Tag Archives: Catholic Church

FAITH AND SOCIALISM

ECONOMIC STRUCTURAL DISORDER

There are profound problems with our economic system – a structural disorder of the system itself. We need a critical analysis of the essential dignity of human labor and its priority over the maximization of profits—not just through handouts. Cosmetic changes are not enough.

We need to look at the humanizing role of labor and the equitable distribution of the world’s goods. We need to look at the full value and meaning of work.

FAITH AND SOCIALISM

We have an economy that continues to serve the needs of the rich nations at the expense of the poor. This is not to be considered an antagonism toward the rich, but the defense of the defenseless: the uneducated, the native poor and the immigrant poor who have no voice to speak for themselves.

FAITH AND SOCIALISM

 Do we run a risk that some of the economically oppressed nations of the world will rise in judgment on the rich nations?

WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG?

Continue reading FAITH AND SOCIALISM

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CATHOLIC CELIBACY

CATHOLIC CHURCH CELIBACY

CATHOLIC CELIBACY CHURCH

Theologically, the Church desires to imitate the life of Jesus with regard to chastity and the sacrifice of married life for the “sake of the Kingdom” (Luke 18:28–30, Matthew 19:27–30; Mark 10:20–21), and to follow the example of Jesus Christ in being “married” to the Church, viewed by Catholicism and many Christian traditions as the “Bride of Christ”.

St. Paul taught that chastity is the superior state of life, and his desire expressed in I Corinthians 7:7–8, “I would that all men were even as myself [celibate]—but everyone has his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that. But I say to the unmarried and the widows. It is good for them if they so continue, even as I.”

 While priestly celibacy is a law rather than a doctrine, it is still a very ancient one. The practice of clerical celibacy (ordaining only unmarried men) began from the 11th century onward and became a formal part of canon law in 1917 (Sacerdotalis caelibatus).

EASTERN CATHOLIC &  ANGLICAN CHURCHES

Until recently, the Eastern Catholic bishops of North America would generally ordain only unmarried men; for fear that married priests would create scandal. Since Vatican II’s call for the restoration of Eastern Catholic traditions, a number of bishops have returned to the traditional practice of ordaining married men to the priesthood. Bishops are still celibate.

 

CATHOLIC CHURCH CELIBACY

 In the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches (which are in full communion with Rome), married men may be ordained to any order except as bishops, and one may not marry after ordination as a sub-deacon.Their discipline is that married men may be ordained, but priests may not marry. In other words, Father McGee can’t start dating, but married Mr. McBee could ask to be ordained. Continue reading CATHOLIC CELIBACY

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The GREAT COMMISSION 2

The Great Commission

Great Commission

Your author still believes in the Catholic Church and is nourished by all the blessings of the Lord’s Supper. Unfortunately, his Catholic instruction was found wanting even though it represented 800 hours from Grade 4 to Grade 12. There was very little mention of the Bible and the Holy Spirit was never really explained.  He is making up for lost time with Bible study. In retrospect, this unforgivable  waste emanated from the original stance that only a priest is able to interpret the Scriptures. 

In fact, Jesus Himself said that He must go so that the Teacher (Holy Spirit) could come: so a Christian has the Holy Spirit to lead him.

Historically, the Bible was kept out of the common tongues, like Greek, and only written in Latin for hundreds of years until 1611 with the introduction of the King James Bible in English, which was superior to any Catholic bible at the time.

In retrospect, the early Catholic fathers could not expect to know about the power of the gifts of the Holy Spirit  unless they pursued the  Great Commission.  Remember when Jesus gave His disciples His marching orders and with it the tools required to fulfill the directive. Here is the basis of the Great Commission: 

“He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation … And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will drive out demons … they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”’ Mark 6:15,17,18

The author has become a Christian lay missionary over the last eight years and traveled to 15 countries.  He acknowledges the Presence of the Holy Spirit in his life with all His gifts. The author sometimes joins some of the evangelical missionaries who are involved with healing.

