Saturday, September 30, 2006
The Roman Catholic Church
Her Doctrine and Morals
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
October 1, 2006
God is a very jealous lover. Charity therefore is the most important virtue that we must practice. Christ points this out very clearly when He tells us the most important commandment is: "Thou shall love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind."
To love God with our whole heart means that our charity must come from within. Charity that is only on the lips or only in external service is not charity at all. "This people honoreth me with the lips; but their heart is far from me." (Matt. 15:8) We must put our heart into acts of love if we want them to be pleasing to God. We must not allow anything else to take the place of God in our hearts. All too often people harbor ambition, avarice, lust, or revenge in their hearts. All those who live in mortal sin, do not love God; they love their evil lusts and passions. Nor must our love be divided. We must love our neighbor it is true, but the love of our neighbor must be based on the love of God. Therefore we love our neighbor out of love for God _ not instead of God. We may also love temporal things: such as health, money, possessions, but only according to the will of God, and in so far as they are His gifts and a means for the attainment of our eternal salvation.
We must love God with our whole soul means that we must enlist all three faculties (memory, intellect, and will) of the soul in the love of God. The memory often brings the thought of the one loved before the mind's eye. In all things and at all times the memory that is filled with the love of God brings this thought to the forefront of all our actions. Whatever we do we must do for the love of God, and we enlist the memory to assist us in this. The intellect or understanding must be made to conform itself to the revealed doctrines of the faith. We must be cautious not to allow pride and vanity to entice us to use our intellect against God, or to call into question the truths that God has revealed. Our will requires that we conform our desires to the will of God. We must make the words of the "Our Father" truly our own: "Thy will be done."
Our souls are of a spiritual nature and in this respect are like the angels and even God Himself. Therefore our love of God must be spiritual. It is not sentimental love that is required. Tender feelings of love do not belong to the essence of the love of God; one may have these tender feelings of love without truly loving God. We must not desire tender feelings and sensible devotion, we must leave it to God whether He will give us such or not. Our only anxiety should be to hate and detest sin and to keep the commandments of God. "He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he is that loveth Me." (John 14:21)
Our souls are immortal and our love should be likewise constant and unending. Our love must be constant and we must not turn back. "No man putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62)
We must love God with our whole mind. To do this we must mortify the evil inclinations that are within us and foster the good inclinations that are within us. Men's hearts are prone to evil from their earliest days. With some they are inclined to ambition and vanity; others to avarice, others to impurity, others to anger. These inclinations will destroy the love of God if they are not curbed. We must constantly strive to subdue these passions of ours. "If any man will come after Me let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." (Matt. 16:24)
The good tendencies that often are part of our nature must be further developed and sanctified. As often as we have the opportunity of doing something good for which we naturally have an inclination, we must do it. To sanctify these acts we must perform them for the love of God. The Scribes and Pharisees often did good works but they were devoid of Charity. They were not performed out of love for God but for their pride and the praise of the world, and our Lord tells us that "They have received their reward." (Matt. 6:2) There is no reward left for them in eternity.
As we examine our love for God let us not measure this love by feelings and sentiments, but by our conformity to His will and the keeping of His commandments. Let us always strive to bring our entire being: heart, soul, and mind into conformity to the will of God, so that our love is true and not self-illusion.
There are many kinds of alms the giving of which helps us to obtain pardon for our sins; but none is greater than that by which we forgive from our heart a sin that someone has committed against us.
St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430AD) on Forgiveness
This picture is of the baptism of St. Augustine by St. Ambrose
Friday, September 29, 2006
TODAY IS THE FEAST OF ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL:
Mi-Ca-El or "Who is like to God?" Such was the cry of the great Archangel when he smote the rebel Lucifer in the conflict of the heavenly hosts, and from that hour he has been known as "Michael" the captain of the armies of God, the type of divine fortitude, the champion of every faithful soul in strife with the powers of evil. Thus he appears in Holy Scripture as the guardian of the children of Israel, their comfort and protector in times of sorrow or conflict.
He it is who prepares for their return from the Persian captivity, who leads the valiant Maccabees to victory, and who rescues the body of Moses from the envious grasp of the Evil One. And since Christ's coming the Church has ever venerated St. Michael as her special patron and protector. She invokes him by name in her confession of sin , summons him to the side of her children in the agony of death, and chooses him as their escort from the chastening flames of purgatory to the realms of holy light.
Lastly, when Antichrist shall have set up his kingdom on earth, it is Michael who will unfurl once more the standard of the Cross, sound the last trumpet, and binding together the false prophet and the beast, hurl them for all eternity into the burning pool.
St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us!
print this article and carefully read it - share it
by John Taylor Gatto
I want you to consider the frightening possibility that we are spending far too much money on schooling, not too little. I want you to consider that we have too many people employed in interfering with the way children grow up--and that all this money and all these people, all the time we take out of children's lives and away from their homes and families and neighbourhoods and private explorations--gets in the way of education.
That seems radical, I know. Surely in modern technological society it is the quantity of schooling and the amount of money you spend on it that buys value. And yet last year in St. Louis, I heard a vice-president of IBM tell an audience of people assembled to redesign the process of teacher certification that in his opinion this country became computer-literate by self-teaching, not through any action of schools. He said 45 million people were comfortable with computers who had learned through dozens of non-systematic strategies, none of them very formal; if schools had pre-empted the right to teach computer use we would be in a horrible mess right now instead of leading the world in this literacy. Now think about Sweden, a beautiful, healthy, prosperous and up-to-date country with a spectacular reputation for quality in everything it produces. It makes sense to think their schools must have something to do with that.
Then what do you make of the fact that you can't go to school in Sweden until you are 7 years old? The reason the unsentimental Swedes have wiped out what would be first and seconds grades here is that they don't want to pay the large social bill that quickly comes due when boys and girls are ripped away from their best teachers at home too early.
It just isn't worth the price, say the Swedes, to provide jobs for teachers and therapists if the result is sick, incomplete kids who can't be put back together again very easily. The entire Swedish school sequence isn't 12 years, either--it's nine. Less schooling, not more. The direct savings of such a step in the US would be $75-100 billion, a lot of unforeclosed home mortgages, a lot of time freed up with which to seek an education.
Who was it that decided to force your attention onto Japan instead of Sweden? Japan with its long school year and state compulsion, instead of Sweden with its short school year, short school sequence, and free choice where your kid is schooled? Who decided you should know about Japan and not Hong Kong, an Asian neighbour with a short school year that outperforms Japan across the board in math and science? Whose interests are served by hiding that from you?
One of the principal reasons we got into the mess we're in is that we allowed schooling to become a very profitable monopoly, guaranteed its customers by the police power of the state. Systematic schooling attracts increased investment only when it does poorly, and since there are no penalties at all for such performance, the temptation not to do well is overwhelming. That's because school staffs, both line and management, are involved in a guild system; in that ancient form of association no single member is allowed to outperform any other member, is allowed to advertise or is allowed to introduce new technology or improvise without the advance consent of the guild. Violation of these precepts is severely sanctioned--as Marva Collins, Jaime Escalante and a large number of once-brilliant teachers found out.
The guild reality cannot be broken without returning primary decision-making to parents, letting them buy what they want to buy in schooling, and encouraging the entrepreneurial reality that existed until 1852. That is why I urge any business to think twice before entering a cooperative relationship with the schools we currently have. Cooperating with these places will only make them worse.
The structure of American schooling, 20th century style, began in 1806 when Napoleon's amateur soldiers beat the professional soldiers of Prussia at the battle of Jena. When your business is selling soldiers, losing a battle like that is serious. Almost immediately afterwards a German philosopher named Fichte delivered his famous "Address to the German Nation" which became one of the most influential documents in modern history. In effect he told the Prussian people that the party was over, that the nation would have to shape up through a new Utopian institution of forced schooling in which everyone would learn to take orders.
So the world got compulsion schooling at the end of a state bayonet for the first time in human history; modern forced schooling started in Prussia in 1819 with a clear vision of what centralized schools could deliver:
Obedient soldiers to the army;
Obedient workers to the mines;
Well subordinated civil servants to government;
Well subordinated clerks to industry
Citizens who thought alike about major issues.
Schools should create an artificial national consensus on matters that had been worked out in advance by leading German families and the head of institutions. Schools should create unity among all the German states, eventually unifying them into Greater Prussia.
