Monday, November 30, 2009

The Second Advent as a Catholic

When I was a Seventh-day Adventist, I was under the impression that no other denominations were preaching the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (you know, we were the ones who focused on the Sabbath and the great Apocalypse of prophecy). When I left that church I found that the Baptists and Assembly of God as well as many fundamentalist and charismatic churches were very active in looking for signs of the last days and dissecting Revelation's prophecies.

Now that I am a Catholic, I realize that the Bible gives us a command about proclaiming the good news of God's second coming. It isn't having Revelation Seminars. It isn't passing prophecy pamphlets out or writing fictional accounts of what might happen. Let's read what Paul said that Jesus personally told him about how to proclaim God's Second Advent:

I Corinthians 11: 23-26: For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

When we as His Body come together, unified in spirit and in truth, partake of His body and blood, we ARE proclaiming both our Blessed Lord's Sacrifice and Redemption as well as the hope that Jesus is coming again! It is the sign that He is returning. Our love for one another in the unity of the cup and bread is our way of showing the world God's infinite love in the past and that in the future we will once again be with our Lord both in body and spirit.

The Catholic church does indeed preach about the Second Coming of Jesus in doctrines and in occasional sermons, but we also proclaim it every time we partake of the Eucharist each week or every day. It is the way we mark time until His coming again.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Advent Season

Everything I do now that I am a Catholic is tinged with a surreal mystery. Though I have always loved Christmas time, now it is different. When I watch "Bells of St. Mary" and "It's a Wonderful Life" I take to the movies a surprising and new perspective.

There is such a fascinating dance between the ethereal spirituality of Catholic mysticism and their devotion to science and reason. It is a fascinating marriage of the sublime and philosophical that meet in Catholic doctrine. I bring this into the Advent season this year.

God made incarnate. Christ with us. Jesus as baby, Jesus as man, Jesus as God. The stars He created on the breath of His voice, now bow and contemplate the mystery of God becoming His creation.

I love decorating the green tree. I love hearing Bing Crosby sing "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" and the crisp, invigorating cool air. The delicious and woodsy smells in my home of fresh cut pine and cranberry and clove bring a welling of deep thanksgiving.

What I look forward to most, what has become and instant tradition (another seeming contradictions of Catholicism!) for us is attending midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. This year there will be an organ concert and the choir will lead in carols, then the mass. We will behold the Christ-child in the protective arms of his mommie, coming to us as a vulnerable baby and yet who is Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. And He shall reign for EVER and EVER!! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I am drinking God's Coffee!

Just when I didn't think it could get any better....

Catholic monks perfected Champagne,
Catholic monks were world renown for beer,

And now I am sipping COFFEE made by Carmelite Monks from Wyoming.

My online purchase came to me with greetings in bold letters, "Hello, Praise be Jesus Christ!"

So, here I am. I'm sitting in front of my computer reading the catechism 843 that talks with so much love and hope for our dearest fellow humans who Buddhists and Hindus.... who are "search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since He gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved."

AND sipping my coffee from the monks.... I can see my dearest Mt. Rainier peeking ever so slightly out of the clouds into the mid-afternoon rays. My husband is smiling and all I find joy in knowing that I am in the Kingdom of God, the Catholic church. Where the coffee is very good.

If you are interested in helping the monks make a living at making great coffee, the company is found online and it is called Mystic Monks Coffee (NO I do not make any money from advertising!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Archbishop Chaput on Speaker Pelosi

Archbishop Chaput on Speaker Pelosi, Life and Communion
LifeSiteNews (

This is a human rights issue from the point of view of the Church, and not a theological or religious perspective.

Every Catholic, whether you're famous or anonymous ... has a responsibility to be faithful to what our Church believes about human life, and we believe human life is sacred and precious from the moment of conception," said Chaput during the Fox TV interview.
DENVER, Colorado ( - Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver expressed his support - in an interview with Fox News - for Pope Benedict XVI's message last week to pro-abortion "Catholic" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in which the Pope enjoined the Speaker to protect human life from conception.

"Every Catholic, whether you're famous or anonymous ... has a responsibility to be faithful to what our Church believes about human life, and we believe human life is sacred and precious from the moment of conception," said Chaput during the interview. Chaput also said he was happy that the Pope "took the occasion to remind her of something very important."

Asked to expand on Church teaching on abortion, Chaput said "there's no doubt" that the Church has always taught the sacredness of life from the moment of conception, and that "abortion is always wrong in all circumstances."