GREAT COMMISSION

The gifts of the Holy Spirit has become the biggest surprise. One cannot go on mission and simply wish people good tidings. The Holy Spirit provides the tools that you need to be effective, specifically the gift of healing. The biggest surprise continues even upon returning home: the healing is remarkably immediate. 

The Church is a “body” with different members, all playing different roles, all essential for the overall well-being of the body. We cannot expect to see the presence of the healing of the Holy Spirit in any specific parish unless it makes a serious commitment to the Great Commission.

GREAT COMMISSION Continue reading The GREAT COMMISSION 2

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MEANING OF LIFE 2

meaning of life

FINDING THE MEANING OF LIFE

This is what life is about. It is being sent on a trip by a loving God, who is waiting at home for our return and is eager to watch the slides we took and hear about the friends we made. When we travel with the eyes and ears of the God who sent us, we will see wonderful sights, hear wonderful sounds, meet wonderful people … and be happy to return home.                                              HENRI NOUWEN

Meaning of Life

Most people are still searching for meaning. The idea is that inside each of us is a “God-shaped hole”–a place inside of our hearts that only God can fill. If we try to put anything else in there, it won’t fit (meaning, it won’t fill the need we have inside of our heart/soul).

“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”                                         Blaise Pascal

You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.                                                  St. Augustine of Hippo

GOD'S PLAN MEANING LIFE Continue reading MEANING OF LIFE 2

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Divorced Protestant Marrying a Catholic? 2

DIVORCED PROTESTANT TO MARRY A CATHOLIC?

Will the Catholic Church overlook my previous marriage since it wasn’t in the RC Church? Would I need an annulment? Would I need to convert or do I simply make the “child upbringing pledge?”      What about divorced Protestants who wish to marry a Catholic?

 Perhaps no issue arouses more antagonism or controversy than divorce.

Marriage Divorce Catholic

You really cannot paint all Protestant churches with the same brush when it comes to marriage except that their marriages are considered valid until proven otherwise.

What about divorce? Jesus’ stark warning is that divorce is not valid in God’s sight, and that remarriage is therefore adultery. Mark 10:11-12 So I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”                                                                                                                                                   Matthew 5:32

So our Lord recognizes that the sin of fornication, committed by either the husband or the wife, can so mutilate the marriage bond that the two must live separately.

Marriage is intended by God to be a “perfect union of persons and full sharing of life”. And so a perfect union is of its nature indissoluble.

 

Catholic Marriage

 God can begin again the work of creating that miracle of oneness which he intends for us. This is what marriage is all about. It is God’s way of putting two lives together to produce a oneness that will be a testimony to the whole world of the grace and the power of God to change human lives. He can soften hearts, and remove hardness, and change people into what they ought to be. This is what marriages are for.

The two can undo their own work; but they cannot undo the work of God. God has joined together. And together they remain, until God Himself comes to put them asunder in death.

The Church always presumes that marriages are valid until proven invalid — Protestant marriages included. 

Catholic Marriage Protestant

Some people enter into marriage without understanding the essentials of the commitment they are making. Without knowing what they are consenting to, a man and a woman cannot actually give full consent to a marriage union. Without this consent, a marriage does not really take place, even if the ceremony is performed and the marriage certificate is signed. This is what is known as an “invalid” marriage. Continue reading Divorced Protestant Marrying a Catholic? 2

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Catholic Protestant DISUNITY 2

Catholic Pride — Protestant Prejudice

Catholic Retrenchment
“I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God.” Martin Luther

The problem starts with a most Catholic extravagant claim: the submission on the part of every person to the bishop of Rome is altogether necessary for salvation. This stance created a state of pride and eventually a Protestant engendered prejudice against Catholics.

