Defending God-Given Freedoms – Truth and Charity Forum

The 19th century Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky once wisely said, “If God does not exist, then everything is permitted.”

Christians continue to wage a political and legal battle against a predominantly secular culture about the law and the meaning of life—both increasingly corrupted by what Blessed Pope John Paul II coined a “culture of death.”

Unfortunately, this deviant contemporary trend is determined to make God irrelevant and extinct from society. Dominating the national discourse, this atheistic worldview not only denies the existence of God and his social relevance, but is openly hostile to all people and things Christian.

This is contrary to America’s rich Judeo-Christian heritage. Our Founding Fathers believed in a free republic based on a Christian ethos, one in which man is created in the image and likeness of his Creator. Our American legal system is based on this understanding of God-given rights and individual freedom.

Read more . . .

THE REMNANT NEWSPAPER: Lessons of Hanukkah for 2012

From the miracle of the Maccabees‘ victory, an eight-day celebration of Hanukkah has continued ever since

Since the November elections we have never seen so much despondency and despair. We’re hearing from so many people who say they are depressed, see no way out, and are just giving up.

And, yes, things are looking worse than ever before.

Four more years of Barack Obama. More socialist politicians elected to Congress. Election fraud. Radicals running the government. Union thuggery and violence openly allowed, but pro-family protest suppressed. “Occupy” mobs allowed to take over areas of cities. The homosexual and transgender movements being celebrated in the White House and federal agencies. Religious beliefs being suppressed and even punished in businesses, government, public schools, and the courts. The Constitution being openly ignored. The media and popular culture on an aggressive cultural jihad against Christianity. The TSA groping travelers. Taxes going up to pay for bloated government. The massive deficit. The massive bailouts. The looming inflation and economic disasters. The ObamaCare nightmare descending on us. And on and on. And the “opposition” Republican leadership with no backbone or will to fight back.

“It’s finished. America‘s done. I’m giving up.” We’re hearing that everywhere. People are feeling beaten and completely powerless.

via THE REMNANT NEWSPAPER: Lessons of Hanukkah for 2012.

How Rediscovering the “Plot” of Sacred Scripture is Essential to Evangelization | Archdiocese of Washington

One of the most significant losses in the modern era has been the loss of the Biblical narrative in the hearts and minds of most people. Scripture is the story of the human family, told by God himself. In story form He tells us how we were made and why, what happened why that things are the way they are today. Why do we have infinite longing in a finite world? Why do we struggle with sin so much? How can we be rescued from sin and death and find our hearts true satisfaction? The Biblical narrative answers these sorts of questions and more.

Read more . . .

Advent and self-denial

Rise up then in the morning with the purpose that (please God) the day shall not pass without its self-denial.

. . . If, then, a person asks how he is to know whether he is dreaming on in the world’s slumber, or is really awake and alive unto God, let him first fix his mind upon some one or other of his besetting infirmities. Every one who is at all in the habit of examining himself, must be conscious of such within him. Many men have more than one, all of us have some one or other; and in resisting and overcoming such, self-denial has its first employment. One man is indolent and fond of amusement, another man is passionate or ill-tempered, another is vain, another has little control over his tongue; others are weak, and cannot resist the ridicule of thoughtless companions; others are tormented with bad passions, of which they are ashamed, yet are overcome. Now let every one consider what his weak point is; in that is his trial. His trial is not in those things which are easy to him, but in that one thing, in those several things, whatever they are, in which to do his duty is against his nature.

Read more . . .

Benedict XVI: “The Annunciation wouldn’t have made today’s headlines” – Vatican Insider

The Pope in Rome's Piazza di Spagna

Speaking on the Spanish Steps in Rome, the Pope recalled how “God can fill all the holes that selfishness creates in the lives of people, families, nations and the world”

Giacomo Galeazzi

VATICAN CITY

Science and ideologies cannot save us, the Pope preached from the Spanish Steps in a cold and windy Piazza di Spagna that was packed to the brim with faithful. The theologian and pastor Pope, mentioned some strong and unequivocal concepts. Man can never stoop so low that God will not come to his rescue and Christianity is not all about prohibitions but is “good news”.

