Showing posts with label Catholic Faith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Catholic Faith. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


1 Kings 3: 5 - 14:At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, "Ask what I shall give you." And Solomon said, "Thou hast shown great and steadfast love to thy servant David my father, because he walked before thee in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward thee; and thou hast kept for him this great and steadfast love, and hast given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people whom thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered or counted for multitude. Give thy servant therefore an understanding mind to govern thy people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to govern this thy great people?" It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, "Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days."

Because Solomon asked for wisdom...“an understanding mind”... so that he could discern between good and evil, right and wrong. God was pleased and blessed him not only with wisdom, but also gave him “what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days”.

What a great blessing Solomon received from God! What great blessings we would receive from God if we also followed the example of Solomon, and asked for wisdom. Yet, we look for blessings in other ways, in other things, and wonder why we fall short, why we fail to discern between good and evil, right and wrong.

Is that because we are too self-centered...too selfish? In some cases that may be true, but I think in some other cases we already deem ourselves “wise” in our own minds. We “think” we have all the answers and need no other guidance.

I think that we see that “know-it-all” attitude from far too many of our political leaders and others in positions of power and authority today.

Imagine for a moment... if you... if I... if all of us....humbled ourselves as Solomon did, and fell to our knees and asked God for wisdom, especially that wisdom that can only come from Jesus Christ. What if our political leaders and those in positions of power and authority would only humble themselves, fall to their knees and ask God for that wisdom.

We know from what happened to Solomon that you...that I... that all of us and all of those in positions of power and authority would receive many graces and blessings. Not just in this life but in the life to come!

All of our earthly troubles, all of our afflictions, all of sorrows would be gone if we would only ask for the True Wisdom that comes from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

You will find below some scripture verses from the New Testament that speak of wisdom:

"At the judgment, the Queen of the South will stand up and condemn you. She came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and here there is greater than Solomon."
- Matthew 12,42

"He himself will open the way to the Lord with the spirit and power of the prophet Elijah; he will reconcile fathers and children, and lead the disobedient to wisdom and righteousness, in order to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.""
- Luke 1,17

"How deep are the riches, the wisdom and knowledge of God! His decisions cannot be explained, nor his ways understood!"
- Romans 11,33

"But he is Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God for those called by God among both Jews and Greeks."
- 1 Corinthians 1,24

"But, by God's grace you are in Christ Jesus, who has become our wisdom from God, and who makes us just and holy and free."
- 1 Corinthians 1,30

"May the God of Christ Jesus our Lord, the Father of Glory, reveal himself to you and give you a spirit of wisdom, that you may know him."
- Ephesians 1,17

"Even the heavenly forces and powers will now discover through the Church the wisdom of God in its manifold expression, as the plan is being fulfilled"
- Ephesians 3,10

"Because of this, from the day we received news of you, we have not ceased praying to God for you, that you may attain the full knowledge of his will through all the gifts of wisdom and spiritual understanding."
- Colossians 1,9

"This Christ we preach. We warn and teach everyone true wisdom, aiming to make everyone perfect in Christ."
- Colossians 1,28

"For in him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
- Colossians 2,3

"Let the word of God dwell in you in all its richness. Teach and admonish one another with words of wisdom. With thankful hearts sing to God psalms, hymns and spontaneous praise."
- Colossians 3,16

"Besides, you have known the Scriptures from childhood; they will give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."
- 2 Timothy 3,15

"Do not forget the comforting words that Wisdom addresses to you as children: My son, pay attention when the Lord corrects you and do not be discouraged when he punishes you."
- Hebrews 12,5

"If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God who gives to all easily and unconditionally."
- James 1,5

"this kind of wisdom does not come from above but from the world and it is earthly and devilish."
- James 3,15

"Instead, the wisdom which comes from above is pure and peace-loving. Persons with this wisdom show understanding and listen to advice; they are full of compassion and good works; they are impartial and sincere."
- James 3,17

"But you have the anointing from the Holy One, so that all of you have true wisdom."
- 1 John 2,20

Friday, February 24, 2012

Do You Understand Your Faith?

Many times, I have said that the main problem within the Church, is that the laity does not understand their Catholic faith. Many attend Mass on Sundays and on Holy Days of Obligation, yet don't know why. Some just go to Mass out of habit, and not out of conviction.

This was plainly made apparent to me when I was attending RCIA classes in preparation for my coming into the Catholic Church. I don't know how many times "cradle Catholics" would sit in on the RCIA class conducted by Father Arnsparger, and hearing his teaching would say, "I never knew that"...or..."Is that in the Catechism'?

So, I see from the news from The Vatican Information Service (VIS) that I am not alone in thinking this. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI thinks the same thing, and gave an "off the cuff" commentary after the reading of a passage from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians.

