Category Archives: Church

Pray for your Enemies

“Silence implies consent.” St. Thomas More, OFS

“A Christian can never remain silent in the face of violence, poverty, hunger, corruption or abuse of power.”
Pope Benedict XVI


The Lord said, “Pray for your enemies”
I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

The Catholic Church and its faithful followers have many enemies who are hostile to the Church.

 

      • Hollywood: The amount of filth and immorality publicly promoted is baffling. The show, SMILF, on SHOWTIME is outright blaspheming Mary, the Mother of God and mocking the the Lord’s prayer.
        Also the blasphemy exhibited by the Met Gala, Hollywood’s elite, who came to New York City to show off the most opulent fashion of the 2018 season. The stars pushed the envelope to be in tune with the event’s “Heavenly Bodies, blaspheming the sacred vestments and sacred imagies of the Catholic Church.
        Please pray for the writers, promoters and Hollywood’s elite who attack the Church.
      • Prime Time News: There are some prime time news outlets that are underreporting important Church news or by innuendo distorting the news.
        Pray for those enemies who distort the news or promote fake news.
      • Educational Institutions: Some institutions who educate the younger generation have an anti-Christian agenda or turn away anyone who wishes to express their christian values.
        Pray for educational administrators.
      • Democratic Party’s Pro Abortion support: An example of abortion support is what congressional minority speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said, “being a practicing Catholic” she believed “abortion is sacred.” Her statement implies she is speaking for the Catholic Church. This is heresy.
        Pray for her. Pray for our bishops to report strongly and often that killing children in the womb is an evil offense against God.
      • Enemies of Marriage: According to the Institute for Family Studies, only about half of the children in the United States are living in a household headed by married parents, The steady increases in divorce, out-of-wedlock births, and cohabitation threatens what God intended. Pray for those who believe that Marriage is passé.
      • Enemies within the Catholic Church We live in a time when Church teaching is under attack by members of the clergy, i.e., “Rev. James Martin, S.J. said, “Catholics should “reverence” homosexual “marriage,” he favors homosexual kissing during Mass and supports transgenderism for children. Pray for the enemies of Church teaching.

        Rescue me, Lord, from my enemies. Psalm 143

      • Read the “Prophecies of Our Lady of Good Succcess–her Prophecies are happening now.

      Speaking of prophecies: “The Greatest Poverty”
      Since the Supreme Court ruled in “Roe vs. Wade” that a woman can kill the child in her womb, we see now, in the news, how abundantly human beings are being killed in our country for whatever reason. Remember what Mother Teresa said, “The greatest poverty is the spiritual emptiness that causes people to discard other human beings as useless objects—abortion. If a mother can kill her own child—what is left but for me to kill you and you kill me.”

      Pray for the families that have lost children and teachers in the school killings that go on and on in our country.


Religious Liberty

Religious freedom, meaningless without truth, By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Dec 16, 2016

U.S. President Barack Obama praised the Maccabees on Wednesday at a White House Hanukkah reception. The Maccabees were a family of brothers who, following their father’s lead, defended Israel against conquest by pagans in the second century before Christ. Praising Jews who “dare to observe their faith”, Obama said: “Everybody in America can understand the spirit of this tradition. Proudly practicing our religion, whatever it might be—and defending the rights of others to do the same—that’s our common creed.”

All of this is disingenuous, of course. President Obama, like countless other political leaders in the contemporary West, has no respect for religion when it comes to attempting to apply its values to the social order, making them relevant outside the walls of a church. As Pope Francis stated in a recent interview, a “culture or a political system that does not respect openness to the transcendence of the human person ‘prunes’ or cuts down the human person.” Yet our politicians and our cultural elites insist that values come from the decisions of the State, and that human law is not subject to Divine authority.

Unfortunately, the Western conception of religious liberty has been reduced to a celebration of private religious feelings. Religious freedom is considered just fine as long as religious persons do not really believe in truth or commit themselves to the good—as long, that is, as religion itself is defined as a means of seeking personal consolation rather than a means of discerning the difference between right and wrong.

