Thursday, May 5, 2016

THE TOP TEN REASONS I LOVE BEING CATHOLIC

I love being Catholic more and more each day. Why? Many reasons, but I thought I would quickly jot down a few this morning. 

Catholicism:


10: TEACHES HUMILITY 

Become Catholic in 21st-century, Protestant America is very much like a camel going through the eye of a needle. If you were raised to believe Catholics were in error or believed they taught a false gospel or dangerous heresy, you will be eating some very painful humble pie. Once you have studied it and become Catholic, there will be no doubt in your mind of God's miraculous grace when you joyfully fall on your knees, bowing low before the Almighty at a Catholic altar to receive the Eucharist. 

In the light of the glory of this new Catholic world, you begin to realize that you are not the center of the universe and your opinions are really not that smart. It means you give up your rights to decide what is moral and immoral and submit to the church's teachings which find great scriptural support. You quickly find it is better to just shut up and listen, because a lot of people in Catholicism are exponentially more spiritually mature, wise and brilliant than you are. 

Don't believe me? Read the writings of the St. Augustine, St. Teresa of Avila, Pope John Paul II the Great, Pope Benedict XVI, Thomas Merton, GK Chesterton, JRR Tolkien. Listen to the saints-in-the-making today such as Peter Kreeft, Scott Hahn, Michael Voris, Cardinal Robert Barron, Dave Armstrong, Matt Walsh, Father Mitch Pacwa, and many of those at EWTN and Catholic Answers. 

Yeah, I found humility feels really good. And I need a refresher course about every other week. Catholicism gives that to me. Thank God. 


9. PERFECTLY BALANCES SCIENCE VS. FAITH

I love that Catholicism has a history of both science and faith. The greatest scientists mankind has produced were and are Catholic. Catholics founded universities and promoted cosmology, biology, astro-physics.... We love finding out how God made the world. And that takes nothing away from the mysteries we have yet to discover. Catholicism has an eager, child-like wonder of the world, yet we accept that our Creator goes beyond what we can imagine to enrapture us and hold us spellbound by His glories we cannot understand. 

Catholicism never expects us to throw out what we know of science. We don't have to live with cognitive dissonance. Our faith does not reject science but is built upon the facts of nature that science continually discovers. 


8. TEACHES US HOW TO READ THE BIBLE 

Catholics don't walk around with Bible verses tucked into their gun belt like ammunition awaiting to shoot unbelievers with proof texts. But Catholics know their Bibles (at least the ones attending mass), just on a different level. However, some Catholic theologians know their Bibles better than any Protestant I ever read or met. (Don't laugh, Protestants, that's part of the humble pie I had to eat... it's true.)

What was amusing and amazing to discover is that where most Protestants read the Bible symbolically, Catholics read it literally and visa versa. Catholic scholars have taught me how to view the scriptures holistically and it answers my deepest questions. 

This is too big of a topic for this post, but suffice it to say that they have been studying scripture for two millennia--there is nothing they haven't examined millions of times. You can't bring up something they haven't thought of or trip them up. They have been on the trail of answering questions for hundreds of years. 

They love the Holy, inerrant, infallible written Word of God. (The Catholics were the ones who told Christians the Bible was the word of God!)


7. IS POSITIVE AND OPTIMISTIC

Catholicism teaches that man isn't totally depraved but that man is still in the supremely elevated position of being "in the image of God." Original sin stained us, but did not totally erase our goodness, our freewill or our innate desire to be restored to our creator. Catholic theology says our destiny is to be one with the Father as Christ and the Father are one. It gives us a purpose and meaning for our lives here. We are not to remain forever in our sins but we are to become great saints in the spiritual battle raging between the Church and Satan. And we can do it through the sacraments.

Christ won the war at the Cross, but we each are winning the battle for eternal souls now. There is truth, there is goodness, there is right and wrong and Catholics should be very optimistic that our lives matter in this apocalyptic battle for we are of immense worth. 


6. CHALLENGES MY BELIEFS

Becoming Catholic means that all other Catholics no matter their political beliefs, the nation they give their loyalty to, their soteriology and worldview are my brothers and sisters in Christ. They can never be my enemy. No matter how sinful or stupid I think they are or how politically left-leaning or right-leaning, they deserve my respect and love. Catholicism challenges feminism, the sexual revolution, capitalism, communism, socialism, patriotism, materialism... 


5. TEACHES ME TO REJOICE IN MY SUFFERING

Life is hard. And Catholicism teaches that no heart is broken, no tear is shed that cannot be lifted up to God and used to break the Devil's power. One of the most profound of all teachings is that God can give us joy in sacrifice and suffering. Once that is learned nothing can take that freedom away. For nothing can take your joy and peace. It is the discovery of ten thousand lifetimes. 


