Monday, October 6, 2008

Benedict says that "now with the collapse of big banks we see that money disappears, is nothing and all these things that appear real are in fact of secondary importance." He urges those who build their lives "only on things that are visible, such as success, career, money" to keep that in mind.

The pontiff was speaking Monday as he opened the works of a meeting of 253 bishops at the Vatican.

Benedict says "the only solid reality is the word of God."


I spoke about this the other day in our Bible Study. We must remember to trust in God and not in our stock portfolios.  We have to remember what Jesus asked of his first disciples:

He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick--no food, no sack, no money in their belts.They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.

This is a very good video by Father Barron who does "The Word on Fire" show that can be heard on Relevant Radio. It's in response to Bill Maher's "Religulous" movie that came out this weekend. I recently saw Bill Maher on "Larry King Live" and the guy hates religion and you can tell that all he wants to do is tear people down and doesn't even care to have an open mind to people of faith. The best thing you can do for people like this is to pray for them...

Friday, October 3, 2008

The following comes from a statement released by the Bishops of New York called Our Cherished Right, Our Solemn Duty.

The document [issued by the bishops of NY] “Our Cherished Right, Our Solemn
Duty,” states that there are many important issues such as the right to life,
issues of war and peace, the education of children and how we treat the poor and
vulnerable. While all must be considered, “not every issue is of equal moral
gravity.”

“The inalienable right to life of every innocent human person outweighs other concerns where Catholics may use prudential judgment, such as how best to meet the needs of the poor or to increase access to health care for all,” the New York bishops’ document says.

“The right to life is the right through which all others flow. To the extent candidates reject this fundamental right by supporting an objective evil, such as legal abortion,
euthanasia or embryonic stem cell research, Catholics should consider them less
acceptable for public office.”



I've had more discussion that than I really care to admit about what the Bishops were aiming for when they released "Faithful Citizenship". In recent weeks there have been many brave and outspoken Bishops that I believe are speaking to the truths behind the Faithful Citizenship document. Let us all continue to pray that the truth will be spoken and Catholics will make the right decision come election day.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hat tip to Jeff over at Curt Jester, this was too good not to re-post.



Really does say it all doesn't it? :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


SEAGOVILLE  --  A Dallas-area high school student says she's been forbidden from wearing her rosary to school because it's considered a gang symbol.
Now I've heard of gang members wearing different colors and different types of sports hats but never religious items.

"I went to school, walked through the metal detectors and they told me to take it off," said the teenager. "I asked them why and they said because it's gang-related."
If this is true it's very disturbing for someone to take a symbol of Our Lady and turn it into a symbol of crime.

Read the rest of the story here


I found this over at Father Erik's blog.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The approved “Order for the Blessing on the Fifteenth Birthday,” the quinceañera ritual, will be published Sept. 19.

Communities can celebrate this bilingual ritual both within and outside of Mass. The Mexican-American Cultural Center in San Antonio developed the original text of the rite in 1999. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops acquired the rights to the text in 2007 and has collaborated with the Secretariat of Divine Worship in completing the final text.

Jesuit Father Allan Deck, executive director of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity, said the quinceañera ritual will be one of “many resources Latinos can use to preserve both Catholic and cultural identity.”

The quinceañera ritual can help young Catholics “learn more about the importance of upholding one’s baptismal commitment in a spirit of thanksgiving,” said Msgr. Anthony Sherman, executive director of the USCCB Secretariat of Divine Worship, because the ritual allows baptismal godparents or other couples serving as sponsors the option of presenting religious articles.

USCCB Publishing

This is pretty interesting and maybe it'll be something that will help young people to grow and stay strong in their faith as they start to make their way into the more trying times of adolescence.

Keep Praying...


Please keep praying for those in Ike's path this is going to be a nasty one...



Thursday, September 11, 2008

Prayer request

Please pray for all of those in Ike's path...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

But every year for the past two decades, Mr. Wright has led a revival at the Elmwood United Presbyterian Church in New Jersey, and on Sunday he returned, this time with kind words for the man who called him “divisive and destructive.”

Preaching about God’s power to transform ordinary believers into extraordinary people, Mr. Wright cited the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, then talked about Mr. Obama, the Democratic nominee for president.

“Twenty years ago,” he told the crowd at Elmwood’s branch here on Clinton Avenue, “a scrawny little kid, pointed nose, big-eared, mama from Kansas, daddy from Kenya — the Lord told him, an ordinary black boy, ‘You can be a state senator and you can bring folk to the bargaining table who not only do not talk to one another, these folk don’t like one another.’