Now before anyone raises the objection that, surely, the State must prevent one religion from imposing its values on everyone, it is important to recognize that Catholicism offers a way of honoring religious liberty while still insisting that social, political and economic life should be orchestrated according to moral principles. I am referring, of course, to the natural law. A recognition of natural law not only discloses our common human morality but sets limits to every liberty, including freedom of religion. The Church insists that people need to be generally free to seek God in order to do their best in following His will, but she also insists that this freedom cannot be used to set aside the natural law. The natural law is the revelation of God in the things He has made. It may be required of all because it is accessible to all, even without the gift of Faith.

Hence it is the natural law that must serve as the Divine framework for legitimate government: Any human law that contradicts the natural law is null and void. The natural law, therefore, provides not only a guide and a restraint for governance but also a proper framework for religious liberty. It prevents the common good from being subverted by a pseudo-spiritual liberty that dissolves into license.

Meaningless Religion
With this point understood, I can now assert without any inconsistency that religious liberty as conceived in a culture of relativism is meaningless. This is the key issue here. The whole point of religious liberty is that it enables the human person to fulfill the end for which he was created by seeking, without ridiculous impediments, to know, love and serve God. As Newman so wisely put it, all of us have a sense of good and evil and of living under a judgment. We have to work very hard at not feeling uneasy when we know we have done something wrong. And if this universal intuition of living under a judgment—that is, this faculty of conscience—means anything, it must mean that there is a Lawgiver who cares about our behavior. We should expect, then, that He cares enough to reveal Himself in some way, and so it is the most important task of our lives to try to figure out Who this Lawgiver is and what He expects of us.

In other words, religious liberty derives its value and potency from the authentic duty of each human person to conform his mind to the ultimate reality that underlies everything. This conformity of the mind to reality is actually the very definition of truth. The refusal to accept that truth exists is, in fact, a denial of reality. It forces us to ride a rollercoaster of ever-changing values articulated and imposed arbitrarily by cultural pressure and political force.

People like Barack Obama can seize the moral high ground by praising freedom of religion only because they have already rendered freedom of religion pointless: They have already defined religion as merely a peculiar state of consciousness which produces feelings of consolation.

They will never give religion its due because they deny any truth higher than the State—or at least higher than the conceptions of our cultural elites. Politics and political correctness become the arbiter of values. Transcendance is denied, as the Pope said, and culture is closed in upon itself. Everyone is rewarded or punished accordingly.

Religious liberty is meaningless without a commitment to truth for the simple reason that religion itself is meaningless unless it is true. If religion cannot open our minds to a fuller grasp of reality than can be provided by the State, then it has no purpose. It is reduced to just one of many purely subjective personal attachments. It should be obvious that we cannot look to emotional attachments for guiding principles; and, clearly, only a fool would seek to help others or improve the social order merely by sharing his emotions.

In singling out the Maccabees for praise, President Obama had no idea of the implications. The Maccabees did not fight and die so that all religions could be freely practiced. The Maccabees did not fight and die for an emotional attachment, nor did they regard pagan religions as mere emotional attachments which were just as good as any others. They fought for their own right to conform their minds to the deepest reality of all, that they might know, love and serve God.

In our time, the rhetoric of religious liberty is designed to make us feel free when we are really in chains. We can only hope that there is still at least some danger for politicians in praising ancient heroes—in praising men and women who, were they present today, would slay them where they stand.

How beer saved the world

[One Way, for there were many.] by Deacon Dennis
Good Morning, good people!

May the Lord give you His Peace!

Today I send along a site that reinforces the contention that beer saved the World, or at least Western Civilization during the Middle Ages, and that the Monks were the ones who saved Western Civilization by producing and selling their beer.