4. IT REVEALS THE FATHER OF LIES


We live in a world satiated in propaganda. If Satan can so successfully pull off the greatest hoax and darkest con of demonizing the Catholic Church for centuries, then what else has he distorted? The Catholic church exposes his lies. 


3. MAKES MEN

Catholicism is authoritarian. It is male dominated and female cherishing. (Who else speaks of Mary as Queen Mother!) While there are many Catholic males who are cowards, the sacraments are there to make men. It takes enormous courage to go to confession. It takes enormous bravery to live a life dedicated to sacrificing for God. If males will live it, Catholicism makes men great. And as a woman, that thrills me. 


2. CONNECTS ME WITH HISTORY

When one becomes Catholic, one joins a family whose ancestry spreads across the globe and reaches back into the primeval church. Through the Eucharist, our family ties connect and weave into St. Peter through the early Church Fathers through the dark ages to Thomas Aquinas and beyond. We become one flesh with God's family, we share their spiritual DNA as well as through Christ we share their flesh. This is a mystery that confounds reality and yet is more real than flesh itself. 

1. CONNECTS ME MORE FULLY TO CHRIST

For me, beyond anything else, the beauty of the Catholic Church is that it brings me into the Holy of Holies in a mysterious dance of consummation with my Father. I am spiritually no longer an astronomer but an astronaut. I am no longer a "fan" of Christ, I am His Body and His Bride. We are one flesh. 

Before, I longed for the moment I would be with Christ, now I feel I have arrived in heaven. He not only feels near, but I am in Him and He is in me. Through Catholicism I have entered into His Divinity, not as a god, but as His child. I see a majesty, a power and holy glory I never knew before. I tremble at the thought of His Holy Name. I am not ashamed to bow before His Holy Ones. For now I know more fully that HE IS GOD. 





Monday, May 2, 2016

My Thoughts on Purgatory by Teresa Beem


In the New Covenant Commandments Christ said that we are to be perfect, even as the Father in Heaven is perfect.  Be perfect 
that you may eternally exist in the very presence of perfection Himself.             Perfection..... how? How is it possible? Was Christ speaking in hyperbole? Or symbolism? Surely, He was speaking of an imputed perfection, right? Because most of us who have given our lives to Christ and walk with Him, see perfection recede farther and farther into the distance as Christ open's our eyes. 


Catholics have always taught that these are literal words. We can, and in fact, must be perfect like God Himself. And through His inexhaustible grace and mercy, our Creator gave us a place of perfecting for those with faith who have died. Catholics named it purgatory. The Jews called it Abraham's bosom, or paradise. Protestants do not have a name for the place but for the experience: sanctification. 


And out of immense love and in His infinite mercy, God gave us this place of perfecting, this state of being, this centrifugal force that separates us from our sin before we enter the presence of eternal love. 

I know of many Catholics who think of purgatory as a safety net. They will procrastinate their perfecting until the afterlife, because they believe somehow it will be easier. Like the Protestants, they believe that the moment after death God magically and painlessly waves His wand over us: voila! we go from Cinderella in the dirty torn dress to Cinderella ready for the ball. 


For over three millennia, the people of God have not believed this. It is indeed the supernatural physician who does this miracle in us, but we are not unaware of what is going on and our wills must submit to the change and cooperate in the process. Like all things in the human flesh, we must sacrifice to achieve our results. Perfection must become habituated in us. It is not an instantaneous big bang, but an evolution of supernatural grace. 

I am aware of St. Paul's prophecy that in the end, Christ will come and those are alive will have a change in the twinkling of an eye. However, most of us will have to let go of our flesh in death and experience the loss of time and space. Most of us will enter eternity without the miraculous instantaneous change.

And if you have chosen to enter an eternity with God, you must truly be sorry for your sins and fully understand that sin separates us with the Father. And until you face the sins you excused as little sins, unimportant, trivial and see how they hurt not only Christ, but those around you, you will not be able to stand in the presence of a Holy God. You indeed, will not want to see Him, until your heart and soul are purged and able to see the total destructive evil of every single sin. 

Not to suggest that in the slightest way that these sins are not already forgiven by God. Of course they are. Jesus paid for them at the Cross. But, even after sins are forgiven, when humans cling to them, they change the heart of the sinner. Cherished, habitual or addictive sins cloud our reasoning and impede our ability to love. Purgatory makes our minds sparkle with clarity and breaks our hardened heart and opens up the floodgate of His love in us.

If you do believe the Catholic teaching on purgatory, you should consider praying that you will get your purgatory completed here. And there are very good reasons for this. Because once you leave this world and enter purgatory, you can have no effect on the world or people in it. It will be only after you leave your final sanctification and enter into perfection, that you will be able to help those on earth, through your prayers.

