Today’s question: How do you know that God is real?

saints

Question: How do you know that God is real?

Answer: Many years ago, I decided to take some time off and devote two full years to the study of all world religions, after which I chose to be Catholic.

Then, I spent another ten years studying the faith while working in Catholic parishes; teaching, doing social work and heading up various offices and initiatives, just to see how things actually worked.

Today, I answer questions on-line and operate a Catholic website: http://www.askmeaboutgod.org.

I know God is real because he reveals himself to me in many different ways; particularly through study, worship and sacraments, through fellowship with other Christians and through occasional miracles of various kinds.

Once you come to know God it’s a fairly simple matter to pray without ceasing; staying in constant touch with the Almighty, in a very intimate, complete and powerful way.

The power of that relationship extends also to my friends and family; some of whom are not yet believers. I trust that, by the grace of God, all soon will be.

To sum it all up:

God answers my prayers.

God provides for all my needs.

God speaks to me when I need to hear from him.

God blesses me beyond measure.

God gives me hope.

For my part, I do my best to know, love and serve God,

every way I can, and to give him the thanks,

praise and worship that he is due.

In light of all the scandals oppressing today’s Catholics, a query that needs to be addressed…

Q: Often, we hear about what’s bad within the Catholic church and its history. Tell us of the good you’ve seen within the Catholic church.

A: Peace beyond all understanding and freedom from the fear of death, along with genuine faith, hope and charity, writ large and long, the world over, courtesy of our Savior Jesus Christ, who remains the head of the Catholic Church, the Holy Spirit, who remains its constant Advocate/Spirit of Truth and God the Father, whose inestimable power, love and grace makes it all possible, in spite of rampant, human corruption and sin.

(Posted today on Yahoo Answers)

Once Again, Satan Thanks the U.S. Supreme Court – Near Occasion of Sin!

demcourt

by Larry Douglas

First it was legalized abortion and now it’s legalized homosexual marriage. Both are extremely deadly to the soul and if statistics and common sense are to believed, not very good for the body, either!

The Supreme Court has spoken and homosexual marriage is now the law of the land. The temporal, legal aspects of the matter have been settled, but what about the moral and spiritual issues?

What are the chances that Jesus Christ, the Ultimate Judge of All, will change his mind and decide to back the court’s decision? Slim to none, since the matter of homosexuality has been “spiritually” settled for more than 4500 years and God doesn’t make those kinds of sweeping reversals.

According to God’s Word, homosexual activity is counter to his law and his will, and an abomination in his eyes. Homosexual activity and all that goes with it is described in the plain text of the Bible as one of only a handful of sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance. A well known pair of flaming cities served to forever emphasize that point and there’s nothing the Supreme Court – or anyone else – can ever do to change that.

Why would anyone choose to ignore a dire warning of that type? Why would anyone – especially the U.S. Supreme Court – choose to encourage others to do so? See the above photo.

The Catholic Church categorizes homosexual activity as (objectively) a grave sin, capable of landing a soul in Hell, for eternity.

(The term “objectively” means “typically and ordinarily – special cases and unusual situations excepted” – so a ray of hope and a bit of “wiggle room” remains. But hey – who am I to judge?)

As with all “mortal” sin, the person committing the act must know that God and the Church consider it to be gravely sinful and the act must be committed with full consent of the will. Otherwise, no harm, no foul – at least, when it comes to Divine Judgment.

Those who claim their conscience tells them that homosexual acts are not sinful will need to bring that issue up directly with Jesus, come Judgment Day. Christ remains the head of the Catholic Church. The Ten Commandments, the Law, the Prophets, the Psalms, the Gospels and Epistles, plus all the moral precepts of the Church are his, so how do you think he’s likely to rule?

In this life, there’s absolutely no getting around the issue. Let’s look at what type of divine punishment the Supreme Court is likely in for, and then we’ll look more closely at the fate of those who choose to actually enter into the spiritually deadly institution known as homosexual marriage – as well as those homosexuals who choose to do otherwise.

By its’ recent decision, the Supreme Court has chosen to define itself as totally lacking in morals and woefully ignorant of the legitimate purposes of institutions like holy matrimony. But that’s not the worst of it: the Supreme Court has – once again – constituted itself as a genuine, official, U.S. Government sponsored “near occasion of sin”.

A near occasion of sin is someone or something that leads others to commit sin, or serves to confirm or justify others in their sin. Such a thing is a grave sin in and of itself, but multiplied by the number of souls the court decision will likely affect, the actual level of spiritual depravity is incalculable.

Absent an effective reversal and/or a spiritually acceptable remedy, death, judgment and Hell are almost certain to follow. Under the present circumstances, I wouldn’t want to be a member of the United States Supreme Court. Much better to resign, repent, confess, do penance and receive absolution, at least for the 6 of 9 who are Catholics. (Oh, the scandal!) I’m not certain they would even qualify for absolution if they did not first, resign.