The papacy had become a French institution and this caused its prestige to wither, because there was to be two popes for 39 years: one in Rome and the other in Avignon, France. To make things worse, the cardinals of both Popes called for a council to which neither Popes elected to attend, so a third Pope was elected. The fall of Constantinople prompted the Russian Orthodox Church to proclaim Moscow as the third Rome. Later, a Council disposed of all three popes. What an embarrassment!

There were some popes that were well known for nepotism who sought to advance the welfare of their children. Some popes undertook expensive building programs that needed financing, which was provided by the sale of indulgences for souls in purgatory. Offices were scandalously sold. Borgia, was notoriously immoral and secured the papacy through bribery. He promoted the welfare of his daughter and his ruthless son.  As to indulgences, the popes really had no power to forgive any sin: they can only declare and confirm God’s forgiveness.

Reform was never considered. In fact, one pope during the time of Martin Luther, never really comprehended the depth of the revolt. Instead he promoted the affairs of his family and spent lavishly. The papacy in general resisted calls for a reforming council that would democratize the church’s power structure.

Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabelle of Castile left a black mark on the Church because they virtually took control of the Church, seeking through the Inquisition to root out heretics. In the end, historians estimate that between five and fifteen million people lost their lives because of the Inquisition. It was a very efficient movement because an accused person had practically no rights. This crushing repression resulted that Spain never did have a Reformation. Does the end justify the means?

The Reformation: a 500 Year Anniversary  

Continue reading Catholic Protestant DISUNITY 2

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CATHOLICS OFFERING A BETTER LIFE 2

 A BETTER LIFE

The mission of Catholics is the offering a better life to people. Yet, organizations like churches tend to become preoccupied with day to day problems and pressures.

 If you went to an ice cream store and there was no ice cream, there is a problem. A local church community can go year after year with almost no outreach to the “unchurched” in their area and yet think there is no problem. Let me tell you, there is a problem. It may be simply that Catholics are not excited about sharing our good news that knowing and following Christ is the best way to live.

In the early days, the Church was unstoppable; they followed a simple strategy. They were courageous in telling their story and they made people feel welcome in their community. They invited people to their outreach events for lack of a proper word. 

They received help from the Holy Spirit.

Better Life

But why hasn’t the Glory of the Holy Spirit visited charismatic churches in a big way?

The Holy Spirit showers His disciples with numerous gifts including the gift of healing and the power to deliver away evil spirits. He is as active today as He was 2000 years ago. He provides the necessary tools to disciples who are missionary-oriented. This was part of Jesus’ marching orders:

He (Jesus) said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons...they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”                                                                                       Mark 16:  15-18

HEALING NEEDS DELIVERANCE 2

 A NEW PENTECOST

Yes, we can expect a New Pentecost even today if the stage is properly set: Continue reading CATHOLICS OFFERING A BETTER LIFE 2

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CATHOLICS NEEDING CHANGE 2

DYNAMIC CATHOLICS

God has an incredible dream for our parish: He wants us to become the best version of ourselves. He wants us to be dynamic Catholics.

Today, we fight relativism: a theory that there are no absolute truths—everything is relative. The problem here is that there is no place for truth or wisdom: to know what is really good and right. We want what we want and we feel entitled to it. They say that all ways of living are equal, which is sheer nonsense.  If that was true then there would be no need to lead others to a better life.

We are more interested in how we want to live than we are in discovering the best way to live. To fight this tendency, we must become students of Jesus Christ and pro-actively make an effort to allow His teachings to guide us. Has Christ won you?

DYNAMIC CATHOLIC

It is disturbingly clear that our present efforts are focused more on surviving than on thriving and on containment than on expansion. And a little tweak here and there is not going to turn the tide. In fact, our current approach is failing even to stem the tide. Are we brave enough to rethink our direction?

CATHOLICS NEEDING CHANGE Jesus teaches us about generosity, virtue and self-control:

Continue reading CATHOLICS NEEDING CHANGE 2

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