Sunday, August 30, 2009

Protestant Misunderstanding

As usual, someone (Internet Monk - whose name I find a little odd considering his sola scriptura leanings) with absolutely no clue about why Catholics or Orthodox have a communion of Saints (and obviously no real desire to find out as he would rather bash them with his own misconceptions and misunderstanding of the role of Sacred Scripture) writes a blog article about why we shouldn't pray to Mary and belittling a little girl (or at least the theology she comes from) for not having a complete understanding of her religion. His answer, that praying to Mary wasn't in scripture, which was pretty awful, considering that Orthodox do not believe in "Sola Scriptura" for good reason and that Mary was alive during the writing of almost the entire New Testament with perhaps a couple exceptions, shouldn't be so surprising to him that it didn't work. I also guess he's never read Revelation how the saints bring the prayers up to God...but what can you do? At the very least you would think he might know why we have all the books of the Bible rather than leaving out the ones Luther cut from the Bible....


Awesome video of ordination

Maybe it's because we just went to St. Patricks in New York City, but probably just because it is awesome on its own, I wanted to share this video of ordination in the Archdiocese of New York. From Happy Catholic.

More on Relics

I thought since last night I was talking about Saints and their bodies that this morning I would share a little more about relics. Relics can be 1st, 2nd, or 3rd class. A first class relic is a piece of a Saint's body (or their body) or an instrument used in Christ's crucifixion (cross, lance, nail, etc.). A second class relic is a piece of something owned by the Saint (such as clothing) or an instrument in their passion. A 3rd class relic is when something is touched to a first or second class relic (you can make these by touching an object to the tomb of a Saint. A great website on where some really cool relics are is here. As for the Incorruptibles, there are two good websites that I found that go into great detail about the incorruption of so many saints and has images of a lot of their bodies (or in St. Cecilia's case, who was the first incorruptible, a sculptor made a wonderful replica of her body then they put it back in the tomb.) These sites can be seen here and here.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Incorruptibles

My wife and I were just talking yesterday about how interesting it is that so many of the female Catholic Saints were so beautiful. My friend Squelly posted some pictures of Saint Bernadette, one of the "Incorruptables" (which include St. Francis Xavier!) whose bodies have never corrupted for one reason or another (I would say miraculous as would most, but the Vatican does not take an official stance on it). Look how beautiful she is (and click on the picture to see a larger version). What a wonderful and awesome evidence to our Faith. (Also I do recognize that her face and hands are "wax molds" but that doesn't change what they are images of)

I love my Pastor

Just a brief post, because I am thinking about it right now. I absolutely love our Priest, Father Andrew. He is brutally honest, sometime he says things that are kind of strange to most listeners, I believe, but that is part of his European background. However, I truly wish that everyone I talk to could hear his homilies every week, especially those I talk to who are not Catholic. He brings out such beautiful and wonderful points from the readings each week, and he is very honest about the Church, it's infallible teachings, and our relationship with the Protestant Church. I'm so thankful we found him.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Review: Divine Office for Dodos

So, I don't feel like too much of a Dodo, per se, but I did feel that although I am now very comfortable with the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office) that there were a few rough edges that I needed to iron out. This book is absolutely fantastic! The author does a wonderful job of explaining exactly how the office is prayed and irons out even the most minute of the confusing details. If you pray the office or are thinking about it, pick up her book and give it a read. It is almost like an easy to read instruction manual for the Liturgy of the Hours.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Two Thoughts

First, the Lutheran (Evangelical) Church has decided to follow in the footsteps of the Anglican mother Church in allowing openly gay priests within their midsts (although I'm not even sure if the Anglican's have ever definitively allowed that or not). I'm praying for the more "orthodox" Lutherans (oxymoron?) that they might think about coming home to Rome. The Catholic Church is once again looking more and more like one of the only people holding out in a new cultural war (see birth control).