“He did what the Lord said,” Mr. Wright continued, “an ordinary black boy like Mary was an ordinary little girl. Not only did he become a state senator, this black boy with an African daddy from Kenya and a white American mama from Kansas, he had the audacity to hope, so he ran for the United States Senate.
“And now,” Mr. Wright said, as cheers rang from the audience and the organist punctuated his words, “Oh, my God, and now — whoo!”


The Obama campaign declined to comment on the remarks, which were similar to ones Mr. Wright made last month at a church in Houston



Now you all will have to correct me if I'm wrong but I'd say Our Lady was anything but ordinary...

As was reported the USCCB released a statement yesterday about Sen. Biden's foot-in-mouth incident on "Meet the Press" this weekend. What has been more interesting is that the media has seemed to let this one pass it by.

Thomas over at American Papist who has been one of the main hubs of information about Pelosi and Biden-gate was the first to bring this to my attention. Outside the Catholic and religious blogs it doesn't seem that any mainstream press is going to touch this one. While the reactions to Sen. Biden's statement have been swift from some Bishops, it might be time to send our local Bishops an e-mail to see if they are going to chime in on this like they did with Nancy Pelosi.



This is a great video...please pass it on

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

WASHINGTON-Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William E. Lori, chairman, U.S. Bishops Committee on Doctrine, issued the following statement:
Recently we had a duty to clarify the Catholic Church’s constant teaching against abortion, to correct misrepresentations of that teaching by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on “Meet the Press” (see www.usccb.org/prolife/whatsnew.shtml). On September 7, again on “Meet the Press,” Senator Joseph Biden made some statements about that teaching that also deserve a response.
Senator Biden did not claim that Catholic teaching allows or has ever allowed abortion. He said rightly that human life begins “at the moment of conception,” and that Catholics and others who recognize this should not be required by others to pay for abortions with their taxes.
However, the Senator’s claim that the beginning of human life is a “personal and private” matter of religious faith, one which cannot be “imposed” on others, does not reflect Catholic teaching. The Church teaches that the obligation to protect unborn human life rests on the answer to two questions, neither of which is private or specifically religious.
The first is a biological question: When does a new human life begin? When is there a new living organism of the human species, distinct from mother and father and ready to develop and mature if given a nurturing environment? While ancient thinkers had little verifiable knowledge to help them answer this question, today embryology textbooks confirm that a new human life begins at conception (see www.usccb.org/prolife/issues/bioethic/fact298.shtml). The Catholic Church does not teach this as a matter of faith; it acknowledges it as a matter of objective fact.
The second is a moral question, with legal and political consequences: Which living members of the human species should be seen as having fundamental human rights, such as a right not to be killed? The Catholic Church’s answer is: Everybody. No human being should be treated as lacking human rights, and we have no business dividing humanity into those who are valuable enough to warrant protection and those who are not. Even this is not solely a Catholic teaching, but a principle of natural law accessible to all people of good will. The framers of the Declaration of Independence pointed to the same basic truth by speaking of inalienable rights, bestowed on all members of the human race not by any human power, but by their Creator. Those who hold a narrower and more exclusionary view have the burden of explaining why we should divide humanity into the moral “haves” and “have-nots,” and why their particular choice of where to draw that line can be sustained in a pluralistic society. Such views pose a serious threat to the dignity and rights of other poor and vulnerable members of the human family who need and deserve our respect and protection.
While in past centuries biological knowledge was often inaccurate, modern science leaves no excuse for anyone to deny the humanity of the unborn child. Protection of innocent human life is not an imposition of personal religious conviction but a demand of justice.

Well there you have it sports fans...

I saw today at work that I can no longer buy a soda out of the vending machine for $1.00. The price now reads $1.25, now don't get me wrong I'm used to seeing this kind of things when I'm at the movies or some random hotel where they want to get as much out of you as they can. But I never thought I'd see the day when I couldn't put a simple dollar into the work soda machine and walk away. This truly is a sign of the times...someone please turn on the Big Bang Machine and get it over with. :)

Seems like Mr. Biden missed out on a very poignant homily at the installment of his new Bishop. Let's take a look.

In early discussions, Bishop Saltarelli and I both agreed that this Feast Day of the Nativity of Mary would be a wonderfully appropriate day for the installation. Mary’s mother, St. Anne, carried a very special life in her womb which serves as a vivid reminder that every life is special. We will continue to stress the constant eaching of the Church that each person must respect every life from conception to natural death. And we will continue to seek the intercession of Saint Thomas More for Statesmen, Politicians, Supreme Court Justices, Judges and Lawyers—that they may be courageous and effective in defending and promoting the sanctity of human life, the foundation of every human right, the foundation of our love for the poor.