As for the rest of the Justices, whether they actually believe in God, or not – unless they engage in some prompt, serious, soul searching and repenting – they’re shortly going to suffer the wrath of an angry God, who also happens to be the chief judge of the entire universe – something from which their Supreme Court robes and lofty opinions will offer scant protection.

Such is the level of depravity of today’s Supreme Court. The whole lot of them ought to be impeached – for their own good – and for the good of the country!

Now let’s look at the homosexuals who have received legal approval by the nation’s highest court to engage in an act that will serve to permanently cut them off from the grace of God and – absent timely repentance and conversion – almost certainly lead to a very bad (and eternal) end.

On the one hand, we have the homosexual with absolutely no interest in marriage – or even living with a sexual partner – someone who simply wants to have a little “fun” via an occasional, same-sex “hookup”. On the other, we have a committed, long-term homosexual “couple” who decide to go the marriage route, looking to make their relationship legal and permanent. 

There’s a major difference between the two situations, but neither is really any good – or even acceptable – on a spiritual level – especially for Catholics.

A permanent, live-in, homosexual relationship, “married” or otherwise, serves only to establish a permanent state of mortal sin, which keeps the soul in a decrepit, graceless condition, effectively cutting off such persons from the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, unless and until the elicit living arrangement and the underlying sinful acts (for all intents and purposes) have effectively ceased.

Only then might the Sacraments once again be received, sanctifying grace restored and a “nominal” relationship with Christ and his Church be resumed.

It’s not easy and it’s also very rare for someone to break up a household and call a halt to a long-term, personal (and sexual) relationship in the hope of getting their spiritual affairs in order. It happens, but long experience proves that it’s much more common for people to simply die in their sins and suffer the eternal consequences.

The unmarried, non-cohabiting homosexual is in a much better position, from a spiritual standpoint, than his/her married homosexual counterpart. 

The absence of a permanent, live-in homosexual relationship leaves the practicing, “single” homosexual (potentially) only one good decision away from overcoming his/her disordered sexual inclinations.

Much as any other sinner, a “single” homosexual may confess his/her sins as often as necessary, receiving absolution for those sins and any others, so long as a spirit of repentance and a firm purpose of amendment (the actual intent, as well as the distinct possibility to overcome and do better, in the future) truly exists.

Such a thing may constitute a life-long struggle, and it may prove extremely difficult, but so long as the person does nothing to make the homosexual situation permanent and unalterable (like getting married or cohabiting) hope, grace, the Mass and the Sacraments remain available and effective.

When the Supreme Court of the United States decided to make homosexual marriage legal (and apparently, more acceptable and desirable) all they really did was induce more people to enter into permanent, sinful relationships that will quite likely, lead them straight to hell. They did the same thing with abortion, around forty years ago!

Satan once again thanks the U.S. Supreme Court – Near Occasion of Sin!

Lest anyone attempt to categorize me, the Catholic Church, or God as a hater, please know that the main purpose of this post is to warn people about the inherent dangers of their personal choices, based on the best theological information available, so that those persons might avoid making spiritually “fatal” mistakes that could one day, land them in Hell.

Charity, not hate, is at work here!

Related Link

More Bad Fruit: Confirming our beloved Jewish brethren in a Covenant of Death and Hell, for Passover

passover-eucharist

Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ and the New Covenant, in his blood.
Only ONE of these is capable of saving a soul. 

The writer of this piece doesn’t want to offend anyone, but unfortunately, she has embraced the Modernist heresy about the nature of the Old Covenant and the “faith” of the Jewish people – and so, miserably fails.

Read the article

Now, read this:

There is absolutely NOTHING in the Old Covenant which is, or was ever capable of saving a soul. Anyone who clings to the Old Covenant embraces only death and hell.

Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ and membership in the Catholic Church, which he founded for that express purpose., for if salvation was available by the Old Covenant, there would have been absolutely no need for our Holy Redeemer Jesus Christ, to become man, suffer and die on the cross. for us!

Anyone who – knowing this – fails to accept the divine truth of the matter – is – at the very least – going to have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do, come Judgment Day!

Catholics should understand that confirming our beloved Jewish brethren in their spiritually deadly theological error is not in any way charitable – nor is such a thing appropriate at Passover, or ANY OTHER TIME – even if certain highly place church officials might believe otherwise.

The theological matter was settled, long, long ago. Here are the ERROR-FREE official Catholic Church citations. If the Catholic Church was WRONG then, there is no longer ANY ASSURANCE that it is CORRECT about ANYTHING, today. If the church was RIGHT then, there is no doubt that the Modernists who control today’s church (and teach otherwise) are indeed, WRONG.

The logic is irrefutable.

crucifixion_tintoretto

Pius XIIMystici Corporis, 29: “And first of all, by the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries, enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole world in the blood of Jesus Christ…but on the Gibbet of His death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross, establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race. “To such an extent, then,” says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the Cross of our Lord, “was there effected a transfer from the Law to the Gospel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from the many sacrifices to one Victim, that, as Our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently from top to bottom.”

