Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Cardinal Burke Just Doesn't Get It

Cardinal Raymond Burke has once again shown that he is out of step with the message of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Burke has aligned himself with radical traditionalists, as he did when endorsing the Roman Forum, a group of Traditionalists who reject Vatican II and the "Novus Ordo" Mass.  He gives interviews to radical traditionalists as he did with Michael Matt of The Remnant Newspaper. Cardinal Burke has been unceasing in both direct and indirect criticism of Pope Francis.  He is one of the four cardinals to publicly call out Pope Francis about the teaching on marriage, demanding answers to questions for which, as he admitted to Michael Matt, he already knows the answers, proving that his intent was clearly to trap Pope Francis, just as the Pharisees posed questions to Christ merely as entrapment.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Conservative Catholics Motto: Save the Ship, Damn the People

I recently did a post [HERE] on the article from La Civiltà Cattolica entitled, "EVANGELICAL FUNDAMENTALISM AND CATHOLIC INTEGRALISM: A SURPRISING ECUMENISM" written by Antonio Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa.  As I wrote, this article outlines the danger arising from an ideological movement in which some Catholics and evangelical Protestants have joined together to fight our evil culture.  I discussed the main points of this article in my post and showed that the authors of this article are in complete agreement with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

However, I am in a tiny, tiny minority of those who agree with the article. The Catholic Internet has attacked this article with no holds barred, mostly responding with invective, accusations of heresy and accusing Spadaro and Figuerora of ignorance of American Culture.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Religious Right: Servant of the Devil?

It has taken my entire life, but I have finally come to understand that we cannot judge people by only their words or actions.  People can do all the "right" things but for all the "wrong" reasons.  In order to fully understand where people are coming from, we need to know what is motivating them.  And our Lord says there should actually be only one overriding motive in our lives:  love.  Specifically, Love of God and love of neighbor.  Any other motivation - power, prestige, money, security, etc. - is of the devil.  As St. Paul tells us, unless we love, nothing we do has any real meaning (I Corinthians 13).

This is why Our Lord warned us that people can think they doing God a service when they kill others.  And sometimes we can "kill" others without even physically harming them.

That is basically the theme of an article in La Civiltà Cattolica entitled, "EVANGELICAL FUNDAMENTALISM AND CATHOLIC INTEGRALISM: A SURPRISING ECUMENISM" written by Antonio Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa.  This point of this article is the danger arising from an ideological movement of some Catholics and evangelical Protestants joining together to fight our evil culture, specifically against such evils as abortion and same sex marriage.  This movement sees politics as the savior of the world:  if we can just get the right people into public office and then get the right people on the Supreme Court, then our society can be saved from the evil, godless Left.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Traditionalists Attack Summorum Pontificum

Any traditionalist reading the title of this post will definitely accuse me of losing my mind. Traditionalists feel that Summorum Pontificum - which opened up the Traditional Latin Mass to the entire Church - was probably the most important and significant document in the last 50 years. They would never attack it! And yet, that is exactly what they do.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How to Be Right Yet Be So Wrong

I have written rather extensively on the controversy surrounding Father James Martin and his book, "Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity".  I am always in favor of reaching out to people and trying to bring them to Jesus Christ, and I saw Father Martin's book as just this.  As I have written, I have no personal stake in this argument, other than wanting to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible.

Most of the blog posts and articles I have read condemn Father Martin for his approach.  People feel that Father Martin fails to state the sinfulness of homosexual acts and that completely negates anything else he has to say.  People seem to feel that reaching out to homosexuals must always be accompanied by clear and unambiguous condemnation of homosexual sex.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

When No One Makes Sense, Turn to Jesus

There is no one to lean on apart from Jesus.  He alone faileth not, and it is exceeding joy to think that He can never change.
St. Therese of Lisieux
The world has never been a truly sane place since the time Adam and Eve first bit into the apple, but our present world has taken this insanity to a whole new level.  As it says at the top of my blog, I am a Catholic searching for truth in a world gone mad, and more often that not, my quest for truth among human beings has not been successful.