Think of the wonderful things your prayers could do if you became righteous now. Think of the good you could do your children and grandchildren. Instead of a purgatory of deep horror and regret about your wasted life, instead of looking with pain at the pains of your children and those you came in contact with, your life could have been one of virtuous heroism. Your life might have been a magnifying glass of the Cross and brought His love so near that many lives were changed. 




While purgatory is a tremendous blessing for most, do not put off your purgatory till the last day, pray to experience it right now. For if you become holy in this life, you will experience a joy and peace that lasts from this day forward. You will be bringing the threshold of eternity near, very near. Heaven will begin now. 

And I think of our Blessed Lady, Mary, who never sinned. Every moment of sacrifice she experienced was not used to perfect herself but was given freely into the treasury of faith to be used by others. Your life can become one of filling the treasury of merits so that those you love can eat from the banquet of blessings your life provided for them. 

No one who is oriented towards heaven can skip the step of perfection, of sanctification. Do it now. Pray for that kind of radical holiness this moment, that your life may be joined to His Cross and His love and mercy will burn with such an intense brightness, that all will be touched. 

You were born for a purpose. And that purpose was to be a spiritual giant, an heir to the throne with your brother, Christ. Be ye perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect. 






Thursday, April 14, 2016

TOM'S REASONABLE KINGDOM by Teresa Beem


Tom was a cynic. Tom didn’t seem to enjoy Bach or the Sistine Chapel or mystery stories. To Tom the world was small and reasonable and he preferred it that way. 

Tom died and stood before God. He was not happy that there was more than he thought to this world. He was not happy there turned out to be something supernatural. So when God asked Tom if he wanted to live forever with Him in a glorious supernatural kingdom with surprises and beauty, but he warned him that God's kingdom may not seem reasonable to him, Tom rather chose his own eternal kingdom. It would be all his and he would be in control, and he was very thankful to find out there would be nothing supernatural. 

As Tom settled into his kingdom he thought to himself how clever he was. This hell wasn’t bad at all. It was actually quite comfortable and it was filled with other people exactly like himself. 

The hills were green and rolling, the sky was blue and the temperature was warm. The trees and animals were exactly as they were on earth. The people and animals were just as they were on earth. It turned out that the reality of hell was no more than his own reality. Small and understandable.

Recalling the scary mysterious hell Tom’s church had warned him about made him scornfully laugh. There was nothing supernatural about hell, no silly myths, no absurd faith in the illogical.

Tom felt just as he did on earth for a long time. Comfortable, reasonable. 

One day a group of the people right over the hill, began to loudly sing a drinking song about loving the perfect woman. Tom didn’t drink and he had long since quit believing in love or the perfect woman and Tom definitely didn’t enjoy the people enjoying themselves. He wished the people would go away. His kingdom would be much better if other people weren’t there. And the sound vanished. Tom assumed the party broke up and the people went back home.
So now it was a perfect. Just himself and the cute, loyal animals and the trees and nice weather and rolling green hills and distant mountains. After a very long time without hearing or seeing any others, Tom wondered what happened to all the people. Not that he really wanted to see them, but it didn’t make any sense to him. Where did they go? They couldn’t have vanished, that was impossible, so Tom sat down with a pencil and pen and made a list of all the scientifically plausible reasons as to why the people disappeared. He spent a lot of time scribbling. 

Frustrated at their mysterious disappearance Tom began to make a trek around his kingdom looking for the people to prove seemingly magical disappearances were always explainable. 

Even though he hadn’t gone too far, Tom saw something that looked like heaven, all glorious, sparkling and perfect--way in the distance. Well, he mocked, there was no such thing, so when he bumped into the edge of his kingdom with the picture of heaven on it, he shook his head knowingly. He knew it had only been a picture. Since the facts proved that the people were not in this direction, he turned to go in another. 

Tom’s hell was like Tom’s heaven; it wasn’t too big, for that might contain things he had never thought of or worse, surprises. Though he had not gone far, these mountains irritated him. However a step in front of him the ground leveled out and became a plain. Thankfully Tom never saw a snow capped mountain again- ever. 

Under a beautiful tree, he decided to sit down. The leaves above him began rustling and when he looked up he saw an unicorn reaching his neck up nibbling away. This upset Tom. He had always believed unicorns to be a myth. So he killed the unicorn. Then an African Penguin waddled up to him and although Africans know they have penguins, Tom didn’t believe a penguin could live in Africa, so he killed it too. 

Since all the people had disappeared, a dog had been his faithful companion. But even the dog began to irritate him. It was just too cheerful and Tom wasn’t sure he believed this dog was really his friend. So he kicked him and the dog ran away never to return. 

“Finally, some quiet,” Tom thought. As the aeons went by Tom’s kingdom continued to be just what he wished. His kingdom followed his reality and became smaller and smaller. 

As he was attempting to open a coconut one day, he smashed his fingers so hard upon a rock that he broke bones in two of his fingers, gnarling them terribly and causing such excruciating fiery pain that he began to scream expletives as the top of his lungs. He called out for someone to come help him and when no one came, he recalled as a child his pastor taught him to pray in these situations. More vile expletives came out as he swore he would never pray as there was no God (forgetting he had once met Him). He had always believed in evolution and that man came from apes. And as more and more angry expletives raged, what Tom didn’t realize is that his sound became strange and animal-like and his tongue swelled so no words could be formed. 

As he jumped around in rage swinging his long hairy arms in a fiery pain that seared from his hand out to the rest of his hairy black body, he wailed and wailed and gnashed his teeth. As the aeons passed by Tom seemed less and less aware of his surroundings. His hand never healed, and so he could only swing in the trees with the other. 

It wasn’t that Tom rejected mystery anymore, but rather his stubbornness and fear made him begin to reject the trees for they had shadows and noises and so he was made more comfortable when he became forever running closely upon the ground with four legs. 

How long it was Tom had no idea, but after what seemed ages, he wanted the hills to go away, they caused him so much fiery fear because he could not see past them---so they disappeared. Tom’s world became what he believed he could see around him. 

One day, after Tom had been in his kingdom a long time, he no longer understood what that light was, it wasn’t that the brightness irritated him, but it made him see things like green below and blue above, things he no longer understood and that caused fiery fear. So the kingdom dimmed. Again much later, he began to feel that the soft strands of something under him was a mythical creature and he determined not to believe it. And the grass disappeared. 

Tom, in his dark, tiny world began to wiggle his mammal feet and since he couldn’t see them, he didn’t believe in them and they scared him so they disappeared. Eventually as he lay there, he felt these four sticks coming out of his body, and that scared him. So his legs disappeared.

Eventually, the sounds of the breeze gave him the impression that there was something he didn’t understand, some space that he couldn’t see, so his ears disappeared. 
And one day, aeons and aeons from then, Sally died and went to her own kingdom, just like Tom. She too didn’t believe in anything supernatural. 

One day in her kingdom, she looked down and saw a strange little creature, nothing more than a tiny worm crawling around the ground. She picked it up and looked at it carefully. It was the oddest looking worm she had ever seen. It looked as if it had the face of a man. After trying for the longest time to figure out what this creature could be, for it certainly couldn’t be something mythical, she put the little worm down for it irritated her. 

Though the worm crawled away, It disappeared from Sally’s sight and she would never be able to see him again.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

POPE FRANCIS: GRAB YOUR WHIP AND TURN OVER SOME TABLES!


After read the article below all faithful Catholics need to storm the Vatican with letters to immediately excommunicate all those involved in the seditious meeting, including:

Cardinal Reinhard Marx
Father Schockenhoff
Bishop Büchel of St. Gallen,
Anne-Marie Pelletier

Archbishop Pontier, head of the French bishops, 

Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Sant’Egidio 
Jesuit Father Andreas Batlogg,
Msgr. Markus Graulich, prelate auditor of the tribunal of the Roman Rota, 
Msgr. Graulich

No matter how sincere and well-meaning, these people have become the hypocrite leaders that Christ spoke against. They are serpents and children of the Father of Lies. They are coming for the ruin of our children's souls. They are deliberately attempting to  
undermine Christ and His Holy Catholic Church. To protect the innocent sheep, time for the Holy Father to take a whip and drive them out!

The only way for us to communicate to His Holiness Pope Francis is to write him at the following address:

His Holiness, Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City

-----------------------------------------------------------

The National Catholic Register 
 05/26/2015 

Link: SATAN in Catholic Garb

Confidential Meeting Seeks to Sway Synod to Accept Same-Sex Unions  


NEWS ANALYSIS: Around 50 participants, including bishops, theologians and media representatives, took part in the gathering, held at the Pontifical Gregorian University.





