People continue to attempt to privately interpret the scriptures, in spite of the biblical warning to the contrary


2 Peter 1:16-21 For we have not by following artificial fables made known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ: but we were eyewitnesses of his greatness. (17) For he received from God the Father honor and glory, this voice coming down to him from the excellent glory: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him.

(18) And this voice, we heard brought from heaven, when we were with him in the holy mount. (19) And we have the more firm prophetical word: whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts.

(20) Understanding this first: That no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation. (21) For prophecy came not by the will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Ghost.

Topic: What Was St. Paul Actually Calling “Doctrines of Demons?”

In A Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, the 1953 classic for Scripture study, Fr. R.J. Foster gives us crucial insight into what St. Paul was writing about in I Timothy 4:

[B]ehind these prohibitions there may lie the dualistic principles which were already apparent in Asia Minor when this epistle was written and which were part of the Gnostic heresy.

Evidently, St. Paul was writing against what might be termed the founding fathers of the Gnostic movement that split away from the Church in the first century and would last over 1,000 years, forming many different sects and taking many different forms.

Read more from Tim Staples at Catholic Answers

And here is a remarkable teaching: happiness is an inside job.

In the first reading for Tuesday’s daily mass there is a remarkable description of an event in the life of Paul and Silas. And, even more remarkable than the event itself is their reaction to it.

Read more from Msgr. Charles Pope

This Week’s Ask Alice: Wearing mantillas (chapel veils) at Mass

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Adelaide Asks: Why don’t men wear mantillas (chapel veils) at Latin Mass/Novis Ordo? Why do women wear mantillas?

Alice Answers: Traditionally, men in Western society remove their hats as a sign of respect upon entering a church, classroom, or meeting, and they tip their hats when meeting a lady, or any person in a position of authority.

Latin Masses attendees who wear mantillas in church, cite the words of St. Paul to the Corinthians regarding conduct at public worship:

“Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered brings shame upon his head. Similarly, any woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered brings shame upon her head. For a man ought not to cover his head since he is the image of God and the reflection of His glory. Woman, in turn, is the reflection of man’s glory.” (I Corinthians 11:5, 7)

St. Paul’s remarks concerning head coverings for worship conformed with the dress code of his day. During the 1st Century, A.D., Christian women wore head coverings in public places. Their veils were worn to promote modesty. Head coverings were not mandated for the Christian man’s public apparel in the 1st Century. Women donned veils for cultural reasons, so St. Paul simply adapted their worship wardrobe to their clothing customs.

However, St. Paul gave us flawless fashion advice for being the best-dressed Christians in every century:

“Because your are God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with heartfelt mercy, with kindness, humility, meekness, and patience….Over all these virtues, put on love, which binds the rest together and makes them perfect.” (Colossians 3:12, 14)

In Christ’s Love,


That which is Veiled is a Holy Vessel

Another “take” on this subject

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Muslims Don’t Know It … But Sharia Law Is A Curse.

Distilled down to its essence, Muslim Sharia Law is really nothing more than a variation of Old Testament Mosaic Law, suitably modified by various Pharisaical-type entities, in order to entrap, oppress, and enslave the people.

St. Paul wrote very clearly about this to the Galatians … long, long ago.

From the New American Bible (footnotes on Galatians 3)

Those who depend not on promise and faith but on works of the law are under a curse because they do not persevere in doing all the things written in the book of the law (Gal 3:10; Deut 27:26) in order to gain life (Gal 3:12; Lev 18:5; cf Romans 10:5).

But scripture teaches that no one is justified before God by the law (Gal 3:11; Hebrews 2:4, adapted from the Greek version of Habakkuk; cf Romans 1:17; Hebrews 10:38).

Salvation, then, depends on faith in Christ who died on the cross (Gal 3:13), taking upon himself a curse found in Deut 21:23 (about executed criminals hanged in public view), to free us from the curse of the law (Gal 3:13).

That the Gentile Galatians have received the promised Spirit (Gal 3:14) by faith and in no other way returns the argument to the experience cited in Gal 3:1-5.

Read it for yourself

The Catholic Church Is ISRAEL

The Church, particularly the Catholic Church, is Israel. There is no other Israel today, in a Biblical sense, than the Church. The Church is also Zion. There is no other Zion, in a spiritual sense, than the Church. The Church is also the New Jerusalem.  There is no other “Jerusalem,” in a spiritual sense than the Church.  This is a fundamental teaching of the New Testament. Without this understanding, everything becomes convoluted. If you read Israel and the Church as being two separate entities than you’ve missed the boat, and one of the most fundamental teachings of the New Testament just went right over your head.

