Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Why Not Contraception? Chris and Elizabeth's Story

I had mentioned the JP II generation's 1Flesh Website in an earlier post. For those wondering how one might, God willing, space their family in accordance with God's plan, listen to this story!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bring Sexy Back

In Chapter 3 of the Smoke of Satan I discuss at great length the truth about sex which subsists in Catholic teaching. It is refreshing to see the JP II generation assimilating this truth that they might have "mind blowing sex" when they are married. Here is a series of videos demonstrating their openness to the Truth. Also, check our their fabulous website.

Neomodernism's Attack on Religious Life- (continued).

Who’s that on page 180 of that book?
This is Sister Mary Benjamin, IHM. Sister Mary Benjamin got involved with us in the summer of ‘66, and became the victim of a lesbian seduc­tion. An older nun in the group, “free­ing herself to he more expressive of who she really was internally,” decided that she wanted to make love with Sis­ter Mary Benjamin. Well, Sister Mary Benjamin engaged in this; and then she was stricken with guilt, and won­dered, to quote from her book, “Was I doing something wrong, was I doing something terrible? I talked to a priest—” Unfortunately, we had talked to him first. “I talked to a priest,” she says, “who refused to pass judgment on my actions. He said it was up to me to decide if they were right or wrong. He opened a door, and I walked through the door, realizing I was on my own.”

This is her liberation?
How excited they were, to be deliver­ing someone into God’s hands! Well, instead they delivered her into the hands of nondirective psychology.

But to mitigate your own guilt, Dr. Coulson, psychologists don’t know what they are doing when it comes to the inner depth of the human person; and one would think the Catholic Church, with 2,000 years’ experience, does know what it is doing. This priest was a co culprit. Had he nipped this in the bud—but he sounds like Rogers: “Well, it seems to me that perhaps you might perhaps do this or that.”
“What does it mean to you?” not “What does it mean to me?” Or to God. The priest got confused about his role as a confessor. He thought it was personal, and he consulted him­self and said, “1 can’t pass judgment on you.” But that’s not what confes­sion is. It is not about the priest as a person, making a decision for the cli­ent; rather it’s what God says. In fact, God has already judged on this mat­ter. You are quite right to feel guilty about it. “Go thou and sin no more.” Instead he said she should decide.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Makena Clawson GETS IT!

Makena Clawson is a sophmore at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.  Here  she explains the unique female susceptibility to pornography, or what is unchaste, a phenomenon  grabbing attention due to women's obssession with Fifty Shades of Grey.. It has helped me  understand what women want much better, and corroborates  Catholic church teaching as discussed in my book's Chapter Three: Libido

Pope Urges Catholics to Read VII documents!

The pope's recent message urges Catholics to do what, when I did, led to my writing of  my book, The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God, to be published this fall. Here is one more reason why one should read the documents. I discuss the prophetic nature of Humanae Vitae in Chapter 3 of my book ("Libido"). It seems one separatedbrother is open to  following in my stead! http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2012/07/bachelorettes-and-humane-vitae

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Having Something to do with the Dragon

I have been keeping my eyes and ears peeled as to MOTIVE for the Aurora murders, but to date satisfactory explanation is nonexistent.  Having authored a book on the reality of spiritual warfare, I was glad to see a popular priest's blog take up where my suspicion lies....

Contra Libido

What is the meaning of sex?
Everyone in every time and place is interested in sex. Our own time is obsessed by it. One would think that a society obsessed by sex would understand it very well. But the truth is that obsession drives out understanding. We no longer understand even the common sense of sexuality, the things that were common knowledge in supposedly less enlightened times.
Acclaimed philosopher J. Budziszewski remedies this problem. His wise, gracefully written book about the nature, meaning, and mysteries of sexuality restores lost wisdom, raising and answering such questions as:
  • Does sex have to mean anything at all?
  • What is the meaning of the sexual powers, of sexual differences, of sexual love, of sexual beauty, of sexual purity?
  • Is sexuality “all about sex”?
  • why does sexuality stir up such transcendent longings for something more than sex?
On the Meaning of Sex corrects the most prevalent errors about sex, particularly the errors of the sexual revolution, which by mistaking pleasure for a good in itself has caused untold pain and suffering. In restoring the meaning and purpose of sex, the author reclaims what Dante calls “the intelligence of love.”
“Looking out over the sexual landscape of our time,” Budziszewski writes, “I see a terrain of unutterable sweetness, despoiled by unmentionable pain. Yet who knows? Perhaps it is not too late to redeem the unutterable sweetness. Shall we try to find out?”

