A Review of Common Fallacies that Weaken Arguments. | Archdiocese of Washington

 

It occurs that our capacity to converse and to set forth arguments for the truth are often hindered today on account of many factors. One of those factors is a paradoxical relationship between a kind of skepticism and and exaggerated insistence on absolute proof that results. The fact is, absolute certitude in our human condition is rare, and to insist on it is usually unreasonable. This of course does not mean that firm certitude cannot be had in many matters as well as lesser degrees that remain a firm confidence as to the facts in a matter.

On Monday there was posted a reflection on the nature of thinking (Here)and argumentation and there was a promise of a follow-up. Herein is an attempt at that follow-through. First a quick review of Monday’s post:

We can distinguish two types of argumentation: Deductive and inductive.

via A Review of Common Fallacies that Weaken Arguments. | Archdiocese of Washington.

Today is Born a Savior. And here are some of His saving Gifts | Archdiocese of Washington

There is a Scripture reading proclaimed at the Christmas Liturgy that usually gets overlooked. And yet it should elicit considerable reflection since it is proclaimed at the Christmas Midnight Mass, one of the Church’s most prominent Liturgies. It is from the Letter to Titus in the Second Chapter. I would like to reproduce it in full and then give some commentary following.

The grace of God has appeared, saving all

and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires

and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,

as we await the blessed hope,

the appearance of the glory of our great God

and savior Jesus Christ,

who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness

and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good. Titus 2:11-14

Read more . . .

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 . . .

A Strange Thing Jesus Said to a Paralyzed Man – Another Insight from Pope Benedict’s New Book | Archdiocese of Washington

The Gospel from Monday the second week of Advent is the gospel of the paralyzed man who is lowered through the roof. It is presented to us in Advent because, among the many prophecies about the Messiah, would be that the lame would walk. But the Gospel also helps us to focus on Jesus’ central mission for us, and it is very provocatively expressed in this Gospel.

The Gospel passage contains a rather peculiar and somewhat awkward moment. Jesus looks at a paralyzed man and says to him, As for you, your sins are forgiven (Lk 5:20). What a strange thing to say to a paralyzed man.

The Pharisees and scribes of course are all worked up for other reasons, but their reason is not ours, we know that Jesus has the authority to forgive sins. Let us stay focused on the strange thing to say to a paralyzed man, your sins are forgiven you.

One of us modern folk might be tempted to tap Jesus on the shoulder and say, “Ah excuse me, Lord, this man is paralyzed, his problem is paralysis, that’s what he needs healing for.”

Of course Jesus is not blind or unintelligent, knows this. But looking at a paralyzed man he does not see the paralysis as his most serious problem. The man has a far more serious problem, his sin.

Read more . . .

Homilies – Homiletic & Pastoral Review

Today, the Church begins a new liturgical season. This season, and this day, not only dignifies the beginning of a new Church year, it also reawakens the nearness of God’s loving presence dwelling among us in the Word-made-flesh. It announces the imminent coming and manifestation of the eternal Son, wrapped gloriously in the tattered, flagellated robes of our humanity.

He comes to us as the divine warmth that melts the frigid lovelessness of sin and death. He comes as the match that reignites, with us, the delight of the Father. He is both captain and vessel, by which we are rescued from the ocean of godlessness, and transported toward the harbor of eternal safety and security. It is he, the Son of Man, who begs us to be awake and alert to his coming. Because we, who have been baptized into Christ, are subject to a tepidity of spirit in that we live among many who have never truly encountered Christ—neither knowing him, nor walking in his way we. All too often, we assimilate the attitudes of those around us, making them our own. We begin to believe that the numbness, accompanying the cold and harsh elements of society, is the true warmth that we are forsaking. We grow tired of trying to protect the flame of grace burning within our souls. We thrash about, becoming despondent in the hope of finding lasting peace and rest. Salvation, therefore, must be something attainable at little cost to us. Such an attitude points to a hidden crisis of faith growing in our midst.

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Cardinal Wuerl At Synod . . . Faults Bad Catechisms, Liturgical Abuses: THE WANDERER

. . . “ The New Evangelization must provide a clear theological explanation for the necessity of the Church for salvation. This is a sensitive aspect of our preaching and too often has been neglected in catechesis. Rampant in much of the revival culture of today is the sentiment that salvation is achieved through a relationship with Jesus apart from the Church. But what needs to be emphasized and demonstrated is that Christ meets man wherever he is, in and through the presence of the Church ( cf.Instrumentum Laboris, nn. 35- 36).”

Cardinal Wuerl At Synod . . . Faults Bad
Catechisms, Liturgical Abuses
.

Why Matthew Vines Is Wrong About the Bible and Homosexuality | First Things

Why Matthew Vines Is Wrong About the Bible and Homosexuality | First Things.

There is always somebody willing to play scriptural gymnastics with the Bible to justify a position that they hold from a purely personal desire of perhaps to make a name for themselves.

