In Search of Authentic Universal Christianity

sherlock2

Although the Bible tells us that Jesus established a Church (Matt. 16:18) and reminds us of our Savior’s desire for Christian unity (John 17:20-21, Eph. 4:16, 4:12-13), we’ve seen a recent explosion of new churches. They claim to be “Bible-based” churches; often they have broken off from some larger church or denomination. With as many as 28,000 different Christian churches today, the mystery to many is <which one is Jesus’ true Church?>

In this article you will learn how to solve that mystery. You’ll be the “gumshoe” (detective) in an interactive scriptural investigation.

Read more

Seeking the Lost Ark: The place shall be unknown, till God gather together the congregation of the people, and receive(s) them to mercy.

arkofthecovenantcolor

by Doug Lawrence

My good friend Bob Stanley of the Catholic Treasure Chest website writes:

This post builds on the info recently received from my Israeli friend. Here is something that I think is of great importance, as the Bible appears to tell us where the Ark of the Covenant is.

2Ma 2:3 And with other such like speeches, he exhorted them that they would not remove the law from their heart.
2Ma 2:4 It was also contained in the same writing, how the prophet, being warned by God, commanded that the tabernacle and the ark should accompany him, till he came forth to the mountain where Moses went upand saw the inheritance of God. (see Deut 34:1 below for the name of the mountain, and the other verses which insure that they refer to the inheritance).
2Ma 2:5 And when Jeremias came thither he found a hollow cave: and he carried in thither the tabernacle, and the ark , and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door.
2Ma 2:6 Then some of them that followed him, came up to mark the place: but they could not find it.
2Ma 2:7 And when Jeremias perceived it, he blamed them, saying: The place shall be unknown, till God gather together the congregation of the people, and receive them to mercy.
2Ma 2:8 And then the Lord will shew these things, and the majesty of the Lord shall appear, and there shall be a cloud as it was also shewed to Moses, and he shewed it when Solomon prayed that the place might be sanctified to the great God.

nebojordan
Deu 34:1  Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab upon mount Nebo, to the top of Phasga over against Jericho: and the Lord shewed him all the land of Galaad as far as Dan.
Deu 34:2  And all Nephtali, and the land of Ephraim and Manasses, and all the land of Juda unto the furthermost sea,
Deu 34:3  And the south part, and the breadth of the plain of Jericho the city of palm trees as far as Segor.
Deu 34:4  And the Lordtsaid to him: This is the land, for which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying: I will give it to thy seed. Thou hast seen it with thy eyes, and shalt not pass over to it.
Deu 34:5  And Moses the servant of the Lord died there, in the land of Moab, by the commandment of the Lord:

Source: Douay-Rheims Bible

The Jews, the Arabs and the non-Catholics don’t have the books of Maccabees and they refuse to read them in Catholic Bibles. After all, they say the Catholic Bible is corrupted and Maccabees is not inspired…right? This reminds me of the Indiana Jones movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” where Sallah (John Rhys-Davies) looked over about half mile away, saw the Nazi’s digging for the ark and rejoiced by saying “They are digging in the wrong place”.

Months ago I asked my Jewish friend where Mt. Nebo was, without mentioning why I would like to know. He said it is in Jordan. That is another reason why the Jews never tried digging there. It makes a lot of sense to me that since the temple mount is a relatively small area and has been explored, dug and tunneled for many centuries and yet never was even a sign or clue that something as large as the Ark was found within it. Even the crusaders made exhaustive but essentially fruitless searches there.

Go back and read again the 2nd sentence of 2Ma 2:7.  Maybe it is happening right now???

Doug replies:

There’s a lot of intriguing possibilities there. I find it interesting, looking at the map, that Moses did indeed have a clear view of precisely what is described in the scriptures. God really did let him see the Promised Land – pretty much in its’ entirety.

It’s been my experience that people expect the site of the lost Ark to be either somewhere on or around the temple mount, or even as far away as Mt. Sinai – assuming that anyone today actually knows the true location of that holy mountain.