Cardinal Reinhard Marx
Wikipedia
ROME — A one-day study meeting — open only to a select group of individuals — took place at the Pontifical Gregorian University on Monday with the aim of urging “pastoral innovations” at the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family in October.
Around 50 participants, including bishops, theologians and media representatives, took part in the gathering, at the invitation of the presidents of the bishops’ conferences of Germany, Switzerland and France — Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Bishop Markus Büchel and Archbishop Georges Pontier.
One of the key topics discussed at the closed-door meeting was how the Church could better welcome those in stable same-sex unions, and reportedly “no one” opposed such unions being recognized as valid by the Church.
Participants also spoke of the need to “develop” the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and called not for a theology of the body, as famously taught by St. John Paul II, but the development of a “theology of love.”
One Swiss priest discussed the “importance of the human sex drive,” while another participant, talking about holy Communion for remarried divorcees, asked: “How can we deny it, as though it were a punishment for the people who have failed and found a new partner with whom to start a new life?”
Marco Ansaldo, a reporter for the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, who was present at the meeting, said the words seemed “revolutionary, uttered by clergymen.”
French Biblicist and Ratzinger Prize-winner Anne-Marie Pelletier praised the dialogue that took place between theologians and bishops as a “real sign of the times.” Accordingto La Stampa, another Italian daily newspaper, Pelletier said the Church needs to enter into “a dynamic of mutual listening,” in which the magisterium continues to guide consciences, but she believes it can only effectively do so if it “echoes the words of the baptized.” 
The meeting took the “risk of the new, in fidelity with Christ,” she claimed. The article also quoted a participant as saying the synod would be a “failure” if it simply continued to affirm what the Church has always taught.
The closed-door meeting, masterminded by the German bishops’ conference under the leadership of Cardinal Marx, was first proposed at the annual meeting of the heads of the three bishops’ conferences, held in January in Marseille, France.
The study day took place just days after the people of Ireland voted in a referendum in support of same-sex “marriage” and on the same day as the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops met in Rome. Some observers did not see the timing as a coincidence.
The synod council has been drawing up the instrumentum laboris (working document) for the October synod on the family. Integrated into the document will be the responses of a questionnaire sent to laity around the world. Those responses, particularly from Switzerland and Germany, appeared to be overwhelmingly in favor of the Church adapting her teachings to the secular world.

Why the Lack of Publicity?
No one would say why the study day was held in confidence. So secret was the meeting that even prominent Jesuits at the Gregorian were completely unaware of it. The Register learned about it when Jean-Marie Guénois leaked the information in a story in Le Figaro.
Speaking to the Register as he left the meeting, Cardinal Marx insisted the study day wasn’t secret. But he became irritated when pressed about why it wasn’t advertised, saying he had simply come to Rome in a “private capacity” and that he had every right to do so. Close to Pope Francis and part of his nine-member council of cardinals, the cardinal is known to be especially eager to reform the Church’s approach to homosexuals. During his Pentecost homily last Sunday, Cardinal Marx called for a “welcoming culture” in the Church for homosexuals, saying it’s “not the differences that count, but what unites us.”
Cardinal Marx is also not alone, among those attending the meeting, in pushing for radical changes to the Church’s life. The head of the Swiss bishops, Bishop Büchel of St. Gallen, has spoken openly in favor of women’s ordination, saying in 2011 that the Church should “pray that the Holy Spirit enables us to read the signs of the times.” Archbishop Pontier, head of the French bishops, is also known to have heterodox leanings.
The meeting’s organizers were unwilling to disclose the names of everyone who took part, but the Register has obtained a full list of participants. They included Jesuit Father Hans Langendörfer, general secretary of the German bishops’ conference, who has been the leading figure behind the recent reform of German Church labor laws to controversially allow remarried divorcees and homosexual couples to work in Church institutions.

Father Schockenhoff
Among the specialists present was Father Eberhard Schockenhoff, a moral theologian. Faithful German Catholics are particularly disturbed about the rise to prominence of Father Schockenhoff, who is understood to be the “mastermind” behind much of the challenge to settled Church teachings among the German episcopate and, by implication, at the synod on the family itself.
A prominent critic of Humanae Vitae (The Regulation of Birth), as well as a strong supporter of homosexual clergy and those pushing for reform in the area of sexual ethics, Father Schockenhoff is known to be the leading adviser of the German bishops in the run-up to the synod.
In 2010, he gave an interview in which he praised the permanence and solidarity shown in some same-sex relationships as “ethically valuable.” He urged that any assessment of homosexual acts “must take a back seat” on the grounds that the faithful are becoming “increasingly distant from the Church’s sexual morality,” which appears “unrealistic and hostile to them.” The Pope and the bishops should “take this seriously and not dismiss it as laxity,” he said.
Father Schockenhoff has also gone on record saying that moral theology must be “liberated from the natural law” and that conscience should be based on the “life experience of the faithful.” 
He has also insisted that the indissolubility of marriage is “not seriously called into question” by admitting remarried divorcees to holy Communion, writing a book to push his thesis in 2011 entitled "Opportunities for reconciliation?: The Church and the divorced and remarried". He has further proposed that the term the “official Church” should be done away with because of a growing gap between the institutional Church and the Church of the faithful. 
Also present was Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Sant’Egidio lay community; Jesuit Father Andreas Batlogg, professor of philosophy and theology and chief editor of the liberal periodical Stimmen der Zeit (Voices of the Time) — the journal has devoted its June issue to same-sex relationships and the synod — and Salesian Msgr. Markus Graulich, prelate auditor of the tribunal of the Roman Rota, one of very few Curial officials to attend. Some of those participating, such as Msgr. Graulich, took part in the previous synod.