The report from VIS on the Holy Father's remarks are reproduced below. The emphases are mine:

Christians Need To Understand Their Faith In Order To Help Others To God

Vatican City, 24 February 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday morning the Holy Father met with priests of the diocese of Rome. Following a reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, Benedict XVI delivered a long off-the-cuff commentary on the Gospel passage.

The Apostle says: "I ... beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace".

The first call we receive is that of Baptism, the Pope explained, the second is the vocation to be pastors at the service of Christ. "The great ill of the Church in Europe and the West today is the lack of priestly vocations. Yet, the Lord calls always, what is lacking are ears to listen. We listened to the Lord's voice and must remain attentive when that voice is addressed to others. We must help to ensure the voice is heard so that the call will be accepted".

According to St. Paul, the primary virtue which must accompany vocation is humility. This is the virtue of the followers of Christ Who, "being equal to God, humbled Himself, accepting the status of servant, and obeying even unto the cross. This was the Son's journey of humility, which we must imitate. ... The opposite of humility is pride, the root of all sin. Pride means arrogance, which above all seeks power and appearance. ... It has no intention of pleasing God; rather of pleasing itself, of being accepted, even venerated, by others. The 'self' becomes the centre of the world; the prideful self which knows everything. Being Christian means overcoming this original temptation, which is also the nucleus of original sin: being like God, but without God".

By contrast "humility is above all truth, ... recognition that I am a thought of God in the construction of His world, that I am irreplaceable as I am, in my smallness, and that only in this way am I great. ... Let us learn this realism; not seeking appearance, but seeking to please God and to accomplish what He has thought out for us, and thus also accepting others. ... Acceptance of self and acceptance of others go together. Only by accepting myself as part of the great divine tapestry can I also accept others, who with me form part of the great symphony of the Church and Creation". In this way, likewise, we learn to accept our position within the Church, knowing that "my small service is great in the eyes of God".

Lack of humility destroys the unity of Christ's Body. Yet at the same time, unity cannot develop without knowledge. "One great problem facing the Church today is the lack of knowledge of the faith, 'religious illiteracy'", the Pope said. "With such illiteracy we cannot grow. ... Therefore we must reappropriate the contents of the faith, not as a packet of dogmas and commandments, but as a unique reality revealed in its all its profoundness and beauty. We must do everything possible for catechetical renewal in order for the faith to be known, God to be known, Christ to be known, the truth to be known, and for unity in the truth to grow".

We cannot, Benedict XVI warned, live in "a childhood of faith". Many adults have never gone beyond the first catechesis, meaning that "they cannot - as adults, with competence and conviction - explain and elucidate the philosophy of the faith, its great wisdom and rationality" in order to illuminate the minds of others. To do this they need an "adult faith". This does not mean, as has been understood in recent decades, a faith detached from the Magisterium of the Church. When we abandon the Magisterium, the result is dependency "on the opinions of the world, on the dictatorship of the communications media". By contrast, true emancipation consists in freeing ourselves of these opinions, the freedom of the children of God. "We must pray to the Lord intensely, that He may help us emancipate ourselves in this sense, to be free in this sense, with a truly adult faith, ... capable of helping others achieve true perfection ... in communion with Christ".

The Pope went on: "Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. ... Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God".

"Where there is truth, there is charity", the Pope concluded. "This, thanks be to God, can be seen in all centuries, despite many sad events. The fruits of charity have always been present in Christianity, just as they are today. We see it in the martyrs, we see it in so many nuns, monks, and priests who humbly serve the poor and the sick. They are the presence of Christ's charity and a great sign that the truth is here".

You can find more information at:
The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City

Friday, May 26, 2006

Interview with Early Church Fathers

As so many seem to have deviated away from the Teachings of the Catholic Church, let us then examine the difference between the Faith of today and the Faith that our Martyrs died for many centuries ago.


The Words of Polycarp to the Philippians;

"Wherefore, girding up your loins," serve the Lord in fear and truth, as those who have forsaken the vain, empty talk and error of the multitude, and "believed in Him who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and gave Him glory, and a throne at His right hand. To Him all things in heaven and on earth are subject. Him every spirit serves. He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead. His blood will God require of those who do not believe in Him...if we do His will, and walk in His commandments, and love what He loved, keeping ourselves from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, false witness; "not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing," or blow for blow, or cursing for cursing, but being mindful of what the Lord said in His teaching: "Judge not, that ye be not judged; forgive, and it shall be forgiven unto you...once more, "Blessed are the poor, and those that are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God."