While Mr. Biden or Mrs. Pelosi weren't named specifically I think we can all read between the lines. You can read the rest of the homily here.

Please remember to keep the Bishops and Priests in your prayers as this issue doesn't look like it's going to be going anywhere any time soon.

Monday, September 8, 2008

First Nancy Pelosi claims to be an "ardent and practicing" Catholic and slams her foot straight into her mouth. Now Joe Biden has followed suit on the same show no less!

Thomas over at American Papist who has been covering these issues has a write-up on this latest incident.

Also make some time to listen to Bishop Robert Morlino's homily on this topic, it is powerful.

God Bless you all!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Father Z over at WDTPRS has posted Bishop Niederauer's response to Nancy Pelosi's foot-in-mouth event on "Meet the Press" and added his own comments.


Click here to read it.

Again I have to repeat that this is something we need to all keep in the fore-front of our minds. We as lay people need to do our best to educate those around us both Catholic and non-Catholic about Church teachings.  We need to teach our children to love and serve God and his Church, so many people look to only the Church to catechise the next generation but forget about the role of the domestic church.  I also understand that many of us were not very well catechised as children but it's our responsibility now as adults to learn the faith, learn it the correct way and pass on authentic, orthodox teachings.  I will continue to do my best both in this blog and in my parish to work with our wonderful priests to do what God has called all of us to do. I pray that you will join me...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rome, Sep 2, 2008 (CNA).- In an interview with Vatican Radio, the Archbishop of Ranchi in India, Cardinal Telesforo Placidus Toppo, said that the Catholic Church’s defense of the sacredness of the human person and its opposition to the caste system are what is fueling the violence against Christian minorities in India.

“In the caste system, equality doesn’t exist. That is why the Church’s commitment to overcome the caste system is not accepted. For us the person is sacred,” Cardinal Toppo said.


Read the rest of the story here

I've had the opportunity to travel to India and attend Mass there, as well as speak with some of the locals about religion.  For the most part the people that I've interactive with have been very friendly and not outwardly aggressive against Christians.  This may have to do with the fact that I was in one of the larger more diverse cities in India.

In my search for a Church to attend Mass at I had a discussion with one gentleman who expressed to me how unhappy he was with missionaries coming to India and converting Hindus. Again to his credit he wasn't overly aggressive with me but if I had known then about the some of the violence that was taking place against Christians I may have chosen my words a bit more wisely. :)

In any event we need to pray that the violence against Christians stops and that the situation improves for all those involved. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hat Tip to American Papist:


CHURCH TEACHING AGAINST ABORTION CONSTANT THROUGH CENTURIES, SAYS NEW RESOURCE

WASHINGTON— To help end confusion caused by recent misrepresentations of Catholic Church teaching on abortion, the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities has issued a two-page fact sheet called “
Respect for Unborn Human Life: The Church’s Constant Teaching.” [Here as PDF]
Again we have to keep this in the for front of the news cause if we don't no one else will.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The associated press and Drudge Report have picked up this latest article about Pelosi-gate and the backlash that it's caused.

Thomas over at American Papist has done a write-up on it so I'll let you all check out what he has to say about it.

Funny thing about all of this and I was telling my wife last night. Never let it be said that God can not use something like Nancy Pelosi's foot in mouth discussion about abortion for good.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hat Tip to Thomas at American Papist for keeping up with Pelosi-gate.

Bishops of Colorado Springs & Pittsburgh respond to Pelosi


Don't forget to write your local Bishop asking for them to use this teaching moment for their own flock. Also write the Bishops that have already spoken out about Pelosi to thank them for speaking out.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

From FoxNews:

Archbishop of Washington Chides Pelosi; Denver Archbishop Warns Biden to Skip Communion

Irked by pro-choice Democrats who tout their Catholicism, the archbishop of Washington is chiding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for misstating church history and the archbishop of Denver is warning vice presidential hopeful Joe Biden not to take Communion.


And the hits keep on coming!!!

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's ignorant statements about abortion and Church teachings have cause huge waves in the Catholic community. We need to all keep pushing our Bishops to take a public stand and finally root-out these so-called "Catholic" politicians.

Pelosi Gate

Friday, August 8, 2008

Please pray!

A private charter bus careened off an overpass north of Dallas early Friday morning, killing at least 13 Vietnamese Catholics on their way to a church event.

Read the rest of the story here.

