Saturday, April 23, 2016

When Will Michael Voris Stop Hating Himself?


Michael Voris devotes a major part of his self-proclaimed apostolate to trying to destroy anyone in the Catholic Church who shows any compassion or empathy for homosexuals.  Voris especially goes after Catholic priests and bishops, the majority of whom, according to Voris, are either homosexual or "homosexualist." There are a lot of problems in the Catholic Church, but according to Michael Voris, most of the problems mainly center around the "homosexual agenda." Following is an excerpt from a "Vortex" episode from January 11, 2016:
"Here is the situation in a nutshell: The American Catholic Church is largely controlled by homosexual clergy and their allies. Those not in the network are powerless to confront it owing to its vast influence and fear factor, as well as not really understanding how it operates. The Catholic establishment media won't get within a million miles of this issue of the homosexual collective because they too are scared."
Voris seems unable to differentiate between showing respect and compassion for homosexuals and condoning homosexuality. He seems to view one action as equivalent to the other.



Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Catholic Devotions: Mechanical, Repetitive, Useless Practices?


One major criticism of the Catholic Church from many non-Catholic Christians is that Catholic devotions such as the Rosary, novenas, or even the Stations of the Cross are just repetitive, shallow practices which produce no spiritual fruit and, moreover, are a direction violation of the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 6:7.

Devotions in the Catholic Church are called "vocal prayers", and many have been handed down for hundreds and hundreds of years, coming to us directly from the saints, such as the Rosary which, according to tradition, the Blessed Mother gave to St. Dominic in 1214 as a means of converting heretics.  Another example is the Stations of the Cross. which tradition says also began with Our Blessed Mother who visited the scenes of Our Lord's passion every day during her lifetime.   The Catholic Church has many hundreds of different devotions.

However, in recent years many people in the Church have begun to look at these devotions as merely mechanical and empty, and believe that not only do they not aid in our spiritual growth, they might even hinder our growth. Many say that Catholic devotions, or vocal prayers, are at best, a beginning. We are told that a much better way to pray is mental prayer, which is basically meditation and contemplation of God, a time of silence and oneness with God,  There is no doubt that mental prayer is the highest form of prayer, when one can become truly united with God, as stated in a transcript of a talk on mental prayer given by Brother Andre Marie, which you can read HERE. Below is a small quote from this talk:

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Is Pope Francis Promoting Contraception?


Birth control is the single biggest contributor to the immorality which is so prevalent in our world today.  Since the introduction of the birth control pill in 1960, sex has become nothing more than a way for two (or more) people to masturbate with one another.  Sex is no longer a means of expressing love between a husband and wife, and from that expression of love, to create new life.  Sex is now just another way to feel good.  Sex has become no different than alcohol, drugs, eating a good meal, or any other way people find pleasure in life.  Not only is love or any kind of concern for the other not a necessary component of sex, you don't even need to know or have any intention of ever seeing your partner again.

Prior to the widespread use of birth control, the element of procreation was an integral part of the sex act, as God meant it to be.  God did not give us sex just so we could experience pleasure.  Sex was meant to be a primary means of bonding a husband and wife together, and through that bonding, bring children into the world who would have the security and love of a mother and father in their lives.  With the introduction of birth control, people could engage in sex without creating new life, and thus sex lost all meaning.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Neither A Conservative Nor A Liberal Be

I heard someone recently say that fear is one of the main motivating factors of conservatism.  After giving that some thought, I would have to agree.  Conservatives want things to always stay the same, they don't want to be challenged with anything new.  Any new belief or practice or world view can't be trusted because it takes us out of our comfort zone, and not only make us feel ill at ease and not in control, it is downright scary.  Conservatives must be in control of themselves and their environment at all times.


Conservatives also see everything in black and white. A thing or a person is either all good or all bad, completely right or completely wrong, fully moral or fully immoral. There is no such thing in a conservative's mind as someone or something that is a mixture of good and bad. It's all or nothing. And the conservative is always, without question, on the side of what is good and right and moral.

Credit
As a result of always being on the side of goodness and justice, the conservative's answers and viewpoints are always correct and to be trusted.   The conservative is actually obligated, for the sake of all that is right and good, to reject anyone who doesn't agree with him as either evil or ignorant or both.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lent: All About Weakness

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The teachings of Jesus Christ go against everything in our world and in our universe. Charles Darwin taught us that "only the strong [or fittest] survive." And certainly our physical world bears out the truth of that statement. It is the smartest, the brightest, the strongest, the most beautiful who rise to the top. We see this in nature, where the weak are devoured by the strong.  We see this in our culture everywhere: in the sports world, in academia, in the business world, in entertainment and, sadly, in religion.  

Adolph Hitler was one of many who led - or better stated, misled - an entire country with the philosophy which originated with the atheist Friedrich Nietzsche: weed out the weak and the helpless and create the Master Race, the "Übermensch".  Sadly, despite the defeat of Adolph Hitler, the world has continued to elevate this demonic philosophy in the practice of abortion and euthanasia, not hesitating to kill and destroy any person who does not measure up or is in any way "inconvenient."  

Yet, Jesus Christ told us just the opposite: blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, those who mourn. Isaiah 66:2 tells us that God looks to " those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word." St. Paul tells us in II Corinthians 2:10, "when I am weak, then I am strong."

