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

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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.

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



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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.


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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.

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