The Flight from Hell | First Things

The lake of fire

The Flight from Hell | First Things.

Are we so sure of our salvation that we run through life giggling and laughing toward the brink of eternal damnation? It seems we no longer believe that hell exists or even if it does, we will surely not go there: the incredible optimism of a misguided world running headlong toward the abyss with reckless abandon.

THE REMNANT NEWSPAPER: The Christian Life: Life for God and Death to Sin

Fr. Michael Rodriguez: The Christian Life: Life for God and Death to Sin.

A few thoughts from a priest who is not afraid to preach against sin and to embrace a life lived for God. Inspirational.

Catholicism: the Reason for My Hope Part VI

The Saints and the Mystics of the Church

What are saints but the heroes of faith? They are declared by the Church to be holy men and women who led heroic lives to keep themselves in the state of holiness or in some cases gave their lives to defend their faith; those faithful martyrs. They are the few who are the rarest of humans; who dared to attempt in this life what Christ challenged His followers to do, “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.”[1] Though they fell over and over in life, most of these men and women came as close as we could ever dream, to doing just what Christ had asked of us: reaching spiritual perfection.

The Catholic Church gives the proper veneration and honor to these heroes of the faith. As the world gives honor to its heroes, the Church gives honor to Hers. Our Catholic children have the most proper and appropriate heroes to hold in esteem and to guide their lives.

To become a saint is not a simple matter because the Church requires of God his stamp of approval, His seal of authenticity if you will, on the heroic nature of any declared saint of the Catholic Church. Each must have at least one miracle attributed to them before their death and another attributed to their intercession after their death. Now that is a tall order but God is up to the task, having stamped His approval on a multitude of saintly heroes over the course of these 2000 years. They have been ratified by their miracles and in some cases by the miracle of becoming incorruptible; that is, their body does not decay after death.

The biographies of these individuals and their own spiritual writings have given us a library of valuable spiritual help and encouragement. No other church has so many spiritual heroes to draw upon. Their stories give us encouragement in facing trials and what to do when we fail those trials. Their prayers help us fashion our prayers to God, leaving our needs in His hands while praising Him and praying for others. They are the warriors in the spiritual battles against evil in this world and have shaped countries, continents and the history of our Church. They have taught us how to teach the faith by living the faith as it was meant to be lived.

These are the people who walk this earth as other Christ’s; “And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me.”[2] They effectively, “. . . put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth.”[3] They are what we are all supposed to aspire to in the Christian life. They fought the good fight and ran the good race having persevered to the end and winning the crown. God loves a saint.

As Scott Hahn has said, the best way to honor an artist is admire his art. In this way God is honored when we give honor to those who are His finest handiwork of human beings. And how much more true is this of Mary, the Mother of God; The Saint among saints. She is the singular boast of our broken nature. Only she, among the history of man was found worthy to be spared the stain of original sin, won for her by the grace of Christ’s redeeming death, at the moment of her conception; she who is ever-virgin and sinless and stainless though she possessed a human nature. She was chosen by God before all ages and she gave her will entirely over to His request. She is a singularity and God is pleased when we give her the heightened honor that she deserves. For she is God’s finest handiwork of the human creature; it is to honor her to praise God for His gift of her to mankind. Without her yes, where would we now be? Would we still be awaiting the Messiah and someone who might be worthy to bear Him, care for Him and protect Him as an infant? We need not worry of such things for she used Her will to do only His will. Hail Mary, full (not just partially filled) of (God’s) grace.

The mystical saints are the few who have tried to explain to us what is unexplainable. They try to speak the unspeakable, and describe the indescribable. However mystical are their writings, one gets a sense of the mysteries that are revealed to those who are so disposed to seek God through mystical prayer. Their writings are so sublime that they fill the reader’s soul with joy and grace. You, as a reader, know that you are listening to someone who truly spoke to God and what an indescribable grace it is to see Christ through such a thin veil. They are a rare breed who reaches the level of mystical prayer which is described as spiritual union: the marriage of their souls to Christ’s. It is a bliss filled encounter that transforms these saints into love itself, just as God is Love Himself. Their writings serve as a proof that the God of our prayers is truly God and truly present to us. No protestant church has such sublime heroes to lead them to an assurance so gratifying to the ordinary soul.

So now you have my reasons for hope in Christ as found through the intellect and through the spirit. They were all delivered to me via the Holy Catholic Church who is now and will remain forever the Mystical Body of Christ (with Christ as Her head) and the future Bride of the Bridegroom (with Christ as the Head of the espoused pair). Our human marriages only reflect the Wedding Feast of Heaven where the Church becomes one with Christ: like our earthly weddings, “two in one flesh.”[4]


[1] Matthew 5:48

[2] Galatians 2:20

[3] Ephesians 4:24

[4] Genesis 2:24