Secondly, in today's gospel, we see those following Christ reject him because they could not understand his teaching on the Eucharist (John 6). They reject him and leave because these teachings are hard. I was thinking about this in terms of Protestants who can't accept that they must eat of his body and blood.....Father Andrew as usual stole thoughts out of my mind for his homily. Remember Peter's great words:

Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life;
and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The all new improved mass

As have been seen on a multitude of blogs across the United States, the conference of Bishops has released the examples of what will be changed for both the assembly and celebrant in the Roman Missal - including the responses. I, for one, am a big fan. The wording goes back to the more traditional, theological wording that was used in the 1960s (in fact, my friend brought over a missal from the 60s today and we were looking at how similar the language was.) It also removes some of the more "inclusive" language that muddies the distinction between priests and laity and some of the wordage that focuses on the people rather than the object of our worship, Christ. Bravo to the Bishops for a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Visitation of Sisters Religious

A lot of people are beginning to talk about the upcoming "investigation" of the Vatican into female religious orders. Obviously, the Church is ready to step in and reign in some of the sisters that happen to be out in "left field" - especially considering how low womens' religious vocations are. Over at nunblog, a nun wrote a very nice post that i think is worth a read if you are interested in the issue from a sister's perspective.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Birthday Gift

I'm not sure how long this link will last, but we decided to get Xavier a birthday gift. That's right, 25 out of 27 St. Joseph books for children! We are going to order the other two as soon as we find them...but they are very awesome. I asked earlier and continue to ask, if you have any suggestions on family meditations or childrens' resources, especially Catholic, please pass them on! Xavier and Mom continue to do WONDERFUL! Thanks be to God!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Doing Great

Thanks again everyone for all the prayers! Baptism is set for September 6!

Here's a quick picture, Mom and Baby are doing great. This is an early one right after the delivery.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory

Praise be to God! Xavier is here with us now! Our first son was born at 11:30 on Thursday, August 13.

I want to thank especially God but also the intercession of all the Saints. I probably could never remember everyone who I asked for prayers, but especially thankful to the prayers of

Blessed Mary Ever-Virgin
St. Maximillian Kolbe
St. Francis Xavier
St. Faustina
St. Gerard
St. Joseph

Also thanks to all of you who prayed for us! Say a prayer to God and to St. Maximillian (patron Saint of Pro-Life movement) about the pro-life movement and prayers that more children will be born and less killed in the womb.

Pictures maybe soon (at least from the baptism!)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin

Well, we are getting very close to having our son. The doctor says it should be any minute now that we go into real labor (already had a couple false hopes). Since the Assumption of Mary is coming up on Saturday, I wanted to share a little note from the "Workbook for lectors and gospel readers" about the gospel for the vigil of that feast this year:

Luke 11:27-28
While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed." He replied, "Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it."

Commentary on Gospel from the workbook:

"The two verses that compose the Gospel reading on the Vigil of the solemnity of the Assumption are found in the section of Luke that narrates the journey of Jesus and his disciples to Jerusalem. Immediately prior to these verses, Jesus casts out a demon, speaks about Satan, and teaches about the effects of unclean spirits. In the midst of his teaching, an unidentified woman in the crowd interrupts Jesus, raising her voice to say "Blessed is the womb". Jesus's response is not necessarily meant as a rebuke or denial of her words. Instead his teaching is appropriately understood as completing the woman's words. As relates to Mary, the woman's statement praises and honors Mary for her role as his mother. Jesus's statement makes it clear that Mary is also blessed because she heard the word of God and responded obediently to it.

Because we all will not physically carry Jesus in the womb, Mary stands as a model of holiness for us; her hearing of the word stands in stark contrast to the evil disobedience of the demons and unclean spirits. Through her obedience she has shown she is with Jesus, not against him; she gathers others with Jesus to be one with God (verses 22-23), thus making her the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Positive Story about Population Growth

This is one of the few stories I've seen in the media lately to be mostly positive about population growth and to have good news for some of the wealthier countries!

Notice that the increasing population is to have "largely GOOD implications" for these countries.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sunday's Readings

From last Sunday's readings:

Reading 1
Ex 16:2-4, 12-15

The whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.
The Israelites said to them,
“Would that we had died at the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt,
as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread!
But you had to lead us into this desert
to make the whole community die of famine!”