30: “On the Cross then the Old Law died, soon to be buried and to be a bearer of death, in order to give way to the New Testament of which Christ had chosen the Apostles as qualified ministers”

Council of Trent, ch 1, 793: “but not even the Jews by the very letter of the law of Moses were able to be liberated or to rise therefrom”

Council of Trent, Session 6, ch 2: “that He might both redeem the Jews, who were under the Law”

Council of Trent, Canon 1: “If anyone shall say that man can be justified before God by his own works which are done through his own natural powers, or through the teaching of the Law…let him be anathema.”

Council of Florence, DS 695: “There are seven sacraments of the new Law: namely, baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance, extreme unction, orders, and matrimony, which differ a great deal from the sacraments of the Old Law. For those of the Old Law did not effect grace, but only pronounced that it should be given through the passion of Christ; these sacraments of ours contain grace, and confer it upon those who receive them worthily.”

Council of Florence, DS 712: “It firmly believes, professes, and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosiac law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to the divine worship at that time, after our Lord’s coming had been signified by them, ceased, and the sacraments of the New Testament began; and that whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of the law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally.”

“All, therefore, who after that time observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation, unless someday they recover from these errors. Therefore, it commands all who glory in the name of Christian, at whatever time, before or after baptism’ to cease entirely from circumcision, since, whether or not one places hope in it, it cannot be observed at all without the loss of eternal salvation.”

Pope Benedict XIV, Ex Quo Primum, #59: “However they are not attempting to observe the precepts of the old Law, which as everyone knows have been revoked by the coming of Christ.”

Pope Benedict XIV, Ex Quo Primum, #61: “The first consideration is that the ceremonies of the Mosaic law were abrogated by the coming of Christ and they can no longer be observed without sin after the promulgation of the Gospel.”

Pius VI, DS 1519-1520 (condemned the following): “Likewise, the doctrine which adds that under the Law man ‘became a prevaricator, since he was powerless to observe it, not indeed by the fault of the Law, which was most sacred, but by the guilt of man, who, under the Law, without grace, became more and more a prevaricator’; and it further adds, ‘that the Law, if it did not heal the heart of man, brought it about that he would recognize his evil, and, being convinced of his weakness, would desire the grace of a mediator’; in this part it generally intimates that man became a prevaricator through the nonobservance of the Law which he was powerless to observe, as if ‘He who is just could command something impossible, or He who is pious would be likely to condemn man for that which he could not avoid’ (from St. Caesarius Serm. 73, in append., St. Augustine, Serm. 273, edit. Maurin; from St. August., De nat, et “rat., e. 43; De “rat. et lib. arb., e. 16, Enarr. in psalm. 56, n. I),– false scandalous, impious, condemned in Baius (see n. 1504).

1520 20. “In that part in which it is to be understood that man, while under the Law and without grace, could conceive a desire for the grace of a Mediator related to the salvation promised through Christ, as if ‘grace itself does not effect that He be invoked by us’ (from Conc. Araus. II, can. 3 [v.n. 176]),– the proposition as it stands, deceitful, suspect, favorable to the Semipelagian heresy.

The Last Supper was the ultimate, eternal fulfillment of the Passover – in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The institution of the Eucharist

1337 The Lord, having loved those who were his own, loved them to the end. Knowing that the hour had come to leave this world and return to the Father, in the course of a meal he washed their feet and gave them the commandment of love.163In order to leave them a pledge of this love, in order never to depart from his own and to make them sharers in his Passover, he instituted the Eucharist as the memorial of his death and Resurrection, and commanded his apostles to celebrate it until his return; “thereby he constituted them priests of the New Testament.”164

1338 The three synoptic Gospels and St. Paul have handed on to us the account of the institution of the Eucharist; St. John, for his part, reports the words of Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum that prepare for the institution of the Eucharist: Christ calls himself the bread of life, come down from heaven.165

1339 Jesus chose the time of Passover to fulfill what he had announced at Capernaum: giving his disciples his Body and his Blood:

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the passover meal for us, that we may eat it. . . .” They went . . . and prepared the passover. And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”. . . . And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.”166

1340 By celebrating the Last Supper with his apostles in the course of the Passover meal, Jesus gave the Jewish Passover its definitive meaning. Jesus’ passing over to his father by his death and Resurrection, the new Passover, is anticipated in the Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist, which fulfills the Jewish Passover and anticipates the final Passover of the Church in the glory of the kingdom.

“Do this in memory of me”

Because he was not open to God’s will, Satan is entrapped in a lower existence, imprisoned in currents of unredeemable chaos below this world.

 

SatansNo

Satan’s “NO” to God
Non serviam – Latin for “I will not serve”

Saint Hildegard sees how the Ancient Adversary is at work to lure and coerce into this same pit all those whose lives he invades and touches.

