Friday, June 28, 2013

The Catholic Defender: Staying Faithful

(Editors note) I took this article from an assignment I turned in previously, and I really feel that the contents are important to share.

The Social Organization of Sexuality (SOS-1994) hints at some of the difficulties facing American families today.

Consider the report that those who cohabit rarely practice their faith. That plays an important role in the lives of the contemporary American.

Without maintaining a firm foundation, the societal conditions emerge resulting in a growth of premarital sexual encounters.

As I will show, this has tremendous impact on society with great social consequences.  I want to stress on the report that those who cohabit rarely practice their faith! Again, that plays an important role in the lives of the contemporary American.

I have shared this before, but it is as true today as it was yesterday.  Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) now are the most common diseases in America next to the common cold and flu. Each year nearly 20 million new STD cases are reported.

That equates to something like 55,000 people per day being diagnosed with an STD. Tragically, this includes more than 10,000,000 teenagers (and growing), per year. Recently, the hard cold reality, 1 in 4 Americans have been statistically been diagnosed with an STD, including young girls down to the age of 12.

It is important to note that today, there are more than  110,000,000 total infections of Americans with an STD.  For many, young people may not know they have such a disease as 60-80% are infected with STD's that do not develop initial symptoms.

Because of the alarming rates today, female Soldiers are required to undergo annual Pap Smears because STD's such as gonorrhea can hide behind mild cases of bladder infection or a vaginal infection. Nearly 50% of Female Soldiers had been diagnosed with gonorrhea.

New strains of gonorrhea are resistant to penicillin so treatments vary, but this has become far to routine across America today.

We are certainly living in a very confusing time. American Family values have been totally ignored and rejected. Children are learning how to have sex thanks to our government run public school system.

As we have seen going back to the Kinsey studies, sex education early on were devoid of teaching social norms and morality. It's not surprising, with this knowledge, there are very little to say about values being offered with these programs in public schools.

This feeds right into the classic stereotypes of boys and girls moving towards puberty growing up. Teenage boys are out to make conquests and the girls are looking to be wanted, accepted, and loved.

As a result of the rejecting of our Christian foundations, there are many children being born out of wed-lock, many being born without Fathers. Many of the Fathers are "Dead Beat Dads" who care little for the children they help create.

This has hit the black community the hardest. They have a 70% plus rate of children born out of wed-lock. The book reports than Black men and women were more inclined to have "three or more partners in the last twelve months."

It is not easy for teenage mothers raising children and still go to school. Careers are put on hold as our youth are many times growing up to fast in a fast paced world.

Everything in the media want to make the culture of the sexual revolution look enticing, fun, even recreational, yet unfortunately, the reality of this glamorous life style is misery.

I am hearing that people are questioning why men are becoming less emotionally involved with members of the opposite sex. Is this why many men resort to homosexual relations? That could be a future study in itself.

It's interesting that the SOS (pardon the pun) reports that nearly half of co-habitations end within a year. Some might marry, but many end in divorce.

Tragically, the impact this has on Americans leads to more broken families. I think that is because "romance" is lost and the human heart is absent from the marriage

With the constant barrage on married couples, it would seem hard to find many aging couples out there. But they are out there! It is always great when we have couples celebrating their 50th anniversary in our Parish!

I maintain that there is a huge differences between desire and lust, about as wide a difference as marriage and prostitution.

Lust only cares about self-gratification where desire leads to wanting to please your spouse. Courtship used to be a major way to date, but not today, dating today, our social norms and expectations have turned our society upside down.

That is the per-marital condition. Within marriage, it is still showing that 70-80 percent of Americans still disaprove of adultery, maybe this is residual of a standard gone by, but it is still considered taboo.

In conclusion, it is evident that sexuality in America is like a two-headed coin, because of what we have learned, there are remarkable advances we can take that can enrich marital sexual health.

However, like a loaded gun, if sexuality is not properly understood it can literally destroy people. If sex was love, America would be a very loving Country. That does not seem to be the case. Sin destroys.

Matthew 19:4-6 He answered,  ”Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said,’Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Catholic Defender: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The next two weeks the United States Catholic Bishops are asking for American Catholics to pray for our religious freedom in our Country. The Supreme Court is looking at President Obama's plans that would attack our religious liberty and rights. The following is the prayer that was given out after this past Weekend Masses:

O God our Creator, from your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

You have called us as your people and given us the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ.

Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society.