A 'politically' correct Polycarp the revisionist version

'Wherefore, girding up your loins, keep always the thought of what others may think of you to the forefront. Do not offend those who hold different views from yourself, it could be the case that your God may not be everyone's god so just choose a god that appeases all. Do not talk about such things as the one who Judges all, it may cause offense and may be seen as a hate crime so keep the truth quiet in order to get along with the world.'


The Words of Polycarp of Smyrna

"For whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is antichrist;" and whosoever does not confess the testimony of the cross, is of the devil; and whosoever perverts the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts, and says that there is neither a resurrection nor a judgment, he is the first-born of Satan. Wherefore, forsaking the vanity of many, and their false doctrines, let us return to the word which has been handed down to us from the beginning; "watching unto prayer," and persevering in fasting; beseeching in our supplications the all-seeing God "not to lead us into temptation," as the Lord has said: "The spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is weak."

A 'politically' correct Polycarp the revisionist version

'For whosoever does not confess Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is an enlightened human being; and whosoever does not confess the testimony of the cross is sensitive to those who wish to embrace other spiritualities and validate those who worship such things as crystals, fire, water and air much like the Wiccans and pagans. Whosoever perverts the oracles of the Lord should be allowed to explore their own version of what they believe and explore their own sexuality without fear of committing offense. Let us therefore embrace inner freedom and respect those who wish to fornicate, lust after their neighbors goods or who prefer to live alternative lifestyles. Let us not remind others of sins, lest you incur their wrath.'


The Words of Polycarp of Smyrna

"I exhort you all, therefore, to yield obedience to the word of righteousness, and to exercise all patience, such as ye have seen [set] before your eyes, not only in the case of the blessed Ignatius, and Zosimus, and Rufus, but also in others among yourselves, and in Paul himself, and the rest of the apostles. [This do] in the assurance that all these have not run in vain, but in faith and righteousness, and that they are [now] in their due place in the presence of the Lord, with whom also they suffered. For they loved not this present world, but Him who died for us, and for our sakes was raised again by God from the dead."

A 'politically' correct Polycarp the revisionist version

' I exhort you all, therefore. to yield obedience to anything you hear so long as it appeases the crowd and those who have chosen to live outside of the Word of God, lest a minority find us to be intolerant. Do not take much note of men such as Ignatius or Paul, they lived long ago what relevance do they have in this year 2006? Do not concern yourselves with righteousness it may cost you your popularity therefore go along with the crowds who wish to believe in Buddha, Wicca, Crystals, séances etc. Live for the present world, embrace all worldly philosophies and spiritualities, why should you put your life on the line just for mere 'words'? These men are long dead forget about them and live for today.'


The Words of Polycarp of Smyrna

"For I trust that ye are well versed in the Sacred Scriptures, and that nothing is hid from you; but to me this privilege is not yet granted. It is declared then in these Scriptures, "Be ye angry, and sin not," and, "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath." Happy is he who remembers this, which I believe to be the case with you. But may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ Himself, who is the Son of God, and our everlasting High Priest, build you up in faith and truth, and in all meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, forbearance, and purity; and may He bestow on you a lot and portion among His saints, and on us with you, and on all that are under heaven, who shall believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, and in His Father, who "raised Him from the dead." Pray for all the saints. Pray also for kings, and potentates, and princes, and for those that persecute and hate you, and for the enemies of the cross, that your fruit may be manifest to all, and that ye may be perfect in Him."

A 'politically' correct Polycarp the revisionist version

'For I trust that ye are not to well versed in the Sacred Scriptures for if one were to understand the Word of God then your excuse of ignorance is gone, therefore do not read the Scriptures lest it indicts you! Do not pray too much, many find the word God offensive and prayer is out of place in this 'peaceful' world. Remember there is no 'God' as you know it but there are many gods, let us call 'god' the 'universal spirit' or the 'feminine goddess' so that all may feel included and may pride reign forever.'

The proconsul said to Saint Polycarp such things as "Have respect to thy old age" and "swear by the fortune of Caesar; repent, and say, Away with the Atheists."
When Polycarp entered the stadium a voice from Heaven rang out, 'Be strong, and show thyself a man, O Polycarp'!"
The Proconsul said"...say, Away with the Atheists", Saint Polycarp "gazing with a stern countenance on all the multitude of the wicked heathen then in the stadium, and waving his hand towards them, while with groans he looked up to heaven, said, 'Away with the Atheists'."

A 'politically' correct Polycarp the revisionist version

'Gazing with a stern countenance on all the multitude of the wicked heathen Polycarp then changed his expression to one of benevolence and acceptance as he looked upon the crowds in the stadium and waving his hand towards them, while with groans he looked up to heaven, and said, 'Let me join you in the stadium, after all your idea of 'god' is fine so long as you feel validated, it is only right you should worship whom you believe in whether that be God or your 'god' of choice. We must learn religious toleration, any 'god' or 'gods' should be acceptable for who am I to tell you different? That would make me intolerant if I do not accept your choice of 'gods'. What is 'truth' for your 'truth' may not be my truth so let us all embrace and live our own 'truths' lest we be considered pious or holy.'


