Randy Engel’s Old Time Religion Prescription, for Catholics

… let us continue to do all that is necessary for our own salvation and for those entrusted to our care. We need to be soldiers of Christ and for Christ. Cradle Catholics like me know the holy drill well enough, at least in part, but it nevertheless bears repeating.

Following the four divisions of the doctrines of salvation found in The Catechism of the Council of Trent: the Apostles Creed (what we are to believe); the Sacraments (the instruments of grace); the Ten Commandments (what we must do); and the Lord’s Prayer (whatever can be the object of the Christian’s desires, or hopes, or prayers), let us strive to:

  • Love God with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, and with our whole strength, and our neighbor as thyself.
  • Live the spiritual life according to our state in life.
  • Be modest in speech, dress and demeanor as is befitting a child of God
  • Keep custody of our eyes; avoid the near occasions of sin.
  • Keep ourselves in the state of grace.
  • Attend the Traditional Mass.
  • Frequent the Sacraments especially that of Penance and the Holy Communion.
  • Bring the body under subjugation by fasting, acts of penance, and the offering up of sufferings in reparation for thy sins and those of the world.
  • Read Holy Scripture; set time apart for daily meditation and recitation of the Rosary, before the Blessed Sacrament when possible.
  • Cultivate a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Attend First Friday and First Saturday Masses.
  • Pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory and unbaptized children in Limbo.
  • Pray to our Guardian Angel and to our patron saint (s) daily.
  • Make generous use of Sacramentals especially the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
  • Pray for our enemies recalling the words of Saint Thomas More written in the Tower of London, 1534: “To think my most enemies my best friends, for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good with their love and favor as they did him with their malice and hatred.”
  • Give Glory to the One Triune God — Father, Son and Holy Ghost — always and everywhere.

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This Week’s Ask Alice: Why the Vatican?



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer your Catholic questions
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Roy writes: Jesus wasn’t born and raised in the Vatican, so why the Vatican is your holy city?

Alice explains: Catholics recognize Rome as our holy city since it is the place where Peter, Christ’s successor and our first pope, was martyred. Peter was given the keys to the kingdom by Jesus. Catholics acknowledge Peter as the earthly head of our Church.

“And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church and the powers of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)

Jesus instructed his apostles to preach the gospel all over the world, which meant spreading their efforts outward far past Jerusalem.

“It is not for you to know the times orasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The disciples felt called to travel and preach the gospel in Rome. “There we found some brothers and were urged to stay with them for seven days. And thus we came to Rome.” (Acts 28:14)

Since God is omniscient (all knowing) and exists outside of time, He certainly knew what He was doing when moving our holy city from Jerusalem to Rome. Considering that Jerusalem has been a lit firecracker in the Middle East for centuries, the Holy Spirit wisely inspired Church leaders to choose a sacred city that’s removed from the fighting fray.

From 70 to 130 A.D., Jerusalem was the scene of terrible persecution. Through the centuries Jerusalem has been conquered and ruled by Muslims. Geographically, Rome sits by itself rather than in the midst of the troubled Middle East.

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

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Doug Lawrence Adds:  I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “All roads lead to Rome.”

In the early days of Christianity, that was literally true … and also, the reverse.

Rome was then the very heart of the civilized world’s system of government, commerce and industry. A network of excellent roads, coupled with easy, reliable connections by sea, made Rome the literal “center” of the earth.

With new Christian communities constantly popping up throughout the world, all of them in need of inspired, timely, and expert guidance, there was truly “no place like Rome” from which to stay in constant contact, with the Holy See of Peter effectively leading the budding church, in all things Catholic.

During the 4th century, with the rise of Emperor Constantine, who at once ended the persecutions, became a dedicated supporter of the Catholic Church, and eventually, a Catholic himself.

The wisdom behind the selection of Rome for the location of the Holy See soon became even more apparent, as the Catholic Church continued to greatly benefit from the dedicated patronage of both the Emperor Constantine and his mother, St. Helena.

The contemporary writings of the Roman historian and Catholic Bishop Eusebius, aptly chronicle those events (and more.)

Read all about that here (particularly in Books IX and X.)

When the Empire eventually fell, the Roman Catholic Church found itself in a unique position, charged with rebuilding modern western civilization in the image of heaven … a daunting task that was eventually accomplished with a very high degree of success … through the grace of God … and the holy, inspired work of generations of dedicated Catholic men and women.

Book Selection: How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

It’s also interesting to note that the Jews, as a nation or people, have never accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah … while the formerly pagan Romans … the ones who actually nailed Jesus to the cross and thrust the spear through his heart … did indeed convert … and they have remained staunchly Catholic for (at least) the last 1500 years.

All the more reason to choose Rome, rather than Jerusalem, as the headquarters of the universal church … at least, until Jesus comes again … bringing with him the “New Jerusalem”.

(Revelation 3:12)  He that shall overcome, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God: and he shall go out no more. And I will write upon him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and my new name.

(Revelation 21:2)  And I, John, saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Besides … “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it.” (Psalms 127:1)

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

Unlike other religious juridical systems, Sharia intends to regulate, convert, or enslave the non-Muslim.

Amy Sullivan typically takes to comparing sharia with that of Jewish Beit Din, or even Catholic canon law, and finds no differences, “it’s all about marriage contracts and commercial disputes”, so no need to look behind the green curtain. There is a world of difference between these religious systems, only sharia law involves the non-Muslim, you only need to ask those who have been victimized by it to understand the stark differences, it truly does affect those who belong outside that ideology…

Link

Editor’s note: While ideologies, creeds, and ends certainly vary, the source of the principles behind all three systems can be found in the Old Testament, Mosaic Law.

Love hurts: Brilliant converted Israeli Jew first becomes Catholic priest, now a high Vatican official.

Jaeger’s appointment to the Holy See’s highest judicial body – comprising 20 auditors hand-picked by the pope and headed by Dean of the Rota Antoni Stankiewicz – is considered a personal sign of appreciation by the pope for Jaeger’s years as legal adviser to the delegation that negotiated the Vatican’s Fundamental Agreement with Israel. This pact, signed in 1993, enabled the establishment of diplomatic relations between the parties the following year.

Jaeger, 56, was born in Tel Aviv to Gershon, a legendary history teacher at the Ironi A High School, and Dvora, who served as Brazil’s deputy consul in Israel.

“He was a genius, physically large, an intellectual at a young age,” Stanger said. “He spoke unusually maturely for his age. And children abused and hurt him.”

As a teenager, Stanger continued, “Jaeger disappeared for six years.” When he returned, at 22, he met Stanger and told him, “You know, I’m now in the church.”

Link

A comedy writer’s conversion story. No kidding!

My name is Tom Leopold and I’m a comedy writer (Seinfeld, Cheers, Will and Grace…). I am a Jewish comedy writer, although I always felt saying that was kind of redundant. So much of my humor — practically all of it I suppose— comes from who my people are, what they’ve been through and how they were able to turn it all on its head and find the funny side, even and especially if there was none to find.

I know it sounds odd, but I always liked Jesus. I was never “deep” enough to wrestle with the concept of his being the son of God. For me he had this James Dean-Bob Dylan-daring rebel-hero “thing” about him. Once in a while, I did wonder, had I been nearby when Jesus walked among us, would I have had seen him for who he said he was? And, if so, would I have had the courage to say “Hey, everybody says we’re waiting on the Messiah. Well, the ‘wait’ is over!” Fast forward two thousand years later and I’d follow Jesus anywhere if he’d have me.

Come Easter I’ll still be a comedy writer, but a Catholic one. I consider my upcoming baptism a blessing. One that ranks right up there with the day I met my wife or the birth of our two daughters, to say nothing of having the good fortune to have made a living in a business that I love.

So here is a flashback of how I became Catholic.
(Cue the music!)

American Jewish Committee lauds Cardinal Kasper, noting opposition to proselytism

The American Jewish Committee presented its Isaiah Interreligious Award to Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, at the conclusion of its annual meeting on April 30.

“Cardinal Kasper has made some of the most far-reaching statements regarding the Catholic Church and Judaism, has firmly opposed attempts to proselytize Jews and has been a champion in the struggle against anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism,” said Rabbi David Rosen, the American Jewish Committee’s international director of interreligious affairs.

“I am deeply moved by this high distinction and I cannot but express my deep gratitude to AJC for the honor conferred upon me as a German, as a Catholic theologian and as President of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with Jews,” said Cardinal Kasper. “I am deeply grateful that I have been able to contribute to making a difference in relations between our two communities and to a healing process of the deep wounds inherited from the past.”

“We strive together to make a difference in the world, working for the good of our children and the children of our children so that atrocities such as the Holocaust can never happen again,” Cardinal Kasper added.

Editor’s note: The Cardinal is flat-out wrong on this issue. The pope ought to tell him so. The Great Commission still applies to Jews, as well as everyone else. Jesus made no exceptions.

See the section on Judaism, elsewhere on this site.

Comments on Christmas from Ben Stein

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Ben Stein on Christmas:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

On a similar note:

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Hurricane Katrina).. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’

In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said okay..

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

Link

Submitted by Norma H.

Even after official USCCB revision, controversy remains over Catholic Catechism, status of the Jews

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“…the Catholic faith is rooted…in the irrevocable covenant made with Abraham…for it is the teaching of both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures that the Jews are beloved of God, who has called them with an irrevocable calling.” This is the covenant that saves Jews and Gentiles, but neither the Jews nor the Gentiles can be a part of it unless they believe as Abraham believed, and today, that means accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, as Scripture says of Abraham and Moses (cf. John 8:56; Heb 11:26; Rom 4:1-4). This was the covenant that divided Jew from Jew, because only those Jews who had a genuine faith-relationship with God and confessed their sins could ever reap the benefits of that covenant (Romans 3:28-4:12). That is why Paul says in Romans 9:6: “For they are not all Israel who are from Israel.” When Christ came, the spiritual side of the Abrahamic covenant became the New Covenant, and Jews and Gentiles are presently being saved in that very covenant (cf. Romans 4:1-24; Gal 3:6-29; Hebrews 10:16-18; 2 Corinthians 3:6-18).

The difference between Abraham’s physical covenant of circumcision and the spiritual covenant of salvation is that all the Jews were part of the former, but only those who believed as God required them to believe were part of the latter.

In the same way, all Jews today who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are part of Abraham’s spiritual covenant, and, of course, those who disbelieve are not members of that covenant, but of the synagogue of Satan, as it were.

The crucial point is: the covenant that is “not revoked” does not apply to ALL Jews. It only applies to believing Jews, Jews who believe in Jesus Christ, the God of Abraham (Galatians 3:29: “And if you belong to Christ then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”).

Practically speaking, most Jews (since they do not believe in Jesus Christ) are not members of Abraham’s spiritual covenant, and they have no other covenant that can bring them to God, for there is only one name under heaven by which men can be saved, namely, Jesus Christ.

So, it would behoove Fr. Massa to stop teaching that the Jews, en masse or at large, have “a” covenant with God, and that because of this unidentified covenant they possess some “real relationship with God” or that they possess some lofty spiritual status with God that Gentiles don’t have. There is no such covenant, for in the only covenant that exists today there is no Jew or Gentile in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:28).

Read the article

Apostle’s successors officially no longer seek conversion of Jews. What would Jesus do?

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Now that the year of St. Paul has officially ended:

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“The USCCB reaffirms what the Holy See has stated repeatedly: that while the Catholic Church does not proselytize the Jewish people, neither does she fail to witness to them her faith in Christ, nor to welcome them to share in that same faith whenever appropriate,” said Bishop Lori, chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine and Pastoral Practice.”

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(Editor’s note: So much for almost 2000 years of Catholic Tradition. The leadership of the Catholic Church has no guts, and has finally managed to officially and quite publicly reject one of the “prime directives”  of Jesus Christ.

Barack Obama, the ABORTION President surely understands this, as do the forces of evil everywhere. No wonder Catholics get no respect!)

The Gospel of Matthew duly notes the words of Jesus Christ, in the Great Commission::

Matthew 28:18-20 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.

This policy is not only heretical, but it is also fundamentally anti-Semitic … while at the same time … anti-Christian. Can we now expect an updated translation of the New American Bible, which might read something like this?

And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: SOME power is given to me in heaven and on earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations (except for Israel) baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost (except for the Jews). Teaching them to observe only SOME of the things I have commanded you. And behold, even though I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world,  be afraid. Be very afraid. And please leave the Jews alone, since it would be politically incorrect to seek their conversion, and a lot of work, too.

St. Stephen, first martyr of the Catholic Church, pray for us.

Read the article

Words of wisdom from Fr. Burke Masters

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I had a very interesting conversation on the plane ride home last week from St. Paul, MN. I was sitting with two men having an interesting theological discussion. One of the men was a practicing Orthodox Jew and the other was an Evangelical Christian Sunday School teacher. The Jewish man and I were comparing our prayer books. He was very surprised that the Catholic breviary revolves around the 150 Psalms.

But the most interesting part of the conversation revolved around “truth”. The Jewish man said that his life revolved around obligation and duty. He was very familiar with the law of the Torah, which he prayed every day in his prayer book. He said that life was not about free will and choice, but about duty and following the law. And then he said that the highest form of living was living a “life of truth”, following the law faithfully and dutifully.

This made me think of this gospel reading today. Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” I shared with my new friend how I saw truth – it was personified in Jesus Christ. I shared with him that my life was motivated by following Jesus as the “truth”. He taught us that the highest form of living was living a “life of love”. My life was motivated by teaching the truth, but always in love. I shared with him that what gave my life fulfillment were the relationships in my life – with Jesus Christ and with others.

He really thought that was interesting – that we see Jesus as ‘truth’ personified and that love was our motivating factor in life. We learned a lot from each other on this trip. We both are seeking God with our whole being.

What motivates you? Jesus tells us that He is the way, the truth and the life. The way to the Father is through Him. And His way involves loving God and neighbor.

Have a blessed day!

Fr. Burke

http://frburke23.wordpress.com

Fr. Burke Masters is Vocations Director of the Diocese of Joliet. IL

Christians, why are the chosen people (Israelites) not blessed as the Bible claim them to be?

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Q: Christians, why are the chosen people (Israelites) not blessed as the Bible claim them to be?

God said that the Israelites are so blessed and blah blah blah… but what we see today is somewhat different isn’t it? With all the war and stuff going on there.

A: God repeatedly saved the Israelites from destruction, and God uniquely blessed the Israelites by first sending his only begotten son Jesus, to them.

You can’t do any better than that.

They blew it. That’s all. But it doesn’t have to be that way forever.

Today, the spiritual dynamics are different, and the universal sacrament of salvation is the Holy Catholic Church.

Of course, everyone (Jew and Gentile alike) is welcome to freely partake of all God’s blessings, through that same universal, New Covenant Church that Jesus paid for with his own blood, and that he personally founded, authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed, for the purpose of our salvation.