As populations began to migrate to ever larger cities and towns during this time, sewage disposal became simply a matter of throwing food waste and night soil wastes into the streets which washed into the rivers and streams.  This was fine if you lived upstream, but if you lived downstream in the next town, water was not the healthiest thing you could drink.  As the article points out, “Beer production served other purposes too. The Rule outlines the monastery’s obligation to show hospitality to travelers and pilgrims. Beer was safer to drink in medieval times than water contaminated by sewage, and therefore was served to visitors.”

The YouTube video attached to the article entitled “Beer Brewing Monks Celebrate 1 Year of Production” documents the Benedictine monks in Norcia, Italy, celebrating their first year of beer production,

You can  find a Discovery Channel Documentary, “How Beer Saved the World” (2011) on Netflix that traces the origins of beer and devotes considerable time to the contention that it was indeed the monks who save Western Civilization through their production of and selling of beer.  The writers are a bit “off” on some of their notions (example – that the monks used beer to lure people to Sunday Mass by the promise of a beer-blast following the Mass) but the idea of boiling the beer mash (the grains and water) and other sanitary practices necessary to good beer production instituted by the monks did indeed prevent many water-borne diseases such as Campylobacteriosis, Cholera, E Coli Infections, Dysentery, and Typhoid Fever, just to name a few that could wipe out the major portion of the populations of those cities and towns of the time since there were no antibiotics that could combat these.  Death from untreated Cholera, for example, is within 10-18 hours from the onset of symptoms (profuse diarrhea and vomiting) especially among the youngest and weakest.

Some Trappist Beers at a store devoted to craft beers here in Warner Robins and Chimay in our local Kroger.

The failure of history without Christ

Flag with cross

Flag with cross

On the failure of history—and historians—without Christ
By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Jan 29, 2015

Your Editor’s note: Our country’s beginning was framed with God and His Son in mind.

When I was a brash young graduate student in the very early 1970s, Professor Lawrence Stone tried to teach me that the English Revolution and civil war were essentially caused by social and demographic factors, and that the previous emphasis on religious differences was essentially laughable. I remember telling him, with my classic humility, that he had the cart before the horse. (Extaordinarly witty, no? But it is deceptively easy to draw down on a professor when you’re 22, you’ve been admitted to the Ivy League, and you already know everything.)

It so happened that Professor Stone did not like my attention to religious beliefs as historical motivators, and so he did what any open-minded sceptic would do: He tried to get my fellowship revoked so I could not continue to study at Princeton. Amazingly, this turned out to be a violation of the rules as long as my grades were good. But it also taught me a significant lesson about how academic reputations are made (usually by attacking someone else’s theory) and retained (usually by advancing students who have become your clones). Read More

Oldest known copy of one of the Gospels.

Archeologists are expecting the publication of what could be the oldest known copy of one of the Gospels.
The fragmentary text, taken from the Gospel of St. Mark, was reportedly discovered on a sheet of papyrus that was used for a mummy. Experts believe that the text dates back to the 1st century.
The discovery of the Gospel text has been surrounded by mystery because some scientists object to the process in which papyrus is removed from a mummy’s mask, thereby destroying the mask itself.

Go to: http://www.livescience.com/49489-oldest-known-gospel-mummy-mask.html

1st-century Gospel text found in mummy’s mask?

A mummy mask was one of the masks that the researchers took apart to reveal ancient papyri. This mummy mask is similar to the one that contained the first century gospel fragment.
Credit: Courtesy of Prof. Craig Evans

A text that may be the oldest copy of a gospel known to exist — a fragment of the Gospel of Mark that was written during the first century, before the year 90 — is set to be published.

At present, the oldest surviving copies of the gospel texts date to the second century (the years 101 to 200).

This first-century gospel fragment was written on a sheet of papyrus that was later reused to create a mask that was worn by a mummy. Although the mummies of Egyptian pharaohs wore masks made of gold, ordinary people had to settle for masks made out of papyrus (or linen), paint and glue. Given how expensive papyrus was, people often had to reuse sheets that already had writing on them. 

In recent years scientists have developed a technique that allows the glue of mummy masks to be undone without harming the ink on the paper. The text on the sheets can then be read.