Obedience begins with the realization that one cannot bring into completion the work God has begun.   The ambiguity surrounding this life is beyond human capacity to understand or master, and left to ourselves, we are always at risk of being mastered by it.  Following our own whims is not enough because even the whims of the heart are subject to this confusion.  Our dignity, our integrity, our existence require firm ground on which to stand, or they all fall.  This understanding, this saving truth is found somewhere beyond our natural capacities, from Someone above us, who comes down to us, who calls to us and who waits for us to welcome Him.

Rather than allowing oneself to be consumed with the confusion of doing what one wishes, we only begin to redeem the ambiguity of life by searching out the most appropriate way of serving the Lord who reveals Himself to us.

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The pope cannot change fundamental Catholic Church doctrine – so why does he go out of his way to make it look and sound like he’s going to?

st-peter-and-st-john-at-beautiful-gate

St. Peter and St. John at the Beautiful Gate

by Doug Lawrence

Vatican II has already fundamentally changed Catholic Church doctrine, so those who claim the Pope cannot or will not do so are being somewhat disingenuous. Our present pope is the biggest “cheerleader” for Vatican II that the world has ever seen.

A “New Evangelization” is necessary in part, because in the wake of Vatican II, the people who ran (and still run) the Catholic Church led many of the faithful (and most of the known world) into ignorance, confusion and apostasy.

Top Church management is not much better enlightened today, so it’s necessary to question precisely what the “New Evangelizers” are asking faithful Catholics to do, that they haven’t been doing all along.

If they’re asking us to spread a “new” gospel that’s based on “freebies alone” (that’s what it sounds like) then we have a big problem, since the secular governments of the world have learned to inflate their tax rolls and and leverage their currencies in ways that allow them to finance massive wealth transfer/social programs which dwarf anything in that regard that individual Catholics (or Catholic parishes, or national bishops councils, or the Vatican) might be able to offer.

So, in a contest based solely on temporal goodies and give-aways, the New Catholic Evangelization is not only bound to fail – it will fail miserably! The sad record of The Catholic Campaign for Human Development and other high-profile Catholic Charities already provides ample evidence of this. When the Church takes government money, supposedly in order to accomplish charitable things, it invariably becomes subject to that very same secular government and the result is almost always something much less than truly charitable – and also something much, much less than authentically Catholic.

True charity, as it’s faithfully described in the authentic Gospels, is freely sharing the grace and love of God with others – not just by providing a modicum of necessary PHYSICAL GOODS – but also – and principally – making freely available those SPIRITUAL GOODS which ONLY the Catholic Church is capable of providing in UNLIMITED, SUPERNATURAL ABUNDANCE.

Now Peter and John went up into the temple at the ninth hour of prayer. And a certain man who was lame from his mother’s womb was carried: whom they laid every day at the gate of the temple, which is called Beautiful, that he might ask alms of them that went into the temple. He, when he had seen Peter and John, about to go into the temple, asked to receive an alms. But Peter with John, fastening his eyes upon him, said:

Look upon us. But he looked earnestly upon them, hoping that he should receive something of them. But Peter said: Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise and walk. And taking him by the right hand, he lifted him up: and forthwith his feet and soles received strength. And he leaping up, stood and walked and went in with them into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God.

And all the people saw him walking and praising God. And they knew him, that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened to him. And as he held Peter and John, all the people ran to them, to the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.

But Peter seeing, made answer to the people: Ye men of Israel, why wonder you at this? Or why look you upon us, as if by our strength or power we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus, whom you indeed delivered up and denied before the face of Pilate, when he judged he should be released. But you denied the Holy One and the Just: and desired a murderer to be granted unto you. But the author of life you killed, whom God hath raised from the dead: of which we are witnesses. And in the faith of his name, this man, whom you have seen and known, hath his name strengthened. And the faith which is by him hath given this perfect soundness in the sight of you all.

And now, brethren, I know that you did it through ignorance: as did also your rulers. But those things which God before had shewed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Be penitent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. That when the times of refreshment shall come from the presence of the Lord, and he shall send him who hath been preached unto you, Jesus Christ. Whom heaven indeed must receive, until the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets, from the beginning of the world. For Moses said: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me: him you shall hear according to all things whatsoever he shall speak to you. And it shall be, that every soul which will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people. And all the prophets, from Samuel and afterwards, who have spoken, have told of these days.

You are the children of the prophets and of the testament which God made to our fathers, saying to Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed. To you first, God, raising up his Son, hath sent him to bless you: that every one may convert himself from his wickedness. (Acts 3:1-26)

We Catholics have no need of any other model or paradigm.  Hence, our reliance on the “Great Commission of Jesus Christ” which explicitly charges Catholics with the duty of continuously, clearly, charitably and unambiguously preaching the divine truth of the authentic Gospels to everyone, without exception – day in and day out – all around the world – as we pray without ceasing!