Please pray for those who have lost their lives today and for their families, also for the injured.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Jeff Miller over at Curt Jester posted this amazing interview with Nancy Pelosi's pastor showing just how much work the Church as in front of it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This is from over at Father Trigilio blog...

The Confraternity of Catholic
Clergy
(a national association of 600 priests & deacons) respond to the
sacrilegious and blasphemous desecration of the Holy Eucharist by asking for
public reparation. We ask all Catholics of Minnesota and of the entire nation to
join in a day of prayer and fasting that such offenses never happen again.
(suggested: one Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament and one whole day of
fasting on Friday, August 1st, Feast of St. Alphonsus Ligouri)

I couldn't agree more..

Friday, July 25, 2008

This come to us courtesy of the American Papist.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has received approval (recognitio) from the Holy See’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for the new English-language translation of the Order of Mass (Ordo Missae).

This is the first section of the translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal. It includes most of the texts used in every celebration of the Mass, including the responses that will be said by the people.

In its letter, the Congregation pointed out that while the texts are binding, the approval “does not intend that these texts are to be put into use immediately.”

Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation, explained the reasons for providing the text at this time. The purpose is to provide “time for the pastoral preparation of priests, deacons and for appropriate catechesis of the lay faithful. It will likewise facilitate the devising of musical settings for parts of the Mass.”



Read the rest here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Here is an excellent commentary on the state of Humanae Vitae and The Catholic Church

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I used to wonder if such a thing as Spiritual Warfare existed. After coming back to the Church and listening to a lot of Father Corapi, you better believe I believe in spiritual warfare.

The reason I bring this up is because of a couple of stories that have been in the news and the Catholic blogosphere over the past couple of weeks.

The first being the story of PZ Myers and his plot to desecrate the Eucharist. The second being the "ordination" of three women in Boston, all of this in the middle of World Youth Day. If you think about it, it's Satan's counterweight to the things that are going on in Australia. I watched and read about all the things that were going on at WYD and how many of the young people were on fire for the faith. These are the leaders of tomorrow and if they fight the good fight, finish the course and keep the faith, the Church is in good hands.

As for the PZ Myers and "ordained" Catholic priest of the world...these too will pass.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

You have got to see this...

Seeing as I'm from the Fight'en Texas Aggie Class of 1998 I saw this and had to post it!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I saw this story posted over at The Curt Jester and wanted to pass it along.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

San Antonio, Texas will host it's own version of World Youth Day on July 19th.

San Antonio youths who can't attend World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia,
will have the chance to celebrate the event closer to home this year.

For the first time, the Alamo City will host its own World Youth Day, on
July 19. The daylong event outside San Fernando Cathedral will feature speakers
and live entertainment from well-known Christian performers, as well as poetry,
drama and musical performances.

“We knew a lot of people from San Antonio were going to go, and a lot of
those churches were pulling out from going because of the rising prices,” Vance
said. “We thought, ‘Why don't we do a one-day version of it here?'”

The event has been in the planning stages for about eight months, and
Cooley said San Antonio might be the only city in the nation to have a
celebration of this size. Organizers are unsure how many people will attend, but
they expect youth groups from Austin, Houston and Corpus Christi.

Cardinal Pell celebrates World Youth Day Opening Mass with over 140,000 people

Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd greeted pilgrims prior to the Mass, in several different languages. “You are here for this great celebration of life, this great celebration of faith and this great celebration of hope," said the Australian Prime Minister. "For this you are so much the light of the world at a time when the world has so much darkness."
This is a great message to be sending to our youth and one that I hope to carry with them back home.

In his homily Cardinal Pell called all to listen to Christ’s message saying,
“Christ’s call is to all who are suffering, not just Catholics or other
Christians, but especially to those without religion. Christ is calling you
home; to love, healing and community.”


We need to all pray for this...

This seems like a great start to what I'm sure we all hope will be a great and spiritual experience for all involved.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I found this over at Fr. Erik Richtsteig's blog and couldn't resist posting it myself.

These are some wonderful videos and I hope to see them on TV in my area soon.

