Seems like we are on a fools errand. The mathematics simply don’t work and therefore, it seems to me that the purpose that is driving this phenomena is related more to politics (gaining a new constituency) than it is for humanitarian reasons. What do you think?
Did God create a covenant with the Jews and did He found a church and make of the Jewish People the Chosen Ones or not? If not, then the God of Abraham, Isaac and Moses is a fairy tale and the Decalogue a mere fabrication without any meaning at all. It makes no difference to you that God brought the Israelites out of Egypt or that God instituted a hierarchy and a priesthood and led them through the wilderness of this world to a land of milk and honey. Are you sure you wish to throw out the prophets and the psalms of David and the foreshadowing or models of the reformed Church and the NT practices that Christ instituted and commissioned in His own Blood? It is still the work of God and it is the nature of revelation that it should unfold and blossom. Every blossom of beauty starts with a seed; God’s words are not without significance in any age. His instructions are not arbitrarily dismissed until or unless God makes the change and abrogates one practice for another. Let us also not confuse the Law and the law. The small letter law seems to be more like what we call practice; which should reflect the Laws of God and bring them to life in the living of the people from day to day.
Without an understanding of the richness of the OT you will never have a proper understanding of the NT. All of the new testament reiterates and quotes passages from the old. You can hardly read a single book in the NT that does not do this and note that they speak with great honor and respect for what their God has done for them. You would throw out all that which is not in keeping with modern evolution of thought or all that is not based in a mere historical record by men. Your faith would be impoverished by its lack of understanding of the development of Christianity whose roots go back to prehistoric times.
Was Christ wrong to follow the Law of the Jews? There is no escaping His Jewishness. He did not come to change a jot or a tittle of the Law and yet He did throw out the extraneous dross that had built up within the faith and abrogated many practices (the law) which were no longer appropriate. He interpreted the OT so that it is understandable and thus the OT sheds light on Christ and lives its history in expectation of His arrival.
Parsing the works of God is an impoverished faith without roots and without meaning; and it misses much of the workings of the One True God . . . as in a world bereft of the OT, He is a God that cannot get things right and makes mistakes and does not meet the modern enlightened thoughts of men of our enlightened times.
God to the modern enlightened and moral superior age that we live in, is cruel and unforgiving and violent and yet there is another way of reading the OT. Is there anything more beautiful than the Song of Songs or anything worth gaining from a reading of the Psalms and Proverbs or the book of Wisdom? Is the history of the maturation and corruption by men of God’s Church not a lesson worth studying and learning from? It is a totality that cannot be avoided. It is like chucking your grandparents from your family tree because you are of a different age and understanding of things than they were.
Headlines: God makes a big mistake and tells the Jewish people that He will be their God and that they will be His people. Since we think that the OT is not befitting our New God then He must not be an omniscient God since He makes such fundamental moral, ethical and judgmental errors . . . and so why should you or anyone else accept Him today if He was capable of such big and obvious blunders in the past?
Perhaps more time should be spent looking for the themes (the seeds) of our modern faith and the patience and love God endured on our behalf until such time that He felt that mankind was ready to hear the Word of God in the flesh and complete His plan for our salvation. Give thanks to God for the whole journey of humanity as it was necessary or it would not have occured.
And as to our own sinfulness and disobedience: O happy fault. For it gave to us a most remarkable Redeemer.
The answer seems to be social issues, economic issues and moral issues in relation to the current socio-political agendas. The clarion call is for helping the poor (always of interest to Christians), redistribution of wealth to the poor (not charitable alms, but forced by the state), normalizing sexual taboos (fornication, adultery, homosexuality, same sex marriage, contraception, abortion and the like) and now, of all things, man-made global warming.
The politicians have long used the Christian majority in the US as a means to an end by appealing to our sense of charity and justice. They have tried to make a moral argument for the poor or the less fortunate by theorizing, no matter how blatantly false their reasonings might be, that their policy, programs, laws or regulations will benefit those who are oppressed. Of course every group that is being oppressed is not them . . . as they seem to be thriving; both economically and in terms of special privilege; especially exemptions from their own laws and regulations. So the politicians have made their arguments for socialist governance and Marxist economics as an instrument of equalization which will benefit the down trodden: and whatever group that they are speaking to are, of course, the unfortunates that will be helped by some governmental ‘fix’ for the problem. As always they are quick to point out that their political opponents are responsible for the sufferings and inequality of the prospective voter.
The poor or the disenfranchised are all the talk as is multiculturalism, lifestyle choices, open borders and immigration. It is reflected in everything. To hear them speak, the enemies of the people are the rich, the white Western European men, polluters of all kinds, enforcers of the law, business owners, Christian moralists, gun-toting patriots and all who think that the government should get out of the way so that we might simply work, live our respective lives and prosper or fail. But failure is now being taught to be unacceptable in our society and the redefined role of the government is to get as many people as possible to rely upon the them (through the taxes taken from ordinary working stiffs) to give them food, clothing, shelter and more and more discretionary spending money. In other words we are a bank that hands out loans without being paid back and in fact gives everyone a bigger loan each year to cover inflation and other ‘necessities’ in life.
Now oddly there seems to be a partnership developing of strange bedfellows; the Church and the State. It seems that the Church has been wooed, cajoled or convinced that the governments of the Western World really do have the best interest of the people in mind and and not simply garnering votes to feed their own elitist aggrandizement.
Let’s take a look at what is on the mind of the Church these days.
The Catholic Church has helped Obama in lifting restrictions and sanctions from Communist Cuba. The USCCB and the Vatican are favoring amnesty to illegal trespassers into the US and putting them on the dole and giving them the right to vote. Since when did the Church take a stance against democratically established laws of a nation if they are just?
The Pope’s first encyclical seemed to many as a critical attack on capitalism. Many Christians are clamoring for an increase in the minimum wage, increasing ‘entitlements’ (formerly a charitable gift of welfare checks) for the poor like food stamps and EBT cards that can be traded for anything they want. . . in other words, redistribution of wealth. Most Christians support the government on issues such as raising taxes on corporations and the rich and stifling regulations on businesses and communities under the guise of the man-made global warming hoax. Each of these will eliminate jobs or force businesses to close down costing a loss of the very jobs that we say are needed for the same people the advocates say they are trying to help.
The most often spoken message from our Pope concerns the poor which is a message that has been with us from the beginning and nothing new. We have been doing our part to help the poor for over 2000 years . . . and without state welfare and entitlements. In the Western world today however, the poor have never been richer or more privileged as they are today. We live twice as long as we did a century ago and that age keeps increasing. We have better access to medicine, to good food, to amenities like cars, electric lights, indoor plumbing, and air conditioning that even the very rich of 200 years ago could not even have dreamt. But, in the West, those on the extremities (below our arbitrary poverty line) are usually there because of choices which they made in life; most importantly to have children out of wedlock and to throw away their opportunity of a free public education even though it was provided at the expense of the government (the tax payers).
What is the strangest in all of this is not only the synergy of each of these things to actually hurt the people they claim to want to help but also the negative effect each of these will have to the nuclear family. The moral issues such as adultery, fornication, abortion etc. all are anti-family as are these new ‘alternative lifestyles’ and the attempt to normalize them. The higher minimum wages only encourage people to remain in a starter job meant for high school students and retired folks. The same is true of the ‘entitlement’ culture which has destroyed any desire that the poor might possess to actually learn a skill and work for a living. Opening the borders will create an even larger class of poor who are seeking employment where there are many times as many people as there are jobs. So we will put them on the welfare roles and grow the ranks of the people that our tax payers and businesses must support. Businesses can’t grow and new businesses will have too many regulations and taxes facing them to grow faster than the welfare roles. What you are doing is effectively bolstering every problem we face and making sure that the nuclear family as we once knew it will ever return . . . at least not among the welfare roles.
Newsflash for the Church and other Christians who think they are supporting a righteous and good cause: as soon as they are finished using you for your votes and your support, they will sell you and your faith for a song. They have no need of you anymore and you will never fit into their end game. In fact, if you think the war on Christianity is bad, you haven’t even seen a glimmer of the real war that will certainly come against us like a firestorm. The frustration and the hatred that has been stirred up among the classes, races, and genders will eventually explode into violence on a large scale. What is going on with the black communities, stirred up by professional anarchists backed by left wing or Marxists groups are only looking for an excuse to riot, burn and destroy the system. The ultra rich will not worry but the moderately well off folks might start thinking about leaving before the anarchists use them for target practice.