Everyone is convinced of his or her own hold on the truth, and anyone who doesn't agree is either stupid or evil or both, and therefore must be opposed and ultimately crushed.  The Internet has caused even more polarization in our world because people can now hide under the cover of anonymity and attack and demonize each other without even revealing who they are.  And the attacks are vicious.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Lord Hears The Cry of the Poor

When I woke up today, the first thing I saw on the news was that we could very possibly enter into a war with North Korea, and this could very well involve nuclear weapons:
The top American general in South Korea said Wednesday that self-restraint was all that kept the United States and South Korea from going to war with North Korea, as the South’s defense minister indicated that the North’s first intercontinental ballistic missile had the potential to reach Hawaii.  
News like this does not exactly put a bounce in my step. Our world lives on the edge, and we never know when it is going to tip so far over there is no going back. But for those who trust in the Lord, who have experienced the peace that surpasses all understanding which comes from being the recipient of His great love and mercy, even news of a potential nuclear war does not disturb our inner peace.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Preaching At People Will Never Convert Anyone

I try to do a fair amount of spiritual reading (not near as much as I probably should), mostly writings of the saints, in a quest to understand how people become saints.  Pope Francis has said saints are ordinary people who followed God “with all their heart.”  In a sermon given on the Feast of All Saints, November 1, 2013, Pope Francis said:
They are like us, they are like each of us, they are people who before reaching the glory of heaven lived a normal life, with joys and griefs, struggles and hopes.
So what drove them to rise above being an ordinary person like me to become a saint?  From Pope Francis:
[T]hey recognized the love of God, they followed him with all their heart, without conditions and hypocrisies. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Is Anything Too Marvelous For The LORD To Do?

I believe one of the greatest sins we can commit is to limit God. What does that mean? To limit God is to believe that God thinks and views reality as you do. It is to believe that you, despite being a sinful, fallen human being, have the mind of God, and therefore, your views and opinions are on a par with the Mind of God. If you believe something is wrong, then it is wrong, If you believe something is right, then it is right. If you believe something can't be done, then it can't be done. Limiting God actually breaks the First Commandment - have no other gods before me - because you are making yourself into God.

Limiting God is the exact opposite of faith. Those who limit God say this is what God thinks and this is what God does, no more and no less. Faith says God is so far beyond my comprehension that I can't begin to fathom how He thinks. Faith says I am a sinner with a twisted, distorted and microscopically small view of reality. I am like an ant crawling on the ground with an ant's view of the world and the universe. An ant believes the only way to do things is the way he does them, by crawling around on the ground. Likewise, one who limits God, i.e. a faithless person, believes his way is the only way. If something doesn't fit into his understanding, then it can't be done. End of discussion.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Saints Peter and Paul: The Greatest Sinners Become the Greatest Saints

Today is a great solemnity in the Church - the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul.  St. Peter was our first pope, and St. Paul was a Jewish convert who is arguably considered to be our greatest evangelizer.  Both of these men were very flawed in very different ways.  St. Peter was an impetuous, act-first-think-later boastful man who literally betrayed Our Lord at the time of his crucifixion.  St. Paul was a Jewish zealot who took part in the murder of many Christians.

St. Paul labeled himself as the "worst sinner": I Tim 1:15 - "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst." I Cor 15:9 - "For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God."  St Peter wept bitterly for his sins, and at one point declared to Our Lord:  "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" (Luke 5:8).

And yet these two great sinners are considered among the greatest saints in history.  How does that happen?

The stories of Saints Peter and Paul and, in fact, of all saints, is the story of God's mercy, forgiveness and grace. God picks each one of us up out of the dirt and makes us into a new creation that we could have never fathomed. This is why we can never judge one another. If you had been a fly on the wall watching the antics of St. Peter during Christ's earthly ministry and his actual betrayal of Jesus, you would have never thought for one moment that Our Lord would choose him to be the earthly foundation of the Church. If you had seen the zealot known as Saul of Tarsus and witnessed his great hatred and persecution of the early Church, it would have been inconceivable to think he would be the greatest evangelizer of the Gospel.

Today's feast day reminds me that we must try to stop limiting God. God never acts in ways that we would choose. He never chooses the people that we would choose. He never brings people to conversion in the way that we think is appropriate. As Pope Francis has said, God is a God of surprises.

As Christians, as followers of Jesus Christ, we make big mistakes if we think we know the mind of God.  And the beauty of following Jesus Christ is that He doesn't ask us to anticipate what He is going to do.  He just asks us to trust him, and then counts that as righteousness on our part.  The first reading from yesterday's Mass is a great illustration of this fact.  It was the story of God's promise to Abram that he would have more descendants than stars in the sky.  There was just one problem:  Abram did not have any children, and his wife was long past child bearing age.  But what was Abram's reaction:  "Abram put his faith in the LORD, who credited it to him as an act of righteousness."

Today's feast day of Saints Peter and Paul should be a reminder to all of us that those whom we consider the greatest sinners, the biggest reprobates who, we feel should be wiped from the earth, may just be fated to be among the greatest saints in heaven.

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