Catholics Come Home

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

This is posted over at "What Does the Prayer Really Say" blog and it's big news this week so I thought I'd cross-post.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Prayer

The Catechism of the Catholic Church has the following to say about prayer:

2559 "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God."2 But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or "out of the depths" of a humble and contrite heart?3 He who humbles himself will be exalted;4 humility is the foundation of prayer, Only when we humbly acknowledge that "we do not know how to pray as we ought,"5 are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. "Man is a beggar before God."6

I heard something from Father Larry Richards that has stuck with me. He said that great saints would say "speak to me Lord I'm listening, not shut up Lord I'm talking". Now I can't say that I always use this technique as I'm no saint, but it's good to keep in mind. :)

Recently I've been thinking about what God has in store for me and the direction I'd like my life to take. Funny thing about God is that his plans don't always match up with ours and sometimes the answer to those prayers is "no, not right now I've got something else for you". This can be hard for some of us to take, I know there were/are times in my life when it's been hard for me. It's in those times that we truly need to trust in God's plan for us and remember that he is all-Good and his plans are much greater than ours.

Jesus, I trust in Thee...

Friday, July 4, 2008

I wanted to take this opportunity of wish everyone a happy 4th of July. I think it's important for us to take time and reflect on the things we have. God has blessed us with so much, I know there are many divisions within the country Red vs Blue, Conservative vs Liberal, etc... But we must remember that we are all God's children and that he loves us no matter where we are in life. He is calling us to a closer relationship to Him and maybe today you can take his hand and in the words of St. Thomas the Apostle tell him "My Lord and My God".

God Bless and Happy 4th!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008



I just got this off of Itunes and it's wonderful! I've been trying to use Magnificant to do daily prayers and having this playing in the background does seem to help me focus more.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

There really are no words to describe this so I'll let it speak for itself.

Bad homilies...

I try to go to daily mass a few times a week, I don't always make it but I always feel better when I do get to go. Given the number of different Masses I've attended both on Sunday and during the week it's inevitable that you'll hear a bad homily or two. Sometimes a homily just doesn't speak to you or half way through you wonder where Father is trying to go with this. I never fault anybody for swinging and missing, at least they gave it their best shot. What frustrates me, and everyone out there will have to let me know if they've ever experienced anything like this, is when you can tell that the priest just didn't really put any effort into it. I remember a couple of times sitting there after the homily was over and thinking "that's it?". I think it's even more fustrating when the homily doesn't actually have anything to do with the reading for the day.

Oh well, I guess I didn't have any real point...just wanted to rant.

Friday, June 27, 2008

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has appointed U.S. Archbishop
Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis to head the Vatican's highest court.

The Wisconsin native replaces Italian Cardinal Agostino Vallini who was
appointed by the pope to replace Cardinal Camillo Ruini, who is retiring as
papal vicar for Rome.

Click here for the rest of the story



This is wonderful news for Holy Mother Church. I'm sure there are plenty of people in St. Louis who will be saddened by this news but for the Universal Church it's a great move.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Receiving the Eucharist on the tongue while kneeling
before the pope will become the norm at papal liturgies, said the Vatican's
liturgist.

Sounds like a good idea to me...


Kneeling and receiving Communion on the tongue highlights "the truth of the real
presence (of Christ) in the Eucharist, helps the devotion of the faithful and
introduces the sense of mystery more easily," he said in a June 26 interview
with the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.

Exactly, we as Catholics need to come back to the understanding of what the Eucharist is. It is not just a symbol, it is truly the body and blood of our Lord.


Click here to read the whole story

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

“Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old,” he said. “I am
going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I
don’t want them punished with a baby." --Barack Obama

I can't see how anyone can vote for a man who sees a child as a punishment. What's interesting to me is that he said I'll teach my daughters about values and morals but somehow murder of a child isn't included in that lesson.

If this guy gets into office come November God have mercy on all of us.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Found this today and I thought it was pretty funny...enjoy!


Catholic Media

I didn't used to be a big listener of religious radio. That was until I started listening to Relevant Radio here in Austin, from there I started listening to EWTN radio and Catholic Answers. After that I was hooked, I think it's a great tool for the new evangelization and it has helped me to learn much more about my faith than ever before.

Rome apparently shares my sentiments:

Prelate Sums a First-of-Its-Kind Symposium

Archbishop Celli told Vatican Radio that an awareness of the role of radio
in evangelization was one of the important conclusions from the symposium.

"One of the riches of this congress has been bringing us to rediscover
that, beyond technology and professionalism, there exists a gift of God in
announcing the Word; there is a grace of preaching," the prelate said. "It is
God who intervenes in the heart of man to welcome the Word.
"This means that
when one sets out to announce the Word through radio, he should have this
awareness and this deep humility at knowing that he is the messenger of
something bigger than himself."

Thus, the Vatican official affirmed, the work of Catholic radio "is not
propaganda, but rather testimony and being aware that what is announced is the
word of life, and this must be energetically emphasized."