Monday, July 23, 2012

From the Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God: Conversion

As a Catholic educator I have observed over the years that, due to the ever-increasing secularization of American culture, many baptized Catholics appear not to live the life of discipleship, wherein it is not they who live, but Our Lord who lives in them. Why? As a result of sin, and “its instigator, the devil.”
If ever there was one who believed in the devil’s existence, it was Our Lord, who called him “the ruler of this world.” We must remember, however, that while the spirit of anti-Christ has been with us since the dawn of history, our enemy is no more than a rebel angel whom God permits to test us. The Father never wills evil, but He does permit Satan to tempt us, just as he allowed the passion of His Son, through which He showed that regardless of the demonic action, God always attempts to bring a larger good out of our enemy’s apparent conquests.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

B16 On Aurora CO

2012-07-22 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio) Pope Benedict spoke of his shock on Sunday in what he called “the senseless violence” that took place in Aurora Denver in which twelve people were killed and dozens of others injured when a gunman opened fire during a film screening this week. The Holy Father also expressed his sadness at the loss of life in the recent ferry disaster near Zanzibar in which at least 68 people died. 
The Pope said he shared the distress of the families and friends of the victims and the injured, especially the children and he assured all of those affected by both tragedies his closeness in prayer.
Pope Benedict was speaking after the recitation of the Angelus in the courtyard of the Papal summer residence at Castelgandolfo in the Roman hills, where he also had words of encouragement for those taking part in the upcoming Olympic Games in London.
“I send greetings to the organizers, athletes and spectators alike, and I pray that, in the spirit of the Olympic Truce, the good will generated by this international sporting event may bear fruit, promoting peace and reconciliation throughout the world. Upon all those attending the London Olympic Games, I invoke the abundant blessings of Almighty God.”
Before the Angelus Pope Benedict took time to reflect on this Sunday’s Gospel in which Jesus is depicted at the “The Good Shepherd”.
The Holy Father explained to the faithful gathered, that God is the Shepherd of mankind who wants to guide us to good pasture, which he said is “the fullness of life.”
The Pope went on to say that in today’s world, “that 's what every father and every mother wants for their children: a good life, happiness, achievement. 
Jesus, said Pope Benedict, presents himself as the Shepherd of the lost sheep of Israel.
Among those lost sheep, continued the Pope, are the great Saints Mary of Magdala and Luke the Evangelist. 
The Holy Father explained that the deep healing of God works through Jesus, which consists of true peace and the fruit of reconciliation.
Concluding his address the Pope said, that amidst the “evil seed of war, God creates peace. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

From Msgr. Charles Pope- Real food for thought!

How the Virtual Eclipses the Real – As Seen in a Commercial

The word virtual has become, for most people, a euphemism for the Internet, or the computer world; as in “occurring or existing primarily online.”  But the word virtual has an original meaning that is actually quite descriptive of a modern problem.
Prior to its application to the computer world, the word virtual meantbeing something in effect, though not actually or expressly being such. In other words, it has aspects of the real thing, but is not the real thing. So, in the sentence. He is a virtual goldmine of knowledge on the subject one would be silly to look for physical gold mine or to think that he is either gold or a mine, or both.  There is no actual, no physical, goldmine. Rather his knowledge has aspects of a gold mine (value, worth, depth) but he is not an actual goldmine.
The adverb, “virtually” means, for the most part, almost. In other words, it is close to the thing, but is not the thing or quality described. So in the sentence He was so exhausted, he was virtually dead; he is not, of course, actually dead but, rather shares in some of the qualities of the dead (unmoving, unconscious, lying down, etc). But he is not dead.
So virtual may mean “almost, like, or similar,” but NOT “is.” The virtual is not the full reality. It is lacking in existence and other important qualities of the actual reality.
And this is very important truth to recall in today’s “virtual” world of the Internet. Many people are substituting too much of the virtual for the actual. Many people spend more time interacting with Facebook friends than physically interacting with actual family members and friends. Many people digest large quantities of virtual Internet life, and only small amounts of real life. In an actual meeting with real people present, many will be seen to have their heads in their phone and be only vaguely present to the real meeting (see photo above right).
I have noticed some tourists here in DC so buried in their phones (perhaps studying about a particular monument), that they spend less time looking at the actual monument. Some fiddle so much to get the picture that they really miss the actual moment. A picture is not real (it is virtual, it shares aspects of the real thing but us not that thing). We spend a LOT of time with our eyes focused on a virtual world, and often neglect the real world among us.
A strange migration has happened for many today wherein we interact more “virtually” than really. As a result, old fashioned things like dating, marriage, meeting new people and just getting together with friends has declined.
Another problem with the virtual world is that it is, most often, self-defined. We select our favorite sites and bookmark them. We set Facebook filters, RSS feeds, twitter feeds, iPod playlists, and the like. In effect we create our own little virtual world. Meanwhile the real world with all its diversity and less desirable things is increasingly neglected and our world becomes smaller and our personal formation more stilted.
Even more so, our patience at listening and being a “captive audience” has declined and we are increasingly demanding that everything should appeal to us quickly. Otherwise I should be able to click on a new bookmark, change the channel, of skip to the next song in the shuffle. But the real world is not quite so accommodating. Patiently listening and working with what “is” seems more odious as we start to prefer the virtual to the real.
Well, let the following video make the point. Enjoy a humorous look at our obsession with the virtual while the real passes by.