The first-century gospel is one of hundreds of new texts that a team of about three-dozen scientists and scholars is working to uncover, and analyze, by using this technique of ungluing the masks, said Craig Evans, a professor of New Testament studies at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

“We’re recovering ancient documents from the first, second and third centuries. Not just Christian documents, not just biblical documents, but classical Greek texts, business papers, various mundane papers, personal letters,” Evans told Live Science. The documents include philosophical texts and copies of stories by the Greek poet Homer. [See Images of Early Christian Inscriptions and Artifacts]

The business and personal letters sometimes have dates on them, he said. When the glue was dissolved, the researchers dated the first-century gospel in part by analyzing the other documents found in the same mask.

One drawback to the process is that the mummy mask is destroyed, and so scholars in the field are debating whether that particular method should be used to reveal the texts they contain.

But Evans emphasized that the masks that are being destroyed to reveal the new texts are not high quality ones that would be displayed in a museum. Some are not masks at all but are simply pieces of cartonnage.

Evans told Live Science, “We’re not talking about the destruction of any museum-quality piece.”

The technique is bringing many new texts to light, Evans noted. “From a single mask, it’s not strange to recover a couple dozen or even more” new texts, he told Live Science. “We’re going to end up with many hundreds of papyri when the work is done, if not thousands.”

Debate

Scholars who work on the project have to sign a nondisclosure agreement that limits what they can say publicly. There are several reasons for this agreement. One is that some of the owners of these masks simply do not want to be made known, Evans said. “The scholars who are working on this project have to honor the request of the museums, universities, private owners, so forth.”

The owners of the mummy masks retain ownership of the papyrus sheets after the glue on them is dissolved.

Evans said that the only reason he can talk about the first-century gospel before it is published is because a member of the team leaked some of the information in 2012. Evans was careful to say that he is not telling Live Science anything about the first-century gospel that hasn’t already been leaked online.

Soon after the 2012 leak, speculation surrounded the methods that the scholars used to figure out the gospel’s age.

Evans says that the text was dated through a combination of carbon-14 dating, studying the handwriting on the fragment and studying the other documents found along with the gospel. These considerations led the researchers to conclude that the fragment was written before the year 90. With the nondisclosure agreement in place, Evans said that he can’t say much more about the text’s date until the papyrus is published.

Destruction of mummy masks

The process that is used to obtain the papyri, which involves the destruction of the mummy masks, has also generated debate. For instance, archaeologist Paul Barford, who writes about collecting and heritage issues, has written a scathing blog post criticizing the work on the gospel.

Roberta Mazza, a lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Manchester, has blogged her concerns about the text as has Brice Jones, a doctoral candidate in religion at Concordia University.

When the texts are published the debate is likely to move beyond the blogosphere and into mainstream media and scholarly journals.

Biblical clues

Although the first-century gospel fragment is small, the text will provide clues as to whether the Gospel of Mark changed over time, Evans said.

His own research is focused on analyzing the mummy mask texts, to try to determine how long people held onto them before disposing or reusing them. This can yield valuable information about how biblical texts were copied over time.

“We have every reason to believe that the original writings and their earliest copies would have been in circulation for a hundred years in most cases — in some cases much longer, even 200 years,” he said.

This means that “a scribe making a copy of a script in the third century could actually have at his disposal (the) first-century originals, or first-century copies, as well as second-century copies.”

Set to publish

Evans said that the research team will publish the first volume of texts obtained through the mummy masks and cartonnage later this year. It will include the gospel fragment that the researchers believe dates back to the first century. 

The team originally hoped the volume would be published in 2013 or 2014, but the date had to be moved back to 2015. Evans said he is uncertain why the book’s publication was delayed, but the team has made use of the extra time to conduct further studies into the first-century gospel.
“The benefit of the delay is that when it comes out, there will be additional information about it and other related texts.”

For more information on this subject go to: Catholic World News, = CatholicCulture.org =
http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=23795