Sunday, December 28, 2008

Intellectual Participation II

...(continued from here)
This long exploration of questions and answers began from a curiosity and progressed during research into needing to fill a spiritual vacuum, a blank, lifeless open mental wound. This mental need for understanding, for resolution, for closure requires intellectual participation. Reading, interacting with others over the subject, listening to other peoples views, positioning the mind in various states of conclusion, measuring logic and reason for each view with fresh, open and objective vision.

During that period of investigation, each discovery led to more hunger for details, corroboration, deeper insight. My intellectual passion was fed by these discoveries and given the amount of time past the event and significant volume of information available each year going by (some valid and some erroneous), I was able to make determinations of fact and find a path of documented events that revealed the most consistent version of truth, means and motive.

This is a parable of my faith journey years ago. My religion from birth was attacked and wounded in my intellect, due to my lack of intellectual, behavioral and spiritual participation. I was defenseless accept to point out the obvious (IE. 1 Billion Catholics cant be wrong) which was fruitless to the attacker and myself. I had to start engaging my intellect in reading Scripture, Doctrine and Protestantism. Thats where participation led to understanding and a presence of the Holy Spirit became evident personally. Once the personal relationship began, a personal conviction was mine to own, use and grow.

Feed Revision Call

I was forced to correct a feed error to display podcasts in itunes, and doing so may have lost some subscribers, please resubscribe if I have fallen off your RSS or itunes radar, or let me know if you notice any other problems.
-Peace

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Catholic Carnival

The Christmas Catholic Blog Carnival can be found here. Merry, Merry.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Intellectual Participation I

If I had a dime for every time I tried to solve the Kennedy assassination between my 2 ears, I could buy a Hummer as a spare ride. No matter what angle I pondered with comprehensive documentation,(I have a library on the event, been to the scene, studied evidence, etc.) I could find no 100% cause fully supported to the exclusion of any other marginally close second. It remains a mystery wrapped in a reality result.

There was, for me for many years, a challenge to be quenched intellectually in the study and commitment to ultimately reach a solid conclusion. Not just a perps name, an engineered motive and identifying players in that as well. The problem is there is just to much evidence with a figure like Kennedy. Too much outside motive, too much public exposure and too many strategic possibilities. When I finally admitted this will remain an enigma, that resignation contradicted my own innate intellectual comfort level. What I was left with having was a faith or a hope in a theory that was supported by the largest amount of evidence. That faith or hope became a belief that Oswald was tasked by underworld leaders to commit the act. I had no knowledge that this was the path of Kennedy's death, all I had was evidence. I cannot ever know for certain, in the absence of pulling the trigger myself, but I can believe based on it.

The belief or faith that this theory held the truth is then mine to hold. I possess it and in spite of my wavering intellectual comfort level, the faith is enough to get me onto the next mental challenge. But it did not. What I discovered in this final thought and in faith was that we humans feel we must reach tangible conclusions or be doomed to exist in a partial vacuum of spiritual fulfillment. My spirit wanted to find those deathbed documents and cancelled checks signed by Jack Ruby that the underworld funded the whole shebang, but its just not there. I have faith, based on research and evidence that this was the case.

This self-discovery of a faith based belief is close to that which I hold for Catholic Doctrine. Patristic research reveals Christs Church. The Bible reveals Christs Church, all 73 books. Secular History validates Christs Church. The Patriarch of Constantinople acknowledges Christs Church is Catholic.

I have no knowledge of this. I was not a witness to the incarnation of God, yet I have a measure of spiritual fulfillment as a result of intellectual participation.
... (Continued in this Post)

Priest Concert on PBS

As a follow up to my post on the Priests who landed a $2MM Sony recording contract, their Concert with full Orchestra is playing nationally on PBS fundraiser shows. Link in title and check your TV guide for local airings.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ecumenical Progression

Photobucket
Theres a moment I had with a stranger in a parking lot. She had this bumper sticker on her truck. I intentionally watched her park and tracked her getting out...as I approached her, my finger pointing at her bumper, our eyes locked. She smiled and said,

"you cant imagine how many people ask me where to get one of those..."

"in fact I can but thats a whole other story" I chided with a smirk.

She didnt ask what "religion" I was and didnt need to, nor did I from her. When one understands and values the meaning of Ecumenism, with knowledge of todays roadside bombings, Hamas, Palestine, Beruit, Serbia, and other modern faith based conflicts ad nauseum, one has no need to ask. The faith allegiance of another is of little concern because the motive is not what is the faith identity, it is what do you value of all others identity. This is an inevitable statement or question all must face.

Coexist.

Post Vatican II has seen significant global effort from Rome to all faiths for Ecumenical acknowledgement. Partly driven by the 4th and final Council of Vatican II having nearly 100 representatives of other Christian Communities participating. V-II resulted in RC authorities professing Ecumenism in every available technological way.

We are not talking about a motive to convert other faiths to our thinking, the strategy is much more subtle (and effective). Its having the sense to see a millenium of conflict in Gaza unresolved by that "my side or die" approach. Catholic Ecumenism is a call to humanize our cross faith understanding first and to demonstrate that willingness in a leading way to disarm the need for conflict.

"In a word, Christians have been converted to a fraternal charity which embraces all Christ's disciples. If it happens that, as a result of violent political disturbances, a certain aggressiveness or a spirit of vengeance appears, the leaders of the parties in question generally work to make the "New Law" of the spirit of charity prevail. Unfortunately, this spirit has not been able to transform every situation where brutal conflict rages. In such circumstances those committed to ecumenism are often required to make choices which are truly heroic." (Ut Unum Sint 1995)

On a Global level, by using this approach, we are in no way advocating the faith motive of the Jihad, for instance, we are only demonstrating there is a non-jihad soul fulfilling a call to express holiness. If the gun is laid down, then the largest hurdle is past.

On a local level, the Catholic Apologist is capable of demonstrating the same approach and motive for Ecumenism. Being knowledgable on our Doctrine and Dogma's scriptural basis, and using a charitable approach can disarm most of the Calvin followers anti-Catholic rage, if it is heard. Realizing it may not be heard immediately, and most likely will only be heard years later puts an Apologist in a mature and patient position as well. These two comprehensive skills, Ecumenism and Apologetics are powerful abilities. We are seeing in what some call the worst of times across faith lines, some astonishing results in America ecumenically.

Appended further:

In Dual Authority efforts, Councils of the Holy See and the Lutheran, Jewish and Orthodox Faiths (among others) have produced Joint Declarations on spiritually common practices and belief components of both Faiths. Imagine the attitude required by those in Heirarchy of these Faiths to enter the dialogue. On a summary level, a full even if temporary truce must be called, but I imagine none is needed with Scholars of that level and maturity. There must exist a basis of reverance for the other Faith and their established visible Leadership within to have such a meeting take place and produce and ecumanical result. These Theologians engage themselves in entering the other Faith on a deep enough level to comprehend the spiritual meaning for each other and its following. Ecumenism at its best human ability.

Should we, the "following", profess Religious character assassination in attempting to talk to a Calvinist, a Lutheran, a Presbyterian when explaining a given Catholic Practice question? It is a fundamental of Human relational dynamics that an attack postion creates defense. One cannot reasonably expect anything else.

" "Cooperation among all Christians vividly expresses that bond which already unites them, and it sets in clearer relief the features of Christ the Servant" ". This cooperation based on our common faith is not only filled with fraternal communion, but is a manifestation of Christ himself." (Ut Unum Sint 1995)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jillian's Gift Follow up

Jillian would like to thank the Academy, and share her Christmas spirit!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another Calvinist Comes home

I'd like to introduce Jennifer. I was immersed in her Conversion Post on her blog and realized how recently her coming home has occurred. Jennifer is going through some family turbulence over this journey and I am confident support and relation is welcome. She's quite readable. Go say hello!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lakeside Chapel of Hypocracy

Ecumenical warning. There is a 100% chance that this post will have zero Catholic ecumenism.

There is a "Chapel" in this town that needs serious evangelical revision. Lakeside Community Chapel.

Years ago (prior to my full immersion in Catholicism), a "Christian" friend of mine who attended there talked up this outfits Bible Study sessions after service on Sunday's. So I went, alone.

The sign outside the "Chapel" states "VERSE BY VERSE BIBLE TEACHING". The 9 am service was ordinary 10 minutes of hymns 5 minutes of prayer and 45 minutes of monologue by a Pastor on Romans. An alter call followed. I wasn't particularly enlightened by the Pastors take on Romans but being a benefit of doubt kind of guy, I stayed focused, figured all Pastors have their challenges, stuck it out and headed for "bible study".

