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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ash Wednesday

Our Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday. This year, it's seems rather early beginning on February 6th, but that is how it falls this year. Lent is a time of repentance. It marks the 40 days prior to Easter excluding Sundays and is symbolic of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert.
"'For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sinning'. By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert." (CCC 540).
It's also a time to search our character and meditate on Christ in our lives. A time to ask forgiveness of God for our sins and to truly turn from the things that lead us into sin. A time to give forgiveness to others if we are harboring bitterness or resentment against another. How can we go to God asking Him to forgive our transgressions against Him if we are refusing to forgive someone who's sinned against us? Lent isn't for hypocrites.
What would the point be in fasting, abstaining and asking God to forgive your sins while you withhold forgiveness from someone? A bit like telling God, you know you deserve to be forgiven but that guy over there isn't worthy until you yourself decide when he is worthy enough to be forgiven. It doesn't work that way. If you are going to ask God for forgiveness and truly repent, you need to first forgive those who have sinned against you so that your Father in Heaven will forgive you of your sins. What do you gain by holding bitterness and anger at someone? Nothing. What do you gain by forgiving others? Your own forgiveness from God.
Mk. 11:24-25 "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
Luke 17:4 "If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him."

So when you go to mass on Ash Wednesday and receive the sign of the cross in ashes on your forehead, don't do it as a hypocrite. Do it as a truly repentant sinner asking God to forgive you as you have forgiven others.
Our Father, Who art in heaven Hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Unknown Souls...

From GodTube:

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Rest In Peace Heath Ledger

Most of us have heard about the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. This is the "church" (and I use that word reluctantly) that protests U.S. soldiers funerals, homosexuals and holds signs telling others who they think God hates. This "church" that was founded by Fred Phelps is now planning to protest the actor Heath Ledger's funeral because he once played a gay man in a movie. Shirley Phelps-Roper the daughter of Fred Phelps, has taken issue with the deceased Mr. Ledger because he played an acting role she didn't approve of. For this, the actor's mourning friends and family will have to suffer if the Phelps group can find out where the funeral is to be held. So far, the funeral plans have been kept private as the family wishes. I hope it remains so.
No one and I mean no one, should have to deal with protesting at a funeral. A funeral is a time of mourning and loss and suffering for those grieving the deceased loved one. It's a time of prayer and a time worshiping God while saying goodbye to a loved one.
I find it highly despicable and vile that a group that calls themselves "Christians" would lower themselves to such a vile and disrespectful act as protesting a funeral. If these people truly wished to portray Christianity they should pray for the deceased and those mourning him. Common decency and compassion for a suffering human being is what is needed. Apparently these protesters lack these basic human qualities. I think we all need to pray for the members of the Westboro Baptist Church. And pray that they are unable to protest any more funerals in the future. May Heath Ledger rest in peace and may he be mourned and buried in peace.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hate Speech Protest at ESPN Offices

On Friday, January 25, at noon the Christian Defense Coalition plans a prayer vigil and protest outside the ESPN Headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. This is in response to ESPN's anchorwoman Ms. Dana Jacobson's profanity and hate speech in which she said: "F--- Jesus", "F--- Notre Dame" and "F--- touch down Jesus" at a celebrity roast in Atlantic City, NJ recently.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney is the Director of the Christian Defense Coalition and he believes that a weeks suspension is not enough from ESPN. He believes ESPN needs to immediately release Ms. Jacobson from her position in the same way ABC released Isaiah Washington when he used an offensive word publicly against a cast member.

I believe hate speech is hate speech and should not be tolerated or accepted from anyone. Why is it that hate speech against Christianity is often over looked? Hate speech is hurtful and degrading to everyone. It needs to end.

Proverbs 11:9 "With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape."

Proverbs 8:13 "To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech."
For more information: call Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney at 202-547-1735

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How I Came Home to Rome: My Conversion Story

My parents were both raised as Christians but in different churches. My Father, a Roman Catholic and my Mother, a Baptist. They were married in the Catholic Church in the 1960's. As a child, I attended Saturday evening mass with my Father’s family and on Sunday mornings I attended Sunday school and Baptist services with my Mother’s family. This gave me an interesting childhood knowing such different Christian churches and their ways of worshiping the same God. I was officially raised Baptist, but still attended mass with my paternal grandparents.

One of my earliest memories is attending Catholic churches with my paternal grandparents. This is when I felt ‘holy ground’. That is the only way I can explain it even today. I could walk into a dozen different Protestant churches and sometimes admire their beauty and enjoy the music and sermons, but never feeling the holiness I did in a Catholic Church. 

Whenever I stepped over the threshold of a Catholic Church I FELT the holiness. It was tangible to me. It embraced me and gave me incredible peace while filling me with wonder and awe. As a child I had no idea why that happened only in the Catholic Church, I just knew what I felt was real. As an adult, I now know it was Jesus in the Eucharist. Found only in the Holy Catholic Church.

