Today’s Question: Why is Jesus such a controversial figure?


Today’s question:
Why is Jesus such a controversial figure?

Answer: Jesus challenges our established concepts of self, calling us to do things that are profoundly and eternally significant; challenging our innate sense of pride, while at the same time, affirming who we are, in the best possible way, out of a sense of selfless, inestimable, divine love and care.

Our typical response to such an overture is to first, reject it, out of hand, as if the offer is too good to be true. But later, after due reflection, we begin to see the error of our ways and rather than being appropriately humiliated and grateful, we choose instead, to lash out at Jesus, blaming him for our mistakes and failures, only to further validate the reality of our prideful, needy, broken self.

“How dare he do such a thing!?! Who does he think I am?”

From there, everything just gets worse and worse, unless and until (hopefully, finally, by the grace of God) we choose to totally surrender, becoming a new creation in Jesus Christ; co-heir with him, to all the awesome promises of God.

Asked and answered today on Yahoo! Answers.

The Dangers of “Cafeteria Catholicism”

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By Doug Lawrence

The term “Cafeteria Catholic” typically refers to those Catholics who prefer to pick and choose which truths of the faith they wish to accept. That kind of thinking is a huge mistake, which can lead people into all kinds of misunderstandings and miseries.

People haven’t changed much over the last 5000 years. They still tend to make the same stupid mistakes and get caught up in the same, hard to control, emotional situations. Often both. When it comes to critical matters of faith and morals, the Catholic Church has been around for a very long time and has “seen it all”.

Through its’ Magisterial teachings, Sacred and Apostolic Tradition and the Holy Bible, the Church, which is charged by God with the care of souls, wisely and charitably cautions the faithful about the real spiritual and temporal dangers of things.

When people fail, the Church is there to freely absolve them of their sins, but the temporal, physical injuries and damages – the unfortunate results of those sins – typically remain – to the detriment of all. The modern world provides a very accurate picture of all these accumulated evils and corruptions.

Individual free will and conscience is rightly a part of all this, but conscience can only be relied upon once it has been fully informed and illuminated by all the applicable teachings and practical graces of the Church. Unfortunately, that rarely occurs, these days.

HINT: It’s always much smarter and easier to faithfully rely on the authentic teachings and accumulated wisdom of the Catholic Church, with the help of God’s grace, in order to successfully avoid some/many/most of the trials and tribulations caused by our own bad choices!

“Cafeteria Catholics” who pick and choose which authentic truths and teachings of the Catholic Church they wish to believe, needlessly and pridefully reject thousands of years of practical church experience and wisdom in favor of personally reliving the original “Adam and Eve experience”. It was a “fool’s bargain” then and it’s still a “fool’s bargain” today!

Proverbs 16:16-24

Get wisdom, because it is better than gold: and purchase prudence, for it is more precious than silver. 

The path of the just departs from evils: he that keeps his soul keeps his way.

Pride goes before destruction: and the spirit is lifted up before a fall.

It is better to be humbled with the meek, than to divide spoils with the proud.

The learned in word shall find good things: and he that trusts in the Lord is blessed.

The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and he that is sweet in words, shall attain to greater things.

Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesses it: the instruction of fools is foolishness.

The heart of the wise shall instruct his mouth: and shall add grace to his lips.

Well ordered words are as a honeycomb: sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

All About Eve: Satan quickly surmised that women are the key to ultimate human potential.

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by Doug Lawrence

Nowhere in scripture do we read of Satan tempting Adam at any time, prior to the existence of Eve.

In fact, nowhere in scripture do we read of Satan directly tempting Adam, at all. All we can do is a bit of exegesis, based on the fact that Jesus Christ,  “The New Adam” – was tempted by Satan – and based on that, we can assume that Adam was tempted, as well.

But I digress!

The point is … humanity was going nowhere until God created Eve. Only then did the possibility exist of an entire race of human beings – numbering greater than the stars in the heavens and the sands on the sea shore (Genesis 22:17) and only then did Satan make his move: first, on Eve. Then, Eve quite easily enlisted Adam in their offense.

Consequently, mankind soon found himself evicted from Eden, in addition to being  permanently and hopelessly enslaved to Satan, sin and death. If not for the saving work of Jesus Christ, our Holy Redeemer, it would have remained so, for an eternity.

