Perhaps you think you’re not “God material”?

Goduse

Submitted by Bob Stanley

Let’s hope this doesn’t get to be a habit!

giftboxes

by Doug Lawrence

A good friend recently sent us a Christmas card, along with an enclosed, thoughtful little gift.

To show our appreciation, I decided to enclose in his Christmas card, a gift card to a local restaurant that he was known to frequent.

I was at the store, selecting the gift card, when I happened to mention to a fellow shopper what a nice surprise it was to receive the card and enclosed gift from our friend – and that I wanted to properly reciprocate – and that’s why I was taking a bit more time than usual to pick out my gift card.

My fellow shopper replied (with a straight face, and as far as I know, was being totally serious), “Let’s hope this idea of sending little gifts to each other doesn’t get to be a habit!”

taxi-cab-300x225

Things like this always remind me of the day my mom sternly cautioned my taxi-cab driver brother, “Now don’t go picking up any strangers!”

You can’t make this stuff up.

gift box photo: Ebay

taxi cab picture: clipartlord.com

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.”

Read more

Resurrecting an old heresy: Does Pope Francis know what the word “pelagian” actually means?

The doing of “charitable deeds” for the Pope remain the only path to God, even if “in the history of the Church there have been many mistakes along the way” on the one hand the error of those who have relied on meditation to “go higher” – “How many lose themselves along the way and never arrive”, said Francesco; on the other hand there are those who believe that to arrive to God one must be “humble, austere”, choosing the path of “penitence” and  “fasting” only.  They are the pelagians, who believe that with their strength they will get there”.  – Pope Francis

Link

Editor’s note from the Catholic Enclopedia:

Pursuant to the papal command, there was held on 1 May, 418, in the presence of 200 bishops, the famous Council of Carthage, which again branded Pelagianism as a heresy in eight (or nine) canons (Denzinger, “Enchir.”, 10th ed., 1908, 101-8). Owing to their importance they may be summarized:

Death did not come to Adam from a physical necessity, but through sin.

New-born children must be baptized on account of original sin.

Justifying grace not only avails for the forgiveness of past sins, but also gives assistance for the avoidance of future sins.

The grace of Christ not only discloses the knowledge of God’s commandments, but also imparts strength to will and execute them.

Without God’s grace it is not merely more difficult, but absolutely impossible to perform good works.

Not out of humility, but in truth must we confess ourselves to be sinners.

The saints refer the petition of the Our Father, “Forgive us our trespasses”, not only to others, but also to themselves.

The saints pronounce the same supplication not from mere humility, but from truthfulness.

Some codices containing a ninth canon (Denzinger, loc. cit., note 3): Children dying without baptism do not go to a “middle place” (medius locus), since the non reception of baptism excludes both from the “kingdom of heaven” and from “eternal life”.

These clearly worded canons, which (except the last-named) afterwards came to be articles of faith binding on the universal Church, gave the death blow to Pelagianism; sooner or later it would bleed to death.

Saint Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:4-12: Now there are diversities of graces, but the same Spirit. (5) And there are diversities of ministries. but the same Lord. (6) And there are diversities of operations, but the same God, who worketh all in all. (7) And the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man unto profit. (8) To one indeed, by the Spirit, is given the word of wisdom: and to another, the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit: (9) To another, faith in the same spirit: to another, the grace of healing in one Spirit: (10) To another the working of miracles: to another, prophecy: to another, the discerning of spirits: to another, diverse kinds of tongues: to another, interpretation of speeches. (11) But all these things, one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as he will. (12) For as the body is one and hath many members; and all the members of the body, whereas they are many, yet are one body: So also is Christ.

Feast of the Epiphany: The gifts of the Magi were both practical and prophetic.

christmas

by Doug Lawrence

The nation of Israel managed to kill every prophet God sent to them. Jesus, the prophesied Messiah, and a prophet in his own right,  would be treated similarly. So the gift of myrrh … typically used to prepare the dead for burial … was indeed both practical and prophetic.

Since the time of Moses and Aaron, the burning of incense in the Tabernacle/Temple had always been a priestly function, and it remains so, even  today. Jesus was and is our heavenly high priest, so the gift of frankincense was indeed both practical and prophetic.

Gold was a gift fit for a king. According to 1st Timothy 6:15, Revelation 17:14 and 19:16, Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Besides, the gold would come in handy for expenses, during the Holy Family’s subsequent flight to Egypt. So, the gift of gold was indeed both practical and prophetic.

The concept of the promised Messiah as the God-man who was also priest, prophet and king is now widely understood, but that certainly was not the case in the Middle East, around the beginning of the 1st century. Yet, on the Feast of the Epiphany, we celebrate the fact that the Magi somehow managed to get it right.

Practical and prophetic, indeed!

Divine Mercy Celebration at Our Lady of Peace – Darien, IL – Sunday – April 15, 2012

Our Lady of Peace Parish
701 W. Plainfield Road
Darien, IL 60559

1:30 – 2:45 pm Confessions (resume at 4:00pm)
It is not possible for everyone to go to confession on the same day.
As Fr. Seraphim, MIC has said: “God will not ask us to do the impossible”.
We should be preparing for the Feast of Mercy
during the whole season of Lent,
and we should make our confession even before Holy Week.
To gain grace, one should make a good confession
within the week of the Divine Mercy Feast Day.

1:30 pm Video “Time for Mercy” Video in School Gym
Find out ……
– The origin of the devotion
– Jesus’ message to St. Faustina
– How this devotion impacts our world today

3:00 – 4:00 pm Hour of Great Mercy
– Exposition
– Chaplet of The Divine Mercy
– Benediction
– Blessing of Religious Articles
– Veneration of St. Faustina’s relic

1:30 & 4 – 5 pm Gift shop open in school lobby

“Jesus, I Trust In You!”

Submitted by Heidi B.

This Week’s Ask Alice: Discerning Spirits. Dealing with apparitions.



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Carolyn Asks: My youngest daughter has twice seen a man during Mass that is wearing what she calls “Ellis Island” clothing. Yesterday at Holy Thursday service, she witnessed him during the consecration. She said he genuflected, put his cap on (touring cap) and walked out the back. He is older (she described a bowl cut hairstyle). She is very uncomfortable about this. As side note, recently, while spending the night at a friend’s house, she witnessed what she described as three ghosts . I called our priest about that. We went to confession asap. She slept on our floor for a month. She’s okay, now. She’s 16 years old. Should I find her a spiritual director?

Alice Answers: It is a privilege to answer your question. I believe your daughter has a special gift. She sees spirits because the eyes of her heart are open wide to Christ, and to the members of His Mystical Body.

Many years ago, during the consecration at Mass, I saw John, our deceased parish business manager. He was on the left side of the church, behind the altar. John had been kind to me when we served together on the Parish Council. Seeing him brought tears to my eyes by reminding me that, even in death, we remain connected, through the Body of Christ.

One evening at a party, I was telling a friend about seeing John’s spirit. An elderly priest approached and told me I had been given a gift.

Many people see spirits. Through the years, relatives, friends, and even complete strangers have shared their stories with me.

Spirits exist, whether or not we are aware of their presence. There are good and evil spirits all around us. Good spirits appear to bring us messages, comfort or assistance.

Sometimes, souls appear, asking us to pray for their release from Purgatory. Or, a soul might manifest, asking us to tell a loved one that they are well and happy.

Evil spirits also sometimes make their presence known, to people both good and bad. They tempt, taunt, disturb, and attempt to lure people away from God.

Scripture tells us to test the spirits:

“Beloved, do not trust every spirit, but put the spirits to a test to see if they belong to God.” (1John 4:1)

If your daughter has not engaged in occult practices, utilizing a Ouija board or Tarot cards, exploring Wicca, or visiting a psychic, then she most likely has not opened the door to evil spirits.

Since your daughter was cautious and uncomfortable toward the spirits she encountered, she seems to be wise in faith. If she has a good relationship with the Lord, then you can be reasonably sure that her mysticism comes from God.

As you have already demonstrated, frequent reception of the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Penance are most important to your daughter’s spiritual growth and strength. Prayer and visits to the Blessed Sacrament will draw your daughter closer to the Lord.

Hopefully, she has some Catholic friends to help support and encourage her, in her faith.

Should you seek a spiritual director for your daughter? That’s a tough question!

Some priests, not having experienced mystical experiences themselves, may be squeamish and/or skeptical about such things, and may not be of much help. Pray that if God desires a spiritual director for your daughter, He will lead you to that person. A spiritual director doesn’t have to be a priest or religious, but might be a lay man or woman, who has been given the gift of wisdom.

“To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good…Prophecy is given to one; to another power to distinguish one spirit from another.” (1 Corinthians 12:7, 10)

Clearly, God has given your daughter spiritual gifts and a loving, devoted mother to watch over and guide her. She is indeed blessed! As the late, soon to be beatified, Pope John Paul II liked to say, “Be not afraid!”

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

EWTN Q&A Forum on the subject with related links

Book excerpt from Google Books by noted author, theologian and philosopher Peter Kreeft, on the subject (see pages 32-35).

Seven kinds of ghosts

Seven steps to self deliverance

Useful Prayer Resources

A collection of related Q&A’s

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns