Archives for July 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #36)

This week: A prayer that should not be repeated. No more “God the Father” or “Heavenly Father” in one inclusive Protestant denomination. Planned Parenthood’s success in attaining Margaret Sanger’s genocide against blacks. Ideology first – forget jobs, wars, unrestrained spending, debt our children will never dig out from – the administration goes after pro-lifers. How your taxes support abortions. Comboxes and the good works therein. Jen’s EWTN appearance.

— 1 —

God is the creator of all things, but the level of specificity and commercialism in this prayer is over the top and more than a bit irreverent:

Spotted by Matthew Archbold

— 2 —

The United Church of Christ no longer uses sexist terms like “God the Father” or “Heavenly Father.” In an inclusiveness frenzy run amok, they now refer to Him as the “Triune God.” I foresee yet another, more “inclusive” translation of the Holy Bible where much of Jesus speech is “corrected” for political correctness. Personally, I look upon any Bible adjustments for “inclusiveness” as direct assaults on the word of God. There is no limit to that slippery slope. More on the UCC insanity is here.

— 3 —

Margaret Sanger’s (founder of Planned Parenthood) dream of a black genocide comes true. What is the #1 killer of blacks today – more than HIV, respiratory disease, homicide, diabetes, accidents, kidney disease, cancer or heart disease? More than ALL of these combined? Planned Parenthood. The National Black Pro-life Coalition, together with the Radiance Foundation, has released another hard-hitting video:

(This video is no longer available.)

— 4 —

Dick Retta, a parishioner at St. Raphael Catholic Church is a dedicated pro-life sidewalk counselor. An elderly gentleman, Dick has been tireless in saving lives for over 14 years:

This administration’s Department of Justice has recently recognized the good work Dick has done. They have targeted him, filing suit against him personally for $10,000 for allegedly violating the rights of confused women to kill their babies. They have also identified 3 women he approached and are demanding he pay an additional $15,000 to these “victims.”

— 5 —

Money you pay in taxes funds Planned Parenthood’s abortion business. Make no mistake about it:

Spotted by Matthew Archbold

— 6 —

Russ Rentler recounts an interesting, yet frustrating, Facebook apologetics exchange he participated in. There are many excellent comments, including this one by Janet Schmick Mrazek:

Jesus is Lord and we should exalt him as all Catholics, who know and understand their faith do. But where would we be without His Church, the Church he gave to the Apostles, when He handed the keys to the Kingdom to Peter.

When I watched my husband go back to the Catholic Church after many years absence, it had a great effect on me. I was not Catholic at the time and just went along in support of my husband. To watch a grown man go back to a Church building (not his home parish) where he knew no one and have tears in his eyes before we even parked the car, had a big effect on me.

I knew then that my attachment to my church was not my faith, it was the people/community, family & the history of the building that I had me stay. He tried to tell me that he did not need to know anyone and that even if the preaching that day wasn’t the best, it did not matter because Jesus was there. Not being Catholic I did not understand and to be honest was a little offended at that comment. But yet, I was very moved by his strong belief and I knew that even though I professed to be a Christian and did know Jesus Christ and his Gospel message, I knew that I would never have tears in my eyes entering the parking lot of a non-Catholic church parking lot.

After 3 long years of reading, watching EWTN, alternating between attending Mass and my home church, I finally understood that it was the Eucharist that my husband missed, not the preaching or the people and I made the decision to become Catholic and finally be able to receive the true Body & Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I became a Catholic in 1998 and I know that the Church has given me the biggest gift I could have ever received through the Eucharist.

You can pray to Jesus, ask for forgiveness of sins, hear good preaching, read good books, have good fellowship, have bible studies; and all of this is good and will bring you closer to Christ. It is only through Jesus Christ that we are saved. But it is only in the Catholic Church that we have the fullness of the faith. We have so much more than any other Christian Church. We have all the Sacraments which give us many graces and lead closer to our Saviour. We have the rich prayers (but still can pray to Jesus directly with personal prayers), we have the Saints as our friends and role models, we have the beautiful Churches that bring Glory to our Lord, we have Mary who always reminds us to follow the way of her Son. Most of these things have been dropped by the other churches.

Can Jesus save other Christians? Absolutely, He is God and can choose to save who he wants. But I choose to be in the Church where I can receive Him in the Eucharist and I can receive the all these graces, not just some of them. Most people who study Early Church History agree.

I will pray that this message will not offend, but will reflect the love that I found in the Catholic Church. If you want to know more, I suggest that you contact the Catholic Church in your area and attend RCIA classes to find out what the Catholic Church really is about. Most Churches start their classes in September. There are so many misconceptions out there, don’t believe everything you hear. Go to the source for your information. May God Bless you, Marjorie and I will pray for your understanding.

— 7 —

Jenifer Fulwiler (who started and hosts 7 Quick Takes Friday) is an atheist convert to Catholicism. Her conversion story was on the EWTN show The Choices We Face on July 17th:


Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!

Civil vs. divine law

The Irish Prime Minister, Minister for Justice and Minister for Children are backing legislation to require priests to report confessions of child abuse to the authorities. Failure to report these confessions would land priests in prison for up to 5 years. Emboldened by this, an Australian senator is proposing much the same.

Such efforts have only one purpose and it is not the protection of children. It is quite simply an attack on the Church. These politicians grab headlines, get to appear tough on crime, get to appear protective of children, keep alive the sexual abuse scandal and put the Church into a losing position.

No faithful priest would ever break the seal of the confessional. Doing so would lead to sanctions and excommunication. Priests have been martyred again and again for refusing civil authorities in the past and, if worse comes to worse, will suffer again to protect this sacrament.

Were these politicians actually interested in protecting children, they might take an interest in all the other institutions and organizations which so far have not had anything like the attention directed at the Catholic Church. That is NOT in any way to excuse the actions of those in our numbers who committed such deplorable crimes. Yet, for all the focus and attention on the Catholic Church, studies show it involved in only a small part (less than 0.03% of the perpetrators in the US) of this tragedy. Where is the attention on the home, schools, youth sports and non-Catholic communities?

The liberal media can be counted on to assist such political efforts. They are never a fan of the Church, unless it fits their agenda – such as to support our social justice teaching (which they often distort) or position on capital punishment. Usually, we make headlines today for our failures decades ago, made to sound quite new while such crimes actually being committed right now elsewhere are ignored. I have never seen any coverage of the extensive steps we take today to protect children. In the US, those are quite effective (at a significant cost and sometimes draconian measures). Others could learn a lot from us.

Politicians capable of rational thought and who actually cared about children realize that the confessional seal is helpful. First, this is probably the only place the penitent will face his crimes and the terrible harm done. Second, the priest will probably be the only voice they hear telling them to make amends by turning themselves in. Third, were the Church to agree to cooperate with such laws (it never will), does anyone really think that child abusers would confess their crimes before they are caught? They are disordered but not stupid.

So far, such nonsense has not been proposed in the US. We have had cases of the authorities bugging the confessional but such evidence has been ultimately found to be non-admissible. Ultimately found to be non-admissible because it usually has to go through multiple appeals until that point is reached. In other words, lower courts alarmingly saw it as legal.

While this particular attack is aimed (1) only at the Catholic Church, (2) only at the confessional seal and (3) only for child abuse crimes – do not think for a moment that it would stop there. Were this highly flawed attack to actually work, in relatively little time other crimes would be added…   murder, rape, everything else. New attacks would spring from this success on all of Christianity.

Political attacks on the Church are not limited to the confessional. When the world ignored the need for organized adoptions, the Catholic Church stepped-in . Now, Catholic adoption agencies have had to close because we can not morally place children into unnatural and disordered environments. Likewise, Catholic hospitals are at risk because they can not kill innocent, unborn children.

Even our ability to conduct legal weddings is at risk. In states where the myth of “gay marriage” is legally recognized, (temporary, weak protections notwithstanding) we may eventually loose legal marriages for “discriminating” against those wishing to enter into these unnatural unions. This has happened before in communist Poland where people were routinely married for real in the Church and by civil authorities for legal reasons.

Eventually, the Church may be persecuted for “hate speech” and alleged “civil rights” violations for our “intolerance” of sinful homosexual acts, the “rights” of mothers to kill their unborn children or the “rights” of adult children to kill (euthanize) their parents.

This is not just a problem for the Catholic Church either. Other Christian communities and other religions will face similar pressure to conform – or else. Communist China is very aggressive in this way. The visible Catholic churches are under control of the Patriotic Catholic Association which is controlled by the government. They do not recognize the primacy of the Pope and use all means necessary to FORCE bishops to (illicitly) ordain others of the state’s choosing which do not result in valid holy orders. There is an underground Catholic Church which is estimated to be twice as large as the visible one in which the faithful must take serious risks. Hopefully it will not come to that in Ireland, Australia or here for “upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”

UPDATE: Father Finigan also discusses this topic in a few posts:

Resources: Catholic Resources

For over a dozen years, Rev. Felix Just, S.J. (and Ph.D.) has published some unique and very useful Catholic content on his continuously updated website – Catholic Resources for Bible, Liturgy, Art, and Theology. He is the Director of Biblical Education at the Loyola Institute for Spirituality in Orange, CA.

Father Just describes his website as follows:

This website contains a variety of materials, mostly related to biblical and liturgical studies, intended for scholars, teachers, students, pastors, believers, seekers, and others. Many pages contain my own writings and photographs, some were created by my students, and some are collections of links to other websites.

There is much hidden treasure here! When I was in RCIA, I searched online for a concise “Order of Mass” and found it here.

Recently I stumbled upon an thorough list of scripture references for the Mass in a forum post. The list shows how deeply scriptural the Mass actually is:

Introductory Rites

  • Sign of the Cross
    • “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt 28:19; cf. John 14:13-14; Acts 2:21)
  • Liturgical Greeting
    1. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Cor 13:14)
    2. “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:2; Eph 1:2)
    3. “The Lord be with you.” (2 Tim 4:22; cf. Matt 1:23; 28:20)
  • People’s Response
    • “And with your spirit” (cf. Gal 6:18; 2 Tim 4:22)
  • Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling Holy Water (see Ezek 36:25; cf. Num 8:7a)
  • Penitential Act
    • Intro: “Let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.” (cf. Ps 51:5)
    1. “I confess to almighty God…” (cf. Lev 5:5; Neh 1:5-9; Dan 9:3-19; James 5:16)
    2. “Have mercy on us, O Lord./ For we have sinned against you. / Show us, O Lord, your mercy. / And grant us your salvation.” (Ps 41:4)
    3. “Lord, Have Mercy” (Matt 15:22; 17:15; 20:30-31; cf. Ps 123:3)
  • Gloria
    • “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will” (Luke 2:14; cf. Rev 4:11; 5:11-14)
    • “We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you…” (Cf. Ps 148:13)
    • “Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son” (cf. Ps 2:7; John 1:14)
    • “Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world…” (cf. John 1:29)
  • Prayers concluded by “Amen” (Neh 8:6; Ps 41:13; Rom 16:27; Heb 13:20-21; Rev 7:16)

Liturgy of the Word

  • Introductory/Concluding Dialogues
    • “A reading from the book/letter of…”
    • “The Word of the Lord” (1 Peter 1:25) – “Thanks be to God” (Rom 6:17; 2 Cor 9:15)
    • “A reading from the holy Gospel according to…” – “Glory to you, O Lord”
    • “The Gospel of the Lord” – “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ”
  • Acclamations before the Gospel
    • “Alleluia” (many Psalms, esp. Ps 146-150; Rev 19:1-6)
    • “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory!” (cf. Ps 24:7-10; 1 Thess 2:12; 2 Tim 4:18)
    • “Praise and honor to you, Lord Jesus Christ!” (cf. Dan 4:34, 37; 1 Peter 1:7)
    • “Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!” (cf. Phil 1:11)
  • Profession of Faith
    • “I believe…” (Mark 9:24; John 11:27; cf. John 14:1; 1 John 5:10)
  • General Intercessions
    • “We pray to the Lord” (Exod 8:29-30; 10:17-18; Jer 42:2-4; Acts 8:22-24)
    • “Lord, hear our prayer” (2 Kings 20:2-5; Isa 38:2-5)

Liturgy of the Eucharist

  • Preparation of the Gifts
    • “Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation…” (cf. 1 Chron 29:10; Ps 72:18-19; 119:10; Luke 1:68)
    • “Blessed be God forever ” (cf.)
  • Eucharistic Acclamations
    • “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts…” (Isa 6:3; Rev 4:8)
    • “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Ps 118:26; Mark 11:9; Matt 21:9; Luke 19:38; John 12:13)
    • “Hosana in the highest” (Mark 11:10; Matt 21:9; cf. Luke 19:38)
  • Words of Institution (see Mark 14:22-24; Matt 26:26-28; cf. Luke 22:17-20; 1 Cor 11:23-25)
    • “Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my Body, which will be given up for you” (a combination of Mark 14:22; Matt 26:26; Luke 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24)
    • “Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (a combination of Mark 14:24; Matt 26:27b-28; cf. Luke 22:17, 20; 1 Cor 11:25)
    • “Do this in remembrance of me” (only Luke 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24a, 25b)
  • Memorial Acclamations
    1. “We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.” (cf. 1 Cor 16:22)
    2. “When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.” (cf. 1 Cor 11:26)
    3. “Save us, Savior of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.” (cf. Matt 8:25; Luke 4:42; Rom 8:21)
  • Lord’s Prayer
    • “Our Father in heaven…” (Matt 6:9-13; cf. Luke 11:2-4; Mark 14:36; Gal 4:6)
    • Doxology: “For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours…”
      (found only in some biblical manuscripts after Matt 6:13; cf. Rev 4:11; 11:15; 1 Chron 29:11)
  • Greeting of Peace
    • “Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, ‘I leave you peace, my peace I give you'” (John 14:27)
    • “The peace of the Lord be with you always.” (cf. John 16:33; 20:19, 21, 26)
  • Breaking of the Bread
    • “Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world…” (cf. John 1:29, 36; Rev 5:6-13; 22:1-3)
  • Preparation before Communion
    • “Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” (John 1:29, 36; Rev 19:9)
    • “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” (Matt 8:8; cf. Luke 7:1-10)

Concluding Rite

  • Final Blessing (cf. Gen 28:3; Deut 14:29; Num 6:23-27; Ps 29:11)
  • Dismissal
    1. “Go forth, the Mass is ended.”
    2. “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.” (cf. Mark 16:15)
    3. “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.” (cf. Ps 115:1; 1 Cor 10:31; 2 Thess 1:12)
    4. “Go in peace.” (cf. Exod 4:18; Deut 10:11-13; Judg 18:6; 1 Sam 1:17; Mark 5:34; Luke 7:50; 8:48)

I wanted to track-down its source, finding it in a number of places online (without attribution), I finally found it here – on Father Just’s website.

Catholic Resources is a treasure trove of biblical and liturgical materials. Put some time aside to explore its excellent content.

Elsewhere: casual canonizations

At Bob’s funeral, you might hear “he’s an angel now.” So much is wrong with that! First of all, saints (people in heaven) and angels are distinct beings. People do not become angels and vice versa. Secondly, there is no way we could possibly know the status of the departed unless they died innocent (have not reached the age of reason) or have been canonized as Saints by Holy Mother Church (a long and rare process).

All we know about Bob is that his journey on earth has come to an end. He has either died in friendship with God or not. This free will decision is made by each of us and is our hope for Bob. We should pray that his soul will soon leave purgatory should he now be among the Church Suffering. If he is not, our prayers will go to someone else who needs them most.

Trent Beattie wrote an interesting piece on this topic recently for Catholic Men’s Quarterly and Catholic Lane:

“But it must say in the liturgical books that you’re supposed to say something good about the deceased,” you suggest.

Actually, there is no such instruction in the liturgical books, and in fact, there is an explicit directive to refrain from eulogies. The priest is clearly told in Number 382 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) that “At the Funeral Mass there should, as a rule, be a short homily, but never a eulogy of any kind.” In other words, no casual canonizations.

Funerals are not a time to celebrate how wonderful we are, but a time to ponder how wonderful God is. St. Louis de Montfort (1673-1716) observed that

We are naturally prouder than peacocks, more groveling than toads, more envious than serpents, more gluttonous than hogs, more furious than tigers, lazier than tortoises, weaker than reeds, and more capricious than weathervanes. We have within ourselves nothing but nothingness and sin, and we deserve nothing but the anger of God and everlasting Hell.

When was the last time you heard that in a homily?

The fact that we’re sinners may not be pleasant, but once acknowledged, we can get on with living a truly holy life. How so? When we know our own weakness, we can then ask God for help. We can live in Him, rather than hopelessly trying to do it on our own. As St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) asked, “If you are nothing, do you forget that Jesus is everything?” Then she added, “You have only to lose your nothingness in His infinity and think only of loving Him.”

Funerals, like the rest of life, are about God first, us second – and the second part only has meaning insofar as we live in God. So we pray for the deceased and remember that one day we will die as well – a thought which leads us to prepare properly by doing penance, all the while trusting in the boundless Mercy of God.

[…]

What is true with salvation in general is true with going straight to Heaven in particular. God is always willing to provide us with all we need, so if we do not go straight to Heaven, we can blame no one but ourselves, because we did not pray as well or as often as we should have. Let us remedy this problem by giving more attention to prayer, or, if necessary, start praying again. Then after a life of virtue, a real canonization may be in order for us. In the absence of such virtue, we can conclude that casual canonizations are cruel, not compassionate.

Our judgment is God’s alone. Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary made our salvation possible but not automatic. Only through making God’s will our own do we accept eternity with Him.

Trent makes a lot more points than this, so be sure to read the whole article: The Cruelty of Casual Canonizations. The comments at the link are quite lively too, so be sure to also read them.

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #35)

This week: Christine Watkins tells her conversion story and overviews her book on converts. A new book on the Church and new media. A week in the life of a priest. Jerusalem in iMax 3D. The world’s oldest nun, still going strong. A whimsical Catholic nun commercial.

— 1 —

Christine Watkins tells her conversion story:

Christine is the author of Full of Grace:

— 2 —

The Internet has changed how we communicate. Our Holy Father has “set sail on the digital continent”, tweeting from his iPad. *We* are called to evangelize and one very effective way to do that is online. Brandon Vogt’s new book (available August 3rd) compiles insights from many people I personally follow closely:

— 3 —

The Archdiocese of Sydney has produced a very nice “week in the life of a priest” video. On balance, it probably represents a reasonable average and is up-beat. In my large parish (we just got our 4th priest!), the pace looks a bit faster. There are also tragedies like suicides, horrific accidents, and more that place great emotional demands on them. Pray for your priests!

— 4 —

A new film (2013 release) entitled Jerusalem: Filmed in iMax 3D is in the works:

Spotted by my friend Tom

— 5 —

This is the world’s oldest nun. A remarkable woman who entered her convent 84 years ago on the same day Pope Benedict was born. Sister Teresita is 103 years young:

Spotted by Father Z

— 6 —

This is from a couple years ago, but it is just great:


Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!

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