We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty. Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome—for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us—this great land will always be “one nation, under God,indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 Mary Immaculate Patroness of Our Country Pray for us.

I have written extensively on the current war on the Catholic Church by the present  Administration and the Bishops are totally right that we must pray for our Nation.  I encourage all to pray the Rosary daily for the Supreme Court.  It is important that we pray before God to turn us back to the Faith of our Fathers! The following was written by Thomas Peters of CATHOLICVOTE, this is so important, I want to add MR. Peters report:

This morning I went to the steps of the Supreme Court to be present in case the Court rules on Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) cases. The court chose not to rule today but it will issue decisions in both cases this week (as early as tomorrow but probably no later than Thursday).

Just in case the importance of the moment has not sunken in, allow me to briefly review why we should all be praying for good decisions from the Supreme Court this week — because this is what is at stake:

Screen shot 2013-06-24 at 4.21.08 PM1) This could be the Roe v. Wade of marriage. The Supreme Court could conceivably rule that language protecting marriage in the state constitutions of over 30 states (approved by the votes of over 60 million Americans) are “unconstitutional.” While unlikely, this is a real fear, and so we must pray that the Court instead recognizes the truth of marriage — that is the unique union of one man and one woman.

2) A broad ruling in favor of redefining marriage could put into law the false (but “legal”) norm that those of us who believe in marriage as the unique union of one man and one woman are guilty of holding “animus” towards gay people. We would thus find ourselves the legal equivalent of racist bigots before our own Constitution and state and federal laws. This is again reason to pray that the Court upholds the rights of pro-marriage Americans this week.

3) A broad ruling in favor of redefining marriage would be represent the most urgent threat to the religious freedom of pro-marriage Catholics and other Christians we have ever witnessed in this country. Countries that have redefined marriage (think Canada) are actively and aggressively fining and imprisoning Christian pastors and Catholic priests and bishops who continue to speak the truth about marriage and human sexuality from the pulpit. Stories like the ones told on the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance website reveal that private citizens will also see their rights and livelihoods threatened.

4) A broad ruling in favor of redefining marriage would put at risk, in one fell swoop, every Catholic and conservative christian adoption agency in America that only adopts children into married (heterosexual) households. Where marriage has been redefined on a state level or where same-sex civil unions have been passed without explicit and robust religious freedom language, Catholic, Lutheran and other Christian denomination-run adoption and foster care agencies have been forced to shutter their doors or face crippling lawsuits and penalties. This has happened already in Washington, D.C., Massachussetts and Illinois, to name a few states.

5) What the Supreme Court decides will echo around the world. In other countries there are insurgent movements in support of marriage (witness the millions of French citizens who have poured into the streets of Paris week after week in defense of marriage) — but these nascent efforts will be set back if the United States Supreme Court rules that the institution of marriage somehow contradicts our Constitution. As on the issue of life, we know from experience that what happens in America does not just stay in America — it effects the rest of the world. Therefore we have a great responsibility to hold fast to the truth of marriage both here and for the rest of the world.

6) A win at the Supreme Court for gay marriage activists will embolden them to expand their campaign against people of faith and those who disagree with them. Some of us have given in to the lie that if we just cede the ground on marriage, that will end this contentious debate. The opposite is true. Currently a huge amount of resources and cultural heft is being waged against annihilating marriage. These same forces will turn their activism to combating other goods once they have overthrown our commonsense definition of marriage. We must stand on marriage or else stand on ever-shifting and more-shaky ground.

7) … last but not least, redefining marriage really will harm the institution and therefore harm the people whom marriage serves. Channeling through the formative power of the law the false notion that children do not deserve a mother and father, and that marriage is nothing more than the emotional and temporary union of any two consenting adults, will harm society. Untruths such as the “pro-choice” and “no fault divorce” movement told lies that convinced much of the public in their time — it is only now, decades later, that we are experiencing the full negative brunt of the damage these agendas have wreaked — especially on the poor and vulnerable.

Let’s not recreate the same mistakes today — let’s stand for marriage now and always.

So please, pray for the Supreme Court this week. And join me in testifying to the truth of marriage.

May God preserve marriage and give us, and the Court, the courage to stand for it.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

*BEST OF DTB #263* The Catholic Defender: The Golden Cup vs The Cup Of Salvation

Revelation 17 is a major chapter that the anti-Catholics refer to in their attacks on the Catholic Faith.