Even with the sold description provided in Maccabees, there’s a lot of potential hiding places for the Ark, on and around Mount Nebo.

Maybe Moses will retrieve it and he and (either) Enoch or Elijah will come back to witness in Jerusalem, near the end of the tribulation period? The Ark may even be the energy source for the Heavenly “fire” and the drought. (Rev 11:3-6)

Another interesting note about Moses: Even the devil was unable to find his dead body, so Moses is a very good candidate for having being assumed into Heaven, by God – as was Elijah, in his fiery chariot. The fact that both later appeared with Jesus during the Transfiguration seems to add credence to that possibility.

So we have Enoch, Elijah, Moses, the Blessed Virgin Mary – and maybe even Lazarus – his second time around – all being assumed into Heaven, by the awesome power of God.

That’s almost a bigger deal than finding the lost Ark!

Strange cases of lacrimating Madonnas and supernatural “glitter”

WeepingStatue-Medjugorgje

At a far edge of alleged Catholic supernatural phenomena are cases in which it is claimed that a colorful glittery material has materialized in some places on particular people or at poignant times like some sort of manna.

Is it a hoax? Is it demonic? Is it a strikingly unusual move of the Holy Spirit?

You discern.

We report.

Your consideration is as valid as ours.

And challenging this is.

There are precedents. At Fatima, Portugal, glitter-like lights fell, on one occasion, at the site of apparitions, and the same has been true of the Church-approved site of Betania near Caracas, Venezuela — which in fact was designated by the bishop as “sacred ground.”

Glitter was reported on the face of Maria Esperanza, the mystic associated with that site.

It has been reported in connection with a good number of statues, especially those alleged to “weep.”

The substance accompanies or follows lacrimation (weeping)  — or so it is claimed.

At Fatima, however, the “glitter” was immaterial and dissolved into thin air — more a luminosity.

Read more

The Mass is a sacrifice because Jesus, the one time, once for all, holy sacrifice for the sins of the world becomes truly present for us there, on the altar.

Masstimespace

Why have sacrifices pretty much died out everywhere, yet it remains within Catholicism? Because the cross of Christ is the “one, full, final sacrifice”. On the cross the sacrificial systems of the world were fulfilled. All was completed. The Mass is the daily remembrance of that one, full, final sacrifice. Through the mystery of the Mass we bring that completed sacrifice into the present moment and apply it’s graces to our needs today.

Read more

Who is she who comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array? (Song 6:10)

maryserpent

The popes of the past century have recognized this assault and spoken of it in prophetic terms encouraging the Church to read the signs of the times in the light of its eschatological journey towards the new heaven and new earth.

A decisive moment in the spiritual combat was when the Blessed Virgin entered into the battle fray in the nineteenth century with her apparitions at Rue du Bac in Paris, and thereafter at La Salette and Lourdes in France, and in many other places all around the world, some of which still await the approval of the Holy See.

These supernatural events could, in a sense, open the pages of the Book of Revelation with more clarity, as in chapter twelve, narrating the confrontation between the “Woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (12:1), and a “great red dragon” (12:1-17). It is the same Woman mentioned in Genesis when God cursed the serpent saying: “I shall put enmities between you and the Woman, between your seed and her seed: she shall crush your head” (3:15). Mary is, indeed, the Woman of Genesis and the Woman of the Apocalypse. The Marian era that is reaching its climax now is shrouded in the mystery of Divine providence.

Read more

Been there. Done that. I completely agree.

Thinking back, the night after the crash was something altogether. Knowing I had dodged a large bullet, I sat alone in my quarters, a bottle of whiskey in my hand; the booze seemed like the manly thing to do. I hadn’t changed out of my bloody flight suit and was draped in an easy chair. The Doobie Brothers were concert loud on my cheap stereo and I kept reliving all my thoughts during and after my 160-foot joyride. Then I picked up the phone and called my mother.

