Living in sin

From Adam’s “fall” to Jesus’ death, all of mankind (except for John the Baptist, and the Blessed Virgin Mary) “lived in sin”.

Today, ignoring the dire consequences, untold millions continue to choose sinful life styles, never stopping to consider how that choice might affect their death style.

One only needs to look around to see that every evil in the world is the result of sin. Despite 21st century advances in science, medicine and technology, sin remains as mankind’s “public enemy number one”.

So that you, through Christ, may truly overcome evil and so doing, overcome the world, here’s the “straight dope” on sin:

Most people would agree that the term, “living in sin” has always referred to heterosexual (male/female) couples living together (and being sexually active with each other) without benefit of the Sacrament of Matrimony.

Homosexual couples that live together (and routinely have sex with each other) are also “living in sin”. But sacramental Matrimony/Marriage can never be any part of the equation, in that case.

Broadening the definition somewhat, anyone guilty of a serious, intentional, unconfessed, unrepented and/or unforgiven offense against God or man is also likely to be “living in sin”.

Read more

Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair…and there’s even strong evidence that Jesus had long hair.


A teenage boy had just passed his driving test and inquired of his father as to when they could discuss his use of the car.

His father said he’d make a deal: ‘You bring your grades up from a C to a B average, study your Bible a little, and get your hair cut. Then we’ll talk about the car.’

The boy thought about that for a moment, decided he’d settle for the offer, and they agreed on it.

After about six weeks his father said, ‘Son, you’ve brought your grades up and I’ve observed that you have been studying your Bible, but I’m disappointed you haven’t had your hair cut.

The boy said, ‘You know, Dad, I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair…and there’s even strong evidence that Jesus had long hair.’

His father replied, ‘Did you also notice they all walked everywhere they went?

Link

Teen Driver Safety Site

On the Feast of the John The Baptist: A Strange and Wonderful, Though Long Delayed Answer

Birth of St. John the Baptist

To understand the moment we must go back in time to approximately 1900 BC. The place is a hillside called Moriah where Jerusalem would later be built. Abraham has been commended there by God where he has been told to prepare to kill him in sacrifice. Upon arriving at the foot of Moriah the text says,

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”  ”Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. ”The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb…? (Gen 22:6-8)

Do not miss the great foreshadowing here: A long promised son, about to die, carrying wood upon his shoulders ascending the very hillside where Jerusalem and Golgotha will one day be located. Yes this is a wondrous foreshadowing.

And then comes the great question to his Father: “But, Where is the Lamb?” Yes, indeed, where is the Lamb who will die so that I don’t have to? Where is the Lamb whose blood will save my life? Where is the Lamb?

Now you know the rest of that story. An angel stopped Abraham and then pointed to a ram, with it’s horns in the thicket. And you may be excused for saying, “Aha, God did provide the Lamb. End of story.” But truth be told, this ram, this lamb cannot really save Isaac. Because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins (Heb 10:4) Isaac’s death is merely postponed and then it is off to Sheol with him where he will lie and wait for the True Lamb who alone can give eternal life.

And so, that question got wafted up on to the breeze and echoed down through the Centuries that followed: “But, where is the Lamb…..where is the Lamb?”

And now we are standing by the banks of the Jordan River 19 Centuries later and John the Baptist sees a full grown man coming toward him and says a very strange thing: “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” (Jn 1:29) Yes, there is the  true Lamb who alone can take away our sins. John the Baptist supplies a strange and wonderful, though long delayed answer to a question Isaac asked 1,900 years before. Where is the Lamb?  THERE is the Lamb!

Happy birthday of John the Baptist.

Read more

Moses, Samson, John the Baptist and Jesus

A young boy had just gotten his driver’s permit and inquired of his father if they could discuss his use of the car. His father said he’d make a deal with his son.

“You bring your grades up from a C to a B average, study your Bible a little, get your hair cut, and we’ll talk about the car.”

The boy thought about that for a moment and decided that he’d settle for the offer, and they agreed on it.

After about six weeks his father said, “Son, I’ve been real proud. You brought your grades up, and I’ve observed that you have been studying your Bible, but I’m real disappointed that you haven’t gotten your hair cut.”