Satan continues to concentrate on Eve’s “daughters – sisters” to this very day. And except for the superabundantly graced, totally sinless Blessed Virgin Mary, “The New Eve” – most women tend to remain extraordinarily easy marks! I trust it is unnecessary to name names and cite specifics.

Not that men – except for Our Bless Lord, Jesus Christ – are any better. Most are just bold, recidivist sinners of a different gender. And life goes on.

Get wisdom, because it is better than gold:
and purchase prudence, for it is more precious than silver.
The path of the just departs from evil:
he that keeps his soul keeps his way.
Pride goes before destruction:
and the spirit is lifted up before a fall.
 (Proverbs 16:16-18)

Something to think about, this Advent!

Pride, “Change” and the Revolution

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The Revolution is a movement of spirit having its taproot and energy in the devil, the spirit of hate, murder, atheism, apostasy, and ‘this world only’ naturalism, materialism, pantheism, and spiritualism. The Revolution is war against the supernatural Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which in the words of Marx’s anarchist comrade Bakunin, are the “cursed and fatal principle of authority.”

The sentiment of the Revolution is satanic pride: movement of spirit having its taproot and energy in the devil, the spirit of hate, murder, atheism, apostasy, and ‘this world only’ naturalism, materialism, pantheism, and spiritualism. The Revolution is war against the supernatural Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which in the words of Marx’s anarchist comrade Bakunin, are the “cursed and fatal principle of authority.”

“….which spurns subjection to any master whatever, whether of divine or human origin.” (Bakunin, Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age, Fr. Seraphim Rose, p. 63)

The nature of the Revolution is the antithesis of authentic Christian faith. Whereas Christian faith is joy, patience, love, truth, humbleness, perseverance, submission in all things to the Will of God and blessed eternal life in Paradise (earth perfected), the Satanic counterfeit is full of hatred, rebelliousness, burning envy and covetousness against man and God, ingratitude, mockery, doubts, lies, revulsion, blasphemy, thoughts of murder and eternal life in Hell.

Fueled by monstrously inflated pride and dissatisfaction with self, the world, society, and God the Father Almighty, it devotes its’ infernal energy toward“change,” or as Marx put it, toward the wholesale destruction of the Christian-based Old Order and the establishment of a religiously pantheist, totalitarian world order because:

“The idea of God is the keynote of a perverted civilization. It must be destroyed.” (Karl Marx, Marx and Satan, p. 59)

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Pope Francis: “You can not serve God and money.”

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Vatican City ( AsiaNews) – ” You can not serve God and money “, ” greed , in fact, is the root of all evil “, “it corrupts” and “its power is so great, it can make you deviate from [the path of ] faith”, it even “robs you of faith, it weakens it and you lose it”. And when one does something for money that countermands the first commandment, he or she “is guilty of idolatry.”

Link

Editor’s note: I applaud Pope Francis for his clarity on this matter. Just one question … why do we have many of our bishops running dioceses with assets running into the hundreds of millions of dollars? Wouldn’t the Church be better off with more bishops – in much smaller dioceses – in charge of fewer hard assets?

Idolatry is the first sister of “pride” which “is the beginning of all sin…”

“Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions.
Their females exchanged the natural use
into that use which is against nature.
Males did shameful things with males and thus,
received in their own persons
the due penalty for their perversity.”

What you see in “Romans” above is the lamentable soul “handed…over (by God) to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies.” These are the ones, then, having been “handed over,” who are unable to control their inner compulsions to “same sex, sex,” as Dr. Socarides calls it. Moreover, they are made victim of “the lusts of their hearts” which translates to the “King Midas” curse! Not only will you be given to your lusts but it shall be overpowering and serve to “the mutual degradation of their bodies.”

It becomes quite apparent from “Romans” 1 that God is a participant in addressing these persons’ particular idolatry by the fact it is cited in three separate instances that “God handed them over to impurity…God handed them over to degrading passions…God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper.” One cannot but note that “handed over” is not worded in a manner reflecting the terrible consequences spoken of possibly coming about but, rather, they are avowed as givens!

The sodomite condition, then, is not biological/physical, it is spiritual! No wonder the atheistic or agnostic secular disciplines are all over the wall. They haven’t a clue and their mindset while in that state will assure that they never will.