Thank you, Christian and Jewish leaders, socialists and Marxists everywhere (yes the new Marxist Democratic party mostly) for this Brave New World. You will have to be pretty darn brave to live in it the way things are going
The musty old Church of the Catholic Christians has been called judgmental and misogynistic; so we have made ourselves welcoming to the roles of women and non-judgmental to lifestyles and tolerant of all the new confusing genders that have recently been invented. Since families did not want to come and hear condemnations of their behavior which seemingly judge them personally, making them feel guilty for things such as abortion, contraception or abnormal sinful behavior; we now apply every Bible verse to the relevant topic of being more loving and forgiving of one another. So now we’re called the Church of Nice and so we strive to be. We are nice and we are Church. Why then are so many people leaving this improved version of Christianity? Have we not made enough changes? Is it because we aren’t being nice enough to those who want to have homosexual marriages in the Church or divorced and remarried couples receiving Communion; though only a small minority really believes it to be the Body and Blood of Christ anymore? Perhaps we could be more accommodating . . . by continuing to do more of what hasn’t worked so far.
Christ has been made to be a spiritual Santa Clause of love and forgiveness Who demands nothing to fill our stockings yet nobody believes in Santa anymore. We annul nearly every prior marriage and will forgive any sin in the Sacrament of Penance and nobody wants to go. We have inclusive language and have increased the roles of women but now the men do not even darken the doors of their local parish. We have liturgical dance, folk songs, and tunes with a good beat to engage the young men and women but once they are confirmed into the Church they stay home with dad. Indeed, what is the problem? Can’t you see how the Church has become relevant and concerned with the big issues such as global warming, feeding the poor and social justice? What can we do that would attract more of you to attend: bingo, dances, movies, clowns, sing-a-longs, or maybe a free lunch or breakfast? It must be that we have not changed enough and have not yet rid ourself enough from our old image of rigidity and being too judgmental: but we are told every week how much we have changed and how much more we must change in order to be the pastures where the sheep wish to graze.
I’m afraid that we can’t compete with the secular world in distributing worldly treasures. We keep trying to out give them, to out love them and to show everyone that we are even more tolerant than the world. It is a fool’s errand that we are on. The attraction of things of this world is not what converts hearts and makes good Christians. Making people feel special and stroking their egos is not going to help them strip away a life of self-loving for a life of self-giving. Had it been that simple, we would now have record numbers of Catholics and the whole world would have changed. I’m afraid that what makes a Christian a Christian is the awakening of a small inner voice that condemns them in their sins or that leaves them feeling empty with all the treasures that the world has offered and given them. It is the Faith of our Fathers and the Pearl of Great Price that makes men want to strive to earn it and children to desire it and women to fall in love with it. This is the gift of Christ that cannot be matched by any worldly goods and is being ignored by the teachers of the faith and destroyed by the lover’s of this world. If it isn’t in-season in this world, they won’t preach or teach it and therefore it is not being done. And so, as Scripture tells us, they will “strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” Pray the leaders of our Church recognize the problem before only a small remnant remains.
There is a symmetry that one might even call symbiosis which exits between Faith, Morals and Practice. It might be helpful should we take the time to look at these more closely.
Religion, starts with matters of Faith which are guarded and taught primarily as a basis or foundation of the underlying reason for submitting oneself to the yoke of religion. This Doctrine of Faith gives man a glimpse into the meaning of life and the end for which the human soul was made as well as the nature and perfection of God and the fallen and miserable state of the human soul. It describes and sets forth the reasons for our misery and the insurmountable chasm between the perfection which is God and the imperfection that is mankind. It delivers to the soul a message of how serious is our sinfulness: serious or grievous sin, smaller less serious sin and even imperfections of things that God would have us do better though they are not of themselves, to the letter of the law, sinful of themselves.
These doctrines help us orient ourselves toward the Light which is God, the Beauty inherent in God’s Love and His ultimate Goodness. It acts as a beacon to that which is immutable and never changing and orders our lives toward the All Good and the Everlasting. These are primarily the thinking and the road map of the Church, given for our edification, as passed down through the ages and which encompass the wisdom of the Saints and the Teachings of our Lord and the History of our Fall and of our Desired Salvation.
Thereby, doctrine is a source for our Faith, our Hope and our Love which becomes the necessary virtues to be gained in this life. Without them, we are left to make the best of our fallen lives in a fallen world in which we have no hope of ever changing before we finally succumb to the inevitability of death in our transitory passage through this world.