There are several groups out there that have developed their own systems of anti-Catholic rhetoric, but they all seem to come down to these basic scriptures in Revelation with the intent of giving a base for their own self existence.

No matter how far apart that these groups diversify in their own understanding, they still have this common agreement in attacking the Catholic Faith.

I recently took a look at the colors "purple and scarlet" because of the misrepresentation people use to attack the Catholic Faith. At this time, I want to continue with another point of scripture that is used to identify the Catholic Faith with the Whore of Babylon. Revelation 17:4 says in part, "She held in her hand a gold cup that was filled with the abominable and sordid deeds of her harlotry". Does this verse properly describe or point to the Catholic Faith?

Jeremiah 51:7 says, "Babylon was a golden cup in the hand of the Lord which made the whole earth drunk; the nations drank its wine, with this they have become mad". /div>

You can see why the anti-Catholic wants to tie the Catholic Faith to ancient Babylonian Paganism?

But who is this people that Jeremiah was speaking about? Who are the people of the "golden cup"?

Exodus 25:29 states, "Of pure gold you shall make its plates and cups, as well as its pitchers and bowls for poring libations".

Was St. John aware of Jerusalem being identified with Babylon?

Revelation 11:8 He certainly identifies Jerusalem with "Sodom" and "Egypt" which were symbolic names concerning Jerusalem's harlotry and idolatry.

The key is discovering who this "great city" is.

Revelation 16:19 states, "The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered great Babylon, to make her drain the cup of the fury of his wrath".

Revelation 17:18, "And the woman that you saw is the great city which has dominion over the kings of the earth."

At the time of St. John, he would have recognized the authority of God so it is clear that he would have recognized the importance of Jerusalem to the world.

Revelation 18:10, "they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, "Alas! alas! thou great city, thou mighty city, Babylon! In one hour has thy judgment come." Alas, alas, for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet, bedecked with gold, with jewels, and with pearls! And cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning, what city was like the great city?" And they threw dust on their heads, as they wept and mourned, crying out, Alas, alas, for the great city where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth! In one hour she has been laid waste. Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, So shall Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and shall be found no more".

The great city is Jerusalem. St. John is clearly recognizing Jerusalem as the "Whore of Babylon".

We see St. John identifying Jerusalem because Jesus was crucified outside the gates of the "great city" (Rev 11:8).

St. John also refers to the great city as "Babylon" that was destroyed in one hour.

The people of the "golden cup" were the Jews. With all this said, Rome was also identified with "Babylon", Rome would be identified with the "beast" whom the Whore of Babylon drank the cup of infirmity.

The following are footnotes coming from the New American Bible from Revelation 17:

Rev 17:1-19: The punishment of Babylon is now described as a past event and metaphorically, under the image of the great harlot who leads people astray into idolatry. (Editors note: Consider Revelation 13:11 and the false prophet who leads the world to the first beast (anti-Christ). He has two horns of a lamb which identifies him with Christ, yet he speaks like a dragon, clearly apostasy).

Rev 17:1-6 Babylon, the symbolic name of Rome, is graphically described as "the great harlot".

Rev12:2: Intercourse... harlotry: Rev 14:4 footnote says, Virgins: metaphorically, because they never indulged in any idolatrous practices, which are considered in the Old Testament to be adultery and fornication (Rev 2:14-15, 20-22, Rev 17:1-6, Ez 16:1-58, 23:1-49). The parallel passages (Rev 7:3, 22:4) indicates that the 144,000 whose foreheads are sealed represent all Christian people. The pagan kings subjected to Rome adopted the cult of the emperor.

Rev 17:3: Blasphemous names: divine titles assumed by the Roman emperors.

Rev 14:4: Reference to the great wealth and idolatrous cults of Rome. (Editors note: This is why the anti-Catholics want you to believe that the Catholic Church worships the Pope and statues. This is why they believe the Pope makes blasphemous statements against Christ).

Rev:17:8: Allusion to the belief that the dead Nero would return to power.


The Bible (Psalms 116:12) asked the very most important question, "How shall I make a return to the LORD for all the good he has done for me?"

The answer might surprise you, but how many of us over look the answer?

Is it that all we need do is make a decision to make amends?

Do we simply need to say a "sinner's prayer"?

Do we simply find a "bible" church? What is the answer coming from the Bible?

"The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the LORD."

