Seen today at Father Z’s Blog, in the comment box

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…We are sinners who need hard and fast rules. I can attest to this personally.

I became pregnant at a very difficult time in our married life. I would certainly have had an abortion had I not converted to Catholicism a couple of years previously.

Our daughter, the light of our lives, owes her life to the Catholic Church, whose precepts REPLACED the conscience I had formed whilst immersed in the culture of death.

Deo gratias.

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A reflection on all that we Catholics once owned, by right, that has now been almost totally misappropriated, by scoundrels

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In light of the unfolding (or perhaps one should say unraveling) of Pope Francis’s pontificate, we should revisit words once spoken by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, predating and anticipating Summorum—words that now have an alarming portentousness:

I am of the opinion, to be sure, that the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it. It’s impossible to see what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that. A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden, and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent. Can it be trusted any more about anything else? Won’t it proscribe tomorrow what it prescribes today? (Salt of the Earth, 1997)

He has asked a question to which, so far, no honest answer has been given by the Church’s leaders. The reason is not hard to see. Ratzinger dared to say that the Church’s very being had been called into question when Paul VI declared the old Mass forbidden—which in fact he repeatedly did, in response to attempts to maintain a liturgy the Church had celebrated for 500 years, and in its essentials, for 1,000 years, and in the core of it, for 1,500 years. The longing for this treasure of faith was mocked, stepped on, suppressed, treated as a form of disobedience, arrogance, or neurosis. And the haunting question rises up: “Can the Church be trusted any more about anything else? Won’t it proscribe tomorrow what it prescribes today?”

If Paul VI in 1969 can abolish the oldest liturgical rite of Christendom and replace it with a new-fangled rite fashioned by committee according to modern ideas, with the two rites having very little in common when one looks at their details, why can’t Francis today modify the Ten Commandments or the Gospels? They, too, are awfully old, rejected by vast numbers of people as irrelevant to modern times, extremely provocative, and rather narrow in their fixation on obeying God or else. Don’t we need to update and modernize the whole of Christianity? If we can do this with what is our holiest and highest possession, namely the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we can do it across the board, top to bottom. What is permitted, what is forbidden, what is to be construed as good, what is to be rejected as evil, is simply up to the will of the reigning pontiff.

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QUESTION: Christians, If god didn’t sacrifice himself to himself to bypass a rule he made, then what did he do exactly?

ANSWER:

Jesus resolved a “structural” problem that occurred as a result of Adam being swindled out of his God given earthly dominion by Satan, the devil.

As a result of Adam’s fall from grace, Satan managed to enslave Adam and all of his offspring under an evil dominion, based on the power of death.

God permitted such a thing because Adam was properly and completely educated (warned in advance) by God and should have known better. Once Adam lost everything to Satan, there was no (natural) way of reversing (restoring) things. Hence, God stepped up to right the wrong.

True God and true man, Jesus is the sinless, fully authorized and fully qualified “kinsman redeemer” – the only one who has the supernatural power, as well as the “natural right” to step in and redeem mankind from perpetual slavery to Satan, sin and death. But it would not be easy and it would not be accomplished the way most would expect.

Because Jesus is God – and because Jesus is also a sinless man, Satan had absolutely no power (the power of death or otherwise) over Jesus – so Satan and his minions (the corrupt Jews and the pagan Romans of the time) had absolutely no authority to put Jesus to death.

They went ahead and crucified him anyway, even though they should have known better. They had been warned, all the way back in Genesis 3:15.

Jesus permitted it to happen, since when Jesus died on the cross, Satan’s evil dominion over mankind and the earth was forfeit and mankind now had a (perfect and sinless) new leader – the resurrected Jesus Christ, the Messiah, King of Kings and Lord of Lords – the one who Satan had absolutely no power over.

Now, all power on earth and in heaven (as well as everywhere else) was awarded to the New Adam – the resurrected Jesus Christ – fully God and fully man – who had effectively “crushed the head of the serpent” – freeing mankind from the power of perpetual death and hell – just as he promised, so long ago – and who, by his glorious resurrection, proved all that I claim here and more.

God the Father was pleased, freely bestowing grace, peace, divine adoption, protection from eternal death and much, much more, on all who choose to swear faithful allegiance to his divine son, Jesus – something that is typically accomplished through water baptism, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as well as through faithful membership and regular, consistent participation in the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the only Church that Jesus Christ ever personally founded, authorized, empowered and perpetually guaranteed, for the purpose of our salvation – the Holy Catholic Church.

Asked and answered on Yahoo Answers

Answered today on Yahoo Answers: A question about our redemption in Jesus Christ.

Question: So god required a sacrifice and then he sacrificed his son who was also himself?

Answer: Not exactly.

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three divine and distinct persons who essentially constitute the one, true God.

1 X 1 X 1 = 1

The 2nd person of the Holy Trinity (the Son) took on flesh and became man, while never ceasing to be God. We know him as Jesus Christ.

Jesus did for the human race what Adam failed to do: He remained totally and completely obedient to God the Father, even unto death on the cross.

Since Jesus is the eternal God, it is impossible for him to commit any type of sin, so Jesus is immune to the wickedness and snares of the devil. Jesus’ act of total obedience to his heavenly Father, as one of us and on our behalf,  served to appease God’s wrath (due to our sins) redeem mankind and “make” the peace between man and God.

When Jesus permitted the forces of evil to unjustly put him to death, he became the perfect and spotless sacrifice for the sins of the world and the forces of evil became subject to divine judgment, subsequently forfeiting the dominion over all the earth that they enjoyed after “the fall of man”.

When he rose again three days later, Jesus defeated death and proved his claim to divinity, as well as his mastery over Satan, sin and death. Jesus is now the King if Kings and Lord of Lords, wielding all power over heaven and earth, death and hell.

Fallen mankind does not have that type of power. Only Jesus does.

Through faithful allegiance to Jesus Christ, along with baptism into his church, the power to overcome death becomes available to all who truly seek it. This is primarily a function of divine grace, which is a free gift from God.

All we need do is accept God’s saving grace (which Jesus deliberately obtained for us by his life, death and resurrection) and make a free will choice to cooperate with that grace, as a full, faithful member of his church, and then, hope for the best.

God will do the rest. His grace is sufficient.

What do we mean when we say “Peace Be With You” at Mass?

Question: Precisely what type of “peace” are we hoping for when we say “Peace Be With You” at Mass?

Answer: The “peace beyond all understanding” that the 2nd person of the Holy Trinity became man in order to declare, is the peace between sinful mankind and God, which could only be achieved by the salvific work of Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son.

When we say “Peace Be With You” at Mass, we should be thinking something like this: “May God, according to the grace obtained for us by his divine son, forgive all our sins, justify us in faith and personally invite us to spend eternity with him, in Heaven.”

For people of true faith, that should also be enough to mitigate any of the temporarily anxieties and worries brought on by the stresses and strains of our mundane existence here on earth, until the day that we might be privileged to experience God as he really is.

Bishop Poprocki further explains what should have already been widely understood about Catholics living in various irregular (objectively sinful) ways

…Critics have been urging me to rescind my “Decree Regarding Same-sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues.” However, this decree is a rather straightforward application of existing Catholic doctrine and canon law to the new situation of legal marital status being granted in civil law to same-sex couples, which is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church. All clergy before they are ordained take an Oath of Fidelity which includes the statement, “In fulfilling the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety; I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings contrary to it. I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the entire Church and I shall maintain the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law.” Pastors and bishops repeat this oath upon assuming their office to be exercised in the name of the Church. Thus, deacons, priests and bishops cannot contradict Church teachings or refuse to observe ecclesiastical laws without violating their oath, which is a promise made to God.

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Recent Hollywood deaths lead to a renewed focus on how to gracefully handle grief and suffering

momento mori

I find the practical and simple words of St. Jane de Chantal incredibly comforting and useful. She wrote this letter to her own brother, who was the Archbishop of Bourges, and was indeed suffering from mental and physical difficulties:

When you are experiencing some physical pain or a sorrowful heart, try to endure it before God, recalling as much as you can that He is watching you at this time of affliction, especially in physical illness when very often the heart is weary and unable to pray. Don’t force yourself to pray, for a simple adherence to God’s will, expressed from time to time, is enough. Moreover, suffering born in the will quietly and patiently is a continual, very powerful prayer before God, regardless of the complaints and anxieties that come from the inferior part of the soul.

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