St. Ambrose Book 1 of “On the Decease of Satyrus

For why should I weep for thee, my most loving brother, who wast thus torn from me that thou mightest be the brother of all? For I have not lost but changed my intercourse with thee; before we were inseparable in body, now we are undivided in affection; for thou remainst with me and ever wilt remain. And indeed, whilst thou wast living with me, our country never tore thee from me, nor didst thou thyself ever prefer our country to me; and now thou art become surety for that other country, for I begin to be no stranger there where the better portion of myself already is. I was never wholly engrossed in myself, but the greater part of each of us was in the other, yet we were each of us in Christ, in Whom is the whole sum of all and the portion of each severally. This grace is more pleasing to me than thy natal soil, in which is the fruit not of nature but of grace, for in that body which lies lifeless lies the better work of my life, since in this body, too, which I bear is the richer portion of thyself.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sexual Brokenness (Libido again!)

In my book I document how the Father of Lies pulls the wool over our eyes again and again when it comes to the Libido. What appears to be liberating is actually enslaving, as evidenced by the fruits of the behavior...see for yourself!

In My Weakness is His Strength

I just ran across an eminently wise reflection contra feminism in this noted Catholic mag... Indeed, we are the weaker sex, but are made strong if we can boast in the crucified Lord!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Intended Audience

I have written for those Catholics born and perhaps catechized before Vatican II or immediately thereafter who as yet are unaware of the true teaching of the Council. It should not surprise the reader that there are Catholics whose lifestyles do not differentiate them all that much from those who are not Catholic and/or Christian. Moreover, many Catholics of the “baby-boom” generation are alienated from the Church all together because their only exposure has been to a superficial, cultural Catholicism, impotent in the face of an American culture increasingly without faith. Conversely, many others have left the Church – hungrier, as they say, for a more “biblically-based church.” The book is also intended for young people of the “JP II” generation of Catholics, born long after the council but perhaps not fully aware of the turmoil spawned by dissent in the Church which, though on the wane, is still with us today. These young people, especially those in authentically Catholic colleges (Franciscan, Christendom, Aquinas, Ave Maria, etc.) will be the Church of the 21st century, and in my experience have an interest in this recent history of the Church. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rolling Stone gathers Ross

Halfway through reading Ross Douthat's Bad Religion, I wish to warn Catholic "progressives" that liberal Protestantism gives us a for-taste of what the Holy Spirit will always guard Christ's Church against- read it in the Times here. See also Ross' blog at right.

Fifty Shades of Rubbish

There are real women who live according to their feminine genius, and then there are women addicted to the world, as evidenced here....meet Dr. Meg Meeker!!  I thought the hoopla was over whether or not parents should spank kids, not each other: http://instagram.com/p/NOOFVoEuAT/

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Libido XI Take the Test!

I thannk the Lord I am currently at "low risk" here.

About the Author IV

                                                Detroit's Blessed Sacrament Cathedral

In the ensuing college years I drifted further and further away from the Church in true “prodigal son” fashion, often arguing with my mother over matters of faith. In college, I was approached by evangelicals asking, “Are you saved, brother?,” something they did not believe of me as long as I was Catholic. The norm would have been for this now-lukewarm Catholic to have been lured away from the Church, but baptismal grace proved me an exception.  Though I was not all that holy, I wasn’t about to become a Pentecostal! How Our Lord led me home is outside the scope of this endeavor; suffice it to say that there are rough parallels with St. Augustine.
Upon returning to the Faith I was unable to find employment in my undergraduate field, history, and so volunteered to teach CCD in my parish, hoping eventually to land a job there teaching history. This required me to earn catechist certification offered by the Archdiocese of Detroit, which I did in 1978. No sooner had I completed the requirements, when a combination Religion/History opening occurred at a co-ed Catholic High school in inner-city Detroit. I taught there for one year, after which I landed a job teaching Scripture (for which I, by true Catholic standards, was woefully unprepared to do) in my parish high school, where I remained for one year. I then took a position at a Catholic high school in a suburb of Detroit, where I have been ever since. Since 1995, however, and my “reversion” to the fullness of Catholic teaching, I  began an extensive study of the post-conciliar years in the United States, for which my training in history and as a catechist at the St. John Bosco Institute for Catechetics, as well as twenty-five years as a catechist in the Archdiocese of Detroit amply prepared me.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fifty Shades of Pleasure

