Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Memories From Our Pilgrimage One Year Ago

Psalm 40

I waited, waited for the LORD; who bent down and heard my cry, Drew me out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud of the swamp, Set my feet upon rock, steadied my steps,
And put a new song in my mouth, a hymn to our God. Many shall look on in awe and they shall trust in the LORD.
Happy those whose trust is the LORD, who turn not to idolatry or to those who stray after falsehood.
How numerous, O LORD, my God, you have made your wondrous deeds! And in your plans for us there is none to equal you.
Should I wish to declare or tell them, too many are they to recount, sacrifice and offering you do not want; but ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts and sin-offerings you do not require; so I said, "Here I am; your commands for me are written in the scroll.
To do your will is my delight; my God, your law is in my heart!"
I announced your deed to a great assembly; I did not restrain my lips; you, LORD, are my witness.
Your deed I did not hide within my heart; your loyal deliverance I have proclaimed. I made no secret of your enduring kindness to a great assembly.
LORD, do not withhold your compassion from me; may your enduring kindness ever preserve me.
For all about me are evils beyond count; my sins so overcome me I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head; my courage fails me.
LORD, graciously rescue me! Come quickly to help me, LORD!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pope Benedict on Deepening Our Lenten Experience

Getting "De-Baptised:" Oh, That's A Good Idea!???

This stuff is so kooky you can't make it up! check it out....

The Clintons, You Gotta Love Them!

Mrs. Clinton was received on Thursday at 8:15 a.m. by the rector of the Basilica, Msgr. Diego Monroy. Msgr. Monroy took Mrs. Clinton to the famous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which had been previously lowered from its usual altar for the occasion. After observing it for a while, Mrs. Clinton asked “who painted it?” to which Msgr. Monroy responded “God!” After placing a bouquet of white flowers by the image, Mrs. Clinton went to the quemador –the open air area at the Basilica where the faithful light candles- and lit a green candle. Leaving the basilica half an hour later, Mrs. Clinton told some of the Mexicans gathered outside to greet her, “you have a marvelous virgin!” This coming off the heels of Bill Clinton's Interview on Larry King whereby he states that there are embryos that haven't been fertilized. Watch here. Just a few minor details that were incorrect.

A Cup to Quench Your Thirst

Every year at this time, the movies and the specials on Jesus pop up on the television. Some are wonderful such as Ben Hur, The Greatest Story Ever Told, or Jesus of Nazareth. Then there are the "documentaries" on the History or Discovery Channel, where atheists and ex-Catholics and the like "explain" to us who Jesus really was. Of course all of these documentaries pay lip service to Christ's divinity and His mission with the focus on the politics of the time or whatever slant they can find. I watched Ben Hur a couple of nights ago and the scene in which he is captive and being marched off to become a galley slave is remarkable. He is dying of thirst and when the soldiers stop for a drink, he's denied one. The next scene is one of the most authentic depictions of Jesus in any movie or documentary. Jesus sees the pain and despair in Ben Hur's face as he collapse to the ground crying for help. Jesus fills a cup of water and walks slowly, but assuredly towards Ben Hur. The soldiers want to stop Him but they cannot find it in themselves to do so. The love of Christ is too powerful. He brings him the cup to drink. It is a beautiful scene and truly captures Jesus and who He was. It also speaks to our hearts as to who we should be.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sign The Petition to Stop Obama Speaking at Notre Dame

The name Notre Dame is French for "Our Lady". The Lady in "Our Lady" is Mary the Mother of Our Lord. I'm sure Blessed Mary the Mother of Jesus would not want Barack Obama an avowed abortionist and wonderboy who does not know when life begins, speaking at any place that uses her name. If I owned a grocery store named Paul Bernacchio's Food Emporium I wouldn't want him speaking there, even if they paid me! So click here and sign the petition, you will be honoring Mary the Mother of Jesus, Our Queen.

What is Truth?

Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end have I been born, and to this end am I come into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate says to him, What is truth? Much of the problems that exist in the world today are a result of answering that question. 19th century enlightenment philosophers denied that there was an absolute truth and opened the floodgates to the kind of idiotic thinking that prevails today. For example, "the choice" that a woman's body is more important than the child growing in it. Another is that morality is a personal and individual thing and changes with society. This lead also to the prevailing mindset that their is no meaning in life except what you make it. G. K. Chesterton wrote "When men stop believing in God they don't believe in nothing; they believe in anything" It is evident to me that what has been going on in our world today is muddled, ugly, depressing, chaotic, messy, cold, and antiseptic logic and thought. We do not strive to be like God, who is pure, beautiful, ordered, loving, full of wisdom. We strive for much less, man-made materials and lots of it, sensual pleasure, escape through drugs and alcohol, purposeless work, inward selfish, artificial thinking. We have beat the hell out of truth like the soldiers beating Christ. In St. Paul's letter to Titus he writes "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths." We have wandered into the land of myths. Gird your loins because it is going to get worse.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Images to Reflect On

Courtesy of Jerome Nadal 16th Century wood cuttings.

How Do I Abide in Jesus?

Worship the LORD in holy attire
Tremble before Him, all the earth. Psalm 96:9
Let them praise your great and awesome name: Holy is God!
mighty king, lover of justice, you alone have established fairness; you have created just rule in Jacob.
Exalt the LORD, our God; bow down before his footstool; holy is God! Psalm 99: 3,5,9
Honor and majesty are before him: Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 96: 6
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29
By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;
But he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Henceforth expecting till his enemies be made the footstool of his feet.
For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. Hebrews 10:10-14
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17

In this "New Age", independent, anti-ecclesiastical, instant gratification, "I know what's best for me" society, you will hear the following argument: "I can have a personal relationship with Jesus, what do I need a Church for?" This attitude makes God an mp3 file that you can download and listen at your convenience. But let's look at this logically, presumably one can acknowledge that God revealed Himself to man, first to Abraham, Moses, and all the Old Testament prophets, etc. In doing so He instructed them in rather precise terms how to worship Him. You cannot have a "personal relationship" with God unless you bow down and get on your knees and worship Him. "Oh that's the Old Testament", you say. Well, Let's see what Jesus said. How about "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me."and also"I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never become hungry, and whoever believes in me will never become thirsty. The Jews therefore murmured concerning him, because he said, I am the bread which came down out of heaven. Jesus answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: yea and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me, and I in him. You cannot abide in Jesus no matter how you desire to do so even on your convenient, pocket pal Jesus terms. That is why you need the Church, and for volumes and volumes of other reasons.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Truth is A Person

One of the most important understandings of Christianity comes from our Catholic Faith. We believe that Jesus spent three years in public ministry, and in that time he chose His apostles. He did not choose qualified men, He chose men and qualified them. These apostles were the close confidants of Jesus, they ate, slept, traveled with Him. They witnessed His miracles, heard His sermons, quizzed Him about His parables. They were there when He was captured, witnessed His crucifixion (well, John did), they were present with Him after His Resurrection. They knew Jesus intimately. Jesus chose these men specifically to carry on the Gospel and to establish His Church. They were left with what the Church calls the "deposit of faith." Make no mistake, our Church is an Apostolic Church. Any Protestants out there should check out the Early Church Fathers, you cannot come to any other conclusion than the fact that the earliest of Christians, some hundreds of years before any such thing as the Bible was put together, lived and behaved according to what the Apostles taught. Now, here comes the important part and this comes logically from the Apostolic belief: we as Christians do not believe in a philosophy, we believe in a person, Jesus Christ. The revelation of Truth does not come from some individual philosopher like Plato, Aristotle, or Marx, or Heidegger, or any human being. The Truth is a person. Jesus was present here and passed on His teachings to those whom He specifically chose. You cannot get that understanding if you rely on solar scriptura. In that method of Christianity the truth comes from an individual's interpretation whether reliable or not. In the realm of spirituality the better you understand the person of Jesus Christ as He and the will of the Father relate to your being, the better Christian you are and the closer you are to Christ's teachings.