And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And seeing him they adored: but some doubted. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. (Matthew 28:16-20)

The post-Vatican II Catholic Church leadership has already reasoned, preached and politically negotiated their way around these explicit commands of Jesus Christ, cleverly inferring that some people have no need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his Holy Catholic Church. Now, as part of this “New Evangelization” they want us to do the same. That’s certainly new and novel, but it’s also material heresy – and that’s not something that any Catholic should be preaching!

Pope Francis’ attempt at projecting an image of a kinder, gentler, “big tent” modern Catholic Church is something that would be laudable if such had not already been the case since the very beginning, courtesy of its’ divine founder and finisher, Jesus Christ.

If things have gone off the track in recent times, the hierarchy might consider going back to and once again learning to rely on what God has already provided, that which the Catholic Church has always possessed in unlimited, supernatural abundance and which – in every age except perhaps, this present, wicked one – has always proved to be sufficient.

Seen on the web: Surely the Vicar of Christ must know this by the efficacy of the grace of office?

John Hladky

…That the Supreme Vicar of Christ on earth should not also have the grace of office to understand that concern for the (Traditional Latin) liturgy can never be divorced from charity, or that the needs of people in this present time are intimately assumed into the life of Christ through the Holy Mass seems to me incredible, unless there be some great cloak of darkness blinding one to truth.

What is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass if not Charity itself? What is the Holy Mass if not concern for the concrete needs of the present time? Or that those who wander in darkness, through the Mass, enter into an effulgence of light by the redeeming power of Christ?

Only the powers of darkness would accuse those who love the Holy Mass of some pretentious display, as if love for the exaltation of God did not proceed from charity. Is it possible that Christ who has taken upon Himself all the sins of all peoples of all times should not also be capable of satisfying every need of every soul He came to redeem?

Surely the Vicar of Christ must know this by the efficacy of the grace of office? And if he does not, what then is the nature of the darkness that cloaks him from the light of Christ?…

View this and other relevant coments

Pope Francis’ emotional arguments for economic reforms

Unlike Leo XIII and Pius XI, Francis’ analysis is not rooted in our obligations in justice (although he places a few off hand allusions to justice). The overwhelming thrust of his argument is emotional. Rather than requiring all to fulfill their duties in justice he exhorts those in business to have a sentimental emotional reaction to the plight of the poor. This leads him to plea for mercy and generosity, which are good things to seek, but to neglect claims of justice.

The problem with appeals predominately to mercy and generosity is that such terms suggest that action is optional or discretionary and not required by the moral law. Rather than talking about our sins against justice Francis decries our “being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain” Whereas the prior popes explained the inherent limits on the use of private property as a principle of Natural Law, for Francis this is only a “spontaneous reaction”

Essentially Francis conceives of Catholic social doctrine as an emotional “option for the poor” to avoid inequality. The ultimate source of this reduction of traditional doctrine lies in the conflation of the supernatural with the natural initiated by the “new theology” of Henri de Lubac.

This theologian accused of Modernism before the Council but rehabilitated by John XXIII to become a Council expert, rejected the Thomistic distinction between the natural and the supernatural. Although for St. Thomas grace builds on nature, nature is not grace and our life here is only our natural end. Our ultimate end is greater and distinct. Our pursuit of our natural end must be in light of and oriented toward our ultimate supernatural end.

This blurring of the distinction results in a theology and philosophy centered on man and his natural well-being, which has now been elevated to a supernatural status rather than centered on God.

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The Catholic schools in America that have adopted state standards and seek state accreditation have left the path of wisdom

As Monsignor Ronald Knox said: “We are here to colonize heaven not make things better on earth.” Our beloved Catholic schools seem to have blurred the line between first and second things. Pope Benedict elucidates the first things that concern Catholic schools. First things are permanent things: charity, Christ, Church doctrine, principles of truth, and the virtues. Second things are temporary: material goods, contributing to society, and committing to action.

The reason that a Catholic education must not focus on improving conditions in society is best explained by C.S. Lewis, who said, “When you put first things first, second things are not suppressed, but increase.” Improving material conditions in society is a second thing that follows the first thing of a well-ordered character, especially a character conformed to Christ. C.S. Lewis further explained that “when you put second things first, you lose both first and second.” A proper philosophy of Catholic education is concerned solely with the first things as is demonstrated by Pope Benedict’s clear statement; the second things, like societal welfare, will take care of themselves.

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Editor’s note: This is almost diametrically opposed to the teachings of our current pope.

Being authentically Catholic can be complicated

keeprightwrongThe Catholic vision of life permeates everything. Thus, it shapes the way I view sexuality – as a great gift from God but also with certain boundaries and limits – but also the way I view how we should build our towns and cities and care for the environment, raise our animals, cultivate our food. The Catholic principle of subsidiarity – mentioned earlier – causes me to be distrustful of big government – where it isn’t warranted – but also of big corporations.

None of this fits into our neat political categories. And it leads to quite a bit of misunderstanding from those on the outside.

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For centuries the Freemasons have been working to infiltrate the Vatican and to install their own Pope while emphasizing a “social gospel.”