So if you've never listened to Catholic radio even if you're not Catholic give it a try...you might like it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Can I put God in a box and bring him to show and tell? Not likely, but using a bit of logic and a lot of help from people much smarter than I am I’ll do my best to show that this being called God exist.


Before I get into this issue from an impersonal level I’d like to talk about it on a personal level. I was raised Catholic and lived as a not very good one for many years. I was what most people now a day’s call a Cafeteria Catholic, I picked and chose what I wanted to believe and lived a very relativistic lifestyle. Then a few years ago I had what most Evangelicals would call a “born-again” experience, what I call it is God hitting you square in the face with a 2x4 and telling you to get your shit together. So I started a two prong attack of prayer and study, I reconnected with the faith of my youth and started to develop this relationship with Jesus and his Church. I don’t know if I ever fell into thinking that God didn’t exist, but I guess I felt that as long as I wasn’t hurting anyone I could do pretty much whatever I wanted and let the chips fall where they may. What I quickly learned was that my actions were hurting people and more so they were hurting my relationship with the one person who had given up everything, even death on a cross to save me. So people ask me how can you believe in something/someone who may or may not have been who he said he was. I believe because I know him, I speak with him; I have a relationship with him. As sure as I know my wife and child exist because I love them and have a relationship with them, I know Jesus exist and is alive because he loves me, cares for me, listens to me and speaks to my heart every day.


Obviously, my personal view on this may have little impact on someone who does not believe there is a God one way or another. For those reasons we’ll move forward with a bit of help from Saint Thomas Aquinas and the good people at Catholic Answers:


I’m going to start off with the “Brain in a Vat” scenario. In the interest of people’s short attention spans I’ll do my best to summarize it. If you’d like to read the full article you can find it here: http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2006/0605uan.asp


Let’s start by taking a position of radical doubt. Suppose for a moment that you are not really a human being with an actual body. In reality, you are nothing more than a brain floating in a vat of fluids, with electrodes attached to various parts of your exterior that allow evil scientists to manipulate you into thinking that what you perceive is actually there, when in fact it is nothing more than an imaginary world constructed by the scientists. Right now, they are making you think that you are reading this article when in fact you are not.


1. One cannot deny one’s own existence -- Even if you’re just a brain in a vat, your own existence can be verified simply by the fact that you perceive
2. There is at least one thing that exists -- If nothing you think exists actually exists—you still must exist. Entity is the word we have for anything that exists. You exist, so you are an entity.
3. There is such a thing as existence -- As Aquinas would say, there must be an "act of being" in which all entities participate. This act of being must itself exist; it must be an entity. Thomas calls this entity esse, which is Latin for "to be" or "to exist."
4. The nature of esse is actuality. -- Now that we have established that esse is an entity, we must ask: What is the nature of this entity? What is its definition? Actuality is the fullness of existence. So, again, taking the brain-in-a-vat hypothesis, you know that you are actual, even if nothing else you perceive exists.
5. Esse is nothing but pure actuality -- Thomas argues that all entities participate in esse insofar as they are actual. Therefore, that in which they participate—esse—must be actual.
6. Esse not only does exist but must exist -- Existence itself is pure actuality, with no potentiality in it. This means that the essence of existence is nothing other than existence. Existence is its own essence. From this it follows that esse itself must exist, for if it did not, it would violate its own essence, which is
impossible.
7. Esse is distinct from everything else that exists -- You can know from step 1 that you exist, and we know from step 3 that esse exists. But we also know that the two are not identical.
8. Esse must be one -- Since esse is pure actuality, it has no limitations, which means there is no distinction in esse. Therefore, there is only one esse.
9. Esse must be immutable -- Since esse is purely actual, it has no potential to change. Therefore, esse is unchanging.
10. Esse must be eternal -- Because esse does not change, it does not change from the future to the present to the past. It must be outside the realm of time, which means that there is no future, present, or past with esse. In other words, esse is non-temporal, or eternal.
11. Esse must be infinite -- Because esse is immutable, it must be outside the realm of space. It has no spatial constraints—that is, esse is infinite.
12. Esse must be omniscient -- Even if you’re a brain in a vat, you can perceive that you have the capacity to know. Because you are only partly actual, and esse is purely actual, esse must know all there is to know. That is, esse is all-knowing, or omniscient
13. Esse must be omnipotent -- You can perceive that you have the capacity to do some things that are logically possible. Since you are only partly actual, and esse
is purely actual, esse must be able to do all things that are logically possible. That is, esse is all-powerful, or omnipotent.