Read more . . .

Principles for Preparation – A Reflection on the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Advent | Archdiocese of Washington

But who may abide the day of his coming and who shall stand when he appeareth? And this is the cry that goes up from the final pages of the Old Testament (Mal 3:2). And the Lord himself gives the answer:

See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; lest I come and strike the land with doom! (Mal 4:5-6)

And thus with these words the Old Testament ends.

Read more . . .

RORATE CÆLI: Modernism is ideological – Tradition is realistic, but must be lived in simplicity

Modernism is ideological, Tradition is not, it is realistic.

Tradition v. Modernism

It is Modernism with abstract concepts, adopted from the prevailing culture, which has claimed to transform Catholic life and thought. Starting from modern philosophy, idealism, Personalism and the ideological psychology of modernity, modernism has wanted to adapt the truths of the Faith and the actual life of Christians; in so doing, it has destroyed everything and has rendered the Christian life, first false, and then useless and impossible to live.

In Modernism, everything comes from ideology; cogitations by contemporary atheist and agnostic thinkers are embraced uncritically as good, and there is a desire to force Catholic thought to adapt to them so that it will not remain ‘outside history’. It is a continuous desire ‘to keep up with the times’ so that Christianity does not grow old. It is not reality that commands, but ideology and the ideas of intellectuals.

Read more . . .

Prior to Adult Faith Formation, One Thing Is Necessary – Homiletic & Pastoral Review

In a recent article in HPR, I stressed the need in the Church for adult formation. 1 Of course, the leadership of the Church knows the need very well! But, the inconvenient truth is that there is widespread neglect in following through on the well-documented magisterial recognition of that need. The many wonderful documents that teach the rightful priority of adult formation don’t seem to make it down to the pews. That, however, was the subject of the first article: we need adult formation in the faith!

In this article, I hope to stress a simple but essential prerequisite to that needed formation. Without this one thing, all the formal education in the faith will remain merely on the surface of the person. Is that so bad? Yes, it is. God sees the heart, and wants to pour his life and his love and his truth into human minds and hearts. God seeks to gather human persons—mind, will, body—into blessed communion with him.

Read more . . .

THE REMNANT NEWSPAPER: Who’s the Genius? – (Kudos to Ann Barnhardt)

We’re initiating a new feature in The Remnant called “Who’s the Genius?”. In that column, we’ll be asking questions such as:

Who’s the genius that decided it was a good idea for Catholics to stop kneeling for reception of Holy Communion?

Who’s the genius that determined it was time to can the Communion rail, pitch the paten, and drop the Sacred Species like popcorn into the hands of everyone—even though for over a thousand years only the consecrated hands of the alter christi were allowed to touch consecrated Hosts?

Who’s the genius that decided it was a good idea to introduce women into the sanctuary—the Holy of Holies—when after several millennia and for most all the major religions in history, it had always been reserved for men, for priests?

Who’s the genius that determined the time had come to remove Christ altogether from the sanctuary by hiding the tabernacle almost anywhere but where it belongs?

Read more . . .

Some Lingering Questions for the Church in the Wake of the Last Election | Archdiocese of Washington

There are many lingering questions in the aftermath of the recent elections here in America. Among them is the role that the Church does or should play in giving Catholics direction on how to vote. What should the clergy say? How far should they go? When are voter guides too specific and when are they not specific enough? Is it enough for the Church to preach principles and let Catholics connect the dots?

And, even if one concludes that the Church should not endorse or exclude particular Candidates by name, what about specific issues? Should the Church in such cases also preach only principles or should the Church specifically ask or direct Catholic to vote “No” on “Proposition ##” and “Yes” on “Proposition ##.” Is that going too far? When?

Read more . . .