In an appearance on Meet the Press last August, Speaker Pelosi had attempted to justify abortion in light of her Catholic faith by citing St. Augustine's discussion of when the soul enters the living human fetus. She concluded that "the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition" on when human life begins.

"It's not a fairly black-and-white issue, it's a clearly black-and-white issue," said Chaput. "The Church without doubt believes that human life begins at conception."

Cavuto then pressed the archbishop: "Would you grant her [Pelosi] Communion in your church?"

Chaput responded, "I would like to talk to her if she were coming to a church in the Archdiocese of Denver. I would say to her what I would say to anyone: again, if you don't accept what the Church teaches, you shouldn't present yourself for Communion, because Communion means you're in agreement with what the Church teaches.

"As I said to you earlier, that applies to all of us, and I would expect her to abide by where the Church stands on these important matters."

Chaput rejected the notion that Pelosi's duty as a Catholic to protect life, even within a heavily pro-abortion culture, put her in a "box." "I don't think it's a 'box' to defend the truth and to stand up for what you know to be right, even if others in the community disagree with you," said Chaput, who added that Catholic politicians, as good Americans and good Catholics, have a duty to uphold "basic human rights."

"This is a human rights issue from the point of view of the Church, and not a theological or religious perspective," said Chaput. "Our religious perspective supports that, but that's not the source of our belief about the sacredness of human life."

The archbishop mentioned that he was "very disturbed" by the repeal of the Mexico City Policy, which had barred federal aid to overseas abortion providers, and rejected the notion that such a policy was essentially partisan. "I think that abortion should not be a partisan issue, it's a human rights issue, and it would be nice if people from both parties would take the right position," he said.

Archbishop Chaput is one of the most outspoken advocates for the unborn among U.S. bishops, and is the author of the book Render Unto Caesar, which examines the role of Catholics in political life.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Does anyone love this station as much as I do?
I would send a Protestant wanting to learn about Catholicism to it in a heartbeat. I cannot get it through cable in my area, but I can get it online.

I love "The Journey Home" and "Mother Angelica Classics." But there is no one as wonderful as Father Groeschel's "Sunday Night Live." I love that they put out a program on G.K. Chesterton and on Saturday night they play the old "Live is Worth Living' with the flamboyant Bishop Sheen.

I don't have as much time to watch as I used to, but I always try and at least watch "The World Over" which is a news format on what is going on in the church--and it is usually the archived version I end up watching.

I think it is a great tool to accompany anyone entering the RCIA. Anyone out there fans of EWTN?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Foul Ball! By Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York

I found this on Joan's Rome blog today, but I can't link to it. Sorry. But you can find it on EWTN's website.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009
As you know I have been in Washington, D.C. since Saturday. Today at noon I will attend a talk by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople at Georgetown University. I have asked to interview him during his time in D.C. and am awaiting a response. At 6 p.m. tonight I will be interviewing Newt and Callista Gingrich about their new documentary on Pope John Paul II entitled “Nine Days That Changed the World.”

For the moment, however, I want to leave you with some serious food for thought.

I have learned that the following article by Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York was submitted in a slightly shorter form to the New York Times as an op-ed article, but the Times declined to publish it. The piece was dated October 29, 2009. I first read about this on the blog by Fr. Christopher George Phillips, the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983.


By Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York

October is the month we relish the highpoint of our national pastime, especially when one of our own New York teams is in the World Series!

Sadly, America has another national pastime, this one not pleasant at all: anti-catholicism. It is not hyperbole to call prejudice against the Catholic Church a national pastime. Scholars such as Arthur Schlesinger Sr. referred to it as “the deepest bias in the history of the American people,” while John Higham described it as “the most luxuriant, tenacious tradition of paranoiac agitation in American history.” “The anti-semitism of the left,” is how Paul Viereck reads it, and Professor Philip Jenkins sub-titles his book on the topic “the last acceptable prejudice.” If you want recent evidence of this unfairness against the Catholic Church, look no further than a few of these following examples of occurrences over the last couple weeks:

On October 14, in the pages of the New York Times, reporter Paul Vitello exposed the sad extent of child sexual abuse in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community. According to the article, there were forty cases of such abuse in this tiny community last year alone. Yet the Times did not demand what it has called for incessantly when addressing the same kind of abuse by a tiny minority of priests: release of names of abusers, rollback of statute of limitations, external investigations, release of all records, and total transparency. Instead, an attorney is quoted urging law enforcement officials to recognize “religious sensitivities,” and no criticism was offered of the DA’s office for allowing Orthodox rabbis to settle these cases “internally.” Given the Catholic Church’s own recent horrible experience, I am hardly in any position to criticize our Orthodox Jewish neighbors, and have no wish to do so . . . but I can criticize this kind of “selective outrage.”

Of course, this selective outrage probably should not surprise us at all, as we have seen many other examples of the phenomenon in recent years when it comes to the issue of sexual abuse. To cite but two: In 2004, Professor Carol Shakeshaft documented the wide-spread problem of sexual abuse of minors in our nation’s public schools (the study can be found here). In 2007, the Associated Press issued a series of investigative reports that also showed the numerous examples of sexual abuse by educators against public school students. Both the Shakeshaft study and the AP reports were essentially ignored, as papers such as the New York Times only seem to have priests in their crosshairs.

On October 16, Laurie Goodstein of the Times offered a front page, above-the-fold story on the sad episode of a Franciscan priest who had fathered a child. Even taking into account that the relationship with the mother was consensual and between two adults, and that the Franciscans have attempted to deal justly with the errant priest’s responsibilities to his son, this action is still sinful, scandalous, and indefensible. However, one still has to wonder why a quarter-century old story of a sin by a priest is now suddenly more pressing and newsworthy than the war in Afghanistan, health care, and starvation–genocide in Sudan. No other cleric from religions other than Catholic ever seems to merit such attention.

Five days later, October 21, the Times gave its major headline to the decision by the Vatican to welcome Anglicans who had requested union with Rome. Fair enough. Unfair, though, was the article’s observation that the Holy See lured and bid for the Anglicans. Of course, the reality is simply that for years thousands of Anglicans have been asking Rome to be accepted into the Catholic Church with a special sensitivity for their own tradition. As Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican’s chief ecumenist, observed, “We are not fishing in the Anglican pond.” Not enough for the Times; for them, this was another case of the conniving Vatican luring and bidding unsuspecting, good people, greedily capitalizing on the current internal tensions in Anglicanism.

Finally, the most combustible example of all came Sunday with an intemperate and scurrilous piece by Maureen Dowd on the opinion pages of the Times. In a diatribe that rightly never would have passed muster with the editors had it so criticized an Islamic, Jewish, or African-American religious issue, she digs deep into the nativist handbook to use every anti-Catholic caricature possible, from the Inquisition to the Holocaust, condoms, obsession with sex, pedophile priests, and oppression of women, all the while slashing Pope Benedict XVI for his shoes, his forced conscription -- along with every other German teenage boy -- into the German army, his outreach to former Catholics, and his recent welcome to Anglicans.

True enough, the matter that triggered her spasm -- the current visitation of women religious by Vatican representatives -- is well-worth discussing, and hardly exempt from legitimate questioning. But her prejudice, while maybe appropriate for the Know-Nothing newspaper of the 1850’s, the Menace, has no place in a major publication today.

I do not mean to suggest that anti-catholicism is confined to the pages New York Times. Unfortunately, abundant examples can be found in many different venues. I will not even begin to try and list the many cases of anti-catholicism in the so-called entertainment media, as they are so prevalent they sometimes seem almost routine and obligatory. Elsewhere, last week, Representative Patrick Kennedy made some incredibly inaccurate and uncalled-for remarks concerning the Catholic bishops, as mentioned in this blog on Monday . Also, the New York State Legislature has levied a special payroll tax to help the Metropolitan Transportation Authority fund its deficit. This legislation calls for the public schools to be reimbursed the cost of the tax; Catholic schools, and other private schools, will not receive the reimbursement, costing each of the schools thousands – in some cases tens of thousands – of dollars, money that the parents and schools can hardly afford. (Nor can the archdiocese, which already underwrites the schools by $30 million annually.) Is it not an issue of basic fairness for ALL school-children and their parents to be treated equally?

The Catholic Church is not above criticism. We Catholics do a fair amount of it ourselves. We welcome and expect it. All we ask is that such critique be fair, rational, and accurate, what we would expect for anybody. The suspicion and bias against the Church is a national pastime that should be “rained out” for good.

I guess my own background in American history should caution me not to hold my breath.

Then again, yesterday was the Feast of Saint Jude, the patron saint of impossible causes.