Thus proving the existence of a being (esse) that not only does exist but must exist and is one, unchanging, eternal, infinite, omniscient, and omnipotent. This matches the definition of God.


We can conclude, then, that even if all of your sense perceptions are false, even if you are nothing but a brain in a vat being manipulated by scientists into believing that you are reading this article right now when in fact you are not, there are two things you can know with absolute, 100 percent certainty: (1) You exist, and (2) God exists.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Last night I was checking out some of the apologist forums around the web and noticed something that I'm sure is not surprise to anyone. We as Christians need to do a much better job of being Christ-like to one another.

I understand especially being a novice apologist myself that people want to share their points of view, but we must always remember to share it with love and kindness. It's kind of like when you have kids and you are always careful about what you say and how you say it around them. It's the same thing for these Internet forums and blogs, you never know who is reading them and who you might be bringing to Jesus or more importantly who you might be pushing away with your harsh words. Remember the words of St. Theresa of Avila:

Christ has no body now on earth by yours;
no hands but yours no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out
on the world.

Yours are the feet which he is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless his people.

I think it's important and one of the particular reasons I started this blog, we may not agree on everything but we all love Christ. Also, I believe it's important to always want to learn about other people and their beliefs, even if you don't agree with them. For non-Catholics I believe it's important to really know what the Church teaches and not some caricature that the world has shown you. For us Catholics we must always remember to be charitable to everyone weather they are inclined to see the truth of the Catholic Faith or not.

In closing I'm ok with anyone who doesn't agree with the Catholic Faith as long as they understand completely what they don't agree with.

Peace and God Bless...

Monday, March 31, 2008

Erie Catholic Bishop Donald W. Trautman will not attend the Mercyhurst
College graduation in protest over Sen. Hillary Clinton’s visit to campus
Tuesday.

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008674200394

This is the second Bishop I've heard of speaking out against Catholic Universities that allow Pro-Death Presidential Candidates to hold rallies on campus. The first was Archbishop Gomez of the archdiocese of San Antonio. You can read that story below.

http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=26838

It's about time that our Bishops start to take a harder stance on Pro-Death "Catholic" politicians and I for one applaud these two.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Greetings all! Something struck me from today's reading...Acts 2:42-47

They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal
life,to the breaking of bread and to the prayers. Awe came upon everyone,and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common;they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes.They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart,praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

How many of us out there would be willing to give up everything for the Lord? I don't mean this in the figurative sense either. The early Church much like the Apostles when they were called dropped everything to follow Jesus. If Jesus called you today would you give up your big screen TV? Your SUV? Your three bedroom, two car garage house?

The Church today is not asking us to give up everything, but we must be willing to step out of our comfort zones. If this means tithing a bit more we must be prepared to do it. If this means talking to someone about the Lord we must be prepared to do it.

Ask the Lord today what he wants of you and don't be afraid of the answer you get.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

In my last posting I talked about the differences between how Evangelical Protestants and Catholics look at baptism. I also gave some of the biblical support for the Catholic position of baptism being necessary for salvation as opposed to it just being an ordinance, but having no real effect. The necessity of water baptism at times will be challenged by Evangelicals by giving examples such as the "Good Thief" who was never baptised but was told by Jesus "Today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). The following is from a Catholic Answers article on the Necessity of Baptism that address this argument.

Christians have also always realized that the necessity of water baptism is
a normative rather than an absolute necessity. There are exceptions to water
baptism: It is possible to be saved through "baptism of blood," martyrdom for
Christ, or through "baptism of desire", that is, an explicit or even implicit
desire for baptism. Thus the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Those who
die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing
of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and
strive to fulfill his will, are saved even if they have not been baptized" (CCC
1281; the salvation of unbaptized infants is also possible under this system;
cf. CCC 1260–1, 1283).
CCC - Catechism of the Catholic Church
Now I'd like to share the historical Christian view of baptism by quoting some of the early Church Father's views on baptism being necessary for salvation.