Having written about how secular social science has documented the sexualization of American culture, largely dating from the introduction of the Pill, it is hopeful to find stories such as the following in the mainstream media. Lara Johnson is a freelance writer who also recommends The Price of Pleasure.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

About the Author III

St. Eugene’s eventually closed in the Year of Our Lord 1989 due to “white flight” and demographic changes after the 1967 riots in Detroit, and with this the demise of the place where I spent some of the holiest years of my life, years in which neither I nor my classmates were ashamed to publicly give witness to our faith in Christ (yes, I too dressed in sheets and played the priest in acting out the Mass with my siblings). My memories of participation at Mass are glorious ones. There was a sense of the sacred that has since, through misimplementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium, long since evaporated at Mass.
I graduated from St. Eugene’s in 1966, when the liturgical changes after the close of the council promulgated in Sacrosanctum Concilium to the best of my memory had not yet been thoroughly implemented. I journeyed off to Detroit Cathedral High School downtown, where my experience of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist began to fade, as I no longer was required to attend daily Mass, and cannot remember one thing taught to me in high school religion class by my teacher, who was also the Business Ed. and Typing teacher and track coach. A rumination of the yearbooks for these years reveals photo captions such as “DC Sodality Men Reach Out,” and “Fr. Trainor Celebrates Mass Facing the Seniors as he Closes the Senior Retreat.” To be sure, in my adolescent years I hadn’t the foggiest idea of what was happening in the Church in the United States after the Council, and, after seeing a pretty, red-headed Sophomore on the bus on her way to Immaculata High one day (in the end I proved too shy to sit next to her on the DSR bus...), I confess I really never paid it much attention. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

I Am Sin

While I await publication of The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God., it is heartening to note the revival of traditional Christian teaching on the reality of sin in our world in the social communications media, as evidenced poignantly by this video!

The Devil's favorite color? Gray.

The Gates of Hell Temporarily Prevail
Editor’s Note: The Bill and Melinda Gates’ Family Planning Summit in the UK concluded yesterday, with staggering high-dollar commitments from nations and agencies all over the globe. C-FAM Director of Operations Lisa Correnti and activist Wendy Wright, working with pro-life watchdog Turtle Bay and Beyond, were present, keeping a sort of mini-journal of events. Here are some of their chilling reports:

Today on World Population Day, government officials and charitable foundations have convened at the UK Family Planning summit co-sponsored by the Gates Foundation and DFID - the UK’s development aid program, to seek financial commitments to further implement population control efforts in developing countries. Government official after government official and spokespersons for billionaires foundations are all reading from the same script; family planning programs are necessary to save lives of poor women and their children. Their flawed methodology is the same; make long-term contraceptive methods available to poor women and adolescent girls in every area of the globe. The prevention of an unplanned pregnancy amounts to an averted maternal or infant death.
A late morning panel hosted by Dr. Rajiv Shah administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) featured a re-commitment by the U.S. which has been funding reproductive health and family planning programs at $640 million since Hillary Clinton and President Obama have been in leadership. A video of Sec. Clinton praised the attendees and underscored the U.S. commitment to family planning restating “that reproductive rights are human rights.”
Financial commitments from this mornings sessions are the following:
UK (DFID): Aid for family planning will increase from £90 million each year to £180 million – more than £1.4 billion over eight years. EU: Currently $100 million euro on Family Planning, pledged an additional $23M for commodities. Germany: Doubling bilateral commitment from $50 to $100m every year from 2012 to 2015 Korea: Double its investment over next few years from 0.125 to .0.25%. Past year $5.4 million. France: Commits to additional €100 million for FP Australia: Australia plans to spend an additional AUD58 million over 5 years, doubling annual contributions to AUD53 million by 2016. Hewitt Foundation: $20-22 mil for international population work which includes $13m for advocacy to assure support continues. Packard Foundation: $24 million to be used for 1) demand 2) quality and 3) advocacy. Michael Bloomberg: $50 million Dutch: Increase of $100 million, from 370 to $470 million.
Pharmaceutical companies that are sure to capitalize on this initiative were also present to announce their contribution:
Merck announces $50million partnership with Gates Foundation with “choice as the central pillar.” Doubling capacity to reach increased demand for implants. Pfizer: Expanding of Depo-Provera by 50% to increase supplies to $1 billion injectibles.
The afternoon panel should produce additional commitments.
In the afternoon session of the UK Family Planning Summit Melinda Gates pledged to increase support for family planning by $560 million through 2020. This addition to current funding will bring the total to $1 billion over the next 7 years. Imagine if this funding was directed to providing clinics in the poorest regions of the world rather than for implants, injectibles, and sterilizations. What a shame!
The UK Family Planning summit has concluded and the total financial commitment by attending countries and foundations amounts to $4.6 billion, which exceeds the $4 billion goal. The Gates Foundation was clear from the onset that it expected solid commitments from countries that attended. Now as one of the presenters said from a prominent foundation “we need to create the need through education.”
Apparently much of the unmet need is from women who don’t know they have an unmet need. Leave it to affluent western nations, billionaires foundations and pharmaceutical companies to do this.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Reflection on the Meaning of Suffering