"The cup of salvation will I take up..." This is very important. St Paul refers to this "cup of salvation" as the "cup of blessing", which was the third cup in the Jewish Passover meal.

It has now become the "cup of salvation" in the new and everlasting Covenant.

Consider James 5:19-20, "My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins."

This Prodigal Son will receive the "cup of salvation" once again after being restored to the fullness of truth. Consider Psalms 23:5-6, "You set the table before me as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows." There is a connection between the table of the Lord and the cup of salvation.

The Lord gives the best of himself, body, blood, soul, and divinity, so we can truly receive the "oil of gladness".

Easter Vigil is a time of conversion, many are accepting the Lord as they come forward to receive the anointing of oil and the cup of salvation. The cup is very important during the passover meal. There were four cups used at different times during the passover. They represented the following:

1 The first cup of wine is called the cup of sanctification. It is to commemorate the promise: “I will bring you out.”

2 The second cup is called the cup of plagues – the plagues that came upon Egypt – and it relates to the second promise: “I will free you from being slaves.”

3 The third cup is called the cup of redemption, where God says: “I will redeem you.

4 The fourth cup is called the cup of completion, where God says: “I will take you as my own people.

Notice the third cup, "cup of redemption", that this would be the main representation of Christ who is the redeemer of mankind, that is why St. Paul refers to this cup as the "cup of blessing".

It is this cup that is central to the Mass and our cup of salvation.

By receiving this cup, we renew the Covenant with the Lord and truly, our cup overflows.

Also notice the 4th cup, during the Last Supper, remember that Jesus did not offer the traditional 4th cup, but he saved it until the cross.

This is why the Mass is known as the "Sacrifice of the Mass", because the Last Supper is tied into the Passion of Jesus and our redemption..

The cup of completion is taken literally by Jesus, "After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said 'I thirst.' There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, 'It is finished.' And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit." (John 19:28-30)

The cup of salvation is for those who have found their salvation. For those who have picked up their cross and follows Jesus. For those who cry out to the Lord for mercy, the Lord hears the cry of the poor.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Catholic Defender: Danger Zone

I have been at the tip of the spear, I have been in the danger zone.

I have seen scud missiles knocked out of the sky by Patriot rockets, which lit up the whole sky, and I have seen the horrors of war.

There is only so much you can do to prepare and defend yourself from attack when you are in the danger zone.

Life can be like a minefield as well with the danger of sin becoming more and more attractive.

Because of the ignorance of what sin is and does, this becomes a very important danger zone. St. John writes, "All wrongdoing is sin", but he has more to say about sin.

1 John 5:16 states, "If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly (venial), he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is a such a thing as deadly (Mortal) sin, about which I do not say that you should pray".

St. Paul writes St. Timothy calling the "unruly, the godless and sinful, the unholy and profane, those who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers, the unchaste, sodomites (homosexuals), kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is opposed to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted" (1 Timothy 1:9-10).

St. Paul also writes, "Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators (premarital sex) nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkers nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:8-10).

Galatians 5:19-21 warns, "Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you,as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God".

Those things which St. Paul warns about are what St. John calls "deadly sin". Much of this that the bible addresses have become interwoven in our society.

As a result the family institution is openly attacked and ridiculed by many in society. Because the family unit has become weakened in our Country, this has affected the strength of the Church.

We have been riding in the danger zone for a good while now. As a result divorce is above 50%, abortion has reached more than 60,000,000 in 38 years, pornography and sex is common place in the market place and advertising.

deepertruth is wanting to change the direction of Catholics and help work from within to strengthen the Christian who is living in the danger zone.

That there is help, God does love you and wants to reach you through his Church.

This is a call to arms, a call to prayer and devotion. It is difficult to shield yourself within the danger zone, however, the rosary is a great weapon to fight the battle of life.

The Sacraments are important weapons that can totally move a nation to repentance. The Word of God can help you through the danger zone!

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Catholic Defender: What's in a name

Acts 9:31 "Then the church throughout all* Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord. "

*In the original Greek, it is:

Acts 9:31 ἡ μεν ουν εκκλησια καθ᾽ ὁλης της ιουδαιας και γαλιλαιας και σαμαρειας ειχεν ειρηνην οικοδομουμενη και πορευομενη τω φοβω του κυριου, και τη παρακλησει του ἁγιου πνευματος επληθυνοντο.