I sit down in bible study with about 10 other people and wait for the study Leader. In walks a man who positions himself at a podium and begins to talk about Paul's conversion and the Road to Damascus event. He used practical analogies of thought and was getting my attention on a few levels, I was impressed, he had a take and it was on point and was not overly interpretive. During the study (rather...another monologue) heads nodded throughout the room frequently and the train of comprehension was consistent. At the 40 minute mark it was apparent the topic was concluding and then suddenly, the punch line came out.

This man then begins state "truly converted believers would never be Methodist". He cited a recent decision by the UMC (at that time 5 years ago) to allow a convention of Gay Methodists at the UMC National retreat facility. For 10 minutes the verbal attack escalated, it was as if this man underwent a personality change...real anger began to be displayed. He called for everyone in the room to write protest letters to UMC leadership with names and addresses given. He tried to convey an obligation to anyone in the room that hearing this "cooperation of the UMC with Satan" meaning...biblically...that we were also passively approving of this sin by the UMC and are accountable as well.

Oy.

After leaving the room stunned by the philosophical whiplash I just experienced, I noticed a rack of Tracts at the lobby exit. There for sale, with retail price tags, was more inter-christian hate publications than a Hotel tourism rack. I stood there reading the cover of each one slowly, MacArthur, Sproul, John Piper, tracts with titles like "The Mormon Road to hell"..."Lutherans Retreat from the Word". One after another, every Protestant denomination, Catholic, Jewish Faith was attacked.

You can imagine my plight. I knew fully I was in Protestant territory, but not a Christian minefield. It was mind numbing and memorable. Since then, I have run into a few members of this "Chapel" and had similar but less intense encounters. One of their members has an active blog in this domain. You will find similar but subtle language there.

I called my Friend that day and discussed the extreme attacking of other Faiths and potentially those in the room, he wasn't surprised at my discovery. "Whats wrong with that? Biblically we are all obligated to save lives from Sin" he said. I told him that in no way biblically is there any call for this type of "ministry" against other Christians, and that even in a Secular approach, attacking a practicing Christian believer of any Faith, that is, initiating an aggressive denouncement of a given Christians spiritual standing using "Satan-sided Faith" language is judgementally hypocritical. I continued to say, the basic principle of denouncing Gays lifestyle as not biblical is not the point, its the twisted interpretation of Christian obligation that those made aware of it are accountable... that is not only hogwash but hypocritical in the "Chapel's" own stated mission...Verse by Verse Bible teaching. Go attack Islamist extremists, and Abortion mills and clear up that mess. Friend stated then.."well its like any Church, take what is uselful and discard the rest".

Again, Oy.

Later that week after, this friends wife called me to agree with my position on the "Chapels" attack of Christians. They subsequently left Lakeside within that year.

The UMC has long had a history of waffling on the Gay/Marriage issues, there are still somewhat divided in their doctrine even as late as the 2008 UMC General Convention. But my point in specific here is twofold:

1) - Don't go to Key West if you cant stand the feather boa's. Pray for those souls in their state of no grace at a minimum.

2) - Don't hold all non-gay citizens of Key West accountable for the AIDS virus worldwide. No logic argument biblically or otherwise supports this approach.

Am I hereby committing hypocracy by posting an "attack" against this "Chapel", I think not. I have balance and have conveyed that here. I am not stating it should close its doors, or denouncing it as Satan-sided. I am saying there is some truth there, but the contrary occurs to overshadow any of its Christian benefit. Have you ever heard the saying "what you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say'? I cant join into a "Church" or "Faith" and take what I like and leave the rest that I don't find true. I need a majority of the content if not 100% to square with Christs teaching.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Science validating Creation

Teaching RCIA recently, I had the opportunity to present a "God the Father" session. Copied below is one of my tools for addressing belief in God and the Science position:

"Fathers of Science

By Matthew E. Bunson

On March 12, 2008, the John Templeton Foundation made the announcement of the winner of its annual Templeton Prize, which honors achievements engaging the great questions of life and the universe. The $1.6 million prize for 2008 went to Michal Heller, a Polish cosmologist and professor in the faculty of philosophy at the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Cracow, Poland. What makes Heller additionally remarkable is that he is a Catholic priest.

The 72-year-old plans to spend the prize money to establish a research institute-named in honor of Nicholas Copernicus-that will seek to reconcile science and theology. Fr. Heller said:

If we ask about the cause of the universe we should ask about the cause of mathematical laws. By doing so we are back in the great blueprint of God's thinking about the universe; the question on ultimate causality: Why is there something rather than nothing? When asking this question, we are not asking about a cause like all other causes. We are asking about the root of all possible causes. Science is but a collective effort of the human mind to read the mind of God from question marks out of which we and the world around us seem to be made.

As a priest-scientist, Fr. Heller is not unique. Rather, he stands in a long and great tradition of learned priests who were both scientists and men of faith. Some are well-known to history, such as Roger Bacon, the 13th-century Franciscan who stressed the concept of "laws of nature" and contributed to the development of mechanics, geography, and especially optics. Others are obscure. All, however, left a lasting legacy on their eras in learning, science, mathematics, and practical progress.

Above all, the priest-scientists offer a powerful lesson to Catholic apologists: There is no reason to stand mute when the name Galileo is wielded like a cudgel and the Church is savaged as an enemy of human progress. Apologists and well-read Catholics can point to these priest-scientists and declare forcefully what Fr. Georges LemaƮtre-discoverer of the "Big Bang"-robustly proclaimed in 1933: "There is no conflict between religion and science." What follows is a survey of a few of the many priests and scientists who have bettered our world over the centuries. The list does not pretend to be exhaustive, and the deeper issues that underlie the long-perceived conflict between science and religion, evolution, and cosmology-so much in the modern cultural dispute-will be examined in future articles in This Rock."
(This Rock Vol 19, No.7)

Just how Catholic are we?

As Catholic Bloggers, we read each others stuff. Its a small circle most of the time. How do you respond to this recent question a Catholic friend of mine posed:

"You have a Catholic Blog? Wow. (think "fanatic") Thats a little overboard...I mean...I feel I'm as devout as any Catholic but to go to that extent, thats a bit extreme."

Now...getting beyond that you could take this as an indication of spiritual depth of the person questioning...so put that aside for a minute or two and consider the question objectively. How "Catholic" are we to put study, energy and time into this, ahem "hobby"? I dont see this as fanatical or extreme, and yet my first inclination is to respond citing the convenience of this technology and using it for Evangelization, but thats just a thread in the cloth here. Its a discovery process, growing a community of believers, etc.

You?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Jillians Gift

My 10 year old daughter, Jill, and I have committed to play a musical duet in her School "Talent Show" tomorrow night. She plays Clarinet and I play Bass, and we've been rehearsing every other night for 2 weeks.

So there we are trying to nail this piece tonight and during a rest she volunteers the following:

J - I know why you have me doing this...(she means playing the Clarinet in general)

D - why Jill?

J - Because you want me to be a musician like you (smiling)

D - Your right...do you know why?...because making music can be life changing...

J - Yeah...it makes it like, easy to express, like, feelings and stuff

D - you are "getting it" aren't you?

J - (She interrupts excitedly) I know I know ! Dad...sometimes when you play certain kinds of music...and I hear certain sounds...I feel like I can do the impossible...like I can do Anything!

I then told Jill she has the "Gift" with the following true story:

When I was in 7th grade my Dad told me (not asked) that I should try out for the Marching band in Junior High School. Intimidated, I reluctantly selected the Trombone and began playing 2 hours a day. See...my Dad was at one time in his life a working Jazz musician. He played in the 40's after WWII in Chicago and NY City in the trumpet section of the Big Bands. Among the horn sections of the Dorsey Brothers and Woody Herman. After 5 years of that he had to "get a real job" when he married my Mom, he said, and never picked up the horn again. But he filled my childhood household with music and exposed me to the entire range of Classical, Jazz, Opera, Blues and popular music growing up. One day when I was 10 or 11, he took me to a Big Band concert, just me and him. It was in the basement lounge of a Hotel here locally in 1970. We stood for 2 hours against the back concrete wall of this lounge while Count Basie and his Orchestra pounded us with Jazz, Bop and Swing. I was penetrated by a flood of sensations I had never before experienced. I asked my Dad on the way home, "is it normal to have goosebumps from the music, I could feel it all over me?"