A new masonic Pope imbued with Italian and humanitarian principles to corrupt the Church from within?

An authentic charity always places God first. We read in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that, “Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God” (1822).

Proponents of the Social Gospel attempt to reverse this order. They would have us put man first and God (if at all) after. For some 40 years now Catholics have been subjected to a watered-down Catholicism which seeks to replace many basic truths of the Faith with an emphasis on the temporal. It was Bishop Fulton John Sheen who said that the unrepentant sinner turns to ‘social justice” to ease his conscience.

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Rejecting and/or destroying the gifts of God can’t lead to anything good.

We began our discussion with the Papal theologian how the Catholic Church could defend its ‘hard teaching’ on contraception.

Fr. Giertych emphasized that the issue is about a reality that applies to everyone. He explained, “it’s not only a question of being in sync with Church teaching, it’s being in sync with reality, with the nature of the human person and the nature of love, which we received from God, whereas the Church’s teaching is showing us the way towards that supreme love.”

For Fr. Giertych there is nothing difficult about the answer of why the Catholic Church forbids contraception. “Because it distorts the human sexuality, and elevates the moment of sexual pleasure, whereas it denies the fundamental finality of sexuality, which is the transmission of life,” he said. “Sexual activity has been created, devised by God, as a way of transmitting life and expressing love, whereas contraception separates the transmission of life which it excludes, and then focuses uniquely on the pleasure, which generates, as a result, egoism.”

“The main reason why the Church says ‘no’ [to] contraception,” said Fr. Geirtych, “is that it destroys the quality of love, and marital love, which is a way of expressing the graces of the sacrament of matrimony, which is a way of living out the divine charity which is infused in the body and soul of the spouses.”

He explained that “marital love is to be of the supreme quality” but “contraception boils down to the saying of the spouse, ‘There’s something in you that I love, but there’s something in you that I hate, and I hate the fact that you can be a mother. So I require that this will be poisoned.’ Well, this is not love. It is not possible for a husband to say to his wife, ‘I love you truly,’ if at the same time he demands that she poisons in her body the capacity to transmit life, to be a mother.”

“That distortion of sexuality,” he said, “distorts human relationships, distorts the entire living-out of human sexuality.”

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Charity is the sometimes forgotten and often unseen “gooey chocolate center” of the Catholic Church.

sacred-heart-of-jesus

The Pope emphasized the importance of the spirituality of charity, which involves “giving oneself, going outside oneself and being at the continuous service of people living in extreme situations.”

On the one hand, the church has to help and heal these people as well as “bring into the Church this feeling of tenderness, which is more than a feeling, it’s a value the Mother Church can’t lose.”

Link

Here’s how the little known and often ignored Catholic principle of subsidiarity works – and why it’s so important in today’s world.

hsshenail

by Doug Lawrence

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.

For want of a shoe the horse was lost.

For want of a horse the rider was lost.

For want of a rider the message was lost.

For want of a message the battle was lost.

For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

From the Catechism:

Consult section 1878 – 1896

IN BRIEF

1890 There is a certain resemblance between the unity of the divine persons and the fraternity that men ought to establish among themselves.

1891 The human person needs life in society in order to develop in accordance with his nature. Certain societies, such as the family and the state, correspond more directly to the nature of man.

1892 “The human person . . . is and ought to be the principle, the subject, and the object of every social organization” (GS 25 § 1).

1893 Widespread participation in voluntary associations and institutions is to be encouraged.

1894 In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, neither the state nor any larger society should substitute itself for the initiative and responsibility of individuals and intermediary bodies.

1895 Society ought to promote the exercise of virtue, not obstruct it. It should be animated by a just hierarchy of values.

1896 Where sin has perverted the social climate, it is necessary to call for the conversion of hearts and appeal to the grace of God. Charity urges just reforms. There is no solution to the social question apart from the Gospel (cf. CA 3, 5).

Editor’s note: If everybody understands their own order (mission) in life, along with their rights, responsibilities and their own particular vocation and talents under God … then … acting with charity (love) … for the common good … every part of society … beginning with the individual and the family … illuminated by the Gospel and suitably empowered by God’s grace … might reach its’ true potential … according to the dignity of the human person, who is created for good, in the image and likeness of God.

Evil doers, deniers, exploiters, usurpers and shirkers introduce deadly weaknesses and harmful anomalies into society, resulting in various forms of immorality, human suffering and social injustice.

The church and its’ members are called to help remedy these ills by means of authentic Gospel values … primarily charity and truth … embodying a genuine respect and personal concern for the fundamental rights and essential needs of every human person.

This is to be considered a direct and personal responsibility … one child of God helping another … and whenever possible … such duties should not be entrusted to third parties, government bureaucracies, or other far-flung, impersonal organizations.

In short: There’s always plenty of good, charitable work to be done, one-on-one, right in your own back yard. Relying solely on government and/or other third parties to accomplish this great and important work often deprives both the donor and the recipient of the corresponding spiritual and corporal rewards. This, along with the distinct absence of any real personal connection, results in significant losses to society, at virtually every level.