The term in bold commonly translated as 'church throughout all' is in Greek '”εκκλησια καθ᾽ ὁλης”—pronounced "Ekklesia Kath olos” or the Church Universal or some might say The Catholic Church, since Kath olos is the same term used by St Ignatius for the Church in his letter. So is it valid to say that the Catholic Church is indeed identified as Christ's Church in the 9th chapter of Acts?

This next coming week at Mass the Old Testament reading comes from Isaiah 66:18-21. It is really an important scripture as it reads, "Thus says the Lord: I know their works and their thoughts, and I come to gather nations of every language; they shall come and see my glory. I will set a sign among them; from them I will send fugitives to the nations: to Tarshish, Put and Lud, Mosoch, Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory; and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations.

Doesn't this sound familiar with St. Peters Speech on that first Pentecost (Acts 2:5-13)?

All these nations such as from Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, those from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt, and Libya.

Even from Rome. People from throughout the Roman Impire.
Isaiah refers to a sign that the people will see as well as His glory. What is this sign that Isaiah is speaking to? Could it be the Eucharist? God states, "I will set a sign among them"! From the Catholic Catachism 1325, it states, "The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God's action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit."

What is this glory that God is speaking through the Prophet Isaiah? Jesus give a clue in John 12:23 saying, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified"! Jesus also said, "And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself" (John 12:32). St. Peter said to the people, "The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his servant Jesus whom you handed over and denied the Holy and Righteous One..." St. Paul wrote, "but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ gave the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:23-24).

In reflecting on this I couldn't help thinking of this sign and glory of God! What it would have meant to those who witnessed this. This truly is the beginning of the New Testament and the age of the Church. At no time in the Old Testament did the Israelites see the nations coming to the Lord as we have seen beginning with the age of the Church!

The question has been asked, “Is the Catholic Church the ancient, original church? I read my Bible every day and I’ve never found the word ‘Catholic’ in its pages.”

It would be faulty logic to say, "The name ‘American’ is absent from the U. S. Constitution. Therefore we should not be called Americans.” Sometimes a concept precedes a describing word. A case in point is the word ‘Trinity.’ It is not to be found anywhere in the Bible, yet the thought behind it, one God in three persons, is woven throughout scripture.

This is also the case for the word ‘Catholic.’ After the ascension of Jesus into heaven, the Holy Spirit came to the apostles 50 days after the resurrection. This event is now known as Pentecost. The Holy Spirit inspired the apostles to boldly proclaim the way of salvation.

As the gospel message spread, one of the earliest descriptions of us was, ‘The Way,’ (Acts 18:25). Soon, we weren’t accepted in the synagogues because we proclaimed Jesus as the Christ. Largely due to St. Paul’s expansion efforts, we began to extend beyond Palestine.

As early as 40 A. D., ‘The Way’ became known as ‘Nazarene.’ This name arose because believers recognized Jesus, the Messiah, as the shoot of Jesse that would come and establish his kingdom. Fulfilled scripture described Messiah as coming from Nazareth, the bud (Hebrew for Nazar) of Jesse, father of David.

Truly, Jesus was born king of Israel through his lineage to David regardless of the ‘King’ Herod who sat on the throne. (Herod was simply a puppet of Rome who recognized the threat of a newly born, but rightful king. This is the reason why Herod gave the order to destroy all the male babies in the land.)

Our early ‘Nazarene’ name should not be confused with the Protestant church known as ‘The Church of the Nazarene.’ This recent church was formed in Pilot Point, Texas in 1908 through a merger of three holiness groups that followed the early teachings of Methodism. (The Methodist church was founded by John Wesley in the 17th century.)

As the apostle Paul moved among the gentiles, the Church grew in size and stature. Our imitation of Jesus and philosophy to love one another caused us to stand out in a crowd. The world was controlled by force and dominated by power. We were a contrast, and were considered a threat to the 'status quo.’ Our internal structure continued to organize as we grew. St. John prepared several young men for the priesthood. Before St. Peter journeyed to Rome, he placed one of them, St. Ignatius, as bishop of Antioch. We first became known as 'Christians’ (Acts 11:26) at Antioch.

St. Ignatius was the third bishop of Antioch; he was one of the first writers we know who used the word ‘Catholic.' He wrote to the Ephesians saying, “where Jesus Christ is, there also is the holy Catholic church, and he died a martyr. The name ‘Catholic’ implied a unified church arranged in an organized, and hierarchical structure (the Church who submits to a local bishop who submits to the Bishop of Rome).