Media Participation
Also noted were the large number of media representatives. Journalists from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, German broadcasters ZDF and ARD, the Italian daily La Repubblica and French-Catholic media La Croix and I-Media were also present. Their presence was “striking,” said one observer, who predicted they will be used to promote the agenda of the subject matter under discussion in the weeks leading up to the synod.
Monday’s meeting is just the latest attempt to subtly steer the upcoming synod in a direction opposed by many faithful Catholics. A statement on the study day released by the German bishops’ conference May 26 said there was a “reflection on biblical hermeneutics” — widely seen as code words for understanding the Bible differently from Tradition — and the need for a “reflection on a theology of love.”
Critics say this, too, is undermining Church teaching. By replacing the theology of the body with a “theology of love,” it creates an abstract interpretation that separates sex from procreation, thereby allowing forms of extramarital unions and same-sex attractions based simply on emotions rather than biological reality. Gone, say critics, is the Catholic view of marriage, which should be open to procreation.
The statement, which conspicuously failed to mention sin, ended by saying that “further discussion on the future of marriage and family is necessary and possible” and that it would be “enriched by a further, intensive theological reflection.”
This, too, is code for wanting a change in teaching, giving the impression that the doctrine in these areas is open to change. But for the Catholic Church, it is a settled issue.
“Imagine if the Church accepted homosexual relationships,” said one source speaking on condition of anonymity. “Ultimately, that is what these people want.”
Edward Pentin is the Register’s Rome correspondent.


Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/confidential-meeting-seeks-to-sway-synod-to-accept-same-sex-unions/#ixzz3bLZV23Du

Monday, May 25, 2015

May 22, 2015 What We MUST Learn from Ireland



Today, I do not have joy in being Catholic. Today I am heartbroken. 

The Emerald Isle, the beautiful little Catholic country who has been the leader in being so faithful to God for fifteen centuries has slapped God in the face. 

A generation of young Irish people went to the polls last Friday and voted to redefine marriage. The youth decided in their knowledge and wisdom they knew better than God. Sodomy is now protected in their constitution. Because, of course, the Irish youth know best. 

The tragedy is that while young people in the Middle East are being burned, beheaded and tortured for their faith, Ireland is celebrating its divorce from its faith. 

Who is to blame? 

Well, if we look at the context, the biggest reason why Ireland fell to the devil's deception is that the bishops and priests failed to live and teach Christianity. They were cowardly or even ruthlessly unfaithful. Ireland's bishops will have to one day stand before all the Irish martyrs and even worse, God Himself and give an account of why they had so little courage to fight for the right. 

Secondly, it was some of the USA billionaires who flooded Ireland with money to the tune of $25 million dollars to bribe the people to vote yes and the bishops and priests to remain silent. Yes, American culture has so little tolerance of other cultures that we have to remake other countries in our image. The secular humanist image of America. 

Finally, the parents. Irish Catholics were lukewarm so their children rebelled. 

The Catholic world needs to see what just happened in Ireland and wake up. This is every bit as momentous a situation as the priest sexual scandal. In fact, this march away from Catholicism is due to the sexual scandal. People no longer believe priests who abuse and bishops who allow it. 

Time for Catholic bishops and priests to awake and smell the martyrdom coming. Brace yourselves, for this generation of priests will be paying the price for yesterday's unfaithful cowards. 

Irish Catholics, turn and look at your brothers and sisters in Christ in the middle east and be ashamed. My heart is broken, for your failures are my failures. We are one Body. We are Christ's Body. 

Catholics around the world, we need to repent. We need to mourn our lukewarmness and our sins against Our Lord. We need to pray for courage to stand and speak the truth. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Beautiful Mother Church

My Father pushed me towards you and commanded that I sit at your feet and listen. I did because I loved my Father. He was very good and I loved Him so much. I wanted to obey Him. So I
skeptically sat at your feet, my frowning brows and thin eyes glared at you. I didn't think you knew anything.

You were a stranger. You were a stranger to me, and I thought to the gospel. You didn't know Jesus as well as I did. He was my friend and you were trying to weasel your way between us and I was not happy about that. Like Cinderella's stepmother, you came into my life and I knew you would take my Jesus away from me and make me work for you. You were going to change everything. And I didn't want change. I wanted things to be just as they had been: Jesus and me.

I read your book. No, I am not meaning the Bible. I didn't know that was your book at the time. I mean the Catechism.