The urge to call my mother was primordial. I was seeking comfort where I first learned of it. From her. Listening to the sound of her voice was heaven. Absorbing her love launched a gusher of emotions. I was so spectacularly happy to be alive that nothing could have dampened my spirit. I was able to find peace that night, nourished by the love of my mother and the realization that I was given the gift of tomorrow.

Back then, I was not a spiritual man. Not for a moment would I have considered dropping to my knees or going to church to give thanks to God. Never would I have presumed God saved my life either. You see, God didn’t exist in my universe.

However, today, as a Catholic who has been on an incredible journey of discovery, I don’t think I was lucky. I don’t believe in luck. No, something else was at work. Divine, mysterious providence. I know it.

Better men than I suffered untimely and tragic deaths. My own life hasn’t been an exemplary one. Yet God spared me. But why? And what for?

Read more

Puffed up atheist hopes to “educate” ignorant Christian fundamentalists.

by Doug Lawrence

Atheist Susan Jacoby scours the world for religious extremists, carefully noting their obvious errors, and then dutifully attributes those erroneous beliefs to all people of faith, everywhere. Then, using her “magic education bullet” she offers secular atheism as the only obvious solution for all the ills of the world.

What a crock!

Jacoby’s own, limited, secular education has failed to equip her with the ability to understand people of faith, let alone authentic Catholicism, which is grounded not only in faith and reason, through the world’s oldest, most inclusive, and most successful tradition of genuine academic and theological scholarship … but also in the literal, historical person of Jesus Christ, who claimed to be God, and then went on to prove it, by raising himself up from the dead.

Jacoby uses statistics to support her position, which essentially describes an inverse relationship between education/intelligence and religious faith.

Then, she attempts to conveniently redefine the term, “mystery” in order to strip it of any true meaning. In this, the woman definitively proves that she doesn’t know what she doesn’t know!

Ms. Jacoby, Catholics are taught to know the difference between things that are merely not yet understood, and things that will forever remain beyond human comprehension. For us, there is no real conflict, because our faith informs us that knowing God, we will also one day, know the heretofore unknowable. In the mean time, we Catholics take great joy in such things, and even put them to a very practical purpose.

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

  • Taking the word “sacrament” in its broadest sense, as the sign of something sacred and hidden (the Greek word is “mystery”), we can say that the whole world is a vast sacramental system, in that material things are unto men the signs of things spiritual and sacred, even of the Divinity. “The heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of his hands” (Psalm 18:2). The invisible things of him [i.e. God], from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity” (Romans 1:20).
  • The redemption of man was not accomplished in an invisible manner. God renewed, through the Patriarchs and the Prophets, the promise of salvation made to the first man; external symbols were used to express faith in the promised Redeemer: “all these things happened to them [the Israelites] in figure” (1 Corinthians 10:11; Hebrews 10:1). “So we also, when we were children, were serving under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of time was come, God sent his Son, made of a woman” (Galatians 4:3-4). The Incarnation took place because God dealt with men in the manner that was best suited to their nature.
  • The Church established by the Savior was to be a visible organization (see CHURCH: The Visibility of the Church): consequently it should have external ceremonies and symbols of things sacred.
  • The principal reason for a sacramental system is found in man. It is the nature of man, writes St. Thomas (III:61:1), to be led by things corporeal and sense-perceptible to things spiritual and intelligible; now Divine Providence provides for everything in accordance with its nature (secundum modum suae conditionis); therefore it is fitting that Divine Wisdom should provide means of salvation for men in the form of certain corporeal and sensible signs which are called sacraments. (For other reasons see Catech. Conc. Trid., II, n.14.)

“Signum sacro sanctum efficax gratiae”

Link to Washington Post article

History Channel uses 21st century computer technology to reveal the face on the Shroud of Turin

Watch the video

Who is Harrison J. Bounel and why does he share Barack Obama’s social security number?

The name Harrison J. Bounel was discovered by a self-described debt collector named Al, whose full name is withheld at his insistence. Al told WND he had been researching someone in Chicago when he noticed the subject’s neighbor was Michelle Obama.

A few curious clicks later, he found the record for Barack Obama at 5046 South Greenwood Avenue … and the mysterious Bounel, who happened to be listed at the same address and with the same Social Security number as the president.

