A former Protestant shares insights into the Bible that led him to become Catholic

by Marcus Grodi
One of the more commonly shared experiences of Protestant converts to the Catholic Church is the discovery of verses “we never saw.” Even after years of studying, preaching, and teaching the Bible, sometimes from cover to cover, all of a sudden a verse “we never saw” appears as if by magic and becomes an “Aha!” mind-opening, life-altering messenger of spiritual “doom”! Sometimes it’s just recognizing an alternate, clearer meaning of a familiar verse, but often, as with some of the verses mentioned below, it literally seems as if some Catholic had snuck in during the night and somehow put that verse there in the text!

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Kennedy: Barred from Communion

WASHINGTON — Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin has forbidden Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy to receive the Roman Catholic sacrament of Holy Communion because of his advocacy of abortion rights, the Rhode Island Democrat said Friday.

Editor’s note: If a bishop with some “guts” had done the same for the late Senator Kennedy around thirty years ago, there’s a very good chance that abortion would not be a pivotal and controversial health care issue today.

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Christ the King brings peace and defeats the ‘dominion of death,’ Pope Benedict says

Vatican City, Nov 22, 2009 / 11:05 am (CNA).- In his message on the Feast of Christ the King to the tens of thousands of people gathered on St Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict XVI explained that the “power” of Christ is different from that of “the great of this world.” Choosing Christ the King, he said, does not guarantee success, but peace and joy.

“Choosing Christ does not guarantee success according to the criteria of today’s world, but ensures that peace and joy that only He can give,” Pope Benedict added. “This is shown, in every age, by the experience of many men and women who, in Christ’s name, in the name of truth and justice, have been able to resist the lure of earthly powers, with their different forms, until their fidelity was sealed with martyrdom.”

The Feast of Christ the King, he continued, is “a celebration of relatively recent introduction, but it has deep biblical and theological roots.”

“It begins with the expression ‘King of the Jews’ arriving then to that of ‘universal King,’ Lord of the cosmos and of history, so far beyond the expectation of the same Jewish people.”

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A shroud of mystery

The Shroud, a 4.36m by 1.10m linen cloth bearing the life-size imprint of a man, has a herring-bone pattern. It has traditionally been regarded as the burial cloth mentioned in the Gospels. Joseph of Arimathea bought a length of fabric with which to cover Christ’s body. The linen was wrapped around Jesus at his burial, only to be found, neatly folded in the tomb, after the Resurrection. This cloth would therefore bear witness not only to the physical presence of Jesus’ body, of His blood and the wounds provoked by His scourging and crucifixion, but also of His Resurrection. As such, it is an object of inestimable spiritual and scientific value.

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Submitted by Bob Stanley

The Holy Face of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Around the year 60 A.D. St. Luke visited the Blessed Virgin Mary at the home she shared with St. John the Apostle, in the town of Ephesus, southwestern Turkey.

At that time, St. Luke produced what is today the only known icon of the Virgin, making good use of a three foot by five foot cedar table top (one that was likely hand crafted by Jesus of Nazareth) accurately capturing Mary’s delicate facial features. The extremely well preserved icon has remained in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, for the last 1700 years.

About 1900 years later, in 1947, Sister Lucia, seer of the Fatima Apparitions that took place in Portugal in 1917, closely collaborated with sculptor Jose Thedim to produce an authentic image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as Lucia and her two cousins originally encountered her there.

While the style of the work and the quality of the media are quite different, the resemblance between the two renderings is absolutely striking (see close-ups above).

Eyes, facial shape, nose, lips and chin are all remarkably similar.

Take a close look. Pray on it. Then make up your own mind.

“We do not praise God sufficiently by keeping silent about his saints, especially Mary, ‘the Holy One’ who became his dwelling place on earth. The simple and multiform light of God appears to us exactly in its variety and richness only in the countenance of the saints, who are the true mirrors of his light. And it is precisely by looking at Mary’s face that we can see more clearly than in any other way the beauty, goodness and mercy of God. In her face we can truly perceive the divine light.” – Pope Benedict XVI

Update: (My friend Bob Stanley rightly pointed out that we have another precisely rendered authentic image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, from the tilma of St. Juan Diego, done in 1531. The style and the type of media are different once again, and in the Guadalupe image, Mary is facing left, rather than right.  I added the Guadalupe image to the picture study for you.)

“Even Demons Believe and Tremble” – A true Eucharistic Story

…  it was time for the consecration of the Chalice. Again, bowing low and pronouncing clearly and distinctly but in a low voice:  Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei, novi et æterni testamenti; mysterium fidei; qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem pecatorum. Haec quotiescumque feceritis in mei memoriam facietis (for this is the cup of my Blood, of the new and eternal covenant; the mystery of faith; which will for the many be shed unto the remission of sins. When so ever you do this, you do it in my memory). But then, I heard another sound this time an undeniable moan and then a shriek as some one cried out: “Leave me alone Jesus! Why do you torture me!” Suddenly a scuffling as some one ran out with the groaning sound of having been injured. The back doors swung open, then closed. Then silence.

I could not turn to look for I was raising the Chalice high over my head. But I knew in an instance that some poor demon-tormented soul had encountered Christ in the Eucharistic and could not endure his real presence displayed for all to see. And the words of Scripture occurred to me: Even Demons believe and tremble (James 2:19).

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National Catholic Youth Conference and Eucharistic procession: 22,000 boldly witness and worship in Kansas City

(Photo by Joe Cory, Catholic Key)

Cardinal DiNardo gave the keynote at today’s session of the National Catholic Youth Conference in Kansas City, while Kansas City, Kansas Archbishop Joseph Naumann led Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction at Sprint Center. Kansas City – St. Joseph Bishop Robert W. Finn then led 22,000 High School students through his See City from Sprint Center to the Kansas City Convention Center. At some point, I should probably explain why there is an Archbishop of Kansas City who isn’t the Bishop of Kansas City.

Read more, courtesy of the Catholic Key Blog

Looking back …

Featured Website: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP)

The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) was born of a group of Catholic Americans concerned about the multiple crises shaking every aspect of American life. Founded in 1973, the American TFP was formed to resist, in the realm of ideas, the liberal, socialist and communist trends of the times and proudly affirm the positive values of tradition, family and property.

Central to the TFP mission is the idea that the various crises threatening American society and the Church cannot be seen as separate and disjointed. Rather they originate from a single cause.

The TFP handbook Revolution and Counterrevolution by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira masterfully traces the historical and philosophical roots of this single cause: a phenomenon called the Revolution.

The TFP was born from the idea of a Counterrevolution, a reaction that would embrace every field of of human activity, but especially art, ideas and culture. TFP books, publications and newspaper advertisements help bring these views to the public. Moreover, the TFP is not afraid to take them to the streets with colorful sidewalk campaigns in major cities.

The first TFP was founded in Brazil in 1960 by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. The American TFP is one of many autonomous TFPs that now exist around the world dedicated to the same ideals and at the service of Christian Civilization (See links).

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Wow! One hundred forty-eight Signatories agree on some very important Christian stuff.


Christians are heirs of a 2,000-year tradition of proclaiming God’s word, seeking justice in our societies, resisting tyranny, and reaching out with compassion to the poor, oppressed and suffering.

While fully acknowledging the imperfections and shortcomings of Christian institutions and communities in all ages, we claim the heritage of those Christians who defended innocent life by rescuing discarded babies from trash heaps in Roman cities and publicly denouncing the Empire’s sanctioning of infanticide. We remember with reverence those believers who sacrificed their lives by remaining in Roman cities to tend the sick and dying during the plagues, and who died bravely in the coliseums rather than deny their Lord.

After the barbarian tribes overran Europe, Christian monasteries preserved not only the Bible but also the literature and art of Western culture. It was Christians who combated the evil of slavery: Papal edicts in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries decried the practice of slavery and first excommunicated anyone involved in the slave trade; evangelical Christians in England, led by John Wesley and William Wilberforce, put an end to the slave trade in that country. Christians under Wilberforce’s leadership also formed hundreds of societies for helping the poor, the imprisoned, and child laborers chained to machines.

In Europe, Christians challenged the divine claims of kings and successfully fought to establish the rule of law and balance of governmental powers, which made modern democracy possible. And in America, Christian women stood at the vanguard of the suffrage movement. The great civil rights crusades of the 1950s and 60s were led by Christians claiming the Scriptures and asserting the glory of the image of God in every human being regardless of race, religion, age or class.

This same devotion to human dignity has led Christians in the last decade to work to end the dehumanizing scourge of human trafficking and sexual slavery, bring compassionate care to AIDS sufferers in Africa, and assist in a myriad of other human rights causes—from providing clean water in developing nations to providing homes for tens of thousands of children orphaned by war, disease and gender discrimination.

Like those who have gone before us in the faith, Christians today are called to proclaim the Gospel of costly grace, to protect the intrinsic dignity of the human person and to stand for the common good. In being true to its own calling, the call to discipleship, the church through service to others can make a profound contribution to the public good.

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On the “Beauty” of Dying

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

As a priest it has been my privilege to accompany many on their final journey as they prepare for death. Some have gone quickly others have lingered for years in nursing homes. From a pure worldly perspective death seems little less than a disaster and a cause for great sadness. But from a perspective of faith there is something “beautiful” going on. I know you may think it bold that I describe it this way but in the dying process something necessary and beautiful is taking place. It is born in pain but it brings forth gifts and glory if we are faithful.

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Life After Death

The Prophet Daniel and the Beauty of Death

Father Baron: “2012” essentially anti-Catholic, anti-Christian, explains precisely why

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Archbishop Chaput of Denver shares a Health Care Bill email with us

What the hell don’t you understand about the term separatin [sic] of Church and State. Keep your evil hands off of our Health Care Bill. Mind your own business. We don’t care about your beliefs, and if you want to meddle in our affairs, we will be coming for you. If that’s how you want to play, we will come for your pedophile priests, your ill-gotten money you stole for decades. The Catholic church is just another organized crime syndicate that should be put out of business. Get the f–k away from Congress, or you will regret it … .

That’s a real e-mail from a real person.  The man who sent it last week was either very candid or very foolish about his anger: he added his real name and e-mail address.  I’ve withheld them here because I like to hope that most people, or at least many of them, are better than the poisonous things they sometimes write. But this e-mail does teach a useful lesson, because it’s not just a case of a random bigot getting in touch with his inner bully.  Instead, it’s a snapshot of the anti-Catholic bitterness that drives some of the loudest voices in the current health-care debate.

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Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. turns 50


Main entrance of the largest church in the United States

Looking forward towards the main altar

Huge mosaic of the awesome Jesus
as described in the Book of Revelation
returning to judge the living and the dead.

(Look into his eyes and meditate on that for a while!)

Revelation 1:13-18 And in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, one like to the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.  And his head and his hairs were white as white wool and as snow. And his eyes were as a flame of fire:  And his feet like unto fine brass, as in a burning furnace. And his voice as the sound of many waters.  And he had in his right hand seven stars. And from his mouth came out a sharp two-edged sword. And his face was as the sun shineth in his power.  And when I had seen him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying: Fear not. I am the First and the Last,  And alive, and was dead. And behold I am living for ever and ever and have the keys of death and of hell.

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Pope tells why he chose the name of “Benedict XVI”

“Resuming the Wednesday general audiences,” he went on, “I wish to speak of the name I chose on becoming bishop of Rome and pastor of the universal Church. I chose to call myself Benedict XVI ideally as a link to the venerated Pontiff, Benedict XV, who guided the Church through the turbulent times of the First World War. He was a true and courageous prophet of peace who struggled strenuously and bravely, first to avoid the drama of war and then to limit its terrible consequences. In his footsteps I place my ministry, in the service of reconciliation and harmony between peoples, profoundly convinced that the great good of peace is above all a gift of God, a fragile and precious gift to be invoked, safeguarded and constructed, day after day and with everyone’s contribution.

“The name Benedict also evokes the extraordinary figure of the great ‘patriarch of western monasticism,’ St. Benedict of Norcia, co-patron of Europe with Cyril and Methodius. The progressive expansion of the Benedictine Order which he founded exercised an enormous influence on the spread of Christianity throughout the European continent. For this reason, St. Benedict is much venerated in Germany, and especially in Bavaria, my own land of origin; he constitutes a fundamental point of reference for the unity of Europe and a powerful call to the irrefutable Christian roots of European culture and civilization.”

The Pope appealed to St. Benedict for help “to hold firm Christ’s central position in our lives. May he always be first in our thoughts and in all our activities!”

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Going Rogue

It’s been professionally co-written for style by Lynn Vincent who is a very fine correspondent with “World” magazine but the words and flavor are definitely Palin. It covers Palin’s background very well, capturing her feelings as thoroughly as a biography can. I was especially moved about her inner thoughts as she discovered she was carrying a Down Syndrome baby and her decision to avoid abortion and go ahead with it. It was this decision that earned her the undying enmity of the feminist Left… an enmity as Charles Krauthammer points out is born of scarcely hidden jealousy since they would not have had the courage to go along with the birth and consequently berate themselves-and end up hating Palin for it.

