Saturday, November 22, 2014

Prayer Request from Dave Armstrong

I humbly ask the readers of CathApol to pray for Dave Armstrong's mother.  She is very ill and has undergone risky surgery today.  Here is the request he posted to Facebook yesterday:
I made a request a few days ago. Things keep getting worse. First it was dehydration, then a small heart attack and heart surgery, then another surgery to drain fluid from her heart, and discovery of cancerous tumor. We're still waiting to see what kind of cancer and how bad it is.
Then we were told she needed another operation around the heart (Saturday morning), with a danger of 20% of something seriously going wrong. Without the operation, we were told she would likely die in a few days. Meanwhile I have the worst stomach and vomiting of my entire life. I ate something wrong around noon and it's gotten worse and worse: either food poisoning or a bug, or just the extreme stress and shock. So I ask for prayer for my stomach. I threw up over and over, with gaps in-between, and now I think I will again, but can't, and still have the stomach ache. Terrible blood sugar, too, from no food for 12 hours.
Please HELP dear friends with prayers and passing the word. ! This is one of the worst days of our lives. All our four kids had to find out today.
Dave's Mom in 2011
Now thirty minutes after he posted this, Dave's stomach issues resolved!  Continue to pray for his mom, as I am, that she be given comfort and strength to endure this trial and that God's Will be done in her life.  Amen.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge

I just saw this on Facebook and had to share!

Windsor on Swan on Brumley on Bouyer

James Swan, in a recent article, presents a critique of a posting in the Catholic Answers Forum on Martin Luther or more specifically Louis Bouyer's book The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism.  In my humble opinion while I do appreciate that Swan appears to be attempting to find at least some "good" in the Catholic position, he is relying upon (what appears to me to be) modernistic and even revisionist theology, and totally dismissive of what he calls "pre-conciliar works on Protestantism," naming Grisar, Denifle and O'Hare in particular.  Ironically the book in question here was written ten years prior to Vatican II!  If Vatican II is the dividing point between pre- and post-conciliar, then Bouyer's book is pre-conciliar!

While I accept that at times the polemics of the other pre-conciliar authors named above, especially O'Hare, can be quite confrontational, but are or were they really "wrong?"  Why, after 490 some years of Protestantism do we NOW think Luther's ideas weren't so bad?  How can we think his several "solas" could somehow be acceptable and even aid in healing the rift between Catholicism and Protestantism?  I like the summary Bouyer uses:  "The break between Catholics and Protestants was either a tragic necessity (to use Jaroslav Pelikan's expression) or it was tragic because unnecessary."  I'm still on the side of the former - it was unnecessary and I would add, it opposes the Will of God.

If God desires that we be one, (John 17:21-23), as Scripture clearly states He does, then breaking away from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is wholly contrary to His Will.  True "reform" does not happen from without, it happens from within.  That which Luther, Calvin, et al, did divided God's People and thus spits in the face of God and His Will to claim such separation is good and/or holy.  Yes, that is polemical, but it is true - and undeniable to anyone who believes the Scriptures are true and truly God's Word.  If Luther and Co. were truly interested in "reform" then they would have stayed within the Catholic Church and worked toward that reform within God's Will, and not without it.

Swan closes his commentary with the following challenge:

If the infallible Word of God is found elsewhere beyond the Scriptures (say, in Tradition or the Magisterium), scriptura is not sola.
My response to this is, as it always has been, that when Scripture itself points to other infallible sources - then those issuing such a challenge as Swan has made must reject the notion of sola scriptura. Where does Scripture itself point to these other sources? In Matthew 16:18-19 (infallible authority given to one man, who would later become the corypheaus (head) of the Apostolic choir) and in Matthew 18:18 (infallible authority given to a group of men, specifically the Apostolic choir, our first bishops in the Catholic Church). If error cannot be bound or loosed in Heaven, then the authority given above is necessarily infallible authority. So according to Swan, scriptura is not sola.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pope Francis To Come To USA in 2015

It has been announced and confirmed by Pope Francis that he will attend the Eighth World Meeting of Families.  As reported in the National Catholic Register, Pope Francis said:
I wish to confirm, if God wills it, that in September of 2015 I will go to Philadelphia for the Eighth World Meeting of Families,” he announced at Vatican City's Synod Hall Nov. 17 during his remarks at an international colloquium on the complementarity of man and woman.
The World Meeting was begun by Pope St. John Paul II in 1994 and is held every three years.  