While he still walked the earth, Jesus Christ never asked anyone how much money they gave to some nameless, faceless, charity. He said this:

And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty. And all nations shall be gathered together before him: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.

Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.

Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry and fed thee: thirsty and gave thee drink? Or when did we see thee a stranger and took thee in? Or naked and covered thee? Or when did we see thee sick or in prison and came to thee?

And the king answering shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.  (Matthew 25:31-40)

Occasional, impersonal actions, accomplished at substantial distance are better than nothing, but they simply do not carry the same “weight” as personal acts of charity and kindness … one child of God to another … for either the donor or the recipient. Today’s world is a far colder, darker and scarier place, as a result.

Related reading:

RERUM NOVARUM – ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII
ON CAPITAL AND LABOR
 

CENTESIMUS ANNUS – ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN PAUL II
ON THE 100th ANNIVERSARY OF RERUM NOVARUM

CARITAS IN VERITATE –  ENCYCLICAL OF POPE BENEDICT XVI
THE PROCLAMATION OF TRUTH AND LOVE IN SOCIETY

The Vatican should sell exclusive broadcast rights to the next Conclave. Proceeds could be used to feed the naked and clothe the hungry.

vatconf

by Doug Lawrence

The TV networks seem to be pleased with the ratings from all the latest Vatican Conclave related broadcasts, but why should they expect to get all of that for free?

They’re used to actively bidding for exclusive broadcast rights to the Olympics, the World Series, the Superbowl, and other similar sorts of programming, and and they have no problem spending plenty of cash to obtain those rights. Cable TV is already making big money on historical dramas, based loosely on the Vatican, so why shouldn’t the church … and the poor … receive their “cut”.

Would it be so wrong for the Vatican to auction off exclusive broadcast rights to the highest bidders, and then use the proceeds for charity? They could even go so far as to organize the Cardinal electors into different teams … Survivor style … in order to boost the ratings … and the revenues … even more. Just lift the veil of secrecy from the Conclave … and have film crews accompany key Cardinals during the run up. Lots of juicy politics and potential programming there!

The networks would make money, the people would be entertained, the sponsors would have more direct access to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, and the poor would reap the ultimate benefits. Something this good could even have Popes resigning every few years, greatly increasing the chances of advancement/upward mobility for all the clergy!

The possibilities for a Vatican Television Network (VTN) also are truly endless. They could hire the guys from “Cheaters” to track wayward priests. They could revive the old “Queen for A Day” television show, but with a twist; this time, female priest wannabees get to live out their fantasy for a day, and we all get to watch.  The popular “Shark Tank” format would be perfect for televising mini inquisitions, or meetings between the bishops and LCWR sisters. And for Sunday evenings, they could develop dramas like “Desperate Nuns” or “Revenge of the Thornbirds”.

Now, do you see all the great things that can happen when you open up the windows and let in the outside world?

God is love. Love is another word for charity. By the grace of God, this is what the Catholic Church has always been about.

According to Pope Benedict XVI’s latest motu proprio letter
“The Church’s Deepest Nature”:

It is important, however, to keep in mind that “practical activity will always be insufficient, unless it visibly expresses a love for man, a love nourished by an encounter with Christ” (ibid., 34). In carrying out their charitable activity, therefore, the various Catholic organizations should not limit themselves merely to collecting and distributing funds, but should show special concern for individuals in need and exercise a valuable educational function within the Christian community, helping people to appreciate the importance of sharing, respect and love in the spirit of the Gospel of Christ. The Church’s charitable activity at all levels must avoid the risk of becoming just another form of organized social assistance (cf. ibid., 31).

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New motu proprio letter from Pope Benedict XVI on the Catholic identity and ecclesial oversight of the church’s charitable efforts.

biblebenedict

Initially published in Latin by the Holy See, the text is entitled Intima Ecclesiae natura – in English, “The Church’s Deepest Nature,” with a subhead “De Caritate Ministranda”; that is, “On the Service of Charity”… and in full, here it is:

Link

Tom Monaghan talks about giving away fortune, new hamburger joint and getting to heaven

“I don’t think anybody’s thought more about how to invest their charitable dollars than I have,” he told the audience. “I never found anybody that came up with a better idea than helping people get to heaven.”

Speaking of raising money to further Catholic education at Ave Maria, he said, “It’s not a short-term investment. It’s a very, very, very long-term investment. It’s eternity.”

There were lighter moments, too, as when he drew laughter by saying, “I wanted to be a priest from the time I was in the second grade, until I sat behind Lois in the seventh grade.”

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A story of faith, hope and love: “Do you believe in Easter?”

THE STORY OF EDITH BURNS…

Happy Easter!

Edith Burns was a wonderful Christian who lived in San Antonio , Texas . She was the patient of a doctor by the name of Will Phillips. Dr. Phillips was a gentle doctor who saw patients as people. His favorite patient was Edith Burns.