Prussian industry boomed from the beginning. She was successful in warfare and her reputation in international affairs was very high. Twenty-six years after this form of schooling began, the King of Prussia was invited to North America to determine the boundary between the United States and Canada. Thirty-three years after that fateful invention of the central school institution, as the behest of Horace Mann and many other leading citizens, we borrowed the style of Prussian schooling as our own.
You need to know this because over the first 50 years of our school institution Prussian purpose--which was to create a form of state socialism--gradually forced out traditional American purpose, which in most minds was to prepare the individual to be self-reliant.
In Prussia the purpose of the Volksshule, which educated 92 percent of the children, was not intellectual development at all, but socialization in obedience and subordination. Thinking was left to the Real Schulen, in which 8 percent of the kids participated. But for the great mass, intellectual development was regarded with managerial horror, as something that caused armies to lose battles.
Prussia concocted a method based on complex fragmentations to ensure that its school products would fit the grand social design. Some of this method involved dividing whole ideas into school subjects, each further divisible, some of it involved short periods punctuated by a horn so that self-motivation in study would be muted by ceaseless interruptions.
There were many more techniques of training, but all were built around the premise that isolation from first-hand information, and fragmentation of the abstract information presented by teachers, would result in obedient and subordinate graduates, properly respectful of arbitrary orders. "Lesser" men would be unable to interfere with policy makers because, while they could still complain, they could not manage sustained or comprehensive thought. Well-schooled children cannot think critically, cannot argue effectively.
One of the most interesting by-products of Prussian schooling turned out to be the two most devastating wars of modern history. Erich Maria Ramarque, in his classic "All Quiet on the Wester Front" tells us that the First World War was caused by the tricks of schoolmasters, and the famous Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that the Second World War was the inevitable product of good schooling.
It's important to underline that Bonhoeffer meant that literally, not metaphorically--schooling after the Prussian fashion removes the ability of the mind to think for itself. It teaches people to wait for a teacher to tell them what to do and if what they have done is good or bad. Prussian teaching paralyses the moral will as well as the intellect. It's true that sometimes well-schooled students sound smart, because they memorize many opinions of great thinkers, but they actually are badly damaged because their own ability to think is left rudimentary and undeveloped.
We got from the United States to Prussia and back because a small number of very passionate ideological leaders visited Prussia in the first half of the 19th century, and fell in love with the order, obedience and efficiency of its system and relentlessly proselytized for a translation of Prussian vision onto these shores. If Prussia's ultimate goal was the unification of Germany, our major goal, so these men thought, was the unification of hordes of immigrant Catholics into a national consensus based on a northern European cultural model. To do that children would have to be removed from their parents and from inappropriate cultural influence.
In this fashion, compulsion schooling, a bad idea that had been around at least since Plato's "Republic", a bad idea that New England had tried to enforce in 1650 without any success, was finally rammed through the Massachusetts legislature in 1852. It was, of course, the famous "Know-Nothing" legislature that passed this law, a legislature that was the leading edge of a famous secret society which flourished at that time known as "The Order of the Star Spangled Banner," whose password was the simple sentence, "I know nothing"--hence the popular label attached to the secret society's political arm, "The American Party."
Over the next 50 years state after state followed suit, ending schools of choice and ceding the field to a new government monopoly. There was one powerful exception to this--the children who could afford to be privately educated.
It's important to note that the underlying premise of Prussian schooling is that the government is the true parent of children--the State is sovereign over the family. At the most extreme pole of this notion is the idea that biological parents are really the enemies of their own children, not to be trusted.
How did a Prussian system of dumbing children down take hold in American schools? Thousands and thousands of young men from prominent American families journeyed to Prussia and other parts of Germany during the 19th century and brought home the Ph. D. degree to a nation in which such a credential was unknown. These men pre-empted the top positions in the academic world, in corporate research, and in government, to the point where opportunity was almost closed to those who had not studied in Germany, or who were not the direct disciples of a German PhD, as John Dewey was the disciple of G. Stanley Hall at Johns Hopkins.
Virtually every single one of the founders of American schooling had made the pilgrimage to Germany, and many of these men wrote widely circulated reports praising the Teutonic methods. Horace Mann's famous "7th Report" of 1844, still available in large libraries, was perhaps the most important of these.
By 1889, a little more than 100 years ago, the crop was ready for harvest. It that year the US Commissioner of Education, William Torrey Harris, assured a railroad magnate, Collis Huntington, that American schools were "scientifically designed" to prevent "over-education" from happening. The average American would be content with his humble role in life, said the commissioner, because he would not be tempted to think about any other role. My guess is that Harris meant he would not be able to think about any other role.
In 1896 the famous John Dewey, then at the University of Chicago, said that independent, self-reliant people were a counter-productive anachronism in the collective society of the future. In modern society, said Dewey, people would be defined by their associations--not by their own individual accomplishments. It such a world people who read too well or too early are dangerous because they become privately empowered, they know too much, and know how to find out what they don't know by themselves, without consulting experts.
Dewey said the great mistake of traditional pedagogy was to make reading and writing constitute the bulk of early schoolwork. He advocated that the phonics method of teaching reading be abandoned and replaced by the whole word method, not because the latter was more efficient (he admitted that it was less efficient) but because independent thinkers were produced by hard books, thinkers who cannot be socialized very easily. By socialization Dewey meant a program of social objectives administered by the best social thinkers in government. This was a giant step on the road to state socialism, the form pioneered in Prussia, and it is a vision radically disconnected with the American past, its historic hopes and dreams.
Dewey's former professor and close friend, G. Stanley Hall, said this at about the same time, "Reading should no longer be a fetish. Little attention should be paid to reading." Hall was one of the three men most responsible for building a gigantic administrative infrastructure over the classroom. How enormous that structure really became can only be understood by comparisons: New York State, for instance, employs more school administrators than all of the European Economic Community nations combined.
Once you think that the control of conduct is what schools are about, the word "reform" takes on a very particular meaning. It means making adjustments to the machine so that young subjects will not twist and turn so, while their minds and bodies are being scientifically controlled. Helping kids to use their minds better is beside the point.
Bertrand Russell once observed that American schooling was among the most radical experiments in human history, that America was deliberately denying its children the tools of critical thinking. When you want to teach children to think, you begin by treating them seriously when they are little, giving them responsibilities, talking to them candidly, providing privacy and solitude for them, and making them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts from the beginning. That's if you want to teach them to think. There is no evidence that this has been a State purpose since the start of compulsion schooling.
When Frederich Froebel, the inventor of kindergarten in 19th century Germany, fashioned his idea he did not have a "garden for children" in mind, but a metaphor of teachers as gardeners and children as the vegetables. Kindergarten was created to be a way to break the influence of mothers on their children. I note with interest the growth of daycare in the US and the repeated urgings to extend school downward to include 4-year-olds. The movement toward state socialism is not some historical curiosity but a powerful dynamic force in the world around us. It is fighting for its life against those forces which would, through vouchers or tax credits, deprive it of financial lifeblood, and it has countered this thrust with a demand for even more control over children's lives, and even more money to pay for the extended school day and year that this control requires.
A movement as visibly destructive to individuality, family and community as government-system schooling has been might be expected to collapse in the face of its dismal record, coupled with an increasingly aggressive shake down of the taxpayer, but this has not happened. The explanation is largely found in the transformation of schooling from a simple service to families and towns to an enormous, centralized corporate enterprise.
While this development has had a markedly adverse effect on people and on our democratic traditions, it has made schooling the single largest employer in the United States, and the largest grantor of contracts next to the Defence Department. Both of these low-visibility phenomena provide monopoly schooling with powerful political friends, publicists, advocates and other useful allies. This is a large part of the explanation why no amount of failure ever changes things in schools, or changes them for very long. School people are in a position to outlast any storm and to keep short-attention-span public scrutiny thoroughly confused.
An overview of the short history of this institution reveals a pattern marked by intervals of public outrage, followed by enlargement of the monopoly in every case.
After nearly 30 years spent inside a number of public schools, some considered good, some bad, I feel certain that management cannot clean its own house. It relentlessly marginalizes all significant change. There are no incentives for the "owners" of the structure to reform it, nor can there be without outside competition.
What is needed for several decades is the kind of wildly-swinging free market we had at the beginning of our national history. It cannot be overemphasized that no body of theory exists to accurately define the way children learn, or which learning is of most worth. By pretending the existence of such we have cut ourselves off from the information and innovation that only a real market can provide. Fortunately our national situation has been so favourable, so dominant through most of our history, that the margin of error afforded has been vast.
But the future is not so clear. Violence, narcotic addictions, divorce, alcoholism, loneliness...all these are but tangible measures of a poverty in education. Surely schools, as the institutions monopolizing the daytimes of childhood, can be called to account for this. In a democracy the final judges cannot be experts, but only the people.
Trust the people, give them choices, and the school nightmare will vanish in a generation.
It takes some time to download, but it is well worth it.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
"More" Ignorance from the Fundies:
Here is an ignorant remark made by a "evangelical christian" comparing St. Thomas More to Amy Grant (!):
I have been reading the biography of William Tyndale who spent the last several years of his life on the run in Europe from the religious leaders in England who wanted to burn him for heresy. All he did was translate the New Testament from Greek to English. The one leading the way for his head was Thomas More. When More was young he wrote "Utopia" and in it he prclaimed a hatred of bigotry and vain assumptions. Then he became famous and one fo the King's men. From that point on he sold out more and more because of his wealth and power. In the end he became so close to the King that when he disagreed with him it cost him his life.
None of that makes much sense does it? HERE IS THE TRUTH:
St. Thomas More, Martyr (Patron of Lawyers) St. Thomas More was born at London in 1478. After a thorough grounding in religion and the classics, he entered Oxford to study law. Upon leaving the university he embarked on a legal career which took him to Parliament. In 1505, he married his beloved Jane Colt who bore him four children, andwhen she died at a young age, he married a widow, Alice Middleton, to be a mother for his young children. A wit and a reformer, this learned man numbered Bishops and scholars among his friends, and by 1516 wrote his world-famous book "Utopia". He attracted the attention of Henry VIII who appointed him to a succession of high posts and missions, and finally made him Lord Chancellor in 1529. However, he resigned in 1532, at the height of his career and reputation, when Henry persisted in holding his own opinions regarding marriage and the supremacy of the Pope. The rest of his life was spent in writing mostly in defense of the Church. In 1534, with his close friend, St. John Fisher, he refused to render allegiance to the King as the Head of the Church of England and was confined to the Tower. Fifteen months later, and nine days after St. John Fisher's execution, he was tried and convicted of treason. He told the court that he could not go against his conscience and wished his judges that "we may yet hereafter in heaven merrily all meet together to everlasting salvation." And on the scaffold, he told the crowd of spectators that he was dying as "the King's good servant-but God's first." He was beheaded on July 6, 1535. His feast day is June 22nd.
DOES THIS SOUND LIKE AMY GRANT? WHERE DO THEY GET THIS STUFF FROM?!!!
posted by bridget
Christians: We'll fight for Israel
Evangelical delegates from around the world arrive at Knesset to express 'love for Israel'
Millions of Evangelical Christians around the world support and constantly pray for the State of Israel, representatives at a meeting of the Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus said Wednesday.
Dozens of Evangelical pastors, parliament members, and leaders from an array of countries gathered at the Knesset in Jerusalem to proclaim their support for the country, during a meeting of the Caucus, which was also attended by Knesset Members from across the political spectrum.
"We see Israelis as our spiritual mothers and fathers. It's an honor for us to be here," Pastor Norman Miller of Australia told Ynetnews. "We love your God, Israel," Miller told the meeting, to a round of warm applause...
This is so satanic it is hard to beleive that anyone falls for this. These "fundamentalists" or "evangelicals" claim to read the Bible and claim to understnad the Bible, etc...
I guess they never read the following:
1 John 2: 22-23
"Who is a liar, but he who denieth that Jesus is the Christ? This is Antichrist, who denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father. He that confesseth the Son hath the Father also."
The followers of Judaism worship a FALSE GOD - they do not worship the one true God! - they are the Anti-christ and have not God!
Maybe these arrogant "evangelicals" will all enlist and go fight for their "elder brothers" - at least they would not be here in the USA anymore - maybe we could make this a moral nation again - without these hypocrites!
Buddha credited with lottery win:
Fond du Lac - The organizers of a lottery pool at a cheese company were starting to get discouraged. They had tried good luck charms for three years and even considered going to a different store to buy the tickets. But then a worker suggested rubbing the belly of a Buddha statue, which some say will bring good luck. They set the statue on the tickets in a worker's locker, and people went in to rub it.
"We don't know if it's the Buddha that brought us the good fortune to win this. We don't know if it was our prayers to God that were answered," said Mary Entringer, who organized the pool.
The winners, who call themselves the "100 Miracles," turned in their $208.6 million Powerball ticket Friday. Associated Press
I'd like to check back with them in a few years and see what a "miracle" having all of this money has really been! I'm sure we will find some really interesting stories!
posted by bridget
posted by bridget
I have taken root in an honored people, in the portion of the Lord, his heritage. Sirach 24:12
Reflection: Many will not let devotion to the Blessed Virgin even take root in their hearts. But blessed is the person who accepts this grace and keeps it. Such a devotion dwells in all who are the Lord's heritage -- in all who will praise Him eternally in heaven.
St. Alphonusus Liguori (1696-1787AD)
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
TODAY IS THE FEAST OF ST. ISAAC JOGUES:
He was born at Orleans, France, January 19,1607. After entering the Society of Jesus, he was appointed professor of literature at Rouen, and later was sent as a missioner to "New France", now Canada.
His zeal for converting the Indians led him amid continual hardships to penetrate as far as Sault Ste. Marie. As they were extremely superstitious and attributed the blighting of the crops or the advent of sickness to the presence of the missionaries, the latter were in constant danger of death.
One time he and some companions were captured near Three Rivers, New York; St. Goupil was slain, and the others after severe tortures were condemned to death. But while preparations for their slaughter were in progress, they escaped, and Jogues returned to France. Though several of his fingers were mutilated, the Pope gave him permission to say Mass.
In a few months, he returned to Canada and as a delegate arranged peace with the Indians. On his subsequent arrival among them, however, the crops were bad and the blame was put upon him. They stripped and slashed and finally tomahawked him on October 18, 1646 in the town of Auriesville, New York.
Shortly after his death 3,000 Huron Indians were converted, much to the distress of the Iroquois. The latter therefore seized his remaining companions and, after torturing them with arrows, boiling water and hot irons, put them to death.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Here is a cut & paste of a concern expressed regarding the thread on the perversion that is going on in Denmark:
Pope St. Felix, I quickly scrolled right past it, but that post you put on re the goings on in Denmark, doesn't St. Paul caution us that certain things should not even be MENTIONED among us? But goodness, charity, holiness, etc.etc....'against these things there is no law?' It is difficult to see something like that on a website written by a true Catholic. I couldn't post it on that one, because I could not even stand the thought of it. Anyway, that's what I'm wondering.
I fully understand the concern and i debated whether or not it should be posted myself. I came accross the story on a another site. It was linked to show how people - powerful people can be easily blackmailed. Think of it - a few photos of perversion like that and whoever had them owns that politician.
I gave some serious thougth about this issue before i posted it and even more after reading your concerns Cecelia.
Here are my thoughts.
1. I believe that St. Paul wants us to refrain from mentioning certain evil things for several reasons -
a) they could lead others into sin (in this case - i did not beleive that something this perverted could lead any to this sin)
b) I believe that St. Paul wants us to refrain from taking of evil things so that we do not appear evil ourselves to others or appear to favor such evils. (in this case i don't think this applies)
c) I believe that St. Paul wants us to retain our purity - (this one I had to really think about - but felt that this would not corrupt anyone to the point of sin)
2. I believe that St. Paul does not forbid us from being aware of what is going on in the world. St. Paul speaks of the evil fornications and adulteries that go on, and Scripture expressly forbids intercourse with the beasts.
3. I felt that it was important that people know how bad it really is getting out there. I believe most people think that others are like them - and would never do something like this or that - but we need to be aware - things are getting REAL BAD - SO BAD that i believe soon we may see the end of civilization as we know it - if not the end of the world itself and the 2nd Coming.