Read more

This Week’s Ask Alice: Should a doubtful (but otherwise practicing) Catholic receive Holy Communion?



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.

Yaron asks: I am a Jew I wanted to ask two questions about your faith: 1. If there is a Catholic that was baptized as a baby in the Catholic church and he comes every week to the church and gives money to the church, however he does not believe that Jesus is God, can he take from the bread and wine in the church? 2. Will this Catholic enter paradise after he dies? I appreciate your reply.

Alice answers: You’ve asked two worthwhile questions which merit complicated answers. It’s interesting that a Jewish person like yourself, seems to have a clearer understanding of Catholic teachings than your Catholic friend does.

To licitly receive the Body (bread) and Blood (wine) of Christ a Catholic must: 1) Be in the state of grace, (i.e. have no unconfessed mortal sins); 2) Believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament; and 3) Observe the Eucharistic fast.

If a baptized Catholic does not believe that Jesus is God, there would be no point to his receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, since that person would receive Holy Communion unworthily.

However, no human being fully understands how Jesus can be both God and man. This mystery is called the Incarnation. Faith means believing what we cannot see. If your friend struggles with doubts about Jesus being God he is like many other Catholics, even some saints, who suffer from what St. John of the Cross dubbed, “the dark night of the soul.” As long as your friend believes in God, prays, attends weekly Mass, and financially supports his church, we must be wary of judging his heart. That’s God’s job.

Just as the Incarnation remains a mystery to all of humanity, an even greater mystery is Divine Mercy. No one can guarantee exactly where your friend will spend eternity because God’s mercy is “astonishment for Angels, incomprehensible for Saints” (Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska: 949) Although you friend’s heart is riddled with doubts, God in His infinite mercy, can choose to forgive him and admit him to Paradise. That’s God’s choice.

“He says to Moses, ‘I will show mercy to whomever I choose; I will have pity on whomever I wish.’ So it is not a question of man’s willing or doing, but of God’s mercy……In other words, God has mercy on whom He wishes, and whom He wishes He makes obdurate.” (Romans 9:15)

Please pray for your Catholic friend, that God will enlighten his heart and increase his faith.

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

Just In Time for Pentecost: Interesting chart explains the mystery of the Holy Trinity.


View the chart

Catholic common sense and the message of Fatima

Seen on the web…

Posted by Rich R:

I hear people getting so wound up about the Third Secret of Fatima, and focusing so much on a possible Chastisement that they neglect the guidance offered by Fatima.

It reminds me of when I tell my little boys to “clean their room, or else no Wii.” Their first response is not to start cleaning their room. It’s to nail down how long they will be without the Wii. “Is that just for today, Dad, or all week? Do we have to clean everything in the room?” IOW, they are not getting the point. The point is to clean their room and avoid the punishment. When someone focuses too much on determining the punishment, what they really are thinking is, “Is this punishment SO bad that I really need to change my behavior?” IOW, they don’t really want a change of heart.

I often think it regrettable that people are missing the call to repentance and reparation because they are so enamored with the mystery of the Third Secret.

Link

Easter mystery: A very public crucifixion, followed by a decidedly low-profile resurrection. Why so?


by Doug Lawrence

The constant Tradition of the Catholic Church, along with the Gospels … make it absolutely clear that Jesus did in fact, rise again (bodily) from the dead … by his own power.

But what never seems to have been sufficiently explained is … after such a public, humiliating, crucifixion and death … why wasn’t any other living soul permitted to observe/witness the resurrection … and why … even after the risen Christ physically appeared, and for 40 days, fully interacted with the apostles (and eventually, some 500 other witnesses) did Jesus decide to forego publicly confronting any of the men who had tortured and killed him?

Here’s a few possible explanations. Feel free to submit your own:

Explanation #1: Hebrews 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment.
Simple enough!

Explanation #2: Jesus came to destroy Satan’s power, to make possible the forgiveness of sins, and to open the gates of Heaven. That accomplished, his mission called for nothing more, so he left all the rest … supported by his Church and fortified by his grace … up to us.

Explanation #3: Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world. He came to destroy Satan’s evil dominion of eternal slavery, sin, and death, and he couldn’t have cared less about getting even with the particular group of Jewish and Roman minions who put him to death.

Explanation #4 (my favorite): Jesus did confront the one primarily responsible for his death … and for the death of every other human being who ever lived. That person was Satan, the devil.

Satan … who held the power of death over every sinner, had no power at all over the sinless Jesus. Yet Jesus was put to death, just like nearly every “ordinary” prophet who ever came before him.

That was a big mistake … one for which Satan was subsequently judged … and which cost him everything he had earlier gained from Adam’s fall … including dominion over the whole earth .. and most … but not all … of the power he officially wielded, over men.

The soon to be crucified Jesus confirmed that Satan had already been judged:

John 16:7-11  But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go. For if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you: but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he is come, he will convince the world of sin and of justice and of judgment. Of sin: because they believed not in me. And of justice: because I go to the Father: and you shall see me no longer. And of judgment: because the prince of this world is already judged.

Jesus … the “abused” party … was subsequently awarded total restoration and truly extraordinary “damages”, including (but not limited to) bodily resurrection, divine appointment as the new leader of all mankind (the New Adam), and all power in Heaven, on Earth, and under the Earth.

He was also awarded “us”. Now “we” belong to Christ, and “our” eternal destiny is in his hands. Yet, through him, with him, in him … in the unity of the Holy Spirit … we still remain free.

Explanation #5: Jesus simply took a “longer” view of things. In Matthew 24, Jesus predicts the future destruction of Jerusalem, and he also alludes to other similar types of destruction, to come.

A generation later, just as Jesus predicted, Jerusalem, along with the Temple, was indeed destroyed by the Romans. About 400 years later … after it had been converted to Christianity … the Roman Empire met a similar end … while the Catholic Church remained … picking up the broken fragments of civilization, and eventually rebuilding it, in the image of Heaven.

The greatest institutions of western society attest to this fact, along with some of the finest religious art ever conceived, and some of the most extraordinarily beautiful churches ever constructed, for the glory of God.

Judaism never recovered. The original, centralized, system of laws and priest-directed, sacrificial worship never returned. In its place was a scattered, irregular form of various Talmudic practices … based solely on the religious opinions of certain rabbis and sages. For more on this, see 2nd Timothy, Chapter 3.

The Romans too, are not likely to ever resume their conquests. To this day, Italy, as a nation, has been unable to successfully reconcile any new, aggressive, warlike impulses it might develop, with its apparent manifest destiny as a confirmed, Catholic country.

In short, however he managed to bring it about, Jesus not only accomplished all that he came to do … he also managed to turn “swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks” (Isaiah 2:4) in some very unusual and unexpected ways.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church remains, both as the “Pillar and Ground of the Truth” (1st Timothy3:15) and the world’s oldest, continuous government, of any kind.

Explanation #6: Jesus did arrange for people to witness both the crucifixion AND the resurrection, through the institution of the Mass and the Holy Eucharist.

In fact, through their participation in the sacred liturgy, every Catholic of every generation has personally seen Jesus … both in death … and in his resurrected glory … made present for us on the holy altar, at Mass.

For almost two thousand years, that amazing event has been happening all around the world, in virtually every country on earth, every day of every year, every hour of every day. (See Malachi 1:11.)

Finally, if none of the above seems to make sense to you, try this:

Isaiah 55:1-13  All you that thirst, come to the waters: and you that have no money make haste, buy, and eat: come ye, buy wine and milk without money, and without any price. Why do you spend money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which doth not satisfy you? Hearken diligently to me, and eat that which is good, and your soul shall be delighted in fatness. Incline your ear and come to me: hear and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, the faithful mercies of David. Behold I have given him for a witness to the people, for a leader and a master to the Gentiles.

