Unlikely story: An avowed atheist’s conversion.

creationcolor

For the first time in my life, I prayed, and said. “Dear God. There is no logical way you could possibly exist, and even if you appeared before me in the flesh, I would call it an hallucination. So I can think of no possible way, no matter what the evidence and no matter how clear it was, that you could prove your existence to me.

But the Christians claim you are benevolent, and that my failure to believe in you inevitably will damn me. If, as they claim, you care whether or not I am damned, and if, as they claim, you are all wise and all powerful, you can prove to me that you exist even though I am confident such a thing is logically impossible.

Thanking you in advance for your cooperation in this matter, John C. Wright.” — and then my mind was at rest. I had done all I needed to do honestly to maintain my stature as someone, not who claimed to be logical, objective and openminded, but who was logical, objective, and openminded.

Three days later, with no warning, I had a heart attack, and was lying on the floor, screaming and dying.

-Then I was saved from certain death by faith-healing, after which–

-I felt the Holy Spirit enter my body, after which–

-became immediately aware of my soul, a part of myself which, until that time, I reasoned and thought did not exist-

-I was visited by the Virgin Mary, her son, and His Father-

-not to mention various other spirits and ghosts over a period of several days–

-including periods of divine ecstasy, and an awareness of the mystical oneness of the universe-

-And a week or so after that I had a religious experience where I entered the mind of God and saw the indescribable simplicity and complexity, love, humor and majesty of His thought, and I understood the joy beyond understanding and comprehended the underlying unity of all things, and the paradox of determinism and free will was made clear to me, as was the symphonic nature of prophecy. I was shown the structure of time and space.

-And then Christ in a vision told me that He would be my judge, and that God judges no man. I mentioned this event to my wife. Then about a month later, when I was reading the Bible for the first time beyond the unavoidable minimum assigned in school, I came across the passage in the book of John, a passage I had never seen before, and to which no Christian in my hearing had ever made reference, which said the same thing in the same words.

-And then I have had perhaps a dozen or two dozen prayers miraculously answered, so much so that I now regard it as a normal routine rather than some extraordinary act of faith.

So I would say my snide little prayer was answered with much more than I had asked, and I was given not just evidence, and not just overwhelming evidence, but joy unspeakable and life eternal.

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Verses about divine judgment from the Gospel of St. John:

(John 3:17) For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world: but that the world may be saved by him.

(John 5:22) For neither does the Father judge any man: but hath given all judgment to the Son.

(John 5:30) I cannot of myself do any thing. As I hear, so I judge. And my judgment is just: because I seek not my own will. but the will of him that sent me.

(John 7:24) Judge not according to the appearance: but judge just judgment.

(John 7:51) Doth our law judge any man, unless it first hear him and know what he doth?

(John 8:15) You judge according to the flesh: I judge not any man.

(John 8:16) And if I do judge, my judgment is true: because I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.

(John 8:26) Many things I have to speak and to judge of you. But he that sent me, is true: and the things I have heard of him, these same I speak in the world.

(John 12:47) And if any man hear my words and keep them not, I do not judge him for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

(John 12:48) He that despiseth me and receiveth not my words hath one that judgeth him. The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

Congressman Ryan: “I am a Catholic, not because anyone has ordered me to accept a creed, but because of the grace and truth revealed in my faith.”

Jesus Christ is the grace and truth revealed
in Congressman Paul Ryan’s Catholic Faith

Ryan spoke openly about his Catholic faith at the 2012 Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 14.

In his address, he defended his economic views, which have drawn criticism for their proposed cuts in federal spending on some programs that aid the poor.

However, Ryan has asserted that “big government” approaches have not worked to reduce levels of poverty and says that his plan would help the poor by reducing the federal debt, growing the economy and creating jobs.

“Here we are, four years of economic stewardship under these self-proclaimed advocates of the poor, and what do they have to show for it?” he asked. “More people in poverty, and less upward mobility wherever you look.”

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Nine biblical truths about life (and abortion)

The pro-life movement is comprised of people of many faiths and no faith. So is MCCL. Ours is not a “religious” position. The facts of science (showing that the unborn is a living human organism) combined with sound moral reasoning (showing the equal dignity of every member of the human family) confirm the pro-life position that abortion unjustly takes the life of an innocent human being. This truth — like the truth that slavery is wrong, or that killing homeless people is wrong, or that kindness is good and praiseworthy — is accessible to everyone, regardless of religious conviction. (See, for example, SecularProLife.org.)

Having said that, Christians who embrace the Bible have additional reason to reject abortion and accept the pro-life position. From the Christian perspective, what we know from “general revelation” (science, natural law) is even further confirmed by “special revelation” (the teaching of Scripture). Below are the biblical truths most relevant to abortion, as best as I can discern them. These points should matter for anyone who believes the Bible is true or authoritative, and perhaps also for those who believe the Bible contains at least some truth or wisdom.