As a child I often found myself divided. I had one set of grandparents who followed sola scriptura and another who rejected it. My maternal grandmother shared all the wonderful stories of the bible with me. She lovingly would repeat them as often, as I would ask “Tell me again about Moses Grandma!” or "Jesus walking on water". I dearly loved listening to her tell me all the stories of the bible and how much Jesus loved me and how special children are to Jesus. It was because of her that I fell in love with the scriptures and pursued endless bible studies and discussion groups over the years to help quench my thirst for the scriptures. Now I can look back and know that my maternal Baptist grandmother unknowingly at the time, ultimately helped me become Catholic because of those moments. 

My paternal grandparents introduced me to Tradition. Something completely foreign to my maternal side of the family. I learned that we could talk to angels and saints! That we were all part of God’s Family. I learned about holy water and to cross myself, not only in church but also when we drove by a Catholic Church or cemetery. I often played with my great grandmothers rosary beads, not knowing how to pray them, but knowing what they were for. 

When I’d go to my Baptist church I had to remember not to cross myself as it wasn’t their way. And when I went to the Catholic Church I had to remember to cross myself, kneel and the subtle differences in how we said the Lord’s Prayer. I think I was the only Baptist child who wanted to grow up to be a Catholic nun!

Years went by, as I grew into adulthood as a Baptist. The more I read the scriptures the more questions I had about my faith. Some things just didn’t add up. If we were “sola scriptura” and the bible says there is church authority and bishops then where were the Baptist bishops and that authority? The authority we had, was baptized members voting and majority rules. That hardly was “sola scriptura”. There were assorted other things that I could find no good answers for either. It was like fitting square pegs into round holes. If you beat it, you could force it to fit, but you knew it wasn’t right. It wasn’t intended that way.

I had married a non-practicing Catholic and several years into our marriage he decided he wanted out. He left me with two children, a house and a mountain of debt. During all this, God and I had many one on one sessions with me asking “Why God?” and “What do you want me to do now?”. A few years after the divorce I was still not getting the answers I desired in my Baptist church. I had been an avid 700 Club watcher for years. I enjoyed hearing how God worked in peoples lives and the praying they did on television but I found I was disagreeing with their theology a bit more each year. In my frustration, I began to pray to God for two things and I repeated this prayer over and over again for months. I asked God to “Please show me the truth and give me the wisdom to know it. And that if He would do that I would following him anywhere no matter the cost”

It wasn’t long before I knew God had heard my prayer and was answering me in assorted ways. One way was the Catholic cable channel “Eternal Word Television Network” (EWTN). I began tuning in to see what Catholics really believe and why. I fell in love with Mother Angelica and Father Corapi immediately. Those two people had a great impact on my faith journey. They taught me so much about being a Catholic Christian and what the Church was all about. 

During this time, I was reading as many Catholic books as I could and I was also discussing Christianity online. There was more debating and arguing going on than discussions most days, but this was a tool God used to teach me. I met some wonderful people online, particularly Catholics who were eager to share their Faith with me. People who took time out of their lives to pray for me and my children. People who took time to answer my questions and send me information to help me find the answers to all the questions I had. One of these people has become a very dear and close friend of mine and I can’t imagine not knowing her. What a blessing she is!

In the year 2005, God began to give me dreams. I began to dream strange vivid dreams. One dream had me searching a city for a church in the rain and dark of night. I was crying and seeking with desperation a church. I found it. It had a large statue of the Pieta in front of it and I stood there in the rain staring at that imagine and crying harder. I felt the desperation rising in me and had to find a priest and talk to him right away. I entered the church and found a priest in a glass cubical. I wanted to talk to him and tell him I needed to confess to him, but he couldn’t hear me thru the glass. The dream ended but I had the same exact dream over and over again. I am no dream interpreter, but I now believe it was God calling me to the Catholic Church but showing me unless I became Catholic, the sacraments were not to be given to me.

Another thing God began to do was put saints in my life. It was so strange, when something was occurring in my life or I had something I couldn’t understand I would often come across a saint in someway. A saint card would fall out of a public library book I was reading- even when the book wasn't Catholic! Or there was a special program on television about that saint and some part of that saint's life reflected what I needed answered. Or I’d open a book to see a saint mentioned- this happened in cookbooks of all places! These things happened quite often and always about the exact saint or issue going on in my life at that time. It was really amazing.

Still, I wasn’t sure yet if I believed all the Catholic Church taught. One of those hang ups was praying to the saints. How could they hear us? Wasn’t that something only God could do? I listened to Catholic friends explain it to me. I watched more EWTN (several hours a day by this point) and I even wrote in to television shows like Marcus Grodi’s “Journey Home” and listened to him and his guests answer my questions on the air. 

I continued to pray to God asking Him to “Show me the truth and give me the wisdom I needed” and promising God that if He did that I would follow Him anywhere. If He led me into the Catholic Church, I knew there would be a sacrifice. I knew it would hurt my maternal family who would not understand after worshiping with me for more than 30 years and attending bible groups with me. I knew it might break my Mother’s heart to not have me and my children sitting beside her each Sunday morning as I had my whole life from the time I was born. I knew I’d miss her presence with me during worship if I converted. I had to be sure.

The final hurdle for me came in the spring of 2006. Around Easter time, my paternal grandmother was cleaning out some things she had in storage. She found my great-grandmothers rosary beads and missal and gifted me with them. I wasn’t sure about the rosary, but I wanted it because I knew it belonged to my great grandmother. A few months later I was watching EWTN and Mother Angelica and her nun’s came on to pray the rosary. Now I had seen this before but had only watched as a curious observer. 