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Is For Kids

Christmas was on its way. Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas, upon which the entire kid year revolved
I really do love "A Christmas Story", about Ralphie, his love of Christmas and his earnest and deep yearning for an "official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!"  That movie reflected better than any movie ever made the meaning of Christmas for a kid. As a kid, Christmas is all about deep desires, building anticipation, a time when there is real potential fulfillment of every wish and longing.  As Ralphie says:  "Christmas was on its way. Lovely, glorious beautiful Christmas, upon which the entire kid year revolved."

As adults, we don't quite see it that way.  Adults have lost the sense of wonderment and awe of Christmas as exemplified by Ralphie.  It is instead too often a time of great stress, figuring out what to give who, spending money we don't have, fighting other people at the store on "Black Friday" and the rest of the Christmas season, spending too much time and money to put up lavish decorations in and around the house, expensive electric bills, fights with family, and trying desperately to have everything done by Christmas Day.  Far too many adults are sick of Christmas by the time it actually arrives.

Of course, Ralphie didn't have a truly proper understanding of Christmas, either.  Christmas is not about getting an air rifle.  But Ralphie was right that Christmas is about hope and the fulfillment of every longing and desire.

And Christmas is about a Child.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Clowns To The Left Of Me, Jokers To The Right


What the hell is wrong with the Republican party?  The Republicans are supposed to be the life affirming party, the party who opposes the killing of the unborn, the defenders of the weak and powerless, the party of morality.  The Democrats are supposed to be the party of narcissists, caring about no one but themselves and their own pleasure. 

And yet the leading Republican contender for President is a fascist who denounces and demonizes entire groups of people.  The Republicans – not the Democrats - are the ones who oppose helping the war refugees from Syria and other Muslim countries.  The Republicans cower in fear, afraid that some bad guy might slip in with the suffering mass of humanity pouring out of these countries.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

What Christians Can Learn from Radical Islam

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As I write this, the United States is reeling from a horrific mass murder in San Bernardino, California in which 14 people were killed and 21 injured.  The perpetrators of this evil were a man and his wife who had become radicalized Muslims, the wife apparently having pledged allegiance on Facebook to the head of ISIS.  It seems that the couple were not personally connected to any other group and although they were inspired by ISIS, they committed this atrocity on their own.

This mass murder, tragically, is nothing new to America. Most other mass killings have been committed by those with deep emotional and mental problems, such as the Sandy Hook killing in which 20 young children were killed. But the Muslim couple in California were deeply religious, professing a devout belief in God as they viewed him. So how did this happen?

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Racism and Bigotry Are Alive and Well in America


I pray in front of two abortion clinics (both located in the same building) in downtown Brooklyn every week.  I see the young women entering that building.  I am always amazed that 90% to 95% of those women are African American, despite the fact that these clinics are in a predominantly white upper class neighborhood.  The clinics - by no coincidence - are located within less than a block to numerous train and bus lines, thus making them readily available to other poorer neighborhoods.

Below is a chart from an article in The American Mirror showing the rate of abortions in NYC broken down by race, and which sadly bears out my observations.  In New York City, over 60% of African American pregnancies end in abortion, meaning more African American babies are aborted in this city than are actually born:


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pope Francis and Sharing the Eucharist with Non-Catholics: A Lesson in Evangelization

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It seems hardly a day goes by that the Catholic blogosphere is not in an uproar over some statement or action by someone whom they feel is threatening to destroy the Church. The offender is more than likely a member of the Church hierarchy - priest, bishop, cardinal. Of course the ranting and raving really starts when the guilty party is Pope Francis. A standard prayer of Catholic bloggers seems to be that Pope Francis be permanently silenced - not that they wish him any harm!

One of the latest items of contention is the Holy Father's answer to a Lutheran woman married to a Catholic. The question, as translated by Edward Pentin from Italian into English, was as follows:
My name is Anke de Bernardinis and, like many people in our community, I'm married to an Italian, who is a Roman Catholic Christian. We’ve lived happily together for many years, sharing joys and sorrows. And so we greatly regret being divided in faith and not being able to participate in the Lord's Supper together. What can we do to achieve, finally, communion on this point?
Before I get to the "offensive" response by Pope Francis, it is important to take a closer look at this question.  Here is a Lutheran woman who has been happily married to a Catholic man for many years.  As she relates, it is a great sadness to her and her husband that they do not share the same faith, and more specifically, that they cannot participate in the "Lord's Supper" together.  She is asking the earthly head of the Catholic Church how they can achieve this unity.

Nearly every Catholic blogger has said the answer is simple: become a Catholic! And certainly that is true. But look again at the question. The woman has been married to a Catholic for many years. We can safely assume that she and her husband have discussed this division between them, and her husband, and many others no doubt, told her that only members in good standing in the Church can participate in the Sacraments. But she has not, as far as we can tell, made any moves to become Catholic. The fact that she is talking with the Pope and asking him questions shows that she has respect for the Catholic Church. But up this point, that has not been enough to give her the courage to walk away from her own faith and become a Catholic. She wants to know how she and her husband get over this seemingly insurmountable barrier between them.

Pope Francis obviously took all of this into account when he answered her. His goal - as should be the goal of all of us - is to bring people into the church, not set up roadblocks that will keep them out. The Holy Father could have taken the easy way out and given the technically correct answer that she had no doubt heard many times before. Pope Francis wanted to do something that would make her take that step she has feared for so many years:  to think outside her own personal box and to approach the problem in a different way, since obviously what she has been doing has not been working.

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