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Becoming Catholic often means overcoming a surprising number of obstacles.

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Ten Reasons why it’s (sometimes) hard to become Catholic.

Be sure to read the comments…

Why it’s often more difficult to receive, rather than give.

Back in 2006, shortly after I came into the Catholic Church, a friend and fellow parishioner shared an observation with me after Mass one morning which had a profound effect on me:  “Randy, I have noticed that you really enjoy helping people.  But, you are very uncomfortable when people try to help you.  By not allowing them the opportunity to help, you are denying them the very grace you are receiving from God when you help them.”

This fraternal correction from a man I respected stopped me in my tracks and the conversation has stayed with me over the years.

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Timely Biblical Lessons About Idolatry, Chastisement, Prideful Arrogance, Divine Judgment and Sudden Destruction.

Read more from Msgr. Charles Pope

An open letter to “ex” Catholics – wherever they might be

by Doug Lawrence

Dear “Ex”,

There’s no such thing as an “ex” Catholic. When you were baptized you became an adopted child of God, a living temple of the Holy Spirit, a citizen of Heaven, co-heir with Jesus Christ, and a member of the church.

Your immortal soul received a special, indelible mark, identifying you as one of God’s very own. You also received a number of unique rights and privileges, the most important of which is the right to expect God to freely accept all your prayers and petitions.

None of this was merely temporary, or subject to revocation.

The corruption and hypocrisy of some who lead the church is shameful and scandalous, yet such things should no more keep you from being authentically Catholic than corrupt politicians and congressmen should keep you from being authentically American.

The most important thing at stake is the eternal salvation of your own personal soul, and for that you need to fully and faithfully participate in all of the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church … the only church that Jesus Christ ever founded … for that express purpose.

If you’re old enough and intelligent enough to post opinion pieces on the internet, you’re old enough and intelligent enough to satisfactorily work through adult questions of faith, without merely throwing up your hands and walking away.

In any case, God loves you, and God will provide … but things begin to look much, much better once you take the time to discern your proper place in the whole scheme of things, stand up for God’s honest truth, and begin to properly pursue the high purpose for which you were created.

Of course, none of that really matters if you remain estranged and/or separated from Christ and his church.

There has always been a direct relationship between corruption in the church and the need for authentic, faithful Catholicity. The more corrupt the church evidently appears … the more good, faithful, well informed, mature Catholics are needed … in order to help turn things around.

I suspect the problem you have with the Catholic church is actually rooted some intractable, personal moral issue … and not something that is specific to any of the current public scandals. If that’s true, then you’re in denial and the only real barrier to effective reconciliation is your own personal pride.

When dealing with things of God, its typically left up to us mortals to first apologize and then ask forgiveness. Catholics … including voluntarily separated ones … typically accomplish that by going to confession, after which the subject will necessarily, never be brought up again. I speak from personal experience.

God is good. His Catholic Church is troubled, but still quite capable of saving souls and ministering to all the needs of the faithful, and Jesus Christ specifically set things up that way, just for you. Why not give it one more try?

If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your heart.

Love,

Doug

This Week’s Ask Alice: Life can be tough, but we Catholics have lots of help.



Send A Question To Alice

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

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Heather writes: When you choose to follow Jesus with all of your being life will not get easier for you, but in some cases harder. The reason I say this is because Satan does not like it when you follow Jesus. Satan never liked us humans to begin with.

Alice responds: Your insights are correct. As we grow closer to God, Satan tosses some hand grenades into our path that challenge us to detour from the path of righteousness. Please realize that Satan has been practicing his vicious, malicious tactics on good men and women for centuries.

Consider the righteous Jacob. As a young man, Satan successfully tempted Jacob to snatch his older brother, Esau’s, birthright, with help from the twins’ mother, Rebekah. Although he succumbed to Satan’s snare, God still loved Jacob. Twenty years later, Jacob stayed up all night wrestling with an angel, who struck Jacob’s hip socket. (Genesis 32: 24-26)

Why does our Heavenly Father allow his good children to struggle with spirits? In a recent homily, Fr. Jerome Kish, Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Downers Grove, IL explained, “Why did Jacob wrestle with an angel? Aren’t angels supposed to help people? The angelic wrestling match was a grace from God, so Jacob could grow in faith. All of us struggle with spirits and demons during our lives. God allows us to struggle, so we can grow strong spiritually.”