So it becomes incumbent on the soul that wishes to escape this goldfish bowl of an existence to gaze through the distorted glass and dream of an existence far more fulfilling than the natural state into which it was born. In fact, it is a means by which we are told, should we do well, leads precisely to the fulfillment of that dream to a life that neither ends nor suffers the natural ills that accompany this transient life which we truly deserve.
Faith lets us know that God is so perfect that, like a goldfish in a bowl, if He were to remove you from this state and take you as you are into His realm, we would die; for the air is much too pure for the gills to endure and the Love is too concentrated for our hearts and minds to bare.
So pointing the soul to live its life for a higher purpose and to develop habits and capacities to love in a way that totally transforms us into children of God seems to be the end for which we were created and the ultimate vocation of each and every soul that God has made. How do we then begin?
First we come to the realization of Who this God is and form a desire or zeal for Him and learn about His Love for us and His plan for our lives; and we love Him for the love of us. Then we are pointed toward a journey intent of eliminating those things within our lives which separate us from our God and try, one by one, to eliminate their hold on us. We begin to feed ourselves on the things of God and on God Himself; He provides all. We become knowingly dependent on His good pleasure to do with us as He will and that our every breath and even our creation is a product of His good will and His love. And since His good will is that we live with Him forever we should do all that is in our power, using the gifts that only He can and will supply us, to attain to that end. It is a vocation that requires all along our way, the proof of our avowed love of Him and our assurance that there is nothing that we would not do to please Him in order to reach the end for which He has made for us.
Morality is a an outgrowth of love of God. It has as its end the purpose to bring the soul into a more intimate love of God and conversely to discourage the soul from harming its relationship with God. It has as its secondary purpose the education of the soul to its fallen state and its inordinate desire and love of creatures.Thereby, moral teaching creates habits that let us live our lives truthfully, in full knowledge of who we are and Who God is. For God is He who is and I am he who is not, so that we will find that of ourselves we are nothing, or even less than nothing because nothingness does not have the capacity to offend God, though we have only the capacity to sin if left to ourselves.
Therefore all the good that we will must be supplied by Him who is even supplying the willing itself. Therefore the outcome of morality, when used as intended, is to enlighten the soul as to what it really is and to thereby establish a soul in humility; which is seeing the truth about itself. Therefore, the denial of self and the acceptance of Divine Providence is taught us by our practice of the principles found in moral teaching. It sets our feet firmly on the way to dying to self and becoming other Christ’s in this world. So morality is not only avoiding that which is intrinsically bad for us, it is a teacher of our most inner fallen nature. It is a window into our soul.
Morality is a constant reminder that we have not the ability to resist sin and to endure hardships unless we rely on the strength and the love of God for all things.
Though Faith and Morals are considered Teachings of the Catholic Church which (we have been taught) are infallibly guarded from error by the Holy Ghost, practice is not. That is not to say that practice is of little consequence to the soul who looks to the Church for guidance in this world. For practice should flow from our Teachings and thereby be a reflection to every Catholic soul and perhaps to a lesser extent, to the rest of the world about what we truly believe: our liturgy, our music, our prayers, our alms giving, our care of the poor, our care of the sick and all other aspects of Christian living which come from this body of practices though informed, as it were, from Faith and Morals.
It is not, thereby, unusual that practices are at times confused with our faith or morals and that much of what is discussed at length between differing faiths is often a critique of this realm.
Practices change, as the world has changed to reflect both the intellect and learning of a world that is more literate than it once was (though that might easily be contested). It has also changed due to a shift, largely in developed countries, who have become soft (if I might use that word) in regards to suffering, or self-denial. For today, every small act of discipline, abstinence or self denial is seen as inordinate and far too demanding. We have become obsessed with our own comfort and our own sense of worth and our own sense that we are deserving of something. We have lost the visceral reaction that we might once have had by looking upon a realistic crucifix of the only truly innocent victim of our sins. So if mis-accused of some wrong deed we want the Doctrines to change or the practices to change. If we are inconvenienced, we do not bear the cross with joy but we squirm and complain and demand relief. I wonder if is were so for the not-so-modern Christians of yore. Their yoke was hard already, just eking out a living. And to sacrifice for the good of their souls seemed, perhaps, not that much different from their day to day existence.