Justin Martyr was born approximately 100 AD, let us examine his words and then the politically correct Justin.

These are the words of St. Justin

"When I was a disciple of Plato, hearing the accusations made against the Christians and seeing them intrepid in the face of death and of all that men fear, I said to myself that it was impossible that they should be living in evil and in the love of pleasure"

A politically Correct Justin Martyr

'When I was a disciple of Plato, hearing the accusations made against the Christians and seeing them intrepid in the face of death, I thought what 'god' are they willing to die for? Should we not be embracing all 'gods' in order to appease and be seen as tolerant toward those who share other views? Should we not applaud nay even follow after those who follow the 'gods' of power, wealth, beauty and where sin no longer exists? Do they not have a better 'god' where all conduct is acceptable as a lifestyle choice?' Surely this is more acceptable than dying for what you actually believe? I ponder these things.'


The words of Justin Martyr

"To obey the commandments of our Saviour Jesus Christ is worthy neither of blame nor of condemnation. I have endeavoured to learn all doctrines; but I have acquiesced at last in the true doctrines, those namely of the Christians, even though they do not please those who hold false opinions..."That according to which we worship the God of the Christians, whom we reckon to be one from the beginning, the maker and fashioner of the whole creation, visible and invisible; and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who had also been preached beforehand by the prophets as about to be present with the race of men, the herald of salvation and teacher of good disciples. And I, being a man, think that what I can say is insignificant in comparison with His boundless divinity, acknowledging a certain prophetic power, since it was prophesied concerning Him of whom now I say that He is the Son of God. For I know that of old the prophets foretold His appearance among men."

A politically Correct Justin Martyr

'To obey the commandments of our Saviour Jesus Christ is not a good idea, it is far to constraining and many prefer to live in an age of freedom, surely we must show ourselves to be broadminded and accepting of what others choose to believe. As for Jesus divinity that is now in dispute who am I to go against the masses, surely I should be accepting of all 'truths' no matter what that 'truth' is? Him of whom now I say that He is the Son of God. For I know that of old the prophets foretold his appearance, but then again this is a new age, and the prophets wrote these words so long ago. Should we really take note of old men with old ideas?'


The words of Justin Martyr

"Yes, I am a Christian...I hope that, if I endure these things, I shall have His gifts. For I know that, to all who have thus lived, there abides the divine favour until the completion of the whole world. No right-thinking person falls away from piety to impiety. Through prayer we can be saved on account of our Lord Jesus Christ, even when we have been punished, because this shall become to us salvation and confidence at the more fearful and universal judgment-seat of our Lord and Saviour."

A politically Correct Justin Martyr

'Yes, I am a Christian...though I am also accepting of other idea's and philosophies, why should I demand that others believe as I do? What matters is that I am saved I care not for speaking the Truth lest others may feel offended. No right-thinking person should actually live their Faith or they may be called 'holier than thou' or worse they may lose their popularity. As for universal judgement-seat of our Lord and Saviour, who and what is your 'god' of the day, surely we have become to sophisticated for this outmoded thinking of 'judging'.'


"For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."

The Politically Correct Saint Irenaeus

'For this is why the Word became man, so that we could internalise what Jesus was really saying by reading and watching heretical works pertaining to who Jesus really is. Why should we be chained by the Truth, especially in these days where every 'truth' is acceptable."


The Words of St Irenaeus

"God is the source of all activity throughout creation. He cannot be seen or described in his own nature and in all his greatness by any of his creatures. Yet he is certainly not unknown. Through his Word the whole creation learns that there is one God the Father, who holds all things together and gives them their being. As it is written in the Gospel, "No man has ever seen God, except the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father; he has revealed him."

The Politically Correct Saint Irenaeus

'God is the source of all activity throughout creation. We must accept that we are descended from apes for this is what science teaches us, has not science become a new 'god'? Through his Word the whole creation learns that there is one God the Father. Surely as intelligent human beings we understand the Bible was written by men who are fallible, do we trust this 'man written bible' or should we rely on our own reasoning abilities? God is what you want him to be, lest anyone feel excluded, therefore as proud 'catholics' surely we should be open minded to realise that there is no truth outside of your own perceived 'truths', therefore all 'truths' are true, are they not?'


When we review the words and the lives of these great Martyrs and then study the politically correct language of today, we must ask ourselves.... Where do we stand when it comes to speaking the Truths of the Church? Or did our Martyrs die for nothing?