Behold thou shalt call a nation, which thou knewest not: and the nations that knew not thee shall run to thee, because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel, for he hath glorified thee. Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found: call upon him, while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unjust man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God: for he is bountiful to forgive.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts. And as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return no more thither, but soak the earth, and water it, and make it to spring, and give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be, which shall go forth from my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall do whatsoever I please, and shall prosper in the things for which I sent it.

For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall sing praise before you, and all the trees of the country shall clap their hands. Instead of the shrub, shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the nettle, shall come up the myrtle tree: and the Lord shall be named for an everlasting sign, that shall not be taken away.

It’s clear. God knows exactly what he is doing, and he will most certainly bring about precisely what he wills, and all that he promises … in his own wonderful way.

Such are the advantages of having unlimited power, omniscience, absolute mastery over time and space, and of course, inestimable love.

Boy Born Without Brain Cerebellum Thrives. Doctors Baffled.

Heather and David Britton want everyone to understand a few things about their giggling, bespectacled 3-year-old son, Chase.

“He’s happy. We call him the Little Gremlin. He loves to play tricks on people. He loves to sing. His goal in life is to make people smile,” Heather Britton told AOL News.

“He’s got so much love around him. We’re an extremely happy family. His story is not tragic.”

But to an outsider, the Brittons’ story might seem heartbreaking.

[]… He has the MRI of a vegetable,’ one of the doctors said to us.”

Chase is not a vegetable, leaving doctors bewildered and experts rethinking what they thought they knew about the human brain.

Read more

The Miracle of Life – A Meditation on Mystery and Beauty of Life as we March

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

The magnificence of life is really too wonderful too describe. But I found this description some years ago which summons reverence by its very ability to baffle the mind:

MIRACLE OF LIFE– Consider the miracle of the human body.  Its chemistry is just as extraordinarily well tuned as is the physics of the cosmos.  Our world on bothsides of the divide that separates life from lifelessness is filled with wonder.  Each human cell has a double helix library of three billion base pairs providing fifty thousand genes.  These three billion base pairs and fifty thousand genes somehow engineer 100 trillion neural connections in the brain—-enough points of information to store all the data and information contained in a fifty-million-volume encyclopedia.  And then after that, these fifty thousand genes set forth a million fibers in the optic nerves, retinae having ten million pixels per centimeter, some ten billion in all, ten thousand taste buds, ten million nerve endings for smell, cells that exude a chemical come-on to lure an embryo’s lengthening neurons from spinal cord to target cell, each one of the millions of target cells attracting the proper nerve from the particular needed function.  And all this three-dimensional structure arises somehow from the linear, one-dimensional information contained along the DNA helix. Did all this happen by chance or do you see the hand of God?

Today, many of us march for life, here in Washington, on the West Coast,  and in other communities. Today we ponder the great mystery that is expressed in the 139th psalm:

For it was you who created my being,  knit me together in my mother’s womb. I thank you for the wonder of my being…Already you knew my soul my body held no secret from you when I was being fashioned in secret….every one of my days was decreed before one of them came into being. To me, how mysterious your thoughts, the sum of them not to be numbered! (Psalm 139 varia)

Read more. Or watch a fascinating video.

Exorcist priest exits public spotlight, mystifying many

It was a classic cable-TV shouting match.

After criticizing Fox Television commentator Sean Hannity for being soft on the abortion issue, Rev. Thomas Euteneuer said he would deny Hannity communion because of his views.

“Wow,” said Hannity, a Catholic and former seminary student, rendered temporarily speechless by the rebuke.

That was three years ago. Euteneuer was the president and the very public face of Human Life International, a worldwide anti-abortion organization. Friend and foe alike knew him as blunt-spoken when it came to defending his Church. He was a captivating public speaker, comfortable in the role.

His fierce and highly publicized 1999 campaign against a Fort Pierce abortion clinic became the subject of an HBO documentary, “12th and Delaware.”

He was also an exorcist. HLI, his publisher as well as his employer, was promoting his new book on its website.

But this summer, without warning, Euteneuer, 48, left his HLI post, saying he had been called back to the Palm Beach Diocese by Bishop Gerald Barbarito. His book on exorcism disappeared.