See all nine

Contemplating stained glass windows in church and Biblical descriptions of Heaven


…recall that traditional church architecture saw the church as an image of heaven. Hence it’s design was based on the descriptions of heaven found in the Scriptures. Now among other things, heaven is described in the Book of Revelation as having high walls with rows of jewels embedded in the foundations of those walls:

One of the seven angels…showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates….The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.... (Revelation 21:varia)

Thus, because heaven had great high walls, older churches almost always had a lot of verticality. The lower foundational walls gave way to the higher clerestory, and above the clerestory the vaults of the ceiling rise even higher. And in the lower sections of the walls, extending even as high as the clerestory, the jewel-like stained glass recalls the precious jeweled gemstones described in the lower walls of heaven, according to Revelation 21.

The compelling effect of a traditional church is to say to the believer, you are in heaven now.

Read more from Msgr. Charles Pope

Editor’s note: Like many of our modern day “Catholic” theologians, who think they are so much smarter than all those who came before them … but aren’t … many architects of modern day Catholic churches … and some of the bishops who ultimately approve their designs … aren’t very smart, either. And that’s a real shame!

Enjoy the exquisite glass in the Cathedral at Chartres, France

Liberalism and the post Vatican II Catholic Church

Principles of Liberalism

Let us first define in a few words the liberalism of which the most typical historical example is Protestantism.  Liberalism pretends to free man from any constraint not wished or accepted by himself.

FIRST LIBERATION: frees the intelligence from any objective truth imposed on it.  The truth must be accepted as differing according to the individual or group of individuals, so it is necessarily divided up.  The making of the truth and the search for it goes on all the time.  Nobody can claim to have exclusive or complete possession of it.  It is obvious how opposed that is to our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church.

SECOND LIBERATION: frees the faith from any dogmas imposed on us, dogmas formulated in a definitive fashion and which the intelligence and will must submit to.  Dogmas, according to the liberal, must be submitted to the test of reason and science, constantly, because science is constantly progressing.  Hence it is impossible to admit any revealed truth defined once and for all.  It will be noticed how contrary such a principle is to the Revelation of our Lord and His authority.

Lastly, THIRD LIBERATION: frees us from the law.  The law, according to the liberal, limits freedom and imposes on it a restraint first moral and then physical.  The law and its restraints are an affront to human dignity and human conscience.  Conscience is the supreme law. The liberal confuses liberty with license.  Our Lord Jesus Christ is the living Law, as He is the Word of God; it will be realized once more how deep runs the opposition between the liberal and our Lord.

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The Bible: “Master Code” of Western culture

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ROME, May 1, 2009 – In a few days, the daily “la Repubblica” and the weekly “L’espresso” will offer to the Italian public, in hundreds of thousands of copies and at a reasonable price, the entire Christian Bible, in a new translation edited by the bishops’ conference (CEI), accompanied by extensive notes and illustrated with artistic masterpieces from all time periods.

The work will be published in three volumes: the first with the Pentateuch and the historical books; the second with the wisdom books and the prophets; the third with the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the letters, and Revelation.

The initiative is all the more unusual in that “la Repubblica” and “L’espresso” are the leading publications for secular opinion in Italy, and are often critical of the Catholic Church and the Christian faith itself.

(Also included: a letter from Pope Benedict XVI about scripture reading techniques)

by Sandro Magister. English translation by Matthew Sherry, Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.

Click here to read the entire article

How did the “Assumption of Mary into Heaven theory” come about?

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Q: How did the “Assumption of Mary into Heaven theory” come about?

A: It’s more than a theory. It’s an official dogma of the Catholic Church, and one of only two Ex Cathedra, infallible statements ever proclaimed by the Pope, throughout the history of the Church.

There are a number of valid theological reasons for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as well as earlier scriptural precedents for it in the apparent bodily “translations” of Enoch, Elijah, and possibly even Moses.

It is known from scripture that Satan spared no effort trying to locate and claim the dead body of Moses, as some sort of a “trophy” … finally being frustrated by the concerted efforts and strong rebuke of Michael the Archangel.

Knowing this, if you were Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, triumphantly returned to Heaven after your successfully completed mission, but knowing full well that Satan, while officially powerless, still remained a dangerous fugitive back on earth, how long would you permit Satan to have his way with your own mother?

Then there’s the traditional explanation:

A number of the apostles witnessed Mary’s apparent death. Her body was placed in a tomb, and several days later, the tomb was found to be empty, her body seemingly replaced by a huge volume of flowers.

Some time later, St. John received the Book of Revelation from Jesus Christ, and John correlated the images and events in the last part of chapter 11 and the first part of chapter 12 with the events surrounding the “dormition” of the Blessed Virgin.

Based on this, the Catholic Church has always understood that God would not allow the sanctified flesh that was used to fashion Christ’s human body to see the corruption of the tomb. And since Mary, by special privilege of God, was necessarily sinless from conception, and further sanctified by some 34 years of dwelling in the immediate presence of Christ himself, there was absolutely no need for Mary to await the resurrection, since according to God’s grace, Mary had absolutely no sin that would warrant divine judgment … or death … for that matter.

The Church authoritatively and dogmatically explains all of this here, much better than I have, complete with extensive citations:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_x…

But this short excerpt from the above document sums things up pretty well:

40. Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination,(47) immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages.(48)

And as St. John explains at the end of his gospel, there was indeed a whole lot of very significant, authentic stuff going on, that never made it into the Bible.

Believe it … or don’t. (Catholics are required to believe it.)

https://douglawrence.wordpress.com/a-shor…

http://www.askmeaboutgod.org/passionfina…