In the eleventh chapter of St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans he uses the illustration of an olive tree to make his point. He compares the Church to a tree that has it’s roots in the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), and it’s trunk representing the Law and Prophets in the Old Testament. No tree trunk grows upward into infinity. At some point it must sprout branches, and so St. Paul’s “olive tree” does the same. These branches make up the modern Church in Jesus Christ.

Some branches are Jewish Christians. Many branches are Gentile Christians. Both are precious in the eyes of God.  This is the “Israel of God.”

What about those Jews who refused to believe in Jesus Christ? St. Paul himself tells us those are the branches that were cut off from the tree – at least for the time being. These branches can however be grafted back in at any time, and indeed he assures us that someday they all will be, in the fullness of time. As far as we’re concerned anyway, Christianity (neither Judaism nor some piece of real estate in the Middle East) makes up the new “Israel of God,” and it’s been this way ever since Christ initiated the New Covenant some 2,000 years ago.

This is how we Christians are to understand ourselves, and the Church, in the context of Israel and the Old Testament. I cannot stress how incredibly important this is, because if it is not understood, the errors that will arise from it will be nothing short of monumental!

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It’s true. The Old Law of Moses (including the Commandments and everything) was perfectly fulfilled and then set aside, by Jesus Christ.

Mount Sinai On the First Pentecost:
Moses Receives the Ten Commandments

The ethical commands of the Mosaic Law are still highly regarded by the Church and the Church uses them.

By the same token, however, the Church does not want anyone legally bound to the Mosaic Law as an entity in itself because, if we were, then the Mosaic Law would condemn us with no chance of salvation (Gal 3:10-11).

THIS is why the whole law had to go, not just bits and pieces of it. For if any of the law remained, on a legal foundation, it would legally condemn us to hell.

Christians are free from the Law, since we are now bound to Jesus Christ, through his New Covenant Church.
(A much better deal!)

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And more

“Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath.”

The Letter of St. Paul to the Colossians consists of only four short chapters, but it covers a lot of “ground”. In fact, there’s much that today’s Christians might learn from it.

For one thing, St. Paul makes it clear that Christians are no longer bound to the Old Covenant (Mosaic) system of things, which has been totally replaced by the New Covenant … which is a much, much better “deal”.

For those who still prefer to believe that the sabbath day observance is limited only to Saturday, and/or that Christians are somehow obligated to observe any of the Old Testament feast days (or other requirements, like circumcision) St. Paul teaches clearly to the contrary:

Colossians 2:16
“Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath.”

Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses (and many other Christian denominations) would be wise to consider the full impact of St. Paul’s clear teaching, which remains at odds with their beliefs and practices, while Catholics should understand what St. Paul obviously did … that Jesus wasn’t kidding when he gave the Catholic Church (alone) the awesome and virtually unrestricted power of binding and loosing, on Earth and in Heaven.

Read the referenced Bible text

Read the corresponding Haydock Commentary

More about the sabbath

Earliest known icons of Apostles Peter and Paul found

The earliest known icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul have been discovered in a catacomb under a modern office building in Rome.

The images, which date from the second half of the 4th century, were discovered on the ceiling of a tomb that also includes the earliest known images of the apostles John and Andrew.

They were uncovered using a new laser technique that allowed restorers to burn off centuries of thick white calcium carbonate deposits without damaging the dark colors of the original paintings underneath.

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Priest’s new book challenges men to learn ‘true manhood’ by following Christ


San Francisco, Calif., Nov 6, 2009 / 06:17 am, excerpt, (CNA)

“Jesus Christ Himself reveals to us what it is to be a man,” Fr. Richards said. “It is about taking the one life that God has given us and give it away. When men are invited to die for others, they put others’ needs above their own. To be like Christ, and like all great men, will cost men their very lives.”

“There is a difference in the way men and women were created,” he remarked. “Men are not called to be women and vice versa. We are different – not better, but different – and men are called to be fully men. This needs to be dealt with up front because it’s a problem – in the Catholic Church and in the world itself.”

Link: “Be A Man: Become the Man God Created You to Be.”