Read more

Pope Benedict: Little sins and insensitivities lay the foundation for greater ones.

As one gives way to repeated sin and fails to repent, that sin becomes custom or habit. But having descended one rung on the ladder, the next rung now seems not so far, nor the one below that. And as one descends further into the darkness the eyes adjust to an increasing dimness, such that the light above now seems quite obnoxious. And behaviors once thought shameful, even impossible to one, now seem within reach and somehow plausible. As the memory of the light fades, the once unthinkable now becomes a daily fare. The descent on the moral ladder continues, one rung at a time, and the light gradually disappears.

St Augustine put it this way: Because of a perverse will was lust made; and lust indulged in became custom; and custom not resisted became necessity (Confessions 8.5). Evil does grow, hearts do harden, intellects do grow dark, very dark. 12-Step meetings often reference the “stinking thinking” that reinforces addiction, bizarre behavior,  and makes every form of lust one’s “God-given right.”  The only way to break this cycle is honest,  frequent confession and authentic accountability to others.

Link

Mystery advice from grandma: God made the Blessed Virgin Mary “plenty good enough”, so she never needed to draw attention to herself.


Our Lady was hidden, decreased and set aside most of her life, yet she is mysterious, beguiling, utterly lovely and loving. She carried the Mystery of the Incarnate Word – also hidden and set aside – in her womb.  She never sought affirmation or approval for their own sake, she didn’t try to convince those around her of her goodness, abilities or her “epic” Friday nights adventures.

Yet there aren’t enough superlatives in the world to describe her. There is no artist except One, who could ever attempt to capture her mystery or her loveliness. There is no one better at “making them wonder” than the Blessed Mother. We could wonder and wonder and wonder about her and never get tired of wondering.

Read more

Submitted by Doria2

On the Role Of Women In Modern Society And the Church

Women who express a desire for the ministerial priesthood are doubtless motivated by the desire to serve Christ and the Church. And it is not surprising that, at a time when they are becoming more aware of the discriminations to which they have been subject, they should desire the ministerial priesthood itself. But it must not be forgotten that the priesthood does not form part of the rights of the individual, but stems from the economy of the mystery of Christ and the Church. The priestly office cannot become the goal of social advancement; no merely human progress of society or of the individual can of itself give access to it: it is of another order.

It therefore remains for us to meditate more deeply on the nature of the real equality of the baptized which is one of the great affirmations of Christianity: equality is in no way identity, for the Church is a differentiated body, in which each individual has his or her role. The roles are distinct, and must not be confused; they do not favour the superiority of some vis-a-vis the others, nor do they provide an excuse for jealousy; the only better gift, which can and must be desired, is love (cf. 1 Cor 12-13). The greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven are not the ministers but the saints.

The Church desires that Christian women should become fully aware of the greatness of their mission: today their role is of capital importance, both for the renewal and humanization of society and for the rediscovery by believers of the true face of the Church.

Read INTER INSIGNIORES Vatican Document

Father Z, St. Augustine, and the Mystery of the Incarnation

“He is the One through whom all things have been made and, on Christmas, Who has been made in the midst of all things. He is the Revealer of His Father and the Creator of His mother, the Son of God through His Father without a mother and the Son of Man through His mother without a father. He is great in the eternal day of the angels but small in the time-conditioned day of men. He is the Word of God before all time and the Word made Flesh in the fullness of time. Maker of the sun, He is made under the sun. Disposer of all ages in the bosom of His Father, He consecrates Christmas Day in the womb of His mother. In Him He remains while from her He goes forth. Creator of the heavens and the earth, He is born on earth under the heavens. Unspeakably wise, He is wisely speechless (Ineffabiliter sapiens, sapienter infans). Filling the universe, He lies in a manger. Ruler of the stars, He nurses at His mother’s bosom. He is both great in the nature of God and small in the form of a servant, but His greatness is not diminished by His smallness nor His smallness overwhelmed by His greatness.”

Read more