Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Why Pope Franics is Right and His Critics Are Wrong

Jesus' attitude is striking: we do not hear the words of scorn, we do not hear words of condemnation, but only words of love, of mercy, which are an invitation to conversation. "Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again." Ah! Brothers and Sisters, God's face is the face of a merciful father who is always patient. Have you thought about God's patience, the patience He has with each one of us? That is His mercy. He always has patience, patience with us, He understands us, He waits for us, He does not tire of forgiving us if we are able to return to Him with a contrite heart. "Great is God's mercy," says the Psalm.
— Pope Francis, Angelus on March 17, 2013
I believe that Pope Francis is one of the holiest men to ever sit in the Chair of Peter. His message and actions reflect the love and mercy of Christ and the Gospel more closely than we have seen from any pope in the last 150 years. This is not to disparage any of our recent popes in any way. We have been greatly blessed with true men of God in the Chair of Peter during the last couple of centuries as is evidenced by the fact that the majority of them are either canonized saints or up for sainthood.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

EWTN Slanders and Defames Pope Francis


EWTN, the Catholic network founded by the late Mother Angelica, played a crucial role in my return to the Catholic Church, as it has in the lives of countless others around the world. There is no doubt in my mind that the Holy Spirit guided Mother Angelica to found this network and bring the beauty and wonder of the Catholic Church to the world.

However, in the last few years, EWTN seems to be losing its way.  Mother Angelica, of course, has not been in charge since she suffered a major stroke in 2001.  That was 15 years ago, and I think little of her influence is left in this network.  I watched some of their coverage of Pope Francis' visit to the US last year with Raymond Arroyo and Father Gerald Murray, and I was very disappointed and even somewhat scandalized by their constant disagreement with statements by the Holy Father.

But they reached an all new low with the June 23, 2016 broadcast of the "World Over" in which Arroyo, Father Murray and Robert Royal, denounced Pope Francis by mischaracterizing and distorting his statements and outright slandering him.  Of course, the traditional catholic blogosphere - always quick to condemn Pope Francis - could not be more ecstatic.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Christian Right's Contribution to Evil



The so-called "catholic" blogosphere reacted this week in horror (again, almost in one voice) to what they consider to be a truly evil action. Oh, I don't mean the horrific massacre of 49 people and wounding of dozens of others in an Orlando nightclub. The incident which enraged many "catholic" bloggers was the reaction of certain Catholic bishops and priests to the shooting.

One bishop in particular whom they thoroughly excoriated was Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida. What heretical, scandalous act did His Excellency commit?

Bishop Lynch dared to do some deep soul searching in an attempt to understand how one man could become so consumed with hate that he would want to kill as many people as possible for no other reason than he disagreed with them.  How could a society which is primarily based on the Judeo Christian ethic of love thy neighbor produce a person who could so callously kill and wound over 100 people?  Most of America satisfied themselves with the answer that the man was a Muslim extremist terrorist who hated everything that wasn't Muslim.  Others said the problem was the easy availability of guns.

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.

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