St. Paul was another good man who was no stranger to struggles with Satan.

“As to the extraordinary revelation in order that I might not become conceited I was given a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan to beat me and keep me from getting proud. Three times I begged the Lord that this might leave me. He said to me,

‘My grace is enough for you, for in weakness power reaches perfection’……….Therefore I am content with weakness, with mistreatment, with distress, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ: for when I am powerless, it is then that I am strong.”
(2 Corinthians12:7-9,10)

The downside of drawing closer to God is that our spiritual growth enrages Satan to increasingly taunt and tempt us as he sees his influence waning. But we must remember that the battle for our salvation already has been won by Jesus’ death on the cross.

We will win every wrestling match with Satan by looking up and remaining focused on God. To insure our victory over evil, we have our Mother Mary accompanied by scores of angels and saints in the Body of Christ who stand ready to respond to our every call for Heavenly help.

In Christ’s love,

Alice

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

On the Mystery of Iniquity and the Stubbornness of (we) the Stiff-Necked

Let’s consider a short text from Proverbs to illustrate the grave and mysterious problem of “anomia,” of being lawless, of being stubbornly impenitent and persisting in disregard and even contempt of God’s Law:

He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing. (Prov 29:1)

Consider this text in three stages (with acknowledgment to Rev. Adrian Rogers who preached a sermon on this I’ve never forgotten. The alliterated structure here is his, the content is mine):

1. Spiritual Direction– Note how the text describes us as being often reproved. God sends us endless messages always urging us to repentance, to, to turn toward Him, to call on Him, to learn obedience, and to rejoice in the salvation he offers. He whispers, he urges, and he calls. No one who ever went to Hell, went there without being “often reproved.” The Hebrew word is תּוֹכֵחָה (towkechah) means chastisement, correction, refutation, proof, argument, reasoning, rebuke, or reproof. Well, you get the idea, God is pleading with us to come to him, to accept his Kingdom and the Kingdom values that underlie it. He does this in many ways…

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It’s pretty bad in Boston.

First the Archdiocese was allowing Mass for the purpose of celebrating and commemorating Gay Pride at St. Cecilia’s in Boston. Then they said it had to be cancelled, but there would be a Mass in the future to welcome the community, but not specifically gays and lesbians. Now, the “Mass marking gay pride is back on” with the full endorsement of the archdiocese.  This hit the Monday morning news after Catholic bloggers including us revealed how for years St. Cecilia’s has been sponsoring speakers who support gay marriage, in direct opposition to Catholic teachings.

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Another thing Harold “Doomsday” Camping missed: Old Testament punishment prescribed for false prophets was harsh.

Deuteronomy 18:20-22

But the prophet, who being corrupted with pride, shall speak in my name things that I did not command him to say, or in the name of strange gods, shall be slain.

And if in silent thought thou answer: How shall I know the word that the Lord hath not spoken?

Thou shalt have this sign: Whatsoever that same prophet foretelleth in the name of the Lord, and it cometh not to pass: that thing the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath forged it by the pride of his mind: and therefore thou shalt not fear (heed) him.

Editor’s note: I wonder why all these learned, Bible believing scripture “scholars” … and their disciples … who deem themselves qualified even to predict the mysterious “end of days” … seem to be totally oblivious to the above scripture passage?

I M P O R T A N T: The entirety of the old law was fulfilled and set aside by Jesus Christ, in favor of the all new and better covenant that he gave to us, in his own blood … so there is now no extant law (of God or of man) that currently prescribes death for false prophets.

The prudential decision to totally disregard such false prophets however, is still a sound one.

Many of us had a lot of fun following the exploits of Harold Camping this past weekend … but there should now be absolutely no doubt that Camping is a victim of “the pride of his mind” … and people of faith should rightly be totally unconcerned with anything he might have to say.

Father Pfleger threatens to leave Catholic Church if he doesn’t get his way.

The embattled pastor of St. Sabina Roman Catholic Church told radio show hosts Tavis Smiley and Cornel West this weekend that he would look outside the Catholic Church if offered no other choice but to work at a Catholic high school.

