Is the Church a Thermometer or a Thermostat? A Biblical reply to those who prefer a trendy and compliant Church « Archdiocese of Washington

Is the Church a Thermometer or a Thermostat? A Biblical reply to those who prefer a trendy and compliant Church

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

Is the Church a thermometer or a thermostat? In other words are we called merely to reflect the temperature (thermometer), or are we called to set the temperature (thermostat)? Many are deeply confused as to the role of the Church in the modern world, think we ought simply to reflect the mores of current times, rather than to prophetically announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Yes, there are many insist that the Church needs to “get with the times……Update her teachings….Be more modern in her thinking, teachings and structures.” She needs to “Listen more to young people and speak their language and share their vision.”

Put more in a hostile way, the Church “needs to abandon her medieval ways, cease being hostile, judgmental, intolerant, bigoted, sexist, homophobic, hateful etc (and the usual list of modern accusations that reflect more the accuser’s personal issues than the Church).

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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

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Barnhardt.biz – On The Immaculate Conception & Science

Posted by Ann Barnhardt – December 8, AD 2012 6:28 PM MST

This piece was very popular last year, and since there are a lot more eyes here than a year ago, it is worth a repost today, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Here’s your Christian catechesis for the weekend. First, who exactly is the Immaculate Conception? Most Catholics today are so incredibly ignorant and poorly catechized in their faith that a sickening number would say that Jesus is who the term Immaculate Conception is referring to. That would be wrong. Mary is the Immaculate Conception.

And here is where all of the non-Catholics begin to feel a distinct tightening in the solar plexus, a rush of blood to the face, a clenching of the jaw and a grinding of the teeth. Why? Because any mention of Mary other than as a human brood mare, and only around Christmastime – engenders RAGE amongst the Protesters. Why? Because, apparently, Mary draws people’s attention away from Jesus instead of pointing people TOWARD Him. Because, apparently, Jesus takes absolutely no delight in any of us, most especially His own mother, is insanely jealous of His own creation and thus hates His own mother, and demands that nobody EVER so much as LOOK at her, much less LOVE her, because Jesus is extremely insecure and just can’t handle people observing, loving and appreciating beauty in HIS OWN CREATION, even though everything in the universe was made by Him and through Him.

So every time a parent looks at their child in love, Jesus gets all mad. And every time a man looks at his wife in love, Jesus gets all mad. And every time a son looks at his mother in love, Jesus gets all mad. And every time a man looks at the mountains, or a sunset, or up at the stars in loving wonder and appreciation, Jesus gets all mad. And every time a person looks in loving appreciation at a beautiful painting, or building, or reads a beautiful bit of prose or poetry, or gazes upon a particularly elegant bit of mathematics or even computer programming code . . . JESUS GETS ALL MAD.

Do I have that about right, y’all? Snorf.

Anywho, back to the Immaculate Conception. This doctrine and non-negotiable tenet of Christianity teaches that Mary was, by the grace of God, prevented from carrying the stain of Original Sin from the moment of her conception. Mary was saved from sin by her Son, like all of the other faithful, it is just that the timing of her salvation was different from everyone else. This is why Mary calls God “my Savior” in her Magnificat in Luke 1:46-55. Instead of letting Mary fall in the mud puddle of sin like the rest of us, God stuck out His Arm back through time from the Cross and kept her from falling in the mud puddle – but if it wasn’t for God’s positive action of reaching out across time from the Cross and holding her from falling, she would have fallen. This is called “grace”, and is what the Angel Gabriel was referring to when he greeted Mary at the Annunciation with the words, “Hail! Full of grace! The LORD is with thee. Blessed art thou among women.” Luke 1:28

Full of grace means FULL. OF. GRACE.

How full is full? Full is totally full. To the brim. Full does not mean half-full or mostly-full. Full means full. Mary was FULL OF GRACE. And because Mary was FULL of grace, there was absolutely no room for sin. Mary didn’t sin because God her Savior had filled her with grace and therefore she just COULDN’T sin. Most of us reading this have a tiny taste of what this is like. For example, I^m guessing that everyone reading this, if handed a baby would be incapable of killing that baby. We just COULDN’T do it. No matter what threat was made against us, no matter what the adverse consequences to our own lives might be, we would take any adverse consequence before killing that baby. We are simply incapable of performing that act. Why? What is that internal force of energy that prevents us from committing acts of evil even when under intense duress and threat? It is grace. Pure and simple.

2012 editorial update: Apparently this example is somewhat iffy today, as almost every one of you would happily kill a baby with your tax dollars, as long as your tax dollars pay someone else to actually do the limb-ripping and decapitation of said baby behind closed doors. But I digress.

Sadly, most of us have a little grace, but are not in any way FULL of grace. I am personally much closer to being full of crap than of grace (which many of you have already pointed out to me, thank you very much), hence the daily, persistent, repeated sinning on my part. And I suspect it is a similar situation with you, dear reader, with the grace-to-crap ratio being much higher for you than for me. I really am quite full of crap.

With Mary there was no crap because God her Savior had FILLED her with grace, and thus there was no room for crap, and thus there was no sin. It’s really just 2nd grade math if you think about it. But WHY? Why was it essential for Mary to be sinless and sinless from the moment of her conception?

That’s where the science comes in.

There are two phases to Mary’s existence. The first phase was from the moment of her conception until the Annunciation, which is when Jesus was conceived in her womb. The second phase was from that moment of conception forward for all eternity. Each phase has its own physiological delight attached to it which required Mary to be a sinless vessel for Our Lord.

First, the pre-Annunciation period. As it turns out, all baby girls have all of the eggs that are ever going to be in their ovaries fully formed not just at birth, but fairly early in their fetal development phase. Unlike men who are continuously producing new sperm, a woman’s eggs aren’t created and formed with each menstrual cycle. All that is happening during a cycle is that an egg, which has been fully formed in a woman’s body since she was a pre-born fetus, is released into the reproductive tract. What this means theologically is that the egg containing the 23 chromosomes that God would miraculously fertilize with 23 chromosomes that He miraculously supplied (including a Y chromosome) to become the Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ, was physically present inside Mary’s body from the time that Mary was inside of her mother’s womb.

That egg, and those chromosomes, that physical constituent of Our Blessed Lord was present inside of Mary’s body, waiting to be . . . if I may use the word . . . consecrated. The word consecrate, when broken into its Latin components means:

Con: With

Secr: Holy

Ate: Territory of a Ruler

And so, Mary was, from the time she was inside St. Ann’s womb, already carrying a portion of Our Lord’s physicality, namely 23 of His chromosomes. And thus Mary was, from her very beginning, already a tabernacle, already the Ark of the New Covenant, carrying within her what would be consecrated into The Law Incarnate, The High Priest, and The Bread of Life, directly analogous to the Old Ark, except perfected and fully fulfilled as God Incarnate. And as we know from the book of Exodus, the Old Ark had to be “pure within and without” (Exodus 25:11). And thus, the Ark of the New Covenant was truly pure within and without, except this purity was a purity that only God Himself could accomplish: the purity of Mary, full of grace and thus saved from all sin.

The second phase is actually broken into two sub-phases. The first sub-phase is when Mary was pregnant with Jesus and His entire body was inside of hers. The second phase is that phase from the time of Jesus’ birth forward into all eternity.

Jesus is STILL physically inside of Mary in a unique way. It was discovered just a few short years ago that immune cells pass from a pre-born child to the mother across the placenta. Not only do these immune cells, which are the child’s and thus carry the exclusive DNA of the child, pass across the placenta, but they persist in the mother’s body for the rest of her life. A woman who has carried a son has immune cells with Y-chromosomes in her bloodstream that can now be filtered out of her blood and observed. Female children also pass cells to their mothers. Thus, a woman truly does carry her children around inside of her, with their DNA coursing through her heart, for the rest of her life. That isn’t just a sentiment, it is a physiological fact.

Thus, Mary continued and continues to this day to be a perpetual, living tabernacle of her Son, as she carries cells with His DNA in her bloodstream. And so now we see why Mary had to be filled with grace and thus saved from the stain of sin from the moment of her conception eternally forward, because she was and is a perpetual Ark of the New Covenant.

This also explains why Mary’s body was assumed into heaven, body and soul, immediately at the end of her earthly life, because her body literally contained living cells of Our Lord and thus her body could not remain on earth in physical death to decay in any way. She simply was afforded the same physical resurrection that all of the faithful will receive, albeit instantaneously for her, given her very special state, both spiritually and physically. This is what is doctrinally referred to as “The Assumption”. The Feast of the Assumption is August 15th.

Finally, if you are reading this and it has made you the least bit angry, you need to sit down and ask yourself one excruciatingly simple question: WHY?

(This is in German – beautiful.)

via Barnhardt.biz – Commodity Brokerage.

How ignoring two little words has devastated evangelization. | Archdiocese of Washington

Just two little words in a carefully written text of the Second Vatican Council carry tremendous significance in terms of the emphasis that text was meant to convey. Two little words, so easily overlooked, add urgency to the task for evangelization, and usher in a reminder of why the task of the Church in announcing Jesus Christ is so critical.