The young man paused a moment then said, “You know, Dad, I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair, and there’s even a strong argument that Jesus had long hair.”

And his father replied, “Did you also notice that they all walked everywhere they went?”

Submitted by Ken K.

Hopeful prayer Mother Angelica wrote for parents of miscarried/stillborn children

mother_angelicaMy Lord, the baby is dead!

Why, my Lord—dare I ask why? It will not hear the whisper of the wind or see the beauty of its parents’ face—it will not see the beauty of Your creation or a flame of a sunrise. Why, my Lord?

“Why, My child—do you ask ‘why’?” Well, I will tell you why.

You see, the child lives. Instead of the wind he hears the sound of angels singing before My throne. Instead of the beauty that passes he sees everlasting Beauty—he sees My face. He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before Me as their personal intercessor. He knows secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for My Kingdom and each creature fills a place in that Kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for My joy and his parents’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow and called it forth.”

I am humbled before you, my Lord, for questioning Your wisdom, goodness, and love. I speak as a fool—forgive me. I acknowledge Your sovereign rights over life and death. I thank You for the life that began for so short a time to enjoy so long an Eternity.

Mother M. Angelica, courtesy of EWTN.com

Editor’s note:

The Church explains that (except for the Blessed Virgin Mary) all babies are conceived lacking grace and separated from God, in a state of spiritual deprivation, due to the inherited remains of the sin of Adam and Eve … Original Sin.

The whole matter is (typically) remedied shortly after birth, by the holy Sacrament of Baptism.

This presents a theological problem for the miscarried or the stillborn, since Baptism is available only to those who have been born alive, and since one who has not been baptized is (normally) considered unsuitable for Heaven.

Since we have no definitive, divinely revealed information as to exactly how God deals with this particular type of occurrence, all we can do is rely on God to do what is best … and in faith … consecrate the spirit of our infant child to God’s infinite mercy and tender love.

The routine practice of our Catholic faith seems to hold out even more genuine hope for us, in these cases.

Parents (particularly the mother) who remain in a state of grace, who regularly attend Mass, and who worthily and regularly partake of Holy Communion and other appropriate sacraments, have every reason to trust that God will take special charge of any child who might (for whatever reason) fail to survive the entire process of conception, gestation and live birth … since through our sacramental life of grace, the child in the womb is no stranger to God, who not only indwells our soul, but also nourishes and sanctifies our physical body (including the baby in the womb).

There is “precedent” for God acting in this way, since that is essentially what happened to John the Baptist (while still in-utero) the moment the Virgin Mary (already carrying Jesus in her blessed womb) first approached her cousin Elizabeth (John’s mother).

Here’s the biblical account:

Luke 1:39-44  And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda.  And she entered into the house of Zachary and saluted Elizabeth.  And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.  And she cried out with a loud voice and said: Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.  And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.

The Church has always considered this to be the moment that John the Baptist, still inside his mother, was himself first baptized.

What Jesus did for his cousin John he will more than likely also do for his faithful Catholic brothers and sisters.

So … even absent the Sacrament of Baptism, under extraordinary circumstances, we have great reason to believe that the same Christ who we receive bodily in Holy Communion … who knows us and loves us … is not likely to ignore or reject the little child dwelling inside the womb of a faithful, grace-filled, Catholic mother.

Our faith informs us, in light of all this, that God, because he is good,  just, and merciful, will accomplish whatever might be necessary, through his abundant grace … to grant the baby eternal salvation and peace … lovingly taking the infant to himself.

Matthew 19:13-14  Then were little children presented to him, that he should impose hands upon them and pray. And the disciples rebuked them.  But Jesus said to them: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of Heaven is for such.

Mother Angelica obviously knows and loves God, and in her prayer for these special babies, she faithfully takes Jesus at his word. For a number of very good reasons, faced with the profound tragedy of a miscarriage or still birth, we should too. 