It will be interesting to see what plays out at this meeting, especially after the controversies which came from the recent Synod on the Families, especially the interim report (links found here), which was rejected by most bishops - and the final report (full document here) was quite different.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Works Part of Salvation Process?

Are we justified by faith alone, works alone or a combination of the two? What do the Holy Scriptures alone have to say about the subject? This idea that all truths of Christian right-living is found in Scripture through a plain reading of the text, a Protestant Christian doctrine of Sola Scriptura, will be used in this endeavor. Plain texts of Scriptures will be used to support the idea of justification(salvation) by faith or by works.

Let’s look at a few verses supporting the idea of salvation by faith alone…
Gal 3:11 “Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.”

Gal 3:24 “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.”

Rom 3:28 “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.”

Acts 16:30-31 “He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Eph 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.

There are quite a few more verses I could bring to your attention but these are a good sampling of verses pointing to faith for salvation. And yet, did you notice anything curious? Not one verse mentions salvation or justification by faith alone. In fact there is not one verse in all of Scripture that states that salvation is found in faith alone. Faith is definitely required but nowhere can we find a verse of Scripture stating that faith ALONE is required for salvation. In fact whenever we find the criteria of salvation when we are judged we find that we will be judged by our WORKS, not on whether or not we had faith. Here are some examples of this…

Rom 2:6-8 “God "will give to each person according to what he has done."To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.”

James 2:12-13 “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!”

Rev 20:13 “The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.

1 Tim 5:8 “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

And of course Matthew 25 where faith is only assumed and ones final destiny is determined by what we did or failed to do.

“‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ […] ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Mat 25:34-41)

Knowing that all of Scripture is inerrant we must find a way to merge the two ideas together. From the first set of Scriptures we know that faith is required for salvation. We also know from the second set of Scriptures that we will be judged to be worth salvation or damnation by what we do or have failed to do (works). Therefore we can rightly assume that salvation is NOT found through faith alone but through faith AND works. In fact there is only one place in all of Scripture where we find the words ‘faith’ and ‘alone’ together and it is to negate it (James 2:24) and just a few verses later we find that faith, if it is alone (ie without works) it is dead. Does a dead faith save? Defining or explaining how this relationship between faith and works mesh together goes beyond the scope of this paper. What we have found is that salvation is dependent on BOTH our faith and our willingness to carry our cross daily (works) because of that faith. And so we find that Scripture clearly teaches that salvation through faith alone is most definitly unscriptural.

God Bless

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Married and Catholic Priests

Well, yes indeed!  Many may know that Eastern Rite Catholic priests could be married - however, NOT in the United States!  There has been a "ban" in place since 1929 prohibiting Eastern Rite Catholic priests from serving in the United States.  The "ban" states: Greek-Ruthenian Catholic priests “who wish to go to the United States of North America and stay there, must be celibates.” (Article 12, last sentence).

It would appear this "ban" is virtually dead, according to word leaked and reported here and here.  However, there has been no official pronouncement that married, Eastern Rite priests can be priests in the United States.  Now, there have been some exceptions to this "ban," one such is now Fr. Akiki, who was ordained into the priesthood - with Pope Francis' approval - on February 28, 2014 (pictured here giving the Eucharist to his daughter on the day of his ordination).  According to this article, he is the first married Maronite to be ordained to the priesthood in the United States.  It seems strange that there are actually MORE married Catholic priests in the Latin Rite in the United States than there are in all the Eastern Rites, combined!

Another discussion of the subject of married Eastern Rite priests can be found here.

The Irish Central reports:
Does that mean we can soon expect the end of celibacy for Roman Catholic priests? The short answer is “no,” because even Pope Francis has dismissed this. But we tend to forget that we already have married Roman Catholic priests. Less than 100, true, the vast majority of them former Protestants who were married, then converted.Still, given the various crises enveloping Roman Catholicism these days, who knows what small open door will lead to a kind of reform that even Pope Francis could not envision?
So, are we on the doorstep of a married clergy in the Latin Rite of Catholicism?  Only time will tell.  It is the opinion and hope of this writer that the pope could, without scandal, allow for the complete abrogation of this ban on married Eastern Catholic priests and also, while he's at it, establish an order to which Latin Rite priests could belong to and be married and serve in diocese throughout the world - including the United States this time.  Call it an experiment, if you will, and see how it goes!  I would predict that there would be no shortage of candidates for the priesthood in that order! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mystic Monk Coffee - Say No to Starbucks!