What are these words? Simply these:

“But often….”

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Catholic New World – The Cardinal’s Column – The wrong side of history

God sustains the world, in good times and in bad. Catholics, along with many others, believe that only one person has overcome and rescued history: Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, savior of the world and head of his body, the church. Those who gather at his cross and by his empty tomb, no matter their nationality, are on the right side of history. Those who lie about him and persecute or harass his followers in any age might imagine they are bringing something new to history, but they inevitably end up ringing the changes on the old human story of sin and oppression.

There is nothing “progressive” about sin, even when it is promoted as “enlightened.” The world divorced from the God who created and redeemed it inevitably comes to a bad end. It’s on the wrong side of the only history that finally matters. The Synod on the New Evangelization is taking place in Rome this month because entire societies, especially in the West, have placed themselves on the wrong side of history. This October, let’s pray the rosary so that the Holy Spirit will guide and strengthen the bishops and others at the synod as they deliberate about the challenges to preaching and living the Gospel at this moment in human history.

via Catholic New World – The Cardinal’s Column – The wrong side of history.

Gloria in Excelsis Deo: Gregorian Chant

SONGS FOR THE SPIRIT: SUNDAY SYMPHONY

Glória in excélsis Deo
et in terra pax homínibus bonae voluntátis.
Laudámus te,
benedícimus te,
adorámus te,
glorificámus te,
grátias ágimus tibi propter magnam glóriam tuam,
Dómine Deus, Rex cæléstis,
Deus Pater omnípotens.
Dómine Fili Unigénite, Iesu Christe,
Dómine Deus, Agnus Dei, Fílius Patris,
qui tollis peccáta mundi, miserére nobis;
qui tollis peccáta mundi, súscipe deprecatiónem nostram.
Qui sedes ad déxteram Patris, miserére nobis.
Quóniam tu solus Sanctus, tu solus Dóminus, tu solus Altíssimus,
Iesu Christe, cum Sancto Spíritu: in glória Dei Patris. Amen.
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.
We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory,
Lord God, heavenly King,
O God, almighty Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer.
you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.
For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

The Church Militant

Christ the King

It is the method of the Enemy to attempt to disrupt the mission and battle plans of Christ and His Church at every turn in history. Like any battle foe, the Enemy of our Lord, will attempt to attack the weakest flank, infiltrate the ranks, sabotage the weapons, destroy morale, and spread confusion and discontent. Is that not what we see since the last major shift of our battle plans: our plans for the Church in the Modern World?

Were our weakest links found in a few shepherds who cared more about their position and power than about Christ our Lord and the care of His sheep? Did the Enemy enlist their help by weakening their resolve to fight Evil? Did he whisper to them at night or deep in their souls: “Does the Enemy even exist?” Did he move them to weaken the weapons our Lord had provided His Church, or at least make many in the Church frightened at the prospect that they may have been sabotaged and therefore ineffective? If that were his strategy then the confusion, divisions, distrust and fear has worked its way into our ranks and works to weaken the morale of the flock; creating disunity and sowing doubt while destroying resolve. The sheep are likely having trouble discerning their shepherds from the hirelings.

The only voice the sheep will always understand and hear is that of The Shepherd of Souls, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is time for our army of spiritual warriors to regroup: seek silence, so we might only hear the Voice of God. It is the chaos that frightens and confuses us. We have become lost sheep. We need to find the Shepherd of Souls and all things will once again be set aright.

Some say that there are weaknesses in the New Mass, the New Rite of Baptism, the New Rite for Ordination of a Bishop and the New Rite for the Exorcism of the Evil One. If so, then the sabotage has occurred and we must fight on despite this disadvantage. If not, then we are only in a state of confusion and doubt; rife with fear, which the Enemy desires. The cry must go out that we must regain our courage and show no fear before our Foe. Have confidence that the Lord for Whom we fight, will lead us to victory no matter what the Enemy devises. This Church that fights beneath the standard of the Holy Cross will not fail. His Holy Spirit is dwelling in our midst and binds all our wounds.

Our cause is just, our Lord is Justice Himself and our outcome is assured; being testified to by Christ and the holy flock He shepherds. The saints give their testimony as well: those valiant soldiers who fought difficult battles over the ages. We may lose ground at times and even lose a battle here and there but the war is far from lost. It only serves to make us savor the Eternal Victory all the more. Seek Him Who gives courage to the weak and joy to the oppressed; He fails us not. We have only just begun to fight and we will not cower in the sight of our Enemy.

Though our Foe may revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for Our Lord’s sake. “Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.”