More on this very sensitive matter here

John the Baptist, Unborn Witness to Christ

hlihdr

John the Baptist, Unborn Witness to Christ

The touching story of the two unborn children who were present at the Visitation should give us a reason to rejoice with Elizabeth and Mary at the dawning of our salvation. While the mothers basked in the overwhelming grace of the moment, the older of the two children was already working for our salvation in the way decreed for him by the Almighty from all eternity. That little baby was announcing the coming of the Savior even from the womb!

One has to marvel at the life of St. John the Baptist whose feast we celebrate each year on June 24th. Perhaps we take him for granted because his story is so familiar to us, but his vocation to holiness is beyond comparison with any other saint in history. With the exception of Jesus’ most holy Mother, never has there been a human being so perfectly united to the Person of Christ than John. He was so perfect a man that Jesus Himself said that there was “no man born of woman greater than John.” Great men of the world exalt themselves over their subjects as a way to assert their grandeur; yet, John’s greatness was precisely in lowering himself to the depths of the earth (i.e., the Dead Sea, geographically the world’s lowest point on land) and turning the attention of men away from himself onto Another. What worldly man does that? A man who lives in the desert and wears camel hair garments is hardly going to be accepted among the movers-and-shakers of society, but it was this greatest of men who said that he actually had to decrease if he were to fulfill his essential mission. Truly John’s was a life of striking paradoxes which, when examined closely, point out the holiness of the man whose whole existence was to bear witness to Holiness Himself.

John’s greatest witness was not in his words, however. It was in his actions. We know of only two actions outside of his baptizing and preaching that give us a window into this man’s pure soul: his joyful leap in the womb of Elizabeth and his ultimate act of self-sacrifice in martyrdom. In birth and death he was the Lord’s, as in every other moment of his existence. His pre-natal rejoicing at the Christ Child wordlessly proclaimed that all children, no matter the circumstances of their conception or birth, are unqualified blessings to us, joyful additions to the human family of which God never repents. We have the testimony of the “greatest man born of woman” as our witness to the sanctity of each and every human life!

John also valiantly embraced the multiple crosses of his life: penitence, suffering, imprisonment and beheading before the Perfect Sacrifice of the Cross was consummated. No wonder the scriptures tell us that even the wicked Herod, “felt the attraction of his words.” John had that rare integrity of life that filled his words with grace. It was his life, his appearance, his humility, his mission and his gift of self that make John attractive to all generations, especially those who suffer injustice for the cause of righteousness.

I have no doubt that if John the Baptist were alive today he would be standing in front of abortion clinics witnessing to the unborn Christ in each child, calling people to account for their promiscuity, challenging the powers that keep this immoral industry in business, healing the wounded souls victimized by abortion, washing men clean of their sins that lead to death, teaching us to find joy even in our suffering and ready to lay down his own life so that others could live.

Truly there is no greater man born of woman than John the Baptist. He is the Unborn Witness to Christ who shows us the way out of the culture of death; if only we will listen to the silent eloquence of that little baby leaping in his mother’s womb.

Sincerely,

Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,

President, Human Life International

Catholic Deacon’s Homily Allegedly Compares Elijah Muhammad with Jesus Christ

ali

Q: A deacon gave the homily at this morning’s Mass, where he spoke of how the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad  inspired the boxer Muhammad Ali, just like the teachings of Jesus Christ inspired John the Baptist.

Catholics have literally thousands of authentic saints to whom we can look for inspiration. This deacon picks a couple of people who weren’t even authentically Muslim, and directly compares them to the greatest of the prophets (John the Baptist) and to Jesus Christ, who is both Savior and God!

My question is: How could the pastor/priest (who was sitting right there, listening) allow such a thing to be preached in a Catholic Church? 

A: I suggest you speak directly to the good deacon and to the pastor about this possibly scandalous homily. You may also want to send a note to your bishop,  just to keep him (the bishop) properly up to date on things. 

Here’s a link to some background information on Elijah Muhammad, Muhammad Ali, the Nation of Islam, and on traditional  Islam: http://www.islamfortoday.com/nationofislam.htm

It appears that Muhammad Ali later converted to traditional Islam. 

Here’s what the Catholic Church officially teaches about the authentic Muslim faith (from the Catechism):

841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”330

You might also find this post useful:

 https://douglawrence.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/10-rules-for-handling-disagreements-like-a-christian/