book is St. Thérèse's complete and total reliance on God to do everything for her. She saw herself, apart from God, as a hopeless sinner, and recognized her utter helplessness to do anything good on her own. And this is coming from someone who never committed one mortal sin in her 24 years on earth.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ascension Thursday: Jesus Takes Humanity to Heaven


I love the Holy Days. They are reminders of the salvation offered to us by our Creator, salvation which we have neither earned nor deserve. We were all hopelessly trapped in our sins, and instead of abandoning us, the Second Person of the Trinity literally took on our human mortality to become one of us and died to bring us life.

Today, we here in the Northeast United States are celebrating Ascension Thursday, the feast in which we remember the day Jesus Christ ascended to heaven in his glorified human body to sit at the right hand of His Father, where He is constantly interceding and preparing a place for us next to Him.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Little Way Of Love



I recently started to re-read Saint Thérèse of Lisieux's autobiography, "Story of a Soul." I love this book for so many reasons. This great saint's theology is as profound as any that of any other saint in Church history, and at the same time this Doctor of the Church writes with utter simplicity and clarity. One of the main reasons I love her book is that, like her namesake, St. Teresa of Avila, she allows the reader to get completely into her mind and see life exactly as she saw it. She hides nothing. She allows us to see all of her inner struggles and fears. There were two goals in St. Thérèse's writings: to glorify God and to bring salvation to others.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Preaching the Gospel Does NOT Mean Proselytizing


Right before He ascended to heaven, Jesus Christ gave us what is now called the "Great Commission", as found in Matthew 28:19-20:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
That seems pretty straightforward - we are commanded to proclaim salvation through Jesus Christ throughout all the world.  And certainly the Church has been engaged in that mission from the time of her inception in the First Century.  Many have paid the ultimate price in preaching the Gospel, starting with Our Lord.

However, Pope Francis has told us on more than one occasion that proselytizing doesn't work.  He has called it "nonsense."


Of course, Pope Francis has been roundly condemned by many on the Catholic internet for this statement. Many have interpreted the Holy Father's statement as a rejection of Christ's command to preach the Gospel. But is that what he is saying? Is the Holy Father telling us to reject the clear command of Matthew 28?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Why The Catholic Blogososphere Wishes Me Into the Cornfield



I am pretty much a pariah in the Catholic blogosphere. I just don't fit in with the rest of the "gang."  I have been condemned on more than one catholic blog.  And it all comes down to a very specific reason.

As I have posted in the past, most catholic blogs could be written by the same person because they all say the same thing. Most Catholic bloggers, it seems, have the philosophy that ever since Vatican II, the world and the Church have been pretty much headed to hell in a handbasket, and right now, Pope Francis and all of his cronies are leading the way to hell. These bloggers tell us that Pope Francis is basically a heretic with all of his "phony" preaching about "mercy".

This is in direct contrast to the Catholic Church which all of these bloggers profess to love. Pope Francis, like Blessed Pope Paul VI, Pope St. Paul II, and Pope Benedict, is merely following the lead of Pope St. John XXIII. This was beautifully expressed in his opening message to the Second Vatican Council, which signaled a major change in the way the Church would be approaching the rest of the world:

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