Some two hundred years later, the Bible was compiled, and the Church was called ‘Catholic’ because it represented orthodoxy, the established faith. The Church continued to grow and we have now become universal in presence. The name ‘Catholic’ and ‘Christian’ is interchangeable. We are Christ-like and part of a universal Body of Christians called Catholic.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Catholic Defender: The Importance Of Forgiving

Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil. 

The Lord's prayer is the most recognizable prayer that gives the basic tenet of Christian.  "And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."  As simple as this sounds, we all know this is easier said than done.  How easy it is to allow ourselves to let anger set in.  Families are torn a part and friends turn into enemies.

Even with the greatest examples know to man.  Luke 2"Then Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, they know not what they do".  Jesus gives a teaching on the importance of forgiveness.  Matthew 18:21:22 states, "Then Peter approaching asked him, 'Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times." In each one of us there is a part of us that wants to hold onto anger.  This can have serious spiritual, health consequences.  

Catherine Ponder, a prosperity writer, once said, "When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel.  Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”

Coming from the field of  Psychiatry it is becoming more understood that the affects of not forgiving has potential serious health risks.  Bitter resentments, hatreds can lead to psychosomatic illnesses and disorders that can affect the mind and emotion.  This most certainly can play a tremendous toll on the body.  Healing is not only of the body, but also the mind and spirit.  It is important to forgive your self and others.

John Paul II met with his Turkish terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca, the would-be assassin, in Agca's prison cell in Rome. I'll never forget the day when the Pope was shot.  I had seen Pope John Paul II in October 1979 when he was in Chicago.

What a great witness and testimony the Pope gave to all the world, as he imitated the Lord's forgiveness from the cross.  That is the perfect example.

Christian Author Lewis Smedes said, "To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”   

How true this quotation really is.  The only way to be set free is to give the situation to God and let Him take it.  

We are not always strong enough to forgive on our own.  I have counseled people who had terrible things happen to them to give it to God.

Ephesians 1:7 states, "In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us."  Because Jesus died on the cross and His forgiveness is for all, Jesus empowers all of us the power to forgive in his name.

Bryant McGill, a public speaker and activist said, "There is not love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love."  Without love we really do not gain anything.

First Corinthians 13 is known as the "love" chapter in the Bible.

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.     Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect;     but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.  When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.    For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

The importance of finding strength to confess your sins and allow God to heal you inside and out, to plug the holes.  

To find healing from God, this requires humility and the ability to admit that we have sinned, fallen short.  

We all need God's help.  Pride is a terrible road block to this, we must subdue our own personal pride and embrace the Lord's plan of salvation.  To create a clean conscience.  

This is important in making a good Confession.  If Catholics practiced going to Confession, there would be less need for Psychologists.

It is important in our relationships to love unconditionally so that there are no conditions.  I love my wife without reservation.  We choose to forgive without being asked to forgive.  If we are building a foundation that God can build upon, love has to be the major ingredient.

We are to humble ourselves before the Lord, this is important in giving restitution to those we have offended.  To correct wrongs, we will have to be willing to see within ourselves our own limitations.  Matthew 5:23-24 states, "Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift."  I have seen this mostly with divorced couples who must wait for their annulment to go through before they can receive the Eucharist.  Sometimes they will come up for a blessing.  What I think is so awesome is when a child receives this blessing.

Many times the problem of forgiveness stems on the fact that we tend to be hardest on ourselves.  I know that I am.  Sometimes people develop a heart of stone because they refuse to face life.  Their hearts grow cold and they do not allow God or anyone else to enter their life deeper than the surface.  How great it is when a person finally goes to Confession and releases the chain they have been making link by link.  At Marriage Encounter, I will never forget the person coming out of the Confessional for the first time in 10 years.  He was in tears as he realized the chains he bore fell to the floor.

The forgiveness of memory is something I have promoted a lot among those I encounter who have had terrible violence happen to them.  Bondage is a terrible place to be, even if it is within our own mind.  Addictions, suicide, false philosophies, drugs and alcohol will certainly bury us deeper and deeper away from what God's forgiveness offers.  Luke 4:18 states, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord."