He replied...you have the Gift, son.

About a 3 years later I ran in from school after a Marching Band rehearsal and told him...

"Its E flat minor Dad! That goose bump chord is E flat minor...does it to me every time!"

He just smiled.

Imagine what it feels like to have the same thing happen to my daughter and me some 38 years later.

whew.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Prayer to my Mom

Thanks Mom.

Thanks for dragging my whining little 4 year old butt to Catholic Church and making me go thereafter "even if Dad stayed home".

Thanks for grabbing my hands, folding them in reverential prayer and whispering the Creed, the Lords Prayer and the Hail Mary in my ear.

And for making me kneel, when I thought it was the most excruciating torture imaginable,

And for marching me down the aisle every Sunday to get my head crossed and patted by that "dusty old Priest".

For making me stop doodling during the whole atrocious Latin filibuster, Sunday after Sunday after Sunday.

For making me try to outsing that massive scary Mack Truck of a Pipe organ.

For putting me in Catholic Grade school with those fierce Disciplinary Nuns wielding the power of God against all who chewed gum in class.

For exposing me to the most beautiful Liturgy on the planet.

For planting the seed of Catholic truth as best you could, given my constant belligerence, even if the roots took 30 years to stick.

For loving me long enough and deep enough to never let go of me.

I know you know all this but I have to say it.

Thanks Mom.

Love,

Your Son.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Priests land Sony/BMG Record Contract

How cool is this:

NEW YORK (CNN) -- You could call them New Clergymen on the Block: three Roman Catholic priests from Northern Ireland who on occasion swap their rosary beads for microphones and their parishes for studio time.
The Priests' debut CD -- part of a major record deal -- includes versions of spiritual songs and Irish tunes.

The Priests' debut CD -- part of a major record deal -- includes versions of spiritual songs and Irish tunes.

Fathers Eugene O'Hagan and Martin O'Hagan, who are brothers, and David Delargy have been in the priesthood for some 20 years. But they've been singing together since their early teens.

In February they recorded a demo in Belfast which they sent off -- as Eugene O'Hagan puts it -- to "the powers that be." Sony BMG responded almost instantly with a very nice offering indeed, a record deal reportedly to the tune of somewhere north of $2 million.

The Priests' debut album will be released on November 18 and was produced by Mike Hedges, known for his work with U2 and -- ironically -- Manic Street Preachers (who, of course, are not clergy but punky Welshmen). Some recording took place in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, and the priests maintain they'd like some of the profits from their music endeavors donated to a charity of their choice.

These priests aren't metalheads; you won't find "Stairway to Heaven" or "Highway to Hell" in the Priests' repertoire. Rather, you'll hear their spine-tingling harmonies applied to spiritual songs like "Panis Angelicus" and "Ave Maria," as well as some traditional Irish tunes.

If that doesn't sound hip enough, know that all three clergymen own iPods (two admit to using BlackBerries). And Delargy claims that the first album he ever bought was Blondie's "Parallel Lines."

The Priests caught up with CNN while on a quick trip to New York and talked about balancing their newfound fame with the church.

CNN: How do you manage your priestly duties while embarking on a recording career?

Martin O'Hagan: It's tricky. It's like spinning plates in many respects. We do have in the contract a specific indication that our duties in the parish won't be in any way compromised and we're delighted about that, and most grateful.

CNN: Is it fair to say you consider yourselves priests first and musicians second?
Don't Miss

Eugene O'Hagan: Well, we've always been singing, even before we became priests. So in a sense entering into the musical life of the church has brought us into priesthood. It's a happy fusion of two gifts, really -- priesthood and music.

CNN: How did you enjoy the recording process?

Eugene O'Hagan: It's been hard work. It's been tough work. We've never worked with "cans" (headphones) before. And the whole technological side of recording has been an eye-opener. And for those of us who have never been exposed to that kind of technological world and the advances of science and mixing and recording, it's been a really fantastic experience.

CNN: Which of you has the biggest rock star attitude?

(The three priests point to each other and laugh.)

CNN: Well, what's it like getting all this attention?

Eugene O'Hagan: Well, it's unusual, needless to say. I suppose all priests are at the center of their communities and parishes. We are used to being in the public eye, especially on a Sunday morning or when you're celebrating maybe a wedding or [at] a funeral, a baptism. So that has helped us maybe cope with the growing interest and media interest and what we do and what we sing and who we are.

CNN: Do you expect to offer help to wayward musicians?

David Delargy: Well, we wouldn't be setting out to be the answer to people's needs in that respect. But it's interesting that in the course of the work we've been doing through this recording, we have met people who come from different backgrounds, people who have faith, some people who have no faith, some people who are searching. Other people who have various dilemmas they're working through in their own lives. And perhaps there may be an opportunity just through ordinary interaction and contact to do a little bit of good, but certainly we aren't setting out with that in mind.
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CNN: Is there going to be a tour?

Eugene O'Hagan: At the moment it's hard to see into the future in that respect, but I'd imagine that all three of us would certainly like to do that. And whatever's practically possible we'll certainly consider.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Archeologists report finding oldest Hebrew Text

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Archaeologists in Israel said on Thursday they had unearthed the oldest Hebrew text ever found, while excavating a fortress city overlooking a valley where the Bible says David slew Goliath.

Experts have not yet been able to decipher fully the five lines of text written in black ink on a shard of pottery dug up at a five-acre (two-hectare) archaeological site called Elah Fortress, or Khirbet Qeiyafa.

The Bible says David, later to become the famed Jewish king, killed Goliath, a Philistine warrior, in a battle in the Valley of Elah, now the site of wineries and an Israeli satellite station.

Archaeologists at Hebrew University said carbon dating of artifacts found at the fortress site, about 20 km (12 miles) southwest of Jerusalem, indicate the Hebrew inscription was written some 3,000 years ago, predating the Dead Sea Scrolls by 1,000 years.

They have been able to make out some of its words, including "judge," "slave" and "king."

Yosef Garfinkel, the lead archaeologist at the site, said the findings could shed significant light on the period of King David's rule over the Israelites.

"The chronology and geography of Khirbet Qeiyafa create a unique meeting point between the mythology, history, historiography and archaeology of King David," Garfinkel said.

(Writing by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Sami Aboudi)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Catholic Answers Voters Guide to be in USA TODAY

Huge applause for Karl Keating and all who supported C.A. in getting their Voters Guide as a Full Page ad in the USA Today on Oct. 30th, 2008.

Catholic Carnival #196 is up

This weeks Carnival can be found here.
-Peace

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Voting Obligation Revisited

How self-righteous would I be to make a conscious decision to avoid a scriptural instruction?

I read a friends Blog about not voting for President, specifically due to the precarious and morally flawed Candidates put in front of us. I pondered his post and logic for a good week, and while I have met others (RC and Protestants) who are taking the same position, and I myself cannot intellectually embrace either Candidate fully, I have to vote.

It is a scriptural instruction from Christ.

Whether its a perceived forgone conclusion or not...futile or not...best of 2 evils or not.

I am 99.999% with his feeling on both candidates, truly, we are in sync...except for the voting part. I sincerely believe the intentional "act" of voting in accordance with your developed Catholic or Christian Conscience, in any best case or worst case scenario, is deserving of merit.

Look at last Sundays reading from Mt 22:21 = "....Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God."

In context, when amplified, He is telling us to perform our Citizenship obligations, period. And perform our Holy Obligations, period.

Nothing less.

Do you think that the last 4 Sunday Gospel Readings, (all of them were Jesus narrated Parables/Analogies), are "coincidentally" aligned with this Election decision process? I don't. I see the Fairness doctrine, Social responsibility of Exodus and Thes., and Christs instructions to carry out our moral and political duties in all of those scriptures as immaculately timed prior to this Election event. Imperfect candidates are no excuse for avoiding the obligation for me, (although it is convenient, I must admit).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Security Zone of Matthew 6

I remain in perpetual amazement of how densely packed the first few pages of Matthew is with soul food. While in Ch. 5 the Sermon on the Mount begins with all its gravity, then 6:9 giving us the Our Father prayer instruction... its Matthew 6:25-34 that feeds me the staple of security to be discovered in the Word, Jesus and the Father.

Imagine the wind of freedom felt by the disciples as these words penetrated:

"...27 and which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life (or to his stature)..."

