Friday, March 30, 2012

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

This Sunday is Palm here are some important instructions: How to Make a Palm Cross

Supreme Court and Obamacare: What happens next  - "The Supreme Court likely will decide whether the Obama administration’s signature legislative accomplishment is unconstitutional within 48 hours. But aside from the nine justices and a handful of law clerks, none of us will know what that decision is until the summer."

Obamacare Mandate in Deep Trouble - "The Obamacare health insurance mandate appears to be teetering on the edge of being struck down by the Supreme Court..." [I hope and pray!]

Vatican Approves New Blessing for Unborn Children - "The blessing was prepared to support parents awaiting the birth of their child, to encourage parish prayers for and recognition of the precious gift of the child in the womb, and to foster respect for human life within society."

Anglicanism, Atheism, and Abitofhell - "Back in 1914, to show the peril of this approach, an Anglican priest by the name of Ronald Knox wrote a parody called Reunion All Round, envisioning a future Church of England that would be acceptable to Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and atheists... Today, I'm not sure it would even be recognized as satire."

Why Women Can Be Protestant Ministers - "If other religious groups want to ordain women we Catholics don’t really have anything to say about it at all except, 'That presents a serious obstacle to unity between us and your church.' Other than that (which is just us being honest) why the fuss?"

St. Joseph is not a Leprechaun - "We can pray all day and all night and fast and sacrifice and ask every saint we’ve ever known to storm heaven on our behalf. But sometimes, and in some seasons it might even be often, the Lord’s answer will be ‘no’."

New Evangelization Tips - "Cardinal Dolan, in his talk to the cardinals, spoke of various ways, simple ways, according to which the call to evangelization might be carried out. His remarks ought to be taken to heart by all Catholics."

How Come I Don't Remember It Being That Way: Triduum - [A few (very minor) changes to the rubrics for these holy days.]

When does the Eucharistic fast start? Before Communion or before Mass? - [Never a bad idea to review some things we should already know. And when Fr. Z offers an answer it's always a good idea to listen.]

Questions Answered: Does Hell Exist? And, Civil Law vs. Moral Law  -  [And here are a couple of questions with a little more weight to them.]

Catholic Trivia: Who is Scipione Rebiba? - [...And this one I just found interesting - one of those 'I-never-knew-that' moments.]

Mark Driscoll and the Canon of Scripture - "If you're not familiar, the Catholic Bible has seven more Books...compared to the Protestant Bible.  We call these Books the Deuterocanon; Protestants call them (and several other books) the Apocrypha.  So the question is: are Catholic Bibles too big?  Or are Protestant Bibles too small?"

Killing Us Softly: Seduced by the Occult - "It is time for us to pray and fast. This is spiritual war. Necromancy (contacting the dead), Tarot cards, witchcraft, Reiki (or 'healing touch'), psychics, astrology, and other occult practices are all forbidden by God because He loves us and wants us to come to Him, to live in Him, and to be truly happy and at peace." [Very interesting story...]

Archbishop Chaput writes new eBook on religious liberty - "A new eBook from Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia will examine the role of religious faith in American public life and contemporary pressures on religious liberty."

Update on the Lewis & Tolkien Film Project - [I will be very interested in seeing this film.]

Speaking of's one that might be worth catching.

Check out these sites for more Catholic news and stories of interest..

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Quote of the Week

"Christians must lean on the Cross of Christ just as travelers lean on a staff when they begin a long journey."
- St. Anthony

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Musings

A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week... 

Have a blessed Feast of the Annunciation!! - Technically this celebration falls on March 25, but because that date fell on a Sunday of Lent this year, the solemnity was transferred to the following Monday.

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This holy day would be a good time to take up the old tradition of praying the Angelus. Whether you pray it three times per day, once a day, or just once a week, this would be a great opportunity to revive an old prayer that often gets overlooked by modern Catholics. Perhaps praying the Angelus once at noon on Saturdays would be a good start, and easy enough to accomplish.

 The Angelus

V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived by the power of Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to your Word.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen

V. And the Word was made flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen

V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection; through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Glory be...

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Another thought that comes to mind on this I've mentioned here before...the Annunciation falls exactly nine months before Christmas on the liturgical calendar. What a wonderful testimony this provides for the motherhood of Mary. We are given the opportunity to journey with her in real time through the nine months of carrying Christ in her womb. In a sense, this can be an extended "Advent" as we anticipate Jesus' birth on December 25.

As modern expectant mothers share their ultrasound images of their babies or prepare their nurseries for their new arrivals, as they attend baby showers and do everything generally necessary for a new member of the family, we might imagine Mary's own sense of wonder and joy as she bore the Savior of the world. We can imagine the nine months she shared with her own child as every expectant mother does, and keep that image in our minds for the nine months leading up to Christmas - keeping in mind every stage of a baby's development. This would be a good exercise in promoting the pro-life message of the Incarnation. The Annunciation should always be an important day for expanding and sharing the culture of life.

Friday, March 23, 2012

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

God the Father loved the world, but why did he not give us himself together with his Son? - [This is one of those questions you never knew you wanted to ask...but now you wish you had asked it sooner.]

Seven “Givens” and Seven “Oughts” of Catholic Social Justice - [If liberals stuck to these principles then I could certainly support their Social Justice agenda. But then again, if they stuck to these principles they wouldn't be liberals...and their agenda would look quite would actually be SOCIAL JUSTICE instead of leftist social engineering.]

Obama Moves away from 'Freedom of Religion' toward 'Freedom of Worship'? - "I sounded a warning regarding the change in rhetoric in America. Now, almost two years later, we are living out the consequences of what I have previously termed the 'war of words.'"
I Don't Want Freedom of Religions - "Language is the blunt instrument of choice with which the secularist left in this country bludgeons our freedoms. The secularist left has successfully used seemingly slight alterations in language to change the way ordinary people perceive an argument."

Church-State Separation and the Obama Mandate  - "The scandal is that modern liberals/progressives have vastly exaggerated and misinterpreted the establishment clause, and often to the almost complete exclusion of the free exercise clause."

After ‘United for Religious Freedom’ - "This striking episcopal unity not only held during the March 13–14 meeting of the Administrative Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, it was strengthened."

Contraception Isn’t Healthcare; It Isn’t Even Helpful - "Every time I brought up the fact that I wanted to fix what was broken, not break what was working properly for temporary relief from my actual ailment, these specialists either tried to sell me on the pill (down to showing me how cute and decorative the pill compacts are!) to just dismissing me with 'take it or leave it.'"

Was that a fluke with a capital “F”? - "In the wake of Sandra Fluke’s testimony before several Democrat members of Congress, Mark Steyn has written what The Motley Monk believes is a superb analysis."

The Fluke Charade - [This is the Mark Steyn piece referred to in the article above...]

How to argue against same-sex marriage - [This piece is specifically about legislation being proposed in the U.K., but I think many of it's points are applicable to our own debate here in the States.]

It is Unconstitutional for Laws to be Based on Religiously Influenced Moral Reasons? - "True, religious people’s moral views may rest on unproven and probably unprovable metaphysical assumptions — but the same is generally true as to secular people’s moral views."

Catholics and Capital Punishment - [Very thorough treatment of this issue.]

The Church of England being what it is, no Archbishop of Canterbury can succeed: but Rowan Williams has failed more disastrously than most

St. Joseph and the Staircase - [In honor of Saint Joseph's Feast Day, March 19, I thought I would share this story. I have always been fascinated by it.]

HA!! You've gotta watch this video - I'll excuse this guy for any liturgical abuses. :)

Get more Catholic news at these sites:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Quote of the Week

"God is Love. We eventually have to ask ourselves the question; why was Love nailed to a cross?"
- Blessed John Paul II

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Random Thoughts on Sola Scriptura, Part VII

In a comment to one of the posts in this series someone mentioned that there are ample biblical passages which support the Catholic Scripture and Tradition position while clearly refuting the Sola Scriptura Protestant doctrine. My original intent for this series of reflections was to simply state some common sense objections to Sola Scriptura without relying too heavily on Biblical references which so often divide Christians due to differences in interpretation. But the aforementioned commenter is right in pointing out the obvious biblical verses which refute Sola Scriptura so soundly. And so, below you will find a few of these verses:

> The Sola Scriptura position states that the “Bible Alone” is the only source for Christian doctrine. According to this line of thinking, Tradition does not carry the weight of authority that God’s Word in Scripture does. But the Bible itself says this:

"So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter." (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

Here we see clearly that we are to “stand firm and hold fast” to tradition. And this tradition includes both the written word and the word of mouth (oral) tradition. Obviously, the Bible contains the written “letter,” as mentioned in this verse. But the “word of mouth” tradition (which Catholics simply call Tradition – with a capital ‘T’) is regarded with equal importance. According to this verse from Scripture, these two are linked as one body of tradition – oral and written.

So the Bible tells us that Tradition is exactly what we should adhere to – both in Scripture and in Sacred Tradition - together. This obviously refutes the idea of Sola Scriptura.
> It becomes even clearer why we need oral Tradition when we realize that the Bible does not contain everything about Jesus’ life, ministry, miracles and preaching. The Bible is not a complete record of Christian teaching, nor does it claim to be. The Bible even tells us that there is much more about Jesus that is not contained in the pages of Scripture:

“But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written." (John 21:25):

Indeed this opens the possibility that some other source, something other than Scripture Alone, may also contain teachings that can instruct us about Christ, His Church, and the Christian life. The Bible does not claim to be the only source.

> Most Bible-Only Christians believe that the “church” has no real authority over the individual believer. Supposedly each Christian can take up the Bible and read for him or her self and understand and interpret God’s Word. But the Bible answers:

"First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, because no prophecy every came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2 Peter 1:20-21)
And chapter 2 of the same book tells us to be on guard against false teachers, those who twist the Word of God. So obviously the “plain word” of Scripture is not so obvious to the individual Christian, as Protestants would have us believe. It can be misused and twisted by false teachers. Indeed, we are further warned:
".... So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures." (2 Peter 3:15-16)
There is no way that individual interpretation of the Bible can work for Christianity as a whole, when the Bible so clearly warns us of it perils. We need a divinely guided teacher.

> If Sola Scriptura were true, if the Bible really is the only source for Christian doctrine, then one would think that the Bible itself would prove it. One would think that the Bible itself would say that it alone is the pillar and foundation of truth. However, the Bible itself tells us this:
"... you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15)
So, according to the Bible the Church is the “pillar of truth” and “the foundation of truth,” NOT the Bible itself. If this is the case, then how can anyone say that the Bible stands Alone? The Bible tells us that Scripture and Tradition stand together as taught by the Church, which is the foundation of Truth.

> These are just a few of the Biblical verses that demonstrate that Sola Scriptura is an unbiblical doctrine.

[Thank you to Jason, for compiling these verses and introducing them into the conversation.]

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Musings

A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...

Still waiting for my printed Missal to be shipped to me, but in the meantime using my iMissal app at Mass. I was a little more self-conscious about this Sunday than I was last. We sat in a different section of the church and so we had more people around us. So I used it less frequently so as not to draw attention to myself or to it. But I still highly recommend the app.

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I've been very distracted from the blog during Lent, which I suppose is a good thing. But I plan on posting a bit more this week. ...Just don't hold me to it.

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Have a blessed Feast of Saint Joseph!!

O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong,
so prompt before the throne of God,
I place in thee all my interests and desires.
O St. Joseph, assist me by thy powerful intercession
and obtain for me all spiritual blessings
through thy foster Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord,
so that, having engaged here below thy heavenly power,
I may offer thee my thanksgiving and homage.

O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee
and Jesus asleep in thine arms.
I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart.
Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me,
and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.

St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me.
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Friday, March 16, 2012

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

A Little Proof of a Large Thing - "Our bodies, and the pattern of our lives, make a gesture which is meaningful because of the very fact that some pattern exists.  There is not nothing, and there is not chaos:  there are patterns, and I cannot unsee them."

Cerberus – the Mythical Three Headed Dog as an Allegory for What Ails Us - "Cereberus, the three-headed dog, or course is not real, but allegorical and he helps ensure our entrance and also our stay in cultural Hades by his three-fold threat of: Secularism, Materialism, and Individualism. These three threats are represented by his three heads."

The Moral Cost of Cooperation in Evil - "The fact that the victim of abortion, including a “contraceptive abortion,” is small and defenseless, having little cultural or civil protection, only makes the evil greater — and the duty to oppose it greater as well."

Obamacare $1 Abortion Payment Surcharge Upsets Pro-Lifers - "...the Obama administration has issued the final rules on abortion funding governing the controversial health care law allowing for a $1 abortion insurance payment surcharge."

Catholic Bishops Unified in Vow to Fight Obama HHS Mandate - "The U.S. bishops are strongly united in their ongoing and determined  efforts to protect religious freedom, the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said in a statement..."

No Compromise - "...the structure of the moral and political argument, then and now [between that of Communist Poland in 1953 and the HHS mandate in the U.S. today], is eerily similar . In both cases, an overweening and arrogant government tries, through the use of coercive power, to make the Church a subsidiary of the state."

2030 Revisited - "Today is not a time for optimism or pessimism but rather for Augustinian realism, lived through faith, hope, and charity and faithfulness to Christ and His Church."

Jesus Wants Gays to Be Happy - "As Catholics and Christians we undermine the faith when we fail to address the legitimate concern for the individual that has motivated so many to accept gay marriage.  'What would you say to your son?'  We hardly ever answer that question directly, but begin sputtering."

Church of England Bishop Rallies To Prevent a Catholic King - "That would seem to be a reverse Henry 8th but the Church of England has been publicly decapitating themselves for so long, I think we’re all just waiting for the head to roll."

Faithful Learning - "Education is defined more by the student than by the teacher, because what you bring into the classroom affects what you get out of it."

Virtuous Friendships: What They Are, Why They Matter - "I can personally testify that the friends I have who share a deep love for God, and particularly my devoutly Catholic friends, call me to higher level of sanctity and enrich my life."

Forgiveness, Cell By Cell - "The decision to forgive is a bandage that covers up the wound.  The actual process of forgiveness, though, is the same as physical healing:  it is a mundane and hidden battle that happens on a microscopic level, restoring us cell by cell by cell."

7 Surprising Things About Having a Big Family - "In some ways big family life is harder than I would have guessed; in other ways it’s easier. Overall, it’s simply…not what I would have imagined."

8 Tips for Catholics With Doubts - "So for my acquaintance who’s questioning her faith, as well as anyone else who might be struggling with beliefs that used to come naturally to them, here are the top tips I think you might find helpful..."

Was Jesus Ugly? - [Interesting question...and an interesting answer, as always, from Jimmy Akin.]

Oh Ricky Your So Fine Your So Fine You blow my mind! Hey Ricky! -  [I am a Santorum fan...but I also posted this article for the title. My 5-year-old daughter loves that song.]

Once again, you can visit these sites for more headlines...
New Advent
Catholic Exchange

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Quote of the Week

"Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God. That fact is written all across human history; but it is written most plainly across that recent history of Russia; which was created by Lenin. There the Government is the God, and all the more the God, because it proclaims aloud in accents of thunder, like every other God worth worshipping, the one essential commandment: 'Thou shalt have no other gods but Me.'"
- G. K. Chesterton

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Musings

 A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...

I gave up coffee for Lent... I miss it sorely. Hot tea is a poor substitute. To me it tastes worse with each sip. Yet I drink it in place of my coffee. This has made me realize something about Lent: Giving up something you love is a great practice for this penitential season. But taking on something that goes against your nature is perhaps more of a challenge and a starker reminder of Lent's sacrificial purpose.

I gave up coffee. And that's easy enough for me to do. Once I put it out of my head and stop thinking about it, it just slips out of my daily routine. But when I take a sip of tea I realize that I'm missing out on my coffee. It reminds me of that sacrifice every day. The more tea I drink, the more I miss my coffee. And with every sip I have something new to offer up.

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People at our parish are starting to do a better job with the response: "Lord, I am not worthy..." At least, this weekend there seemed to be more voices joining in. If we can nail that, then I think we pretty much have the new translation down...well, pretty much. There are a few slip-ups from time to time.

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Well, I used my Android tablet for the first time at Mass this weekend. I only used it during the first two readings and the Psalm (all while sitting), and also for the Eucharistic prayer (while kneeling). This gave me a chance to use it discretely, with less likelihood of anyone noticing. While I was sitting, it lay comfortably on my lap, out of sight from anyone around me. While kneeling, I kept it on the pew in front of me so that I could look down and follow the text. Anytime I stood, I refrained from using it so as to not draw attention to it. I'm pretty sure that no one around us noticed the device at all. And if they did, it looks much like a book (with the cover I bought for it), and so it would simply appear as though I were holding a printed missal.

This was a good first run. It allowed me to test the ease of use and also how comfortable I would be using an e-device at church. I would say that it was a success. The iMissal app is a breeze. Everything is on one page - from the first greeting and sign of the cross to the final dismissal - so if you get lost during Mass you simply scroll till you find the right text. There's no need to fumble with markers or flip from page to page as you would with a traditional book. The app has everything in one place for you. I was very pleased. And our kids seemed to take more interest in following along (which I am sure was mainly because a tablet is more "cool" than a printed page - but hey, when they show an interest you just go with it).

As for the comfort level... It's going to take some getting used to. Since I kept it low-profile, I was OK with it. It may take me awhile to feel comfortable using it throughout the whole Mass.
Will I use it again? long as I have not received my print missal, it's my only option. But when I do get my missal I will probably only use the tablet when I travel or as a preparatory tool to read the Sunday readings ahead of time. We shall see...

Friday, March 9, 2012

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

Evangelize American Culture, Defend Marriage - Pope Benedict's word to American bishops: "It is in fact increasingly evident that a weakened appreciation of the indissolubility of the marriage covenant, and the widespread rejection of a responsible, mature sexual ethic grounded in the practice of chastity, have led to grave societal problems bearing an immense human and economic cost."

This Astonishing Moment - "I predict there will be many folks who will, in these events, realize God is validating the Catholic Church--with all her blemishes and wounds--as the visible Body of Christ on earth. ...God is choosing to allow his Church to enter into a terrible trial...over contraception. Do you think it possible that this matters quite a lot to God?"

Pretending Contraception is the Crisis - "Don’t accept their framing or the narrative that some crappy, make-believe manufactured “crisis” is what you should be thinking about. Keep your eye on what is central to the continued existence of the nation, and keep talking about it: the first amendment and the first amendment and the first amendment."

Sandra Fluke: Get Out of My Uterus, But Buy Stuff for It - "She doesn’t want free or cheap contraception from anywhere, though. She wants free or cheap contraception provided by a Catholic university. It’s not about access. It’s about forcing Catholics to do what she thinks they should do."

Separation of Church and State Revisited - "The administration not only seems to have no respect for the Catholic position, but no sympathy for the tradition and Constitution of this country itself."

What If WE Are In Dissent? - "...there are other types of obedience, and I believe they can be equally pleasing to God:  when we are obedient even when we simply don’t see the point of Church teaching; or when we see it intellectually, but can’t reconcile what we understand with what we actually experience."

Ethicists Propose Infants Aren't People - "The writers of this ethics piece are two 'ethicists' who also worked with Australian universities to construct this paper which ultimately states that newborn babies do not have a 'moral right to life' as they do not offer 'at least basic value' that would represent a loss. In short, they propose that Infants are not people."

Is Nothing Sacred? Apparently Not. Reflecting on Another Absurdity in the News - "Dead bodies will be burned to heat a swimming pool in the U.K. — and the British government is considering adopting the idea across the country."
Vatican astronomer: Science one of the best ways to know God - "The primary difference between him and atheistic scientist Stephen Hawking is that he recognizes that God is not another part of the universe that explains the inexplicable, but rather 'Logos' and  'Reason itself.'"

Let's stop talking about evangelization and do it! - "The Lord Jesus told his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all the nations. This call went out, not simply to the leaders of the Church then and now, but to all of us, the baptized."

Bishop Davies of Shrewsbury says we need to face the reality of hell during Lent - "Hell exists all right: how anyone who has lived during the hellish 20th century can disbelieve it, is beyond me."

Is Christ's Descent Into Hell Biblical? - "'s precisely because Christ has the keys to death and Hades (Rev. 1:17-18) that He descended into Hell.  He went there to liberate the righteous who had died before Him."

Baptist Bible Believer Comes into the Fullness of Faith in Catholicism - [Great post...pretty long read, but worth it. The author hits many of the main points of conflict for those on the journey towards Catholicism.]

Once again, Lent has kept my time limited at the computer. Feel free to add your own links in the comments below. And visit these great Catholic sites...

Ignatius Insight

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Quote of the Week

"We should always be disposed to believe that that which appears white is really black, if the hierarchy of the Church so decides."
- St. Ignatius of Loyola

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Monday Musings

A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...

OK... I know... it's actually Tuesday. But, like I said before, I'm not on here as frequently during Lent. So, I blog when I can blog... even if it's a day late.

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Well it seems that many at our parish are still having problems with one of the new Mass responses: "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof..." And what I mean is that there is almost silence in the church when we get to that response. No one seems to want to speak up. Other responses are sometimes clumsy sounding as people struggle to get the words right. And other times people nail it, without any slip-ups. But this one is still causing trouble. It's almost enough to make me wonder if some people in the congregation are protesting the new changes by their silence. On the other hand, they do put out an effort on the other responses. So why the quiet, blank stares when we get to this part of the Mass? Hopefully, this too shall pass...
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Speaking of the new translation... I still have not received my new missal. It has been on back order for several months. Apparently this is a problem everywhere, not just the vendor I ordered from. The publisher keeps pushing back the release date.

So in the meantime, I have a question: Smart phones, tablets, and e-readers have apps available which contain the entire missal and can be used right now (as opposed to whenever the printed books become available). Is the use of these electronic devices appropriate for Mass?

I am torn on this issue. I have a tablet, and I have downloaded the iMissal app, and it works beautifully. I almost prefer it to a paper missal for ease of use. I highly recommend this app. But I see both the pros and the cons of using such devices at Mass. I'm just not sure what to do. Will other parishioners be distracted by such a device? Is it OK to use a device at Mass when the same device is used for secular purposes? But then again, isn't it good that we bring new technology into the Catholic sphere? Isn't that part of the new evangelization? An do we not also bring other things to Mass that are used for secular purposes? Our own bodies are used in the "real world" and yet we bring our selves to Mass and participate in worship. So why not use a smart phone or tablet? Can we really delineate so starkly between worldliness and religious? Does it matter that a smart phone can be used to place phone calls but also used to aide us in Mass?

Still not sure.

Friday, March 2, 2012

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

What are you going to give up this Lent? - [Message from Cardinal George] "This year, the Catholic Church in the United States is being told she must 'give up' her health care institutions, her universities and many of her social service organizations. This is not a voluntary sacrifice."

I Owe You an Update - [from Cardinal Dolan] "Over the last six months or so, the Catholic Church in the United States has found itself in some tension with the executive branch of the federal government over a very grave issue:  religious freedom."

Choice - "Choice does not have value in itself.  The freedom to choose is a hallmark of liberty, but liberty is for something."

Activists to bring pro-life message to American Atheists convention - "Speaking with atheists or agnostics requires a different set of arguments and references than speaking to people of faith."

Anglican Ordinariate Pilgrims from U.K. Say Thank You to the Holy Father - "The highlight of their week-long visit was the celebration of an Anglican Use Mass at St. Joseph's Chapel in St. Peter's Basilica. Complete with hymns, liturgies and prayers familiar to Anglicans..."
So Near and Yet So Far: CDF-SSPX negotiations continue in writing - "...the agreement in principle has brought the two sides no closer together substantially than when the CDF-SSPX talks were just beginning, and signing anything would be premature."

HuffoPo’s New Low: Calls Catholicism “The Jesus-Eating Cult of Rick Santorum" - "It’s the same old, tired lies we hear about the Church all the time from vicious anti-catholics. What’s different is the double-standard the Huffington Post applies..."

The “Lesbian Denied Communion” issue: some posts and updates - [If you haven't heard about this story, Fr. Z has a great post with several links telling the whole story.]

Mary Poppins and the Blessed Virgin Mary - "The outrageous but bizarrely supportable thesis statement that I lay before you is this: Mary Poppins symbolizes the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Specifically, it is about the Mother of God’s spiritual motherhood of humanity and her occasional 'pop-ins' into this world, either in the form of apparitions or more subtle 'everyday' intercessions."

Why Are They Here? - "This is a phenomenon which has always baffled me:  Catholic-hating Catholics who continue to call themselves Catholic long after they’ve shed every discernible manifestation of their faith.  What the heck is in it for them?"

Smashing Icons - "There is a strange spirit of iconoclasm (the Greek for “icon smashing”) and it breaks out now and again across human history."

Very busy week. Also, during Lent, I try to limit my time on the computer and on other media devices. So the list is shorter than usual. Please feel free to add to the list in the comments section below. And also check out these sites for other headlines...

New Advent
Ignatius Insight