One morning he went to his office with a heavy heart and it was because of Edith Burns. When he walked into that waiting room, there sat Edith with her big black Bible in her lap earnestly talking to a young mother sitting beside her.

Edith Burns had a habit of introducing herself in this way: “Hello, my name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?” Then she would explain the meaning of Easter, and many times people would be saved.

Dr. Phillips walked into that office and there he saw the head nurse, Beverly . Beverly had first met Edith when she was taking her blood pressure.

Edith began by saying, “My name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?”

Beverly said, “Why yes I do.”

Edith said, “Well, what do you believe about Easter?”

Beverly said, “Well, it’s all about egg hunts, going to church, and dressing up.” Edith kept pressing her about the real meaning of Easter, and finally led her to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Phillips said, ” Beverly, don’t call Edith into the office quite yet. I believe there is another delivery taking place in the waiting room.

After being called back in the doctor’s office, Edith sat down and when she took a look at the doctor she said, “Dr. Will, why are you so sad? Are you reading your Bible? Are you praying?”

Dr. Phillips said gently, “Edith, I’m the doctor and you’re the patient.” With a heavy heart he said, “Your lab report came back and it says you have cancer, and Edith, you’re not going to live very long.”

Edith said, “Why Will Phillips, shame on you. Why are you so sad? Do you think God makes mistakes? You have just told me I’m going to see my precious Lord Jesus, my husband, and my friends. You have just told me that I am going to celebrate Easter forever, and here you are having difficulty giving me my ticket!”

Dr. Phillips thought to himself, “What a magnificent woman this Edith Burns is!”

Edith continued coming to Dr. Phillips. Christmas came and the office was closed through January 3rd. On the day the office opened, Edith did not show up. Later that afternoon, Edith called Dr. Phillips and said she would have to be moving her story to the hospital and said, “Will, I’m very near home, so would you make sure that they put women in here next to me in my room who need to know about Easter.”

Well, they did just that and women began to come in and share that room with Edith. Many women were saved. Everybody on that floor from staff to patients were so excited about Edith, that they started calling her Edith Easter; that is everyone except Phyllis Cross, the head nurse.

Phyllis made it plain that she wanted nothing to do with Edith because she was a “religious nut”. She had been a nurse in an army hospital. She had seen it all and heard it all. She was the original G.I. Jane. She had been married three times, she was hard, cold, and did everything by the book.

One morning the two nurses who were to attend to Edith were sick. Edith had the flu and Phyllis Cross had to go in and give her a shot.

When she walked in, Edith had a big smile on her face and said, “Phyllis, God loves you and I love you, and I have been praying for you.”

Phyllis Cross said, “Well, you can quit praying for me, it won’t work.. I’m not interested.”

Edith said, “Well, I will pray and I have asked God not to let me go home until you come into the family.”

Phyllis Cross said, “Then you will never die because that will never happen,” and curtly walked out of the room.

Every day Phyllis Cross would walk into the room and Edith would say, “God loves you Phyllis and I love you, and I’m praying for you.”

One day Phyllis Cross said she was literally drawn to Edith’s room like a magnet would draw iron. She sat down on the bed and Edith said, “I’m so glad you have come, because God told me that today is your special day”

Phyllis Cross said, “Edith, you have asked everybody here the question, “Do you believe in Easter but you have never asked me.”

Edith said, “Phyllis, I wanted to many times, but God told me to wait until you asked, and now that you have asked.” Edith Burns took her Bible and shared with Phyllis Cross the Easter Story of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Edith said, “Phyllis, do you believe in Easter? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is alive and that He wants to live in your heart?”

Phyllis Cross said, “Oh I want to believe that with all of my heart, and I do want Jesus in my life “Right there, Phyllis Cross prayed and invited Jesus Christ into her heart. For the first time Phyllis Cross did not walk out of a hospital room, she was carried out on the wings of angels.

Two days later, Phyllis Cross came in and Edith said, “Do you know what day it is?” Phyllis Cross said, “Why Edith, it’s Good Friday.”

Edith said, “Oh, no, for you every day is Easter. Happy Easter Phyllis!”

Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis Cross came into work, did some of her duties and then went down to the flower shop and got some Easter lilies because she wanted to go up to see Edith and give her some Easter lilies and wish her a Happy Easter.

When she walked into Edith’s room, Edith was in bed. That big black Bible was on her lap. Her hands were in that Bible. There was a sweet smile on her face. When Phyllis Cross went to pick up Edith’s hand, she realized Edith was dead. Her left hand was on John 14: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

Her right hand was on Revelation 21:4, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Phyllis Cross took one look at that dead body, and then lifted her face toward heaven, and with tears streaming down her cheeks, said, “Happy Easter, Edith – Happy Easter!”

Phyllis Cross left Edith’s body, walked out of the room, and over to a table where two student nurses were sitting.

She said, “My name is Phyllis Cross. Do you believe in Easter?”

Submitted by Joan H.