Here is God made man, conveying how to live entirely fearless, by following his word. Ch 5 through 7 has more spiritual tools than any human can perfect...yet we get a glimpse, a flash of the gift of attainable joy from this obedience. The Father in his will choosing to support us in every way an earthly Father must and more, by articulating loud and clear....follow Him and be not afraid. Is there a price? Only a perceived one. It is, in all actuality, how we were made to live, once our Conscience is formed and refined.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Protestant Pastors Self Deception

So, the a-C has a weekly 9-hole evening golf outing on a weeknight during the summer. He covertly pairs me with a man who I will refer to as "Pastor Smith". I thought "this ought to be interesting...."

After some small talk through the first hole, I find out this man was a practicing Attorney for 20 some years and now moonlights as an Assistant Pastor at an Evangelical Bible Church. Once I let that sink in, I knew what territory to cover in discussing theology with him.

I asked him what denomination he was a part of and got no answer...no eye contact. He seemed a bit agitated so I volunteered I was Catholic. Here's how it went from there:

PS - That's nice....
CJ - So whats your view of Catholicism Pastor?
PS - Are you a practicing Catholic?
CJ - Fully...and so is my entire family.
PS - Its fundamentally flawed.
CJ - Hows that?
PS - Well, there is so much reliance on extra-biblical material...
CJ - Like what?
PS - Mary.
CJ - Mary is extra- biblical?
PS - I mean the rituals performed and worship of things that are stated in the bible emphatically NOT to be worshipped.
CJ - Counselor...have you ever been to a Catholic Mass?
PS - Uh, yea long time ago
CJ - Probably celebrated in Latin...eh? Counselor, have you any witness evidence or testimony from Catholics that we worship things that are extra-biblical?
PS - Its rather obvious isn't it?
CJ - That would be no...in fact every Mass I attended in the last few years of recent memory, Mary's name is stated liturgically only once...in the Creed compared to Jesus who is named or referred to over 30 times.
PS - You cant tell me Catholics don't worship Mary...
CJ - I certainly can...unless Counselor you are clairvoyant of other Christians motives of prayer.
PS - Praying is Worship.
CJ - If that's true...that would limit our ability to be justified, Counselor, if all we could convey to our Savior is worship. So your evidence to support Catholics worship of Mary is visual. Have you heard the words of a Catholic in prayer stating "we worship you Mary"?
PS - Its implied.
CJ - You have a weak case here Counselor.

I stopped pushing hard at that point and allowed the golf to dominate our conversation. He did not return to any religious talk from that point on. I imagine my taking the courtroom approach for case building lead to a more adversarial and less ecumenical mood. My motive for that was driven by knowing this Pastors Church hands out Anti-Catholic attack literature by James McCarthy. Hope he has more to think about at a minimum.

Friday, October 3, 2008

We Interupt this Blogcast #3

This Blog has little political content, while I do follow the state of our political and economic planet, the personal context of Catholicism and Life is pre-dominant here.


Unless both subjects cannot avoid each other effectively. Enter Robert Baer.


I heard this interview on NPR’s Fresh Air this morning and understood his non-partisan insight and potential prediction of the reality of what may effect our American lives in and after the November Election, regarding Mid-East Oil, Energy, Credit, Isreal and Palestine.

While I see one Presidential Candidate advocating straight diplomacy with Iran, and anothers cautioning that would be courting the insane, Ex CIA operative Robert Baer lays out why the U.S. needs to sit down with our enemies, or potential enemies, and hear the signals of their intent inside their messages of deception. Or, if not, listen to our recent intelligence on Irans plan to dominate the mid-east and why we know it. While no one is 100% right on this complex situation, I believe Robert Baer has a warning and strategy and multiple scenarios of the future that are all dependant on this mid-east pivotal country of Iran. Whether or not the U.S. views this reality though Isreals lens of understanding, this issue is volatile enough to be a priority of Diplomacy or Intelligence or both. Check out the interview.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Catholic Carnival #192

Here.

Check it out...lots of providential conversion themes this week.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fear of God

The barometric measurement I am commonly bumping into with Calvinist Protestants lately is this seeming infatuation with examining every other "believers" Fear of God level. It comes quite strikingly at times. An emphasis on working out ones Salvation with "Fear and Trembling" (Phil 2:12) is made and one is approached with a skeptical glare, as if we should be walking around in an anxious sweat, and if no fear is visible, we are Judged NOT to be Saved by said Protestant. This, sort of, Internal Affairs Bureau (Rat Squad) mentality is virtually identical in many Calvinist Protestants I know. I can understand not wanting to commiserate with the enemy (or a mistakenly mis-identified enemy) but the whole spiritual body scan act is completely not what Jesus would do.

Having a developed belief system in our (human) being, of a God, that motivates our life through Servile fear is not Biblical. To fathom that a follower would emulate the love of Christ so that a lack of punishment is the reward is a spiritual contradiction. This Servile fear is essentially a motive trigger. Believing in Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit in order to NOT suffer fire and brimstone, may produce an initial turn away from sin, but sustaining such a fear as the foundational basis of our belief is archaic and pagan at best. It is however one first step available to work out or form a faith of Salvation, that is tied to Sacred Scripture.

Once I experienced Filial fear of God, that fear of hurting and offending a God who loves me, I began to comprehend the context and reality of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and get my first real glimpse of the incomprehensible magnitude of Gods grace for his children. Without the First Gift....Filial Fear, none of the other Seven gifts are possible for us. Those gifts of Piety, Fortitude, Counsel, Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom are all based on and tied to our committed love (filial fear) for Him and are a result of those "works" which he places in us through grace. When I am able to discern that I have to make a decision or act that may have a consequence of Sin, and I consciously turn away from it because I know I would hurt my God that loves me, I am revealing a work of God in me.

I have run into a few Protestants who fully recognise Filial fear, and live it out...the a-C is one of them. He/they have a well formed Conscience and practice their truth which is, in my experience, compatible Universal truth. They are far more Catholic than they would ever admit ...and I quietly smile when I notice this and think "maybe someday they will come home".


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kingdom of Heaven

Last Sundays Gospel Reading, and our Parish Fathers Homily about this parable, was significant and I am compelled to publish it here. I have been meditating this understanding frequently since then.

First the reading:

Mt 20:1-16a

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o’clock,
the landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.’
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o’clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o’clock,
the landowner found others standing around, and said to them,
‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’
They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.’
When those who had started about five o’clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
‘These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’
He said to one of them in reply,
‘My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?’
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”


If we insist on legalistic results from God for our own life, that being... compensation measured by merited effort, then we are taking Mercy off the table from God for us. If we insist that God "play fair" on our limited human level of justice, then we are insisting he never grant us more than we deserve, which is the definition of Divine Mercy. Gods "generosity" transcends our own human equivalent, it has to.

The last three lines are exponentially revealing. Are we envious of Gods ability? Do we "box" God into what we believe "just reward" is in an earthly meaning? Sure we do.

The last will be first is a repeated lesson fom Christ Jesus in other Gospels and provides an example to follow once again in multiple ways. In this stated parable as a description of the "Kingdom of Heaven", Jesus clues us into a new reality of "fairness" to be experienced now.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Catholic Carnival #190

Is posted here, have a read or three!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mother Angelica Rocks Marian Apologetics

I am watching a rerun of EWTN's "Journey Home" 4th anniversary show, where Marcus Grodi and his network CEO Mother Angelica are talking spirituality, about 20 minutes in, Mother pours out an epic take on our holding of Mary, Mother of God (transcribed from the show itself):


Marcus (MG) : "Protestants say 'Why do you worship Mary, why do you pray to Mary rather than Jesus?"

Mother Angelica (MA) : "Well the misunderstanding is we dont worship Mary. We can only worship God, our Lady herself can only worship God. The problem is twofold, its human and its satanic (read "Enemy"). I am not blaming anyone who doesn't believe in Mary, as having a problem with the 'Enemy'. But I think he (God) does inspire us with common sense instead of spiritual sense. Our Lord himself says in the Commandments 'you have to honor your mother and your father'. When we speak of God and then we speak of the Father, designing that his eternal word would become man, he had to create someone special. Specially beautiful and Holy, not only without sin at conception. (Pause)

This is what amazes me....how could anyone think, that even for a split instant, the Son of God would be in possession of his Enemy?

That just doesn't make any sense to say that the birth of our Lady was natural. (to say) Its really Josephs son, etc.... Because we don't understand how it happened, we say it didn't happen.

But that's a lack of humility on our part. You cant know and understand God. So when you say (Mary was not free from sin) you're accusing God of not following his own Commandments, He honored his Mother.

And they (Protestants) always bring up the Wedding at Cana, it always burns me up. (MG laughs) 'Whats is it to you and to me'...ok...well...he asked her to say fiat to his coming. We don't think of what might have happened if she said no. Her fiat brought him, and it was her fiat that had to begin His 3 years of Miracles and Ministry. That's why he said to her :

'What is it to you in me?'

In other words, (Jesus said) 'You're going to start my Passion, you're going to begin now, you know what you are doing?...you're going to begin my public ministry...you brought me here, and now you are going to begin' So what is it? He wasn't correcting her, he was reminding her what is it. She knew immediately, she responded as always 'Do whatever He tells you'. Otherwise it don't make any sense. If I say 'What is that to you?' you would have to say what it is. See...and that's why we have to love our Lady.......remember she stood at the foot of the Cross.

...so she began, she said fiat, she said 'Do whatever he tells you.' She stood, STOOD...now that word stood is not just another word indicating a position, it indicated her own position as Mother of God which means she too added her terrible pain with her Son. And St. Paul says that, every good Protestant knows that..." (end of transcript)

The pure logic of the scripture, to refute the virginity and sinless purity of Mary would be agreeing that the Son of God was in possession of his Enemy, and in violation of his own Commandment "Honor thy Mother..."

Immaculate evidence indeed.

Monday, September 15, 2008

We Interupt this Blogcast #2...

...to say, take a deep breath, watch and listen to what Gods gift of ten fingers can produce:

Notes from a Subculturist

How much fun is it, that is....chasing defense strategies for Mary's "Romanist" position?, or the crusades? or praying the rosary? Haven't we all seen enough spilled ink over these issues to fill a stadium already?

I read a pointed article on the subculture of Catholic Apologetics by Mark Shea that speaks well to this subject. While nearing the end of the article I found myself saying "hey...he's talking about me" (and Mr. Troutman, and Mr. Stellman and a few thousand other bloggers/writers).

Marks' take rings a Centrist bell in me that a balance of content, perspective and experience is essential in this quest for the Church's ultimate truth. Fanaticism is sometimes one post or email away for alot of us, myself included at times. I read volumes of no win fight tactics at the Catholic Answers Forums on occasion and cant help but shake my head and think...forget ecumenism, these people shed zero Catholic Light. Alas...I have been guilty of same.

Intellectualism, and perfecting a vocabulary of stunning effect is impactful, I must admit, I am impressed with the skills those on my Blog List possess, (and on their lists), but there is a time for balance and perspective and open minded pondering of all viewpoints.

Matt Maher was on "Life on the Rock" this past week and was pushed somewhat to point out his apologetic approach when put in that position (not musically). He was beautifully simple about it..."speak in their language, which is the language of relationships."

I am down with that.

So why bother? One could rightfully ween themselves off this Apologetic effort once the volume of already documented positions are counted. The sheer mass of counterpoints that have been published and spoken and recorded and read and regurgitated in book upon article upon tract upon blog should be enough to have the entire planet at Mass on Sunday five hundred years ago. Aren't we all so derivative? Don't get me wrong...I am in for the long haul. And that's one of the primaries I keep this up.

Here's the thing....Someday, Karl and Scott and Jimmy and Patrick and Mark Shea and the rest of the first wave of Catholic Apologists will need us to take up their song harmoniously. Another primary motivating factor is the amazing way apologetics force us to explore the depths of Christ and what he left for us....all of it. The more I discover, not just Catechetically, but from all these other humans' viewpoints, the more the depth becomes, exponentially. The beauty is immersive. The knowledge to be attained is vast.

Tip of the berg indeed.

Besides, if we all had Catholic "buy in", what would we podcast and blog about? Pizza?

Not much fun in a Pizza blog.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Christs "Family"...a Calvinist perspective

The a-C writes a position as follows which I post here in fairness, exactly as he wrote it and with no response from me yet. While I do what he proposes, and take my time to consider and examine this perspective, I ask the readers to do the same and feel free to comment in advance of a formal response by me. Combox is wide open.

(a-C writes)
I put a lot of time into this, take your time and chew on it

Mary’s Christocentric biblical position…I am sorry, but that is such and incredible attribute to esteem to someone. Is she the only one that has this attribute? Are there others who are Christocentric? Has this same quality been identified in others. I will explain the text of John as the author intended, above all you and I must agree that irrespective of anybodies thoughts on anything, we always go to the intent of the scripture and interpret what the writer conveyed and see how all of scripture establishes this. To say that John intended to convey that Mary is Christocentric is simply not there. If this is all it takes to establish such a doctrine, well then, employing such techniques renders the establishment of doctrine to be nearly limitless. Mary said to the servent, do what ever he says…that establishes something about Mary? I am not being cynical, this is a reality. You must agree with this! To take a mere conversation and exchange between Mary and some servents at a wedding and infer that this establishes anything about Mary is simply beyond me.

The purpose of John is

John 20:30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

Similarly, the opening renders its same objective

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The reality is that John’s conveyance of the personification of onlys as they pertain to Jesus are innumerable and solely pointed to the Lord

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

The writer of John says his intent of writing is to convey that Jesus is God….that belief in Jesus Christ results in a supernatural Birth that is the only means of entering the Kingdom of God (this in and of itself refutes most all of papal doctrine about the means that Catholicism establishes…but I will ignore that for now, difficult as that is).

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the word (logos in the greek mean word and is referring to the person of Jesus Christ) and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God, all things that were made were made by him, and nothing that was made was made apart from him. Christ had no beginning, he had no mother who created him, he existed prior to the foundation of the World and made every single thing in the universe according to John.

Then he shows how John the Baptist was sent by God to be a messenger …… Jesus esteemed John above all other men (and women including Mary) when he said among man, there has never been one greater…this was the person that the Gospel writers revealed the quality that he must decrease and that his ministry was complete as he desired to see the Lord Jesus Christ alone magnified. That is the heart of the doctrine that equally refutes all this trash of praying to saints or Mary or dead popes or any such notion of anyone contributing to the work of Christ. It is singular!

The fact that Mary instructed the servents at the wedding is revealing about Mary. But look at the Lord’s response to her preceding, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come." Mary was anticipating something of the Lord, she knew that something was different, but she clearly did not understand how his ministry would play out. This is evidenced by the reality that none of her children, none of the Lord’s brothers and sisters believed in the Lord Jesus Christ until after his death! They did not understand. The author John also includes insight as to how ordinary the people thought Jesus was in that the knew how ordinary his family was. This rebuke evidences her involvement was so unconnected to the Lord, that she was rebuked for even speakin about the ability to perform miracles. his rebuking of her involvement in thinking that. John further makes it clear that the people were astounded that Jesus was able to do things as he did yet his father and his mother were astounded that his parents (and family for that matter, were extraordinarily ordinary John 6: 42 And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, 'I have come down from heaven'?" If John intended for something about Mary to be conveyed, wouldn’t the Lord have used this opportunity to demonstrate a Christocentric quality about Mary and let her perform the miracle apart from him?

Mary never performed any miracle, never spoke the gospel in the book of acts and never had any role at all subsequent to Jesus departure, never shared scripture with anyone, never was esteemed with teaching Jesus anything, never wrote any scripture (nor did any other woman). never was the object of the Jeruselum council in Acts 15, is not anywhere in the marriage feast of the lamb in Revelation, is not in any way to be deemed to be anything other than a sinner in need of God’s grace in the same way that you and I are. She is not mentioned anywhere in the epistles, no explanation about her supposed intercession, her co-redemtrix, or any such thing what so ever. My friend showed me the Catholic church bulletin and asked how a quote from Luke (I think, don’t have it in front of me) establishes a position about Mary. He read the scripture and said, this does not even speak to this subject. He has grown in biblical discernment as he has now the ability to explain how 8 consecutive chapters of Romans fits like a glove and is overwhelmed when he hears someone explain something with the contents of Romans that is completely outside any scope or intent of what the Holy Spirit spoke thru Paul. The same can be said about John’s Gospel. He stated his intent builds it, concludes with it, and clearly establishes it.

John not only does not esteem any such attribute to Mary, he continues to make it extraordinarily clear that Mary was earthly ordinary and following his departure made it clear that it was John’s responsibility to care for her after the Lord’s departure. John 19:26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" That again reveals that the Lords appointment to John to care for his mother was a responsibility that was needed to be done and that the danger that those of the way of Christ faced was imminent. His brothers were not around, likely they were in fear for their lives and did not believe in Jesus at this point. Mary could not even care for herself such that the Lord charged Jesus with the need to care for him to which he did according to John 19:27 Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own [home.] as the Lord commanded him.

John did not in any way esteem Mary as Christocentric…In Fact that term is not even in the Bible as one might infer it to another person. To the contrary John portrayed her as a woman who was addressed in ordinary terms…woman what does this have to do with me…woman your son….she needed to be cared for, not prayed to at the hour of his death….John did not do any such thing. And to esteem that from these words is beyond incredulous of any person trying to teach such a quality…their condemnation is just.

If you would like to examine Luke’s writing I would be more than happy, first though you must answer the question…am I seen by you as faithfully conveying the biblical intent of John?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

CJ Podcast # 003 is up

CJ Podcast 003 is here.

Conscience

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Whats to come on this Blog....

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No Abdication here

Back to the a-C's request that I go line by line IE.:

"GO POINT BY POINT AND TELL ME THAT THIS IS NOT DISHONORNING AND AGAINST SCRIPTURES IN WHAT I SAID....WHAT BIBLICAL SUPPORT IS THERE FOR ANY OF THESE THINGS ………………………….. I WILL NOT IGNORE THEM…FULL OF GRACE IS ALL THAT YOU HAVE CONVEYED AND YOU HAVE FAILED TO ADDRESS STEPHEN OR JOHN THE BAPTIST…NONE HAVE BEEN IGNORED"

JP3 claimed that Mary was his savior when he was shot, his view of Mary is far and above that of simply a departed Saint, she was actively involved in his life and responsible for aspects of his life….She was responsible for his protection, she was responsible for saving his life….He wore her initials on his clothes and so on and so on.

First, his acronym is JP2 not 3.
Second, the fact that I wear a "Fender" logo on my shirt does not mean I worship Fender. It can be said, as you say above, JP2 is a big Fan of Mary. There is nothing in Canon prohibiting anyone, even Peter's successor, from having a tatoo of Mary on his forehead. It does not dishonor or disrespect, just as wearing a Fender shirt does not disrespect Fender.

What Catholics do with Mary is wrong…I don’t have to defend it against your definition of worship. The reality is that it is wrong. Wether you call them worship or not is ridiculous…to say that I don’t understand why Catholics do what -they do is ridiculous…but even more decieiving is to laugh and say….see,,,,,I told you this Is not worship is silly….what ever name you give these is blasphemous against scripture.

What we have discussed, on many occasions, must not have been clear enough. In our conversations your assumed emphasis on the attention Mary receives is far greater than the level of attention most practicing Catholics pay in real life. I nor any Catholic I know, including Priests, Deacons and Catechists dont walk around with a constant adoration and mental vision of Mary. Your emphasis greatly exagerates the proportional amount of attention Mary actually receives in the daily life of a Catholic in general in my experience. In fact, to try and convey this with absolute clarity, Mary is hardly mentioned in the Mass on a regular basis. Its all about Christ.

What Catholics do with Mary is engage her closeness to Christ. All aspects of Mary point to Christ. Everything about Mary is Christocentric. Look at the Wedding feast at Cana in John 3:5 she says "Do whatever He tells you". She said herself in the Gospel of Luke 1:46 "My soul magnifies the Lord".

Her singular role as virgin Mother is engaged via prayer to get results with Christ. JP2 must have gotten results with her engagement/intercession and advocates doing this by wearing her insignia. What is essentially important to address is a distinct difference between Worship and Honor that must be understood. When anyone prays to God, they attach "latria" to this communication. Latria is sacrificial in character, and may be offered only to God. Catholics offer other degrees of reverence to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to the Saints; these non-sacrificial types of reverence are called Hyperdulia and Dulia, respectively. Hyperdulia is essentially a heightened degree of dulia provided only to the Blessed Virgin. This distinction, written about as early as Augustine of Hippo and St Jerome, was detailed more explicitly by Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae, A.D. 1270, II II, 84, 1: "Reverence is due to God on account of His Excellence, which is communicated to certain creatures not in equal measure, but according to a measure of proportion; and so the reverence which we pay to God, and which belongs to latria, differs from the reverence which we pay to certain excellent creatures; this belongs to dulia, and we shall speak of it further on (II II 103 3)"; in this next article St. Thomas Aquinas writes: "Wherefore dulia, which pays due service to a human lord, is a distinct virtue from latria, which pays due service to the Lordship of God. It is, moreover, a species of observance, because by observance we honor all those who excel in dignity, while dulia properly speaking is the reverence of servants for their master, dulia being the Greek for servitude." From St. Thomas it is apparent that a clear distinction exists among latria and forms of dulia within Catholic theology.

True practicing Catholics know the difference. When a non-Catholic attempts to blur the Worship radar screen with what he sees on the outside, not knowing what is on the inside of said Catholic, thats subterfuge.


We don’t need someone to intercede for us


We agree here. Essential it is not, however it is biblical as stated in Rev. 5:8, thus: "And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" There are accounts as the benefit of praying to Saints. One either accepts this or does not accept it. What one cannot do is read it, then ignore the content and twist it beyond its intent.

God does not need assistants to bring our requests to him

Even if he did, scripture does not distinguish assistants.


Scripture does as stated above and in Mark 12:26-27, your assertion of the term assistants is not relevant.

Full of Grace is used of other in scripture

Correct but not to the exclusion of Mary.

No one participated in our atonement NO ONE>>>>>>FOR HE MADE HIM WHO KNEW NO SIN TO BE SIN FOR US, THAT WE MIGHT BECOME THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM

NOT IN THEM!


We don’t need one to pray for us at the hour of our death (at the instant of death believers go to heaven to be with the Lord (2 Thes) why do I need her to pray for me….

This is repetitive, the "need" may not be there, but the benefit is historically validated by thousands.

deceived Roman Catholics do not go to purgatory, they perish in hell eternally, Mary praying will be of no avail.

Scripture makes reference to Purgatory as a place of cleansing for those believers who are in Christs Grace but who are not sinless enough for admission through the narrow gate:

"Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny" (Matt. 5:25-26).

"Each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Cor. 3:13-15).

These passages mark plainly the path which Purgation shall take place.

We don’t pray in vein repetition TO GOD OR TO ANYONE

You must be referring to Matthew 6:7–8. "And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Jesus says explicitly that we should not "heap up empty phrases." You may be aware that the word battalogeo is used only once in the New Testament: here in Matthew 6:7. It seems to be a word of special importance. It also can be translated "to babble on" or "to repeat endlessly." You would also logically ask if praying the Hail Mary is not a vain repetition.
Don't stop at the end of verse 8. In verse 9, Jesus says explicitly, "Pray then like this." He then goes on to teach us to pray the Lord’s Prayer (the Our Father). If Jesus was against standardized prayers, why did he give us one to pray? And I presume you would agree that he wanted us to pray this on many occasions.

In addition, not all repetition is vain. Consider the prayers spoken of in Revelation 4:8 offered day and night without ceasing: "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" Another repetitious prayer pleasing to God is contained in Psalm 136: "For his steadfast love endures for ever." This phrase is repeated over twenty-five times. Finally, Matthew 26:44 tells us that Jesus himself prayed the same prayer three times in the garden in Gethsemane.

Statues and images of Mary are bowed down to around the world and prayers are offered to her directly...Idols are sold by the millions every year with her as a pendant on woman

It isnt that hard to come to an understanding that we mortal humans are limited in our expression of spirit. Showing reverence for any Holy symbolic statue, image or material thing when it is done with intent to acknowledge the supreme reverence of God is based in respect. One should have a compassionate and loving heart to comprehend that the things put in Gods House are for the purpose of glorifying Him.


Mary was a servant of God to bring about the fulfillment of our Mesiah…John the Baptist was declared to be above all other Men…let’s carve a statue to him and light candles and pray to him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! while were at it, think of the take if we make one’s for money boxes and kneeling to all the popes….Oh I guess my thoughts are old news…that is what the Vatican did


Now you're getting sarcastic...no comment.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Recent Post Summary

Below I unloaded a few weeks worth of apologetic futility with my friend. The futility lies in said friends fierce unwillingness to even ponder one single Catholic postion, based (even) solely on scriptural meaning. The only time he backs down in a receptive posture always leads to him pleading to get me to study Romans with him, which as you should know, is where Luther inserted the word"alone" where it was never written by divine revelation. My posture might be viewed here by some readers as non ecumenical...and it has to be with this particular individual as he views "interfaith" as a wound to manipulate into his sola scriptura Calvinist bent.