I think the Church takes such things into consideration, though for some of us it seems to be a bit too comfortable and conciliatory. Perhaps they are trying to take these weaker souls and wean them off their mother’s breasts and encourage them to take their first steps into the supernatural realm of spiritual warfare and to awaken within them an interior life which they have not yet discovered. It remains to be seen if this strategy will work or fail. For the teachings of the saints are still with us: we only need make ourselves understand what it takes to lay hold of the Pearl of Great Price and then utilize what is already there for the taking.
This is an excellent article written my the late Antonin Scalia’s son. You can read the whole thing here.
FATHER PAUL SCALIA
Three times in his speech at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, Cardinal Sarah described gender ideology as “demonic.”
More recently, Oklahoma City’s Archbishop Coakley used the same word addressing the issue. So did Bishop Paprocki of Springfield regarding gay marriage. A strong word, to be sure. But most people misunderstand why. Some take “demonic” for mere hyperbole. Something is not just bad, but really, really bad. Others see it as rash judgment of opponents — literally demonizing them. Still others take it as just an overstatement by religious fanatics, who are unhinged anyway.
But “demonic” is a sober and sobering assessment of the thought behind gender ideology. It’s not a judgment of people’s intentions. It doesn’t mean that those who endorse gender ideology are demonic or possessed. It means, rather, that the reasoning and results of that philosophy — no matter how innocently held — line up with the…
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Another view of Brexit by Father Hugh.
As the dust settles after last week’s UK referendum in which England and to a lesser extent Wales voted the UK out of the European Union, some things are becoming clearer.
The first is that the Leave campaign had no real blueprint for how Brexit would be effected. It is hard to imagine another context in which voting for an option so vaguely and inadequately outlined would even have been countenanced. It is as if most of the leaders of the Leave campaign only began to believe that they might win in the dying days of the campaign. Certainly we are hearing in the media that numbers of those who voted Leave did so thinking their vote would not count, and “Regrexit” has now been coined to cover those who repent of their vote to leave.
This itself brings into sharper focus the reality of why people voted as they…
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Another thoughtful piece by Francis Phillips
Britain must reconnect with its Christian roots to heal post-referendum divisions by Francis Phillips
posted Monday, 27 Jun 2016
People leave a polling station on June 23 (PA)St John Paul II once pleaded with the EU to recognise its Christian traditions, but unfortunately his appeal fell on deaf earsI was going to start this blog with a cliché like, “Now that the dust has settled on the referendum vote to leave the EU”, but then it struck me that the dust hasn’t settled at all. As anyone who read my blog for last Thursday will know, I voted for Brexit. This brought divisions within the family: one son actively campaigned to leave; one daughter voted to remain (while her husband, from Northern Ireland, voted to leave); another son-in-law, who is from an EU country, now feels he is unwelcome in the UK. My youngest daughter’s carer, who is in her…
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POPE SAINT GREGORY THE GREAT
“A spiritual guide should be silent when discretion requires and speak when words are of service. Otherwise he may say what he should not or be silent when he should speak. Indiscrete speech may lead men into error and an imprudent silence may leave in error those who could have been taught. Pastors who lack foresight hesitate to say openly what is right because they fear losing the favor of men. As the voice of truth tells us, such leaders are not zealous pastors who protect their flocks, rather they are like mercenaries who flee by taking refuge in silence when the wolf appears.
The Lord reproaches them through the prophet: They are dumb dogs that cannot bark. On another occasion he complains: You did not advance against the foe or set up a wall in front of the house of Israel, so that you…
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I would like to reproduce this homily by Fr. James Buckley FSSP. Maybe 20 years ago I did a 1 week Ignatian retreat under his supervision that was quite powerful and spirit filled. I hope you find it useful..
|On 1 July 2008, at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama, Fr. James Buckley of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, delivered the following homily for the First Solemn Mass of Father Jared McCambridge, FSSP.The year was 1849. Forced to flee Rome by revolutionaries who had killed his prime minister, Blessed Pius IX, the Vicar of Christ and ruler of the papal states, was living in Gaeta, a territory which at that time belonged to the kingdom of Naples. Joining the exiled pope, Father Giovanni Merlini, the third superior general of the Fathers of the Precious Blood suggested to the Holy Father that in order to regain the papal states, he should bind himself by a vow to extend to the entire Catholic Church the Feast of the Precious Blood. On Saturday June 30, after consultation with prudent and pious priests, Pius IX…|
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