More reasons to by Mystic Monk Coffee and to shun Starbucks

So, Starbucks has a concert supposedly to honor veterans.  They invite people to perform whom they knew would do an anti-war song from era when vets were scorned and they invited a rapper whose lack of class is demonstrated through the foulness of his language… during a televised event that families and children could watch.
Starbucks, in addition, also has a commercial featuring a cross-dresser in an effort to mainstream, even more, open perversion.
Buy Mystic Monk Coffee.
Help the Wyoming Carmelites build their new monastery.
They have their Thanksgiving Blend (ground) right now.  In K-Cups too!
Their Christmas Blend is available.
Mystic Monk Coffee!
It’s swell!

On Your Knees - Please!

Repeating an article from here:
(I'm not real sure about the use of "punk" - but I understand the humor....)

On Your Knees, Punk! Bishop says Ditch The Bow

Bishop Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield has issued a pastoral letter in which says that a bow before the tabernacle is only appropriate if you cannot genuflect. So if you are in reasonable health, get on your knees, punk!!

To bend the knee
28. In recent years, there has arisen the practice of bowing to the Lord present in the tabernacle, rather than genuflecting before him. Such a profound bow — made purposefully and reverently from the waist — can be a fitting way to reverence the Divine Majesty, but only if one cannot genuflect, which is not always the same as having some difficulty genuflecting.

29. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal provides that "if, however, the tabernacle with the Most Blessed Sacrament is situated in the sanctuary, the Priest, the Deacon, and the other ministers genuflect when they approach the altar and when they depart from it, but not during the celebration of Mass itself. Otherwise all who pass before the Most Blessed Sacrament genuflect, unless they are moving in procession. Ministers carrying the processional cross or candles bow their heads instead of genuflecting."17

30. To genuflect means, literally, "to bend the knee." In the ancient world the knee symbolized the strength of a man. If a man is struck in the knee, he stumbles and falls; his strength is taken from him. When we genuflect before the Lord, our strength is not taken from us; rather, we willingly bend our strength to the Lord and place ourselves humbly in his service. When we bend our knee to the Lord of heaven and earth we should hear the words of the Psalmist ever in our hearts, "Lord, I am your servant," remembering that before the Lord every knee must bend (Psalm 116:16; cf. Philippians 2:10).

31. I must note here, that as important as the Eucharist is to the Church, and that the proper reverence to the Blessed Sacrament is "to bend the knee," to genuflect, it does not replace another reverence made by all between the opening and the closing processions. During Liturgy between these processions, all who enter or leave the sanctuary, or who pass before the altar, make a deep bow, a bow from the waist toward the altar. Neither a deep bow or a genuflection is made to the tabernacle within the Mass between the opening and closing processions.18

32. In order to keep these words in our hearts and put them into practice, it is helpful to be purposeful and deliberate in the moment of genuflection. One may avoid a hasty and irreverent slide through an attempted genuflection by consciously touching the right knee to the ground and humbly pausing momentarily before rising again. In doing so, we not only pay proper respect to the Lord, but we also remind ourselves in whose presence we are.
Amen and amen. Thank you, Your Excellency.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran - Nov 9

My son and wife during our trip to Italy in 2010 in front of St. John Lateran, "The Pope's Cathedral."
Today we celebrate the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome on 9th November 324 AD by Pope St. Sylvester.  Every bishop has a cathedral, and the Pope’s cathedral is the Basilica of St. Johns Lateran, not the Basilica of St. Peter. Hence it bears the title Omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater, et caput (the mother of all the churches in the city and in the world – and their head). The Laterani palace was donated to Pope by Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor. The first church built in that property was called the Basilica of the Savior. Later the Church was dedicated to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist and so it was called the Basilica of St. Johns Lateran. The central theme of today’s readings is the warning that, as baptized Christians, we are the temples of God where the Spirit of God, the real Source of all spiritual blessings, dwells and that we should not desecrate the temple of God by sin. 
Read more here...