On Wednesday night, I think I may have confused Ethan.  After arriving to the ER and after being worked on by the trauma team, Kristen and I were pulled into a waiting room to be told that Ethan’s heart had stopped…..that Ethan had passed, and that there was nothing the doctors could do.  I immediately ran into the trauma room where I found Ethan’s naked body on the table.  I grabbed him by the arms and said “Ethan, your a little scrapper, you know how to fight, so fight for daddy, you have to come back, daddy says come back!”  In that immediate moment his heart started up again.  I think the confusion for Ethan was that as he was making his way to Jesus, he heard my voice calling to him.  His mind full of wonder was probably attracted to the beautiful light of God but the obedient boy that he is, he came back when he heard me.  
 At that very moment, Ethan’s ministry began.  I didn’t see it then but it can’t be any clearer now.  The mobilization of prayers throughout the country and the world unified an entire global community.  Facebook exploded!  My analytical mind cant help but wish for an algorythm that could measure how many thousands of people connected to God through Ethan in prayer.  From Nepal, to Holland, Japan, California, Puerto Rico, Texas, and many more places, tens of thousands were praying.  And they were posting, and texting and calling. Even The Donald, yes Donald Trump prayed for Ethan.  Ask me later. It’s an amazing story.  And just as Jeff stands next to me today, your prayers supported us when there was no way we naturally could.  
 Ethan started something big.  A friend of mine who I hadn’t seen or heard from in over 12 years wrote to me saying, “Sam, I haven’t spoken to God in over 10 years, but today I spoke to God because of Ethan”.  Others wrote saying, “I am hearing God louder and clearer in my life than at any other time.”  And others expressed, “Ethan has restored faith in Jesus for me.” It’s so ironic, that as people prayed for a miracle in his life, the miracle was actually happening in theirs, in my life and in yours.  Some of you may have never met Ethan …but all of us met God at some point last week. I will never forget what Ethan has done to my life, never forget what God did in yours.  That will be his legacy forever.  A short life of 20 months that ministered to more people than some may do in 90 years of living.

The Meaning of Suffering

I have just been informed of the death of a child of a friend's relative, and was referred to a blog the grieving Mom has put together. It is the best blog I have encountered, bar NONE. In all this hullabaloo over Fifty Shades, those who are reading the book ought to visit this blog, and tremble.

About the Author II

In the years prior to the Second Vatican Council, I also remember attending daily Mass before elementary school, which, because we had fasted for three hours, allowed us to eat breakfast in math class. I remember singing Tantum Ergo at Wednesday Evening Benediction, which I was in the habit of attending with my Mom, siblings and “Gramp,” (her Dad, John). I also remember looking forward to participating in the praying of that most sublime form of prayer, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, with my St. Joseph’s Daily Missal.
With Pope Benedict’s having granted permission for priests to offer the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, we hear much ado in the form of reaction against this from Catholic “progressives,” and about how the Council placed a new emphasis on the laity’s participation at Mass, the implication being that Catholics did not actively participate at Mass prior to Vatican II, opting for such devotions as the praying of the Rosary or Holy Cards. To such persons I say, not only did I pray along with the priest in the Latin Missal, but I was a better-than-average singer of Gregorian chant, thanks to convert and organist Mrs. Crowley’s daily faithful rendering of the chanted antiphons and propers in Latin. Having failed to become an altar server by stumbling over one Latin syllable in my tryout test, (Sr. Isabelle must have had a bad habit day that day), I also remember telling my younger brother John, who passed, that he forgot the proper order in covering the communion rails before Holy Communion. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

“The truth is that there’s a will to create division that comes from the devil,” -Cardinal Bertone

Court rules against magazines vulgar portrayal of Pope :
July 11, 2012
Bonn, Germany, Jul 11, 2012 / 04:10 pm (CNA).- A German magazine must stop publishing its latest issue, which depicts Pope Benedict XVI in a urine- and feces-stained cassock, a district court in Hamburg ruled on June 10.
The German Bishops' Conference, which took legal action against “Titanic” magazine with the permission of the Vatican's Secretary of State, welcomed the decision. Conference spokesman Matthias Kopp said the image “oversteps every measure of decency.”
On the front cover of its July issue, Titanic mocked the Pope, and the recent “Vatileaks” scandal  involving security breaches and confidential documents, with an image that showed him wearing urine-stained clothing. The headline read: “Hallelujah in the Vatican: The leak has been found!”
The image on the back cover had been altered to show a brown stain on the back of his traditional white cassock, with the caption reading: “Another leak is found!”
Existing issues of the magazine will not have to be recalled under the terms of the court's temporary injunction. New copies, however, cannot be published.
Titanic's editor, Leo Fischer, says he intends to fight on against Tuesday's decision, which he said was a “huge mistake.” The magazine has been sued 55 times over its cover images, 35 of which have been banned.
Fischer has stated that Pope Benedict “must have misunderstood” the front cover image, which he said showed the Pope spilling a drink on himself in excitement over solving the Vatileaks mystery.
“Everyone knows how much the Pope likes Fanta,” Fischer said.
Titanic's website has replaced the blocked images with a picture of the Pope in a clean cassock, carrying two large bottles of orange soda. The new caption reads: “'Titanic' forbidden – Pope intoxicated with joy!”

Twelve Catholic Blogs Worth Checking Out

Here is a list of 12 blogs worth reading. So sorry I have not made the list... (LOL). There is always hope.  Do I detect a note of uncharity in some circles from reading the comments?  Thank Our Lord for the Sacrament of confession!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

50 Shades of Abuse

Teresa Tomeo, noted author and Catholic radio host, has asked that this post be shareda request I am only too happy to grant here. What is occurring here is Satan’s attempt to transmit to man his own rebellion,” i.e., the attitude with which he--Satan--has identified and by which he has, in consequence, placed himself outside the truth, outside the law of dependence on the Creator. Indeed, the original temptation of mankind marked the beginning of a long process which has wound its devious ways throughout subsequent human history. Have nothing to do with the Dragon.

Mr. D just lost a biggie!

 It is with great joy that I encountered the following news! The family that prays together STAYS together!

Catholic women aren't all reading Fifty Shades. I am praying that this webinar bears much fruit.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God: About the Author

Like many of the twenty-five percent or so of the American people who would respond with “Roman Catholic” when asked their religion in an emergency room, I am a “cradle Catholic,” born into an Irish-American family in Detroit as a baby boomer in 1952, baptized at St. Gabriel’s on the southwest side in the same year. I first received the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in second grade at St. Eugene’s parish in northwest Detroit, for which the Sisters of Notre Dame DeNamur admirably prepared me. I still stand amazed at the reverence instilled in the second-graders in the black-and-white photos shot by my father, Don, that day. I was also confirmed at St. Eugene’s parish in the fourth grade, after which my mother, Ann, took me out for my favorite breakfast, strawberry pancakes, where I played “Fun, Fun, Fun” by the Beach Boys at least twice. Since my return and faithful assent to all that the Catholic Church teaches in 1995, I have been a regular communicant and penitent.
My first memory on this earth is as a baby, less than a year old, of being driven by my parents to a funeral in Pennsylvania, an event my mother corroborated years later as I described it. My favorite memory from childhood is one I frequently think back on. It is one of observing from my pew prior to the 6:30 am Mass in 1958 the Sisters entering St. Eugene’s from the front-side entrance of the Church, special to them for access from their one-room convent in the adjoining school. It was winter, and the church was dimly-lit. They entered with awe-inspiring reverence, processing in their full habits, the beads of their waist-draped rosaries colliding gently, genuflecting and kneeling in silent preparation for the soon to occur reenactment in a non-bloody manner of Our Lord’s eternal sacrifice first offered on Calvary for our salvation, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  The latent aroma of incense and the sight of fresh beeswax candles flickering on the altar, together with the sisters’ silent reverence and obvious practice of what they taught their first graders   –   the importance of reverence in the House of God   –   is an impression which not only convinced me that Jesus lived there in the Tabernacle, but was also an actual grace which I believe, together with my baptismal grace and my Mom’s faith witness, was instrumental in eventually leading me back into the fullness of Catholic teaching. I do not know now what became of each Sister, but I am sure that whatever their relationship with Our Lord today, they had no idea that one of their first-graders was so inspired by their witness to the real Presence they gave that winter morn. 

Dancing with the Dragon!!! (Libido and the sexualization of women)

The "Fifty Shades" erotic trilogy is expected to hit the 20 million-sales mark in the U.S. this week, making it one of the fastest-selling book series in my memory. In spite of my warnings to  have nothing to do with the Dragon, women are fantasizing about having a man inflict pain on them! Here they are....

Well, I have been following the media response to Bad Religion, (search this blog), and was pleased to seee that the Catholic News Service has picked up on it.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Several Shades of Sacred

For those mommies still reading Fifty Shades, might I suggest a follow up? The book is Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic WomenConsider the Things that Really Matter . Also watch trailer:http://vimeo.com/37515830 

 A review:

I recently read Style, Sex and Substance, a book featuring short essays about...style, sex and substance from ten Catholic women. The contributors will be familiar to anyone familiar with the Catholic blogosphere and include the likes of Hallie Lord, Jennifer Fulwiler, Simcha Fisher, Daniel Bean and Barabara Nicolosi. There essays confront important issues like how to approach sex (yes, with your spouse), what it means to be a Catholic woman in the world today and how to engage the culture we live in. For those who picture Catholics as having a bunker mentality, they will be surprised Without giving anything away, these essays do not encourage the exclusive use of the missionary position, treating the house like a cloistered convent or engaging the culture by throwing rosaries at passers by. No, these women are frank, honest, modern and deeply committed to the teachings of the Church. They are each in their own way models for the Catholic women of today. Not that they set themselves up as perfect. In fact, they are perfectly clear about how hard it is to find a balance in life and that doing so with five kids throwing their shows at each other in the minivan is even harder.
And yeah, I'm a guy and still enjoyed the book. For the most part, all of the advice in it would apply just as for men if you swap out the word "husband" and replace it with "wife."
And that brings me to my last point. The guys who write books for Catholic men could take a hint or two from these ladies. Don't be afraid to be funny for one. Yeah, it's cool to use the imagery of knighthood and battle, call us to imitation of St. Joseph and all that. Heck I'm a particular sucker for the knighthood imagery but it only goes so far. Make a good joke! About family life and the kids. Yes, you can just wind up complaining and that isn't a good thing but it doesn't mean we need to hide the fact that living out the Church's teaching is a pain in the neck sometimes. And for crying out loud, not every guy on the planet thinks sports is the most important thing in life after God and family. I may rank it in the top ten but it's near the bottom of that list.
In any case, no matter if you are a man or woman you should get this book. Even if you aren't Catholic, but are curious about what real Catholic women think about how real life and faith intertwine, you should get this book.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Libido X

I see the recent Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon much as when I wrote about the fact that of late, on several Catholic College campuses it has been possible to attend a performance of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues, a play which, among “celebrations” of the female experience of the vagina, contains a “romantic” scene, where a 24-year-old woman seduces a 13-year-old girl. The woman invites the girl into her car, takes her to her house, supplies her with vodka, and seduces her, calling the experience “a kind of heaven.” (One wonders what outcry would occur if priests with same-sex attractions were to come to the defense of the play).
It is surely reasonable to argue that these phenomena are the result of a turning away from traditional Catholic sexual moral teaching, revealed by God for our health and well-being. This rebellion has as its fruit not “liberation” but widespread suffering: the spiraling number of STDs, the millions of abortions, unintended sterility, global pornography, the sex trade, the vast increase in rape and child abuse, promiscuity’s threats to marriage and family, and the hundreds of thousands of victims of AIDS. A sagacious observation on the infamous 1960s sums it up nicely: “I think it would be difficult to find a single decade in the history of Western culture when so much barbarism — so much calculated onslaught against culture and convention in any form, and so much sheer degradation of both culture and the individual — passed into print, into music, into art and onto the American stage as the decade of the Nineteen Sixties.”

Friday, July 6, 2012

Libido IX

It has been my experience that when people take issue with Catholic teaching, rarely does it concern the Hypostatic Union, the Vatican’s guidelines on road rage, or the Vatican Conference on Extraterrestrial Life. No, those things with which they take issue bear directly or vicariously on their sexual lives — homosexuality, same-sex “marriage,” premarital sex, adultery, contraception, masturbation, population control, abortion, divorce, remarriage, in vitro fertilization, etc.

Thus I hear in the news these days that Fifty Shades of Grey is being read by Catholic women’s book clubs, and by Catholic women in general. And I thought it was only we men who were addicted to the occasional foray (via the internet) into the darkness…..

To those Christians who see nothing wrong with the Shades trilogy, remember Our Lord’s words on this: "What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man." My advice to those who still doubt the truth of Catholic sexual moraliry in our sexually-befuddled world is that it is a fatal error not to observe “how Lucifer actually works and why he is so intent on perverting our sexuality.”  Indeed, a Catholic understanding of human sexuality gives us “a glimpse of the ‘great mystery’ of God’s plan to unite all things in Christ.”

What WAS Revolutionary about Blessed John XXIII?

As my book concerns misreadings of the Second Vaticam Council, and much spin put upon conciliar documents, this piece on the TRUE John XXIII is of great interest....

"....female he created them"

And now, a little story on complementarity as stated in Genesis....

A woman was on a first date with a man. As they drove in the car to their destination of a nice restaurant,  the conversation was lively and they found they had much in common. They were already enjoying one another's company very much. Once the car was parked the man got out and began to walk toward the door of the restaurant. He took several steps before he noticed that his date was not next to him. Where was she? He looked around, confused,  and then retraced his steps to find her sitting exactly as he had left her- in the car. She was smiling and patiently waiting….for him to come around her side of the car and open the door. "She knew what kind of man I was," he later told my friend, "and that I had just momentarily forgotten that. From then on, I did not forget again."