This night, when they began to pray I grabbed my great grandmother’s rosary, dropped to my knees in overwhelming emotion, humbleness and thru streaming tears, said the rosary with Mother Angelica for the first time in my life. That night everything changed for me. 

I finally knew without a doubt that God had answered my prayers and led me straight to His Holy Catholic Church and now it was my turn to make a choice. Was I going to keep my word to God about following Him where ever He led me at the sacrifice of my maternal family or would I remain where I was knowing the Truth, but not acting on it? 

I knew that I had to follow God and He would take care of the rest. I put my complete trust in Him and never looked back. 

Mary had lovingly taken my hand and guided me on that final step over my last hurdle. I went to my local Catholic parish, met with the priest and signed up for RCIA. Several months later, my two daughters were baptized and entered the Catholic Church with me at the Easter Vigil Mass in 2007. 

I had asked God to lead me and promised to follow Him. 

He kept His promise and I kept mine to Him. 

Father Corapi's Conversion Story


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Abortion Stops Beating Hearts

What does it mean for a person to be "Pro-choice"? To be "pro-choice" means you support the legal right to kill pre-born human beings. That's it. Being Pro-life means you support the right of all human beings to be born as God intended them to be. From natural conception to natural death. Now some "pro-choice" people have put themselves in differing categories. There are the pro-choicers who believe in absolutely no restrictions to abortions. That is a girl any age can abort her child at any point during the pregnancy as it's "her body to do with as she pleases" and no one can stop her and her parents have no rights to know their own child has undergone surgery or taken pills to induce an abortion. I believe this is a small part of the pro-choice movement. Other's say abortion should be legal if the parents cannot afford the child or the timing interferes with their careers and lifestyles. Another group of pro-choicers believe that it's only OK to kill the preborn if they are deformed or disabled in any way, not perfect.
Sound like eugenics? What is eugenics? According to the American Heritage Dictionary, it is "The study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding." Sound a bit like Adolph Hitler? Planned Parenthood's cofounder Margaret Sanger (who took over for Mary Ware Dennett who founded The National Birth Control League) dreamed of a pure human race in America. Actually she did more than just dream of a pure human race, she worked hard to see that those she considered without value (namely African Americans, those born to poor parents and those with disabilities) would not be born. Sanger's plan was two fold, she wanted those she decreed "undesirable" to be aborted and to prevent any possibility of further such humans, she wanted the parents to be made sterile.
Sanger and Hitler had much in common with their eugenic theology, though Sanger drew the line at gassing the already born "unfit" as she called them.
In 1926, Sanger said: "It now remains for the U.S. government to set a sensible example to the world by offering a bonus or yearly pension to all obviously unfit parents who allow themselves to be sterilized by harmless and scientific means. In this way the moron and the diseased would have no posterity to inherit their unhappy condition. The number of the feeble-minded would decrease and a heavy burden would be lifted from the shoulders of the fit."
As some point out, it's not legally "murder" by our current laws, but by the definition of 'murder: to take an innocent life' it is murder. And of course to God it's murder. He knows us in the womb from the moment of our conception and if a "mother" pays someone to kill children in the womb God isn't fooled into believing that is anything but murder with a price tag. That's what abortion is. Paying someone to kill the child in the womb to make sure that human being never knows life outside the womb. Are my words harsh? Yes. I know it, but abortion is a cold hard calculated industry. Let's call it what it is and not sugar coat it so it's easier for us to live with. Abortion stops a beating heart. Period.
Even Margaret Sanger admitted that pre-born human's were alive and that abortion was murdering them. She never denied it, and though she supported birth control first and foremost, she also advocated it was a woman's right to do what she wanted with her own body-including killing another human being. In 1916 Sanger wrote: "no one can doubt that there are times when an abortion is justifiable,". She also said: "To each group we explained what contraception was; that abortion was the wrong way—no matter how early it was performed it was taking life; that contraception was the better way, the safer way—it took a little time, a little trouble, but was well worth while in the long run, because life had not yet begun."
Today's Pro-choicers don't like to admit that abortion is "taking life" as Ms. Sanger admits. Instead they have come up with new propaganda so the squeamish won't feel so bad about supporting the Pro-choice movement. They have decided it's not a true human being until it's "viable". Well, just what is it then before it becomes "viable"? If it's not a baby, then women are not really pregnant! When a woman is pregnant there is no doubt she is pregnant WITH A CHILD. Hence the term "with child" for pregnancy. At the moment of conception, that child IS a human being. It's in the earliest form, but still a human being. The American Heritage Stedman's Dictionary describes "viable" as: "Capable of living, developing, or germinating under favorable conditions." Well, almost all pregnancies fall under that category, regardless of what trimester the pregnancy is in. Human beings need different things at different stages in their lives and development. To decide that one stage of a human life is an acceptable stage to kill a human being is wrong. Whether it be abortion for the pre-born or euthanasia for the elderly and disabled. It's just wrong and even Sanger publicly admitted it was wrong. People who are pro-choice are supporting the legal right to wrongly take an innocent human life. That's murder, whether legalized by our current laws or not, it's still murder.
What choice does God tell us to make? Let's see what God says in scripture:“... I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” —Deuteronomy 30:19