"‘I have heard, sir,’ said I [to the Shepherd], ‘from some teacher,
that there is no other repentance except that which took place when we went down into the water and obtained the remission of our former sins.’ He said to me,
‘You have heard rightly, for so it is’" (The Shepherd 4:3:1–2 [A.D. 80]).
-- Hermas


"As many as are persuaded and believe that what we [Christians] teach
and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly . . . are brought
by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we
were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the
universe, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then
receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, ‘Except you be born again,
you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [John 3:3]" (First Apology 61
[A.D. 151]). -- Justin Martyr


"Happy is our sacrament of water, in that, by washing away the sins of
our early blindness, we are set free and admitted into eternal life. . . . [But]
a viper of the [Gnostic] Cainite heresy, lately conversant in this quarter, has
carried away a great number with her most venomous doctrine, making it her first
aim to destroy baptism—which is quite in accordance with nature, for vipers and
asps . . . themselves generally do live in arid and waterless places. But we,
little fishes after the example of our [Great] Fish, Jesus Christ, are born in
water, nor have we safety in any other way than by permanently abiding in water.
So that most monstrous creature, who had no right to teach even sound doctrine,
knew full well how to kill the little fishes—by taking them away from the
water!" (Baptism 1 [A.D. 203]). -- Tertullian


"Without baptism, salvation is attainable by none" (ibid., 12).
--Tertullian


"It is not possible to receive forgiveness of sins without baptism"
(Exhortation to the Martyrs 30 [A.D. 235]). -- Origen


These are just a few of the writings of some of the Early Church Father's who all believed in the necessity of baptism. Now some people will say not all the Father's were in agreement on this issues but I would challenge them to prove it.

So my brothers and sisters I hope this small introduction into baptism will challenge you to dive deeper into your faith. As well as give you a bit of ammunition when faced with questions about the Catholic view on baptism.

Peace and God Bless...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The first reading for today is from Acts 2:36-41 and it continues to focus on Peter's address to the people of Israel after Pentecost.

“What are we to do, my brothers?”Peter said to them,“Repent and be baptized,
every one of you,in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins;
and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.For the promise is made to you
and to your children and to all those far off,whomever the Lord our God will
call.”

Now this particular Bible verse is a point of contention between Catholics and Protestants. Looking at the commentary from an NIV Life Applications Bible, it has the following to say about this verse:

If you want to follow Christ, you must "repent and be baptized." To repent means
to turn from sin, changing direction of your life and selfishness and rebellion
against God's law. At the same time, you must turn to Christ, depending on him
for forgiveness, mercy, guidance, and purpose. We cannot save ourselves - only
God can save us. Baptism identifies us with Christ and with the community of
believers. It is a condition of discipleship and a sign of faith.

Now, if we look at the commentary from the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible(ICSB), we see the following:

The call for conversion is a call for Baptism, the sacrament that takes away
sin and confers the Spirit (22:16; Jn 3:5; Tit 3:5). Here and elsewhere Peter
insists that Baptism is the sacrament that brings us salvation (2:40; 1 Pet
3:21).

So the NIV says that Baptism is a "sign of faith" while the ICSB says "Baptism is the sacrament that brings us salvation". So, who's correct? Jesus very clearly falls into the Catholic camp especially when you look at verses such as Jn 3:5 where he tells Nicodemus:

Truly, truly, I say to you unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he
cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Now Jesus didn't tell Nicodemus all you have to do is profess that I am your personal Lord and Savior. Some will say that Jesus was speaking of being born of woman and amniotic fluid, but that just doesn't make sense given the context of what we are talking about here.

I will continue further on this topic in the days to come...till then

Peace and God Bless

Monday, March 24, 2008

Greetings! With the season of Easter now upon us I want to reflex on a few things and see if they hit a cord with anyone. From today's Gospel reading:

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the
chief priests all that had happened.The chief priests assembled with the elders
and took counsel;then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,telling
them, “You are to say,‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were
asleep.’And if this gets to the ears of the governor,we will satisfy him and
keep you out of trouble.”The soldiers took the money and did as they were
instructed.And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present
day.

We deal with a lot of the same things today in our culture. Why don't people want to believe in the Resurrection? Is it because if they truly believed it would cause them to have to make a radical change in their lives? Is it because they are so deep in sin that they feel that no one, not even God can help them? We all know people like this, weather it's the atheist who believes that God doesn't exist or the cafeteria Catholic who says "oh I don't have to believe everything the Church teaches". The Resurrection means that everything Jesus said is true, he is true man and true God. This means that everything that Jesus has passed down through the apostles and his Church is true and must be followed.

I think it's the "must be followed" part that gets most of us...

Peace and God Bless...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

When Saint Paul went to Athens in Acts of the Apostles chapter seventeen, he spoke to the Greeks from the great Areopagus. It is my hope that this blog will become the great Digital Areopagus of the web from which I can proclaim the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ to all those that will listen.

So this is the first in what I hope will be a regularly update blog on Catholic Apologetics and the view of the world from the eyes of the Catholic Church. I hope to be able to update it with things that people will not only find interesting but will also help them to grow or begin a walk with Christ and his Church.


Peace and God Bless