4. I know that Catholic Clergy have in all times always warned their flock about various evils of the day - so i thought that this would not be out of line - even though i certainly am not a clergyman.
If I was wrong in my decision I will quickly remove it. If you think it is bad enough that i should consult someone in authority - i will gladly do so and if they think i should remove it - of course i will.
I did not mean to offend anyone and certainly not to lead anyone to sin by that post.
My judgement is not always the best - and if the true Catholics in this forum or the clergy think i should remove it - i will gladly do so.
For now - i will await the opinions of Bridget and Cecelia and any other true Catholics in the forum.
Thanks for keeping me in line - (if i am out of line - anyway) - sorry if i created any type of scandal.
Israel's Elbit wins US security contract
By YAAKOV KATZ
A consortium led by Boeing, the second-largest US defense contractor, and including Israel's Elbit Systems has won the first piece of a $2 billion government contract to develop and provide new technological means to secure the US borders and curb illegal immigration, officials said Thursday...
Isreal is going to now play a major role in the securing of our borders!
Another bogus "terrorist" attack is just around the corner - thousands more amercians are going to be murdered by Israeli Mossad and our own Government and blamed on Arabs as an excuse for further military action in the Mid-east.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Md. State Police Stop Suspicious Vehicle; No Charges
Sep 23rd - 6:53am
LAUREL, Md. - Maryland State Police say they released a 24-year-old Israeli man without charges Friday night after questioning him about photographing the Fort McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore.
Investigators say another motorist reported that a man driving a green Dodge minivan was using a camera and appeared to be taking pictures as he drove through the tunnel.
Police say the van continued south on Interstate-95 and then turned back in the other direction near Laurel.
Officers stopped it on northbound I-95 near Route 198.
A bomb-sniffing dog checked out the car but did not find any explosives.
Police say they found a laptop computer and a digital camera containing pictures of the tunnel inside the van, but nothing else suspicious.
I guess it is pretty normal for someone visiting a foreign nation to take photos inside a tunnel!
Never forget that in the days after 9/11 over 60 Israelis were arrested and deported - and the information on all of these arrests is "classified".
Fox News even did a report on it - here is a link to this amazing series that Fox News did on these Israelis:
Fox News has done its best to supress this story - removing it from its web site and threatening web sites with law suits if they don't remove it.
Benjamin Freedman warned us that Israel would attack American and blame Arabs back in the 1960's! Here is a link to the entire text and a brief introducdtion to who Benjamin Freedman is.
With me are riches and glory, enduring riches and justice. My fruit is better than pure gold, and my blossoms than rare silver. Proverbs 8:18-19
Mary is the stem of the beautiful flower on which the Holy Spirit rests with the fullness of His gifts. Hence, those who want to obtain the seven gifts of the Spirit must seek the flower of the Holy Spirit on the stem [Mary].
St. Bonaventure (1221-1274AD)
posted by bridget
Saturday, September 23, 2006
by FERNANDO MATRO
It happens every year during the early Spring through late Fall. But in February, they have a jump-start. I’m talking about those Baptists, from a neighbor state, on a recruiting campaign in my neck of the woods, who are knocking on doors, and distributing a 4-page (2 ½ by 4 in.) tract of selective biblical verses. These verses are designed to convince Catholics that their faith is unbiblical and that they should become Baptists. However, these Baptists are actually, as the Bible testifies, "the ignorant and unstable" who distort scriptural teaching "to their own destruction, just as they do the other Scriptures" (2 Peter 3:16).
I know this firsthand because one of them once knocked on my door. With a Bible in hand, he introduced himself and gave me a tract. He said that if I believed in the Word of God, I’d be saved. If I was interested, he would invite me to their weekly prayer meetings and a bus would pick me up. With big bold letters the front cover of the tract read: "HOW TO KNOW 100% FOR SURE, WITHOUT A DOUBT, THAT YOU WOULD GO TO HEAVEN." Hmm, quite a catchy phrase sure to get one’s attention, I mused. "No, thank you," I answered, "I’m Catholic. I know no one is 100% sure he will go to heaven." Maybe the word "Catholic" got his attention to engage me in a mini-dialogue. He said that in the Bible there is a list of elect who will go to heaven. At this time I let him inside my living room and we both sat on the sofa. I asked him if God personally appeared to him to tell him he’d go to heaven. He insisted that anyone who believed what the Bible says could know for sure they would go to heaven. He then changed the subject, opening his KJV, quoting Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" without explaining what the verse meant. I questioned him that if "all have sinned," did this include newborn babies one week old? He gave me the typical circular reasoning of: "This is what the Bible says and we must believe it." I tried to pin him down to give me an example from Scripture how a week-old baby could possibly sin. His answer was the same old "it’s-in-the-Bible" stuff. Oh well.
Soon after, he had to leave to finish his area assignment.
Since there is no copyright on the tract, I guess it’s okay to quote from it verbatim. My Catholic response is in italics [now quoting from the tract]:
YOU CAN KNOW
1 John 5:13 "Those things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
The key word "may" is conditional. One may or may not enter heaven, depending on whether he has an ongoing faith in Jesus Christ, obeys His commandments and does good works in love. Otherwise, it’s pure guesswork and presumption. Our Lord clearly said, "Not everyone who calls me Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 7:21). So, we know we will go to heaven if we are faithful to Him until the end. This is the kind of assurance the Christian has.
WE ARE ALL SINNERS
Who is good? Romans 3-10 "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one."
Including Jesus Christ? Did not God, through an angel, tell Mary she was "full of grace" (Lk 1:28) and, therefore, righteous? What about a week-old baby? Has he committed sin? No, of course not. The point is that the statement is in reference to humanity as a whole, and that there is no one righteous apart from Jesus Christ. (Remember, even Mary's holiness is totally dependent on Jesus' Sacrifice.)
Who has sinned? Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
"For all have sinned" pertains to Original Sin, which we inherited from our first parents, Adam and Eve, because there are clearly cases of people who have not committed actual sin (mentally handicapped people, children below the age of reason, etc.).
WHERE SIN CAME FROM
Romans 5:12 "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." (One man ---the first man, Adam)
Again, this verse refers to Original Sin, which we humans inherited. This sin can be wiped out through the sacrament of baptism --- the beginning of justification (=sanctification).
Revelation 20:14 "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." (The word death in this verse means Hell)
Revelation 3:5 also states: "He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels." (Note the condition!)
GOD’S PRICE ON SIN
Romans 6:23 "for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
The wages of original sin is death, but one is "born again" through baptism (John 3:5). If the Baptist is referring to personal sin, however, then he overlooks 1 John 5:17 "Not all sin is fatal." Therefore, the "wages of sin" IS NOT always death (Hell), according to Scripture.
OUR WAY OUT
Romans 5:8 "But God commandeth his love toward us, in that, while we were sinners, Christ died for us."
True, God commanded His love toward us. While we were sinners, Christ died for us and redeemed our sins. We receive a "clean slate" at baptism but we must keep this slate clean at all times. There is simply no guarantee that this slate could not one day get dirty again. In fact, quite the contrary, the Bible tells us in Romans 11:22-23.
Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
But NOT whosoever calls: "Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" (Mt 7:21). Now, that's Jesus Christ speaking. Any other questions?
Romans 10:9-11 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture with Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."
The Lord Jesus gave the power to his apostles and their successors in the Church to offer Christ's forgiveness of sins to this and future generations: "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you. When you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven, when you hold them bound, they are held bound" (John 20:12-23). Darn! If that's not clear, I don't know what is....
This is emphasized also by Matthew 18:18: "I promise you, all that you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and all that you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
You Must Ask In Faith
Hebrew 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him. For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that his is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
But with faith (mental assent) alone it is impossible to please Him (cf. James 2:24). And besides, how much faith is required? Does it have to be perfect faith? Ironically, this very passage says that God rewards those who "diligently seek Him," implying that those who do not seek Him diligently will not be given Eternal Life!
Clearly, without explanations, mere Bible verses prove nothing. In fact, they can be quite misleading and pull people away from the only True Faith. Remember, even the devil quoted Scripture! So, beware of those false teachers and stick to what the Apostles taught, "whether by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thessalonians 2:15).
You may print this article for reference just in case they knock at your door.
House Approves Strip Search Bill
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
A bill approved by the U.S. House yesterday would require school districts around the country to establish policies making it easier for teachers and school officials to conduct wide scale searches of students. These searches could take the form of pat-downs, bag searches, or strip searches depending on how administrators interpret the law.
The Student Teacher Safety Act of 2006 (HR 5295) would require any school receiving federal funding--essentially every public school--to adopt policies allowing teachers and school officials to conduct random, warrantless searches of every student, at any time, on the flimsiest of pretexts. Saying they suspect that one student might have drugs could give officials the authority to search every student in the building.
DPA supporters and others who opposed this outrageous bill called their members of Congress this week to express their disapproval. However, House leaders circumvented the usual legislative procedure to bring the bill to a quick vote. It did not pass through the committee process, but went straight to the House floor. There, it was passed by a simple voice vote, so constituents cannot even find out how their Representative voted.
The bill moves next to the Senate, but it is unlikely to be considered there this session.
Bill Piper, DPA's director of national affairs, said, "It looks like this bill was rushed to the House floor to help out the sponsor, Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY/4th), who is in a tight re-election race. This vote lets him say he's getting things done in Washington. But I would be surprised to see a similar push in the Senate."
HR 5295 is opposed in its current form by several groups, including the Drug Policy Alliance, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, the ACLU, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Parent Teacher Association, the American Association of School Administrators, and the National School Boards Association.
DPA will be watching the bill so that if and when it does come up again, this wide array of opponents can mobilize to stop it.
Now - i certainly do not agree with everything, or even most of what organizations like the DPA, ACLU, etc.. fight for - but when they are right - they are right - and in this case - they are right.
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Her Doctrine and Morals
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
24 September 2006
Pride is a sin which almost all men are more or less infected. Even Christians who otherwise lead a good and edifying life are not entirely free from it. St. Bernard says that, "pride is the origin of all vices, and the ruin of all virtues." The danger with this vice is that those who are proud are not aware of it because they do not know it or do not believe it.
Pride causes us to exhault ourselves.
We make ourselves more than we really are. There are many who attribute to themselves qualities and perfections which they either have not at all, or only in a degree inferior to that which they believe they possess. Pride likewise causes people to wish to appear more than they really are. People who can ill afford it often deck themselves out in fine clothing and fashions far beyond their means, assuming a style belonging neither to their station nor calling. Some talk so piously and pray so devoutly that they appear to be saints, and a superficial observer would expect them one day to be canonized. Pride causes people to desire honor or positions for which they are not fit. They think themselves competent to fill every post of honor, and if they do not obtain it they complain of injustice, and of the disregard of their merits, and they bear ill-feeling against those who are preferred before them.
Next pride causes people to steal from God.
They attribute all the good they do to themselves. "What hast thou that thou hast not received? And if thou hast received, why dost thou glory, as if thou hast not received it?" (Cor. 4:7) Closely associated with this form of pride is another: seeking one's own honor and glory in our actions rather than God's. St. Augustine says: "He who desires to be praised for what is Thy pure gift, and does not seek Thy glory, but his own, is a thief and a robber, and is like the devil, because he would rob Thee of Thy honor." If anyone with his works seeks the honor and praise of men, he inverts the order established by God and does Him a great injury and injustice; for God demands men, whose chief end is to praise and glorify God, should occupy themselves in glorifying Him. "Whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever else you do, do all things to the glory of God." (Cor. 10:3)
Lastly pride causes us to despise our neighbor and think that no one else has the good qualities and abilities that we have. It often reaches the point of madness, for only a madman can imagine himself better than all other men. It therefore becomes a serious sin against Charity.
In order to guard against this vice we should consider that there is no sin as detestable in the eyes of God as pride. Christ was very forgiving, kind and gentle to the greatest sinners, but He pronounced woe upon the Scribes and Pharisees, whose chief vice was pride. To gain God's displeasure all we have to do is be proud.
Pride even makes us miserable here in this life. St. Augustine says; "Pride brings forth envy as its legitimate child, and the bad mother is always accompanied by her bad child." When the proud man sees others esteemed, and himself slighted, anger and envy at once arise in his heart; he gets excited, peace departs from his soul, and he feels nothing but ill humor and discontent.
Pride robs men of all his merits for eternity. Whatever is done for one's own glory is destitute of supernatural merit, and is valueless before God, no matter how praise-worthy and great it may appear in the eyes of the world. St. Bernard says: "As pride is the origin of all vices, so it is also the ruin of all virtues. No matter how many good works a man may have done, how many virtues he may have practiced, if he takes pride in them he becomes the most deplorable and miserable of men."
Let us always remember that we are poor miserable creatures, and often as St. Bernard suggests reflect on these questions: "What were you? What will you be? Remember whence you came, and be abashed." "I was conceived in iniquities; and in sins did my mother conceive me" (Ps. 50:7) Our souls are captives in a physical body, and where will this body go. We are on the way to our execution, the sentence is already pronounced: "We must die" "Remember man that thou art dust, and into dust thou shalt return." And our souls will go before the Divine Judge, who will demand an account of every idle word.
esus, Himself was humble and says that we should learn of Him because He is meek and humble of heart. All the saints were humble. With these examples let us suppress every vain, self-complacent thought, and never forget that all the good qualities of mind or body we posses are an unmerited gift of God, to whom alone all honor is due; they are talents entrusted to us and since much will be required of those to whom much has been given, the more graces and favors we have received the more we should tremble at the thought of the rigorous account we must one day give of our stewardship.
"Be you humbled, therefore, under the mighty hand of God; that He may exalt you in the time of visitation." (I Peter 5:6)
The story of Our Lady of Ransom is, at its outset, that of Saint Peter Nolasco, born in Languedoc about 1189. He conceived the idea of establishing a religious order for the redemption of captives seized by the Moors on the seas and in Spain itself; they were being cruelly tormented in their African prisons to make them deny their faith. On August 1, 1218 the Blessed Virgin appeared to Saint Peter, to his confessor, Raymund of Pennafort, and to King James I, and through these three servants of God established a work of the most perfect charity, the redemption of captives. Its members would undertake to deliver Christian captives and offer themselves, if necessary, as payment.
Word of the apparition soon spread over the entire kingdom; and on August 10th the king went to the cathedral for a Mass celebrated by the bishop of Barcelona during which Saint Raymund narrated his vision with admirable eloquence and fervor. The king besought the blessing of the bishop for the heaven-sent plan, and the bishop bestowed the habit on Saint Peter, who emitted the solemn vow to give himself as a hostage if necessary.
The Order, thus solemnly established in Spain, was approved by Gregory IX under the name of Our Lady of Mercy, and spread rapidly. Eventually a feast day was instituted and observed on September 24th, first in the religious order, then in Spain and France and on February 22, 1696 Innocent XII extended it to the entire Church. To this day, the Mercedarians keep this day as a first class feast, with a vigil, privileged octave, and proper Office under the title: "Solemnitas Descensionis B. Mariæ V. de Mercede".
Our Lady of Ransom is the principal patron of Barcelona; the proper Office was extended to Barcelona (1868) and to all Spain (second class, 1883). Sicily, which had suffered so much from the Saracens, took up the old date of the feast (Sunday nearest to August 1) by permission of the Congregation of Rites of August 31, 1805. In England the devotion to Our Lady of Ransom was revived in modern times to obtain the rescue of England as Our Lady's Dowry.
Posted by bridget
Thursday, September 21, 2006
It has been brought to my attention that another blog is attacking us again - this time on the issue of Purgatory. Here is the Catholic position on Purgatory.
The Bible teaches (a) that some sins are forgiven in the next world; (b) that some souls are saved in the next world "by fire"; (c) that it is useful and beneficial to pray for the dead.
"And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, NEITHER IN THE WORLD TO COME. ( i.e. Some sins can therefore be forgiven after death.)"— Mt. 12:32
"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 15. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, YET SO AS BY FIRE."—1 Cor. 3:13 ,15
"It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins."___2 Machabees, 12_46: (This is one of the Old
Testament books omitted from the Protestant Bible SEE DUTEROCANONICAL).
COMMENT: As nothing defiled can enter Heaven (Rev. 21_27), there must necessarily exist a state of cleansing or purgation usually called "purgatory."
The Existence of Purgatory
Jews, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox have always historically proclaimed the reality of the final purification. It was not until the Protestant Reformers came in the 1500s that anyone denied this doctrine. As the following quotes from the early Church Fathers show, purgatory has been part of the Christian faith from the very beginning.
The Acts of Paul and Thecla
"And after the exhibition, Tryphaena again received her [Thecla]. For her daughter Falconilla had died, and said to her in a dream: 'Mother, you shall have this stranger Thecla in my place, in order that she may pray concerning me, and that I may be transferred to the place of the righteous'" (Acts of Paul and Thecla [A.D. 160]).
"The citizen of a prominent city, I erected this while I lived, that I might have a resting place for my body. Abercius is my name, a disciple of the chaste shepherd who feeds his sheep on the mountains and in the fields, who has great eyes surveying everywhere, who taught me the faithful writings of life. Standing by, I, Abercius, ordered this to be inscribed; truly I was in my seventy-second year. May everyone who is in accord with this and who understands it pray for Abercius" (Epitaph of Abercius [A.D. 190]).
"[T]hat very night, this was shown to me in a vision: I saw Dinocrates going out from a gloomy place, where also there were several others, and he was parched and very thirsty, with a filthy countenance and pallid color, and the wound on his face which he had when he died. This Dinocrates had been my brother after the flesh, seven years of age, who died miserably with disease . . . For him I had made my prayer, and between him and me there was a large interval, so that neither of us could approach to the other. . . . and [I] knew that my brother was in suffering. But I trusted that my prayer would bring help to his suffering; and I prayed for him every day until we passed over into the prison of the camp, for we were to fight in the camp-show. Then . . . I made my prayer for my brother day and night, groaning and weeping that he might be granted to me. Then, on the day on which we remained in fetters, this was shown to me. I saw that that place which I had formerly observed to be in gloom was now bright; and Dinocrates, with a clean body well clad, was finding refreshment. . . . [And] he went away from the water to play joyously, after the manner of children, and I awoke. Then I understood that he was translated from the place of punishment" (The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity 2:3-4 [A.D. 202]).
"[T]hat allegory of the Lord [Matt. 5:25-26] . . . is extremely clear and simple in its meaning . . . [beware lest as] a transgressor of your agreement, before God the Judge . . . and lest this Judge deliver you over to the angel who is to execute the sentence, and he commit you to the prison of hell, out of which there will be no dismissal until the smallest even of your delinquencies be paid off in the period before the resurrection. What can be a more fitting sense than this? What a truer interpretation?" (The Soul 35 [A.D. 210]).
"We offer sacrifices for the dead on their birthday anniversaries" (The Crown 3:3 [A.D. 211]).
"A woman, after the death of her husband ... prays for his soul and asks that he may, while waiting, find rest; and that he may share in the first resurrection. And each year, on the anniversary of his death, she offers the sacrifice" (Monogamy 10:1-2 [A.D. 216]).
Cyprian of Carthage
"The strength of the truly believing remains unshaken; and with those who fear and love God with their whole heart, their integrity continues steady and strong. For to adulterers even a time of repentance is granted by us, and peace [i.e., reconciliation] is given. Yet virginity is not therefore deficient in the Church, nor does the glorious design of continence languish through the sins of others. The Church, crowned with so many virgins, flourishes; and chastity and modesty preserve the tenor of their glory. Nor is the vigor of continence broken down because repentance and pardon are facilitated to the adulterer. It is one thing to stand for pardon, another thing to attain to glory; it is one thing, when cast into prison, not to go out thence until one has paid the uttermost farthing; another thing at once to receive the wages of faith and courage. It is one thing, tortured by long suffering for sins, to be cleansed and long purged by fire; another to have purged all sins by suffering. It is one thing, in fine, to be in suspense till the sentence of God at the day of judgment; another to be at once crowned by the Lord." (Letters 51:20 [A.D. 253]).
"But also, when God will judge the just, it is likewise in fire that he will try them. At that time, they whose sins are uppermost, either because of their gravity or their number, will be drawn together by the fire and will be burned. Those, however, who have been imbued with full justice and maturity of virtue, will not feel that fire; for they have something of God in them which will repel and turn back the strength of the flame" (Divine Institutes 7:21:6 [A.D. 307]).
Cyril of Jerusalem
"Then we make mention also of those who have already fallen asleep: first, the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition; next, we make mention also of the holy fathers and bishops who have already fallen asleep, and, to put it simply, of all among us who have already fallen asleep, for we believe that it will be of very great benefit to the souls of those for whom the petition is carried up, while this holy and most solemn sacrifice is laid out" (Catechetical Lectures 23:5:9 [A.D. 350]).
Epiphanius of Salamis
"Useful too is the prayer fashioned on their behalf, even if it does not force back the whole of guilty charges laid to them. And it is useful also, because in this world we often stumble either voluntarily or involuntarily, and thus it is a reminder to do better" (Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 75:8 [A.D. 375]).
Gregory of Nyssa
"If a man distinguish in himself what is peculiarly human from that which is irrational, and if he be on the watch for a life of greater urbanity for himself, in this present life he will purify himself of any evil contracted, overcoming the irrational by reason. If he have inclined to the irrational pressure of the passions, using for the passions the cooperating hide of things irrational, he may afterward in a quite different manner be very much interested in what is better, when, after his departure out of the body, he gains knowledge of the difference between virtue and vice and finds that he is not able to partake of divinity until he has been purged of the filthy contagion in his soul by the purifying fire" (Sermon on the Dead [A.D. 382]).
"Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice [Job 1:5], why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them" (Homilies on 1 Corinthians 41:5 [A.D. 392]).
"Weep for those who die in their wealth and who with all their wealth prepared no consolation for their own souls, who had the power to wash away their sins and did not will to do it. Let us weep for them, let us assist them to the extant of our ability, let us think of some assistance for them, small as it may be, yet let us somehow assist them. But how, and in what way? By praying for them and by entreating others to pray for them, by constantly giving alms to the poor on their behalf. Not in vain was it decreed by the apostles that in the awesome mysteries remembrance should be made of the departed. They knew that here there was much gain for them, much benefit. when the entire people stands with hands uplifted, a priestly assembly, and that awesome sacrificial Victim is laid out, how, when we are calling upon God, should we not succeed in their defense? But this is done for those who have departed in the faith, while even the catechumens are not reckoned as worthy of this consolation, but are deprived of every means of assistance except one. And what is that? We may give alms to the poor on their behalf" (Homilies on Philippians 3:9-10 [A.D. 402]).
"There is an ecclesiastical discipline, as the faithful know, when the names of the martyrs are read aloud in that place at the altar of God, where prayer is not offered for them. Prayer, however, is offered for other dead who are remembered. It is wrong to pray for a martyr, to whose prayers we ought ourselves be commended" (Sermons 159:1 [A.D. 411]).
"But by the prayers of the Holy Church, and by the salvific sacrifice, and by the alms which are given for their spirits, there is no doubt that the dead are aided, that the Lord might deal more mercifully with them than their sins would deserve. The whole Church observes this practice which was handed down by the Fathers: that it prays for those who have died in the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, when they are commemorated in their own place in the sacrifice itself; and the sacrifice is offered also in memory of them, on their behalf. If, then, works of mercy are celebrated for the sake of those who are being remembered, who would hesitate to recommend them, on whose behalf prayers to God are not offered in vain? It is not at all to be doubted that such prayers are of profit to the dead; but for such of them as lived before their death in a way that makes it possible for these things to be useful to them after death" (ibid., 172:2).
"Temporal punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by some after death, by 'some both here and hereafter, but all of them before that last and strictest judgment. But not all who suffer temporal punishments after death will come to eternal punishments, which are to follow after that judgment" (The City of God 21:13 [A.D. 419]).
"The prayer either of the Church herself or of pious individuals is heard on behalf of certain of the dead, but it is heard for those who, having been regenerated in Christ, did not for the rest of their life in the body do such wickedness that they might be judged unworthy of such mercy [as prayer], nor who yet lived so well that it might be supposed they have no need of such mercy [as prayer]" (ibid., 21:24:2).
"That there should be some fire even after this life is not incredible, and it can be inquired into and either be discovered or left hidden whether some of the faithful may be saved, some more slowly and some more quickly in the greater or lesser degree in which they loved the good things that perish, through a certain purgatorial fire" (Handbook on Faith, Hope, and Charity 18:69 [A.D. 421]).