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ex-Bishop Daniel A. Hart Dies

Daniel A. Hart, 80, the ex-Bishop of Norwich CT, has died. He died Monday at St. Joseph Living Center, Windham, CT, after suffering a 6 month illness. He was a priest for over 50 years and the Bishop of Norwich, CT from 1995 to 2003. A memorial Mass will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday. His funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. on Friday at the cathedral.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Exposing Anti-Catholic Lies

Have you ever encountered anti-Catholicism? I don't mean people who in their innocent ignorance of the Catholic faith say something false. I mean a person who holds true hatred for the Catholic faith and Church. A person who deliberately and boldly spreads lies about the Catholic faith. If you've ever heard of Loraine Boettner you've met such a person. The now deceased Mr. Boettner is the author of a book called "Roman Catholicism". In this book Mr. Boettner boldly lies, falsifies documents and does his best to slander the Catholic Church, the Catholic faith and groups of Catholic people. It is my intention to expose Mr. Boettner's lies one by one, from cover to cover of his book. In the second chapter of Boettner's book "Roman Catholicism", entitled "The Church", Mr. Boettner claims he is quoting the Catholic document "Syllabus of Errors". In fact, Mr. Boettner is falsifying documents to fit his warped views of the Catholic faith and spread his anti-Catholic propaganda. Below I will directly quote Boettner's book quotes, then quote the actual document clearly showing what Boettner has added and excluded to fit his agenda. There is not a more fitting term for what he's done than to say 'it's all a bold faced lie', and I will prove this now.

Boettner's quotes of the Syllabus of Errors verses the actual quotes of the Syllabus of Errors.

Boettner's #15: "No man is free to embrace and profess that religion which he believes to be true, guided by the light of reason."
Syllabus #15 actually says: Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true. -- Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862; Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.

Boettner's #17: "The eternal salvation of any out of the true church of Christ is not even to be hoped for."
Syllabus #17 actually says: Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. -- Encyclical "Quanto conficiamur," Aug. 10, 1863, etc.

Boettner's #18: "Protestantism is not another and diversified form of the one true Christian religion in which it is possible to please God equally as in the Catholic Church."
Syllabus #18 actually says: Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church. -- Encyclical "Noscitis," Dec. 8, 1849.

Boettner's #21: "The Church has power to define dogmatically the religion of the Catholic Church to be the only true religion."
Syllabus #21 actually says: The Church has not the power of defining dogmatically that the religion of the Catholic Church is the only true religion. -- Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.

Boettner's #24: "The Church has the power of employing force and (of exercising) direct and indirect temporal power."
Syllabus #24 actually says: The Church has not the power of using force, nor has she any temporal power, direct or indirect. -- Apostolic Letter "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851.

Boettner's #37: "No national Church can be instituted in a state of division and separation from the authority of the Roman Pontiff."
Syllabus #37 actually says: National churches, withdrawn from the authority of the Roman pontiff and altogether separated, can be established. -- Allocution "Multis gravibusque," Dec. 17, 1860.

Boettner's #42: "In legal conflict between Powers (Civil and Ecclesiastical) the Ecclesiastical Law prevails."
Syllabus #42 actually says: In the case of conflicting laws enacted by the two powers, the civil law prevails. -- Ibid.

Boettner's #45: "The direction of Public Schools in which the youth of Christian states are brought up... neither can nor ought to be assumed by the Civil Authority alone."
Syllabus #45 actually says: The entire government of public schools in which the youth- of a Christian State is educated, except (to a certain extent) in the case of episcopal seminaries, may and ought to appertain to the civil power, and belong to it so far that no other authority whatsoever shall be recognized as having any right to interfere in the discipline of the schools, the arrangement of the studies, the conferring of degrees, in the choice or approval of the teachers. -- Allocutions "Quibus luctuosissimis," Sept. 5, 1851, and "In consistoriali," Nov. 1, 1850.

Boettner's #48: "Catholics cannot approve of a system of education for youth apart from the Catholic faith, and disjoined from the authority of the Church."
Syllabus #48 actually says: Catholics may approve of the system of educating youth unconnected with Catholic faith and the power of the Church, and which regards the knowledge of merely natural things, and only, or at least primarily, the ends of earthly social life. -- Ibid.

Boettner's #54: "Kings and Princes [including, of course, Presidents, Prime Ministers, etc.] are not only not exempt from the jurisdiction of the Church, but are subordinate to the Church in litigated questions of jurisdiction."
Syllabus #54 actually says: Kings and princes are not only exempt from the jurisdiction of the Church, but are superior to the Church in deciding questions of jurisdiction. -- Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.

Boettner's #55: "The Church ought to be in union with the State, and the State with the Church."
Syllabus #55 actually says: The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church. -- Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.

Boettner's #57: "Philosophical principles, moral science, and civil laws may and must be made to bend to Divine and Ecclesiastical authority."
Syllabus #57 actually says: The science of philosophical things and morals and also civil laws may and ought to keep aloof from divine and ecclesiastical authority. -- Ibid.

Boettner's #63: "Subjects may not refuse obedience to legitimate princes, much less rise in insurrection against them."
Syllabus #63 actually says: It is lawful to refuse obedience to legitimate princes, and even to rebel against them. -- Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1864; Allocution "Quibusque vestrum," Oct. 4, 1847; "Noscitis et Nobiscum," Dec. 8, 1849; Apostolic Letter "Cum Catholica."

Boettner's #67: "The marriage tie is indissoluble by the law of nature; divorce, properly so called, cannot in any case be pronounced by the civil authority."
Syllabus #67 actually says: By the law of nature, the marriage tie is not indissoluble, and in many cases divorce properly so called may be decreed by the civil authority. -- Ibid.; Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.

Boettner's #73: "Marriage among Christians cannot be constituted by any civil contract; the marriage-contract among Christians must always be a sacrament; and the contract is null if the sacrament does not exist."
Syllabus #73 actually says: In force of a merely civil contract there may exist between Christians a real marriage, and it is false to say either that the marriage contract between Christians is always a sacrament, or that there is no contract if the sacrament be excluded. -- Ibid.; Letter to the King of Sardinia, Sept. 9, 1852; Allocutions "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852, "Multis gravibusque," Dec. 17, 1860.

Boettner's #77: "It is necessary even in the present day that the Catholic religion shall be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship."
Syllabus #77 actually says: In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship. -- Allocution "Nemo vestrum," July 26, 1855.

Boettner's #78: "Whence it has been unwisely provided by law, in some countries called Catholic, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the free exercise of their religion."
Syllabus #78 actually says: Hence it has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship. -- Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.

Boettner's #80: "The Roman Pontiff cannot and ought not to reconcile himself to, or agree with, Progress, Liberalism, and Modern Civilization."
Syllabus #80 actually says: The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization.- -Allocution "Jamdudum cernimus," March 18, 1861.

This concludes Mr. Boettner's so called "quotes" of the Catholic document entitled "Syllabus of Errors". Clearly it can be seen the deliberate altering of what is actually stated to what Mr. Boettner wishes his readers to believe about the Catholic Church and it's faith. In his blind desire to slander the Catholic Church and spread his propaganda Mr. Boettner proves he is not beneath boldly lying or falsifying documents to suite his slanderous needs. These lies (and his others) have spread for years poisoning people to the truth of the Catholic Church. He has deliberately taught erroneous beliefs and teachings to further his hatred of all things Catholic. He succeeds only if no one exposes him and his lies. I don't wish to let that happen anymore.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Your church- it's really a CULT

someone writes: Your church--it's really a CULT--was founded by the last pagan Pontiff and the first "Christian" (yeah, right!) Pontiff, Constantine in 312 AD.

My response: My Church, the Holy Catholic Church is not a "cult" and it was not founded by a pagan Pontiff Constantine in 312 AD. The Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ and the record of this can be found in scripture when Jesus changed Simon's name to Peter (meaning "rock") and told him he was going to build a church on him the 'rock'. This is the significance of Jesus changing Simon's name to "Peter" [rock]. To mark his position.
Matt.16:17-19 "Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter [rock], and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
There are a few significant words used here, first as noted is Simon's name changed to Peter [Rock]. The second is Christ telling Simon Peter that he is going to create a church on Peter the rock. And third, Jesus handing the "keys" to Peter. Keys show an authoritative position held and Jesus giving the keys to Simon Peter clearly show him as set apart from the other disciples. Finally, Jesus gives Simon Peter the power and authority to "bind and loose" on earth and in heaven. In the last chapter of John, Jesus singles Peter out again from all the other disciples and reinforces the place of authority he has placed him in (John 21:15-19).
Early Christian writings clearly document that the Catholic Church existed long before Constantine was a twinkle in his mother's eye. Here are a few for you to consider and please note the dates and words used like "Catholic" and "Eucharist" which identify that the Early Church was the Catholic Church as it is even today, because Christ said 'the gates of Hades will not overcome it'. And so the Catholic Church has existed and grown since Jesus founded her on the 'rock' in the scriptures.

Ignatius of Antioch
"Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop or by one whom he ordains [i.e., a presbyter]. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church" (Letter to the Smyrneans 8:2 [A.D. 110]).

The Martyrdom of Polycarp"And of the elect, he was one indeed, the wonderful martyr Polycarp, who in our days was an apostolic and prophetic teacher, bishop of the Catholic Church in Smyrna. For every word which came forth from his mouth was fulfilled and will be fulfilled" (Martyrdom of Polycarp 16:2 [A.D. 155]).

The Muratorian Canon"Besides these [letters of Paul] there is one to Philemon, and one to Titus, and two to Timothy, in affection and love, but nevertheless regarded as holy in the Catholic Church, in the ordering of churchly discipline. There is also one [letter] to the Laodiceans and another to the Alexandrians, forged under the name of Paul, in regard to the heresy of Marcion, and there are several others which cannot be received by the Church, for it is not suitable that gall be mixed with honey. The epistle of Jude, indeed, and the two ascribed to John are received by the Catholic Church (Muratorian fragment [A.D. 177]).

Tertullian"Where was [the heretic] Marcion, that shipmaster of Pontus, the zealous student of Stoicism? Where was Valentinus, the disciple of Platonism? For it is evident that those men lived not so long ago—in the reign of Antonius for the most part—and that they at first were believers in the doctrine of the Catholic Church, in the church of Rome under the episcopate of the blessed Eleutherius, until on account of their ever restless curiosity, with which they even infected the brethren, they were more than once expelled" (Demurrer Against the Heretics 30 [A.D. 200]).

And Constantine was never "pontiff" of the Catholic Church. He converted to the Catholic faith on his death bed and soon died afterwards. I hope this has dispelled your previously held misconceptions of the origin of the Catholic Church and Constantine's relationship to the Catholic Church.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Why Am I Catholic?

This is not my video, it comes from:

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What's so bad about Harry Potter?

Goodness the final book (if Rowling doesn't change her mind) has been out for months and the suspense is over yet the controversy continues over "the boy who lived". As a parent, I feel it's my responsibility to pre-read any books that may be questionable before allowing my children to read them. When Harry Potter first came on the scene my children were too young to read so Mr. Potter wasn't an issue I had to deal with for a few years. During that time I have read reports of the Potter series book burnings, banning from schools and all sorts of declarations that reading such books will harm children and turn them to the occult. There have been statements by clergy from all different churches about the Harry Potter books, most against it. Does anyone truly fear children will reject the Gospel Message in favor of wands and flying broomsticks? I can't help but wonder if anyone felt this way when "The Wizard of Oz" or "Alice in Wonderland" were first released? I mean, there are all sorts of magical events in Wonderland and Oz, not to mention drinking mysterious magic potions to alter Alice's body, asking a Wizard for help, evil witches verses good witches. What's so alarmingly different about Harry Potter? I needed to find out.
When my oldest child neared the third grade and I knew around that age kids began to read the books for themselves, I figured it was high time I learned what all the hoopla over Harry was about. I just hoped I wouldn't be bored to tears while having to read the entire series before giving it my stamp of approval or banning it from our acceptable books reading list (not that I have such a list written down anywhere). So off I go and purchase the first four books in the series and sit down with a cup of hot tea to read. It didn't take long for my tea to grow cold as I became very engrossed in the world of Harry Potter. Rowling is a talented story teller and the character of Harry Potter is a delight. He brings forth assorted emotions; you feel sorry for any child growing up as he did, so horribly treated, yet you admire him because he's a good kid and kindhearted even though all he's known is misery and poor treatment. You laugh with him and cry for him. You cheer him on and stand by him in his defeats. You can't help but like Harry Potter.
The occult? No more occult in Harry Potter than the Wizard of Oz in my opinion. My only concern with the story was that it was a murder plot. A who-would-kill-who first storyline. Would Harry Potter kill the evil Voldemort or would Voldemort kill Harry Potter (and numerous others along the way). Some kids might find this upsetting and I knew my kids weren't ready yet for the murder plot. It's a scary thing for a child to read a book that's storyline is someone is out to kill the main character who happens to be a little boy and will stop at nothing to do it! That's the stuff nightmares are made of.
So while I enjoyed the series as I do like mystery books, I held off on letting my kids read it till the summer before my oldest entered the 5th grade. That summer she devoured the books and couldn't wait till the last book was released this past summer. We even went to our local library for their midnight Harry Potter Party and we were the first people to purchase the final Harry Potter book in our town. I couldn't wait to begin reading, but I didn't want it to end either as I have enjoyed getting to know Mr. Potter and his loyal friends over the years.
Looking back at the entire series what stands out is a little boy who has a tragic start to life, yet triumphed over evil and made some remarkable caring, loving and steadfast friends along the way. He made his mistakes but they never caused him to turn from his path of defeating evil and protecting those he loved. He willingly gave his life to save the life of his friends. Now this part is a bit mysterious as Harry seemed to 'die' and talk to the already dead Dumbledore, then Harry "came back". The point is, he had a choice to lay down his life for his friends and he decided to do just that because he loved his friends so much. Out of love for others he made the choice to sacrifice his own life so that they could live. What greater love is there?
The book wasn't about magic or the occult, the book was about love and friendship and over coming hardships and tragedy. Just like the Wizard of Oz wasn't about magic or the occult, but love, family and appreciating our gifts that we have. I think what most kids will be able to take away from these books is how important it is to do "good" and not be tempted by evil, the value of friendships and to appreciate their family, friends and other blessings God has given them. Harry didn't start off with much, but his blessings grew along the way. And what does the bible say about the willingness to put your life on the line for another? John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

Monday, January 7, 2008

What About the Suffering of Mary?

We Christians, regardless of which church or denomination we belong to, we're familiar with the scriptures depiction of the suffering of Christ for our salvation. And if reading about his suffering didn't give us a visual certainly the Mel Gibson blockbuster movie "The Passion of the Christ" gave us all images we would be hard pressed to ever forget. Now that Epiphany is over and the Lenten season is looming near I can't help but think of the two things that have become a sort of tradition in my home during Lent.
First, I begin to listen to Tatiana's "I Thirst" CD over and over. What an incredible voice she has! And the music ... the lyrics make me weep no matter how often I hear them because she is singing the scriptures- namely the story of Christ's crucifixion and she's got the voice of an angel. The second tradition in my home during Lent is watching "The Passion of the Christ" again. I watch this movie once a year and only once a year. I don't ever want to become desensitized to the suffering Christ did, but I do want to see it each year as movies can have a way of bringing things to life and effecting us deeply in ways we never forget. That is what Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" does to me. I know what's coming, the horror and suffering portrayed so amazingly by all involved in the movie,but I still have to watch in horror as each lash of the whip falls on Christ's back. Even just the scene of Mel Gibson's hands nailing Christ to the cross and knowing that Gibson wanted to be the one to do that scene because he knows we all are guilty of the sins that put our precious Lord on that cross to die for our salvation. Powerful. The film is powerful as is the music of Tatiana's "I Thirst" CD. If you haven’t heard Tatiana’s “I Thirst” or seen Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” I recommend both, but be warned they are powerful and Gibson’s portrayal is graphic and disturbing.
With these two traditions come my thoughts of Mary. As a mother, I cannot begin to grasp the ordeal she suffered in watching her son being humiliated, beaten, tortured and finally killed by such a brutal death. As a mother, I'd give my life for my children and do anything in my power to protect them from pain and suffering, but Mary couldn't do that. Mary had to stand by and witness it all silently suffering the horror of her precious son’s brutal death. How she bore that is nothing short of miraculous and the Hand of God on her. The scriptures have one small verse to say about this: "And a sword will pierce your own soul too." (Lk.2:35)
The song "Silently, Silently" by Tatiana depicts Mary's silent suffering as she witnesses the death of her Son. As I hear the words of this song being sung my mind visualizes the scenes of Gibson's account of Mary watching Jesus carry the cross and stumble along the way with flashbacks of Jesus as a child running and falling with Mary running to go to him. Yet this time, as Jesus struggles with the cross falling to the ground she can't go to him. She must stand by and watch while her heart breaks. My admiration and love for Mary grows each time I reflect on her life as the Mother of God Incarnate and all that entails.
Often many think of Mary around Christmas and the happy occasion of Christ's birth. How many think of the suffering Mary endured being the Mother of our Savior? As Lent grows nearer and we rightly meditate on our Lord and the price He paid for our salvation, let's take a moment and reflect on Mary and the suffering she endured as the Mother of God.
John 19:25 "Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother,..."

Friday, January 4, 2008

"How Dumb Can Your Popes Get?"

J writes: The original churches of the New Testament which were founded by the Christ, did you venerate the bread of the Lord's Supper.BTW, "The Lord's Supper" is what they called it because that's what our Lord NAMED it.Then your popes and your "church fathers" came alone and began to venerate the bread so much that it became "worship." Jesus did not originate the Lord's Supper so that you would worship the stupid bread. He refered to Himself as the "bread" only FIGURATIVELY--NOT LITERALLY!!!!! HOW DUMB CAN YOUR POPES GET?Then God raised St. Martin Luther to break the power of these popes who HAD CHANGEDTHE NAME AND THE MEANING:FROM THE LORD'S SUPPER AS A MEMORIAL TO CALVARYTO "THE MASS" AS AN OFFERING THE EUCHARIST TO GOD FOR THE SINS OF MAN.THE POPES HAD PERVERTED CHRISTIANITY AND LUTHER CORRECTED IT

My response: Ouch! Is that what you truly believe or something you picked up in a Jack Chick tract? Wow, OK let me take this one thing at a time. First, Catholics don't "venerate bread" we worship Jesus Christ. The Eucharist is explained by Jesus in scriptures.
Jesus said in John 6:50 "This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” 52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” 53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me."
Now Jesus is the one who said He IS the 'bread' that came down from Heaven and that those who "feed on" Him have eternal life and abide in Him. There is nothing "stupid" about the Eucharist and I am dearly sorry you feel that way, but perhaps it's because you don't yet understand the teaching and once you do, you will feel differently. I hope so anyway.
I am not aware that Jesus "named it the Lord's Supper" but fail to see the problem with calling it Holy Communion. Many non-Catholic Christians and their churches refer to the Lord's Supper as "Holy Communion", I am guessing you don't belong to one of these groups. Regardless of what you call it, both terms mean the same thing and the action of participating in "the Lord's Supper" or "Holy Communion" is seen in scripture. If you prefer to call it "the Lord's Supper" then by all means do so. I prefer Holy Communion because it is a holy Communion with God, but that's just me I guess. Why get all worked up over something like these two terms for the same thing? Moving on...
Jesus did not refer to himself and I quote you "as the "bread" only FIGURATIVELY". Jesus was specific in his words. He uses the Greek word "trogon" which is a literal word for 'chewing'. This isn't figurative at all but very literal and descriptive. In John 6:66 we see what those who rejected the teaching of the Eucharist did, they walked away and didn't follow Christ anymore because they couldn't believe a literal Eucharist just like you. Had they taken Jesus' teaching as figurative only as you are suggesting those people would not have walked away from Christ. Why walk away from a figurative description? You wouldn't, but if it was literal and you couldn't wrap your mind around it you would walk away and that is what we see in John 6:66. Interestingly, that the number for those who don't believe the Eucharist is also the number given in Revelation for the mark of the Beast.
After Jesus was crucified and came out of the tomb the disciples didn't recognize him until when? When they saw the Eucharist! Luke 24:35 "Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread." They saw Christ in the Eucharist, that is what scripture says. You have free will to accept the Word of God or reject it. It is what it is.
Moving on again...what was next on your list? Oh yeah, "How dumb can your popes get?". Well, I can't personally speak for any Pope but as human beings I'd say we all have our occasionally 'dumb' moments in life wouldn't you? But when a Pope is speaking of the faith and Church teachings he is not "dumb". The Holy Spirit guides the Church in it's teachings and there is nothing "dumb" about the Holy Spirit. Enough of that, I think.
Next you say "God raised St. Martin Luther to break the power of these popes". First, I don't know of any one declaring Martin Luther a "saint"- not even his own Lutheran Church, so I guess I can't say much more about that. (Perhaps a Lutheran will comment on that). And the only "power" any Pope has is what Christ gave them and you can find that in scripture. (Mt.16:19, Mt.18:18, Mk.16:17-18, John 20:23 etc.). Luke 9:1 "When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out demons and to cure diseases,".
Hope I answered all of your misconceptions about the Catholic faith and what is really said in scripture about each of these matters to your satisfaction. And I really hope one day you have a better view of the Catholic Church and it's teachings.

"Mother of God"


My response: Jesus is God Incarnate and Mary gave birth to Him, thus Mary is the "Mother of God". It's really that simple. Jesus was God Incarnate in Mary's womb, he didn't become God after birth. Mary gave birth to the Divine Christ, God Incarnate and she is the "Mother of God". To deny this, is to deny the divinity of Christ. I am not sure why "Mother of God" seems to disturb so many non-Catholics when I dare say, most if not all denominations believe that Christ was born God Incarnate. If you believe that, then what's the problem with "Mother of God"? This is basic Christian theology.

Christ's "brothers"

Someone writes: Mary had children. Christ had half-brothers and sisters. The Bible tells us so. Therefore, while no one is disputing the fact of Mary's virginity until after she gave birth to Jesus, the Bible invalidates the Catholic man-made tradition that Mary remained a perpetual virgin. You know the Bible also calls cousins, cousins: And behold, your COUSIN Elisabeth hath also conceived a son in her old age (Luke 1:36). Luke doesn't call Elisabeth her SISTER, but her cousin.

My response: According to the bible and tradition Mary gave birth to only Jesus Christ. There is no other recording of her giving birth to anyone. The term "brothers" does not translate into literal siblings in scripture, but to ANY relative (uncle, nephew, cousins, etc.). How do we know this? Because the bible shows us. Let's go to the scriptures to see who is called "brother" and what their real relationship is then I will respond to the "cousins" Mary and Elizabeth. In Gen. 14 we see Lot call Abraham "brother" when the fact is Lot was Abraham's nephew. They were not siblings, but uncle and nephew. Another example from scriptures would be Jacob and his Uncle Laban. Scripture calls them "brother" when in fact they are not siblings at all. The same is done with Jesus and his "brothers" in scripture. They are family relatives (uncles, cousins, etc.), but they are not literal siblings because Mary didn't give birth to anyone but the Christ, God Incarnate. Now, getting back to Mary and Elizabeth being "cousins". It is by tradition that they are referred to as 'cousins' not the original written text as it says "relative" or "kinswoman". I hope that helps dispel your views that "the Bible invalidates the Catholic man-made tradition". The Catholic Church is teaching the faith the same today as it has since Christ created the Church.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Baby Nevernamed

I’m baby Nevernamed. Many people call me an “unborn child”, I prefer "pre-born child". I’m a person. A person in the earliest stages of growth and development. It was never a question as to whether or not I’d leave the womb. The question was, when?
I’m an eight week old pre-born child. I’ve done a lot of growing in my eight weeks of life in the womb. I’m an inch long and weigh 0.1 oz. and my heart is beating about 150 beats a minute, that’s faster than my Mommy’s heart beats. All my major organs are formed, even my muscles are growing so I can be big and strong one day. I have two eyes I can move, a nose and a mouth full of taste buds! I even have all my tooth buds for my first teeth. I have all my tiny fingers and all ten tiny toes and they wiggle. I can move! Sometimes, if I can catch it, I suck my thumb. Once I even had the hiccups! There is so much I have to look forward to, each day is another step forward for me and full of new and exciting things. So much potential in my future- if I had a future.
I won’t ever have the hiccups again. And I only have a little while left to suck my thumb, wiggle my toes and stretch my arms. I’ll never use my taste buds or my baby teeth. I won’t see light or hear my Mommy’s voice. I’ll never be named. Someone told my Mommy she could kill me. They told her she has a ‘right’ and a ‘choice’ to make sure I never get born. Nobody gave me my ‘rights’ or my ‘choice’. Nobody even gave me a name.
Please help me and all the other pre-born human beings who want their ‘right’ to life. The right to see light, taste food, breath air and the right to have a birthday and a name. I can’t talk yet, so I need others to speak for me and my rights to life. Please support a Pro-Life group today and let everyone know that I have a Right to Life and I want a name.
Thank you for taking a moment out of your life to think of the life of a pre-born human being.
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