We are called by virtue of our Baptism and Confirmation to bring the light to the world, to bring Christ to a dark world.  Life is so good to not utilize it for the Glory of God.  To find true happiness is to find yourself within the heart of Christ, His Sacred Heart, where Jesus offers His Divine Mercy.  About forgiving, one of my Facebook friends (Frank) said, "When it is "hard" to do so, begin by praying for God's mercy for yourself and for your "enemy." (For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.)  That is great advice!

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Friday, June 14, 2013

The Catholic Defender: Contending For The Faith

The following is a debate that took place today on my Facebook page and I thought it was worth sharing.  I remove the last name of Skip purposely to protect his identity.  Skip is the anti-Catholic.

Skip And Don, I love you brother but I am not going to argue a truth on the radio. i am not about such things, I know you are and always have been. When you find that arguing is not the way of God, and that defending a church and setting all your eggs in the Catholic basket instead of with Jesus Christ then we can talk. Until then you are just making noise. Know Christ and make him known.

Donald Hartley Not at all, of the Pope, Jesus said, "And so you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.

Donald Hartley
I wouldn't debate on the radio either if I knew I had to be accountable for the accusations I make?

Skip Let us look at that scripture.

Donald Hartley Skip, Dave Hunt? Really? What did you do, just google this? (Skip had posted an anti-Catholic video from Dave Hunt.  A well know anti-Catholic who has been disproved)

Skip shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Skip Seems you are saying God built his church on Satan.

Skip  "for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." And that is the Catholic church

Donald Hartley Skip, the actual verse reads, ""Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Messiah", Jesus says the same thing in Matthew 17:9, what does Jesus say? "Until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."

Donald Hartley St . Peter was thinking as a man would and not God, it was all about going to Jerusalem! Consider Luke 22:31, "Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers". Skip, this is exactly what happens. I consider it very important that if Jesus prays for somebody, that is huge!
about an hour ago ·

Skip  No, I am sorry but that is not what is says. You can take that translation that is not accepted by the christian world, fact is it is not accurate.

Donald Hartley It most certainly does, Skip, you must have a very faulty bible?

Skip You’re Not in the Driver’s Seat

21-22 Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. Peter took him in hand, protesting, “Impossible, Master! That can never be!”

23 But Jesus didn’t swerve. “Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works.”
about an hour ago · Like

Skip Waters Jesus Predicts His Death

21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Skip Seems you don't know what you are talking about again

Donald Hartley Jesus said, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men." This was all about Jerusalem.

Skip You better go say a few rosaries and get back to me.

Donald Hartley Skip, your making accusations and not reading the responses, I am more than answering your attacks, your not listening but copying and pasting.  Concerning the Rosary, gladly, and I will remember!

Skip  No, it was about Peter. Peter was in error then and many times in the bible. In fact not until Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit when he was babtized in the Holy spriit did he lose his silly thoughts and his trying to draw attention to himself.

Skip These are not attacks, they are facts. You have been taught lies, it is hard for you to face the truth.

Donald Hartley Actually, Jesus said what Jesus said: St . Peter was thinking as a man would and not God, it was all about going to Jerusalem! Consider Luke 22:31, "Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers". Skip, this is exactly what happens. I consider it very important that if Jesus prays for somebody, that is huge!

Skip The truth is the truth no matter if you believe it or not. A lie is a lie no matter if you and a whole lot of other people believe it to be the truth.

Skip Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance[e] to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.”

Donald Hartley What are you trying to say Skip, Catholics certainly recognize that it was Jerusalem that Jesus was going to, and nobody is disputing the Holy Spirit coming upon the Apostles and the Church on Pentecost. Those are not lies nor are we calling them lies. It is absurd that you would say that.

Donald Hartley Skip, your making your own punching bag so you can kick it, but that is not the Catholic Church.

Skip Not a word about Jerusalem, he was talking directly to Peter and Peters lack of knowledge. Of course if ole Peter would of just read the old testement he would of known what was going to happen, that is if he would of been able to see it.

Donald Hartley  Skip, just looking back, you yourself quote scripture saying that it was infact concerning Jerusalem that Peter resisted and Jesus calls Peter "Satan"! Plus your forgetting John 21:15-19, or is this not in your new bible?

Donald Hartley St. Peter did come around to see it, he would be crucified upside down for it.

Skip I thought you said that was the scripture where the catholics say their chruch came from? The "rock" was the fact that Jesus was the Christ. Not SImon.

Skip He also denied Christ three times.

Donald Hartley Matthew 16:18 Jesus changes Simon, Son of Bar-Jona to "Kepa", rock
about an hour ago ·

Donald Hartley Jesus gives the keys to Peter at the Ascension of Jesus, that is the birth of the Papacy.

Donald Hartley Skip, we know that Peter denied Jesus Three times, that is why Jesus asked him three times if he loved Jesus.

Donald Hartley What was Jesus response to Peter? FEED MY SHEEP! What is the responsibility of the sheep? To follow after the voice of the shephard!

Donald Hartley Your attack on Peter does not take Peter out of his foundation Skip.

Donald Hartley 16:17 Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood * has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. 16:18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, * and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
16:19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. * Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

YOU are blessed.
YOU did not receive this knowledge by flesh and blood (your own efforts)
My Father has revealed this to YOU.
YOU are the Rock.
YOU will be given the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
What YOU bind on earth will be bound in heaven.
What YOU loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Jesus, seven times, emphasized that Peter is the subject that connects the whole discourse together. Not only that but, one by one, ratifies the doctrines that define the Catholic Papacy.

By saying YOU are blessed, He ascribes that Peter's office is set apart with a special blessing. By saying that Peter received knowledge directly from God, not men, He validates the Divine inspiration of the office. By calling Peter the Rock upon which He would build, He declares Peter the earthly cornerstone of the Church. By giving Him the keys, He declared that God's plan of salvation must necessarily pass through His Catholic Church. Finally, by giving Peter the power to bind and loose on HIS behalf, Jesus declares the infallible teaching authority of the Church.

How anyone could read Matthew 16 and deny the authority of the Catholic Church is impossible for me to imagine.

For the first 1500 years of the Church, no one disputed that Peter was the Rock.

Caroline  @Skip - How much do you get paid to preach lies at your " church " , PREACHER ???

Caroline I can see you are your own PREACHER ???

Skip  I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

Donald Hartley Quoting St Paul gets you no where here Skip, in fact what does St. Paul do after his conversion? He is lead into Damascus blind until a Catholic Priest finds him (Ananias) and is baptized. The scales fell from his eyes just like I hope they will yours some day!
35 minutes ago · Like · 1

Donald Hartley St. Paul then defends his right as an apostle, he does not go and find his own denomination, but he joins in the Catholic Church. He played significantly at the Council of Jerusalem in 49 A.D.
33 minutes ago · Like

Margie  Here is the list of Popes all the way back to Peter, the first Pope, unbroken line of succession , this link is from Britannica....its History, the First 32 Popes were brutally martyred for the faith.....are you sure they are frauds Skip? You better think again.

papacy (Roman Catholicism) : List of popes and antipopes
The office and jurisdiction of the bishop of Rome, the pope (Latin: papa, from G...See More

Donald Hartley St. Clement was thrown into the sea with an anchor tied around his neck. The Holy Spirit was with St. Clement. He actually wrote two letters to the Corinthians...

Margie  So Skip, please show me where your Pope, Dave Hunt falls in this Apostolic line

Margie  Yes, Donald, he was the fourth Pope, Sts. Cyril and Methodius recovered his body from the sea. I was at the 3rd Century Basilica where his remains are.

Donald Hartley I asked Skip to provide anyone in his church a representative anywhere, he could not do it.

Donald Hartley Skip, we do not separate Jesus Christ from his Church! Debating the truth, defending the truth is what we are instructed to do when it is necessary to do so! St. Jude said, "I now feel a need to write to encourage you to contend for the faith that was once for all handed down to the holy ones." Skip, the faith that was handed on through the holy ones is the Catholic Church. It can't be any more clear than this.

Catholics on Facebook have been having Anti-Catholics like John J Farina and Skip running around trying to get Catholics to abandon the Catholic Faith.  What happens when you respond with the truth.  They have no place to run.  It is important that we do "contend for the faith" when we are challenged.  This was a small taste but it provides an opportunity.

My encouragement is to remain faithful to the Catholic Church because it is the one true Church that Jesus personally founded.  Notice how silent Skip became in this debate? Revelation 8:3-6 states, "Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a gold censer. He was given a great quantity of incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the holy ones, on the gold altar that was before the throne. The smoke of the incense along with the prayers of the holy ones went up before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with burning coals from the altar, and hurled it down to the earth. There were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake"! Just as Isaiah was cleansed with an ember (Isaiah 6:5-7) so is the Catholic Church through the prayer of the Saints. This video I dedicate for Skip and John J Farina!

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