Much work has to be done on his end with the approach to an open mind....I dont see it happening...

-Peace

Blessed Mary's Interpreter is a Protestant

This post is uncategorized as by now you can view how the a-C degrades into generalizing Catholicism across the spectrum of perceived issues. Can you imagine, attempting seriously, with firm conscience to Form a Catholic Faith practice while having a Fundamentalist aggressively attack your faith like this:

(a-C writes):

JP3 claimed that Mary was his savior when he was shot, his view of Mary is far and above that of simply a departed Saint, she was actively involved in his life and responsible for aspects of his life….She was responsible for his protection, she was responsible for saving his life….He wore her initials on his clothes and so on and so on.

What Catholics do with Mary is wrong…I don’t have to defend it against your definition of worship. The reality is that it is wrong. Wether you call them worship or not is ridiculous…to say that I don’t understand why Catholics do what -they do is ridiculous…but even more decieiving is to laugh and say….see,,,,,I told you this Is not worship is silly….what ever name you give these is blasphemous against scripture.

We don’t need someone to intercede for us

God does not need assistants to bring our requests to him

Even if he did, scripture does not distinguish assistants.

Full of Grace is used of other in scripture

No one participated in our atonement NO ONE>>>>>>FOR HE MADE HIM WHO KNEW NO SIN TO BE SIN FOR US, THAT WE MIGHT BECOME THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM

NOT IN THEM!

We don’t need one to pray for us at the hour of our death (at the instant of death believers go to heaven to be with the Lord (2 Thes) why do I need her to pray for me….deceived Roman Catholics do not go to purgatory, they perish in hell eternally, Mary praying will be of no avail)

We don’t pray in vein repetition TO GOD OR TO ANYONE

Statues and images of Mary are bowed down to around the world and prayers are offered to her directly

Idols are sold by the millions every year with her as a pendant on woman

Mary was a servant of God to bring about the fulfillment of our Mesiah…John the Baptist was declared to be above all other Men…let’s carve a statue to him and light candles and pray to him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! while were at it, think of the take if we make one’s for money boxes and kneeling to all the popes….Oh I guess my thoughts are old news…that is what the Vatican did

You think it intellectual to ignore the substance of what is said and hang on a term and its definition that this is not defined as this term or that term and declare that one is misinformed and that the activity is not actually this term or that term…who cares what term you call it…..term it what you will, it is misleading and leading people down a path that is wrong….sounds like the boys are at it as well with the murders of the inquisition

Mary would detest what Catholocism does with her…God would do the same to Catholics he did with the apostles when Peter asked our Lord at the transfiguration if they should build a memorial to Moses or Elijah………………God thundered from Heaven and declared…this is my beloved son LISTEN TO HIM

I really have no agenda but to study the word with you, as the bible calls me to teach faithful men who will teach others also…to that end I extend myself to you.


-a-C

Dave responds:

You have Disrespect for the Mother of God?
Good Luck with that my friend, let me know how that works out for you.

Its unfortunate that you keep insisting on putting words in other peoples mouths, like:

"You think it intellectual to ignore the substance of what is said...."
Thats incorrect. You cannot assert your speculation into others minds.

"Mary would detest what Catholocism does with her…"
Now you are saying you are clairvoyant and have communicated with Mary and know her feelings about Catholicism? Quite pompous.

"I really have no agenda but to study the word with you,"
Thats not how you come across below now...is it?

It is you that are esteeming yourself as all knowing about Catholicism and when I reveal Biblical reference for each questioned doctrine (IE. you say "…who cares what term you call it") you twist the meaning into what it is not or get all emotional and avoid the meaning altogether.

I cant find any value in your dictatorial approach to your interpretation of the Word. As I have asked you before but you ignored, there is no balance with you. I have read Sprouls, Johnny MacArthur, listened to over 100 hours of Allister Beggs preaching (at your request) and find value and truth there, as well as the RCC. When I ask for your sincere effort on the RCC information I provide...You ignore the Catholic side of the information I bring to substantiate truth in the RCC teaching. No Balance. Its all about you.

As a successful Sales Executive, how would you think this ignorance of the biblical facts I present would ever lead me to listen to you when I have proven your perspective on the Catholic Faith to be misinformed?

-Dave

(a-C responds):

This is ridiculous



UNCLE



Just go line by line in the body of my email…say understood, I affirm or something…I spent the time to type it…what do you summarize as disrespectful

It does not do anygood to respond to a comment, but only say, putting words…that is exactly what you are doing here, I am not asserting anything in anothers mind…I can reason as to what is happening when one ignores the content of what is said and declares that the definition of a term is incorrect and misapplied…ARE ALL THESE ACTIVITIES THAT I HAVE SPELLED OUT DISHONORING…you don’t address them

The bible is clear Hebrews, acts, and many examples in Rev that it was clear that no one wanted to be the object of adiration…they pointed people to the Lord…I am not clarvoayant, I have said that scripture leads me to this

GO POINT BY POINT AND TELL ME THAT THIS IS NOT DISHONORNING AND AGAINST SCRIPTURES IN WHAT I SAID

IT is how I come across, and if you met to go thru scripture you THEN would be able to affirm that, but not from WHAT YOU THINK YOU READ INTO what I type…only that will reveal it.

What biblical facts have you GIVEN ON ANY OF THESE POINTS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>NONE_____________))))))))))))))))))) SO IF NONE HAVE BENN GIVEN, NONE HAVE BEEN IGNORED…..WHAT BIBLICAL SUPPORT IS THERE FOR ANY OF THESE THINGS ………………………….. I WILL NOT IGNORE THEM…FULL OF GRACE IS ALL THAT YOU HAVE CONVEYED AND YOU HAVE FAILED TO ADDRESS STEPHEN OR JOHN THE BAPTIST…NONE HAVE BEEN IGNORED

-a-C


I have given specific biblical support as documented here and sent to him....he ignores it or renames it as tradition even Rev. 12:1-6.
I have another line item specific summary and produced it here with restraint of repetition.

More Inquisition Madness

The a-C and I conversed (verbally) where I asked him to cite factually where the RCC or Pope or both instigated and caused a certain Christians execution. I told him I wasnt going to split hairs....that is....if the RCC is shown as a major supporter of such execution, and not held by the "State" to identify Heretics under duress, that would be sufficient for me to consider his broad view of the Crusades as Catholics being willfully aligned with Satan. See below for how the conversation continued and who may be on a path of historical truth.

(Dave writes to a-C):



William Tyndale was not executed by the Catholic Church or a Catholic at all. He published a criticism of the King and was held accountable for it:

" In 1530, he (Tyndale) wrote The Practyse of Prelates, opposing Henry VIII's divorce on the grounds that it was unscriptural and was a plot by Cardinal Wolsey to get Henry entangled in the papal courts. This resulted in the king's wrath being directed at him: he asked the emperor Charles V to have Tyndale apprehended and returned to England "

Where do get your eroneous info on this stuff?

-Dave

(a-C responds):


THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ASKED THE KING TO PAY AN INDULGENCE TO THE CHURCH TO ALLOW FOR THE ANULEMENT OF THE MARRIAGE AND IT WAS ALL TIED INTO TOGETHER…YOU THINK YOURSELF TO HAVE RESEARCHED SOMEHTING WHEN YOU FIND SOMETHING TYPED BY YOUR CULT EXPLAINING AWAY AN ASPECT…YOU ARE DECEEIVE BY YOUR SELF DECEPTION OF WIT MY FRIEND….THIS DOES NOT A RESEARCHER MAKE, THE INQUISITION WAS NOTHING OF CATHOLICSIM I SUSPECT YOU WILL BE FULLY CONVINCED OF THAT BY SOME STRANGE DUDE IN A FUNNY COLLAR WITH A POMPAS ROBE….

UNCLE

YOU ARE BEYOND MY REACH

Your blood be on your own head, my warnings clear me my friend…turn from this incidious cult and trust in my Lord and my savior Jesus Christ

May our Lord bless you with understanding what he has revealed about himself in his infallible word of God…


-a-C


Dave responds:


I qouted a secular history encyclopedia, not a Catholic take or source or bent. Your take is false and should embarrass you. See how your Bias leads you to error? These are historical facts not Catholic Facts. Research is not opinion. Black and white facts.

There was no "indulgences paid" (such a thing has never been the official practice...its a myth)
See the bold below. Henry VIII sued for anulment based on an idea of a false papal bull, which was never granted, even though the Pope was a prisoner of Katherines Nephew.

"In 1525, Henry VIII became enamoured with Anne Boleyn, a maid-of-honour to the Queen, and began his pursuit of her.[3] By this time Katherine was not in a physical condition to undergo further pregnancies. Henry began to believe that his marriage was cursed and sought confirmation from the Bible, which says that if a man marries his brother's wife, the couple will be childless.[4] If she had lied when she said her marriage to Arthur had not been consummated, it meant that their marriage was wrong in the eyes of God. It is possible that the idea of annulment had suggested itself to the King much earlier than this, and it is highly probable that it was motivated by his desire for a male heir. Before Henry's father Henry VII ascended the throne, England had been beset by civil warfare over rival claims to the English crown and Henry may have wanted to avoid a similar uncertainty over the succession.[5]

It soon became the one absorbing object of the King's desires to secure an annulment.[6] He set his hopes upon a direct appeal to the Holy See, acting independently of Thomas Cardinal Wolsey, to whom he at first communicated nothing of his plans. William Knight, the king's secretary, was sent to Pope Clement VII to sue for the annulment of the marriage, on the ground that the dispensing bull of Pope Julius II was obtained by false pretences.

As the pope was at that time the prisoner of Katherine's nephew, Emperor Charles V, Knight had some difficulty in obtaining access to him. In the end the king's envoy had to return without accomplishing much. Henry had now no choice but to put his great matter into the hands of Thomas Wolsey, and Wolsey did all he could to secure a decision in the King's favour.[7] How far the pope was influenced by Charles V in his resistance, it is difficult to say, but it is clear Henry saw that the Pope was unlikely to give him an annulment from the Emperor's aunt.[8] The pope forbade Henry to proceed to a new marriage before a decision was given in Rome . Wolsey had failed and he was dismissed from public office in 1529. He then began a secret plot to have Boleyn forced into exile and he began communication with Katherine and the Pope, to that end. When this was discovered, Henry ordered Wolsey's arrest and had it not been for his death from a terminal illness in 1530, he might have been executed for treason.[9] A year later, Katherine was banished from court and her old rooms were given to Boleyn. When Archbishop of Canterbury William Warham died, the Boleyn family's chaplain, Thomas Cranmer, was appointed to the vacant position.[10] In November 1531, Katherine wrote to her nephew: "My tribulations are so great, my life so disturbed by the plans daily invented to further the king's wicked intention, the surprises which the king gives me, with certain persons of his council, are so mortal, and my treatment is what God knows, that it is enough to shorten ten lives, much more mine".

-Dave

(a-C responds):

Myth

Perhaps I should obtain a $5,000 check paid by a friend of my brothers to obtain this anulement, would that correct your dilusion

Your understanding of catholocisms influence over all these matters and the matter of wealth and papal wealth associated with all of this stuff is not reflected here. I will be glad to forward you the proper perspective…but it goes back to what you were saying last night that you were hinting that you objected to, about the distance the church is from the government official…The church would have encouraged the king to put him to death in accordance with their standing…

-a-C

Did Calvin play a role in Servetus execution?

Karl Keating @ Catholic Answers has written that this is true. In my debate with the a-C on the instigation, culpability and guilt professed by Protestants that Catholics/Rome created Christian Martyrdom during the Crusades, I mailed the a-C the following summary of Calvins involvement published by one Reformist Encyclopedia (citation ^ John Marshall, John Locke, Toleration and Early Enlightenment Culture (Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History), Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-521-65114-X p. 325).

(Dave writes to a-C):
Servetus, a theologian and follower of Calvin and close personal friend of Calvin, was publishing non-trinitarian theology....John Calvin had him executed.

Heres an excerpt from a Reformist History encyclopedia from 1553:

When Calvin requested that Servetus be executed by decapitation rather than fire, Farel, in a letter of September 8, chided him for undue lenity, On 27 October 1553 Servetus was burned at the stake just outside Geneva with what was believed to be the last copy of his
book chained to his leg. Historians record his last words as: "Jesus, Son of the Eternal God, have mercy on me."[24]
The common view of the age, that heretics like Servetus should be subject to punishment, was explained by Calvin as follows:

" Whoever shall maintain that wrong is done to heretics and blasphemers in punishing them makes himself an accomplice in their crime and guilty as they are. There is no question here of man's authority; it is God who speaks, and clear it is what law he will have kept in the church, even to the end of the world. Wherefore does he demand of us a so extreme severity, if not to show us that due honor is not paid him, so long as we set not his service above every human consideration, so that we spare not kin, nor blood of any, and forget all humanity when the matter is to combat for His glory."


-Dave


(a-C responds)
:
Wow is that so off it is sad

When you have the time, this will be an incredible derivation from trusting in what is written in one source from another. Many good sources report the opposite and John’s own writings reveal the opposite.

John Calvin served this man day and night and was merely a witness called by the state….he was not the accuser, he was not the source of the condemnation, he was in fact a loving follower of Jesus Christ who availed his entire library and every resource he had to help Servetus to see the truth, he was overwhelmed with grief at his demise….

There are many villainizations in history. I have never read one quite more painted than this one.

Many professed evangelicals hate John Calvin and the doctrines of Grace…there could be many sources for this untruth, all are likely and valid, but like our Lord, we know his servants are not above his master, they will be persecuted (Rom 8). Simply stated, truth is truth, and every aspect of biblical truth is truth from the bible, not from men. Calvinism and the doctrines of grace are unmistakably in the bible, and men will go to any length to reject the things they hate.

I make it clear to my kids Encyclopedia’s are not truth, they are a version of the story. The only knowable truth is scripture, all is else is perspective that changes with the fashions.

-a-C


Fair assessment on both sides I think reveals some ecumenical possibilities. The conversation went on and degraded somewhat, so I will leave it here to return to sometime in effort to explore the possibility of common dialogue.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Catho - Linx

ILO my lack of production lately (secular paycheck black hole syndrome) I added some significant Audio Archives available on the internet (free) in my "Friends & Resources" list. Some are massive resources...like every "Journey Home" since 1998, is in that link on the list. So go get a few hundred CDR's, burn and fill your commute time with the Fullness!

I'll be back soon.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Catholic Carnival #185

Is here, with a wide variety of great reading and resources of which I am proud to mingle.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Digital anti-Catholicism?

I searched for the "Lateran Church" (the Popes Cathedral) and this is what I get:

Digital a-C

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Call to our Catholic Married Women...its Football Season

Where are your husbands on Sunday?

I am back from Mass today nearly outraged at yet again another Mass where the Married Women Parrishoners(assumed by my count as they were with children)outnumbered men by 5 to 1. As Winston Churchill once stated..."and that is something up with which we shall not put."

I have a distinct vantage point, as I am one of 5 standing (physically) Musicians for this weekly Mass and can count every head in the Church.

While I should be jaded and silent to it, due to the long standing statistic that only 15% (ish) of Married Parrish registered member Men attend weekly Mass, (a Holy Obligation nonetheless) but I am not callous to it. I cannot be. Its been epidemic level for too long.

And here comes Football season.

How many of you Catholic wives who live with a marginally or perfectly operating Male husband are letting him snow you into "its not my thing...that going to Mass stuff" ? I bet my cable subscription he doesnt make eye contact with you when he says that.

Enough Comedy.

I was one of those Men for a couple years. Until I was challenged for not leading my family by a (married male) friend of mine. No my wife never ran a guilt trip or even hinted at one, while she had every right to. (A master of self restraint that was) There is no reason, particularly if you have growing children, that Man cannot be at your side at Mass.

None.

I want you to make an effort to reach him. If he has a computer or better yet an ipod or mp3 listening device, have him listen to some Men who are leading their families, and more than that, with a little time spent in Catholic Media.

Brian Hathaway

Joe McClane

Patrick Madrid

And you dont have to say anything except "Check this out Honey".

There are a good amount of Catholic Men (not Priests) who have podcasts on itunes that can speak to your...ahem...husband, in a way he will hear it and not feel...ahem..."wifed"...about it, so to say. The Catholic Hack episode #63 speaks abit to this sad dilemna and Fr. Chavez has a take on the Ladies and their talent as well, that may be a tool in your belt for you to use.

Lastly, I read a fair amount of Catholic and non-C womens blogs and hopefully I have a few Women readers that know some that are in the position of which I speak.

I would love any comments on this, and be advised I have Tivo so I can prioritize my watch schedule and include my wife If she wants to see the Bucs pound the Patriots.