"The time which interposes between the death of a man and the final resurrection holds souls in hidden retreats, accordingly as each is deserving of rest or of hardship, in view of what it merited when it was living in the flesh. Nor can it be denied that the souls of the dead find relief through the piety of their friends and relatives who are still alive, when the Sacrifice of the Mediator [Mass] is offered for them, or when alms are given in the Church. But these things are of profit to those who, when they were alive, merited that they might afterward be able to be helped by these things. There is a certain manner of living, neither so good that there is no need of these helps after death, nor yet so wicked that these helps are of no avail after death" (ibid., 29:109).
HERE'S ANOTHER REASON TO TURN OFF YOUR TV!!
NBC TV to Air Blasphemous Madonna Mock Crucifixion Stunt
By Gudrun Schultz
NEW YORK, New York, September 20, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - NBC television has decided to air a mock crucifixion staged by pop star Madonna during November programming, despite the strenuous objections of international religious leaders to a performance condemned as blasphemous.
The stunt is a centerpiece of Madonna's international "Confessions" tour, with the performer appearing on stage strapped to a 20-foot mirrored cross, wearing a crown of thorns. The stunt is part of her on-stage rendition of Live to Tell, an account of the trauma of domestic abuse.
Regardless of the context, however, religious leaders have condemned the use of the central and most revered image of Christianity to illustrate a point in a rock concert, particularly from a pop star with such an outrageous performance history as Madonna, as deeply offensive to Christians.
NBC entertainment president Kevin Reilly accepted the stunt after previewing the production.
"We viewed it, he told Access Hollywood, and didn't see it as being inappropriate."
During recent performances in Rome and Russia, leaders in the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church condemned Madonna's crucifixion imagery as blasphemous.
"To crucify yourself in the city of the pope and the martyrs is an act of open hostility. It's a scandal created on purpose by astute merchants to attract publicity, said Cardinal Ersilio Tonino, shortly before Madonna's Rome performance. This concert is a blasphemous challenge to the faith and a profanation of the cross.
Cardinal Tonino said the pop star's actions warranted excommunication--Madonna is a non-practicing Roman Catholic.
A spokesman for the Moscow patriarch said, "The US singer Madonna exploits Christian symbols--the cross, rosary beads and the crucifix--and tries to equate human passions, including her own personal passions, with something sacred, reported Agence France-Presse.
UNFORTUNATELY THE NOVUS ORDO CHURCH IS UNABLE TO EXCOMMUNICATE HER!
posted by bridget
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a virgin, a descendant of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And when the angel had come to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you." Luke 1:26-28
The salvation of the whole world began with the "Hail Mary." Hence, the salvation of each person is also attached to this prayer.
St. Louis Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716AD)
As you read the article below - remember that was and is Jews who began protesting Nativity Scenes in public schools and public buildings. Ask yourself - who would be the first to cry separation of church and state if a public school began to teach Vatican Studies!
New Yorkers to study about Israel
City council approves study program on Israel initiated by Israeli Consulate in New York; program to be integrated into training program for educators teaching in 1,400 public high schools
NEW YORK - The New York City Council's education committee approved a study program on Israel initiated by the public relations department of the Israeli Consulate in New York.
The study program will be integrated into the training program for educators teaching in 1,400 public high schools in New York City. The teachers will be able to register to a 30-hour course dealing with the history of the State of Israel, its economy, the high-tech industry, Israeli art and Ethiopian Jews.
The incentive offered to teachers who will take the course: Credit points for an academic degree.
The teachers responded so positively to the course, that by the third day of registration all seats were taken. Following the teachers' request, the consulate decided to add more seats.
Israeli Consul General in New York Aryeh Mekel said that "through the teachers a generation of leaders will be educated to maintain the special relations between the United States and Israel."
We are not bringing politics, but are exposing them to Israel as we know it and as we would like people to know it," he added.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Sept. 19, 2006, 12:14PM
Book compiles doodlings of presidents
By HILLEL ITALIE AP National Writer © 2006 The Associated Press
NEW YORK — As a president, Herbert Hoover ranks near the bottom in the hearts of most historians, condemned as the dull-minded bureaucrat who looked on while the nation sank into the Great Depression.
But in at least one respect, Hoover's sad, single term wasn't a waste of time. In fact, he was apparently never more productive than when supposedly wasting his time, assembling what may be his supreme presidential legacy:
The nation's foremost executive doodler.
"Presidential Doodles," just released by Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group, collects the random sketches and drawings of Hoover and most of his fellow commanders in chief, from Hoover's elaborate shapes and swirls to the isolated squiggles of Abraham Lincoln. The book expands upon an issue of Cabinet Magazine, a quarterly of "Arts & Culture" that featured the jottings of eight presidents.
"Just as our dreams and little Freudian slips can mean something about us, doodles can be indicative of the person and issues and things that he is dealing with," says Cabinet editor-in-chief Sina Najafi.
Personalities emerge at a glance: John Adams' hard, straight lines and precise geometrical patterns; Theodore Roosevelt's rugged sketch of two dogs staring across a campfire; Dwight Eisenhower's plain, practical illustrations; Ronald Reagan's childlike portraits, including of himself in a cowboy hat.
President Kennedy, known for separating his life into compartments, would enclose words and numbers inside circles and boxes. Events long after his death give one doodle an unintended chill: A small circle with the numbers "9-11" contained within. Just to the lower left on the page, the word "conspiracy" is underlined...
How weird is that - JFK, himself the victim of a major conspiracy doodles another government conspiracy! Did he know something? Was this a warning? Or just a really bizarre coincidence?
WYOMING SHERIFFS PUT FEDERAL OFFICERS ON CHOKE CHAINS
WYOMING SHERIFFS PUT FEDERAL OFFICERS ON CHOKE CHAINS
County sheriffs in Wyoming are insisting that all federal law enforcement officers and personnel from federal regulatory agencies must clear all their activities in a Wyoming county with the Sheriff's Office. Speaking at a press conference following the recent US District Court decision (case No 2:96-cv-099-J) Bighorn County Sheriff Dave Mattis stated that all federal officials are forbidden to enter his county without his prior approval.
"If a sheriff doesn't want the Feds in his county he has the constitutional power and right to keep them out or ask them to leave or retain them in custody." The court decision came about after Mattis & other members of the Wyoming Sheriffs' Association brought a suit against both the BATF and the IRS in the Wyoming federal court district seeking restoration of the protections enshrined in the United States Constitution and the Wyoming Constitution. The District Court ruled in favor of the sheriffs, stating that, "Wyoming is a sovereign state and the duly elected sheriff of a county is the highest law enforcement official within a county and has law enforcement powers exceeding that of any other state or federal official."
The Wyoming sheriffs are demanding access to all BATF files to verify that the agency is not violating provisions of Wyoming law that prohibit the registration of firearms or the keeping of a registry of firearm owners. The sheriffs are also demanding that federal agencies immediately cease the seizure of private property and the impoundment of private bank accounts without regard to due process in state courts.
Sheriff Mattis stated:"I am reacting to the actions of federal employees who have attempted to deprive citizens of my county of their privacy, their liberty, and their property without regard to constitutional safeguards. I hope that more sheriffs all across America will join us in protecting their citizens from the illegal activities of the IRS, EPA, BATF, FBI, or any other federal agency that is operating outside the confines of constitutional law. Employees of the IRS and the EPA are no longer welcome in Bighorn County unless they intend to operate in conformance to constitutional law."
This case is evidence that the Tenth Amendment is not yet dead in the United States. It may also be interpreted to mean that political subdivisions of a State are included within the meaning of the amendment, or that the powers exercised by a sheriff are an extension of those common law powers which the Tenth Amendment explicitly reserves to the People, if they are not granted to the federal government and specifically prohibited to the States.
Case Notes:Case: Castaneda v. USAFiled: 10th May 1996Closed: 29th April 1997Case No: 2:1996cv00099 Wyoming District Court, CasperNature of Suit: Civil Rights
"If a sheriff doesn't want the Feds in his county he has the constitutional power and right to keep them out or ask them to leave or retain them in custody."
SALEM, New Hampshire (AP) -- A Maine couple upset that their 19-year-old daughter was pregnant tied her up, loaded her in their car and began driving to New York to force her to get an abortion, police said.