The Rev. Michael Pfleger also said on the “Smiley & West” public radio program that he had been banned from speaking at events in the archdiocese and blamed pressure from conservative Catholics and the National Rifle Association for his most recent clash with Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George.

“I want to try to stay in the Catholic Church,” Pfleger said. “If they say ‘You either take this principalship of [Leo High School] or pastorship there or leave,’ then I’ll have to look outside the church. I believe my calling is to be a pastor. I believe my calling is to be a voice for justice. I believe my calling is to preach the Gospel. In or out of the church, I’m going to continue to do that.”

In an interview with the Tribune, Pfleger clarified that he feels called to preach and push for social justice in a Catholic context. He said he loves the Catholic Church and prefers to stay there. But going to Leo full-time would not happen, Pfleger said.

Link

Editor’s note: This guy should have been properly and fairly dealt with long ago … and let go! The Church of Pfleger has been out of control for way too long. Let’s hope it won’t be necessary to drag him out of St. Sabina’s … like a rat!*

*See the associated link

Liberalism: the passionate embrace of Christianity, except without the embarrassing God part.

I really want to believe President Obama, but his recent claim that he’s not a secret Muslim, but “a Christian by choice,” is rather hard to digest. Listen to this testimony:

“I came to my Christian faith later in life and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead. Being my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper, treating others as they would treat me, and I think also understanding that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings, that we’re sinful and we’re flawed and we make mistakes and we achieve salvation through the grace of God.”

Sin, grace, humility—if he truly believes in all this, there is some hope for this most radical of regimes. I don’t mean that Obama is a closet evangelical just waiting to be outed.

The important thing about this testimonial (if true), is that I’d finally be able to peg Obama’s real motivations. He’d be a rather typical example, straight from the 19th Century, of a Christian liberal who stopped believing in the essential dogmas of Christianity but still clung to a heavily modified form of its social doctrines.

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Satan’s diabolical plan almost worked.


Satan, blinded by pride, made a number of mistakes.

First, he actually believed that he could overthrow God. Next, Satan believed that he could cause God to change His “mind” and alter the divine plan that He (God) had ordained for creation. Finally (probably in a desperate effort to avoid hell) Satan thought he could cleverly appropriate for himself, all of man’s God-given gifts … and that he might actually be allowed to keep them.

While Satan was wrong on all counts, his diabolical plan almost worked. In the end, the “father of all lies” turned out to be his own worst enemy.

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8 Tips for Catholic Men

I don’t often write specifically for a male audience, but I believe our gender has some particular and unique challenges to staying on the right path.

I hope to offer some useful insight which will help you, me and other Catholic men be more aware of these self-created challenges and take the necessary steps to overcome them.

Let me start by listing a few general observations about men which may be uncomfortable to read and acknowledge:

We often struggle with humility and let our pride and egos get in the way.

We like to be in control.

We can be stubborn and inflexible to change.

Our identities are often wrapped up in our careers.

We struggle to ask others (especially the Lord) for help.

We are often inclined to action when reflection and discernment are more appropriate.

We are usually uncomfortable with open displays of emotion (ours and others).

We may be overly concerned about the opinions of others (What will our buddies think?)

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Presidential Proclamation– June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month


… NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2010 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.  I call upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

BARACK OBAMA

Link

EU Parliament Building is (literally) a modern Tower of Babel

Ever since its completion on December 14 1999, the EU parliament has raised eyebrows and questions regarding its structure. The main tower, called the “Louise Weiss” building, looks peculiar and modernist. Why does it look unfinished? Promoters say it reflects the “unfinished nature of Europe”. However, some research on the subject reveals the dark and deep symbolism of the building. Exposing the real source of inspiration behind the Louise Weiss building is exposing the esoteric beliefs of the world elite, their dark aspirations and their interpretation of ancient scriptures.

We’ll go straight to the point: the Louise Weiss building is meant to look like painting “The Tower of Babel” by Pieter Brueghel the Elder in 1563. Story says that the Tower of Babel was never completed. So, the UN Parliament is basically continuing the unfinished work of Nimrod, the infamous tyrant, who was building the Tower of Babel to defy God. Do you think this is a good source of inspiration for a “democratic institution”?

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