I think the book accomplished its purpose and was astutely put together. I cheer the fact it has no index because political phonies who pick it up and riffle through to the back so see if they are mentioned will have to buy it: a wise decision.

Now I would urge Mme. Palin to do one thing that will advance her career. She should not be in the everyday business of blasting this or that media individual-be it Couric, Olbermann, Letterman-or any publication that criticizes her. She should have either one spokesman or a vehicle to do that. She trivializes herself as she did yesterday by condemning Newsweek as “sexist” for running a certain unflattering photo of her on its cover. Newsweek is a very left-of-center organ, is gradually being seen for what it is and ignored-either that or slammed by someone else.

Beyond that, I am assuredly a Palin fan and wish her well. I would wholeheartedly love to see this country governed by her and let the “mainstream” media go to hell where it belongs.

More at Tom Roeser’s blog

Watch your wallets this Sunday. CCHD 2nd collection may go to fund anti-Catholic activities.

Arroyo wondered how his guests had unearthed the shocking information about church funding of anti-Catholic causes. They replied that they simply went to the websites of the CCHD and the organizations being funded and put the information together.

Hichborn of ALL says either the CCHD is incompetent in how it awards grants and is therefore unworthy of funds or “is being run by pro-homosexual, pro-abortion socialists who got caught” and doesn’t deserve the money in that case. Either way, he concludes, “this funding must end.”

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Why are homophobic attitudes so prevalent among Christians?

Q: Why are homophobic attitudes so prevalent among Christians?

A: No offense to anyone, but authentic Christianity considers homosexual practices to be gravely sinful, seriously disordered, and harmful to both the homosexual and to society.

This is not homophobic. It is simply proper discernment, being able to tell the difference between true diversity (which is perfectly acceptable) and grave depravity (which most certainly is not).

Steeped in their essentially narcissistic behavior, gays continue to crave official acceptance and approval, while Christians (and most others) find the open and flagrant practice of homosexuality naturally repugnant. Typically recoiling against it, in disgust.

It’s only natural.

Having dealt with homosexuality in various world cultures for the last 2000 years, the Catholic Church actually understands the true scope of this problem pretty well.

According to the Vatican:

“It has been argued that the homosexual orientation in certain cases is not the result of deliberate choice; and so the homosexual person would then have no choice but to behave in a homosexual fashion. Lacking freedom, such a person, even if engaged in homosexual activity, would not be culpable.

Here, the Church’s wise moral tradition is necessary since it warns against generalizations in judging individual cases. In fact, circumstances may exist, or may have existed in the past, which would reduce or remove the culpability of the individual in a given instance; or other circumstances may increase it.

What is at all costs to be avoided is the unfounded and demeaning assumption that the sexual behaviour of homosexual persons is always and totally compulsive and therefore inculpable. What is essential is that the fundamental liberty which characterizes the human person and gives him his dignity be recognized as belonging to the homosexual person as well.”

More on this matter here:

https://douglawrence.wordpress.com/homosexuality/

Icon of the Madonna by St. Luke, believed to accurately depict face of Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Luke painted this Icon of Mary (about the year 60 AD) while she was staying with St. John the Apostle. According to tradition, when St. Luke “wrote” the Icon, he accurately rendered the Blessed Virgin’s authentic facial features.

The Icon was written directly onto a three foot by five foot cedar plank, believed to be part of a table that Jesus had originally hand crafted during his time in Nazareth. When Mary went to stay with St. John, in Ephesus (a town located in southwestern Turkey) the table evidently made the trip, as well.

Lost for over 200 years, the Icon was discovered by St. Helena (mother of Emperor Constantine) in Jerusalem, buried near the True Cross, on or about the year 326 AD.

The title of the Icon is Salus Populi Romani (“Protectoress of the Roman People”). It is the only major Icon attributed to Saint Luke (who is also the writer of  the Gospel bearing his name, “the Acts of the Apostles” and most of St. Paul’s epistles.)

St. Luke is also believed to have been a physician (medical doctor).

Tradition and history informs us that St. Luke’s Icon has resided in St. Mary Major Basilica, Rome, for about 1,700 years.

Click here to read more about Icons

Two year-old sings “Amazing Grace” and “The Lord’s Prayer”

View “Amazing Grace”

View “The Lord’s Prayer”

Wrongful death and malpractice lawsuits against Planned Parenthood of Chicago and its’ doctors