The daughter, Katelyn Kampf, escaped Friday at a shopping center and called police, who arrested her parents, Nicholas Kampf, 54, and Lola, 53, of North Yarmouth, Maine. They were jailed on a kidnapping charge and were being held on $100,000 bail each.
The parents were scheduled to be arraigned in Salem District Court. A call to attorney Mark Sisti was not immediately returned.
"Her parents chased her out into the yard, grabbed and tied her hands and feet together," Salem Police Officer Sean Marino wrote in a court affidavit. "Katelyn states that her father then carried her to their car and they headed toward New Hampshire."
Investigators said rope, duct tape, scissors and a .22-caliber rifle were found in the Kampfs' Lexus and Nicholas Kampf had a loaded .22-caliber magazine clip in his pants pocket.
The Kampfs were upset that their daughter was pregnant by a man who is now in jail, police said, and before leaving Maine on Friday they had an argument at the parents' home.
"Katelyn stated to me that upon her parents finding out that she was pregnant, they told her she had no choice but to get an abortion," Marino wrote in his court affidavit.
Katelyn Kampf escaped from her parents in Salem after persuading them to untie her so she could use a Kmart bathroom. After her father went into the men's room, she used a cell phone to call for help, then ran to a nearby Staples store, where police found "a hysterical female hiding in the back of the store," according to the affidavit.
She got into Marino's cruiser while Sgt. Kristin Fili pulled over her parents.
"They told us initially they did take her here against her will, but they denied tying her up initially," Fili said. "Obviously what happened was a crime. She was taken against her will."
Authorities in Maine said the parents apparently thought that, in light of their daughter's stage of pregnancy and the different abortion laws in each state, the abortion should be performed in New York. Fili said she did not know how many weeks pregnant she was.
Maine law prohibits abortions once a fetus is able to live outside the uterus unless the mother's life or health is at stake. The law does not specify when that is, but it generally is 20 to 27 weeks, said Dr. Dora Ann Mills, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
New York law prohibits abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy unless the woman's life is at stake.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
WHAT ARE WE COMING TO?
Just think - if we had this courage - maybe we would not be involved in an illegal, unjust, and immoral war that is costing hundreds of thousands of lives!
Protesters storm Hungarian state TV
By PABLO GORONDI, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 5 minutes ago
BUDAPEST, Hungary - Protesters stormed the headquarters of Hungarian state television Tuesday and forced it off the air briefly in an explosion of anger after the prime minister admitted lying about the economy during an election campaign in April. ...
The Real Story of the 'Father of the English Bible'
By Matthew A.C. Newsome
The new edition of the New International Version (NIV) Bible came out this year. Why is it newsworthy? Because this is the "Inclusive Language Edition," and conservative Protestants everywhere are up in arms. I read of the NIV Inclusive Language Edition while visiting family in Greenville, South Carolina. On Sunday, February 24, 2002, the Greenville News ran an article by Deb Reichardson-Moore. She wrote that the business of biblical translation can be dangerous, citing as evidence William Tyndale, whom she wrote "was burned at the stake for the heresy of translating the Greek New Testament into English in 1525." She reported that today he’s known as "the father of the English Bible."
Phrasing it this way makes it sound as if the heresy Tyndale was condemned for was the act of translating the Bible into English. This is a common mistake and often repeated. In fact, when doing a bit of research for this article, I came across several web sites on Tyndale that said just this. One stated, "Translating the Bible was considered a heresy" (ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/geoff_whiley/tyndale.htm). Another proclaimed that in 1408 a law was enacted that forbade the translation of the Bible into English and also made reading the Bible illegal (britannia.com/bios/tyndale.html).
Of course, anyone familiar with the history of the Catholic Church, which for 2,000 years has been preserving and protecting the Word of God, recognizes how ludicrous this is. It was is only by the authority of the Catholic Church, which collected the various books of Scripture in the fourth century, that we have a Christian Bible at all. And it is only because of the Church that the Bible survived and was taught for the many centuries before the printing press made it widely available. All Christians everywhere owe it a great debt for that.
So what was the real reason William Tyndale was condemned? Was translating the Bible into English actually illegal? The answer is no. The law that was passed in 1408 was in reaction to another infamous translator, John Wycliff. Wycliff had produced a translation of the Bible that was corrupt and full of heresy. It was not an accurate rendering of sacred Scripture.
Both the Church and the secular authorities condemned it and did their best to prevent it from being used to teach false doctrine and morals. Because of the scandal it caused, the Synod of Oxford passed a law in 1408 that prevented any unauthorized translation of the Bible into English and also forbade the reading of such unauthorized translations.
It is a fact usually ignored by Protestant historians that many English versions of the Scriptures existed before Wycliff, and these were authorized and perfectly legal (see Where We Got the Bible by Henry Graham, chapter 11, "Vernacular Scriptures Before Wycliff"). Also legal would be any future authorized translations. And certainly reading these translations was not only legal but also encouraged. All this law did was to prevent any private individual from publishing his own translation of Scripture without the approval of the Church.
Which, as it turns out, is just what William Tyndale did. Tyndale was an English priest of no great fame who desperately desired to make his own English translation of the Bible. The Church denied him for several reasons.
First, it saw no real need for a new English translation of the Scriptures at this time. In fact, booksellers were having a hard time selling the print editions of the Bible that they already had. Sumptuary laws had to be enacted to force people into buying them.
Second, we must remember that this was a time of great strife and confusion for the Church in Europe. The Reformation had turned the continent into a very volatile place. So far, England had managed to remain relatively unscathed, and the Church wanted to keep it that way. It was thought that adding a new English translation at this time would only add confusion and distraction where focus was needed.
Lastly, if the Church had decided to provide a new English translation of Scripture, Tyndale would not have been the man chosen to do it. He was known as only a mediocre scholar and had gained a reputation as a priest of unorthodox opinions and a violent temper. He was infamous for insulting the clergy, from the pope down to the friars and monks, and had a genuine contempt for Church authority. In fact, he was first tried for heresy in 1522, three years before his translation of the New Testament was printed. His own bishop in London would not support him in this cause.
Finding no support for his translation from his bishop, he left England and came to Worms, where he fell under the influence of Martin Luther. There in 1525 he produced a translation of the New Testament that was swarming with textual corruption. He willfully mistranslated entire passages of Sacred Scripture in order to condemn orthodox Catholic doctrine and support the new Lutheran ideas. The Bishop of London claimed that he could count over 2,000 errors in the volume (and this was just the New Testament).
And we must remember that this was not merely a translation of Scripture. His text included a prologue and notes that were so full of contempt for the Catholic Church and the clergy that no one could mistake his obvious agenda and prejudice. Did the Catholic Church condemn this version of the Bible? Of course it did.
The secular authorities condemned it as well. Anglicans are among the many today who laud Tyndale as the "father of the English Bible." But it was their own founder, King Henry VIII, who in 1531 declared that "the translation of the Scripture corrupted by William Tyndale should be utterly expelled, rejected, and put away out of the hands of the people."
So troublesome did Tyndale’s Bible prove to be that in 1543—after his break with Rome—Henry again decreed that "all manner of books of the Old and New Testament in English, being of the crafty, false, and untrue translation of Tyndale . . . shall be clearly and utterly abolished, extinguished, and forbidden to be kept or used in this realm."
Ultimately, it was the secular authorities that proved to be the end for Tyndale. He was arrested and tried (and sentenced to die) in the court of the Holy Roman Emperor in 1536. His translation of the Bible was heretical because it contained heretical ideas—not because the act of translation was heretical in and of itself. In fact, the Catholic Church would produce a translation of the Bible into English a few years later (The Douay-Reims version, whose New Testament was released in 1582 and whose Old Testament was released in 1609).
When discussing the history of Biblical translations, it is very common for people to toss around names like Tyndale and Wycliff. But the full story is seldom given. This present case of a gender-inclusive edition of the Bible is a wonderful opportunity for Fundamentalists to reflect and realize that the reason they don’t approve of this new translation is the same reason that the Catholic Church did not approve of Tyndale’s or Wycliff’s. These are corrupt translations, made with an agenda, and not accurate renderings of sacred Scripture.
And here at least Fundamentalists and Catholics are in ready agreement: Don’t mess with the Word of God.