Then the LORD said to Moses,
“I will now rain down bread from heaven for you.
Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion;
thus will I test them,
to see whether they follow my instructions or not.

“I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites.
Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh,
and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread,
so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God.”

In the evening quail came up and covered the camp.
In the morning a dew lay all about the camp,
and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert
were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground.
On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, “What is this?”
for they did not know what it was.
But Moses told them,
“This is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54

R. (24b) The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
What we have heard and know,
and what our fathers have declared to us,
We will declare to the generation to come
the glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength
and the wonders that he wrought.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
He commanded the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven;
he rained manna upon them for food
and gave them heavenly bread.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Man ate the bread of angels,
food he sent them in abundance.
And he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountains his right hand had won.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

Reading II
Eph 4:17, 20-24

Brothers and sisters:
I declare and testify in the Lord
that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do,
in the futility of their minds;
that is not how you learned Christ,
assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him,
as truth is in Jesus,
that you should put away the old self of your former way of life,
corrupted through deceitful desires,
and be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
and put on the new self,
created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.

Jn 6:24-35

When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
“Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered them and said,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
you are looking for me not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”
So they said to him,
“What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
So they said to him,
“What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:
He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
So Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.”

So they said to him,
“Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

So in thinking about these readings, I was trying to piece them together in my head at Mass. It is interesting that when the people murmured in the Old Testament, God gave them bread from Heaven, Manna. Later, as people's sins piled up, God gave them another bread from Heaven, Christ, in order that they might be saved from their sins. Instead of treating us like we deserve in both cases, God turns around and gives us the most wonderful gift he can, in our case Christ really present in the Eucharist as the Bread of Life. So, St. Paul writes in the 2nd reading, we should really think about how to live and what we should be doing. Turn away from sin and do so no more, because of the great gift we received from God. Through his graces (largely imparted to us by the sacraments), we can overcome sin and be with him forever.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Check out this post over at Army of Martyrs where he takes a look at the difference between idol worship and Christians who use images as sacramentals. He breaks it down in a slightly different way than I've thought about it before.

Great Response

I have to share the response my friend had who is also a convert...I'll leave her anonymous until she approves:

Oh brother. :roll: They never get tired of trying to find the ONE reason you left to say, "Aha!! THAT's the real reason!" because, you know, it couldn't be for any sound doctrinal reasons. :roll: :roll: :roll:

It's interesting to me how she has to emphasize the fact that she had "genuine curiosity" about your blog, as if to convince you, and perhaps herself, that she wasn't really snooping or looking for something to point her finger at. And who knows, maybe she wasn't, but it's so odd how CoC people can't say something normal like, "Hey I was reading your blog and i saw xyz." They have to set it up with defensive claims about their sincerity or their genuine concern, etc. Blech! Of course, what makes it worse is I know so many times they really believe themselves, they don't know any other way but guilt and manipulation and so they think this is what is normal. They still know to start with defensive action, because you tend to think other people will think about you the way you think about them, and they are so used to thinking the worst about others that they put up a defense before you even say anything assuming you will be thinking the worst about them. *shudder* It's such a depressing and joyless way of looking at the world and people around them.

Nice response!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Why Did I leave?

Wow....some people are a little stubborn (and I think some of you stubborn people are reading this blog right now). My wife recently joked in her blog that she was depressed as being simply a housewife in the "Church of Christ" denomination; especially because of their ill treatment and well-documented disdain for women and their role in society. So she gets and email saying (I read your blog and I am concerned you only left the CoC because of that and blah blah blah (insert random and poorly worded apologetics here).

I must say, I don't question the intentions of the person who contacted her, but I do question the reasoning. I think we must have mentioned a million times the doctrinal and serious reasons why we left to a multitude of people, but yet they refuse to listen and actually hear why we left. It basically comes down to either 1) we were lazy, 2) We were mad at people, 3) we listened to someone's family, or 4) we had some sort of dark sin in our life that made us leave. I guess it is a defense mechanism.

Open your ears people!