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Have Nothing to do with the Dragon!!

Tom Cruise is one of most high-profile Scientologists in the U.S., and convinced Katie Holmes to convert to the religion before their wedding in 2005. At first, reports The Daily Beast, Holmes was game, even allowing a church representative to accompany her to a W magazine shoot soon after her coupling with Cruise, and refusing to answer any question the representative didn't approve of. But she eventually became exasperated with the restrictive religion, and "reportedly hadn't been seen inside a Scientology Church for some time." She even enrolled her daughter, Suri, in a Catholic preschool. People Magazine says her parents "wanted the old Katie back." Now they can have her. Have nothing more to do with the Dragon.

"Go out to all the world and spread the good news".

The final chapter to my soon-to-be published book- The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God- is centered around the new evangelization, and so I was glad to run across this article on...BLOGGING as a way to evangelize!

Because Rope Sales are up...

In light (or dark?) of the Fifty Shades of Grey bewilderment, I think it time catechesis on the dignity of women be emphasized every chance one gets. Alexandra Richards reminds us that women are a threat to his mission of the destruction of souls. But not if they are his property. The following warrants prayerful thought:

To Women: Be What God Made You
You don’t need to read Genesis to see that God created men and He created women, but have you ever asked yourself why he created you a woman and not a man?
We live in a time where gender is as interchangeable as ketchup and mustard, where men dress up as women and women dress up as men. We are having an identity crisis, and it’s time to find out why God created you the way He did.
God created your feminine heart to give and to receive true love. Yet, why is your heart is daily torn apart by a culture that is blinded to your indispensable dignity? We need only look at how the contraceptive industry not only destroys the body of a woman but also how it shreds her heart.

Was there ever a time when women were not the target of abuse, pain and lies? Was there ever a time when women were not ‘its,’ mere means to an end, something replaceable not someone irreplaceable?
Our story begins in the Garden of Eden, where lustful deceit did not exist and the only language spoken was the language of Love Himself.
Recall the story in your mind. Satan goes to Eve not Adam. Notice how woman has been the special target of the devil since the very beginning of Creation. Satan wants to bring the downfall of Eve out of his prideful jealousy. Eve mirrors God’s creative beauty. Eve is not only more beautiful than Lucifer, but she also has the power to give life. Lucifer certainly hates you and all women, especially since it was through a woman that the Savior was born. To Satan, women are a threat to his life-destroying mission.
I think it is safe to say that Satan is overjoyed with our Culture of Death. Women have eaten up his life-sucking lies since the very first bite of the apple. Look at how women see pregnancy: a disease that should be avoided by any and all means. Women feed into this Culture of Death and settle for false loverather than true love for the sake of this culture’s approval.

Our present identity crisis takes root in the Garden of Eden. In the garden, Eve invited Adam to his death rather than to greater life. However, Adam, who stood next to Eve, is not off the hook. In the garden, Adam, instead of taking on his protective role, passively allowed Eve to bring both of them into to shame rather than glory. 
In the story of the Fall we learn that when women and men stop being who they are supposed to be they stop speaking the language of Love Himself, God. Adam and Eve took God out of the center of their relationship, and it was then that they knew they were naked and felt shame. It was then that they were exiled from paradise. We, too, fall in our daily life when we take Love Himself out of the way and replace Him with the lesser counterfeit.
Women, we are created to give and receive true love. Lust, whether we are its object or its willing cause, always destroys our heart. It is like putting the wrong gasoline in your car. It might run for a few hundred miles, but it will most certainly break down in the middle of your trip. Remember this: lust seeks to take, while love seeks to give. Lust is selfish, while love is self-less. Lust is an uncontrolled desire, while love is a controlled decision.
God, out of Love, sent His only Son to redeem our womanhood. I challenge you to start placing God at the center of all your relationships so that only Love Himself will be embraced as the only true and worthy language spoken between men and women.
“[...] Male and female He created them [...] and it was very good” (Genesis 1:27,31)

Alexandra Richards is a long-time Atlanta resident and a senior at at Holy Spirit College. Her major is philosophy and her particular interests include ethics, phenomenology, and classical metaphysics. Alexandra actively participates in several ministries and outreaches within the Archdiocese of Atlanta, where she teaches numerous catechetical subjects, especially Theology of the Body.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

An Orthodox Catholic Take on the SCOTUS Decision

What should be the Catholic's take on the recent SCOTUS decision on the Affordable Care Act? Here  is one such Catholic's recent piece on the decision-- Douthat is author of Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics
Sneak Preview: The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God: (use search engine to read excerpts)

Table of Contents
Chapter One
“The Smoke of Satan” In Context

Chapter Two
Liberal Catholic? Conservative Catholic? Or Catholic?

Chapter Three

Chapter Four
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Chapter Five
Religious Life

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven