Do You Want the Second Coming to Happen?

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I admire Jesus and how he respects the dignity of every person he encounters. For one to respect the dignity of each person, one must be both compassionate towards the sinner and condemning of the sin. For example, in John chapter 8th he defends the woman who has been caught in adultery, and by the Mosaic law could be stoned. However, Christ declares that we are all with sin and that we all deserve death.

Christ respects the dignity of all. However, the one thing I have to stress is that Christ’s love and acceptance of every person is not a license for free for all. I cringe at the notion when folks bring up that Jesus thinks our moral discussions are trivial as if there is no purpose for them. I would assert that his most sacred heart is stressed from our lack of faith and our constant weakness because of original sin to justify the ruins of the modern world and to reject the City of God.

At the very end of John Chapter 8, Christ does not condemn the woman, but neither does he accept her sin.

John 8:11 RSV
11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.”

By this statement, Christ is both compassionate and firm on the absoluteness of what is moral behavior.

Should we allow faith to be simply personal? Should we not have moral discussions with our communities? I reject this notion that has been birthed by the atheism of Classical Liberalism and the Enlightenment. I do so because  Christ has warned about those who choose sin and promote it in the world so the next generation can fall under its slavery?

Mark 9: 42-47 RSV

42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,[g] it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin,[h] cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to hell,[i] to the unquenchable fire.[j] 45 And if your foot causes you to sin,[k] cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell.[l][m] 47 And if your eye causes you to sin,[n] pluck it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell,

I would certainly assert that since Vatican II, there has been too much of a focus on low Christology, and there has been not enough focus on Christ’s teaching about sin and what leads to the Hell. Everyone wants to feel good inside and teach nothing but the “Jesus Loves You” gospel, but forgets that Jesus is also the Living Torah and the New Moses. When faced with the message of the Gospel of the Law, a common response is “Why can’t we focus more on the gentle Jesus?” It’s not the entire the Gospel, Christ taught about Sin, He was tempted in the desert by Satan, and Satan wants to tempt you to fall from the path of salvation.

In regards to the what I admire about Jesus. I admire his divinity, his sacrifice for our sins, and the judgment of Christ King of the Universe.

I remember my nephew said one day, “Church is boring.” I told him, “Impossible.” He replied, “What do you mean? I said, “Nothing can be boring in the presence of our Lord.”However, the Holiness of Christ and his presence in the tabernacle has never been a stressed point to him at his Catholic school. It was never stressed when I went Catholic school. When I go to Mass, I see that people who are fully capable of a true genuflect give a half-genuflect and leave Mass before the sign of Cross right after communion. I ask, Do you truly feel that Christ is there? Would this be your response if he manifested himself into the Incarnation? Would you leave Mass early? During the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, my Bishop, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, gave a beautiful homily, which came down to this lesson. “Do or do not” You must decide.

Fr. Longenecker just wrote a piece titled: “Jesus is Not Your Best Buddy.” He reminds us that Jesus is the good shepherd and gentle, but he is also the Judge–The Son of Man.

Mt. 24:29-31 RSV:

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; 30 then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; 31 and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mt. 24: 36-44 RSV

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son,[c] but the Father only. 37 As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Why is the judgment rarely acknowledged by Christians?

I was called to teach a student one on one because the entire faculty had refused. They were afraid of him. However, the Principal called me, and I agreed to instruct the young man because through Christ I understood that the young man had dignity, and we must do everything we could to turn him from his path of destruction. I took the young man from averaging 40% to 86% in some classes. One day he started to talk about religion. He said, “I hope I am here for the second coming.”
I replied, “Interesting, most people wouldn’t say that…”
The young man was a little shocked by my answer, “What do you mean? Why?” he asked.
I said, “Well, it’s because most people haven’t chosen Christ, they’ve chosen the world.”

Every time we pray, we should pray for the Second Coming, we should pray for the final judgment. How many of us do so?

I Am Who I Say I Am: Who are you to judge?

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The United States is a great place to live because you can be anything that you want or be whatever you think you are. Therefore, I have decided that I am The Invisible Man. Thanks to transgenderism, nobody can tell me that I am not The Invisible Man and they must respect my feelings on this. I can go wherever I want and nobody can see me or tell me that they see me because, since I am invisible, they would be saying hurtful and hateful things which I would immediately take them to court in order to ensure that my rights not be violated.

Though some people might complain that it is obvious that I am not invisible, the law says that since I think that I am invisible such prejudicial and blatantly hateful speech such as this just cannot be tolerated. Who are they to judge? I am the one who says I am invisible and they must respect my judgement on this. I must admit that I am not the first one to discover the beauty inherent in this national move to respect an individual’s belief in something that is not apparent to others. Walter Williams, in fact, thinks that he is a springbok: http://www.sunherald.com/opinion/other-voices/article79676902.html

Recently, Bishop Paprocki came up with this, which, should it take root in the United States, would bring logic into play. So be wary and know that such thoughts are out there and should they take hold then we will all be forced to live in a society that is ruled by reason instead of personal feelings. So this is what the Bishop said in part:

It is a Mental Illness

The transgender activists would have you believe that their politically correct ideology is based on science; however, the American College of Pediatricians has pointed out that transgenderism is classified as a mental illness and therefore has warned legislators and educators that conditioning children to accept transgenderism as normal is child abuse. They advised, “When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind, not the body, and it should be treated as such.”

Dr. Paul McHugh, psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, was so concerned about the psychological origins of gender-identity disorder that he halted the practice of sex-reassignment surgery at his institution. He concluded that the research demonstrated that Johns Hopkins should no longer participate in what he called “unusual and radical treatment” for “mental disorders.”

For the full transcript from Bishop Paprocki, go here: http://www.courageouspriest.com/bishop-paprocki-correct-bathroom

So, there you have it. I give this to you so that you might understand that there are those out there who would deny me my right to be invisible and might even deny a man the right to go into a ladies room if he feels that he is a woman on a particular day. This kind of prejudice must stop if we are ever going to be a country that regards personal freedom worth fighting for.

It’s great to be an American isn’t it?

Be Catholic, Stand Up for the faith, Put Your Faith into Action

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Yesterday, I took my soon to be seventy-year-old mother to Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, Mo. She wanted to go on a pilgrimage to go through a Holy Door of Mercy. The Cathedral Basilica is a beautiful church that was made into a Basilica during the visit of Pope St. John Paul II  to the United States in 1999. If any enter this building one cannot help but feel they are standing on Holy Ground. We arrived shortly after the Ordination of Priests had concluded, and the church was filled with the scent of incense. One walked through the Doors of Mercy as the natural light subtly entered the main part of the Cathedral. It’s a stirring effect as the shadows in the Basilica give it an ancient feel, as well as it provides a beautiful effect that allows the mosaic ceiling–The largest mosaic in North America– that is mostly gold to glitter across telling the story of Catholicism in St. Louis, the story of Christ, and the last judgment. During my visit, as I let my Mother to her prayers, I entered the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament to pray the rosary. I felt the need to offer prayers of praise to God for all of his glorious creations and to pray for his aid for his creations as they experience the trials of the world.

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After this experience, my Mother and I decided to drive home and attend the evening Mass, which was also the Baccalaureate Mass for our community’s Catholic High School. It was great to help fill the Church to show these young graduates the importance of their Catholic education in a world that continues to discriminate against Catholics as being products of superstition and anti-Science. I pray that they either continue their Catholic education at a legit Catholic University or if they choose a more secular path that they learn from it, but do not allow it to destroy their faith in God.

I attended Mass again this morning to celebrate, the now the 2nd annual, Procession of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) with Bishop Paprocki. My actions to take part in such celebration are all a part of a call I have felt in my heart to publically acknowledge my faith as a way to evangelize and stand up for my faith in the current Spiritual war that is taking place for the hearts and soul of humanity. During the liturgy, Bishop Paprocki had an inspiring homily as he discussed the history of the celebration of Corpus Christi from a bleeding host to Pope St. John Paul II in 2004 demanding to kneel during the procession of Corpus Christi when he could no longer walk.

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The part that struck me as the most important message of Bishop Paprocki’s homily is when he was discussing coming to the parishes to confirm the school children. He said that he has them fill out a questionnaire, in which, one of the questions he asks them is how they intend on living out their faith in Christ. Bishop Paprocki said that most of the answers he gets is, “I will try to attend Mass every Sunday.” The Bishop informed us that as Catholics we have an obligation to our faith and that we should stop treating it as the world treats the word “obligation.” It is not a negative feeling, but rather as living and choosing Christ, we should desire to worship him and be a part of his body and blood at Mass every Sunday. The part of the lesson that was the most intriguing is that the Bishop reminded us of a scene in Star Wars where Yoda requests Luke to raise the X-Wing out of the swamp with the force. Luke responds, “I’ll give it a try.” Yoda replies to Luke, “Do or do not, there is no try.”

In our faith, we must do, or we do not.  What does this mean?

It means that we pray, believe in the sacrifice of the Mass, and openly reject the world’s insistence on sin. It means that we take part in the sacraments including Confession. It means that we honor the traditions of our faith by participating in things like the Procession of Corpus Christi—no matter if the world finds us superstitious. It means that we defend life, the dignity of being both woman and man, and what marriage truly is in accordance with God.

Always remember that the Truth is not relative as the city of man has accepted as its doctrine. If we do not put our faith into action, if we do not stand up for what is moral according to the doctrines of faith. The Truth is not in us, and our faith is ash.

13 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. Mk 13:13

Must I Choose Between God and the World?

Christ the King: King of Kings, Lord of Lords
We live in a relativistic world that believes that truth is relative and that each of us, individually, should respect the moral and theological choices of everyone else. It does seem counter-intuitive to me that there can be a Christianity reset and accommodation with the world that can embrace such a notion especially since choosing the Truth of Christ over the half-truths and lies of the world has always been a fundamental decision that each individual who has ever rejected the world and come to Christ had to wrestle with and then surrender or reject. It is a choice that is no different than the title of Cardinal Sarah’s book: God or Nothing which is a fundamental human choice.

The half-truths of this world I find much more harmful than the outright lies of this world. I say this, because the first is subtle and requires some amount of maturity to decipher but the second is an outright lie, usually so blatant and obvious, that even the uneducated can very often reject it with nothing other than common, natural sense which is instilled in everyone’s DNA. Though people would like to believe these lies and distortions of truth, there is still, to many individuals, something dreadfully wrong and lacking. It leaves one unsatisfied, unhappy and living a life where there is a void, a missing element, that can instill happiness and joy unbounded to the hearts of the individuals: “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until if finds its rest in thee.”

So we negotiate with the world and end up looking not much different than the world and hide from the world the True Christ, in His fullness. For we would rather disguise Christ, like a Trojan Horse, to fool the enemy and gain entry into the world rather than offering to people a clear choice. For the Kingdom of God is not a half-way house that allows us to ‘claim’ a composite form of Christianity which requires nothing of the ‘believer.’ There is no requirement to ‘fully surrender’ to Him and instead of being King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He is now your best buddy who does not judge you or require that you abide by His Commandments; a love without sacrifice, a belief without responsibilities. It is the equivalent of the old saying of ‘having one’s cake and eating it too.’

The calls for such a Christianity come from those who make the argument that the world rejects the teachings of the Church and sees its teachings as oppressive, overbearing and unwelcoming to the sinner. I would respond that the ‘the World’ is more ideological and less homogenized in its beliefs. Of course the present world culture teaches a false gospel and entices us with lies and false love for the individual. However, I am convinced that individuals who are seduced by this message are miserable in the very depths of their souls and are looking for a clear choice between the present culture and the supernatural reality that Christ delivered to mankind. Given this choice, when the Holy Spirit condemns them in the hollowness of their lives, they will make a choice, if there is a choice available to them. They have tired of being soothed and coddled, told that they are special in their own way when in their heart of hearts they know that this is a lie and that an alternative to this false love must exist somewhere if there is any Truth at all; a choice that is all but being lost in our mimicry of the pagan culture of self-love, self-esteem and their assurance that there are no changes that necessitate a change in the way we lead our lives. All is well and in fact if Christianity would only quit teaching about sin then perhaps Christianity would be more welcoming and acceptable to the minds and hearts of those who are thoroughly indoctrinated into the present culture of self absorption licentiousness without shame or conscience.

For 50 years we have moved in this direction and have found it not to be the ‘choice’ that people stuck in the malaise of a worldwide love-in are looking for. And the diocese’s that rejected taking this direction are flourishing. So we get the, to be expected, lectures that we simply haven’t been accommodating enough and loving enough to draw them to Christianity. In other words, if we do more of that which hasn’t worked so far, it is the fault of those who have not changed with the times that it is failing; though the statistics do not hold up to scrutiny. Perhaps we should change our doctrines themselves or make our moral truths into suggestions by using pastoral methods that defy the teachings themselves.

“Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same forever.” He has attracted followers who gave their lives for Him and for His Church for 2000 years; all drawn from the world. Do we have to dumb-down Christ or offer another Christ, more acceptable to the world, for our times? Or is Christ sufficient for us as He was from the beginning? You decide.

Christian Origins of anti-Semitism: A Historical Lie

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Melissa, a Latin Community writer, is Jewish. So, I would certainly surmise that she probably has a better understanding of this topic written by Rodney Stark from personal experience. I definitely welcome her to challenge any ideas presented by Stark that I examine in his first chapter of his book.

In Rodney Stark’s new book, Bearing False Witness, he sets out on a tour de force by examining the history of Anti-Catholicism that has existed in world history. Stark dismisses one of the largest historical lies against the Church; the Crusades were the first example of unprovoked colonialism, which Thomas F. Madden in his work properly shows that the Crusades are to be more properly interpreted as a defense of Christendom. He challenges the atheist supposition that the Church plunged the world into the Dark Ages only to be brought out by Enlightenment thinkers who put their faith in empiricism. Stark, among other events, finally sets the record straight on what really happened during the Spanish Inquisition.[1]

Stark’s book doesn’t shy away from challenging some of the towering scholars of history; the mainstays in university bookstores. In Stark’s introduction, the first scholar he calls out is the university standout Edward Gibbon, who he calls “one of the very first distinguished bigots.”[2] Stark writes, “Edward Gibbon would surely have been in deep trouble had the bitterly anti-religious views he expressed in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire not been incorrectly seen as applying only to Roman Catholicism…Gibbon’s readers assumed his attacks were specific to Catholicism and not aimed at religion at all.”[3]

Stark reminds us that we will meet a great many of these “distinguished bigots” who many are in recent years “alienated Catholics, many of whom are seminary dropouts (one of my former college professors), former priests, or ex-nuns, such as John Cornwell, James Carroll, and Karen Armstrong.”[4]

In the first chapter, Stark dismisses what is likely the first incorrect recording of Catholic history that many secular scholars promote, which is that the Church is the originator of anti-Semitism in the world. The author explains how he fell very early in his career for this historical lie and even quotes his own book to prove it. He explains that as a graduate student that he was requested to research anti-Semitism which did show a link between American Christians prejudice against Jews. Stark explains that prior to Vatican II he was asked to prepare a brief on his findings.[5]

So how did we get to that point in the lie? It’s explained that the invention of the Church creating anti-Semitism rests on academic scholars who ignore that the fact that it existed in history prior to Christianity. Stark writes, “All of the scholars who believe that the Christians invented anti-Semitism know that deep hostility toward Jews existed long before the birth of Jesus.”[6] Stark goes to the primary Roman sources to prove this assertion. He quotes Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Cicero, and Tacitus who each had written remarks that possess strong discriminatory opinions against Jews.

Stark examines in his book a litany of examples of pagans discriminating Jews, the question that arises is why do modern historians ignore this? I would certainly assert that if any have stepped foot on a public college campus in the past ten years, the religious are not only a minority but an endangered species. In fact, I remember I made an effort to present my arguments for moral absolutism in the Enlightenment language of Locke, Burke, Rousseau et al. simply because if I mentioned either religion or God, I would have been laughed out of the room or even mocked. I am not even exaggerating this point.

So what do the Gospels say? Of course, Stark examines the Gospel of Matthew, which is written for Jews, which these irreligious scholars continue to cite over and over due to the language of Mt. 27:24-26. Stark asserts that these passages are explained out of context by the irreligious, which I remember when studying the Gospel of Matthew in theology class makes perfect sense. The Gospel was written for Jews who were concerned with not being loyal to Judaism by worshiping Christ. In this respect, one can see that the Gospel is calling them to progress from what happened in Jerusalem to faith in Christ. Of course, when the text is read by an audience that it is not intended for then the proper historicism and message are lost.

There are other passages in the entirety of the Bible and writings of Early Christians that are not interpreted with proper historicism by modern scholars. Stark reminds readers that in the year 100 A.D. there were only approximately 8,000 Christians and a century later only 200,000. In comparison to Jews during the period, which stood at 7 million, the goal of Christian writings during the period where to largely convert Jews to their religion.[7] Modern scholars apply modern prejudices to text written by 2nd  and 3rd century Christians attempting to convert Jews to their religion. Of course, if Christians were a minority to Jews during the period, isn’t it more likely that they were victims of discrimination from the majority? Doesn’t St. Paul admit this in Acts 22:4-5?:

I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, as the high priest and the whole council of elders bear me witness. From them I received letters to the brethren, and I journeyed to Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished.[8]

 I could go on about the evidence asserted by Rodney Stark; however, I suggest just buying his book to read his full account on this matter. Stark goes on to explain how in the middles ages the accounts of anti-Semitism by the Church have also been over-exaggerated, but to serve the purpose of this post; I wanted to illustrate how the origins of anti-Semitism did not originate from Christianity. It was unlikely due to it already existing in Pagan Rome, and Christians being a minority religion, and wanting to convert Jews to their religion wrote in the context of that sentiment.

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[1] Rodney Stark, Bearing False Witness (West Conshohocken: Templeton Press, 2016), 4.

[2] Ibid, 3.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid, 4.

[5] Ibid, 9.

[6] Ibid, 11.

[7] Ibid, 15.

[8] Acts 22: 4-5 RSV

Pope Francis the Relativist or the Merciful?

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Is Pope Francis a promoter of relativism? German author and journalist Alexander Kissler thinks this is the case. Kissler believes that Pope Francis harms the Church and explains that his encounter with him showed “The pontiff talkative, almost theologically ignorant and not fulfilling the responsibility of “his” Church.” He even predicts that the next Pope will find a “spiritually neglected church.”

Alexander Kissler refers to Pope Francis, due to his Amoris Laetitia, as the UN Secretary General with a pectoral cross! Kissler’s response was caused by some of Pope Francis’ remarks in La Croix interview on May 17th:

Pope Francis:

“We need to speak of roots in the plural because there are so many. In this sense, when I hear talk of the Christian roots of Europe, I sometimes dread the tone, which can seem triumphalist or even vengeful. It then takes on colonialist overtones. John Paul II, however, spoke about it in a tranquil manner.”

 I can see why some Catholics would be upset with this rather puzzling statement. It’s filled with words such as “colonialist” and “triumphalist.” Personally, if any have studied a little bit of liberation theology, it carries the tone of those controversial ideas. However, even more, controversial is Pope Francis’ statements on Islam compared to Christianity:

“ Today, I don’t think that there is a fear of Islam as such but of ISIS and its war of conquest, which is partly drawn from Islam. It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam. However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.”

I almost laugh at the way this thought has been formulated because it takes me back to some debates I use to have in a classroom with a young lady who was a proud postmodernist. I can almost close my eyes and see her say “It is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel…in terms of the same idea of conquest.” Of course, I would have simply replied, “Impossible.” I encourage anyone who gets into a conversation with a relativist to simply reply, “Impossible.” I doubt that it would put an end to the conversation, but you’ll enjoy the puzzled look on their face for thirty seconds.

By looking at these comments made by Pope Francis, I understand the sentiments of those who accuse him of relativism. My concern with Pope Francis is that I see him acting in public as a Populist, much like most of our politicians today. However, I have never been overly critical of Pope Francis, but the comments about the Gospel of Matthew and “possible to interpret” need to be rejected.

However, is this truly who Pope Francis is? There are those Catholics, and even Protestants, who think we shouldn’t dare criticize Pope Francis. I am of the mind that if something warrants criticism, we should feel free to do it. And these remarks do deserve to be critiqued. Notwithstanding, I am not one who looks for only blemishes on any particular person. So I ask does Pope Francis ever reject relativism and support Catholic doctrine?

Catholic News Agency reported on April 22, 2015, that Pope Francis defended marriage in a general audience saying that in the Genesis account, “man appears for a moment without woman, free and master, but he is alone, he feels alone…God himself recognizes that this reality is not good, that there is a lack of fullness and of communion, and because of this decided to create woman.”

Pope Francis, in the same general audience, defends the sanctity of marriage by criticizing modern media that doesn’t dignify women as they are selling the body. He explains that we need to renew a proper sense of marriage and refute a distrust and hostility towards marriage. Of course, all of what Pope Francis says is in accordance with Catholic Doctrine and Theology. He should be commended for defending the institution of marriage. I ask, “how are we to know Pope Francis says such things when the media pays no attention or Facebook Trending chooses not to trend this particular message?”

I am also not so critical of Pope Francis because of I have taken the time to read some of what he has written. I have not had the chance to read Amoris Laetitia, but I have read both Laudato Si and The Name of God is Mercy. I won’t spend much time on Laudato Si, but overall, it explains that God has called us to steward his creations and that all should strive to do so for the glory of God. In my view, there is nothing relative about this sentiment; it is in accordance with God’s commands.

In regards to The Name of God is Mercy, Pope Francis challenges Relativism by saying, “Relativism wounds people too: all things seem equal, all things appear the same. Humanity needs mercy and compassion. Pius XII more than half century ago, said that the tragedy of our age was that it had lost its sense of sin, the awareness of sin.”[1] Furthermore, on a personal note, reading Pope Francis book on Mercy has convinced me more to seek out the confessional booth. He writes about a woman, seeking confession, who told him one day that “The Lord forgives everything.” Pope Francis replied, “How do you know? The woman explained, “If the Lord didn’t forgive everything, our world would not exist.”[2] I will certainly assert that the woman speaks a truth that is far from relative.
The Gospel of Luke is often referred to as the Gospel of Forgiveness. It has several examples such as the forgiveness of the thief on the cross and the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Pope Francis reminds us of the older brother in the Parable of the Prodigal Son who speaks the truth about how he has served his Father all of these years, but his younger brother gets the celebration, Francis writes, “but he disqualifies himself.”[3] In this regard, we can bridge what St. Anselm speaks of in Chapters 8 through 11 of how God can be both merciful and impassible. If God couldn’t infinitely forgive then, none of us would be forgiven. In the end, we must teach against relativism, but we must be careful on how we focus on the truth. The truth is Christ, our bridge to the Father, and he explained to us the Kingdom of God is at hand, he told us to repent and sin no more. However, we must do what is necessary to allow people to accept this Gospel.

Does Pope Francis actually do this? Is his concern for more Pastoral methods nothing more than an open invitation to accept Christ? Tell me what you think about Pope Francis.

[1] Pope Francis, The Name of God is Mercy (New York: Random House, 2016), 16.

[2] Ibid, 25.

[3] Ibid, 45.

Stability is the Foundation of a Healthy Growing Culture

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If a country wants to have economic growth and jobs for its citizens then it must be able to provide stability and a safe environment for businesses to locate there and operate without shootings, bombings or threats. Such stability of a country or society is the very basis of what we call civility and that upon which civilizations depend.

Industrialized nations have one thing in common whether they are democratic or totalitarian in nature; it is the absence of lawlessness; except perhaps among their own elite class. But when it comes to business owners and production facilities or the day to day comings and goings of an ordinary family, this security is expected and usually ensures the relative safety of its inhabitants and the enterprises for which they work. Without it, there is chaos and instability and new jobs will not be created. Investments will not be made within a country in regards to infrastructure, utilities, employment or education unless that very basic need is met.

The first world countries have always had a lifeline out in the world for those who are fleeing oppression: and as long as these people can acclimate themselves to this new culture and convert their minds and hearts to their new culture they will be welcome and absorbed into the general population. If not, then they must be turned away or imprisoned unless we want to let a civil society return to a pre-civilized culture without safeguards; the result of which is a complete destabilization or enslavement of an entire society.

We should have great misgivings on anything that destabilizes a nation, stresses its resources beyond its means and ensures a transformation of society that the citizens did not want or desire. For the government was there to protect and care for its own and was not created to transform the people from a stable culture into one that is chaotic and unsuitable to live within.

The unrest in Europe today is coming and in many ways has already landed on the shores of the United States. We have unwittingly invited the Third World to our nations in unprecedented numbers without any idea of who these people are, what they believe in or what plans they have once their citizenship has been gained. In the meanwhile, both Europe and the U.S. is broke and is spending borrowed money in record amounts to house, clothe, feed and maintain these vast numbers of immigrants that have hit our shores. Many are receiving tuition, welfare and healthcare at the expense of an already declining workforce that is putting some money into the system for its maintenance. Unfortunately, the taxes these workers add to the coffers only partly covers the expenses and the rest is being paid for with IOU’s.

Instability and unrest is growing. We are seeing demonstrations which have turned violent grow in number and intensity on our streets and this is simply the beginning of what we will not be able to cope with adequately with our present security measures. When that occurs in history, one of two things usually follows; either a takeover by a coup or a breakup of a nation into smaller nations. Both are responses that people make when faced with the choices of stability and relative safety versus the alternative; instability and constant danger.

Has Europe already reached the point of no return? It may very well be. For even if the levels of immigrants they have at present were to remain stable by ending further immigration, estimates are already showing that within a few decades the immigrant populations will exceed the native European populations due to birthrates alone. The U.S. seems to know and not care that this same scenario is beginning to play out on our shores.

I don’t have a crystal ball but if I were to take a guess, the future is looking rather grim for both Western Europe and the U.S.  I fully expect further bloodshed, unrest, loss of industry and financial resources that provide for security, education or welfare; not to mention jobs for working families. But then there is always a hope that Christ is sleeping in the bow of the boat and is only waiting for us to awaken Him so that He might calm the seas and tell us what we already know; that we are a people of little faith . . . or about as smart as a bag of hammers.

An examination of conscience we can all understand

Confessional, Church, Furniture Pieces, Catholic ChurchFar it be for me to always understand the ways of God. Many days I feel trapped in a spiritual prison without bars, where my solitary confinement has been preceded by my falling away from the face of Jesus. This usually occurs for me when I cannot see things through the eyes of Christ, I have a human let-down, an expectation that God did not grant, words from the Lord that meant something different than I anticipated. And in those times, even through my daily scripture reading, my fervent prayer of the rosary and echoes of Gregorian chant I sometimes drift further away, until it is time for God to get my attention.

In sifting through the book of Leviticus, particularly Chapter 14, a treacherous and muddy book to trek through, I discovered gold. It was in fact an early look at examination of conscience for me, an infection of soul that God had given me in order that I may let Him in to clean my spiritual house. I gasped as the words on the page tiptoed silently around the confines of my heart. I realized I was afraid. I was afraid to let God point out my shortcomings, my pride and my greater desire to do my will then His. He had to infect my soul in order  for me to realize that I had a problem. I had to allow Him in, and accept the trial He had given me. The house must then be cleared out before the priest goes in to examine the infection. I realized the following principles I needed to follow in order for my soul to be quarantined and freed.

That the infection was in fact bad, and went deeper than just the surface, and I had to remain isolated and away from all else but Christ for 7 days.

That I must begin clearing out this infection . (There are various levels to the infection, some running deep within the walls of our souls.) In those cases, we have to remove ourselves, isolate in prayer and closeness and communion with God until we feel we have completed that time as the Holy Spirit leads us.

If the infection of soul has come back, Jesus will come to clean us, if we ask Him. But we must recognize our infection of soul and repent, lest our whole house come down.

It was a needed awakening to the state of my soul, a cleansing, an “it’s ok come back to me” panting that my soul had been searching for. For if we do not recognize the sin or mire that we are in, if we don’t let God in, if we go at it alone, He will find a way to get our attention.

Lord Jesus,

Help me to recognize my infection as I bring it to you. Help me to clear my house. Help me to quarantine myself to be with you until our time together is complete, until I have recognized my uncleanness and have been cleaned by you. Help me to examine my conscience in this way as to not have my house be brought down. Show me what to pray and how to pray. Cleanse me thoroughly so that I may be worthy of entering the plan which you have for me. Show me the error of my ways. Show me exactly what you want me to do while we spend these 7 days together, or the number of days which make this process complete.

In your name I pray,

Amen

The Secret of Fatima?

Pope_smoke

In the Latin Community, we have a few writers and readers who read the blog 1P5: OnePeterfive and it appears that this particular blog has stirred up a bit of a hornets nest from a post that was posted one May 15, 2015, by Dr. Maike Hickson. The whole entire story from the Fatima revelation itself to the vague Vatican press release from Father Benedict is shrouded in the mystery of prophecy and secrecy. By allowing one’s imagination to run wild, it was too hard to resist commenting on a story that produces images of Cardinals scurrying throughout the Vatican in cloaks and with daggers.

The post, “Cardinal Ratzinger: We Have Not Published the Whole Third Secret of Fatima,” that appears to have generated a bit of controversy was on the topic of the full revelation of the Third Fatima Prophecy. The post begins with explaining that the evidence given by a frail and old man by the name of Fr. Ingo Dollinger—a personal friend of Pope Benedict XVI. Fr. Dollinger is described by the post to be a frail and old man who may be heading closer to death and needed to get something off of his chest and clear his conscience before he stands before God. 1P5 claims that Fr. Dollinger “unexpectedly confirmed” that he had been told by Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Ratzinger, what had already been rumored for years in Catholic circles that not all of the Third Fatima prophecy had been published in 2000.

Admittedly, when I first read this post several days ago, I emailed Servus about it and told him I felt sick to my stomach by this confession. It’s actually really easy to believe that a dying old man is confessing a long lost truth. Furthermore, coupled with the fact that when most people  heard the revelation of the Third Fatima prophesy it was almost a collective response of “that’s it?”

The blog’s author, Dr. Maike Hickson, speculates from Fr. Dollinger’s revelation that the last part revealed by Fr. Dollinger that there would be a “bad council and a bad Mass,” and that this may be why Father Benedict promoted a renewal for the Tridentine Mass. However, although it is a compelling cause and effect, I am not entirely convinced that Pope John Paul II would have idly sat on such information without action. Of course, at this part of the blog post we get a bit of “love affair” for excommunicate Marcel Lefebvre, which within the context of this story, simply had nothing to do with the post.

Although, strangely, after 1P5 had posted their article and other sites reported their story. The Vatican issued a short press release saying:

Communiqué: on various articles regarding the “Third Secret of Fatima.”

“Several articles have appeared recently, including declarations attributed to Professor Ingo Dollinger according to which Cardinal Ratzinger, after the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima (which took place in June 2000), had confided to him that the publication was not complete.

In this regard, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI declares “never to have spoken with Professor Dollinger about Fatima”, clearly affirming that the remarks attributed to Professor Dollinger on the matter “are pure inventions, absolutely untrue”, and he confirms decisively that “the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima is complete”.

The press release is interesting for a few reasons. First off, why address this particular post that has generated other websites also to write on the topic? I remember as a child my parents use to tell me that if something wasn’t true just ignore it, and it would go away. Most of the speculation and intrigue that is written about the Vatican is often ignored so why pull the thread on this particular issue? Isn’t writing a response on the topic giving it validity? One could surmise that Fr. Dollinger is a credible enough source that there were those within the Vatican that felt the need to address such a claim. There is also the matter of the press release itself; I have read several books written by Pope Benedict XVI, and I feel a vague press release would not be his touch, one must ask did Pope Benedict XVI actually articulate the message?

1P5 explains that this message would seem to contradict a previous message of Father Benedict when explained in 2010 that “We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete.”

Even more intrigue on this whole matter is that two days later as reported by Catholic News Agency is that Father Benedict will be making a rare public appearance on June 29 on the anniversary of his ordination. Is this announcement significant in any way with relations to the reports on the third Fatima prophesy? http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/a-new-public-appearance-by-benedict-xvi-maybe-so-his-secretary-reveals-71396/

I am afraid that as always, we will be left with much speculation.