It was.... lovely. It made me cry.

You seemed to love Jesus as much as I did. That surprised me. And that book was pretty good. I hadn't thought of things quite that way, but when I compared it to the Bible, you seemed to be a brilliant theologian. Maybe I would give you a chance. Maybe you weren't the evil temptress I had made you out to be.

I began to watch you. Closely. I was waiting for something tricky. You were a deceiver, I had been told. So I was careful not to trust you, yet. But as I studied about your life, as I prayed about you and talked to Christ about you, my heart changed. And I went to your house.

Who was there? Among the people, I saw the poor, the sick, the strange and deformed. People who were heartbroken and struggling. People facing tragedy and suffering. Most did not seem successful. They were humble and quiet. They didn't look around. They were praying and looking at Jesus.

Then I saw you with my Lord. I sat and watched you as you approached the Cross. The songs you sang were mysterious, enchanting, so full of reverence and love. You smelled good with your
incense. You were romantic with your candles. I watched you as you carefully worshipped Him.

I had never worshipped Jesus like you did. I thought that kneeling when I prayed had been reverence. But now, as I watched you, I think you meant what you were doing. All the rites seemed to be filled with love and devotion and reverence.

Who were you? You were a big surprise. The more I knew about you, the more I didn't understand why everyone had treated you so terribly. Maybe things were different than what I had learned. After all, what I knew about you was from those who had left you, rejected you. Maybe they hadn't really listened to your side. This was a bit confusing. But God didn't let me give up on you.

Eventually, Jesus told me to that you were His Bride and that I was to join His family. I obeyed. I wasn't horrified like I expected. I was not as afraid anymore. I had come to know you were really very in love with my Father. And what was the most shocking was that He loved you. He loved you as much as He loved me!

Then one day, awkwardly, I did something. Something brave and a little scary. I placed a scarf around my head and worshipped with you. It felt special and holy. All of a sudden, I felt a part of this intimate and holy worship. I suddenly felt as if I were you. In my own little way, I had become part of the family.

You are my beautiful Mother. And I love you. I know that many people who come and worship as part of your Church do not really love Jesus or at least do not love Him as He is supposed to be loved. You still open your arms out and embrace those who are imperfect. Your beauty is like the incense and the music. It is the soaring ceilings that reach up to heaven. You are a mystery to me--a beautiful mystery. And because Jesus loves you. So do I.

Friday, April 24, 2015

WHY SOME OF OUR CHILDREN ARE LEAVING RELIGION

Based on a true story: 

There once was a young girl named Amy who grew up in a Christian home. She had a much older cousin, nicknamed "Peppers" who was a professional photographer.

At family gatherings a few times a year, Peppers always brought his camera and would take lots of pictures for the family. One by one, he would take families and single members of the family and find just the perfect background and take fantastic pictures. Peppers became well-known and many of his photos were published in international magazines. He became quite the family celebrity.

Amy was always a favorite of his because she was so photogenic. Peppers would often take her picture with the promise that he would make her famous as a model. But he also took out other children from the family too.  And indeed a few of his family photos were placed in his studio and garnered much attention.

Amy loved when her mother would dress her up in pretty clothes and do her hair up with curls and ribbons. When she was about seven, Peppers took her out into a field of wildflowers for a shoot. It was within sight of all the people at the family party. After a few shots of her sitting in the field, he asked her to have some fun with him. If she was going to be a famous model some day she needed to begin mimicking the older ladies—be a bit sexy. Then he showed her a magazine so she would understand what he was talking about.

This continued for the next two years—the promises of fame—and getting legitimate pictures of Amy followed up by "fun" pictures. And once, Peppers convinced her mother to allow him to take Amy to his studio.

The rest of this story is inappropriate for general audiences.

When she reached about the age of sixteen, Amy resisted any more photoshoots. She finally had the words in her vocabulary to explain what Peppers had been doing to her.

Her parents were unable to process the girl's words.  They believed she had misunderstood what Peppers had done. Maybe he had gone too far… but surely she was mistaken that he…as a Christian.. would have done such an unbelievable thing. 

They spoke to Peppers and he admitted that perhaps he had shown her some magazines with seductive poses in them, but for the rest… Amy had probably flipped through the magazine and saw other more explicit pictures and simply got the pictures mixed up with reality. She had been so young, after all. 

Tears of regret were copiously shed by Peppers. Amy was brought in and the cousin pleaded her forgiveness for being inappropriate. Amy's parents felt all had been reconciled and she was told to forgive Peppers.

Yet it didn't feel "over" to Amy.  Amy wanted her parents to warn everyone in the family about Peppers so that no other child would have to endure what she had. 


Her father told Amy that she should be careful about administering what she thought was justice. She should not be a part of slander. That wouldn't be Christian. Peppers was a Christian and God was working on him. He bent down and looked into Amy's eyes and whispered, "Have faith in Jesus."

For years Amy's parents avoided seeing the side of the family with the photographer. Later, when Amy was an adult she attended a family reunion where Peppers show up, camera in tow, taking pictures. When he asked to take a picture of Amy and her husband, she walked away. When Peppers attempted to take one of her cousin's sons out for a special picture, Amy went ballistic and started interfering telling the boy to not go with Peppers.

Everyone just passed it off as Amy's emotionalism. She had that reputation. Her brother told her to go see a pastor for some counseling. Her parents were worried about Amy. They told her that God wanted her to forgive her cousin for what he had done to her. Show mercy to Peppers. Do not judge. Allow God's punishment, if there needs to be any, to come upon him.

Amy didn't understand this. But she did everything she could to forgive Peppers and prayed he had indeed changed.

Everyone spoke to her about God's infinite mercy upon sinners. Everyone deserved mercy. She should be the vessel God used to shower His grace upon Peppers. And of course, pray for him.

So wanting to be a good Christian Amy became extremely good at mercy.

A few years later her nephew London, who had been quite a troublemakers and rebellious teenager came to live with Amy and her husband in order to go to the local college. Everyone was so thrilled that London had turned his life around. Amy was more than happy to help.

London had always had a special place in his heart for his Aunt Amy. He knew she was considered a family mess too, like him. He felt he connected with her. She was the only real Christian he had ever met, so he told the family. Which really irritated everyone because Amy was always causing the family some trouble over something.

One evening London confided in Amy that he had been physically abused as a child. Aunt Amy rose in her chair with fury, she began to shake. London saw her reaction and began pouring out his childhood terror. 


Finally someone who believed him and they bonded. Amy confided in London that she had been sexually abused by Peppers when a child. She understood his story. She wanted to know just who this person was,  for she was going on an instant crusade against the person who would do this! She would stand and defend her precious nephew.

London said it was his dad—Amy's sister's husband, George.

She knew her brother-in-law all his life. That was hard to believe. George was very active in church, put together mission trips, was a Eucharistic minister as well as other things. She sat there astounded as London began to tell more horror stories about his father. 


According to London, his father George was the world's worst manipulator and fake Christian. In fact, London hated Christians because his father was such a hypocrite and liar.

Amy's head began to swim. All of a sudden, clues of London's abuse emerged from her memory. Yes, George had been cool and even harsh with the boy at times. Amy had even said something to her sister when London was small. But she thought the problem had all worked out. George's family seemed fine.

So, Amy confronted her sister and brother-in-law. They both told her that London wouldn't let the past go of the past and forgive his father. George said that he had pleaded for his son's forgiveness when he had been a bit harsh, but the boy showed no signs of forgiveness nor mercy on the father. They said they prayed for London to give his heart to Jesus every day. They had to simply wait and have faith.

Amy was confused. She did not go and see  her sister and brother-in-law for months. 


Then George and her sister moved to her town so that London could stay at home while he finished college.  So, Amy, her husband, her sister and George saw each other a lot. 


London lived with his parents but he became morose and irritable. He warned Amy that she should not be deceived by his dad's appearance. George was still a manipulative jerk according to his son. 

Amy's sister assured her that George really had reformed and that London would eventually learn to forgive his dad. Amy and her husband wondered if it wasn't a true God-thing that her sister and George moved close by so they could help George and hold him accountable. Amy thought that she could be the bridge between George and London.

Amy noticed the London was being civil to his parents, but was growing more and more resentful, even hostile towards her. Amy confronted him and London lashed out at her. Couldn't she see George was a hypocrite? He warned her that she and her husband would wake up one day and see who George really was. He wasn't just a fake Christian, he was a devil.

Amy, her husband, her sister and George prayed for London. He needed to forgive. Amy was so sure God had sent her to be the healer in this situation.

One day, George ran off with his secretary, but not before sending his wife to the emergency room from being battered.

Everyone at his church was shocked.

From that moment forward, London despised Amy. 

He despised her Christian mercy.
He despised her unjust God who demanded forgiveness from the weak and victimized but  mercy for the tyrant. 


He blamed her for what happened to his mother. If good, sweet Aunt Amy had only believed him when London said his father George was a fake.

If only someone had the courage to exposed George's hypocrisy.

A few years later, Amy found out that her uncle Peppers was being sent to prison for child pornography.  He had raped more than a half a dozen young girls.


In this Jubilee of Mercy called on by Pope Francis, let us be wise enough to know who needs our mercy. Let us be merciful enough to protect the innocent. Let us be courageous enough to call out sin. For that is the most merciful thing we can do. 

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